Saying Good-bye To April With A Hodgepodge…

What in the world happened to the month of April?  It went by in a blur, or at least that’s how it seems to me.  Never-the-less, it’s Wednesday again, and you know what that means.  It’s time for The Wednesday Hodgepodge!  Thank you, once again, to our wonderful hostess, Joyce, for continuing to host this fun meme.  Now, let the fun begin…

1. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Has your April been filled with showers?

We haven’t had many April showers in our neck of the woods, other than the kind that flows from our water sprinkler.  It’s been extremely dry here!  That’s why we were absolutely thrilled when it finally rained on Sunday evening!  We are very grateful for the inch of rain we received.

Do you carry an umbrella, wear a slicker, or make a run for it?  I often carry an umbrella, but, sometimes, I’ll just make a run for it.  A little water never hurt anyone.

Besides rain, what else has filled your April?  

April has mostly been filled with planting and taking care of our garden.  Gardening is quite time-consuming (especially for poor Ed)! Due to my back issues, I do more watching and watering than anything else.  You can’t tell from this photo, but there are 20 rows of vegetables planted in this garden!

2.  What’s something you could give a 30-minute presentation on, at a moment’s notice, with zero preparation? I could easily give a presentation on these creatures:

I can’t believe how little I actually knew about chickens when I brought those first baby chicks home, five years ago, but experience is a great teacher!  These ‘girls’ think they rule–and they pretty much do.  The two red hens are from the original flock of five years ago, and they still lay eggs!  The other six members of the flock (one missed being photographed) will celebrate their 3rd birthday in September. We’ve almost reached a milestone of 4, 400 eggs from these chickens (plus the five members of the flock who are now deceased).

3. Share with us a favorite food memory from childhood.

I remember my maternal grandmother having some awesome family dinners at her house!  There’d be all kinds of foods, but, strangely, the thing I looked forward to the most was the large plate of pineapple or pimento cheese sandwiches!  They always tasted so good!  Grandma also made the most delicious ‘bread pudding’ I’ve ever eaten.  For those who may not  know, ‘bread pudding’ is made with ‘left-over’ bread, eggs, milk, sugar, and cinnamon, then baked.  I sure wish I had grandma’s recipe.

4. What’s a song you thought you knew the lyrics to, but later discovered you were wrong?

I don’t have a particular song in mind, but, prior to Google, I didn’t know the correct lyrics to most of the songs by Credence Clearwater Revival or Elton John…  Come to think of it, can anyone sing the correct lyrics to Benny and the Jets?

5. According to one travel website, the most overrated tourist attractions in America are-
Niagara Falls (NY), Hollywood Walk of Fame (California), Times Square (NYC), Epcot (FL), Seattle Space Needle (WA), and Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market (Boston).

How many of these have you seen in person?

Sadly, none of them.  I’m not well-traveled.  I have been to Disneyworld, in Florida, but I went before Epcot was completed.

Did you feel like a tourist? Did you care?  Yes and no.

Tell us about a place (not on the list) you’ve visited that might be considered a tourist trap, but you love it anyway.

Elvis’ former home, Graceland might fall into that category.  His home, seemingly frozen in time, is still open for tours, as far as I know.  The house is still decorated as it was back in the late 60’s or early 70’s, but I enjoyed touring it, since I remember the 70’s so well.  I’m sure everything in the home was ‘state of the art’ back in Elvis’ day, but everything looks rather antiquated now.  Check out that television!

photo via Google

6. Your signature clothing item?

Crocs! I wear them all the time.  Here’s a photo of my first pair of Crocs.  I wore this pair for about ten years before finally throwing them away!  Sadly, the newer Crocs aren’t made to be quite as durable.


7. What’s an experience you’ve had you think everyone should experience at least once? Why?

A “close call”.  My husband, Ed, had a heart attack 18 months ago. Fortunately, he survived his  “widow maker”, and is doing well. While going through the experience was extremely scary and stressful, it made us both realize just how precious (and short) our time [here] really is.  We can be taken in the blink of an eye!  We thank God, every day, for this ‘extra’ time we’ve been given together.

Random:
While in Brunswick on other business, we had the opportunity to briefly visit St. Simon’s Island, last week, our first visit since last September.

I was pleased not to see much damage from last fall’s hurricane Matthew.  Everything seemed pretty much unchanged.  The ‘walking man’ was still making his rounds…

and folks were still taking pictures beside the strange-looking tree on the island… which I can’t seem to find a photo of!  The island was actually pretty crowded, for a Thursday.

We only stayed long enough to grab a bar-b-que sandwich from Southern Soul, then ate it while sitting in a park beside the beautiful water.  I hope to go back, soon!

