A Summertime Hodgepodge…

1. The first day of summer rolls in later this week. What are ten things you’d put on your list of quintessential summer activities? Will you try to manage all ten this summer?

I’m not sure I can list ten things, but here are my favorite summer activities: (1) sitting under my favorite oak tree at St. Simon’s Island while admiring the view (of course!), (2) buying a new beach ornament for my ‘year round tree’, (3) having a family cookout, (4) picking blackberries and making jelly, (5) watching the hummingbirds feed, (6) making/eating a BLT made with home-grown tomatoes, (7) making fresh flower arrangements with zinnias/sunflowers from our garden, (8) picking, cooking, and canning a variety of vegetables from our garden and (9) celebrating our wedding anniversary.  (I almost thought of ten!)

 

2. Do you collect seashells when you’re at the beach? What do you do with them once you get them home? What’s your favorite place to comb for seashells? How many of these ‘best beaches for hunting seashells’ have you visited? Which one would you most like to visit?  Calvert Cliffs State Park (Maryland), Jeffrey’s Bay (South Africa), Sanibel Island (Florida), Shipwreck Beach (Lanai Hawaii), Ocracoke Island (North Carolina), Galveston Island (Texas) and The Bahamas

I used to collect seashells from the beach, and display them in a pretty jar, at home.  I don’t collect them anymore, though.  I still display a few of my favorite seashells in a bowl and I hang some on my ‘year round’ tree, during the months of July/August, when it’s decorated in a beach theme.

I think the beaches of Florida have the prettiest shells of anywhere I’ve been.  I haven’t visited any of the ‘best beaches’, but I’d love to go to Sanibel Island (in Florida) or Shipwreck Beach (in Hawaii).

3. At a snail’s pace, shell out money, come out of your shell, go back into your shell, drop a bombshell, happy as a clam, clam up…which ‘shell’ phrase could most recently be applied to some event or circumstance in your life? Explain.

“At a snail’s pace” describes the way I move every morning when I first get out of bed.  I’m not currently taking Nsaids for my Rheumatoid arthritis, and it’s much harder for me to get up and get moving in the mornings. (Nsaids are very hard on the digestive system, and I’m trying to give mine a break) The struggle is real, folks.

4. What summer activity do you dislike? Why?

Here in the south, the temperatures hover in the high 90’s for most of the summer.  We also have these annoying insects called gnats and mosquitoes.  Therefore, I dislike any activity that requires my presence outside after 9 a.m. or before 7 p.m. unless it’s in a place where there are no gnats or mosquitoes.

5. What’s something you see as quickly becoming obsolete? Does that bother you?

A lot of things crossed my mind, but I’m going to say correct spelling and grammar!  Yes, it bothers me very much!  It’s downright painful to read some of the posts I see on Facebook.

Random:

This summer, there’s a new phenomenon happening in our little neck of the woods, and it’s called “Tattnall County Rocks”.  It all started with one woman and a Facebook page.  One very talented lady decided to paint a few rocks, hide the rocks all over the county, then post clues on her official “Tattnall County Rocks” Facebook page giving hints about where the rocks were hidden.  This activity has become very popular, very quickly, and people of all ages are now painting, hiding, and finding rocks!

Whoever finds a hidden rock, posts where they found it, and usually takes a picture of the rock. Then they either hide the rock somewhere else, or hide another painted rock to replace the one they decide to keep.  Then they post a clue concerning where their rock has been hidden.

It’s an activity designed to get children and their parents outside and moving–together.  It also challenges them to see what kind of rocks they can create.  What a neat idea, and it sounds like fun to me!

Our granddaughter and her mom went out and joined the fun, last week.  They found three rocks using the clues they’d read on Facebook.  They are currently in the process of painting more rocks to replace the ones they found, since granddaughter, Madison, wanted to keep the rocks she found.

Published in: on June 21, 2017 at 7:05 am  Comments (9)  
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A Flag/Father’s Day Hodgepodge…

 

Happy Wednesday!  It’s been a couple of weeks since the last Hodgepodge, but it’s back, and I’m glad!  As always, I’m thankful to our gracious hostess, Joyce, who keeps The Hodgepodge up and running.  Here are today’s questions:

1. The Hodgepodge lands on June 14th this week, Flag Day in the US of A. Do you fly your country’s flag at home? Sometimes, often, or every single day? Have you ever visited the city of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia)? Did you make a point of seeing The Betsy Ross House? Have you ever made a trip to Baltimore? If so, was Fort McHenry on your itinerary? (where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write The Star Spangled Banner)

We don’t fly a traditional American flag, but I have two patriotic garden flags that I fly around Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.  Does that count?  I’ve never been to Philadelphia or Baltimore.  I’ve spent all of my life here in the deep south.

2. Red flag or white flag? Which have you encountered most recently? Explain.

Recently, I’ve encountered both.  Let’s just say someone else waved the red flag, and I waved the white flag, and let’s leave it at that.

3. Are you a stay in the car listen to the end of a song kind of person? What kind of person is that?

Yes, I’ll stay in the car and listen to the end of a song, if it’s one of my old favorites I haven’t heard in a while.  I’m not sure what kind of person that makes me.  Sentimental, perhaps?

