Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Homemade Hodgepodge

Welcome to December and that most wonderful time of the year. Grab your cocoa and take some time to read what other Hodgepodgers had to say today by clicking the link at the end of my post. And don't forget to add your own link to the list and leave a comment for the blogger before you. Here we go-  

From this Side of the Pond

1. When it comes to gift giving are you more of a 'create something from scratch' or a 'buy something in a shop' kind of giver? Tell about a favorite homemade gift you've given or one you've received. 

I'm mostly a 'buy something in a shop' kind of giver, but I have done some homemade gifting through the years too. I definitely try to buy things that feel personal to the recipient. 

As far as favorites go, in 2013 our girls surprised us with a painting of our sweet pup Dixie. They had the artist copy a photo and we love it still. 


In completely unrelated news, look at me with my short hair. 

In terms of giving something homemade, one year I made both girls holiday 'notebooks'. They were filled with all of our favorite holiday recipes written on cute cards, all of our family Christmas cards/letters, and lots of Christmas pictures taken as they were growing up. 


I might not be crafty but I can tug at the heartstrings in my own way. These books are keepsakes and I enjoyed putting them together. 


2. Do you have the 'gift of gab'? Is that a blessing or a curse? 

An easy question-yes. I Gab. With a capital G. We all gab here which is mostly a blessing. We think so anyway-ha! Our listeners may disagree. 

3. What's something you have going on that you need/want to 'wrap up' this month? 

For the love, is this office redo ever going to be redone??? Also, hubs added a new piece to the project which is basically bigger and more involved than my original project but whatever, none of it has been completed.

On the bright side, the wood was delivered and is in the garage. The carpenter will be here Monday to do some measuring that needs doing before the electrician can come which needs to happen before the carpenters actually come back to do the work. I'm kind of like it'll be done when it's done, but hubs is not wired that way and wanted it done yesterday. 

4. A food you love that is 'wrapped' in some way?

Lots of things, but Beef Wellington, sushi, a spring roll, and a soft taco would be near the top of the list.  

5. December is upon us...share something here (quote, verse, poem, song lyric, your own thoughts) related to the word hope. 

One of my favorite Christmas songs...

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I recapped our Thanksgiving travels in Monday's post, but hubs reminded me I left out one teensy tiny happening. A drunk driver hit our (parked) car Thanksgiving evening while we were all getting ready for bed. Ugh. 

Our car was parked in front of my daughter's house and the road is wide. About 9:30 (yes, when there are toddlers in the house you go to bed early) the across the street neighbor knocked on the door to tell us she thought someone had hit our car, and then had continued driving on up the road. Her husband had gone to see if he could spot the vehicle, and fortunately for us (and probably the drunk driver too) he was stopped just up the street. 

He had somehow managed to completely demolish another neighbors enormous brick mailbox stand. The airbags deployed and the car was a mess, but the driver was uninjured although struggling to stay vertical. The police were called and we did not get to bed anywhere close to 9:30. 

We are so thankful the damage to our car, while aggravating, was relatively minor.

So thankful the driver hit that brick wall and did not end up getting on the highway and perhaps causing grave harm to an innocent person. 

Thankful it was night not day, and no children were on the sidewalk playing. 

Don't drink and drive. I guess we still need to say it. 

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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 443

We're back at it this week and you'll find the Hodgepodge questions below. Answer on your own blog then hop back here tomorrow to add your link to the party. See you there! 

1. When it comes to gift giving are you more of a 'create something from scratch' or a 'buy something in a shop' kind of giver? Tell about a favorite homemade gift you've given or one you've received. 

2. Do you have the 'gift of gab'? Is that a blessing or a curse? 

3. What's something you have going on that you need/want to 'wrap up' this month? 

4. A food you love that is 'wrapped' in some way?

5. December is upon us...share something here (quote, verse, poem, song lyric, your own thoughts) related to the word hope. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Let's Just Call This One November

We've been trekking across and around East Tennessee for the past ten days so I'm going to lump all the fun into a single post before December rolls in and Thanksgiving is so last week. I know technically Thanksgiving really was last week but I enjoyed living and not writing about it in real time.   

Anyway, Thanksgiving

Wait, let's back the sleigh up to the weekend before Thanksgiving, which is when we loaded up the car and the dog and the everything and made our way to hubs brother's house in Vol country. Nobody is happier to road trip to visit my brother-in-law and sister-in-law than the little brown dog. My sister-in-law is one of his favorites and she does not spoil him at all. 

There's nothing quite like a game live and in person in Neyland Stadium and that's where we were (along with 100,000 of our closest friends) the Saturday before Thanksgiving. 

The Vols had an away game Veterans Day weekend so they were doing a number of things at this game to honor those who've served. Lee Greenwood was at the game with his son and they sang God Bless The USA while the big flag was unfurled on the field which was such a treat. Winning is fun too.

On Monday morning we drove another three (or is it four?) hours to Daughter1's house. She's an hour behind us which isn't much, but somehow it still messes with your head. 

