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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Life These Days…

Lately, my life feels like a bit of a roller coaster ride.  There have been a few steep climbs, followed by several drops.    The months of May and June have not turned out quite like I’d envisioned.  I’m tired, I’m weary and worn, and it’s not just from working in the garden!  I’m weary and worn just from dealing with life, these days.

Lately, Ed and I seem to be surrounded by stress and strife.  I don’t know if God is testing us or if Satan is tempting us, but, lately, strife has been all around us!  This isn’t the kind of  stress and strife we had last year, when Ed lost his job, or we discovered we had termites and mold in our house.  This is the kind of stress and strife where certain family members are mad with certain other family members.  When things get done and said, and a molehill morphs into a mountain.  My head aches just thinking about it all.  Can’t we all just get along?  Apparently not.

The other day, I read a church sign that said, “Self control begins with tongue control.”  Believe me, truer words have never been spoken!  It’s so easy for the wrong words to flow out of our mouths, sometimes,  but it’s SO hard to put those words behind us once they’ve been spoken.  I almost wish people had safety valves on their minds/mouths, that wouldn’t let them take any action or let any words escape until the level of emotion decreases a notch or two, but, alas, that is not the case.  Sigh.  And so we deal with the aftermath and we give it time.

In spite of the stress and strife surrounding us, at the moment, Ed and I managed to have an enjoyable day on our anniversary.  The weather wasn’t suitable (cloudy/rain) for going to the beach, so we postponed our trip to St. Simon’s Island until another day.  However, we did take our usual anniversary trip to Kentucky Fried Chicken to celebrate our 44th.  It was early evening when we got there, so we actually had the entire restaurant to ourselves!  It was quite nice.

While we ate our anniversary meal, we sat and reminisced about some of our past anniversaries.  We’ve had some good ones, so we have lots of good memories.  Like the time Ed’s parents kept our small children just long enough for us to celebrate our anniversary with a quiet steak dinner at home. (It’s the little things, like silence, that mean the most, sometimes!)  Then there was the time our children were finally old enough to stay home alone, so we left them home for the evening, and spent the night in a nearby motel that had a Jacuzzi in it.  On one anniversary we took our daughter, our daughter-in-law, and our two young grandchildren with us to stay in a beachfront condo. (I guess you could say the honeymoon was definitely over at that point. Ha!)  Last, but not least, there was the time we traveled thirty miles or more, off of Amelia Island, just to find a KFC,  then got back to the beach with our picnic supper, only to discover we didn’t have any eating utensils! You can’t eat mashed potatoes and coleslaw without utensils!  Fun times.

The last time I blogged, there were three men on top of our house, taking off old tin, and replacing it with new tin.  They finished the job in only six hours!  Now we have a noisy roof, since the tin tends to ‘pop’ during the hottest part of the day.  The roofer says, “it’s just the tin settling in.”  All I know is we’ve never had any creaks before, unless Ed was up there walking on the roof!  The roofer came back and added a few more screw to the tin, but we still have creaks during the middle of the day.  I hope the tin “settles in” soon.

Father’s Day, 2016, came and went.  It was extra-special [to me] because Ed was still here for us to celebrate with.  I got up in the wee hours of Sunday morning and put a Boston Butt in the crock pot for lunch.  I baked a cake, and attempted to bake some cookies.  We went to church.  Two of our three children, and families, joined us for lunch, while the third stopped by later in the afternoon.  Ed received several nice gifts, and enjoyed all of the attention.  It was a busy day, shortened by the fact that several of our “grands” had to attend a VBS closing program that evening.  Ed and I went to bed early, bone weary tired.

Now the first week of summer is here, and we’ve been spending a lot of it in our garden.  Most mornings are spent picking/shelling peas, while our afternoons are spent canning tomatoes or corn that we also pick each morning.