4. What are some of the traits or qualities you think a good dad possesses? In other words, what makes a good dad?

In my opinion, a good dad should be “hands on” from the start.  In other words, one who’s not afraid to change a diaper, give a bottle, or rock a crying baby.  He should be patient, nurturing, loving, and unselfish with his time, but he should also be willing to discipline, when necessary.

I’ve just described my husband, Ed.  He changed our baby’s diapers before I did, and did his fair share of bathing, rocking, and feeding, as well.  This was a tremendous help to me, and helped him build an early bond with our children.  No matter how tired Ed was, he never said no when one of the children asked him to do something.  In fact, I don’t remember him refusing them anything they’ve ever asked of him, even now.  Ed even returned our daughter’s wedding dress, after her wedding was called off.  How’s that for a good dad?

What’s an expression you associate with your father?

I can’t remember any specific expressions, so I’ll just tell a bit about my daddy.  He was very devoted to my mama, and loved her with all his heart. He had a good personality, and got along well with everybody.  He had a tender heart, and cried easily.  He also had a ‘green thumb’ and could grow a beautiful vegetable garden.  One funny thing I do still remember about him was, upon first hearing the term “chicken fingers” (strips of breast meat) he thought they were talking about actual chicken fingers 🙂  Daddy passed away 26 years ago, following a long illness, shortly after his 65th birthday.

5. What’s one rule you always disagreed with while growing up? Is that rule somehow still part of your adult life? Is that a good or bad thing?

I can’t think of a single rule I disagreed with while growing up.  (I’m a ‘rule follower’ at heart.)  My parents actually gave me very few rules to follow. I had to clean up the kitchen every night, take care of my bedroom, and, occasionally, I had to help clean the rest of the house.  That was pretty much it.  Oh, and I had to be home from dates by 11:30–but Ed could stay at my house as long as he liked because our time together was so scarce. (Ed was in the army, and wasn’t around much)

Random:

us, with the pastor who married us

This coming Sunday will be Father’s Day, but Ed and I will also celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary on that day.  Yes, we married on Father’s Day, 45 years ago, just three short weeks after Ed was released from the army and I graduated from high school.  I’m so thankful to God for bringing us together!  We’ll be celebrating with our customary trip to Kentucky Fried Chicken (and the beach).  We’ve been celebrating anniversaries with KFC every since our wedding night–when the store manager gave us our first meal as husband and wife for free.

us, last year, with our complimentary gift bucket from KFC

Published in: on June 14, 2017 at 7:02 am  Comments (10)  
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A Stereotypical Hodgepodge…

Hello there!  I’m back with another edition of The Wednesday Hodgepodge.  I don’t know about where you live, but it’s wet here!  We’ve received over 8 inches of rain in the past 24 hours, and there’s still more rain in the forecast!  Meanwhile, our gracious hostess, Joyce, has prepared another great set of questions for us, and I can’t think of a better way to spend a rainy day, so here I go…

1. What color is prominent in your home? Are you glad about that or wishing you could cover it up or remove it?

All of the walls and ceilings of our home are lightly stained and sealed wood, so I guess that would fall under the color brown.  There was a reason for doing this–we like the ‘all-natural’ look, we were on a tight budget, and we also hate to paint!  Overall, I’ve been fairly happy with the ‘all-natural’ look, even on the ceilings, but the color of our wood is darkening a little, over time, and I’m not especially happy about that!

2. What’s something you’ll NEVER do again?

I will absolutely, positively NEVER jump off of anything again!  Two different times in my life, I’ve jumped off of high things and, both times, I thought my feet and ankles were broken!  I’ve finally figured out that I don’t know how to properly flex my knees upon landing, which helps absorb the impact.

3. Tell us a couple of ways you fit the stereotypes associated with your gender, and a couple of ways you don’t.

(1)I enjoy staying home and taking care of my family and household more than working outside of the home.  (2)I enjoy cooking, sewing, and other crafts, but I’m not mechanical.

(1)I’m the more talkative of the two of us, and will usually speak out before Ed does.  (2) I have a stubborn, independent streak, so being submissive doesn’t come naturally.

4. May is Motorcycle Awareness Month. Have you ever owned a motorcycle? Ever ridden a motorcycle? If the opportunity presented itself would you hop on a motorcycle and go for a ride?

Ed and I have owned three different motorcycles during our marriage.  We owned the first two during the early years of our marriage, before we had children.

Us, riding Ed’s 750 Honda

 

Yes, I rode with him and it was fun, but never really felt safe or at ease.  I worried too much about us having an accident. Ed bought a third motorcycle when he was in his 50’s, but I never would ride it with him. I declared my motorcycle riding days were over! After a while, he finally sold it, thank goodness.

5. If someone wanted to understand you, what should they read, watch, and listen to?

They should probably read a few Nicholas Sparks novels, or some celebrities’ autobiographies, and the Bible.  They should watch Hallmark movies, or television dramas (crime or medical shows are my favorites).  As far as music, they should listen to the country music of the 90’s, the pop music of the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s, and some timeless good ole’ southern gospel.

Random:

To put it mildly, the 2017 gardening season has been challenging!  Our unseasonably warm temperatures, combined with a lack of rainfall has made it difficult.  Ed has moved the sprinkler, around in our garden, at least a couple of hundred times, over the past few weeks.  He has to move the sprinkler at least 12 times in order to water the entire garden, one time.

