Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Beauty and the Hodgepodge Beast

Welcome to this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge, the last one in the month of March if you can believe that! Thanks for playing along today...if you've answered the questions add your link at the end of my post, then leave a comment for the blogger before you. Here we go-




1. 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder'  What's something you've seen recently that you thought was beautiful?

The view here never gets old. Monday evening hubs and I sat on the dock after dinner and it was so quiet and still. The lake was like glass and I thought the cloud reflection was really beautiful. I'm obsessed with a pretty sky. 



2. Our culture and beauty...your thoughts?

I think our culture has a distorted view of what real beauty is. Think about when you feel most beautiful. Do you have to be completely put together or can you feel beautiful hiking in a ball cap? 

As much as I love dressing up and especially someone else fixing my hair! I think its also possible to feel beautiful while looking less than perfect. In my mind, beauty is more about how we feel on the inside than how we look on the outside, although that's not neccessarily what society tells us. We have to fight (mostly with ourselves) against the message promoted in advertising, television, Instagram!, etc. that only perfection=beauty. 

I will say it helps a lot to have a spouse who thinks you're beautiful, even when your hair won't cooperate or you're a blubbering mess over something ridiculous. 

3. Age before beauty, beauty queen, beauty mark, beauty sleep...which beauty-ful phrase resonates with you today? Why?

Remember being 20-something and having the ability to stay up all hours of the night and still look fresh as a daisy the next morning? Yeah. Your 50's not so much, which is why I'm going with beauty sleep. 

4. I read here a list of the top ten beasts that scare us the most-

alligators, coyotes, black bears, birds (but pigeons in particular), sharks, bats, bed bugs, rats, rattlesnakes, and the black widow spider. 

Which 'beast' on the list scares you the most? What is the likelihood of you having an actual encounter with that particular beast? Did a movie contribute to your fear of this creature? Have you ever had a real life encounter with any of the animals listed?

I'm going to say bats. I know they eat mosquitos and for that I'm grateful, but I hate the erratic swooping and dipping thing they do. There's something about bats that gives me the heebie jeebies. 

We have bear and coyote here, but they keep their distance. Black bears are amazing creatures and I had one or three lumber through my NJ yard on a regular basis. We have copperheads here, and pretty sure it's smart to have a healthy fear of copperheads. I haven't seen one, but they're here. Hoping I never encounter one up close and personal! 

I do swim in the ocean when I'm vacationing beach side, so I suppose a shark encounter isn't out of the question, but it's also highly unlikely.  

5. Where were you when you last heard a bell ring? Was it alarming or musical?

We have a grandfather clock that chimes on the hour, and no it's not alarming. 

6. What's your favorite carb? How's that for random?

Popcorn! 

7. Let's wrap up another month of Hodgepodging and life with an acrostic. Recap your month using the word MARCH.

Making memories
And
Relishing time with grown
Children at
Home

8.  Insert  your own random thought here. 

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned I was having two chairs reupholstered. They're back and I love the change! Here are some before and after shots for anyone who's interested in that sort of thing. 

Here's a before shot of my recliner.  The only photo I could find was covered in Christmas presents and a pile of throws, but I think you can see the plaid in shades of green, red, navy, and gold. The fabric wasn't awful, but the chair just never felt like it belonged until now. 



The guest room where the newly covered recliner now sits has navy bedding and a window treatment with some navy in the stripe. It looks like a brand new chair to me. 


The other chair we had recovered is what we lovingly refer to in our house as the dog's chair. Our pup claimed the most comfortable seat in the house from day one, and we gave up trying to coax her out of it. This chair was her happy place until the day we had to tell her goodbye. That's Daughter2's dog in a blanket on the rug, which is her happy place. 


I mentioned how the ottoman that went with this club chair disappeared during the move. It went on the truck in NJ but did not come off the truck in SC, and thankfully my upholstery guy here said he could make one. He did an excellent job and I absolutely LOVE this fabric, and the way the chair looks now. 


It's a slightly nubby fabric in a blue green shade called sea glass. There's a little bit of that same color in my rug and also in the window treatments in our master bedroom, although you can't tell from this photo.  It's nearly impossible to take a photo in this house that accurately portrays color, because of all the light and water and reflection, but still I try. 



Was reupholstering less expensive than buying new? Depends on many factors including your personal style (there are inexpensive chairs out there), and especially your fabric selection. This fabric was pricier than the navy, but it was so worth it. Even though you can't tell from my photo! 



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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge-Volume 302

The Wednesday Hodgepodge is rolling around again, and you'll find this week's questions below. Answer on your own blog then hop back here tomorrow to add your link to the party. See you there!



