This Hodgepodge Feels Like Home…

This time of the year always brings back memories of moving into our second new home.  We weren’t quite finished with our house, but, on November 9, 2007, Ed and I moved out of our home of 30 years, and into our second home.  It’s hard to believe almost nine years have passed since then.  I can still remember hauling boxes and furniture across the yard…  Yes, we moved right next door!

Thanks so much to our hostess, Joyce, for taking time to host this week’s Hodgepodge, especially since she’s getting ready to move, herself!  I appreciate you, Joyce, and best wishes with the move!

1. Besides your very own house, describe a place where you feel most ‘at home’?

I guess that would have to be our daughter’s house, located next door to us, which used to be our house until about nine years ago.  It’s only natural that I’d still feel ‘at home’ there, since Ed and I lived there for over 30 years, and raised our family in that house.

2. When did you last ‘hit a home run’ with something? Explain.

I’m going to say “surviving hurricane Matthew”.  We only lost our power for 21 hours, compared to many neighbors who were without electricity for several days.  Although we lost two large trees, we had no damage to either of the houses on our property.  Nine family members stayed together in our tiny, two bedroom, one bathroom home, for 3 days and 4 nights, and everyone got along well. God is good!

3. Tell us about something you love in your house or kitchen that is ‘homemade’.

I have a large, ‘homemade’ sign hanging over the refrigerator that says “Kathy’s Diner”, and has a menu written on it.  I had this sign specially made for my kitchen whenever we built this house, and I love it.  It matches my red, white, and black Coca Cola decor.  Look closely, at the picture below, and you can see the sign over the refrigerator.

Coca cola Christmas kitchen...

4. ‘A man’s home is his castle’…which of the world’s ten most captivating castles (according to The Travel Channel) would you most like to visit and why-

Mont Saint-Michel (France), Edinburgh Castle (Scotland), Neuschwanstein Castle (Germany), Glamis Castle (Scotland), Windsor Castle (England), Chateau de Chambord (France), Hampton Court Palace (England), Prague Castle (Prague), St. Michael’s Mount (England), Leeds Castle (England), and Swallow’s Nest (Ukraine)

I’m sure any one of these castles would be captivating, and fun to visit, but I don’t know anything about any of them, so I’ll take a pass on answering this one.

5. What’s a recent or upcoming plan or project that’s required you do a little homework before getting started? Did the homework cause you to abandon your plan or adjust it in some way?

Hurricane Matthew has caused a couple of unplanned projects at our house.  First of all, we had to move two freezers and install a new screen door on our storage house (for ventilation).  Next, was the project of cutting up and removing the two trees that were blown down, which required some repair work to the chain saw. (Ed still has one tree left to cut) Last comes the project of shopping for a generator, so we’ll be prepared for the next big storm that blows our way!

6. In your opinion, is homework an unnecessary evil or a valuable practice? Should schools be done with homework? Why or why not?

I think a little reading and math homework is valuable, because there’s not much time for practice during class. However, teachers need to be considerate and assign homework in moderation.

7. Share a favorite memory of your childhood hometown.

I remember when ‘Dairy Queen’ first came to our tiny little town.  It was back in the 60’s, and it was a big deal to everyone!  I don’t know which I liked best–the hamburgers and french fries or the soft serve ice cream.  Our original Dairy Queen was a very small, barn-shaped building, with a red roof, and no inside seating.  Over the years, our Dairy Queen’ has been renovated two or three times, and the name has been changed.  These days, it’s a very nice D Q Grill-n-Chill, with inside [or outside] seating, and I still enjoy their hamburgers, french fries, and soft serve ice cream, on rare occasions.

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photo courtesy of Google

There’s something else that’s special about our local DQ.  The owner, Zuber Malek is a wonderful person, who cares about, and gives back, to the community.  Local citizens have responded to his kindness and generosity by giving his DQ the honor of being a top fund raiser for The Children’s Miracle Network!  Below is a picture of the sign, showing this year’s grand total:13906971_10153903695795892_7909803460642953741_n

Random:

Yesterday, the ‘unthinkable’ happened to our daughter.  She flushed her toilet, then came back a while later to discover a disaster.  The toilet flapper didn’t close after the tank refilled, and, apparently, the drain was sluggish, and couldn’t handle the flow of water.  The two malfunctions became the ‘perfect storm’ for a flood. Water went all into their bedroom, into the dining room, and into the kitchen.  Water even ran out the back door and down the steps.  Did I mention our daughter has laminate flooring?  Laminate flooring and water do not make a good combination.  Within the matter of a few minutes, there was quite a mess to deal with.

By mid-evening, with the help of family, the kitchen and dining room had been disassembled, with cabinets and furniture removed.  All of the soggy laminate had been taken up, as well.  Hopefully, there will be no chance of rain in the forecast, because most of the kitchen cabinets are sitting on the front porch, and will be sitting there for a few days while the floor dries out.  Fun times!

