Waffling Through The Hodgepodge…

It’s Hodgepodge Time again!  Many thanks to Joyce for continuing to host this fun meme.  I appreciate her more than she’ll ever know…

1. It’s National Waffle Day (August 24th)…what decision are you currently ‘waffling over’? (or share one you’ve recently ‘waffled over’)

I’ve been waffling over whether or not to make a doctor’s appointment concerning my back issues.  My back seems to be s-l-o-w-l-y improving, so I’m going to give it another week, or so, before I make any decisions.

2. It’s the middle of August, but I’m already seeing lots of autumn-related posts. Do you think we rush the seasons? If so, does that bother you?

Yes, I do think the seasons are rushed.  When Hobby Lobby puts out Christmas decorations in the middle of summer,  I say that’s rushing things a bit!  And, yes, it does bother me when people rush the seasons.  Why can’t we fully enjoy one season before rushing into the next?

I saw (here) an end of summer bucket list that included-

make s’mores, read a new (or favorite) book in the park, eat something delicious and bad for you at a state fair, be a tourist for the day, have a pot luck picnic, book a last-minute summer getaway, relax by or in the pool, take a hike to watch the sunset, have a day on the lake, try a new summer recipe

Which activities on the list might you squeeze in before summer officially comes to a close?

I’m going to say “have a day on the lake”, except I’ll switch the lake water for the salt water of St. Simon’s Island.  Next Tuesday is my birthday and if there’s any possible way, I plan to spend it sitting beside the water, under the shade of my favorite oak tree, looking at this view:

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3. Your favorite summertime ‘art’ found in nature?

I love finding ‘pictures’ in the clouds on a bright, sunny, summer day–like this one:

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photo via google

4. Stephen R. Covey is quoted as saying ‘We judge ourselves by our intentions, and others by their actions.’ Agree or no? Do you define yourself based on your intentions, your actions, or something else?

That’s a difficult question, and I don’t have an answer, today.  I’m not sure how I define myself, but what’s the old saying?  “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”, so I don’t put a lot of stock in those.

5. Are you useful in a crisis? Elaborate.

I’m a bit slow to react in a kind of crisis of any kind, in fact I usually ‘freeze’ for a moment or two, which can be disastrous during a crisis.  My husband, Ed, on the other hand, is quick to react, and always great in a crisis.  This probably comes from years of working as an x-ray tech and an EMT, as well. Ed’s helped save lives, by doing CPR on several people, including my father.  In addition, he once prevented our youngest son from drowning, and acted quickly enough to keep our house from burning down after some pool chemicals ignited under our carport.

6. What’s been your go-to dish this summer? Is it something you’ll continue making as the seasons change?

The first thing that comes to my mind are the delicious grilled chicken finger salads we’ve enjoyed throughout the summer.  Yes, I’ll continue making them, at least for a while, but they won’t be nearly as good without our garden-fresh carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

7. Adult coloring books are a thing now. Have you jumped on the bandwagon? If not is this something you think you might enjoy?

No, I haven’t jumped on the coloring bandwagon, but I’ve been thinking about it.  I’m not sure if I’d enjoy it or not, but I might give it a try.  I enjoy coloring, I’m just not very good at it.

Random:

After being ‘shut in’ for over a week, I was finally able to do a little shopping, yesterday.  My back only ‘acted up’ when I’d first get out of the car, after I’d been sitting for a while.  Within a few minutes I could stand up straight and walk normally.  Walking wasn’t painful, like before, and Ed did all of the bending for me.

Folks, don’t ever take your back for granted.  Just to be able to sit, stand, walk, or bend painlessly is such a blessing!

Published in: on August 24, 2016 at 8:32 am  Comments (12)  
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Friday Fragments…

They say “no news is good news”, but that’s not always true.  Sometimes “no news” means the writer just hasn’t felt like blogging.  This blogger falls into that category. It’s been nine days since I last posted, and I hate to get too far behind.  I’m attempting to do a little catching up, today.

Last week was very hot, and very dry!  I felt like a prisoner in my own home, all week.  With the exception of feeding the chickens twice a day, picking up the eggs once a day, and watering my flowers, I stayed inside.  Thankfully, this week has been somewhat better.

Ed and I did venture out in the heat, last Wednesday, to take our van back to the car dealership.  We  needed to let them install an [over-flow] drain hose that apparently got omitted when the van was built. This factory over-sight caused  massive fume build up [inside the car], every time Ed over-filled the gas tank.  We spent three and a half hours waiting for the repair, but even that was much better than the guy sitting next to us who spent  about seven and a half hours waiting to have two bulbs changed and an a/c switch ordered.  That’s ridiculous!

Then, on Thursday, of last week, we had a surprise visit from the pastor of the church we’ve been attending [for the past four months].  He came to bring us some sad news–that he would be resigning as pastor of the church on Sunday.  We were very sad to hear this news– not just because we like the pastor, and many folks at the church, but mainly because of the reason behind his resignation.

