Wednesday, November 19, 2014

You Say Potato, I Say Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge! So glad you joined the fun here today. If you've answered the questions, add your link at the end of my post, then go say hi to the neighbors.  


1. What's something you take for granted, that when you stop and think about it you feel truly grateful for?

My health. I think when everything is rolling along with no real issues, I tend to forget (or at least not think about) what a gift my good health is.   

2. The color brown-love it or no? What's your favorite shade of brown? Most loved something in your home or closet in a shade of brown?

I favor warm woods like mahogany and cherry and have a lot of those in my home so yes, I like the color brown. In my closet I love the deep rich chocolate tones the best. My most loved something in a shade of brown would be my furry snow boots, which I will no doubt be wearing here pretty soon.

3. What's something you're looking forward to today?

I'm going for a dress fitting today for my mother of the bride dress. It would be way more exciting if the bride were here to go with me, but it's still pretty exciting.

4. The word 'feminism' is not new, but it has been generating all kinds of headlines in recent days and months. What do you think/feel when you hear the word? If you're a woman, do you want to be described as a feminist? Why or why not?

What do I think when I hear the word? 

Pass the Tylenol. 

Not that I'm against strong women because I happen to think I am one. Nor am I opposed to opportunity for women, BUT...like so.many.words. in our culture today, this one has taken on a life of it's own. It's become more than a word. Whenever an issue deteriorates into name calling I want to plug my ears and sing lalala. 

I hate the way our social and political vocabulary labels people. The way it sticks you in one camp or another based on your feelings about one small piece of very large and complex issues. That if you don't subscribe to all points under a particular argument you're out.  It all feels so unreasonable to me. 

I'm complicated. And strong. And not big on labels, feminist or otherwise.

5. What's something you personally can't eat without making a mess?

My family would say many things. I've got my mama's genes. I will say I've learned not to make or eat bolognese while wearing a white top. Or a light colored top. Or really any colored top that isn't protected by an apron. Even when I don't think I've splattered, I've usually somehow splattered. 

6. When did you last surprise someone with a little gift or when were you last surprised by someone with a little gift? What was it?

I bought four copies last week of Ann Voskamp's book The Greatest Gift, and sent them to some of my peeps.  The Greatest Gift is a beautifully written devotional for the season of advent. If you're looking for something to add quiet and meaning to your December I highly recommend. 

7. Share a favorite quote, saying, song lyric or scripture relating to gratitude.

'For each new morning with its light, 
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.'  
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

8.  Insert your own random question here.

So whenever I peel potatoes (and sometimes onions) I have a problem with my hands getting red and itchy. My family used to think I made that up to avoid peeling potatoes, but honestly I did not make that up.  Anyway, I probably haven't peeled a potato since last Christmas, because mashed potatoes have sadly been relegated to the rare treat column in my diet, but I do make an exception on Thanksgiving. 

Last week when Daughter1 and I were preparing our mini feast I whipped out my handy dandy official potato gloves. Yes they are so a real thing-


My girls put these in my Christmas stocking last year, and last week was the first time I had the opportunity to use them. I wasn't kidding when I said mashed potatoes are like gold around here in 2014. Anyway, the gloves worked. They're a kind of thick meshy material and I think they bought them at Bed Bath and Beyond. 

As an added random, that black taxi apron I'm wearing makes me ridiculously happy. Hi Louise! I don't know if she's reading this today, but we bought our aprons together at Harrods once upon a time, and whenver I wear it I think of her. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 198

It's that time again! Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then hop back here tomorrow to join the party.  See you there!


1. What's something you take for granted, that when you stop and think about it you feel truly grateful for?

2. The color brown-love it or no? What's your favorite shade of brown? Most loved something in your home or closet in a shade of brown?

3. What's something you're looking forward to today?

4. The word 'feminism' is not new, but it has been generating all kinds of headlines in recent days and months. What do you think/feel when you hear the word? If you're a woman, do you want to be described as a feminist? Why or why not?

5. What's something you personally can't eat without making a mess?

6. When did you last surprise someone with a little gift or when were you last surprised by someone with a little gift? What was it?

7. Share a favorite quote, saying, song lyric or scripture relating to gratitude.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Recent Goings On

I thought I'd share some random 'stuff' here today, otherwise known as Friday Fragments. Except it's Monday so we're calling it stuff.  