 

 

 

Published in: on October 26, 2016 at 7:48 am  Comments (14)  
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Hodgepodge # 284

You’ve gotta’ love and appreciate the tenacity and determination of our Hodgepodge hostess, Joyce.  She’s only days away from moving into her new home, but she still managed to plan and host The Hodgepodge!  Thanks, Joyce, my hat is off to you.

Here are today’s questions:

1. What would you say is your strongest sense?

That’s a good question!  My eyesight and hearing sure aren’t what they used to be.  Working with stain and polyurethane, in an enclosed area, has dulled my sense of smell, too.  I have neuropathy in my feet, so my sense of ‘touch’ isn’t what it used to be either.  I still enjoy eating, so I guess I’ll say my sense of ‘taste’ is my strongest sense 🙂

2. Do you believe in the idea of a ‘sixth sense’? Why or why not?

Yes, I do believe in a ‘sixth sense’.  Sometimes, I’ll get a particular ‘feeling’ about something (or someone) that I just can’t explain.  I refer to this ‘feeling’ as my sixth sense.

3. When do you most feel like a slave to time? Explain.

Now that Ed and I are both retired, the time I feel most like a “slave to time” is on Sundays.  We  watch the clock closely, all day, so we won’t be late for church.

4. Have you ever worked in a restaurant? How would you rate the experience? If you could own a restaurant what kind would it be?

When I was a teenager I worked in the restaurant part of my uncle’s gift shop/restaurant.  I hated everything about it, and only lasted a couple of days.  I’d rate the experience zero stars, and I’d never own a restaurant of any kind, period!

5. Ever traced your family tree? Share something interesting you learned there.

I’ve never traced my family tree beyond my grandparents, but my paternal grandparents lost two of their children, early in life.  Their only daughter fell, as a child, hit her head and died.  One of their six sons died from a ruptured appendix while still a young man. Oh, I also thought it was interesting that both of my parents had sisters named “Georgia Belle”!

6. What did your childhood bedroom look like?

I had several different bedrooms, while growing up.  The bedroom I remember most ( from ages 12-17) was located on the front corner of the house, so it had two windows facing two different directions.  (I could sit on my bed and watch the teenagers riding from one end of town to the other!)  As a young teen, I painted the walls of my room blue.  The paint job wasn’t perfect, but I was proud of myself.  The furniture in my bed room was older, and had been painted white.  I had a poster of Peter Fonda (as Easy Rider) on my wall, and a stereo in one corner.

7. Anyone who knows me knows I love decorating for special occasions.  

I love to decorate my living room (and sometimes kitchen) for all special occasions, not just Christmas. (although Christmas is my favorite.)  I have a ‘year round’ tree in the living room, and change the decorations, every month, to reflect whatever occasion falls within that month. The shelves in our living room are decorated with matching curios, as well.

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Left:  Year round tree decorated for Easter

Right:  Year round tree decorated for Halloween

 

 

 

 

 

Random:

Ed and I did something, last night, we hadn’t done in years. We went to a county fair, alone! In years past, we’ve always gone to the fair with family, but, this year, we went solo, and you know what? We had a great time!  It was the first time I ever remember going to the fair, on a week night,  not having to worry about how late it was getting.  Yay for retirement 🙂

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Published in: on October 19, 2016 at 8:10 am  Comments (12)  
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Spring Is Here…

Spring officially arrived yesterday, under cloudy skies.  However, it turned out to be a beautiful day, in the end, as the clouds cleared out in the afternoon. After over a week of temperatures in the 80’s, our overnight low bottomed out at 40 degrees, last night!  Whoa!  What in the world happened to our spring weather?

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early blooms of spring (a $5 bargain, at Lowes)

Since spring is here, that means lots of time is being spent outside.  There’s been a lot of clean up to do around the yard, as well as flowers waiting to be repotted, and garden soil waiting to be prepared for the rest of our 2016 garden.  We have a few plants needing a permanent home…

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tomatoes, lettuce, peppers

Our new Transit Connect has come in quite handy over the past few weeks, as we’ve hauled huge bags of potting soil, lawn fertilizer,  and ant poison.  We’ve also hauled several large plants and shrubs, as well as a peach tree.  We love our van!

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our van, aka the “short bus”

Ed and I enjoyed another nice (and busy) weekend.  We took our weekly shopping trip, on Friday, then enjoyed some family time with a couple of our children and their families, on Friday night. That’s always a great way to kick off the weekend!

P1010444yard signs in front of the house

On Saturday morning, Ed and I finished up our weekly shopping, then later in the afternoon, Ed helped our youngest son work on a riding lawnmower that had been sitting up for a while.  When I saw that dusty, dirty lawnmower, I didn’t have a lot of faith, but, by golly, they got that sucker running, and have already mowed some grass with it!  Ed is the man 🙂

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one of several azaleas in the yard

Saturday turned out to be a pretty nice day, in spite of the clouds hanging around.  One by one, our grown children and families showed up, then gathered outside in our daughter’s yard.  All had been to the church egg hunt, earlier in the day.  We sat there for the longest time, just watching the four cousins playing and enjoying each other’s company.  It was one of those moments when I wished I could stop, or at least slow down, time.  Why can’t they stay little longer?