I need to go to the beach so bad!  (I really need some time in my chair, enjoying the relaxing view) However, my body just isn’t able to make the trip, even if there was time to go.  Actually, we’d planned to go to St. Simon’s Island, today. However,  I’m practically running on fumes, and just didn’t feel like I could make the trip, then come home and deal with more vegetables tomorrow.  I keep telling myself– the beach will always be there, the garden will not (thank goodness).  For now, I’ll comfort myself with that thought–as I hobble back to the kitchen to ‘can’ a few more tomatoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on June 21, 2016 at 3:02 pm  Comments (4)  
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The Wednesday Hodgepodge # 270…

I’m sitting here, trying to concentrate, while several men attempt to remove and replace about one-half of the roof of our home.  This situation is difficult, and very real!  There’s just something about hearing a tin roof being ripped apart…  Up to this point, Ed’s done most of the work building and repairing our house.  Unfortunately, as Ed grows older, those days are becoming a part of our past.  We both hate hiring work to be done, but I sort of insisted (to keep Ed off the roof), and so here we are!  

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Ah, Hodgepodge, take me away…. (and thanks to our hostess, Joyce, for this weekly distraction)

1. If you could sit beside and/or jump in any lake in the whole wide world today, which lake would you choose and why?

I don’t have a preference.  If I could, I’d jump in ANY lake today!  Our temperatures have been reaching 100 degrees, lately, and if you’re familiar with the south Georgia heat, you know that it is MISERABLE.

2. What’s your favorite ‘fruity’ drink?

I don’t know if I really have a favorite, but I’m going to say orange juice.

3. I read a list here of thirteen things to do right now to simplify your life. They were-

clean as you go, re-evaluate your relationships (cut toxic ties), unsubscribe (too many blogs and websites), de-clutter, write down your daily goals, reply to emails right away, forget multitasking, create a morning routine, re-evaluate your commitments (which hobbies and responsibilities are most important to you), say no, clean up your computer, and plan your day ahead

Which of the tasks listed do you currently find most helpful in keeping life simple? Which item on the list should you adopt in order to simplify your life this month?

I think planning my day ahead helps me keep things simple, as well as having a morning routine.  Lately, I’ve had to take a ‘leave of absence’ from the computer in order to get all of my tasks done, concerning the garden.  Seriously, gardening doesn’t leave much time for anything else!

4. What did you do the summer after you graduated from high school?

Three weeks after graduating, I married Ed and we moved to the city.  I spent the summer getting to know my husband again, and learning how to be a homemaker.  FYI:  Ed and I had spent the previous 21 months before our marriage, apart, while he served [in the army] in Okinawa.  

5. Are you a fan of podcasts? If so what’s a favorite?

I don’t know if I’m a fan of podcasts, or not, because I’ve never listened to one.

6. Do you think today’s fathers have it harder, easier, or just different from fathers in the past?

That’s a good question!  If I compare Ed’s life to that of his father, I’d say Ed had it easier than his dad did. However, if I compare our sons lives to Ed’s, then I’d have to say our sons have it harder.  I think today’s economy, social issues, and declining morality make parenting a lot more difficult than it used to be!

7. Tell us one way you’re like your father? Or not at all like your father if that’s easier?

My father enjoyed eating desserts of all kinds!  Unfortunately, I seem to have inherited his love of cakes, pies, and all things sweet.  It’s a constant struggle for me, since I have to limit my sugar intake.

Random:

I have not been able to see the Linky for “The Hodgepodge” in several weeks.  Since I can’t see the Linky, I can’t tell who is actually playing along, so I can visit them.  I have to depend on Joyce’s comments to find participants to visit, and for Joyce to add me to the list of participants, when she has time.  Why must life be so difficult???

In other news, life here in our neck of the woods has been quite busy.  During our small break from gardening (in between part “A” and part “B”, we helped our youngest son and his family get moved into their new home, last week.  I couldn’t move boxes, so my job fell under the heading of “baby sitter”, which was the most fun, of course!

I also managed to make a few more batches of blackberry jelly, which now total 7, in all. I remembered to snap a picture of one of the batches:

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We have just a few short days left until our peas/beans/corn/tomatoes will be ready to harvest and can.  It could be as early as this weekend, which will also be our 44th wedding anniversary!  I took this picture of “Part B” of the garden, last week:

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The deer and rabbits are getting  braver!  They’ve been nibbling our sweet potatoes and watermelon plants.  We’ve added another scarecrow, and are hoping to discourage the deer for just a while longer.  Deer just love peas, and can wipe out a crop in one evening.

Update: The men on top of our house are currently in the process of fastening the new tin down on top of our  house, now.  I can’t tell you how annoying the sound of that power drill is…over and over.  I think I may need some tension headache relief before this day is over!

