Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A Very Merry Christmas Hodgepodge

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1. What's left to be done on your Christmas to-do list?

I have to go shopping for a few last minute gifts, wrap all the presents, finish my baking and send out my Christmas cards.  My cards will be ready for pick up today so I plan on getting them out in tonight's mail.  My daughter wasn't feeling well so we only took our photo yesterday.  I did a ton of baking but have a few more recipes to make.  I think I overdo it on the Christmas cookies ;)

2. The Hodgepodge lands on the first day of winter this year. What's your favorite thing about winter? 

I actually like winter.  I love the quietness of the mornings, snuggling under a blanket while sipping hot tea, the stillness of the snow-covered woods, the excitement of the first major snowfall, going sledding with the kids and so much more.  I don't think I could name just one! 

3. In what area of your life are you immature? Feel free to elaborate or not. 

This is a tough question to answer.  I guess I'll say keeping my emotions in check.  I'll leave it at that. 

4. What was the most (or one of the most) important lessons you learned in 2016? 

Be thankful for each day.  Time moves quickly.  Try to create special moments in the mundane. 

5. It's Fried Shrimp Day...are you a fan? What's your favorite way to eat shrimp? Will there be shrimp somewhere in your holiday feastings? 

Yes, I love fried shrimp although I haven't had it in years.  I remember as a teen, going out to dinner with my grandparents in Florida and ordering the most delicious fried shrimp and French fries.  Great memories. Fried with tartar sauce is my favorite way to eat shrimp.  Yes, there will be shrimp cocktail on Christmas at my sister's house. 

6. What sound lulls you to sleep? 

Lately it has been the soft sound of my essential oil diffuser that has been lulling me to sleep.  I've been diffusing germ away in my bedroom.  I also like to use my sound machine and listen to the ocean waves or rainstorms. 

7. What one word best describes your 2016? 


8.  Insert your own random thought here.

"Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.   And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:8-14

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wednesday's Hodgepodge

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1. Let's talk holiday decorating. On a scale of 1-10 where do you fall? (1=Scrooge and 10= Clark Griswold). What's your favorite corner-room-table-space to decorate? Is it done?

I was thinking I was an 8, but last night we were at my mom's decorating her place and I decided I am a 10.  My daughter convinced me of that ;)  She said I am like the Sugar Plum Fairy putting red bows everywhere.  My favorite place to decorate is the top of our Entertainment Center (are they even called that anymore?)

2. Is there a nativity scene in your decorating somewhere? Post a picture or, if it's special to you in some way, tell us why. Or do both-it's Christmas!

Yes, on top of the bookcase in the living room.  My mother-in-law made it in Ceramics class many years ago when she first retired.  She made a set for each of her five children. 

3.  Do you live in a social neighborhood? If so are you glad? If not do you wish you did?

Tricky question for me.  I would say my town is a social neighborhood, but my block not so much.  I only know the neighbors on one side of me.  My in-laws moved into this house 54 years ago when the street was first being built on.  They had many friends on the street who have since moved.  I think I would know more people if my kids went to public school and I waited on the bus stop each day. 

4.  As the saying goes, 'there's no time like the present'. How does that ring true in your life right now?

As a reminder that we should enjoy and treasure each day.  For me to try to be the person I want to be and make small changes each day. 

5. Do you dread Mondays? Why or why not?

No.  I don't work outside of the home although it is the start of our school week.  I usually feel refreshed after the weekend, although some Mondays are like a recovery day from a busy weekend. I like the newness of  the beginning of the week. 

6.  Poinsettia, Christmas Cactus, Amaryllis-which on the list is your favorite holiday plant? Are any of these on display in your home right now?

Poinsettias are my favorite.  I have some artificial ones scattered throughout my home.  I like to use them in vases with pine cones and lay individual ones between my other decorations.

7. Share a favorite quote from a Christmas movie.

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'" — Linus Van Pelt

I just love that God's Holy Word goes forth on mainstream TV each year! 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Speaking of making small changes each at vestibular therapy (physical therapy specialized to treat dizziness and balance issues) I tried the Elliptical machine.  I only did 5 minutes but my legs are hurting and it was difficult to walk when I got off.  That is a reminder of how out of shape I am!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wednesday's Hodgepodge

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1. Give us three rhyming words that say something about your Thanksgiving holiday (or your most recent holiday gathering if you didn't celebrate Thanksgiving).

Bountiful, successful and wonderful!  We had 6 people for dinner and dessert but I think I made enough food for 20 people.  We all enjoyed the leftovers and I appreciated not having to cook each night.  It was successful because everything was on the table at the proper time and everyone had at least one of their favorites.  It was a wonderful day, spent with family, eating and feasting, playing games and rejoicing in the many blessings we have been given. 

2. When did you last say, 'the more the merrier'? Did you mean it?

I don't know if I actually said it but I think it whenever I am cooking for a holiday.  Yes I mean it. 

3. What's one piece of advice you'd give someone who is your same age?

Make time each day for your children.  They are growing up fast.  Remember those things that will count for eternity. 

4. You're ordering a veggie plate, what four veggies are on it?

Carrots, asparagus, broccoli and yellow peppers. 

5. Shop til you drop! Did you? Have you ever? Will you between now and Christmas?

I haven't but in the past I used to.  These days I prefer to shop online and then go out to a few stores to fill in the gaps.  I try to get that done in one night. 

6. What's your favorite chair in your house, and why is it a favorite?

The office chair I have in the corner of my bedroom.  I usually sit there in the morning as I have my quiet time.  I wrap myself in a big comforter and look out my window into the woods, listening to the birds chirp and enjoying the quietness of the morning.  I'd love to replace it with a more comfortable chair but for now it serves its purpose. 