It snowed. Surprise!


I think this happened Thursday night, but the days are running together right now so I'm not 100% certain. 



I love the first snowfall of the season.


As long as I don't think too hard about the fact that we have a winter wedding happening and people will be traveling from all corners of the earth to attend.

Friday morning we spied this little guy outside our kitchen window-


I'm going to be honest here and say there is something about a fox staring me down that kinda creeps me out.

Also on Thursday, Daughter1 and I made a mini Thanksgiving feast. Is there such a thing as a mini? Yes, because we didn't make our usual twenty sides, and there was no dessert which is a cryin' shame, but still the meal was delicious.


My girls both love to cook, and have always helped prepare the meal on Thanksgiving. This year Daughter1 will be cooking for just two, and a long way from her mama, so a refresher on the dressing and gravy making was in order.

It's tricky making this kind of meal for two, but who doesn't love leftovers on Thanksgiving?  She plans to make the whole meal for her hard working fiance, who will no doubt be hard-working on the actual holiday. Thanksgiving dinner is good no matter what day its eaten, right? He's a first year resident and I'm pretty sure the law says first year residents work all holidays. Second year too.

Doctors in general don't have the most reasonable or predictable hours, so an early lesson to carry into married life- adapt. Make the most of the minutes and don't get hung up on the calendar.  Hubs and I have been married 30 years, and this is the first Thanksgiving we'll be home alone. Except we won't because my very sweet neighbor has invited us to dinner, so yeah...adapt. Year one...year thirty...and all the years in between.

It was so much fun having my girl home all last week. We ticked many things off the wedding to-do list and instead of 124 tasks left there are only 60. Something like that. I know!! The bride-to-be began the second leg of her cross country travels on Friday when she flew to SC for the week.

Let's just pause here for a moment and discuss the moving shenanigans. Less than two weeks ago a moving van filled with her posessions set off for the West Coast. We were told it would take three to four weeks to get there, but she got a call on Tuesday saying it had arrived.

Seven days after it left Maryland.

She let them know she wouldn't be out there until later this month, and they said no problem. They will hold it for her at no charge, and bonus-they scheduled the delivery for the day after she arrives in WA.  I have been so pleased with this company, and once she accepts delivery I will give them a real shout out.

In addition to the moving van, we somehow still have a very large amount of clothing, jewelery, and miscellany to get from Point A to Point C via Point B. I left her at the airport on Friday with three overly heavy suitcases, a too full-too heavy carry on bag, and a mandolin strapped to her back. It reminded me of when we moved overseas and I told her she needed to think of it that way. Put your head down and get on with it because your stuff has to get there somehow.

She made it to SC with all her bags and will be there for a week before flying out to WA. She's not officially moving until after the wedding, but she wanted to get everything into the house and settled so they can arrive to a mostly uncluttered space as newlyweds. Her car is also in transit and fingers crossed will arrive when she's out there.

On Saturday some friends of her soon to be mother-in-law hosted a lovely shower down in SC.


Is she just the cutest bride ever? Her sister went with her and are they just the cutest sisters ever?


Yes and yes.

The bride-to-be received so many nice things and really enjoyed the afternoon. I so would have loved to attend, but it was just a little too complicated to get me there right now. Plus I know my girls are enjoying time with each other, which is sweet and special and never enough. They have some fun things planned and of course Daughter2 will be working all week, and Daughter1 needs to be ticking some of those 60 items off the above mentioned list, ahem. so plenty to do.

And there will be moments. Words and laughter and secrets whispered and joy shared because they have always been, and still are, the original besties.


Aren't they just the cutest? 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

RSVP-ing to the Wednesday Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge! It's nice to be back here today after last week's break. If you've answered the questions add your link at the end of my post. Be sure to hop over and say hi to the blogger who linked before you, because everybody needs somebody, right?

Here we go-


1. We celebrate Veteran's Day in the US of A on November 11th. When did you last interact with a member of the armed forces (either currently serving or retired)? Have you ever written a letter to a soldier, bought a meal or coffee for a soldier, said an unprompted thank you to a soldier you encountered out and about somewhere? If you're not in the US, comment on a similar holiday in your own country.

I suppose my last interaction with a member of the armed forces would have been with my future son-in-law who is in the U.S. Army. We are proud and excited he is joining our family in less than two months.   