 

 

Published in: on June 15, 2016 at 10:12 am  Comments (5)  
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Welcoming June With A Hodgepodge…

1. Tell us about one fun thing on your June calendar.

God willing, Ed and I will be celebrating our 44th wedding anniversary on June 18!  We usually celebrate the day, together, near a beach somewhere, followed by our traditional early evening meal of Kentucky Fried Chicken.  KFC isn’t on our ‘approved’ diet anymore, since Ed’s heart attack, but we’ll make an exception on our anniversary.  We’ve eaten KFC on the past 43 anniversaries, beginning on our wedding night, when we were given our meal free, as a complimentary wedding gift.

2. How careful are you in the sun? Do you tan or burn? Do you make it a point to see the dermatologist every year?

For the first 40 years of my life I never paid a lot of attention to the sun.  I never burned or peeled like so many people do, I just turned brown.  Because of this, I rarely wore any kind of suntan lotion or sunscreen.

At age 41,  I had to begin taking drugs [to control rheumatoid arthritis] which made me sensitive to the sun, so I really had to limit my sun exposure or I’d burn/ break out in a rash.

In December of 2015, much to my surprise, I was diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells on the bridge of my nose and basal cell carcinoma beside my nose!  I had to have my entire nose ‘frozen’ to remove the pre-cancerous cells, followed by Moh’s surgery to remove the skin cancer beside my nose, followed by plastic surgery to close the ugly hole left by the surgery.  Neither experience was fun, and my face will never be the same.

I’ll have to be followed by a dermatologist for the rest of my life because there is a 50% chance of skin cancer recurrence.  These days, I can’t stress how important it is to protect yourself from the sun!  Heed the warning.

3. Describe a time when you wanted to ‘throw in the towel’?

Lately, there have been many times when I’ve wanted to throw in the towel while trying to get our garden harvested and canned!  Sometimes, God gives us a ‘bumper crop’ of things, and, this year, it was green beans.  Ed and I have picked and canned so many green beans we’ve lost count of the jars!!!  One day, we spent twelve solid hours picking and processing green beans!

4. What’s a song you love that has a day of the week in the title or lyrics?

It’s an old song, but I love “Monday, Monday” by the Mamas and Papas.  I also like “Pleasant Valley Sunday” by the Monkees.

5. Are you a fan of berries? Which one’s your favorite? What’s the most recent berry dish you’ve eaten? Which blueberry breakfast food appeals to you most-blueberry pancakes, blueberry yogurt, or a blueberry muffin?

Yes, I am a fan of berries.  My favorites are strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries, in that order.

The most recent “berry dish” I’ve eaten is home-made blackberry jelly.  Before that, it was blackberry cobbler. Can you tell our berries are getting ripe?

I prefer blueberry pancakes for breakfast, but I’m a huge fan of blueberry muffins, as well. We usually eat them as our bread with a regular meal.

6. What’s something you want to do before your next birthday?

There is nothing special on my ‘bucket list’.  I just want to enjoy each and every day, to the fullest, and, hopefully, get to spend each one of them with my husband, Ed.  I do need to make a visit to the Social Security office to talk with them, though.

7. June 1st is National Say Something Nice Day, so let’s all say something nice here.

First of all, I’d like to say how thankful I am for our hostess, Joyce, and for “The Wednesday Hodgepodge”.  I met our hostess, Joyce, through a similar meme, a few years back, and immediately liked her.  Joyce is warm and gracious, and has such a way with words!  When the other meme ran its course, I thought Joyce would be an excellent meme hostess, and was thrilled when she decided to begin “The Wednesday Hodgepodge”.  Kudos to Joyce, who has exceeded my expectations of a great hostess!  In addition to all of the fun I’ve had while participating in The Hodgepodge, I’ve met some great people along the way.  Thank y’all for being my friends, and I apologize for my absence in blog land, lately.

Random:

Ed and I have been eating many “garden fresh” meals, lately.  Last week, we had a grilled chicken salad, and all veggies in the salad were from the garden (lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, radishes), with the exception of tomatoes, which aren’t ripe yet.  Last night, everything on our plate was from the garden except for the meat and bread. (squash, green beans, potatoes, cabbage)

I haven’t made jelly in many years, but, this year, I decided to give it another try.  We attempted the first batch of blackberry jelly over the Memorial Day weekend.  It turned out pretty good, but we need a little more practice, so we’ll be making a second batch soon.  Homemade jelly is delicious!

