Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Six Sentence Stories - Angle

Sometimes the cues that Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog gives us to use in a six sentence story immediately causes the creative juices to flow, and sometimes not. Finally, a very short SSS came into view and made it to the keyboard. I am linking this to the blog hop Six Sentence Stories - Angle.

All she had to do was take one shot, just one shot, and she messed it up. I could hardly do it myself, after all.

Did you explain what you wanted done?

Well, I did hint that perhaps she might take a look at the manual, while we talked with the Justice of Peace.

Come on, sweetheart, let me see that photo of my bride standing by my side.

Okay, but from the angle she took this, we have a great view of the sconce up on the wall and there are our heads down at the bottom of the photograph looking just lovely!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

It has been an interesting adventure preparing this post. After reading the TToT post of our host, Kristi of Thankful Me yesterday, I decided to go back in time by searching through my journals for entries on April 24. The only problem is that I often write once a week instead of daily and do kind of a recap. But never matter, I got totally lost in time, in memories, and didn't get my post written yesterday. I will link to Ten Things of Thankful today instead.

1. The smell of lilacs

2. Folk songs such as Green Grow the Lilacs sung by The Chad Mitchell Trio in 1963

3. I am glad I missed stepping into this hole on the way to take a photo of another apple tree in bloom.

Entrance to a ground squirrel dwelling

Apple tree blossoms
4. Discovery of the week
Painter's tape is great for marking the seam allowance on my sewing machine and is so much better than using masking tape which may leave a sticky residue.

5. Poetry by John Donne
The Sunday after the twin towers fell September 11, 2001 I gave a talk in my church. (The assignments are usually given a couple of weeks in advance, but this isn't always the case.) When I was perusing my journals this week, I found a copy of the talk I gave. This quotation by John Donne was one that I included in that talk, and seems just as pertinent today.

6. Parable from my life written in my journal
This is what happened in a nutshell. One night when I returned home from grocery shopping, I entered the house the same way I normally did, and with bags of groceries in my arms, and not having a free hand to turn on the light, I plowed into a CLOSED glass sliding door! Normally the door would have been in the open position, but my husband didn't want our energetic dog to run to greet me and throw me off balance. My husband didn't hear me enter the house, so he wasn't there to open the sliding door. I ended up with some bruising on my face from the face plant. The lessons I learned follows. (The beginning word on the second line is change. When I did the scanning, I should have selected a slightly bigger area.)

7. Another parable from my life as recorded in my journal


8. Within the pages of one of  my journals I found a poem I wrote years ago. It seems just as applicable today as it did almost 30 years ago.

9. My journals sometimes just contain reminders to myself of things I think would be good to do. I still think this has merit. I just need to be better about actually doing this. 😏

10. Being able to go through some old photos and adding them into my Ancestry family tree and FamilySearch family tree so other family members can see these photos too

11. Vic and all his help this week!
There were four days in a row that I experienced a lot of back pain making it very difficult to do the normal things I would do. He really pitched in. The fifth day, the pain just disappeared overnight. Yes, I am very, very thankful!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Six Sentence Stories - Bridge

Sometimes I feel like writing gets one from point A to point B in one's life, kind of like a bridge does. I am thankful for blog hops, such as this one hosted by Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog. I am linking my post to Six Sentence Stories - Bridge

In the summer it was possible to see the rust-colored bottom of the creek, unless the cows, on their way to being milked, had just plodded through and stirred up the creek bed with their hooves.

She was always on the lookout for the glimmer of an agate which may have traveled downstream during the times when the creek rose and flooded over its banks. 

Much of the stream meandered amongst tree roots which fought to retain their own claim to the soil especially during what was jokingly referred to as the monsoon season. 

Some of the larger roots cradled pools of water and provided a shady refuge for an occasional trout or two during fishing season.

When the water level was low and not so swift, she could feel the coolness of the water as it pressed her knee-high black rubber farm boots against her legs, and she felt completely safe forging the stream, knowing the water wasn’t anywhere near as high as the top of her boots.

