Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Its a Grand Ole Hodgepodge-Vol 33

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge...glad you joined the fun today! Add your link to the bottom of my post (after reading naturally) and then hop over to a neighbors and see what they have to say.

1. What makes you stand to your feet and cheer?

Sporting events...I get nervous watching college football especially, and will often jump to my feet and cheer when The Vols score. The Phillies winning the World Series and England in the World Cup cause me to do the same. I guess when you get right down to it I can get pretty emotionally invested in any sporting event I'm watching. I think I even stood and cheered at a local high school football game we attended with friends last fall. The outcome held no significance for me at all but that didn't stop me from cheering for the home team.

2. What's your favorite patriotic song?

I love America the Beautiful and I love This Land is Your Land. I like the Star Spangled Banner and think it should remain our National Anthem. There is a lot of history associated with this song, says the blogger who at one time lived in Maryland and has been to Ft. McHenry.

3. Do you believe that opposites attract? If you have a significant other are you opposites?

I believe they attract but that it's not always a good thing. Now, hubs and I are what you might call opposites in the way that we approach life and I think that's worked to our benefit. He sees things differently than I do and sometimes my approach is best and in other situations his way is best. However, when it comes to matters of the heart-faith, child rearing, etc...on those topics I think being simpatico is going to make for the best union and on those things we are in sync.

4. You're going to get a behind the scenes look someplace-where would you like that someplace to be?

Windsor Castle is the first thing that popped into my head. We lived fairly close to Windsor so I've been inside the castle many, many times. Even though you see a lot they tell you only about 1/16 of the castle is on display....I'd love to see it all.

circa 2003

circa 2009

Wow...time flies when you're having fun, doesn't it?

5. How far would you have to travel to ride a carousel (merry-go-round)?

Other than local carnivals I think the closest carousel is probably Six Flags Great Adventure which is less than two hours from here. I haven't been there in ages, years, decades. There are also carousels at the shore but I haven't been on a boardwalk ride in years either. I am not a big fan of things that spin.

6. When was the last time you saw fireworks? What was the occasion? Do you enjoy fireworks?

Hubs, Daughter1 and I saw fireworks at a local minor league baseball game at the very end of the summer last year. They were were fantastic! It was a small ball club but they put on an incredible display. I love fireworks and we have plans to see some on Monday.

7. Of all the 'beauty products' you own, what item do you consider to be the most overpriced?

What item isn't overpriced? I think the most recent shampoo I purchased was pretty pricey but it has performed a minor miracle in the condition of my hair so it was worth every penny. I guess I'd say the repair wear products-ugh. I can't believe I need something with the word 'repair' in it. I think they need to throw some of my dollars at a new marketing scheme, don't you?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

This might really be my favorite patriotic song~God Bless America!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Black Bear Black Bear what do you see?

I see a big dog barking at me.
And a lady in her sweats who hasn't had her coffee and thinks its far too early for this much excitement.

I've mentioned here several times that we see quite a few bear around these parts. I am sure a few of you wonder if that is not my over active imagination at work since I have yet to produce evidence.

Well hold on to your hats because today is your lucky day.

I let my dog out into the backyard as I normally do when I get up and then I got busy gathering all the cardboard recycling to carry to the curb. I stayed up too late and hadn't had my coffee yet so everything was still a little bit fuzzy and it was most definitely far too early for all the furious barking my dog was doing. She sees lots of critters in and around our yard and she doesn't usually bark. She pants and runs and paces and pants some more, but barking? No. This morning she was riled up good and was using her angry bark which is something we rarely hear. Delivery men are often the recipient of the angry bark. And if you're the criminal type rest assured she will give you her angry bark, but her pals scampering around the woods do not get the angry bark.

I walked around to the back yard to get her and what do I see but a friendly black bear lumbering down the hillside on the opposite side of the fence. fyi- I actually have no way of knowing whether or not he's friendly but he didn't growl or pounce so in my book that qualifies as friendly. Friendly is a relative term when you're discussing bears. And notice I said opposite side of the fence...can I get an amen here?