As to the other pieces of this question, my dad was a career Marine and growing up I wrote him lots of letters while he was stationed in Okinawa, and also in Vietnam. More recently hubs and I sent a care package to the son of a co-worker who was stationed in the Middle East, and we often approach servicemen to say thank you, mostly in airports which is where we tend to see them.  

2. You can have fifty pounds of anything at all (except money)...what would you choose?

I'm thinking something I can give away. Coat drives are happening in our area, so how about 50 lb of coats? Or groceries? I'd love to pack up 50 lb. of turkey dinners for some people who are hungry this holiday season. 

I can't think of anything I need for myself in that quantity. 

3. When did you last receive an invitation in the 'real' mail? What was it for and did you attend? When it comes to RSVP-ing, are you an 'early responder' or a 'last minute, barely-under-the-wire' kind of guest?

Whoohoo! I received an invitation at the end of last week, to my daughter's wedding. Yes I did indeed mail one to myself. 



I wanted to experience the full effect of all that prettiness, plus I was curious as to when they would arrive. I did not stamp my own RSVP card because that felt like a little much, even for me. I don't need to tell you I'm going do I?

In general I'm an early responder. I've heard some interesting stories about wedding RSVP's, but we've already had some returned and so far, so good. 


It is super exciting to see that little green envelope in our mailbox.

4. What's something you really don't like to waste?

Halloween candy?

5. Cheers, Friends, MASH, Seinfeld...of the ones listed, your favorite long-running sitcom?

Such a hard question, but I'm going with MASH. Friends would be a close second. 

6. What decision are you glad you made?

So many, but having children ranks right up there at the top of the list. 

7. In this month of 'Thanksgiving' what is one thing that's different today than it was a year ago that you're grateful for?

I'm going with the obvious answer here.

You know what that is, yes?

So grateful for the wonderful boy my daughter1 is marrying. In November of 2013, we had no idea we'd be adding a son-in-law to our family.  

In something like 50 days in case you've lost track of the time.  

We couldn't be happier.  

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I know people rant about the dark and depressing side of Facebook, but I have to say I loved scrolling through posts there yesterday. How touching to see so many pictures of dads, grandparents, uncles, siblings, sons and daughters who have served our country well. 

Years ago, this wasn't neccesarily something I'd have known about my friends. That they had a father who flew a bomber or a grandfather who died in WW2. It might not even be something we as 'children' took the time to reflect upon too deeply, or to say aloud to our fathers and grandfathers while they were living. In the age of social media we scan our crinkled black and white photographs onto a page and honor them now.  





Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 197

The Hodgepodge is back after a one week hiatus. Why not join the party? Answer on your own blog, then hop back here tomorrow to share with the whole wide world.


1. We celebrate Veteran's Day in the US of A on November 11th. When did you last interact with a member of the armed forces (either currently serving or retired)? Have you ever written a letter to a soldier, bought a meal or coffee for a solider, said an unprompted thank you to a soldier you encountered out and about somewhere? If you're not in the US, comment on a similar holiday in your own country.

2. You can have fifty pounds of anything at all (except money)...what would you choose?

3. When did you last receive an invitation in the 'real' mail? What was it for and did you attend? When it comes to RSVP-ing, are you an 'early responder' or a 'last minute, barely-under-the-wire' kind of guest?

4. What's something you really don't like to waste?

5. Cheers, Friends, MASH, Seinfeld...of the ones listed, your favorite long-running sitcom?

6. What decision are you glad you made?

7. In this month of 'Thanksgiving' what is one thing that's different today than it was a year ago that you're grateful for?

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Rest.

We're having a spectacular fall. The leaves are mostly off the trees in our back woods, but there are still pockets of color around town.  


In some ways they're more beautiful because they're rare. Hubs snapped this picture on his weekend run around the lake-


I thought it looked like he'd put the photo through one of those apps that make your pictures look like paintings, but this is the real deal. No filter. 


Sunday afternoon we took a walk in a nearby park. There's a small airfield here and we sat for a while watching planes take off and land. 


They come in and out over water and you can sit pretty close to the field. 


Hello-

 Everyone found it interesting.


What's an afternoon spent outdoors without a selfie?


Or a mushroom four times the size of a boot?


It felt good to walk. To breathe in the fresh autumn air, and soak up the golden gold sunshine, and savor a day that was made to be savored. No doing.


Just being.


"Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness."
~George MacDonald

Friday, November 7, 2014

Leavings

Once a week blogging is not ideal. Too many words. More than my normal too many I mean, but I'm diving in here today because I can.


I'm home. And the bride-to-be is here with her mama, which means all is as it should be. I'm going to back up to Monday because y'all know I'm not one for a simple 'got a lot done this week' kind of recap.  Details are my love language.  

One of them anyway.  

I got to Daughter1's townhouse around lunchtime on Monday and I'm trying to remember what we did? Oh yeah-we packed. My girl had done a great job of getting nearly everything bubbled, peanut-ed, wrapped and boxed, but there were the last minute things as there always are in a move. It was a long day, and suffice it to say I fell asleep in the clothes I'd been wearing all day, and at one point my daughter turned on the light to be sure I was breathing. I know!

The word 'tired' does not begin to describe my exhaustion. Keep in mind I'd been up since 5 AM, had gone to boot camp, driven five hours in traffic, spent the day packing, watched my daughter spin and smile and grow up in front of my very eyes in her wedding gown and veil as she had a final fitting, then capped it all off with a lovely dinner out with her roommates.


And then there was all that e-mo-tion. 
Girls. Friends. Roommates. Tears. 

Throughout the day and evening and into the next day, there would be tears, and all the adrenaline combined with all the feels sends one into the twilight zone of tired.

Last week when I was talking to my daughter on the phone she mentioned that it was finally hitting her...all she was leaving behind. Don't misunderstand-she is positively giddy at the life that is in front of her, but that doesn't mean she won't miss her people, and her roommates are her people.  

Her words pricked my heart in a deep place. I understand this feeling on a level many people cannot. As my daughter said the words I felt that too familiar ache that comes with change. I know in my gut and in my soul what it is to leave people you love behind. In our married life we've moved eight times, which in looking back feels like a lot. But here's the thing...wherever we are we're there. We're all in kind of folks and when we settle in a new spot we open our hearts wide. We make friends, join, invite people into our home and make ourselves comfortable in theirs. 

There's a price to pay for being all in kind of people who never stay in one place very long, and that price is always the slow hard goodbyes. We think its a price worth paying, because these friends, neighbors, co-workers, family, and kindred spirits we've collected in city after city have blessed us beyond measure.  They've made our lives fuller and happier and richer.  


So you go and they stay and you survive. Your heart shifts and while it cements the old familiar into a corner or a nook or a big ole expanse, it also makes room for newcomers, add-ons, people you haven't yet met who you will one day feel you've known forever.  I'm in a Beth Moore Bible Study right now, and she talks about how sometimes God does a 're-mix' of the people in our lives, for His purposes and for our good. I know the truth of that.

I reassure my daughter these friends from this season of life will always be some of the most precious. You grew each other up. You were young together. You've been your authentic selves with one another in a way we rarely are again at any other age. As we grow older, and particularly once we marry, we want to keep some of the sharing for our spouse only and that's appropriate. We don't always want newer acquaintances to see our every little fault laid bare. To know all of our weaknesses in that way we didn't mind when we were young and knew we were still figuring things out. 

Recently a couple we've known since college phoned us and I remember thinking as we talked that these friends who knew us when, they never change. The way we feel about them now is the way we felt about them then. We live lives in different cities and don't see one another in person nearly as often as we'd like, yet I hear their voices on the other end of the line and I exhale and feel 22.

I tell my daughter that as hard as it is to say goodbye, there are people coming into her life who will also become so very dear to her. People who will walk beside she and her hubs as they navigate married life, parenting toddlers, teens, moves, a one day empty nest. These people exist now. They're out there and your lives will intersect in ways only God can orchestrate and there will come another day where you will look back and see the goodness and perfection of His timing. Where you will feel so grateful for all the people.

The new friends who have entered your life and added memories to the layers already stored. And the old friends too. Always the old, who in your mind are forever young.

The ones you're bidding farewell for now. The ones who never budge from the spot they claimed as theirs in a corner of your heart back when you were college roommates, or navigating the early years of adulthood where you struck out on your own in a grown up city in a grown up world. The ones who loved you, listened to you, lifted you up when you were down, and made you laugh until you cried. 

Those ones.

These ones.

Tuck these girls and this season into your heart, knowing it will never come again.
Knowing too, it will be there when you need to take it out and remember who you are.