Monday, February 27, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful: A Monday Edition

I've been quiet on the blogging front, which might worry one reader.  (Mom, I'm OK.)  Even though I am struggling to get my blogging groove on, I am thankful for so many things--including the fact that the Ten Things of Thankful link-up is still live!  Before more time passes, I'm going to jump right in:

1. I'm thankful for rain.  Didn't think I'd forget this one, did you? Yes, it rained again this week.  I'm starting to get very excited about the anticipated wildflower display this year.  I'm hoping the poppies will be spectacular.  My apricot tree is already in bloom.


Photo:  A branch of my apricot tree in bloom


2.  I'm thankful for the friends that I have gotten to know through the TToT.  We are a diverse group, yet it amazes me how much we have in common.  

3.  I'm thankful for the trust that is given to me, as situations are shared and prayers are requested.  

4.  I'm thankful for those who are willing to listen to me when I need to vent.

5.  I'm thankful for family history research sites, like ancestry.com and familysearch.org.  This week, I found a last name that I recognized as Dyanne's maiden name.  I'm still working to see if we connect through that line somehow.

6.  I'm thankful for relativefinder.org, which has shown me that even if the discovery in #4 doesn't pan out, Dyanne and I (and Christine!) are actually all distant cousins anyway.  It is truly a small world!  (If you'd like to play along, let me know, and I'd be happy to help you.)

7.  I'm thankful for church family.  This week, some of the women in our ward went to the Los Angeles Temple Visitor's Center.  It was nice to spend time together in such a beautiful, peaceful place.

8.  I'm thankful for other opportunities to spend time with church family this week.  I didn't realize until just now how busy the week was.  Except for Monday night (which is set aside for Family Home Evening), every night this week I was doing something at a church building.  Tuesday night was the night we went to the temple visitor's center.  Wednesday night I met with the bishop.  Thursday was the Cub Scout Blue and Gold dinner.  Friday night was a wedding reception.  Saturday night was the chili cook-off.  Sunday night was the Marriage and Family Relations fireside.   What a busy, productive, fun week!

9.  I'm thankful for hospitals and medical care.  I've had friends who have been in the hospital this week, and I'm glad they can get the medical attention they needed. 

10.  As always, I'm thankful for John.  He does so much for me, for our family, for church, and for his work.  It's nice that we can keep each other grounded during busy times.  

How has your week gone?  Feel free to visit the Ten Things of Thankful blog to link your post and read what others have shared!


Ten Things of Thankful


Pin It

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful: Not Quite Ready to Cry Uncle Edition

Pretty soon, regular readers will not only know that I end each list expressing gratitude for John, they will also know that I begin each list expressing gratitude for the rain.  Granted, this is getting a little bit harder to do, as the rain in this area has become destructive and is now reported on the national news.  Despite the destruction (which I do not wish on anyone, and feel badly for those impacted), I am a stubborn woman, and will remain thankful.

1.  I am thankful for the rain.  I like listening to the pitter-patter on the roof.  I like the fact that we haven't had to turn our sprinklers on, and the plants are still alive.  We even have a green lawn now!

2.  I am thankful that we could travel safely in the rain, and for navigation apps that directed us around the many accidents that were on the freeway.


video

3.  I'm thankful that though it has rained every week for quite a while now, that the rain is interspersed by sunny days.

4.  I'm thankful that my grandchildren got to visit on one of those gorgeous days.  

I'm thankful for simple pleasures, like:


5.  Hammocks

Photo:  John and the grandkids in the hammock.  (Yes, even though grandson has his finger in his nose, this was the best photo I got.)
 6.  Books 


video


7. The companionship of a good dog


Photo:  Drexel and grandson look at the camera
Photo:  Granddaughter gives Drexel a hug
8. I'm thankful for friends near and far, long-time and recently acquainted.

9.  I'm thankful for faith, which puts everything in perspective and brings hope.

10. I'm thankful for John.  Last night's venture out onto the rainy freeways of Los Angeles was due to another one of my bright-idea date nights, for which I had already purchased tickets.  Continuing my Italy theme from last week (and before I knew what a soggy experience Italy can be), I booked tickets to see Lady and the Tramp at the El Capitan Theatre.  "We've lived in Washington," was John's reply when I expressed concern about navigating the freeways.  I wasn't so concerned about our ability to drive in the rain, but was concerned about all the other cars on the road. Fortunately, we traveled without incident.  

