Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Fall In For The Hodgepodge

Welcome to the last of the summertime Hodgepodges for this year. If you've answered this week's questions add your link at the end of my post, then leave a sunny comment for the person linking before you. It's what all good blog neighbors do.



1. What's something you'd rate a 10/10? Tell us why.

That's easy...grandparenting. Why?

Do I really need to explain? 

2. What job would you be terrible at? What makes you think so?

Quite a few, but for starters-high rise window washing where you dangle by a thread off the side of a high rise, bridge building where you dangle by a thread over the wide open sea, and flight attendant because there's not enough Dramamine in the world. 

3. When did you last take a fall? What's something you're falling for (in a good way) these days?

I think we all know when I last took a fall. One month ago today and I'm still feeling it. Ugh.

Something I'm falling for these days?

Well it's not pumpkin spice lattes. When did we all go crazy for pumpkin? Hubs saw a pumpkin- mustard hotdog condiment the other day. Ewwwwww. 

Right now I'm loving real books checked out of the library and Pandora radio where one great song leads to another. Oh and cupcakes. I've been baking cupcakes for all the birthdays round here, and it's rekindled my love affair with baking period. 

4. According to the Travel Channel here are some of America's best fall festivals-

National Apple Harvest Festival (near Arendtsville PA, close to Gettysburg), Harvest on the Harbor (Portland Maine), German Village Festival (Columbus Ohio), Wellfleet Oyster Fest (Cape Cod), and Wine and Chile Fiesta (Santa Fe NM)

Have you ever been to any of the festivals listed? Which one appeals to you most? Does your hometown have any sort of fall celebration, and if so will you make it a point to attend?

I haven't been to any of the festivals listed, but they all sound like fun so how do I pick just one? I think I'd go for Harvest on the Harbor because lobster + Maine in the fall sounds like a winning combination to me. 

There are a couple of little towns nearby hosting Oktoberfest events, and we've also been to what is known as the Pumpkintown Festival the past couple of years. We love to attend Fall for Greenville which is all about great eating, and we've done that recently too. Most of these fall festival events land in October and our October weekends are already chock-a-block full, so not sure we'll make it to any fall fests this year. 

5. What is your goodbye message to summer?

Dear Summer-

You were complicated, but I love you still and am not quite ready to let you go. 

Signed-

A fan of bright blue skies, warm weather, and sunshiny days

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Just curious if you took any steps to protect yourself from the Equifax Data Breach? Does anyone use one of the credit monitoring services, and if so are you happy with it? 



Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 322

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



1. What's something you'd rate a 10/10? Tell us why.

2. What job would you be terrible at? What makes you think so?

3. When did you last take a fall? What's something you're falling for (in a good way) these days?

4. According to the Travel Channel here are some of America's best fall festivals-

National Apple Harvest Festival (near Arendtsville PA, close to Gettysburg), Harvest on the Harbor (Portland Maine), German Village Festival (Columbus Ohio), Wellfleet Oyster Fest (Cape Cod), and Wine and Chile Fiesta (Santa Fe NM)

Have you ever been to any of the festivals listed? Which one appeals to you most? Does your hometown have any sort of fall celebration, and if so will you make it a point to attend?

5. What is your goodbye message to summer?

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Five Minutes of Support

Joining with Five Minute Friday today, where the rules are simple- write for five minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word. Link back to Five Minute Friday, and leave an encouraging comment for the person who linked before you.

Today's prompt-support

While we were not in the eye of hurricane Irma she did make her presence known around here. More so than expected I think, or maybe with all the weather reporting we were getting our area forecast simply hit my brain as white noise.

Nevertheless she was here.


In the grand scheme of things we had very minor stuff to deal with, a messy yard littered with hundreds or maybe thousands of sticks and branches, and no power for a couple of days. We love our electricity and don't do very well without it, do we?

Our power went out Monday evening and on Tuesday morning a friend called saying they'd hooked a generator up and would I like to bring over my frozen food and leave it for the duration to avoid spoilage. Yes please.


The worst of the wind and rain left our area on Tuesday so hubs and I got busy picking up sticks and debris. A neighbor down the street stopped by to see how we had fared and our next door neighbor phoned later to see if we needed anything.


Hubs and I went one town over in search of power and landed in Starbucks (naturally). It was packed with students as the local university had cancelled classes, and there were quite a few folks like us in search of a free outlet to charge devices. Everyone scooted in and moved over and passed cords under chairs to get connected. We got to know the man stuck in the corner beside us who, as it  happens, live in a neighborhood very close to ours. We exchanged contact info and made plans to meet for dinner soon.

We went out for dinner with friends that evening, and as we left the house hubs pulled the garage shut manually. When the power's out you do things the old fashioned way. A couple of hours later we pulled back into the driveway in the pitch black of night and much to our surprise the garage door was locked. Somehow when hubs closed the door he must have pulled it down just hard enough for the locking mechanism to kick in.

Which wouldn't normally be a problem but neither one of us had house keys. Oops.

