Saying Goodbye To January With A Hodgepodge…

 Is it just me, or has the month of January flown by in a blur?  Our January days have been relatively uneventful, but the time has still flown by.
As always, I’m thankful to our hostess, Joyce, for always making the time to host The Hodgepodge. If you’ve never joined us, and would like to, please click on Joyce’s button.  Here are this week’s questions:
1. Share a winter memory from your childhood.
The #1 thing I remember most, from the winters of my childhood, is being cold!  The houses we lived in, while I was growing up, were older houses, and they were not insulated at all.  Our homes were heated with fireplaces or gas ‘space heaters’, so parts of the house were always unheated.  There usually wasn’t any heat left on during the night, so I always woke up to a cold house!  I always got dressed for school standing in front of a small heater.  There wasn’t any heat at all in the bathroom!  We heated the bathroom with the steam from our very hot bath water.  Oh, and we had so many covers on the beds, you could hardly turn over during the night!  (I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I married Ed because our first home had central heating.)

2. What was on your blog this time last year? (Besides the Hodgepodge of course!) If you weren’t blogging, what in the world were you doing with all that free time?

I don’t even have to go back and look because I already know the answer to this question!  I was blogging about the early adventures of Ed’s “mandatory retirement”!  Believe me, there were more than a few twists and turns in those adventures, and I was never without blogging material!

3. Ellen Goodman is quoted as saying, ‘We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential.’

Do you see more flaws or more potential in your life at the start of a new year? Have you done anything specific this month to address either one? Does the new year truly begin for you on January 1, or is there some other month of the year that feels like a fresh start and new beginning?

At this point, I can see plenty of flaws in my life, but there’s still some potential here, as well. I’m trying to work on some of my flaws, but I haven’t tapped much of my left-over potential, so far.  The words of an old song come to mind… “He’s still working on me.  To make me what I ought to be.”

January is just another month, to me, although it’s a rather depressing month after all of the excitement of Christmas.  I’ve never been one to make or get caught up in New Year’s resolutions.

To me, spring feels more like the time for a new beginning, than January.  I feel “refreshed” with the arrival of warmer weather, some buds on the trees, and the arrival of early spring flowers in the yard.  Come on spring!!!

Flower

4. Who’s an athlete you admire or respect and why?

I admire and respect Tim Tebow, formerly of the Florida Gators football team.  I think he’s a very talented, upstanding athlete who hasn’t been able to get a fair shake [in the NFL], in my opinion, basically because he’s an outspoken Christian, both on and off the field.  Singer, Blake Shelton, apparently agrees with me.

5. Do you like cream in your coffee? Whipped cream on your pumpkin pie? Cream cheese on a bagel? Sour cream on a baked potato? Cream of wheat for breakfast? Have you ever had a scone with clotted cream? Of all the creamy foods mentioned, which one sounds most appealing to you right this very minute?

My answer is “no” to all of the questions above.  The most appealing choice, to me, would be whipped cream on pumpkin pie.

6. Where were you last kept waiting for ‘hours on end’? Or for what felt like hours on end? How well did you cope?

I was last kept “waiting for hours on end” at the dermatologist’s office when I had Moh’s surgery done on my face, in December. (This surgery is time-consuming, and I was told to come prepared to spend the day.) We were only there about three hours, but it felt more like six! Of course, I was fortunate, because the doctor got all of the cancer on the first try.  I think I coped quite well, considering I had to have multiple shots [in the face], as well as a hole [the size of an M&M] scooped out of my face!

7. Believe it or not, when next week’s Hodgepodge rolls around it will be February.Huh?!? Bid adieu here to January in seven words or less.

So thankful January’s been an uneventful month!

Random:

I haven’t had much newsworthy to blog about lately, and I’m glad.  No news is good news, as far as I’m concerned.  I needed the break.

I suppose the most interesting thing that’s happened around here, lately, was Brad and Jennifer accompanying Jennifer’s “doctor boss” and his wife, on an ‘all expenses paid’, weekend trip to Orlando, Florida, to watch the “Royal Rumble” wrestling event. The trip was Jennifer’s Christmas gift from her boss, and it was a generous one!

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happy wrestling fans at the “Royal Rumble”

In other news, today is my sister-in-law’s birthday.  She’s been my SIL since 1963, but she was my baby sitter prior to that!  In fact, that’s how she and my brother met.  Kay’s the closest thing to a sister I’ll ever have, and I love her dearly.  She also reads my blog.  Happy Birthday, Kay!  I hope you enjoy your special day, and I am really looking forward to our visit, next week!