The bear paid my pup no attention whatsoever and thankfully Dixie was her normal good girl self and came when I called. Hmmm...perhaps she sensed that while she may stand a chance with a groundhog she would not come out a winner in a confrontation with a bear. Actually my dog is big and black and I'm pretty sure she just wanted to play but luckily the bear did not.

He mozied on up the street and paid no attention to the recycling by the curb. Now, had he been out yesterday he'd have had his normal field day in the rubbish bins within reach but today he just looked sleepy.

It is an amazing thing to see a bear in your driveway....

From inside the safety of your own house of course.

If you're looking for the questions to the weekly Hodgpodge you'll find them here.

In this week's Hodgepodge...

Here are the questions for this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge...answer on your blog or fb page and then come back tomorrow to link up with the rest of the world. Yeah, know what I mean.

1. What makes you stand to your feet and cheer?

2. What's your favorite patriotic song?

3. Do you believe that opposites attract? If you have a significant other are you opposites?

4. You're going to get a behind the scenes look someplace...where would you like that someplace to be?

5. How far would you have to travel to ride a carousel (merry-go-round)?

6. When was the last time you saw fireworks? What was the occasion? Do you enjoy fireworks?

7. Of all the 'beauty products' you own, what item do you consider to be the most overpriced?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Skies so blue, friends so true...

I know I need to recap the weekend but how in the world do I recap the weekend? I went to summer camp this weekend.


Back to the place where I began life as a camper and ended up as a 'chief'. That's what counselors were called at my summer camp-chief. Occasionally I was referred to as Princess but only because I liked to wear real shoes on my day off.

Something like that.

It might seem like this would be a simple post to write but its not. I'm pretty sure its one of those 'you had to be there' moments in a person's life. I do know this much-I laughed a lot this weekend...we all did. And we all agreed that adults need to laugh more. We also saw ourselves as we were at eighteen-nineteen-twenty years of age. Mirrors were few and far between (thankfully!) so we almost believed we were still standing on the brink of adulthood instead of 30 years down the road and looking back.

We sang and walked and shared and prayed and took a million pictures and we talked. Boy can we talk! We dined on doughboys and smores and our world famous camp stew cooked over a fire like it was meant to be cooked. You might think I'm exaggerating about the world famous part but I can assure you, I'm not. Campers and former staff alike are scattered to the four corners of this earth and we all remember the taste of that stew.

We remember lots of things.

One of the 'kitchen boys' joined us for the weekend and our former camp cook was there part of the weekend too. There were former counselors and CIT's, waterfront staff, girls who worked with the horses, helped with crafts and who registered the campers at a picnic table on Sunday afternoons. Even our fearless director who influenced so many lives for the better, managed to be there.

fyi-she is still fearless.

My point is, no matter what role you played at camp, no matter if you were there two summers or ten, there is a special place in your heart reserved for this camp and these friends and those memories.

Camp was a place of absolute beauty..a place to discover and know for a fact that God is love because you had a front row seat to that love in action. Camp was a place where you stepped (or were sometimes gently pushed) outside your comfort zone and into something new so that your confidence grew by leaps and bounds. Those experiences became the building blocks for your adult life in a way you can so clearly recognize in hindsight. Camp is where you learned how to truly be a friend, to trust in Jesus, and to love unconditionally. It's where you learned to embrace the silly and the fun but to also be still and hear God whisper your name.

There's a song called Circle of Friends written by Steven Siler and Douglas McKelvey and sung by Point of Grace that captures what I'm trying to say-

"..If you weep, I will weep with you
If you sing for joy the rest of us will lift our voices too
But no matter what you feel inside
There's no need to pretend
That's the way it is in this circle of friends
In a circle of friends
We have one Father
In a circle of friends
We share this prayer
That we'll gather together no matter how the highway bends
I will not lose this circle of friends..."