Ed working in the garden

Finally, early harvesting of our garden began.  Thank goodness, we were able to get our onions and potatoes harvested, along with some garden peas and squash.  Our yield has been below average, but, at least we’ve grown enough to share, so that’s good.

digging the potatoes, a family affair

Then the rain started on Monday night! Eight inches and counting, so far.  I’m not sure what all of this rain will mean for the future of our garden.  Only time will tell.  Like I said, gardening this year has been challenging!

 

 

Published in: on May 24, 2017 at 7:00 am  Comments (11)  
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Hodgepodge # 307…

 

I hope all of you had a Happy Mother’s Day.  I know I sure did!  This year, my daughter took over the hosting duties, so I was able to sit back and just be a guest at her house.  It was a nice change, and I enjoyed it very much.

Speaking of  nice things, it’s time for The Wednesday Hodgepodge!  As always, our hostess, Joyce, has done a great job of providing us with great questions and a place to link up.  Thanks, Joyce, for all you do!

Now, here are today’s questions:

1. May 17th is National Pack Rat Day. Sidebar-should we be celebrating this? Hmmm…

No, we probably shouldn’t be celebrating this. Ha! Ha!

Are you a pack rat? Even if you’re not a full fledged pack rat, most people have one thing or another they struggle to part with. Tell us what’s yours.

Yes, unfortunately, I’m a pack rat.  I’m not a hoarder by any stretch of the imagination, but I do like to hang onto my things!  Sometimes, I also like to hang onto other people’s things, too, such as my now grown children’s toys or my late mother-in-law’s dishes.  What can I say?  Once it’s gone, it’s gone, and you can’t get it back, so I think about it for a long time before letting it go…

2. What are two things you know you should know how to do, but you don’t?

I don’t know how to put air in the tires of the car, and I don’t know how to drive our zero turn lawn mower.  I should learn how, but have no interest.

3. Do you crave sugar?  Yes, sometimes I do find myself craving something sweet, usually at night, when I certainly don’t need it!

Do you add sugar to your coffee and/or tea?  I don’t drink coffee at all, but I do drink diluted sweetened tea. (half tea and half water)

Do you use artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes?  I have used them in the past, but I don’t any more.

When dining out is dessert a given?  No. I have to watch my sugar intake, so desserts are usually limited.

Are you someone who has slain the sugar dragon, and if so tell us how you did it.  About four years ago, right before Christmas, I was forced to give up all sugar for several months, due to a chronic yeast problem.  I went “cold turkey” and  it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do!  (Some form of sugar is in almost everything!) I felt lousy (for weeks) and even got a little depressed.  However my yeast problem improved, and I even lost several pounds.  Eventually, when I was able to slowly add some sugar back into my diet, I discovered everything tasted much too sweet, at first.  These days, my yeast problem is much better, but I still have to use moderation regarding sugar.

4. What’s a trend it took a while for you to come round to, but now you can’t imagine living without? I don’t know if it’s a trend anymore,  because it’s more a way of life, these days, but I’ll say using the internet.

5. What’s a song that reminds you of a specific incident in your life? Please elaborate.

  Leaving On a Jet Plane by Peter, Paul and Mary reminds me of when I rode with Ed’s parents to take him to the airport to get on a “jet plane”.  (I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again…Kiss me and smile for me, tell me you’ll wait for me… Oh, babe I hate to go…)

It was August of 1970. I’d just turned 16, Ed was just about to turn 21, and we’d recently become engaged.  Ed was in the army, and was headed to Okinawa for his 18 month tour of duty, which actually turned into a 20 1/2 month tour, after all was said and done.  That trip to the airport was hard, but the trip back home, without Ed, was even worse!  Ed’s mama and I cried most of the way home, while Ed’s daddy tried to cheer us both up.

However,  all’s well that ends well, and it was a different story (and song) 20 1/2 months later when we all went back to that same airport to pick Ed up!  Oh, Happy Day!  Ed and I were married just 3 weeks later, and will soon celebrate our 45th anniversary.

Random:

A “Trouble” and the Man With the Can update

It’s been a while since I’ve written an update about “Trouble”, the cat, and the man with the can, who happens to be my husband, Ed.  For those who may not be familiar with “Trouble”, she’s the cat who’s been living at Ed’s parents’ house, alone, for almost five years.

“Trouble” is no spring chicken, she’s been around quite a while.  You see, we got her [as a kitten] from Ed’s parents when our youngest son was about 15, and he’s about to turn 32.  If you do the math, it comes out to about 17 years!

“Trouble” lived with us until around 2005, when she left  because she didn’t like all of the other cats I’d adopted from the local animal shelter.  She ended up back at Ed’s parents’ home, which is nearby, where she has remained even though the last occupants of the house moved away, around 5 years ago.  All this time, my husband, Ed, has faithfully gone to the house to feed “Trouble” every day–until about two or three weeks ago, when she didn’t show up one day.

It turns out that, after all of this time, “Trouble” has decided to move in with our oldest son and his family, who happen to live nearby, as well! (All of our homes are located on the family farm)  At first we thought “Trouble” had gone to our son’s house because he was borrowing our old car, which is usually  kept parked at Ed’s parents’ house (to discourage intruders).  However, our son returned the car, and “Trouble”  has continued to stay at their house–and I’m glad!  It made me sad to think of her living all alone at Ed’s parents’ house.  It’s good that “Trouble” has a family again–unless she decides to leave, which she’s prone to do.

