Category Archives: SoCS

SoCS May 4, 2019

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “fall from the sky.” Write about anything that falls from the sky–real, imagined, or idiomatic. Have fun! – Linda G Hill

 

When was the last time something was falling from the sky in southern California, something I experienced firsthand?

On October 1, 1987, when my daughter Mercy was two years old. I took her to the babysitter before going to work. Two blocks before arriving at Michelle’s house, my car was rocking side to side.

“I must have a flat tire. Let me pull over to the curb.”

I looked outside of the window. A girl looked like eleven years old was standing outside of her home on the other side of the street. She might be on her way to school. She was crying. I rolled down the window and asked if she was okay. My car rocked side to side again. I then realized it must be an earthquake. So, I told her to go back home. I carefully drove to Michele’s house and dropped off Mercy and told her I would call her once I arrived at school. Before driving away, I noticed that the chimneys of all the houses on both sides of the street on that block were broken and the bricks were falling from the sky.

 

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I got to Hillcrest School and pulled into the parking lot. Parents drove in, then took off after dropping off their kids. I was at awe that parents still brought their kids to school. Perhaps the school was safer than home. Or they had to go to work as much as I did.

Later, I found out that the earthquake happened in the Whittier Narrows at 7:42 a.m. PDT. The moderate 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered in the town of Rosemead where I worked. It was the strongest in the Los Angeles area since the 1971 San Fernando earthquake and was felt as far as San Diego and San Luis Obispo, California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Communication systems and local media were disconnected temporarily. The power outage left some early morning workers stranded in disabled elevators.

 

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I signed-in at the front desk and realized that there were about fifty students got dropped off by the parents. We centralized the students on the playground in the open area away from trees and telephone poles. Some teachers and instructional aides supervised the students, had them sit and did quiet activities. Some teachers were at the gates with the student emergency cards, wait for parents to come picked up their kids. Teachers only released the students to the adults listed on the emergency cards. When the parents or adults came to the gates, the teachers checked their IDs, then a staff would go to the playground to bring the students to the gates, releasing them to the parents. We released the last student around 11:00 a.m.

After the parents came to pick up all the students, teachers and staff with children at other schools or childcare facilities could leave first. I called Michelle and let her know I could pick up Mercy. The remaining staff took care of the paperwork and wrapped up things before everyone went home.

The schools and district evaluated the situation in the following meetings and set up guidelines and policy for the future earthquake preparedness.

 

 

Streams of Consciousness Saturday, May 4, 2019

SoCS March 23, 2019 – Mail

“Your Friday Prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “the last piece of mail you received.” Talk about the subject of the last piece of physical mail you received, i.e. a gas bill – talk about the gas, not the bill itself. Have fun!” – Linda G Hill

 

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The last piece of physical mail I received was a “Renewal Questionnaire” from  the Automobile Club. The Automobile Club is the carrier for our car insurance. I must fill out the questionnaire and return to the Club as required to receive the verified mileage discount at renewal.

We have two cars, one is an Acura, a sedan car which is my car. It’s registered in my name and I’m supposed to be the primary driver even though my husband does most of the driving these days. The second car is a Hummer, an SUV which is my husband’s car. It’s registered in his name.

I pay the annual license fee and the insurance fee for my car and my husband pays the same for his car. The Auto Club calculates the insurance based on the annual mileage driven by that car.

I bought the Acura in year 2000 as a gift for myself after I graduated with the Doctorate of Education degree. My school district was 22 miles away from home. My driving was about 45 miles a day for work, five days a week. Then I drove about 15 miles a day during the weekends. My annual driving was from 12,000 miles to 15,000 miles. I retired in 2010 and put in less mileage to the car.

 

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My husband bought the Hummer in 2011 for a low mileage used 2010 car because the manufacture stopped making Hummer in 2011. He worked closer to home and drove about 12 miles a day with the annual mileage of 2,100 to 3,000 miles a year. He retired in 2017.

 

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The insurance payment we pay for the cars depends on the annual mileage. When the mileage is above a certain number, we pay the regular insurance based on the depreciation of the car and the driver’s driving record that year. When the annual mileage is lower than a certain number, it’s leisure driving and the insurance is lower.

Since we both retired, for saving car insurance money, we use my car for everyday driving. My husband drives the Hummer only when we go out for a date night once a week and go to church on Sunday. He likes to do that because the Acura is 19 years old and he keeps the Hummer in a good shape. I’m practical!

We save car insurance on the Hummer!

~

 

SoCS March 23, 2019 – Mail

SoCS November 10, 2018

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “mean(s).” Use it with or without the “s,” any way you’d like. – Linda G. Hill

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My husband and I eat simple meals with fruit and vegetables plus eggs for brunch; and for dinner, have salmon instead of eggs. That means we eat basically the same thing every day.

Friday evening is our regular night out at a local steak house Cedar Creek. He orders the same thing every time – prime rib steak, 18 oz cooked medium well, French fries, green vegetables, house salad and horseradish for the steak. He makes it clear to the server that the horseradish must be fresh to a point it clears his sinuses. The same server waits on us for more than a year, so he knows exactly what my hubby wants. Sometimes the server is rotated to the patio section and we prefer to stay inside.

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I may eat 2 oz of meat now and then. When eating at home, a large plate of plain broccoli stir-fried with olive oil, a bit of salt and pepper serves me well. It’s hard for me to find a large portion of vegetables in American restaurants. At this restaurant, I order the Brown Derby Cobb Salad with romaine lettuce, small cubes of turkey, tomatoes, bacon, blue cheese crumble, broiled eggs and avocado.

