Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Spooktacular Hodgepodge

'Twas the Hodgepodge before Halloween, and all through the web...

So glad you've joined in this week, October's last Hodgepodge hurrah! Next week we're into November and all things gratitude, turkey and wedding.  

That last bit might just be me. 

If you've answered the questions today, add your link at the end of my post.  Then go say hi to the blogger who linked before you because everybody loves company.  Here we go-


1. My hubs spent last weekend pheasant hunting. Are there hunters in your family? If so, what do they hunt? Which of the following have you tasted-pheasant, rabbit, venison, duck, goose? Which of those would you most like to taste or be most willing to taste?

Vegetarians keep calm and Hodgepodge on.

Hubs enjoys the great outdoors, but is not a big hunter. He really loved the pheasant hunt though, so perhaps there is more of that in his future. Not deer hunting because deer are like family in our neck of the woods.  

That being said I have tasted venison and it's okay. I've tasted all of the above with the exception of rabbit and I really have no interest in trying that one. Course if you served it to me I'd try it, but I wouldn't order it in a restaurant if there were other options. 

I like duck, but am not a big fan of goose. Unless we're talking roasted potatoes with Sunday lunch like they serve in the UK...pretty sure they cook those in goose fat which is what makes them so completely delicious.  

2. What high spot have you visited that gave you a wonderful 'bird's eye view' of something below?

I started to answer this question and realized there were far too many to name. I have a lot of favorite high places, and I think I might give them their own blog post one day soon. Or not soon, but eventually. For today let's keep it simple and go with the one closest to home-



Highpoint...the literal highest point in NJ. It's a great place to hike, you can see NJ, Pennsylvania, and New York from up here, and the surrounding parkland is gorgeous. 

3. Do you have any birds in your home? These could be either real live pets or decorative, as in prints, fabrics, knickknacks, or pottery.

I don't have any birds as pets, although I do refer to the hawk who lives in our backyard tree tops as mine. I love incorporating birds into my decor. We have a couple of Audubon prints in our dining room, framed bird prints in my sunroom and powder room both, and wooden duck decoys in the office. 

I also have a real live bird dog, who can most often be found in her favorite chair, but who also loves to be out stalking birds, squirrels, rabbits, fox, groundhogs, and the occasional fly away plastic grocery bag.



Everyone wave to Dixie.  

4. Tell about a time you killed two birds with one stone.

These kinds of things are always a little hard to come up with off the top of my head. Kinda lame, but a couple of weeks ago hubs needed something from the hardware store and he was going to trek north to a place we frequent. However we were going to grab breakfast at the diner first, and that's south. Then I remembered there was a hardware store practically next door to the diner, so we sort of killed two birds with one stone. We avoided going both north and south in the space of an hour so that was nice. 

5. Your favorite song with a bird in it's title?

Freebird by Lynrd Skynyrd. Everyone knows this one, right? If not, you can listen here, but be forewarned it's gonna shave 9 minutes off your life. Back in the 1970's lots of songs went on for more than two and a half minutes. 

6. What most recently gave you goose bumps?

I can't think of a thing. 

Check back with me on Friday...I've heard talk of a snow shower, but lalalalala.

7. Halloween is this Friday...any plans? Did you trick or treat as a child? Carve pumpkins? Share your most memorable costume.

This is the first Halloween we've been in town for a while so our plan is to dole out candy to the brave, athletically inclined children who hike up our steep drive in the dark of night.  I might make a pot of chili or some kind of soup because it's supposed to get cold here Friday evening. When my girls were growing up we always had chili on Halloween, something warm before they headed out for candy collecting with the hubs and other dads/kids in our little cul-de-sac. 

Did I trick or treat as a child? Of course. Just ask my dentist. We'd go in a big group and walk for what felt like miles, but was probably more like blocks. I grew up in a big neighborhood with sidewalks and street lamps and a more innocent world all the way round, so trick or treating was a much anticipated event. My dad usually carved the pumpkin, but we helped scoop out the guts. 

My most memorable costume was the year I wore a Japanese kimono and wooden shoes, and one of those plastic masks over my face that made it hard to see. The kimono made it hard to walk and I was chased and knocked down by a big German Shepherd. Good times! 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

How 'bout a throw back, Halloween style? That's the bride-to-be on the right, with her maid of honor on the left-


October 31, 1991. 
Be still my heart. 





Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 196

Here are the questions to this week's Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog then hop back here tomorrow to share answers with the universe. See you there!


