Wednesday, July 1, 2020

It's A Grand Ol' Hodgepodge

Welcome to 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 the blogger linking before you. Here we go-



1. Are you currently making plans of any kind? What kind? What emotions are associated with the planning process? Tell us about one plan you had to cancel due to the current situation which shall remain nameless. Ha!

As far as current planning goes we're trying to make some wedding plans for Daughter2 and her groom. How does it feel? A wee bit complicated. Also exciting, joyful, overwhelming, and fabulous. Taking it in small chunks and making the best decisions we can with the information we have at hand which, quite honestly, is conflicting depending on who what when where the information comes from.  

On a smaller scale, we're trying to make plans to see my sister in a couple of weeks and praying everyone stays well in the meantime. 

One plan we were forced to cancel due to you know what was a birthday luncheon celebration for my mom in N.J. She has done so well during this crazy at home time and I'm so sad we're not going to be able to mark her big day as we'd hoped. Still, my brother and younger sister live in her neck of the woods, and will have a small outdoor party for just the six of them, and no matter where we are in the world she's still my mama and I thank God every day for giving her to me. Me to her? Either way, I'm truly grateful for the way she has loved, supported, and prayed for me all of my life.

2. Last time you saw stars, either literally or figuratively?

Literally seeing stars would be pretty recently. Hubs and I like to sit on our covered deck in the dark of night and star gaze. Figuratively? Hmmm...the thing that came to mind immediately was my mishap with the step ladder a couple of summers ago where my foot slipped causing the ladder to collapse. I came down with a bang on my rib cage and definitely saw a few stars.  

3. Blueberries yay or nay? Blueberry pie, blueberry muffins, blueberry yogurt, blueberry pancakes, or blueberries by the handful...what's your pleasure?

Blueberries are my favorite berry so yes please! Of the choices given I'd go for the pie or just blueberries by the handful. 

4. swim against the tide, swimming upstream, in the swim, sink or swim, makes your head swim...choose one of the 'swim' idioms listed and tell us how/why you relate?

Let's go with makes my head swim. 'Merica. No explaination needed is there? 

5. Sum up your June in a single sentence.

Young love, old love, longer days, shorter fuses, riots, cruelty, self-centered humans and a God who loves us in spite of ourselves. 

6.  Insert your own random thought here.


If June were a picture. 



Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 375

It's that time again. Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog then paddle back here tomorrow to share answers with the universe. See you there!


1. Are you currently making plans of any kind? What kind? What emotions are associated with the planning process? Tell us about one plan you had to cancel due to the current situation which shall remain nameless. Ha!

2. Last time you saw stars, either literally or figuratively?

3. Blueberries yay or nay? Blueberry pie, blueberry muffins, blueberry yogurt, blueberries by the handful...what's your pleasure?

4. swim against the tide, swimming upstream, in the swim, sink or swim, makes your head swim...choose one of the 'swim' idioms listed and tell us how/why you relate?

5. Sum up your June in a single sentence.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, June 29, 2020

More Summer Sweetness

Last Monday I wrote about the sweetness of summer and not gonna lie, I had to look a little harder for it this weekend. The weather y'all! What is up with the weather? I live in sunny South Carolina except this year we've had so much rain. And if it's not raining it's cloudy more often than not, so the days aren't feeling the way summer normally feels.

What is normal anyway, in this very abnormal year? Perhaps weird weather is just par for the course. 

Hubs and I did manage a Friday evening boat ride and in case you didn't know, watching the sun slip from the sky will add a splash of sweetness to your weekend. 


Satuday we had plans to take the boat out but the air was coated in a thin layer of Saharan dust storm dust (did I mention the weather has been weird??) so we headed to the plant nursery instead. By car in case anyone is confused. We needed to repot a couple of plants that grew like beanstalks (see there's a bright side to all that rain!) and we wanted to get something for the pots beside our garage which have been sitting empty for a while. 


