Category Archives: #SoSC

SoCS – A Rainy Day

The prompt for Linda G Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “a rainy day.” Write about the first thing that comes to mind when we think of the phrase “a rainy day.”

I took the first two photos today (January 17, 2022).

“It’s going to be a rainy day!” Hubby peeked out of the window. He gazed at the flat, gray sky backdropping the trees in the front yard.

“I hope it will pour for a few days.” I turned my head in the same direction.

“I’ll turn off the sprinklers,” he said.

“Yeah. There’s no sun to evaporate the moisture in the air. We can turn them back on if the rain didn’t breakthrough.”

“The clouds seem to be darker in the distance above the mountain. It looks like the rain started already.” He continued to examine the pattern of the sky.

“Did you watch the 10-day weather forecast?” I was curious.

“Yes, it said it will rain tonight. The storm will come in by the third day and have steady rain for two more days.” He glanced at me occasionally as he continued his examination.

“That’s wonderful! Remember? We had heavy rain several weeks straight a few years ago. The Naval orange tree loved it and soaked up every bit of the water. We had hundreds of juicy oranges that year.” That thought made my mouth water.

“Oh, now you remind me of collecting small bottles. I’ll squeeze the juice and freeze it. We had juice enough for four months in some good harvesting year.”

“You saved many 16oz peanut bottles. They are the good size bottles to stack up in the freezer.”

“That’s right. I’ll buy more peanuts,” he said.

“Why?”

“To have more bottles.”

“Do you want to eat more peanuts to save enough bottles for the juice? If we have about 1,000 oranges, 8 oranges to make 16oz of juice, you will eat 125 bottles of peanuts.”

We may have more than 1,000 oranges this year

“Might as well. That way, all the bottles are the same size.” He tried to convince himself.

“We’ll have a good harvest of the plums this year with the pouring rain. The year we had juicy oranges was the same year we had full loads of plums on both trees.” I recalled.

“Didn’t you give away many plums?” Hubby turned around to walk toward the back patio door.

“I did. They ripened almost all at once. I couldn’t pick them fast enough. I tried to leave them on the tree as long as I could and ate as many as I could each day. They get soft when continue to ripen. But I like firm plums.”

“I ate two or three a day. They were sweet, and that was all I could eat.”

“I know you worry about the blood sugar. Plums are full of fiber, which helps slow down a blood sugar spike after you eat carbs. Don’t worry about eating more of them this year.”

“You put a lot of in the refrigerator last year.” Hubby looked out the glass patio door.

“I tried to keep them from getting soft too fast. Out of curiosity, I tallied them as I picked. We got 1,100 plums from two trees. Even the new tree yielded many plums. The rain surely contributed to the abundance. The good timing of the plum blossom was an important factor as well. We had many blossoms last year, but it rained right after that and didn’t give the bees a chance to pollinate.”

Plumtree in2019
2019 Plums

“We don’t know how much rain we get this year.”

“The plum trees will blossom next month. I saw the bees are hovering all over the clovers on the slope. They’ll be ready to work.”

“The trees have a good soak so far. You may have a good harvest again.”

“I made four jars of low sugar plum jam last time, but we didn’t use it fast enough. It started molding after a few weeks. I had to throw it away.” I saved the jars, though.

“I don’t eat toast often enough to use the jam.”

“I know. I must do something this year to save the plums.”

“What?”

“I remember my friends in Oregon used an electric dehydration machine to make dry fruits. I could get one and dry the plums.”

“How much is a dehydration machine?”

“A 10-tray dehydration machine is about $200. I can get a smaller one, but it’ll take forever to dry 1,000 plum,” I said.

“Well, I don’t know. Let’s think about it and talk more about the peanuts and the dehydration machine some other time. Let’s see if it’s going to be pouring the rest of the winter.” He walked toward his new Rolls Royce recliner.

2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley! https://www.quaintrevival.com/

SoCS – A Rainy Day

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SoCS – First Personal Computers

The prompt for Linda G Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “In the.” Start your post with the words “In the.”

Vintage 1980s KAYPRO II KAYPRO 2 Portable Computer Powers On and Working Screen!

In the 1980s when the home computer first came out, my ex bought a 1980s KAYPRO II KAYPRO 2 Portable Computer.

The cover has latches on the two sides of the screen and the two sides of the keyboard. It looks like a large box when it’s closed (latched). There is a handle to carry it to make it portable. I believe the computer’s central processing unit (CPU) was 2.5 MHz, 64K RAM, and it had a 9” green phosphor screen display with text only. It has a 5 ½ “floppy disk drive. It used the MS-DOS/PC DOS Microsoft programming languages. 

There were so many codes that I don’t think anyone would have them memorized. But the codes were above and below the keyboard.

I worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor in downtown Los Angeles in the 1980s. But I wanted to go into education, so I was at California State University, Los Angeles, to get my Childhood Development Credential, and continued to get the Educational Administration Credential.

My ex worked for an airline in the Dallas Headquarters. He worked from Wednesday to Sunday and had Monday and Tuesday off. He wanted me to fly to Dallas every weekend and come back to LA On Sunday, then he flew to Dallas on Tuesday night.

I left the Rehabilitation Center at 4:00 p.m. every week and drove to LA International Airport carrying the heavy metal case computer. It was very sturdy. Frequently, there were no empty seats in the waiting area at the gate. I sat on the computer reading while waiting for boarding the plane.

He came back to LA after six months when the airline was about to cease to operate. I remember we replaced the computer with a Compaq Portable computer. It was not as heavy. It still runs on the MS-DOS program language. The codes came in a strip like a ruler that I put in front of the keyboard.

Compaq Portable 2 | Old computers, Computer history, Vintage electronics

When I look at my keyboard at the present, I see the first row of keys is from F1 to F12, but you can also use Control + for that key to do shortcuts. The MS-DOS also used the F1-F? for shortcuts.

As far as the printer, we had a dot matrix printer with the sprocket-fed fan-fold paper used to move through the machines!

Remember vintage dot matrix printers like these from the '70s & '80s? -  Click Americana

I should write a post about my first typewriter before the first computer! Okay, another time!

SoCS – First Personal Computers

2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley! https://www.quaintrevival.com/

Have a Wonderful Week!

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SoCS – Resolve

The prompt from Linda G. Hill for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “resolve.”

70 Truly Good New Year's Resolutions (Top Ideas for 2022)

I don’t sit down to write my New Year’s resolutions. I resolve to do most of the things I had done in 2021 and try to do them better in 2022. In fact, there were too many interruptions in 2021. It wasn’t a good year to accomplish things I wanted to do. I had better years than that of the last year. I expect a better year in 2022.

Let me just say that whatever I do, I keep my basic values in mind which are: family, fitness, fun, friends, and finance. There are many subcategories in the area of fun.

Family

My family always comes first. I have resumed my schedule of visiting my daughter’s family every six weeks.

It’s important for me to be close to my granddaughters. I remember starting a new family with a baby with no relatives to help. It was the most stressful time for me. During one particular year when Mercy was a baby, I started my first-year full-time teaching at the Los Angeles Unified School District and doing full-time (12 units) studies of Child Development at California State University, Los Angeles. Three full-time jobs all at once. I was a rehabilitation counselor prior to that and just switched over to education. I didn’t want to lose my teaching opportunity and didn’t want to wait any longer to finish school. Of course, my baby was most important.

I never want Mercy to have a stressful experience like mine. I always encourage her that if she could afford it, do one thing at a time. The Covid turned out to be a blessing to her in that she didn’t work during her pregnancy. She stayed home to take care of baby Nora for sixteen months. Right now, she is working part-time on the days when Autumn and Nora go to school.

My husband wants to get together with some of his siblings once a month. Most of them live 40 miles from us. They are coming our way to meet this month and we’ll go to them to meet next month. We’re also talking about taking a family vacation to Australia and New Zealand.

Fitness

I see fitness as a way of life. When my dad came to the US to visit us at the age of 84, he got up at 6:00 a.m. The first thing he did was to stretch for half an hour.

I have been going to the gym, swimming, walking in the neighborhood, or on the trail consistently for years and years. My husband and I started working out together two days a week since his retirement in 2016. There were interruptions during the pandemic. But we resumed going back to the gym several months ago.

We do some modifications to the workout. We keep our routine of using the different machines, the number of sets, and the duration of time (such as walking on the treadmill) but reduce the intensity or weight. As we’re getting older, it takes longer to recover from the sore muscles.

Fun

There are many things I do for fun which include reading, writing, blogging, painting, gardening, photographing, singing, learning, and traveling. I always say it would take three parallel lifetimes to fully enjoy my hobbies.

I raised 20 Monarch butterflies in 2021. I’m ready to do it again this summer. The milkweed should grow nicely and hopefully, I’ll have a better way to set up the butterfly cages.

The Chorale group didn’t meet most part of 2021 but resumed meeting to sing with masks on later in the fall. I’ll continue to sing in this group.

I haven’t done watercolor painting for a while. I may pick up the watercolor painting at least for one quarter during 2022.

Hopefully, my husband and I will take one trip this year. We wanted to go to Banff, Canada last August but the border was closed. We may consider going sometime this year.

Friends

Hildegard (middle) and I have been singing Messiah for years. Lynn is a singer.

It’s important for me to keep in touch with my friends.

The pandemic wasn’t too helpful in this area with the social distancing requirement and the gathering restriction. I hope to get together with friends even when we meet outdoors.

