Friday, March 9, 2018

Finish the Sentence Friday - Listicle - Music

Music is as much a part of me as the air I breathe. This blog post is being linked to Finish the Sentence Friday - Listicle - Music. Although the Listicle posts are a list of 10, I felt like I could have gone on forever. There have just been so many experiences in my life, starting at a young age, where I recognized the power that music has. Thanks to Kristi Campbell at Finding Ninee and Kenya G. Johnson at Sporadically Yours we are able to enjoy participating each week in such great opportunities to think about these interesting writing prompts.

1. Handel's Hallelujah Chorus. As a young girl taking piano lessons, I would play this over and over, because I not only loved the music, but I loved how the music made me feel. It still has that same impact on me.

2. Climb Every Mountain by Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rogers. The message of this piece gave me the inspiration I needed at a time in my life when I needed it.

3. I Believe  by Ervin Drake, Irvin Graham, Jimmy Shirland, and Al Stillman. I probably heard this first sung by Frankie Lane but have listened the The Lettermen and Elvis Presley sing this too. I even wrote a poem when I was in high school titled I Believe. I wish I had a copy of it now.

4. The Impossible Dream by Mitch Leigh and Joe Darion. At one time or another we all have what seems to be an impossible dream. 

5. Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg.

Lyricist ,Yip Harburg, sings the song he wrote, Somewhere Over The Rainbow from David Paul Kirkpatrick on Vimeo.

6. It's A Small World, by Robert B. Sherman and his brother Richard Sherman.  I know that there are some people who have tired of this song, but I will never forget the time I went to Disney Land when our children were young. When I listened to this music as we went through the It's a Small World attraction, it was truly magical and brought tears to my eyes.

7. Take Me Home, Country Roads by Bill Danoff, Taffy Nivert and John Denver. This song makes me think of some of my roots, because many of my ancestors lived in West Virginia. When our children were growing up, my husband often strummed on the guitar as we sang folk songs as a family. This brings back such happy memories.

8. Water from Another Time by John McCutcheon. This song is a more recent discovery, but it is another piece that makes me reflect and causes me to feel. My husband and I attended one of John McCutcheon's performances and heard this piece.

9. Wanting Memories to Teach Me by Ysaye Barnwell. I recently shared this piece on another post of mine.

10. Remember Me. Many years ago I went to hear Deanna Edwards talk about grieving at an Education Week at BYU. I was so impressed by her music and the power of it. She shared many personal experiences of how music can help people through times of tragedy and sorrow. She has since passed away, but her music remains.

Ten Things of Thankful

Thankful and happy are words that come to mind after a week of spending time with one of our daughters and her family. However, with getting home on the cutoff day for the last TTOT post, I decided to just get an early post in for this next Ten Things of Thankful blog hop over at the Josie Two Shoes' site.  

In case you haven't discovered this yet, learning to recognize the good things in your life and in the lives of others and expressing gratitude for them brings a sense of joy in your life. So what if life seems a little gloomy at times, just look for one thing that is something unique and good in your life, or perhaps a gorgeous sunset you saw one evening, or a baby's smile, etc. Although this blog hop is titled Ten Things of Thankful, there are times when bloggers share more or less than ten, and that is just as acceptable. Read some of the posts by other bloggers at Josie Two Shoes' site and you will see how flexible this blog hop is. All are welcome at her site.

1. Snow seemed to frame my trip. A snowstorm arrived two days before leaving on my trip and two days before departing to return home. Fortunately, the roads were clear by the time I needed to get to the airports.

2. I had looked forward to visiting our daughter, but also had been anticipating attending the RootsTech Conference in Salt Lake City with her. What I had not in my wildest imagination supposed would happen was this, but everyone needs to experience a bit of fun and laughter from time to time. 

My daughter and I  standing in front of a Legacy Republic photo booth in the RootsTech Exhibit Hall. We could choose from some wild dress-up items.

3. Being able to see two movies I hadn't yet seen was a bonus. Seeing The Greatest Showman and Coco in the same week in my vacation.

4. On the day before I left, we went to the BYU Museum of Art and saw some of the works of M. C. Escher and some Tiffany lamps and other Tiffany works.