I've never seen Hollywood so subdued.  There were no street performers, no celebrity look-alikes posing for photos--just an umbrella salesman standing under a dripping awning. ( I think he thought we were going to be an easy sale, since we were the only people without umbrellas, but what kind of Oregonian would I be if I carried one? Seriously, Oregonians don't really use umbrellas.  I may live in California, but I still maintain some weird Oregonian traits.)   

In any event, the date went swimmingly.  (Yes, I used that word on purpose.)  As John likes to say, "Life's an adventure, and adventures usually work out."  I'm so thankful ours is.  

How did your week go?  Are you in ark-building mode, shoveling snow, or enjoying sunshine?  

I can't quite figure out why I'm getting an error code with the link up, but link your posts up at the Ten Things of Thankful blog.



Pin It




Ten Things of Thankful

Friday, February 17, 2017

Six Sentence Story: Sink

I've been blog-negligent this week, but am procrastinating working on taxes to do some writing.  :-)  Linking up with Six Sentence Stories.  This week's prompt:  Sink.

The children, undeterred by the grey skies, met in the "back back" yard, where the barbed wire and electric wire fence delineated the property line and the pasture.  Perhaps the pussy willows would be ready to pick, or perhaps the friendly cows would wrap their rough tongues around proffered greens.  One brave child conducted the time-honored experiment, touching a single blade of grass to the electric wire; all were relieved to know that the adventure was a "go."  The barbed wires were gingerly spread apart to allow the little explorers passage.  As the last child stepped forward to cross, her foot came, but her boot remained firmly stuck in the mud.  The exploration mission was aborted, and the rescue mission began.  


 photo visiting2_zps6d4521f3.jpg

 photo ThankfulThought4_zps7d9599c2.jpg
Thanks for adventures!

 photo signature3_zps16be6bca.jpg


Pin It

#52Stories Project: Friendships

This week's #52Stories project prompt is: "What have been the most important and valued friendships in your life?" While my husband is my best friend, and other family members are also important and valued friends, today I'll exclude those easy answers, and look back at early childhood friends.  

Kurt was one of my first friends, because he was the son of my mom's good friend.   Kurt's family owned an apple orchard, and I remember the feeling of leaving behind the sight of the house and wandering to the far end of the apple orchard, knowing that as long as we headed back the same way we came, we would find the house again.  In retrospect, I'm sure we were in no danger of getting lost, but as a 3-year-old, I felt like I was on the ultimate adventure.

Yvonne was, as Anne of Green Gables would say, a "kindred spirit."  We met on the first day of school, when I was arguing with my next-door-neighbor, Lonnie, about what the sign on the door said.  He insisted it said, "First Grade," but I read, "Grade 1." Yvonne backed me up, and we were immediately friends.  

My elementary school was small, with maybe 100 kids total in grades 1-6. While there were some who moved in and out throughout the years, for the most part, my sixth grade class was made up of the same children as my first grade class.  Those classmates, and the children in my Primary class at church, shaped my understanding of friendship.  

Friends play together at recess. Whether the game is dodgeball, or double-Dutch jump roping, boys and girls alike are welcome. Friends learn together, and not just the ABCs.  Friends share--even if that means bringing a pair of your own green tights to the Christmas play dress rehearsal so a boy in your class can wear them in his role as elf.

Friends are friends regardless of reading group.  Friends are friends even after disagreements.  (Back in those days, if a little boy tried to kiss a little girl, and the little girl kicked him in the shins and he tattled on her and the teacher sided with her, the whole incident was dropped and the little boy and the little girl--relationship firmly established as platonic--could go on being just friends.)  Friends are friends regardless of religion. So what if some friends avoided caffeine and others didn't salute the flag?  Friends are friends are friends.  

I've had many friends over the years, and my most important and valued friends have been my family members, but when I think of friendship, I think back to those early, formative years and the people I first called friends.  

Next week's prompt is:  Who was your first best friend?  Are you still in contact with each other?