 

 

Published in: on June 1, 2016 at 7:07 am  Comments (10)  
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Resuming The Wednesday Hodgepodge…

After our brief hiatus, last week, we’re back with the Wednesday Hodgepodge!  Our gracious hostess, Joyce, has a brand new set of thought-provoking questions for us today.  Here they are, along with my answers:

1. Tell us about a time you found yourself ‘in the middle of nowhere’. Was this deliberate?

Ed and I haven’t found ourselves ‘in the middle of nowhere’, lately, but it usually happens whenever Ed decides to find a ‘short cut’, and no, it’s never deliberate, but always interesting.

2. What’s something you’re ‘in the middle of’ today or this week?

We’re in the middle of picking and canning vegetables, this week!  So far, we’ve harvested garden peas, potatoes, squash, and a few green beans.  If all goes well, we’ll finish out the week by picking and canning more green beans and squash, then we’ll have a short break  before anything else is ready to pick.

3. At what age do you think ‘middle age’ begins? What does it mean to be ‘middle aged’?

I think ‘middle age’ begins somewhere around age 45.  I think of life as being divided into four seasons.  Ages 1-20 ( the spring of life), ages 21-40 (the summer of life), ages 41-60 (the fall of life), and ages 61-80 ( the winter of life).  Anything after age 80, I consider  bonus life. (My parents died at ages 65 and 70.)

To me, ‘middle aged’ meant I was entering the final phases of child rearing–one was 21, the other two were 18, and 15.  It also meant it was time to get VERY serious about retirement planning!  (Ed kicked his retirement savings up a notch)  With the children getting older, ‘middle age’ also meant I finally had a little bit more time for myself, as well as more time to spend with Ed.  ‘Middle age’ also found me needing to have a hysterectomy, which ended my worry about birth control or having to deal with monthly feminine issues.  As a result of that hysterectomy, I lost 19 pounds, and felt better than I had in years!  ‘Middle age’ was actually pretty good for me!

4. Ravioli, stuffed peppers, samosas, deviled eggs, steamed dumplings, pierogis, or a jelly donut…your favorite food (from this list!) with something yummy in the middle. Your favorite not on the list?

Hands down, my favorite food on this list would be a jelly donut, but I like deviled eggs, too. (I’m not supposed to be eating either of these, but I love them.)  Something not on the  list?  I really like lemon filled donuts, too.  I know, I’m hopeless…

5. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying ”In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.’ Would you agree? Have you found this to be true in your own life? Feel free to elaborate.

Yes, I would agree.  Although I don’t usually realize it, at the time, I always learn more and grow stronger when I’m going through difficult times.  I always find strength I didn’t know I had! I quickly think of an experience I had with my parents almost 30 years ago–Both of my parents became seriously ill within a month of each other, and both had to be hospitalized in the city, at the same time, for an extended period of time. (four months, and daddy spent two of those four months in ICU)  At the time, I had three children, ages 3, 6, and 9, and I’d never driven in the city before.  I quickly learned how to drive in city traffic, and how to work the schedule with the children so I could go and see about my parents every day.  I’d put the oldest two children on the school bus at 7, then take the youngest one to my father-in-law’s house.  Then I’d drive 60 miles to the hospital (one way), visit each of my parents, who were in different parts of the hospital, then drive back home in time to meet the children when they got off the bus. Then I’d cook supper, do laundry, and get the children ready for the next day.  I did this every day for six weeks, without missing a day.  Did I mention two of my children also came down with chicken pox during those six weeks?  Did I mention, at one point, one of my parents was in ICU while the other was in CCU?  I also a new vehicle when my parents got sick, and I drove so much, I ran out the warranty within the first few months!  Tough times, for sure, but I survived, and so did my parents.

6. What’s a song you remember loving from your middle school years? Do you love it still?

Middle school was a l-o-n-g time ago, and, at first, I could hardly remember what songs were popular back then (mid 60’s).  I finally came up with”I Got You, Babe” by Sonny and Cher, and, yes, I still love it.

