Friday, July 29, 2016

Ten Things of Thankful: It's Been A Weird Week Edition

In order to appreciate this week's TToT post, you need to first read the post I published on Thursday.  Go ahead, do it now.  

Are you back?  Well, the excitement continued!  Yesterday, while driving to my parents' house from my grandma's house, as we got off the freeway at my parents' exit, we saw tons of police cars parked all over. "Looks like a manhunt," my dad said.  Are you kidding me?!  Dad checked the news and learned that, sure enough, a police search was on for a wanted man.  Great, just great.  This is rural Oregon, not some inner city ghetto (nor Yreka, for that matter.)

Thursday, July 28, 2016

From Apocalyptic Fire to CSI: Yreka

I'm in Oregon this week, helping my parents prepare my grandma's house for sale.  (Though she lived in her house up until just a few years ago, she now has Alzheimer's and is 99-1/2, so returning to her own home just isn't realistic.) Going through a long lifetime of possessions is simultaneously exhausting and interesting, but it was the trip up here that was truly surreal.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

What Experiment are You Trying in Your Home?

Years ago, a book called All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten became popular.  While the author recounted many good lessons, I believe that most of those ideas were initially introduced at home, rather than at kindergarten.

Children learn from their parents what an inside voice sounds like. They learn to talk instead of hit.  They learn to take turns, to share, and to be loving and kind.  All of those lessons start long before kindergarten.

The visiting teaching message for August is "Nurturing Families Together."  One quote by President Russell M. Nelson particularly caught my attention:  "The home is to be God's laboratory of love and service."  The idea of the home as a laboratory was intriguing, but the idea of the home as God's laboratory was especially exciting.  Home is the place where we can try out the Golden Rule. Home is where we learn that "a soft answer turneth away wrath." (Have you ever tried whispering to an angry toddler?) Home is where we come to realize the love God has for us.  


Photo:  A handout, sized for 4x6 paper, with 3 copies of Russell M. Nelson's quote
An idea for a handout came readily to mind. The laboratory quote made me think of beakers.  I found some little measuring beakers (inexpensively purchased at Walmart), filled them with Hershey's kisses (for love) and an Almond Joy (for service).  


Photo:  5 oz. beaker filled with candy
Next I printed the quote and taped it around the glass.  I hope this will serve as a reminder that our homes are laboratories for us to treat each other as children of God.  Love and service go hand in hand, and both really do make life sweeter.  



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I'm thankful for my family, and for the gospel, which strengthens family bonds.

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Saturday, July 23, 2016

TToT: Not Exactly the Picture-Perfect Summertime Edition

I think that when most people think of summer, they envision blue skies, green grass, warm weather, and playing in the water.  Today, summer looks much different for me.  The sky is smoky, the temperatures were predicted to be record-tying (108), ash is falling, and everything smells like campfire.  Personally, we are in no danger, but this post-apocalyptic setting casts a strange feeling to the day. 

Here's a photo that I took from my driveway during winter months. . . 


Photo:  Snow-dusted mountains

. . . and here's a photo taken from my driveway today.  Notice how the mountains aren't even visible.


Photo: Smoke-obscured mountains

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Six Sentence Story: Command

I'm joining with Ivy's Six Sentence Stories link-up again today.  I really enjoy this challenge; and find that I am sometimes surprised at where the prompts take me.  I usually base my stories on events from real life, and today's story is no exception.  This week's prompt:  command.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Ten Things of Thankful: Road Trip to Zion (in Photos)

1.  I'm thankful for a weekend trip to Zion National Park.  One sign (literally) that we are headed out of California (and/or that we are done with the alphabet game!) is the Zzyzx Rd. sign.

Photo:  A freeway exit sign for Zzyzx Rd.

2.  I'm thankful for clear roads (at least from the time we got on 1-15).  

Photo:  A clear stretch of road, surrounded by desert mountains
3.  I'm thankful for beautiful sunrises, even when viewed through dirty windshields.

Photo:  The sun rises over the mountains
4, 5, 6, . . .  I'm thankful for nature; for being able to hike; for rental equipment that makes hiking in rivers possible; for getting out early enough to have stretches of the river practically to ourselves; for youngest daughter for being a real trouper on the hike (and for getting some artistic photos); for youngest son for suggesting this weekend get-together; and, of course, for John, who exhibited some terrific accident-avoidance skills when the stray hubcap came flying across the center divider of the freeway and landed in our lane just feet in front of us.   

