Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Bi-Coastal Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge! One item of business...I'm declaring next week summer vacation here so no Hodgepodge on Wednesday August 3rd. I'll have out of town visitors and will be coming and going so not sure how much I'll be online. Thanks for understanding! The Hodgepodge will be back in action the following week-August 10th. 

Also, we're here today so let's get to it-


1.  On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your summer so far? Why? 
(1=eh and 10=best summer ever)

It's been a strange summer so I'm going with a 5. Not awful, but definitely not the best ever. 

2. July 26th is National Aunts and Uncles Day. Did you have many aunts and uncles growing up? Were you especially close to any one or maybe all of them? Are you an aunt? (or uncle for the men who join here on Wednesdays) Share a favorite memory relating to one of your own aunts or uncles or relating to a niece or nephew who call you Aunt (or Uncle).

I had a lot of aunts and uncles, but sadly we rarely lived near one another. I remember fun trips as a kid to visit extended family in Colorado and New Mexico, but they were few and far between. Families of six didn't just hop on a plane and fly cross country the way we tend to do now. We did have an aunt and uncle in the D.C. area, so we saw those cousins more often, but still not a lot. 

I felt a special closeness with my mom's only sister and we wrote letters back and forth which were dear to me. We both loved the Anne books, and this particular aunt called me her kindred spirit. As an adult I did get to know my mom's brothers better and my uncle came all the way from Arizona to be part of my Daughter1's wedding day. That meant so much to all of us. 

I'm called aunt by some super sweeties and I love the title.

3. What's your favorite food dipped in chocolate? What's your favorite food dipped in cheese?

A Dairy Queen soft serve vanilla cone would be my favorite food dipped in chocolate. I love how it hardens on the cool ice cream-yum! Thursday, July 28th Dairy Queen will be holding a Miracle Treats Day, and $1 (or more) from every Blizzard sold will be donated to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Go share a Blizzard with someone this Thursday! 

My favorite food dipped in cheese? Crusty cubes of bread in a cheese fondue. Preferably served tableside in a charming little French place in the Alps. 

4. When were you last astonished by something? Explain.

I'm going with the current election season and will leave it at that. 

5. Surf board, paddle board, ironing board, Pinterest board, score board, clip board, bulletin board...which board have you most recently encountered?

Well not an ironing board-ha! I'm going with bulletin board because I helped Daughter2 in her classroom this week, and it takes two people to cover a bulletin board. 

6. What's your favorite story from scripture? Why that story?

Daniel in the Lion's Den. Why? Because Daniel managed to do the right thing no matter the cost. He was a boy/man of the utmost integrity, whose faith guided his every decision, and who throughout his life held true to the courage of his convictions.  

7. If you were to travel from the east coast to the west coast in your own country, which five cities would you most want to see?

I wish this question asked which 50 cities I'd most want to see. Five is too hard! I've spent a lot of time traveling on the East Coast and have lived near NYC, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. I've been to Boston and points north and have also seen a good chunk of the Southeastern section of America. I've also spent time in portions of the Southwest, so for my imaginary trek I'm going with five places new to me. 

Here are five I'd like to see, but they're not the only five! 

Mackinac Island, MI
Rapid City, South Dakota
Portland, OR
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
San Francisco, CA

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I have a million words about all the things happening in the world today, but I'm going to share this instead. 'There's a light at the end of the trouble...'


(available now for preorder or everywhere August 26)

Monday, July 25, 2016

A Conglomeration of Things

My plan was to blog this morning, but since it's now going on 8 PM I guess I'll need a new plan. I'm going to catch up a little, then tack this week's Hodgepodge questions on at the end of the post. I will no doubt get emails from people telling me they can't find the questions, but they'll be right here. Mixed in with whatever else ends up here
todaytonite.

So what's been going on here lately? Well, the house for one. Suddenly there are a million things to do and confirm and re-confirm and y'all I'm so over it. Today it was an insurance policy that needed tracking down, scanning, and emailing to someone. And you know our scanner doesn't work right in the apartment because the Internet connection is not reliable, which by the way is another thing I'm so over, but hubs took care of getting the doc to the correct recipient.