7. May 18th is National Visit Your Relatives Day. Will you celebrate? Which relative would you visit if time, distance, and expense were not considered.

We’ll most likely spend some time with our daughter and granddaughter, since we usually see them every day. (We’re neighbors)  If time, distance, or expense didn’t have to be considered, I’d visit my brother and sister-in-law.  We don’t get to see each other nearly enough.

Random:

Yesterday, the unthinkable happened.  About the time we were sitting down to eat lunch, a storm passed through our ‘neck of the woods’.  The wind swirled in all directions, and the rain fell in torrents.  Two inches of water fell within thirty minutes.  We even sprang another leak in our roof–directly over the kitchen table!  Luckily, we had a dish pan sitting close by.

When all was said and done,  we were left with a mess…  Our new landscaping project and our vegetable garden took a direct hit.

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The fallen limb missed everything except the garden flag!

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Unfortunately, our peach tree blew over (notice the tiny peaches)

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Our soggy garden, with plants tossed/turned every which way, and the corn lying flat

Of course, we’re thankful the damage wasn’t any worse than it is.  Fortunately, Ed was able to ditch most of the water out of the garden.  All plants are on raised beds, so they won’t drown.  Some of the plants have straightened themselves up, but we’ll have to wait and see what the corn does.  If we have to, we’ll replant it.  Thankfully, we’d just finished digging and gathering our new potatoes right before this storm hit, or these would’ve been stuck under all of that water!

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The good news is, we won’t have to drag the water hose or move the sprinkler for a few days 🙂

Published in: on May 18, 2016 at 7:21 am  Comments (7)  
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May Days…

With the exception of December, the month of May is the busiest month of the year for our family.  Therefore, not much time for blogging!

Most early mornings, you’ll find Ed and me out in the garden.  There are vegetables waiting to be gathered, and weeds waiting to be pulled or hoed.  It’s powder dry here, too, so lots of time is spent moving the water hose/sprinkler from place to place, as well.  I think of lots of things to blog about, while working, but have no time to write the posts.

This year, our lives are very different than last year, at this time.  Last year, I was afflicted with sciatica, in May, and wasn’t even able to walk out to the garden, much less work in it!  I was pretty much house bound most of the summer.  Going through a year, like that makes me really appreciate this one.  Praise the Lord for normal days!

Speaking of normal days, whenever we travel, Ed, loves to look for “treasures” on the side of the highway.  He’s always stopping to pick up “bungee straps”, buckets, etc.  A couple of years ago we stopped and picked up a child-sized lunchroom chair that had been tossed on the side of the road.  We had no idea what we’d do with the chair, but we brought it home and stored it. This year, that little chair has turned out to be my saving grace while picking garden peas! It’s just the right height, and my back doesn’t hurt when I sit in it, unlike the gardening stool.  You know what they say, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Ed and I spent a large portion of last week working on a landscaping project.  After the children gave me a windmill for Mother’s Day, I felt the need to incorporate it in a landscaping project.  Since we have chickens who free range in our yard, several hours a day, I’m limited as to what I can have.  I opted for several hanging baskets, instead of making a flower bed.  Lucky for me, I got into a “after Mother’s Day sale” on hanging baskets. I love a one-half off sale!  I was well pleased with my bargain plants and the end result of our project, as well.

P1010491Speaking of that “after Mother’s Day sale”, Ed and I made very good use of our Transit Connect van during that shopping trip!  We had the entire back end of the van filled with plants of all kinds, a couple of very tall shepherd’s hooks, three large bags of charcoal, also on sale, plus a few groceries, too.  Days like those are why we need a van!

Our oldest son, Brett, celebrated his 34th birthday on Tuesday, May 10.  Late on the evening of his birthday, after he got home from work, our daughter, our granddaughter, Ed, and I walked down to his house and knocked on the door.  When he opened it, we started singing “Happy Birthday” to him, like a bunch of carolers.  I’m not sure how much he enjoyed our singing, but we sure had fun doing it 🙂

P1010509the birthday boy with his little boys

This past weekend turned out to be a very busy time for the family. On Saturday,  there was a Sweet Onion Parade and festival, which some attended.  Then, on Saturday evening, our daughter-in-law hosted a belated birthday party for our oldest son.  There was also a Sweet Onion Gospel Sing, on Saturday evening, which our granddaughter participated in.  She sings with her church’s youth choir, known as “Tomorrow’s Voices”, and this was the first gospel sing she’d participated in.  Her mama said she did a good job.