It was quite another matter in the winter when she had to walk the plank by crossing the make-do bridge comprised of a single slippery 2” x 8” weathered board resting on the soggy creek banks not much higher than the murky, turbulent, roiling water just to do a single but necessary chore on the other side.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

What kind of a mood are you in this weekend? I hope there is a little room for feeling thankful and if you are that you will join us at the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me. This has been an interesting week for me, so I am going to get started. There are flowers throughout the post just because it is spring, and I couldn't resist adding them.

1. Contacts from two distant cousins 
This week I received a phone call from a second cousin on my Dad’s side of the family and a message from second cousin once removed on my Mom’s side. This wasn’t my first time to discuss family history with them, but I enjoy these communications so much. Somehow it makes me feel that my parents are looking down on me and wanting me to have these ongoing family communications. 

Apple blossoms

2. Group family texts and Zoom conferences

3. Patterns and Youtube demos of how to make items
I cut out fabric for two different styles of face masks this week and completed four of one style today, except for putting in the filters. Hopefully the filter material will arrive by the end of the month or sooner. After completing the masks today, I decided I probably should have considered making the pattern a little smaller for me, but oh well, I’ll be sufficiently covered. HaHa! The other pattern actually comes in two different sizes. I’ll be making three of the larger size and three of the smaller size. After putting on the masks I just completed, I think a lighter gauge of galvanized wire will make the upcoming masks slightly more comfortable. Note: Galvanized wire doesn’t rust after  repeated washings of the masks.

4. Doctors that can quickly determine what tests need to be done to make a diagnosis

I think this may be a flowering plum tree.

5. Emergency rooms
Both a grandchild and a friend I’ve kept in touch with since high school had to go to the emergency room this week because they were both in pain. Fortunately they both were able to return home fairly quickly, but will need follow up appointments.


6. Fabric stash
There have been times when I bought fabric for some project I was going to do, but plans got waylaid. All I had to do was see what I had on hand to begin making some masks.


7. Rolls of paper towels that are perforated so you can tear off a half sheet or a full sheet, or however many you need

8. Home made antiseptic wipes
Thanks to having the perforated half sheets of paper towels I was able to make a batch of antiseptic wipes.  I know that I could have cut full sheets of paper towels in half, but I like the other way better.

Homemade antiseptic wipes in a large plastic
container (lid off just long enough to take
the photo)

9. Duct tape
The cover of one of my most used cookbooks ever finally fell apart. Several years ago I actually bought a newer edition of the same cookbook, but when I looked at the recipes, I realized it was missing some of my favorites, so I just kept using my original until it needed some TLC from a couple of hefty strips of duct tape. It has made it 56 years, so I am sure with duct tape, it will be good for a few more.

10. Vic’s photography skills
I love seeing his creative side being displayed through his use of Photoshop. This week he took an old photo of me and put photos of our kids in my hair and said he did it to represent how I always was thinking of them and then shared the photo with them. 😊

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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Six Sentence Stories - Circle

Although some of us may be feeling confined more than we would like during this time in which we are living, others are using some of their time to write short stories with limitations, such as writing one in only six sentences. Here is my contribution to the Six Sentence Stories - Circle blog hop hosted by Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog.

He was quite content to be in his own wilderness out in the hills among the chaparral where he was born.

A stranger driving an old red pickup with high slatted wooden panels enclosing the bed slowly turned onto the deeply rutted country lane that looked like no one had paid any attention to it for years. 

The weary looking farmer wearing bibbed overalls over a faded threadbare plaid shirt plodded toward the stranger while two energetic Australian shepherds ran full speed ahead barking and running in circles around both of them.

After a few minutes of discussing where the subject in question might be, it was determined that the farmer would get on his horse and together with his dogs drive him in.

The stranger had expected to be able to arrive, load and get home as soon as possible, but when he looked up at the young bull charging down the hillside he knew he had his work cut out for him.