“Trouble” is really showing her age, now.  Ed, who’s faithful to the end, still goes to our son’s house to feed “Trouble”, every day at five o’clock.  He does this because he knows what kind of food she likes, what time she expects to be fed, and I think he  just likes to check in on her.  The saga of “Trouble” and the man with the can continues…

 

Published in: on May 17, 2017 at 6:48 am  Comments (14)  
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A Pre-Mother’s Day Hodgepodge…

Happy Hump Day!  The week is half over, and it’s time for another edition of Hodgepodge.  It’s also almost Mother’s Day, so I’m going to take this opportunity to wish all of my blog friends a “Happy Mother’s Day”.  Today happens to be our oldest son, Brett’s birthday, so I’m going to take this opportunity to wish him “Happy Birthday”, as well.  Brett was my Mother’s Day baby, and so he made Mother’s Day of 1982 quite memorable!  He was born 4 hours, 7  minutes after the day had ended at midnight! Happy Birthday, son.  I love you!

1. Share a favorite memory of your mother or share a favorite something from your own life as a mother.

Most of my favorite memories, as a mother, center around holidays or the children’s birthdays.  I always took great joy in planning for their birthdays, Easter, and Christmas.  I’d start planning well in advance, and usually went over-board in the gift giving department, but it was fun!  I wanted my own children to have better childhood memories than I have, and I think they do.  I wasn’t a perfect mother, but I gave it everything I had!

If you’re a mother (or stepmom) tell us how your experience as a mom differs from your own mother’s experience.

For most of my childhood and adult life, my mother wasn’t a very stable person.  I didn’t know it at the time, but she was bipolar, which meant lots of ‘ups and downs’.  She [and my father] struggled with alcohol, as well.  There were some good times, but, as you can imagine, there were a lot of not-so-good ones.

I was bound and determined to give my children the kind of stable, happy home life I never had, and I think Ed and I were successful in that.  We both tried to set good examples for our children, and I hope they have lots of good childhood [and adult] memories.

2. In May we celebrate teachers (May 9) and nurses (May 6) both. Most every family has at least one in their midst, so tell us something (or a few things) you appreciate about the teacher or nurse on your family tree.

Ed’s mama worked as an office nurse for many years.  She loved her job very much, and worked long hours!  She was quite dedicated, and worked until she was in her 70’s.  She’s passed away now, but we have another nurse in our family, these days.  Our youngest son, Brad, is married to a nurse!  Our DIL, Jennifer, is currently working for an orthopedist.  She, too, is quite dedicated and works long hours.  Anyone who has ever worked beside Jennifer will quickly tell  you she goes above and beyond duty.  We love and appreciate her for the difficult work she’s chosen to do.

3. Chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad…which would you go for if all three were on the menu?  That’s a tough choice because I like all three, but I’ll go with tuna salad.

On bread or a bed of lettuce?  I prefer tuna salad on a bed of lettuce, but we usually just eat it on bread.

If you answered bread, what kind of bread would make it the perfect sandwich? Honey wheat.

4. Do you have a desk?  Yes, we have an old computer desk, but we no longer use it.

Is it organized? No, not really.  It has little spaces for organizing things, but there always seemed to be clutter on top of the desk.

If you don’t have a desk, where in your home do you take care of family paperwork and business?  These days I usually sit in my favorite chair (in the living room) and use the laptop.  Occasionally, if I have a lot of things to take care of at once, I’ll move to the kitchen table.

Where do you normally sit to blog?

I sit in my favorite chair.

5. When I was nine years old…. my parents lived across the street from the elementary school, for a short time.  I walked home for lunch each day, then walked back to school, afterward.  After school, I often walked back over to the school and played on the school playground.  Good memories!

Random:

Those of you who read my blog regularly probably know that Ed and I often visit a local assisted living facility (Alzheimer’s unit), for church services on Sundays.  We’ve had some interesting experiences while there, and last Sunday we had another one.

We’d just finished the song service, and our son was preparing to read some scripture and preach. A new resident, Barbara, who was still holding the song book, suddenly asked what page he was reading from.  He explained to her that he was now reading from the Bible.  She didn’t have a Bible of her own, and there weren’t any available, so I offered Barbara my Bible to follow along with.

Now, before I go any further, let me explain that I’m very attached to my Bible.  It’s a Creative [journaling] Bible that Ed gave me last Christmas.  It’s already filled with all kinds of notes I’ve taken, it has beautiful illustrations for coloring, and I just love it!

Well, things were rolling right along, our son was reading and preaching out of the book of Romans, and I was sharing Ed’s Bible with him…  About that time, the lady with my Bible got up and left the room–and she took my Bible with her!!!  Oh, no, I thought!

I couldn’t decide what to do, without causing a disruption, so I did nothing…and she never came back!  As soon as the service was over, and we’d said our goodbyes to those attending, I took off on a search for my beloved Bible!

As it turned out, during the service, the lady had been summoned for a phone call, but I didn’t realize this.  In fact, she was still talking on the phone when we found her–and there lay my Bible on the dining table.  Whew!  That was a close one!  However, I think I’ll make sure I carry a spare Bible from now on:)

Published in: on May 10, 2017 at 8:51 am  Comments (8)  
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‘May I’ Interest You In A Wednesday Hodgepodge?