P1010502 (2)Madison showing off the back of her choir t-shirt

On Sunday, things didn’t slow down much, either, since our oldest son was in charge of delivering both Sunday messages, in the absence of his church’s pastor. This mama says he did a good job, too!

Now that it’s Monday, I’ve been dividing my time between the garden and cleaning house–with a little blogging sandwiched in between.  It’s taken me all day to get this post written, but I’ve also picked and shelled a bowl of garden peas, in addition to picking a bunch of squash. I’ve mopped the kitchen and vacuumed the living room, and in a few minutes I’ll cook us something to eat, then off we’ll go to watch our little grandson, Chase’s end of the year pre-school program.  Life is busy, but it sure is good…except for one little glitch. When I tried to upload a couple of pictures to this post, blogger wouldn’t let me. I don’t have any idea why, and I’ve tried everything I know to do. So, until I figure things out, you’ll just have to use your imagination! Until next time…

PS I finally got lucky, and was able to get the pictures to upload 🙂

 

 

 

 

Published in: on May 16, 2016 at 5:09 pm  Comments (3)  
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Miscellaneous Monday…

I’ve been blogging so little, lately, I almost feel like a stranger in blog land.  However, I’ve really been missing it, so the dirty floors, the laundry, the peas waiting to be shelled, and the butts to be washed will just have to wait…  Now, where to begin?

Last Monday, Ed and I both had doctor’s appointments, together.  We’ve been scheduling our appointments for the same time, with the same doctor for over a year, and I’m still trying to get used to that.  We both go into the exam room together, and take turns getting checked over by the doctor. No medical secrets here!  We both got good reports, except my triglycerides are up again. Every time I add sugar back into my diet, this happens.  Sigh.

Last week, I spent most of my mornings helping my daughter with a project, then spent most of my afternoons on the couch.  For some unknown reason, I didn’t feel well most of the week, but, finally, by Saturday, I began to feel like myself again–just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day.

On Sunday morning, I baked a ham before going to church.  I invited the rest of the family to bring a side dish and join me for lunch, which they did.  Our daughter and her family also surprised me by going to church, with me, for Mother’s Day!  It’s been several years since we’ve attended church together, and I have to say, it was nice to have her [and family] sitting beside me on the pew.

I felt very special and blessed, on Mother’s Day, to have all of my children set aside the day and spend it with me (and I told them so). It means a lot that they all came to spend the day with me–and spend the day they did!  They didn’t leave to go home until around nine o’clock, last night.

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This year, the children chipped in together and bought me a beautiful windmill to go outside, for Mother’s Day.  (It’s shown in the edge of our picture, above.)  I’ve always admired my daughter’s windmill, and am tickled pink to now have one of my own!  I also received some nice cards, a rose, a Dove candy bar, and a small chicken statue.  Ed bought me a “rooster planter” that I’d picked out, and even planted some flowers in it for me, on the day before Mother’s Day.

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Now it’s Monday, and the weekend is history.  This morning, Ed and I were in the garden picking peas before 8 o’clock!  In fact, Ed’s still in the garden, as I’m writing this post.  He’s busy adding a little fertilizer here, and a little garden dust there. (He’s in the the picture below)  Gardening is a chore that never ends, but I consider it “a labor of love”.  I “loved it”, yesterday, when I needed an onion for my potato salad, and simply sent Ed to the garden to get one 🙂

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“Part A” of our garden, which we are now beginning to harvest

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 “Part B” of our garden, which is coming along nicely, and will be ready in late June

As bad as I hate to, I must end this post and move on.  Today, is the time for the quarterly “butt washing” of our two old red hens.  Sorry, if that’s too much information!  The hens don’t seem to mind having dirty butts, but I do get tired of looking at them, so we wash them, occasionally!  The things we do for love…

Have a great Monday!

Published in: on May 9, 2016 at 10:30 am  Comments (5)  
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A Little Monday This And That…

I’m late getting around to posting today. Ed and I had to go and have blood drawn first thing this morning. After that, the garden was calling our attention. It’s amazing how quickly those stray weeds and blades of grass can pop up! I only hoed a row and a half before I had to get out of the sun. I left Ed still hoeing, bless his heart. Speaking of “heart”, today marks six months since he had his heart attack. I’ve treasured each and every one of those “extra” days with him.