The purchaser became increasingly frustrated by his bullish behavior when even after much effort they finally got him loaded into the back of the pickup he still jumped about in an effort to escape before what would become a rollicking wild 40-mile ride home for the buyer and the bull soon to become a steer.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

This Easter will be unlike the Easters most of us have experienced in the past, but I hope that it will be especially meaningful, in a good way, for each one. I am linking my Ten Things of Thankful post to the blog hop hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me

When I descend our hillside, I am pretty careful about where I place my feet, for fear of stumbling on a branch, turning my ankle, or worse yet, falling.  The other day I was thankful I was being so careful,  so I didn’t step right on top of this little garter snake. They are perfectly harmless, and this one was probably no more than 18” long.

This garter snake blended so well with the dead
leaves and fir cones that I almost didn't see him.

The weather has been nice enough that the grass growing on what we refer to as our yard had reached the point we didn't think the deer were keeping up with their job of mowing it, so Vic was able to get out today and mow most of it.  There are three thankfuls here. Yeah, that the grass was dry enough to mow. Yeah, that the tractor mower started right up! Yeah, that Vic had  the energy he needed to do the job.

I don’t even remember how long ago it was  that Vic planted an eco-lawn mixture of seeds, but after all these years, one of the things that continues to come up  are some English daises. I love these little flowers. When I attempted to get down for a close up of some of the flowers, I ended up with an image that reminds me of a painting! I really like  being a painter without even picking up a brush, nor using Photoshop or an app to end up with a similar image.

A photo of English daisies that looks more like a
painting than a photograph

Without availability of foolscap paper in 1887 my 76-year-old great-great grandfather may not have written his 32-page  autobiography.  Punctuation and capitalization was predominantly lacking, so it is a challenge to read it, but when I first received a copy of a copy of it in the mid 1970’s, there was nothing that kept me from doing everything I could to figure out the letters and words. I kept a large magnifying glass nearby when some of the letters seemed to have faded right into the paper.

Page 1 of the autobiography written by Valentine Kimes Jr.

William F. Kimes, another descendant  of Valentine Kimes, Jr. also received a copy of a copy of the autobiography from the same relative about the same time that I did. Not only did he tackle the job of reading it, but he used the opportunity as a time to develop a new talent at age 70, to print the autobiography with hand-set type! The end result was this little book, all handmade.

Needless to say, I am thankful for the the descendants of Valentine who have had such an interest in this family, like one of my aunts who was so good to write letters to her  parents, her brothers and sisters, her aunts and uncles, her nieces and nephews, etc. If it were not for her, I would not have known about the relative that had the copy of the copy of the autobiography, and so many of details about the family.

After a couple of weeks, my body has made a lot of progress in trying to regain flexibility . Now I am able to move  more easily and the wincing  is mostly gone. That  improvement allowed me to be able to find that certain little book that I knew was in one of the boxes full of items we are storing.

The Worldwide Fast on Good Friday brought people of many faiths together in a common purpose. I am deeply thankful for this.

The time that I have had and have used to more fully contemplate the celebration of Easter has made it so much more meaningful to me this year. 

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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Six Sentence Story - Identity

Are you ready for a writing challenge? Try this. Write a story using only six sentences. Now see if you can use the cue word in your story. If you have a blog, post it on your blog and  then link it to Six Sentence Stories - Identity hosted by Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog. Did you notice that cue word IDENTITY? I hope to read your story there if you just can't resist that challenge.

At times he was haunted by what had been and he just couldn’t believe the possibilities that could become his reality.

What’s the use, he thought, too many people know what I did and hate me for it, and others of them would think I was a traitor.

Some of his former friends had walked away refusing to go down the same wormhole he’d taken, and now after getting wind that he was trying to give up a few of what they referred to as his bad habits, they just couldn’t envision the transformation that was in the process, however bumpy a road that would be.

It wasn’t until he saw an old buddy who had dropped out of college about the same time he did and now displayed none of his quondam behaviors, and even when someone had pointed him out his physical appearance was barely discernible, not until then did he realize that people really can experience a transfiguration of sorts.

Back then they had both been searching for something without even knowing exactly what and each stumbled along on different paths not realizing some of the dangers that awaited them.

