Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Photo Album, a Lunar Event, and a Furry Friend

Words for Wednesday was a meme originally created by Delores of Under the Porch Light. She used this weekly writing prompt to encouraged others to write something creative. When she could no longer continue to host it,  Elephant’s Child took over for a while, and then organized volunteers to share the responsibility. Drifting through Life hosted in July, Randomosity in August. 
During September the challenge was posted here, and now October's prompts will be created by Margaret Adamson and her friend Sue, but published on the blog Elephant's Child.

Today, I am continuing the fiction story I have been writing using the Words for Wednesday word prompts from last week. 

A Photo Album, a Lunar Event, and a Furry Friend

Mindy was working hard to finish putting the rest of the photos she had printed into a sparkle-covered album.  She had purchased this particular scrapbook (with glittery hearts across the front) because she had wanted a romantic place to keep all of her photos from time spent with Ryan. It had been almost a year since they had begun dating, and the album was nearly full.

Mindy hadn't seen much of Ryan for about a week. He was really busy with his new job, working for a new builder in town. It had been hard for him to give up his own business, but he said he preferred the regular income to the independence of having his own handy-man business. The full-tiime hours, on top of still going to classes part-time, and trying to attend to the needs of his parents, just hadn't left him much free time.

Earlier in the week, Mark (Ryan's dad) had climbed a ladder to replace a bulb in a sconce on the wall above a stairwell. One of the ladder rungs had given way, and he had slipped and taken a bad fall.  Home alone, Mark had been able to crawl to the phone and dialed 911, but then became too out-of-breath to speak. It had been a good thing his parents still had a land line - the ambulance, as per protocol, was dispatched to his address and help arrived. Had Mark called from a cell phone, it might not have been so easy for the paramedics to locate him.

Although aways completely independent, Ryan's parents suddenly needed quite a bit of help from their son. With four broken ribs and a recently collapsed lung, Mark needed assistance with basic activities-of-daily-living, and couldn't do any of the household tasks he usually did. Ryan was trying to be there to help his mom as much as possible.

Mindy had wanted to help too, but she didn't want Ryan' parents to contract the miserable head cold she had been suffering from for most of the week. Ultimately, she had realized the best thing she could do would to be to stay away from them! 

There was one thing she had been able to do for them, though. Ryan's parents had a pet bunny, still living even after all their children had left home. Ryan's mom was allergic to it, and it had always been cared for by Ryan's dad. When Mindy found that out, she had offered to keep it at her house until Mark could take care of it again.  Ryan had brought the hutch, the rabbit, and all it's supplies to her house in his truck. She rather liked having a fluffy little furry friend in her home, although it made her nervous to take care of someone else's pet. More than once, she had called the vet to inquire if its eating habits and behaviors were normal for a pet rabbit!

With just a handful of photos left to place in the album, Mindy stopped to admire a few. Her camera had done such a good job of capturing the "super moon" during it's eclipse on September 27th. Mindy reminisced about how lovingly Ryan had hugged her as they gazed up at the night sky. He had remarked that they would only have to wait 18 years to see the next super moon lunar eclipse together - in 2033! 

She had been so sure his comment had been the lead-in to a proposal. Now she felt a little ashamed of how grouchy she had been for the rest of that evening, when she realized Ryan was not planning to propose that night.
The word prompts that I used in this story segment  (from last week's Words for Wednesday challenge) were:

album, lunar, sparklefurry, sconce, inquire
builder, contract, attend, ultimately, land line, fall

Don't forget to visit Elephant's Child today, to see the Words for Wednesday Word prompt for this week!
Are you as surprised as Mindy that Ryan hasn't proposed? 
Do you think she should talk with him about her hopes for the future, or just wait and hope that he will propose?

This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

12 Things to Do Before Winter!

I have been thinking of tasks I need to do before winter, and I came up with a list of 12 things. Perhaps you should consider doing some of them as well.

Snow covering a fence post in Montana

The weather recently reminded us that winter in Montana is almost here. On Saturday the temperature never climbed above 40 (Fahrenheit), it was damp and overcast, and the wind was fiercely cold. At one point there were even snow flurries, and icy bits hailed down. I was wishing I had remembered to wear long underwear under my jeans, as I watched my son's team play soccer.

Much of this week is supposed to be sunny, with temperatures in the 70's during the day. I am happy we will still have some warmer weather, however we have been fairly warned - the snow will soon fly and

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Blogger Awards Are Like Presents ... or a Pat on The Back (Part 1)

Last month, I was nominated for not one - but TWO blogging awards. What a nice surprise!

It feels like you have just received a present when you get a blog award

I would have mentioned receiving these awards sooner, but between all the design changes you have seen here, hosting words for Wednesday, and just trying to stay up with my weekly series posts - writing about them just didn't fit into my publishing schedule.