7. Share an early memory of faith, religion, or spirituality.

I have many memories of going to church with my grandparents and aunt when visiting them on vacation and also as a young girl going with my best friend and her family.  My faith really became my own in my early 20s. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I plan to start my Christmas decorating this week but it still feels so much like fall.  Today is forecasted with a high of 60 degrees.  I'm still enjoying my fall decorations and watching the remaining leaves fall off the trees :) 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

It's A Grateful Hodgepodge

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1. What's something you might say runs in your family?

Working hard and getting a job done. If we see something that needs doing we often just do it.  If we can't do it ourselves we find someone who can.  When there is a need we like to see it met and will do our part. 

2. I read here a list of ten things you should do before 2017 arrives (in less than six weeks!)...which tasks on the list might you do? What would you add to your own 'before the year ends' list?

visit your Dr. or dentist, deep clean your home, donate unwanted items to charity, look someone in the eye and tell them you love them, write an honest letter to yourself, clean up your inbox-desktop-photos, travel to a place you haven't been, compliment a stranger, watch the sunrise, think ahead to your goals/plans for the new year

I have a doctor's appointment for the end of December, we just donated clothes for the homeless, I often look my children in the eye and tell them I love them.  I would add exercising and getting on a better eating plan. 

3. What's something other generations (not your own) misunderstand about your generation?

I'm not sure but I read that Generation X has been said to be cynical.  I think we are just cautious.  Maybe it has something to do with us being the "Latchkey Generation"?

4. Sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, cornbread dressing-which would you miss the most if it weren't on the holiday dinner menu?

Mashed potatoes and gravy, for sure!  I don't particularly care for sweet potato casserole although I love baked sweet potatoes.  We don't have cornbread dressing, instead we have bread stuffing and that is a favorite too. 

5. What are you overthinking right now?

Question #6!  Lol. 

6. Your favorite slang word lately?

I'm going with delish. 

7. Write an acrostic for the word grateful.

G- God's gracious provisions
R-readily giving thanks
A- always aware of the many blessings
T- too many to list
E- entering His gates with thanksgiving
F- for the Lord is worthy of praise
U- unable to fully be expressed
L- love filled hearts

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Thursday is our 15th wedding anniversary.  I am so thankful for a marriage that has God at the center and for the vows taken on that beautiful November day.  We are truly blessed. 

Please excuse the grainy photos, they were scanned from actual proofs, before everything went digital.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

It's a Happy, Sugar, Sugar Hodpepodge

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1. Let's all think happy thoughts...share one of yours here.

A happy thought for me is time spent with my family.  This Thanksgiving also happens to be my 15th wedding anniversary and that was a very happy day :)

2. There's a Chinese proverb that says, "If you want happiness for an hour take a nap, if you want happiness for a day-go fishing...." What say you? If you want happiness for a day _____________.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and keep your mind fixed on Him. 

3. Where do you go to decompress from the world around you? 

The beach.  There is nothing like it.  Sometimes I just have to get to the beach. 

4. What song never fails to make you happy? 

"Sugar, sugar" by The Archies.

5. Wednesday is National Fast Food Day. Should that be a thing? Apparently it is, so tell us what's the last 'fast food' you consumed? If you were putting together your own version of a 'happy meal' what would you include? 

Why not?  There seems to be a day for almost everything.  Last week we went to the new Chick-Fil-A that opened nearby.  Last year one opened about 30 minutes away and before that we only had Chick-Fil-A when we traveled down south.  So having one 10 minutes away is a real treat.  I had a grilled chicken sandwich with pickles, waffle fries and a Cherry Coke.  It was delicious!  My version of a 'happy meal' (if I didn't have to be concerned with nutrition) would be pizza, French fries and ice cream.  All of those foods make me happy, especially ice cream! 

6. In a few sentences tell us why you blog. 

I blog to try to keep my mind active.  If it weren't for the Hodgepodge I would have closed down my blog a while ago.  I do not have anything creative to write about but enjoy reading what others have to say.  I've met so many nice ladies through blogging. 

7. List seven things you're feeling especially grateful for today. 

-The Lord's mercies which are new every morning.
-The changing colors of the leaves that are falling from the trees.
-All of my family members and how precious they are to me.
- A roof over my head, especially as we had rain downpours all day today.
- A sovereign God who has the whole world in His hands.
- A warm comfy bed to sleep in.
- Cups of hot tea.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Time to start making my lists for Thanksgiving.  Each year I try to do more things ahead of time so that there is less to do on Thanksgiving Day.  Any tips to share?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Conversational Favorites

I'm linking up today for the first time with Beauty Full Slow for her weekly meme. 

Favorites -
  • Favorite Color: Purple
  • Favorite Season: Fall
  • Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving
  • Favorite Bible verse: "'For I know the plans that I have for you declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not calamity, to give you a future and a hope.'" Jeremiah 29:11
  • Favorite Flower: Pale Pink Roses
Either / Or -  (Share your preference)
  • Bath or Shower: Shower
  • Coffee, Tea or Cocoa: Tea
  • Mountains or Beach: Love both, but have to choose the beach.
  • Vintage or Modern: Vintage
  • Movie or Book: Movie
  • Store Bought or Handmade: Handmade
  • Meats or Veggies or both: Meats
  • Homebody or Social Butterfly: Homebody
  • Creature of Habit or Spur of the Moment: Creature of Habit
  • Picnic or Restaurant: Picnic, at the beach please :)

    Wednesday, October 26, 2016

    It's A Homey Hodgepodge

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    1. Besides your very own house, describe a place where you feel most 'at home'?

