Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Splurging On The Hodgepodge

Hello Summer and hello Wednesday Hodgepodge. Summer officially begins on Thursday in the Northern Hemisphere, but the temperatures here are saying it's arrived. If you've answered today's questions add your link at the end of my post, then leave a comment for the blogger before you. Or all the bloggers on the list, because it's summertime and the commenting is easy...

Here we go-

From this Side of the Pond
1. It's National Splurge Day...what's something you might splurge on today? What have you splurged on recently? 

I haven't splurged on anything today and don't anticipate that happening. I'm not opposed to a splurge if something comes up though!  Hubs is usually the one to splurge (he won't deny it) and just yesterday he walked in the door with brand new Apple Watches for us both. Happy Anniversary to us! 

I saw a meme recently that said, 'In every marriage there's one person saving money and one person living their best life. Ha! Kinda true! 

2. Do you have a beach bag? What's in it? Is a trip to the beach on your summer bucket list? Do you have a summer bucket list? 

I don't have a 'beach bag', but I do have a boat bag. We live on a lake so having a bag mostly ready to grab whenever we go out is handy. 

What's in it? Assorted sunscreens, a plastic bag with paper products (plates, napkins, plastic silverware, trash bag), a coverup, extra coozies, towel, comb, hat, and my trusty wristbands to combat motion sickness. 

We don't have a beach trip on the calendar this summer, but there are small beaches on some of the islands in the lake that we'll motor out to all summer long. I have a summer bucket list in my head, but haven't written it down. Planning to do that soon. 

3. What's a song that makes you think of a summer past? What comes to mind when you hear it? What memories does it stir up for you? 

Too many to name, but beach music for sure. It's a whole genre, and is especially popular in the southland. If I have to pick just one I'll say Summertime's Calling Me by The Catalinas. 

Makes me think of college summers, dancing with my boyfriend (now hubs), and then years later our girls loving it too. We had a little arm motion we all did during the chorus, and we all still make that motion when we hear the song today. 

I just asked my hubs what he would say and we have the same answer. 

4. Sushi-yay or nay? Have you actually tried it? If you love it what's your go-to order? 

Sushi-yay! I like sushi and we go to a local spot from time to time to indulge. My favorite sushi spot is a bit of a drive from here, but our local place is okay too. I like most rolls, heat but not the kind that makes your eyes water and your face turn red.  I always get an order of edamame, and I always ask for extra ginger. I like the wasabi and soy on the side.

5. I own a ridiculous amount of ____________________________________. 

Nothing sprang to mind right off the bat, but in taking a look around I'm going to say glass vases. I almost always use the same three, but I've got probably ten times that. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

We finally got the paddleboards out and I got up on mine without too much difficulty. 


I'll spare you the outtakes! 

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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 556

Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog then hop back here tomorrow to add your link to the party. See you there! 

1. It's National Splurge Day...what's something you might splurge on today? What have you splurged on recently? 

2. Do you have a beach bag? What's in it? Is a trip to the beach on your summer bucket list? Do you have a summer bucket list? 

3. What's a song that makes you think of a summer past? What comes to mind when you hear it? What memories does it stir up for you? 

4. Sushi-yay or nay? Have you actually tried it? If you love it what's your go-to order? 

5. I own a ridiculous amount of ____________________________________. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Monday, June 17, 2024

Weekend Jamboree

The weekend. It was a doozy y'all, and I mean that in a good way. It was my grandson's second birthday. It was anniversary #40 for the hubs and I. It was Father's Day. It was baby dedication day for Sugar at their church. 

It was food and fun and family. 



It was cards and presents and balloons. 

It was baby girl in her Daddy's baptismal gown and a sermon that highlighted marriage on the very day we married. 

It was men supervising the BBQ, the grill, and the smoker. 

It was also college baseball (GO VOLS!), heat, and naps in cribs and on couches. 

I could write a post about any one of those things, but I think I'll just dive in and see where we land. I will very likely write a separate post about our anniversary because someday I have to climb out of the shallow end of the blog pool and get back into deeper waters. There is much to be said about a long married life. Stay tuned. 

Back to the kiddie pool...we made the three hour drive to daughter2's house Friday morning, with a stop at her nearby Publix to pick up subs for lunch. When we walked in the door sweet baby J literally clapped his hands and jumped for joy at seeing our faces. There's not much in the world that can top that. 

We had lunch and both kiddies took naps before the in-law grandparents rolled in. We hung out on the porch and passed Sugar from grandparent to grandparent while little man played. There's a lot of watching the grands do whatever kids do when you're a grandparent. And you think it's all marvelous because it absolutely is. 