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Kay, celebrating her last b’day

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Published in: on January 27, 2016 at 8:49 am  Comments (12)  
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The Family Trip To Brad’s…

Our youngest son, Brad, and his family live in the city, about 55 miles away from the rest of us.  Every now and then, Brad and Jennifer invite the whole bunch of us over for a visit.  The Saturday before Father’s Day was such an occasion!  I didn’t get a picture of all of us together, but I did manage to snap a few others, which I will share.

We all drove separately and met up at Brad’s house.  Of course, being the ‘old farts’ we are, Ed and I arrived first.  Once the others got there, we feasted on a delicious lunch of grilled hamburgers and hot dogs.  For dessert we had two delicious ‘Cheese Cake’ choices, both of which were made by Brad.  I’d love to show you ‘the tool’ Brad used to ‘whip up’ his desserts, but I promised I wouldn’t!  I didn’t promise to tell what it was though.   Keep in the back of your mind that Jennifer has a beautiful red Kitchen Aid mixer in her kitchen–but picture in your mind, Brad using a whisking tool attached to the end of his red cordless drill…  Why?  I do not know, but it worked, and that’s what really matters!

After lunch, baby Evan needed a little nap, and, apparently, so did a few of the adults.  You know what they say about reverting back to childhood with age…  These two took their naps on the couch!

100_3945(I’m going to be in so much trouble for sharing this photo.)

While some folks took naps, others blew up floats and got dressed for swimming.  Jennifer checked out what was happening on Facebook.  I sat and watched the flurry of activities, which made me tired, just doing so!

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 I’ve become a big fan of ‘naps’, and probably could have used one myself!  Instead, I stretched out on the floor, behind the love seat (which isn’t pictured).  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to stay stretched out for very long because I was in everyone’s way!

Finally, all of the ‘nappers’ woke up, and it was time to head for the swimming pool.  It’s too far to walk to the pool, so we had to take four different cars to get there.  Again, being the ‘old farts’ that we are, Ed and I left the house first, just to get out of everybody else’s way.  We politely waited at the pool, in the car, until Brad got there with the key to the gate.

While waiting, Ed and I noticed  a couple of very skinny boys sneaking through a hole in the fence, illegally gaining access to the neighborhood pool.  If this wasn’t bad enough, once inside, they unlocked the gate, and let in several more of their buddies, too!  The pool was very crowded that day, which made me wonder just how many ‘buddies’ those skinny boys had!

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some of our family (except the girl with the football), enjoying the pool

Now, Ed and I don’t ‘do’  swimming pools anymore, nor do we care about sitting around in the sun like the young folks do.  I don’t think either of us have worn a swim suit since 2009–and I’m sure the general public thanks us for that!   We managed to find ourselves a couple of chairs under a nearby shelter, and tried to make ourselves comfortable–but it sure was hot.  Now, Ed and I are used to the heat, but there’s a difference in working in the heat and just sitting in the heat!

We watched the grandchildren swim for a bit, then ultimately decided we’d load up and head on back home.  Country life was beckoning us!  It was just as well, because about the time we were getting ready to leave, the sun went under, and an afternoon thunder shower blew up.  It began to sprinkle while we were saying our goodbyes!

The others stayed on a while longer.  Some eventually left to go shopping, while others went out for supper.  As for Ed and me?  We arrived back home in time to get a few things done around the house!  Brad and Jennifer?  They repeated the whole scenario, the following day, when they invited her entire family over for lunch!

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 candid shot of our sons, looking out over the pool area

Everyone enjoyed their visit to Brad and Jennifer’s house, and we appreciated them having our entire crew over for a visit. I know, from experience, how much work this can be!  It was a nice change, not to have to be in charge of anything–including cooking and clean up 🙂   I hope they’ll invite us over again sometime soon!

Published in: on July 8, 2014 at 7:40 am  Comments (5)  
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Miscellaneous Monday…

I missed participating in Friday Fragments, so I feel the need to do a Miscellaneous post today.  In case you are wondering why I missed participating in Friday Fragments–I went to the circus!

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I didn’t go to the circus alone, though.  I accompanied my daughter and granddaughter.  Daughter-in-law, Christina, had gotten circus tickets for everyone through grandson, Caden’s, pre-school.  Since son-in-law, Clint, couldn’t go, due to his new job, I used his ticket. Everyone sat together, in one row, so it was kind of nice to be able to watch the grandchildren, while they watched the circus.

