Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Six Sentence Stories - Shower

Words seemed to spew from every side with everyone trying to justify their positions based upon either their own knowledge or what others claimed to be true. 

Surely truth will bear sway once it rises to the top and is recognized  and acknowledged for what it is some considered but one’s idea of truth seemed to be another’s idea of misinformation, doublespeak, or an outright lie. 

The disparity was growing and interfering with what had once felt to have been their everyday lives which had allowed room for forgiveness, turning the other cheek, and charitable actions. 

Once doubting Thomases were now picking sides seemingly ready for action if needs be. 

The ongoing shower of news as it proclaimed to be was causing some to look for other channels or just to turn it off until the world magically returns to whatever normal once was. 

Her thoughts flittered here and there like the down of a thistle, yet knowing inaction wasn’t the best path to take and even the down eventually must take root.

A muse linked up to the blog hop Six Sentence Stories - Shower hosted by Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog

Friday, July 24, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

What were you thankful for this past week in your sphere of existence? This is what came to my mind after a brief review of my week. I'm linking up to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me.

1. Caramelized onions
For several weeks now there has been a very large onion (about 5" in diameter) in the produce box I have ordered. With only two of us to consume them I realized I needed to figure out a way to consume these before they completely took over the space in our refrigerator. Someone in the FB group came to my rescue and suggested caramelized onions. I only caramelized one onion and added a little bit of balsamic vinegar at the end. I had never eaten them and had no idea how delicious they are served on hamburgers and hotdogs. The next time I buy a steak, I'll top the steak with caramelized onions.

Caramelized onions

2. Big doesn’t have to remain big
a. Big jobs can be conquered by tackling a piece at a time, a little each day, and sometimes with the help of neighbor. (Many thanks to a neighbor who tackled some weeds along the lane with her weedwacker and who helped me pick up some limbs which had fallen off the trees during the winter and to her husband who added them to their pile of debris to be burned when that is an option.)
b. Big onions can be reduced in size by caramelizing them. I sliced one large onion, and it completely filled the 10" skillet shown above, but after caramelizing, the onion was reduced considerably.

3. Bees and their different sizes and associated buzzing
While weeding this week, I was entertained by a chorus of various bees flitting among the wall germander plants.The larger ones are basses and seem to drone, whereas the honey bees and the smaller bumble bees make a higher pitched buzzing sound.

4. With the weather forecast indicating temperatures to reach 100 degrees and possibly a little higher by Sunday it is good that the blueberry crop has dwindled, because otherwise the berries will either boil on the bushes or shrivel and dry. The birds will continue to like them either way.

5. Some cooler, overcast mornings have made it more comfortable for doing outside work on our property.

6. Tools that have extendable handles, so Vic can clean the solar panels, or so I can reach cobwebs or dust that is out of my reach

7. That the fluorescent bulbs in the laundry room are working more than they are flickering
Replacing them requires the use of a ladder, which neither of us are able to do anymore, and thus the task will require having someone come inside our home to replace them. We are still limiting people coming into our home whenever possible because of COVID-19 exposure from someone who may be asymptomatic.

8. Something exciting to view next week
The Southern delta Aquariids meteor showers will be making a big appearance on July 28 in our area.

9. Special memories such as the time we gathered with most of our family on a mountain top to watch the Perseid Meteor Showers

10. Minute details
The tongue of a bumblebee

Can you see the tongue of the bumblebee?

Each individual flower within the entire Queen Anne’s Lace blossom

Queen Anne's Lace, commonly known as wild carrot

The scores of individual parts of the flowerhead of a thistle

Flowerhead of a thistle

11. Vic who became another year older this week, and of course even wiser and keeps life interesting

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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Six Sentence Stories - Hunch

They are kind of bright, but the price was right and the original store tag was still on them which is something you don’t always see in a thrift shop. 

I don’t think I have ever seen you wear anything that bright, well except for that one time, but I have a hunch we’ll be seeing a lot of colorful outfits when we get there. After all, that shirt you bought for me isn’t exactly something that would allow me to blend in with the guys in the break room.

Well, I don’t expect to be wearing those pants out in public much after our trip unless I decide to wear them as part of a costume sometime, she said, giving him a wink.

Yeah, I might have still been dancing with the witch if it hadn’t been for that certain little lemon I saw standing on the sidelines. Tell me again why you decided dressing up like a lemon for a Halloween party seemed like a good idea, he chuckled.

Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog is the host the blog hop Six Sentence Stories - Hunch. Every week she provides a new prompt word. Come join the fun!