Answer one question per week as part of the #52stories project from FamilySearch.

 photo visiting2_zps6d4521f3.jpg

 photo ThankfulThought4_zps7d9599c2.jpg
Thanks for friends.

 photo signature3_zps16be6bca.jpg


Pin It

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful: Rain (Again) Edition


If you've been following my Ten Things of Thankful posts, you might realize that this is the 5th week in a row that I have mentioned:

1.  RAIN!  I am still thankful for rain.  2.  I am thankful that I have had my sprinklers off for so long.  3.  I am thankful the yard is greening up.  4.  I am also thankful that rain sometimes makes me laugh.

One of the Christmas gifts I gave John last December was a calendar, with many of the weekends filled with different activities for date night.  Written on February 10 was an idea in which I took particular pride.  We have always talked about visiting Italy some day, but some day hasn't come yet, and won't this year.  I decided to create an Italian experience the weekend before Valentine's day.  

The highlight of the date was to be a gondola ride in Huntington Harbor, on an authentic Italian gondola.  I had done my homework: February 10th was a full moon, and the reservation was made so that we could watch the sunset and moonrise.  As the date got closer, I learned that there was also going to be a lunar eclipse that night.  This was going to be spectacular!  I just didn't realize that it was going to be spectacularly cloudy and rainy.  

When the guy from the gondola company called, he told me that they had an umbrella, and the ride hadn't been canceled.  I told him that we were still game, and so we began.  Our gondolier was quite the sport, maneuvering the gondola while being constantly rained upon.  (We felt so bad for him, and made sure to generously tip him.) He even took a photo for us before we all braved the elements.

Photo:  John and I sit in a red gondola in the rain, with our sparkling apple juice in a bucket by our feet
We did not see the moon.  We did not see the sun.  We did not see any other vessels moving on the water.  With the exception of a couple of people who clapped and cheered for our gondolier from inside their nice, warm, dry houses, we didn't see anyone.  For one hour, this is what we saw (and heard--be sure to turn up your volume if you want to hear the rain falling):

video

5.  I'm thankful for the gondolier, who put on a cheerful face even when his work conditions were less than ideal, and who never even once called us crazy.  He said we "have a sense of adventure!"

6.  I'm thankful our hotel was just down the road, so it wasn't long before we were warm and dry again.

7.  I'm thankful to witness a touching sight this morning.  As we were walking along the beach near the Huntington Beach Pier, we noticed a large number of surfers on the shore, and a huge crowd of people on the pier.   

Photo:  People line Huntington Beach Pier, and surfers gather on the shore
At first, we were wondering if there was a surfing competition happening, but there didn't appear to be any judges nor media. Then we noticed that every surfer had flowers stuck in the back of their wetsuits, or in their mouths or hands.  We had stumbled upon a memorial service.

Apparently a young woman who was loved in the surfing community passed away recently.  All of the surfers swam out on their boards and gathered offshore near a boat.  There was lots of cheering and splashing, and I got the impression that this was truly a celebration of life.  It was a touching scene.

Photo:  Some of the surfers that gathered for the memorial (each dot is a surfer).  The boat is out of sight, on other side of the pier.
8.  I'm thankful for our youngest daughter, who kept down the fort while we were gone.  

9.  I'm thankful for sleep.  I caught up on sleep.  I fell asleep early, and I woke up late, and it was wonderful.  

10.  I'm thankful for John.  I'm thankful for his sense of adventure. Our gondola ride was not exactly what we had anticipated, but it was fun anyway.  And really, isn't that a fairly accurate metaphor for life?  It doesn't always go as planned, but we can have a good time together anyway--rain or shine!

(The Ten Things of Thankful is changing a bit.  Lizzi has stepped down as our fearless leader, Josie Two Shoes has volunteered to take her spot, and the hop now has its own blog: http://tenthingsofthankful.blogspot.com/ Go there to link up and join in!)

