Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Hello September Hodgepodge

Welcome to another edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you've answered the questions this week, add your link at the end of my post. Also, since we're talking common courtesy here today...please leave a comment for the blogger or two who've linked before you. Think of it as our little contribution to making Wednesdays and the world a nicer place! Here we go-


1. What's on your September calendar? Anything fun?

Well MY birthday for starters, and that's always fun. Also hubs birthday and Daughter2's birthday, so it's a birthday palooza here in September. Besides all that celebrating, hubs and I have plans to attend homecoming at our Alma Mater aaaand....we'll break ground on the house this month so whoohoo! I love September.  

2. You might be described as a natural born __________________________?

Optimist? Procrastinator? User of too many words? 

3. September is National Courtesy Month...what one act of courtesy would you most like to see more of in your home, town, or the world at large?

I think the world in general could use a refresher course in good manners. Let's quit publicly eviscerating people for expressing deeply held convictions when they don't line up with our own. Let's stop tossing around words like bigot and racist and fill-in-the-blank-with-the-most-vile-word-you can-think-of when we don't see eye to eye. Let's have a return to civil discourse.  Is that possible in the age of social media? If so I think that would be a nice place to start. 

4. Eager beaver, chicken out, clam up, or let the cat out of the bag...of the phrases listed, which one have you related to most recently?

I'm an eager beaver right now, in that I'm so ready to get going on the house. To borrow another animal phrase, I believe all our ducks are finally in a row, contracts have been signed, and we're ready for trucks to roll in and begin work. 

5. What's your movie theatre snack protocol? Do you chow down on snacks during the previews or wait until the movie begins? Do you buy snacks or refuse to pay those kind of prices? What's the last movie you saw in a theatre? How many thumbs up would you give it?

Snack protocol-ha! Hubs came up with that phrase so I cannot take credit. We always buy popcorn (no butter) and usually share a drink. I sometimes just bring a bottle of water with me, but normally we share a diet coke. Hubs always buys candy, usually Reese's Pieces, and I sometimes have candy-milk duds. I try not to eat all the snacks before the show begins, but honestly the previews now are about as long as the film so I'm not always successful at waiting.

The last movie we saw in theatres was Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. We liked it, turned my stomach to knots like the other MI flicks did, but in a good way. If you're a fan of the MI series this one won't disappoint. 

6. Henry Ford is quoted as saying, "Nobody can think straight who does not work. Idleness warps the mind." Agree or disagree? Why?

I agree with Mr. Ford. I know when I'm busy I'm much sharper than when I have too little going on. I don't think 'work' necessarily means a paying job, although it might be that. It might also be volunteering, running a household, or any sort of project or task list that needs to be thought about and completed in a timely fashion. 

7. What's the last job you completed or task you performed where you had to 'work like a dog' until it was finished?

Emptying out the NJ house we sold in June. Whew! 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Speaking of eager beavers...hubs and I walked in a nearby state park on Monday morning, and saw the trail of destruction some actual beavers left behind.  


This poor tree was not their only project. 


  I'd kind of like to see one at work...does this happen in a few minutes or a few days? 



Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 234

Today is my husband's birthday...happy birthday hubs! Also, it's time for another round of Hodgepodge questions, so here ya go-



Don't forget to hop back here tomorrow and add your link to the party! 

1. What's on your September calendar? Anything fun? 

2. You might be described as a natural born _____________________?

3. September is National Courtesy Month...what one act of courtesy would you most like to see more of in your home, town, or the world at large? 

4. Eager beaver, chicken out, clam up, or let the cat out of the bag...of the phrases listed, which one have you related to most recently? 

5. What's your movie theatre snack protocol? Do you chow down on snacks during the previews or wait until the movie begins? Do you buy snacks or refuse to pay those kind of prices? What's the last movie you saw in a theatre? How many thumbs up would you give it?

6. Henry Ford is quoted as saying, "Nobody can think straight who does not work. Idleness warps the mind." Agree or disagree? Why?

7. What's the last job you completed or task you performed where you had to 'work like a dog' until it was finished?

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Retirement-Day 183

But who's counting?

I kid! Retirement is busy. There are lots of days I wonder how hubs ever found the time to go to work every Monday through Friday, not to mention all the Saturdays and Sundays he traveled to some upside down time zone in order to be ready for a Monday morning meeting on the other side of the globe.

There are also days I think, hmmm...he needs to go to work today. He's realizing those are the days I need him to go play golf, wash the cars, or do something somewhere besides where I am.

Does that sound awful? I don't mean it to sound awful, because on the whole retirement is grand. Of course it will be grander once the house is underway, but in the interim we're livin' the high life in our cozy apartment.

There is so little to manage in terms of daily living. I can clean the entire place in an hour, and we have very little here in the way of belongings, which makes me occasionally stop and ask myself why it is exactly we're building a house? 

Oh yeah...


The water.
We need to see the water.

Hubs and I realized after moving in here that the layout of this apartment is almost identical to the very first apartment we lived in as newlyweds.

Except we have actual furniture here, not plants pretending to be furniture, wooden crates picked up on the side of the road, or a T.V. with an antennae that needs adjusting. We don't have jobs to go to everyday either, which is both a pro and a con.