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

Have you thought about a single thing that you are thankful for this past week? Perhaps it has been a really rough week for you personally, or for someone in your family or family of friends. This post is about ten things for which I am thankful this week and I am linking the post to the blog hop Ten Things of Thankful hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me. For some of us who participate it has become kind of a habit to look for something, if not ten, just one thing that we can honestly say we are grateful for that thing, that person, or that experience. This habitual routine, if you will, seems to get us through some of the rough spots in life, and when things are going hunky dory it is still an excellent practice IMO, lest we forget.

1. Rocket races
We continue to get great delight in watching one of the fawns who makes daily visits to our place. This is the only year we have named one of them. Rocket seems born to run, and if Rocket were a horse and I were a betting person, which I am not, I would bet money on this one. The mother of Rocket has her hands full. One moment Rocket is right beside her and the next moment it is anyone's guess where the finish line was. Many times she has cut her visit short to go find Rocket. This week  we watched Rocket run pell mell from near our house down into the forest and then come running back and then did a couple more laps like that one after the other. We have never seen another fawn like Rocket. Click here to see Rocket probably within a day or so after birth when even then running was a thing! 

2. Brush bunny sighting
Depending on where you live, jack rabbits or possibly brush bunnies may be quite common and maybe pests, but we don't see rabbits often on our place. This week I was surprised when I was driving to see a brush bunny by the side of the road. I think they are cute, but I am certain I wouldn't appreciate their presence if I was growing a garden.

3. Raspberry Ricotta Cake recipe
This week the local veggie and fruit box I bought contained some fresh raspberries. I decided to look for another recipe to try, although making another cobbler would have tasted good. Since I had some low-fat ricotta cheese in the refrigerator, this recipe sounded really good. I used my fresh raspberries instead of the frozen berries in the recipe. I baked it in a 11" x 7" pan instead of the 9" diameter pan and used 1 cup of low fat ricotta cheese plus 1/4 C low fat milk. (I didn't have the 1-1/2 C of the ricotta cheese called for, and I was willing to experiment a little.) It tasted yummy! Do you follow recipes to the letter, or are you willing to experiment and do your own thing?

Raspberry Ricotta Cake

4. I received a vase of flowers this week.
A week ago I shared a couple of recipes and photos with a FB group for those who get the same local produce boxes I get. I was surprised to receive a beautiful bouquet when I picked up this week's order, just because I posted some photos and shared the recipes I'd used.

Beautiful bouquet 

5. Neowise
Many of you probably started looking for Neowise, the comet that makes an appearance about every 6,800 years, earlier than this week. After seeing a number of photos online of Neowise, we decided to postpone bedtime and venture outside one evening to see if we could spot it with our binoculars. It was worth missing a few minutes of sleep.

6. The second of our butterfly bushes is now blooming.
The scent of the blossoms on butterfly bushes is something I look forward to each year and so do the butterflies.

7. Discoveries while weeding
When my husband and I were doing some weeding this morning, he used the scraper on his tractor to make quick work of a difficult area to weed. As I used a rake to get the weeds removed from the soil, I discovered a little oak tree. Now I know why it is so hard to  pull these little trees up by hand, or even hoe them out of the soil.

Little oak tree complete with acorn and roots

8. The blackberries which grow wild on our property are beginning to ripen.
This next week I will be able to start picking as many of these wild Himalayan blackberries as I want. They grow pretty prolifically in the northwestern states of the United States.

Wild Himalayan blackberries

9. The Kalanchoe starts have rooted.
It was with some reservation that I followed the directions for trying to start some new little Kalanchoe plants from my rambling Kalanchoe plants. I am happy to report that placing the cuttings into perfectly dry soil for a week was just what they needed.

10. I am thankful for Vic and for our family, always and forever.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Six Sentence Story - Zany

This week's prompt from Denise at Girlie on the Edge's Blog got me into a children's story mode. I'm linking my story to Six Sentence Stories - Zany.

Zaccheus Z Zany liked to chew on zwieback, but he liked znilla ice cream better, even if he couldn't say it.

When his sister, Zoey, tried to give him a little mashed zucchini squash he spit it out, scrunched up his nose and shook his head side to side.

Ziggy sometimes dropped his doggie toys in his lap in hopes he would play with him.

Zaccheus laughed when Zoey said funny words, like “zigzag zigzag zigzag” really fast.

He stopped crying when Mommy sang “zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay.”

Best of all was when Daddy said, “Zaccheus Z, we are going to the zoo today, and maybe, just maybe, we will see a zebra too.”

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

One might wonder how there can be such a variety of things for which to be thankful. Considering the various backgrounds of those who engage in this weekly activity it really is quite understandable and entertaining to my way of thinking. Kristi of Thankful Me is the host of Ten Things of Thankful and gets things rolling each weekend. If you are feeling grateful, write a post and link up.