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the Easter bunny (and Dixie chick)

Eventually, the adults decided to order pizza for supper, so I came inside to make some salad, dessert, and drink to go along with it.  Once again, my kitchen was noisy and crowded with family, but it was so good to have everyone together under one roof again!  That makes two weeks in a row–and since Easter is this coming weekend, we’ll soon make it three.

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the egg tree (and Dottie chick)

Ed and I have been busy, the last couple of weeks, getting ready for spring/Easter. I went outside, yesterday, and wandered around the yard, admiring our ‘touches of spring’.  I’ve scattered a few of those ‘touches’ throughout this post.  I hope you enjoy them.

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a new pair of garden gnomes

Have a great Monday, and a great second day of spring!  Ed’s already outside, riding his tractor in the garden 🙂

Published in: on March 21, 2016 at 10:13 am  Comments (4)  
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Catching Up On Monday…

Lately, this blog seems like a long, lost friend that I need to visit more often.  More and more, I’m finding it more difficult to make my way over here to blog. Sometimes, I’m just not feeling it, and then when I am, I have other things to do.  Such as the following…

The past week went by in a whirl of activity.  There’s something about the arrival of warm, sunny days that makes me want to clean and spruce up the place!  Therefore, the beginning of last week found me stripping old wax off the kitchen floor, and applying new wax.  I know, waxing floors is a dying activity, but my floors aren’t the no wax kind–yet!  It took both Ed and myself to get the task done, but we made it!  We were so inspired by having a clean, shiny kitchen floor, the following day we began shampooing carpets, and spent the next two days doing that!  Unfortunately, I think I hurt my back, in the process, so it’s been aching for several days. Live and learn.

In addition to cleaning floors, all week, I was trying to get ready for a yard sale, on Saturday.  I’d spend a couple of hours, here and there, working on that.  Meanwhile, Ed finally got started building a small shelter to store his lawnmower under. I worry a bit about him, it’s his first real project since his heart attack, in October.

Ed and I had our yard sale, on Saturday, along with our daughter and her husband.  We held the sale at Ed’s parents’ house, and could not have asked for a prettier day!  The weather was cool and foggy, at first, but that soon gave way to glorious blue, sunny skies.  We didn’t make a lot of money  because we had our stuff priced cheap, but we got rid of a lot of stuff!  At one point, we gave a chair away, and when the chair wouldn’t fit into the lady’s car, our son put the chair in my van and delivered it to her house!

Prior to the yard sale, I worried about “Trouble”, the cat who lives alone at Ed’s parents’ house, because  I was afraid she might get hit by a car, with all of the traffic coming to the sale. However, I think all of the yard sale activity was more than “Trouble” could stand, so she quickly disappeared until the end of the day. “Trouble” did have a close call earlier in the week, though,  when she ran onto the highway to greet Ed as he was coming to feed her.  My blood runs cold just thinking about it!

Speaking of “Trouble”, she was in “hog heaven”, on Friday night, when Ed and I took a break from pricing stuff, and shared a pizza at his parents’ house.  We let her in the house with us, and she sat at the table and begged for scraps from our pizza, which we gladly shared.  Then she wandered all around the house, looking at the boxes sitting all around.  The whole situation makes me sad. Four years is a long time to live alone, at an empty house, but, at least, she has the visit from “the man with the can” to look forward to each day.

In other news, Ed and I were tickled pink when we discovered that our garden peas have sprouted!  There’s a beautiful row of little green plants now decorating the row!  We’re hoping they will soon be  joined by some potato sprouts.  Our seedlings, growing in cups, are doing quite well, in spite of the fact that I dropped one of the trays, last week.  What a mess that made, but the plants all seemed to have survived, believe it or not.

We managed to have some great time, with family, on Saturday, when all the rest of our gang met up following the yard sale.  The weather was so nice, the adults sat outside and watched the grandchildren all playing together.  Actually, our oldest son, and perhaps the biggest kid of all, was pretending to be the wrestling announcer (complete with a karaoke machine), while each child took a turn strutting up the steps and getting onto the trampoline they were using as a wrestling ring!  If I hadn’t been so tired, I surely would have taken some video of “the show”.

As suppertime neared, our youngest son volunteered to go to town and pick up some food for supper.  Praise the Lord for him, because this woman sure didn’t feel like cooking!  I think everyone enjoyed the food and the fellowship, I know I did, even if I had to enjoy much of it from my spot on the couch!

The rest of the weekend passed, and all too soon, it was time to change our clocks–all twelve of them!  Yes, Ed and I actually have twelve clocks!  Oh, how I dislike this time of the year, when the time changes!  In addition to adjusting all of those clocks, I’ll spend the next month trying to get my body clock readjusted.  On that note, I’ll just say “Have a happy Monday” and get ready for my appointment at the dermatologist’s office.  Fun times–not!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on March 14, 2016 at 7:35 am  Comments (3)  
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A Kind And Thoughtful Hodgepodge…

I simply can’t believe it’s already Wednesday, again!  The days are flying by so fast, my brain can hardly keep up.  I’m ready for a mid-week break, and there’s no better place to spend it than here, with my “Hodgepodge Friends”.  Thanks so much to our gracious hostess, Joyce, for providing the questions and a “gathering place” on  From This Side Of The Pond.

