Friday, June 25, 2021

Ten Things of Thankful

Apparently June was waiting for summer to arrive to show us what it has in store for us. Ready or not, there is no turning back now. 

For now, I am going to share my thoughts about some things for which I am grateful. Dyanne of Backsies Is What There Is Not is the host of a blog hop called Ten Things of Thankful which is a wonderful place to plant some seeds of happiness which is what one feels after acknowledging the good, the beautiful, the awe inspiring, or the humorous moments that make you smile, etc. The make up of those ten things may vary from week to week or they may be things constant in your life, but the important thing is to recognize and express gratitude. Click the Ten Things of Thankful link to see what others are expressing this week, write your own TTOT on your blog and link up if you want. 

1. Saw a beautiful four point deer with antlers covered with velvet (Apparently the identification of a four point is not the same in certain parts of the country.) By the time I grabbed my phone to snap a photo he was gone. The first horns that appear are just a two single horns referred to as spikes. The deer had grown two horns branching off of each spike and looked like the deer on June 1 in the video below. I imagine he will be looking for a tree or trees to rub his horns on in the fall to remove the velvet. Nice for the deer, but not so nice for the trees.

2. Learning that masks are sometimes helpful for those wanting to capture a short range photo of an animal (in this case a doe) who is used to seeing human faces, but is totally confused at the sight of a human wearing a mask

She took the let’s wait and see approach to see if she could determine if she (or whatever that is that kind of looks like a human) was friend or foe. Meantime it allowed me not only to get my phone out of my purse on the front seat of the car where I had left it with the intention of unloading the groceries from the back of the car first. (I had put on my mask when I got out of the car, rather than risking dropping it while carrying in the groceries.) Grocery unloading was delayed while the doe just stared at me and allowed me to take a couple of snapshots of her. Note: When I saw the buck mentioned in #1, I was inside and he was walking quickly across the property and not looking at me. There was no time to try confusing him by me putting on a mask.

Doe confused by seeing me
wearing a mask

3. On a full-moon night this week I heard the sound of two great horned owls calling to one another. We have heard great horned owls before, but never this close to our home. One sounded like it was in one of the big oak trees on the lane, and the other in possibly a fir tree on the property below ours. I loved listening to them. When they stopped calling one another, I tried playing the calls on an online site which was perfect until the site included some of the warning calls. My hope was that perhaps I could bring the owls back with the sounds, but hearing the distress sounds probably sent them flying off to far away places. HaHa. It was a great idea, until it wasn’t.

4. Some of the cooler days we have had most of the week, which a month ago I would have considered hot, now have made my TTOT list. With the knowledge of the forecast for this weekend, I am feeling grateful for the temperatures earlier this week that caused us to turn on the AC, because Sunday the latest forecast is for 115° F which is unheard of in this part of the state. Like many things, it is all relative.

5. This time of year I am once again grateful for light weight water hoses. They make outdoor work so much easier.

6. Being able to snack on a few fresh blueberries from the bushes we have before the heat puts a sudden stop to that because the berries in whatever state of ripening burn very quickly

7. The entertainment that watching the flight patterns of hummingbirds brings to me, especially when they are vying for the hummingbird feeders in the early evening hours

8. Shade for people and for animals on hot days 

A grove of banyon trees offered great
shade on one of our trips years ago

9. Water, food and clean air which is so vital for life

10. Talented musicians

And last but not least, for Vic and our family and friends who have enriched my life in so many ways

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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Six Sentence Stories - Season

Summer has arrived and the heat is on to link up to a weekly blog hop hosted by Denise of Girlie On The Edge’s Blog. What a befitting prompt she has given all the participatory writers this week. By the way, this blog hop is open to beginning as well as very seasoned writers. Take a peek at some of the other Six Sentence Stories - Season. 

The link stays open until late Saturday night, so there is still time to compose a story using only six sentences and share your story.


Like a flash in the black of night, it was over, yet there seemed no way to move forward without both retreating cautiously at first. 

The barbed words were brief but searing and had pushed one forward and the other back, widening the season of discontentment they hadn’t even realized was encroaching and ready to pounce.

Each grabbing hold of the nearest rope, one slippery and stretchy and the other tightly woven and strong, which exacerbated the differences that were brewing and fermented whatever remained of their relationship.

Eventually whispered words. . .let go, just let go. . .seemingly coming from out of thin air, blew away some of the pain, and the dolor began to depart and pride was replaced by humility and a clearer view of what had taken place and why.

A melding of differences brought with it a commonality and revelatory understanding of themselves and each other that was needed to move forward.

Carefully she folded the paper and returned it to where it had been, buried between some unidentified sepia photos of a young couple and an assortment of embroidered hankies topped by a little sachet filled with rose scented potpourri inside what had once been a stationery box.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Ten Things of Thankful

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there, as well to those men who are so supportive to children who perhaps do not have a father figure in their lives. Bringing children into the world comes with responsibilities and for most, whether it is the mother or the father, it is a learning process. I am thankful for my father whom I didn't meet until I was eight months old, since I was born after he was inducted into the Army. While he served state side due to having flat feet, one of the things that kept soldiers from being able to serve oversees, he was more fortunate in being able to see his first born sooner than some soldiers who had to wait until they returned from oversees to see their child.

