Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Six Sentence Stories - Distance

 For a few days, I have been delving into the past searching for clues and trying to grasp the whys of the migrations of families that covered such a distance of this country and how it was that some individuals just seemingly left without leaving a trace. Some things may remain a mystery until the next life. 

For now I'm turning my thoughts over to the writing challenge for the week and linking up my post to the blog hop Six Sentence Stories - Distance, hosted by Dyanne of Girlie on the Edge's Blog.

His fingers almost ran through the pages to find the business he sought.

There were other numbers that would have provided the service but not the voice, he thought.

The one who was cheerful no matter what complaint might await her, had him calling back time and time again.

Sometimes he invented crazy complaints just to see how she would handle difficult customers, while he imagined her stifling a pretended perturbed grin.

The office was quite a distance to travel on his meager earnings, but finally he saved up so he could make his complaint in person and finally meet the girl with the voice.

Sadly, the expected young lady appeared to be old enough to be his mother instead of the girl of his choice.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

 A year ago in some ways seems a lifetime ago with the only thing that was the same then and now is that for many it was and is a time to reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ and what impact his life had and still has on humanity. I am thankful for that time of focusing and consideration.

Today, on the day following Christmas, I am sharing ten things for which I am thankful and will be posting them to the blog hop Ten Things of Thankful hosted by Dyanne of Backsies Is What There Is Not.

1. That we didn’t lose power when the strong winds and heavy rainfall happened earlier this week (Many people were not so fortunate when power lines were  struck by trees falling due to the saturated soil and high winds.)

2. Being able to have one clear sky this week that allowed us to see Jupiter and Saturn appearing fairly close together

3. The spiderwebs that take on a beautiful lacy appearance when covered with frost (This is also a reminder of how sometimes we just need  to bloom where we are planted, or in this case where our tiny spider feet take us to weave a web, and just try.)

Fragmented spider web attached to pickup door and side mirror

4. Joining with family to make a collaborated Spotify Christmas  playlist

5. A simple to fix, but sufficient for us, Christmas Eve meal with leftovers for the next day (There are times when simple and easy makes more sense given the circumstances.)

6. Phone calls with family on Christmas Day and the days following

7. Being introduced to the works of an author and knowing instantly I would be reading more of his works

8. Receiving a product that we didn’t even know existed and we are excited to have which enables us to sanitize many things like masks and phones

9. Memories

10. Vic and home

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Thursday, December 24, 2020

Six Sentence Stories - Horizon

This week Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog picked the perfect cue for the blog hop she hosts.  What immediately came to my mind was writing something about Jupiter and Saturn this week, but that wasn't what happened. I am linking up to Six Sentence Stories - Horizon.

It was impossible to see with the fog hanging low almost to the ground and obscuring most of the familiar scenery, but she knew the horizon was still there. 

She never doubted for a minute that the thick forest of firs were there supporting one another with their thick branches extending outward and upward to their neighboring conifers and to an occasional deciduous tree now barren of almost all of its foliage.

Being unable to focus with her eyes on the now unseeable caused her to reflect on her memories tucked away inside her mind and heart bringing clarity, even joy for what had been instead of despair for what could have been.

With a ballpoint pen in hand she began to write the stories that came tumbling out onto the faintly lined pages of the yet unused journal given to her for just such a moment.

Journeying along a writing pathway helped her forge through the past and reminded her of what deep down she somehow always knew but was afraid to admit or embrace.

It didn’t matter that the scene outside her window had not changed for now, because the landscape of her heart was ready to be discovered, and not just by her.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

Whatever you are up to this week, I hope you take a minute or two to consider things for which you are thankful. I promise you that giving thanks, even it is for one thing will help make other things more bearable. I am linking up to Ten Things of Thankful hosted by Dyanne of Backsies Is What There Is Not.

18" tall imitation Christmas tree

1. The 14 deer which came to visit all at the same time for a short visit Thursday afternoon

2. Changes in weather forecasts, for the better, which maybe will make it possible to see the marvelous display by Jupiter and Saturn in the sky on December 21

3. Finding things like a kitchen tool we forgot we had and is much easier to use than the smaller one we have been using and also finding a TENS replacement patch in a size that is no longer available in the stores or online AND finding both items in the same week in our home after having searched the cupboard for the latter item extensively months earlier and had given up

4. Tackling projects little by little

5. Realizing that learning to be patient has as much to do with being patient with myself as it does with being patient with others and with situations

6. Music

When I discovered these singers (Hound + Fox) this week, I listened to as many of their pieces as possible. Listening to them singing "Grownup Christmas List" seems so apropos this year.