We settled in and spent four days having all the fun with the sweetest little men we  know. That fun included building giant houses made of waffles...

 Reading stacks and stacks and stacks of books -

Playing lots of Go Fish and no less than seventeen games of Candyland which, if you know you know, ahem-  

There were also  lots  of snuggles-giggles-wiggles-and sloppy kisses given which will need to hold me over til the next time we're together. 

I helped in the kitchen and delivered my grandmother's china to her great-granddaughter (daughter1) and loved Facetiming my mom to show her the table set with her momma's well loved crystal and flowery plates. So so special. 


We left Daughter1's house the day after our feast and drove another three hours over to Daughter2's house so we could see the new digs. So so cute. We had a wonderful time visiting with her in-laws and it was nice to have a second Thanksgiving of sorts with them and also my mother-in-law.

Because my sons-in-law both have jobs that sometimes require them to be 'on call' (aka no travel) we were not able to have everyone in the same place, although we were in the same state. Daughter2 and her hubs moved into their home three days before Thanksgiving but she rallied and invited her in-laws and also hubs mom to spend the holiday with them in their brand new home. 

That they moved into three days before. 

My girls are awesome. 

Raise your hand if you've had a few too many carbs in the last ten days. 

Raise your hand if you're not sorry-ha! 

We left Daughter2's house Sunday morning to take my mother-in-law back home and spend one more night with hubs brother and sister-in-law. We were all pretty pooped so we chilled on the couch, napped, and caught up on everyone's holiday eatings and doings. 

While my girls are geographically the closest they've been to one another in many many years, and to us too, we will not have either of the 'big' holidays this year with both girls in the same house. This is the thing I long for most when holidays roll around, the thing I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for, and the thing I was expecting this year. 

I wait a little longer. 

I make a list of all I'm grateful for, which includes happily married grown up girls who've made loving homes for their growing families...


...for grandchildren who fill our hearts to overflowing-

 
...for the beauty of a late November sky-


A reminder of how deep and wide and high God's love is for His people.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Hodgepodge Leftovers

Hello Hodgepodgers and welcome to another edition of your weekly random. If you've answered today's questions add your link at the end of my post. Be sure to leave a comment for the blogger before you because everyone appreciates kindness.  

Please note- I'm taking a Thanksgiving week break next Wednesday so no Hodgepodge on November 24th. We'll be back in action the following week, December 1st. 

And we're off-

From this Side of the Pond

1. It's often said we should be grateful for small blessings. What is one small blessing you are feeling especially grateful for today?

This front yard tree-

She's a stunner. 

2. How do you feel about leftovers, not just on Thanksgiving but after any meal? Favorite thing to make/eat using your Thanksgiving leftovers? 

I'm good with Thanksgiving leftovers although my one 'quirk' is I am generally not a fan of meat re-heated. I will pour warm gravy over turkey right out of the frig, but I don't like to reheat turkey. Or chicken or fish. Roast beef is usually okay reheated. 

Give me my leftovers in the form of a turkey sandwich please, with lots of mayo and pepper. And I'll have a left over side of all the left over sides. I'm not cooking this year so leftovers won't be an issue. 

3. Sherwin Williams unveiled it's 2022 Color of the Year-Evergreen Fog. Are you a fan? Would I find this mid-tone gray green shade anywhere in your house? Does your house need painting? Inside or out? What one space is most in need of a paint job? Are you a do-it-yourselfer or do you hire a professional? 

I love the color but don't have that particular shade in my home. My house needs some interior re-painting, nothing urgent, but it's been five years so probably time. Most in need would be the bathrooms and we hire out. 

4. What is one aspect of the way you were parented that you are grateful for today? 

I always felt safe and loved. 

5. Write an acrostic for the word-thankful

T-thankful for 

h-home

a-America the beautiful

n-eNchanting little boys who call me Nana

k-for Kids who grow into remarkable women

f-family and friends scattered far and wide

u-for undeserved grace and 

l-love from above. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Who here is cooking dinner on the big day and who's shopping the day after? Is Black Friday still a thing? I feel like the Black Friday sales are already happening, which is probably a good thing. 

'Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.' H. A. Ironside

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving day xo

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Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 442

Hello Hodgepodgers! Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog then hop back here tomorrow to add your link to the party. Please note- I'm taking a Thanksgiving week break next Wednesday so no Hodgepodge on November 24th. We'll be back in action the following week, December 1st. 

Okay, here we go-

1. It's often said we should be grateful for small blessings. What is one small blessing you are feeling especially grateful for today?

2. How do you feel about leftovers, not just on Thanksgiving but after any meal? Favorite thing to make/eat using your Thanksgiving leftovers? 

3. Sherwin Williams unveiled it's 2022 Color of the Year-Evergreen Fog. Are you a fan? Would I find this mid-tone gray green shade anywhere in your house? Does your house need painting? Inside or out? What one space is most in need of a paint job? Are you a do-it-yourselfer or do you hire a professional? 