We knew, for a while, there have been some problems within the church, but, the church leadership (deacons) recently made a decision that the pastor couldn’t, in good conscience, support.  (They basically got together and reversed a decision they’d made, earlier, at the advice of the pastor.)  This reverse decision was made at the recent deacon’s meeting, so we didn’t know anything about it.  Ultimately, what all this means is we’re now without a church home–again.  We can’t, in good conscience, stay at a church that condones sin, and that’s what this decision amounts to.  Sigh.  My heart aches.  It aches for the pastor and his wife, it aches for us, it aches for our son (who has also left the church), and it aches for the church, itself, which is headed down a very destructive path.

It was a somewhat stressful weekend, following the pastor’s visit, but we had the opportunity to go and spend some time with our youngest grandson, Evan, on Saturday evening. His parents went out for the evening, so “E” and “Mimi” got to babysit.  I think we all had a good time, I know we sure did!  We kept Evan at his house, which meant it was almost 1 a.m. when we got back to our own home.  On the way home, I made the comment to Ed, that it had been a l-o-n-g time since we’d been out until 1 a.m. Ha!

I’m not ashamed to tell you that I cried off and on all day Sunday.  It felt like we’d had a death in our family.  I couldn’t help but wonder what else is going to happen to us, this summer?  Ed went to church, one last time, as a show of support for the pastor, while he resigned.  I just couldn’t bring myself to go.  I prefer to keep the happy memories, of the Sunday before, as my last ones of that church.

On Monday morning, I still felt “blue”, so I asked Ed to take me to my “happy place” on St. Simon’s Island.  We threw our chairs in the van, and headed out on a road trip.  I’m so glad we went!  I could feel my tension melt away as I breathed in the salt air, and felt the sea breeze on my face.  I came home feeling much better.

We had a nice surprise, on Tuesday, when Brad (our youngest son), and grandson, Evan, came over for an evening visit.  Brad said Evan had asked to see us, so they came over to visit with us while Jennifer worked late.  They also ate supper with us.

The rest of this week has been fairly uneventful.  Just the usual things have been going on–Ed mowing some grass, while I’ve been doing a little bit of housework–and I do mean a little.  I’ve been doing some painting on a statue for the yard, and we “dusted” the chickens for mites one evening.  That was an adventure, since chickens don’t appreciated being disturbed after they’ve gone to bed for the night 🙂

We have no real plans for this weekend.  As far as church plans go, for now, we plan to go and visit the assisted living facility where our son brings a message every Sunday afternoon. Hopefully, the folks there won’t mind if we visit and worship with them. Perhaps we can all be a blessing to each other.

 

Published in: on August 5, 2016 at 8:52 am  Comments (3)  
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Rolling With The Hodgepodge…

 

Summer is rolling right along, and so is The Wednesday Hodgepodge!  If you’d like to join in the fun, just click the button at the top of this post.  As always, I’d like to shout out a big thank you to our hostess, Joyce, who keeps things rolling smoothly for all of us.

1. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your summer so far? Why?
(1=eh and 10=best summer ever)

Well, it hasn’t been the best summer ever, but it hasn’t been the worst summer either, because that would’ve probably been last summer when I suffered with sciatica all summer!  No, scratch that, the worst summer, ever, was the summer of 2010, when our [now] daughter-in-law, Jennifer, discovered she had cancer, then lost her mother, unexpectedly, just a few weeks later–on the morning our family was all scheduled to go on vacation together!  That was a bad summer! 

I’ll rate this summer a 7, because even though we’ve encountered a few ‘bumps in the road’, we’ve still had lots of enjoyable moments, nobody’s had serious health issues, and nobody in the family has died!  There’s a lot to be thankful for 🙂

2. July 26th is National Aunts and Uncles Day. Did you have many aunts and uncles growing up? Were you especially close to any one or maybe all of them? Are you an aunt? (or uncle for the men who join here on Wednesdays) Share a favorite memory relating to one of your own aunts or uncles or relating to a niece or nephew who call you Aunt (or Uncle).

Okay, are you ready for this?  Follow closely.  My daddy’s brother married Ed’s mama’s sister–so Ed and I have always had an aunt and uncle in common, as well as two first cousins (their children). The family lived in St. Petersburg, Florida, so we only saw them once a year, during the summer.  The oldest of those mutual first cousins, Susan, who was just a year older than me, is the one who set Ed and me up on our first date, while she was visiting one summer!  The rest is history.  Three years later, we got married on Susan’s birthday (June 18), and our mutual aunt and uncle helped with our rehearsal dinner!

3. What’s your favorite food dipped in chocolate? What’s your favorite food dipped in cheese?

My favorite food dipped in chocolate would be peanuts or raisins.  I don’t have a favorite food that’s dipped in cheese.

4. When were you last astonished by something? Explain.

I was last astonished when Ed and I received a mystery package in the mail, from 1600 Colonel Sanders Lane!

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If you visited my Hodgepodge, last week, then you know that package contained a nice gift basket from Kentucky Fried Chicken.  What a pleasant surprise!

 

5. Surf board, paddle board, ironing board, Pinterest board, score board, clip board, bulletin board…which board have you most recently encountered?

Sadly, I last encountered my ironing board–something I don’t enjoy doing!

6. What’s your favorite story from scripture? Why that story?

I’m going to say The Parable of the Good Samaritan because I recently heard a very good sermon using that parable!  The pastor took the parable in an entirely different direction than I’ve ever thought about before.  It was an awesome message, and it made me look at myself in a different light.

