Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 192

Welcome to another edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer the questions on your own blog,  then scoot back here tomorrow and read what the rest of the world is saying. Maybe not the whole world, more like our little corner, but still a fun way to spend your Wednesday. 

1. Are the leaves turning color where you live? Have they begun to fall? Will you have to rake when it's all said and done? Is that a chore you love or loathe?

2. When did you last shake like a leaf?

3. After 20 seasons with the NY Yankees, Derek Jeter played his last official game Sunday afternoon. Jeter has been described even by opponents as a 'class act', both on and off the field. The NFL is back in action this month too, with several players in that sport also making headlines. What are your thoughts on athletes as role models? Should a professional athlete be expected to act as role model or is that going beyond their job description? What responsibility do the organizations these athletes work for have when it comes to dealing with off the field behavior? Discuss.

4. What season of the year is toughest for you in terms of your health? Why?

5. The top six healthy food trends of 2014 according to Eating Well are-

clean eating (more veg, less meat, less sodium, limit alcohol and processed foods)
trash fish (you know those fish that get caught in fishermen nets and are thrown back? It seems chefs are finding creative ways to make them more appetizing)
cauliflower (this year's IT vegetable)
kaniwa (essentially baby quinoa, so like quinoa only smaller)
fermentation (think pickling except with twists on flavor we're not accustomed to)
community supported food (farms operating with community support/membership).

Okay-so how many of the hot healthy food trends for 2014 have you experienced, encountered, enjoyed? Any you've tried and said ewwww? Any on the list you'd like to try before year's end?

6. In seven words or less, bid September adieu.

7. What's something on your October calendar that makes you happy just thinking about it?

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, September 29, 2014


We had a nice weekend, filled with bright blue skies, Indian summer temps, and nothing special on the calendar.  We need those weekends round here.  We had dinner with neighbors on Friday evening, hung out at the rodeo on Saturday, napped on the couch, watched football and golf, read books and soaked up the beauty that surrounds us always, but never more so than on a crystal clear autumn day.

Fall is showing up little by little in our corner of the world, or maybe leaf by leaf would be a more accurate description. There's a tree on our back hillside I will photograph no less than fifty times  between now and winter because it is perfection.

As is the brilliant blue cloudless sky.

Sunday evening after dinner was eaten and dishes were washed, hubs and I sat on the patio and admired what we've affectionately dubbed our 'Festivus Tree'. It's a shepherds crook made for hanging plants that hubs wrapped in Christmas lights, and we agree it's one of the happiest things around.

Seriously, every patio needs one.

We sipped coffee and listened to a playlist scroll through a random selection of songs. We sang along and talked about how each one that popped up took us somewhere in time, geography, and memory.

When fall rolls in its not only the leaves that change. It's the light and the air and the way my heart feels more reflective.  Hubs says I think too much, and maybe he's right, but it seems this time of year is made for contemplation.  Maybe it's because school begins here in September, but as the month draws to a close I realize I have always viewed this month as a new beginning, much more so than January.

In September I set goals, feel the urge to clean my house, and make attempts at organizing paperwork, files, and desk drawers.

In September I look through recipe books for fresh cooking inspiration.

I make lists of books to read, movies we've missed, what I'll buy-make-bake for Christmas.

I schedule routine home repairs and maintenance.

In September I tell myself this will be the winter I'll actually catch up on my scrapbooks, and with a new found enthusiasm I'll go buy pretty paper and stickers and embellishments. I will tuck these away with the rest of the pretty paper and stickers and embellishments collected in Septembers past, ready for when winter rolls our way.


September is when some of my good intentions become reality and others not so much, but it is the month I give myself a talking to, the month I declare my good intentions about a lot of things.

In September I make sure I'm caught up with the dentist, dermatologist, and all the other various and sundry doctors one must be caught up with once one has passed the 50 mile mark.

These are not things I want to do in January.

In January I prefer to curl up on the couch with a blanket while snow piles up outside.

Except this January I'd like the snow to come in February because we have a wedding to celebrate in January. While snow makes for lovely photos the same cannot be said about snow and travel.

Course we won't think about that today because we can't control the weather three months from now, and I'm sure that's a good thing. What I can do on an end of September autumn day is grab my camera. I can take a picture of leaves that turn from green to golden yellow before my very eyes, a reminder God is in the details.

And really, that's enough.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

100 Days

I came across this photo recently and today feels like the right day to post it here. That's my Daughter1 on the left, age 1 year almost to the day, and her cousin on the right, age 2. This picture was taken on the morning of my brother's wedding, a pretty June day some 25 years ago. 

Two small precious girls dressed in eyelet and lace, standing in my parent's front yard. 

In 100 days I will once again help my first born baby girl into a white dress, help make her ready for a wedding, this time her own.