    At my sister's house.  She lives in the house we grew up in.  I lived there for 27 years and although she has made many changes, it still has a very familiar and comfortable feeling to me. 

    2. When did you last 'hit a home run' with something? Explain. 

    Dinner tonight.  I made pork chops in the crockpot and they were moist and tender.  You can find the recipe here if you are interested:

    3. Tell us about something you love in your house or kitchen that is 'homemade'. 

    We have a handcrafted metal cross that was made by a dear older gentleman that we used to go to church with.  He has since gone home to be with the Lord and I am thankful for the thoughtful gift he gave us. 

    4. 'A man's home is his castle'...which of the world's ten most captivating castles (according to The Travel Channel) would you most like to visit and why-

    Mont Saint-Michel (France), Edinburgh Castle (Scotland), Neuschwanstein Castle (Germany), Glamis Castle (Scotland), Windsor Castle (England), Chateau de Chambord (France), Hampton Court Palace (England), Prague Castle (Prague), St. Michael's Mount (England), Leeds Castle (England), and Swallow's Nest (Ukraine)

    If travel weren't an issue, I'd choose Neuschwanstein Castle because I'd love to visit Germany.  I have German heritage on both sides of my family and it would be interesting to see the country. 

    5. What's a recent or upcoming plan or project that's required you do a little homework before getting started? Did the homework cause you to abandon your plan or adjust it in some way?

    I can't think of anything.  Right now my husband has some projects to do but I try to stay out of the way ;) 

    6. In your opinion, is homework an unnecessary evil or a valuable practice? Should schools be done with homework? Why or why not? 

    I think homework is a valuable practice but I do think many kids today have way too much homework.  As a former teacher, I would send homework to reinforce what was taught in school, and tried to keep it as simple and stress free as possible.  Many times it is the parents who end up stressed out over homework.  I never wanted to be responsible for that. 

    7. Share a favorite memory of your childhood hometown. 

    Each summer we would spend our days at the neighborhood pool.  We would ride our bikes there or get dropped off and picked up.  I remember fun times spent with my sister, cousin and friends.  My mom would give us money to buy a treat, which was often an ice cold soda from the vending machine.  Does anyone remember Tab or Pepsi Light?  Back then we didn't know how bad it was for you! 

    8. Insert your own random thought here. 

    All of a sudden it feels like fall.  The mornings and evenings are chilly, the leaves are changing color and falling, and I am making hot tea more :) 

    Wednesday, October 19, 2016

    Time to Smell The Hodgepodge

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    1. What would you say is your strongest sense?

    My strongest sense is the sense of smell.  I often will say "Does anyone smell that?" Many times no one else does. Last night I brought a plastic shopping bag home and it smelled like cheap scented laundry detergent- yuck!  They must have stacked the bags next to something that stunk. 

    2. Do you believe in the idea of a 'sixth sense'? Why or why not?

    I like to think of it as the promptings of The Holy Spirit.  We can be deceived by our feelings so I think we have to be careful with intuition.  Pay attention to it but don't be ruled by it. 

    3. When do you most feel like a slave to time? Explain.

    At dinner time.  I try to have dinner ready at a decent time but lately it seems like everything is taking longer than I expected. 

    4. Have you ever worked in a restaurant? How would you rate the experience? If you could own a restaurant what kind would it be?

    No, I've never worked in a restaurant.  The closest thing would be a bagel store that I worked in when I was in high school.  That was a cool job because I worked with my best friend and the owners trusted us enough to go home and leave us there until closing.  If I could own a restaurant it would be waterfront with an amazing NY dessert menu. 

    5. Ever traced your family tree? Share something interesting you learned there.

    I haven't done it myself but my great aunt did.  I always find it interesting how many children there were born into the different families and where the family settled when they came to America.  My grandparents parents came from Ireland, Germany, and Poland. 

    6. What did your childhood bedroom look like?

    When I was a little girl I had a Raggedy Ann and Andy theme.  I remember the toy box, plaques on the wall and metal box that held my hair ties and barrettes.  I think the walls were painted yellow. 

    7. Anyone who knows me knows I love_______________________?

    being organized and things being done decently and in order. 

    8. Insert your own random thought here.

    Sunday morning on the way to church we saw a message flashing stating that the Causeway that led to the ocean beaches was closed.  My husband asked me if I knew anything about it but I didn't.  I thought maybe there was a marathon or something.  Today I saw the reason why and it was so nice to see a happy police story.  Two police officers scaled a 287 foot bridge to save a suicidal man.  They were up there for over 2 hours convincing the man to come down.  Thankful for those who serve so selflessly. 


    Wednesday, October 12, 2016

    A Moving, Still The One Hodgepodge

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    1. What would you say is the best and worst thing about moving house?

    The best thing is getting rid of things that you don't really need as you pack.  The worst thing is all of the packing, unpacking and finding a place for everything. 

    2. What's moved you recently?

    I watched a movie on Amazon the other night with my daughter.  It is called "Touched By Grace" and I liked it a lot.  It was about a girl in high school who moved and became friends with a girl with Down Syndrome.  The girl with Down Syndrome was a Christian and invited her to Young Life events.  There is more to the story but I don't want to give it away in case anyone wants to see it.  But it moved me. 

    3. Do you feel your life is moving forward, backward, or is on hold? How so?

    I feel like my life is on hold.  Due to my dizziness acting up I am not doing as much as I'd like to.  Hopefully I'll be moving forward soon. 

