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
SPEED LIMIT
HORSES AT A WALK
MOTOR VEHICLES
10 MILES PER HR

Beautiful fall colored foliage in the background of a Vermont white road sign. The sign is trimmed in red with red letters saying
NO
PARKING
ON TRAVELED
LANE
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.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

Since it is Labor Day Weekend, I am going to use that excuse for doing a quicker Ten Things of Thankful post using mostly photos to deliver my message this time. I'm linking my post to Josie Two Shoes' blog hop Ten Things of Thankful. Click the link to her site to find what others have shared this week. 



1. September is here and the pale purple crocus is right on schedule.

2. These delicious Criterion apples are almost ready to pick.

3. Although it is September, the summer heat wave is still  here, so our shady lane lined with oaks trees on one side and fir trees on the other helps drop the temperature a bit and at least gives the appearance of coolness.

4. Having a window near the top of our open loft allows for us to get a cool breeze in the evenings and let the hot air escape from the higher places in our home. Looking through the window and seeing the large maple leaves blowing in the wind is like looking at a painting. The painting changes each season.

5. Salads are frequently our main meal when the weather is hot. Thankfully we both enjoy them, and I appreciate not having to heat up the kitchen.

6. These pink carnations were part of a beautiful bouquet given to me about three weeks ago. As the different flowers were past their prime, I removed them and transferred the remaining ones into a smaller vase. Now I'm left with the carnations, which still smell very fragrant. I'm thankful for the thoughtful friend who gave them to me and the longevity of these flowers. Click the link to listen to one of my favorite songs when I was much younger.


7. After trying out a couple of different over-the-counter stabilizing products to use on my knee before seeing a doctor and then starting PT, I realized I didn't care for how they fit. When I went for PT this week, she asked if I'd tried any taping. She used some kinesiology tape on my knee and my ankle. What a difference! With the tape combined with the exercises she is having me do, I can see a huge improvement. Staying upright and feeling stable as I am, hopefully future falls will be out of the question.

8. Older movies are so much more enjoyable to me than some of the newer movies. I recently watched Never a Dull Moment, a comedy crime film that was made in 1968. There was an earlier version too, but this is the one I watched. It really made me laugh.

"What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul."
Yiddish Proverb

9. People who watch out for people and include them in activities are a blessing. Today I learned that a woman who visits her loved one in the nursing home where my Mom is included Mom in a summer picnic activity on a day we were out of town when our son was sustained as Bishop in his ward. She sat at a table with my Mom and her relative and enjoyed time with both of them. Mom even played a little game that involved placing colorful tiles on a board.

10. Unexpected flowers that my husband brought home for us to both enjoy made me smile. These orchids are a rose color with an abundance of tiny little darker rose colored dots on the petals. There is also another plant which has green variegated broad leaves and is planted in front of the orchid. There is a lighter green area in the middle of each leaf. 

May you have an enjoyable and safe Labor Day Weekend!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Six Sentence Stories - Bend

It is time for another post for the blog hop Six Sentence Stories. Zoe gives those who participate ample days to post their stories, and I appreciate that because sometimes life gets in the way or the inspiration just doesn't come. Today however, I'm ready to post at the beginning of that time allowance. I'm linking to Zoe's Six Sentence Stories - Bend. Be sure to click the link and see what creative juices this cue word has stirred up.





All of a sudden the car seemed very warm as her cheeks flushed and everyone quieted to hear her answer. Why was it so hard to speak up, to stand up for herself and say it didn't happen? Was it the shock that her friends might have believed what had been rumored? Was it because the instigator of the lie was older or that to defy someone wasn't a trait that was allowed in her home, at least not without the expectation of some kind of punishment? Even though she wanted to deny the rumor, somehow the words just didn't come out of her mouth and her friends were left to believe that the rumor about their shy friend was true. As the car came to a stop at the next corner, so did her life make an abrupt bend.


LDS Mormanad


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Six Sentence Stories - Border

Today I am just barely squeaking this little Six Sentence Story in under the radar. There is not much time to do this, so I'd better get on with it. I'm linking this one to Zoe's blog hop Six Sentence Stories - Border. By clicking the link you will have a chance to read what other stories have been written using the cue word border.


"Hold still," he said as he tipped her head back in an awkward position. He slipped the thread around her loose tooth and tightened the thread.

The light from a single lightbulb attached to a cord hanging from the ceiling glared down on her face. As she waited for her Dad to jerk quickly on the string, the room began to spin before her eyes and her body suddenly went limp. Her Dad caught her before she fell down onto the gray speckled linoleum covered floor.

She was still feeling a little dizzy and on the border of fainting again when her Dad smiled and placed the tooth in the palm of her hand.




Monday, August 28, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

Where can we find evidence of the good things that are happening? That is my question for this week as I contemplate what to write for my Ten Things of Thankful post that I will be linking to Josie Two Shoes bloghop Ten Things of Thankful.



Ten things for which I give thanks. . .