I never imagined when I stepped into my first cabin as a camper all the way back in 1972 that I'd still be talking about it some forty years later.

So thankful for the experiences.
So happy to sit around a campfire under the stars once more.
So grateful the circle remains unbroken.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Have you had an event recently that you've looked forward to so much that you've talked about it endlessly to anyone who would listen? One where you have reminisced and shared memories with fellow attendees on facebook, memories that may or may not have included viewing ridiculous photos and completing song lyrics from back in the day? An event that you have imagined and felt downright giddy over every time you think about it actually happening?

Well, that's kinda how I'm feeling today.
Because tomorrow is the day.

Once upon a time, 1972 to be precise, my sister and I spent a week at a Christian camp for girls situated on a little river in the northeastern corner of Maryland. I couldn't know then, the role that little camp would play in my growing up years but I've got 20/20 vision now. I went back to that camp as a camper for three summers and then joined their counselor training program which was another three summers, and then worked as a counselor for three summers.

Nine summers.
Ages 12-20.

Those are formative years, aren't they?

I'm pretty sure when I worked as a counselor I was paid $50 a week, $35 when I was a 'relief chief'. Oh, and room and board too which consisted of an un-air conditioned cabin and a latrine style bathroom that had to be navigated in the pitch blackness and which I had to clean on occasion. The showers had to be surveyed for spiders and other creepy crawlies before stepping your flip flopped foot inside because good heavens, you'd never step in there barefoot.

No blow dryers, no cell phones, no television.

I so appreciate the fact that my parents recognized the value of camp and allowed me to work at a job that paid $50 a week when I was a college student spending more than that. ahem.They saw that camp was good for me in every single way...physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

I haven't set foot on that campground or seen the people who filled the spaces of those long ago summers since 1980.

Tomorrow is the day.

A reunion of former staff, organized some thirty years after I packed my trunk and took a last lingering look at the waterfront...

thirty years since I sat on a hard wooden bench in a chapel in the woods and sang Come to the Water...since I stood on the bluff and drank bug juice in the dining hall...

thirty years since I helped girls make candles in the sand, memorize a bible verse and flip a canoe...

three decades since I made weekly calls to my parents from a pay phone outside the camp office, cooked rice krispie treats in a No 10 can over a fire I'd helped build or slept in a bunk bed with a mosquito buzzing in my ear...

thirty + years since I had morning devotions under the shade of big ole' tree, slid under a cabin to avoid capture in a counselor hunt, leapt from a high dive to the cheers of 'my campers', brushed my teeth in a trough, or ran to 'capture the flag'...

thirty years since I talked long into the night about the meaning of life, our place in this world, and how God has a plan...thirty years since I've been in a place called 'camp'

And tomorrow...

I am there.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sunshine and Summertime in the Wednesday Hodgepodge-Vol 32

Summer and Hodgepodge on the same day! How lucky is that? Welcome to the weekly your answer post at the end of mine, grab your sunscreen, and have fun reading today. Here are my answers~

1. Summer's here-whoohoo! What's your favorite sight, sound, AND smell associated with summer?

Sight-sunlight on the ocean
Sound-gulls overhead and waves lapping the shore

2. Fireflies or lightning bugs...what are they called in your neck of the woods?

As a kid I called them lightning bugs but I think I use both words these days. I love the Faith Hill song called Fireflies and always think of Daughter2 when I hear it play.

3. What is something in the past week that reminded you of your childhood?

I went strawberry picking on Monday (here's the recap) and was reminded of doing that with my mom when I was a young girl. Then she'd make jam and I'd get to help. The older I get the more I recognize all the many talents my mom had in the homemaking department...she made things like sewing, gardening and cooking look so easy. I sometimes think the message I'm sending my girls is to laugh when things don't go as planned. I guess that's good too.