5. Both of our daughters had raved about Hruskas Kolaches in Provo in the past, and now I know why. I consumed some of their freshly baked offerings several mornings as we headed to the conference. Since returning home, I have discovered that near the temple I attend there is a similar bakery. I look forward to comparing kolaches sometime.

6. Being able to visit with our one of our granddaughters, and one of our grandsons and his wife was a plus. I knew that I would be seeing our granddaughter, but seeing one of our grandsons and his wife was unexpected. I was introduced to BYU Chocolate Covered Cinnamon Bears by said grandson. These were a real treat!

7. At the RootsTech Conference attendees were able to discover cousins who were there. Those who had signed on to their Family Tree App were able to find their cousins who had signed on to the Family Search Tree App. Meeting some of my cousins was almost as much fun and attending the classes. While in Provo, we went to see a friend who now lives there, and by using the app, discovered she is a distant cousin also. I can't wait to try this among friends here at home.

8. Even though there have been a couple of mishaps this week, they ended up not being as bad as at first seemed. My husband said part of one of his teeth broke off. He found out it was a crown that broke off and just needed to be reattached. This was ever so much less expensive that the alternative. One of the temples on my glasses broke off. Fortunately I'd taken my extra pair of glasses with me on the trip and I was able to get another similar looking temple for my glasses when I got home and it was free!

9. My daughter's dog, Drexel, reminds me so much of our deceased dog. I enjoyed how Drexel welcomed me into his world.

10. My husband let me rattle on telling him all about my adventures from the trip as we travelled home from the airport. He didn't even turn on the radio. He just listened and we talked. I missed him and it was good to be back home with him.

Thanks to all my blogging friends who link up each week to express gratitude!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Six Sentence Stories - Crane

We have a new administrator for the blog hop, Six Sentence Stories. Thanks to Zoe at Uncharted for being the go-to-person of late. Hopefully we will still see some posts from her on the Six Sentence Stories. After this week she is passing the torch to Denise at Girlie on the Edge to be our hostess. The stories will continue, you can be assured. I'm linking my post Six Sentence Stories - Crane to Zoe's site this last time. 


When he was outdoors and wearing his leather jacket, he was feared although he wasn't quite sure why. Unlike others with underground connections, he intended no harm to the people around him. He was simply following in the footsteps of his familial roots.

The pot she brought introduced him into a world of warmth inside her home, quite a different feeling from all he'd previously encountered. Although it wasn't immediately apparent to him what was going to happen next, it was necessary for him to get rid of his leather jacket and to spread his wings.

At last he was free to fly and to adopt his new name of Hawk, short for mosquito hawk, but formally he would be known as crane fly.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Ten Things of Thankful

It is a sunny day and a perfect day to write my Ten Things of Thankful post to link to Josie Two Shoes blog hop. Click the link and lift your spirit by reading some of the things that remind others that there is much of life that is good, things that make them feel a significant degree of gratitude.


1. A week ago Wednesday my husband went to a bird festival at the southern part of the state. He had to chain up going over the pass. Things like that do not get any easier as one gets older, but he did it. Coming home last Sunday, there was already sufficient snow in the town from where he was departing that he just pulled in some place and let those who have a business doing such things put on the chains. I'm thankful he had a safe trip. His happiness is my happiness.

2. We watched the weather forecast a lot this past week because the forecast kept changing. The predictions had some people a little worried because of the big storm that hit the state last winter and kind of paralyzed our biggest city for a few days. Fortunately the storm this week did bring snow, but by the time the storm actually hit, there had been more preparation time. As for our household, we only stayed home one day because of the snow. Some other days I didn't travel much either because of not knowing if it was going to start snowing at our place before I would be able to return home safely. We live at a higher elevation than city center and the weather in town may not reflect what is happening at home. I'm thankful for the beauty of the snow, but just as thankful this past week I didn't have to travel in it.

The view from our front door as I overlooked the railing of the ramp which had about three inches of snow on it. The lawn and fir trees and butterfly bush and other shrubs are covered with the snow that fell overnight. Although there is a bank of stormy clouds just above the trees, there is bright blue sky above them.