1. My hubs spent last weekend pheasant hunting. Are there hunters in your family? If so, what do they hunt? Which of the following have you tasted-pheasant, rabbit, venison, duck, goose? Which of those would you most like to taste, or be most willing to taste?

Vegetarians keep calm and Hodgepodge on.

2. What high spot have you visited that gave you a wonderful 'bird's eye view' of something below?

3.  Do you have any birds in your home? These could be either real live pets or decorative, as in bird prints, knickknacks, fabric or pottery.

4. Tell about a time you 'killed two birds with one stone'?

5. Your favorite song with a bird in it's title?

6. What most recently gave you goose bumps?

7. Halloween is this Friday...any plans? Did you trick or treat as a child? Carve pumpkins? Share your most memorable costume.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, October 27, 2014

All Over the Map. Per Usual.

Why did I schedule a dental appointment for first thing Monday morning after a weekend away? Ugh. But done so that's something.

So here's what last week looked like. Get up in the dark of night Wednesday to drop hubs at Newark Airport for his trip to South Dakota. I know. Who goes to South Dakota? No offense South Dakotans, but it's just not a place most East Coasters ever get to see.

Unless they pheasant hunt.
We'll get back to that.

I left the airport and drove another hour and a half down to my mom's house in South Jersey, arriving just in time for breakfast. Like I said...early. My mom had a lot on her calendar Wednesday so the pup and I went for a walk, napped, and read while she was out. Thursday I drove another 2 1/2 hours down to DC to my daughters, stopping en route to pick up her car key from the detailer so that once I picked her up from the Metro we could then get back in rush hour traffic and collect her actual car. Keep up people! After we got the car we decided to have a leisurely dinner and allow some of the commuters time to get off the road. Not sure that ever happens around the Beltway, but by 8 PM it was some better.

Daughter1 went to work on Friday and I got busy packing up her share of the townhouse. In my head I had imagined this job being fairly quick and painless. Ha! Midway through the day I had to go to Home Depot and get a few more supplies. Have mercy!!, the traffic y'all. No wonder our politicians are all cranky. Home Depot is about 3 miles from my girl's house, but everybody's going somewhere, all at the same time, all the time it seems. I file these thoughts onto the 'reasons to be happy Daughter1 is moving out of DC' list I keep in my head. It's a short list, but the fact that she will leave all this traffic behind makes me a little bit happy. I know people talk about Seattle traffic, but a) she's not moving to Seattle, so won't be driving in it every day, and b) in terms of traffic DC trumps the state with a similar name by a mile.

Did you come here to read about traffic?

Even though there was a lot to get done, I had a nice time with my girl. Chatting, planning, working our way through a bag of Cow Tales. In our defense it was a small bag. She still has more packing to do, but we made a big huge dent in the process this past weekend. I'll be trekking back to DC next week to accompany her to her final dress fitting in the store, finish up the last bits of packing, and then bringing her home to NJ. Whoohoo! So excited to have her sleeping in her bed upstairs for a solid week before she flies to SC and then out to Washington State, and then back to SC, and then back to NJ with her sister for Christmas.

We won't think too hard about airplanes and Ebola.

Meanwhile, in South Dakota...hubs and some buds had a manly man's weekend pheasant hunting in the wilds of The Mount Rushmore State. He did not see Mount Rushmore, but he did come home with some beautiful birds.

If you're squeamish about such things don't look-


And don't open my freezer which is full of birds.

With a wing still on, which kind of skeeves me out so I'm avoiding the freezer too. Apparently one wing has to be left on for travel in case you're inspected. They need to know you only took males as it's illegal to take the hens.


And yes we plan to eat them, but I don't think I'll manage the whole 'under glass' thing. Remember in the old cartoons they were always serving pheasant under glass? Did I just date myself? Ours will likely be marinated in something and perhaps wrapped in bacon because we've heard they can be dry, and bacon makes everything deliciously moist. If you have a recipe you love send it my way.

Hubs had a wonderful time, and was overdue for some R & R. Of course he made friends with all the hunting dogs and no he did not wear flip flops in the field. He said I'd have loved taking pictures out there, so maybe one of these days.


With a side trip to Mt. Rushmore though, because if I'm going all the way to South Dakota I'm going to see the faces carved into a granite mountainside.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Lite

I'm not going to bother and explain again!!  how my blog has become a series of lists, Hodgepodges,and fragments lately. I choose instead to embrace the busy, full-heart season of life we are living and record what I can. Friday Fragments work for me right now. When emotions are big and sloppy, and running a little bit helter skelter, I think blogging about the curiosities, wonders, and minutiae of life is easier and somewhat therapeutic.