Our garden is growing quite well, at the moment.  I took some pictures, last week, but it’s grown leaps and bounds since then.  I’ll have to take some more recent ones, and share them later in the week.  We’re now eating fresh radishes on our salads–the first of our 2016 vegetables to get ready to eat.  Our next vegetables to get ready will probably be garden peas.

Last week was a busy one, and, as always, it passed quickly. Ed and I took two “road trips”, which took up the better part of two days. These days, our “road trips” mainly consist of out-of-town shopping trips. One of our “road trips” was to the Ford dealership, to purchase an extended warranty for our new van, which is now six months old, by the way. For some reason, we weren’t offered the option to purchase the extended warranty when we bought the van. After giving it much thought, we decided we’d invest in extended coverage, due to the van’s computerized navigation system, which can cost a fortune to repair, if it breaks.

Ed’s been busy mowing grass, again. It’s a never-ending cycle for him, once the grass begins growing. He has so much grass to mow, he divides the plots [to be mowed] into separate days. It usually takes four days to get around to everything.  Afterward, he takes three or four days off, then starts all over again.  I think we need some goats! Ha.

On Saturday, our family was finally able to gather together and have our postponed Easter egg hunt! Better late than never. Our daughter planned and hosted the egg hunt, and I think everyone had a very good time. I KNOW the grandchildren did! They played together all afternoon long.

In addition to the egg hunt, we grilled hot dogs and ate them outside. In fact, we spent the entire afternoon, from noon until eight p.m., sitting around enjoying the beautiful spring weather. The adults relaxed and talked while the children played.

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We hid 357 plastic eggs in our adjoining yards. The four grandchildren had plenty of room to spread out, and plenty of eggs to find. As usual, we didn’t find all of the eggs!

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I believe three or four eggs were unaccounted for, and three of those eggs were worth money! We looked and looked, but never could find the last of the “money eggs”. However, on Sunday morning, Ed found the five dollar egg! Two one dollar eggs still remain at large.

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Sunday was church day. I didn’t feel well when I woke up, but managed to shake it off by time to leave for church.

I decided to try cooking a roast-in-a-bag while we were gone to church. I wasn’t sure how long to cook it, but the directions said two hours. For the first time in the three weeks we’ve been attending, the pastor preached overtime. As a result, Ed and I had to leave church, hastily! When we got home, the roast had been cooking 2 1/2 hours, but it was fine, and tasted delicious. I’ll definitely cook another roast-in-a-bag, in the future.

In addition to the roast-in-a-bag, I also made fresh strawberry pie for dessert.  Ed picked the berries at a farm across the road from where we live. How blessed we are to be living within walking distance to a strawberry field!

Speaking of being blessed, while I was at the doctor’s office having blood drawn, a wonderful thing happened!  Today was the first visit to my primary care physician for this year.  As I gave my new insurance card to the receptionist I told her I was sad because the doctor wasn’t a provider on my insurance, this year.  Upon further investigation, she called me back up to the window, and assured me the doctor is a provider.  Apparently, there’s been a mix up somewhere down the line.  (She said I wasn’t the only patient who thought he was no longer a provider.)  Thank you, Jesus, for this blessing, which will save us many dollars in healthcare costs!

As I sit here, thinking about what a “challenging” year Ed and I had in 2015, I can really appreciate the blessings 2016 has brought, so far:

Ed and I had our yearly termite inspection done, a few days ago, and we’re all good–no more signs of termites.

Although Ed and I don’t have a lot of money left in our retirement budget for “extras”, we have more than enough to meet our “needs”.

My back feels SO much better than it did last year!  Although I still have to be careful what I do, I rarely have to take anything for pain, now. I’m grateful I can sit on a church pew without much discomfort, and am very grateful to be able walk without pain!

While my face doesn’t look quite like it once did, I’m grateful the skin cancer is gone–and the scar looks a little better as time passes. Massaging has helped to soften the scar tissue a little.

Ed has done well in the recovery process, since his heart attack.  Although he gets tired quicker than before, he’s still able to do whatever he wants to do.  He’s tolerated his heart medications well, and should be able to wean off some of them, in a few more months.