7. If you were to travel from the east coast to the west coast in your own country, which five cities would you most want to see?

That’s a very good question!  I’m not much of a traveler, but I think I’d like to visit Miami, Florida,  revisit Nashville, Tennessee, maybe visit Denver, Colorado, Los Angeles, California, and, perhaps, Seattle, Washington.  How’s that for variety?

Random:

I shared a picture, yesterday, but I wanted to share another, for those who may have missed it. Here’s a picture of Ed with the 42 pound watermelon that he grew:

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We cut the watermelon, yesterday, and it was pretty good!  We may be eating melon for quite a while, though.

Published in: on July 27, 2016 at 6:48 am  Comments (13)  
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A Simple Woman’s Daybook Post…

For Today…

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It’s shaping up to be another hot and sunny Monday.  Yesterday’s high topped out around 100 degrees, before scattered showers arrived and lowered the temperatures, shortly before the evening church services.  We didn’t get any rain at our house, though.

Looking out my window…

I see nine pesky hens hanging around the front door, waiting for some handouts!  This morning, I let them out of their pen, early, so they could search for food before it gets so hot, but their idea of searching for food is hanging around the front door–not scratching for bugs or worms!  Every day, while we’re eating lunch, they stand outside the door begging for table scraps.  They know what time we eat!

May-Oct 2014 619the red hen, leading the flock

I am thinking…

I’m glad I don’t have to take the van to the Ford dealership this morning!  We took it to the dealership, last Monday morning, and spent the entire day waiting to get it back!  Unfortunately, a part had to be ordered, so, this Wednesday, we’ll have to make the trip again, to have the  gas tank’s over-flow hose put on, then have them recheck the radio which seems to be having problems ‘rebooting’, sometimes. And to think, we bought a new car to avoid having to deal with car repairs!

I am thankful…

to have been blessed to hear [not one, but] two good messages at church, yesterday. I’d never heard anything like either one of the messages, even though the scriptures used have been spoken about many times.  An added blessing was hearing our son pray a closing prayer that complimented the morning message perfectly.

One of my favorite things…

is traveling to St. Simon’s Island and sitting under our favorite oak trees in The Village.  Thankfully, Ed and I were able to do that on Friday.  The get away was much-needed, and I could, literally, feel my stress level lowering as I sat and enjoyed the view.

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There was only one problem.  It appears that Pokemon Go has hit St. Simon’s Island with a vengeance!  Everywhere we looked people were walking like zombies, while holding their phones in front of their faces.  As we lounged in our chairs, we were almost trampled, a time or two, by over-zealous “hunters”.  It was ridiculous!

I am wearing…

another of my old faithful sundresses.  I do get tired of wearing the same old dresses, all summer, but dresses work best for me whenever it’s hot…and, believe me, it is hot around here!

I am creating…
something new out of something old.  I’m going to give some of my ‘garden accents’ (rabbits and birds) a make-over by painting them.  Ed’s really better at doing this than I am, but I’m going to give it a try.  Ed’s already painted the squirrels for me.

I am reading…

Sunday Morning Memories by Don Reid (of Statler Brothers fame).  It’s a book of short stories, with Don reminiscing about [his] church memories.  I’ve just finished reading Random Memories by Don and his brother, Harold (also of Statler Brothers fame), and enjoyed it so much I decided to read Sunday Morning Memories.  I’m glad I did!  Who knew Don could write good books in addition to writing and singing good songs?!   Did you know that Don and his brother Harold wrote a large portion of the songs The Statlers recorded? I’ve featured one of my favorite gospel songs that they wrote, below.

I am watching…

the show ‘Big Brother’ on television.  That’s really about the only show we’ve been watching on a regular basis, lately.  So far, it’s been a pretty good season, but I think things are just about to get complicated.

I’ve been listening to…

 

I am hoping…

my back will behave itself!  Lately, I’ve been having some occasional pain on the right side of my back.  At times, my right foot/leg feels a little ‘tingly’, too.  These are not good signs. Due to stomach issues, I’m off of my arthritis medication, again, which may be contributing to the problem.

I am learning…

to roll with the unexpected bumps in the ‘road of life’–or at least I’m trying to.  It never seems to get any easier, but I’m sure getting lots of practice.

In my kitchen…

I rarely bake anymore, but, last week, I made a ‘Mandarin Orange Cake’, also known [here in the south] as a ‘Pea Pickin’ Cake’.  Ha!  (Ed and I have wondered why in the world it is called a “Pea Pickin’ Cake’!)  It’s a refreshing refrigerated cake, made with a mixture of yellow cake mix, mandarin oranges, eggs, and oil, then frosted with a mixture of cool whip, vanilla pudding mix, and crushed pineapple.

In my garden…
it’s hot and dry!  All of the sunflowers are all gone, but some of the zinnias are still in bloom, believe it or not!  I’ve cut and enjoyed several bouquets of flowers from the garden, over the course of the summer.

Ed still has some peanuts, watermelons, gourds, and sweet potatoes growing in the garden. Below is a photo of Ed with a 42 pound watermelon that he grew!

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Shared Quote…

I read this quote the other day, and it spoke to me:

“Every moment that you spend upset, in despair, in anguish, angry, or hurt because of the behavior of anybody else in your life is a moment in which you’ve given up control of your life.” (author unknown)

A moment from my day…

some beautiful sunflowers from the garden, when they were still in bloom.