I'm blogging from my IPad, which I find incredibly frustrating. I'm not having a lot of luck (skill??) getting the button here today, but if you want to join the party you're invited here, Half Past Kissin' Time, to share your own random. 

So this is happening...


Don't be jealous...I'm at my Daughter1's house helping her pack.
I cannot look her roommate in the eye. 


These friends, y'all. 


So so special. 

We're also addressing wedding invitations this weekend, invitations custom designed with much tender loving care, by the bride herself. They are absolutely beautiful. Pretend there's a picture inserted here because no, I'm not posting a picture here. Sometime after the big day, which incidentally is less than 80 days away but who's counting???, I'll post lots of pictures and too many details, but for now we're keeping mum. 

Like I said up there...let's talk stuff and nonsense instead of friendships that run deep and baby girls in white dresses moving cross country. 

I feel like I should know what Apple Pay is all about but true confession, I really don't. I've been getting emails from various businesses like my bank and Paneras saying it's here! We accept it!, but I haven't bothered reading up on what it actually is. Perhaps I should.

Essential oils. Something else I feel like I should know about but don't. They've been mentioned in several different blog posts I've read recently, and I'm more or less clueless. Other than to know they have something to do with our health. And they're oils. And apparently essential. I'm interested in knowing more about this one. 

And lastly, because those boxes are not going to pack themselves... A friend sent me this link to a VW ad filmed in a Hong Kong theatre. The theatre asked patrons to leave their cell phones ON when they entered the movie. Using that, Volkswagen made a pretty powerful ad...now if only people would think about it when they're behind the wheel. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

As The Hodgepodge Turns

Welcome to the HP! Thanks for playing along today. Be sure to add your link at the end of my post IF you've answered this week's questions.  Don't forget to pop over and leave a comment for the blogger who linked before you, because we're nice like that here. Happy Wednesday everyone!


1. Elizabeth Lawrence is quoted as saying, "Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn." So have you done just that? And what did you leave undone in order to do so?

It's impossible not to when you live in my part of the Garden State.  The color right now is glorious and I'm a little amazed I get anything done other than watching the leaves turn.  I could stand in front of my kitchen door or sit on my patio for hours this time of year. Friday night hubs and I sat out back around the firepit and took it all in. We definitely savor this season.  

What's left undone? I'm not sure, but if I had to guess I'd say housework. 

2. Since we're talking turning...what is one thing you feel you're doing 'every time you turn around'?

Emptying the dishwasher. There are only two of us living here at the moment and we eat some meals out. How is it we are always filling up the dishwasher? 

3. How hard is it for you to 'turn the other cheek'?

I try to always turn the other cheek, but it's harder in some instances than others. I am not a person who retaliates when I've been wronged, but I do carry the hurt around for sometimes longer than I should. Sometimes I know a person has lashed out because they themselves are carrying a heavy load, and I'm just a handy target. I can forgive pretty easily when I know there is a back story. It's harder when I feel like the offender had no real excuse for their bad behavior. 

4. When did you last turn a drawer, your car, a room, or your entire house upside down in order to find something? Did you find it?

I recently misplaced my car keys and turned all my purses inside out, emptied the desk drawer where keys are kept, searched all my coat pockets, re-searched all those places again, and nothing. We have an extra set, but my house key was on the original so that was a bit worrisome. The thing is, I knew I used the key to get into the house so it had to be here somewhere.  

A few days later I opened another desk drawer and there they were. Why? I have no idea. Honestly, I don't remember putting them there. We've lived in this house for five years, and my keys have always been kept in one spot. To make things worse, a few days after that I realized I'd done the very same thing again. At least this time I knew where to look-ha! For the record, I blame wedding brain. I'm sure it has nothing to do with age or hormones. 

5. 'One good turn deserves another'...were you most recently on the giving or receiving end of that sentiment?

I can't think of anything specific, but I know when driving in traffic I appreciate this sentiment. It gives me such a warm feeling when someone lets me pull out in front of them into heavy traffic. It also inspires me to do the same when the opportunity comes my way. That's a small example, but I think small kindnesses are what make a day brighter. 

Heaven knows this cranky world could stand more kindness.

6. Red, yellow, and orange are the colors of fall. And also fruit. If you were permitted only one color of fruit in your diet which would you choose? This question isn't as easy as it sounds, at least not for me.