Finance

21,679 Financial Freedom Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from  Dreamstime

Financial independence means freedom.

I don’t have the impulse to buy things. I only buy what I need, not just what I want.

My husband and I just went through stacks of old documents when doing decluttering. It reminded me of the number of times I refinanced our current home and the previous two homes. Whenever the interest rate went down, I refinanced the homes. Prior to refinancing, I created a spreadsheet to calculate the total interest paid during the financing periods.

I know it takes money to save money or make money. I count it as a blessing to use my resources to save money and have extra money to put in the stock account to make a little money.

How do I do it? Here is an example: 

Family is the top priority. It’s the motivation behind what I do every day.

I exercise (fitness) regularly, keeping in mind that I need to be strong and healthy in order to be with my granddaughters as often as we want. I can’t be with them if I’m sick.

I follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines carefully to avoid contracting the virus, even when it means reducing the social contact with my friends.

I try to reduce unnecessary expenses (finance) to have more money to travel every six weeks to see my granddaughters.

Wishing you a Wonderful New Year!

SoCS – Resolve

2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley! https://www.quaintrevival.com/

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SoCS – If I Had a Bigger Garden

The Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “if.” Linda invited us to start our post with the word “If.”

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If I had a bigger garden, I would plant more fruit trees and vegetables.

I have a good size garden and am grateful for all the flowers in my garden. My picture folder showed my garden was barren in 2003. I planted the flowers and trees a few at a time for the last eighteen years. I set a mental budget for gardening and didn’t spend too much money each year. Probably I spent the most this summer when I replaced many annual to perennial flowers.

Flowers in My Garden

I also tried to see what grows well in my garden. Some part of my garden gets full sun all day, while other part gets either the morning sun or evening sun. After we planted the Cypress trees in the backyard, they block the sun in the winter as the earth tilted.

Another factor about gardening is the soil and watering system. Hubby is in charge of the sprinkler system. He also takes care of the lawn while I take care of the flowers. He installed the sprinklers according to the needs of the lawn. As a result, some flowers get too much water, and some don’t get enough water. Well, I have to improvise and make change now and then. I don’t mind doing that. What I did was to plant the flowers that need more water in the areas that have more sprinkler heads and planted the flowers that don’t need so much water in the areas further from the sprinkler heads. Of course, I could ask him to add sprinkler heads in some areas.

I started with one patch of Lily of the Nile (African Lily). African lily can withstand drought because of its large, fleshy roots. Roots spread and fresh shoots grow. I transplant them on several spots and the sixty feet wide slopes in the back yard behind the retaining wall, spaced them every eight feet in eight patches. The photo below is in the front yard.

Lily of the Nile (African Lily)

When we renovated the front yard, I bought ten rose bushes, and they turned out to be in different shades of pink. Then I felt in love with the white iceberg roses and bought ten bushes.

Throughout the years, I planted different flowers. As mentioned above, I experimented with the kinds that do well in my garden. The flowers above and below included in this post are what I currently have.

Year-round: Geranium, Hibiscus, Pentas, Periwinkle (Vinca) Lantana, and Snapdragon

Spring: Freesia (yellow and purple) and Clover

Summer: Daylily and Sunflower

Winter: Cyclamen and Camelia

I have planted the bulbs for Daffodil and Iris, hope to see the flowers next year.

Fruit Trees

So far, I have two plum trees, one apple tree, and one orange tree. We hope to plant a dwarf lemon tree, blackberries and raspberries. Berries are invasive, so I need more planning before planting them.

Vegetables

I planted kale, orange and green bell pepper, and squash. They are not ready to harvest yet. I love to grow more vegetables if I had a bigger garden.

2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley! https://www.quaintrevival.com/

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SoCS – If I had a Bigger Garden

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SoCS – Hairpins

Linda G Hill at Life in Progress said, “Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “pin.” Use it as a noun, use it as a verb, use it any way you’d like. Have fun!”

Here are two of the seven rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

~ ~ ~

I have medium-length hair most of my life except a few years when short hair was in style.

When I was in elementary school, my hair was at the shoulder length. I parted the hair on the left and pin up the front to the right. I looked at my childhood pictures and noticed the curled end because my hair has natural waves.

Some movies remind me of the hairstyles I once had. When I was a teenager, I looked like a young adult because of the hairdos. The following are the hairstyles I tried, not in a particular order.

I remember having the flicked-up style for my medium-length hair. I used large rollers to roll all around the end of the hair outward to create the flick-up. Since my hair has natural waves, I had the advantage to hold the flick-up all day.

I also had the beehive style. The beehive style is to make the hair have an exaggerated look, which involved scraping a small amount of hair at a time, then applied the hairspray all over before combing the outer layer to make it look like a beehive. Some ladies still wear that style if their hair is short and thin but want to make it look thick and full. With my medium-length thick hair, beehive style made me look like wearing a hat piece.

