A ‘Grand’ Old Hodgepodge…

Wow, has another week flown by already?  The days are zooming by! Wednesday means it’s time for another Hodgepodge, so here I am checking into blog land.  Thanks so much to our hostess, Joyce, for keeping The Hodgepodge going, thus making sure I blog at least once a week.  These days, I need all the help I can get!  Here are today’s questions:

1. Growing up, were you close to your grandparents? Tell us one or two specific things you remember about them.
There were a couple of times, growing up, when I lived with my maternal grandparents for several  months.  You can’t get much closer than that!   I loved my grandma very much, and wanted to be just like her.  My granddaddy passed away when I was fourteen.

Grandma on her 77th birthday in 1980

The things I most remember about grandma were:  (1) She never had idle hands.  While sitting, if she wasn’t sewing or crocheting (which she loved to do), she’d usually have a tissue in her hands, folding or playing with it. (I tend to do this, as well) (2) Grandma also liked to dip snuff. (I chose not do that!)

2. What’s an item you were attached to as a child? What happened to it?

I think my Barbie and Skipper dolls were my favorite toys.  I was already ten or eleven when I got them, but I still spent many happy hours playing with them.  As for what happened to those dolls?  Why, I still have them, of course, along with lots of their friends that I’ve collected since becoming an adult!  (I collected those dolls I’d always wanted as a child, plus a few more)

3. When you look out your window, do you see the forest or the trees (literally and figuratively)? Explain.

Looking out of my window, I can see the forest and the trees…  I see the large sycamore tree that’s growing in my daughter’s backyard–the yard that used to be my backyard, until 10 years ago when we moved next door–and I remember how Ed fussed when I bought that sycamore tree…  I also see the tiny mimosa tree Ed recently dug up and planted in our current yard, even though he hates mimosa trees.  I also see the large magnolia tree that’s planted between our house and our daughter’s house, and I remember what a little twig it was when we planted it almost 40 years ago. Beyond all of that, I can see the “woods” (southern slang for forest) that surround our property on two sides.  Lots and lots of pine trees!

4. Do you like sour candies?  I used to like sour stuff, but I don’t care much for sour candies anymore.  It’s funny how your taste can change.

Which of the ‘sour’ foods listed below would you say is your favorite?  
(grapefruit, Greek yogurt, tart cherries, lemons, limes, sauerkraut, buttermilk, or kumquats) 

Lemons are about the only thing I like that’s on the list.

 Have you ever eaten a kumquat?  Yes, I’ve tasted a kumquat, but I don’t like them.  Ed’s parents used to have a kumquat tree growing in their yard, so they ate them all the time, in season.
What’s your favorite dish containing one of the sour foods on the list?  Lemon pie, of course!

5. July 1st marked the mid point of 2017. In fifteen words or less, tell us how it’s going so far.

Our July has been filled with lots of rain, gnats, and mosquitoes, as usual.


Our youngest son, Brad, celebrated his 32nd birthday, on Tuesday of last week.  How can this be?  Time slow down!

Anyway, our family all got together to celebrate with him, last Friday. Here’s one of my favorite photos of the evening:

father and son~sharing a moment together

It’s the little things in life that mean the most, like the father/son moment captured in this picture.  One day, when Brad’s son, Evan, turns 32, he’ll look back at this picture and wonder where the years went, too.

Published in: on July 19, 2017 at 7:49 am  Comments (9)  
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Memory Monday ~ The Most Influential Person In My Life

Retired Not Tired Memory Monday

Early 70's6

lt to rt – Grandma, me, my mom (taken around 1970)

When I saw today’s prompt, I didn’t have to think, at all, about who my answer would be.  Without a doubt, my maternal grandmother definitely helped mold me into the person I am today, whether she realized it or not!

Grandma was a kind and gentle soul, always willing to lend a helping hand. She loved her husband, her family, and God. She was always a great example of what a lady should be. Grandma was the glue that held her family together, but life wasn’t always easy for grandma.

Grandma married her husband, Henry, when she was just thirteen years old.  At some point, early in the marriage, her husband started drinking.  I’m told he was a “mean drunk”, and I can only imagine what that meant for grandma.  I don’t know how many years granddaddy drank, but I’m told he eventually put liquor aside, never to touch it again, sometime before I was born.  I’m glad I never knew granddaddy when he was drinking.

As long as I knew grandma, she stood a bit awkward, and always walked with a  limp. She told me she had once fallen, and had broken her leg.  (Apparently, it didn’t heal correctly.) Later in life, both of my grandparents were both involved in a head-on collision, in which Grandma suffered another broken leg. Grandma was bed ridden for weeks, and my parents and I moved in, with my grandparents, to help take care of her.  Grandma’s limp was even worse following the accident.

My fondest memories of grandma are from 1963, when I lived with my grandparents during a  low point in my parents’ lives.  I was eight, at the time, and I lived with my grandparents for over four months.

Grandma was a hard-working woman. She cooked great meals, in a kitchen barely large enough to turn around in, she kept her house spotless, without the benefit of today’s modern conveniences, and she even washed clothes using a wringer-type washing machine!  Grandma took pride in everything she did.

Grandma loved fresh vegetables and flowers, too, and every year Granddaddy would plant a row of zinnias in the vegetable garden, for Grandma.  I loved seeing those flowers growing among the vegetables, and have continued that tradition in my own garden, as well.

Grandma spent a lot of time sewing on her treadle sewing machine.  I would sit and watch as she sewed, keeping the machine going by gently rocking her feet back and forth.  Grandma liked to make aprons out of cloth flour sacks, and I liked to watch!  I knew I wanted to learn how to sew, and I did, in Home Economics class, a few years later!  Over the years, I’ve sewed many items–everything from personal clothing to dolls!  I actually inherited Grandma’s old sewing machine, after my mama died.  It sits in our storage shed, some twenty-nine years after Grandma’s death.

Grandma also knew how to crochet, and I wanted to learn how to do that, as well.  The problem was, I’m left-handed!  Grandma tried, several times, to teach me how, but I could never understand because she used one hand, and I was trying to use another.  Years later, I was finally able to learn how to crochet–using my right hand!

Grandma had a habit of always fidgeting with her hands.  If she had a napkin or a tissue in her hands, she’d roll it or fold it a hundred different ways while sitting idle.  Many times, I’ll catch myself doing the same thing!

My grandma never learned how to drive a car.  She was totally dependent on others to drive her around.  I didn’t get my drivers’ license, either, until I was almost twenty-six years old!  I’m so thankful I got my license when I did, because it gave me more opportunities to visit Grandma while she lived at the nursing home.

Grandma’s last years weren’t easy ones.  Her husband passed away years before she did.  Before he died, he suffered from dementia, which made life difficult for Grandma.  After granddaddy died, grandma lived alone for almost ten years.  Time took a toll on Grandma, and eventually she went to live in a nursing home. A couple of years after that, Grandma suffered a massive stroke, and was completely bed ridden for the rest of her life.  She was barely able to speak or even chew her food.  Grandma was basically trapped in a body that no longer worked. As much as I loved Grandma, I couldn’t make myself go visit her while she was like that.  I only went to see her a couple of times, in four years.  I feel guilty about that, but it’s something I have to live with.

Grandma has been gone from this world a long time, but I do know, without a doubt, a part of her lives on through me.  I’m very grateful for the guidance and wisdom I gained from her.  She was a special lady.

 *I’m linking this post up with other Memory Monday posts at Retired-not-Tired.








Published in: on November 17, 2014 at 9:44 am  Comments (6)  
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