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Showing posts from March, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful: California Poppies

Spring has arrived.  On Wednesday, I took off for a few hours to hike.  The weather was perfect:  the sun was shining, the wind kept itself to a cool, slight breeze (as opposed to Thursday, when the sustained wind speed was 37.5 mph) , and the temperature was warm, but not oppressive.   My Ten Things of Thankful list this week will be mostly made of photos.  Each time I climbed another hill, or turned another corner, I was delighted with the new view.  Come along with me! The poppy fields can be seen from miles away. Photo:  The poppy fields turn the hills in the distance bright orange. Many other people had the same idea I had on Wednesday. The line to get into the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve was longer than I've ever seen it. Many cars turned around and decided to just park on the main street and hike into the reserve. Photo:  A view taken from the hill, looking down on the parking lot.  Cars were lines up nearly to the main road to wait to pay for parking. Once

Six Sentence Story: Fault

Sometimes, it takes me a while to figure out what I will write for Six Sentence Stories .  Other times, like this week, I had a story jump immediately to mind.  This week's prompt:  Fault. The light fixture above the table swayed, and a persistent rattling sound came from the apartment upstairs.   Photo:  A small apartment's kitchen and dining area, with a hanging light fixture above the round table "Helena's usually so quiet; I wonder if she's taken up aerobics." On October 1, 1987, at 7:42 a.m. (give or take a few seconds for the truth to sink in) I realized I was experiencing my first earthquake.  When the earth quieted again--after what seemed like minutes, but was really only seconds--my nerves quieted, too, and I thought, "So this is what I can expect living here in southern California."  Later, I learned that most earthquakes would be less intense.  The Whittier Narrows earthquake ultimately registered as a 5.9 on the Richter scal

#52Stories Project: Work

Although I haven't joined in every week for the #52Stories project, I do want to participate as often as possible.  This last week's prompt was: Who taught you how to work?  What would you want your children and grandchildren to learn from your example? My parents taught me to work.  From a young age, I was included in family chores. Photo:  Impish toddler me stands on a stool next to my mom in the kitchen and rolls out dough with my little rolling pin. Photo:  Me as a young child, standing in the doorway between our kitchen and utility room, looking over my shoulder with a broom in one hand and a dustpan in the other. Photo:  Me as a young child, vacuuming the living room rug with an old blue canister vacuum Work didn't just include normal, everyday chores.  Work included big projects, too.  We landscaped the front yard.  We painted the exterior of the house.  Then we moved on to a much bigger project: building a new house, and ridding the

Ten Things of Thankful: Everything on the Calendar Edition

"I know!  Let's plan it for March 25th!" said the planners of the local Home and Garden show, the LA County Airshow, the Guide Dog Training Day, and the General Women's Conference. Fortunately, the Home and Garden show started on the 24th, and the LA County Airshow participants were practicing on the 24th, also (as well as earlier in the week).  The Guide Dog Training Day will be held in the morning of the 25th, and the General Women's Conference starts later in the afternoon.  I'm in for a fun weekend! Before we get to upcoming events, though, let's look back over the past week: 1.  I'm thankful for the friends in my lunch group.  We share laughter and tears, and our conversations run from humorous to deep.  It's always fun to get together. 2.  I'm thankful for the soup recipe I found.  Our lunch group is always potluck soups, salads, and desserts, and I had signed up for soup this time.  One of my cookbooks had a recipe for chickpea and

A Question, Compassion, and the #PrinceofPeace

"How would you feel?"   As a young child, I heard my mom ask me that question quite often. It was her way of teaching me to think beyond myself, to try to understand the perspective of others, and then to recognize how my actions might be interpreted by others.  Through her question, I learned to share my toys, say "please" and "thank you," and to cover my mouth when I sneezed.   Mom didn't just question me, though; she taught through example.  I remember Mom providing transportation and moral support to a friend whose daughter was in the burn unit of the hospital.  I remember Mom babysitting another friend's severely disabled baby so the friend could have an hour or two of respite.  I remember Mom comforting a friend whose child was diagnosed with leukemia.  I remember Mom talking on the phone, providing a listening ear to anyone who needed it.   I also remember driving with Mom to the one-story building that housed the old folks.  Mom we

Ten Things of Thankful: Survived the Ides Edition

(Let's see, I need an intro). . . . (minutes tick by). . . . (letters appear, then disappear). . . . (still got nothin'). . . .  Without further ado, I'm jumping right into the list this week: I'm thankful for friends:  (1) those who stopped by just to visit, (2) online friends who reached out through email, (3) a visiting teacher who popped in with yummy St. Patrick Day cookies, (4) those we caught up with at a wedding reception last night. I'm thankful for the beauty that is mid-March:  (5) warm temperatures (6) blooming flowers (7) green plants everywhere. I'm thankful for (8) ceiling fans when the nights seem too warm. I'm thankful for (9) the completion of the filing of taxes. As always, I'm thankful for (10) John.   How has your week gone?  Comment below, then visit the Ten Things of Thankful blog to link up, and to read what others have to say!

Ten Things of Thankful: Preaching to the Choir Edition

It's Sunday.  I attended church this morning, and as I sit down to write my TToT post for the week, I'm thankful for the habit of gratitude this blog (and this blog hop) has helped me develop.  I know I'm preaching to the choir, but let me explain a major benefit of gratitude, as I understand it.   Before I do that, though, feel free to sing along with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Phillipians 4:6-7 says:  "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."  In other words, as we express gratitude, we are blessed with peace--even peace when the situation doesn't really seem to warrant peace.  It's been a bit of a week, shall we say, and I'm a little tired.  I have much to be thankful for, though, and as I think on those things, I find joy and peace.  1.  

"I Will Go Before Your Face." March 2017 Visiting Teaching

I am really loving the visiting teaching messages so far this year! January's message was about the purpose of Relief Society .  I though that was an especially timely message, and a contrast to the women's march that happened that month.  Last month, the message was about Christ's atonement being evidence of God's love .  This month, the message is about the enabling power of Christ's atonement .   These visiting teaching messages have reminded me that there is an inherent power in love, and that by aligning ourselves with Jesus Christ we can all be strengthened, individually and collectively. I can have peace even in trying times, and can confidently go forward in life.   Photo caption:  "I will go before your face.  I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." (Doctrine and Covenants 84:88) Thanks for love, peace, and assurance that comes through Je

Six Sentence Story: Where There's a Will. . .

The word "impossible" isn't in my family's dictionary, and I am proud of the examples I have of loved ones who have tackled difficult tasks.  Today's Six Sentence Story is one of those examples that really impressed me as a child, and still impresses me.  This week's prompt:  Will. Everyone knows that homegrown tomatoes are superior to what you can find in the store, but what can you do when you live in Sisters, Oregon, where the growing season is short?   Grandpa knew just what to do; he went out to the backyard and started digging a hole deep enough for a man to stand up in, and long enough and wide enough to plant more than enough tomatoes for himself and Grandma.   Some naysayers might have questioned his plan, but the garden bunker gradually took shape.  The transparent roof went on, the watering system was installed, the beds were ready to plant.  That year, Grandpa spent a lot of time underground, and his efforts paid off in a spectacular fashion