1. Tractor with shovel
This week I had the sad discovery of finding a dead fawn on the ground behind some rhododendrons. Fortunately our little tractor has a shovel on the front, so my husband was able to quickly dig a hole in which to bury the fawn. The fawn appeared to have died from dysentery. I had actually noticed a doe edging slowing toward the area where I found the fawn. She had stood there for quite a while appearing to be looking down at something and then seemed to nestle down on the ground behind the rhodies. After I found the fawn later, I thought her behavior was probably that of a doe in mourning. 

2. Photo of fawns kissing
I was just clicking the camera as fast as I could to try to capture the playful antics of the fawns, and captured this!

Fawns kissing?

3. Bathroom apps
Apparently many people are having trouble finding available restrooms now during the COVID-19 pandemic when they are away from home. This week I learned that the following apps may prove helpful Bathroom Scout, Flush and Sit or Squat. In the meantime, we most likely will just continue staying close to home.

4. Hummingbirds

5. Berry cobbler using a combination of marionberries and blueberries
There were a couple of boxes of marionberries and a bag of blueberries in the local produce box I bought this week, so I combined the berries and made a berry cobbler using my favorite cobbler recipe.

Marionberry/blueberry cobbler

Cobbler Topping

2 C  sugar
1 t salt
2 C flour
2 t baking powder
1-1/2 C milk

Grease a 9” x 13” pan. Line the bottom of the pan with your favorite berries. Mix the topping ingredients and pour over the top of the berries. Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes.

(If you prefer to use a jar of canned peaches or apple slices, be sure to thicken the juice with cornstarch before putting into the pan. This will probably take about an hour to bake.)

6. Blasts to the past. . .in the kitchen
Do you ever think about something you ate as a child, or perhaps when your kids where young? We hadn’t had tomato soup and toasted cheese sandwiches in what seemed like forever, so this week we did. The taste wasn’t quite what I remembered  since this time I didn’t use white balloon bread and the soft processed cheese that came in big rectangular blocks. That was what fit the budget back in the day. 

7. One more day
It is possible to pick blueberries that are almost ripe and let them set in a bowl on the table to finish ripening. This method of picking the berries works perfectly if you know you are not going to be able to pick the next day.

Most of these blueberries will be fully ripe in 24 hours. 

8. The element of surprise
While doing some work outside one day this week, I noticed what I thought was a ground squirrel hole in the ground where I was weeding. All of a sudden a tiny little shrew poked his head out of the hole much too large for his tiny frame. I don’t know who was more surprised, me seeing the shrew or the shrew seeing me. He quickly retreated. I grabbed my camera in case he decided to take a look at the outside world again, but I guess that was too much to ask.

9. Finding the exact folder I needed, without having to search more than a few seconds
When trying to unravel some family history questions this week, I was impressed by how quickly I was able to find the exact folder that contained at least part of the answers. Thanks to my Mom's collections of letters and emails to relatives over the years and how she had them organized the task was much easier.

10. Vic and our family
Vic and I were able to make considerable progress outside this week in tackling some things that needed to be done. We make quite a team and are still able to laugh through some of the challenges.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Six Sentence Stories - Fabric

It is that time again for a short little story. This is being linked to Six Sentence Stories - Fabric hosted by Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog

Families once connected to their distant loved ones by lines penned on thin airline stationery sometimes spritzed with the perfume worn on the inner wrist of the woman writing the letter.
Ancestors' letters written about everyday life reveal pieces of the past as well as some of the personality similarities with their descendants.
Blankets, crocheted, knitted, and quilted have wrapped and brought comfort for newborns, the sick, and the enfeebled.
Reservoirs of strength combined as first one person and then another and still another conjoined to give aid and comfort when needed.
Instilling of traits, whether partly through DNA, example, training, or the school of hard knocks have shaped the people within the family.
Connections with the family, whether they be distant or near are like the strands of thread within finely woven fabric where each thread is needed and plays an important part.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

There are still things for which to be thankful, even though there are concerns shared by many as we are still seeing a rise in the number of cases of COVID-19 in our nation and in the state in which I live this July 4 weekend. My wish is that each of you are safe wherever you are and that you are still able to recognize some of the blessings in your lives. I am linking up my list of 10 to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me.

1. Being in the right place at the right time

2. Knowing when to stop

3. Being able to see colors

4. Playful antics of six little fawns that appeared together near our home one evening this week

5. Impressions that come into my mind to pray for someone right then, even though I don”t know the reason why

6. Saved research notes received from other family historians

7. Having bodies that have joints so we can bend

8. The sound of a flute

10. Vic and our extended family

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