The ‘Dry As A Desert’ Hodgepodge…

We don’t live near a desert, but the soil around here is almost as dry as one.  We desperately need some rain in our neck of the woods!  Perhaps we’ll get some rain today, but while we’re waiting, let’s participate in The Hodgepodge. Thanks to our gracious hostess, Joyce, for another great set of questions.  Here they are:

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?

I’ve never lived near or been to a desert, and I really don’t have any desire to do so.  I like trees!  If I had to visit one of the desert towns listed, I’d choose to visit the corner of Winslow AZ so I could see the new, life-sized bronze statue of Glen Frey, formerly of The Eagles.

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

I’ve deserted my photo collection.  My collection sits abandoned on my computer, and in many  bright orange ‘Shutterfly’ envelopes.  I used to make scrapbooks, then I began making video montages, using family photographs.  It’s been well over a year since I did either one of those projects with my photos.

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

Two words I have trouble spelling are license and diarrhea.  In fact, I misspelled both words as I typed them in this sentence.

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.

I can most relate to “not a dry eye in the house”.  One of my cousins passed away, unexpectedly, last Thursday.  My brother, who lives in Florida, was asked to preach her funeral, so he and his wife spent the weekend with us.  As you can imagine, it was an emotion filled weekend, but Ed and I had a great visit with my brother and his wife, in spite of the circumstances.

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

It’s been years since I’ve needed to have anything dry cleaned.  I try to stick with wash-n-wear.  Starch, please!  It makes the clothes look better.

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

I enjoy eating “Low Country Boil”, a meal consisting of shrimp, smoked sausage, corn, potatoes, and onions boiled together in a large pot, along with seafood seasoning.  ” Low Country” refers to a certain geographical and cultural region along South Carolina’s coast.

7. Do you need solitude?

Yes, I do need (and enjoy) a certain amount of solitude each day, especially if I’m blogging or reading.  I find it difficult to concentrate if there’s noise or other people around.

Random:

Yesterday’s office surgery is now “behind” me.  No pun intended🙂  The surgery wasn’t bad, other than the indignation of where it had to be performed.  The surgeon was very nice, and talked to me during the procedure. The cyst was rather large, so the incision has been a bit painful, especially when I sit. Last night, it hurt, no matter what I did.  Thankfully, I know this is a temporary thing!  Thanks to those who prayed and encouraged me, last week.

Published in: on September 28, 2016 at 8:35 am  Comments (5)  
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The “Welcome Fall” Wednesday Hodgepodge…

I’m running a bit behind with posting this Hodgepodge, today.  This morning, our internet decided to be difficult, but it’s back on now, and all is well.  Once the internet began working,  I could actually see ‘the linky’ for the Hodgepodge, this morning!  Yay!  It’s the little things that mean so much, folks.  As always, I’m grateful for our hostess, Joyce, and the wonderful job she does with The Hodgepodge🙂  Here are today’s questions:

1. Thursday (September 22) is the first official day of autumn in this part of the world…how 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’d like to say I’ll be welcoming the season by sitting on our front porch, enjoying a cool autumn breeze, but that won’t be happening.  Why?  Because it’s still hot here, and huge swarms of ‘love bugs’ have recently taken over our porch!

Actually, I’ll probably just get dressed, on Thursday, and go to a nearby Tractor Supply to purchase some chicken feed.  I may even pick and shell a few more peas, too.  Aren’t you in awe of my exciting life?

As for autumn scents, I like pumpkin, cinnamon, or anything that smells like a fireplace burning. I recently bought some wax melts from Better Homes, called Autumn Afternoon Stroll, that smell nice.  I use wall flowers from Bath and Body Works, or wax melting pots to scent our home.  Once it gets cold enough, I’ll burn a candle, too, sometimes.

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

I prefer apple pie over pumpkin pie.  I don’t care for apple cider, and I’ve never tried any of the other things.

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?

Boy do I ever suffer from “afternoon slump”!  It hits me everyday about 2 p.m.  I don’t fight it, I just head for the couch and take an afternoon nap.  It’s one of the perks of being retired!

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?

