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Showing posts from 2020

Ten Things of Thankful: From Sunrise to Moonset

John and I made a quick, task-oriented trip to California last week. We wore our masks and stayed at an acceptable social distance from others (which is hard for grandchildren to understand, but we mostly succeeded.) We're now home, and at the "I need a vacation to recover from my 'vacation' " stage, which makes sitting down to compose a TToT post a bit of a challenge. However, I know that I will feel better by the end of this post, so bear with me if you will. 
1. I'm thankful that we had no problems with traffic going there or coming home. We left our hotel at about quarter to four on Friday morning. The early start, fewer families traveling this year, or, most likely, a combination of the two, made for an easy drive. 
2. I'm thankful for books to help pass the time. We haven't actually finished yet (as I was reading aloud, and my voice can only last for so long), but we started the abridged version of The Princess Bride. It is quite entertaining!
3. I…

Ten Things of Thankful: Summer Strawberries and Procrastinated Projects

You would think that by the time a person reaches my age, she would not be surprised by the passing of time, yet I find myself nearly constantly amazed that a certain amount of time has passed--whether that be a week, month, year, or couple of decades.
Earlier this year, I planted a garden. Yesterday I harvested my first strawberry. Earlier this year, I also planted fuchsia starts, and now the flowers are blooming. How is that possible? (And why am I surprised?)
Sometime around the turn of the century (and it still seems strange to use that phrase about the year 2000), we bought a circa 1935 dresser. It needed some TLC, but had a cool curvy front. This past week, I finally got around to applying some Restor-A-Finish and Feed-N-Wax, and now the dresser still looks old, but not dilapidated. I still need to apply some hide glue to some loose pieces, but I'm counting progress as a win.
For as long as I can remember, I've been a saver of papers. It some respects, this is good. I'v…

Ten Things of Thankful: Dad's Influence Edition

Here in the United States, it is Father's Day weekend. I did not realize until recently that Father's Day was not officially made a holiday until 1972. 1972! Now, while I realize that many people consider 1972 eons ago, I do not. I'm glad that fathers have a day of recognition now, because they surely deserve acknowledgement. 
I thought for this week's Ten Things of Thankful post, I would list ten lessons I'm thankful my dad taught me.
My dad is a teacher. Not only did he impart his knowledge to countless junior high aged kids throughout his career, he taught--and still teaches--my siblings and me. He is not a preachy teacher; he's a humble man whose lessons I feel like I learned through osmosis.
When he would get home from work, we'd all sit down as a family for supper. Often, our phone would ring, and on the other end of the line would be a parent of one of my dad's students. 
Hello, Mrs. _______. How can I help you? . . . (an irate woman's voice is h…

Ten Things of Thankful: Seven Years Plus One Week

It was so good to read all your posts last weekend, as the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop celebrated its 7th birthday. Thanks to all who joined! 
As dependable as the US Postal Service --"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds"--the TToT is here, week after week, to provide a place for bloggers all over the world to gather together and express thanks. We don't have to have a celebration, or even a good day/week, to have a reason to type out things that we are thankful for; the benefit of the exercise works no matter what is going on around us. So, even though the birthday party is over, feel free to continue coming here! 
I'm thankful: 1. for the TToT community. (That means YOU!) 2. that the garden survived the 40+ degree weather swing (from near 100 to the 50's and back to the 90's) and the accompanying hail. 3. we ate a salad made from home-grown lettuce, our first harvest of th…

Ten Things of Thankful: 7 Years Old!

Some might think that it is incongruous to celebrate during times of crisis. 2020 certainly hasn't gone the way we would have predicted. I don't have to remind anyone of the COVID-19 pandemic nor the terrible acts that have precipitated both the current peaceful demonstrations and the violent riots. Even in the midst of the chaos, though, I do believe it is appropriate to celebrate the 7th birthday of the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop. 
The idea of the TToT was hatched by Lizzi, who explained on her blog, Considerings, that she started finding ten things to be thankful for during a difficult time in her life. She found that the simple (though not always easy) act of listing ten things she was thankful for brought about personal changes: By actively choosing to seek the Good things – by hunting them down and dragging them out (kicking and screaming, sometimes) I was making a change in my own attitude. She seemed to know, even then, that the TToT had the potential to be a long-la…

Finish the Sentence Friday: The Best Thing about Summer is. . . .

The best thing about summer is memories--making them, and remembering them. Here's a summer memory from my childhood, which I'm linking up to the Finish the Sentence Friday blog hop. 
As soon as I was a child in school, summers became special. After months in the classroom--which I loved, by the way--summer presented a break from academic expectations. Endless hours of free time stretched almost as wide as the horizon. 
I lived just outside city limits of a small town in Oregon. Every year, near the 4th of July, the World Championship Albany Timber Carnival would be held in the appropriately-named Timber Linn Park. Loggers from all over would come to compete in events such as log-rolling, pole-climbing, and various sawing competitions. I lived just about a mile away from the park, and at that time, there were just fields and a few trees separating my house from the carnival.
In the days preceding the carnival, I would go to the next-door-neighbor's front porch with a pair of …

Ten Things of Thankful: Only One More Week Until the Big Day!