In 100 days her cousin will stand much as she stands here, hands clasped tightly round blooms of winter white.

In 100 days this child who made me a mother will take her father's arm for a walk down the aisle to her beloved groom and waiting future.

In 100 days I will hold my husbands hand and we'll watch our girl stand before God and her great big family, and her new one too, with friends who will travel from all corners of the globe, as she and her boy make promises for keeps.

In 100 days our family grows as a notch is marked in the timeline of us.

In 100 days love is multiplied. Expanded. Celebrated.

In 100 days I will remember the newborn baby put into my arms on a warm June day. The toddler who loved her blanket and her thumb. The ballerina with the delicate neck and toes en pointe. The pony- tailed girl in dress ups. The twelve year old who never wanted to say goodbye to the ocean or to anything or anybody. The teenager navigating the streets of London. The college student on the other side of the pond. The grown up girl figuring out the grown up world.

In 100 days I will feel all the feels and cry happy tears and know that all of the minutes and the hours and the days til here have made her ready for the now.

In 100 days that soft sweet girl in the eyelet dress begins a new chapter in the story of her life.

"Oh magnify the Lord with me. Come let us exalt His name together." Psalm 34:3

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Falling for the Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge! Everyone is welcome to play along, just answer the questions on your own blog, then add your link to the party. Here are my answers to this week's questions-

1. It's fall. Y'all. My favorite season of the year! What's something you love to do this time of year that makes you feel it's officially fall? And unrelated to that, do you ever say 'y'all'?

I love a trip to the apple orchard this time of year. A sunny day, bright blue skies, wide open spaces, and trees loaded with apples. 

We can pretty much get any kind of fruit we want year round in the year 2014, but I rarely eat an apple in the summer.  There are so many wonderful local summer fruits available I tend to save my apple eating for the fall and winter months.  

Do I say y'all? Y'all already know the answer to that. 

2. When did you last have a falling out with someone? Has it been resolved?

A falling out is defined as a fight leading to separation. I'm not a fighter, so a falling out would be a very rare thing. I suppose I have something in mind that might fall under the loose heading of a 'falling out', but it's all water under the bridge now. 

3. A song you love with the word 'fall' in its title?

Free Fallin' by Tom Petty. I won't go into the whys, but suffice it to say when I hear this song I am catapulted back to the days where my then teen age daughters would sit on the floor in our UK house, in a cozy little space tucked behind the stairs, and Daughter1 would play this song on her guitar, and Daughter2 would sing along.  The memory of music is a powerful thing. 

4. What's something you've recently let 'fall by the wayside'?

Is it awful to say housework? Because when I look around my house I'm thinking right now that answer works. A summer filled with lots of coming and going does not mesh well with daily dusting and vacuuming. 

Plus planning a wedding is way more fun than wiping baseboards, which is another reason I'm playing a little catch up around here now. 

5. When did you last attend an event, read a book, watch a movie, try a new recipe, or visit a shop-restaurant-tourist attraction that fell short of your expectations? In what way?

We haven't seen a lot of movies this summer, or come to think of it, any movies. I think the last movie that fell short of my expectation was American Hustle. So much hype, and I thought it was just eh. 

As far as books go, I did not love Gone Girl like so many apparently did. Again it was uber-hyped, and people who read it before me gave it rave reviews, so I was expecting to love it. I will say though, as I was reading I commented to a friend that I thought it might make a better movie than a book, and voila-the movie opens this weekend. I'll probably wait until it's available for rent to see it though. 

I recently made a chicken dish that I won't make again. It was given several stars on a recipe site I follow, so I expected great flavor, but hubs and I both thought it was blah. 

6. Describe a time you said or thought, 'The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."

I think and say it often about Daughter2 and myself. She and I look alike, we're both endearingly clumsy (I think it's endearing anyway), and we share a similar stubborn streak, which I will add is maybe not always as endearing as our lack of coordination-ha! 

7.  Was today better than yesterday? Why or why not?

In spite of our kitchen sink woes, yesterday was a pretty nice day. 

As is today. 

It's fall, y'all! And the weather is making me supremely happy. 

The plumber is here as I type, and apparently the clog in the pipe is not near the kitchen sink, which means this will not be a quick fix. Whoever built our house apparently held the philosophy of why run a little pipe when you can run a lot?  

Still, the weather y'all! It's hard to be irritated on a day like today, and I trust the plumber to figure out the sink mess because that's why they make the big bucks.  

Do they make big bucks? 

Sometimes it seems so, but when you've got a sink you can't unclog yourself it's all relative, right?

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Speaking of apple picking...hubs and I declared it fall and trekked out to a nearby orchard on Saturday. This is earlier than we normally go, but we were home for a change and the weather was cooperating, so off we went. I prefer apple picking in October because it's cooler and the leaves are turning, but it was still an enjoyable day.  