Two of my newest women friends are both in their 80’s, and they have inspired me to embrace aging with a better attitude.  Both are wonderful Christian ladies, who are still very active in their church (or they were until they recently became ‘displaced’) and both are still very active in life, as well.  One still mows her own grass, the other goes to the gym three times a week.  One of the ladies recently broke her arm, but she just smiles and has the best attitude about it, saying, “It could always have been worse.”

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?

In younger years, I was more of a people pleaser.  These days, not so much.  I wish I felt like doing more for others, but life is what it is, and it’s not always what I wish it was.  Sometimes, the spirit is willing, but the body just won’t cooperate.

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).

I couldn’t really think of a personal favorite, but this is a good song…

7. What do you wish would never change?

Loving and trusting relationships.

Random:

I’m scheduled to have office surgery, next Tuesday, to have a rather large cyst removed from my right buttock.  As you can imagine, I’m a bit embarrassed, and not really looking forward to having this surgery done, but it’s necessary.  I sure would appreciate your prayers.  Thanks.

 

Published in: on September 21, 2016 at 10:12 am  Comments (11)  
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The Summer Of ’16…

With autumn quickly approaching, I felt the desire to reflect on the summer of ’16 before it moves on.  I’ve been working on this post for several days, trying to find just the right words.  I’m not sure I ever did find them, but here goes…

I lived my first “summer of 16” many years ago.  Although I may not always recall what I ate for last night’s supper,  I can remember parts of that summer like it was only yesterday. It’s funny how age does that to ya’…or is it?

It was the summer of 1971, I was sixteen years old, and had already been engaged for about nine months. I was actually still quite young, but I felt old! I’ve always felt older in years than I really am.

That summer, in addition to working a summer job, I spent my days writing letters to, and receiving letters from Edward, the young man who would eventually become my husband in a few short months. Ed, who was serving in the army, had been overseas for nine months, but unfortunately, still had more than nine months left to go.  I had nine more months of high school left, as well.

I was about to embark on my senior year of high school, but I couldn’t wait to be finished with school, and become Ed’s wife!  My ‘hope chest’, in the corner of my bedroom grew fuller with each of my weekly paychecks.  At the end of each day, I anxiously crossed another day off of the calendar which hung on the wall, over my ‘hope chest’.  Life was waiting!

Flash forward another forty-five years, which really seem more like ten years.  Ed and I have been already been married forty-four years, have raised three children, and are now retired.   Our children are all married, with children of their own.  We have four beautiful grandchildren. The majority of our life story has already been lived.  We like to think we still have several chapters to go, but who ever really knows?

As autumn approaches, and I prepare to say goodbye to the second “summer of 16” of my lifetime, I have to say,  this one’s been quite different from the one of my youth!  For one thing, my body doesn’t look or feel anything like the body of the sixteen-year-old girl I used to be.  Today’s 16  refers to what year it is, not my age!

These days, I’m a “mature” woman.  I’m also a wife, mother, and grandmother, with years of life experience behind me, some good and some bad.  Oh, if only I could have possessed a small fraction of today’s knowledge, back in my first summer of 16, I’d surely have changed a few things along the way!  Wouldn’t we all?

This summer of 16 has been one of the most difficult and trying summers of my life.  There have been lots of personal struggles for me, even a few ‘ghosts of the past’ have come back to haunt me.  There’s been much turmoil and strife among our family since shortly after Mother’s Day, and it’s been tough on all of us.  Although we’ve tried several times, to get things reconciled, somehow, it’s never really seemed to work out.  There are days when I wonder if things will ever be normal again, but, I continue to pray, and turn it over to God. It’s all I know to do.

As if family turmoil wasn’t enough, we’ve experienced some religious turmoil, this summer, too. After five long years of being without a church to call our own, Ed and I thought we’d finally found our new church home.  Long story made short, we were mistaken.  After four months, Ed and I, along with several ‘long-time’ church members, suddenly found ourselves without a church, as it became painfully apparent some deacons of the church weren’t interested in heeding the biblical instructions of their pastor.  Those deacons now have “their church” to run, but they have no pastor, only a handful of members, and a bleak-looking future for the church.