Wow, it’s a new week and a new month!  Can you believe it?  It’s also time for The Hodgepodge, again.  As always, thanks to Joyce for providing another great set of questions. Time’s a wastin’, so let’s get started:

1. Can you tell I’m embracing a Cinco de Mayo theme here this week? Yes, I can 🙂

Do you like Mexican food?  I can take it or leave it.  I usually choose to leave it.

What’s your favorite dish? Tacos

How about on the side-black beans, pinto beans, refried beans, rice?  I don’t really care for any of them.  I’ll eat pinto beans or black beans, but only in taco soup.  I don’t eat refried beans at all.

What about heat-mild, medium, hot?  Mild.

Will you celebrate with Mexican food and drink on May 5th aka Cinco de Mayo?  No.

2. Ever been to Mexico?  No.

For work or holiday? Neither

Love it or no?  Don’t know.

If you haven’t been is this a place you’d like to visit?  No, I don’t care to visit, even though the beaches do look beautiful in pictures.

Can you speak Spanish? I can only remember a few words that I learned in high school.

3. What’s one thing you may accomplish this month?

Hopefully, we’ll be canning green beans by the end of May.

4. If you were mayor of your village, city, or town, what’s one thing you’d like to see changed, done away with, revamped, or accomplished?  I’d really like to see a store like Wal-mart come to our little town! There’s nowhere to shop here, other than a couple of small dollar stores.  Other random stores (and there aren’t many of those) charge ‘an arm and a leg’ for anything they sell.  Ed and I travel 35 miles, one way, to do our shopping every week!

Is serving in public office something you’ve ever seriously considered? Um, no.

5. What’s something that may be popular, but that you just don’t get?  This may not still be popular, but I’m going to say the “whip and nae nae” song and dance.  To me, it’s just ridiculous!

6. Can’t let this week slip by without mentioning Thursday May 4th is Star Wars Day. As in ‘May the 4th be with you’ ahem. Are you a fan of the Star Wars series?   I watched all of the original movies, but never considered myself a die-hard fan.  I waited until the movies were released on video before watching them.

Exactly how much of a fan are you? On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being ‘I’ve seen every film, own the action figures, might have dressed as Darth Vader for Halloween one year’, and 1 being, ‘what’s a Vader?’ -where do you land?  I’d say I’m a 3/4. I enjoyed the movies, and remember the original characters, but that’s about as far as my interest goes.  I don’t have any desire to watch the newer versions of Star Wars.

7. Scroll back through your blog posts and in three sentences or less tell us the general theme of your fourth blog post.  My fourth blog post was entitled Did I Tell You? and it was a collection of tales of incidents that happened to me when I was a teenager.  Tales I hadn’t previously mentioned in the first three posts I’d written, and what I learned.  In the beginning, the underlying theme of my blog was “If only I’d known, then, what I know now”.

Does it still ring true today?  No, not so much.  Eventually, I ran out of past stories to write about.  I’ve been blogging for eight years.

Is it a topic you re-visit on your blog from time to time?  Perhaps I will revisit this theme, at some point.  As I mentioned, I’ve been blogging since April of 2009.  Perhaps I should reflect a bit, and discover what I’ve learned from life during the past eight years.  A lot of things have certainly changed–I became a grandmother three more times, we learned how to grow a garden, Ed retired, Ed had a heart attack and recovered, I had back surgery and recovered (sort of), we changed churches three times…  I could go on and on!

Random:

Ed and I both had our six month check ups, yesterday.  I’m happy to report that we both got good reports.  Both of us had been dreading the day, fearing our test results might show something amiss.  I also received my coveted letter, this week, telling me my mammogram results are normal.  If you’ve ever had a “questionable” mammogram, then you understand how excruciating the wait for results can be. Praise the Lord for all of the good news!

Published in: on May 3, 2017 at 6:49 am  Comments (12)  
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Saying Good-bye To April With A Hodgepodge…

What in the world happened to the month of April?  It went by in a blur, or at least that’s how it seems to me.  Never-the-less, it’s Wednesday again, and you know what that means.  It’s time for The Wednesday Hodgepodge!  Thank you, once again, to our wonderful hostess, Joyce, for continuing to host this fun meme.  Now, let the fun begin…

1. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Has your April been filled with showers?

We haven’t had many April showers in our neck of the woods, other than the kind that flows from our water sprinkler.  It’s been extremely dry here!  That’s why we were absolutely thrilled when it finally rained on Sunday evening!  We are very grateful for the inch of rain we received.

Do you carry an umbrella, wear a slicker, or make a run for it?  I often carry an umbrella, but, sometimes, I’ll just make a run for it.  A little water never hurt anyone.

Besides rain, what else has filled your April?  

April has mostly been filled with planting and taking care of our garden.  Gardening is quite time-consuming (especially for poor Ed)! Due to my back issues, I do more watching and watering than anything else.  You can’t tell from this photo, but there are 20 rows of vegetables planted in this garden!

2.  What’s something you could give a 30-minute presentation on, at a moment’s notice, with zero preparation? I could easily give a presentation on these creatures:

I can’t believe how little I actually knew about chickens when I brought those first baby chicks home, five years ago, but experience is a great teacher!  These ‘girls’ think they rule–and they pretty much do.  The two red hens are from the original flock of five years ago, and they still lay eggs!  The other six members of the flock (one missed being photographed) will celebrate their 3rd birthday in September. We’ve almost reached a milestone of 4, 400 eggs from these chickens (plus the five members of the flock who are now deceased).