The bun hairstyle was fun to make, and I wore a single bun in the back near the top of my head. I first put up a ponytail, then divided up the hair into the top half and bottom half. For each half, I wrapped the hair around my finger and tugged the end inside toward the center, then pin the hair with hairpins to create a donut shape bun.

I liked the simple and clean look of the Pageboy style, but it had to maintain a certain length to keep the style.

I take pride in my thick, somewhat wavy, and long hair. The longest hair I had was at the midway between my shoulder and the waist. During the six months of chemotherapy for my cancer in 2009, I lost about 80% of the hair gradually. I know many people shave their heads, but I didn’t want to do that. When going out for a walk or go to meetings, I wore a hat. The hair was getting thinner and thinner, and I treasured every strand. At one point, my husband said I looked like a punk. There were a few strands longer than the rest. With great effort, I trimmed it to make the end look more even.

My daughter was coming from Portland, Oregon to visit me in the summer at the end of my chemo treatment. I didn’t want to shock her with my look. Every two months, I took the side view and the back view of my head showing the gradual loss of hair to prepare her visit.

It took two years for my hair to grow back to the length I wanted.

When I have my hair trimmed, usually I want to keep the length, but have it layered. Once I had a guy trimming my hair. Even after I described to him how I wanted it done, he kept trimming it and trimming it. When it was done, my hair was short. I was so mad. What made me more upset was when he said, “Short hair looks good for your age.” What a jerk!

I don’t want a guy to do my hair unless he also has long hair!

2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley! https://www.quaintrevival.com/

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Have a Wonderful Week!

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SoCS – My Books Are Yours

Linda G. Hill at Life in progress posted the SoCS prompt on Friday, “Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘my.’ Start your post with the word ‘My.’ Bonus points if you end your post with ‘yours.’ Enjoy!

Here are two of the seven rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

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My granddaughter Autumn will turn four on September 28, 2021. It’s amazing to watch how she learned during this young age.

As a teacher, I paid more attention to her reading development. My daughter Mercy and her husband, Will, started reading bedtime stories to her as soon as baby Autumn came home from the hospital. They wanted to establish the habit of reading to her. Books made with cloth or plastic are part of her toys. It turned out that Autumn developed the love of reading at a very young age. Before she turned two, she seemed to prefer books rather than the manipulative toys. Mercy had age-appropriate toys around for her, but she picked up books to flip the pages more often than to press the buttons for the musical toys. Her favorite books when she was around one year old were a set of ten nursery rhyme 2”x2” books. They were the right size for her small hands. She picked out the books one at a time, brought it to us, turned around and set on our laps. We sang the nursery rhymes to her as we flipped the pages. When we read her the picture books, she had her favorite pictures such as ball, apple, ducks, or dog. After we turned the pages further into the book, she flipped the pages back and pointed to the pictures to say the names. She seemed to focus on the details of the pictures and looked at them with intensity.

Autumn has kept up her interest in books. By three years old, she had a long attention span to listen to books with over 1,000 words. Even though she didn’t understand the concept or meaning of all the sentences, she picked up some simple meaning and words she could relate to. When we repeated reading the same book, she would interact by saying the names of the characters or actions corresponding to the illustrations. As we repeated reading the same book, she remembered more details.

The thematic books she enjoyed and found them funny were the Magic School Bus books. During one visit several months ago (when she was three and a half), she flipped through the Magic School Bus book on dinosaurs. She could name all the dinosaurs. The book made learning fun by inventing funny names with illustrations. One picture has a sock as the head and a body of a dinosaur and named it Sockasaurus. Another picture has a banana head and names Bananasaurus. We made it fun by inventing our own, such as named the fingers, Fingerasaurus.

My daughter takes her to the library to check out books. They checked out as many books as the library tote bag could hold. It’s about twenty-five books. We read at least half of them as soon as we came home. When we go somewhere in the car, she wants to have an entire bag of books available to read. I remember when she was around three years old, before we used book bags, she insisted to bring many books to the car. We tried to tell her to bring just a few, but she picked out a stack of about ten large size books and carried them, walking from the house to the car on her little feet. Well, how can we discourage her from the love of books?

The books are her lullaby. She would read until she falls asleep.

For a short while, I worried that she would only read books but not keeping a balance between books and other activities and social skills. But my worries puffed away when I watched her playing well with friends, enjoys hiking, rock climbing, biking, camping, swimming and other adventurous activities.

I saved boxes of books from my teaching days. I go through the books and bring the interest and vocabulary appropriate books to her on my visits to her. She knows I have something for her every time. She would ask, “What is in your bag, Grandma?” I would take out the books and say, “These books are yours.”

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Have a wonderful week!

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