Saturday, September 26, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

Autumn has arrived! How has that happened so quickly, or was it so slowly, or both? The year has been so unlike any other I have experienced, but the one thing I know is that it is still possible to find both big and little things that make me feel thankful. I am linking up to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop currently hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me.

1. National Daughters Day

2. File folders

Some of our file folders were looking way overdue for being replaced, so that became one of my "during the pandemic" projects this week. This was not the most exciting project, but at least now I won't have to lift up the tabs to see the writing on the tabs. 

3. Hair cutting shears

I did it! Because of trying to limit my contacts with others as much as possible during the pandemic, I haven't gone to the beauty parlor for any haircuts since February. This week I handed the shears to my husband and asked him just to trim a little off the ends. 

4. The answering machine that allows us the ability to avoid being victims to scam calls like the one this morning that supposedly was about an Amazon purchase the scammer was calling to verify. We knew we did not order such item.

If someone wants to talk to us, they can leave a message, and we will call them back if it is someone we know. If the call seems a little suspicious, we don't return it and just delete the message.

5. Customer service chat

6. Little branches, instead of large ones, that fell on the lane during a rather windy night this week

They were much easier to move to the side of the lane.

7. What I like to think was the sound of a happy frog croaking in the middle of a rainy day letting me know that it was not just me feeling happy that we have finally gotten a few days rain

8. Crossword puzzle book

After working my way through a Sudoku book until I reached the hard ones, I was excited that I could actually work some of the hard ones, but decided to let my husband have the rest. He really is more skilled doing the hard ones than I am. The crossword puzzle book seems a little less challenging.

9. Looking at my mother’s hairstyle in a photo of her when she was a little  girl and recognizing how much my hair has become a duplicate of hers during this COVID pandemic while my hair is on a mission to take over of my head with curls going every which way

Mom and her dark curly hair

10. Earlier this week remembering our wedding day 57 years ago and both of us laughing that neither of us had realized we got married on the first day of fall

Maybe we were just twitterpated!

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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Six Sentence Stories - Elastic

 It was a bit of a stretch to come up with a SSS for this week's prompt for the blog hop hosted by Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog.  Here is what snapped into my mind for Six Sentence Stories - Elastic.

I think you almost have the knack and maybe your dinner if you are lucky, but watch your step and hang on like I showed you. That last blast almost knocked me for a loop, and who knows if I’d ever see you again. 

Oh, oh, I am pretty sure that is Mrs. Morton headed our way; no one has an elastic headband quite like hers. We’d better hightail it into the bushes before she gets one of us with her clippers.

Whew, she’s gone, and now we can finish up our webs. The thistles must have been on her hit list today.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

To say that I am grateful is putting it mildly. Life is returning to a more normal state for some of us, but for many who lost their homes and loved ones due to the fires in our state, it will be a long road to recovery. Listening to their stories of escape and loss have been heartrending, and yet there are stories of tender mercies in the midst of it all. The outpouring of so many people of all ages trying to give provide aid in such a variety of ways also has been inspiring.

Not knowing when and if one would need to evacuate, plus the hazardous air quality making it dangerous to even leave one's home unless absolutely necessary consumed our thoughts and preparations. Those in our age category and health concerns were being told to stay inside unless absolutely necessary. 

There had been several forest fires already burning in the state this summer, but right after Labor Day, there was a wind storm (unusual for this time of year) and trees fell across roads and on power lines which sparked fires that spread into the existing fires and also burned small towns in the Cascades which separate the Willamette Valley and Central Oregon. These fires became massive. 

The highway we take when we go to Central Oregon has a 60 mile stretch  that is now closed because of all the trees and debris from the storm and the fires, and the unstable hillsides and road conditions. It is uncertain how long it will be before travel can resume using that particular highway.

Linked to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me

1. Rain

Toward the end of last week we were hearing reports that we  possibly could expect some rain as soon as this past Tuesday, but that didn't materialize until late Thursday, but it did come accompanied by a lightening and thunder storm.

2. Flashing lights in the sky in the middle  of the night

The lightning was flash lightning and it seemed no matter which direction one looked there were flashes of light. I didn't mind waking up to the sound of the thunder and the accompanying light show in the middle of the night. I know there were many besides myself who giving thanks for the much needed rain that night.

3. Clean air

I don't think I have EVER been so grateful for clean air. One doesn't really appreciate it until it isn't available. We began to feel hopeful that the air quality would improve when on Monday we  saw some blue sky after some neighbors called it to our attention. The first photo was taken last Sunday. Most of Monday, as we  looked out our windows facing south, it continued to look a lot like this first photo. We hadn't gone upstairs to look out the windows that faced east and west and didn't even realize that some sections of the sky high up looked like the second and third photos. (Note: Our home is built into a hillside, so we don't have windows on the east and west sides on the main level.)