Now, however, I finally can!  I'm going to tell you about the two awards in the order I received them - one today, and one next Saturday.  Please be sure to visit the websites of the bloggers who nominated me - as well as the ones to whom I am passing along the award.  I bet you will enjoy them as much as I do!
Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

On September 17th, my friend Lana L. nominated me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.  I am honored, and receiving this award from Lana makes it feels extra-special.

Lana and I have uncovered so many coincidences between us we practically could be sisters! She started her blog Two Teens and Their Mama just a few weeks after my first post was published here; we have kids the same age; we were married the same year (1 week apart); we have many similar interests and hobbies; ... and so on!

Our friendship has grown with our blogs, and she was the first of a wonderful network of supportive blogging buddies with whom I have been lucky enough to connect. If you have read this blog for long, you know that I have mentioned her here from time to time. We even both wrote posts about the first time that we met in person.

I am the winner of a blog award

The goal of this award I received from Lana is to learn a little more about our fellow bloggers. The nominator

Friday, October 2, 2015

Week 16: My List of Fabulous Finds (Moon, Mars, and More!)

This is my post about the fabulous finds I have made this weekThere's a large variety of topics in this week's "List of Fabulous Finds" - with links to articles and videos about the moon and mars, college applications and homesickness, uncommon uses for household items, a recipe I just can't wait to try, and some "things that swim."

Don't miss checking out any of these links!

Sometimes watching videos posted on the Internet can be a waste of time, but I found the ones linked here to be very entertaining and informative. Of course, I also had to include a few photos of my own - one of which I was very surprised by how well it turned out!


This Week's Fabulous Finds:

~ ~ A Discovery about the Red Planet

There's been lots of interesting news about stuff beyond our atmosphere this week! NASA may consider this evidence of flowing water on Mars to be "game-changing," but I won't be standing in line for a trip to the red planet any time soon!

~ ~ Lunar Eclipse

Sunday, September 27th was a "BIG" night for the moon! Skies were clear and it was a beautiful evening in Montana.

A few friends were visiting, and we had a great view of the "Super Moon" lunar eclipse from our deck...

The super moon during the eclipse really did look red!

I'm actually pretty pleased with this photo that I took ...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Words for Wednesday - and My Method of Choosing the Prompts

Today I am hosting the Words for Wednesday Challenge for the last time, and I'm going to reveal my method of choosing the prompts this month!  

Yesterday, I posted a new section of my "Mindy Story"  using my word prompts from the previous two weeks. I hope everyone has enjoyed using the words I have selected! Strangely enough, some of the prompts fit better into my own stories using a different connotation than the one I had originally been thinking of when I selected them! It's amazing how versatile the English language can sometimes be!

Words for Wednesday was a meme originally created by Delores of Under the Porch Light. She used this weekly writing prompt to encouraged others to write something creative. When she could no longer continue to host it, Elephant’s Child took over for a while, and then organized volunteers to share the responsibility. Drifting through Life hosted in July, Randomosity in August. During September the challenge has been posted here, and October's prompts will be created by Margaret Adamson and her friend Sue, but published on the blog Elephant's Child.

How to Participate in Words for Wednesday:

The writing prompt is usually in the form of six (or twelve) words, or a phrase, but may also be a photo, an idea, or anything that might inspire a piece of flash fiction. 
There are no deadlines or rules or prizes. Everyone is invited to participate, as often or as little as you choose. Feel free to write a single sentence or an entire story from the prompt.  
Publish your work in the comments below, or on your own blog with a link back to this blog post. If you publish your work on your own blog be sure to also leave a comment here. That way everyone can find, read, and comment on your post.
Note: As with any comments on this blog, anything considered inappropriate, derogatory, offensive or spam will not be published. 

Here is the prompt for this week:

album, lunar, sparkle, furry, sconce, inquire
builder, contract, attend, ultimately, land line, fall

My methods, revealed!

I used to always wonder how Delores (and the others who have hosted this challenge) chose the words for the prompt.  Suddenly it was my turn to host, and I

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Lemonade and a Pleasant Conversation

Due to a busy schedule (or probably more accurately, poor time management!) I haven't written anything using the Words for Wednesday Challenge for a while - even though it was my turn this month to supply the prompts! 

Today, so I can get caught up, I am publishing a chapter of my fictional short story, "The Mindy Story" using the last six of the words from the prompt on Wednesday, September 16th, and the first six words posted on Wednesday, September 23rd.

At the end of this post, there will be a sneak peak of this week's prompt. Tomorrow, I will post a full explanation of the rules, and I will also then reveal how I have been picking these words all month!