4. What is one aspect of the way you were parented that you are grateful for today? 

5. Write an acrostic for the word-thankful

6. Insert your own random thought here. 


Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Hodgepodge Flashback

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge. A couple of weeks ago Lea at Cici's Corner prompted me to look back at my first Hodgepodge post. Turns out it was November 10, 2010 which seems ridiculous and also impossible, but 'tis true. 

To mark that event we're turning back the clock here today and repeating a few of those very first questions. In the early days there were eight questions every week, but I downsized a few years in to keep my sanity. 

If you've answered today's questions add your link at the end of my post then leave a comment for the blogger before you. While blogging has changed and of course social media too, the connections made here have been so sweet. Thank you for sticking with it, re-joining, or landing here for the first time ever. 

Here we go-

From this Side of the Pond

1. How did you name your blog and do you now wish you had thought about it maybe another five minutes before hitting publish? Would you change your blog title if it were not a huge pain in the derriere? 

I'm definitely looking back at my original answers so there might be a little cut and paste here today. How did I name my blog? 

"I was living in the UK when I started blogging. I had absolutely no idea what I was signing on for or that anyone would ever actually read what I wrote. I wanted to call my blog 'the other side of the pond' but that name was taken. I fiddled with the phrase a bit and came up with my current title which actually suits me better since we moved back to the states less than a year after my first post.' 

As titles go, it's kind of long but I wouldn't change it even if I could figure out how. 

2. What bill do you least like to pay? 

Some things never change. Taxes. 

3. What is your favorite word? Okay okay, calm down. How about one of your favorite words? 

My original answer was hodgepodge of course, and I still love that word. It's been used a whole lot here in the last ten years-ha. 

And my love for words spoken across the pond has not dimmed one iota either...gobsmacked, knackered, cheeky...

4. Is the glass half full or half empty? Elaborate. 

Always half full but in 2021 I have to work hard to keep it that way. People want to steal your joy...don't let them. 

5. Were you here for that very first Hodgepodge post? If so, were your answers then similar to what they are today? Tell us what was happening in your life in November of 2010? 

Obviously I was here for the first post and yes, my answers are very similar to what they were then. You can read the whole wordy thing in the link- Wednesday Hodgepodge-The Initiation. 

This is one of the things I love about having a blog. The walk down memory lane, the easy link to what we were doing when, how life was and is and how I felt and feel about it all. In November of 2010...

I had a college student and a recent grad. 


Be still my heart. 

We attended a wedding and that bride and groom have four kids now. Hubs celebrated 25 years with the same company and was traveling the globe for work. He was in Mexico in November of 2010 and I was at home in the frosty northeast. I had just gotten my Invisilgn and can say today it was worth it. 

I was struggling with technology and depending on my girls to 'fix' it. Like I said some things never change. 

We had a small Thanksgiving and I was trying to find my Christmas spirit. 

Politics were a bit of a mess, although not nearly the mess they are ten years on, but I shared this quote back then and it still feels apropos-

"Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature...If the next centennial does not find us a great nation...it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces." President James Garfield, 1877

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Somehow 45 bloggers found their way to that very first Hodgepodge and it was a lot of fun. These days we average 15-20 and that's still fun. This has always been a friendly mid-week meet up that feels more like coffee with friends in my living room than strangers on the other side of a screen. 

While people don't blog like they did 'back in the day' I'm still happy with mine. It's a wonderful record of an ordinary life lived and of God's faithfulness throughout. 

I'm grateful for my little corner of the Internet. Grateful too for the people who read here, for those who comment, and for those who just quietly nod their head and say to themselves 'me too' when something I write strikes a chord. 

Keep calm and Hodgepodge on xo 


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Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 441

Welcome to another week in the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Lea over at Cici's Corner recently prompted me to look back at my first Hodgepodge post and I discovered the date of that first post was this very week in the year 2010. It doesn't feel like that long ago but blogs don't lie. They might exaggerate at times, but they don't lie ha! 

I thought it might be fun this week to repeat some of those same questions. When I started the HP I asked seven questions adding a space in #8 for your own random thought. Thinking about that now I don't know how I kept up the pace. I was smarter then I guess lol. 

I downsized to five questions in May of 2017 before calling it quits in September of 2018. It was becoming more of a chore than a fun mid-week break and the timing felt right. I brought it back in the early days of the pandemic (remember when it was 'early days'???) and we're still at it. In more ways than one, but that's a post for a different day. 

I still enjoy this little weekly random, so keeping it going until I don't. Thank you for sticking with it, re-joining, or landing here for the first time ever. Here we go-

1. How did you name your blog and do you now wish you had thought about it maybe another five minutes before hitting publish? Would you change your blog title if it were not a huge pain in the derriere? 

2. What bill do you least like to pay? 

3. What is your favorite word? Okay okay, calm down. How about one of your favorite words? 

4. Is the glass half full or half empty? Elaborate. 

5. Were you here for that very first Hodgepodge post? If so, were your answers then similar to what they are today? Tell us what was happening in your life in November of 2010? 

6. Insert your own random thought here.