Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Willy Nilly Silly Old Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge! Can you believe it's the middle of January? If you've played along today add your link at the end of my post. Hodgepodge links only here on Wednesdays please! And be sure you leave a comment for the blogger before you because that's what good neighbors do. Here we go-


1. ASAP typically stands for 'as soon as possible'. What else could it stand for in your life right now?

Always Seems we Are Packing? 

2. Are you the last person to speak up in a group or the first to have an idea? Why do you suppose that is? Is it a good thing or no?

I'm probably too often the first to speak up. Why? I'm kind of a take charge person, some might say bossy, but I will stick with take charge because that sounds nicer. Is it a good thing? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I hate being in a group where no one takes charge, but I don't always need to be so quick to jump in either. It's a fine line and I'm working on it. 

3. What do you remember best about being 12?

I was in the 6th grade and back then 6th grade was the last year of elementary school. In other words 6th graders ruled the world, or at least it felt that way. I remember running around the neighborhood with my friends, hanging out at the Duck Pond, walking to and from school, skating at the roller rink which in hindsight was kinda sketchy but we loved it, BOYS!, riding our bikes to the pool, that sort of thing. I also recall spending a week with the entire sixth grade at an environmental camp which is where I heard my teacher swear after she drank from a cup another student had put soap in. That I remember, because it was shocking. 

4. January 18th is National Winnie the Pooh Day. Which character do you relate to the most, and why? If you're stumped go here for inspiration.

I loooove Eeyore. I am not an Eeyore but I love him. The quiz said I'm most like Kanga and I'm okay with that. The description said 'caring and supportive, more adventurous than people realize, up for anything reasonably safe and somewhat sane, and a protector especially as a parent'. Sounds pretty accurate for an online quiz. 

5. What's an app you use that helps simplify or make life easier for you in some way?

I love Map My Walk. It records routes, distance, pace, elevation, and calories burned although I always feel technology overstates that last bit. I can add a playlist too and I like music when I walk so I use that feature a lot. Other favorites would be Goodreads for keeping track of what I've read, want to read, and what others are reading, Pinterest because it's my go-to place for saving all the online things I want to save, and Restaurant Finder which is handy when you're in a new city and are looking for a nearby place to eat. 

6. San Francisco (CA), San Diego (CA), San Juan (PR) San Antonio (TX) Sanibel (FL)...you have an all expenses paid long weekend to one of these destinations. Which one do you choose and why?

I was just in San Francisco and as much as I'd love to see San Diego the thought of another cross country trek just now is not that appealing. Today I'd choose Sanibel because it's a short plane ride away and a weekend at the beach is never a bad idea. 

7. Share with us a song that makes you feel nostalgic? For what?

Lots of songs make me feel nostalgic for various seasons of my life, but I'll go with the first thing that popped into my head-White Flag by Dido. Not what you were expecting is it? 

The song was released just as we were moving to the UK, same month in fact, and they (over)played it all.the.time there. In fact hubs couldn't stand it back then, but here in America on a random Tuesday when it catches you unawares? Well, we are taken back to a place in time, to that first year in England with all it's highs and lows, and we feel all mushy inside. Nostalgic. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

We left the rain and chilly temps in California and woke up Sunday morning to 70 degree weather on the lake. 


My daughter2 teaches school and had snow days Monday and Tuesday, a delayed opening on Wednesday, and then on Friday was out walking her dog in shorts and a t-shirt. I love winter in the south. 

Sunday was so nice in fact, that friends of ours put their boat their boat in the water and took us for a ride, and it was glorious. 


 Everyone agreed. 



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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 293

Hello Hodgepodgers and welcome back! Not sure if I'm coming or going this month (mostly both!) but I'm here today with this week's questions. Answer on your own blog, then fly back here tomorrow to add your link to the party. Here we go-


1. ASAP typically stands for 'as soon as possible'. What else could it stand for in your life right now? 

2. Are you the last person to speak up in a group or the first to have an idea? Why do you suppose that is? Is it a good thing or no?