Dense hazardous air quality caused
the smoke filled sky

The next day we began to see clouds

and blue sky as we looked out 
windows facing different directions

4. Fresh salmon

A neighbor shared their bounty after having caught a salmon this week. We were blessed with a fresh salmon steak for one of our meals.

5. A neighbor using his  clever self-made tool to take a peek at one  of our high gutters and thus eliminating any need to climb a ladder to see if there was anything blocking the downspout and if there was much ash in the gutter

6. Lessons learned from experiencing difficult events

The experiences of the past couple of weeks caused us to reflect on exactly how ready we were to leave should we need to evacuate.

7. The Audible book I had been waiting for and had preordered arrived this week

8. Connections with others

I was thankful to be able to have the reassurance that an aunt had been able to safely get to another place when the fires were encroaching the town in which she lives. I appreciated the texts, etc. from others wanting to know if we were safe, and also that I could use the same means to check on my family in areas affected by fires and smoke.

9. The scriptures

There are so many passages in the scriptures that help me personally to endure, to have faith and to have hope.

10. The sacrifices and dedication made by others to make the world a better place

A huge thanks for Vic and our family

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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Six Sentence Stories - Kettle

Because my mind was focused on other things the past couple of week, I have been missing in action at one of my favorite blog hops, but now I am back. I am linking this post to Six Sentence Stories - Kettle hosted by Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog

Thelma and Wilma had overheard some of the women eating in the booth next to them about their plans to attend the big estate sale at the old Rodgers’ place which once had been ten miles from town, but now was at the edge of the expanding city limits.

Their eyes lit up at the mere possibility of browsing at an estate sale again and immediately began trying to finagle a way to get Rosemary, their young niece, to drive them there, not to buy anything, but just to look and to remember things from yesteryears and maybe see and talk with John or Roy who were said to still be living at the old homestead.

Unlike some of the Rosemary’s friends who had trouble knowing how to communicate with oldsters and became quickly bored, she enjoyed their bantering, and quickly accepted their request and looked forward to the promised stop for a banana split on the way back.

Rosemary enjoyed hearing her aunts comment about different items for sale in the old home, but when their voices became more subdued as they looked at an old white pail with a red-rimmed lid and a red wooden handle setting next to a dented and pitted aluminum kettle on the kitchen counter, she mentally took note  and decided to forgo any questioning at the moment.

Although John and Roy were there, they were both helping customers, and had only indicated with smiles and nods that they had seen Thelma and Wilma.

Once back inside the car, the answer to Rosemary’s unasked question became crystal clear when with a humph Wilma said, “Well I never. . .Sarah would have been so embarrassed that her old chamber pot was so so brazenly displayed near her cooking pots.”

Friday, September 11, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

Like a ride on an emotional roller coaster might be one way to describe this week, but here I am and ready to share my Ten Things of Thankful. In spite of what gets thrown one's way, being able to see the blessings helps weather the storm. I am linking this post to the blog hop Ten Things of Thankful hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me

Before I share my big ten, I want to share the unusual way my Monday began which made me laugh. Little did I know that laughter would be hard to come by the rest of the week.

*Thankful for spider traps, but not when they work as a mouse trap (Just to get the full picture: This spider trap had been located behind a piece of furniture about 15 feet away. How this little guy managed to get stuck on the trap and make his way all the way to this throw rug is beyond our imagination! There is so much more to this story, but that will be saved for another day and time.)

Early morning bird conversations which seem to be Gobble-Squawk otherwise known as communications between a turkey and a jay somewhere among the trees in the property below ours

People in California have been dealing with constant fires all summer in multiples areas throughout the state. In Oregon forest fires are usually in less populated parts of the state on the east side of the Cascade Range or in the mountains in the southern part of the state. Occasionally there are fires on the west side of the Cascades, but they are usually put out fairly quickly except for historic fires, such as the Tillamook Burn. 

This week that normal fire pattern changed because of an atypical wind pattern. Characteristically, the winds blow in from the Pacific Ocean, or in other words, blow west to east, but not this week! Not only was there a directional change, but the winds were strong, the kind one possibly expects in the winter. A strong wind storm came up over the Cascades heading toward the ocean. The gales caused downed power lines which in turn sparked fires in the dry forests and surrounding areas. Unfortunately the fires are still rampaging and getting nearer to larger cities and causing more people to evacuate their homes, seek safety and get help at evacuation centers which have been set up. 