Did that sound whiny? Don't answer that! In my defense today is build day #307.

Let's talk about the loveliness of a sunset on the water, because we were treated to a beauty on Saturday night. Our realtors (a husband and wife team who also live on the lake) invited hubs and I to have dinner at their house, and since we're renting about 45 minutes from the lake they also invited us to stay over. Doesn't everybody's realtor treat them like VIP's?


We had a fabulous home cooked meal then headed out on their boat for a sunset cruise.


Almost makes you forget you're on house build day #307.


Our realtor friends have been wanting to take hubs water skiing, and believe me hubs has been wanting to go, so on Sunday morning they made it happen.


There was nobody on the lake (or our corner of it anyway) and the water was like glass. Hubs didn't spray any cows, hit a single dock, or ski as close as humanly possible to any bridges, but other than that he looked a lot like his 20-year old self.

His 20-year old self is lucky to have met my 20-year old self.

We all know the fearless need a rule follower to keep them
alivehappy.

Okay, gonna wrap this up before the clock rolls into build day #308. You'll find the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge below. Answer on your own blog, then hop back here on WEDNESDAY to add your link to the party. See you there!


1. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your summer so far? Why?
(1=eh and 10=best summer ever)

2. July 26th is National Aunts and Uncles Day. Did you have many aunts and uncles growing up? Were you especially close to any one or maybe all of them? Are you an aunt? (or uncle for the men who join here on Wednesdays) Share a favorite memory relating to one of your own aunts or uncles or relating to a niece or nephew who call you Aunt (or Uncle).

3. What's your favorite food dipped in chocolate? What's your favorite food dipped in cheese?

4. When were you last astonished by something? Explain.

5. Surf board, paddle board, ironing board, Pinterest board, score board, clip board, bulletin board...which board have you most recently encountered?

6. What's your favorite story from scripture? Why that story?

7. If you were to travel from the east coast to the west coast in your own country, which five cities would you most want to see?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Hodgepodge Collection

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge! So glad you're here today! If you've answered the questions add your link at the end of my post, then run say hello to the neighbor who linked before you. Here we go-



1. Pokemon Go...your thoughts? Are you playing? Do you even know what it is?

I don't know all the ins and outs of the game, but I do know it involves people running in pairs and groups all while looking down at their phones as opposed to where they are and what's right in front of them. Do we really need more of this? Ugh! 

We were downtown Saturday night trying to figure out why in the world there were so many phone 'zombies' in the crowd. More phone zombies than usual I mean, and it finally dawned on us they were playing Pokemon Go. It was super creepy. 

2.  What was something you collected as a child? Do you still have that collection? If you're a parent what's something your own children collected? Have you ever camped out, stood in a crazy long queue, or paid a ridiculous sum for a 'collectible'?

I don't think I intentionally collected anything as a child, unless maybe Little Kiddles count. Sadly I don't have them anymore. When I had my own babies I collected Beatrix Potter figurines and used them in my nursery. I do have several saved for my grandbabies. 

My girls collected Beanie Babies (to play with, not to retire on), Pokemon Cards (a short lived fascination), and American Girl Dolls (I'd still be dressing them every day if I could get away with it). I have a bin full of Beanie Babies, a couple decks of Pokemon cards stashed somewhere, and an entire collection of American Girl Dolls, clothes, and furniture packed away for my future grandgirls. 

I never camped out or ran all over town for a particular 'fad' for my girls, and never paid more than the regular price for a collectible. 

3. 'Collect moments, not things'...tell us about a moment you've added to your collection this summer.

I've really enjoyed spending time with my Daughter2 this summer. She's a teacher, and this is the first summer she hasn't had a job or school of some sort during the break. Back in June I started a list called Mom and Daughter 2's Most Excellent Summer Adventure and everytime we thought of something we'd like to do together I'd add it to the list. 



Yesterday we did some outlet shopping, but my favorite is when she walks over late afternoon for a cup of tea on the balcony. We've had some really nice talks, and doing nothing with my girls is my favorite. Grown up girls are the best. 