Of course, the summer of sixteen hasn’t been all bad, though. There have been lots of good times, scattered among the heartache.  I’ve learned that life must go on, even through turmoil and strife.  Our family has celebrated holidays, accomplishments,  birthdays and anniversaries, even though all members weren’t present for the celebrations.

In addition, we’ve made some new friends, and we’ve enjoyed the company of some dear old friends, too. This summer, Ed and I were still able to grow another successful garden, and we were still able to can lots of food, even after Ed’s heart attack and my back surgery!  Praise the Lord!  And, although we felt we had to leave a church we loved, we carry lots of good memories from the time we were there, and we move on to wherever God leads us…

Yesterday’s gone, there’s no way to change it or get it back, but today is what really matters!  It’s our ‘present’, and we really need to make the best of it.  I’m trying, believe me, I’m trying.

Happy Monday!

 

 

 

 

Published in: on September 19, 2016 at 7:29 am  Comments (5)  
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Gone, But, Hopefully Not Forgotten, Hodgepodge…

The Hodgepodge and I have been absent from blog land for a couple of weeks, but we’re back today!  I needed a blogging break, and I think our hostess, Joyce, may have needed one, too.  It feels good to be back, and, as always, I thank Joyce for all that she does for us.

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

Since I just celebrated a birthday on August 30, not a lot has changed since then.  I’ve begun to decorate the house and yard for fall, but I’m not finished, yet.  Below is a picture of what we’ve done outside, so far.  The bird house was a birthday gift.  I decided to decorate it, and make it part of my fall decor.

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Speaking of  my birthday, before I move on, I have to share a picture of the cake Ed got for my birthday:

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It says, “Happy Birthday Hunny Bunny”.  I loved it!

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?

I do, occasionally, listen to classical music because I find it relaxing.  I don’t know if I have a favorite piece, but I love all of the music from The Nutcracker, and sometimes I fall asleep listening to it.

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

I don’t know of a book, other than the Bible, that has really changed my life, relationships, career, etc.  (I prefer reading fiction or autobiographies over self-help.) Some years ago, I did actually buy one self-help book by Dr. Phil McGraw.  When our oldest son saw the book on the table, he told me the only “self-help” book anybody needs is the Bible.  I’ve never forgotten that.

4. I read (here) these ten hobbies will make you smarter…play 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’ve tried to learn a musical instrument, once, (keyboard), and , unfortunately, I wasn’t very good at it. These days, my ability to exercise is limited due to back issues.  I don’t care much for cooking or traveling anymore, either.

I read magazines and books. I enjoy writing my feelings down, so I blog and occasionally keep a journal for more private thoughts.  I’ll give my brain a ‘workout’ with jigsaw or word puzzles, every now and then, but I probably need to do more of that.

5. What sports traditions does your family have?

Ed and I are not really ‘into’ sports, so we don’t really have any sports traditions. We’ll usually watch the Georgia/Florida football game, or perhaps another Georgia game or two, but that’s about it.

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

I find the ‘protesters’  behavior disgraceful, disgusting, and shameful.  Enough said.

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

I have a lot more patience than I used to have, as far as waiting for an event to happen or a package to come in the mail.  The days seem to pass so quickly, now. I tend to lose patience on extremely long waits at the doctor’s office.  Two hours is too long to wait.  I quickly get aggravated with loud, obnoxious people, too.

Random:

I have been absent from blogging for two weeks.  When I found time to blog, I lacked the energy, and when I had energy I was busy doing other things. Here’s a quick recap:

I celebrated another birthday, and things really don’t feel any different, except for the anticipation of receiving another retirement check.  I’ll have to wait until next month for that, but remember,  I’m a patient person.

Ed and I were able to make two trips to St. Simon’s Island during the past two weeks.  I’m looking forward to making [at least] one more trip before we end our 2016 beach season.  The crowds are all gone, and the weather is wonderful.

Ed and I attended a little end of the summer ‘social’ a couple of weeks ago.  Some of the folks we used to attend church with got together,  made some ice cream, cooked some boiled peanuts, and invited all of the “displaced” church folks over.  We had a great time!  We’ve gotten to know  the former pastor and his wife better, lately.  We visited with them at their home, recently, and they were at the ‘social’ as well.