I love fruit in every color so this is a toughie. I think I'm going with red though, because as much as I'd miss a banana or a ripe juicy peach, I cannot imagine a summer without watermelon. Or cherries. And what would cranberry bread be without the cranberry? I also love grapes, apples, and red plums so red it is. 

I need to say though, I'd miss bananas, peaches and clementines a lot. 

Also, I'm not good at these pick one questions. 

7. The Hunt for Red October, October Sky, Halloween...which October film is your favorite?

Halloween came out when I was a freshman in college. Wow. It's old. I did not like scary movies then (no matter how ridiculous or far-fetched) and I don't like them now, so definitely not Halloween. I like The Hunt for Red October, but that's one of those films hubs always stops to watch if he spots it while scrolling through the TV guide. Let's just say I've seen it enough to last me for a while.  I love October Sky. It's based on the life of Homer Hickam, (Jake Gyllenhaal plays the lead), and if you've never seen it I highly recommend. Great story! 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Question #3 made me think of that Matthew West song called Forgiveness. The lyrics are so good and so true...'it always goes to those who don't deserve....' that's what makes the whole turning the other cheek thing so hard, right? 


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 195

It's that time again. Here are the questions for this week's Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then hop back here tomorrow to share answers. See you there!


1. Elizabeth Lawrence is quoted as saying, 'Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn." So have you done just that? And what did you leave undone in order to do so?

2. Since we're talking turning...what's one thing you feel you're doing 'every time you turn around'?

3. How hard is it for you to 'turn the other cheek?'

4. When did you last turn a drawer, your car, a room, or your entire house upside down looking for something? Did you find it?

5. 'One good turn deserves another'...were you most recently on the giving or receiving end of that sentiment?

6. Red, yellow, and orange are the colors of fall. Also the colors of fruit. If you were permitted only one color of fruit in your diet, which would you choose? This question isn't as easy as it sounds, at least not for me.

7. The Hunt for Red October, October Sky, Halloween...which 'October' film is your favorite?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, October 20, 2014

October Goodness

The thermometer on my car read 37 degrees when I left for boot camp this morning. And it seems like almost overnight (no pun intended) the mornings are pitch black. It takes a little more umph to get up and out from under my toasty covers, but then I remember my m.o.b. dress and that pretty much does it.


Plus when you're up and out early you get to see this...


That's sunrise for those of you who sleep til 9.
Does anyone actually sleep til 9?


It was another beautiful fall weekend in our neck of the woods.


I love October.


When I let the pup out on Saturday morning it was gusty, and FYI-here's why they call it 'fall'.


I don't know if that's true or not, but it seems like it should be. Hubs will twitch from now until every last leaf is down. We have millions, and he doesn't like to see so much as a single one lying on the grass. A typical conversation when we pull in to the driveway after being out for a few hours goes something like this-

Hubs- 'Look at the mess on the yard!'
I spy three leaves and say, 'What mess???'
to which he replies, 'All those leaves, just look at all those leaves.'

Nature you mean?  If he had his way our lawn guys would do a fall clean up three times a week. Shh...don't tell hubs, but I love a windy day when the leaves swirl. Our back woods are positively dancing right now, and I try to soak it all in because in another month these trees will be bare. That's pretty in its own way, but cannot compare to a forest of October trees.


Hubs was traveling last week so we had a quiet evening at home Friday night.  It was just the right kind of weather for a fire out back...


...and maybe a marshmallow or two.  So glad I married a boy scout. 


For the record, I was a camp counselor and can build a pretty mean fire too, but no need when hubs is home. I think a love of fire is present at birth, part of a little boy's DNA they never quite outgrow.


We spent all day Saturday at the 94th running of the Far Hills Horse Race. It's a steeplechase and a really fun day. Judging from my hair you might think I was actually riding, but no...just a very breezy day.


We were in a corporate tent with a great viewing spot, beautiful decor, a delicious breakfast and lunch, and the added perk of our own restroom. Port-a-pottys are for the young, drunk, or desperate and we were none of those on Saturday.


The temperature dropped on Sunday and we watched a lot of football from the comfort of our cozy couch. Shout out to our favorite Tennessee VOL Peyton Manning, for throwing TD # 509, and breaking the NFL record held by Brett Favre. Whoohoo! We won't even mention here the current Volunteer team's performance on Saturday. ahem.

So, what happened in your little corner this weekend, and most importantly, are the trees showing off? Are you happy to live in a world with Octobers?