1. The sky, but more specifically, the sun and the moon - It will be difficult to forget the ethereal display of light surrounding the moon on August 21. Even though the magnificent event mid morning didn't last very long, I am so grateful that the sky wasn't filled with clouds in our area which would have made it impossible to view the solar eclipse. Our son and his two daughters were able to join us that day and he and my husband had a great time discussing how to get the best photos as they waited for the opportune photo shoot.

2. Retirement - If it were not for being retired, I would have had to take sick leave a couple of times this past week for two PT appointments and a dental appointment, and would have had to make special arrangements to get our car serviced. My husband would have had the same challenge because of one follow-up medical appointment, and a yearly eye appointment.

3. That I can laugh at myself - I need some physical therapy to help me with some stability challenges I've been having. For one of my appointments this week, the therapist thought it would be helpful for me to walk in the grass between the sidewalk and the street in front of the therapy building. That probably doesn't sound too difficult, but she wanted me to walk as though I was walking a tightrope, the heel of one foot touching the toe of the other foot. The distance I had to walk was about 80 feet. She stood behind me ready to help me stay upright should I get wobbly. She had her work cut out for her, because this proved to be hard for me to do. I commented to her that I was wishing I'd worn something green or brown so I would blend into the surroundings better, rather than the purple pants which made me stand out like a sore thumb to the passengers in the cars passing by on their way to town. That wouldn't have been so bad, if I hadn't looked like a drunken sailor trying to walk the plank. This may have been a motivation for me to practice my PT exercises at home, so I don't repeat this humorous walk in the grass next time.

4. Clean air - Today is perhaps the smokiest day I've ever experienced here. There are a lot of active forest fires in our state, plus an air inversion here today. After going outside to put some trash in the garbage can, I returned quickly to the house, as the smoke is so intense it hurt my nose and stung my eyes. I feel for those who actually live closer to the fires. I'm thankful for all those days of the year when we have clean air. 

5. Online forums - These online sites offer a wealth of knowledge and experience and feedback from others to address just about any question or subject. I've used these sites frequently, especially when I don't know someone personally who might be able to assist me. Of course, I do a fair amount of research trying to find answers, but often the experience of others offers additional insight. How have online forums been helpful for you?

6. The impact of a quiet calming voice - I recently watched how a chaplain in a nursing home helped calm a new resident. The elderly lady had been put in a wheelchair and rolled out into the area where many of the residents eat their meals, but she was alarmed and yelling quite loudly and speaking unintelligibly for the most part. The chaplain got down to her level and spoke quietly and assuredly telling her that she was safe and that the people were there to protect her. He stayed right at her side continuing to speak softly. He remained there even after she became calm and she let an aide feed her. He left at the point she was being returned to her room. I remember years ago how a whisper from a teacher in a room full of preschoolers or kindergarteners could gradually get a bunch of rowdy children ready to transition to another activity. As a mother, I used this approach at times when our children were small. The following might be of help to those who have difficulty falling asleep. Apparently it helps some people to listen to a whispering voice.


7. Scrabble - I know that I've shared this one before, but I really do like playing this game, and do not get a chance to play it often. When our son was here last Monday, he played it with me that night. It ended up being probably the longest Scrabble game I'd ever played. I think that if either one of us expected it would take so long, we might have either started the game earlier, or not played it. Once started we were determined to finish it though. Both of us took turns trying to keep Old McDonald out of the picture.

8. Oldie Goldies - When I was a junior in high school I took a shorthand class. The teacher told us that we could check out a record of shorthand dictation so we could practice at home. Although I'd hoped that we could have a record player, that wish had fallen on deaf ears until not having one might interfere with me being able to get a good grade in shorthand. My parents bought the record player and also some very old records of music like my parents may have listened too when they were young. The music on the records sounded quite tinny, but it grew on me, like perhaps my Dad thought it might. (By the way, the record player did help me get the desired shorthand grades.) Do you enjoy listening to the music from your parents' generation?




9. Crickets - When we first moved into our home, it wasn't finished. We didn't even have walls up to separate rooms, so we used some paper, similar to that used to make brown paper grocery bags, to separate the rooms. It didn't do much to quiet sounds coming from the rooms. It was slightly better than having the whole family share one bedroom like many pioneer families did. Well, the first night after we moved in and after an exhausting day, there was a very loud cricket chirping that was disturbing my sleep. My family remembers me getting up that night hunting for the noisy intruder and putting him out of the house. Fast forward to the present day when I actually love the sound of what seems like armies of crickets chirping outside at night, or when a solar eclipse happens. Now it is a pleasant sound to me. Are there some sounds that you once disliked, but now like or perhaps even love?

10. My husband - He makes my world complete, by the things he says to brighten my day and the things he does to help my life be easier. It is so nice to be able to go through this season of our lives together and to be able to laugh as we stumble through it. 



I am thankful for the many people who have reached out to those who have been impacted by the horrible hurricane and accompanying flooding in Texas. Those who have experienced flooded homes and businesses are going to need a lot of help in the weeks and months ahead and need our prayers too.