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The time spent at the circus was the only bit of ‘family time’  we spent over the entire weekend, which is quite unusual.

The circus was good, but I must admit, the circus isn’t nearly as big as it used to be, years ago.  I suppose the economy has taken a toll on the circus, too!  First of all, the circus has gone from three rings down to one!  There are no longer any tigers either, only elephants, camels, ponies, and dogs.  There didn’t seem to be as many performers as in the past, but the show was still good.

After twelve weeks of maternity leave, daughter-in-law, Jennifer, returned to work last Wednesday. Hubby, Brad, stayed home from work for two days to keep baby Evan, until his daycare slot became available.  I called to check on everyone, and discovered their first day turned out to be a crazy one!  In addition to being heartsick over having to leave Evan, poor Jennifer got ‘punched’ in the face by a patient!  She’s okay, but what a way to start the first day!  Meanwhile, Evan kept Brad busy, all day, trying to figure out how to keep him satisfied.  Everyone survived Jennifer’s first day back at work, and, I’m told,  the second day went much smoother for all.

Our weather, on Saturday, was cold and very windy!  I was so very thankful that we no longer have those tall pines surrounding our home.  There are still some pines, in the area of our chicken coop, and they were really swaying in the wind!  Needless to say, I didn’t spend much time around the chicken coop, on Saturday!

According to our weatherman, we have a chance of snow, on Tuesday evening/Wednesday morning!  It will be interesting to see what happens with all that! Snow or not, there’s some cold, nasty weather heading our way.  If we don’t get snow, we’ll most likely get sleet and ice, or perhaps a mix of all three.  Here in the south, we don’t deal with any of those things very well, so it’s likely to be a mess.

We spent the weekend doing some mundane chores, including working at my late mother-in-law’s house again.  It’s slow-going, but Ed and I are beginning to make some progress.  At times, we both feel a bit over-whelmed, but we keep going.  Someday, there will be a light at the end of this tunnel, in the meantime,  we’ll continue to sort out sixty-seven years worth of  memories and possessions.

Speaking of family, today is my sister-in-law, Kay’s,  birthday.  Kay and my brother have been married for over 50 years, so I guess you could safely say Kay and I have known each other for a long, long time!  In fact, at one point in time, she used to be my baby sitter, since she’s nine years my senior.  How neat is that?!  Anyway, I hope Kay has a great birthday, ’cause she deserves it!

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Today’s Birthday Girl

I don’t know if anyone remembers my post Weekend Manhunt, but in October of 2012,  a local prisoner escaped from custody–and it took  law enforcement over a week to catch him!  He stole several vehicles, and broke into some homes in and around our area.  There was a massive manhunt  for him in our community[complete with helicopters flying overhead], which lasted several days.  The escapee eventually made it down to Florida, where he was apprehended.  Well, this same guy is back, and has managed to escape [from jail] again, along with a friend!  The men, somehow cut a hole in the ceiling of the jail,  hung sheets out of a window and escaped during Thursday night!  As far as I know, the two are still on the loose.

I think that pretty much covers what’s been happening around here.  The ‘Monday Quiz’ questions aren’t up yet, so I’m going to go ahead wrap this post up and publish it.  Have a great Monday, everyone!

Published in: on January 27, 2014 at 9:12 am  Comments (4)  
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Home Sweet Home…

Decades ago, I was blessed to become the mother of three wonderful children, all of whom are now grown and married.  Believe it or not, over the years, none of my off-spring ever really moved away–until now.  All went to college within driving distance, and continued to live at home, or with Ed’s mom.  Our daughter moved “just down the road” to her own home in 1998, while  our oldest son married in 2006, and moved seven miles away, to an apartment in town.  He was gone for just over a year and a half, and couldn’t wait to move back to the family farm as soon as an opportunity presented itself.

Our youngest son, Brad, moved out at age twenty, and went to live with Ed’s mom.  He needed room to stretch his wings, and she needed help around the house.  Brad lived with her for approximately five years, until her health began to fail.  He was a great help to her (and us) throughout those years.  When Mema was no longer able to live at home, she went to live in a personal care home.  Brad has continued to live in her home for two years, with Mema’s blessings. It was the  home where Brad and his new wife, Jennifer, began their marriage in June of 2011.

