Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Beauty, Beast & Bell Hodgepodge

Visit Joyce and join the fun!

1. 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder'  What's something you've seen recently that you thought was beautiful?

The sun rising over the Atlantic Ocean. 

2. Our culture and beauty...your thoughts?

I think our culture has it wrong.  There is too much emphasis on outer beauty and being the "perfect" size.  I think of Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised."

3. Age before beauty, beauty queen, beauty mark, beauty sleep...which beauty-ful phrase resonates with you today? Why?

Age before beauty, only because I thought of it recently when someone stepped aside so I could pass first through a hallway.  It didn't apply in that situation but I have used it before for a good laugh.

4. I read here a list of the top ten
beasts animals that scare us the most-

alligators, coyotes, black bears, birds (but pigeons in particular), sharks, bats, bed bugs, rats, rattlesnakes, and the black widow spider. 

Which 'beast' on the list scares you the most? What is the liklihood of you having an actual encounter with that particular beast? Did a movie contribute to your fear of this creature? Have you ever had a real life encounter with any of the animals listed?

A few of them really gross me out but as far as the scariest I'd say a rattlesnake.  I don't think it is likely that I will have an encounter with one because they are not indigenous to this area.  I've only seen them on TV shows and they look really scary.  No encounters with any of the animals listed, thankfully.

5. Where were you when you last heard a bell ring? Was it alarming or musical?

I can't remember.  My husband has a brass bell that his father used to ring when it was dinnertime and once in a while he will take it out and ring it for fun.  It is mostly alarming because I am not expecting it. 

6. What's your favorite carb? How's that for random?

Bagels.  Old fashioned kettle boiled bagels, not rolls with holes.  I do not have them often but when I do it is hard to stop eating them until they are all gone. 

7. Let's wrap up another month of Hodgepodging and life with an acrostic. Recap your month using the word MARCH.

M- much activity
A- a couple of missed snowstorms
R- rainy days
C- caring for others
H- hearing good news

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Time to put my snowmen away and decorate for Spring and Easter.  I wore my first pair of Capris for the season and I can tell from the way the birds are chirping in the morning Spring is near. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Spring Hodgepodge

Visit Joyce and join the fun!

1. Setting aside the real March Madness (NCAA Basketball) describe something happening at your house this month that might earn the title 'March Madness'?

Well my mother-in-law has been in the hospital and rehab since January and is coming home this week.  There are some adaptations that need to be made before she gets home so let's just say I have been feeling the March Madness.

2. What's a favorite made up word from your childhood or a favorite from your children's childhood? Does your family still use the word today? If there's a story behind the origin please share.

Ketchip- it is not really a made up word, but a pronunciation of ketchup from when my daughter was a little toddler.  My family still uses that word every once in a while and we all smile.  I remember my husband not wanting to forget the way she said it and of course I was quick to correct her.  She learned to say it correctly soon after but I am glad my husband held onto that word.  He is very good with being in the moment and enjoying the everyday things. 

3. Will you be doing any spring cleaning now that the season is upon us? I read here a list of 15 quick (under one hour) spring cleaning tasks. They were-

clean out a drawer, vacuum furniture, whiten tile grout, dust the nooks and crannies you don't get to year round, degrease kitchen cabinets, wipe down walls, go behind furniture, wipe down ceiling fans, vacuum the mattress, clean the range hood, wash baseboards, shine the stainless steel, clean out vents, tackle the windows, and wipe down gadgets

Of the fifteen 'quick' tasks listed which two most need doing at your house? Will you do them?

I do plan on getting to washing the windows but it will be a little bit later in the season.  The two that most need doing at my house are degreasing the kitchen cabinets and wiping down walls.  Before we moved in I don't know how many years passed since the cabinets were degreased.  I have done them numerous times but never seem to be clean enough for me.  I am waiting for the living area and kitchen walls to be painted so they will need to be wiped down first. 

4. A favorite movie set in Paris or New York?

"You've Got Mail" with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, which is set in New York.

5. What's put a spring in your step this month?

Breathing in ocean air and walking on the sand.

6. Did you ever want to be a teacher? Why or why not?

Yes and I did become a teacher :)  I did not like school much but had a few amazing teachers along the way who changed that for me.  In high school my social studies teacher had me volunteer in a Special Ed. class instead of having study hall.  That was the changer for me.  I went on to get my degree in Special Education and then graduate school for Elementary Education.  I taught preschool and second grade and loved it!  I wanted to make a difference in my students' lives the way some of my teachers made a difference in mine.  Over twenty-five years later and I still get teary eyed thinking of those amazing teachers. 

