Saying Farewell [To May] With A Hodgepodge…

So much to say, so little time!  It’s been seven whole days since I last blogged, but it’s Wednesday which means it’s time to dust off the old computer, and get busy with The Hodgepodge!  Thanks to Joyce, for faithfully hosting, and continuing to come up with some great questions!  Speaking of questions, here they are:

1. How should success be measured? Using that as your standard, who is the most successful person you know? (Or one of the most successful?)

Well, Joyce, why don’t you start off with a tough question?!  I’m not really sure how success should be measured, but, in my opinion, it shouldn’t be measured by the amount of education, money, or fame you have!  I think success could be measured by the amount of happiness/contentment one has with life,  the hardships one has overcome, the positive way in which one chooses to live their life, and even what people say about you after you’re gone.  

I think my late father-in-law was a very successful person.  He came from a large family, and his mother died when he was very young.  (His father later remarried, and I’m not sure how ‘good’ the step mother was to his children.)  Later, when he served in WWII, he sent money home, every month, to help support his family.  He fought in the war for a long time, over-coming the odds by surviving when many of his fellow soldiers didn’t.  Then he met and married the love of his life,  with whom he happily shared over fifty years.  Over the years, the couple had a total of five sons.  Two of the five sons got sick, and died at young ages.  My FIL always worked hard, and provided for his family.   My late father-in-law was never all that rich in money, but he was rich in so many other ways!  He was healthy and happy, and rarely complained.  His health didn’t even begin to falter until he was in his late seventies.  He never met a stranger, or turned away anyone who asked for his help.  He was always willing to share anything he had.  He tried to see to best in everyone, and, in turn, was loved by all.  After he passed away, the most common comment we heard was “He was a good man.”  

2. Have you ever been to a hot air balloon launch/fest/party? No, but I’ll bet it would be fun.

Ever taken a ride in a hot air balloon? No.

Is that on your bucket list? No, I’m afraid of heights.

According to Frommers the ten best hot air balloon adventures in the world are-

Loire Valley (France), the Serengeti (Tanzania), Napa Valley (California), Lake Champlain (Vermont), Cappadocia (Turkey), Istria (Croatia), Gstaad (Switzerland), Yarra Valley (Australia), Muelle (Costa Rica), and Albuquerque (New Mexico).

Which one on the list would you most like to experience?  Really, none of the above, but if I have to choose one I’ll say Napa Valley.

3. May 25th is National Brown-Bag It Day. Did you/will you pack a lunch today? When did you last pack a lunch for someone and what are your go-to ingredients for a brown bag lunch?

No, I didn’t  pack a lunch for today, nor will I.   Ed and I usually pack a lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, baked chips, and a couple of cookies whenever we go on our weekly ‘road trips’.  That’s healthier than eating ‘fast food’ and saves us money, too. (We also enjoy the challenge of trying to find a shady place to eat our picnic lunch!)  We do treat ourselves to eating out about once a month.  The last time we packed a lunch was last Friday.

4. What’s one of your favorite dance scenes from a movie or television show?

I like the final dance scene from the movie “Dirty Dancing”.  I also like the final dance scene from the original [Kevin Bacon] movie, “Foot Loose”.

5. John F. Kennedy made famous the line, ‘…Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” So what can you do for your country?

I don’t know what I can do, but what I’d like to do is vote out all incumbents and begin with a clean slate!  I’m so sick of career politicians.  In fact, I’m pretty much tired of politicians in general.

6. Weekends are made for doing whatever makes you happy!

7. On this last Wednesday of the month, bid farewell to the month of May in seven words or less.

Busy month, went by in a hurry!

Random:

It’s been a busy time around here.  In the past seven days, Ed and I have picked and canned over 28 quarts of green beans!  We’ve also picked and frozen over 6 gallons of squash!  However, life can’t be all work and no play, so here’s a picture of me giving some “lap time” to one of my hens 🙂   Notice the cats in the background, who are waiting for their turn?