Published in: on April 26, 2017 at 8:13 am  Comments (9)  
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Flying High With Another Hodgepodge…

 

I promised myself that I would write a blog post, last week, while The Hodgepodge was on hiatus, but guess what?  I didn’t.  I guess it’s a good thing our gracious hostess, Joyce, only took one week off.  Anyway, Joyce is back, The Hodgepodge is back, and so am I!  Here are today’s questions:

1. Tell us about a time you felt like you were ‘flying by the seat of your pants’.

Honestly, the first thing that comes to mind is taking care of our first baby, right after she was born.  I knew nothing about babies, and frankly, I was scared to death!  Scared to hold her, to feed her, to dress her, even to be left alone with her.  Thankfully, babies are resilient and new mommies learn quickly!  Things went much smoother with my next two babies.

2. When or where would you most like to be ‘a fly on the wall’?

I think I’d like to be a fly on the wall when our grandchildren are playing together.  They’re getting to the age where they talk among themselves more, and some of what they say is probably pretty funny.  If it isn’t, it soon will be!

3. ‘Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.’-Henry David Thoreau

Would you agree? Why or why not?

I agree.  It’s always been my experience when you concentrate on one particular thing, and it’s not happening, time seems to d-r-a-g.  For instance, waiting for Ed to complete his [20 month] tour of duty in Okinawa, trying to get pregnant the first time, or even trying to get a new job after being a stay-at-home mom for 14 years.  It seemed that just turning my focus to other things always seemed to work for me. Before I knew it, happiness had arrived, in some form or another.

4. Share a favorite movie, book, or song with flying in it’s title, lyrics, or theme somewhere.

I love Albert E. Brumley’s gospel song, I’ll Fly Away.  There are many versions of this song on YouTube, but the one below is a really good one, and it’s set to footage from the movie “Oh, Brother Where Art Thou?” (I love that movie, too!)

5. What is one task or chore you tend to do ‘on the fly’? Is this something that really needs to be done another way?

Cleaning the bathroom!  I don’t really have scheduled cleaning days for the bathroom.  It’s done on an “as needed” basis–usually twice a week, more if needed.

6. What was happening the last time you thought to yourself or said aloud, ‘Wow, time flies when you’re having fun’, and you meant it.

I say that phrase a lot, now that Ed and I are both retired, and I really mean it!

7. This Thursday is National Garlic Day. Will you add garlic to your menu on Thursday? Do you like garlic? What’s your favorite dish made with garlic?

No, garlic isn’t one of my favorite things.  A little garlic goes a long way, as far as I’m concerned.  My favorite thing seasoned with garlic is bread or toast.

Random:

Ed and I celebrated Easter #44 with our family, this past weekend. The celebration began with everyone gathering at our daughter’s house, on Saturday afternoon, with all of our grandchildren dying eggs together.

cousins getting ready to dye eggs

The children had a great time dying eggs, but I think the children (and some adults) had almost as much fun playing together, afterward!

Jennifer, exhibits her skills with a hula hoop

The day ended with a delicious meal of chili, hot dogs, Easter cake and cookies.  I’m very grateful to our daughter for hosting this event for our family.

Somehow, Ed and I managed to find time to hide 353 plastic eggs in our yard, and cook our portion of the noon meal before 10 am on Easter morning. We were determined to make it to church, this year!  It’s amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it.

on the way to church

At 11 am, Ed and I attended services at a local church, where our oldest son delivered the morning message.  (He did an awesome job, too.) After church, everyone met at our house for Easter lunch, followed by our traditional egg hunt.

Of course, before the egg hunt could begin, we had to take our annual Easter family photo…

No blooms left on our azaleas, this year

And then the fun began…

Evan, the youngest, leading the hunt

At the end of the day, 350 of 353 eggs were found, after almost two hours of hunting!  The grandchildren ended up with a ton of candy, and a total of twenty dollars in prize money.  I think everyone had a great time, I know I did.

 

Published in: on April 19, 2017 at 7:35 am  Comments (11)  
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No Foolin’, It’s Time For The Hodgepodge…

Lately, it’s been busy here in our neck of the woods, but it’s time to take a break and settle down a while with The Wednesday Hodgepodge.  I always look forward to Wednesdays!  Thanks to our gracious hostess, Joyce, for this little bit of mid-week fun:)  Please join us if you can!

1. April is Lawn and Garden Month. On a scale of 1-10 what’s the current state of your lawn and/or garden. (10=a showpiece, 1=send in the professionals). Tell us about any lawn or garden plans you have for this month.