7.  What's your favorite floral scent? Do you have this somewhere in your home or maybe in a perfume? How do you feel about florals in food? How about wines with floral notes-yay or nay?

I like the smell of roses.  I do not have that scent anywhere in my home.  I don't usually wear perfume but occasionally will wear essential oils.  I don't have any rose oils.  I do not like florals in food.  I couldn't recognize floral notes in wine, even if I tried. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

A few weeks ago Joyce asked us a question about being in need of a winter getaway.  I had answered how I longed for time at the beach for a quiet getaway.  I didn't think it would happen this year, but it did, on the first day of Spring!  I thank God for working out circumstances and providing a few days right on the beach for my family.  As I write this I have the perfect view of the sun rising over the Atlantic Ocean.  A slice of paradise for sure!  I am having trouble uploading the ones I took this morning, but here are a few of my other favorites:

Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Happy Pie Day!


To celebrate Pi Day (since today is 3/14) my daughter and I made Dutch Apple Pie with Oatmeal Streusel.  It was completed was homemade caramel sauce and toasted walnuts.  Delish! 

The blizzard that was supposed to hit today moved north of us and we ended up with a few inches of snow, sleet and rain.  It is a sloppy mess outside and a bit disappointing.  We were looking forward to one more significant snowfall for the season and some sledding.  Could still happen ;) 

I want to thank God for answered prayer regarding a health situation with a loved one.  We are pretty private people so I haven't shared the details.  Last week we received good news from the doctor that the treatment was effective.  Praise God! 

There is no Hodgepodge tomorrow.  Hope you all are having a good week :)


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Perfect Hodgepodge

Visit Joyce and join the fun!  It is still the same Hodgepodge and gracious host, just a new, updated button :) 

1. What is one area of your life where you're a perfectionist? Is that a good thing?

I have perfectionist tendencies for sure!  One area is cleaning.  I like things a certain way and I believe everything has a place.  It bothers me when things are not in their proper place. 

2. What's something you find perfectly ridiculous?

I'm not sure if I'm answering this one right, but as for about all the protests that are still going on?  I'm all for free speech but let's move on people. 

3. What's a skill you've developed by way of that old fashioned saying, 'practice makes perfect?

Cooking well.  I didn't have much practice until I was married but have had lots of practice over the past 15 years. 

4. What's your idea of a perfect breakfast?

If I could eat anything I wanted without having any dietary restrictions it would be 2 fried eggs, toast, bacon, orange juice, coffee and a piece of coffee cake.  My Grandpa used to make that breakfast for me when I would visit.  I sure do miss him and my Grandma. 

5. What's a trip, holiday, vacation, or day outing you've taken that you'd rate a perfect 10? Tell us why.

A few years ago when we drove down to Florida to visit my aunt.  We stopped along the way to see family and friends in different states.  I'd say it was a perfect 10 because we had safe travels and everyone stayed healthy.  It was a relaxed time just enjoying each other's company and having lots of fun. It was the first time in a long while that I could tolerate being in the car for that long due to my dizziness.

6. What quote or saying perfectly sums up your life right now? If you can't do perfect, how about one that comes close?

7. How would you spend $300 today?

I would book a hotel for a night out at the end of the island.  I'd take my husband and kids for a day away from it all and to listen to the ocean waves. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Slow, Wonderful World Hodgepodge

Visit Joyce and join the fun!

1. 'Slow and steady wins the race'...tell us about a time this was true in your own life.

I have difficulty doing anything slowly so I can't think of anything right now.  I am sure there is truth in that statement and I will be agreeing as I read other hodgepoders' answers. 

2. 'As slow as molasses'...Do you like molasses? How about maple syrup? Caramel? Butterscotch? What's your favorite of the slow moving treats mentioned here, and what's your favorite food made with that sweet treat? 

No, I do not like molasses.  Actually I was told taking a spoonful of black strap molasses was good for my thyroid but I couldn't stand the taste of it.  I love maple syrup and caramel and like butterscotch.  My favorite is caramel and my favorite way to eat it is poured over vanilla ice cream.  Since I am mostly dairy free, I haven't had that in a long time.  While I realize fast food is not healthy, years ago I had a weakness for McDonald's caramel sundaes. 

3. Your favorite slow song? 

"What a Wonderful World" by Louie Armstrong.  I chose that song to be the last song played at our wedding. 

4. Your favorite thing to make in a slow cooker or crock pot? 

Shredded pork, which I will be making today. 

5. 'You may delay, but time will not.' ~Benjamin Franklin Are you more a hurrier or a delayer when it comes to unpleasant tasks that need doing? What are you currently either delaying or hurrying to get through this week or month?