    4. On the move, move mountains, get a move on, it's your move, or bust a move...which phrase best applies to some aspect of your life right now? Explain.

    Get a move on, I suppose.  I have not been moving as fast as I'd like to (see previous answer). 

    5. What song makes you want to get up and move?

    "Still The One" by Orleans. It makes me happy and I just want to dance when I hear it. 

    6. Your favorite snack to grab when you're 'on the move'?

    A Lara bar. Apple pie is my go to classic flavor, but there are several other delicious flavors. 

    7. What one accessory makes your house feel like home?

    My picture frames with family photos in them.  When I moved last year I remember what a difference it made to have my photos out and displayed. 

    8. Insert your own random thought here.

    Autumn has arrived at last.  It's been a few days since we've needed the A/C.  It is time for me to take my long pants out of storage.  There is nothing like putting on a pair of jeans after wearing capris and shorts all summer long.  One of my favorite things to do when fall arrives :)

    Wednesday, September 28, 2016

    An Autumn Desert Hodgepodge

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    1. Have you ever been to and/or lived near the desert? What did you think? Travel and Leisure lists the 'coolest' American desert towns as-

    Palm Springs CA, Virgina City NE, Bend OR, Winslow AZ, Marfa TX, Grand Junction CO, Silver City NM, Moab UT, Taos NM, Yakima WA, Borrego Springs CA, Terlingua TX, and St. George UT, and Tubac AZ

    Have you been to any of these? Would you like to visit a desert town? Which on the list would you most like to see?

    No, I've never been or lived near the desert.  Never been to any of the places listed either.  I have no desire to visit the desert.  I am more of an ocean and mountains girl :)

    2. What's a plan or project you've deserted in the past year? 

    Just one?  There are many projects that were on my list this past year that have yet to be done.  Technically I wasn't the one who deserted them, but since I am not the one doing the work I have to wait on other people to do them.  One on the top of my list is painting the kitchen.  The can of paint is actually on the floor in the corner of the kitchen just waiting ;)

    3. Desert-dessert? Share two or three words you find yourself having to think twice about when it comes to spelling.  

    I love the trick I learned in elementary school about desert/dessert.  Dessert has 2 s's because you always want more dessert.  (I don't think s's is grammatically correct but ses doesn't look right either.  That one stomped me.)  I still check how to spell kindergarten and jewelry usually throws me off. 

    4. High and dry, like watching paint dry, dry run, dry as dust, not a dry eye in the house...which phrase can you relate to currently? Explain. 

    High and dry.  Let's just say I'm coming to the realization that some people don't really care if they leave you high and dry. 

    5. How often do you frequent the dry cleaners? Starch or no starch?  

    I haven't been to the dry cleaners in about a year.  The last thing I brought was my wool coat.  I wasn't given the option of starch.  I usually wash "dry clean only" items in my washing machine on the handwash cycle.  When I used to dress up for work I would bring my skirt and pant suits, but that was many years ago. 

    6. What's a food or beverage you enjoy that's named for a place? 

    Buffalo wings, which are chicken wings made with hot sauce and usually served with blue cheese dressing, carrot and celery sticks.  I'm tempted to say Long Island Iced Tea for a beverage but I haven't had one in years and don't think I will ever have one again.  I have dizziness and won't drink anything that may add to that ;)

    7. Do you need solitude? 

    Yes, every so often.  That is when I try to get to the beach.  If I can't get there my back deck often provides solitude, especially early in the morning or in the evening.  Last night my husband made a fire in my fire pit and I sat out in the dark, enjoying the cool fall evening. 

    8.  Insert your own random thought here.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2016

    It's a Changing Autumn Hodgepodge

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    1. Thursday (September 22) is the first official day of autumn in this part of the will you welcome the season? I know some of you have been celebrating way too early, but it's official now so permission granted. House Beautiful recently listed ten ways to make your home smell like fall (you can read the list here) What's a scent you love this time of year and how will you add it to your home?

    I decorated the inside of my home for fall this past Saturday.  I still would like to get some Mums for the front steps.  I love the smell of pumpkin spice and cinnamon apple.  I will add those scents to my home through candles and baking.  I do have cinnamon scented pinecones that I decorate with, but they seem to have lost their smell.  I saw today that Mrs. Meyer's came out with an apple cider scent.  I may have to try the hand soap and a cleaning product.  I like some of their other scents but apple cider sounds like it will be a favorite. 

    2. Apple pie or pumpkin pie? Apple cake or pumpkin bread? Warm apple cider or a pumpkin spice latte?

    Apple pie.  Pumpkin bread.  Pumpkin spice latte, made with either coconut or almond milk.  I like warm apple cider too but had to choose, right?

    3. Do you suffer from what is sometimes referred to as an afternoon slump? What helps ward it off before it hits and/or tell us what helps you shake it off once it's here?

    Yes, I often suffer from an afternoon slump.  I think a protein packed lunch helps ward it off.  Once it hits a cup of tea and a little sweet treat helps to shake it off. 

    4. Ladies-how have your friendships with women inspired you or made you a better person? For the men here today- how have your friendships with men inspired you or made you a better person?

    Yes, they have.  My friends make me want to be a better person.  They inspire me, cheer me on, and remind me of what is important in life.  When my perspective is right, I think I am working on being a better person. 

    5. Are you a people pleaser? If you said yes, do you think that's a good or bad thing? If you said no, do you wish you were more of a people pleaser? 