3. When the temperatures drop, that is not a time for the pellet stove to act up, but it didn't get the message. One morning we discovered that the auger wasn't working. That is what causes the pellets to feed into the stove. Getting a repairman to come out isn't always easy and the stove is older, so we weren't sure what this might mean in the long scheme of things. My husband decided to remove all the pellets and with his handy dandy screwdriver try to gently nudge the auger a few times just on the chance that a pellet had somehow gotten stuck and blocked the auger from moving. Yeah! He got the auger working again. No repairman needed and no repair bill. 

4. There was one day this past week that I felt like I'd earned a "star" for how well I did with my Duolingo Spanish lesson. I had correct responses to everything and didn't lose any health. That usually is not my pattern, but practice makes perfect and I am progressing. I also bought three Quick Study guides this week to help me in my goal to speak Spanish.

5. Do you ever find some dressing or mix that you would love to discover how to make at home? A few months ago I ate at a CafĂ© Yumm (a northwest restaurant), and fell in love with one of the sauces they use. While you can buy the sauces at the cafe, and I have, I decided to see if anyone had tried to come up with a tastes like version. I haven't tried it yet, but will be trying it out. I'm thankful for the internet and for almost duplicate versions of bottled or canned products.

6. A while back I read a comment by a woman who wished she had a photo of one of her good friends when they were in their teens. I had taught both of them in a church class years ago. Imagine my surprise when I was looking through some old photos this week to discover I had a photo of the two of them together. I was actually looking for another photo, and came upon the one of them. I immediately messaged her on FB, then scanned the photo and attached it to an email for her. She was so happy to have it. I am thankful for even small ways to brighten someone's day.

7. Once I had scanned the one photo, I decided it was a good time to scan a few others and attached them to people on my Ancestry tree. Of course there are more for me to scan and attach, but I felt good about sharing them so descendants of my great uncle's family can see them. Everyone in large families do not get photos passed on for them to see, so perhaps my effort will be appreciated by some of them. I need to attach these photos to trees I have at other sites as well. I started with the Ancestry tree because I'd had contact with one of my great uncle's descendants through that site. I am thankful for ways to share family photos that do not require using snail mail. 

George Alfred Pierce and wife Regina Smith Pierce standing on Daytona Beach in Florida where they were vacationing on December 26, 1947.

8. For years I have used Reunion. It is a family tree app specifically for the Mac. They have a new upgrade and I was able to download it this week. I am looking forward to discovering all 80 of the new features of the upgraded Reunion app.

9. Gradually I seem to be improving my strength and flexibility, which I noticed a few days ago when I went upstairs and was able to use both legs, each one taking a different step than the other. Hey, these are things some of us begin taking note of in our upper years.

10. Seeing and hearing of the testimonies and strength of so many young people this week has reminded me once again of this amazing generation of youth who are not afraid to make their voices heard. Many of them will become a leaders of tomorrow. I am thankful for the youth and their example of resilience and desire to make a difference.

I am thankful for all the things I learn through the words of other bloggers. I found this song that sums up some of my own thoughts about memories, because a lot of writing draws upon our own experiences and memories whether directly or indirectly. Enjoy this YouTube NPR recording of Cantus singing Memories to Teach Me.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Finish the sentence Friday - Photo with the story behind it

This is the fourth Friday of the month so that means it is time to share a photo and the story behind it and link my post to Finish the sentence Friday - Photo with the story behind it. Kristi Campbell is the host at Finding Ninee and Kenya G. Johnson is the co-host at Sporadically Yours. I'm sure you will see some interesting photos and even more fascinating stories about the photos. Every photo has a story to tell and often more than meets the eye.

The place is in the dining/family room of my grandparents' home in Hanford, California in November 1960.

The old wooden rocker, where I had once as a little girl sat on my grandmother's lap, is now occupied by me, at age 17. There was always a lace doily draped over the back of the rocker and also a soft fabric-covered cushion to help relieve the pain my grandmother suffered from her rheumatism and arthritis. The chair wasn't one of those dainty rockers, but instead it was sturdy and made to hold a larger woman's body, just right for my grandmother.

Between the wall and the rocker is the large floor model radio that was usually on when my grandmother was sitting in the chair, unless she was reading the newspaper or the Reader's Digest, or when she was saying the Rosary. On top of the radio is a clock.

The wall behind the radio has narrow vertical strips of wood attached about every foot apart. The wall contains a sliding pocket door that be used to separate the dining family room from the parlor.

