A ‘Lucky’ Wednesday Hodgepodge…

Last week there wasn’t a Hodgepodge, and I thought I’d write a post anyway.  I did write the post, but never got around to publishing it!  That’s terrible, isn’t it?  Anyway, I’m joining in the fun, today, and I’d like to thank our hostess, Joyce, for another set of great questions.  Here they are:

1. Best place you’ve been lately?

I’m always saying there’s no place like home, but next to home, I’ll say church is the best place to go.  I was there last night, for a ladies circle meeting.

2. What’s something you should say yes to today? Or this week? Or even this year?

I should say “yes” to watching my diet and getting more exercise.  I’m thinking I’m going to need more salads and more walking to shed this ‘winter weight’.

3. Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in any way, shape, or form? If so tell us how.

There’s a big parade and all kinds of St. Patrick’s Day festivities in nearby Savannah, Georgia, but we never participate in any of that.  (Too many intoxicated people.)  Sometimes, if I think about it, I’ll wear green though.

St. Patrick’s Day is special to Ed and me for an entirely different reason.  It’s the day, forty-one years ago, when we moved onto our “little slice of heaven”   here on Ed’s family’s farm.  It was one of the best decisions we ever made!  Happy “moving day” anniversary to us on March 17th!

In Western cultures the color green is typically associated with jealousy, nature, good luck, and growth. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word ‘green’?  When I hear the word ‘green’ I think of money!

4. What’s a product or service you love so much you’d happily be their spokesperson? Tell us what makes you such a fan.

I can’t think of a single product or service that I love enough to be their spokesperson!  However, Amazon Prime is a pretty good service for $99 per year.  I can usually find whatever I’m looking for on Amazon, and receive it [with free shipping] within two days.  Then, of course, there’s free books, magazines and movies/shows I can read/watch, too.  Oh, and there’s free music to listen to, as well.

5. March 14th is Pi Day. How are your math skills?

My math skills are a bit rusty, thanks to my age and relying on calculators too much.

What’s the last thing you did that required math of any kind?

The last time I used math was to either balance the checkbook or check the total of my receipt at a store.

And most importantly do you like pie?

Oh, yes, I love pie!

What’s your favorite kind?

I hate to choose a favorite kind of pie because I like so many, but I’ll choose pecan as my favorite because Ed makes such a great pecan pie.

With ice cream, whipped cream, or please hold the cream?

Sometimes I like ice cream on top of my apple pie, but other than that, I say “hold the cream.”


Lately, Ed’s been in the process of building a garden table–for those times when our backs will no longer permit us to garden the regular way!  It’s rather large–5′ x 12′.  For now, we’ll be using the table to grow tomatoes and peppers.  Later on, I guess we can plant a little of whatever we feel like growing–the key words being “a little”.  We’re trying to scale back [a little] on our gardening, but it’s not working, so far.

Ed and I have started walking [for exercise] every morning.  We’re trying to get in better shape before our upcoming trip.  We walk the quarter of a mile trek down to our son’s house to feed “Trouble”, the cat [of The Man With the Can stories].  On most mornings “Trouble” is anxiously awaiting our arrival, and actually meets us part of the way!  (She’s learned that I’ll pick her up and rub her all the way back.)  I’m happy that “Trouble’s” hip/pelvis has healed well enough that she can walk again. There were days when I wondered if she would. However, “Trouble” has not learned a single thing from being ‘run over’, and continues to get up under our son’s car. May God continue to watch over her is my prayer!




Published in: on March 14, 2018 at 9:01 am  Comments (11)  

2017 Holiday Recap (part three)…

A few weeks before Christmas, my daughter expressed a desire to have a family New Year’s Eve party.  She’d hosted one back in 2015, and everyone enjoyed it very much.  After sickness invaded our family, prior to Christmas, those plans got put on hold.

After everyone began to feel better, we decided to go ahead with the plan for a New Year’s Eve party.  However we left the location undetermined, until we could see who was feeling up to the task of hosting.  Ed and I ended up hosting the party, but my daughter did all of the planning for us.  Everybody pitched in with preparing the food.

