Friday, August 28, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

 It is with a little bit of dismay at how quickly I feel this month is coming to an end, but there is still time for me to sneak in one final blog hop post to Ten Things of Thankful for the month. Kristi of Thankful Me is our host, and there is still time for you to link up too.

1. Discovering the trick to sealing a freezer bag on the first try every single time

I have felt some frustration when trying to seal freezer bags, and only this week, did I discover how to do it correctly. Just don't ask  how many years I have struggled with this task. 

2. Finishing a big paper shredding project

3. Learning that a niece and her family survived Hurricane Laura when her city was struck

4. New Sudoku books

5. The good examples of others

6. Corn holders

7. The power outage caused by a blown transformer in the area this week was shorter than originally anticipated.

8. Shade on a hot summer day

Gray squirrel resting in the shade of an oak tree
on an snag cushioned with mounds of moss

9. Evening sights and sounds

10. My husband who thinks I am a genius because of #1

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Saturday, August 22, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

 It is that time again, time to reflect and give thanks. I am linking this post to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop currently hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me. This is a weekly event for many and even for those who are unable to link up each and every week, they usually are taking note of those things for which they are thankful. It can be a life changing practice.

1. Being able to get the paper shredder jam cleared thanks to several applications of shredder oil in the jam area

I was more than a little concerned when the jam occurred because I have so many more papers to shred. This new shredder has really been given a workout and although it is able to handle a single feeding of quite a few papers, I apparently overdid it.

2. Discovering the container where I had placed a lot of larger sized family photographs a number of years ago

The container wasn’t hidden, but it was on top of a book cabinet in a storage room, along with other things, and I hadn’t noticed it. Sometime this past year I was wondering what had happened to a certain photograph, and thought one of the kids had it, but they said they didn’t. The photo below was taken during Christmas break in 1973 and as you can see I was very pregnant with our third child.

Photo taken at the Los Angeles Temple Visitors Center

3. Green Tomato Quiche

The two green tomatoes, a zucchini and part of a large onion from my produce box this week were among some of the ingredients in this easy-to-make dish.  I had never made a crustless quiche, nor one that called for green tomatoes before and I was pleasantly pleased with the results.

Crustless Green Tomato Quiche

4. For all the firefighters who are battling the grass and forest fires in many places 

It is a difficult job and they are lacking man power and equipment, but are trying their very best to put out the fires.

5. Freedom to choose, to think, to believe, to discern, and to hope

6. That I didn’t have nightmares after reading just prior to going to bed 

Winston was sitting in front of the rat cage and beginning to hear the dialogue about what the rats would do. (1984)

7. The lesson that I learned about facing what I thought was going to happen but actually didn’t

If I had listened for perhaps a minute longer,  I would have realized the horrible scene I was expecting in #6 didn't take place.

8. Brief sprinkles

It has been very dry here, so although the sprinkles were brief, it was very refreshing.

The Hot Lips Salvia are enjoying the refreshing rain.

9. Naps

10. Vic

The photo below was one of the ones I came across this week. It was taken in my dorm room the evening our engagement was announced to some the girls in the dorm where I was living.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Six Sentence Stories - Station

Thank you Denise of Girlie on the Edges Blog for providing a place to link my Six Sentence Stories - Station as well as a place to study writing styles, and explore the creativity of other writers. I might add that these writers are a very inclusive group, so if you are a beginner, have written and published your own books or are somewhere in between you are welcome. Click the link and read the other stories and comments and you will see what I mean.

Although the door was never closed between the kitchen and the dining room, in order to allow the warm air from the wood stove to flow among the rooms of the home in the winter and the cool breezes to flow freely through the screened windows of the small home in the summer, much to the surprise of the kids there was now a small television set atop the sewing machine cabinet which had been scooted into the doorway.

In the latter part of 1952 the state only had one television station and while some people were starting to buy televisions, the family was on a tight budget so being able to watch the upcoming presidential election was out of the question, that is until someone loaned them a small 17” set for the occasion.

The family positioned the kitchen table and chairs closer to the doorway in order to see the gray screen as the man of the house fiddled with the extendable rabbit ears spread out in a broad vee from the top of the set as black and white lines flickered across the screen accompanied by squeaks and squawks making it difficult to hear what the speakers were saying.