There once was a time when Brad dreamed of having his own home on the family farm, but things happen and dreams change–or to quote Brad, “Life gets in the way.”  His new wife, Jennifer, didn’t share Brad’s dream of living on the family farm, and instead had a craving for life in the city where she works as a nurse.   Thus began their quest to pay off debts, then save up for a down payment on a house.  Jennifer has been house-hunting almost as long as the couple has been married, and we all knew this day would eventually come.

The day finally came, a couple of  months ago, when the couple decided to make an offer on a small, two-story house near the city.  The first home fell through, but another soon took its place.  Brad and Jennifer closed on their first house two days before Thanksgiving–and moved two days after!  Here is a photo taken of the couple in front of their new home on the day they purchased it. (the photo was taken with Brad’s phone, while it was propped on their mailbox, which explains the angle!)

Jennifer’s commute to work will be much shorter now, while Brad’s will be longer, depending on what town he’s working in.  They are located only about an hour’s drive away from us, but somehow when I ride by Ed’s mom’s empty house, it seems so much farther to me.

You know, it’s funny how life repeats itself.  I remember another young wife who once couldn’t wait to get to the city. That was over forty years ago, and the young wife was me!  Oh how I loved the opportunities and adventures the city offered, and I enjoyed living and working there, too–for a while.  Eventually city adventures and the hustle-bustle  grew old, and thoughts of a quiet life on the family farm beckoned us home.  It was the best move we ever made!

Of course, I wish Brad and Jennifer the best, and I hope both will very happy in their new home in the city.  I hope they take advantage of, and will enjoy all of the opportunities that living in the city provides.  However, I’d be lying if I didn’t say–I’m secretly hoping, after a few years, they will tire of city living, and find their way back home.

Published in: on November 27, 2012 at 9:15 am  Comments (5)  
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Sharing Some Photos…Of My Favorite Newlyweds

Hey guys!  If it’s Monday, then I’m most likely traveling back home today.  I hate the idea of not having a Monday post, so I’m preparing something ahead of time.

My favorite newlywed couple celebrated their two month anniversary while on a memorable road trip last Thursday.  Jennifer’s three month’s checkup in North Carolina was on Wednesday.  It’s always a 7 hour drive–one way–to this appointment, so they usually spend the night on the road.

You may recall that Wednesday was the day of the earthquake on the east coast.  The couple missed feeling the quake because apparently they were traveling when the quake occurred.  However, they did experience other excitement later, when they locked their keys in the car at the motel!

The following day, Brad and Jennifer experienced more excitement while dining at Zaxby’s for lunch.  Apparently, one of the waitresses slipped down on the wet floor just outside the kitchen, and injured herself badly.   911 had to be called!  Brad says Jennifer went into “nurse mode” while they were waiting for the ambulance to arrive!  Oddly enough, the girl who fell had just taken Brad and Jennifer’s order a few moments earlier!

Fortunately, the fallen waitress was the last of Brad and Jennifer’s excitement, and they arrived safely home.  As promised, they brought their disc of wedding photos to share with us that evening.  I’d been waiting patiently for several days to see those photos–all 698 of them!  Here are a few interesting photos that I like…

Aww…that’s my baby!  He’s 26, but he’ll always be the “my baby”.   I’d give a penny for his thoughts right about here…

Now here is a sight rarely seen!  Hubby and me on a dance floor!  He and I are second and third people from the left of the photo, and we are doing–the twist!  Hubby wasn’t thrilled when I asked him to dance!  Ha!  Check out our little granddaughter, sitting at the table watching us!  I wonder what she was thinking!  Madison’s Aunt Sarah appears to covering her eyes…Perhaps we were just too painful to watch!  Or it could be because we were wearing our “old people shoes” with our wedding clothes!

I call this one “Men In Black”.  All these guys need are a couple of machine guns!  They look like men on a mission!

This was an interesting shot.  The photographer photographed me, while I was photographing the bride.  Funny!

The lighting of the unity candle.  The preacher talked so long, the tapers were very short!  Thankfully, we didn’t have any burned fingertips!

Presenting…the leaning tower of cake!  You couldn’t really tell that the cake was leaning this much from the front view, but from this angle…oh, my goodness!  The southern heat was taking its toll…  Jennifer and Brad cut the cake shortly after this picture was taken!

See, the cake still looked good from this angle.

Finally, here’s a shot of my entire family–our children, their spouses, the grandchildren, and Ed’s mother, and  I think this is a great place to end this post, don’t you?  Have a great Monday!

Published in: on August 28, 2011 at 10:02 pm  Comments (7)  
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