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SoCS September 1, 2018 – Roundabouts

The prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday, September 1, 2018, is “round.” Use it as a word by itself or find a word that contains it. Bonus points if you start and/or finish your post with it. – Linda G. Hill

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Roundabouts are where several junctions meet from a different direction. The design of roundabouts is to keep the traffic flowing. Traffic only flows in one direction around the island in the center of the roundabout. This circular road is a one-way street and may have one or more lanes. The traffic entering the roundabout must give way to traffic already on the roundabout unless directed otherwise by signs, road markings or traffic light.

The first time my husband encountered a roundabout was in Australia. He loved it because the traffic kept flowing.

It was also the first time he drove a car with the driver’s seat on the right. Even though I was in the passenger’s seat on the left, my eyes looked at the right when the car turned to left. When we walked across the pedestrian, there was a sign on the ground to remind people to look RIGHT for the oncoming cars.

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I read the news about roundabouts in England. Some tourists were new to drive on roundabouts. They entered the roundabout but couldn’t decide which street to exit, so they kept going around and around on the roundabout. They drove slower because they tried to read the signs on the streets or the exits. The local folks were not happy about the hesitant drivers.

In 2016, one website posted a video on The Brilliant Sorcery of England’s 7-Circle Magic Roundabout This would be more confusing to the tourists.

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Roundabouts are not frequent road designs in the USA, one roundabout per 1,118 intersections. There are stop signs in the intersections. In a 4-way intersection, the car comes to the stop sign first has the right-of-way to cross, followed by the next car comes to the intersection. In the residential areas, there are no traffic lights but have the stop signs every few blocks. The drivers make many stop-and-goes before they go through the street.

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Sources: Esri / Here, Graphic: Damien Saunder

I have a friend who drove his manual transmission Porsche to work. When he was ready to buy a new car, he counted that he made 147 stops from home to office. He later bought an automatic transmission new car.

In Orange County, California where I live, I have only seen three areas with roundabouts.

Linda G. Hill’s SoCS September 1, 2018 – Roundabouts

SoCS August 25, 2018

The prompt for the Stream of Conscious Saturday, August 25, 2018 is “Notice.”

My husband and I divide up the jobs of gardening. He mows the lawn once a week. I do everything else. I take care of twenty-four rose bushes, sixteen Date palms, three hibiscus trees, two plum trees, one apple tree, and all the smaller plants and annual flowers. The Date palms are getting taller than me. It takes a lot of energy to trim them. I let them grow for almost nine months without doing anything.

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When we came back from our Portland trip before summer, I trimmed two or three palm trees a week. At least I could finish in five weeks. When I came to one palm, I trimmed the leaves from the lower ring and moved up. Out of a sudden, I NOTICE a bird nest. It horrified me. When female birds are incubating, they don’t like noises or movements. Trimming the palm leaves exposed the nest means the female bird wouldn’t come back to the nest.

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I grabbed a bunch of leaves and arranged them to surround the nest. After that, I observed for the whole afternoon, peeking out the window. There were no birds nearby. I got a step stool and got up high enough to take a few photos of the nest. There was one small egg in it. I went on the website to search for similar eggs.  The search showed the robin eggs look like the egg I found in the nest.

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After observing the nest with the egg in it for many days, I decided that it was an abandoned egg. My research showed that some female bird senses something wrong in the eggs and abandon them. I wouldn’t find out the truth because we were not home when the birds built the nest and the female bird laid the egg.

I kept the egg!

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Linda G Hill: SoCS August 25, 2018 – Notice

 

SoCS February 3, 2018

The prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “in other words.”

Last Saturday, January 27, 2018, I attended a Women’s Retreat. It was a day of reflection on our personal life in 2017. We spent the first hour leisurely charting the major events, the spiritual journey, and our insights. The following hour was sharing our charts and thoughts. The next hour was meeting in groups of three to pray for each other. We also had individual time to be alone doing the reading, meditating and writing.

The retreat was from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. held in a private home with plenty of space for small groups and individual time. The pace of the schedule was just right. I came away feeling very refreshed and peaceful, ready to face my new journey of 2018.

One precious thing I valued deeply was spending a whole hour with just three people sharing. We were not chitchatting superficial things. We shared our deep concerns and prayed with each other. It was a unique experience that I didn’t have before. It is so often when we meet, we talk about the busy events. If we don’t share our concerns, even when we talk for hours, we still go away feeling unconnected.

After the retreat, one lady and I decided to meet once a month not chitchatting but to share and listen. In other words, we want to be caring friends to each other.

Badge by J-Dub @ https://jilywily.wordpress.com/

Linda G Hill’s SoCS February 3, 2018

 

SoCS December 16, 2017 – Winter Bloom

The Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “contrast.”

The Southern California wildfires have been burning for 13 days in Ventura County to Santa Barbara County. Residents described the neighborhood as “war zone.” This is the third largest wildfire in California history. Wildfires have devoured more than 116,000 acres. Smoke stretches 1,000 miles across the Pacific – the distance between New York and Miami. 2017 has been the most expensive year for US wildfires, with damages topping $10 billion.

My heart is heavy for the people who lost their homes and all their treasures. I do pray for rainstorm pouring in this part of the world, to stop the fire and clean the air. Some residents came back to their burned homes, putting up Christmas trees and decorations to bring some cheer to the neighborhood.

The fire zone is about 120 miles from our city, but it surely affects the temperature in this area. In contrast to the past winters, the last two days were in the 80so F during the day. The birds were chirping as if it was spring. The flowers in my garden have a burst of growth.

I would like to present these flowers to the residents who lost their homes in the sense of hope!

Linda G Hill‘s SoCS December 16, 2017

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