Saturday, February 18, 2017

A List To The Rescue

When you've lost your blogging mojo sometimes it helps to make a list, so how 'bout we try that? 

1. I officially have bronchitis. I am so tired of coughing and hubs would say he's also so tired of me coughing. He tries not to say it and if he does it's mostly muttered under his breath, but I get it because I'm annoying even myself. 

2. I've been coughing for three solid weeks, but finally waved the white flag and saw a doctor on Wednesday. I knew I didn't have the flu, nor did I want to get the flu, which is why I put off going to the doctor. 

3. When she heard how many different airplanes I'd been on in the past month and a half she told me to go directly to the pharmacy for my prescription, then directly home to do absolutely nothing until I feel much much better. For the record I'm not that great at doing absolutely nothing, but I'm trying. 

4. That's partly why I haven't been blogging, I just haven't had the energy or more importantly, the brain power.

5. Which is why you're reading this really interesting post all about my cough. 

6. New subject (you're welcome!)...remember Valentine's Day? Ha! Hubs needed to be out of town on the actual day so we celebrated early beginning with this-


So pretty! Still sitting in that same spot a week later, and still pretty!

7. We met Daughter2 for lunch at a favorite burger spot in town and had a great time catching up with her in person. She is too adorable for words, and has the best, brightest smile of anyone I know. Nothing says love quite like a sweet and tender-hearted grown up daughter.


8. We ran some errands while we were in 'the big city, and later that evening hubs grilled steaks in the cast iron skillet, and made my favorite dessert-


Every kitchen needs a hand held torch.


In order for me to declare creme brulee a success, it must pass the spoon test. By that I mean when you tap a spoon on the crystallized sugar you need to hear the tap-tap-tap. I'll insert a little video clip, but these things never seem to work on my blog.


It might be me?


Suffice it to say, this one was perfection.

9. We've been looking for just the right coffee table for our covered deck and had something very specific in mind. We finally found it and broke it in last night.


Daughter1's in-laws came by for a casual supper and we dined
tablesidefireside.


It's got a sweet little fire pit in the center that runs on propane, and we love it!

10. Lastly, the sunrises here. I know I over post this particular subject matter, but every single morning I just sit and watch the darkness turn all shades of pink and lavender and I need to share.


The sky literally changes color minute by minute and sometimes I miss the prettiest bit while fiddling with my camera or the door or my glasses...


Not today though. Today was especially gorgeous. 
Happy weekend everyone! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Celebrating the Hodgepodge

Welcome to this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you've answered the questions today, add your link at the end of my post and be sure to leave a comment for your blog neighbor.


1. What do/did you call your grandparents? If it's something unusual tell us the story behind the name. If you're a grandparent what do your grands call you? Who chose your moniker?

We called both sets of our grandparents Grandma and Grandpa. We sometimes added their surname to differentiate in conversation, but in person they were just Grandma and Grandpa. My girls call my mom Mema and my mother-in-law Grandma. I'm still thinking about what I would like to be called, which may or may not be why you're answering this question today-ha! 

2. Ever taken a road trip along the California Coast? If so what was the highlight of your trek? If not, any desire to do so? What's one tourist attraction along the coast you'd add to your must-see list?

I've never taken a road trip along the California Coast, but it's definitely on my travel bucket list. I have a whole itinerary of stops I'd want to make, but Santa Barbara and Big Sur are near the top. 

3. What are three things you don't know how to do?

Wow, only three? How about three things I don't know how to do that I wish I knew how to do? 

Play the piano, speak a foreign language fluently, knit. 

4. Tom Peters is quoted as saying, 'Celebrate what you want to see more of.' If that's true, what and how will you celebrate?

Gentleness. 

Harsh, sharp, and angry is most definitely not working for us. 

I think gentleness in word, tone, and deed invites conversation, and I love that. 
In fact I'll pour the tea. 

5. Thursday (February 16) is National Almond Day. Do you like almonds? Which would you prefer-an Almond Joy or a macaron? What's something you make that calls for almonds?

I love almonds and would not turn down an Almond Joy or a macaron. If I have to choose I'll opt for the macaron. 

In France. 

I mean if we're imagining we might as well go all in, right?

I put sliced almonds in my chicken salad because I love the little salty crunch they add to the dish. I also add sliced almonds to my spinach salads. Yum! 

6. What does Saturday morning look like at your house?

Opening up the bedroom curtains to watch the sun stream in over the lake. Coffee sipped in our comfy chairs beside the sliders in the great room, or if it's warm enough out on the covered deck. Then more coffee. Then breakfast with hubs while we construct a loose outline of our plans for the day. We try to keep Saturday mornings low key and leisurely round here. 

7. Share with us a favorite book you've read this winter.

I've been reading a lot this winter and probably my favorite has been A Man Called Ove by Frederik Bachman. I really loved his book My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry and A Man Called Ove was almost as good. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

The moon was absolutely gorgeous last week. Hubs snapped this photograph from our back deck on Thursday evening...


 If you didn't know better you'd think that was a spotlight on the lake, wouldn't you? 