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Closing Notes…

Ed’s been as busy as a little bee!  In addition to tending to our garden, he’s done a great job of keeping everything around the place trimmed and mowed all summer.  Let me just say, that’s no easy task!  In addition, he’s repaired our broken walkway, painted the back deck, painted underneath our car port, and helped me hang some new [summer] wall decorations on the side of his storage shed.  We have a couple more ‘home improvement’ projects planned, but things are looking much better already.  I appreciate all of his hard work so much!

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

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Published in: on July 25, 2016 at 1:58 pm  Comments (2)  
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Collecting With The Hodgepodge…

The theme of today’s Hodgepodge is sort of about “collecting”, which is right up my alley!  I wasn’t able to collect things as a child, but I’ve more than made up for it as an adult.  In fact, I confess, things may have gotten a bit out of control over the years…  That being said, let me take a break from dusting these “collectibles”, and answer today’s questions.  Before I do, though, I must say “thank you” to our wonderful hostess, Joyce, for all she does!

1. Pokemon Go…your thoughts? Are you playing? Do you even know what it is?

Yes, I do know a bit about what Pokemon Go is–it’s an interactive game for mobile devices.  My thoughts about Pokemon Go are these: people already spend way too much time on mobile/electronic devices.  We don’t need to encourage them to spend even more time there.  The other day, while I was relaxing on beautiful St. Simon’s Island, I noticed many people had their faces in their phones– some, even while riding bicycles or swinging their children!  I thought, this is so sad… You’re surrounded by all of this beauty (including your child), and you have your face in a phone!  And, no I won’t be playing Pokemon Go!

2. What was something you collected as a child?   Do you still have that collection?Sadly, I didn’t collect anything as a child (there wasn’t much money).  However, as a teenager, I began a record collection, which I still have [most of] today.   If you’re a parent what’s something your own children collected?  Our oldest son collected NBA basketball cards.  I can’t remember the others collecting anything special.

Have you ever camped out, stood in a crazy long queue, or paid a ridiculous sum for a ‘collectible’?  Yes, I’m afraid I’ll have to plead guilty for paying a ridiculous sum for collectibles. One of the most memorable is a hand- painted Coca Cola toilet seat, which now hangs on the wall in our bathroom!  Nobody’s bottom will ever touch that toilet seat during my life time!

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I also have an extensive doll collection.  I’m too embarrassed to tell you how much some of my dolls cost, but many of them cost a lot more than that toilet seat.

3. “Collect moments, not things”…tell us about a moment you’ve added to your collection this summer.

This has been a somewhat difficult summer for us, due to some family problems, but at the same time, it’s had its share of “collectible moments”, too…watching the grandsons playing together under the water sprinkler (old-fashioned fun)…attending a July 4th fireworks show (after years of not doing so)…watching our sons playing baseball with their sons–right up until both plastic baseballs broke in half (funny)…and receiving a ‘mystery’ package in the mail, from Colonel Sanders Avenue! (see random)

I ashamed to admit it, but I have a collection of various “stuff” sitting all over our pool room.  Some of the stuff I want to keep, but have no room for.  There’s also pet food that shouldn’t be stored outside during the heat of summer.  Then, there is the food that we recently canned, but have no other place to store, at this time.  Eventually, I’ll get around to doing something about all of this, but not today!

5. A favorite song relating to time?

Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce.  The poignant video footage, below, was taken of Jim and his family, shortly before his death in a plane crash (in 1973).  It’s sad how prophetic this song turned out to be.

6. What’s been your most frightening or your most interesting encounter with wildlife?

Many years ago, a couple of foxes used to come and eat the left-over table scraps we put out at the edge of the woods near our house.  One day, we opened the door, and there was one of those foxes, underneath our carport!  The poor fox was clearly sick, but we didn’t know if he had rabies, had been poisoned, or what.  Finally, Ed had no choice but to put it out of its misery.  It was sad, but a bit scary, too.  In the end, we pretty much decided the poor fox was probably the victim of a poultry farmer’s poison.  We live in an area with several poultry farmers, and they’ve pretty much wiped out most chicken predators, over the years.

7. On July 20, 1969 Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong set his foot down on the moon. If you could travel to the moon would you go? Why or why not?

No, I wouldn’t go.  As most of you know, I’m not much of a traveler–especially that far!

Random:

For any readers who may not know,  Ed and I have celebrated every one of our 44 wedding anniversaries at KFC, beginning on our wedding night, when we were given our meal for free by the manager, after he realized we were newlyweds.

This year, our son, Brad, decided to share our story with the nice folks of KFC.  He sent them a message via their Facebook page, and they, in turn, asked for our address.

Last week, Ed and I received a surprise package in the mail–from Colonel Sanders Lane–in Kentucky!  At first Ed and I were quite skeptical, but, boy, were we surprised when we finally opened the box!!!

