Wednesday, September 15, 2021

The Good Old Hodgepodge

Welcome to another edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you've answered this week's questions add your link at the end of my post, then leave a comment for the blogger before you. The link continues being contrary and wants to open in a new window. That works though, so keep calm and link on...here we go- 

From this Side of the Pond

1. How would you define 'old'? At what age is someone old? 

A complicated question, one even experts around the world cannot agree upon. I think life is essentially a three-parter...you're young, you're middle aged, you're old. The word old has negative connotations so we hesitate to say that out loud, but we don't live forever, nor do we stay young forever. 

I'm not sure I can put a number on old. I know vibrant, energetic, healthy 80-year old people and frail and fragile 60-year old people.  Old to me is linked to our mental and physical health and that's different for everyone. That being said 40 isn't old and 80 isn't young. 

2. A place you've been that's old? Tell us something about your visit there. 

What's old? Is 200 years old or is 1200 years old? I guess both are true. Even when you're talking buildings old is a relative term. 

I've been to so many old and interesting places (some would even be termed ancient) that it's hard to zero in on just one. I love an ancient castle, the ruins of an ancient castle, tell tale signs the Romans once stood where you are standing now, old churches and cathedrals and really just take me back to Europe please, pre-pandemic of course. I've also been to parts of Asia and loved seeing the beauty of the old world mixed with modern day there. 

                                                 12th century ramparts over Provins, France 2009

Athens, 2007

Okehampton Castle, Devon, UK 2008
built between 1068-1086


Yu Garden, Shanghai, 2012
completed in 1577

I could post a hundred pictures, but I'll stop at four. 

3. Something you miss about the 'good old days'? When were they anyway? 

In answering this question I had to remind myself there's good and bad in every decade. While there are things I might long for from days gone by, no era is all sunshine and roses. 

I'm going to say the 'good old days' were somewhere back before the Internet ruled the world. I appreciate the internet as much as the next person, but it's a different world we are living in with the universe at our fingertips. 

Things were simpler. Your car didn't run on a computer, your oven didn't run on a computer, you weren't available by phone-text-email 24/7, you didn't have to download an app to make a purchase or log in to your medical chart or remember what you changed the password to when your account was hacked..we knew how to wait and waiting is a lost art in the age of instant everything. 

4. In what way are you a 'chip off the old block'? Or if you'd rather, in what way is your child a 'chip off the old block'? 

I am my mother's daughter in so very many ways. If you want to know all the very many ways you can read the post I wrote for Mother's Day, 2017. The link is here-One Of These Things Is A Lot Like The Other.  

5. Old fashioned, Old Testament, old timer, same old same old, old glory, good old boy, old wives tale...choose an 'old' phrase that relates to something in your life or the wider world currently and explain. 

I was reading about some of the old wives tales related to aging and whether or not there was any truth to them. Can you tell I have a birthday coming up soon? We've all heard it said 'you're only as young as you feel' and apparently that one is mostly true. I mean there are candles on the cake regardless, but staying active, grateful and optimistic help us feel young at heart. 

Then there's the one that says if you pluck a gray hair out ten more will grow in it's place. I'm here to tell you the gray hair grows whether you pluck it or not. Experts say this one isn't true but add you may end up with thinning hair if you keep plucking, so do yourself a favor and don't. 

Finally, how about that old wives tale that says  smiling too much will give you wrinkles. Sadly this is true, but let's agree to smile anyway. Who wants to live to be 100 in a world where everybody's cranky? 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Our super sweet pup (Hunley) is currently entered in a good dog photo contest hosted by Garden and Gun Magazine. 


Voting is free and he appreciates the love. If you would like to vote you'll find the link here- Garden and Gun 

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list...

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 434

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


1. How would you define 'old'? At what age is someone old? 

2. A place you've been that's old? Tell us something about your visit there. 

3. Something you miss about the 'good old days'? When were they anyway? 

4. In what way are you a 'chip off the old block'? Or if you'd rather, in what way is your child a 'chip off the old block'? 

5. Old fashioned, Old Testament, old timer, same old same old, old glory, good old boy, old wives tale...choose an 'old' phrase that relates to something in your life or the wider world currently and explain. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Monday, September 13, 2021

Quiet Spaces and Everyday Graces

This blog has felt a bit quiet in terms of content lately, which is why I signed up for the five-day #hopewriterlife challenge. Ironically, the first word prompt is 'quiet'. 

Hmmm. 

It's never really quiet here. Our calendars are full and usually our guest rooms too, so I'm always looking for blank space somewhere. After a whirlwind August, a whirlwind summer actually, we were forced into a period of rest and stillness by hubs aching back and our dog's emergency belly surgery. 

I don't believe God sent hubs back out of whack or caused the dog to eat that mysterious bit of foam he attempted unsuccessfully to digest, but I do think He uses these types of things to slow us down, to remind us rest is good for the body and soul, and that we need times of quiet to process all the noise of this world. 