The floor standing lamp is made of metal and the rod that is attached to the vertical rod to which the lamp shade is attached angles upward toward the ceiling and can be moved either to the right or to the left so the light can be directed better. The shade is one that resembles a stiff flared skirt and is beige in color.

On the off-white wall behind me is a wall phone, the kind that you must stand and talk into the speaker on the phone while holding the flared funnel shaped receiver to one's ear. A caller could just dial the operator and ask her to make the call for you. That wall also has vertical strips of wood that are nailed to the wall like the other wall, but these strips are wider. There is a horizontal strip about two and a half feet above the phone which separates the wall from the ceiling. The strip works as a shelf on which my grandmother placed special vases or other things that she didn't want handled by others. I remember loving the way the sunlight made some of the glass vases change color. This high stripping was throughout the room.

The drapes and the cotton lace curtains cover the windows. As a child I remembered not only the feel of those lace curtains, but the smell if they had become a little dusty.

Part of one of the dining table chairs with the knobbed leg and curving slats on the back of the chair is just to the left of the rocking chair. Something appears to be hanging from the table, possible a napkin.

The floor is made of wood and brings back memories of my grandmother making her way slowly around the room using her dust mop to get the dust bunnies from behind the stove and in the corners.

My hair was as long as it had ever been and was a dark brown during the school year but became much lighter during the summers when exposed a lot to the sun. Once a beautician asked me if I had bleached my hair. I hadn't. I just didn't wear a hat when I worked outside in the summers.

I'm wearing a grey soft wool flannel jumper I had sewn. I don't remember what sweater I was wearing under the jumper, but possibly a soft grey or light blue one. By this time panty hose had been invented and were available in the stores, so I suspect I was wearing those. Most girls rushed to get them, as it was so much easier to wear them than the ones that required being attached to other items of clothing. Pointed-toed shoes were in style, and from the picture there is no doubt that I am wearing flats with very pointed toes. My feet paid the price later on in my life for giving in to that type of fashion.

I am fairly certainly that this photo was taken the week of my grandfather's funeral. We had to travel from another state to be there. Someone probably asked me  to smile for the picture. I had been interrupted from reading the newspaper, or possibly checking out the funnies to see which ones the paper had that our own paper back home didn't have. 

Seeing my smile seems so contradictory to the feelings I'd had at the funeral, my first to ever attend. It was held in a Catholic church, and I hadn't been prepared for what I would see. The last time we had visited my grandfather earlier in the year, he had expressed how it would probably be the last time he'd see us and then he slipped a silver dollar into my hand and into my brother's hand. I felt sad that I couldn't remember him every hugging me, or me him, or expressing any verbal expressions of love, although I did love him.

Click for source

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Six Sentence Stories - Fling

I wasn't sure where I was going to go this week with the prompt for the Six Sentence Stories blog hop. It was an interesting trail I took to get to this point, but I'll spare you the details of that. I'm linking this piece of writing to Six Sentence Stories - Fling hosted by Zoe at Uncharted. I'm not sure how she decides what the prompts will be each week, but I'm glad she comes up with a new one each week. All the stories that are linked to Six Sentence Stories are only six sentences, as short or as long as you wish. Click the link and read a sampling of the posts to see what I mean. If you think you would like to take the challenge, join us next week. The new prompt if usually posted the Sunday prior to Thursday when the link up is available.

His granny knew he hadn't slept well the night before in their shack which had thin walls and with his family bickering about anything and everything and the all-to-familiar eventual fighting and shoving between his ma and pa which caused his granny to to call the cops again, but it was time for her to take control and get her nine-year old grandson enrolled in school even if it was two months after the beginning of the school year.

Billy, dressed in tattered bib overalls, no shirt, and wearing no socks and some badly scuffed hand-me-down shoes, much too big for him, was aware that he towered over the other kids in the first grade classroom and that the kids were staring at him as his shabbily dressed granny nudged him gently toward the nicely dressed woman approaching him.

After the teacher found a desk that was big enough for him at the back of the room, he slouched in his seat hoping that he could blend in with the smaller kids, but he slid down even further when he heard how well they read when called upon and wished even harder that he wouldn't have to read, but his wishes were futile. The whispering and impatient looks of some of the faster readers made him wish that he could run away, from school, from home, from his non-existent friends, from everything, but the whipping' he'd get when caught wasn't worth it.