4.  What's something collecting dust in your home right now? Any plans to do something about it?

My blog? It sure feels like it needs a thorough dusting off, but these days I'm doing good to get the Hodgepodge posted. I'm really hoping once we're moved I can get back to writing about more than why I'm not writing. 

My rental furniture doesn't get dusted all that often. Gonna be honest and say I'm not highly motivated to dust just now. My plan there is to return it, and rest assured I'll dust it all before it goes back. 

5. A favorite song relating to time?

There's quite a few on my list of favorites that relate in some way to time, but I'm going with Give Me Just A Little More Time by Chairman of the Board. Beach music at it's finest and this song in particular takes me back to college days the minute that first note plays-


6. What's been your most frightening or your most interesting encounter with wildlife?

Hmmm...my most frightening was probably the time a dog attacked my Daughter2. We were visiting my mom and were standing in front of her house when a neighbor walking her dog (off lead) stopped to chat. We all knew this dog, he'd never ever been aggessive, was always friendly, nothing to worry about. 

My girls were about 5 and 7 and my 8 year old niece was there too, and we were literally just standing there when the dog went into a sudden and unprovoked rage. I cannot tell you how fast it happened, but it was terrifying. I honestly thought the dog had taken off her nose, there was so much blood. She did end up with a small scar (to add to her collection-hi Daughter2!) and also a healthy sense of caution when approaching dogs from that day forward. Still makes me shiver when I remember the moment. 

7.  On July 20, 1969 Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong set his foot down on the moon. If you could travel to the moon would you go? Why or why not?

No. There's not enough Dramamine in the world to fly me to the moon. I'm truly thrilled there are explorers, astronauts, brave men and women who push the boundaries of space and time to show us what's out there. I'm just not one of them. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

My west coast daughter1 will be here for a visit before summer is through, and we are so excited! I was out there in May, but she hasn't seen her sister or hubs since Christmas. 

Christmas! I know! 




Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 274

Yikes. I haven't been on the ol' blog since last week's Hodgepodge, but sometimes life is like that. Here we go again...answer on your own blog then jump back here tomorrow to add your link to the mix. See you there!


1. Pokemon Go...your thoughts? Are you playing? Do you even know what it is?

2. What was something you collected as a child? Do you still have that collection? If you're a parent what's something your own children collected? Have you ever camped out, stood in a crazy long queue, or paid a ridiculous sum for a 'collectible'?

3. "Collect moments, not things"...tell us about a moment you've added to your collection this summer.

4.  What's something collecting dust in your home right now? Any plans to do something about it?

5. A favorite song relating to time?

6. What's been your most frightening or your most interesting encounter with wildlife?

7.  On July 20, 1969 Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong set his foot down on the moon. If you could travel to the moon would you go? Why or why not?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Fresh From The Garden Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge! Answer the questions on your own blog, then jump back here and add your link at the end of my post. Be sure you say howdy to your neighbor on the list, because that's how we roll here on Wednesdays. Here we go-


1.  Do you find yourself influencing your world, or is it more the other way around?

I think we all influence, for good or ill, our own little corners of the world. I certainly influence my husband and children, just as they influence me. Personally I think if everyone concentrated on loving and leading and also learning from the people closest to them the world be a better place. 

Somehow we've gotten caught up in making sure our voice is heard in some larger arena, that our opinions are noted and scored as 'right', when what we really need to be doing is loving the people nearest us every single day. I feel certain if we took better care of our small circles of influence the big one (aka planet Earth) would improve too. 

2. July 14th is National Tape Measure Day...the device was patented on this date in 1868. When did you last use a tape measure? Do you always know where to find one in your house? Tell us one way in which you feel blessed 'beyond measure'.

I went furniture shopping on Tuesday and used a tape measure several times. I do know where we keep ours at home. 

In what way am I blessed beyond measure? 


3.  The Plaza Hotel (Eloise), The Land of Oz (The Wizard of Oz), Narnia (The Chronicles of Narnia), The Hundred Acre Wood (Winnie the Pooh), Wonderland (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), or Never Never Land (Peter Pan)...which storybook land (on this list!) would you most like to visit and why?