Here are today’s questions, along with my answers:

1. February 17th is National Random Acts of Kindness Day. It lands on the calendar one day after National Do Something for a Grouch Day (February 16) which somehow feels related. Perhaps the 16th inspired the 17th?

Tell about a time you performed a random act of kindness or were the recipient of one. Will you make an effort to perform a random act of kindness on the 17th? Share details if you’re so inclined, and if you have something specific in mind.

The last random act of kindness I did was to pick up our grandson, Chase, yesterday, from preschool, so his mama wouldn’t have to make the extra trip to town. It’s a small thing, but it helps her out on group [home school] meeting days, when she would normally have to make three [14 mile] round trips to town, plus the trip over to the meeting.

I don’t have any plans to perform a random act of kindness, today, but I’ll try to come up with something, now that you’ve mentioned it!  Spontaneous acts are best, anyway.

2.What’s the most uplifting or encouraging thing you see happening in the world right now? You may have to dig deep for this one.

I’ve been SO impressed by the tremendous amount of love and support shown to the singing country duo, Joey + Rory during their difficult journey with Joey’s terminal cancer.  I’ve been following Joey’s battle for almost four months, through her husband, Rory’s, blog.  The outpouring of prayers, love, and support from their family, friends, and fans has been, and remains, phenomenal!   This has renewed some of my faith in mankind.

3. Black olives, black currants, black grapes, black beans, blackberries, Oreos…your favorite food the color of night? Your least favorite on the list?

Oreos are my favorite, while black olives are probably my least favorite.  I don’t think I’ve ever tasted black currants.

4. A while back I read (here) a list of twelve things you should do before you turn 50. They were-

travel when you have the chance, take care of your skin, learn a foreign language, make exercise a habit, leave a toxic situation, stop caring what others think about you, stop worrying, volunteer, spend time with your grandparents, pledge to work less, learn to cook an amazing dish, and seize an opportunity as it arises

What do you think of the list? What would you add or remove and why? If you’re over 50, have you done all 12? If you’re not yet 50, have you done any at all? What’s on the list that you haven’t done, but would like to do?

Some things on the list are okay, others no so much.  I’d remove learning the foreign language (because English is the only language I care about speaking, anyway).  I’d remove stop caring what others think about you (because I believe caring what others think is a good thing).  I’d never worry about learning to cook an amazing dish (because I don’t even like to cook, these days).  I haven’t had any grandparents since I was 32, so  I’d add spend more time with your parents and children, to the list, too.

I’m  well-over 50, but I did some of the things on this list around or before my 50th birthday.  I did some volunteer work and tried to make exercise a habit, for a while.  I also seized a couple of opportunities that came my way.  We did our fair share of traveling, too, we just didn’t go very far.  I have started trying to take better care of my skin–a little late, but “better late than never”, I say.  Last, but not least, I have removed myself from a toxic situation, when I resigned from a job [I dearly loved] due to certain circumstances in the classroom.

5. Besides the classic Christmas flicks, what’s your favorite film where winter plays a part in the setting?

There was a movie about a team of sled dogs who got left behind in a very cold, barren place (Antarctica maybe?) when their research team was forced to leave without them.  The movie chronicles the survival of those dogs, alone in the ice, while their owner fights to get permission to go back and rescue them. It was a nail-biting, tear jerking movie!  Thanks to Google, I discovered the name of the movie is Eight Below.

6.When did you last feel helpless, and what did you do about it?

The last [and only] time I’ve really felt helpless was when I took Ed to the emergency room, in October, and the attending physician told me Ed  had suffered a heart attack, and would need to be transported [by ambulance] to a larger facility, 50 miles away.  I had no idea what lay ahead of us, or if Ed would even survive the trip. I was somewhat in shock, and had to rely on our daughter to drive me to the hospital.  Thankfully, she stayed with me all night, and most of the next day, until Ed was stable.

7. Share a favorite proverb.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Remembering these words helped keep me sane, at times, while our sons were transitioning into the respectable men they are today.

Random:

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Our original flock of “red sisters”, back in the day…

The “red sisters” celebrated a birthday this week! The remaining two hens, from our original flock of six red hens, recently turned four!  Those two rule the roost around here, and are doing well, although they do require an occasional wash of their rear ends from time to time.  They’re getting old, but ya’ still gotta’ love ’em.

These days, we let the old and new hens hang out together, and we let them free range most of the day. If we forget to put up our baby gate, this is what we see every day about 4 o’clock–

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our ‘girls’, waiting impatiently for their afternoon snack of corn or bread!  Look who’s leading the way up the steps…a red sister!  Some are even bold enough to come up and peek through the glass in our front door!  They’re like a bunch of children begging for candy!!!