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celebrating 44 years (with the Colonel) 

The box contained a gift basket/bucket along with a personal letter, signed by the late Colonel, himself 🙂  The letter was actually my favorite item, but the bucket contained several useful gifts (two red beverage cups, two white chef’s aprons, two gift cards, and much more). There was two of everything, except for the little red Louisville Slugger bat, which Ed said they sent for him “to keep me straight with.” 🙂

The letter in the bucket read as follows:

Howdy Ed and Kathy,

I always considered love to be like a bucket of chicken, you’re all snuggled together in a striped container.  No wait, I think love is more like a freshly made biscuit, soft and comforting and goes great with honey.  Actually, now that I think about it, love is like coleslaw: there’s little bits of lots of stuff all chopped together.  No, no, no.  Mashed potatoes.  Mashed potatoes and gravy.  Love is like mashed potatoes and gravy.  That’s it.  That’s love. Nailed it.

In truth, one can never compare love to anything on my menu.  That’s a fact.  What you two have had over the last 44 years can never be put up against anything on this earth.   The memories you’ve shared, the life you’ve built, all the beautiful successes and the tough failures, helping the other when one of you were down, being helped when you were down, raising a loving son, who looks at his parents as a shining example of what two people can do in this world together.  I don’t serve anything that amazing.

Congratulations on your anniversary, and thank you for letting me be a part of it.  Please share your future anniversary photos with me on Facebook, as it warms my heart, not unlike the warmth of one of my biscuits.  There.  Now that’s something I can compare to a food item.

Yours truly,

Col. Sanders

 

 

Published in: on July 20, 2016 at 8:07 am  Comments (15)  
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An Out Of This World Hodgepodge…

It’s Wednesday, and you know what that means… It’s Hodgepodge Time!

Many thanks to our hostess, Joyce, for coming up with another ‘out of this world’ set of questions to exercise my aging brain 🙂  I really appreciate all that you do, Joyce!

Also, many thanks to the readers who faithfully stop by to visit  and read my blog.  I love and appreciate your visits and comments so much!

All that being said, here are today’s questions to The Hodgepodge, along with my answers:

1. Do you find yourself influencing your world, or is it more the other way around?

I do my best to control my own little world by trying to limit outside influences. Ed and I have never been much into the ‘social scene’, so we prefer to be at home, with each other, or family.  This is a lot easier now that we’re both retired!  I’ve never had a problem with being different, so I usually don’t get caught up in current fads, trends, or whatever, either.  A while back, I made the choice to limit how much media I read or watch, as well.  My mood is a lot better, now!

2. July 14th is National Tape Measure Day…the device was patented on this date in 1868. When did you last use a tape measure?

I used a tape measure, yesterday, to measure a fan.  We bought a new one, and I wanted to make sure it was the same size as our old one.

Do you always know where to find one in your house?

Yes, I always keep my tape measure in the sewing box.

Tell us one way in which you feel blessed ‘beyond measure’.

I figured out, a very long time ago, that I am blessed beyond measure to have Ed, in my life!  He’s truly one of a kind.

 3.The Plaza Hotel (Eloise), The Land of Oz (The Wizard of Oz), Narnia (The Chronicles of Narnia), The Hundred Acre Wood (Winnie the Pooh), Wonderland (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), or Never Never Land (Peter Pan)…which storybook land (on this list!) would you most like to visit and why?

I’m a huge fan of Winnie the Pooh, so, of course, I’d most like to visit The Hundred Acre Wood.  I love the characters, and can identify with most of them.  I love “sweets” as much as Pooh loves honey!  Ed is somewhat like Tigger, usually bouncing around, full of energy,  and getting the job done.  Meanwhile, I’m moving around like Eyeore.

4. Where and when do you get your best ideas?

This question reminds me of the teacher I used to work for!  She always said she got her best ideas while in the shower!  I don’t know that I have a particular time or place for getting good ideas… Perhaps when it’s quiet.  Maybe at night, in bed, when I should be sleeping?

5. So what have you been watching on TV this summer? Anything good?

Ed and I have been watching a lot of Dateline reruns and the new season of Big Brother.  So far, Big Brother has been pretty good.  I like the twists and turns they’ve added this season.

6. ‘Don’t swim for an hour after you eat’, ‘Dog days of summer’, ‘Knee high by the Fourth of July’…choose a summer saying from the list or share one of your own, then tell us what image or memory comes to mind when you hear it spoken.

‘Dog days of summer’ conjures up an image of hot, sweltering days with lots of gnats and mosquitoes–sort of like it is now!   It also brings back the memory of a fund-raising event I once chaired for our local animal shelter, called “The Dog Days of Summer Festival”, which took place during the ‘dog days of summer’.

7. In a single sentence, sum up one life lesson you’ve learned.

At some point, your life will change, drastically, in the blink of an eye.

Random:

Praise the Lord!  Yesterday, I woke up feeling better than I have in over a week!  This could be attributed to finally getting back on my arthritis medication, or it could be attributed to the fact that  there are no vegetables waiting to be canned!

Anyway, a great opportunity is a terrible thing to waste, so Ed and I quickly threw our beach chairs and our cooler in the car, and headed for St. Simon’s Island!  The weather was ‘picture perfect’ (95 degrees, but with a nice sea breeze) and we spent several hours lounging under the shade our favorite oak tree.  Finally!  We feel like our summer has officially begun 🙂

Published in: on July 13, 2016 at 8:16 am  Comments (15)  
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Trying To Stay Cool With The Hodgepodge…

We took a break, last week, from The Hodgepodge, but we’re back!  Thanks to our hostess, Joyce, for keeping this fun meme alive and well, even during a crazy and very busy summer!  Speaking of summer,  I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but it has been HOT in our ours!