Raise your hand if you're singing Taylor Swift right now? 



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 297

Happy Valentine's Day Hodgepodgers! Here are this week's questions...answer on your own blog, then hop back here tomorrow to share answers with the universe. Here we go-


1. What do/did you call your grandparents? If it's something unusual tell us the story behind the name. If you're a grandparent what do your grands call you? Who chose your moniker?

2. Ever taken a road trip along the California Coast? If so what was the highlight of your trek? If not, any desire to do so? If you were to take a trip along the California Coast what's one attraction you'd have on your must-see list?

3. What are three things you don't know how to do?

4. Tom Peters is quoted as saying, 'Celebrate what you want to see more of.' If that's true what will you celebrate and more importantly, how will you celebrate?

5. Thursday (February 16) is National Almond Day. Do you like almonds? Which would you prefer-an Almond Joy or a macaron? What's something you make that calls for almonds?

6. What does Saturday morning look like at your house?

7. Share with us a favorite book you've read this winter.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.





Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A Hodgepodge That's Easy To Love

Hello Hodgepodgers! If you've answered the questions today add your link at the end of my post. We've had a few newbies join our Wednesday party in recent weeks, so if you have a minute hop over to a blog you haven't visited before and say hi. And be sure to leave a comment for your neighbor in the link list. That's how we keep the Hodgepodge rollin' right along.  


1. What's the last thing you did that someone else thought was super?

I'm not sure I've done anything lately that could be described as super? Maybe something related to home decorating? 

2. The last thing you ate that tasted superb?

Two weekends ago I made an overnight French Toast recipe that my company thought was superb. It's so easy to do and so delicious. You will find the recipe here.  

3. Supersensitive, superstitious, superwoman, superambitious, supercilious, supervisor, superficial...pick a super word from the list and tell us how it relates to your life in some way recently or currently.

The list of projects I want to accomplish round here feels superambitious. 

4. Do you love easily? If you're comfortable doing so, explain why you think that is.

Yes, and I think it's probably because I've always felt loved. As a child, as a wife and mother, and most of all I'm secure in the knowledge that Jesus loves me. Not saying I haven't encountered people who are hard to love, but I'm an eternal optimist who believes the best about everyone so yeah, I tend to love easily.  

5. Valentine's Day lands on a Tuesday this year. Will you mark the day in some way? If you're celebrating with a dinner out somewhere will it be on Tuesday or will you celebrate over the weekend?

As far as Valentine's Day goes, hubs and I usually exchange cards but no gifts. I do send a little something to my girls because that makes me happy. In recent years hubs and I have had the tradition of cooking a new recipe together at home. We eat out a lot, plus restaurants often do a set menu or fixed price and eh. 

We've been looking at recipes to try, but haven't settled on one yet. And I'm not sure if we'll cook on Tuesday or over the weekend, but I think it will feel more leisurely and enjoyable to cook on Saturday so that's my plan. 

6. What's something you are loving right now?

I might be a teensy bit obsessed with online shops selling smocked children's clothing. This shop in particular. Also this one. And I can't wait to buy one of the bonnets sold here

7 Write a three word (or less) phrase you'd like to see on a Valentine candy heart.

Love Never Fails

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Raise your hand if you've been enjoying those tiny little conversation hearts for a couple of weeks now.  #sorrynotsorry




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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 296

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. What's the last thing you did that someone else thought was super? 

2. The last thing you ate that tasted superb? 

3. Supersensitive, superstitious, superwoman, superambitious, supercilious, supervisor, superficial...pick a super word from the list and tell us how it relates to your life in some way recently or currently. 

4. Do you love easily? If you're comfortable doing so, explain why you think that is. 

5. Valentine's Day lands on a Tuesday this year. Will you mark the day in some way? If you're celebrating with a dinner out somewhere will it be on Tuesday or will you celebrate over the weekend? 

6. What's something you are loving right now? 

7 Write a three word (or less) phrase you'd like to see on a Valentine candy heart.  

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Monday Morning Quarterbacking

I don't have a lot to say today because we pretty much did nothing over the weekend. Oh, and it was also glorious. Sometimes nothing is everything you need.

Did you watch the Superbowl? We watched, right down to that last painful minute when the Patriots pulled out a win. None of my teams were in the Superbowl this year, but I can still get all wound up about a game. I found myself feeling a little bit sorry for Tom Brady the first half of the game, then heartbroken for the Falcons when it was all over.

I will say I didn't think there were any really fabulous ads this year, but I did love the Raggedy Old Flag bit they played pre-game. I'm glad politics stayed mostly out of the Superbowl and it felt like the country came together for about five minutes yesterday.

And props to Lady Gaga for dangling above the stadium and for singing live and for inspiring me to work out today-ha!

I haven't said too much about the house lately and that's mostly because we moved in mid-November, then BAM! Thanksgiving rolled in along with some company, then it was pretty much time to think about Christmas, then hubs and I traveled the entire month of January, arriving home on Tuesday, with company here on Wednesday, then they left Friday morning, then more company came Friday evening, then they left Sunday, then I collapsed on the couch for a week in an effort to get over the horrendous cough hubs shared with me, and now here we are Monday.

