Wednesday, November 25, 2020

A Hodgepodge Of Thanksgiving

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. Be sure to leave a comment for the blogger linking before you because everyone is grateful for comments. Here we go-

From this Side of the Pond
1. It's Thanksgiving week in the US of A so let's talk turkey. And by turkey I mean the elephant in the room because it's still 2020 and our blogs are a record of sorts of the times in which we live. 

Do you live in a state (or if you're outside the US, a country) that's instituted restrictions on the size of gatherings in your own home? What do we think about this? 

No I don't live in one of those states. I think its fine for health officials to offer recommendations about gatherings, but states saying fines will be issued and police will come knocking are in my opinion, overreaching. A lot. 

I'm not someone who thinks the virus is a hoax and hubs and I have made the decision to limit travel and group activity. We wear masks without complaining for shopping, hair cuts, and appointments. That being said cities are literally burning to the ground and we're going to send the police after families having Thanksgiving dinner together?

I find the current level of hypocrisy in our country to be mind-blowing. People can protest in the literal thousands, but businesses with social distancing measures in place can't open? Large scale funerals for the more well-known are celebrated but you can't sit beside a dying parent? Police cannot intervene in the rioting but can knock on your door if you have eleven people around your dining room table? 

This explains why at least one half of  the people in our country are so angry. Add to that all the social media scolding and shaming and it's no wonder the pot is boiling over. 

Personally I'm not in favor of shutting down the economy, and I think everyone needs to make the best decisions they can given their own particular circumstances. There are many factors that go into these decisions, a family members isolation and mental health being just one. Oftentimes these factors cannot be known or assessed from an online photograph or Facebook post so maybe less judgement of that would be a good place to start. 

Will some people make unwise decisions? Absolutely. I think we've learned after 200+ years as a nation, some things cannot be legislated. Most people I know are considerate of others and are trying their best to do the right thing for their circle of connection. God bless America, land of the free...

2. Let's move in a cheerier direction. Will there be corn on your holiday dinner menu? How so? Cornbread-corn pudding-corn chips and dip-cornbread dressing/stuffing-corn chowder-or regular canned, frozen or fresh corn in a bowl...which of the 'corns’ listed is your favorite? 

There will be corn pudding on our Thanksgiving table. Since my plan was to simplify the menu a bit I asked hubs and my mother-in-law what would be the one side dish they'd most like to have and my mother-in-law chose corn pudding. I normally make corn pudding for holiday meals only so I'm glad it's on the menu.  

Of the corns mentioned cornbread dressing would be tops on my list. It's another dish I only make at Thanksgiving and sometimes Christmas. 

3. What is there a cornucopia of in your home, job, or life currently? 

Cookie dough? I have buttercreams waiting to be dipped, chocolate crinkles waiting to be baked, and shortbread ingredients waiting to be mixed, rolled and decorated. 

4. Have you ever quit something (such as a habit, a food, a time-sucker, a relationship) cold turkey? Is there something you need to quit cold turkey? 

A while back I quit french fries cold turkey. I just decided they were something I did not need to eat and I quit eating them. I have fallen off the wagon a teensy bit, but am back at it.  I'm sure this is a ridiculous answer but it's the one that popped into my brain first so I'm going with it. 

5. Share a favorite verse, quote, saying, or song lyric relating to gratitude. 

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things."  Philippians 4:8

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

HappyThanksgiving Hodgepodgers! I'm grateful for our every Wednesday meet up...

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 396

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

1. It's Thanksgiving week in the US of A so let's talk turkey. And by turkey I mean the elephant in the room because it's still 2020 and our blogs are a record of sorts of the times in which we live. 

Do you live in a state (or if you're outside the US, a country) that's instituted restrictions on the size of gatherings in your own home? What do we think about this? (keep it classy folks)

2. Let's move in a cheerier direction. Will there be corn on your holiday dinner menu? How so? Cornbread-corn pudding-corn chips and dip-cornbread dressing/stuffing-corn chowder-or regular canned, frozen or fresh corn in a bowl...which of the 'corns’ listed is your favorite? 