Now - for another chapter in the unpredictable life of Mindy ...
To catch up with "The Mindy Story" so far, click the link to any chapter below:
When you are ready, here is Part 11  ...
lemonade, powdered lemonade mix, Country Time Lemonade

Lemonade and Pleasant Conversation

The sunshine was not as intense as it had been while she was weeding, but Mindy was enjoying sitting on Ryan's lovely deck. She had gotten there just after he arrived home from work, and he had invited her to

Saturday, September 26, 2015

It's the Weekend!

The weekend seems to have come up quickly, probably because my husband and I spent Monday/Tuesday celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary at Chico Hot Springs in Pray, Montana in the beautiful Paradise Valley. (Yes - those are real names!)

Chico Hot Springs, Montana, Hot Spring Resorts,
The gardens, main lodge and some of the buildings at Chico Hot Springs.

During our weekday get-away, we had lovely weather and enjoyed the fall colors. Driving back home through Yellowstone Park, we had expected to see some herds of elk. It was the wrong time of day though -

Friday, September 25, 2015

My List of Fabulous Finds: 12 Helpful Resources!

I mentioned earlier that I have been making some changes to my blog design and organization. 

For my List of Fabulous Finds this week, I am providing links to some of the resources that have been helpful throughout this process.  

All of these services can be used on a Blogger platform, and offer support in addition to the services already provided there.

Whether or not you have a website, if you do any creative work on a computer you may find about the first half of these links helpful.  

If you are a blogger, all the other links may be useful to you, as well. 


Here are this week's links:

1. How to create a free online signature: My Live Signature
Here's mine: 
2. How to get a darker/lighter shade of any color: HTML Color Picker

3. My preferred online photo editor: Ribbet

4. A huge collection of free fonts that can be added to your computer: Google Fonts

5. A page creation tool useful for creating printable recipes: Google Sites

6. A useful way to search or share recipes: 
I hope you use my Yum button on my posts, to share some of the recipes I publish!

7. “Manage your recipes and add a professional recipe page to your blog... for free!”: ReciPage

8. Create indexes of recipes or posts using photo galleries (I haven't tried this yet): Inlinkz

9. Add custom share buttons to your posts: Shareaholic
Mine look like this:

10. My new email subscription service is now: 
Powered by MailChimp

11. Generate a disclosure policy for your blog:

12. Add a print button to your posts: Print Friendly

13. Code it Pretty and xomisse both offer detailed tutorials for adding a new Related Posts Gallery for Blogger.

14. If your website is on Blogger and you need any website help, I would highly recommend  the Blogger consultant: Kim Six Blogger Support!

She is very helpful and extremely patient, and I don't think there is anything she cannot do! 

At some point in the future, I may provide some more information about some of the services I mentioned here. Until then, however, if I've been able to figure them out, you probably will too!

I hope you find this list helpful - and I can't wait for you to see the rest of the changes we are working on for my blog ! I am pretty excited about them!

Have you ever used ReciPage or InLinkz? 
I'd love to know the pros and cons!

This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!

In the spirit of full disclosure, this post may contain an affiliate link. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of them, the price you pay will not be affected but I may receive some small compensation. All opinions expressed, however, are entirely honest and my own.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Words for Wednesday - and a Wonderful Surprise

Yesterday, our children surprised my husband and I the most wonderful 25th wedding anniversary gift. Thanks to them, we now have a beautifully assembled scrapbook of photos and memories from our married life, which includes some letters from dear friends and family. 

wedding anniversary photo album, gift

The time and effort that went into this project has totally has overwhelmed us, and it is

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Notice Anything Different?

If you have been visiting this blog regularly, you may not have noticed the changes that have been occurring, one by one.  If you haven't been here for a while, you may be quite surprised by the design and layout that you see here now!

Changes in life are sort of like that, too. My husband and I were married 25 years ago today. We don't see much change in each other - but I suspect someone who hasn't seen us since our wedding day might think otherwise!

I'm hoping for (at least) another 25 years with this guy! xoxo

Some of these changes on this blog (like the color scheme) are purely cosmetic. Others (like reorganizing the content, and adding some new ways to follow the blog and share the posts) are more functional. The ultimate goal of all of it though, is to make visiting here a pleasant experience!

I have been so fortunate to have the help of Kim Six to help me implement these changes. She has been so easy to work with, very patient with all of my ideas, and very, very knowledgeable about how to work magic on a Blogger blog! I cannot thank her enough for her wonderful help, and I can't wait until you see the rest of what we are working on!

If your blog is hosted on Blogger and you are needing some help, I highly recommend you visit Kim's website Kim Six: Blogger Support and Troubleshooting, and contact her.


Because I know that some of you can't wait until tomorrow - here are this week's Words for Wednesday:

 timer, sunshine, fan, bark, technical, crockpot
business, application, rehearsal, experiences, significant, horizon


This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!