These days, I never know if I will be able to see “the Hodgepodge Linky” or not, on Wednesdays.  If I can’t see it, I have no idea who is playing, so forgive me if I don’t visit.  I depend on Joyce’s comments to see who’s playing along, and not everybody leaves a comment.

1. It’s officially summer (in the northern hemisphere anyway). Which summer month is best and why?

I like the month of June best, because it’s mine and Ed’s anniversary month, lots of fresh garden vegetables are ready for picking, and the weather isn’t insanely hot, yet.  However, this year has been an exception, as far as the weather goes.  We’ve already had several days when the temperatures topped 100 degrees!  I can’t help but wonder what July and August will bring our way.

2. Can you swim? How did you learn? June 27th is National Sunglasses Day. How many pair do you own?

I can tread water, but I don’t classify that as swimming.  If somebody pushed me into the pool, I’d probably panic and drown!  I absolutely hate getting water in my face, too.

I only own one pair of sunglasses because I have to wear prescription sunglasses.  I do have a second pair that clip over my regular eye glasses, but I rarely use those.

3. What characteristic do you judge most harshly in yourself? How about in others?

I tend to be overly critical, at times, and I shouldn’t be.  Strangely enough, I dislike this characteristic most in others, as well.

4. Robert Frost wrote the now well known poem entitled The Road Not Taken. What’s a road (literal or figurative) you’ve always wanted to travel, and where do you hope it takes you?

I’ve always been intrigued by “The Seven Mile Bridge” in the Florida Keys, so that’s a road I think I’d like to travel.  I would certainly hope it would take me from one place to another, and keep me out of the ocean 🙂

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photo via Google

5. Popsicles-yay or nay? If you answered yay, what’s your favorite flavor?

Yes, I love Popsicles, especially when it’s hot!  My favorite flavor is red, or the red/white/blue kind.  This reminds me, I need to replenish my supply!

6. Brexit-on a scale of 1-10 how knowledgeable are you on what’s involved here? (1=very knowledgeable and 10=what’s Brexit) Is this news you’ll follow or is it something you think won’t impact your life in any way shape or form?

Okay, I guess I’m a 10.  What’s Brexit?  Update: I wasn’t familiar with the term “Brexit, but I do know about the exit.  We’ve been following, mostly because of the stock market fall.

7. Share a favorite song on your summer play list.

“Knee Deep” by Zac Brown Band is my favorite (and I made a montage of some of my favorite beach pics, set to it.)  I’ve share it before, but it’s been a while.

 

Random:

Ed and I are entering the final phases of our canning season, and we’re glad!  On Monday, we spent 13 hours working with vegetables!  We’ve had a another successful year, but I think our proudest accomplishment has to be our tomatoes!  After trying, unsuccessfully, for four years, we finally grew some tomatoes!  These are all ours 🙂

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Here’s a picture of the sunflowers blooming in our garden, too.  I love my garden flowers!

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They’ve really taken a beating with the high temperatures, but they’ve bloomed their hearts out!

Published in: on June 29, 2016 at 6:39 am  Comments (6)  
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Chillin’ With The Wednesday Hodgepodge…

Summer is still raging here, and I’m spending most of my time in the air conditioned comfort of my home.  Days like these are good for reading, watching a movie, or taking a nap!  They are also good for participating in The Hodgepodge, which you can do by clicking on the button at the top of this post, and answering the questions.  As always, thanks to our hostess, Joyce, for keeping this fun meme alive!

1. Is your home air conditioned? If it’s not air conditioned, is that by choice? Did you grow up with air conditioning? If not how did you cope with the heat? Share about a time or place you remember as being too hot-the temperature kind of hot, lest anyone be confused.

Yes, our home is air conditioned, by choice.  These days, I’m not sure we could survive the heat and humidity, here in the south, without air conditioning.  It was 99 degrees, yesterday, and the humidity levels have been in the 90’s, as well.  Miserable!

While I was growing up, folks didn’t always have air conditioning in their homes.  In fact, for the first few weeks of marriage, Ed and I didn’t have air conditioning in our first home, either.  Praise the Lord, his parents had a spare window [air conditioning] unit that they gave us!

My most vivid memories, of being too hot, is trying to sleep at night without any air conditioning!  We always kept box fans in the bedroom windows, but those usually blew warm air until the wee hours of the morning. By the time it finally got cool enough to actually sleep, it was time to get up!  I won’t even talk about how hot it was in the kitchen…

 2. What’s something in your life right now that falls under the heading ‘up in the air’?
My health. (See Random)

3. Your favorite light and airy dessert?

I don’t know if it qualifies as “light and airy”, but I’m going to say Strawberry Shortcake because we use angel food cake to make ours.

4. When did you last feel like you were ‘floating on air’?

I’m going to say it was when our last grandchild, Evan, was born.  He was the grandchild we thought we’d never have (because his mom is a cancer survivor with no cervix and only one ovary), then we feared he was going to be born with Cystic Fibrosis when prenatal testing showed both parents to be carriers of the disease.  Today, Evan is a happy, healthy little boy who will be two in October, and doesn’t even carry the gene for Cystic Fibrosis!

