I woke yesterday morning to the stirring, welcome sounds of a late summer storm. My trees and grass and flowers were, I’m sure, quite grateful as it’s been a rather hot, dry season here in the Heartland. Added bonus: I didn’t have to water my container plants as Mother Nature gloriously provided sustenance for the day! Thanking her for that…

We watched CBS Sunday Morning with hot drinks at hand (coffee for Bill, tea for me), always a soothing combination. After showering and making ourselves presentable, we drove to The Jordan House, a local historical site I’ve been wanting to visit for some time now. We were not disappointed. The home and its furnishings, its ode to the history of both the Valley Junction area of West Des Moines and the role it played in the Underground Railroad and our lively and engaging tour guide satisfied my eagerness to see this place, finally, for myself.

After a brief Starbucks pit stop – yes, more hot beverages – we returned home. I threw in a load of laundry while Bill resumed self-tutorials on learning Lightroom, a new tool I think I will need to employ as well. With just a few clicks and minor adjustments, photos really POP and without some of that overdone post-processing I see far too often with some photos on Facebook and elsewhere. A little sure goes a long way!

My sister texted me to say she had some sweet corn and zucchini if I was interested so I drove over and spent some time visiting with her and her husband. She has several chickens – love this handsome fella! – and they are always fun to watch.

In addition to the zucchini and corn, she gifted me with okra and green beans. I’ve never had okra before and welcome recipe suggestions. Someone on Facebook strongly advised against steaming it. Duly noted!

I was pleased to discover when I got home that the books I’d ordered from Amazon had arrived. The package was sitting in the chair by the front door. It seems strange to me that deliveries are made on Sundays – this is the second time this has happened – but I’m not complaining. More books to read – my winter will runneth over!

We rounded out our day catching up on the results of last week’s America’s Got Talent, our annual summer TV fare, but not before enjoying sissy’s sweet corn for supper and cranberry-oatmeal cookies I’d baked – fresh from the oven!

Yes. It was a good day. Nothing fancy, nothing ‘wow’. Just – nice. Weekends and life, just the way I like it.

There’s a knack to drying sheets on the line predicated on the immediate assumption that the wet clothes have been removed from the washing machine post haste. If you’ve allowed them to sit there too long upon the completion of the wash cycle, well, let’s just say that does not bode well for crisp, flat, smooth sheets. Not fussy about wrinkled, crinkly sheets on your bed? Then by all means, proceed. Otherwise, I’d run them through the wash one more time if I were you and then – so you don’t have to do this again – I’d grab them quickly this time around.

Empty the sheets into the laundry basket. Nudge open the screen door leading to the backyard and deposit the sheets on the ground in the center of the clothesline. Unless you’ve been remiss in storing your clothespins in one of those handy holders that loop over the line allowing for easy reaching into and retrieving of said pins, you’ll have to finagle handling the sheets and grabbing these necessary accoutrements as best you can.

I like to begin with the flat sheet. Now, one can attach it so the folded crease is affixed to the line, leaving the fabric to unfurl and billow in the breeze or reverse the process and leave the fold to hang at the bottom. Depending on the ferocity of the wind (and your supply of pins), stagger the pin attachments to the line in even increments allowing enough of them to firmly secure the sheet and keep it from breaking loose and ending up in the neighbors yard.

Next up the pesky fitted sheet. Admittedly, I just wing it with these guys although I do tend to opt for the fold-at-the-bottom method of deployment. The pillow cases, so easily managed, are the best part of hanging wet sheets outdoors to dry. For these babies, I prefer to attach them so they are open at the bottom. When you are finished, hang any other sets of sheets in the same manner unless you’ve determined a better way to do so from your experience with the first load.

Now stand back and admire your work. Don’t they look lovely swaying softly in the breeze? If the winds have picked up a bit since you hung them to dry, make sure your pin coverage is adequate and make adjustments accordingly. Oh. You did check the weather forecast, did you not? Or at least allow yourself a quick glance skyward before deciding to go au natural as opposed to throwing them into the dryer? You sure as heck don’t want them to get rained on. So make note of that for the next go-round if you’ve failed to take the appropriate precautions.

So. Everything went swimmingly. The sun was shining, the breeze was delightful and now your sheets are dry.

Lucky you. You get to make the bed. Always a ‘fun’ chore, amiright? No matter. For your reward, you’ll have fresh-smelling sheets to look forward to when you crawl into bed tonight, the captivating sensory enchantment of which lasts about five minutes. I hope it was worth it.