Dad & Mom holding me
in Cleveland OH
at Crile Military Hospital

With much to feel grateful for this week, I am linking my list to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Dyanne of Backsie Is What There Is Not.

Yellow rose 

1. Roses

Early this week when I was attending a class, the teacher had a bucket full of beautiful yellow roses. The majority were fully opened and looking very much like roses that had stepped right out of one of Manet’s paintings. We were invited to take a rose home with us. As I looked at all those roses, I decided to select one that was just a rose bud, but since I could see what the others had become, I wanted the experience of watching it bloom, of opening up, and reaching its full potential. I was not disappointed.

2. Those who are not afraid of going to great heights to do things others do not have the skills to do, whether it being literally ascending to to the top of a tall tree to remove a widow maker, or making sacrifices to make it possible for someone to have a chance to live in a safe place

Arborist removing some widow makers

3. Test results and knowing what needs to be done next

4. Accessibility of information to help one understand procedures

5. Grapes, especially seedless red ruby grapes

6. Reaching 10,000 steps

While there may be some who think, “Well, duh. That’s not such a big deal.” Just let me set the record straight, IMO. There are people like me, and many others for all sorts of reasons, who have days when that is a far stretch of the imagination, so having a 10,000 steps day  is something to celebrate.

7. Wide aisles in stores

One of my favorite health food stores has been doing some remodeling and have expanded the store, making it possible to not only stock more goods, but to have wider aisles with hand sanitizing stations at the end of each aisle. 

8. Smiles

There seem to be more sparkles in the eyes now of those wearing the required masks in grocery stores, perhaps because people  are feeling more hopeful that  the reason for needing to wear the mask will eventually end.

9. Progress

Juneteenth being declared a Federal holiday!

10. Glimpses

Catching a glimpse of the doe and her fawn before they exited our property

Doe and fawn on their way to the orchard

Plus one more!

Vic and our family and friends

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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Six Sentence Stories - Remnant

Oh the mysterious ways the Six Sentence Stories evolve in the recesses of the minds of the wordsmiths. . .and the things they learn in the process. . .

Thanks Denise, of Girlie On The Edge's Blog for hosting and providing the cue for this week's blog hop, Six Sentence Stories - Remnant. Click the link to read some other very short stories if you so desire.

Drunkard's Path Quilt made about mid 1930's

Long threads dangled from where the cuff had ripped away from the sleeve of his faded blue shirt when he had tried to slip through the rusty barbed wire fence in an attempt to shorten his distance to the creek by not having to run down to to the gate.

Eddy, Where is that shirt you were wearing last week, the one you said you ripped? Today is Monday, and you know what that means, young man.

Fidgeting a bit while looking down at his dust covered bare feet he said, Yes, ma’am, Monday is wash day, but this is one time that it looks like that old shirt is past mending or patching, but if you want to wash it, I’ll go get it.

It has seen better days, but its life is not over yet because I can cut off the buttons and put them in the button jar to use later, and cut the fabric away from the seams and use what I can of the remnant for the Drunkard’s Path quilt  I want to make. That blue is going to stand out on that yellow fabric, and goodness knows people these days need some cheering up.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Ten Things of Thankful

Ten  things plus one of my thankfuls being linked to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Dyanne of Backsie Is What There Is Not.

1. Learning that two granddaughters who had an important event of their lives (high school graduation and 16th birthday) on the same day each desired that the focus be on her sister that day

2. For the first time in over a year there are no work related COVID-19 cases at our local hospital and a major city in the state north of us has 70% of their population fully vaccinated for COVD-19.

3. Widow makers in the oaks finally were removed.

Oak trees minus the widow makers

4. A huge pile of oak chips was left for us to use as mulch later.

Oak chips waiting to be used as mulch

5. Rain, not just light drizzle, moistened our area. Drought is forecast for 3/4 of our state this summer with dryer than normal weather in our area, so rain is welcome.

6. Reading old newspaper articles gave me new insight as to what it might have been like to be a young mother during the time of the polio epidemic as well as the concern she might have had regarding her child possibly drowning in an irrigation ditch during that same time period.

7. The importance of being able to find commonality with others and learning more about their struggles and history to help understand why they may have different viewpoints than your own

8. The robot vacuum still works even though I must have stripped the threads where the tiny little screws attach the side brushes I was trying to replace.

9. My husband’s problem solving skills when I couldn’t figure out how to get the new brushes positioned correctly made me wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Finally, he said, “Where are the old ones?”  After I retrieved them from the trash, he saw the tiny, but necessary little metal parts still attached to the old brushes.