We opted for Lantana and I love this color combo. Also, I have the most gorgeous shade of geraniums beside my front door which have been blooming big since the first of May. 



Shoutout to my sweet limelight hydrangeas too, which are one of my favorites. 


In other nature related happenings we have a new crop? flock? of baby bluebirds in the house (the bluebird house, not our literal house), and they are noisy and precious. 


I know this photo looks like a big ball of fluff but I have to hold my camera up over my head and tilt it down which means I have no idea if I'm capturing anything or not. Still here they are...a big ball of fluff. 


Watching all the adults care for them is super sweet too. There are at least six parents-aunts-uncles-so I guess bluebirds are quarantining with extended family in 2020.  


Hubs would say this was pretty sweet. 

I was actually sound asleep on the screened porch enjoying the sweetness of a Saturday afternoon nap when he started hollering for me to get the camera. I tried to pretend I didn't hear him (hey, we've all been there, right?) but he wasn't having it. 

It's a ginormous, albeit harmless, black rat snake which supposedly keeps the copperheads and other unsavories at bay so I tried to act like it was cool but if I'm being honest I'm not all that cool with snakes. Or bats. Bats really give me the heebie jeebies. 

Did I tell y'all hubs was on a ladder last week, 18 feet up checking out what we thought was some sort of mark/stain on our covered deck ceiling, and I was holding said ladder to be sure it didn't tip when a bat flew at lightning speed, straight out of the deck light in that crazy erractic way bats fly, and dive bombed us? I might have lost it. Thankfully hubs had the presence of mind not to fall which I guess was pretty sweet. Also, thankfully the pest guy said it was a fluke and not a whole crop? flock? of bats living up there. 

Finally, these sweet things-


I swiped this picture from my daughter and it's everything I imagined when I imagined baby brothers. They are just too sweet! 

Hope you found some sunshine in your weekend too...happy Monday!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

A Rosy Wednesday Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge, our first edition of the summer. If you've answered this week's questions add your link at the end of my post, then pop over and leave a comment for the blogger linking before you. That's the neighborly thing to do here on From This Side of the Pond.

Here we go-



1. This time last year where were you?

Can I sigh a little? Right here on the lake with my not quite two year old grandson. My daughter, son-in-law and grandson spent a month with us prior to their move to South Korea and it was pure gold. 



And now he's turning three and is still as precious and precocious and perfectly hilarious as he was at two, only more so. Grandbabies just keep getting better y'all. 

photo credit: Sincerely Shannon

Plus now he's got a completely adorable baby brother to add to the shenanigans so I can't sigh too awfully much.    

photo credit: Sincerely Shannon 

2. In honor of National Pink Day (June 23rd) tell us your favorite pink food or beverage. Was it on the menu at your house yesterday? Do you like to wear the color pink? If we came to visit would we find this color in your home decor? Blush-fuschia-salmon-raspberry-your favorite shade of pink?

I'm not good at the 'just one' questions. One of my favorites would be salmon which I think is more orange than pink, but salmon is officially considered one of the pinks so salmon it is. And it's often on the menu at our house, but not yesterday. 

My favorite shade of pink is blush. 

If you came to visit would you find the color in my home decor? Not inside, but does outside count? 



Yes it totally counts. 

3. Stop and smell the roses, looking through rose colored glasses, a rose by any other name, not all moonlight and roses, no rose without a thorn...which rosy saying currently fits your life in some way? Explain.

I am known for my perpetual wearing of the rose colored glasses, but y'all the mean crazy in this world is smudging them a little. Still I think we always have a choice as to how we'll view our circumstances and I'm going to choose the bright side as often as I can. 

4. Are you a 'reader'? Do you tend to read lighter books in the summer months? Do you have a summer reading list? If so, give us a title or two.

I'm a reader and always have a general list of -to be read- books going, not specific to the summer season. I don't purposely read anything that falls under the heading of 'beach read' because I prefer meatier stuff. Not that all beach reads are light, but I think it's fair to say most are, and that's generally not my cup of tea. 