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Here’s also a picture of our little grandson who completed K-3, last week.  He also received  the “Christian character” award from his teachers. Way to go, Chase!  You’re well on your way to being successful, in this Mimi’s eyes.

 

 

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Published in: on May 25, 2016 at 8:31 am  Comments (8)  

Resuming The Wednesday Hodgepodge…

After our brief hiatus, last week, we’re back with the Wednesday Hodgepodge!  Our gracious hostess, Joyce, has a brand new set of thought-provoking questions for us today.  Here they are, along with my answers:

1. Tell us about a time you found yourself ‘in the middle of nowhere’. Was this deliberate?

Ed and I haven’t found ourselves ‘in the middle of nowhere’, lately, but it usually happens whenever Ed decides to find a ‘short cut’, and no, it’s never deliberate, but always interesting.

2. What’s something you’re ‘in the middle of’ today or this week?

We’re in the middle of picking and canning vegetables, this week!  So far, we’ve harvested garden peas, potatoes, squash, and a few green beans.  If all goes well, we’ll finish out the week by picking and canning more green beans and squash, then we’ll have a short break  before anything else is ready to pick.

3. At what age do you think ‘middle age’ begins? What does it mean to be ‘middle aged’?

I think ‘middle age’ begins somewhere around age 45.  I think of life as being divided into four seasons.  Ages 1-20 ( the spring of life), ages 21-40 (the summer of life), ages 41-60 (the fall of life), and ages 61-80 ( the winter of life).  Anything after age 80, I consider  bonus life. (My parents died at ages 65 and 70.)

To me, ‘middle aged’ meant I was entering the final phases of child rearing–one was 21, the other two were 18, and 15.  It also meant it was time to get VERY serious about retirement planning!  (Ed kicked his retirement savings up a notch)  With the children getting older, ‘middle age’ also meant I finally had a little bit more time for myself, as well as more time to spend with Ed.  ‘Middle age’ also found me needing to have a hysterectomy, which ended my worry about birth control or having to deal with monthly feminine issues.  As a result of that hysterectomy, I lost 19 pounds, and felt better than I had in years!  ‘Middle age’ was actually pretty good for me!

4. Ravioli, stuffed peppers, samosas, deviled eggs, steamed dumplings, pierogis, or a jelly donut…your favorite food (from this list!) with something yummy in the middle. Your favorite not on the list?

Hands down, my favorite food on this list would be a jelly donut, but I like deviled eggs, too. (I’m not supposed to be eating either of these, but I love them.)  Something not on the  list?  I really like lemon filled donuts, too.  I know, I’m hopeless…

5. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying ”In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.’ Would you agree? Have you found this to be true in your own life? Feel free to elaborate.

Yes, I would agree.  Although I don’t usually realize it, at the time, I always learn more and grow stronger when I’m going through difficult times.  I always find strength I didn’t know I had! I quickly think of an experience I had with my parents almost 30 years ago–Both of my parents became seriously ill within a month of each other, and both had to be hospitalized in the city, at the same time, for an extended period of time. (four months, and daddy spent two of those four months in ICU)  At the time, I had three children, ages 3, 6, and 9, and I’d never driven in the city before.  I quickly learned how to drive in city traffic, and how to work the schedule with the children so I could go and see about my parents every day.  I’d put the oldest two children on the school bus at 7, then take the youngest one to my father-in-law’s house.  Then I’d drive 60 miles to the hospital (one way), visit each of my parents, who were in different parts of the hospital, then drive back home in time to meet the children when they got off the bus. Then I’d cook supper, do laundry, and get the children ready for the next day.  I did this every day for six weeks, without missing a day.  Did I mention two of my children also came down with chicken pox during those six weeks?  Did I mention, at one point, one of my parents was in ICU while the other was in CCU?  I also a new vehicle when my parents got sick, and I drove so much, I ran out the warranty within the first few months!  Tough times, for sure, but I survived, and so did my parents.