Everyone wore their pajamas to the party which was fun and comfortable, too!  We made tacos, plus an array of ‘finger foods’ to snack on throughout the evening.

Our daughter planned different games/activities thirty minutes apart, beginning at six o’clock.  We stayed busy the entire evening, and time flew by.

For the first activity of the evening, we took some New Year’s Eve pictures.  Everyone chose what props they liked and let the camera (and Ed) do the rest.  Here are a few of the best ones-


In one activity, we competed to see which couple could transfer the most Hershey’s Kisses from one spoon (held in our mouths) to another, then into a bowl on the floor. We laughed so hard while playing this game!

We also played several games of ‘Dirty Bingo’ in which we could steal each other’s prizes. (I think some may have been looking at Steve Harvey’s coat/hat when I took this picture…but more on that later.)

One of the scheduled activities involved sparklers for the grandchildren, so we went outside, even though it was freezing cold and drizzling rain! This was the best picture I could get-

Yet another game involved trying to earn points by ringing cups with ping pong balls…  The grandchildren liked this game!

Unfortunately, at some point during the evening, I got so carried away watching the activities, I forgot to take any more pictures. However, I didn’t forget to take a picture of Steve Harvey’s coat and matching hat during the New Year’s Eve countdown on television:

I think only Steve Harvey could get away with wearing that white coat and matching hat!

The evening progressed quickly and before we knew it the clock had struck midnight.  All except two (Brett and Evan) of us lasted to ring in the New Year together–and we had a great time while doing it!  It’s my hope and prayer that 2018 brings lots of health and happiness, and this concludes my holiday recap.

Published in: on January 12, 2018 at 9:30 am  Comments (4)  
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Holiday Recap 2017 (part two)…

In spite of all of the sickness our family experienced leading up to it, Christmas turned out wonderfully.  Ed and I began the day by having breakfast with our daughter and her family.  Occasionally, we visit each of our children on Christmas morning, but chose not to this year, since Ed was still recovering.

Brad and Jennifer filmed our grandson, Evan, as he woke up to find what Santa had left him.  I enjoyed watching their video, later in the day.  There’s nothing quite like sharing the ‘wide eyed’ wonder of a child on Christmas morning!

Santa was very good to Evan

Food prep went smooth and easy, this year, thanks to a lot of help from my girls, and some planning ahead on my part. (I made a double batch of dressing/stuffing on Thanksgiving and froze some)  This year, instead of using paper plates, I chose to set the table with my “twelve days of Christmas” china, last year’s Christmas gift from Ed.  Using paper plates is easier, but the table looked prettier with the china.

Following lunch, we took our annual ‘crazy Christmas hat’ photo, which went effortlessly, too.  We only took three shots, and none of the three were really bad.  That’s quite a feat considering there were twelve people in the photo and the camera was set on ‘timer’!

For once, the weather was actually cold on Christmas, this year!  We could actually wear our Christmas outfits, and not have to turn on the A/C.  (one year I actually wore shorts) However,  we did have to turn on the ceiling fan during our gift exchange!  Things get a little crazy when we play ‘Dirty Santa’.

As always, we started off the gift exchange with the grandchildren–opening one gift at a time, beginning with the youngest. I know, I know, but it makes the fun last longer.

patiently waiting for Evan to finish his turn

Next came the adult gift exchange–something new, this year.  (We usually just play two rounds of the ‘Dirty Santa’ game).  I think Brad got the most interesting gift, a Georgia Bulldogs SEC Championship t-shirt.  Brad’s a ‘die-hard’ Bulldogs fan, so it was the perfect gift choice for him.

this shirt brought Brad’s ‘dawgs’ good luck last weekend

Brad also got another interesting gift, this year. Our grandson, Caden, chose to pass the “Christmas Panties” to his Uncle Brad–complete with a hand-written note!

For those who don’t know, we have this HUGE pair of women’s panties that have been passed around in our family since the late 80’s.  Attached on the outside of the box is a note from each previous recipient to the next.  If you’re counting, that’s about thirty years these panties have been traveling!