4. Define 'the good life'.

Such a hard question for the first day of summer, isn't it? We don't want our brains to stagnate while on holiday though, right?

Perspective is everything...contentment with what I have and not a constant longing for something more. And what do I have? Good health, enough food to eat, a roof over my head, people to love and who love me back and a God who knows every hair on my head.

5. Tell us what we'd see if you took a snapshot of your desk/workspace.

Raise your hand if you quickly tidied up your desk/ workspace. Ha. Mine is not bad except for one stack of miscellaneous 'needs- to -be- filed- but- where- do- I- file- it' piles. Truthfully I need to clean out the file cabinet and make room for a few things which might be a task on my summer to-do list. Or autumn. Or maybe winter, I haven't quite decided. Notice I did not ask what the inside of your desk looks like. You're welcome.

Besides my trusty computer you'd see:

~a figurine that looks exactly like our pup which is really difficult to find because the breed is not common

~an England Starbucks mug that holds pens makes me smile and remember afternoons spent with my girls sitting beside a window on the second level of Starbucks in a town near ours...a lot of teenage life was figured out in that Starbucks across the sea

~and, a picture of my girlies because I can never get enough of those faces

Oh, and some dust.
Always plenty of that around here.

6. Peaches or watermelon? Yes, you have to choose.

I love them both but I'd choose watermelon. Watermelon would make the list of my top three favorite foods.

7. Ever been skinny dippin'? Is that too much for the Wednesday Hodgepodge? Rest assured we won't need details...unless of course you feel you must but keep in mind this is a family friendly blog so keep it G rated please.

Isn't this fun?

Have I skinny dipped?

Would I again?
On a second honeymoon somewhere like Bora Bora?
At the Jersey shore?
No way.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I mentioned here on Monday that we purchased a love seat and comfy chair on Saturday to sit in front of the patio fire pit. I know you've been on pins and needles waiting for the photo and here it is-

I love it. The furniture is the material that looks like wicker but can be left outdoors even in bad weather. The cushions can also be left out but we plan to put them away if we know a storm is coming.

Now, pass the marshmallows and the Hershey bars please.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Strawberry Fields Forever

If you're looking for this week's questions for the Wednesday Hodgepodge you'll find them here.

I missed strawberry picking season last year but was determined to get there this year. I had a little trouble finding the farm because I listened to the GPS but look! They put up a balloon to help me out.

I made it just under the wire too, since this particular farm will wrap up their 'pick your own berries' on Friday.


I remember going strawberry picking near the Jersey shore with my mom when I was a girl.

Technically I'm still a girl, I'm just not a girl.

A-ny-way, I needed a whole day with nothing on the calendar because I had plans to make the freezer jam I remember my mom making when I was growing up.

I may have mentioned a time or a hundred here that we had an extremely wet winter, ahem. Spring was also wet wet wet so apparently the strawberry crop was smaller than normal.

It was a hot day and I'd kind of forgotten that strawberry picking requires a lot of bending.

Or else I forgot I wasn't eleven anymore, something like that.
Oh my aching back.
It was worth it though... eating pure sugar, they're so sweet.

Once home I got busy washing and hulling the berries and was making the first batch of jam when I noticed a message from hubs saying a friend was in town and would be coming home with him for dinner and staying overnight.

This friend is like family so hubs knew I wouldn't mind.
I surveyed the state of my kitchen, my frig, and my guest room linens and decided one batch of jam was all I'd be able to manage.
I have plenty of berries so I'm planning Round 2 for this afternoon.

Our house guest was happy.
Who doesn't love homemade shortcake with strawberries fresh from the field?
Sadly I did not take a picture.
Happily I did enjoy every bite.

Summer? Bring it! Along with the questions for the Wednesday Hodgepodge

Welcome to Summer and the questions for the Wednesday sure to come back tomorrow and link answers with all the internets.