7. Leftovers meals that allow me a break

8. The willingness of good people to keep trying to make the world a better place even when facing great adversity

9. Being able to binge watch The Chosen

Possibly more than any other movie or video I have watched, this series depicting the life of Jesus Christ seems more realistic to me. I am thankful that it began to be available to viewers in the year 2020.

10. Vic and our family


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Six Sentence Stories - Change

Receiving change during COVID-19 has become almost non-existent, but never worry. Denise of Girlie On the Edge's Blog has used it as a cue in the blog hop she hosts. See how change is being distributed at Six Sentence Stories - Change.

Her thin wispy hair blew ever so slightly in the breeze as she slowly bent over to pick up a penny from the sidewalk in front of her home. 

The widower next door noticed her dropping the coin into the pocket of her housecoat and hollered loud enough to be heard by Liz and anyone else on the block, It must be your lucky day!

She smiled somewhat pensively as she carefully made her way up the four steps into her craftsman bungalow she and Jack built when they were young, when spare change was hard to come by.

As she pushed the swinging door leading into the kitchen, she reached into her pocket with her other hand to retrieve the tarnished penny whose color was almost the same as the blue-tinted 2-quart canning jar tucked in the corner by the bread box.

After dropping the coin into the almost full jar, she mused at how proud Jack would have been that she had continued their tradition after all these years, but then she remembered his parting words followed by a whispered pleading word, Promise?

Just then her train of thought was interrupted an unexpected knock on her front door.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

What where is she? She hasn't posted her ten things yet! Why not? I think someone is talking about me. Yes, I am late, but I am able to get on board now with my post to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Dyanne of Backsies Is What There Is Not. With these questions at the beginning, I am dedicating my ten to the letter "W." 

1. Windows
The windows we gaze out of the most are now devoid of any signs of the grit and smoke from the fires that inundated our area in the fall. It is amazing how one can be oblivious to some things until one day you think to yourself that has to be taken care of NOW.

2. Wreath
I am thankful for the vast amount of greenery on our property from which I was able to make a wreath for our front door. 

Not a perfect wreath, but you get the idea

3. Water
Water in the form of rain or the condensed variety appearing as snow in the mountains is welcome this time of year. Cities in the valley appreciate having a good snowpack guaranteeing their summer water supply.

4. Walnuts
Some Christmas goodies do not call for walnuts, but many do. We tend to add a few to oatmeal fairly frequently, but in December I use more walnuts than at any other time of the year because of the extra baking I do.

5. Washcloths
Do washcloths ever really die? Around here, the old ones go in the rag drawer and get used for a variety of purposes. Perhaps I save a tree or two by using old washcloths instead of using paper towels for some grimy chores. Rags can be washed and reused.

6. Weatherproof coats
I am thankful for just the right coat to protect myself from the elements.

7. Whitecaps
There is something quite mesmerizing about watching the whitecaps, whether small or large, as they approach the shore line. Although we haven't been to the beach for quite a while, some have gone there and shared their photos and videos on Facebook. This week there were some impressively large whitecaps to be seen.

8. Wintergreen flavor
As a child my family traveled for about 14 hours from one state to another on vacation once or twice a year to visit my grandparents. Mom usually carried a few rolls of mints in her purse. From time to time as kids were becoming restless from traveling, Mom pulled out the rolls and offered us a mint. My choice was always the wintergreen flavored ones rather than the peppermint flavored ones which always seemed too strong of a flavor to me. 

9. Woodpiles
Seeing large woodpiles gives me the satisfaction that the family living in the house nearby is going to be warm enough during the winter weather. I grew up in a home that depended on heat produced from a wood stove and for a considerable time as an adult have depended on wood as a source of heat. I remember the wonderful feeling of putting that last  piece of wood into the woodshed, knowing we had enough wood reserved for the winter.

10. Wise men
I am thankful for the wise men spoken about in the scriptures and their desire to seek out the Christ child. I am also thankful for the wise men of today who know to whom to look for answers to the problems that beset them.

Wise men pictured by the left of the stable

11. Wonderful husband
Vic has once again has been there when I really needed his help. We take turns being the helper.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Six Sentence Stories - Menu

Food and eating has been on my mind, which is to be expected since after all it is December and with December and traditional Christmas meals and treats, it is hard not to think about food even if you will not be able to be with loved ones this year. For this moment in time I've decided to distance myself from the association this week's prompt for the Six Sentence Stories has to food. Click the link to read other Six Sentence Stories - Menu. Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog provides the prompts each and every week, and for that I am grateful.