Next week marks a milestone for the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop: it turns SEVEN years old! Do you remember when you turned seven? I'm not sure, but I think my birthday cake that year might have featured little plastic dogs on top to decorate it, and to be party favors for my guests. I remember selfishly wanting to be able to keep all the dogs, but my mom taught me that it was nice to be gracious and share. 
The nice thing about sharing gratitude is that you can still keep the feeling, even as you share with others. AND we can all be happy for each other. I love this quote by Jeffrey R. Holland:
Brothers and sisters, there are going to be times in our lives when someone else gets an unexpected blessing or receives some special recognition. May I plead with us not to be hurt—and certainly not to feel envious—when good fortune comes to another person? We are not diminished when someone else is added upon. We are not in a race against each other to see who is the wealthiest or the…

Six Sentence Story: Right

Linking up with Denise of Girlie on the Edge again this week for another Six Sentence Story. This week's prompt: right.
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Ever have one of those days when no matter how hard you try, nothing seems to go right? If only she had been trying to be a straight man in a comedy duo instead of a children's chorister!  

As the children sang, "Wave on, wave on, forever, The banner of the free," one little girl on the front row jumped right up, holding three fingers in the air, and proudly (and loudly) announced, "I'm free; I'm free!" The teachers giggled along with the children as the chorister, trying to maintain composure, patiently explained, "The word 'free' in this song isn't about an age; it means we have the power to choose." The little girl popped up out of her chair again, so excited to share: "I have shoes!" 

The chorister--who also was wearing shoes, by the way--felt like walking…

Ten Things of Thankful: Reading, Writing, and Smelling the Flowers

You probably thought I was going to say 'rithmatic at the end of that title, didn't you? 😉 Don't be silly! This week has been bursting with new growth and blossoms in the yard. I take a garden walk multiple times each day, and each time I do, I'm delighted with the progress I see. 

1. I'm thankful that, although I will probably have to wait years to enjoy blossoms on the lilacs I planted this spring, the little "Miss Kim" lilacs I planted last year are blooming. I prefer the common lilac varieties, but these little Miss Kims have the same scent. 

2. I ventured out to a local nursery this week, and purchased some fuchsias. I love fuchsias, and think I've found the perfect spot for them: in planter boxes on the north side of the house, where it is fairly shady. I'm thankful that they seem happy so far, and I'm looking forward to their beautiful blossoms.


3. Speaking of shade, not far from the fuchsias is one of my favorite areas of the yard, where…

Six Sentence Story: Eternal

It's time once again for another Six Sentence Story. Each week, Denise from Girlie on the Edge gives a prompt word and invites all to write a six sentence story based on the prompt. This week's prompt is "eternal," and at first I was thinking that would result in a deep, meaningful story--and then I got another idea. 

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Sure, she had worked before, doing the typical early-teen jobs of the time in Oregon--like babysitting and strawberry picking--but this would be her first, get-an-actual-check-at-the-end-of-each-week kind of job. She was dressed in the required uniform: the (soon to be not-) white apron; the oh-so-attractive hair net (topped off by the are-you-kidding-me hard hat); with the day-glow orange, squishy, yet strangely uncomfortable, earplugs in her hand, ready to be inserted once she entered the cannery. 

She carpooled with some friends, and they arrived at the parking lot in the dark, in time for the 11 p.m. start of the graveyard shift. Enter…

Ten Things of Thankful: May Flowers, Continued, and Other Garden News

When John and I moved into this house, we realized that our yard had quite a few iris plants. Most of the year, they look like giant, overgrown grass blades, but in May, they explode and fill the air with an intoxicating fragrance. This week, we've been enjoying their beauty.

1. I'm thankful for irises.
Monday afternoon, I went to the Red Cross to donate whole blood. 
2. I'm thankful that something that is so easy for me to do is actually helpful for someone.
I might have mentally said, "Yeah, yeah," when the phlebotomist gave me the instructions about avoiding exercise for the rest of the day. I knew I had raspberries and strawberries arriving that afternoon that would need to get planted. As soon as I got home, I started digging holes. I must admit that, even though I only needed a hand trowel, digging 70 holes when down a pint of blood took more energy than I would have expected. 
3. I'm thankful to have that project done!

Earlier this spring, a master gardener …

Ten Things of Thankful: Mother's Day Weekend Edition

Mother's Day is nearly here, at least in the United States, so it's a perfect time to reflect on the women in my life.

1. I'm thankful for my mom. I think she's as close to perfect as you can be and still be permitted to remain on earth. Her heart is pure gold.

2. I'm thankful for John's mom. She is always thinking of others, and I think she did an exceptional job raising her children. :-)

3 and 4. I'm thankful for my grandmas. My dad's mom was talkative and fun-loving. She was joyful, even though she had experienced the loss of close loved ones throughout her life. My mom's mom was quiet, petite, and incredibly strong. She never stopped learning. Both were loving and kind, and wonderful cooks/bakers. 

5. I'm thankful for my sister. She's intelligent, articulate, and caring. I love it when people think we're twins. 

6. I'm thankful for aunts and cousins, sister-in-laws, and nieces. We don't see each other often enough, but I'm pro…

Six Sentence Story: Gulf

Every week, Denise from Girlie on the Edge invites writers to pen a six sentence story based on a prompt word. It's a fun challenge, and I enjoy reading the stories that bloggers come up with. Feel free to visit Denise's blog and see for yourself! This week's prompt word: gulf. 

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Though it had been planned for weeks, she wonders if she can actually go through with it. Logically, it makes sense. One little step and it would all be over quickly. But here, standing on the high platform, primal fear rages deep inside her. I don't want to disappoint my children. Pressing ahead with that thought, she starts forward, leaving the security of the platform, and zip-lines across the gulf, where she arrives safely on the other side.