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?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Shower the People You Love With Love

I shouldn't wait until five days after an event to write about it, but this week has been full and I just didn't have it in me.  Let's begin with a blurry photo.


It's the only shot I have of the bride-to-be and her shower hostesses. Go me!

How 'bout we back up? Hubs and I drove down to Maryland last Friday and have mercy!, it was a long, aggravating ride. We sat on the NJ Turnpike for about an hour, literally inching our way forward. Hubs was in the passenger seat on a work phone call so I was driving, and for the record he is not the world's best passenger. Every few minutes he'd cover the phone and whisper shout-'You let four cars in!' Don't let four cars in!!'

Yeah, so the trip down was delightful. We met our friends at a restaurant near their house and we kind of wanted to kiss the ground when we got out of the car. The friends we met were our hosts for the weekend and the shower was held in their lovely home on the river. Their daughter got married almost two years ago, and we've all been friends since the girls were in the second grade. Sigh.

Daughter2, my friend E, and her daughter K, planned the party and everything was so sweet and special. Lots of little touches that made the day feel really personal starting with this-


The bride-to-be is sometimes called the candy queen, so her sister knew she wanted to have a candy bar on the day.


The bridesmaids are wearing a particular shade of green that doesn't exist in large quantities in the candy world, so we just went with all shades of green, and it was so pretty.


I'd ordered a banner that read Love is Sweet, along with treat bags that said the same, from two different Etsy shops and they were super cute.


I neglected to snap a photo of the candy bar set up with the bags at the end of the shower, but it was darling, and everyone took home a goody bag filled with green candy as their favor.


Daughter1 absolutely loves the brown Kraft paper look so our hostesses tried to incorporate some of that into the day. My friend wrapped up some boxes with Kraft paper and green ribbon to put in her foyer, and her son asked if he should move them into the family room to be opened. She told him they were empty, just there for decoration, and he did.not.get.it. Boys! Daughter1 loved the way it looked!

Then there was this adorable chalkboard sign-


This was on the bride-to-be's Pinterest board, so my friend copied it for the shower. She'd planned to hang it on the front door, but since it was a rainy Saturday it was hung in the foyer instead.


Several of the bridesmaids flew to DC for the weekend (three couldn't make the date), and honestly just having these friends in town for the weekend would have been enough for Daugther1. The shower was icing on the cake.

Sisters...sisters...never were there more devoted sisters...these girls y'all.


Both grandmas were able to be there too, and that is really, really special. It's not often both grandmothers are able to be in the same state at the same time. It's us, remember?


My girls are so well loved by these two wonderful women.
So am I.

And these aunts...


They went to a lot of trouble to be there on the day, and I don't say that lightly. Honestly my big sis made an 8 hour drive up and an 8 hour drive home in a two day time frame, which means she was literally on the road longer than she was in Maryland. She wanted so much to be part of our girl's day, and she was. That's what love looks like people.

Fun fact-brides still need Pyrex.


We played a couple of games because hello, do you know us?


Daughter2 organized a fun round of Wedding Scattegories and we also played Bingo while the bride opened her gifts. She got so many lovely things, which were the perfect combination of useful and beautiful.

We wrapped it up late afternoon, and the bride and her posse headed back to D.C. for some Bachelorette fun. We helped our host and hostess get the house back in order, then the four of us may or may not have dozed through a baseball game from the comfort of their couch. We're not old.


Sunday morning we woke to a heron on the boat house and the soft gentle beauty of fall on the river.


We managed to squeeze in a boat ride before getting back on the road headed north. I dropped hubs at the Newark Airport because he had a flight to California Sunday evening, and all I can say about that is better him than me. I was pooped.


So thankful for friends who love my girls. Who've watched them grow up and who watch them still. Who open their home and their heart and make a memory. For family who hold my girls close and who go the extra literal mile in loving them.


For sisters who share a heart connection. For daughters and laughter and all the love showered on a bride-to-be in this once in a lifetime season.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hodgepodge, eh?