3. What is there a cornucopia of in your home, job, or life currently? 

U4. Have you ever quit something (such as a habit, a food, a time-sucker, a relationship) cold turkey? Is there something you need to quit cold turkey? 

5. Share a favorite verse, quote, saying, or song lyric relating to gratitude. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Monday Morning Pre-Game Roundup

Good Monday morning! It's going to be a beautiful day here, the roofers are coming to start the re-shingling, my house is one part Thanksgiving, two parts Christmas, and there is so much to be grateful for as we head into this holiday season. 

Some of you are already there. Smack dab in the middle of full blown Christmas. I was watching an instagram story this morning and a young wife was stressing about 'only having her tree done' and nothing else and how she was feeling so behind. Dear mamas everywhere... it's November 23rd. If your house isn't picture perfect ready for Christmas right now you are NOT behind. 

The internet can make you feel all sorts of things that aren't true, right? 

Anyway, it's 2020 and I say if you're sipping eggnog round your fully decked out tree before Thanksgiving arrives, or if you opt to forgo any decorating at all this year, that is A-OK. If there's anything 2020 has taught me it's to focus on the heart of a thing and not the bells and whistles. 

A Saviour is born is the heart of the thing. 

Hubs picked up his mama yesterday and she's here spending Thanksgiving week with us. I'm not going to bother inserting the 2020 caveat that she's been home and we've been home and it's fine for us to be together. Except I guess I will mention it because someone will likely feel the need to comment on it if I don't. People have lost their minds over this virus and pretty much everything lately. 

I always really enjoy this week of Thanksgiving. There's a sense of anticipation drawing us into Advent, and family, no matter how large or how small, gathered round my dining room table is pretty much my favorite thing in the world. 

This week we'll work a holiday jigsaw puzzle, begin the Christmas baking, and decorate our tree. We'll set the table with the fancy china and feast on turkey with all the trimmings because that's what we enjoy. 

Also, maybe not all the trimmings. I'm trying to keep it a bit simpler since there's just the three of us here this year. And I'm also thinking I don't need to indulge in a carbpalooza with a wedding right around the corner. Just sayin'. 

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and while it's sometimes overlooked in the ever increasing chaotic frenzy of all things Christmas, I love this late November pause. I love this day that turns our hearts toward all we have, not what we don't. Toward home and food and family and finding much to be thankful for.

Yes even in 2020. 

Maybe especially in 2020.  

"For the beauty of the earth, For the beauty of the skies, For the love which from our birth, Over and around us lies, Lord of all to thee we raise, This our hymn of grateful praise."

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Happiest Hodgepodge On Earth

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 go say howdy to your neighbor. Here we go-

1. It's Mickey Mouse's birthday (November 18)...happy birthday Mickey! He reads here, right? Have you ever been to Disney, any of the parks at all? Are you a Disney superfan or something less than that? They're open right now so tell us, would you go if you had the time/money/a free trip?

I've been to Disney World and Disneyland Paris, but never Disneyland California. It's been a number of years since I've been to any of the parks, but hopefully when my grandsons are a bit older I'll have a chance to see the magic again through their eyes. I shared some of our Disney memories in a post linked here, and reading it back just now made me wish the world was normal, my grandkids weren't an ocean away, and a trip to Disney World was on the calendar. 

I enjoy the parks, but am not a superfan. I'm not someone who wants to go every year, but for sure wouldn't turn down a free trip either. And I soak it all up when I'm there. 

2. Your favorite place to go when you want to be quiet as a church mouse? Would those who know you well describe you as more churchmouse or perhaps more like mighty mouse? 

When I'm looking for quiet I head to one of our porches. This time of year especially the lake is quiet and I love the view, a fire in the fireplace or in the fire table, a blanket on my lap, and a good book. Or a good nap. Or both. 

As far as which mouse? I think I'm a bit of both. 

3. The day before Mickey's birthday happens to be National Homemade Bread Day. Did/will you celebrate? Do you bake your own bread? Last time you had hot out-of-the-oven homemade bread? What's your favorite kind of bread? 

I used to bake bread on a pretty regular basis, but not so much these days. I try not to eat a lot of bread. I had homemade hot-out-of-the-oven bread a little over a week ago. My neighbor brought me a loaf of her sourdough and it was scrumptious. I took half the loaf to my sister and brother-in-law because momma of the bride does not need to eat an entire loaf of homemade bread. ahem. 