    Yes, I am a people pleaser.  It is good because I like to make people happy, but bad because at times I put too much pressure on myself. I have to remember that I can't please everyone and not to make myself sick trying to. 

    6. The seasons are a-changin'...share a favorite song relating in some way to change (not necessarily seasonal change, it could be change of any kind).

    "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac. 

    7. What do you wish would never change? 

    I am stumped by this question.  All I keep thinking of is how God never changes.  I am thankful for that. 

    8.  Insert your own random thought here.

    Fall is my favorite season.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and this year our 15th wedding anniversary falls on Thanksgiving Day.  I look forward to the brisk air and the sound of crunching leaves under my feet.  It's still been warm here but that should be changing soon.  Happy Fall!

    Wednesday, September 14, 2016

    A Classical, Puzzled, Stand Up Hodgepodge

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    1. What's changed in your life, home, or community since your last birthday?

    Well since my birthday was in July, I'm going to answer in relation to the year before that.  We moved out of our home and into the house my husband grew up in to help his elderly mother.  We actually have more space and it is easier to care for her from upstairs than driving over multiple times a day.  It's been an adjustment but overall it is a win/win situation for everyone involved. 

    2. September is Classical Music Month. Do you like/listen to classical music? If so what's a favorite piece and/or who is a favorite composer? 

    Yes, I like classical music.  I don't know much about pieces and composers but love Pachelbel's Canon in D.  My daughter plays it so beautifully on the piano.  I think it is also a popular choice for wedding processionals. 

    3. Besides The Bible, what's a book that has positively changed your life, relationships, career, or perspective? How so? 

    "The Excellent Wife" by Martha Peace.  I would say it has helped me be a better wife and thus positively changing my relationships.  I attended a women's conference when I was engaged and Martha Peace was the guest speaker.  I've read several of her books.  Another favorite book by her is "Attitudes of a Transformed Heart".  I love to reread both of them. 

    4. I read (here) these ten hobbies will make you a musical instrument, read voraciously, meditate regularly, work out your brain (puzzles, sudoku, board games, etc), exercise often, learn a new language, write your feelings down (blog, journal, just write), travel to new places, cook different kinds of meals, participate in sports actively

    Are any on this list your current hobbies? Which hobby on the list would you be most inclined to try? 

    I like to do crossword puzzles.  I read that doing word puzzles is good for your brain and they make me tired so I like to do them before bed.  I pray regularly so I guess that can be considered meditating, meditating on God's Word.  I'd like to be better at that but it is hard to get my mind quiet.  I would be most inclined to cook different kinds of meals. 

    5. What sports traditions does your family have? 

    I don't think we have many.  We do watch some of the Superbowl and I like to make fun foods like hot wings, nachos, and other hors d'oeuvres.  

    6. In a few words, weigh in on the current football/National Anthem brouhaha. Keep it family friendly please. 

    It is ridiculous!  I like the policy of some coaches who have stepped up and said if you sit on the bench during the National Anthem, you will sit there the whole game.  I am all for our rights protected by the Constitution, but I think they are acting like a bunch of spoiled brats!  It makes me sad to think of how our veterans must feel to see that. 

    7. Where do you have loads of patience, and where do you most lack patience? 

    I've been told I have loads of patience when it comes to dealing with those with mental or physical disabilities.  I don't think much about it, just have a heart for doing what I can to help out.  I lack patience for selfish people.   

    8. Insert your own random thought here.

    Congratulations to fellow Long Islander, Mikey Brannigan, who won the Gold in the 1,500 meter race at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio! Mikey is only 19 years old.  I love what his mom, Edie said, "Autistic people can be elite athletes.  They can, because now someone has done it."  Way to go, Mikey!

    Wednesday, August 31, 2016

    It's a Blue End of August Hodgepodge

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    1.  Are there any men or women in blue on your family tree?

    Not that I know of. 

    2. Are you someone who suffers from the Sunday night blues? What helps you get over it?

    No.  I try to think of the coming week as a fresh start. 

    3. I read the color blue is an appetite suppressant since there are very few naturally blue foods out there. How do you feel about blue cheese? Love it or blech? If you're a fan, what's something you like that's made with blue cheese?

    I do not particularly like blue cheese.  I used to dip my hot wings in it but hoped to not get a chunk of cheese in there.  Now I just eat them plain. 

    4. We can't head in to the Labor Day weekend without a related question, can we? Complete this thought: I work best when____________________. 

    I have a clear plan of action. 

    5. 'Everything yields to diligence.' Antiphanes Your thoughts? (on this particular quote or on diligence in general)

    I think diligence is a necessary discipline. 

    6. The National Park Service turned 100 years old on August 25th. Have you been to many of America's National Parks? If so share with us a favorite or two. Which National Park would you most like to visit before the next birthday rolls around?

    I have not been to many of America's National Parks.  I have been to Fire Island, which is absolutely beautiful.  I usually visit more town and state parks.  I would like to get to a Fire Island beach again. 

    7.  Bid farewell to August in seven words or less.

    August started slow and ended so quickly!

    8.  Insert your own random thought here.

    Twelve days of summer vacation left.  I plan on floating in the pool, sitting around the fire pit at night and getting to the beach :)

    Wednesday, August 24, 2016

    It's Still Summer Hodgepodge

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    1. It's National Waffle Day (August 24th)...what decision are you currently 'waffling over'? (or share one you've recently 'waffled over')

    Choosing curriculum for the upcoming school year.  I think I've made a decision, just have to make the actual purchase. 