6. What’s a song you remember loving from your middle school years? Do you love it still?

Middle school was a l-o-n-g time ago, and, at first, I could hardly remember what songs were popular back then (mid 60’s).  I finally came up with”I Got You, Babe” by Sonny and Cher, and, yes, I still love it.

7. May 18th is National Visit Your Relatives Day. Will you celebrate? Which relative would you visit if time, distance, and expense were not considered.

We’ll most likely spend some time with our daughter and granddaughter, since we usually see them every day. (We’re neighbors)  If time, distance, or expense didn’t have to be considered, I’d visit my brother and sister-in-law.  We don’t get to see each other nearly enough.

Random:

Yesterday, the unthinkable happened.  About the time we were sitting down to eat lunch, a storm passed through our ‘neck of the woods’.  The wind swirled in all directions, and the rain fell in torrents.  Two inches of water fell within thirty minutes.  We even sprang another leak in our roof–directly over the kitchen table!  Luckily, we had a dish pan sitting close by.

When all was said and done,  we were left with a mess…  Our new landscaping project and our vegetable garden took a direct hit.

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The fallen limb missed everything except the garden flag!

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Unfortunately, our peach tree blew over (notice the tiny peaches)

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Our soggy garden, with plants tossed/turned every which way, and the corn lying flat

Of course, we’re thankful the damage wasn’t any worse than it is.  Fortunately, Ed was able to ditch most of the water out of the garden.  All plants are on raised beds, so they won’t drown.  Some of the plants have straightened themselves up, but we’ll have to wait and see what the corn does.  If we have to, we’ll replant it.  Thankfully, we’d just finished digging and gathering our new potatoes right before this storm hit, or these would’ve been stuck under all of that water!

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The good news is, we won’t have to drag the water hose or move the sprinkler for a few days 🙂

Published in: on May 18, 2016 at 7:21 am  Comments (7)  
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May Days…

With the exception of December, the month of May is the busiest month of the year for our family.  Therefore, not much time for blogging!

Most early mornings, you’ll find Ed and me out in the garden.  There are vegetables waiting to be gathered, and weeds waiting to be pulled or hoed.  It’s powder dry here, too, so lots of time is spent moving the water hose/sprinkler from place to place, as well.  I think of lots of things to blog about, while working, but have no time to write the posts.

This year, our lives are very different than last year, at this time.  Last year, I was afflicted with sciatica, in May, and wasn’t even able to walk out to the garden, much less work in it!  I was pretty much house bound most of the summer.  Going through a year, like that makes me really appreciate this one.  Praise the Lord for normal days!

Speaking of normal days, whenever we travel, Ed, loves to look for “treasures” on the side of the highway.  He’s always stopping to pick up “bungee straps”, buckets, etc.  A couple of years ago we stopped and picked up a child-sized lunchroom chair that had been tossed on the side of the road.  We had no idea what we’d do with the chair, but we brought it home and stored it. This year, that little chair has turned out to be my saving grace while picking garden peas! It’s just the right height, and my back doesn’t hurt when I sit in it, unlike the gardening stool.  You know what they say, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Ed and I spent a large portion of last week working on a landscaping project.  After the children gave me a windmill for Mother’s Day, I felt the need to incorporate it in a landscaping project.  Since we have chickens who free range in our yard, several hours a day, I’m limited as to what I can have.  I opted for several hanging baskets, instead of making a flower bed.  Lucky for me, I got into a “after Mother’s Day sale” on hanging baskets. I love a one-half off sale!  I was well pleased with my bargain plants and the end result of our project, as well.

P1010491Speaking of that “after Mother’s Day sale”, Ed and I made very good use of our Transit Connect van during that shopping trip!  We had the entire back end of the van filled with plants of all kinds, a couple of very tall shepherd’s hooks, three large bags of charcoal, also on sale, plus a few groceries, too.  Days like those are why we need a van!

