A Stereotypical Hodgepodge…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Us, riding Ed’s 750 Honda

 

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

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

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

Random:

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

Ed working in the garden

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

digging the potatoes, a family affair

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

 

 

Published in: on May 24, 2017 at 7:00 am  Comments (11)  
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Saying Good-bye To April With A Hodgepodge…

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

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

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

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

Besides rain, what else has filled your April?  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How many of these have you seen in person?

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

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

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

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

photo via Google

6. Your signature clothing item?

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Published in: on April 26, 2017 at 8:13 am  Comments (11)  
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No Foolin’, It’s Time For The Hodgepodge…

Lately, it’s been busy here in our neck of the woods, but it’s time to take a break and settle down a while with The Wednesday Hodgepodge.  I always look forward to Wednesdays!  Thanks to our gracious hostess, Joyce, for this little bit of mid-week fun:)  Please join us if you can!

1. April is Lawn and Garden Month. On a scale of 1-10 what’s the current state of your lawn and/or garden. (10=a showpiece, 1=send in the professionals). Tell us about any lawn or garden plans you have for this month.

Well, Joyce, I’m so glad you asked, since we’ve been busy working on both!  At the moment, our lawn is about a 6.  Even though Ed’s treated it for weeds, and fertilized it, we haven’t had enough rain to make it lush and green, yet.  We’re getting there, though.

As for our garden, Phase 1 (potatoes, garden peas, onions) has been planted for over a month.  So far, I’d rate it about a 6, too, due to the strange weather we’ve been having. ( cold nights, hot days, no rain) 

Phase 2 (green beans, squash, cucumbers, peas, butter beans) has been planted about a week, and is just beginning to sprout.  So far, so good.  The tomatoes, cabbage, lettuce, and peppers seem to be doing okay, we’ll see how everything tolerates the 43 degree temps, wind, rain, and possible hail that’s headed our way, now.

2. “Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there.”~Thomas Fuller What does this quote mean to you?

First, I’m going to take this quote literally, because Ed and I have all kinds of grass and weeds sprouting in our garden and we didn’t plant any of it!  I can also take this quote figuratively, in remembering the difficult days of trying to raise children.  You love them, nurture them, and teach them all the right things, but, sometimes negative actions and behaviors spring forth from them, just like weeds in a garden.

3. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about God?

Love/redemption/forgiveness/obedience.

4. If we were chatting in person, how would I know if you were nervous?

I’d probably fidget a bit, and not have very much to say, at first.  I don’t usually initiate  much conversation, but I’ll follow along if you’ll start it.

5. Do you like the color yellow? Would I find any in your home or wardrobe? Daffodils, tulips, roses, sunflowers, day lily, black-eyed susan…which yellow bloom on this list is your favorite?

Yellow is good, but it’s not among my favorite colors, except in flowers!  I can’t choose a favorite flower because I love daffodils, yellow roses, and sunflowers!  In fact, I grow sunflowers in the garden every year, see:


I do have a couple of yellow items in my wardrobe, but I don’t wear them often.  There’s no yellow in my home, unless you count the ceramic chicks sitting on the shelves in the living room.

6. Flip flops or bare feet?

Inside-bare feet.  Outside-flip flops or crocs.  I never go bare footed outside–we have free ranging chickens and crab grass!

7. Tell us about any Easter plans, celebrations, or traditions you’ll carry out this month.

Usually, I have all of the grandchildren over to color eggs on the Saturday evening before Easter.  This year, our daughter is planning to take over this tradition, and let the cousins color eggs at her house.

Ed and I will still be hosting the usual family Easter lunch and an egg hunt for the grandchildren, afterward, but this year will be different.  Usually, on Easter, Ed and I stay home to cook the meal and hide the eggs while everyone else is at church.

This year we will hide the eggs and cook the meal ahead of time, so we can attend Easter services, like everyone else does.  Our oldest son will be bringing the Easter message at his church, this year.  How special is that?!  I’m looking forward to being there.

Random:

Easter memories…

The other day, when I saw some little boys’ three-piece suits hanging in a store, I couldn’t help but remember Easters when our children were small!

It doesn’t seem that long ago when they were small,  but now our children are all grown up, with children of their own.  Our daughter has a daughter, and both sons have sons.

cir. 1987

In fact, three of our four grandchildren are now about the same ages  our children were in this old photo.
 cir. 1989

Last Easter it rained, so we didn’t get to take a family photo, but here’s a 2015 Easter picture of our crew, all grown up, with their families.  The thing I notice most about this photo is how much Ed and I look like the grandparents.  Oh, my!