Brad was gracious and posed for several pictures with the panties–one with all of his family tucked inside of those panties at the same time!!!  (Sorry, no picture)

After we finished with the gift exchange, we played a round of ‘Dirty Santa’.  One of the most unusual gifts to come out of this game ended up belonging to our son-in-law, Clint.

A yard of Snickers!  That’s a lot of candy bars!!!

By the time we’d finished playing ‘Dirty Santa’ it was almost 4:30.  We still had two more games to play, but decided to take a break.  Some folks ate a snack, some folks took a nap, while  still others drank a cup of coffee.  A few folks even went outside to search for a little missing hand-held video game, that had been lost in the yard, earlier. (Fortunately it was found!)

Eventually, we played the remaining two games, and everyone had great fun.  Both games involved rolling some huge dice and opening gifts.  Who wouldn’t love that?  The kids sure seemed to enjoy it!  The best gift won was $10, by grandson, Caden, while the worst gift was a lump of coal, won by Ed.  These last two games were so fast-paced, I forgot to take any pictures!

Finally, we ate supper, divided up the left-overs, and, eventually, called it a day.  The last of our holiday guests left for home around 9:15 that evening.  Shortly afterward, Ed and I took our nightly bath/shower and called it a wrap!  It was a great Christmas.

Of course, the holidays weren’t quite over.  New Year’s Eve was just around the corner.  I’ll save that story for part three of my recap, but I’ll give you just a glimpse into that evening…

uh-oh…the camera mis-fired!

Published in: on January 8, 2018 at 8:35 am  Comments (5)  
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2017 Holiday Recap (part one)…

I know I’m a bit late in posting this, but we’ve had a lot going on!  I always say, “Better late, than never.”  So here goes…

T’was the week before Christmas when folks in our family began dropping like flies…  It actually began nine days before Christmas when our oldest grandson came down with the flu on the day following his ninth birthday party.  Within the next three days, three more family members were down for the count, including Ed.  This was not the way we’d all planned to spend the final days leading up to Christmas!

Now, Ed and I always get our flu shots, but little did we know this would be the year that the vaccine would be only ten percent effective!  The flu has been rampant in our little town, and virtually every household has had at least one case of it!

Fortunately, Ed and I were able to do one thing we’d planned [before he got sick] the week before Christmas–we decorated a gingerbread house!  We’d actually planned to do this with our daughter and granddaughter, but, unfortunately, they had to bow out due to illness.

Decorating a gingerbread house with Ed was quite an experience.  It took us no less than five hours to complete our project, but we were both satisfied with the finished results.

Notice that little yellow window on the side?  Ed rolled out yellow gumdrops to make those panes.  Notice the green door and Christmas tree on the front of the house?  He carefully measured, rolled, and cut the fondant for those, too.  Do you see those carefully placed candies all over the gingerbread house?  Ed actually used surgical hemostats to put them into place, while I spread and piped white frosting on the house.  Only someone who’s also worked in the medical profession (and has fingers too large to hold onto the candy), would try to hold onto candy with hemostats.  I tried it, and the candy shot halfway across the kitchen!

The gingerbread house was a fun project, and I’d definitely like to try it again, sometime.  My question is, What do I do with this house now that Christmas is over?  I’d like to eat some of it, but I’m afraid I’d break a tooth!  Ours is still sitting in the kitchen…

Following the construction of our gingerbread house, on Wednesday before Christmas, poor Ed spent the next four days hovering over a vaporizer, taking Mucinex D and antibiotics.  Similar scenarios were taking place in two other households of our family.  It was not a fun time!

Whether or not we’d be able to actually celebrate our family Christmas on the actual day remained uncertain until Christmas Eve.  By then, some still had residual effects of their colds/flu, but none were running fever.  Almost everyone had finished taking their medications.