Daughter2 made spaghetti for dinner and we watched Tennessee baseball win in the last seconds of the game to beat Florida State and then we watched all the replays and then Saturday we watched the ending a few more times because it was so good. 

Unless you're a Seminole of course. 

Anyway, Saturday morning was the birthday party for sweet baby J. As an aside, I always write my grandchildren a letter on their birthdays and you can read his in the link here (Two-rrific). The birthday was small, really just family and the next door neighbors, but the size was perfect for someone turning two. 

There was a cute construction theme with vests for the guests, and bins of kinetic sand with lots of construction vehicles and assorted road works equipment tucked inside. There were chicken minis from Chick-fil-a, sausage balls, a fruit tray, pasta salad and a scrumptious homemade cake courtesy of his momma. 

Homemade and homestyle are my favorite kind of parties, and J had a ball leisurely opening presents and exclaiming WOW! upon seeing each and every gift unwrapped. Completely precious. Everyone rested, chatted, read, and/or napped that afternoon, then my son-in-law grilled hotdogs and burgers for dinner and then we all pretty much collapsed into bed at an early hour. 

Did I mention the heat? Whew! It was extreme all weekend long. 

Sunday morning I got up and took a walk around the neighborhood before the temperature went soaring, we had a quick breakfast, and the guys all opened their Father's Day cards and gifts. 

We don't really do gifts on Father's Day, but I bought all the men a jar of these pickles I spotted at the local farm stand the other day. They all like pickles and spicy food (these have a whole jalapeno in them, along with lots of garlic and onions) plus the name screamed Father's Day to me. 

We all changed and  loaded up the cars for the short ride to church. There were four babies being dedicated today and big brother was feeling like the freshly minted 2-year old he is up there grinning on the stage with his parents. His dad had one hand on his shirt collar most of the time, but sweet baby J enjoyed every minute lol. 

Sugar of course was just like her name. Sweet. She has the biggest, best smile y'all. It's like a full body smile and her whole adorable face lights up. 

After the dedication portion concluded the whole congregation sang Jesus Loves Me and it made me feel so teary. Getting toddlers and babies and yourselves to church on Sunday mornings is not for the faint of heart, but my daughter2's church is bursting at the seams with small children. Makes my heart so happy to know these young families are doing whatever it takes to get there each week. To raise their children in this upside down world to put their faith in the One who made it. 


The media loves to tell us every awful thing millennials and older Gen Z-ers are up to, but when I'm around my girls and their friends I see hard working, committed, faithful parents raising families and living with intention. These young adults don't make the news, but they are quietly going about the business of living full, productive lives, and the world is less depressing when we remember that. 

My son-in-law is a master griller and he smoked a delicious pork butt for Father's Day dinner. 

There was more college baseball afterwards (GO VOLS!) and it was the perfect way to end a perfect weekend. I think Sweet baby J would tell you that next to the balloons this was his favorite part-


So how did you spend your weekend? 

                              

Linking up with Holly and Sarah for their regular Hello Monday blog party...see you there! 


 

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Two-rrific

 I like to write letters to my grands on their birthdays and today is one of those days

Dear Sweet Baby J,

I suppose one day you'll need a more grown up blog name, but honestly this one suits you so perfectly I might be writing you a letter on your wedding day with this in the address. You are the sweetest. 

And now you're two, and you have a lot to say. We love it. For the past month, maybe even a teensy bit longer, when we Facetime you like to tell me your birthday is coming up soon. You are especially looking forward to getting a balloon. 

You love your swimming lessons and are a fish in the pool. You'll swim to the bottom to pick up the plastic ring that's been dropped, and I'm going to say I was not doing that when I was turning two. We all love the water here and there's a lot of it, so we're glad you're learning to swim and loving it too.  

You like the tunnel slide on the playground and you have the best laugh. 

You love your cousins. They spent a long weekend at your house in the spring, and you had a grand time playing and doing your best to keep up with the big boys especially. Nana can't wait to have you all together at the lake next month. We will have so much noisy, water-soaked fun in the sun which is the best kind of fun there is. 

                       

You call me Nene. I know you're saying Nana but it comes out Nene and it's precious. One day Nene will suddenly become Nana and I will miss it just a little. Although, not as much as I'll miss the way you say 'orange' when you finally say the word orange. You pronounce orange 'oi-oil-lioi' and we have no idea why, but it is the absolute best. Sometimes we'll show you something that color or offer you one as a snack just to hear you say the word. 