Published in: on February 17, 2016 at 9:34 am  Comments (7)  
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2015 Christmas Recap…

Christmas 2015 is now history, but it was a very good day!  It was also a very long and busy day, which left me totally void of any energy for two days!  I’m somewhat recharged, at the moment, so I’ll attempt to “recap” the day in 750 words or less!  Here goes…

Christmas Day began early, about 6:30 a.m., I think.  Ed and I quickly got busy with the morning chores.  He took care of feeding the animals, while I took care of putting the Christmas ham in the oven.  I was happy that I’d finally gotten to remove those pesky steri-strips from the surgical site on my face, but, now I was having trouble wearing my glasses so I could see how to cook!

100_5523Christmas stop #1 – Madison’s house

About 8:00 a.m. our granddaughter, Madison, called us to tell us Santa had been to her house. We quickly walked next-door to see what Santa had left her.  This has been our early morning Christmas ritual for the past seven years, and we feel very blessed to live close enough to just walk next door.  (We also feel a bit sad, because our granddaughter is now nine, and we wonder how many more of these excited Christmas phone calls she’ll be making to us.)

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 Interesting note: Madison leaves Santa’s cookies on the same plate her mother used to leave Santa’s cookies on when she was little, back in the eighties.  I passed the cookie plate down to my daughter.

After leaving our granddaughter’s house, we ate a quick breakfast, then drove 1/4 of a mile down the road to see what our two oldest grandsons had gotten for Christmas.  We feel very blessed to have them living close to us, too.

Our oldest grandsons don’t believe in Santa, so Christmas morning is a bit different at their house, as there is no talk of “Santa”.  We watched as they opened their gifts from their mom and dad.

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Christmas stop #2 – Caden and Chase’s house

For the first time, ever, we were able to drive across town to see what our youngest grandson, Evan, had gotten for Christmas, too.  What an extra-special blessing it is, having Evan’s family living in the same town with us, again!

Evan is only two, and still a bit too young to grasp the concept of “Santa”, but he was very excited over his new toys.  Excited about having his picture made with Santa on Christmas Eve?  Not so much! (I’ll share that photo on Wednesday)

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Christmas stop #3 – Evan’s house

When all was said and done, Ed and I were able to visit all three houses in just over an hour, then come back home and finish cooking Christmas lunch.

Christmas lunch came together without a hitch, with the exception of a turkey breast that refused to get done.  Our son-in-law baked that sucker for five hours!  No worries, though, we continued baking it, throughout lunch, and enjoyed it, that night, for supper!  It was delicious.

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the grandchildren eating lunch first

Due to the slow-cooking turkey breast and a lunch-time visitor, we ran a bit later than usual eating Christmas lunch.  By the time we finished eating and cleaning up the kitchen it was after 3 p.m. before we were able to get on with the rest of the Christmas festivities.  Note to self:  I really need a bigger kitchen table.  We had 13 gathered around it, this year!

This year, we decided to take our annual “crazy hat Christmas picture” before we opened any gifts.  Our youngest grandson, Evan, fell asleep while everyone was deciding which hat they were going to wear.  No worries, we photographed him while he slept in his daddy’s arms!  At least we could keep the hat on him since he was asleep 🙂

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The next order of business was listening to our oldest son speak to us for a few minutes about the real meaning of Christmas, basically reminding us where all [good and perfect] gifts come from. Then we let the grandchildren take turns opening their gifts, with the exception of Evan, who was still sleeping.  He woke up near the end of the adults’ game of “Dirty Santa”, and opened his gifts then.

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three older “grands” opening gifts while Ed watches

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older “grands” watch while Evan opens his gifts

The adults game of “Dirty Santa” was somewhat tamer than it’s been in past years.  I attribute this to the “mini sermon” we heard from our son, just prior to playing.  Something doesn’t seem quite right about “stealing” your neighbor’s gift, after listening to Bible scripture!  However, we did still manage to have a couple of “thieves” among us :).  I probably would have stolen a gift, too, if I’d had an opportunity.  Unfortunately, I was one of the first to open a gift, during both rounds of play, so I was one of the victims of theft!

Last, but not least, was the opening of “the Christmas panties”!  I was the recipient of the panties, last year, and I passed them on to my daughter, this year.  She wasn’t expecting them, as you can tell by the look on her face when she recognized the box!

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Surprise!

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It’s the Christmas panties…

Everyone stayed all day, ate supper, and helped clean up the kitchen, afterward.  By this time, I was exhausted, so my daughter ran me out of the kitchen, to go take a bubble bath, while she and some others put away the food and cleaned up the kitchen.  I felt a bit guilty, but I gladly went and enjoyed my bubble bath!

Ed and I finally opened our gifts to each other after everyone had gone home.  By then, it was 8:30, or so.  One of Ed’s gifts to me was another piece [that I’d seen and loved] to go with my Christmas Village.  It’s a “tacky” little camper, all decorated for Christmas, complete with a picnic table out front, and Santa and a Christmas tree on the roof.  We laughed and said this would go on the “poor side of town”–for the folks on a “fixed income” [which we are].

I love that Ed usually gives me an addition to my Christmas collection, each year!  He’s given me everything from village pieces, to animated Christmas dolls, to a set of porcelain Santas from around the world!  Of course, the gift I loved best of all, this year, was simply being able to share another Christmas with Ed.