1. Summer's here-whoohoo! What's your favorite sight, sound, AND smell associated with summer?

2. Fireflies or lightning bugs...what are they called in your neck of the woods?

3. What is something from the past week that reminded you of your childhood?

4. Define 'the good life'.

5. Tell us what we'd see if you took a snapshot of your desk/work space?

6. Peaches or watermelon...yes, you have to choose.

7. Ever been skinny dippin'? Is that too much for the Wednesday Hodgepodge? Rest assured we won't need details...unless of course you feel you must but remember, this is a family friendly blog so keep it G rated.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, June 20, 2011

It's Monday and yes, I have some miscellany

I have a collection of thoughts today so I thought I'd try rambling for a change. Ha. There is so much wrong with that sentence isn't there? If you read here regularly you know what I'm talking about.

Our weekend began with hubs flight home from India landing safely at 4:25 am smack dab in the middle of a horrendous thunder and lightning storm that woke me up from a semi sound sleep. fyi-once you hit a certain age the ability to sleep soundly vanishes. Anyway, he was back at the house by 6:15 and we went to the diner for breakfast. We came home and I began my normal pre-weekend tidy up while he went promptly to bed so he'd be alert for his 1 PM conference call. Honestly, his travel/work schedule about kills me and I'm not even the one traveling/working.

He took a few pictures while he was in Delhi but I am going to share just one...this is a gentleman he ran into while visiting a local tourist site...take note of the t-shirt-

Hubs tried his best to explain to this young man that he knows Pigeon Forge TN very very well and in fact grew up in a nearby town. Not sure the message conveyed but it definitely made hubs smile to see a little piece of home in a city that is about as far from East Tennessee as you can get.

A friend from Maryland spent the night on Friday since he needed to collect a piece of furniture in our area on Saturday morning. We enjoyed a fantastic BBQ dinner courtesy of the project manager who designed our patio. A couple of weeks ago he surprised us with a box from Jack Stack Barbecue in Kansas City. Everything was frozen, sealed, and packed in a cooler of dry ice when it arrived so all we had to do was heat it up and dive in. And we did! It was absolutely delicious...ribs, burnt ends, chicken wings, BBQ brisket, baked beans, corn and sauce. Another friend also happened to be on his own Friday night so we invited him to join us and we all agreed we'd be ordering more Jack Stack in the future. Incidentally, this is just my opinion and I am not being compensated for this review blah blah blah.

Saturday afternoon we attended a college grad party for a longtime friend and enjoyed the day and the weather. Sunday, Father's Day, and not a kid in sight. That's kind of sad but hubs loved chatting with his girls on the phone and their sweet facebook messages left on his wall.

And he especially loved the cards and gifts they gave him which included a photo mug that is now his new favorite cup.

Sunday afternoon we took a drive to a nearby town and visited Washington's headquarters, which includes a museum and the house he used as home base following the Battle of Trenton (aka Washington Crossing the Delaware) and the Battle of Princeton. There was a guided tour of the house which was interesting and the setting is beautiful.

Hubs and I would now both like to read a biography of Alexander Hamilton because he sounds like an interesting character and I don't know a lot about him. I do know he was killed in a duel with Aaron Burr who happened to be the Vice President at the time. Funny to think they attempted to settle a political dispute with swords. Now we just use really mean words which I guess is better?

After the tour we decided to wander over to another nearby town and browse thru some antique shops. As soon as we parked though, we noticed an outdoor shop and ended up buying a love seat and comfy chair for in front of the patio fire pit. I'd post a picture but in the end it didn't fit in our vehicle so it will be delivered tomorrow.

Hey kids! Pay attention in geometry because while you may think you'll never need it again I can tell you, as an experienced furniture mover (some might even say expert), you will definitely need it.

Hubs grilled steaks for dinner which were delish...isn't it funny that on Mother's Day we don't want to cook but on Father's Day they love to cook? At least mine does. I do believe standing in front of his BBQ grill is one of the happiest places on earth for my hubs. He also grilled peaches which we had marinated in a little brown sugar, vanilla and almond extract and then poured them over ice cream for dessert. This was eaten while watching the Miss USA pageant on TV. I love my hubs. He's an excellent father and a very good sport when it comes to his girls.