So many choices.  . .wouldn’t it be easier if there were just two?

Well, perhaps, but look at all you wouldn’t know.

It is just that I get so lost in the menu selections and with the updates, I don’t know whether to look at the top, to the side or down at the bottom.  About the time I figure out where everything  is, all of a sudden nothing looks the same. Whose idea was it to bring him on board anyway?

Oh, oh, bite your tongue because the big chief is headed our way, and it looks like he is fit to be tied.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Ten Thanks of Thankful

This year has not been an easy one as I think we can all agree, and trying to stay positive in the midst of it all has tested the majority, if  not all, if we are honest with ourselves. Throughout this year, I have participated in the weekly Ten Things of Thankful blog hop which has helped me to reconsider the things for which to be thankful. Sometimes they are everyday things, other times they are very significant events, and frequently they are things I never want to forget like special relationships. I am thankful for the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop now hosted by Dyanne of Backsies Is What There Is Not. I am also thankful for all those who have previously hosted and those who co-host.

1. Being able to get my oven very clean and not have the smoke alarms go off while using the self-cleaning oven option

This time around I used natural cleansers (baking soda, water, and white vinegar), to remove as much as I could before using the self cleaning oven setting. Basically there wasn’t a whole lot left for the oven to do, but it did what I was hoping it would. I cleaned the oven racks with steel wool soap pads after soaking the racks overnight with water. The oven hasn’t looked this good since it was new! I am thankful for Vic helping me, of his own accord, get some of those hard to reach places. (My right shoulder only cooperates to a certain point when reaching deep into the oven.) I am also especially thankful that our oven is a wall oven making it ever so much easier to clean at this point in time.

Clean oven

2. New pillows for our bed and the magical way they reached their puffy state of being after we removed them from the plastic wrap in which they were encased which said casing made them look nothing at all like a pillow (We gave them a few hard slaps and they began to expand. After a couple of hours they were ready for use.)

3. The beginning of a new day when all is still and the body refreshed  from a good night’s rest before the to-do list unfolds to view

4. The  beauty of the white Christmas cactus blossom like the single very bright star that appeared in the sky at the time of the Savior’s birth (For the time being this seems to be the only blossom that will be appearing on this plant this month.)

White Christmas cactus blossom

5. A plate of Christmas cookies left on our doorstep

6. This buck and his harem which are willing to share their hillside properties of their cervidae ancestors with those of us who have built homes here

Buck grazing on a hillside

7. The many who have made sacrifices, often at the risk of their own health, so that the rest of us have been able to get through this year of the pandemic

8. The one day a week which is set aside as a day of rest from doing as many as possible* of the tasks they do during the rest of the week and instead more fully worshiping God in thoughts and in deeds, and receiving inspiration as to how they can more fully live their lives in harmony with the teachings in the scriptures every day, not just on Sundays

(*There are many whose employment requires that they work on Sundays.)

9. Contrasts that help us recognize good from evil, joy from despair, etc. that enable us to make better choices in our lives in the future

10. The many who have written lyrics and composed music that remind us of the birth of the Savior and the many who share this music during this Christmas season

This is one of my favorites.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Six Sentence Stories - Beam

It is time for another short story, short because it is only six sentences long. Denise of Girlie On The Edges Blog provides a link for this blog hop every week. Go take a look at Six Sentence Stories - Beam to see what others have written. There is always a guaranteed variety of stories using the given weekly prompt word.

The two-by-four-inch board set on edge making the top board of a four-foot-high fence may have seemed an unlikely place to walk, especially since on one side of the fence was a large sow. The trick was to learn which way to jump if one began to teeter. 

Trying to walk right down the center whether it be in life or walking on a balance beam requires keeping focused and staying centered. While those traits are necessary ones, especially since life doesn’t always serve only the safest of circumstances, for those situations one does have a certain degree of control it can be immensely strengthened by one’s spiritual and temporal preparation for those times of uncertainty.

Sometimes speed is of the essence and there is no time for hesitating as to which direction to take because one has already made the decision as to what to do when a “what if" situation arises. Once as I was driving along a curvy road I came upon a scrub jay in the middle of the road who flew up to get out of the way, but instead of staying its course and flying out of my lane, it met its demise because it changed its course and flew into the front of my car!