    2. It's the middle of August, but I'm already seeing lots of autumn-related posts. Do you think we rush the seasons? If so, does that bother you? I saw (here) an end of summer bucket list that included-

    make s'mores, read a new (or favorite) book in the park, eat something delicious and bad for you at a state fair, be a tourist for the day, have a pot luck picnic, book a last minute summer getaway, relax by or in the pool, take a hike to watch the sunset, have a day on the lake, try a new summer recipe

    Which activities on the list might you squeeze in before summer officially comes to a close? 

    Yes, I think we rush the seasons and it bothers me big time.  We don't start school here until September so we still have a few weeks of summer left.  I would love to squeeze in a last minute summer getaway, but realistically I will probably relax by the pool. 

    3. Your favorite summertime 'art' found in nature?

    Finding seashells along the beach, does that count?

    4. Stephen R. Covey is quoted as saying 'We judge ourselves by our intentions, and others by their actions.' Agree or no? Do you define yourself based on your intentions, your actions, or something else? 

    I don't agree.  I think I judge myself by actions as well. 

    5. Are you useful in a crisis? Elaborate. 

    I'd like to think so.  I may get an initial burst of panic but then will jump right in and do what needs to be done.

    6. What's been your go-to dish this summer? Is it something you'll continue making as the seasons change?

    Chicken parts cooked on the grill, either with BBQ sauce or hot sauce.  Yes, I will continue making this as the seasons change, although once it isn't too hot to put the oven on I will start roasting whole chickens. 

    7. Adult coloring books are a thing now. Have you jumped on the bandwagon? If not is this something you think you might enjoy?

    I think it is a great idea.  I haven't actually bought my own, but colored in my daughter's and printed out a coloring sheet from my laptop.  I enjoy coloring and would like to buy an adult coloring book.  There are so many choices I just haven't decided on one yet.  My son commented that I look so content when I color :)

    8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

    Happy August & Late Summer :)

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016

    Time Flies Hodgepodge

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    1. I read here four creative activities to try this month. They were-calligraphy, make your own cookbook, dance or learn a new type of dance, and letter writing. Which activity on the list appeals to you most? Will you add it to your August?

    Calligraphy appeals to me the most.  I dabbled in it some years ago and taught myself so that I could address my sister's wedding invitations for her.  A couple of years later I did my own as well.  I love fancy handwriting and the neat pens to choose from.  I don't think I'll be adding calligraphy to my August but may buy some new colorful pens to write and doodle with.  I love new pens! 

    2. Bertrand Russell is quoted as saying, 'To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.' Agree or disagree? Explain. 

    I agree.  Happiness is a state of mind and you can be happy without "having it all".  After all, there is always something else to want. Society seems to whisper to us all the time that there is something better out there that we need to be happy. 

    3. August 17th is National Thriftshop Day...are you a 'thrifter'? If so, tell us about one of your best or favorite finds. 

    No, I am not a thrifter.  I think it is great for those that are but it is not for me. 

    4.  On a scale of 1-10 (with 1= almost none and 10=loads) how would you rate your sense of wanderlust? What kicks your wanderlust into high gear? 

    I'd say 1 since I really do not have any desire to travel.  It may have something to do with the vertigo I've had this summer.  I'd guess the only thing that would kick my wanderlust into high gear would be the desire to see family or friends that live far away. 

    5. Has life felt more like a marathon or sprint so far this month? How so?

    It's felt like a sprint because August seems to be going so fast. 

    6. What do you need to get a jump on before fall officially arrives? 

    Hmm, I still need to order our homeschool curriculum. 

    7. What's the last thing you did with friends or family where you lost track of time? 

    I can't think of a specific time but it is usually when we get to talking and catching up with friends that time seems to fly. 

    8. Insert your own random thought here. 

    I almost missed out on the Hodgepodge again.  I looked on Joyce's site, thinking it was Tuesday and saw her answers and realized it was Wednesday!  I stopped reading and scrolled down to the questions.  Now back to laundry and cleaning I go ;)

    Friday, July 29, 2016

    Five Minute Friday

    Today I am joining Five Minute Friday hosted by Kate Motaung.  It's my first time joining but sounds like a lot of fun.  If you'd like to join, you can read more about it here: 

    todayi am

    Okay, here it is.  I tried not to overthink and just wrote for 5 minutes.  And I'm hitting publish before I change my mind ;) 

    What is hidden deep below?
    Below the skin and scars,
    beneath the smiles and tears?

    It is our fears?  Our dreams?  Our thoughts?  Our past?

    Everyone hides from someone or something.  But why?  Sometimes we think we are protecting ourselves, other times we are insecure to let others into what is hidden so deep. 

    God knows our innermost being.  He remembers we are but dust.  In Him there is nothing hidden.  "He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock and covers me there with His hand."

    Wednesday, July 27, 2016

    A Chocolate Covered Astonishing Hodgepodge

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    1. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your summer so far? Why?
    (1=eh and 10=best summer ever)

    I'd say a 5.  It is a nice, relaxing summer so far.  Haven't done much except keep to a slower pace and a more relaxed schedule. 

    2. July 26th is National Aunts and Uncles Day. Did you have many aunts and uncles growing up? Were you especially close to any one or maybe all of them? Are you an aunt? (or uncle for the men who join here on Wednesdays) Share a favorite memory relating to one of your own aunts or uncles or relating to a niece or nephew who call you Aunt (or Uncle).