We phoned the friends we'd just left and they said come on over and sleep in their guest room. They didn't have power either, but they did have a small generator and promised us an actual cup of coffee in the morning. Besides that hot cup of coffee they gave us toothbrushes and loaned us pjs and t-shirts for sleeping and we were so grateful.

On Wednesday we mentioned to another friend we were locked out of the house and her hubs came over and attempted to pick the lock. Apparently that's in his skill set-ha!, but our locks were too much even for him so we resorted to calling a professional. On the bright side, nobody's going to be breaking in here.

And now it's Friday, the sun is shining, we've had hot showers at home, done laundry, restocked the frig and carried on with life. We're not in an area where the cleanup will take months, where homes are gone and businesses demolished. Our little piece of the storm was an interruption to our daily routine, a frustrating few days, aggravating but certainly not devastating, and still the kindness and support we felt meant so much.

It's nice to have people worry about you. To do practical things like give you space in their freezer and a toothbrush from their cabinet. And I think about how everybody is just doing the best they can. Making their way through life, managing one storm or another.

How from time to time we all need someone to ask, 'are you okay?'



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Hodgepodge Happenings

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge. I wrote my answers on Monday evening as I wasn't sure we'd have power here on Tuesday, and as it turns out we don't so whoohoo! for planning ahead. We ended up with more Irma effect in our area than was predicted, but thankfully all our big trees stayed in the ground. They did drop about a million trillion leaves and branches all over the yard, but we'll deal.

Well hubs will deal because y'all my rib thing ain't no joke.

Power went out Monday evening around 8:30 PM and we have not been given an anticipated time frame for it's return. Ugh. A friend has a generator and called to tell me to bring over my frozen foods so that was a blessing. I know our problems are first world problems and I try hard to keep that at the top of my brain while standing in a cold shower.

What a hard few weeks it has been. Irma has certainly left a path of destruction in her wake and my heart is heavy with the needs of those who've lost homes, businesses, pets, and most especially their loved ones. I pray we can all continue to be good neighbors, helping one another in whatever way we're able.

I so enjoy this midweek gathering every Wednesday, and am especially glad you've stopped by today. Here are my answers to this week's questions. If you're playing along, add your link at the end of my post, then leave a comment for the blogger linking before you. Here we go-

1. Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.

Ha! I think you know my motto runs more along the lines of 'a thousand words are worth a picture'. Wonderful photographs inspire words, and I need some of both. 

2. Have you ever driven any part of the Pacific Coast Highway? If so what was your favorite stop? If not, is this sort of trip on your bucket list?

I have not, and yes it's on my bucket list. In fact it's on my autumn to-do list so definitely share your favorite stops. We're planning to drive a small amount of the California coast later this fall, then meander along the Oregon coast a bit too. 

I'd love to drive the southern end of the PCH, but that will have to be another time. 

3. How do the changing seasons affect you? As the seasons change do you find yourself looking more forward or backward? Which season-season transition bothers you most? Why do you think that is?

I love the changing seasons and look forward to each one. I think it would be harder for me to live where the seasons don't really change. I'm someone who enjoys looking back and ahead and do both on a regular basis. 

4. It's your birthday and you get to pick the dinner menu. What are we having? Do you ever lie about your age?

What's on the menu? The main varies, but there will definitely be cake. German chocolate is my favorite but any chocolate will pretty much  do. 

I don't lie about my age. Why???

5. What's a life lesson you've learned recently?

I'm not as young as I feel? That little mishap I had three weeks ago was a doozie, and showed me I can't just go-do-grab-reach-hop like I could ten years ago. If I'd slipped like that ten years ago I think I'd have probably caught myself. These days I need to think before I act, instead of just going for it. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

A short while back a blog friend (Shannon at The Iron Diva) asked if she could make me something for our new house. Last week I opened the door to find her very special package on my doorstep-



She sent me this most gorgeous afghan which, as you can see, I'm enjoying. If you've got time today, hop over and say hi to Shannon at The Iron Diva . 

Dear world-unprompted kindness makes planet Earth a sweeter place to lay our heads. 

Thank you so much Shannon for thinking of me,  for the beautiful blanket, and most especially for brightening my day. 



Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 321

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



1. Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.

2. Have you ever driven any part of the Pacific Coast Highway? If so what was your favorite stop? If not, is this sort of trip on your bucket list?

3. How do the changing seasons affect you? As the seasons change do you find yourself looking more forward or backward? Which season-season transition bothers you most? Why do you suppose that is?

4. It's your birthday and you get to pick the dinner menu. What are we having? Do you ever lie about your age?

5. What's a life lesson you've learned recently?

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Birthday Blog

I love having grown children. I didn't imagine I'd love it as much as I do but life is full of surprises and this is one of the nicest. Daughter2 is celebrating a birthday this weekend and she and her boyfriend are spending it at the lake. We had a celebratory dinner out last night followed by her favorite birthday treat- red velvet cupcakes.


With candles because you're never too old.

This morning me and my girl enjoyed leisurely cups of coffee on the back deck because when you have grown up children you sip coffee instead of itty bitty apple juice boxes. We talked about all manner of things because that's your reward for answering ten million questions in their toddler years. Conversation. And y'all! The conversations with your grown up children are so interesting. They are interesting and they know things and have opinions and they teach you things and make you think in ways you hadn't thought before.