I like to "get things done" but there are a few unpleasant tasks that I will delay for as long as possible.  I am delaying getting some items posted on Ebay although last night I began preparing. 

6. Tell us three things you encounter regularly or even just occasionally that you find to be annoyingly slow.

The line at retail stores.  I usually get on that line, you know the one that has a problem and moves very slowly.  Waiting on line is one my least favorite things to do. 

Bank tellers.  I don't encounter them often thanks to online banking but there never seems to be a quick stop at the bank. 

Customer service over the phone.  Something so simple seems to take forever to get fixed. 

7. March is National Craft Month. Are you crafty? Tell us about something crafty you'll try in the next thirty one days. Or something crafty you'd like to try or wish you had the skill to make happen. 

No, I am not crafty although I enjoy crafts.  I usually will choose crafts to do with the kids rather than by myself.  I would like to try to make a flip flop wreath when the warm weather comes.  I saw a few last year and think they are so cute. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Thank you Joyce for all you do to keep the Hodgpodge up and running.  I don't blog much anymore but keep my blog up just so I can participate in the Hodgepodge.  The questions exercise my brain and I look forward to it each week :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

It's a Fishy, Parrot Head Hodgepodge

Visit Joyce and join the fun!

1. Have you ever been fishing? Did you catch a fish? If so did you keep it or throw it back? If you haven't been fishing is that something you'd like to try?

Fish out of water, big fish in a small pond, living in a fishbowl, packed in like sardines, this is a fine kettle of fish, plenty of fish in the sea, fish or cut bait...which fishy phrase most recently applies to some area of your life?

I think I went on a fishing boat when I was a kid.  I don't remember if I caught anything so that means I probably didn't.  My husband takes the kids fishing and sometimes they will bring something home.  But I run out of the kitchen and want no part of it ;) 

Fish or cut bait.  I had to look this one up since I don't think I've ever heard of it.  But I often feel like if you aren't going to help then get out of the way, so I think this applies the most to my current situation with caring for my mother-in-law. 

2. What's something you're always fishing for in your purse, wallet, desk, or kitchen junk drawer?

A pen in my purse.  No matter where I put one it always seems to end up at the bottom of my bag.  As for a desk or kitchen junk drawer, that would be scotch tape.  It always seems to disappear.

3. Your favorite fish tale or movie?

"Finding Nemo". 

4. Are you sunrise, daylight, twilight or night? Explain why you chose your answer.

Sunrise.  I like to have a plan and be organized.  I think that is most like sunrise.  When the sun rises in the morning it is the start to a new day.  A fresh start, a blank slate to begin the day. 

5. What's the oldest piece of clothing you own and still wear?

I have two fleece pullovers with 1/4 zippers that are super comfortable.  I've had them for years and still wear them but only when I plan on staying home.  They aren't so bad that I wouldn't answer the door in them but I wouldn't purposely wear them to go out of the house. 

6. We've got one more month of (officially) winter here in the Northern hemisphere. Are you feeling the need for a getaway? What's been the best and worst part of your winter so far?

I've been wanting to go to the beach for a couple of nights this winter.  It would be cold but I am longing for the tranquility and peacefulness of renting a hotel right on the ocean.  It probably won't happen this year.  The best part of my winter so far has been some down time, the worst part has been we only had significant snow once so far. 

7.  The Wednesday Hodgepodge lands on National Margarita Day...will you be celebrating? Frozen or on the rocks? Are you a Jimmy Buffet fan? If so, what's your favorite JB tune?

No, I won't be celebrating.  I haven't had a margarita in years but would choose a frozen one if I had to.  Yes, I am a Jimmy Buffett fan.  My favorite JB tune is "Come Monday".

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I love when Joyce asks questions about music.  I have so many Jimmy Buffett songs in my head.  This morning it is "Cheeseburger in Paradise" and I am craving a cheeseburger even though it is morning :) 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Sweet Hodgepodge

Visit Joyce and join the fun!

1. What do/did you call your grandparents? If it's something unusual tell us the story behind the name. If you're a grandparent what do your grands call you? Who chose your moniker?

I called both of my grandmothers Grandma and both of my grandfathers Grandpa. 

2. Ever taken a road trip along the California Coast? If so what was the highlight of your trek? If not, any desire to do so? If you were to take a trip along the California Coast what's one attraction you'd have on your must-see list?

No, I've never been to California.  I do not have a desire to do so, I am more of an East Coast girl :)  If I did go I'd want to see the beach towns.

3. What are three things you don't know how to do?

I don't know how to change a tire, use my pressure cooker, and edit videos on my phone.  I'd like to learn how to do the last two.  At this point I don't want to learn how to change a tire.  It is a good skill to have but since I have roadside assistance and a cell phone I don't think it is absolutely necessary. 