My neighbor is going to bring me some starter and I'm excited to make my own sourdough loaves. I plan to wrap them up and share with friends and neighbors though because see paragraph above.  

It's hard to choose a favorite bread, but I do love a sandwich on rye. I might say my absolute favorite bread is homemade cinnamon, lightly toasted please.   

4. What's something you might say is 'the greatest thing since sliced bread'? 

Not to be a broken record here, but Facetime is pretty much the greatest thing since sliced bread. Maybe even better than sliced bread. 

5. Let's keep the gratitude theme we started last week rolling on through November. Share with us five little things you're grateful for today. Small blessings. One catch-they all must start with the letter T. Gotta keep us thinking, right? 

turning leaves
Thanksgiving memories
tiny handprints
afternoon tea 
a warning instead of a ticket

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Who's watching the newest season of The Crown? Your thoughts so far? I think the program is so well done, but I do wonder if the royals watch? And I wonder how accurate some of the Diana storyline is? If it's even close to accurate it's awfully sad. 

Also I miss England. 
Carry on.


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 395

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. It's Mickey Mouse's birthday (November 18)...happy birthday Mickey! He reads here, right? Have you ever been to Disney, any of the parks at all? Are you a Disney superfan or something less than that? They're open right now so tell us, would you go if you had the time/money/a free trip?

2. Your favorite place to go when you want to be quiet as a church mouse? Would those who know you well describe you as more churchmouse or perhaps more like mighty mouse? 

3. The day before Mickey's birthday happens to be National Homemade Bread Day. Did/will you celebrate? Do you bake your own bread? Last time you had hot out-of-the-oven homemade bread? What's your favorite kind of bread? 

4. What's something you might say is 'the greatest thing since sliced bread'? 

5. Let's keep the gratitude theme we started last week rolling on through November. Share with us five little things you're grateful for today. Small blessings. One catch-they all must start with the letter T. Gotta keep us thinking, right? 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Monday, November 16, 2020

Autumn In The Age Of Corona

How many times can I say it? This has been a weird hard year. For everyone. And it continues to be weird and hard. Also confusing, labyrinthine, and a little bit beautiful too. Cherry trees in November anyone? 

Even the landscape isn't sure what to do. 

So it blooms. It bursts forth out of season and reminds us we can too. This is Autumn in 2020. Cherry trees in bloom amidst the fiery golden hues of fall. 

Unexpected beauty tucked just beside the broken. 

Like 2020. 

Like always. 

One of the things I enjoy about my little corner of the internet is looking back at an event or a season written about here and seeing it from a new perspective. One of distance and hindsight and maybe less adrenaline than I felt when I first put pen to page. 

How will I remember 2020? What will stand out in my mind years from now when I read this blog and the snippets I've recorded from a year that's run amok? Will it all look and feel the same some years down the road? 

Will I remember the trees that fell and the dull brown landscape of one day rolling in to the next? 

 Or will I remember the small surprises of color that found a way to burst through? 

Autumn is my favorite season of the year for a few reasons, but mostly because it makes me mindful of things I want to be mindful of. I read somewhere that trees show us how beautiful it is to let things go, and autumn is the season we remember this is true. 

This year maybe more than any other in my lifetime has called for a lot of letting go. So many disappointments on both a small and grand scale. So much hurt and anger and a general sense of unease we try our best to tamp down but only sometimes succeed. 

I'm pretty sure years from now we'll remember the masks and the no toilet paper and washing our hands til they were raw, but I hope there's more. I hope when my grandchildren ask about this year I remember autumn. The season that shouts without saying a word. 

Look up she said, and so we did. 

                  

Through the icky dead browns and the fading yellows we found the sunlight was still there. 


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

11 on 11 In The Wednesday Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge! If you've served in our country's military or are the spouse of someone who has served I truly thank you. I hope you feel honored and appreciated every day, but especially so on this Veterans Day. 