This post is linked to Miscellany Monday hosted by Carissa at lowercase on the button to read more random~

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Friday, June 17, 2011

The dog ate my homework

How do you handle awards on your blog? Do you acknowledge? Respond? Follow the bestow-er? Tag others to play along? Smile, think 'that's nice' and move along? I'm wondering because in the past couple of weeks I've been tagged by several bloggers and I've kind of just left them all out there hanging. Something about that doesn't feel nice so I'm going to attempt to respond and acknowledge all of them in one big post...think of it like the Oscars and I win in all categories. I'm not going to tag anyone because I know some people don't like to play and others might wish they were asked plus all that linking is more than my its-almost-summer-brain can handle on a Friday. Thanks to all of the bloggers who mentioned my blog...I do appreciate it!

Beverly at The Beverly Buzz and Donna at The House on the Corner both gave me The Pay it Forward Award...for this one I'm supposed to mention the bloggers (check), link to their blogs (check) and tag five bloggers to do the same (two out of three is good, right?)

I was also given an award over at Rainbow's Daily Life -The Versatile Blogger Award...I need to thank the person who gave the award (Thanks Rainbow!), tell seven things about myself (more on that in a minute) and tag fifteen recently discovered blogs. FIFTEEN!? Yikes. I'm going to go all rebel on you and skip this step.

Way back at the end of May (sorry Empty felt like it was yesterday!) I was also tagged in a game of blog tag ...I need to answer some questions and then tag eight blog friends to answer the questions and carry on with the tagging. I'm going to answer the questions and count that as my seven things about myself that I need for The Versatile Blogger award mentioned above. Hey, what do ya know? I am versatile!

Here we go-

1. Do you think you're hot?

Oh brother. Are we talking temperature because if we're talking temperature then yeah baby, I'm definitely hot!

2. Upload a picture or wallpaper that you are using at the moment.

I took this picture recently in the outdoor shop called Cabelas. We stopped at their Pennsylvania store on our way home from D.C. a couple of weekends ago and I thought this item was interesting. Did you know they made dusters specifically for dusting game? Cabelas is an absolutely amazing shop...everything you might need for outdoor fun plus incredible displays of stuffed game like this one-

I guess if you have a display like this one in your house you would certainly need a game duster. And a very understanding wife.

3. When was the last time you ate chicken?

A barbecue at my sister's house last was delish!

4. The song/songs you listened to recently-

I listen to a lot of music in the course of a day so I'll go with the last three songs played while writing this post:

Hey There Delilah by Plain White T's, Free by Zac Brown Band, and Spit in the Rain by Del Amitri...told you I was versatile.

5. What were you thinking while doing this?

I used to be hott and not just hot.

6. Do you have any nicknames? What are they?

Really only one and family members are the only people who use it-Jo

7. Tag eight blogger friends

And this is where I drop the ball.

Finally, just yesterday Scoot's1Mom tagged me 'For Bee-ing a Blessing' in a very sweet post on her blog My Hands, His Glory-thanks Scoots1Mom!

Whew...I feel like I just finished an overdue book report. Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

"He smiled at me and then the music started playing..."

Lately I feel like my blog has become a series of lists and/or how I spent my summer vacation type posts. I haven't actually had a summer vacation and in fact it isn't even technically summer yet but you know what I mean. Lists and recaps. Which is fine but I like to have a little bit of substance on occasion here too. Now, if you're thinking I've said all of this as a way of introducing a post of substance think again. I've been out of town and we all know how that goes. I need to regroup today... laundry, groceries and I may even have a date with my vacuum although it's possible I'll stand him up.