At recess he roamed alone around the edge of the playground until he found a place where he could sit hidden behind an old oak tree and whittle on a stick with his pocket knife until the bell rang.

After school, he knew his granny wanted him to hurry home, but he hung back a bit as the cliques of kids walked and ran ahead of him, all the while talking about the fun things they were going to do when they got home, at which point, he grasped a small garter snake sunning at the edge of the road and debated only for a moment whether to fling it with all his might toward the kids and listen to their screams hoping to drown out the disturbing voices he was hearing within his head.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Ten Things of Thankful

What an emotional week this has been, but now it is time to take a deep breath and consider some thoughts I have about being thankful. I'm sharing these as a post that I am linking to the Josie Two Shoes blog hop Ten Things of Thankful

This blog hop started off with people listing or sharing in whatever form they desired ten things for which they were grateful each week, but as time has gone by, it has become a little more lax as to the exact number and style of the post. Photos are okay to share, or not, depending on one's mood at the moment. Just click the link and discover the wide variety of posts on this topic. We are also given from Thursday evening (shortly after midnight Central Time) to Tuesday evening to post. That is a very generous amount time.

This part of the country, and in the coming week more of the rest of the country, will be experiencing what is referred to as Winter Storm Oliver. Beginning tonight there will be a lot of snow falling in the Cascades. The ski lifts were shut down earlier today. It is not unusual to have snow in the mountains, but it has been a while since we have had snow this late in February and the beginning of March. I'm thankful we have snow chains, as the forecast is that there will likely be snow in the higher elevations around some of the valley cities and possibly on the valley floor beginning tomorrow. The other word that is being mentioned is possible ICE.

My husband and I were able to vicariously enjoy a friend's trip to Brazil where he visited the Pantanal, which is the world's largest freshwater wetland. He was nice enough to share many of photos of the colorful birds which reside there with a group of fellow birders. 
Some birds which live in the Pantanal are shown in the first half of this YouTube video. Click the link to watch. I am thankful for friends who share their talents and travel adventures. I am also thankful for beautiful places in the world which are refuges to so many creatures. Stopping by a favorite dessert deli on the way home to get a couple of pieces of cake to take with us. It was too near closing time to eat it there.

I got together for lunch with a couple of friends. We had Chinese food this time. It is always fun to chat and listen with friends while enjoying good food. 

Our son was able to travel to be with us and go with us to a memorial service for his former Scout leader who also had been his Bishop for a while when he was growing up. Our son and another former Scout in the troop had been asked to speak at the service and to be pallbearers. This Scout leader was a veteran and had served in the Marines and his uniform was displayed at the services. Our son wore his own Navy uniform to the services.

Some of the deer have discovered that our solar panels make a nice lean-to for shelter from the rain, and now I suppose from the anticipated snow. I was able to snap a  photo of one leaving the structure one sunny day. I'm thankful that the solar panels are multi-functional.

Deer exiting from beneath the solar panels positioned on the ground behind the house

With the approaching lower temperatures and not looking forward to the colder days, I am thankful for memories of places where I was able to feel warm. 

  • high up in the hay loft among bales of hay while holding warm kittens
  • standing in front of a wood stove which was burning oak logs
  • taking a break from stacking wood when I was a kid and sitting among a pile of old newspapers (There was a good reason why newspapers and magazines were used as insulation in some older homes before the availability of insulation as we know it now.)
  • as a child, being nice and warm at night under several layers of woolen quilts made by my maternal grandmother

This is a woolen patchwork quilt that was on my bed when I was growing up and was made by my maternal grandmother. The quilt is draped over a chair to display for the photo. The quilt blocks are six-inch square pieces in some solid colors while other blocks are plaid materials. There are solid colors of red, blue, black, green, tan, and brown. The plaids are mostly lighter blue and tan in a small plaid on white. She used whatever wool scraps she could buy at thrift stores or would cut up woolen clothes that had little resale value to make the quilts.
  • sitting in our loft under cozy afghans while reading a book and enjoying the rays of sunshine on my face
  • sitting closely together to stay warm on a evening hayride
  • dancing with my future husband

Have a great week ahead and remember to be thankful for the good things that are happening in your life.