Now on with the questions. Add your blog link with today's answers in the space at the end of my post. And please leave a comment for the blogger linking before you so everyone has a little company in their corner of the internet.  Here we go-

1. It's the 11th day of the 11th month and bloggers often make lists on days like today. Let's go with a list of eleven things you're feeling grateful for today.

daughters who stand firm in their faith, grandbabies who make me forget for a minute the troubles of this world, the colors of fall, insurance, nice neighbors, books, God's word, imagination, new mercies, time

2. What's something you decided to do or act on at the '11th hour'?  

Hmmm...I'm not really much of an '11th hour' operator. I am more of a let's plan weeks in advance and also have a plan B and maybe a plan C too.  I guess I'm often an 11th hour blogger-ha! As in let me just sit down for a minute and see what words happen. 

3.  Apparently the Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe contains 11 herbs and spices. What's a dish you make that calls for exactly eleven ingredients? Feel free to share the list and/or recipe. 

Well this question sent me on a ridiculous hunt through my most used 'shared recipe' cookbook and what I discovered is most of my recipes call for nine ingredients or fewer than six. My momma's enchilada recipe does list 11 ingredients as best I can determine. I have it written down in narrative form as opposed to a list so if I counted correctly it's eleven. 

It would be a lot to share here and not gonna lie, this recipe is super labor intensive. Hubs says I use every pot and pan in the house when I make them, but they're his absolute favorite thing. 

4. Something you remember about your 11-year old self? 

It was 1970-something which would have been the end of grade five and the start of grade 6. In the 'old days' 6th grade was the last year of elementary school before moving on to Junior High and I remember loving that year...my teacher, my friends, lots of fun experiences, one foot still planted happily in childhood, the other stepping tentatively into adolescence...

I found a couple of pictures from that year in a scrapbook my mom made me. That summer I turned 11 we traveled out west to visit my grandparents in Colorado and New Mexico. I'm the one in the middle with the ginormous smiley face button on my shirt, standing between my sisters. It was always exciting to make a big trip like this one. Families didn't travel the way they do now so this was a big deal to my 11-year old self, and to most kids I knew. 

Later that summer we took my sister to college. In Tennessee. A hop, skip and jump from where I'd eventually meet the hubs. Life is funny isn't it? 


Here I am in Maggie Valley NC, not far from where I live now, wearing what we used to call 'hot pants' and now I guess would be called just plain old shorts. Hot pants were short shorts which in 1970-something earned them a name all their own. There's Adidas on my feet and my very own camera, the kind that needed flashcubes for indoor picture taking, hanging in my hand. I don't even know what to say about those skinny legs, except I promise my mom fed me very well. 

Sidebar-I look so much like my own daughter here it kind of makes my heart beat fast. Hey Daughter2...I bet my momma said the words 'too leggy' when I walked down the stairs in a short skirt too. 

Mostly I remember this year as one of carefree innocence. I grew up knowing I was loved. 

5. The 11th of November is Veterans Day in the US of A. This is a day to honor those who have served their country in war or peace-dead or alive-although according to the government's website it's largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices. 

Memorial Day is when we honor military personnel who died in service to their country. 

Share a thought relating to Veterans Day or tell us something about a Veteran you know-love-admire. 

I have many friends who are veterans, I'm the daughter of a career Marine, and I have a son-in-law currently serving in the US Army so I guess you could say this day feels very much worth the pause. I honestly don't think a lot of people in this land I love recognize the quiet sacrifices made every single day on their behalf and I find that disheartening. 

Hubs and I watched a movie over the weekend called The 12th Man. It had subtitles but was so good we didn't care. It's based on the true story of a Norwegian man named Jan Baalsrud, who was a commando in the Norwegian resistance trained by the British in WW2.  It's the story of bravery, fortitude, and survival, but also the courage of those who helped him along the way. It's the story of selflessness, sacrifice, and truly doing something for the greater good of humanity. It's a far cry from what's happening in our cities today. 

I'll hush now. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

We went to church in person this past Sunday, our first 'live' service since March. We had to reserve a spot ahead of time, wear a mask, sit spaced apart, doors were wide open, and there was no singing along, but still it was wonderful to be back in the building. 

Afterwards we went to brunch with friends which felt almost like the good old days. 

Almost.