Well, Joyce, I’m so glad you asked, since we’ve been busy working on both!  At the moment, our lawn is about a 6.  Even though Ed’s treated it for weeds, and fertilized it, we haven’t had enough rain to make it lush and green, yet.  We’re getting there, though.

As for our garden, Phase 1 (potatoes, garden peas, onions) has been planted for over a month.  So far, I’d rate it about a 6, too, due to the strange weather we’ve been having. ( cold nights, hot days, no rain) 

Phase 2 (green beans, squash, cucumbers, peas, butter beans) has been planted about a week, and is just beginning to sprout.  So far, so good.  The tomatoes, cabbage, lettuce, and peppers seem to be doing okay, we’ll see how everything tolerates the 43 degree temps, wind, rain, and possible hail that’s headed our way, now.

2. “Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there.”~Thomas Fuller What does this quote mean to you?

First, I’m going to take this quote literally, because Ed and I have all kinds of grass and weeds sprouting in our garden and we didn’t plant any of it!  I can also take this quote figuratively, in remembering the difficult days of trying to raise children.  You love them, nurture them, and teach them all the right things, but, sometimes negative actions and behaviors spring forth from them, just like weeds in a garden.

3. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about God?

Love/redemption/forgiveness/obedience.

4. If we were chatting in person, how would I know if you were nervous?

I’d probably fidget a bit, and not have very much to say, at first.  I don’t usually initiate  much conversation, but I’ll follow along if you’ll start it.

5. Do you like the color yellow? Would I find any in your home or wardrobe? Daffodils, tulips, roses, sunflowers, day lily, black-eyed susan…which yellow bloom on this list is your favorite?

Yellow is good, but it’s not among my favorite colors, except in flowers!  I can’t choose a favorite flower because I love daffodils, yellow roses, and sunflowers!  In fact, I grow sunflowers in the garden every year, see:


I do have a couple of yellow items in my wardrobe, but I don’t wear them often.  There’s no yellow in my home, unless you count the ceramic chicks sitting on the shelves in the living room.

6. Flip flops or bare feet?

Inside-bare feet.  Outside-flip flops or crocs.  I never go bare footed outside–we have free ranging chickens and crab grass!

7. Tell us about any Easter plans, celebrations, or traditions you’ll carry out this month.

Usually, I have all of the grandchildren over to color eggs on the Saturday evening before Easter.  This year, our daughter is planning to take over this tradition, and let the cousins color eggs at her house.

Ed and I will still be hosting the usual family Easter lunch and an egg hunt for the grandchildren, afterward, but this year will be different.  Usually, on Easter, Ed and I stay home to cook the meal and hide the eggs while everyone else is at church.

This year we will hide the eggs and cook the meal ahead of time, so we can attend Easter services, like everyone else does.  Our oldest son will be bringing the Easter message at his church, this year.  How special is that?!  I’m looking forward to being there.

Random:

Easter memories…

The other day, when I saw some little boys’ three-piece suits hanging in a store, I couldn’t help but remember Easters when our children were small!

It doesn’t seem that long ago when they were small,  but now our children are all grown up, with children of their own.  Our daughter has a daughter, and both sons have sons.

cir. 1987

In fact, three of our four grandchildren are now about the same ages  our children were in this old photo.
 cir. 1989

Last Easter it rained, so we didn’t get to take a family photo, but here’s a 2015 Easter picture of our crew, all grown up, with their families.  The thing I notice most about this photo is how much Ed and I look like the grandparents.  Oh, my!

Published in: on April 5, 2017 at 8:18 am  Comments (10)  
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A Beautiful Wednesday Hodgepodge…

Hello, it’s me.  It’s hard to  believe another week has passed since I blogged.  Time seems to be passing at warp speed, these days.  At any rate, it’s Wednesday, and that means it’s time to participate in The Wednesday Hodgepodge, and it’s time to thank Joyce for being such a gracious hostess. Thanks, Joyce–for everything you do!

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

I think springtime blossoms [of all kinds] are beautiful.  Our azalea blossoms froze in mid-bloom, but there are still plenty of other kinds of blossoms all around–and pollen, too.  Oh, my goodness, pollen is horrible, this year!

I couldn’t mention spring blossoms without posting a picture–even if it’s off of the internet.  Isn’t this a pretty picture?

image via Google

2. Our culture and beauty…your thoughts?

I think many people tend to put too much emphasis on the way a person looks.  There seems to be more pressure to look”perfect”, these days, than when I was growing up.  As a result,  the orthodontist, dermatologist, cosmetologist, and plastic surgeon’s businesses are all booming.