It turned out, other than the initial four who got sick, the rest of the family stayed well.  It looked like we might be able to celebrate Christmas after all.  Thank goodness I’d prepared some of the food [and froze it] ahead of time!  (to be continued…)

Published in: on January 5, 2018 at 11:00 am  Comments (5)  
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In Our Neck Of The Woods (Part 2)…

I’m sorry it’s taken me three and a half weeks to get around to posting part two of my original post, but life has been busy!  I only thought the month of May was busy, with all of its celebrations. Then came the month of June, with Father’s Day, an anniversary, and our garden kicked into high gear. I’m here to tell you, things got a little bit crazy in our neck of the woods!

Before going forward any further, let me back up a bit to the month of May and show you one of my favorite Mother’s Day gifts.  My daughter-in-law has a good sense of humor, don’t you think?

I’ve named this little lady “Bertha Big Butt” and we’ve gotten quite a bit of enjoyment out of her, so far…  For the first few days, everyone thought “Bertha” was me–bent over and tending to my flowers 🙂 Actually, I do have a polka-dotted dress…but it’s blue.

Come to think of it, “Bertha” reminds me of a story [our former pastor once told] about the lady who came walking into church, one day, with the her dress accidentally tucked into [the back of] her girdle!  Heaven forbid!  The other day, I was actually headed out the door, to church, when Ed told me to turn around and look in the mirror.  Yep, you guessed it–my dress was tucked inside the back of my undies 😦  Thank goodness for observant husbands!

Let me back up a little bit further and show you one of the cute little wrist corsages the children [of the church we’ve been attending] made for the mothers of the church, for Mother’s Day.  I thought they turned out nice.

I was invited to help with this project, and I enjoyed having lunch with the ladies, getting to know them, and helping the children create these corsages.

Now, fast forward to the month of June, and the week before Father’s Day and our 45th wedding anniversary.  I felt lousy almost the entire week, but on Thursday I finally rallied…just in time to take a beach trip!

On the spur of the moment Ed and I threw our beach chairs into the back of the van and headed for St. Simon’s Island–totally unplanned.  We had a great time, celebrating our anniversary a few days early.  We ate bar-b-que sandwiches for lunch, and spent the afternoon relaxing under the shade of our favorite oak tree.  I didn’t take a single picture, but the view was still the same.

Ed and I celebrated our 45th anniversary (and Father’s Day) in church, on Sunday, June 18.  Without God’s mercy, Ed wouldn’t even be here to celebrate with me, so there was no better place for us to be than in church.  We drove to the nearest Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant, after church was over, and enjoyed our traditional anniversary meal together.  Later, we drove home and celebrated Father’s Day, too.  It was a busy day!

Suddenly, the day after Father’s Day all of our garden was ready to harvested!  We’ve never had this happen before, but our corn, butter beans, tomatoes, and peas were all ready to be picked and canned at the same time!  Ed and I worked several twelve to fourteen hour days in a row.  At night we fell into bed, exhausted, and this is what my kitchen has looked like for over a week:

this table has been totally filled, twice, with rippening tomatoes

Day one – ( 2 of the 7 buckets of corn we picked)

day four – some of the 3 bushels of butter beans we picked and shelled

more butter beans and the first of the peas

We’re well into week number two, and we’re still picking and shelling peas, as well as canning tomatoes as they ripen!  Our green beans and some of the tomatoes may have drowned, but the rest of the garden not only survived, it has produced beyond our expectations. I promised God if He blessed us with a good harvest, we’d share the bounty, and we have.

We’re so grateful to our daughter and our granddaughter for their help in shelling all of these peas and beans.  One day, the four of us sat and shelled beans for six straight hours!  We all went to bed with sore thumbs.

Things are now winding down with gardening and canning, so the end is in sight!  A few more days and the spring gardening season of 2017 will be history.  Did you notice I said “spring gardening season”?  The fall gardening season is already underway.