I'm going to say The Hundred Acre Wood. I like the beauty found in nature, and the wisdom of Pooh and company. The Hundred Acre Wood seems like a peaceful place to take a break from the chaos, anger, name calling, and political rhetoric we're confronted with on a regular basis.  

4. Where and when do you get your best ideas?

Generally somewhere quiet with a view to the outdoors, and definitely early in the day. In my old house I did my best thinking in our sunroom first thing in the morning, and I've got a spot already earmarked in the new house too. 

5. So what have you been watching on TV this summer? Anything good?

We've watched a lot of the Olympic Trials...swimming, track and field, and gymnastics. I'm looking forward to watching the games next month. 

6. 'Don't swim for an hour after you eat', 'Dog days of summer', 'Knee high by the fourth of July'...choose a summer saying from the list or share one of your own, then tell us what image or memory comes to mind when you hear it spoken.

Well you couldn't be a kid in the 60's or 70's and not hear that first expression at least once in your life. Makes me think of afternoons at the neighborhood pool, moms sitting in lounge chairs around the pool deck and kids on their towels spread across the grassy hillside behind. 

Lining up at the snack bar for a frozen Milky Way, jumping off the high dive, fun times with my sister, games of Marco Polo, waiting impatiently to get back into the pool the minute the whistle blew signaling the end of adult swim, and the carefree happy days of my childhood summers. 

7. In a single sentence, sum up one life lesson you've learned.

Prayer changes things. Most times that 'thing' is me. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

My daughter's in-laws have the most fabulous garden, and the best part of that is they share. Last weekend hubs and I came home loaded with all of this goodness-


We've been feasting on tomato sandwiches, cucumber salads, a pan of to-die for eggplant parmesan, and super delicious veggie omelettes. There's nothing so sweet as produce right out of the ground except for maybe the people who grow it and share the love!



Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 273

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


1. Do you find yourself influencing your world, or is it more the other way around? 

2. July 14th is National Tape Measure Day...the device was patented on this date in 1868. When did you last use a tape measure? Do you always know where to find one in your house? Tell us one way in which you feel blessed 'beyond measure'. 

3.The Plaza Hotel (Eloise), The Land of Oz (The Wizard of Oz), Narnia (The Chronicles of Narnia), The Hundred Acre Wood (Winnie the Pooh), Wonderland (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), or Never Never Land (Peter Pan)...which storybook land (on this list!) would you most like to visit and why? 

4. Where and when do you get your best ideas? 

5.  So what have you been watching on TV this summer? Anything good? 

6. 'Don't swim for an hour after you eat', 'Dog days of summer', 'Knee high by the Fourth of July'...choose a summer saying from the list or share one of your own, then tell us what image or memory comes to mind when you hear it spoken.

7. In a single sentence, sum up one life lesson you've learned. 

8. Insert your own random thought here. 
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Monday, July 11, 2016

House Talk

In case you've forgotten, we're still building that house. I know you're thinking 'how can that be???!' but trust me it can be and it is. On the bright side, there's been some honest to goodness progress in the last month, and today feels like a Monday good day for an update.

Since last we spoke....


We've got walls! Whoohoo!


The dry wall is in, taped, and sanded. I think the next step is primer followed by trim work or trim work followed by primer, but whatever-


...we've got walls!


And a front door! It's not stained yet, and they still need to add siding to the front porch section of the exterior, but the door had to be up before they did that so step one=check. 


The stone masons have been super busy and they are so skilled. It's a father-son-cousin-team and I love their work. There's an art to fitting the stone together so that it looks beautiful, and they've definitely mastered it-


When you make your stone selection you're looking at a little four foot by four foot sample wall and of course there's a lot of variation in color from one pallet to the next, so we're really happy with the finished product.


Wait, there's more! As of today we've also got tongue and groove in our screened in porch ceiling-


I need something pretty to look at when I settle in for an afternoon nap by the fireplace out there, so I'm relieved to know this is happening. The front porch and the back covered deck will both get this same ceiling treatment. It's so exciting to see forward motion!

Is there such a thing as too many exclamation points?

Not when you're talking house build progress there's not!!