Ed and I spent a day visiting with some long-time friends (as in, since our high school days) who live in another town.  For lunch, they treated us to some of the best “low country boil” I’ve ever eaten.  We had a great day visiting with them, and even ended up buying their recliner chair before we left.  I’m pleased to say, the recliner fit perfectly in the back of our van, and we didn’t even have to fold down the middle row of seats. (now that’s a roomy vehicle!)  Ed and I now have matching ‘his-n-hers’ recliners.

“Grandparent’s Day” came and went, last weekend, and Ed and I were honored with visits and gifts from each of our four grandchildren.  (I didn’t even realize it was “Grandparent’s Day”)  The living room shelves are now lined with new fall portraits of each of the “grands”, in addition to several other nice gifts they gave us.  We treasure the gifts, but we loved the visits most of all.  It was a good weekend.

Ed and I attended a different church this past Sunday.  It’s a church that is currently without a pastor, but they do have a new pastor coming, next month.  It turns out, our former pastor had been scheduled to “fill in” at this church, a couple of months ago, while he was still pastoring the old church, and it was his Sunday to preach.  Several other displaced church folks, and us, attended both services.  It was good to worship with our new friends, again, and to see some old friends who are members of the church we were visiting.

I’ll be late making the blog rounds today.  I have a dermatologist appointment this morning, but I’ll do my visiting when I return.  Sadly, I’m not able to see ‘the linky’ again today😦

 

 

 

Published in: on September 14, 2016 at 7:12 am  Comments (8)  
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Ending August With A Birthday & A Hodgepodge…

What better way to end the month of August than with another Wednesday Hodgepodge?!  As always, I’m grateful to our hostess, Joyce, and all that she does to keep The Hodgepodge running smoothly, week after week.

Here are this week’s questions:

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

Yes, I have one first cousin who’s a retired police chief, and twin second cousins who also work in law enforcement.  One of the twins is the police chief of our town.  The twins are nephews of the first cousin who’s retired.

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

I don’t think I’ve suffered from the Sunday night blues since I graduated from high school.  As an adult, I loved both of my jobs, and never really minded going to work, most of the time. If I ever did get a serious case of “the blues”, I’d take a sick day.

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’m not a fan of blue cheese, but I do like blue jello and blue Popsicles!

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’m not being rushed.  I don’t work well under pressure.  Never have, never will.

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

I agree with the quote.  If you stick with a task, eventually you’ll complete it, no matter how long it may take.  Our oldest son is a great example of this.  It took him sixteen years to do it, but he finally earned his college degree.  We couldn’t be prouder!

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?

No, I haven’t been to many of America’s National Parks, but we’ve been to several Georgia State Parks.  We live near several National Park sites we really should visit.  #1 – Cumberland Island (St. Marys, GA), #2- Ft. Pulaski (Savannah, GA), #3- Ocmulgee (Macon, GA)  Of those listed, I’d most like to visit Cumberland Island.

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wild horses of Cumberland Island – photo via Google

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

Good riddance!  Your weather’s made life miserable!!!

Random:

After two weeks, my back is finally feeling better.  Praise the Lord!  It’s not ‘normal’, but so much better!

Yesterday, Ed and I were able to hit the road, early, headed for St. Simon’s Island, to celebrate my 62nd birthday.  There was a 50% chance of rain in the forecast, but all I prayed for was two good hours under our favorite tree.  God gave me three and a half hours before the clouds blew in.

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photo taken as we were leaving

By then, I was almost ready to leave anyway, so I didn’t mind.  We finished the day by doing a little shopping, then having supper on the way home.  I had a nice time, and it was a very good day.

Although I had already celebrated my birthday, this past weekend with family, they still took time out of their busy weekday schedules to come over and wish me happy birthday,again, after Ed and I got home from St. Simon’s Island, on Tuesday night.  It was a wonderful birthday, and I feel very loved.