Ed already has two rows of sweet potatoes planted!  We’ll be adding a few more things to the fall garden as the summer goes on.  Oh, and our grapes will be ripe around the last of August!  It’ll be time to break out the jars and make a little grape jelly. The fun never seems to end in our neck of the woods 🙂




Published in: on June 28, 2017 at 6:59 am  Comments (4)  
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In Our Neck Of The Woods (part one)…

It’s been a while since I’ve written an update post, so I thought I’d write about what’s been going on “in our neck of the woods”, so to speak.  There’s a lot to write about, so this will be a two-part post.  In hind sight, I probably should have entitled this post, “The Merry Merry Month of May.”  We did a lot of celebrating!

We started out the month of May with a birthday celebration.  Our oldest son turned thirty-five, on May 10, and we celebrated–twice!  His wife hosted a family party over the weekend, then we gave him a second little party on the following Wednesday night, at church.  Both celebrations involved good food and fellowship.

the birthday boy, flanked by our grandchildren

This year, we celebrated Mother’s Day at our daughter’s house.  She really went above and beyond getting ready for the occasion.  She spent almost a week decorating for the occasion, and everything looked so nice for the occasion.  I really wish I’d taken a few more pictures!

one of several displays  (that’s Ed and me with our moms)

I think our daughter enjoyed having company in her brand new kitchen, and we sure enjoyed eating the delicious food there!  The menu was bar-b-que chicken, with all of the trimmings, and it was a group effort, so everyone contributed.  Here’s a picture of me with my “babies” who aren’t so little anymore!

Mother’s Day 2017

I’ve forgotten the actual day, but somewhere around the middle of May, this little cutie graduated from K-4 at Busy Little Beavers preschool.  In case you couldn’t guess, the program had a western theme 🙂  I was so proud when Chase actually read a book, as a part of the program!  It’s good to start them reading early.

Chase was also awarded the “Busy Little Beaver” award, which is the equivalent of a “Principal’s Award”.  We’re very proud of our little Chase, who’s not-so-little, these days.

Of course, Memorial Day wasn’t far behind Mother’s Day, and, once again, our daughter offered to host the family at her house.  I appreciated this so much, because it gave me a break from hosting duties,  once again.

our hostess with her holiday table

We celebrated Memorial Day, a little early, with another cookout on the Saturday afternoon before the holiday.  The weather was beautiful, and we enjoyed being outside.

Ed and me, relaxing

watching the “grands” in the kiddie pool

watching some volley ball fun

Unfortunately, the Memorial Day weekend ended on a bit of a sour note when our son-in-law came down with the stomach virus!  Our daughter-in-law has been the only other family casualty of the virus, so far.  We’re all still holding our breath!

Meanwhile, I went to the dentist, on the day after Memorial Day due to a mild, but persistent, toothache.  He couldn’t find anything wrong with the tooth, but he prescribed a round of powerful antibiotics, just in case it was too early to spot an abscess (on x-ray) or in case a sinus infection could be causing the problem.  Within two days my tooth felt better, but Oh. My. Word, the side effects of the antibiotics have been awful!!!  I’ve been nauseated for five days.  Thank the Lord, today is the last day of taking them.   Now, if I can just avoid the deluge of yeast that usually follows antibiotics!  I’ve been faithfully taking  good probiotics, so we shall see.  I’m also hoping my toothache will become a permanent, fading memory, otherwise, a root canal could be in my future 😦

There’s also been lots of activity in and around the garden, this month, but that’s a post I’ll save for another day.  Until next time…

Have a great Monday!

Published in: on June 5, 2017 at 11:16 am  Comments (3)  

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.


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)  

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.


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.


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.



“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 New Year, A New Hodgepodge…


Happy New Year!  What better way to help get the year started than with The Hodgepodge?!  As always, many thanks to our gracious hostess, Joyce, for keeping things going.  Now, here are today’s questions:

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

My favorite moment/memory from this Christmas was the candlelight church service that Ed and I attended on Christmas Eve.  It was our first time attending a candlelight Christmas Eve service, and our oldest son brought the message. Good moments, good memories.

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

I ate so many good things, it’s hard to choose just one–and my waist is showing it, too!!!  I’ll choose “fruitcake cookies” as my answer, though.  We ate some at a get-together that we attended, and those were some of the best fruitcake cookies I’ve ever eaten.  They were homemade by a friend, and she was kind enough to send some home with us, too.