3. What do you remember best about being 12? 

4. January 18th is National Winnie the Pooh Day. Which character do you relate to the most, and why? If you're stumped go here for inspiration. 

5. What's an app you use that helps simplify or make life easier for you in some way? 

6. San Francisco (CA), San Diego (CA), San Juan (PR) San Antonio (TX) Sanibel (FL)...you have an all expenses paid long weekend to one of these destinations. Which one do you choose and why?

7. Share with us a song that makes you feel nostalgic? For what? 

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

West Coast Wanderings

Where were we? Oh yeah-everywhere. 

Or maybe it just felt that way? I know I travel a lot, but have I mentioned here I'm not a great traveler? Hubs is a great traveler and sometimes a great traveler traveling with a mediocre traveler is a test of how much you are loved.

A lot apparently.

Oh and guess what I'm doing again before a new month rolls in? Mostly I love to travel, except when I don't. When flights are delayed, then cancelled, when it rains buckets in a state where 'it never rains in California', when our luggage doesn't make the connection we ourselves had to run for...

As an aside, I've informed hubs I do not run in airports. It's a travel policy of mine, one of them anyway. Hubs says I have a whole handbook of travel policies, but tops on the list is I am not running in an airport. I will walk briskly and skip the restroom stop if I must, but I'm not running.

So where were we really? Mostly San Francisco, but we started our travels in Washington State because another rule I have is if we're going to be anywhere on the west coast we're either coming or going via Washington State. Daughter1 and her hubs did not get to come home for Christmas this year, and while I'd seen them back in October on my side trek from Arizona (hey I was already out west remember), hubs hadn't seen them since the end of July, and that's just way too long not to see your girl.


I will try not to blabber on about how beautiful the Seattle-Tacoma area is, how much I love Mt. Rainier, how tall the trees are and how expansive the Puget Sound, but y'all seriously this part of the country is stunning.


And very very far from the Eastern half of the U. S. of A.


We had a lovely few days walking in the woods, helping Daughter1 with some garage shelving and organizing, and eating lots of clam chowder in picturesque venues. We also took the newlyweds out to celebrate their second wedding anniversary which occurred the day before we arrived. Two years. Be still my heart.


Daughter1 dropped us at the airport on Sunday to catch our flight to San Francisco, but between the monsoon like rains in California and the snowy weather across the rest of the country we were delayed. Then delayed some more, and then some more, and then finally cancelled.

Hubs and I had a nice dinner in the hotel restaurant because what else are you going to do when your flight gets cancelled, and then finally made our flight to California the next afternoon. Not without more delays, but we did get there and I guess that's what counts. Actually I know that's what counts-ha!

We entered the hotel lobby and were immediately swept up in a literal sea of navy blue suits. The conference had taken over every hotel, Starbucks, suite, nook, and cranny in Union Square. It was a fantastic spot for people watching that's for sure!

Tuesday the weather was bordering on monsoon so I went with Plan B. I'm not a wimp about walking in the rain, but this was beyond rain. Umbrellas were inside out and the wind was whipping. Insanity! I walked a little more than half a mile in it and spent the rest of the day inside the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Question for you...who decides what is art? I was so missing my Daughters who can always be counted on to educate me as to why this is art-


It looks suspiciously like the light in our garage.

There was a whole lot I loved, particularly the William Kentridge Refusal of Time exhibit for anyone reading here who enjoys art and museums and is fascinated by the passing of time like me, and it was the perfect way to spend a rainy day in a new city.


Wednesday the sun peeked out, or rather the rain stayed mostly away so I hiked over to Chinatown while hubs worked, then later we Ubered out to the suburbs to catch up with some of our oldest and bestest friends.


It poured again on Thursday and it was cold too, so I read a book and napped while the guys worked and then on Friday the sun shone and it was glorious and we rambled around Napa all the day long.