Welcome to a middle of the week, middle of the month, Wednesday Hodgepodge! Raise your hand if you 'get' my post title today. If you've answered the questions, add your link to the party, then go say hi to the neighbors. Here we go-


1. What's your favorite time of day? Why?

Early morning. I love the quiet, the color of the sky at sunrise, and most especially that first cup of coffee. I love the way the whole day lies ahead of me, filled with possibility. 

2. Waffle iron, toaster, coffee maker, mixer, blender...which small appliance most needs replacing at your house?

Can you tell I recently attended a bridal shower? I'm going with a blender because we are currently without one. 

3. It's National Grouch Day (October 15th)...what's something that makes you feel grouchy?

I'm kind of like a toddler, in that if I haven't had enough sleep I can get a little grouchy. Also, like a toddler my move is much improved with a nap. 

Do we actually need a day devoted to all things grouchy? Hoping there's a National Be Cheerful Day on the calendar somewhere too! 

4. Ever been to Canada? Is that a country you'd like to visit? According to Trip Advisor, the top ten best destinations in Canada are-Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Victoria, Calgary, Niagara on the Lake, Niagara Falls, Whistler, and Halifax.Which city would you most like to see?

I've been to Prince Edward Island which I absolutely loved (and wrote about here), and then en route home we drove down through New Brunswick into St. Andrew by the Sea, St. John, the Bay of Fundy, and the Reversing Falls, before heading into Maine. It was a wonderful trip. Our friends who live on PEI have a daughter getting married next summer, so we are making plans for a trip back that way in 2015.

I've never been to any other cities in Canada, but would happily see them all. Tops on my list at the moment are Vancouver and Whistler. 

5. What was your favorite food (or one of your favorites) when you were a child? Is that still a favorite?

Bologna, egg salad, and marshmallow fluff (not all together!).  

I could not begin to tell you when I last had bologna, but I'm pretty sure it's been decades. I don't eat marshmallow fluff these days either, unless it's in the form of Christmas fudge, and even that I haven't had in years. Egg salad is still one of my favorite foods. 

6. Do you cry easily?

Yes.  I sometimes wish I didn't, but tears form pretty easily for me, both the happy and the sad. 

7. Have you started your (gasp!) Christmas shopping? If so when, and how much? If not, when will you even begin thinking about it?

I've started, mostly just a few smaller stocking stuffer gifts, but they're our favorite anyway, so important. And it wasn't so much a deliberate decision to get started early, as it was happening upon items that made me think of a friend or family member and instead of doing what I normally do...say I'll come back later...I bought. We have a wedding happening right after Christmas this year, so I feel like it would be in everyone's best interests if I'm a little bit ahead of the game in holiday preparation. See question #3-ha! 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I'm going to recap the bridal shower in tomorrow's post. It was too much to squeeze into a random thought, even for me. ahem. So how about I post a fall foliage shot here instead, because we can never have too many of those, can we? 

It was a gray drizzly day here on Tuesday, but the colors are glorious all the same. Here's what I see outside my kitchen window-



...outside my family room window-


...when I pull up the driveway into the garage-


"Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn." ~Elizabeth Lawrence

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 194

I'm regrouping here at the moment, which I know I say practically every single Tuesday here lately, but I've been away all weekend and stuff piles up fast y'all. I enjoyed every minute of the shower celebrating my sweet daughter-bride, and I promise to bore you with too many words and pictures just as soon as I have a free ten minutes. For now you'll have to settle for the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Be sure to hop back over here tomorrow so we can share answers!


1. What's your favorite time of day? Why?

2. Waffle iron, toaster, coffee maker, mixer, blender...which small appliance would you say most needs replacing in your house?

3. It's National Grouch Day (October 15)...what's something that makes you feel grouchy?

4. Ever been to Canada? Is that a country you'd like to visit? According to Trip Advisor, the top ten best destinations in Canada are-Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Victoria, Calgary, Niagara on the Lake, Niagara Falls, Whistler, and Halifax. Which city would you most like to see?

5. What was your favorite food (or one of your favorites) when you were a child? Is that still a favorite?

6. Do you cry easily?

7. Have you started your (gasp!) Christmas shopping? If so when, and how much? If not, when will you even begin thinking about it?

8.  Insert your own random thought here.