Sometimes it feels like there's no escaping the noise, but there's certainly no escaping it when you never remove yourself from it. I have a lot of thoughts, hubs might say too many-ha! and writing has always been a way for me to focus all those thoughts into something that makes sense. 

There are days where not a lot happens here. Most days I'd venture to say, and I imagine most of you would say the same. Life is much more a series of small moments rather than big events, less earth shattering happenings, more laundry and to-do lists. While writing about the everyday ordinary may seem frivolous given the times in which we live, ordinary is nearly always where I land. 

When I write I like to imagine my grandchildren reading my words decades down the road. What do I want them to know about me? What do my words say about the person their grandmother was in the middle of an all CAPS-exclamation point world?

I want them to know my hand was always reaching for the volume, turning it down as I floated into the bright blue beauty of a September day. That I saw mountains meeting clouds and felt small as I remembered where my help comes from. 


That I never stopped looking for quiet spaces in a too noisy world. That contentment lives there, in the most ordinary of days.   

Friday, September 10, 2021

Ten On The Tenth Birthday Style

Today Daughter2 celebrates her birthday, and the one thing she always requests on her special day is a blog post from her momma. I may have fallen down the rabbit hole reading back through twelve years of birthday posts here because TIME! How it flies and changes and grows us all up.  

Since her birthday conveniently falls on the 10th lets go with a list of 10 things today. 

1. When I started this blog twelve years ago she was a college sophomore. Huh? 

 
Those college years feel like a lifetime ago, and I guess in many ways they were. She celebrated that birthday on this side of the pond while hubs and I blew kisses across the ocean from our home in England.  

2. She still lives a distance but technology has come a long way since 2009. 


One of my friends recently put it this way...distance is a bother, not a barrier to having a close relationship with your grown children and that's so true. What you poured into them as they were growing up comes back to you in the most wonderful of ways. 

3. She was home for a week this summer to welcome her sister, brother-in-law, and most especially her nephews stateside. 


The cutest grandboys in the world are as busy as can be and when she left to return to her own home hubs and I looked at each other and said we couldn't have done it without her. We laughed, but only sort of because she truly is the most capable person we know. 


4. She is the absolute best at getting things done. Need someone to make dinner? run to the store? wrestle an almost two year old down to be changed? get a wonky toy working? read a story for the 817th time? take charge when you try to slice your finger off?, solve a problem, keep a secret, make you laugh?...well she's your girl.  

5. I remember when she was in middle school she had a white board next to her bed and before going to sleep she would make a list of everything she needed to do the next day. The list always started with-

         1. wake up

I smile just thinking about it, but also this is her in a nutshell. She has always shown us life is meant to be tackled, embraced, jumped into with both feet.

6. She's a beauty. 


And it is not just skin deep.

7. She teaches, reads, bakes, and naps like it's her job. One of those things really is her job. 

8. She loves dogs, books, sharpies, Jesus, and hot tea with her momma in the late afternoon. She is the best at making a new plan when a new plan must be made. 

9. I asked her sister what her favorite thing is about Daughter2 and she said, "She's the first person I want to share any news with, good or bad. And she always takes my side, even if I'm wrong.' Ha! 

She added, 'So thankful she's mine.'

Yes ma'am. Aren't we all?

10. She is chatty, faithful, and determined...the best friend, the sweetest sister, the much adored aunt . She is confidante, truth teller, joy bringer, a day brightener ... 


...and oh so loved. 

Happy birthday sweet girl! May all your wishes come true xo


Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Ten Times The Fun In The Wednesday Hodgepodge

Welcome to another edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. The last couple of weeks the link has loaded a bit funny, in that it opens in a new page. I have unchecked the box that allows this to happen, but it happens anyway? It may or may not happen today, but if so just click where it tells you to click and you'll be able to add your link there in the usual way. And don't forget to leave a comment for the blogger before you...here we go-

From this Side of the Pond

1. Something you've done recently that required you giving 110% ?

Everything? Ha! These past couple of weeks have been a doozy between hubs having back issues and a dog that requires 24/7 care/observation/monitoring. But we're giving it 110% because sometimes life is easy peasy and sometimes it's not. 

2. What task-sport-chore-hobby-activity have you participated in or completed, that if judged, would land you a perfect 10?  

Is porch sitting an activity? If so I'm for sure a 10. 

3. What are ten of your favorite things right now? 

This is a question I could definitely overthink so I'm going with a stream of consciousness kind of answer. In no particular order...

less humidity, lobsters at my front door courtesy of my neighbor, God's word, facetime, mid-day phone calls, our military, fresh from the garden produce, the way a cup of tea makes me feel better about most everything, changing seasons, daughters



4. Nine times out of ten I _________________________.

... fall asleep before the movie ends. 