10. The energy and cuteness of recently born fawns makes me smile. This mama must be waiting for her baby to wake up. We saw her a day or two earlier with a very little fawn, probably just a couple of days old. We suspect it was sleeping safely sheltered behind or under some foliage the morning this photo was taken.

Doe chewing her cud

11. Vic and our family and friends

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Saturday, June 5, 2021

Ten Things of Thankful

It would seem my Ten Things of Thankful post is kind of like a collage this week bringing the readers a glimpse of perhaps me and of my life, kind of a little of this and a little of that. Thank you Dyanne of Backsies Is What There Is Not for hosting the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop. Thanks to the co-hosts, Clark and Lisa who help keep things rolling.

1. The store where I was shopping for groceries began celebrating National Doughnut Day on Thursday, one day early. My box of four for 98 cents included three doughnuts and one apple fritter big enough to share! It has been a very long time, I am guessing way over a year, since I have indulged in eating a these kind of treats. Did any of you ever hear an ancestor mention the Salvation Army Lassies who handed out doughnuts during WW1 or the Red Cross Doughnut Dollies during WW11?


2. I discovered a new salad recipe to try which included familiar ingredients that I had never considered combining in that fashion. Some of the seasonings (cumin and turmeric) were ones I have only used just a little on rare occasions. I am glad I tried it. Next time I will make sure I have ALL the seasonings and dressing ingredients on hand so I won’t need to substitute or leave out any. Has anyone else started to cook dinner without having all the ingredients and then just winged it the rest of the way?

3. With a chorus of birds chirping outside as I was reading one evening, I learned the exact time when they stopped singing. Last Sunday evening it was exactly at 9:15 p.m. Nightfall was fast approaching and it was as though a conductor had all their attention, and they on him, and they precisely ended the concert when he cut off their concert. (One of my favorite songs that mentions a bird was performed by Gladys Knight in a concert at The Kennedy Center.)


 4. One afternoon it was brought to my attention that there were some people at the edge of our property sawing up the large widow maker which fell recently and some large limbs that had fallen during the ice storm in February. A while back I had mentioned to one of our neighbors that if he wanted the wood, it was free for the taking, so he and a couple of young missionaries from our church who love to help people were there this week sawing and stacking logs which he will take to someone who needs firewood for this coming winter. It will be nice to have it out of the way when the arborists come next week to safely bring the remaining widow makers in the oak trees to the ground.

Oak widow maker ready for wood stove

5. The Ten Things of Thankful blog hop in itself is something for which I am thankful because it makes me stop and seriously think, remember, and show my appreciation by sharing these things that light up my life.

6. Because of a conversation my husband and I were having one time this week, I went to a file container, where I have stored some larger photos, to see if I could discover the answer to the question. While I wasn’t able to find the answer I was seeking, I did find a photo that I thought was lost. It wasn’t really lost but only inserted into the wrong slot. Sometimes it is just okay not to immediately find the answer you are looking for when instead you discover something else.

7. Facebook private groups can be a wonderful place to reconnect with extended family.  We have enjoyed being members of one for a couple of years. Through messaging someone who is a DNA match with me on, this week I learned of another Facebook private group for those who descend from ancestors of a certain surname or are related in someway to those who do. Often when doing family history, it is easy to keep going backwards learning as much as you can about those who lived in the past, but it is also important to keep track of the living descendants and build and strengthen those relationships. With families being spread near and far, a Facebook private group is one way to connect.

8. While waiting for our car to be serviced this week, because the check engine light had come on and stayed on, I was thankful to find a chair in the waiting room that was actually a  comfortable chair. Some waiting room chairs are totally uncomfortable for me. Maybe I am the only one who finds chairs with broad deep seats and with chair backs slanted  back at a vee angle and not rising even to one’s shoulders to be back killing. I was lucky to find a small table with a chair that had wonderful support for my back. Yeah and feeling very  grateful for options.

9. Speaking of cars, I am thankful there are passenger vehicles that come in all sizes and some of them are large enough to allow a family to travel without having to take two cars just in order to load the children into their respective car seats.

10. Vic and our family and friends

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Friday, June 4, 2021

Six Sentence Stories - Presence

How does one begin to write a story in only six sentences and why does one do that? In my case, it was because I discovered there was a blog hop that offered this minute writing exercise. It attracts writers who are just beginning to dabble in expressing their thoughts to those who have published books. So what is holding you back from giving it a try? I am linking my very short Six Sentence Stories - Presence to the link provided by our host, Denise of Girlie On The Edge's Blog.  


You will need to dig deeper, much deeper, before you’ll find it, the voice whispered.

What is it that I am  supposed to find? I don’t have a clue as to what I am even doing here after all these years.

That’s okay, you’ll know it when you discover it, and you  will thank me one day for allowing you to uncover it in the depths of the unknown.

Oh, all right, but can I stop for a while and maybe just go back to the way things were?

If my presence is annoying you, I can depart for a while, but I will return anytime you are ready.