I'm currently reading The Dutch House by Ann Patchett and it's good so far.  Next up American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins and The Huntress by Kate Quinn. 

5. Share with us one rose and one thorn from your weekend.

No daughters in the house on Father's Day, no grandsons either which would be my thorn. However we are masters of FaceTime and making the most of what technology has to offer when it comes to communicating long distance, so it was still a mostly rosy weekend. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Artist John Marshall makes cardboard cutouts and sets them against sunsets and it is so cool. Check them out by clicking the link here.



Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 374

While it sometimes feels like time is standing still Wednesdays sure do roll around fast! Here are the questions to this week's Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then hop back here tomorrow to share answers with the universe. See you there!


1. This time last year where were you?

2. In honor of National Pink Day (June 23rd) tell us your favorite pink food or beverage. Was it on the menu at your house yesterday? Do you like to wear the color pink? If we came to visit would we find this color in your home decor? Blush-fuschia-salmon-raspberry-your favorite shade of pink?

3. Stop and smell the roses, looking through rose colored glasses, a rose by any other name, not all moonlight and roses, no rose without a thorn...which rosy saying currently fits your life in some way? Explain.

4. Are you a 'reader'? Do you tend to read lighter books in the summer months? Do you have a summer reading list? If so, give us a title or two.

5. Share with us one rose and one thorn from your weekend.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, June 22, 2020

The Sweetness of Summer

Hello Friends! And strangers stopping by too. It's Monday and it's officially summer and it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. While the world feels more salty-less sweet these days, there is always sweetness to be found. Today I choose to see it. 

Sweetness is found in red ripe tomatoes on the vine-


In a friend saying come pick blueberries we've got a yard full and so you do-


It's Father's Day and you bake a blueberry pie because it's his favorite and because there is so much sweetness in a dad who loves his daughters well-



There is sweetness in an early morning kayak with a little brown dog in tow-


Always the first one ready to go-


But there's a whole lot of sweetness in the way he runs headlong into everything he does-


The boat captain is pretty sweet-


Except when he's salty. Ha! Hi hubs! Sunshine, a boat ride, and lunch in a cooler eaten side by each on a deserted island in the middle of the lake can be pretty sweet too.

And I think there's a special sort of sweetness to a soft summer rain-


Sweetness spills over in Facetime chats with daughters calling to say I love you Dad. In an almost three-year-old grandson grinning great big as he shouts 'Happy Favers Day!!' across the miles.

In the gift and beauty of each new day.


In choosing joy, not complaint. In choosing peace not rancor. In counting blessings not 'things I wanna be mad about'. In harsh words left unspoken and kind words spilled instead.

This weekend I was part of a virtual reunion via Zoom. Friends from long ago days spent as summer camp counselors on Maryland's Eastern shore. It was sweet. The then and the now. As I was writing this post the simple words to a grace we used to sing before meals kept rolling through my brain...

'For health and strength and daily bread we praise Thy name O Lord...'

Sweetness abounds and today I choose to see it. 

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Thursday Thirteen Anniversary Edition

It's Thursday and every Thursday I try to post a list of 13 somethings. I like to keep it light because I think we've all had enough heavy to last us a while, and since hubs and I celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary on Tuesday I'm going with an anniversary theme here today.

1. We celebrated at home. It was 65 degrees and windy and we both said it felt more like October than June. We discussed all the rigamarole involved in dining out someplace but in the end decided there's no place like home. Good thing because we've surely spent a lot of time there this year. 

2. There are some wonderful restaurants in the nearby small big city, but it's a bit of a drive and there's that whole pandemic thing which puts a damper on the mood, plus none of those spots offer a better view than our own backyard so home it was.


3. Hubs grilled a filet to perfection and we toasted to another year of married life with a glass or two of Schramsberg. Then we scooped everything up and ate inside because it was too cold and windy to dine al fresco. In June. 