Photo:  The view of the canyon walls, when looking up from the river

Photo:  The canyons tower over the hikers
Photo:  A rented pair of water hiking shoes, which protected our toes from all the rocks in the river and provided traction
Photo:  John, youngest son, and youngest daughter hiking in the river

Photo:  Youngest daughter and I smile while hiking

Photo:  John and youngest son smile for the camera
Photo:  John and I, on one of the few banks of the river
What about you?  What are you thankful for this week?  Been hiking recently?  


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Monday, July 11, 2016

Better than #SharkWeek : Indexing #theworldsrecords

Are  you ready?  This coming weekend, you can be part of history as you join together with thousands of other people to index digital genealogical records.  It's easy and fun and very helpful for family history researchers.  You can spend as much or as little time as you want, although I feel I must warn you that family history work, including indexing, is a little like eating potato chips:  it's hard to stop at just one!

Given the choice between binge-watching shark shows and indexing, though, I'd choose indexing. (So you know it must be fun!)




Click here, or on the graphic on the right sidebar of this blog to be directed to the (free) software to download, so you will be prepared to help.
And I think I speak for all family history researchers when I say, "Thank you!"  


Can I count on you?

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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Ten Things of Thankful: An Escape from the World

I'm as upset as the next person regarding the current state of affairs. The world is in need of followers of the Golden Rule.  I cling to (a probably delusional) hope that another presidential candidate will emerge, because I really don't know who I can support this fall.  But despite the turmoil outside, there is peace and love inside my house. I have things--both big and small--for which I am thankful. This weekly post is an exercise in finding peace in a turbulent world.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Ten Things of Thankful: Freedom Edition

Independence Day weekend--a time to reflect on freedoms, both large and significant and small and routine. 

1.  I'm thankful for the freedoms that I enjoy as a citizen of the United States.  Despite my discouragement with the presidential election this year, I believe in the greatness of this nation.



2. I'm thankful for the freedom to choose a home phone provider.  I signed up with Ooma and now won't have to pay much at all to have telemarketers interrupt my dinner. 

3.  I'm thankful for the freedom from clutter that a clean closet offers.  I've spent some real effort this week to make my closet a place that brings me joy, instead of someplace that constantly reminds me of my housekeeping failures. I'm not done with it yet, but there has been some real progress made.

4. I'm thankful for the freedom to put nails in my walls and hang photos.  John's the one who did the actual work (though I did offer helpful suggestions:  "A little higher on the left!")  

5.  I'm thankful for the freedom that comes with specialized products.  There are locked medicine dispensers that beep when it is time to take medicine, lamps that simulate sunrise to help one wake up more easily, and CDs of calming music with subliminal messages of positive affirmations to help one fall asleep. All of these items lessen the load of caregivers, and encourage a greater level of independence for those who are cared for. 

6.  I'm thankful (for the 3rd week in a row) for freedom from significant pain.  I ran 5K yesterday without problem during the run.  I had moments of gimpiness afterwards, but not bad.  I'm thankful that my half-marathon training plan seems to be working.

7.  I'm thankful for the freedom Drexel had to career-change to my pet.  Though he was intended to be a guide dog, since that didn't suit him, I'm thankful for such a sweet, gentle, goofy, lovable pet. He's a sweetheart.

8.  I'm thankful for the freedom family history researchers have to access public records.  Did you know there is a way to help make records even more easily accessible?  Check out my post here about indexing.  

9.  I'm thankful for the freedom of assembly.  Friday night John and I again ventured to the Hollywood Bowl.  Did you know the Hollywood Bowl holds close to 18,000 people?  The sold-out show was Garrison Keillor's last taping of  A Prairie Home Companion.  I grew up listening to APHC, and it was nice to be there for the taping of Keillor's last show.  At the conclusion of the show, he came back out and led the audience in a sing-along.  That isn't on youtube now (at the time I'm writing this), but can be heard at this link.  I can, however, share this youtube clip of another audience-participation song that took place during the show.  




10.  I'm thankful for John.  He hangs photos, fixes sprinklers, makes Saturday morning breakfast, repairs misbehaving ceiling fans, and makes dinner appear when I'm in the middle of a project (finalizing my Relief Society lesson for Sunday about unity in marriage).  He makes me smile!


Photo:  John takes of selfie of us at the Hollywood Bowl.  Our seats were about half-way up the stadium.
What freedoms are you thankful for?  Are you planning on indexing for family history?  




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