Published in: on December 27, 2015 at 9:15 pm  Comments (6)  
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Miscellanous Monday…

So, it’s been four whole days since I’ve posted or even been to a blog of any kind!  These days are flying by, and I just can’t seem to get around to everything anymore.  Is it just me, or is anyone else having the same experience?!  The older I get, time seems to move quicker, while I seem to move slower.

Let me begin by saying what a wonderful Thanksgiving our family had.  For the first time in several years, I did not host the meal.  Our daughter took over the hosting responsibilities this year, and I have to tell you, I really enjoyed being “just another guest”.  Brandy had everything at her house decorated so pretty, and she made a special children’s table for the kids which they seemed to enjoy.  All of the girls really outdid themselves cooking, and the food was delicious.  Thanksgiving was one day when Ed and I did not worry about our low-fat, low cholesterol, low sugar diets!

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our Thanksgiving host and hostess

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the children’s table

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 still relaxing at our daughter’s house on Thanksgiving night

At the end of our Thanksgiving meal, each family member took turns saying what we were most thankful for in our lives.  It was unanimous, everyone was most thankful to still have Ed with us, after his close call, last month.  This was our second year of this meaningful tradition, and it’s quickly become my favorite part of Thanksgiving.  By the end of the round, there was hardly a dry eye in the house.

On Friday, after Thanksgiving, the weather was too pretty to be cooped up inside, so Ed and I decided to start putting up our outside decorations. (No Black Friday shopping for us!)  We spent the afternoon putting garland and lights around our front windows and door.  On Saturday, the weather was even nicer than on Friday, so we continued putting Christmas decorations in the yard. (I’d bought a bunch of new outside decorations for 1/2 price, last year!)  Thankfully, my back didn’t “go out”, although I did have to take Tylenol pm both nights.

Our son-in-law decorated their yard, on Friday and Saturday, as well.  Now, our little corner of the world may look a little bit like Clark Griswold’s house [in Christmas Vacation] but we all love our Christmas lights!  Now, if I can just get the inside of the house looking as “festive” as the outside of it!

I’ve spent the past several evenings re-stringing fake popcorn for our tree and, last night, I put it on the tree while I sweated and listened to Christmas music. There’s nothing quite like listening to Let It Snow, and  decorating a Christmas tree while the a/c grinds away in the background!  Our temperatures nearly reached 80 yesterday!!!

Speaking of Christmas decorations, my hens don’t quite know what to think about the outside decorations.  Every time I look, there’s a hen or two walking among the snowmen and Christmas trees.  I frequently tell them they, “No, you can not be part of the Christmas decor!”

In other news, Ed and I had a chance to pull baby sitting duty, with grandson, Evan, early Sunday morning.  For some reason, our youngest son, Brad, got an abscess on his lower leg, last week.  In spite of medical attention, on Wednesday, his leg became so swollen and infected over the weekend, he had to make an emergency trip to the doctor to have the wound opened and drained.  As a result, Ed and I spent several hours at their house with Evan.  He sure kept us entertained!  By the way, I think we had a lot more fun than Brad did, too 😦

Tomorrow is the day our daughter will be having the surgery to remove the basal cell carcinoma from her nose, followed by some plastic surgery to repair her nose.  She’s been told to expect to spend the day in the doctors’ offices, so I’m sure it will be a long, exhausting day for her.  I’m positive this is NOT the way she’d like to be spending the first day of December.

It looks like the year 2015 is going to keep up the trend of giving our family a hard time, right up until New Year’s Eve.  Our latest mishap came, last evening, when we discovered our dishwasher is no longer working–after we filled it with dirty dishes!  A new dishwasher is NOT what I wanted “Santa” to bring for Christmas, but it looks like that’s what we’ll be getting.  Oh, my!  What a year this has turned out to be!  On that note, I’ll say…  Have a great Monday!

 

Published in: on November 30, 2015 at 8:32 am  Comments (5)  
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Still Kicking, But Not Very High…

Alas, it’s the beginning of another new week.  Ed’s in the garden planting sweet potatoes, and I’m sitting here at the desk top computer.  Life goes on, almost as usual, here in Gooseneck.  Ed works, while Kathy rests…

Ed and I spent a quiet weekend at home, with each one of our off-spring popping in and out at various times.  No big get togethers or family dinners, just one family or other stopping by for a visit.  Brad, Jennifer, and Evan surprised us by bringing lunch, on Sunday, which I greatly appreciated.

Speaking of Brad and Jennifer, both started their new jobs today.  My thoughts and prayers are with them both, especially Jennifer, who will be working a 12 hour shift on her first day.  Evan will be spending his first day with his step-grandmother, so I’m hoping and praying they have a good first day together. For now, Jennifer and Evan will be staying at her dad’s house, while Brad continues to stay at their house, in the city, until it closes.  (There are still some loose ends to tie up there.)  Jennifer’s new job is closer to here, while Brad’s is still in the city.