This morning we covered, in no particular order-

the pros and cons of Hello Fresh, people who put their foot in their mouth and how to recover because it happens to the best of us, Thanksgiving travel maybe, aggressive hummingbirds, people who keep exotic pets and how that generally goes very wrong for them, allergies, Christmas plans, the cutest boy we know (her nephew, my grandson), how turning 27 doesn't feel like a big deal and how 57 does, our calendars, college football, funny things kindergartners say, baby showers, and more. 

As a bonus she recited for me the verses she had to memorize for her weekly Bible Study group (Isaiah 52:8-15), which I'm gonna go ahead and tell you are not verses that roll right off the tongue. Unless you're her. She might have sung it for me too because why not?

I wasn't sure I'd write a birthday post today, I mean I've been blogging for eight years so I felt like maybe there wouldn't be anything original to say, but then recently she mentioned how reading my blog on her special day is one of her favorite things about her birthday so there you go. Like I said grown up children surprise us in the happiest of ways.

And so in honor of her special day, here are 27 things about this girl that make my own heart want to sing.

She's darling
Funny
Smart


Determined
Resilient
and a teensy bit clumsy


She's her sister's best friend and a rockstar aunt


She loves Jesus
children
dogs
Netflix documentaries
and Diet Coke


She has style
self-discipline
eyes bluer than the bluest of blues
and a smile that lights up all the dark places


She is brimming with confidence
Takes charge in situations where somebody needs to take charge
and is brave in all the ways that count.


She cooks and bakes and is only slightly messy in the kitchen
She quotes Red Sox stats and the Bengals roster
can tell you anything and everything about sharks


She sings because she loves to sing

She chases her dreams
holds my hand
calls me Momma.


She gets me. This girl who came into the world late and loud, who velcro-ed her infant self to my person 24/7, had every nerve ending in my body on high alert as she ran (often literally) headlong into life as a toddler, who rolled with the changes and the challenges and whatever came her way as a teen, and who adults like a boss, is my hero.


I want to be her when I grow up.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Mastering the Hodgepodge

Welcome back to the Wednesday Hodgepodge! If you've answered this week's questions, add your link at the end of my post. Be sure to leave a comment for the blogger linking before you because comments make the blog world spin. Here we go-

From this Side of the Pond

1. When you think about your future what do you fear most? Hope for the most?

What I fear most would probably be some sort of serious health issue. I think once you hit your 50's you become hyper aware of your health, the value of good health, and the importance of maintaining it. You do what you can, but you certainly can't prevent/control it all.

What I hope for most is my family's health, not just their physical well-being, but their emotional and spiritual health too. That last one most of all. 

2. September is National Chicken Month. How often is chicken on the menu at your house? What's a favorite dish made with chicken? What's something you're a 'chicken' about doing or trying?

We have chicken about once a week. I have several favorites so it's hard to choose just one. I love roast chicken, barbecued chicken, and chicken salad. I'm making this chicken dish tomorrow evening and it's a good one. I use chicken breasts instead of thighs and definitely don't skip the lemony cucumber couscous linked in the recipe as a side dish. It's so good!  

What am I a chicken about doing or trying? Most anything new-ha! Oh wait...I'm a little bit chicken about riding highly strung cable cars in foreign countries. 




That tiny speck going up the side of a glacier in the French Alps is me in a highly strung cable car. 




That's me, hanging over Italy's beautiful Lago Maggiore in yet another highly strung cable car. 




Also me, dangling precariously over the tea plantations in Taipei. 

But I've done them, which only proves the point of my original answer. 

3. What are three things you don't own but wish you did?

Such a broad question...shall I go with a ridiculous answer or a practical one? Let's be practical-


a kayak, a golf cart and an apartment in London

Okay, semi-practical. The first two are items we intend to purchase this year, and that last one is on the list I keep in my head.

4. Would you rather be a jack of all trades or a master of one? Elaborate.  If you answered one, which one?

I'd love to be able to sing, but can that be taught? I mean I know it can be taught if a person has a bit of natural talent, but what about for those of us who don't? 

I might say writing, but I'm not sure it can be truly mastered. There's always room to grow, improve, and refine this particular art. 

I suppose I will choose to be a jack of all trades as I have a variety of hobbies and interests. I like to cook, bake, entertain, read, write, craft, garden, bird watch, hike and swim. I wish I knew more about computer snafus, boating, simple home improvement and basic car 'stuff' but I suppose there's still time to learn. 

5. Ketchup or mustard? On what?

I have to choose? Actually mayonnaise is my favorite condiment but of the two listed here I'll say mustard. On a hotdog or a ham sandwich. 

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

College football is back in action and we're pretty happy about that. We're big TN Vol fans here, but we root for the hometown team too. Go Tigers! 


My son-in-law is a huge fan of the hometown team so his son needed gear to wear on game days.


I know how you feel baby boy. Sometimes these games wear me out too.