Showing posts with label elements. Show all posts
Showing posts with label elements. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Attitude is Everything

          The discussion post this week is on being an effective leader.  We need to have examples about our emotional intelligence and what skills we need to improve on and how we would improve.  Roland is always coming up with ideas that I've never thought of.  I don't see myself as a leader and I knew that Roland would have some suggestions - one was my position in the family, which of course I hadn't considered.  I tried writing a few paragraphs about that - but each paragraph felt too biography and introductory and perhaps a little too horn-blowy - which is not what I wanted.  I don't know how many times I changed it before I finally turned something in.  Meanwhile I have come up with some more thoughts for a blog post.

          I remember going to a wedding reception held outdoors.  I don't even recall what time of the year, but I remember the weather was cool but not cold.  There had been a few light breezes joined by a more powerful wind.  It had knocked over the wedding cake onto the ground.  Now there are many (I'm thinking more from bridezilla's point of view) that would be upset by it - but the wedding party - for the most part just smiled and said, "Oh, well"  

          It could have been an act - but with pleasure, they can honestly laugh about it now.  It really is a healthy thing to be able to laugh about a situation rather than get angry about it.  Our family would have never gone on family vacation if we couldn't laugh at the unexpected.  What family vacation has ever gone smooth?  Our problems were always with the car or the weather, sometimes both.

          Our muffler fell off in California.  I think it was our engine that died during our trip to Canada.  There'd been heavy rain during that trip but not like we had at Universal here

          I remember having a rooftop cargo carrier on our station wagon.  I think it was a wind that knocked it off.  My dad, normally calm and even tempered said in frustration, "Oh, just leave it" but the rest of us somehow believed it was worth saving.  Mom had a pair of panty hose that she cut into strips and she and my brother Patrick used them to tie it down to the roof, and three of us held it down while my dad continued to drive.  We may not have seen the humor in it back then, but it is hilarious to talk about it (or think about it) today.

          And then there was the time we just coming home - though I can't remember where.  My mom was driving our little orange Honda.  The car threw a rod and she pulled over.  She chose to walk to get help and the rest of us stayed in the car.  We were fortunate as to where we broke down as we were entertained by watching hang gliders soaring through the sky.  It was awesome.  Had the car not stalled where it did, we would have not even noticed the hang gliders - though I don't think mom had the same positive experience as she chose to climb over some barb wire fencing in search of assistance. 

          There was another time when we had gone to the movies during a really cold season.  The doors had froze and wouldn't open - except for the hatchback.  We sent Corey through the hatchback and asked him if he could open the doors.  We weren't really surprised that he couldn't - I don't believe he was quite four years old at the time.  So Patrick and I (both pre-teens) also climbed in through the hatchback.  The doors wouldn't budge.  Too bad mom didn't think of giving Patrick the keys to the car to at least warm it up a little.  Mom was 8 months pregnant with Kayla.  She also climbed in through the hatchback.  What a memory. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

What price do we pay for the choices we make?

           Each of us has the opportunity to make choices.  We choose to leave the house, transportation, destination, what we eat and so forth.  Often we are presented with obstacles as a result of our choices.  For example, we may have a variety of ways to get from point A to point B - do we want to take the scenic route or something faster.  If we had stayed in one lane could we have avoided the car crash that happens in the next?  What about those that we encounter.  How do our choices effect them?  And what about those things we can't control like the weather or health?  Often the result of our choices makes no difference.  Other times even the smallest decision may change our entire lives.

          I think "The Mountain Between Us" gives us some great illustrations of what our choices may cost.  

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.

The movie opens with Alex, a journalist, at an airport in Idaho anxious to get to her fiancĂ© in Colorado as her wedding day is near.  Ben, a neurosurgeon, is anxious to return to Baltimore as there is a ten-year-old boy in need of his service.

          All flights have been cancelled due to the weather.  Alex believes that she can overcome this obstacle by hiring a private charter flight.  She gambles on a pilot she's never met.  And while the weather is not a challenge for him personally, there is another factor that neither had even thought to consider.