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Evan shows off his new haircut

5. Airport, airmail, airtight, airhead…which have you most recently encountered? Explain.

Airtight, when I opened a jar of green beans that I canned.

6.  Have you ever been to the Alps? If so where did you go? If not, is this a destination on your must-see list? If you were headed that direction this summer, which of the following would be your preferred activity…a gentle walk, a serious walk, a bike ride, a boat ride around one of the lakes, or summer snow skiing?

I’ve never been to the Alps, nor do I have any plans to go.  If I happened to go there, a boat ride around one of the lakes sounds most appealing to me.

7. What is one saying or phrase that was considered ‘cool’ when you were growing up?

I grew up in the late 60’s and early 70’s, so there were many.  “Peace” was used a lot, back then, as was “Can you dig it?”, and “Groovy”.  My personal favorites were “Bad scene” and “Cool your jets”.  Ha!  Just typing those phrases takes me back to my teen years.

Random:

So, yesterday was the day of my long-awaited doctor’s appointment with the neurologist.  The wait to see him was 2 1/2 hours long, while sitting on the most uncomfortable furniture in the world. If a person didn’t have back issues before they arrived, they would after they left!

He told me this:  Your MRI shows two troubled areas, the L 2-3 and the L 4-5.  This presents a problem.  Your symptoms suggest your problem is coming from L 4-5, but L 2-3 is the disc that’s actually herniated.  I can do microscopic surgery, but I need to be sure which disc to target because there’s no room to “look around” in this kind of surgery, which is basically done through a tube.  He told me if I was in a lot of pain and really wanted the surgery done, he would do it, but if he was me, he wouldn’t have surgery, at this point.

We decided I’d try some physical therapy and give the sciatic nerve a little more time to heal on its own. Yesterday, my leg strength and reflexes were good, and the painful spasms have subsided, for now.(Because I just finished a second round of Prednisone two days ago.) Some numbness in the lower leg still persists, but, at least it’s not the entire leg, like before.

If the pain/numbness gets worse, or the spasms start again, I’m supposed to call his office and schedule another appointment to discuss my next option, which would be steroid injections in the spine or microscopic surgery.  (I may have to learn to live with a certain amount of back pain.)  Your prayers for continued healing would be most appreciated.

One thing I’ve learned though this ordeal is that back surgery isn’t a ‘cure all’.  Some patients get better, while others don’t.  I met one lady, yesterday, who’d had 13 back surgeries and a hip replacement! She was younger than me, and walked with a cane, but she was smiling.  She’d recently had a permanent pain pump implanted, to help deal with her pain, and was there for a checkup.  I felt extremely blessed after meeting this lady.  She was a great reminder [to me] that things could always be worse.

 

Published in: on July 22, 2015 at 9:59 am  Comments (13)  
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The Wednesday Hodgepodge…

1. When did you last ‘swim against the tide’? Explain.

I’ve felt as if I’ve been swimming against the tide for the past three months.  That’s when this whole issue with my back first started.  One week it seems like I’m making progress[with the sciatica], and may possibly reach the shoreline.  Then another wave comes and pulls me back out to the sea [of pain] again.

2. What’s the last self-help or self-improvement book you read?

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a self-improvement book, but it was something by Dr. Phil McGraw.  I remember this because I remember my oldest son, Brett, telling me that people didn’t need to be reading “Dr. Phil”, for self-help,  they need to be reading the Bible, and you know what?  He was right.

3“Tolerance is a tremendous virtue, but the immediate neighbors of tolerance are apathy and weakness.” (Sir James Goldsmith) 

Agree or disagree? Discuss. With civility please, because I think we have a good thing going in our very diverse (in geography, age, religion, political persuasion, ethnicity, marital status, upbringing, and cooking abilities) neighborhood here on This Side of the Pond.

I don’t agree with the first part of this quote, but I definitely agree with the last part.  As our society [and our country] becomes tolerant of more and more things, it’s also gaining a lot more apathy and weakness in the process.  I’ll keep the rest of my thoughts about tolerance to myself, but I think you have a good idea where I stand.

4. What is one of your most vivid memories of the kitchen from your childhood?

I was just talking about this to my daughter, the other day!  My most vivid kitchen memory is the mess my mother made when she cooked a meal, because she usually left it for me to clean up (during my teen years).  I believe that woman dirtied every dish in the kitchen whenever she cooked!

5. How did/do your own children’s summers compare with your summers as a child? If you’re not a parent, answer as it relates to what you’ve observed about the current generation of children vs. your own childhood.

My children’s summers were quite different than my own.  My parents never took vacations in the summer, and we rarely went anywhere on weekends.  During the summer, I stayed at home, from age eleven on,  while my parents worked.  I was given a list of chores to do while they were gone.  I can count, on one hand, the number of fun activities I did during the summer.

I was always home with our children during the summers.  We attended the summer activities at the library, each week.  We always went on two vacations every summer, and often went on weekend camping trips, as well.

As our family grew older, we stopped camping, and put in a swimming pool, plus added satellite television.  We continued to take summer  trips, they just weren’t as long or as often.

6. Tell us what body of water you would most like to be on or near today, and why?

I’ll bet most of you think I’m going to say ” the water surrounding St. Simon’s Island.”  Ha!  You’re right!