Not so much a con really, just something that requires a little figuring out and of course we're only in this setting temporarily, so no sense diving too deeply into much more than the house build for now. Hubs has plans to do something, and I have plans to do something, but first we supervise-ha!

Other items I've noted in our temporary digs-

I have an electric stove here and am so not a fan. I grew up with an electric stove, but our house in the UK had a gas cooktop and my house in NJ also had a gas cooktop, and once you've cooked on gas you only want to cook on gas. My lake house will have gas.

I'd kind of forgotten about that whole hauling thing apartment living requires. Maybe blocked is a better word, because I did move my girls no less than fourteen times from dorm room to storage unit to apartment to storage unit and back again not so long ago. We're now living on the second floor, and I've successfully re-mastered the skill of carrying seventeen sacks from the car in one trip in order to avoid going back a second time.

Our mail is in a central location here, a box with a key that I check every day like I did when I was in college. No care packages from my mom though, just bills, junk mail, and people confirming our change of address.

There's a lovely pool on site, and a really nice gym too, so hubs and I are taking advantage of both. Most of the time we have them to ourselves, because hey! retirement!

We sent all of our belongings (except for our clothes) to storage and we're living with rentals. A short list of things I wish I'd thrown in the car and brought with me would include a corkscrew, my hand mixer, a pastry brush, spatula, wooden spoon, my iron, and my microplane. Each day I think of just one more thing I should have thought to add to the car, but then I remember there was only exactly enough space left for me in the vehicle when we headed south. Also, the movers packed up my kitchen before I completely thought it through.

Where are my bathing suits?

We've spent a fair amount of time here trying to locate documents and various and sundry items we know we packed or locked in one of our umpteen lock boxes, and this place is not that big, so you'd think getting your hands on what you need would be simple, but no. Still a lot of emptying boxes and then emptying them again later because you are sure that's where you put xyz, but for some reason xyz isn't where you remember putting it.

Attempting to register with a family doctor has been a wee bit trying. More than one physician's office has instructed me to download new patient forms from their website, complete them, and send them back for review. The Dr. will review my 'application' and I'll hear back in 3-4 weeks as to whether or not I'm in. What??? Hello 2015!

We are hopefully nearing the end of the paperwork hoops we have to jump through to break ground on the house, and will sign our actual contract with pricing and all the dotted lines on Tuesday. In this period of trying to transfer everything including our very own selves from one state to another, I'm glad hubs is retired and available to handle some of the icky phone calls and general nonsense like car tags, title transfers, and contracts that need reviewing and tweaking. Normally he's working and that's all my domain.

In this season of retirement though, I'm happy to share.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Deep End Of The Hodgepodge

It's that time again...time for The Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you've answered this week's questions, add your link at the end of my post, then go see what your friends and neighbors had to say. Here we go-


1.  It's hard to believe, but next week's Hodgepodge will find us in the month of September. What's one thing you want, need, or hope to do still before summer officially ends?

I surely would love to put my toes in the sand, but sadly I don't see that happening in the next four weeks.  

2.  When were you last at 'your wit's end?'

That would be two days ago, Monday. We had some secure documents to download and sign, but could not access them without updating our browser. Easy enough, right? Ha! The update took for-ev-ah, and then once the browser was updated our printer wouldn't work. After much searching and hand wringing and punching of buttons because that's what I do when you put a keyboard or remote in front of me, we discovered there's no updated software to make this particular printer compatible with the new browser. Aaargh!!

3. Describe a time you were figuratively thrown into 'the deep end'?

I associate this expression with work, so maybe my very first job as a speech pathologist after graduating from uni. I had something like 100 kids on my caseload, which felt a little like swimming in the deep end. I loved it though. I've always liked the deep end. 

4.  Does the end always, ever, or never justify the means? Explain.

Well I never say never, but this is a case where I'm tempted. I feel like that saying is almost always used as an excuse for bad behavior, but I suppose there might be an exception. Maybe in some extreme situation where a child's life is in danger? 

5. What makes your hair stand on end?

People doing crazy adrenaline fueled 'tricks' like sleeping in a hammock on the literal side of a cliff.  Pretty much everything pictured on this website here makes my hair stand on end, my heart race, and my hands go all clammy. 

6. I read an article on the website Eat This! Health, that listed 11 foods we can eat to help end bad moods. Basically it's a feed your brain so you're less anxious, grouchy, and lethargic. The foods are-mussels, swiss chard, blue potatoes, grass fed beef, dark chocolate, greek yogurt, asparagus, honey, cherry tomatoes, eggs, and coconut. Which of those do you think would most help end your own bad mood? Which do you fear, if forced to eat, would put you into a bad mood?

I've never had blue potatoes, but since I never met a potato I didn't like I'm sure that's true. I like everything listed, except maybe swiss chard. I don't think it would send me into a bad mood though, as long as you served me some grass fed beef and asparagus too. 

Which would most help end my own bad mood? Dark chocolate and coconut, together please. There are few things in this world that cannot be improved upon with some good dark chocolate. 

