Sunday, November 19, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

As we approach Thanksgiving this coming week here in the USA, I appreciate having a little time to post to Josie Two Shoes Ten Things of Thankful blog hop. I like the fact that the blog hop stays open from Thursday evening until Tuesday evening. Some weeks are just busier than others, and with not having a very strict time constraint, there is less pressure on the blogger (self imposed). Our administrator is kind and most forgiving, so even if we posted at the very last minute, she would be glad we made it. 

1. A day devoted to being thankful which in the beginning began with being thankful for the harvest and then enjoying the fruits of the harvest and sharing it with others. The native Americans outnumbered the Pilgrims at the first feast. The feast lasted three days. Sometimes a lot of families enjoy leftovers now at Thanksgiving with some dishes that last three days if not shared with other family members and friends to take home with them. This national holiday was proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln during the time of the the Civil War. He proclaimed Thanksgiving as a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens." There were many during that horrible war that were in dire and meager circumstances and probably needed a reminder to thank the Father in spite of those cruel things that mankind does to one another. 

2. The knowledge that the our family will be gathered with loved ones on Thanksgiving Day and perhaps on the day before and/or after.

3. Extended weather forecasts that enable us to know about travel conditions, and to know that at least for now the weather is conducive to safe travel in the various places and routes where our family may be this next week.

4. Restaurants that post on their websites the number of calories in their meals. If you are trying to keep track of calories, this is very helpful. It then becomes up to you whether to partake or not. You are forewarned. Have you found a favorite restaurant that does this?
This link has some helpful information.

5. Being able to wear an outfit today that I haven't been able to squeeze into for longer than I want to admit.

6. Being able to be within 10 minutes of a fitness center and having insurance that covers some of the cost of using the center. The center has a Seca mBCA machine that will do a body scan. I'm looking forward to getting my scan results which will be helpful in knowing which classes and exercises are going to be of most benefit to me. 

7. Continuing to get stronger (which means being able to keep my balance better because my core and legs are getting stronger). 

8. Volunteers who try to console my Mother by sitting by her and attempting to interact with her calmly when she has moments when she is tearful in the nursing center when I am not there. It is such a blessing to know that people are not afraid to "enter into the world" of those who can no longer make sense of their world and can't communicate in a way that makes any sense to others. The following youtube video by Kristin Belfy is the best one I have ever seen about conversing with someone who has Alzheimer's. It is about 15 minutes long.

9. Friendships. A friend treated me to lunch this week. Another friend and I made some visits to other friends. It is wonderful to see the things people have in common as well as to see ways in which they differ. What a dull world it would be if everyone was exactly alike. We all have so much to learn from one another.

10. Being possible to laugh at myself when I say or do something silly because I lack the information I need, or I forget to do something that is vitally important, or I don't hear something correctly. Humor is necessary for living joyfully. Have you been able to laugh at yourself this past week?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Six Sentence Stories - marble

If you are short on time today, but just are feeling like reading a few short blog posts, try perusing some of the Six Sentence Stories. This is a blog hop that Zoe administers. I'm linking my post at her site over at Uncharted. Click the link SSS - Marble to see what other bloggers have written using the cue word this week. The sentences may be long or short, but the story needs to be only six sentences.


There were signs under the edges and in between. Some of them had never been seen by the former owners. She couldn't imagine having them and not at least holding them and turning them.

There was a time or two when she did some exploring with a sharp kitchen knife in hand when her curiosity won out. She turned back the thick cover and turned the sharp edge of the blade outwards away from her before making a slow deliberate slice between the first two sheets which had the appearance of being just one folded back on itself.

There was no beauty to behold on these rough edges, unlike the sheets pressed firm and aligned perfectly in some books with the marble-like designs.

The top book was printed in 1900 and the bottom book was printed in 1898. The edges of the top book have been marbled and feel quite smooth. The bottom book has pages that were apparently very roughly separated. Once in a while we still come across some pages that haven't been separated. Each of the books are among others in sets.