4. Tom Peters is quoted as saying, 'Celebrate what you want to see more of.' If that's true what will you celebrate and more importantly, how will you celebrate?

I'd like to see more kindness.  How do you celebrate kindness?  I guess I can start by recognizing and appreciating kindness when I see it and by practicing it more.

5. Thursday (February 16) is National Almond Day. Do you like almonds? Which would you prefer-an Almond Joy or a macaron? What's something you make that calls for almonds?

Yes, I like almonds.  I'd chose an Almond Joy, although it's been years since I've had one.  I use almond flour to make chocolate chip cookies. 

6. What does Saturday morning look like at your house?

Saturday mornings are usually lazy mornings at my house.  We usually stay in our lounge clothes and don't move too fast. 

7. Share with us a favorite book you've read this winter.

I'm in the process of reading "The Discipline of Grace" by Jerry Bridges. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day.  My daughter made me these chocolate covered strawberries and they were so delicious! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A Super Hodgepodge

Visit Joyce and join the fun!

1. What's the last thing you did that someone else thought was super?

I made garlic and oil green beans for dinner and my son thought that was super :)

2. The last thing you ate that tasted superb? 

Baby back ribs, basted with a mixture of apricot fruit spread, a little apple cider vinegar and a squirt of ketchup. 
3. Supersensitive, superstitious, superwoman, superambitious, supercilious, supervisor, superficial...pick a super word from the list and tell us how it relates to your life in some way recently or currently. 

Supersensitive, hormonal shifts usually make me supersensitive. 

4. Do you love easily? If you're comfortable doing so, explain why you think that is. 

Not initially.  I am usually defensive at first but once I love then I love easily. 

5. Valentine's Day lands on a Tuesday this year. Will you mark the day in some way? If you're celebrating with a dinner out somewhere will it be on Tuesday or will you celebrate over the weekend? 

I will mark the day by giving chocolates and candies to my kids, a card to my husband and probably cooking a nice dinner.  I do not eat out often, especially on special days where most restaurants have different menus and jacked up prices and long waits. 

6. What's something you are loving right now? 

Homemade trail mix.  Lately I've been mixing raw cashews, almonds, coconut flakes and raisins. 

7. Write a three word (or less) phrase you'd like to see on a Valentine candy heart.  

"Grow up already!"  That would be in response to all the protesting, rioting and other nonsense that is going on in our country right now.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

I wasn't too interested in this year's SuperBowl, but glad I watched some of it, especially the end.  It was a great game.  And I have to say I just love Tom Brady's family.  The love and support they have for him is beautiful. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Salty Island Hodgepodge

Visit Joyce and join the fun!

1. "The cure for anything is salt water-tears, sweat, or the sea." (Isak Dinesan) Would you agree? Of the three, which has 'cured' you most recently?

Yes, I'd agree.  For me the sea is the cure to being stressed.  The sea is calming and helps me put things in perspective.  I look out at God's amazing creation and can't help but remember that He holds it all in His hands and is in control of all things.  It is my favorite place to be and thankfully I live just minutes away from the water.  Here are a couple of my favorite views:

2. What's something you can't eat without salt? Do you normally salt your food a lot, a little, or not at all?

I can't think of something I can't eat without salt.  I usually don't cook with salt since my mother-in-law can't have it because of high blood pressure.  There are some foods I add a little salt to and other foods where I don't miss it. 

3. Sands of time, bury your head in the sand, built on sand, or draw a line in the sand...which sandy phrase could best be applied to something in your life right now? 

Bury your head in the sand.  I don't think it is my head that is in the sand and I'll leave it at that ;)

4. A favorite book, movie, or song with an island setting or theme? 

"Islands in The Stream" by Dolly Pardon and Kenny Rogers.  It brings back fun memories of being in Florida and singing it at Karaoke at one of the theme parks.  That was the same night I saw Bobby Brown walking around (he was part of New Edition back in the 80s).  I thought that was the coolest!

5. Yesterday-did you run your day or did it run you? How so?

I ran my day because for part of it I did nothing and needed that break.

6. You're on an island holiday. Will I most likely find you parked in a beach chair, shopping in town, on the back of a jet ski, or snorkeling off the back of a catamaran?

I'd be parked in a beach chair with my toes in the sand, drying off from a swim.  I've always wanted to jet ski but haven't done that yet. 