    Growing up I had one aunt on my dad's side and one aunt and one uncle on my mom's side.  I am very close to my Aunt Carol.  She was always so good to us growing up and now that I am an adult is one of my best friends.  I am an aunt to two nephews and one niece and many more on my husband's side of the family.  I have many good memories of times spent with my Aunt Carol growing up.  She would take us for sleepovers, drives to the beach at night to see the rabbits and deer on the side of the road, to work with her at the racetrack, and on vacations like when she took my sisters and I to Niagara Falls. 

    3. What's your favorite food dipped in chocolate? What's your favorite food dipped in cheese?

    Strawberries dipped in chocolate are my favorite.  I don't really have a favorite food that is dipped in cheese, so I'll say nachos, since that is all I can think of. 

    4. When were you last astonished by something? Explain.

    Just today.  I can't share details but my friend shared something that totally shocked me.  I am still shocked!

    5. Surf board, paddle board, ironing board, Pinterest board, score board, clip board, bulletin board...which board have you most recently encountered?

    Ironing board, when I ironed our clothes for church over the weekend. 

    6. What's your favorite story from scripture? Why that story?

    There are so many, how do I choose just one?  I would say the story of Saul being converted and having his name changed to Paul.  It reminds me that Christ came to save sinners and I can relate to Paul when he said he was chief of sinners. 

    7. If you were to travel from the east coast to the west coast in your own country, which five cities would you most want to see?

    Savannah, Nashville, Boulder, Billings, San Francisco. 

    8. Insert your own random thought here.

    I forgot it was Wednesday and almost missed the Hodgepodge!  Glad I remembered and joined in :)

    Wednesday, July 20, 2016

    It's a Just Smurfy Hodgepodge

    Visit Joyce and join the fun!

    1. Pokemon Go...your thoughts? Are you playing? Do you even know what it is?

    I'm not playing.  I heard about it on the news briefly and have no interest to find out more.  I will not be getting it anytime soon.

    2. What was something you collected as a child? Do you still have that collection? If you're a parent what's something your own children collected? Have you ever camped out, stood in a crazy long queue, or paid a ridiculous sum for a 'collectible'?

    The two things I remember collecting were stickers and Smurfs.  We used to put the stickers in photo albums and then trade with friends.  The Smurf collection was just little figurines I would keep in my room.  I don't have either of those collections.  My son has a nice collection of glass beverage bottles as well as legos and other action figures.  My daughter has a shell collection but she isn't that interested in it.  They both used to collect SillyBands.  I've never done any of those things for a collectible, but I know my family members have to get me Cabbage Patch Dolls when I was a girl. 
    I just recently came across my first Cabbage Patch doll and I put her in the donation pile.  If I think about it too much I might take her out ;) 

    3. "Collect moments, not things"...tell us about a moment you've added to your collection this summer.

    A perfect moment spent at the beach with my family, watching the sunset, digging my toes in the sand, relaxing and enjoying God's awesome creation!

    4.  What's something collecting dust in your home right now? Any plans to do something about it?

    The Gazelle (an exercise machine) which is in the corner of my bedroom.  I tried using it once since we moved in September but it was squeaking like crazy.  I should have my husband spray it with WD40 and see if that helps.  If it does I can exercise on it instead of hanging clothes on it ;)

    5. A favorite song relating to time?

    Music questions are my favorite :)  "Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper.  I couldn't find a video I liked, but the music part is still good.  So 80s :)

    And an even older one, "Time in A Bottle" by Jim Croce.

    6. What's been your most frightening or your most interesting encounter with wildlife?

    We have seen deer in the woods just behind the fence in our backyard, but last week we actually saw one dart right across our street!  We were driving and thought it was a dog but they realized it was a deer.  We live in the suburbs, and that is not something you see every day. 

    UPDATE: As I was sitting on my back deck, browsing around on my laptop, I had my feet up on a chair.  I felt something on my leg, looked down and it was a bird!  A sparrow had landed right on my bare calf!  I let out a scream and he flew off.  My kids came running to see what all the commotion was about.  I often think of God when I see birds and remember that "His eye is on the sparrow and I know He cares for me".  Thank you Lord. 

    7.  On July 20, 1969 Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong set his foot down on the moon. If you could travel to the moon would you go? Why or why not?

    Oh no way!  I am not adventurous enough and too big of a chicken.  I like my feet here on the ground on Earth.  I am glad there are people who will go though. 

    8. Insert your own random thought here.

    Last week on the way to the beach we stopped off for some snacks.  We ended up bringing them home and I was horrified when I read the back of the bag..."Partially Processed with Genetic Engineering".  So goodbye to Lays chips, Fritos and Cracker Jacks.  We already do a lot of our shopping at Trader Joe's but I will be avoiding the big brands even more. 

    Wednesday, July 13, 2016

    Lazy Days of Summer Hodgepodge

    Visit Joyce and join the fun!

    1. Do you find yourself influencing your world, or is it more the other way around? 

    Yes, when I see my children doing something that I do or saying something that I say I realize the effect of my influence. (I'm not sure I understood the question properly.)

    2. July 14th is National Tape Measure Day...the device was patented on this date in 1868. When did you last use a tape measure? Do you always know where to find one in your house? Tell us one way in which you feel blessed 'beyond measure'. 

    Last week I used a tape measure to measure the cabinets for new handles.  There is almost always one in our kitchen "junk" drawer although sometimes someone takes it out and doesn't return it.  Then I ask my son for his ;)  I was so proud of myself for changing the kitchen cabinet handles all my myself! Yesterday was my birthday and I feel blessed beyond measure to have my beautiful children, who are now a teen and a tween.  They went out of their way to make my day special and took care of things so I could have the day "off".  I also realize how fortunate I am to live in such a beautiful place surrounded by water.  Being at or in the water is my favorite place. 