1. 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder'  What's something you've seen recently that you thought was beautiful?

2. Our culture and beauty...your thoughts?

3. Age before beauty, beauty queen, beauty mark, beauty sleep...which beauty-ful phrase resonates with you today? Why?

4. I read here a list of the top ten beasts animals that scare us the most-

alligators, coyotes, black bears, birds (but pigeons in particular), sharks, bats, bed bugs, rats, rattlesnakes, and the black widow spider. 

Which 'beast' on the list scares you the most? What is the liklihood of you having an actual encounter with that particular beast? Did a movie contribute to your fear of this creature? Have you ever had a real life encounter with any of the animals listed?

5. Where were you when you last heard a bell ring? Was it alarming or musical?

6. What's your favorite carb? How's that for random?

7. Let's wrap up another month of Hodgepodging and life with an acrostic. Recap your month using the word MARCH.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Tale As Old As Saturday

Let's begin this Monday morning with a little beauty. That's Beauty with a capital B. I saw the film on Saturday, and I have some thoughts. I don't think I'll spoil anything for those of you who haven't seen it, because how can you spoil a tale as old as time that everybody already knows? The film remains true to the original storyline, which in my book is always a good thing.

My girls and I were so excited when we heard Disney was doing a live action version of one of our favorite stories. This particular 'video' was watched again and again in our house back in the day, and I really wanted to see it with my daughters. Sadly it didn't come out in theatres until the day before Daughter1 had to fly back to WA, so not happening. Thankfully hubs feels all the feels too, about those long ago days of little girls in the house, so he said he'd take me and that's how we spent our Saturday afternoon.

Beauty and the Beast. I absolutely loved it. Everything about this movie...Emma Watson is perfection in the role of Belle...the music, the scenery, the casting, everything...if you loved the original you will love this version too. I do think children under the age of seven or so would probably enjoy the cartoon version more, since live action is always more sophisticated than a cartoon.

I know there was a whole lotta ruckus prior to the film's release, and here's my .02 on that-

Besides all the warm feelings and nostalgia this movie stirs up in me (and there were a lot! A lot-a lot!), I think the basic message of this film is a really good one.

Belle is friendly and kind. The townspeople find her a bit odd, but she has confidence in who she is and doesn't allow their feelings to define her.

Belle treats her father with honor and respect.

Belle lives in a small village, but is curious about the world around her. She reads books to discover what else is out there in the great wide somewhere.

Belle values inward beauty over outward good looks.

Belle is unselfish. She forgoes her own plans (hurrying home to her Father) to help someone who initially wasn't all that nice to her.

Aren't these the sorts of messages we want our daughters to hear??? 

Don't we all encounter a 'beast' from time to time? 

I know Disney isn't perfect, but honestly if I hadn't known about the fuss prior to seeing the film, it would have gone right over my head. It's only a thing if you want to make it a thing, but of course in America we like to make everything a thing.

The movie is so well done, and when the credits rolled I looked at hubs and said if they run it again right now I'll stay and watch. We didn't, but I could have.

If you have grown up girls who once upon a time loved to dress up and sing and act out the movies they watched, then this one will get you right in the heart. Bring a tissue.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Beauty and Adventure In The Great Wide Somewhere

It's a lazy gray Sunday afternoon so I thought I'd spend my time wisely and blog. I've already had a nap and watching the Florida-SC game was making me tense so here I am.

Hubs and I have been in the new house for about four months now, but we really haven't gotten to explore too much in the nearby area. Weekends have been filled with other 'stuff'...unpacking-travel-houseguests-holidays-illness...you get the idea. Also I've blabbed about it at least twenty times, maybe more.


There's an abundance of waterfalls in our little corner of the world, and I'm determined to see them all. A few are better enjoyed by boat, but we can get to those later. We chose something nearby on Saturday and off we went.



Issaqueena Falls.


There's a legend behind the name and it goes something like this-Issaqueena was a Creek Indian maiden, and way back when the Cherokee made an attempt to kidnap her. The Cherokee believed evil spirits lived in waterfalls, so she supposedly saved herself by hiding on the ledge just behind these falls.


Naturally hubs needed to venture across the slippery rock to stand behind the falls while I did my usual helpful thing and shouted, 'Don't fall!' He didn't.


It's a steep rocky scramble down to the bottom of the falls, and why do I always get behind a dad toting a baby on his back? Makes me sweat worse than the hike down.