And, last, but certainly not least, after several years of being without a church, thanks to our son’s persistence, Ed and I have discovered another church we both enjoy attending.  We’ve read our Bibles, watched sermons on television, and prayed at home, but there is absolutely no substitute for gathering with like-minded believers each week–especially when one of them is our son.  What a blessing, indeed!

Happy Monday!

Published in: on April 25, 2016 at 1:05 pm  Comments (3)  
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Staying Busy…

Ed and I have been staying busy since I last blogged, on Wednesday.  On Thursday, we accompanied our daughter and granddaughter to the city for our daughter’s six month checkup with her dermatologist. Our daughter’s appointment was an early morning one, which meant we all had to be dressed and ready to leave by 7 a.m.  Oh, how quickly we how we’ve forgotten how life used to be, before retirement!  Let me tell you,  Ed and I are certainly grateful to be free of the early morning “rat race”.

Unfortunately, our daughter ended up having to get another biopsy done, of a ‘suspicious’ growth on her upper chest area.  It’ll be a week or so before she gets the results of that biopsy.

Of course, since the doctor’s appointment was an early one, we had lots of time to shop, afterward, so the day wasn’t all bad.  We had a delicious lunch, and browsed through several stores.  In fact, everything was good–except for the traffic!  Just shoot me if I have to go through that traffic again in the near future!  At one point, there’s a building project taking place, which narrows three lanes of traffic down to one.  It was a thirty minute wait to travel only one mile!

On Friday, the weather was still cold and rainy, so Ed and I decided it would be a good day to take our van in to the dealership to be serviced.  Two and a half hours later, we were wondering if we’d picked a bad day…  Ed’s always serviced all of our vehicles, so sitting around a service department of an automobile dealership is a new experience for us. Ed was watching, as our car was being serviced, and said our mechanic seemed to be the hold up–an older man, well past retirement age, who was moving at a snail’s pace.  I think, at one point, Ed was actually wanting to go out there and help the poor man!  By the time we got out of there, our heads were beginning to throb!

I cleaned house, on Saturday morning, but after nearly a week, of cloudy, cool weather, the sun finally decided to shine, again, on Saturday afternoon.  I slathered on the sunscreen, put on my sun bonnet and sun glasses, and enjoyed being outside for a little while.  (Our DIL brought our oldest grandsons down to play on the trampoline.)  Let me tell you, being outdoors is a whole new experience, post skin cancer, but I’ll do whatever it takes to avoid having more plastic surgery!

By late on Saturday afternoon, more family had gathered at our house, and Ed and I enjoyed a nice visit with two-thirds of our bunch.  Our older grandchildren recently discovered those old Ray Stevens videos, from years ago, so we watched some of those.  Remember “The Streak”?  Ha!  “Don’t look, Ethel!” immediately comes to mind, when I think of that crazy song.

The garden is coming along, fairly well, considering the unstable, cooler weather we’ve been having.  It’s taking a little longer to sprout than normal, but it is sprouting and growing.  I haven’t noticed any new deer prints in the garden [since adding “Shorty”], but Ed did notice some chicken foot prints!  Apparently, those pesky hens found their way to the garden, and ate a few pea sprouts!  As a result, their ‘free-ranging’ days have been cut shorter, until all of the seeds finish sprouting.

Sunday was a good day.  Although I didn’t sleep well, on Saturday night, and didn’t feel particularly spunky, on Sunday, Ed and I attended the new church, once again.  We enjoyed the morning message, came home and took a nap, then returned again on Sunday night.  We’re beginning to feel “at home” there.  The people are so warm and friendly, and welcoming.  While we were standing around in front of the church, on Sunday evening, two lively beagle pups came running out from behind the church.  They certainly livened up the crowd with their antics! (think: lots of elderly folks with two half-grown puppies jumping all over them) Both pups had on collars, and someone quickly called their owners.

Now it’s Monday, and, once again, many chores are awaiting our attention.  New plants need to be potted, and more grass needs to be mowed.  Laundry needs to be done, and clutter needs to be taken care of.  I guess I need to get off this computer, huh?

Happy Monday, y’all!

 

 

Published in: on April 18, 2016 at 8:39 am  Comments (4)  
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