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

I’m going to say “beauty sleep” because I’m always striving for a good night’s sleep, which often proves to be elusive.  A good night’s sleep may not do much for my looks, but it sure makes me feel better the next day!

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?

The thought of encountering bed bugs actually scares me the most because I’ve heard they are so hard to get rid of!  I hope and pray I never find out!  I actually acquired my fear of bed bugs after an exterminator shared [with us] how often people get them, and how difficult they are to exterminate.

As for the other animals listed, I’ve had encounters with almost everything on the list, except black bears and alligators.  I’ve only seen those in exhibits.  Of all of my encounters, the one with a rattle snake was the scariest.  It was just a few feet away from  me, in the edge of our yard.

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

I suppose I was working at school [12 years ago] the last time I heard a bell ring. I don’t remember our elementary school having  actual timed bells (although they may have), but I do remember the teachers all had hand bells of various kinds which they rang at the end of recess or if the class was getting too loud during class.

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

How about a delicious slice of ten layered yellow cake with chocolate fudge icing between every layer and on top?!  Now that’s what I call carbs!

image via Google

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

M-multiple trips to the dentist

A- a lot of time spent at church

R- ready to plant the rest of our garden

C- cats and grandchildren enjoying nice weather

H- hens laying eggs like crazy

Random:

I’ve decorated for Easter–inside and outside.  Here’s some of what I’ve done:  (PS If you look close in the second picture, you can still see the brown blossoms clinging to the azaleas.  So sad!)


Published in: on March 29, 2017 at 7:26 am  Comments (11)  

Marching Through Another Hodgepodge…

After a brief hiatus, The Hodgepodge is back.  Lately, I haven’t been able to see ‘the linky’, at times, but I’m playing along, even if I can’t always see my name on the list.  As always, thanks to our hostess, Joyce, for everything she does to keep The Hodgepodge going!

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

The main thing that comes to mind is the work that’s been going on in our daughter’s kitchen, next door to us.  Ed and our SIL have been installing new kitchen cabinets over there, and there’s been a bit of ‘March Madness’ going on–like dealing with an unlevel floor, discovering one of the new cabinets was broken when they pulled it out of the box, and having to move two kitchen light fixtures and an electrical outlet.  Fun times!  All troubles aside, her kitchen is looking great, though.

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.

The only made up words [that I can think of] from my or my children’s childhoods were their nicknames.  My daughter would probably kill me if I told hers, so I’ll just keep mum.  Ed still calls her by that nickname, occasionally, and it usually brings laughter.

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?

Yes, we’ll be doing a little spring cleaning at our house, but most of it will be on the outside of the house.  Of the fifteen tasks listed, cleaning windows and cleaning out drawers would be on the top of my list to be done.

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

I think I’ll choose a favorite movie set in New York.  I love ‘Scent of a Woman’ (Al Pacino & Chris O’Donnell), with ‘Working Girl’ (Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford, & Sigourney Weaver) coming in a close second.

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

I love all of the blooming flowers and trees.  Unfortunately, last week’s untimely freeze killed most of the azaleas.

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

Yes, once I became a paraprofessional, way back in 1991, it didn’t take me long to discover my love of teaching.  I loved being with the first grade children, and I loved watching them learn.  I worked with small reading and math groups, and loved watching each student’s progress, knowing I’d been a small part of their accomplishments.  I worked as a paraprofessional for almost fourteen years, and loved every year except the last one, which explains why I quit in mid-year.  The last group I taught will graduate from high school this year.

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 don’t have a favorite floral scent, but I like roses, magnolias, and gardenias.  Lately, I’ve had a couple of baskets of petunias growing in my greenhouse, and they’ve been smelling pretty awesome, too!

I often use floral scented ‘wallflowers’ in the bathroom.  I don’t really care about florals in my food, and I’m not a wine drinker.

Random:

These azaleas belonged to Ed’s parents, and used to grow beside their house before they were transplanted to the back of what’s now our daughter’s yard.  These azaleas are well-over fifty years old, and…

they make a great background for spring pictures…

Published in: on March 22, 2017 at 7:52 am  Comments (12)  

Tales From A Simple Woman’s Daybook…

For Today…

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Looking out my window… 

I can see our azaleas still blooming.  They’re not quite as pretty as they were before the recent rain, but still worth noting.  I also see tiny leaves beginning to sprout on the Sycamore tree, even though it was bare, last week. Most of our Maple trees are sprouting leaves, as well. Spring is just around the corner, although the current temperatures don’t feel like it.

I am thinking…

last weekend’s time change is going to kill me!  Every time the time changes, it takes me at least a couple of weeks to adjust to the new schedule.