We knew there was an old tunnel nearby that was worth checking out so we asked a couple of people if we could walk from the falls and they looked at us like we were crazy. We drove, but turns out it was less than half a mile and we could have easily walked. Maybe they noticed I was already sweating (that baby in the backpack y'all!) so they suggested we drive?


Stumphouse Tunnel is cool! It's not often you get to walk inside a mountain, and I was glad I had my jacket with me. The temperature drops quite a bit as you go further in.


It's  DARK!, which makes it just a little bit spooky. Also I was silently freaking out thinking bats might call this place home,  so I stuck close to hubs.


Stumphouse is an unfinished railroad tunnel started before the Civil War and intended to create a train line running from Anderson SC to Knoxville TN. They quit working on the tunnel in 1859 when the legislature refused to fund more construction.

Hmmm...everything old is new again-ha!

Fun fact-Clemson University acquired the tunnel in the early 1950's and cured blue cheese there. They still make blue cheese, but have recreated the tunnel environment in an on campus setting.

You know, if you don't hike you miss a lot of local history and natural beauty.

And if you don't pop back here tomorrow you'll miss my thoughts on another kind of beauty.
The kind named Belle. See you here!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A 30's-80's-Last Week Throwback

I have three things (more or less) to post that I think qualify as throwbacks, all baby related but I believe that's allowed since I'm going to be a grandmother.

First things first...my mother-in-law brought hubs and I a little gift when she was here for the shower. Technically it's for Baby M when he makes his appearance, and grows big enough to sit in a rocking chair, but we're going to keep it at our house.


This was my mother-in-law's rocker when she was a little girl-


Hubs and all his siblings rocked away in it too when they were small, and I'm excited for my grandson to rock there like a boss. Also, is this what you picture when you hear the word great- grandma? Ours are beauties with hearts to match.


Second thing next...this basket y'all!!

 I 'borrowed' this photo from my crafty friend's FB page because it shows all the goodies so well. 

A friend of mine in NJ put this together for my daughter, and I think also a little bit for me. I know I loved it every bit as much as my daughter did, and her thoughtfulness meant so much to me. This basket is filled to the brim with adorable little lamb onesies, booties (those booties!!), a bath towel with a little lamb hood, a super soft stuffed lamb, and more. Now here's the thing-this friend did not know our shower had a little lamb theme. Pure happenstance.


My mom was here when the box arrived on my doorstep and it was all we could do not to take out each and every item and ooh and aah over it. The only thing that stopped us was we did not want my daughter to miss out on the gorgeous presentation.


Our shower was neutral in color since the parents-to-be didn't learn the baby's gender until a couple of days before they got here. My daughter received several adorable onesies, sleep sacks, and teeny tiny little outfits as shower gifts, and as she pulled each one out of the bag I thought to myself, neutrals are for boys. The colors are perfect...the grays, oatmeals, and soft greens...they all say boy to me.


Also I'm glad the big trash bag made it into all the photos. That's very From This Side of the Pond-ha!

Third thing last...I ran across a couple of pictures from my very own baby shower circa-late 80's. Perms were a thing y'all.


Side note-are you ever shocked by how young you look in a photograph? I was pregnant here with the mama-to-be! which, I'm not gonna lie, kind of makes my brain hurt. I'm exactly the same number of months pregnant at my shower as she was at hers.

I remember absolutely loving this dress, which was a hand-me-down from my sister. She had a baby almost exactly one year before my little munchkin was born, so lots of my maternity wear was hand-me-down. Back then we wore great big balloon like tops and dresses as opposed to now when moms-to-be wear clothing that accentuates their baby bump.

Also, we didn't say baby bump.


Baby gear has changed 'just a little' in thirty years. Did you know there's now a port-a-crib where you press a button and it pops open and then you press again and it shrinks closed? Raise your hand if you ever traveled with a port-a-crib and cussed a little at trying to get all the poles in place?

And the strollers! Hoisting a stroller in and out of the car was an integral part of my daily aerobic workout way back when. Remember how they would sometimes threaten to partially open on you while you were lifting it into the trunk of your vehicle? Good times!

Not sure why we're all wearing blue? We didn't know the gender, but were all convinced she was a girl. This picture makes me so happy. That's my baby's great grandma between my sister and my mama.


And that's my friend on the end. We went to the same uni and our husbands were fraternity brothers. Then a few years went by and we ended up living in the same town and she had my baby shower in her home. Hubs and I loved her baby boy back then, and coincidentally that baby boy and his wife made my friend a grandmother just a few weeks ago.

I know the world can feel awfully harsh some days, but there are more often times when the sweetness of life makes my heart want to burst.