Daily Prompt: Unfurl

I came. I saw. I journalled. And I continue to do so, joyfully.

Actually, ever since I retired earlier this year – March 15th, the Ides of March in case you’d like to tuck that date away to commemorate my one-year-anniversary come 2018 – I’ve been doing a lot more writing in my journal. Or journals, rather. I keep a small one in my purse, one in the wicker tray I use to house all my reading materials for bedtime perusal, one in the car, one in my going-to-Barnes-and-Noble backpack and a spiral-bound notebook that I originally started for writing Morning Pages. I’ve applied my own twist to the practice, however, writing whenever the heck I feel like it during the day – I call it my Daily Pages – and writing anywhere from just a paragraph, maybe a page or two or even the prescribed three pages (or more), in longhand, to explore whatever it is I want to say or express or document as to what’s going on in my life.

Recently, I purchased a set of multi-color fine-tip markers to jazz up, enliven, highlight and otherwise amplify my reading and writing experiences. Yellow highlighters are also quite useful, maybe not so much for journaling but certainly for noting key passages in the books and magazines I collect (not unlike the typewriters I once accumulated over the years but that’s another story). If the written word is part of the equation, so too are these brown laser-enhanced optical wonders located mere inches from my hairline and any colorful means possible to capture and celebrate the beauty and inspiration and joy I so delight in when I am both reading and writing.

Some may chafe at the suggestion but I enjoy looking back every now and then, re-reading the journals I’ve written, gleaning clues sometimes as to what year we went to Mackinac Island (2012) or whether we hosted Thanksgiving in 2015 (we did). It is often amusing to read about how annoyed I’d been over something that had happened at work but my self-righteous indignation provides no clues whatsoever as to what the offending situation actually was and I’m left to guess as to what I was even referring to. Must have been really important, eh?

As much as I enjoy keeping a journal now as an adult, I’m surprised I never kept a diary as a young girl. I do recall owning one and I’m sure I wrote a few entries here and there. Some women (perhaps men too but I can’t speak to that) still have every diary and journal they’ve written in since they were kids. I think that’s nice. While that’s not an option for me, I’ll do the next best thing and save (and cherish) the ones that I do have and will continue to write – and read! – as long as those two brown apertures of mine are still blessedly able to do so. Write on, peoples!

Breathless love
Touches of fire
Sparks of whimsy
Laughter and smiles
Knowing glances
Our hearts beat as one
Souls moored and entwined with gladness

And peace.

Your salty skin
Tantalizing tastes
Both savory and sweet
Satisfy me
I could hold you forever.

Her world is gray
Mine is a kaleidoscope.

She prefers the darkness
I adore the light.

Anxiety is the centerpiece of her existence
Joyous serendipity thrills my soul.

One of us is at peace
While the other yearns not to live.

I’m so weary of
This good cop/bad cop gig.

Are you happy being miserable?
It certainly seems that way to me.

I know I should be kind
But you tax what little patience I possess.

We urge you to get help
You reject and dismiss: Oh, but I’m fine.

You are not, however
Cloudy skies remain in your forecast.

Your persistent martyrdom
Takes a toll on us all.

Frustrations are high
With no end in sight.

Are you happy being miserable?
It certainly seems that way to me.

From whence inspiration
A lottery prize
Buy enough tickets
Increase your odds
To make it happen

Conjured muse
A bearing down
A calling forth
To grind the spark

Often, silence
Seeking light
Hungering for more
Digging deep
Bumping into shadows

Slender pivots
Heralded new images
Energy ON
Minds in madness
The heart knows and responds

Internal engine purring
Inspiration, process, drive, product: Creativity
Lather, rinse, repeat

I married my BFF on April 20, 1996. Call me lazy, call me negligent but I simply draped my wedding gown in pink plastic sheeting and hung it up in the closet. Fast forward to today when I gingerly removed the plastic to see how she’s fared after all these years. I’m pleased to say the dress still looks as lovely and beautiful as the day I wore it and – bonus!! – it still fits.

Curious to see what kind of fun twists – or photographic images – folks can provide with a few old nuggets, song lyrics, urban legends and what not.  And why not?  I don’t have anything else going on this lazy Sunday afternoon!  Please respond in as Comments.  Not sure how to do the ping back thing (gentle guidance greatly appreciated!)

So.  My inaugural prompt is as follows.

Sunday Prompt for July 23, 2017:  Jimmy Crack Corn and…