I am thankful…

that Ed and I made the decision to move back to his family’s farm, all those years ago.  This Friday, on St. Patrick’s Day, we’ll celebrate the 40th anniversary of moving from the city.  It was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.

One of my favorite things…

is taking a long hot bath, at the end of the day.  I often enjoy reading while I soak.

I am [still] creating…

 some crocheted covers for some throw pillows.  It’s a slow process, because I don’t work on them regularly.

I am wearing…

a red/green plaid nightgown and a red robe, my Christmas attire.

I am reading…

Dolly Pardon’s autobiography which is entitled, Dolly, My Life and Other Unfinished Business.  This book has made me laugh out loud on several occasions.  It’s that funny!

I am watching…

a couple of new action shows on television.  The first one is called The Blacklist: Redemption, and the other is called Taken.  Both have a little more violence than I prefer, but they’re good action shows.

I am listening to…

a couple of new instrumental worship cd’s that I bought from Hobby Lobby. One is entitled Church in the Wildwood, and the other is entitled Standing on the Promises.  It’s good, relaxing music.

I am hoping…

our sick hen will recover and be able to rejoin the flock, soon.  I hate keeping her in isolation.  She’s currently receiving medication in her drinking water.  Chickens are social creatures, and don’t enjoy being alone.  I cheated a bit, last night, and let her sleep with the other hens.  It was too cold to be sleeping alone (31 degrees).

I am learning…

things aren’t always as they seem.

In my kitchen…

Ed and I made strawberry jam for the first time, last week.  We started out with seventeen pounds of strawberries, freshly picked by Ed. Our neighbor has a strawberry field, which made access to the berries easy.

they tasted as good as they look

When all was said and done, we ended up with 26 pints of delicious strawberry jam, and it’s delicious.

our last two batches of jam

In my garden…

onions, potatoes, radishes, and carrots are growing.  We had to replant our garden peas and they haven’t sprouted, yet.  We have some tomato, lettuce, and cabbage seedlings growing in cups on our front porch, but I’ve had to temporarily bring them inside due to cooler temperatures.  I hope these cooler temperatures don’t hurt our potatoes in the garden.

Shared Quote…

“A little more kindness, a little less hurry.  A little more laughter, a little less worry.”  (isn’t that the truth?!)

A moment from my day…

Ed and I, posing beside the azaleas, last week

 

Closing Notes…

Thank goodness, this week has been less busy than last week!  Last week, Ed and I both had dentist appointments (on different days), had an appointment with our insurance agent, plus we made two trips, out-of-town, for shopping purposes.  I guess you could say, we’ve gotten spoiled to the slower pace of ‘retirement living’, and we like it:)

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

Published in: on March 15, 2017 at 7:59 am  Comments (4)  
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Happy Anniversary To The Hodgepodge!

Today marks the 300th edition of The Wednesday Hodgepodge!  Who knew, all those years ago we’d still be going strong?  We definitely wouldn’t still be doing this without our superb hostess, Joyce, that’s for sure!  Her questions, her visits and comments to each of us, and let’s not forget she provides the ‘linky’ for us, as well.  Thanks, Joyce, for ALL you do!  Congratulations on this milestone, and I’m honored to be able to say I’ve participated in all 300 of your Hodgepodge editions!  P.S.  I love the new button, too!

Now, for today’s questions:

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

I’m not nearly as much of a perfectionist as I used to be.  Age has a way of doing that to ya’.  One thing I’m still very particular about is how our Christmas decorations are displayed and how our Christmas trees are decorated.  And yes, I said “trees” because  I decorate four of them.

It’s probably not a good thing that I’m so particular about such things, but that’s the way I roll.

2. What’s something you find perfectly ridiculous?

People’s obsession with their cell phones/social media.  It’s both sad
and ridiculous and sad, at the same time. (please read “Random” below)

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

Cooking!  I’ve had years of practice.  I’m especially skilled at making cornbread because Ed would happily eat it with every meal, if I’d cook it.

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

I always look forward to pancakes and sausage. We only treat ourselves to this meal once a week, on Sunday mornings, and Ed’s the cook!

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

To me, our most memorable trip was a summer trip back in 2002 when we went to Nashville, Tennessee.  We were accompanying our youngest son to FBLA’s Nationals, because he’d won the state competition in Banking/Finance, during his junior year of high school.  We stayed at The Gaylord Opryland Hotel (all expenses paid) and it was beautiful!  We also went to a show at the Grand Ole’ Opry, visited The Country Music Hall of Fame, and took a tour of some of country music stars’ homes.  (I saw where Alan Jackson lives!)  We also drove over to Memphis, Tennessee, and visited Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland.  Fun times!