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Friday night’s joint birthday celebration with DIL, Jennifer

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 on my actual birthday (on St. Simon’s Island)

Published in: on August 31, 2016 at 8:59 am  Comments (10)  

Reflecting On Sixty-One Years Of Life…

Tomorrow will be my birthday, and I will turn sixty-two.  As I sit here in my glider/recliner chair, I’m feeling many things, but none of them are the kinds of things I want to share.  Instead, I think I’ll take a little stroll down memory lane.

I remember…being a young girl, of fourteen, and meeting the love of my life on a blind date, only, at the time, I didn’t realize he was the love of my life.

I remember…saying “goodbye” to the love of my life, at a bus station, just three short months later, as he left for army basic training.  By then, I knew he was the love of my life.

I remember…many lonely days and nights…marking days off of a calendar…waiting for a letter to arrive in the mail, or a special weekend phone call, all while attending my last two years of high school.  This was my life, for nearly three years, while Ed was in the army.

I remember…an unexpected call saying Ed was at the airport…home from Okinawa, discharged from the army.

I remember…us planning a wedding in just three weeks…getting married, and moving away from everyone we knew.

I remember…a honeymoon phase that lasted almost six years..getting to know each other…riding our motorcycle…having fun with our boat..working together at the hospital.

I remember…being pregnant for the first time…morning, noon, and night sickness for a while…building onto our home during the pregnancy.

I remember…lots of 2 a.m. feedings, and six months of colic…being very insecure as a parent.

I remember…changing cloth diapers and making baby food from scratch.  There’s nothing like having someone accidentally flush a [soaking] cloth diaper down the toilet…money was tight.

I remember…two more babies arriving within the next seven years…breast feeding…getting Pampers at a reduced price through the hospital where Ed worked…free baby formula, too.

I remember…our children growing up…leaving them at school for the first time…that nervous feeling when each one of our children drove the car to high school for the first time…sleeping lightly, waiting for the sound of each teenager to arrive home from a Saturday night date.

I remember…the apprehension I felt as each child graduated from high school, trying to find their path in life…the agony felt when each stumbled and fell along the way…the relief I felt when each one eventually found their way.

I remember…the heartache felt for each one of my children when they experienced a failed relationship, but also the joy felt when each finally found their true love…the madness of wedding planning, which I never liked.

I remember…“the empty nest syndrome”, learning how to connect with my husband again, after so many years of raising children…loving not having to be responsible for anyone else, after all of those years.

I remember…dealing with each of our aging parents and their needs, as time quickly passed and they grew old.  Watching them grow older, knowing they were slowly slipping out of our lives…saying “goodbye” to them as  each passed away…dealing with the aftermath of losing a parent, while helping the remaining parent deal with their own grief.

I remember…dealing with unexpected health issues…a hysterectomy for me, a thyroid problem for Ed…two more surgeries for me, along with rheumatoid arthritis…then a heart attack for Ed…both having to pack pill organizers each week–just like our parents.

I remember…being present for the births of each of our grandchildren…Marveling at each new, tiny little miracle…being a little sad at how quickly I know they’ll grow up.

I remember…giving unsolicited advice, to our grown children, too many times, then, finally, realizing they have to learn by making their own mistakes, just like we did…and learn they will.

I remember…watching our parents navigate this thing called “retirement” while living on a “fixed income”, knowing how quickly the years will pass.

Now it’s our turn to navigate this thing called retirement, and live on a fixed income.  It’s not always “sunshine and roses”, but it’s a very welcome change from running in “the rat race”.  I just wish time would slow down so I could savor these retirement moments a little longer!

Tomorrow, I’ll celebrate my 62nd birthday with gladness! I’ll walk ‘sideways’ with my ‘bad back’.  I’ll get a stronger prescription for my failing eyesight.  I’ll even wear these wrinkles, surgery scars, and graying hair with pride!  After all, they’re my “battle scars of life”…and, believe me,  I’ve earned every one of them!

Life, bring it on– let’s take another trip around the sun!