Our daughter and her husband spent a productive weekend together, working on their marriage issues.  I’m hoping and praying they can eventually get things resolved, and will come out of this with a stronger marriage than before.  (Next month will be their 14th wedding anniversary.)  I told my daughter the other day, “If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger.”  When a marriage gets into trouble, it has a ‘ripple effect’ and everyone feels the pain.  Our family is no exception.

Our oldest son, who traveled to buy a new car, last weekend, had to come and borrow a ride to work, on Friday.  His wife’s new car is fine, but the battery in her old car (that’s now his new car) was dead!  It’s funny how things like that happen.  Years ago, after years of driving an older car, Ed and I finally bought a brand new mini van, so we’d have a “dependable” ride.  We’d only had the van for a couple of weeks, when we went out to crank it and found it to be dead.  The dealership had to send a wrecker to tow it in for service!  So much for “dependable” new rides…

My primary care physician called me on Friday, to discuss my MRI results.  He feels the need to refer me to a specialist, concerning my back.  I’ve chosen to go back to the neurologist who did my cervical fusion, ten years ago.  The doctor’s office should be working on the referral, this week, but I don’t expect to hear back from them for several days.  In the meantime, I’m taking prednisone, which has helped a great deal with the numbness and spasms in my left leg. While walking has become somewhat easier, sitting has become a bit more of a challenge.

Before I leave the subject of my back ailment, I have to share this bit of knowledge.  Three years ago, this summer, I was hit by the mother of all yeast infections.  I made numerous trips to doctors in an effort to eradicate this condition, without any success.  Eventually, by Christmas of that year, I was forced to go on a sugar-free diet.  This helped my condition, but didn’t cure it.  Finally, after searching the internet for cures, I started a three-step ThreeLac (probiotics) program, along with an herbal supplement called Candida Clear.  Now, three years later, I’m still only 85% rid of the yeast.  Because of this “condition”, for the sake of comfort, I’ve been forced to sit on my lower spine, instead of on my actual behind, most of the time.  I’d be willing to bet money, that’s what’s happened to my back!  I’m thinking that sitting incorrectly has affected my back.  It’s funny how one thing can lead to another, huh?

Speaking of sitting incorrectly and bulging discs,  my back is telling me it’s time to get up and take a break from sitting.  Have a great Monday.  I’ll try to make it around to visit your blogs, a few at a time, throughout the day.

 

Published in: on June 8, 2015 at 10:41 am  Comments (4)  
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Easter 2015…

The 2015 Easter celebration, for us, began the evening before Easter, when our three oldest grandchildren came late Saturday afternoon, ready to color some eggs!  When all was said and done, they colored almost 3 dozen eggs,then decided they’d rather go play.  Their moms finished coloring the rest of the eggs, and I began pouring out the egg dye.  Only then did we discover another dozen eggs, still sitting in their carton on the counter, waiting to be colored!  We decided to let those wait until after supper.100_4940

Let the fun begin!

While the women and children were coloring eggs, the men threw a few hot dogs on the grill and, in doing so, cooked  supper for everyone.  We opened a bag of chips, and had an instant meal, which everyone seemed to enjoy.  We  dined on Easter cookies, cupcakes, and brownies for dessert.

Easter Day began early– around 5 a.m., at our  house.  While everyone else went to church, I cooked turkey and dressing, while Ed got busy trying to find hiding places for 350 eggs!  Do you have any idea how long it takes one person to hide 350 eggs over 3/4 of an acre?  I finally took a quick break from cooking, and helped Ed hide a few of those eggs, too.  I was just finishing up the noon meal, when everyone began to arrive.

100_4989waiting to be found…

As always, we had a good time around the kitchen table, while everyone ate their lunch. Of course, as soon as the meal was finished, the kids wanted to know when they were going to get to hunt eggs!  Our oldest son, had to leave, right after lunch, to conduct church services at a local assisted living facility, so we tried to hold the egg hunt off until he got back.  I think it was about 3 p.m when the hunt actually began, and Brett arrived soon afterward.

100_4987the search is on

We had five egg hunters, this year, our four ‘grands’, plus a guest hunter. By the end of the two-hour hunt, I think everybody’d had their fill of looking for hidden eggs!  Our oldest grandson, Caden, has blossomed into quite an egg hunter, so he found the most eggs.  He didn’t stop searching until he’d found an even 100!  He managed to find both prize eggs, too!  Granddaughter, Madison, wasn’t far behind Caden, with 81 eggs in her basket.

100_4994the champ

This was youngest grandson, Evan’s first Easter on his feet.  He’s just 17 months old, and was more interested in the fountains, the gold-fish pond, and the rocks, than he was in finding eggs.  Unfortunately, Evan managed to uncover an ant bed we’d missed, in his explorations, so he went home from Mimi’s house with a few ant bites 😦

100_4984Evan and his mom

Toward the end of the day, the children decided to play and ride bikes on the little dirt lane that leads up to our house.  The adults were all gathered under the shade of our old magnolia tree, relaxing.  Suddenly, we heard a child screaming, and looked into the distance. We could see someone flailing about on the road, and about half of the adults took off in a sprint!  It turns out, in an effort to avoid running over grandson, Chase, Madison had somehow fallen off of her bicycle, and injured her right arm.