3. Share with us a favorite food memory from childhood.

I remember my maternal grandmother having some awesome family dinners at her house!  There’d be all kinds of foods, but, strangely, the thing I looked forward to the most was the large plate of pineapple or pimento cheese sandwiches!  They always tasted so good!  Grandma also made the most delicious ‘bread pudding’ I’ve ever eaten.  For those who may not  know, ‘bread pudding’ is made with ‘left-over’ bread, eggs, milk, sugar, and cinnamon, then baked.  I sure wish I had grandma’s recipe.

4. What’s a song you thought you knew the lyrics to, but later discovered you were wrong?

I don’t have a particular song in mind, but, prior to Google, I didn’t know the correct lyrics to most of the songs by Credence Clearwater Revival or Elton John…  Come to think of it, can anyone sing the correct lyrics to Benny and the Jets?

5. According to one travel website, the most overrated tourist attractions in America are-
Niagara Falls (NY), Hollywood Walk of Fame (California), Times Square (NYC), Epcot (FL), Seattle Space Needle (WA), and Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market (Boston).

How many of these have you seen in person?

Sadly, none of them.  I’m not well-traveled.  I have been to Disneyworld, in Florida, but I went before Epcot was completed.

Did you feel like a tourist? Did you care?  Yes and no.

Tell us about a place (not on the list) you’ve visited that might be considered a tourist trap, but you love it anyway.

Elvis’ former home, Graceland might fall into that category.  His home, seemingly frozen in time, is still open for tours, as far as I know.  The house is still decorated as it was back in the late 60’s or early 70’s, but I enjoyed touring it, since I remember the 70’s so well.  I’m sure everything in the home was ‘state of the art’ back in Elvis’ day, but everything looks rather antiquated now.  Check out that television!

photo via Google

6. Your signature clothing item?

Crocs! I wear them all the time.  Here’s a photo of my first pair of Crocs.  I wore this pair for about ten years before finally throwing them away!  Sadly, the newer Crocs aren’t made to be quite as durable.


7. What’s an experience you’ve had you think everyone should experience at least once? Why?

A “close call”.  My husband, Ed, had a heart attack 18 months ago. Fortunately, he survived his  “widow maker”, and is doing well. While going through the experience was extremely scary and stressful, it made us both realize just how precious (and short) our time [here] really is.  We can be taken in the blink of an eye!  We thank God, every day, for this ‘extra’ time we’ve been given together.

Random:
While in Brunswick on other business, we had the opportunity to briefly visit St. Simon’s Island, last week, our first visit since last September.

I was pleased not to see much damage from last fall’s hurricane Matthew.  Everything seemed pretty much unchanged.  The ‘walking man’ was still making his rounds…

and folks were still taking pictures beside the strange-looking tree on the island… which I can’t seem to find a photo of!  The island was actually pretty crowded, for a Thursday.

We only stayed long enough to grab a bar-b-que sandwich from Southern Soul, then ate it while sitting in a park beside the beautiful water.  I hope to go back, soon!

Published in: on April 26, 2017 at 8:13 am  Comments (11)  
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Flying High With Another Hodgepodge…

 

I promised myself that I would write a blog post, last week, while The Hodgepodge was on hiatus, but guess what?  I didn’t.  I guess it’s a good thing our gracious hostess, Joyce, only took one week off.  Anyway, Joyce is back, The Hodgepodge is back, and so am I!  Here are today’s questions:

1. Tell us about a time you felt like you were ‘flying by the seat of your pants’.

Honestly, the first thing that comes to mind is taking care of our first baby, right after she was born.  I knew nothing about babies, and frankly, I was scared to death!  Scared to hold her, to feed her, to dress her, even to be left alone with her.  Thankfully, babies are resilient and new mommies learn quickly!  Things went much smoother with my next two babies.

2. When or where would you most like to be ‘a fly on the wall’?

I think I’d like to be a fly on the wall when our grandchildren are playing together.  They’re getting to the age where they talk among themselves more, and some of what they say is probably pretty funny.  If it isn’t, it soon will be!

3. ‘Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.’-Henry David Thoreau

Would you agree? Why or why not?

I agree.  It’s always been my experience when you concentrate on one particular thing, and it’s not happening, time seems to d-r-a-g.  For instance, waiting for Ed to complete his [20 month] tour of duty in Okinawa, trying to get pregnant the first time, or even trying to get a new job after being a stay-at-home mom for 14 years.  It seemed that just turning my focus to other things always seemed to work for me. Before I knew it, happiness had arrived, in some form or another.

4. Share a favorite movie, book, or song with flying in it’s title, lyrics, or theme somewhere.

I love Albert E. Brumley’s gospel song, I’ll Fly Away.  There are many versions of this song on YouTube, but the one below is a really good one, and it’s set to footage from the movie “Oh, Brother Where Art Thou?” (I love that movie, too!)

5. What is one task or chore you tend to do ‘on the fly’? Is this something that really needs to be done another way?

Cleaning the bathroom!  I don’t really have scheduled cleaning days for the bathroom.  It’s done on an “as needed” basis–usually twice a week, more if needed.