          Alex, not knowing anything about Ben in addition to not knowing the pilot, asks Ben if he would like to join her on the charter plane to Colorado.  I would think if Ben is unable to get a flight to Baltimore from Idaho due to the weather, it would be likely that Colorado's weather would be similar - but whatever.  No one thinks about that.

          During the course of the movie, Ben and Alex are faced with more obstacles as they climb the snow covered hills of the Unitah Mountains in search of salvation, I thought about what the choice made had cost them - or changed them - because without the experience that only they shared - they would not have evolved from who they were prior to the movie starting to who they became afterward.

          I think the story itself was fictionalized, but I really enjoyed watching the movie and discovering another demonstration of just how much impact our choices may have not just on our lives but those around us.  I'm grateful that the unwise choice Jenna and I had made recently about crossing a fenced path didn't have such a dramatic result.  Funny thing is if we had started the other direction, I wouldn't have crossed it.

 So often when I go to Millsite, it's like I'm seeing it for the first time. 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Harvey is Not the Nation's Only Disaster

          Every time I sign onto facebook, I have been invited to donate to the relief fund for Harvey - as I'm sure all facebook users have.  I have never dealt with the aftermath of a hurricane or earthquake or tornado and hope I will never have to.  I don't know what it's like - but it sounds horrible.  It looks horrible.  I know that there are many who are suffering.  I'm certain that the current situation in Houston Texas is worse than my own in Myrtle Creek. 

          I do know what it's like to be surrounded by cold winds and how heavy snow can get.  I have had a small taste of a heat-wave.  I can deal with mold better than some.  I can actually better deal with strong and unpleasant odors as I have lost my sense of smell - although I can smell the smoke as it lingers through any air holes it may find - the opening and closing of the door.  It is awful. I do know what it's like to struggle to breathe in smoke-filled or polluted air.  I feel for the asthmatic.

          I called Biff's mother-in-law who has already lost three  children to health issues.  Two boys have survived - one in Texas, one in Washington.  The one in Texas had been evacuated before Harvey came.  They returned to debris outside of their home.  Miraculously the inside remained unharmed.  She thinks the other is alright as well and has plans for talking with him later this afternoon.  I don't know if the air quality his family is breathing compares to ours. 

          There have been countless news stories about specific fires and many with several fires.  You can read just a few here, here, here and here.  Or you can Google your own search.  Fires have been burning most of the summer (if not all of it)

          I have been hearing the helicopters, but not seeing them.  I wonder how they are able to see.  Or perhaps I'm not really hearing them.  It just became a common sight and so I just think I hear them.

           I came to Oregon for the clean moist air.  It has disappeared along with the mountains and sky.  But I'm sure I would have headaches and coughing in Salt Lake as well.  The boys have a cousin who is unable to breathe due to asthma and fire/smoke combination in another county.  I have a brother-in-law who has probably been affected by the smoke from the same fire as he also works in an area the smoke has lingered.  It was worse at Church than it is in the house. Good testimony meeting though.

         These are various pictures I have taken of the same mountain that can't be seen at this time:

          I had an instructor post: Assignments due; if you have been affected by Harvey, arrangements can be made!  Please let us know.  That is very thoughtful to consider those who may have been evacuated, for those cleaning up, for those who possibly aren't able to sign on and see the message because of the situation. 

Harvey isn't the only natural disaster that has taken place. 


Saturday, September 2, 2017

Do You Think We’ll Have To Evacuate?

          We saw deer all the time after we first moved to Oregon.  They had wandered into the city to escape the fires that were burning their homes in the forest.  I don’t recall having seen as many deer in the last two years combined.  The fires seem greater this year than in 2015.

          Shortly after our move to Oregon, I made up three evacuation bags. We kept them in the closet door right next to the front door. I felt quite fortunate that we’ve never had to use them.