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

“Money talks.  Mine says goodbye.”  Medical bills, dental bills, the IRS… Need I say more?

7. How would you spend $300 today?

I’d probably give it to Ed to help pay the balance on the permanent crown he’ll be getting at the dentist, tomorrow.  Goodbye money.

Random:

Yesterday, my daughter shared this devotion with me.  There’s so much wisdom and truth in it.  Please take a moment to read…

Engaging in My Own Life by

Suzie Eller

“You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.” Psalm 39:5 (NIV) 

We snuck the old 8 mm movie cylinders out of the home. The box was broken down on one corner, and the blue cases inside were fragile.

I remember the first time I watched them. My mother-in-law took out the archaic projector. She flashed the films on the wall. Some of the films were fragile, and they’d break over and over as she tried to show them. Soon, technology changed so much we couldn’t watch them anymore. The box got dustier and pushed back further in the closet.

We took the box out secretly, because we didn’t want to get her hopes up. I went to a local vendor and asked if there was anything he could do. He took those precious memories out of my hands and promised to try.

A few days later he called me back. He did it!

When we gave my mother-in-law the DVDs that held over 50 years of her life on them, she wept.

So did I.

Way back then, when the flickering film was projected in her living room, I appreciated it, but I didn’t see it the way she did. Those films held pictures of her mom and dad. They showed how chaotic it was for her to be a young mama. She treasured them because life was changing. She was a grandma, and some of those precious people were no longer in her life.

As we watched the movies this time, my mother-in-law sat nearby. Her hands shook; she now uses a walker to get around.

Today, I’m the grandma. Many of the people who seemed so young back then are no longer here.

In today’s passage, the psalmist describes life as a handbreadth, which is a measure of four fingers. It indicates how brief life is. While the writer of this psalm lamented that he put too much emphasis on wealth and things of the world, I’m reminded of other distractions.

I admit that sometimes I live as if my precious moments aren’t valuable. I take people for granted. I disengage as I scroll through social media, while real live people whom I love are nearby. I pile on work and activities, promising to spend time with those I love on another day.

It’s so tempting to value what has no lasting value at all and overlook what we’ll one day label a treasure.

That night, I looked around the room. I took in the faces one by one, appreciating something about each of them. I put my phone in my purse. It wasn’t nearly as important as talking to the one next to me. The room was crowded and noisy, and I realized that one day it would be quiet — for those little ones would be all grown up.

We shot our own videos that day with our phones and snazzy technology. One day, we’ll look back at those and laugh. We’ll weep at who is no longer with us. We’ll talk about how young we all were.

My hope is that I’ll watch it and know I didn’t live those moments disengaged or distracted. That I engaged in my own life in the handbreadth of time I was given, valuing all those I love.

Heavenly Father, despite what’s distracting me from the goodness right in front of me, show me the true value. I may not be able to put it aside fully, but show me how to give it the proper place in my heart and my life. Lord, help me treasure precious moments as memories in the making. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 144:4, “They are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow.” (NIV)

– See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/engaging-in-my-own-life/#sthash.zPF4cfET.dpuf

Published in: on March 8, 2017 at 8:02 am  Comments (2)  
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A S-L-O-W Kind Of Hodgepodge…

The Hodgepodge may have a ‘slow’ theme this week, but there’s certainly nothing slow about the way time is passing!  When you blink, you could miss an entire week, or so it seems.  Anyway, thanks to our hostess, Joyce, for another great Hodgepodge.  Next week we’ll be celebrating our 300th edition!!!   Way to go, Joyce!

Here are this week’s questions:

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

The first thing that comes to mind is when Ed built the house we’re currently living in.  He’d come home from an eight-hour work day, plus a two-hour commute, then work on the house until bedtime, every single day.  He worked on it from dawn till dark on weekends, too. It took Ed a total of six long months to finish the inside of the house, so we could move into it.  Then, it took several more months to get the outside finished, but it was definitely worth all of the slow and steady work involved.  We have a home, designed and built by us, and it’s paid for.

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home sweet home

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?

I’m not a huge fan of any of these except for caramel.  My favorite food made with caramel would be some kind of candy bar.

3. Your favorite slow song?

I’m going to name the first song that comes to my mind…My Girl by the Temptations.  I loved this song over 45 years ago, and I still love it today.  ( How about the choreography in this video?)

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

It’s either crock pot macaroni and cheese or pulled pork.

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?

These days, I’m a delayer.  Lately, the task I’ve come to dread the most is changing out the decorations in our house each month.  This involves dragging out several large plastic storage containers, packing up one set of seasonal decor, then replacing them with a different set.  It also involves decorating our ‘year round tree’ each month.  Now that my back is ‘bad’, I need Ed’s help with those boxes.  This week the Valentine’s decor was packed up and replaced with St. Patrick’s Day decor.  It took me two days to accomplish this.