...'and the seasons, they go round and round, and the painted ponies go up and down...

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Springtime Hodgepodge

Welcome to this springtime edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. It's nice to be back after a week away.  If you've answered the questions today add your link at the end of my post, then go say hi to your neighbor. Let's get started-
1. Setting aside the real March Madness (NCAA Basketball) describe something happening at your house this month that might earn the title 'March Madness'?

Well the weather has been a bit mad this month. March is always a little cranky, but things are looking more springlike the rest of this week. Also I hosted a baby shower which, in my opinion, is the best kind of March Madness. 




2. What's a favorite made up word from your childhood or a favorite from your children's childhood? Does your family still use the word today? If there's a story behind the origin please share.

A single word? We have a whole dictionary of favorites here. I might write about this at a later date, so for now I'll go with 'steffies'. This was my Daughter1's word for barrettes, and we all got on board with it. 

I had a friend with a daughter named Stefanie. She left barrettes at my house one morning, and I guess when Daughter1 asked 'what's that?' I replied with, 'Oh those are Steffie's' and the word stuck. 

3. Will you be doing any spring cleaning now that the season is upon us? I read here a list of 15 quick ( under one hour) spring cleaning tasks. They were-

clean out a drawer, vacuum furniture, whiten tile grout, dust the nooks and crannies you don't get to year round, degrease kitchen cabinets, wipe down walls, go behind furniture, wipe down ceiling fans, vacuum the mattress, clean the range hood, wash baseboards, shine the stainless steel, clean out vents, tackle the windows, and wipe down gadgets

Of the fifteen 'quick' tasks listed which two most need doing at your house? Will you do them?

I liked this list and especially the idea of doing unpleasant tasks in chunks. We're in a new house so vents get cleaned regularly (construction fallout), drawers are not yet out of control, and hubs loves to clean that range hood so it is degreased on a regular basis. Of the tasks listed the two that most need doing are tackling the windows and washing baseboards. Both jobs will be done, probably by hubs and I together. 

4. A favorite movie set in Paris or New York?

I'm not a big Woody Allen fan, but I did love Midnight in Paris. New York is a little harder to pin down, but two favorites would be An Affair to Remember and Saturday Night Fever. 

I also really liked The Devil Wears Prada which has a bit of both, plus Anne Hathaway's amazing wardrobe! 

5. What's put a spring in your step this month?


Having both my girls in the same geography at the same time. 

6. Did you ever want to be a teacher? Why or why not?

I did and I was. Why? I always loved school and I've always loved working with children. I'm good with children and I think it's nice to work in a field that meshes with your natural God-given bent. I know teaching quite often gets a bad rap, but there are not many professions where you can truly make a difference in someones life the way a teacher can. 

7.  What's your favorite floral scent? Do you have this somewhere in your home or maybe in a perfume? How do you feel about florals in food? How about wines with floral notes-yay or nay?

I'm kind of funny about floral scents outside of nature. I tend to go for more of the cinnamon, vanilla, and earthy fragrances in my home. Too much floral anything makes me feel a little sick to my stomach and I definitely don't care for it in perfume. I like dry wines, so typically not a fan of too much floral in my food or my drink. 

Now if we're talking actual florals, as in the kind that grow in the ground, then my favorite floral is the lilac, with lavender a close second. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Have you seen this? Some people are so talented-





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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 301

Happy Spring y'all! Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then run back here tomorrow and add your link to the party. See you there!

1. Setting aside the real March Madness (NCAA Basketball) describe something happening at your house this month that might earn the title 'March Madness'?

2. What's a favorite made up word from your childhood or a favorite from your children's childhood? Does your family still use the word today? If there's a story behind the origin please share.

3. Will you be doing any spring cleaning now that the season is upon us? I read here a list of 15 quick (under one hour) spring cleaning tasks. They were-

clean out a drawer, vacuum furniture, whiten tile grout, dust the nooks and crannies you don't get to year round, degrease kitchen cabinets, wipe down walls, go behind furniture, wipe down ceiling fans, vacuum the mattress, clean the range hood, wash baseboards, shine the stainless steel, clean out vents, tackle the windows, and wipe down gadgets

Of the fifteen 'quick' tasks listed which two most need doing at your house? Will you do them?

4. A favorite movie set in Paris or New York?

5. What's put a spring in your step this month?

6. Did you ever want to be a teacher? Why or why not?

7.  What's your favorite floral scent? Do you have this somewhere in your home or maybe in a perfume? How do you feel about florals in food? How about wines with floral notes-yay or nay?

8. Insert your own random thought here.
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