After moving the rabbit ears every which direction the picture finally came into view and it was possible to hear clearly what was being said, at least most of the time.

Watching television again in their own home wouldn’t be a reality until four years after this eventful historic day, but it was an introduction for the kids as to the process of electing the president of the United States of America and was a day to remember.

Until that election year the parents had both been registered with the same party, but this was the beginning of a new era, at least for one of them.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

A certain author, Geoffrey Chaucer to be exact, author of The Canterbury Tales wrote    Well in the middle of summer the bees are quite busy around here, but their busy natures seem to have motivated a little more activity in their human friends here this past week. You will see what I mean, when you read this post that I am linking to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me.

1. Humor that was directed toward me on my birthday 

It began with a gift given to me by a daughter that has a way of making me laugh.

Birthday quarantine banner

Birthday tiara and COVID mask

More humor includes the fact that my age now is the same whether read forward or backwards!  (I probably wouldn't have thought about that if there had not been some FB games recently that asked a person's age backwards, or something like that. I saw the game, but didn't play.) There was a Zoom birthday meeting with my family that included lots of laughter.  Cards and gifts came in the mail or were hand delivered along with yummy treats. Unexpected phone calls from friends and relatives who live far away were a nice surprise. 

2. Maple slabs sawed and split and hauled away 

There were a couple of people who were willing to do this big job for us and who could make use of the free firewood.

Large maple slabs waiting to be turned into firewood

3. Reviews and recommendations 

We have found a handyman who can do some repairs for us in a few weeks. These are not urgent repairs, just ones on our "to do" list.

4. Sign that fall is on its way 

Even though summer is putting on the heat and fall weather is likely a couple of months away, this little crocus just couldn't wait.

Purple crocus

5. Calling in for a take-out dinner from one of our favorite restaurants and being able to just drive up and have them bring out to us

I decided to try their Cannelloni Garibaldi. Yum!

6. Hot Lips Salvia

When our plant started blooming this year, all the blossoms were white instead of red like they had been last year. It wasn’t until I bought another Hot Lips Salvia that had all red blossoms, and sat the pot beside the older plant, that we discovered that over a few week’s time, the older plant began displaying red blossoms again. It still has some white blossoms too but there are more red blossoms than white ones. From what I am able to find online, it is not unusual for these plants to fluctuate between white and red blossoms and there are multiple reasons given for why this happens. It is deer resistant and attracts hummingbirds which makes it a perfect plant for our territory.

Hot Lips Salvia plants

7. Being able to pass on something that is no longer of use to you and has just been a weed trap, (no it wasn’t the bathtub) but which is still useful to someone else

Used drip lines once used in raised garden beds

8. Produce that one rarely sees in a chain grocery store

Typically the size of produce is limited to a certain size in stores, but if you have your own garden, or if you get produce from a farm stand, etc. you may have seen some “extra large” onions like this one that came in the produce box I purchased this week.

Very large Vidalia onion

9. Being able to identify plants, especially when touching one might bring undesirable consequences

As we were walking through the pine trees this week, Vic pointed to a couple of plants and asked if I knew what they were. I recognized them as the plants I avoided as a child because if I accidentally touched them I ended up with welts on my skin. Needless to say, I didn't pick a couple of leaves to take back to the house to look at while I googled or explored plant books. Stinging nettles also have a very distinct odor, at least the ones that I remembered seeing when I was a kid did. 

10. Friends who share ideas (what works for them), share their physical strength to do something you can’t do, or share their excess with others (fresh peaches)

11. Vic and his sense of humor

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Thursday, August 13, 2020

Six Sentence Stories - Useful

Girlie on the Edges Blog is the link up page for this blog hop, Six Sentence Stories - Useful. Denise who is the host has quite a group of followers and participants, but there is always room for more, so just write a story comprising of only six sentences with the prompt word somewhere submerged in your story and link up. While you are there, check out the other stories.

Among the tall weeds sat a stained and partially rusted old bathtub now mostly hidden from view except for when someone chose to venture into that area of the rural property.

It had been acquired from a neighboring family who may have replaced it with a shower and then used their tub for a while as a watering trough for the milk cow.

Once they sold their cow, perhaps it had seemed an eyesore to them and having it placed on their new neighbor’s property out of sight may have felt like the neighborly thing to do, based on a recent conversation with them.