Do you find that sometimes you need to just dive in to a post and start writing to get some of the randomness off the top of your head so you can really think? That's how I'm feeling today so whoohoo! Lucky you!

First things first-happy anniversary to us! Today we are celebrating 27 years of marital bliss. And by celebrating I mean hubs will be spending all day and all night on a flight home from India and I will be at home in NJ doing all the fun things I mentioned above...laundry, grocery shopping, vacuuming. We know how to live it up, don't we?

Hubs posted this picture on my facebook page this morning. Yes we are reduced to communicating via facebook sometimes but its fun and allows for a certain amount of creativity don't you think? Sorry for the poor quality but if you knew how long it took me to get that picture off of facebook and on to my computer you would be surprised there is a picture here at all. I don't know if you can tell but there are literally thousands of flowers in that vase. All for me. Well, technically the picture is for me and the flowers are for whoever but the wishes hubs and friends are sending are just for me.

I suppose I could have written a post of substance regarding married life. I think I'll just say that sometimes its hard and sometimes its wonderful and sometimes its just eh. I mean that in the nicest way of course. Year one, year twelve, year twenty seven....whatever the number they are each one filled with ups and downs, highs and lows, happy and sad, hurt and forgiveness, joy and contentment. They are also filled with the mundane. The day to day living that involves bills and kids and car repairs and did you call the plumber and what do you want to do about Christmas and you have a dental appointment on Friday and love you, good luck in your meeting today and on and on it goes....Do you want to know what the secret to a long marriage is?

Staying married. Really, sometimes it is as simple as that...plowing ahead and thru instead of backing out. If you are divorced please don't take offense. I know everyone has their own circumstances and situations to deal with but in our case this is what has worked. Shortly before I got married my mother gave me some advice. She probably gave me a lot of advice but this particular bit I chose to follow. She said this-there will be days when you will wake up and look over at your husband and feel like you are the luckiest girl in the world. Remember that feeling because some days you will wake up and look over at your husband and wonder how in the world you ended up married to him. Just carry on, because eventually that other feeling will come back around again, maybe in an hour, maybe in a week, maybe longer, but it will come back around if you keep calm and carry on. Thanks mom!

Marriage is grows and changes and bends to the point of almost breaking sometimes. The secret is to go with the flow and not get bogged down on the shore somewhere. Does that last line sound like something you'd hear on The Bachelorette? They love their metaphors don't they? Is anyone watching? I have one word for this season-pitiful. Here's another piece of advice regarding marriage-it is highly unlikely you are going to meet your mate on a reality television show.

Well I guess it turns out I did have something semi-substantive to say today. Who knew? And I haven't even recapped my weekend away. Oh well, tomorrow is another day in the blogosphere, right?

And what's an anniversary without music?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Traveling into the Wednesday Hodgepodge-Vol 31

Welcome to this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. It's fun so why not join the party? Answer the questions on your own blog and then add your link here.

1. What is one thing on your bucket list? If you don't have one let's pretend you do.

I don't have an official bucket list but there is definitely a pretty lengthy one in my head. One thing? Hmmm...swim with the dolphins.

2. What makes a good dad?

A man who loves unconditionally, who treats his wife with love and respect, who encourages, laughs with, and listens to his children. A man who pays attention to the little things and is 'there'.

3. Are you afraid of insects? Which ones?

The big crunchy ones. The poisonous ones. Most spiders. shudder.

4. We're barbecuing...what's on the grill at your house?

My favorite thing to grill is a marinated pork tenderloin but we do lots of chicken on the grill too. And we love grilled veggies, especially corn on the cob.

5. Do you believe playing is more important than winning?

This question made me think. I do believe playing is important. Trying hard matters but its not the only thing that matters in every circumstance. This may be an unpopular sentiment but I think sometimes winning does matter. Maybe not more than playing but the pendulum seems to have swung the other way and so often now we are sending the message that as long as you play that's all that counts. No one is allowed to be thought of as better than anyone else and if we recognize Johnny as a better soccer player/speller/singer than Suzy it's a bad thing.