Hmm...it appears this should have been three two posts, but in short (ha!) here's my take away from our ten days on the go-

The Evergreen State ranks right up there as one of the prettiest.


Washington is too far from South Carolina.


Old friends pick up right where they left off no matter the time or distance between them, and actually it does rain in California which means I need to go back to San Fran to see all the many things I missed, and also I wish I had an orange tree in my backyard.


Finally, when you get home at almost 2 am without your luggage, but then you wake up in your own bed and sip morning coffee on your dock in near 70 degree temps in the middle of January you will feel a little bit like Dorothy...


...there's no place like home.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

New Year, New Hodgepodge

Happy New Year! As a reminder there will not be a Wednesday Hodgepodge next week, January 11th. I've got a lot of travel on my January calendar and will need a breather right about then. We'll be back with a new edition the following week, January 18th. In the meantime, here we are. If you've answered today's questions add your link at the end of my post, then go say happy new year to your neighbor.


1. Share one favorite moment/memory from your Christmas holiday.

In recent years the candlelight Christmas Eve service has become my favorite part of the holiday. There is something so moving about a candlelit church filled with voices softly singing Silent Night. It really helps me put the whole holiday in perspective. 

2. What was the best thing you ate over the holidays? Was it homemade or store bought? If it was homemade did you make it?

How in the world do I choose? I ate far too many delicious somethings over the holidays. These candy cane snowball cookies are maybe my favorite sweet treat. I think. And  hubs cooked steaks in the new oven for our New Year's Eve meal and that was another favorite. Daughter2 baked the cookies and hubs cooked the steaks so yes, all homemade. 

3. What was one of the most beautiful things you saw over the holidays?

Sunrise in my own backyard two days before Christmas...


Sunrise is my favorite color.

4. What does fresh start mean to you?

A fresh start is a brand new heaping helping of hope, whether it's January 1st or just the beginning of a brand new day.  I think it's why I love the early morning. No mistakes yet, no words said that I'd like to unsay, no irritation or resentment over some little hurt,  just endless possibility and opportunity to be my best self. My favorite verse captures what fresh start means to me-

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23 

5. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being very positive and 1 being not so great) how would you rate 2016 in terms of personal achievement and well being? Explain.

I wouldn't rate it a 10, but it wasn't a 1 either.  I have room for improvement in a number of areas so let's give it a 6 and skip explaining why.  

6. Every January 1st since 1976 Lake Superior University has published a list of words they'd like to see banished from the Queen's English. Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse, or just general uselessness. Go here to read more about how the words were chosen or, if you're like me, to find out what in the world the word or phrase even means or the context in which it's used. There were quite a few on this year's list I'd never heard before.

Here's the 2017 list of banished words-

You, Sir-focus-Bete Noire-Town Hall Meeting-Post Truth-guesstimate-831-historic-manicured-echo chamber-on fleek-bigly-ghost-Dadbod-listicle-get your dander up-selfie drone-frankenfruit-disruption

Which word on the list would you most like to see banished in 2017? What word or phrase would you add to the list?

I must have been living in a bubble this year or builidng a house or something because I haven't heard of half of these, certainly not to the point of overuse. 831? ghost? Huh? I've certainly heard enough of 'town hall meetings' and post-truth sounds suspicisouly like 'not true', so I guess I'd choose to banish one of those if I must choose. 

What overused word would I pick if I were in charge? Well I'm kind of weary of the word safe space. I feel like it's impact has been lost in the post-election brouhaha. There are people in this world who genuinely need safe spaces, who are persecuted, abused, tortured. College students (and others like them) feeling sad-disappointed-angry about election results, in my mind, do not fall into that category and they've co-opted the word to the point it has lost real meaning. 

7. Large or small, light or deep, share with us one goal you have for the new year.

Read through the Bible chronologically and finally!! get my videos transferred to DVD. Do we still use DVD? Whatever format we're using now, that's what I need to do with my old videos and I resolve to make this the year it happens. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

A song I'm loving lately...if you're stubborn like me maybe it will encourage you too. Happy New Year! 





Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 292

Happy New Year Hodgepodgers and welcome to 2017! Raise your hand if you love a fresh start-clean slate. I have a lot of fun travel on my January calendar so will need to make one small adjustment to our Hodgepodge schedule this month, and that's this-no Hodgepodge next week (January 11th). In spite of all my comings and goings I think I can manage to make the rest of the Wednesdays happen.

Okay, we're here today so let's go...answer on your own blog, then slide back here tomorrow and add your link to the party. See you there!


1. Share one favorite moment/memory from your Christmas holiday. 

2. What was the best thing you ate over the holidays? Was it homemade or store bought? If it was homemade did you make it?

3. What was one of the most beautiful things you saw over the holidays?

4. What does fresh start mean to you?

5. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being very positive and 1 being not so great) how would you rate 2016 in terms of personal achievement and well being? Explain. 

6. Every January 1st since 1976 Lake Superior University has published a list of words they'd like to see banished from the Queen's English. Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse, or just general uselessness. Go here to read more about how the words were chosen or, if you're like me, to find out what in the world the word or phrase even means or the context in which it's used. There were quite a few on this year's list I'd never heard before.

Here's the 2017 list of banished words-

You, Sir-focus-Bete Noire-Town Hall Meeting-Post Truth-guesstimate-831-historic-manicured-echo chamber-on fleek-bigly-ghost-Dadbod-listicle-get your dander up-selfie drone-frankenfruit-disruption

Which word on the list would you most like to see banished in 2017? What word or phrase would you add to the list?

7. Large or small, light or deep, share with us one goal you have for the new year. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I'm going to go ahead and insert my random thought today instead of tomorrow because today my Daughter1 and her Dr. Captain celebrate 2 years of wedded bliss. 



If you've got a minute, hop over to her somewhat neglected blog (it couldn't be helped-she's had computer woes) and wish them a happy anniversary. (Sincerely Shannon)

Also, they are still every bit as happy and adorable as they look in this photo (credit: Chris Isham)

Also, I will probably mention it again tomorrow because that's how we roll round here. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Festive Family Fun

Let's talk Christmas. I hope yours was merry and bright. We're still enjoying morning coffee by the light of the tree. It will come down this weekend or whenever those little fairies show up to make it happen. Whenever they come is fine...I'm not in a hurry.

Except I kind of am because January looms and we have a lot of travel on the calendar. Fun stuff, which right now feels a little overwhelming, but then I sit by the Christmas tree and remember all is calm and all is bright.

How 'bout we back up a little, because we always start out in reverse on This Side of the Pond. When last we spoke the painters were on their way and they've come and gone so no more blue tape. Whoohoo! The ice man came and jiggled something in the ice maker which necessitated a part order which means he's coming back tomorrow to complete the job. My laundry room countertop was replaced so that's done. Oh and hubs hung a few more pictures. Just ask Daughter2...he was hammering outside her bedroom door at 9:45 a.m. on Christmas Eve Eve.

Or as she would say 'the crack of dawn'!


Speaking of daughter2, she finally got here on Wednesday morning because we had a little drama with her sweet pup that required a trip to the specialty vet the week before Christmas. Meanwhile hubs and I both had our cars in for service and it all felt a little bit crazy and in fact was a little bit crazy. Merry Christmas to us-ha!


Daughter2 was her usual cookie baking rock star self and we sipped tea on the porch and went for side by side manicures and talked recipes, kindergarten, and the meaning of
life. The three of us enjoyed a lovely dinner out with Daughter1's in-laws and close friends before heading to the mountains for a Tennessee Christmas with hubs side of the family.


Christmas with hubs side of the family means Angel Pie and she deserves her own mention here. Carry on. 

We were all so missing Daughter1 and the Dr. Captain this year, so it was extra nice to have a whole houseful of aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents to fill the mountain cabin with love, laughter and chatter. Especially chatter. We are world champion chatterers.