6. What was happening the last time you thought to yourself or said aloud, ‘Wow, time flies when you’re having fun’, and you meant it.

I say that phrase a lot, now that Ed and I are both retired, and I really mean it!

7. This Thursday is National Garlic Day. Will you add garlic to your menu on Thursday? Do you like garlic? What’s your favorite dish made with garlic?

No, garlic isn’t one of my favorite things.  A little garlic goes a long way, as far as I’m concerned.  My favorite thing seasoned with garlic is bread or toast.

Random:

Ed and I celebrated Easter #44 with our family, this past weekend. The celebration began with everyone gathering at our daughter’s house, on Saturday afternoon, with all of our grandchildren dying eggs together.

cousins getting ready to dye eggs

The children had a great time dying eggs, but I think the children (and some adults) had almost as much fun playing together, afterward!

Jennifer, exhibits her skills with a hula hoop

The day ended with a delicious meal of chili, hot dogs, Easter cake and cookies.  I’m very grateful to our daughter for hosting this event for our family.

Somehow, Ed and I managed to find time to hide 353 plastic eggs in our yard, and cook our portion of the noon meal before 10 am on Easter morning. We were determined to make it to church, this year!  It’s amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it.

on the way to church

At 11 am, Ed and I attended services at a local church, where our oldest son delivered the morning message.  (He did an awesome job, too.) After church, everyone met at our house for Easter lunch, followed by our traditional egg hunt.

Of course, before the egg hunt could begin, we had to take our annual Easter family photo…

No blooms left on our azaleas, this year

And then the fun began…

Evan, the youngest, leading the hunt

At the end of the day, 350 of 353 eggs were found, after almost two hours of hunting!  The grandchildren ended up with a ton of candy, and a total of twenty dollars in prize money.  I think everyone had a great time, I know I did.

 

Published in: on April 19, 2017 at 7:35 am  Comments (11)  
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Tales From A Simple Woman’s Daybook…

For Today…

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Looking out my window… 

I can see our azaleas still blooming.  They’re not quite as pretty as they were before the recent rain, but still worth noting.  I also see tiny leaves beginning to sprout on the Sycamore tree, even though it was bare, last week. Most of our Maple trees are sprouting leaves, as well. Spring is just around the corner, although the current temperatures don’t feel like it.

I am thinking…

last weekend’s time change is going to kill me!  Every time the time changes, it takes me at least a couple of weeks to adjust to the new schedule.

I am thankful…

that Ed and I made the decision to move back to his family’s farm, all those years ago.  This Friday, on St. Patrick’s Day, we’ll celebrate the 40th anniversary of moving from the city.  It was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.

One of my favorite things…

is taking a long hot bath, at the end of the day.  I often enjoy reading while I soak.

I am [still] creating…

 some crocheted covers for some throw pillows.  It’s a slow process, because I don’t work on them regularly.

I am wearing…

a red/green plaid nightgown and a red robe, my Christmas attire.

I am reading…

Dolly Pardon’s autobiography which is entitled, Dolly, My Life and Other Unfinished Business.  This book has made me laugh out loud on several occasions.  It’s that funny!

I am watching…

a couple of new action shows on television.  The first one is called The Blacklist: Redemption, and the other is called Taken.  Both have a little more violence than I prefer, but they’re good action shows.

I am listening to…

a couple of new instrumental worship cd’s that I bought from Hobby Lobby. One is entitled Church in the Wildwood, and the other is entitled Standing on the Promises.  It’s good, relaxing music.

I am hoping…

our sick hen will recover and be able to rejoin the flock, soon.  I hate keeping her in isolation.  She’s currently receiving medication in her drinking water.  Chickens are social creatures, and don’t enjoy being alone.  I cheated a bit, last night, and let her sleep with the other hens.  It was too cold to be sleeping alone (31 degrees).

I am learning…

things aren’t always as they seem.

In my kitchen…

Ed and I made strawberry jam for the first time, last week.  We started out with seventeen pounds of strawberries, freshly picked by Ed. Our neighbor has a strawberry field, which made access to the berries easy.

they tasted as good as they look

When all was said and done, we ended up with 26 pints of delicious strawberry jam, and it’s delicious.

our last two batches of jam

In my garden…

onions, potatoes, radishes, and carrots are growing.  We had to replant our garden peas and they haven’t sprouted, yet.  We have some tomato, lettuce, and cabbage seedlings growing in cups on our front porch, but I’ve had to temporarily bring them inside due to cooler temperatures.  I hope these cooler temperatures don’t hurt our potatoes in the garden.

Shared Quote…

“A little more kindness, a little less hurry.  A little more laughter, a little less worry.”  (isn’t that the truth?!)

A moment from my day…

Ed and I, posing beside the azaleas, last week

 

Closing Notes…

Thank goodness, this week has been less busy than last week!  Last week, Ed and I both had dentist appointments (on different days), had an appointment with our insurance agent, plus we made two trips, out-of-town, for shopping purposes.  I guess you could say, we’ve gotten spoiled to the slower pace of ‘retirement living’, and we like it:)

Thanks to Peggy Hostetler for hosting The Simple Woman’s Daybook.

Published in: on March 15, 2017 at 7:59 am  Comments (4)  
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Happy Anniversary To The Hodgepodge!