You like to fish and especially like handling the worm. Your daddy, your uncles, and your grandfathers all like to fish so you're in good company there. 

You also like to vacuum. And Swiffer and sweep and run the Roomba and your future wife thanks you. 

You love cars, trucks, diggers, cement mixers, excavators and  really anything that goes. There's been a lot of new home construction in your neighborhood and you love seeing the equipment in action. Your birthday this year has a construction theme and we're so happy to be there to celebrate with you. 

You like hummus, cucumbers, peppers, and biting in to a whole tomato. And berries. All the berries. Really all the fruits and vegetables and now that I think about it, what don't you like? 


You love your Daddy and want to do what Daddy does. You're like your Daddy in that you have superior fine motor skills and enjoy building and carefully putting things together. 

You are Momma's boy too, and will still snuggle up on her lap for books and kisses. 

You became a big brother this year and again, your blog name one hundred percent suits. You're so incredibly sweet with baby sister and you really never missed a beat with her addition to your family. I think it's because you have a tender heart and know love grows and there is always room for more. 

You still have the best cheeks of any little guy I know. 

You have a twinkle in your eye, a million dollar smile, and you're happy almost every minute of every day.

Happy birthday sweet baby J! You are sunshine in the form of a two year old boy and your Nana loves you deep and wide. ~xo~

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

A Simple Hodgepodge

Welcome to another week of Wednesday Hodgepodge-ing. If you've answered today's questions, add your link at the end of my post, then leave a comment for the blogger before you on the list. Or all the bloggers on the list, if you've got time to fill. Here we go-

From this Side of the Pond
1. June 12 is National Simplicity Day. In what way is your life simple? What's one way that it's not? 

We're retired, so for the most part can organize our day in whatever way suits us. That being said, it seems we always have a full calendar and we're on the go a lot, which means when we are at home we're adding in appointments, home maintenance and repairs etc. 

But! since we're retired if someone suggests spur of the moment fun, we're in. 

And then of course there are family logistics. Always a thing for us. Our moms in two different states. Our siblings in several different states. Our daughters in two different states. We spend a lot of time figuring out how to be with our people. 

2. Something you remember from a 'simpler time'? 

One thing that stands out to me is how we live in a culture today of immediacy. Everything at our fingertips with the click of a mouse or the push of a button. We've lost the wonderful sense of anticipation that was so much a part of my own childhood. 

We had to wait for so many things...our favorite television show (if ya missed it ya missed it), Christmas wasn't a 2-month celebration in terms of decor and activity, a new dress at Easter, your turn to use the phone, vacations once a year and certainly nothing 'exotic'

Waiting for something wonderful was part of what made it wonderful. We can ask if the world was indeed simpler when we were growing up, or do we just remember it that way, but I'm going to say it was. Technology. There basically was none. We didn't know what we didn't know and that made life simpler in so many ways. 

3. Do you like squash? If so what's your favorite variety? What's a favorite way to prepare squash? 

I do like squash, all kinds, so not sure I have a favorite. I probably love butternut, yellow, and zucchini best.  I like butternut squash soup in the fall and there's a squash casserole I love to make this time of year called Mrs. Hopkins Boarding House Squash . Simple and delicious.

4. Do you shop the warehouse stores (such as Costco, Sam's B.J's, etc)? If so how often do you go, and what's something you always buy in this type of store? 

We shop occasionally at Costco. It's a fair drive so we might go once every six weeks or so. If we're going in to the nearby small big city we put it on our agenda. I always buy paper towels and tp there. We like some of their meats, their frozen pizza, and hubs favorite snack is the peanut butter filled pretzel bites, so if they're in stock I'll buy those too. 

5. Father's Day is this coming Sunday. Any plans to make the day special? Tell us something about your own father, or something about your hubs as a father, or about someone who stepped into your life and acted as a father if yours was not a part of your life. 

While my mother worked part time later in their marriage my parents mostly had the more traditional roles of husband and wife/father and mother. My dad went to work, mowed the lawn, and paid the bills. My mom managed the house, meals, and most things kid related. My dad was a man of deep faith, a hard worker, steady. While he didn't always have a lot to say, he was always there for us and we knew we could count on him. The blessing of that sense of security a solid father brings to a family cannot be overstated. 

We have a lot happening on Father's Day this year. Our third grandson has a birthday on Father's Day which also happens to be our 40th wedding anniversary. 

As an aside, every time I write that number I kind of scratch my head and think, 'that can't be right? we're not old enough to have been married 40 years are we?'

Yet, here we are. 40 years of married life. It goes fast y'all. 