Pin It

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Six Sentence Story: Bread

I find the process of writing a Six Sentence Story somewhat fascinating.  I read the prompt on Sunday.  Sometimes I know right away what I will write, but most often, the prompt just gets tucked away in my brain.  Thursday morning at 4 a.m., I wake up, turn over, and look at the clock.  Before I roll back over and go back to sleep, I usually have the thought of what direction to take with the prompt.  When I wake up for good on Thursday morning, I get my six sentences written.  This is probably why I won't be a novelist--I would have to wake up way too early!  :-)

Anyway, today's Six Sentence Story prompt is "bread." Instead of one specific incident, I tried to capture the memory of a recurring event:

As the last of the kernels fell into the wheat-grinder, the low hum of the machine changed pitch, and the basset hound howled along, creating a somewhat-harmonious canine/appliance duet.  That song, together with flour that was poofing out and dusting the kitchen counter, signaled the woman to turn the dial to the "off" position. 
She took the still-warm flour and added it to the water/honey/oil/yeast mixture.  Vital wheat gluten, dough enhancer, and salt rounded out the recipe, and the mixing of the dough began in earnest.  Within minutes, the stickiness subsided, the sheen mellowed, and it was time to shape the loaves, put them in pans, and let them rise.  The next hour, the house filled with the delicious smell of bread baking, and the husband and children started asking, "Is the bread done yet?"

 photo visiting2_zps6d4521f3.jpg

 photo ThankfulThought4_zps7d9599c2.jpg
Thanks for bread!  :-)

 photo signature3_zps16be6bca.jpg


Pin It

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

#52StoriesProject: Do You Know How Your Grandparents Met and Fell in Love?



In July of 1985, my maternal grandmother had the foresight to fill out a book called "Grandmother Remembers."  Now that she is 100 years old and has Alzheimer's, she doesn't really remember much, but thanks in part to that book, I know some of the stories of her life.  

This week's #52StoriesProject question is:  Do you know how your grandparents met and fell in love?  I will tell the story as I understand it, and will quote what I can directly from Grandma's words from "Grandmother Remembers."

Grandma and Grandpa met when he was 23 years old and she was almost 19. They met on December 14, 1935 in Hanford, California at "the Elks Christmas Party for underprivileged people." She liked him because "he was nice looking and kind," and he liked her because "he thought I was cute and nice." On their first date, they "went to Giant Forest and played in the snow." On subsequent dates, they liked to go "for rides, to the movies, and to visit people."

Photo:  My grandparents stand together on the side of a road.  He is wearing a suit and tie; she has a ruffled blouse and long skirt.

Their courtship lasted three years.  Grandpa was a farmer, and when Grandma told her parents they were to be married, they "thought I should marry a rich man, so I wouldn't have to work so hard."  They were engaged in the spring of 1938, and when Grandpa proposed he said, "Let's go to Fresno tomorrow and buy the ring."  

Photo:  Grandma, wearing a dress coat and hat, stands in front of two cars, and smiles for the camera

They married on November 5, 1938 at 7:30 in the morning at "the Methodist Parsonage, Hanford, California." Grandma wore "a dark blue suit and white blouse."  Grandma's most vivid memory of her wedding day was "When we went out to eat, the waitress forgot to bring us the silverware."  Their most memorable wedding gift was luggage, which they put to good use, as they "spent two weeks in the Los Angeles area" for a honeymoon.  

Although I don't have a "Grandmother Remembers" book from my paternal grandma, I did ask my grandparents quite a few questions before they died.  I wish I had asked more.  

My dad's dad had been living in Oklahoma, but in 1939 decided to hitchhike to Alaska.  When he reached central Oregon, however, two of his older brothers (who already lived in Oregon) convinced him to stay there, too.  He got a job as a ranch worker in Powell Butte.  

A series of events had brought my grandma to Powell Butte.  Her father had died in 1935, and in February of 1939, her mother remarried and the family lived about a mile and a half outside of Redmond.  That summer, my grandma fell off a horse and sustained a bad skull fracture, which prevented her from continuing her high school education.  After her accident, the family moved to Powell Butte.  She started working for Mrs. Peterson, the postmistress.

It was while she was working for Mrs. Peterson that my grandma met my grandpa.  They met on March 24, 1940--Easter Sunday. On August 5 of that same year, they traveled to Reno, Nevada, where Grandma's step-sister lived, and were married in a minister's home. 

Photo:  My paternal grandparents in May 1940 in Powell Butte, Oregon

Do you know how your grandparents met and fell in love?  If you are married, have you written down your story?  

For those who are interested, next week's #52Stories prompt is: What have been the most important and valued friendships in your life?
Answer one question per week as part of the #52stories project from FamilySearch.