Drive and a desire to win, to be the absolute best at something, are qualities inventors, physicians, explorers, and all sorts of other highly successful people posess and I think the world needs people who are driven to win.

6. Do you tan? Use self tanners? Visit tanning salons? See your dermatologist at least once a year?

I used to be what you might affectionately call a 'sun worshipper'. I definitely look better with a little color on my skin plus I love being in the sun and water. I still do love it but sadly it does not love me. Up until I hit my 40's (Shocking, isn't it? ) I could spend all day at the pool or beach and end up looking golden. Now I need to put on sunscreen just to walk to the car. Plus, if you're my age you know you're now paying for all the sun you soaked up in your youth. I have never been to a tanning salon and that has never appealed to me. I sometimes use the lotions designed to make you look sun kissed and I see my dermotologist every year like a good former tanner should.

7. Five years ago I would never imagine that today I would... talking to complete strangers about the tanning habits of my teenage years and all sorts of other minutiae on something called a blog.

*-I saw this question on Marla's facebook page and I thought it was perfect for the Hodgepodge. Everyone go say hi to Marla...she has an E-book launching this week which you might like to read.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Raise your hand if you love summer. I've been away for a few days because sometimes blogging requires life. I am actually traveling home today so hope to catch up with you all over the next couple of days.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Busy, busy....but never too busy for the Hodgepodge

I have a bit of a schedule this week so will make this short and are the questions for the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Be sure to come back tomorrow to link answers with the whole wide world. Well, our little corner of it anyway...

1. What is one thing on your bucket list? If you don't have a bucket list let's pretend you do.

2. What makes a good dad?

3. Are you afraid of insects? Which ones?

4. We're barbecuing...what's on the grill at your house?

5. Do you believe that playing is more important than winning?

6. Do you tan? Use self tanners? Visit tanning salons? See your dermatologist at least once a year?

7. Five years ago I would never imagine that today I would_______________.

I saw this question on Marla's facebook page and I thought it was perfect for the Hodgepodge. Everyone go say hi to Marla...she has an E-book launching this week.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sunshine and Summerspring time

Its hot.

I'm not really complaining because I happen to like warm and sunny although I'm pretty sure the temperatures here might be considered more than 'warm'.

Know what else I like?

Air conditioning.

We didn't have air conditioning in my childhood home until I was in about the 4th grade. Somehow I survived but I wonder if I complained? Hmmm....anyway, if you read here you know how I felt about the winter that just wouldn't quit so I don't suppose I'm allowed to complain about summer weather in summer.

Except technically its still spring.

Spring skipped us this year.
Oh well, that's the thing about the seasons...they always come around again. And since it feels like summer outside today I thought I'd link up with Thursday Thirteen and my list of thirteen things I'm looking forward to once summer becomes 'official'~

Visiting daughter2, my sister, brother in law, and niece in South Carolina

Seeing U2 in concert
Wonder what it would take for Bono to pull me up on stage to sing with him?
I know all the words.

Seeing Kenny Chesney in concert
I think Kenny only pulls the under 25s up on stage at his shows but I definitely know all the words to his songs plus we went to the same university.
Its possible I'm just a teensy bit older than he is but age is all in the mind, right?

Sadly, once you hit about 45 that's not at all true.
Age is also in the body, but I digress...back to my list...

Catching up with old friends at a wedding in July
In Houston
Do you think it will be hot?

A reunion of summer camp staff on Maryland's Eastern shore

A reunion with sorority sisters in the mountains of NC

Ice cold watermelon

Sitting around the fire pit

A weekend on my sister's boat

My mom, brother, and sister in law here for a weekend in July

Daughter1 and the boyfriend here for a weekend sometime

Jersey corn and tomatoes

Sunny skies, warm weather and my freshly polished toes in the sand somewhere

So how about you...what are you looking forward to this summer?