 

 

 

Published in: on August 29, 2016 at 8:34 pm  Comments (5)  
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Waffling Through The Hodgepodge…

It’s Hodgepodge Time again!  Many thanks to Joyce for continuing to host this fun meme.  I appreciate her more than she’ll ever know…

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

I’ve been waffling over whether or not to make a doctor’s appointment concerning my back issues.  My back seems to be s-l-o-w-l-y improving, so I’m going to give it another week, or so, before I make any decisions.

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?

Yes, I do think the seasons are rushed.  When Hobby Lobby puts out Christmas decorations in the middle of summer,  I say that’s rushing things a bit!  And, yes, it does bother me when people rush the seasons.  Why can’t we fully enjoy one season before rushing into the next?

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?

I’m going to say “have a day on the lake”, except I’ll switch the lake water for the salt water of St. Simon’s Island.  Next Tuesday is my birthday and if there’s any possible way, I plan to spend it sitting beside the water, under the shade of my favorite oak tree, looking at this view:

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3. Your favorite summertime ‘art’ found in nature?

I love finding ‘pictures’ in the clouds on a bright, sunny, summer day–like this one:

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photo via google

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?

That’s a difficult question, and I don’t have an answer, today.  I’m not sure how I define myself, but what’s the old saying?  “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”, so I don’t put a lot of stock in those.

5. Are you useful in a crisis? Elaborate.

I’m a bit slow to react in a kind of crisis of any kind, in fact I usually ‘freeze’ for a moment or two, which can be disastrous during a crisis.  My husband, Ed, on the other hand, is quick to react, and always great in a crisis.  This probably comes from years of working as an x-ray tech and an EMT, as well. Ed’s helped save lives, by doing CPR on several people, including my father.  In addition, he once prevented our youngest son from drowning, and acted quickly enough to keep our house from burning down after some pool chemicals ignited under our carport.

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

The first thing that comes to my mind are the delicious grilled chicken finger salads we’ve enjoyed throughout the summer.  Yes, I’ll continue making them, at least for a while, but they won’t be nearly as good without our garden-fresh carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

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

No, I haven’t jumped on the coloring bandwagon, but I’ve been thinking about it.  I’m not sure if I’d enjoy it or not, but I might give it a try.  I enjoy coloring, I’m just not very good at it.

Random:

After being ‘shut in’ for over a week, I was finally able to do a little shopping, yesterday.  My back only ‘acted up’ when I’d first get out of the car, after I’d been sitting for a while.  Within a few minutes I could stand up straight and walk normally.  Walking wasn’t painful, like before, and Ed did all of the bending for me.

Folks, don’t ever take your back for granted.  Just to be able to sit, stand, walk, or bend painlessly is such a blessing!

Published in: on August 24, 2016 at 8:32 am  Comments (12)  
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A Simple Woman’s Day Book…

For Today

August 22, 2016

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Looking out my window…

I see large brown patches of dying grass.  We could really use some more rain and cooler temperatures!  In the meantime, at least Ed’s not having to mow the grass nearly as often.  It looks like today is shaping up to be another hot, sunny day.  We’ve had a lot of those, this summer!

I am thinking…

how much I’d like to be able to do all of my own housework!  It’s horrible having to depend on someone else to do the things I’m not able to do, right now.  Ed’s great, and never complains, but I feel somewhat useless.  I do what I can, that doesn’t involve vacuuming, sweeping, bending, or lifting anything heavy.

I am thankful…

for the thoughtful people in my life.  Our sons and their families came over for a visit, on Saturday evening, and they brought supper with them.  After having been a shut in all week, the food and fellowship was much appreciated!  My favorite moment of the evening was seeing little Evan dragging his own high chair into the kitchen.  He was letting us know he was ready to eat!

One of my favorite things…

is sitting on the little deck outside of my bedroom door, watching the birds at the bird feeder, while rocking in my new chair.  It’s very relaxing out there, and the view of the woods gives me the illusion of being somewhere in the mountains.

I am wearing…

my nightgown.  I haven’t bothered getting dressed, yet.  One of the advantages of living in the country–I can wander around the yard in my nightgown, which I chose to do today.

I am creating…
something new out of something old.  Ed and I are taking turns painting another garden statue.  This statue is a girl who matches the boy we recently finished.