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

I’ll say the Christmas light displays Ed and I visited, shortly before Christmas.  We noticed there just weren’t many light displays, this year, but we found three families who went “all out” and had filled their yards with all kinds of Christmas decorations.  We thoroughly enjoyed looking at their displays, and really appreciated their efforts.

4. What does fresh start mean to you?

A fresh start means putting the past behind you, and starting all over, like when you move from one place to another, or when you retire.

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

If I compare 2016 to our nightmare year of 2015, I’d have to give it a “10”, but since Ed and I did have a couple of issues to deal with during the year, I’m going to give 2016 an “8”.   2016 could’ve been better, but we know it could’ve been a whole lot worse, too!

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

Here’s the 2017 list of banished words-

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

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

There were quite a few  words and phrases I’m not familiar with either.  I think I’d most like to banish the phrase “Town Hall Meeting” simply because it makes me think of politics–and I’m not ready to think about politics again!  I’d like to see the word “selfie” banished, too, as well as “selfies” themselves!  Will this fad ever die?

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

My goal for 2017 is to continue my spiritual growth.  I received a new Bible for Christmas and I plan to spend a lot of time with it.


A few ‘storm clouds’ [of life] have been gathering around Ed and me during the past few weeks.  I’m not at liberty to share details, but I will tell you these ‘clouds’ involve medical issues, procedures, and waiting for results.  Not the way we’d hoped to begin our new year, but we’ll be okay.

Also, our daughter-in-law, Jennifer, lost her granddaddy on January 2, the day after his birthday.  He had been hospitalized the entire month of December, and was finally sent home, under hospice care, on Christmas Eve. As you can imagine, the holidays have been bittersweet for Jennifer and her family.  They have been, and will be, in my thoughts and prayers.


Published in: on January 4, 2017 at 8:51 am  Comments (13)  
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Christmas 2016 Is In The Books…

The Christmas of 2016 was Christmas # sixty-two for me.   It was also Christmas # forty-four with Ed and I as a married couple, Christmas # thirty-eight as a married couple with children, and Christmas # ten as a married couple with grandchildren.  That’s a lot of Christmas celebrations!  Bare with me as I attempt to document the most recent of those celebrations, via this blog…

I began Christmas Eve in a nostalgic mood.  It all started on Saturday morning, when one of those “memories” popped up in my Facebook feed, and I watched a video I’d made a few years ago. Watching the slide show, of so many past Christmases, triggered some tears, and they continued to fall, off and on, throughout the day. (It’s also possible I was having a hormonal moment) So many of the people in that video are no longer with us–all of our parents, a favorite uncle, a favorite cousin…  I cooked and  cried, as I thought about the years past.

Because I was feeling nostalgic, I decided to go over to my late mother-in-law’s house to borrow her Christmas china to use for our Christmas dinner, the following day. (We often use paper plates)  Her china was still sitting in the china cabinet, even though she’s been deceased for over three years.  As usual, “Trouble”, the cat who still lives alone at the house, met me at the driveway, so I gave her a bowl of milk.  I returned home, and began washing dinner plates as memories of Christmases past still flooded my mind.

I went ahead and set the table with the china, as I washed and dried the plates.  I also used my mother-in-law’s stainless steel flatware on the holiday table.  Believe it or not, after I’d finished setting the table, our daughter and her family showed up bearing a gift–a set of Christmas china–for me!  There’s an interesting story behind this gift, which was actually from Ed, but I won’t take time to tell it today.   Let’s just say I sure was surprised, and it made me cry some more!  Ed pitched in and helped wash the new plates, while I reset the table with my new china… (if you look at the table, below, you’ll see I left my mother-in-law’s platter on the table, along with her salt and pepper shakers)

The highlight of my Christmas Eve turned out to be the candlelight service we attended that night.  Believe it or not, it was my first time attending a Christmas Eve candlelight service.  Our oldest son had been asked to deliver the evening message, and it was one of his best, yet.  His message was followed by the candle lighting part of the service.  This is where things got a little bit precarious in the church.  Our daughter-in-law was at the service with our two oldest grandsons, and she had two of her young nephews with her, as well.  Picture, if you will, four little boys, all with lit candles, inside of a church!  At one point, the candle table became a little shaky while one of the nephews was trying to light his candle.  Thanks to Christina’s sharp reflexes, she was able to avert a possible crisis by quickly steadying the wobbly table!  We all breathed a sigh of relief.