Published in: on April 5, 2017 at 8:18 am  Comments (10)  
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A ‘Fishy’ Kind Of Hodgepodge…

Welcome to my little corner of blog land and to The Wednesday Hodgepodge.  As always, I’d like to thank our hostess, Joyce, for everything she does to keep The Hodgepodge going.  If you’d like to be a part of the fun, just click on the button above, answer the questions, and join us.  Today’s  Hodgepodge theme appears to be “fishing”.

1. Have you ever been fishing? Did you catch a fish? If so did you keep it or throw it back? If you haven’t been fishing is that something you’d like to try?

Yes, I’ve been fishing quite a few times, and have caught a few fish in my day.  I kept some, and threw others back.  (For the record, I will bait my own hook, but won’t take my fish off the hook.)

I never liked to fish [in fresh water] using a cane pole, but, once Ed and I got married and moved to a nearby coastal town, I quickly discovered a love of salt-water fishing!  Give me a reel and rod with some dead shrimp for bait, any day, versus a cane pole, a cork, worms or crickets!!!

Fish out of water, big fish in a small pond, living in a fishbowl, packed in like sardines, this is a fine kettle of fish, plenty of fish in the sea, or cut bait…which fishy phrase most recently applies to some area of your life?

I’m going to say “packed in like sardines” since we, recently, celebrated a family member’s birthday at our house.  When all twelve of us get together, it can feel a bit crowded in our kitchen.

2. What’s something you’re always fishing for in your purse, wallet, desk, or kitchen junk drawer?

I’m always “fishing” for a bottle of artificial tears.  I have a terrible case of dry eyes, so I keep bottles stashed in various places.

3. Your favorite fish tale or movie?

One of my favorite fishing adventures took place the first summer Ed and I were married.   Often, we’d sit upon a huge pile of rocks, located near the foot of a bridge, and we’d fish in the salt water river running underneath the bridge.  Getting our fish out of the water could be a challenge because of those rocks, though.  On this particular day, my parents were visiting, and had gone fishing with us.  All of the sudden, I caught a nice-sized fish, pulled him up onto the rocks, then somehow, managed to let it get back into the water.  I was devastated. Out of the blue, my fish suddenly came floating back up to the top of the water!  Ed, speedier than a locomotive, jumped off those rocks, into the water, and caught my fish with his bare hands!  What a save!  (I don’t call him “Fast Eddie” for nothing.)  You should’ve seen the look on my face, and others nearby… Priceless.

As for movies, I still like Free Willy.

4. Are you sunrise, daylight, twilight or night? Explain why you chose your answer.

I’m going to say I’m “twilight”.  Maybe because I’m tired a lot, these days, and remind myself of how one might feel at the end of the day–only I feel this way all day long.

5. What’s the oldest piece of clothing you own and still wear?

It’s probably the gray t-shirt that I got from the Country Music Hall of Fame, in Nashville, back in 2002.   I’ll be sad when it finally wears out.

6. We’ve got one more month of (officially) winter here in the Northern hemisphere. Are you feeling the need for a getaway? What’s been the best and worst part of your winter so far?

Yes!  These warm, sunny days do make me long for a day on St. Simon’s Island.  I also would like to go on a road trip to Florida to visit my brother and sister-in-law, because it’s been a while since we’ve seen them.

The worst/best part of our winter, so far, have been the medical procedures Ed and I had to deal with.  On the negative side, the procedures [for both of us] were stressful and inconvenient, but, on the positive side, both of our outcomes turned out good, so we can’t complain.

7. The Wednesday Hodgepodge lands on National Margarita Day…will you be celebrating? Frozen or on the rocks? Are you a Jimmy Buffet fan? If so, what’s your favorite JB tune?

No, this girl won’t be celebrating Margarita Day because I don’t drink alcohol.  Yes, I am a Jimmy Buffet fan, believe it or not.  He’s been a favorite artist of mine for a long time, and has quite an interesting biography!

Margartaville is one of my favorite tunes by Jimmy Buffet, but I also love this lesser-known song (and video) by him, entitled It’s Been A Lovely Cruise.

 

Random:

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Ed, preparing the garden soil

Our gardening season of 2017 has officially begun!  Ed and I planted seeds for tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, and lettuce, in cups, beginning on the day after Valentine’s Day.  Many have already sprouted!  Ed has already planted eighty onion ‘sets’ out in the garden, with another forty waiting to be set out.  The plan for today is for Ed to plant our new potatoes and garden peas, along with the rest of the onions.  Unfortunately, my back has been “acting up”, again, so I haven’t been able to help much.  I guess I’ll have to be satisfied to play the role of supervisor.

Published in: on February 22, 2017 at 8:34 am  Comments (12)  
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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…

simple-woman-daybook-large

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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