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our work in progress

I am reading…

almost finished reading The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.  I’ve enjoyed the book, but, at times, it made me sad. Especially after Corrie and her family were imprisoned for hiding Jews.

I am watching… 

The Best of the Statler Brothers TV Shows on dvd (an early birthday gift to myself).  I’m still amazed at the talent of these four men!  They wrote all of the material for their shows, as well as most of the songs they sing.

I am listening to…

We are still making our way through the audio version of the Bible that our oldest son gave us.  We’re almost finished with II Chronicles.

I am hoping…

and praying these back issues will resolve themselves on their own.  If not, it’s back to the neurosurgeon for God knows what.  It’s only been 11 months since my previous back surgery.  I’m not ready to go back.

I am learning…

to have more patience.  If there’s one thing I’m learning about this season of life I’m in, it’s that you must have plenty of patience.

In my kitchen…

Ed and I made two batches of grape jelly, last week.  It’s the first time we’ve ever had enough grapes [on our vines] to make jelly with.  It was a joint effort, and it turned out well.

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In the school room…

Here’s our oldest grandson, Caden, on his first day of 2nd grade home school, last week.  Granddaughter, Madison, will start home school today, I think.

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photo borrowed from Caden’s mom’s FB page

In my garden…

grass and weeds have been running rampant.  Nobody’s been out there with a hoe in quite a while, since Ed’s been helping me with housework and rewiring the chicken coop. (Actually, I think Ed may be out there, now, as I write)  Oh, there are also a few peas growing out there, too, along with the last of my zinnias and some sweet potatoes!  We have some lettuce and cabbage seedlings planted in cups, to be transplanted, later, but that’s it.

Post Script…

There’s not much going on here, these days.  I’ve spent the past few days moving from the couch to the chair to the bed, trying to get comfortable.  I’m beginning to feel a little better, and even walked a short distance [outside] yesterday evening and this morning. The soreness in  my back is better, but I’m still walking weird, especially after sitting for a while.  I’m also concerned about the numbness in my left leg, a sign of nerve involvement.

Shared Quote
“Have no fear for what tomorrow may bring.  The same loving God who cares for you today, will take care of you tomorrow and every day.  God will either shield you from suffering or give you unfailing strength to bear it.  Be at peace then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.”  St. Frances De Sales

A moment from my day…

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This hibiscus is one of my “plant rescues” from Wal-mart.  I found it among their reduced/discarded plants.  It’s grown tremendously, since we brought it home, and has had some of the most beautiful blossoms (the picture doesn’t do it justice) I’ve ever seen.  I think it might like its new home🙂

 

Closing Notes:
We have no real plans for the week.  As soon as I’m feeling up to it, we need to make a shopping trip to pick up a few pet supplies.  Our cats, chickens, and fish will not be happy with us if they run out of food.

However, there will be a joint family birthday celebration [for Jennifer and me], at the end of the week.  I sure hope I feel a little more like celebrating by then!

Enjoy your week!

Thanks to Peggy Hostetler for hosting The Simple Woman’s Daybook!

Published in: on August 22, 2016 at 10:05 am  Comments (4)  
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Wednesday Hodgepodge #277…

 

What a week this has turned out to be!  I’ve spent most of it, so far, stretched out on the bed or on the couch. Why you ask?  Back problems again!  I bent over, on Saturday morning, and that’s all it took.  I’ve been moving like a very old, very bent over person, since then.  Again, I ask, “What else is going to happen this summer?”  Thank goodness for The Wednesday Hodgepodge, to take my mind off of things!  I’m so grateful to our hostess, Joyce, for keeping the Hodgepodge going.   Two hundred, seventy-seven sets of questions is no easy feat!  Speaking of questions, here they are:

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?

Making my own cookbook appeals to me more than the other activities, but, no, I won’t be adding that to my August list of activities.  I couldn’t sit long enough to do that, even if I wanted to.

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’m going to agree.  I think if we had everything we desire, we wouldn’t have anything to look forward to, which would probably cause us to be less happy.  At least that’s how I feel.