Pin It

Sunday, February 5, 2017

February 2017 Visiting Teaching Message

This month's visiting teaching message is all about love--not about valentines and chocolates, but about God's love.  Jesus Christ provided a perfect atonement and opened the door for us to return to our Heavenly Father again. We also have hope through his sacrifice that all things will eventually be made right, and that our sorrows will turn to joy.  

I was impressed with the scriptural phrase in Isaiah 49:16 that says, ". . . I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands. . ."  I decided to add that scripture to a photo of the hand on a Christus statueJust as we are "to retain the name [of Jesus Christ] written always in [our] hearts (Mosiah 5:12), Jesus remembers each one of us, individually.  Our names are written upon His hands and in His heart. 


(I have some cute Valentine's Day pens that I plan on giving along with this handout, since the idea of writing goes along well with the message.)   

 photo visiting2_zps6d4521f3.jpg

 photo ThankfulThought4_zps7d9599c2.jpg
Thanks for God's love.

 photo signature3_zps16be6bca.jpg


Pin It

Friday, February 3, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful: Groundhog Day Edition

Ever get to the end of the week and feel like you still have sooooo much to do, and you don't feel motivated to do any of it?  Me neither.  (Just kidding!)  

Apparently Punxsutawney Phil felt like that on Groundhog Day this year, at least according to the account I read. He put up quite the struggle before emerging from his den to tell us there would be six more weeks of winter. I don't think I'd like to be pulled out of my cave, either, but I do know something that helps me when I don't want to face the day. One of the best solutions I've found is to take a moment (not too long--I'm not trying to procrastinate here!) and count my many blessings.  There is so much for which to be thankful!

1.  I can't believe I am saying this, but it rained again this week!  I am so thankful for the moisture we've been getting, and for the fact the ground has been soaking it up nicely.

2.  I'm thankful for my visiting teachers, the women from the church that check up on me, share messages of hope and love, and are my friends.  

3. I'm thankful for other friends who feel comfortable sharing their challenges with me, and . . .

4. I'm thankful for prayer, which (combined with a listening ear and a shoulder) is sometimes the only thing I can offer.

5.  I'm thankful that #3 and #4 apply in more than one situation, so I can make those general statements, think and pray in specific, and respect privacy.

6.  I'm thankful to have made it through the week (at least to this point) without sugar.  I'm not opposed to sweets on special occasions; it's just easy for me to find a reason to celebrate every day--and that is a problem!  It's getting easier and easier to say, "No, thank you" each day that passes.  

7.  I'm thankful to recognize things I can do (like prayer, scripture study, sleep, exercise, eating healthy foods, expressing gratitude, service, taking a deep breath, etc.) to prepare myself for each day ahead.  

8.  I'm thankful I got to spend some time with my grandchildren this week. There is nothing quite like hearing, "GRANDMA!" and seeing a sweet child running towards you with arms outstretched, to lift your mood and brighten your day.  


Photo:  Oldest granddaughter, with bobbed brown hair and wearing pink overalls, holds a black and white, blue-eyed husky puppy


9.  I'm thankful I've written a few more blog posts this week, and I'm thankful that I'm writing this post on Friday morning.  Feel free to join in the #52Stories Project, Ivy's Six Sentence Stories, or of course, The Ten Things of Thankful!  

10.  I'm thankful for John.  He's had a busy week, but no matter how hectic his schedule is, he's always willing to listen to me. He buoys me up.   

Did Groundhog Day get you down?  What helps you face your day?  What are you thankful for this week?




Pin It

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Six Sentence Story: Share

Linking up with Ivy's Six Sentence Story prompt for this week. The cue is:  Share.

Anticipation filled the stadium, as the visiting Minnesota Twins warmed up in Anaheim's Angel Stadium.  Kirby Puckett, Greg Gagne, Kent Hrbek, Dan Gladden--all of the favorites were on the field.  The young family settled into their seats, high up in the stands.  The mom handed out snacks to keep the baby occupied, then turned her attention back to the game.   A "No, thank you" alerted the mom to the soggy mess of a gummed graham cracker her blonde-haired cutie clutched in her outstretched hand. Fortunately, the person in the next seat didn't seem to mind, the damp snack was forgotten, and everyone went on to sing about peanuts and Cracker Jacks.  


Pin It