Hubs brother and sister both own cabins in the Smokies, as close to one another as the crow flies. Does that expression mean what I think it means? Anyway, they're close in proximity to one another so we bop between the two when we visit.


Everyone trekked down the mountain on Christmas Eve for a big family dinner out before church, and then sat side by each in two pews singing Silent Night to the glow of a dripping candle.


Christmas Day was filled with the usual gift giving and receiving, game playing, and a celebratory toast to my in-law's 60th wedding anniversary which had taken place earlier in the month.


The nephews helped my mother in law experience a little virtual reality...


And I think she liked it.


These glasses are freaky y'all. I felt like I was in some other dimension of time and space, which I think is the point of virtual reality, but still...super freaky and very cool.


We had rain all day on Christmas Eve, but Christmas and the day after were both ridiculously warm. 70 degrees up on top of the mountain, and nobody complained.

photo credit: my sis-in-law

Monday we trekked back down the mountain to see my sister and brother-in-law's new home which is almost complete. We've been sharing the angst of building a home from the ground up for more than a year, and we're excited for theirs to be finished now too. Also, aunts are special people and my girls have a whole squad they dearly love.


Because it's against the laws of family togetherness to skip a meal we stopped in town for a pizza lunch with the grandparents, selfie style-

photo credit: my sis-in-law

We headed home on Tuesday morning because we had visitors coming by around lunchtime on Wednesday and there were gifts to put away, groceries to be purchased, and floors to be vacuumed. We enjoyed our company and then hubs, Daughter2 and I finally watched Home Alone last night which is a holiday tradition we hadn't managed to squeeze in before Christmas.


We went to bed knowing there was absolutely nothing on the must-do list for today and in my mind that's as good as sugarplums any old day.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Merry Hodgepodge!

Welcome to the Hodgepodge, our final edition before the calendar rolls into the new year. I've declared next week Christmas break here, so look for another installment on January 4th. If you've answered the questions today add your link at the end of my post and be sure to leave a comment for the blogger before you. Grab your cocoa and let's go-


1. What's left to be done on your Christmas to-do list?

Watch A Christmas Story. My daughter and I will do a teensy bit more baking and there's one or two gifts to be wrapped, but other than that I think my Christmas to-dos are mostly done. 

2. The Hodgepodge lands on the first day of winter this year. What's your favorite thing about winter?

The first snowfall, boots, Christmas, a starry night sky, warm soup on a cold day, and the slower pace. Autumn is still my favorite, but there's something to love in every season. 

3. In what area of your life are you immature? Feel free to elaborate or not.

I'm just going to go ahead and say it-Christmas. I am kind of a baby about the holiday and cling tightly to all my long held traditions. I read something on the incourage Facebook page recently that said, 'Nix the expected and embrace the meaningful.' Trying to really take that to heart this Christmas.

4. What was the most (or one of the most) important lessons you learned in 2016?

That seasons of 'waiting' show us things about ourselves we might not see-know-learn without the wait. 

5. It's Fried Shrimp Day...are you a fan? What's your favorite way to eat shrimp? Will there be shrimp somewhere in your holiday feastings?

I love shrimp, fried included. My  favorite is peel and eat boiled shrimp with a squeeze of lemon and a spicy cocktail sauce for dipping. I don't think shrimp is on our holiday menu, but I might get my daughter2 to make a recipe of the Pioneer Woman's Spicy Lemon Garlic Shrimp the week after Christmas. It's easy and delicious!

6. What sound lulls you to sleep?

Hubs would say any sound-ha! I can fall asleep in complete silence or while a ten piece band plays three feet from my head, makes no difference. I love the sound of water lapping the sides of a boat or shoreline, but most often it's the TV playing softly in the background. 

7. What one word best describes your 2016?

Construction!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I want to thank you for sticking with the Hodgepodge this year. I know it's been a little hit or miss, but I still very much enjoy this little mid-week happy and the people who visit here. Merry Christmas!


"For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11




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