Today marks the 300th edition of The Wednesday Hodgepodge!  Who knew, all those years ago we’d still be going strong?  We definitely wouldn’t still be doing this without our superb hostess, Joyce, that’s for sure!  Her questions, her visits and comments to each of us, and let’s not forget she provides the ‘linky’ for us, as well.  Thanks, Joyce, for ALL you do!  Congratulations on this milestone, and I’m honored to be able to say I’ve participated in all 300 of your Hodgepodge editions!  P.S.  I love the new button, too!

Now, for today’s questions:

1. What is one area of your life where you’re a perfectionist? Is that a good thing?

I’m not nearly as much of a perfectionist as I used to be.  Age has a way of doing that to ya’.  One thing I’m still very particular about is how our Christmas decorations are displayed and how our Christmas trees are decorated.  And yes, I said “trees” because  I decorate four of them.

It’s probably not a good thing that I’m so particular about such things, but that’s the way I roll.

2. What’s something you find perfectly ridiculous?

People’s obsession with their cell phones/social media.  It’s both sad
and ridiculous and sad, at the same time. (please read “Random” below)

3. What’s a skill you’ve developed by way of that old-fashioned saying, ‘practice makes perfect?

Cooking!  I’ve had years of practice.  I’m especially skilled at making cornbread because Ed would happily eat it with every meal, if I’d cook it.

4. What’s your idea of a perfect breakfast?

I always look forward to pancakes and sausage. We only treat ourselves to this meal once a week, on Sunday mornings, and Ed’s the cook!

5. What’s a trip, holiday, vacation, or day outing you’ve taken that you’d rate a perfect 10? Tell us why.

To me, our most memorable trip was a summer trip back in 2002 when we went to Nashville, Tennessee.  We were accompanying our youngest son to FBLA’s Nationals, because he’d won the state competition in Banking/Finance, during his junior year of high school.  We stayed at The Gaylord Opryland Hotel (all expenses paid) and it was beautiful!  We also went to a show at the Grand Ole’ Opry, visited The Country Music Hall of Fame, and took a tour of some of country music stars’ homes.  (I saw where Alan Jackson lives!)  We also drove over to Memphis, Tennessee, and visited Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland.  Fun times!

6. What quote or saying perfectly sums up your life right now? If you can’t do perfect, how about one that comes close?

“Money talks.  Mine says goodbye.”  Medical bills, dental bills, the IRS… Need I say more?

7. How would you spend $300 today?

I’d probably give it to Ed to help pay the balance on the permanent crown he’ll be getting at the dentist, tomorrow.  Goodbye money.

Random:

Yesterday, my daughter shared this devotion with me.  There’s so much wisdom and truth in it.  Please take a moment to read…

Engaging in My Own Life by

Suzie Eller

“You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.” Psalm 39:5 (NIV) 

We snuck the old 8 mm movie cylinders out of the home. The box was broken down on one corner, and the blue cases inside were fragile.

I remember the first time I watched them. My mother-in-law took out the archaic projector. She flashed the films on the wall. Some of the films were fragile, and they’d break over and over as she tried to show them. Soon, technology changed so much we couldn’t watch them anymore. The box got dustier and pushed back further in the closet.

We took the box out secretly, because we didn’t want to get her hopes up. I went to a local vendor and asked if there was anything he could do. He took those precious memories out of my hands and promised to try.

A few days later he called me back. He did it!

When we gave my mother-in-law the DVDs that held over 50 years of her life on them, she wept.

So did I.

Way back then, when the flickering film was projected in her living room, I appreciated it, but I didn’t see it the way she did. Those films held pictures of her mom and dad. They showed how chaotic it was for her to be a young mama. She treasured them because life was changing. She was a grandma, and some of those precious people were no longer in her life.

As we watched the movies this time, my mother-in-law sat nearby. Her hands shook; she now uses a walker to get around.

Today, I’m the grandma. Many of the people who seemed so young back then are no longer here.

In today’s passage, the psalmist describes life as a handbreadth, which is a measure of four fingers. It indicates how brief life is. While the writer of this psalm lamented that he put too much emphasis on wealth and things of the world, I’m reminded of other distractions.

I admit that sometimes I live as if my precious moments aren’t valuable. I take people for granted. I disengage as I scroll through social media, while real live people whom I love are nearby. I pile on work and activities, promising to spend time with those I love on another day.

It’s so tempting to value what has no lasting value at all and overlook what we’ll one day label a treasure.

That night, I looked around the room. I took in the faces one by one, appreciating something about each of them. I put my phone in my purse. It wasn’t nearly as important as talking to the one next to me. The room was crowded and noisy, and I realized that one day it would be quiet — for those little ones would be all grown up.

We shot our own videos that day with our phones and snazzy technology. One day, we’ll look back at those and laugh. We’ll weep at who is no longer with us. We’ll talk about how young we all were.

My hope is that I’ll watch it and know I didn’t live those moments disengaged or distracted. That I engaged in my own life in the handbreadth of time I was given, valuing all those I love.

Heavenly Father, despite what’s distracting me from the goodness right in front of me, show me the true value. I may not be able to put it aside fully, but show me how to give it the proper place in my heart and my life. Lord, help me treasure precious moments as memories in the making. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 144:4, “They are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow.” (NIV)

– See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/engaging-in-my-own-life/#sthash.zPF4cfET.dpuf

Published in: on March 8, 2017 at 8:02 am  Comments (2)  
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