We applied an ice pack, gave Madison some ibuprofen and her parents decided to take a ‘wait and see’ approach.  The arm wasn’t visibly injured, at first, but later it began to swell some.  A visit to the doctor, on Monday, revealed that Madison had, indeed, broken her forearm in the fall!

100_4997The whole gang

At the end of a very busy, exciting, tiring, and traumatic Easter day, we still managed to gather everybody together for one last photograph.  The azaleas were drooping, and looked about how most of us were feeling, by then, but we took our annual family photo in front of them anyway.

We can now add ‘Madison’s broken arm’ to our growing list of Easter memories, as well as the fact that we didn’t find all of the eggs–again.  Easter 2015 is officially in the history books, frozen in time by one last photograph…in which Madison is holding her arm!

 

 

Published in: on April 7, 2015 at 10:05 am  Comments (7)  
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Foolin’ Around With The Hodgepodge…

Can you believe it?!  The month of April is already here!  The flowers are bloomin’, the birds are chirpin’, and the weather has warmed back up into the 80’s again.  Hello spring!  There’s a whole lotta’ stuff going on around here, so I’m going to go ahead and jump right into this week’s Hodgepodge.  Oh, but before I take the leap, I’d like to shout out a great big “THANK YOU” to our hostess, Joyce!  Thanks for all you do.

1. In honor of the date…when were you last sent on a ‘fool’s errand’?

It was probably last week, when I went on a desperate search for Brach’s  chicks and rabbits Easter candy (the ones that are made like those orange circus peanuts).  I went to several stores…and failed to find any.  I came to the conclusion, they must not make them anymore.

2. Peter Rabbit, Bugs Bunny, The Energizer Bunny, The Easter Bunny, Rabbit (Pooh’s friend), White Rabbit (of Wonderland fame), or the Trix Rabbit…which of these ‘famous’ rabbits can you best relate to right now?

Since we’ve been spending lots of time in the vegetable garden, recently, I’ll say Peter Rabbit!  We even have some lettuce and carrots growing, along with some cabbage, peas, onions, squash, tomatoes, and peppers.  The fun has begun!

3. When did you last find yourself scrambling to get something done? Explain.

Because of the chronic health issues I have, there are usually just as many bad days as there are good ones.  I’m always scrambling to get things done on the ‘good days’ because I don’t know how long they will last, or when they’ll come again.  Yesterday was a pretty good day, so I was scrambling to get as many things done as I could.

4. Last time you were up at the literal crack of dawn? Why? Last time you stayed up all night? Why?

I’m often awake at the crack of dawn, but try to make myself go back to sleep until shortly after seven.  Unfortunately, I had to get up at the crack of dawn twice, last week, due to early morning appointments!

I’m going through an ‘I can’t sleep phase’, at the moment, due to the reduction in my HRT.  Many nights you’ll find me watching television at 4 a.m.  The last time I remember staying up for twenty-four hours, on purpose, was with a sick parent, in the hospital, several years ago.

5. Crack a book, crack a bottle, crack a joke, crack an egg…which have you done most recently?

Our hens are laying 7 to 9 eggs daily, so we do a lot of egg cracking around our house–every day!  There are currently eight dozen eggs in our refrigerator, and I recently gave away 3 dozen!

6. What’s your favorite part of a typical weekend? Tell us why that’s so.

My favorite part of a typical weekend is visiting with our family.  Often, on Friday nights, our two grown children and their families, who live nearby, will come and spend time with us, and each other.  Usually, about every other weekend, our youngest son and his family, who live out of town, come to visit on either a Saturday or a Sunday.  When we are able to get all three children, and their families, under our roof, at the same time, it is crazy, crowded, and loud, but it is wonderful!  It just doesn’t get any better than that!

7. What’s something I’d find on a bookshelf in your home? Other than a book I mean!

I’ve dedicated an entire wall of our living room to bookshelves, because I like books–and I like to display things.  In addition to some books, you’ll find lots of framed family photos, a clock, and some curios–because I love my family photos and curios!

Random:

I always enjoyed watching  “Kim of Queens”, a show that used to air on Lifetime before it was canceled after the second season.  The show starred pageant coach (and former Miss Georgia), Kim Gravel, along with several home-grown Georgia beauties who were being coached by Kim, at the time of the show.   Kim’s studio, The Pageant Place, is located near Atlanta, but she coaches girls from all around Georgia. Now, I’m not much into pageants, but, on the show, Kim sure was great at finding diamonds in the rough and making them shine, so to speak–and she was funny!

Imagine my surprise, recently, when I ran into two of the former co-stars of the show, while shopping at Big Lots in nearby Vidalia.  I saw one of the pageant contestants,  named Marah, along with her mom, Angie!  (Angie was especially memorable because of her clashes with Kim during the course of the show.) Of course, I was too shy to approach them and say anything, but was thrilled to have seen a couple of actual [former] television ‘stars’.  What a small world we live in, huh?!

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Angie (the mom)

Marah

Marah (the daughter)

Published in: on April 1, 2015 at 8:02 am  Comments (7)  
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