7. What do you think we humans most take for granted?

Sadly, each other. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I usually avoid political talk but... is anyone else embarrassed for our country?  I am all for free speech but I think the way some of the protesters and marchers are acting crosses the line.  When adults model kicking and screaming when they don't get their way should we be surprised when the young people do the same?  Shameful.  Despite that I think the new president is off to a great start.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

ASAP Hodgepodge

Visit Joyce and join the fun!

1. ASAP typically stands for 'as soon as possible'. What else could it stand for in your life right now?
Always Speak After Prayer.  I have been in some challenging situations recently and I think it would benefit me greatly to pray before opening my mouth. 
2. Are you the last person to speak up in a group or the first to have an idea? Why do you suppose that is? Is it a good thing or no?
I think it depends on what the topic is.  If it is something I am comfortable with I will usually speak up right away.  If it is something I am not confident about I will wait and listen.  I think it is a good thing. 
3. What do you remember best about being 12? 
Wanting to be with my friends all the time, thinking that the most important thing to do was to hang out with them. 
4. January 18th is National Winnie the Pooh Day. Which character do you relate to the most, and why? If you're stumped go here for inspiration. 
I took the quiz and I agree.

5. What's an app you use that helps simplify or make life easier for you in some way? 

I just recently got my first smartphone and am still exploring apps.  I use The Weather Channel to help when choosing what to wear. 
6. San Francisco (CA), San Diego (CA), San Juan (PR) San Antonio (TX) Sanibel (FL) have an all expenses paid long weekend to one of these destinations. Which one do you choose and why?
I would pick Sanibel, Florida because I'd be close enough to visit my aunt or have her come join us.  I've been to San Juan and it is beautiful and the weather gorgous; I've been to Texas and it is way too hot for me; haven't been to California yet but don't really have a desire to go.  I'm an east coast girl, through and through. 
7. Share with us a song that makes you feel nostalgic? For what? 

"Summer of '69" by Bryan Adams makes me feel nostalgic for the days of summer when I was a teenager and didn't carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. 
8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
On January 2nd, I started a whole30.  Basically I only eat meat, veggies, some fruit, nuts and healthy oils.  I've done it a few times before and it is a great way to reset your metabolism and get rid of cravings.  I also added in Intermittent Fasting (I try not to eat anything after 7 p.m. and don't eat breakfast until somewhere between 9 and 11).  So far I have lost 16 lbs.  I have a way to go still but it feels good to be back on track.  If you are interested you can learn more about whole30 here:

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Hands Up For The New Year Hodgepodge

Visit Joyce and join the fun!

1. Share one favorite moment/memory from your Christmas holiday.

Gathering with my family for Christmas dinner, sitting around the table talking and playing games, relaxing and enjoying their company. 

2. What was the best thing you ate over the holidays? Was it homemade or store bought? If it was homemade did you make it?

Homemade stuffed shells that I made for Christmas Eve, along with meatballs, salad and Italian bread from the best bakery which happens to be in my town :)  I usually do not eat them because of the cheese but this year I decided to enjoy.  Plus I know I'd be starting a Whole30 in January to reset and get back on track. 

3. What was one of the most beautiful things you saw over the holidays?

My Christmas tree.  I still have it up and it is so beautiful when it is lit. 

4. What does fresh start mean to you?

No looking back, making changes and forging ahead with a brand new resolve.

5. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being very positive and 1 being not so great) how would you rate 2016 in terms of personal achievement and well being? Explain. 

I would say a 7.  What did I achieve?  Not much, except I spent the year living in our new home caring for my elderly mother-in-law while homeschooling my children, running the household and trying to love others.  Actually that is a lot to me.  My thyroid stayed in normal range after being diagnosed with Graves Disease a few years ago, there is no trace of it now.  In the Spring my dizziness acted up and made everyday things a bit more challenging.  Still, I am thankful. 

6. Every January 1st since 1976 Lake Superior University has published a list of words they'd like to see banished from the Queen's English. Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse, or just general uselessness. Go here to read more about how the words were chosen or, if you're like me, to find out what in the world the word or phrase even means or the context in which it's used. There were quite a few on this year's list I'd never heard before.

Here's the 2017 list of banished words-

You, Sir-focus-Bete Noire-Town Hall Meeting-Post Truth-guesstimate-831-historic-manicured-echo chamber-on fleek-bigly-ghost-Dadbod-listicle-get your dander up-selfie drone-frankenfruit-disruption

Which word on the list would you most like to see banished in 2017? What word or phrase would you add to the list?

I haven't heard of many of these.  I can't think of a word that I'd like to add to the list but I'm sure I will when I read other Hodgepodgers' answers. 

7. Large or small, light or deep, share with us one goal you have for the new year. 

To get back to clean eating, be stronger and in better shape.

8. Insert your own random thought here.