Anyway, since all the grandparents will be in town my daughter and son-in-law will also have baby girl's dedication at church that day. I'm sure my son-in-law will grill something wonderful and it will be a nice weekend filled with family fun. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

My dad died at the too young age of 66. He never got to see his grandgirls grow up, never even got to meet his grandson who arrived more than a decade after this shot was taken. It's one of my favorite pictures though...

He adored these girls and they loved him right back. 

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Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 555

Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then hop back here tomorrow to share answers with the rest of the world wide webbers. See you there! 

1. June 12 is National Simplicity Day. In what way is your life simple? What's one way that it's not? 

2. Something you remember from a 'simpler time'? 

3. Do you like squash? If so what's your favorite variety? What's a favorite way to prepare squash? 

4. Do you shop the warehouse stores (such as Costco, Sam's B.J's, etc)? If so how often do you go, and what's something you always buy in this type of store? 

5. Father's Day is this coming Sunday. Any plans to make the day special? Tell us something about your own father, or something about your hubs as a father, or about someone who stepped into your life and acted as a father if yours was not a part of your life. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

Monday, June 10, 2024

Weekend Roundup

We had the absolute best weather this weekend and enjoyed spending lots of time outdoors. A friend I've known since childhood (and her hubs) arrived from the Garden State around noon Thursday, and after lunch on the screened porch, we moved over to the covered deck, and eventually down to the dock as we caught up on our lives and all the goings on since last we spoke. 

There was very little humidity and a lovely breeze, so pretty much perfect. The little brown dog thought so too, and he went for a swim which is always entertaining. As a bonus, it wears him out a little. 

B and I met here-

A summer camp on Maryland's Eastern Shore many decades ago. We discovered we lived in the same town (opposite high schools) and the friendship grew. We spent a few summers together working at camp, time marched forward and we both married, then time kept marching and we had our first baby girls about a month apart, then our second baby girls a couple of years later. Then hubs and I moved and moved and moved some more and time rolled on and on, but whenever I'd visit my mom B and I would also get together for a visit. 

It's always like no time has passed, and aren't those the best kind of friends? 

Thursday night we had an event with our wine club and B and her hubs were able to attend as our guests. It was a fun, low-key event which included wonderful French wines served alongside a delicious beef bourguignon. 

We relaxed with our coffee on the deck Friday morning, then spent the rest of the day on the water. We could not have asked for more beautiful weather which I know I've already told you, but it's worth mentioning again. 

Even though we've had our boat summer ready for several weeks now, this was our first all day outing of the season and it was a winner. Adding more of the same to our summer calendar please. 

We saw a lot of wildlife while we were motoring around the lake, including a juvenile eagle perched beside a nest at the top of a tall tree. Hubs has eyes like a hawk (no pun intended) and he is always the one to spot birds and other animals in the wild wherever we happen to be. 

B's hubs has a fancy camera with a long lens so we look forward to seeing some of his pictures once they're back home. We encountered the same blue heron several times throughout the day and he snapped lots of really great shots of him. 

That night hubs grilled our favorite coffee rubbed pork tenderloin recipe then we went back out on the boat to check out the sunset. 

There was not a cloud in the sky which, believe it or not, doesn't make for the most spectacular of sunsets, although there's no such thing as a bad one. 

A few clouds bring out the best colors but ours was still beautiful.

On Saturday morning B and I went for a semi-power walk in the neighborhood before heading in to the nearby small big city for a late brunch. Balance, right? 

The city was bustling as we'd forgotten there was a Jazz festival happening, but fortunately we'd booked a table and were seated quickly. 

Brown butter pecan pie and a bite of banana pudding which were both super delish! 

Our friends were heading on to another city that afternoon so hubs and I had a fun Costco date. Not! I do not recommend Costco on a Saturday afternoon, but we were already in town and needed a few staples. We didn't do the usual up and down all the aisles, but we did get what we came for and got out in a reasonable amount of time so there's that. 

We actually got more than what we came for because can you not when you shop in these kinds of stores? 

Hubs and I went out for breakfast Sunday morning, then I spent a few hours trying to upload two different templates to a print site which was only a teensy bit frustrating because my files were too large or some such nonsense and then I had to rename everything and blah blah blah technology. 

We also read, watched some college baseball, and I did some laundry, spent another hour or so booking flights for a trip later this year (blah blah blah technology) and then caught up here. I had a home chef in the frig I needed to cook and that made for an easy dinner prep wise. 

And that's the weekend that was. 

What fun or not-so-fun things did you do this weekend? 

Linking today with Holly and Sarah for their regularly scheduled Hello Monday morning party.