When he had been convicted of identity theft, he didn’t realize the price he would have to pay to discover his own true identity, and how it would eventually be worth more to him than silver and gold.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

So sorry I am so late showing up!

This is very much a "better later than never" post to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me. There is so much to be thankful for this past week.

1. A wooden wall
When we first moved into our unfinished home almost 40 years ago, the make-do walls were made of Kraft paper stapled to the studs. It was a real life “Good Night, John Boy” existence. We eventually no longer had paper walls, for which we were all so appreciative. This past week, I found myself again feeling grateful for our sturdy bedroom wall. My side of the bed is is fairly close to the wall, and without that wall to brace my foot against, getting in and out of bed would have been impossible to manage because of the pain I was experiencing in my back. (Who knew that just doing several loads of laundry would put me in such a predicament! Fortunately, I am gradually improving.)

2. Experience that I have had from doing certain exercises to try to relieve back pain in years past (I knew what to try this week.)

3. General Conference
Our church holds general conferences twice a year. Because of the COVID-19 the conference this past weekend was done virtually. In many ways the conference was an historic one, and for me personally was very reassuring and memorable, and a great lead-in to the week before Easter.

4. Being able to drive to the store to get some groceries, AND to discover that some of those products that had been impossible to find these past few weeks are now on the shelves was a welcome discovery.

5. Because we had not been able to find ANY distilled water in the stores in recent weeks, we decided that purchasing a counter-top water distiller would in the long run be worth it. I found one that was actually available, so I placed the order, only to get a notice a few days later that my order was cancelled. It is no longer available, so it was great to see that distilled water is available again in certain stores in our area.

6. The new normal is Face Time or Zoom appointments with doctors in this time of distancing because of the virus. I had my first of these this morning. Although the appointment was a routine follow-up, and had nothing to do with my back, the doctor made some suggestions having to do with my back. WIN WIN. 

7. I was thankful for good movies to watch from home this past week. (The Green Book, The Other Side of Heaven 1, and The Other Side of Heaven 2)

8. Birds chirping
After a week of being inside and somewhat limited in my movement, I was so appreciative of hearing the chirping of the birds in the trees when I was finally able to make a trip to the store today. We had a lot of rain this past week, so opening a window to hear them wasn’t really an option. Today it is sunny and it looks like there it will be warming up a little the rest of the week. :-) Sometimes Alexa plays nature sounds but it isn’t really the same as being outside and seeing real birds flitting about and chirping. A similar comparison would be seeing someone in a Zoom conference to being with someone in person. It just isn’t quite the same, but certainly a welcome substitute.

9. I am thankful for our children who are my backup when I can’t figure out something they already walked me through in the past. There is something to be said about the need of doing something more than just once, especially when it comes to electronic devices.

10. Vic who has helped me in so many ways this past week! He reached what I couldn’t. He stood when I couldn’t. He was Johnny on the Spot!

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Friday, April 3, 2020

Six Sentence Stories - Noise

As a young mother, I fell in love with children's books, many of which have brought back memories of not only reading them aloud to my children, but repeating phrases from them long after the children were grown, and their children were grown. The cue for the Six Sentence Stories - Noise made me smile when I thought about the book, Too Much Noise, by Ann McGovern and illustrated by Simms Taback. Altogether now, "Ah, said Peter." Thank you Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog for this week's prompt.

The quiet ticking of the wall clock, not missing a beat, was an evening sound she decided.

When the refrigerator motor chimed in with its humming, followed by light raindrops plinking on the skylight overhead, she closed her book, and her eyelids, and just listened to the noise orchestrate.

A thump on the roof, perhaps caused by a nocturnal scavenger of some sort out investigating the territory was quiet in comparison to the ruckus caused by the screaming cries of a fisher she once heard at the front door years earlier.

Soft drones of jets soaring high above through the inky sky, possibly on important missions to deliver scarce materials that could save lives, were comforting sounds this night.

The placidity of her evening was calming and allowed her to put aside the disturbing news that seemed to come in waves of emotional upheaval in so many ways throughout the day.

With a sigh, she opened her book again and read once more the words that brought her the much needed peace she was seeking.