The scenery is gorgeous around this particular orchard, and now I have an enormous bag of apples waiting to be made into sauce, a Thanksgiving pie, and who knows what else.  Did I mention I love fall? Y'all?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 191

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

1. It's fall. Y'all. My favorite season of the year! What's something you love to do this time of year that makes you feel it's officially fall? And unrelated to that, do you ever say-'y'all'?

2. When did you last have a falling out with someone? Has it been resolved?

3. A song you love with the word 'fall' in it's title?

4. What's something you've recently let 'fall by the wayside?'

5. When did you last attend an event, read a book, watch a movie, try a new recipe, or visit a shop-town-tourist attraction that fell short of your expectations? In what way?

6. Describe a time you said or thought, 'The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."

7. Was today better than yesterday? Why or why not?

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Silver Linings

Good Morning Afternoon? It's Monday, a fact I am well aware of because life around here today is behaving like a Monday.  That being said, even on a day that feels like a Monday, and is in fact an actual Monday, I think it's good to find the silver lining.

Because there always is one.

That half full glass, the bright side, that thing cynics lack. Sometimes it smacks you in the face, and sometimes you have to look hard, but it's there. On this Monday that is full of small aggravations and problems of the first world kind, I choose to look-

It's Monday-Went to bed far too late last night because hubs and I got all caught up in finishing Season 1 of Homeland.

The Silver Lining-I still dragged myself out of bed and made it to Boot Camp at 6 AM.

It's Monday-We've got Homeland Season 2 on deck, Monday Night Football on live, and The Making of the DCC (don't judge!), The Roosevelts, and Person of Interest on our DVR. 

The Silver Lining-We are not going to get sucked in to the new Season of Homeland until the weekend. 

We're going to try not to anyway. 

It's Monday-Went to bed with a sudden and mysteriously clogged kitchen sink, and woke up to a still clogged kitchen sink. Ugh!

The Silver Lining-I popped down to the supermarket and the hardware store at 8 AM, bought Liquid Plumber (the JUMBO sized bottle) and a plunger, patted myself on the back for developing biceps and triceps in the last six months, and then I plunged and I poured and I plunged.

It's Monday-No luck. Did.not.budge. And now I'm feeling a little woozy from inhaling all those chemicals.

The Silver Lining- A real plumber is sometimes better than Liquid Plumber, and thankfully we have a local plumber we trust who will be out to save the day.

It's Monday-the day he's gonna save will be tomorrow not today, because I have now emptied half the contents of a jumbo sized bottle of the liquid variety plumber into my sink and it needs to dissipate.

The Silver Lining-just texted hubs and told him it looks like we'll be dining out tonight.

So how's your Monday so far? Can you see the silver lining or do you have to hunt for one today?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Life by Number

I saw a cute idea yesterday over on Christa's blog, which is appropriately entitled Forever Young. She wrote a post called My Life in Numbers, and while I'm more wordsmith than number cruncher, I thought it would be fun to play along. It's not often we put our life into number form, and since I'm a whole year older today (that happens overnight, right?) this seemed a good time to try.

Before I get to all those numbers, though how about a picture? That's me in the bottom right hand corner on my third birthday when big girl cousins rocked the pointy framed glasses and brothers wore belt buckles the size of NJ. Also, this confirms I have always loved coconut. And cake. And my birthday.

Now on with the numbers-

8-number of states I've lived in

15-number of cities I've lived in

2-number of countries I've lived in

100-number of miles from my closest family member

3-number of siblings I have

1-number of years older I am than my youngest sibling

7-number of years younger I am than my oldest sibling

2-number of children I have

4 (ish)-number of years I dated my husband before we tied the knot

30-number of years the knot has been tied

5-number of current magazine subscriptions

7-number of cars I've owned

65,000-population of the town I grew up in

19,000-population of the town I live in

9-number of different paying jobs I've had

30-number of years younger than my mom

30-number of years older than my youngest child

400-number of songs on my iPod

5-number of houses I've owned

1201-number of blog posts published as of now

382-number of days I am younger than my husband

10 PM-number on the clock at my normal bedtime

28-number of items completed on my 101 in 1001 list

36-number of years since my high school graduation

16-number of programs currently sitting in my DVR

2-number of times I've read the Bible from beginning to end

16-number of first cousins

807-number of photos in my iPhone camera roll

107-number of days until I become a mother-in-law

550-number of miles between home and college

15-number of books I've read so far this year

2-number of coffees in a day

4-number of pets I've owned

25-number of states I've visited

21-number of countries I've visited

20,000-number in miles I've traveled this year (or somewhere in that nearby ballpark)

Feel free to make your own list using these or any statements that work for you.  Let me know if you do, and I'll hop over and read your count. Happy Thursday!