Which is why I haven't talked much about the house or posted pics of the finished product. Ain't nobody got time for that!

I'm blogging from our home office on this Monday morning, and it needs help y'all. Actually I call this room the library because we had floor to ceiling bookshelves built in, but mostly right now it looks like I'm readying for a jumble sale. All the 'jumble' is behind the desk and if I sit just so at the computer I can see the lake but not the piles. That strategy has been working for me up till now, but I guess this is the week I deal.

The piles are mostly photos (yep, still an issue in my life) and there's also an abundance of throw pillows that don't quite fit anywhere in the house, but that I can't part with either. And there's framed artwork and photographs that either need re-framing, re-matting, or a new home with Goodwill. Somebody's got to decide and it looks like that somebody is me only I'm easily distracted.

What distracts me? How pretty the view is right outside my window. Thoughts of summertime. Paperwork. Planning how best to spoil my grandchild. A baby shower brunch happening here next month. Thinking about Daughter2s pup who is still sick with we don't know what. Income taxes. What I'm fixing for dinner. Still need to think up this week's Hodgepodge questions. Laundry. An email I need to send. An appointment I need to re-schedule. The book I'm reading.

It's not just me, is it?

Okay, nose to the grindstone and all that. I will leave you with a picture I snapped on Wednesday morning. The early bird definitely catches the wormsunrise round here.


Now if only the early bird could keep that momentum going past noon.
She's going to try!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Five Minutes of Breathe

Linking with Five Minute Friday today. Here's the drill-write for five minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word. Link back to Five Minute Friday and invite others to join in too. Consider yourselves invited. Finally, be generous and leave an encouraging comment for the person who linked up before you. Here we go-

Today's prompt-Breathe

I haven't written much of substance on my blog lately, mostly because we've been going at mach speed round here since November, but also because everybody is so dang cranky all the time about all the things. Have mercy it is ex.haus.ting. Does anybody have the patience or stamina or time in their day for all the endless whining and complaining and judgy judgmental judgment we're living with right now?

Breathe. 

The online world that once upon a time connected us in so many fun and positive ways feels downright ugly. The real world feels that way too and it breaks my heart a little. A lot if I'm being honest. I don't want to dip so much as my pinky toe into the sea of nastiness that's out there right now and I honestly don't know how to navigate social media anymore. If the Internet were my child I would send her to her room.

Breathe. 

I was talking with friends recently (in person and face to face which is how ideas are best shared), and we all agreed you can't go to even the simplest of social gatherings anymore without considering what you're walking in to. Will anyone be there who doesn't demand you explain and defend your position on a whole laundry list of sizzling hot topics that you'd rather not get into with casual acquaintances? Can't we just talk about what's in the delicious chicken salad or some other equally inoffensive subject matter?

Breathe. 

I don't want my blog to be a place of controversy and I work hard to keep it a welcoming little corner of the Internet. It's just that anymore it's hard to know what in the world is going to set people off. And by set people off I mean what is going to cause someone to insult my intelligence, my thinking, my education, my part of the country, my belief system and more.

Recently I replied to a comment on Twitter and a woman who doesn't know me, who knows nothing about me, called me a liar. She also identified herself in her profile as a 'Christ follower'. Okay. Somehow that didn't feel very Christ-like to me. I let it go with a polite 'we disagree', because she doesn't know me and I don't know her and we're not going to know one another communicating 140 characters at a time.

Sometimes it's hard to breathe.

I think our parents generation got it right in their efforts not to bring politics into polite conversation. And Facebook? Facebook is just a mess, and because in real life I do have people I love and who are dear to me on all ends of the political spectrum, well it's a mess. It's not a place I want to be anymore.

I want to extend birthday wishes, learn about your travels, see your babies and your grandchildren, find out about great places to dine or hike or vacation, discover new music, hear about random acts of kindness encountered throughout your day, but that's such a small part of my news feed now it's almost not worth checking in.

So how do we blog when the air is thick with smoke and opinion? When voices thunder in ways that make you want to pull the covers over you head? How do we breathe?

For me I go back to what is true. I spend less time reading Internet words and more time reading God's word. I pray for our nation and her leaders and a world gone mad, and when I want to make a point, let my feelings be known, fire off a response to an unkind word or misstatement of fact, I take a step back and I breathe.

I think our natural desire to be right, to be heard, to make our opinion known says go-hit send-now-immediately.

I'm learning to fight my natural instinct.

I'm learning to let my words sit on the page overnight and see if they look and feel the same in the bright light of a new day. I ask myself does this need to be said and most importantly, do I need to be the one to say it? We all think we need to be the one to say 'it' but really do we? Does everything need to be said?

My girls called yesterday. We talked about grandbabies, pregnancy, smocked rompers, car troubles and sick puppies that strain our nerves and our bank accounts, the triumphs and challenges facing a kindergarten teacher, and how God knows about all the things. All of them. Every last bit of our everything. He is the air I breathe.

When I remember that breathing is easy.