7.  Share a favorite song about water, or a favorite song with the word water in it’s title, or a favorite song to listen to as you sit beside the water.

I have an entire folder on my MP3 player that is dedicated to “Summer Tunes”, and I usually listen to those while enjoying the view at SSI.  Among those tunes, my all-time favorite is, “Knee Deep” by Zac Brown Band (featuring Jimmy Buffet)

Random:

A couple of years ago, I decided to set my favorite beach pictures to my favorite beach song.  Here’s the finished product:

As always, thanks to our hostess, Joyce, for continuing to host this fun, mid-week distraction from life 🙂

Published in: on July 8, 2015 at 9:35 am  Comments (11)  
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Hot Hot Hodgepodge…

July is almost gone, but the hot summertime temperatures are not!  Lately, I’ve been living indoors like a hermit, due to the heat, humidity, and the gnats!  One of my favorite ways to pass the time, on a hot summer day, is by participating in the Wednesday Hodgepodge.  It’s hot and I’m stuck inside, so let’s do the Hodgepodge!

1. “Summer is like childhood. It’s full of warm memories and gone too soon.”~Kellie Elmore Agree or disagree? Share something you loved about the summers of your childhood.

I agree.  Summers and childhoods tend to pass too quickly!  Just ask any teacher or mother.

I loved the freedom that summer brought when I was a child.  Freedom from schoolwork, freedom from wearing dresses (we were required to wear dresses to school), freedom from wearing shoes of any kind, freedom from the alarm clock…  I’m sure you get the idea.  Unless you’re a teacher, you don’t get to experience that kind of freedom as an adult.

One other thing I loved and looked forward to, during the summer, was spending time with my older brother and his wife.  They lived in Florida, about two and one-half hours away from where my parents and I lived, in Georgia.  Staying with them for a week, every summer, was a special time for me during my t’ween years.  They always made sure I had a good time.

2. Are you a fan of auto racing-NASCAR, Indy, Stock, Grand Prix, etc? Ever been to a race in person? Any desire to do this? Do you know a lot about cars? Do you notice particular makes and models when you’re out and about?

No, I’ve never really been a fan of auto racing, although I have two sons who were once CRAZY about NASCAR.  Both sons have been to several NASCAR races, but I never have.

I still know a little bit about cars, but not as much as I once did.  Back in the day, I knew all of the makes and models, but, these days, many of the cars look the same to me.  I’ll always be a fan of the muscle cars of the sixties and seventies.  The new hybrids don’t impress me.

3. What’s something you think is too serious to be joked about? Or do you think anything and everything is fair game?

Lots of things are too serious to be joked about, in my opinion.  Religion or person’s disabilities are on the top of my list.

4. July 29th is National Lasagna Day. Are you a fan? Do you have a great recipe, and if so where did it come from? If given a choice would you choose a plate of lasagna or a plate of spaghetti?

Yes, I love Lasagna, but I don’t make it much anymore because, (a) these days, the cheese tends to upset my stomach, (b) pasta isn’t really supposed to be on my diet, and (c)  my recipe makes too much for just two people.

I discovered a great recipe for lasagna in our church’s cookbook, about twenty years ago.  The recipe belonged to a former pastor’s wife, so it’s very special to me.  (If anyone’s interested in the recipe, let me know.)

If given a choice, I’d probably choose lasagna over spaghetti, because I like lasagna better than spaghetti.

5. What’s a simple pleasure you’d miss if it were not a regular part of your life?

I’d miss frequent, regular visits with my grandchildren.  I’m blessed that most of my ‘grands’ live within shouting distance, and even the one who doesn’t, only lives an hour away.  Many grandparents aren’t as blessed.

6. If you could be the CEO of any company, which would you choose?

Wal-mart!  Because I’d like to make lots of changes to Wal-mart!  What ever happened to ‘Made in the USA’, or having friendly, helpful customer service?  Why does Wal-mart have twenty check-out lines, but only five cashiers working the lines?  I could go on and on…

7. August is just around the bend…bid farewell to July in exactly seven words.

Good riddance! Too hot, humid, and gnatty!

Random:

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Mr. Withers

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Permit me to introduce you to my peace lily, Mr. Withers.  Mr. Withers is not in perfect health, but I have managed to keep him alive for almost eleven months.  That’s quite an accomplishment for me, since I’ve killed more than a few peace lilies in my lifetime.

You can’t really tell from the picture, but Mr. Withers is huge!  I’ve had him since Ed’s mom passed away, last September.  When the hospital, where Ed works, sent the plant to us, it was about half  its current size!

Mr. Withers requires huge amounts of water each week.  I can always tell when he is thirsty because he withers and droops–hence, his name!  Sometimes, I think Mr. Withers drinks more water than I do each week, and that’s saying a lot!

I was thrilled, recently, when Mr. Withers finally began to bloom!  I’ve never been able to keep a peace lily alive long enough for it to bloom–until now.  I’m enjoying Mr. Withers’ lovely white blooms (although they don’t really show up in this picture).  I think Ed’s mama would be proud!

***Thanks to our Hodgepodge hostess, Joyce, for another great set of questions!

 

Published in: on July 30, 2014 at 7:05 am  Comments (10)  
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