Wednesday Hodgepodge #247…

Here we go again, with another little edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge!  It’s good to take a little break from our Christmas preparations, don’t you think?  Only sixteen more days until Christmas, though.  As always, thanks to our gracious hostess, Joyce, for another great set of questions!  Now, let’s get started with “The Hodgepodge”!

1. Many families have a story they love to tell every year around a holiday. Does your family have one? Are you the star of that story, or does another family member take center stage? Share your story if you want.

Yes, our family has a funny story involving ” Christmas panties”, but I am not the star of the story.  My late father-in-law is!  Here’s an excerpt from a previous post I wrote about the whole Christmas panties thing:

My favorite Christmas memory has now turned into a family holiday tradition.  Ed’s daddy was quite a character in his time.  He had a sense of humor and always wore a smile. 

One day he went to the dumpster to take off the trash.  It wasn’t unusual for him to return with a “treasure” that he’d find, at the dumpster, but on this one particular day he found a VERY LARGE pair of ladies underwear.  I mean, they must have been the largest size available!  Now I know some of you may thinking “gross”, but the panties were clean, and we all laughed and marveled at how HUGE those panties actually were! 

On the following Christmas morning(many years ago), I can’t remember who, but one of us received those HUGE panties wrapped up as a Christmas gift!

100_0504 Christmas panties

my sister-in-law with the Christmas panties (cir. 1980)


still clowning around with the Christmas panties (cir. 2013)

Every since that year we’ve passed those panties to someone different in the family every Christmas.  Whoever keeps the panties for the year writes a note to the new recipient before Christmas, and attaches it to the box, on top of the previous year’s message.  The box is now very old and has LOTS of notes attached to the top of it. Some of the messages are pretty funny!

It always brings a laugh when someone opens up the gift of the Christmas panties and reads the message on top of the box!  Ed’s daddy passed away many years ago, but he still makes us laugh every year, as we continue to pass around those Christmas panties.

Below is one of my all-time favorite notes attached to the box.  It was written by our [then] new daughter-in-law to our youngest son, back in 2007:

Brad, (2007)

Wow, the year has flown by!  It’s sad for me because now I have to pass these lovely panties on to someone new…but it’s worth it to see the look on your face when you realize that you now get the privilege of caring for them an entire year.

I got a lot of uses out of them; they’re very versatile.  Here are some examples:

1.  a tablecloth at a picnic with my family; as you can imagine, they were quite envious.

2.  an area rug for the living room.

3.  a tent when I kept my nephew and nieces, and they wanted to pretend to camp out.

4.  a blanket for Brett and me before we got the new heater

Probably, the most beneficial use was the one I’ve never told anyone.  I took them to Atlanta in October to the [Naascar] race-and thus began the tradition of holding them near to me during each race.  We all know the success the Lowes team had this year!  Maybe the # 9 team will have some luck in 2008.

Christina (and the #48 team)

2. Are you afraid to speak your own opinion?

These days, yes, I am afraid to speak my opinions. I hesitate to offer an opinion, most of the time, unless I am talking with a close family member or friend.  It seems the art of “agreeing to disagree” is fading fast, so I usually just try to keep most of my opinions to myself.

3. Pantone has announced the color of the year for 2016, and for the first time have chosen two shades-rose quartz and serenity. Hmmm…did you know serenity was a color? You can read the thought behind their selection here, but essentially it’s blending the warmth of rose quartz with the tranquility of a very soft shade of blue. So what do you think? Are these colors I’d find in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in these shades to either place in the new year?

No, I didn’t know serenity is a color.  Although, I think the colors are pretty, neither of them would match any of the current decor in our home, so I wouldn’t be using them there.  However, I wouldn’t be opposed to adding something in either of those colors to my spring wardrobe!

4. If you could be in a Christmas carol, which one would you choose? Why?

I’ve always loved the Christmas carol, “Winter Wonderland”, so I’d choose that one.  We live in the south, where it rarely snows, so having a “Winter Wonderland” would be a rare and wonderful treat for us.  In all of my 61 years, it’s only snowed once during Christmas!  It was wonderful, and the snow lasted for a couple of days.

photos from an old scrapbook~our children playing in the snow

photos from an old scrapbook~our children playing in the snow

5. December 9th is National Pastry Day. Will you celebrate? When did you last purchase something from a bakery? What’s your favorite treat that falls under the heading of pastry? Do you make it yourself or buy from the professionals?

Pastry!  Oh, be still my beating heart!!!  I will not celebrate, because such things are not on my current diet, but I’d certainly love to!

I don’t know if this counts as pastry, but I purchased 1/2 dozen doughnuts from Krispy Kreme several months ago, when I had a doctor’s appointment in Savannah.  Until then, I hadn’t had a doughnut in a long, long time, but my back was hurting, and I needed some “comfort food”, so I gave in. (It was worth it!)  My favorite “pastry” is a raspberry danish that I used to purchase from Sam’s.  I don’t know that I’ve ever had danish from an actual bakery.