A place to give a large rambunctious dog a bath, or to soak or clean off tools, or in the hot summers to fill with with water for thirsty deer passing through the area were selling points, except no money would pass hands.

With the passage of time and as the rural areas were being encroached upon by those with more suburban ideas, a three-quarter of a century old bathtub used and abused by various creatures would most likely only attract a certain kind of picker.

It had been useful and could still be for a creative thinker, artist, or handyman.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

 Are you ready? I have been thinking about it, and now I am ready to share my Ten Things of Thankful. Week after week I reflect upon what has been going on and then consider where the "thankfuls" might be hiding among all that menagerie of what we call life. I hope you have found yours and are linking up to the blog hop Ten Things of Thankful, hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me.

1. Vinegar

After departing with a very old house plant this week, I debated as to whether I could bring the pan that had been used as a plant saucer back to its original condition. Removing the dirt and iron stains from pan almost seemed like an impossible task, but after using some elbow grease among other things, I had gotten most of the stains removed, except for some lingering marks shown in the photo below. After pouring some white vinegar in the pan and letting it set for a couple of hours, I was able to scrub away the remaining stains and it was good as new. 

Pan showing iron stains in the bottom

2. Labels

I discovered a label on the above pan that said it was a browning pan and was to be used only in a microwave oven. (The plant with the pan being used as a plant saucer had been given to me years ago.) Note: If you shop at garage sales or thrift shops and come across a pan similar to this one that has a patch of gray on the bottom about the size of a range burner, it is probably a browning pan and must only be used in a microwave oven or possibly as a serving dish.

3. Knowing when the time has come

Some of our house plants had become too large, or too unbecoming, to be enjoyable anymore. When the guys were here doing some cleaning up of our property and taking away the fallen limbs, etc. they took away these old plants.

4. Paper shredder

The paper shredder we bought recently can cross-cut thicker bundles of papers which is very helpful as I begin a shredding project that will keep me busy for I don’t know how long, but needs to be done.

5. Property clean up

Sometimes trying to prune out-of-control  ground  cover shrubs is like trying to cut out-of-control hair after months of not going to a beauty salon because of the pandemic (which is what I suspect the person who eventually cuts my hair might think). Well, at least the shrubs are looking better thanks to the guys who tackled that job. We will still be doing more in this area in the fall, but this was a huge improvement!

Recently pruned ground cover shrubs

6. Figuring out why a couple of checks had not cleared 

We had been given the wrong address labels to use, so the checks had been sent to the wrong destination. One piece of information we had been given had the right address, but the address labels didn’t match, and I had not even noticed. My attention to details failed the test this time, but on the other hand, I eventually figured it out.

7. Calling a state office and not having to wait forever to talk to someone who could answer my question

I was all prepared to have to wait on hold, so this was a pleasant surprise.

8. Chipmunks

This week I saw a Townsend’s chipmunk (, the chipmunk that lives in our area of the state. I don’t  see them very often, but there was one  trying to cross the road as I was approaching in the other lane. He couldn’t seem to decide whether he should try to race across the road and instead did a series of start and stops before finally making a dash for it. I slowed down because I really didn’t want to hit it. It is much more common for me to see ground squirrels racing across the road. They seem to have a much more dare devil approach to life than this little chipmunk did. The following video from the CBC is sure to take your mind off whatever ails you, and it has a chipmunk as its star.

9. Tracking information

If it had not been for receiving an email notifying us that an order of checks had been delivered the previous day, I wouldn’t have known to ask the postal clerk about our checks that were not in our PO box. Perhaps on a hunch she looked around and found it in a PO box near ours. 

10. Things that make me laugh

There will be more about this next week.

And as always, I am thankful for Vic and our family.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Six Sentence Stories - Random

In the still of the night or in the early morning hours many a writer has reflected on the next line of a story. Where would your thoughts go with this prompt for the Six Sentence Stories - Random? If you come up with something, write your story and link up to this blog hop hosted by Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog. The rules are pretty simple. Just write a story with only six sentences and use the prompt word in your story. I am looking forward to reading your story.

The project would take weeks to complete especially since there would no doubt be unexpected interruptions as well as ones that would zap her of the physical and emotional energy she needed to reach her goal, or rather his goal.