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

Waiting for seeds to sprout and grow large enough to transplant, crocheting any large project (like an afghan), waiting in the doctor’s office.

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waiting, waiting, waiting…

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.

I used to  do all kinds of crafts– from latch hook to embroidery.  I made rag dolls [and sold them], and even used to sew most of my own clothes.  I eventually learned how to crochet, using my right hand, even though I’m left-handed.  That was one of my proudest accomplishments!  These days, I’m not so crafty.  Recently, I did re-learn how to crochet, and I’m currently crocheting some new covers for some throw pillows.  I’d like to get those pillow covers finished, then I’d like to make another scrapbook.  Maybe this will happen in March, we’ll see.

Random:  

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“Chicken William”

Can you see the life-sized metal rooster in the picture above?  His name is “Chicken William Bacon”, dubbed so by our youngest grandson, Evan, who’s three.

This rooster was one of my recent Christmas gifts from Ed.  I love my handsome rooster, “Chicken William”, but “my girls” weren’t quite sure what to make of him when I finally placed him outside, earlier this week.  I fear we may need a ‘real’ rooster, though.  Just last week I saw [and heard] one of “the girls” trying to flap her wings and crow!  How strange.

Published in: on March 1, 2017 at 9:07 am  Comments (10)  

A ‘Fishy’ Kind Of Hodgepodge…

Welcome to my little corner of blog land and to The Wednesday Hodgepodge.  As always, I’d like to thank our hostess, Joyce, for everything she does to keep The Hodgepodge going.  If you’d like to be a part of the fun, just click on the button above, answer the questions, and join us.  Today’s  Hodgepodge theme appears to be “fishing”.

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?

Yes, I’ve been fishing quite a few times, and have caught a few fish in my day.  I kept some, and threw others back.  (For the record, I will bait my own hook, but won’t take my fish off the hook.)

I never liked to fish [in fresh water] using a cane pole, but, once Ed and I got married and moved to a nearby coastal town, I quickly discovered a love of salt-water fishing!  Give me a reel and rod with some dead shrimp for bait, any day, versus a cane pole, a cork, worms or crickets!!!

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, or cut bait…which fishy phrase most recently applies to some area of your life?

I’m going to say “packed in like sardines” since we, recently, celebrated a family member’s birthday at our house.  When all twelve of us get together, it can feel a bit crowded in our kitchen.

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

I’m always “fishing” for a bottle of artificial tears.  I have a terrible case of dry eyes, so I keep bottles stashed in various places.

3. Your favorite fish tale or movie?

One of my favorite fishing adventures took place the first summer Ed and I were married.   Often, we’d sit upon a huge pile of rocks, located near the foot of a bridge, and we’d fish in the salt water river running underneath the bridge.  Getting our fish out of the water could be a challenge because of those rocks, though.  On this particular day, my parents were visiting, and had gone fishing with us.  All of the sudden, I caught a nice-sized fish, pulled him up onto the rocks, then somehow, managed to let it get back into the water.  I was devastated. Out of the blue, my fish suddenly came floating back up to the top of the water!  Ed, speedier than a locomotive, jumped off those rocks, into the water, and caught my fish with his bare hands!  What a save!  (I don’t call him “Fast Eddie” for nothing.)  You should’ve seen the look on my face, and others nearby… Priceless.

As for movies, I still like Free Willy.

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

I’m going to say I’m “twilight”.  Maybe because I’m tired a lot, these days, and remind myself of how one might feel at the end of the day–only I feel this way all day long.

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

It’s probably the gray t-shirt that I got from the Country Music Hall of Fame, in Nashville, back in 2002.   I’ll be sad when it finally wears out.

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?

Yes!  These warm, sunny days do make me long for a day on St. Simon’s Island.  I also would like to go on a road trip to Florida to visit my brother and sister-in-law, because it’s been a while since we’ve seen them.

The worst/best part of our winter, so far, have been the medical procedures Ed and I had to deal with.  On the negative side, the procedures [for both of us] were stressful and inconvenient, but, on the positive side, both of our outcomes turned out good, so we can’t complain.

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, this girl won’t be celebrating Margarita Day because I don’t drink alcohol.  Yes, I am a Jimmy Buffet fan, believe it or not.  He’s been a favorite artist of mine for a long time, and has quite an interesting biography!

Margartaville is one of my favorite tunes by Jimmy Buffet, but I also love this lesser-known song (and video) by him, entitled It’s Been A Lovely Cruise.