This is the cover of the book printed in 1898. Note the marbled cover in blues and golden hues.

This is the inside of the cover of the book printed in 1900.  The marbled paper is quite shiny and slick. The marbling here is a combination of greens and blues and golden colors.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

There are many things for which I am thankful and I know from past experience that when I give thanks for things, making those thanks specific, that I seem to be doubly blessed. However, I am behind with sharing those thankful things on my post each week to Josie's Ten Things of Thankful blog hop. If you click the link you will be able to read what others are sharing this week and may find that you also feel grateful for some of the same things.

The other day when I was visiting my mother at the nursing center, one of the residents had spilled one of her pureed foods or a drink, or both on the floor. When one of the workers came to clean up the mess, I saw that she was using some paper towels to sop up as much of the liquid as she could. She was using a method that I use quite frequently where I step on a towel use my foot to do as much as I can to clean up the mess before using a mop or getting down on the floor to do the final touches. That saves me needing to be in an uncomfortable position for very long. When the worker looked at me, I said, "Aren't you glad we have feet!" It brought a smile to her face and made her laugh. Laughs and smiles brighten those around us.

1. Last week I was ready to begin writing a post for this blog when my computer was acting up. That rotating round ball had appeared just one too many times. I hadn't been able to update to the newest operating system for some time and had been trying to live without it. Upon realizing that my computer was 10 years old, my husband boxed it up. We got another one for me this week. I am thankful that I can now log on so quickly, etc. It is so much less frustrating.

2. Among my friends there have been quite a few who have had surgeries and illnesses recently, and I am very thankful that they are  recovering.

3. I am thankful that I am making progress in learning (and relearning) Spanish using an app. It seems to be the perfect app for me at this stage.

4. Thanks to another app, I've been able to pay more attention to the  foods I eat each day, and to the calories I intake. I love being able to track my cardio and strength exercises on the same app. I'm thankful to actually see some small improvements on the all-telling scales.

5. Since I am no longer in PT, I am continuing with the suggested exercises at home and know that my balance and strength is getting much better. It is kind of a slow process, but it is progress. I will soon be going to the fitness center so I can use a couple of pieces of equipment there so I don't lose the strength I've obtained.

6. Have you ever been frustrated because you've stained an item of clothing and the stain didn't come out even with the product that was supposed to do the job? Recently I went into one of those pharmacies that sells a menagerie of items, and discovered a display at the checkout counter. When the clerk noticed that I was looking at them, she shared how some people raved that the product was a great stain remover. Since it was a very small bottle and the price was right, I decided to buy one. This week I used it to remove chocolate stains from a white shirt. The shirt has  been laundered many times, but no stain remover had taken out the stains, until using this new product. I had the same result removing some old blood stains on a pillow case and getting out an old cooking oil stain on a shirt. I sound like an info commercial, but I am so thankful to be able to get rid of these stains.

7. At a gathering at the church this week, I had a bowl of West African Peanut Soup. It was my first time to have this soup and I thought it was delicious. There are several variations of the recipe on Pinterest. I'm thankful for the many different flavors from combining foods and seasonings. Have you tried a new recipe this week?

8. I am still learning things about my iPad, such as how to make a video. That only came about because I wanted to see if the built-in mike worked. I had been having problems being able use the mike for my Spanish class, and one thing that was suggested online was to make a video using the iPad camera to see if the mike worked. Since it worked, my next step was to go buy some earbuds with a mike.

9. Today is Veteran's Day, and I appreciate all the sacrifices of our veterans and their families. I know that those sacrifices are very real.

10. To know that some of the hopes of our family are being realized is such a blessing. Things take time, hope, work and prayers. 

SSS - baked

What do you think of when you hear the word baked? A sweet memory came to my mind. This post is being linked to Zoe's Six Sentence Stories - baked.  By clicking the link you will have an opportunity to read some more stories written in only six sentences.
Enjoy and then maybe write one of your own.

After getting a small fir tree to put on their Green Stamps-purchased card table, there was almost no money left to buy Christmas ornaments, other than the popcorn and cranberries to string.