          When we moved again, Roland added to the evacuation bags making them three times as heavy. Because of their weight and a extremely small closet, they no longer seem as convenience to get to.  We found five can openers among our garage sale treasures.  I figured we had enough that we could put one in each bag (as all three bags contain canned goods) but haven’t had the desire for moving the heavy bags.  Currently they are sitting on top of the vacuum cleaner which has also been stuffed into the closet.

          Tri City lies between Riddle and Myrtle Creek.  Riddle was at a number two evacuation when I first created this post - now they're at a number three - at least nine houses in Riddle - but apparently not the entire city of Riddle as they are currently using the elementary school as refuge.  I wonder how long that will last.

          Yesterday was the our day at the pool until next year.  We went to Winston today and then to Roseburg. The sky was gone - or that is how it appeared anyway.  Like God had erased the sky and we were looking at a blank whitish-grey canvas. I remember thick fogs in winter that settled over houses in Salt Lake City.  It was always cold.  It looks like it should be cold outside, but it's not.  It's hot and it is smoky.  On the return back to Myrtle Creek, it appeared that more of the scenery was slowly being erased away.  I took these pictures:

          It is highly possible that Tri City could evacuate if the rest of the entire city of Riddle is asked to leave.  The temperature forecast says it may get to 108 today.  108?!?! September should never be this hot. Planet Earth should never be this hot!  Why can’t we sent some heat down to Houston to dry up the floods and have them send us their rain to put out the fires?  Why can’t we have a happy balance?  I came to Oregon in order to breathe better.  Not happening right now.  We need moisture to clean out our gunky air.

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Fires are Closer than I had Thought

    Miss Jenna is off for the next four days after having gone to school for three.  Why not just start school on the 5th? 
    I left the window open last night.  Big mistake.  It is not yet three in the morning and my eyes and nose are going ballistic.  I should have known better. 

    I found this map earlier last month. 

     It maps out 17 different fires that have been burning throughout Washington and Oregon.  Since then I have counted over 25 in Oregon alone.

     The map shows a cycling path - an event that takes place each year and includes cyclists from all over the world - who come from different states and even other nations to participate. We live approximately where the purple dot is.

    I have read that the Horse Creek fire is just twelve miles outside of Riddle.  That is not that far. 

    What ever possessed me to sleep with the windows open?  I must be a glutton for punishment.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Stop Complaining

The beds are dry

Not all the river beds

not all the way

some have puddles

It's hard to believe that

they were near overflowing

just four months ago.

The haze comes and goes

Lately . . . it lingers

hard to breathe

It's hot.  I think the

smoke is holding in the heat

I'm currently washing clothes

It is hot enough to hang them on the line

But won't the smoke defeat my purpose of

having washed them in the first place.

At least I have a choice to

shut my door and keep the elements

outside.  How horrible for those who

have to deal with Hurricane Harvey

and the mess left behind

They can't close the door and leave

it outside - the water and damage

are still in their houses.

Many possessions and loved ones gone.

Should we have to evacuate, it

will be due to smoke inhalation.  I

don't think the fires will come.

Why can't the elements even out so

there are no floods, no fires,

no damaging winds

Monday, August 7, 2017

Solar Activity - Myrtle Creek

            We have activities each week for the Children's Summer Reading Program.  Today's "Build" activity featured a solar oven and building S'mores. Yum!

            JM took the children outside and placed marshmallows in the oven and explained how it would work.  

          We then came inside and had story time - only it was more of a question, answer and demonstration than straight reading.  We talked about the sun and moon.

            When we finished with the book, Rindy was up with her "Pin-a-Moon-to-the-Sun" craft.  Each of the children were given black paper to create a moon.  After all the moons were cut out, each stood in line to paste their moon on the sun while wearing their solar glasses.  It was really fun.   

            The best part of our activity was returning outside with graham crackers and chocolate to add to the marshmallows - which really hadn't toasted to the melting stage.  But those squares of chocolate certainly got soft in less than two minutes in the sun.  

            Everybody enjoyed their s'mores - particularly Jenna who got to keep the solar oven and all leftover fixings.