6. When it comes to holiday decorating, I tend to go a bit overboard!  Just ask anyone who’s been to our house at Christmas!  

7. When did you last laugh so much it hurt? Explain.  

I remember it like it was yesterday, even though it was 15 years ago.  Ed, our youngest son, Brad, and I were on vacation at Panama City, Florida.

One night, we found a “like new” 3 gallon bucket, that had been discarded, beside the dumpster in the Walmart parking lot.  Ed and I use buckets a lot at our house, so we put the bucket in the back of our mini van, and headed back to our motel room.

The “strip” was crowed with cars, and traffic moved slowly.  About five or ten minutes into the trip, we discovered why the bucket had been discarded–it reeked of the smell of dead shrimp!  Apparently, someone had used the bucket for bait, then threw it away after fishing.

However, we weren’t about give up our “precious find”, so we placed the “smelly bucket” on the top of our mini van, and continued on the journey back to our motel.  Traffic was moving slow, so the bucket sat on the top of the van with no problems.

People began giving us strange looks and yelling to us, “There’s a bucket on your roof!”  We even got stopped by some cops.  The whole situation got so bizarre, we all got tickled.  I laughed so hard, and so long, I totally wet my pants, so I’m sure I was sore the next day, too.

Ed washed out the bucket, at the motel, and we brought it back to Georgia with us.  We laughed about that night on “the strip”, for many years–every time we used that bucket!


I have some good news and some bad news.  First of all the good news–

I’m “officially” finished with my Christmas decorating!!!  Yay!

The bad news is, I had a terrible time decorating that last tree!  Most of the lights stopped working, and what should have taken two hours to complete, ended up taking an entire afternoon!  We ended up throwing three strings of lights in the trash!

In other good news– my dermatologist’s office called me on the day I was decorating that last tree (on Monday) and asked if I’d like to come in the following day (yesterday) for my Moe’s surgery, instead of waiting until January 19. (Someone cancelled.)  I jumped at the chance to get the surgery over with because, frankly, I’ve been dreading it!  More good news– she was able to get all of the skin cancer on her first try!

The bad news is–although my skin cancer was only about the size of a tiny pimple, I’m left with a deep, gaping hole right beside my nose that’s about the size of a dime!  Whoa!  For best-looking results, my dermatologist recommended having a plastic surgeon close the hole, which I will do tomorrow morning (Thursday).  After watching my daughter suffer for three days, following her own plastic surgery [to close a gaping hole of about the same size as mine], I am not looking forward to Thursday.  Hopefully, all of this will soon be a distant memory.

Published in: on December 9, 2015 at 8:29 am  Comments (13)  
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Tales From A Retirement Home…

This month marks the one-year anniversary of my MIL living in an assisted living facility.  Making the choice to move her  there was one of the most difficult decisions our family has ever had to face, but we know in our hearts it was the right decision.  She’s settled in nicely, and although she’s had some health issues over the past year, all is well with her at the moment. 

Recent visits with my MIL have uncovered some interesting developments at the home, as well as brought to mind some past experiences with my own mother that I’d like to share…

First of all, just because these folks are in a retirement home, doesn’t mean they are dead!  Life goes on.  My MIL  recently shared with me that Mr. Russell, the only male resident at the home, now has a girlfriend!  She says the two of them hold hands during the day, and can be seen “smooching” in the hall at night.  My MIL is appalled by this, but I think it’s sort of sweet.  I say, where there’s life, there’s love…  When my MIL told me about this incident, it made me recall an incident concerning my own mom, which happened a few years ago.

My parents were both nursing home residents for a couple of years before daddy died.  Both suffered major illness(at the same time) which resulted in very poor health.  They roomed together up until daddy’s death.  A couple of years after daddy had passed away, another male resident of the nursing “took a liking” to mama.  His name was “Mr. Red”, and he was a little crazy–literally.

Mama was flattered, but not really interested.  One evening “Mr. Red” decided he wanted to give my mama some flowers.  So just what does a male resident of a nursing home do when he desires to give a lady some flowers?  He’s on a limited budget, you know.  Why he goes out to the front porch of the home, and steals a hanging basket of flowers off of a hook, then takes it to his lady friend!  Oh the laughs we had over that one!  “Mr. Red” never did kindle a romance with mama, even after he brought her flowers!

Another funny incident concerning my MIL happened a few weeks back.  Occasionally, she has out-of-town doctor’s appointments.  Whenever this occurs, my husband takes her car to the home and leaves it.  The lady administrator then drives my MIL to her out-of-town appointments. My MIL enjoys riding in her own car on these trips.

My MIL’s car had been parked at the home for a couple of days when another one of the residents, Ms. Jean, asked her, “Is that your car parked out there?”  My MIL answered, “Yes, it is.”  Ms. Jean  went on to say, “Well why don’t I go and pack my things, and you go and pack up yours, and let’s get the heck out of here?!”  We got a few laughs out of that story, too! 