An ominous view from our property
as we looked to the east about
 11 am on Tuesday

Fortunately we are still in our own home and the fires have not reached our community, but we remain ready in case that scenario should change. At this time the winds have died down considerably here, but there is heavy dense smoke and warnings to stay inside if possible because the air is so unhealthy. At the beginning of the week, there was a forecast that we possibly would have rain by Thursday, but each day that forecast has been pushed further away. Now the forecast is that we might not see any rain until Monday night. Although not having strong winds are good for not spreading embers from the fires and sparking new fires, it is not good for pushing that smoke out toward the Pacific. It is a kind of a sticky wicket. 

A view of the sky filled with
dense smoke as we
looked to the west 
between 6 and 7 pm
Thursday evening

1. We are alive. (Some people lost their lives this week in the fires.)

2. We are able to stay put in our own home. (There are homes that were burned to the ground because of the fires.)

3. Although we lost power for seven hours one night, we had some stored water in case of an emergency. When the power goes out, we do not have running water because  there is no electricity to run the pump for the well.

4. No big branches fell from the large trees lining the lane, or the large trees on our property.

5. We were able to charge our devices during the power outage because I charged the power bank as soon as I heard the forecast for high winds.

6. Trial runs, i.e. packing and gathering what we want to take with us if we need to evacuate

7. Online maps that show where the fires are and what stages of evacuation have been announced for cities near the fires

8. Emergency alerts and public safety alerts on my phone

9. Fresh air which has been lacking since Monday night when the smoke of hazardous levels took over the skies

10. Blue skies and billowy white clouds before they were  replaced by gray dense smoke

Extra thankful - My husband and our children and extended family, who listen, who care, and who love

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Friday, September 4, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

This is where my mind settled when looking back on the week, so I am going to share my ten things of thankful plus one and link up to the blog hop of the same name. Kristi of Thankful Me is the host of Ten Things of Thankful

1. Bouquet of lilies

When I picked up my produce box this week, there was a pretty bouquet of lilies in the box. I found out later that it was a thank you for being such a consistent purchaser of the weekly produce boxes.


2. Shed with a facelift

Thanks to the services of a handyman, our shed received a little bit of a facelift this week. The doors and frame are now in much better condition.

Shed facelift

3. Lightweight hoses

With the high temperatures we had here this week, the plants were in dire need of some water. I am forever indebted to whoever invented lightweight hoses.


4. Fuchsia blossoms

Our fuchsias have  pretty much been deer fodder these past several years, so I was  so surprised when I saw these little blossoms this week when I was doing a little weeding.

Fuchsia blossoms hiding
 from deer

5. Reading sweet letters and notes that my mom had saved from family

6. Humorous household mysteries

Today when I was reaching into a bag of chips I accidentally dropped one on the floor. My husband and I both heard it drop, but neither one of us could find it anywhere! Where did the chip go? With a flip of the chip it disappeared. I joked that it must be with the potholder that disappeared several years ago never to be seen again.

7. Eyes to see tiny telltale signs

When I was putting some items into the back of the car today, I saw some familiar telltale signs and knew I needed to do a little inspection. Sure enough, sometime this past month a mouse attempted to make a nest in the area where the spare tire is kept, but it didn't appear the nest ever made it to completion.



8. Journalists who adhere to the Code of Ethics of professional journalists

9. Neighbors with whom to share the jalapeƱos that were in the produce box this week

Neither my husband nor myself are able to eat jalapeƱos and I didn't want to just throw them away, so I was glad to learn our neighbors love them.

10. Discovery

After coming across a birth certificate this week in a box while going through old papers, I noticed  something a little unusual. After doing a little research I learned that back in 1928 some hospitals began adding footprints of babies on the birth certificate and also adding the mother’s thumbprint and/or in some cases the print of the mother's little finger. (The prints below are for people now deceased.)

Baby footprints and mother

11. Vic and his interest in writing more of story of his life

I love continuing to learn more about the early years of his life.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Six Sentence Stories - Twist

If you are looking for something to read that will take your mind off of some of the hot days of summer, here is my short little story that I am linking to the blog hop, Six Sentence Stories - Twist, hosted by Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog.

The experience wasn’t one he had sought, but he obligingly accepted the offer when it presented itself. 

After all, it would allow him to use some of his skills as a surgeon on The Hope, a whaling ship in the Arctic, following his third year of study in medical school.

Although it is not unusual for doctors to have to deal with life threatening ordeals of their patients, Conan came close to losing his own life in the Arctic one day when he was working on a floating mass of ice out of sight of of any of the other crewmen . 

As he was skinning a dead seal, he accidentally took a step backward and took a frightening fall into the freezing ocean below.

He was unable to grab hold of the slippery ice above to pull himself out of the water and the only other option was to grab the seal’s flipper and hope his exertion didn’t cause the seal to slide into the water too.

Perhaps it was a twist of fate, or of a flipper, that his life was spared enabling him to not only complete his education and become a doctor, but to go on to become a renown writer of crime fiction.