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

I like to visit thrift shops, but I’m not a ‘die hard’ fan who spends hours there.  I won’t spend a lot of time digging and searching for bargains like some folks do, but if I spot a bargain, I’ll buy it. One of my favorite finds was a large, ‘talking’ rocking horse we bought for the grandchildren, while visiting a Goodwill Store, one summer, near Amelia Island.

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?

My sense of wanderlust is probably about a 2.  I enjoy seeing new places, I just don’t enjoy the trip to get there.

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

This month, life has felt like a marathon.  There’s been a lot turmoil and strife in our lives, and now that’s been complicated by more health issues, as well.  I keep telling myself, this, too, shall pass… and I know it will, eventually.

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

I just need for my back to get better so I can put out all of my fall decorations, next month.  I usually decorate inside and outside.

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

I’ll say sitting around the fire pit, with family, talking and watching the fire burn.  It’s been quite a while since we’ve done that, and I’ve missed it.

Random:

A picture of me, relaxing and feeding the birds on St. Simon’s Island, last week.  The birds enjoyed sharing my popcorn.  I, in turn, enjoyed feeding it to them!  The little fellow on the arm of my chair would eat out of my hand!

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Published in: on August 17, 2016 at 9:01 am  Comments (5)  

The Monday After…

Saturday morning started out much like many others.  I hadn’t slept well the night before, so I was moving slowly.  I went over the 50 pound bag of chicken feed that sits in the corner of our pool room. I bent down to fill up a bowl for the chickens, like I do every morning… and that’s when it happened. I felt a “catch” in my back, in other words, a sharp pain, and I could hardly straighten back up.  I don’t know exactly what happened, but it sure was painful!

I don’t like to give up easily, so I went ahead with my chicken chores.  I fed the chickens and cleaned their coops. Once more, I felt that sharp stabbing pain in my back when I tried to bend over.  I avoided all bending, after that!

Call me crazy, but, a few minutes later, I still decided to change out the towels that are protecting the swing [from cats] on the front porch.  It was at that particular moment I  also got stung by a wasp!  How was I to know a huge wasp nest was located on the back of the swing?  Wow, two painful episodes within an hour.  I couldn’t decide which felt worse, my back or my ring finger.  It quickly became obvious that Saturday, the 13th wasn’t going to be my day!

Our daughter-in-law had a cookout planned for Saturday evening, so I willed myself into the kitchen to make some rice krispie treats.  I didn’t want to let my aches and  pains get the best of me. By lunchtime, my back was good and sore, and I moved slowly and painfully the rest of the day.  I took pain medication twice that day, so I was able to make it to the cookout.

The Saturday afternoon cookout was to honor our oldest son, who finally finished up his degree.  He graduated from high school in 2000, and has been s-l-o-w-l-y working toward his college degree for many years.  Nobody could convince him to take more than one class per semester, but just like the tortoise, he very slowly and very steadily completed his task.  We couldn’t be prouder!  He graduated with honors, but the very best part is he graduated with no student debt, too.  There aren’t many who can say that, these days!

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College Grad

The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful.  I spent the majority of it alternating between laying down and sitting because of my sore back.  I tried to do a little grocery shopping, on Sunday afternoon, but started having back spasms, and had to let Ed finish the job.  I’m blessed that he can take over my duties when I’m not able to do them.

Speaking of Ed, he had a checkup with his cardiologist, on Friday, and got a very good report.  His doctor told him if all of his patients got along as well as Ed has, it would make his job a lot easier.  Praise the Lord for Ed’s smooth recovery!  He’s approaching the 10 month anniversary of his heart attack.

It has started raining, as I’m writing this post, and I’m glad!  Our grass has turned brown due to extreme temperatures and lack of rain.  Perhaps a good shower will help to bring it back to life.  It would also be nice not to have to water my plants for a day or so.  Speaking of watering plants, there’s nothing like being “down in the back” to show a person they have too many things to take care of!  And speaking of being “down in the back”, I think I’ll go and rest mine for a while.  I hope it helps!

Have a great Monday!

 

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Published in: on August 15, 2016 at 2:28 pm  Comments (4)  
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