Crazy but crazy is the name of the game in 2020. Fun fact-Schramsberg is known as the White House champagne because it has been served in the White House by every President since Nixon. 

4. Speaking of the White House, we spent our very first anniversary as husband and wife in Washington D.C. Hubs keeps this picture handy to show people when they want to see a picture of his wife. 


They're not confused at all when they meet me in person. Ha! 

Takeaway from Anniversary #1-you'll grow older, wiser, and grayer but three+ decades on you'll  look at your spouse and still see the boy/girl you married. 

5. We talked about some of our other anniversaries and a few stood out. We spent anniversary #5 dining in a fancy frou frou place in NYC. We were living in North Jersey and had a little bitty daughter at home. My parents drove up from South Jersey to babysit so we could have a fun night out in the Big Apple. 

What hubs and I both remember about that particular anniversary is not so much the dinner, but more how we thought we were going to die in the cab ride to the restaurant. True story. The driver was an absolute maniac and I have never traveled that fast in a vehicle in the middle of any city as I did that night. But hey, we lived to tell the tale so there's that. 

Takeaway from Anniversary #5-always wear your seatbelt. 

6. We spent our 20th at an 8th grade graduation. Woohoo! Good times! Sixty students from approximately 15 different countries crying their eyes out as they bid farewell to friends leaving England for their home countries or other new adventures. 

Takeaway from Anniversary #20-anything can be fun if you're with the one you love

7. Our 24th found us dining at the very elegant Cliveden House, enjoying every morsel of a meal that would make my list of top ten best meals I've ever eaten. Cliveden is where Meghan Markle spent the night before her wedding and it's dreamy. Remember Meghan Markle? 

Takeaway from Anniversary #24-your shared experiences in far away places will cement you togther in a way very few things can for ever and ever amen.

8. Of course sometimes it's elegance and sometimes it's raw real life. The very next year we marked 25 years as man and wife in a lawyers office in Northern NJ, signing the 101 documents you need to sign to call a house your home.

We were mid-move, settling back stateside after a few years across the pond, and were living in a hotel while we waited on our belongings to cross the ocean and clear customs.  

Takeaway from anniversary #25-there are a lot of mundane tasks and boring paperwork in the world of adulting. Also, memories are precious but new chapters are good too. 

9. I do know over the course of our married life we've spent at least a couple in two different geographical locations. Anniversary #27 found me home alone in NJ while hubs partied it up in India.  


Not really. He was working, but the hotel staff posed for some pics with the gorgeous flowers on display to help us mark the day. 

Take away from #27-you don't have to be physically near to be close in heart. 

10. I do know we spent #30 on a fun trip to Portugal. One of our most fun anniversaries ever filled with so many of our favorite things...dear friends, wonderful food and wine, travel, new cities, new places, adventure, and bling. 


Takeaway from Anniversay #30-friends add to the richness of life. 

11. So how did we top that in year #31? Back to raw real life, surrounded by boxes as we packed up the house from anniversary #25 and headed south. 


Take away from Anniversary #31-life is full of change. Learn to embrace it. 

12. And then five years flew by and here we are. Something like that. My point is, it really doesn't matter where we are or how we mark the day or even if we mark the day, although we always do. The calendar turns and what matters is we're still sitting side by each in the roller coaster cart of life, saying hold my hand...I'm glad it's you...I love you, forgive you, need you, like you, bug you, want you, am glad you're mine. 

Take away from a long married life-those vows were not cliche. They paint a pretty accurate picture of what marriage will be...better and worse, richer and poorer, sickness and health...it's all of those things at one time or another so keep honoring the vows you made. 

36 years and we still haven't figured out the selfie.


Anniversary 2020 feels like it should come with a Public Service Announcement- Hey kids! Marry someone you love but also like, because someday you might find yourself in the middle of a global pandemic at home together for 98 days and counting and you're not even mad about it because you married someone you love and also like. 

Happy Weekend Everyone!