Our oldest son, Brett, celebrated his 34th birthday on Tuesday, May 10.  Late on the evening of his birthday, after he got home from work, our daughter, our granddaughter, Ed, and I walked down to his house and knocked on the door.  When he opened it, we started singing “Happy Birthday” to him, like a bunch of carolers.  I’m not sure how much he enjoyed our singing, but we sure had fun doing it 🙂

P1010509the birthday boy with his little boys

This past weekend turned out to be a very busy time for the family. On Saturday,  there was a Sweet Onion Parade and festival, which some attended.  Then, on Saturday evening, our daughter-in-law hosted a belated birthday party for our oldest son.  There was also a Sweet Onion Gospel Sing, on Saturday evening, which our granddaughter participated in.  She sings with her church’s youth choir, known as “Tomorrow’s Voices”, and this was the first gospel sing she’d participated in.  Her mama said she did a good job.

P1010502 (2)Madison showing off the back of her choir t-shirt

On Sunday, things didn’t slow down much, either, since our oldest son was in charge of delivering both Sunday messages, in the absence of his church’s pastor. This mama says he did a good job, too!

Now that it’s Monday, I’ve been dividing my time between the garden and cleaning house–with a little blogging sandwiched in between.  It’s taken me all day to get this post written, but I’ve also picked and shelled a bowl of garden peas, in addition to picking a bunch of squash. I’ve mopped the kitchen and vacuumed the living room, and in a few minutes I’ll cook us something to eat, then off we’ll go to watch our little grandson, Chase’s end of the year pre-school program.  Life is busy, but it sure is good…except for one little glitch. When I tried to upload a couple of pictures to this post, blogger wouldn’t let me. I don’t have any idea why, and I’ve tried everything I know to do. So, until I figure things out, you’ll just have to use your imagination! Until next time…

PS I finally got lucky, and was able to get the pictures to upload 🙂

 

 

 

 

Published in: on May 16, 2016 at 5:09 pm  Comments (3)  
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Miscellaneous Monday…

I’ve been blogging so little, lately, I almost feel like a stranger in blog land.  However, I’ve really been missing it, so the dirty floors, the laundry, the peas waiting to be shelled, and the butts to be washed will just have to wait…  Now, where to begin?

Last Monday, Ed and I both had doctor’s appointments, together.  We’ve been scheduling our appointments for the same time, with the same doctor for over a year, and I’m still trying to get used to that.  We both go into the exam room together, and take turns getting checked over by the doctor. No medical secrets here!  We both got good reports, except my triglycerides are up again. Every time I add sugar back into my diet, this happens.  Sigh.

Last week, I spent most of my mornings helping my daughter with a project, then spent most of my afternoons on the couch.  For some unknown reason, I didn’t feel well most of the week, but, finally, by Saturday, I began to feel like myself again–just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day.

On Sunday morning, I baked a ham before going to church.  I invited the rest of the family to bring a side dish and join me for lunch, which they did.  Our daughter and her family also surprised me by going to church, with me, for Mother’s Day!  It’s been several years since we’ve attended church together, and I have to say, it was nice to have her [and family] sitting beside me on the pew.

I felt very special and blessed, on Mother’s Day, to have all of my children set aside the day and spend it with me (and I told them so). It means a lot that they all came to spend the day with me–and spend the day they did!  They didn’t leave to go home until around nine o’clock, last night.

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This year, the children chipped in together and bought me a beautiful windmill to go outside, for Mother’s Day.  (It’s shown in the edge of our picture, above.)  I’ve always admired my daughter’s windmill, and am tickled pink to now have one of my own!  I also received some nice cards, a rose, a Dove candy bar, and a small chicken statue.  Ed bought me a “rooster planter” that I’d picked out, and even planted some flowers in it for me, on the day before Mother’s Day.

