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)