Our Christmas Day began bright and early, at six o’clock.  Thankfully, I woke up in a better mood, and we quickly set about the business of getting the turkey in the oven.  I sent the Christmas ham across the yard to our daughter’s house to bake in her oven, since my oven would be tied up with the turkey.  Ed and I were invited to eat Christmas breakfast with them, and we did.

I planned a late lunch because some were attending Sunday services at ten.  We sat down to eat around one-thirty, and finished in the kitchen just before three.  We were just getting around to dessert when our oldest son joined us, late.  He’d gone to visit the residents of the assisted living facility where he holds Sunday services, each week.

Because we almost forgot to take ‘the crazy hat family photo’ the past couple of years, I told everyone let’s do that first, this year.  This has become a family tradition with our family for the past several years, and it’s always fun to pick out a different hat to wear each year.  I usually add one new hat to the collection, each Christmas.  Of course, there’s always one grandchild who refuses to wear a hat, and this year it was Chase’s turn.  I’ve also noticed our oldest son wears those same reindeer antlers every year…


I also did something new this year, that I’d like to see turn into another family tradition.  I baked a small cake which I designated as Jesus’ birthday cake.  It was a lemon cake, decorated with colored sprinkles and candles.  Our youngest grandson, Evan, loves singing Happy Birthday and blowing out candles, so he was excited about this.  All of the older grandchildren happily joined in, too.

Sometime after three, we began the gift opening portion of Christmas Day by letting the children open their gifts first, one at a time.  About the time the adults were finally getting ready to play the “Dirty Santa” game, daughter-in-law, Jennifer, got a phone call.  She was needed for a medical emergency at the home of her grandparents.  (Her grandfather had just been released from the hospital, on Christmas Eve, after spending the past month battling pneumonia.)  We put the gift opening on hold while Jennifer went to give her grandfather his breathing treatment.


The weather here was a sunny and a warm 75 degrees on Christmas Day, so everyone retreated outdoors while Jennifer was gone.  (We all wore shorts and  had two a/c units running all day long)  The older children enjoyed playing with granddaughter, Madison’s, new basketball goal, while Evan, the youngest, enjoyed driving his new Jeep around the yard–right up until the power switch broke 😦  (His ‘crafty’ dad has since been able to replace the broken switch, thank goodness)


It was almost suppertime by the time Jennifer returned, so we decided to eat (again) before the adults opened their gifts.  By that time, it was after seven o’clock.  Talk about dragging out Christmas all day!  Of course, by then, the children were wishing they had more gifts to open, too.

The adults played our usual two rounds of “Dirty Santa”, but not much stealing went on this year.  I’m not sure if everyone really loved the gifts they received or they were just too tired to steal from anyone, by the time we finally got to open our gifts.  I was so tired, I forgot to take any pictures, except for this one, when we first started the game.


It was well after ten, Christmas night, when Ed and I finally finished in the kitchen and fell into bed, shortly before eleven.  To say we were exhausted would be an understatement, but it was a most enjoyable and fulfilling day! Nothing compares to being surrounded by your entire family, especially at Christmas.  Ed and I have been very blessed, to have our entire family with us every Christmas, for the past forty-four Christmases, with the exception of the one year Jennifer had to work.  That’s almost unheard of!

Just think, only 362 more days, and Christmas will be here again…  As quickly as time is passing, perhaps I should just leave all of these decorations in place 🙂  It’s a nice thought, anyway.


Published in: on December 28, 2016 at 9:08 am  Comments (4)  
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