That evening as they walked down the sidewalk of the small college town, reflecting on what would be their first Christmas together since their marriage, they passed a little craft store, not much bigger than a barber shop. Although neither of them had even noticed the store until that moment, they ventured inside with the thought that perhaps they could find something to make ornaments for the tree. The sales lady gave them some suggestions that wouldn't cost too much, and they left with a bag of clear tiny rough-shaped objects resembling miniature beads without holes.

When they returned to their upstairs apartment owned by an endearing elderly couple who had immigrated from Denmark, they quickly went to work placing thin layers of the plastic beads in the cupcake pans and in the star-shaped form they'd created with aluminum foil, and carefully placed them in the antique gas oven to be baked, just long enough for the beads to merge.

After the ornaments cooled, she strung some thread through a little open space in each ornament and hung them on the tree, and then last of all carefully placed the shining star on the top.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

Absence from blogging often can be attributed to other writing deadlines, illness, travel, or family commitments. In my case, my time away from the blogging world has been due to some vacations. Although I have been away, I have been thankful for numerous things during that time. Now I'm ready to settle back at the computer with some thoughts to share. Josie's blog hop is a perfect place to share my post. Click on Ten Things of Thankful and read what others have to share this week.

1. Vacations - We celebrated our 54th wedding anniversary by going to Oahu and Maui, one week at each island. Neither one of us had ever gone to Hawaii, so we were glad to be able to see and experience what so many have shared with us. We were only home for about a week, when we took off to visit our daughter and family in Vermont. Although we had visited there before, our trips had never coincided with "leaf peeping" time, until now.

2. Colors  - I'm thankful that I am able to see colors.

I love the graduated blues in this ocean beach photo. The clear sky at the top is true blue which becomes a lighter blue as it appears closer to the ocean. White billowy clouds seem to float in the sky right above the ocean. The distant ocean water appears to be more of a dark blue-green color which lightens in color the closer it is to the tan colored sandy beach. The line of the beach is like a giant number three, with the middle of the three lined with rocks and jutting out into the ocean. Some large conifer trees are growing near the shore at the right upper edge of the photo. Some clumps of grasses appear through the sand at the lower right side of the photo as well as the right side of the lower part of the photo.

Green grass is shown on the bottom eighth of the photo. Beautiful red, yellow and orange leafed trees adorn the lowlands and upward slopes. A few dark green conifers are mixed in with the bright colors and provide a beautiful contrast. The sky is a pale blue with a couple of low flat purplish-grey clouds almost sitting on the crest of a couple of the hills. This photo was taken late in the afternoon in Vermont.

This photo was taken mid morning in Vermont. The colors are striking with all the maple and other deciduous trees with their variations of orange, green, red and yellow leaves.  About a third of the lower part of the photo is mowed light green grass. The upper eighth of the photo is pale blue-grey sky devoid of clouds. 

3. Multiplicity of uses for tools - A friend had offered me the use of some walking sticks to use when we traveled to Hawaii, but we weren't able to pack them and decided my husband's photography tripod would be a good substitute since he was taking it with him. I only needed to rely on it a few times. He held on to the closed tripod and placed it in front of me so I could navigate some difficult spots.  

4. Seeing creatures I hadn't seen before in their natural habitat

This large green sea turtle is feeding on some true green algae and lime green algae on the shore where it meets the ocean. The underside of his body is resting in the ocean water as it approaches the shore.

This little brown gecko appeared from under a sofa in one of the places we were staying in Hawaii. He was only about two inches long. He didn't bother us and we didn't bother him.

5. Opportunities to learn new things and to review what I once knew - Way back when, I took a couple of years of Spanish in high school and a semester of Spanish in college. When someone recently mentioned a free online language app, I decided to give it a try. It can't hurt, and it will help keep my mind active.

Since this weekend is the Worldwide Indexing Event, I decided to give it a try again. It is now possible to do the indexing online which is different from how it used to be done. I was able to use my iPad too.  The indexing event is open to one and all.