7. What project around your home, office, or life in general feels like there is 'no end in sight'?

We're building a house, trying to anyway, so 'nuff said. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

On the bright side, our dock is under construction and nearing completion.


The builder should have it installed before summertime officially ends, so whoohoo! 



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Monday Throwback-Another Week, Another State

If you're here for the Hodgepodge Questions you'll find them just before this post.

A week ago
todayyesterday we were here-


In Tennessee. 

Let's recap. We moved from North Jersey to South Jersey to South Carolina, but made trips to Canada, Maine, and Tennessee in between. Or at the same time. Whatever. 

Also, it's not Monday, it's Tuesday but I started this post on Monday prior to upgrading our browser and entering all kinds of technology h-e-double hockey sticks, which is why I'm now posting a throwback Monday should be Thursday, on a Tuesday.  
Keep up people!

Hubs hometown recently constructed a brand new high school, and they were hosting an all-years reunion to mark the occasion. We trekked over to Tennessee to check it out, and also to visit with family since we were in the neighborhood. 

Neighborhood is defined very broadly when you're us. 


My father-in-law had celebrated a birthday earlier in the week, so his boys took him out for his favorite fried catfish supper. We ate at Allisons, which is a fun little spot in Friendsville, TN and is only open in the summertime, and only on the weekends. You've gotta go while the gettin' is good. 

We spent most of Saturday doing reunion-y type activities, and then on Sunday had a most relaxing day right here-


Back porch sittin'. 
Is there anything better? 


My brother-in-law is a master of The Big Green Egg, and hubs played sous chef while they grilled some truly outstanding ribs. 

We were missing the only girl child in the family, but I did get a picture of my in-laws with all their boys. I'm pretty sure there's an extra star in my mother-in-law's heavenly crown since these boys gave her a run for her money in their growing up years.  


Occasionally they still do. ahem


We drove around looking for signs of wildlife, but all we found was a Tree of Lost Soles. It was a nice low key weekend with beautiful scenery, wonderful meals, and sweet time with family. 


Knowing we only had a three hour drive home, as opposed to our usual 12, was delcious icing on the proverbial cake.  

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 233

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


1. It's hard to believe, but next week's Hodgepodge will find us in the month of September. What's one thing you want, need, or hope to do still before summer officially ends?

2. When were you last at 'your wit's end'?

3. Describe a time you were figuratively thrown into 'the deep end'?

4. Does the end always, ever, or never justify the means? Explain.

5. What makes your hair stand on end?

6. I read an article on the website Eat This! Health, that listed 11 foods we can eat to help end bad moods. Basically it's a feed your brain so you're less anxious, grouchy and lethargic. The foods are-mussels, swiss chard, blue potatoes, grass fed beef, dark chocolate, greek yogurt, asparagus, honey, cherry tomatoes, eggs, and coconut. Which of those do you think would most help end your own bad mood? Which do you fear, if forced to eat, would put you into a bad mood?

7. What project around your home, office, or life in general feels like there is 'no end in sight'?

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Throwback Thursday-The Return Trip

Can you call it a throwback if it happened only twenty days ago?


I like to make my own rules here in blogland so the answer is yes. The thing is, I was looking through my draft file and found some pics from our trip back to NJ from Canada via Maine before we moved to South Carolina, and who doesn't want to hear about that?


When last we spoke (on this topic) hubs and I were in Prince Edward Island for a friend's daughter's wedding. We didn't get to stay on PEI nearly long enough, because we needed to move south, but we did manage an overnight in St. John, N.B, and then two nights at our friend's house in Maine.


I was never interested in Maine as a kid, or even as an adult until more recently. I've known people who vacation there every summer, but in my mind Maine was too far north and far too chilly and the beaches were rocky and the water frigid, and none of that sounded like summertime fun to me.

I was so wrong.


I mean I was correct in that it is far, far north and it's chilly compared to say Florida, and yes the beaches are rocky and the water cool by southern standards, but somehow those factors combine to make for a super relaxed, outdoorsy, creation-is-so-unbelievably-amazing, kind of place that speaks right to my soul.


Oh and there's a lighthouse. Don't you just love a beautiful lighthouse? We spent a few hours one day, walking the coastal trail around the Portland Head Light and the scenery is absolutely stunning. 


Hubs and our friend climbed down onto the beach and skipped rocks, because the sea was calling.


There's a technique to skipping stones and hubs has it mastered.


Pretty sure it's all in the wrist. 

We had dinner one night at the local lobster pound, and fresh lobster never ever disappoints. Hubs had a whole lobster, they called it a newbie, which meant the shell could be cracked by hand-no tools required. 

                                       

Normally eating lobster is a fairly messy proposition (at least if you're me it is), with bits of shell flying, and butter dripping and splashing, but this was so much better. You didn't need a shower when you finished. 

I'm not the only one am I? 


Maine is full of some of the most beautiful views on planet Earth. I see why authors like Maine. It's mysterious. Nature looms large here, a character in the play of life. The sea crashes with great drama along the rocky, rugged shoreline, but the cool night air is soft and whispers in your ear...slow down.....breathe deeply...sit for a while.  


Maine, as it turns out, understands summer very well.