 

Random:

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Ed, preparing the garden soil

Our gardening season of 2017 has officially begun!  Ed and I planted seeds for tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, and lettuce, in cups, beginning on the day after Valentine’s Day.  Many have already sprouted!  Ed has already planted eighty onion ‘sets’ out in the garden, with another forty waiting to be set out.  The plan for today is for Ed to plant our new potatoes and garden peas, along with the rest of the onions.  Unfortunately, my back has been “acting up”, again, so I haven’t been able to help much.  I guess I’ll have to be satisfied to play the role of supervisor.

Published in: on February 22, 2017 at 8:34 am  Comments (12)  
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The Day After Valentine’s Day Hodgepodge…

I hope everyone had a nice Valentine’s Day.  Ed and I celebrated quietly at home by exchanging cards and gifts.  Then  I baked Ed’s heart-shaped German Chocolate cake, while he planted some daffodils in the yard for me.  I’ll always treasure those daffodils because they came from my late mother-in-law’s yard and were planted [for me] on Valentine’s Day.  Good stuff!

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 planting Valentine’s flowers that will last a lifetime

All of that being said, it’s time to move on with The Hodgepodge.  I look forward to mid-week because of it, and I’m so thankful to our hostess, Joyce, for keeping things running smoothly. Here are today’s questions along with my answers:

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 grandparents “Grandma” and “Granddaddy”.  In those days, I don’t recall anyone being called by anything else.

These days, our four grandchildren refer to me as “Mimi” while they call my husband, Ed, “E”. There’s a couple of reasons for this.  First of all,  before becoming a grandma, I used to babysit a set of twin baby girls, and one of them began calling me “Mimi” while she was learning to talk.  The name just sort of stuck.  

Ed’s moniker came about as sort of a joke.  Our son-in-law used to call his grandmother “E-ma” because her first name was Eloise.  While our daughter was expecting, we jokingly told Ed he could be called “E-pa”.  After our granddaughter was born, we started calling Ed “E-pa”, but only the “E” part stuck.  Now, everybody calls him “E”, not just the grands.

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?

Nope, I haven’t taken a road trip along the California Coast, nor do I have any desire to do so.  We live on the opposite side of the country!  

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

I don’t know how to water ski, I don’t know how to drive a motorcycle, and I don’t know how to scuba dive, nor do I have any desire to learn how to do any of those things.

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 peace and harmony among the people–of our country and of our world. There’s entirely too much hate these days!  I think I might celebrate by drinking a coke, being kind to everyone, and listening to this old song:


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, but they’re not my favorite nuts.  I like cashews best.  I would prefer an Almond Joy over a macaroon, but you know what?  I don’t have a single recipe that calls for almonds.

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

Because we’re retired, Saturday morning looks just like any other day at our house, and wee like it that way.  We get up, feed our animals, have our Bible study, then cook and eat breakfast.  The rest of the day is open for whatever we feel like doing.  Lately, Ed has been helping our son-in-law put in their new kitchen cabinets on Saturdays.  I’m happy to report that, after four long months, our daughter now has running water in her kitchen, again!

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

I loved reading “The Magnolia Story” by Chip and Joanna Gaines (of Fixer Upper fame).  I love watching the show “Fixer Upper”, and Chip and Joanna have quite an interesting story to tell about how they met, and how they ended up doing the show “Fixer Upper”.  Next on my reading list is “This Life I Live” by Rory Feek (formerly of the country duo Joey + Rory)  This book was released on Valentine’s Day, the day Joey and Rory had their first date.

Random:

I had my eye surgery performed last Thursday morning, and all went well.  I was given anesthesia while the ophthalmologist removed the chalazion from underneath my eyelid.  Afterward, they told me my surgery lasted 3 whole minutes!

100_6258 I looked worse than I felt!

My vision has already improved dramatically–from 20/40 to 20/20, in that eye, and it’s still improving.  I’ve had no eye pain or discomfort whatsoever, and it’s great to be able to see again!!!

An interesting note here:

The nurse who put in my IV and took care of me prior to the surgery, also put in my IV and took care of me during labor/delivery of my last baby–over thirty-one years ago!  (My labor was 21 hours long, then the baby turned out to weigh 10 lbs., 9 oz. and briefly got stuck in the birth canal, making it quite a memorable birth!)  Julie and I had a good time remembering that day, as well as other good times.  (Julie and Ed worked together for many years at the local hospital.)  I’m so thankful Julie turned out to be my nurse, and that she hasn’t lost her ability to put in a painless IV!

Published in: on February 15, 2017 at 9:01 am  Comments (15)  
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