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Now it’s Monday, and the weekend is history.  This morning, Ed and I were in the garden picking peas before 8 o’clock!  In fact, Ed’s still in the garden, as I’m writing this post.  He’s busy adding a little fertilizer here, and a little garden dust there. (He’s in the the picture below)  Gardening is a chore that never ends, but I consider it “a labor of love”.  I “loved it”, yesterday, when I needed an onion for my potato salad, and simply sent Ed to the garden to get one 🙂

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“Part A” of our garden, which we are now beginning to harvest

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 “Part B” of our garden, which is coming along nicely, and will be ready in late June

As bad as I hate to, I must end this post and move on.  Today, is the time for the quarterly “butt washing” of our two old red hens.  Sorry, if that’s too much information!  The hens don’t seem to mind having dirty butts, but I do get tired of looking at them, so we wash them, occasionally!  The things we do for love…

Have a great Monday!

Published in: on May 9, 2016 at 10:30 am  Comments (5)  
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“Mother, May I” Present Another Hodgepodge…

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Another week has passed, and with it another new month has dawned.  The month of May brings all sorts of things to mind–May Day, Mother’s Day, and our little town’s “Sweet Onion Festival”.  Then, of course, there’s The Hodgepodge!  As always, thanks to our hostess, Joyce, for hosting–even while traveling.

1. What’s something fun you’re looking forward to on your May calendar?

May is a busy month for our family!  Our oldest son and his wife will be celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary (May 6), our oldest son will also be celebrating his 34th birthday (on May 10), and one of our grandsons has a pre-school closing program (May 16).  Then, of course, we’ll be celebrating Mother’s Day on May 8th, too.

2. What are some images that come to mind when you hear the word mother?

Several images come to mind, but this picture of our DIL, Jennifer, and our youngest grandson, Evan, is one of the all-time favorites of my collection.

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Other images that come to mind are “sleepless nights” and “proud moments”.  First there are the 2 a.m. feedings and the infant milestones, later there are teenage worries and scholastic accomplishments.  Finally, there is “wedded bliss” and trying to silently watch your grown children find their own way through this, sometimes complicated, life.

3. What’s something beautiful you own or have seen that’s made of glass?

The first thing that comes to mind is a glass dinner bell that my parents gave me for my birthday, many years ago.  Others may not find it particularly beautiful, but it is to me.  I keep it on the top shelf of my curio cabinet, in addition to many other treasured items.

4. Was today typical? If not what made it unusual?

Today (Wednesday) is sort of typical, but not totally.  I’m helping my daughter with something, this morning, and Ed has a dental appointment.

5. What is a quality you wish you could have more of?

The ability to convey kindness better. I have a kind heart, but I don’t always know how to show it.  Sometimes, my words come out sounding unintentionally harsh.  It’s an inherited family trait.

6. What’s the next major purchase you need to make? Will it happen in the month of May?

Ed says he’s going to replace the front section of tin, on the roof of our home.  When he put the first section of our roof on, eleven years ago, he put it on incorrectly.  As a result, we’ve been plagued with some pesky leaks, lately.  I’m not exactly sure when this purchase is going to take place, but it will probably be sometime soon.

7. What responsibility/job/work did you dislike while growing up but has proved helpful to you as an adult?

I know this isn’t what Joyce had in mind, but Business Math is one of the most useful things I learned while growing up.  It taught me how to balance my check book, and how to figure percentages, which comes in handy when shopping sales 🙂  I can figure the sale price in my head, or keep a running total [in my head] for the items in my shopping cart.

Random:

I apologize for my absence in the blog world, lately.  A lot of things have been going on.  The most noteworthy of which was our first trip (of 2016) to St. Simon’s Island, last Friday!  Our daughter and her family joined us on the day trip, and we all had a great time!  However, it wasn’t quite the same, since I now have to wear sunscreen and cover up my face with a bonnet– even while sitting in the shade of our favorite oak tree.  Oh, well…

Here’s an example of our view for the day:

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It never gets old!

Published in: on May 4, 2016 at 7:12 am  Comments (9)  
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