The old once-painted-white wooden kitchen table had been stored in the barn after its new red Formica and chrome successor took its place in the kitchen. 

Perhaps her dad considered the old table as possibly a future wedding gift for his daughter while at the same time an opportunity for her to develop a new skill, one of many he knew would lie ahead for her.

Warm summer evenings and Saturdays provided some time to begin sanding the chipped white paint on the table, but her heart wasn’t in it, especially after finding out her fiancĂ© had found an available furnished student apartment where they could live after they got married.

A lot of her evenings were taken up using her already acquired sewing abilities to sew her wedding dress and going-away outfit, and of course writing letters to her fiancé who was stationed with a fire suppression crew fighting forest fires all summer.

Now many years later, it was just one of many random thoughts that sometimes interrupted her sleep, but whatever happened to that unfinished table?

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

This turned out to be kind of a mishmash of things that landed in my Ten Things of Thankful this week and maybe why I am posting a little later to this blog hop hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me. I am looking forward to reading the Ten Things of Thankful posts by the rest of you, so if you haven't linked up yet there is still plenty of time.

1. Tools
Being able to accomplish the work we need to do is more easily accomplished by having the right tools. One of the tools I like using for finding some of the roots of invasive grasses like quackgrass or crabgrass is a tool I don’t even remember ever hearing its name spoken. It seems that that there are several names for this tool: cultivator, potato digger, and refuse hook. 

Work gloves, pruner, hoe, and cultivator

2. Zucchini pizza
For some zucchini is the vegetable that causes them to wonder why on earth did they plant even one of them because they are just so prolific and it isn't everyone's favorite vegetable. Although we didn't plant any this year we have had some come in the produce boxes we purchase each week. Zucchini pizza boats are easy and quick to make. I used both mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and a little pepperoni on ours.

3. Combining flavors
When I thought I had four ripe bananas so I could make two loaves of banana nut bread, and after measuring the dry ingredients and then turning around and seeing that I now only had three ripe bananas (I should have informed a certain someone I had plans for all four of those bananas.) and that the three bananas only provided 1 C of banana pulp instead of 1-1/2 C pulp I decided to make a few revisions and make a Banana-Pineapple Nut Bread so I could make two loaves as planned. I will be making this again because I really like the combination of the flavors.

Revisions for making one loaf: 1/8 t orange zest instead of 1 t orange zest; 1/2 c banana pulp and 1/2 c drained crushed pineapple instead of 1 c banana pulp; add 1/4 chopped walnuts

Banana-Pineapple Nut Bread

4. Bees
Last week I posted a photo of a bumblebee in which the tongue was visible. The photo of the bumblebee this week not only shows the tongue clearly but also shows the hairs on the legs. Zoom in a little and you will be able to see some of those hairs. One of the functions of the hairs on its legs is to help pollinate the flowers on plants. I am thankful for bees and their role helping provide some of the food we enjoy eating.


5. Getting to the root of the problem
If by chance someone doesn’t remove the entire root when weeding, the plant will continue to make repeated appearances until one removes the entire root. This little gardening lesson can be easily applied to many life lessons as well.

 Suspected dandelion roots with the beginnings of new growth

6. The color green
Green is a great contrasting color if one is trying to eliminate emerging young weeds from a recently weeded bed of soil.

Tiny green leaves, but easy to spot on top the brown soil

The tiny plant and attached root after being removed from soil

7.  The live broadcast of the funeral of an honorable man
In years past one would have had to wait and read about a funeral service in the newspaper. The world today allows one to listen, watch, and contemplate at the very moment the words are spoken. There is much to consider and remember about the way John Robert Lewis chose to live his life. 

8. Healing
It is a relief when I hear that someone is feeling better after being sick.

9. I am thankful that I know this snake has a place to find refuge and also thankful that it cannot really get inside the house.

Garter snake making its way up the steps

Garter snake trying to become invisible

10. Vic and his interests
Because of my husband's career I overcame a fear I had of snakes and even got used to driving to a nearby university to get the old retiring breeding rats that had served their purpose so they could become dinner for my husband's snakes. In all honesty though, I am thankful that he has moved on to other interests, such as photography and birding which I find so much more enjoyable. 
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