My MIL went on to explain to Ms. Jean that they couldn’t just run away.  This particular lady, happens to have Alzheimer’s, and has been on a quest to run away for several months now.  She’s made several escape attempts, bless her heart.

Recently, a cousin of my MIL’s moved into the home.  At first, I thought, this will be great!  Well, I think I was wrong!  This lady has Alzheimer’s, too.  She has it stuck in her mind that her husband is coming back from Mexico,  to rescue her from the home!  She’s driving my MIL crazy about this!  I don’t know if the lady has a husband, or if so, why he’s in Mexico, but she’s adamant that he’s coming to rescue her!  Which brings to mind another story about my mom…

At one point, after my daddy passed away, my mom had a complete mental breakdown.  The doctor explained to us that sometimes when reality is just too painful to deal with, our minds will create a type of “fantasy world”.  For a time, in my mama’s “fantasy world”, she  thought she had won the lottery– and that “Walker, Texas Ranger”, aka Chuck Norris, was coming to rescue her from the nursing home!  She was totally convinced about all of this, so we didn’t try to argue much with her about it.  Fortunately, she eventually came out of her “fantasy world”, but occasionally she would still say “odd” things right up until she passed away a few years later.  Mama kept us on our toes, right up until the end. 

 And I used to think life in a retirement home was boring…


Published in: on August 26, 2011 at 8:50 am  Comments (3)  
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Every Picture Tells A Story…

You know, they say “every picture tells a story”–and they are right.  Today I’m sharing a picture from my collection–and  the story that goes along with it.  This is a motor scooter…a very tiny burned motor scooter!

A few years back, our oldest son, Brett, (who was grown at the time) decided that he wanted a motor scooter.  He found one that he liked at a place called Shady Grady’sHa! Ha!  I already know what you’re thinking–because I was thinking the same thing!  He bought the motor scooter–not the one in the picture–but a larger one.  It was black, and looked exactly like a mini motorcycle.  Brett loved his scooter, and he rode the scooter around and about, until one day when it just stopped working!  They don’t call that guy “Shady Grady” for nothing…

Before too long, Brett found another motor scooter on the internet, for a price that seemed to good to be true.  I know what you’re thinking again–and you’re right!  When the scooter (in the photo) arrived, we all laughed hysterically because it was so tiny!  A motor scooter that appeared to be made for a midget!  I so wish I had a picture of Brett actually riding the thing–but I was too busy laughing to  take one!  Picture in your mind a young man over six feet tall riding on a  scooter that looked like it was made for a midget!  Brett almost covered the entire scooter when he sat on it!

Well, my Brett wasn’t going to be outdone, so he rode his tiny motor cycle anyway!  He rode the scooter over to a friend’s house, who happens to live nearby.  I can only imagine the stares that he must have gotten on the way!

I can’t remember exactly what happened, but the jest of the story is…the scooter malfunctioned while the friend was riding it, and  the thing caught on fire!  See that blackened area around the gas tank???  That must’ve been one hot ride!  Fortunately, the two guys got the fire put out, and there weren’t any injuries…just one messed up scooter!

I’d like to say that this incident ended the saga of motor scooters at our house, but it didn’t.  Remember the first black scooter that tore up so quickly?  Well, our youngest son, Brad, really liked it.  He bought a new motor for it, then paid someone to weld the motor on the frame for him.  All was well until Brad got the scooter home, cranked the it up, then discovered it would only travel in one direction– reverse!  (Something about the crank turning the wrong way…but nobody noticed!)   A scooter that won’t travel forward isn’t much good, so the little black scooter eventually ended up at the dump!

In the meantime, Brett sent photographs of the burned motor scooter to the company that he ordered it from, and explained what happened.  The company, in turn, sent him a replacement scooter.  I think he may have had to pay shipping.  In the end, he finally sold the new replacement scooter in an effort to recover some of his money.

However, our motor scooter adventures were not quite over yet!  Youngest son, Brad, was not happy that he had to scrap his motor scooter that would only run backwards!   He went back to Shady Grady’s (believe it or not) and bought himself an orange motor scooter–with red flames on it!

This one turned out to be a good little scooter, and Brad rode it until he eventually moved up to a full-sized motorcycle.  At this time, Brad sold the scooter– to his older brother, Brett, who rode it–until the tire went flat.  Apparently there was a problem finding a tube for the tire, so the scooter sat abandoned under our car shelter for several years…

Well,  guess who eventually fixed the motor scooter and is still ridin’  it today?  My husband!  Man, I just can’t seem to catch a break with these motor scooters!!!  Yep,  Ed’s cruisin’ all around on his orange scooter, with red flames shootin’ down the sides of the gas tank!  At least they’re fake flames, and not  real ones!

I refuse to ride a motorcycle (or scooter) anymore, but as you can see from the above photo, my husband has found two other willing passengers!  Just how many people can fit on a scooter, anyway?  Happy trails…


Published in: on August 19, 2011 at 8:59 am  Comments (5)  
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