5. Where were you when the world stopped turning, twenty years ago this week? 

Twenty years. It's still hard to think about that day, and with the current situation in Afghanistan it all feels fresh again. I heard someone speak to military folks who might be feeling like their service in Afghanistan these past twenty years was all for naught, and why that's so not true. 

For two decades children have been born and raised in an America where the threat of another attack wasn't on their radar thanks to the men and women who stood watch. Their service and their sacrifice allowed children to grow up without that particular anxiety, and how do you put a price on that?

Twenty years ago I was the Director of a church preschool and kindergarten located just outside of D.C. Many families in our school worked in the Pentagon or were Secret Service Agents so it felt very personal to us. At the time we didn't even have a radio in our office so when we noticed our copier repairman just sitting in his car outside our building we were annoyed. When he finally came in he broke the news to us and life shifted. 

There is America before 9/11 and America after 9/11 and they are not the same. 

I am thinking this week of all who lost so much on that day, of the bravery of our police-fire-and first responders-who ran in when everyone was running out. Of our military men and women who gave so much and those in harms way today. I am praying this week especially for peace all around the world and for revival in our nation.  

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

This little punkin celebrates a birthday later this week...

I'm sure I'll write a post on the actual day because she expects it and I don't like to disappoint, but if you have a chance hop over to her blog today (It's Elementary) and leave a happy birthday wish. She might be a grown up married Mrs. now, but she is still this adorable. 


Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list...

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 433

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 world wide webbers. See you there! 

1. Something you've done recently that required you giving 110% ?

2. What task-sport-chore-hobby-activity have you participated in or completed, that if judged, would land you a perfect 10?  

3. What are ten of your favorite things right now? 

4. Nine times out of ten I _________________________.

5. Where were you when the world stopped turning, twenty years ago this week? 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Friday, September 3, 2021

Quietly Living In A Noisy World

I was going to post a Thursday Thirteen yesterday, which is something bloggers used to do every Thursday, but when I typed the number it felt all wrong so I'm just going to wing it with some Friday random instead. 

Hubs and I went out for dinner Wednesday night to celebrate his birthday, a lovely local spot we enjoy. When we walked in we saw this-

At first I thought it odd they had a table reserved for someone right in the entryway because who would want to sit there, but then I registered the sign and the beer and my heart felt heavy with sadness. I'm glad the restaurant set the table, in their own way acknowledging the sacrifices made and the pain still so raw. While I know we want to put our heads down and pretend this didn't happen the way it happened, I for one hope we don't forget. 

We're such a fickle people, so easily distracted. I know it seems we wake up every day to some new awfulness we need to wrap our brains around, but I pray we don't forget these soldiers. So young and by all accounts proud to serve their country, proud to be helping people fleeing a country overrun by terror. Let's not forget. 

We've pretty much been at home this week keeping a watchful eye on our pup. He had a follow up visit with the vet yesterday who said things are looking much better than they were a few days ago, but we still have a ways to go in terms of healing. He has been mostly cooperative and for that we are grateful. 

It is so nice living in almost the same time zone as my daughter1. She has been facetime-ing us late morning and nobody is just waking up or just going to bed. So much easier for everyone than the crazy am/pm differences we've had these past two years, and it's especially fun to think I'll see them in person before the month is out. 

It's tea time. All summer I drink a late afternoon iced coffee until suddenly I don't want iced coffee, I want hot tea. It's still hot and humid here, maybe more so than it's been this entire summer, but there's something about the way the light changes in September, children returning to school, knowing fall is almost upon us even if the thermometer says otherwise, that says it's time for tea. 

This is interesting, right? 

Who else feels like they've watched every movie new, old, and older on Prime and Netflix during Covid? We do a lot of scrolling these days but nothing jumps out at us. We've started a couple of series recently but our interest wanes and we set it aside thinking maybe we'll come back later and finish but then we don't. If you are watching something great let me know. 

Speaking of Covid, how's everyone coping? What a mess. Honestly everything under the sun feels a bit of a mess right now, and we're bombarded with seemingly endless noise every which way we turn. I've been thinking about how to live quietly, and of course social media leaps to mind. 

I remember when I first joined Instagram, all the beauty there. It was almost entirely photographs, lovely images of faraway places, meals lovingly prepared, cozy home spaces that inspired, and that appealed to me. Like most things on the Internet it's become harsher and louder and as a result, less beautiful. 

There's a time for every season, and maybe that includes social media too. 

My daughter and I were talking recently about all the things in the world that threaten to overwhelm us, and how most of those things are completely outside of our ability to change or control. She told me in these troubled times she is taking this verse to heart-

"And aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands as we have instructed you." 1 Thessalonians 4:11 

A gentle reminder not to complicate things, but to care for and tend to the people and the work right in front of us. This we can do...

And it is beautiful.