Do you ever learn how to do something quite by accident? I've had a couple of experiences like that recently with both the computer and with my camera. Love it when that happens!

6. Photography skills of my husband - When visiting Vermont, the subject of senior class photos came up in the conversation. He offered to take photos of the twins for their yearbook while we were there and has been busy doing the touch-up work on the photos since we got home.

7. Sewing skills - Although I didn't quite make it to the sewing part yet, I was able to cut out a couple of baby gowns from the fabric of a donated wedding dress. A local charity accepts the dresses for the purpose of giving them to the hospital to have on hand to give to the parents of stillborn babies.

8. Signs that make me laugh

As we approached the red stop sign at the end of the block, there was a No Exit sign.  It would have been helpful to have a No Exit sign at the beginning of the block.

One of the signs on the peaked end of the red painted covered bridge before entering Northfield Falls, Vermont, says

Beautiful fall colored foliage in the background of a Vermont white road sign. The sign is trimmed in red with red letters saying
9. Sounds in nature

From the right side of the photo the white foam and azure ocean waves crash against the black  craggy boulders on the shore at the top and flow on to the black sandy beach on the left. Low growing green foliage is flourishing above the boulders and is creeping down the face of the boulders. 

10. My husband and our family

There were so many of these cairns in this river bed in Vermont.  The photo just shows three of them. To me they resemble family groups, and like families sometimes have to do a balancing act to stay strong and support one another. The variations of grey, brown, and blue in the rippling water under the cairns is a peaceful scene to me. A large flat boulder appears to encircle this art work of cairns. 

May you have a peaceful week. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Six Sentence Stories - Yard

Zoe came up with a good cue for the Six Sentence Stories blog hop this week, but she always does. Although I don't always participate, it isn't due a lack of excellent word prompts. Here is my story for the Six Sentence Stories - Yard. Click the link and enjoy the other contributions for this week. 

The old two-story house, devoid of any sign of paint having ever adorned its outside, sat on water thirsty soil in the middle of the California farmland beset by drought. Running barefoot through soft green grass was a pleasure some children enjoyed elsewhere, but this wasn't to become her memory in this arid plot where a tire swing hung from a tree and where her shoes scuffed at caked dry dirt beneath. 

Water was needed to irrigate the crops, and give water to the farm animals and to a few roses on one side of the home.  It would soon become necessary to move on to where water fell freely from the sky, where wells didn't dry up, and maybe to a home that had been painted and where there weren't any dust storms that blew right through the boards of the house. 

In years to come she would recall how she and her brother on some warm summer Sunday afternoons would lay on the plush green grass surrounding their next farm home and watch the clouds adrift in the sky. The yard brought with it hours of weeding, mowing, raking, and mulching, but also feelings of accomplishment, and toned bodies from hard work, and of course some grumbling when starting the mower was difficult to do, and pushing wheelbarrow loads of mulch tiring.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Six Sentence Stories - Joint

Here is my quick six for my post for the Six Sentence Stories blog hop that Zoe administers. (okay, maybe not quite so quick) I'm not sure how Zoe continues to provide these cues each quick, but I'm glad she offers these writing challenges. I'm linking my post to Zoe's Six Sentence Stories - Joint. I wonder what stories others will write this week. If you have that same question, click the link so you can read the other stories, all written with just six sentences.

She remembered when she first saw him off in the distance with three of his male friends. He'd climbed a birch tree near a tall fence to sneak a peek of any potential materials on the other side that they might grab later that night.

With her female friends they once almost entered his territory in a cornfield at the edge of town at sundown. She'd noticed his strength and quickness in picking the fresh sweet corn, but she and her friends turned around and ventured elsewhere to pick, lest there be an encounter.

There was the one time when he approached her in the moonlight when she had been gazing at her reflection in the pond at the historic park in the middle of town. At that moment the attraction was almost instantaneous between the two of them, but as he followed her across the busy street they met a joint deathblow by a speeding oncoming car.

Photo of a raccoon looking down as he straddles a white branch of a birch tree.