    3.The Plaza Hotel (Eloise), The Land of Oz (The Wizard of Oz), Narnia (The Chronicles of Narnia), The Hundred Acre Wood (Winnie the Pooh), Wonderland (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), or Never Never Land (Peter Pan)...which storybook land (on this list!) would you most like to visit and why? 

    Never Never Land because you can fly and there is not a care in the world there.

    4. Where and when do you get your best ideas? 

    I don't know that there is a specific time or place or that I come up with that many "best" ideas. 

    5.  So what have you been watching on TV this summer? Anything good? 

    I haven't been watching much TV so far, but do look forward to Hotel Hell with Gordon Ramsey. 

    6. 'Don't swim for an hour after you eat', 'Dog days of summer', 'Knee high by the Fourth of July'...choose a summer saying from the list or share one of your own, then tell us what image or memory comes to mind when you hear it spoken.

    Don't swim for an hour after you eat, although I don't think my mom used to make us wait that long.  I remember being at the beach, with ham sandwiches, iced tea, and plums all from a cold cooler, sitting under the umbrella and the smell of suntan lotion.  Yes, suntan lotion, not sunscreen.  Back in the 70s and 80s we didn't use sunscreen. 

    7. In a single sentence, sum up one life lesson you've learned. 

    You can never figure out some people so don't waste your time trying. 

    8. Insert your own random thought here. 

    Summer is finally in full swing here.  The pool is up, the BBQ has been going, and we've been enjoying the lazy days of summer :)

    Wednesday, July 6, 2016

    Wednesday's Hodgepodge

    Visit Joyce and join the fun!

    1. How did you welcome the month of July, and tell us one fun thing you did to celebrate the 4th. (or the weekend for any non-USA residents playing along today)

    I would love to say I welcomed the month of July by having our pool up, but we found lots of poison ivy in the backyard and are waiting for a professional to come remove it.  So for now we are just sitting on the deck.  We had a BBQ for dinner on the 4th and then went to watch fireworks. 

    2. Right now..what's your favorite red thing? white thing? blue thing? 

    Red thing- watermelon, white thing- a new drying rack for laundry, blue thing- the water at the beach.

    3. Wave the white flag, raise a red flag, fly your freak flag...which 'flag' have you flown most recently? Explain. 

    I'm trying to wave the white flag in terms of negotiating plans for when family visits from out of town and someone else is taking care of their itinerary ;) 

    4. According to Cond Nast Traveler these are the seven best places to visit in July-

    a boat safari in Botswanna's Okavango Delta, Riviera Maya Mexico (it's whale shark season and apparently you can swim with them), Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, Pamploma Spain, St. Petersburg Russia, the Fuji Rock Festival at Mount Naeba Japan, the Salzburg Festival in Salzburg Austria

    If time and money weren't factors would you want to see any/all of these? Which would you most like to see and why? 

    No, none of those places sound appealing to me right now.  Austria might be fun because my mother-in-law's parents are from there, but I'm not up for long distance travel. If I went I'd look forward to a piece of apple strudel and a cup of coffee :)

    5. Grilled cheese, pimento cheese, or mac and cheese...your favorite from the cheesy treats listed? 

    Grilled cheese, with bacon and tomato please. 

    6. What makes you sweat? 

    Literally, almost anything.  I sweat very easily and do not like the heat.  Right now I have the wall unit air conditioner set at 64 :) 

    7. Your favorite movie with a 'patriotic' theme of some sort?

    "Top Gun" with Tom Cruise. 

    8. Insert your own random thought here. 

    The flag question has this song in my head.  It's a good one. 


    Wednesday, June 29, 2016

    Swimming Through The Hodgepodge

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    1. It's officially summer (in the northern hemisphere anyway). Which summer month is best and why?

    July is the best summer month.  It is my birthday month, the first full month of no school and the 4th of July! 

    2. Can you swim? How did you learn? June 27th is National Sunglasses Day. How many pair do you own?

    Yes, I can swim.  I took swimming lessons as a kid at our local pool.  I spent many summers there and always had to be almost dragged out of the water ;)  I still love being in the water, whether it is in a pool or at the beach.  I probably own 3 pairs of sunglasses. 

    3. What characteristic do you judge most harshly in yourself? How about in others?

    I am usually pretty harsh on myself in all areas, if I had to pick one I'd say responsibility.  I am harsh towards others who don't do what they are supposed to do.  I guess that goes along with my definition of responsibility.

    4. Robert Frost wrote the now well known poem entitled The Road Not Taken. What's a road (literal or figurative) you've always wanted to travel, and where do you hope it takes you? 

    This question stumped me!  I've traveled it before but would love to travel it now; Highway 1 into the Florida Keys.  I'd hope it would take me to a white sand beach where I could sit and relax and leave behind the cares of the world. 

    5. Popsicles-yay or nay? If you answered yay, what's your favorite flavor? 

    Yay, who doesn't like Popsicles?  I like all the flavors but my favorite is probably orange. 

    6. Brexit-on a scale of 1-10 how knowledgeable are you on what's involved here? (1=very knowledgeable and 10=what's Brexit) Is this news you'll follow or is it something you think won't impact your life in any way shape or form?

    Probably a 3.  I am interested and would like to follow what is happening so will have to listen to the news more.  I think it will impact all of our lives.  

    7. Share a favorite song on your summer play list.

    Vacation by The Go-Gos.  One of my all time favorites and being that this is our last week of school I just may have to blast it a few times! 

    8. Insert your own random thought here. 

    Happy Early 4th of July!