Thursday, September 29, 2011

I love it when a plan comes together

A few weeks ago daughter2 celebrated her 21st birthday. You remember this cutie, right?

I had seen what looked like a simple and fun idea online (Pinterest, where else?) and I decided to try to recreate it for her special day. It was definitely fun but the verdict on simple may still be out.

In as few words as I can manage, ahem, here's how it worked-I downloaded this poster template which in essence is actually 25 postcard templates. When these 25 postcards are put together they morph into a poster which reads-'I'm so glad you were born'. Without telling my daughter, I emailed 25 friends and family members, explained what was required, and asked them to email me back if they were in. Tracking down the friends was a little tricky as I had to semi stalk them on facebook. The boyfriend mentioned to her later that his heart started pounding when he saw my name in his inbox. Apparently he was wondering what he'd done to warrant an email from me. Hmmm....I might need to think about that reasoning a little bit more closely when life settles down here.

In a project like this it pays to have a rather large extended family...13/25 postcards were assigned to grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Daughter2 has a bazillion friends so narrowing it down to just 12 wasn't easy. I went with a few besties from the high school years who are scattered far and wide, including one across the sea, and then a few friends from the college years, and one special friend who goes all the way back to her toddler days. Mostly I went with friends I felt would remember to mail the cards.

Once I had my 25 names confirmed I assigned a postcard to each one and sent them an email along with instructions and their template. They had to open the attached template, print it out on card stock, write a birthday message along with her address on back, and then put an actual honest to goodness stamp on it. And then mail it of course. I knew that last part would be hard for some of the friends because this generation resists sending snail mail. That requires going to the post office. Bother.

I asked everyone to get their cards in the mail between Aug. 30 and Sept 4 so Daughter 2 would have all of them by her actual birth date. Originally I wasn't going to tell her anything but after I thought about it I decided she might read a postcard and chuck it and I didn't want her to lose any of the pieces. A couple days before the first was due to arrive I told her she'd be getting mail all week long and not to throw it away. She got three cards the first day and knew right away it was some sort of puzzle.

I attempted to photograph the end product while I was in town recently but she was missing one card. She had to track that one down so I was glad I'd kept my list of names and which numbered card they'd been assigned. Naturally its the one in the middle but still really cute-

This was a fun surprise and she absolutely loved it. She loved the birthday wishes and all the love sent her way, she loved the idea of working out the message, and most especially she loved going to her mailbox every day and seeing it jammed with postcards. While they might be resistant to mailing letters college students are big huge fans of receiving letters.

I've tried to white out all the names and addresses but I think you still get the idea.

And my mom wrote her message on the patterned side of the card which we all just love because that is so my mom. It made Daughter2 smile.

The finished product is a collection of happy thoughts and sweet wishes in ink and paper and color on one side with a heartfelt message on the other. I had fun planning this and Daughter2 has a special keepsake to mark a milestone birthday.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Wednesday Hodgepodge is Nuts-Vol 46

Welcome to the Wednesday glad you've joined the fun today. Add your link at the bottom of my post and then hop around to see what everyone else is saying. Here are my answers-

1. It is officially fall here in North America...I realize not everyone who participates in the Hodgepodge lives in North America, but if you do what's your favorite memory of Summer 2011? If you're not in North America, what's your favorite memory of the season just ending on your side of the world?

One of my favorite memories from Summer 2011 would have to be my camp reunion which I wrote about here and here....such a special weekend!

2. Your favorite nut? You know I mean the edible kind, right?

Oh do I choose? I've never met a nut I didn't like. Almonds are all the rage now and we're told they're good for us so I'm on board with that. I'm slightly addicted to the Blue Diamond Wasabi Soy variety. I have always loved cashews. And pistachios. And of course nearly everything is better with some chopped pecans or walnuts thrown in to the mix....brownies, sweet potato casseroles, salads, granola, etc. I like salted peanuts and I love peanut butter. Who am I forgetting??? Brazil nuts are just eh I guess but otherwise bring on the nuts!

3. What activity puts your sense of balance to the test?

Hubs might say walking. Seriously sometimes the floor jumps right up at me. I would probably say anything involving heights.

4. How would you describe your sense of humor?

Alive and well. I think we've become so serious as a nation and not in a good way. I realize there is much doom and gloom every which way you look but a sense of humor comes in handy when times are tough.

Has anyone been watching any of the political debates (speaking of no sense of humor)? When asked the question, "If elected what is one thing you'd bring to the White House?" one of the candidates (Herman Cain) responded, "I would bring a sense of humor because America is too uptight." On this point I agree with Mr. Cain.

5. September 28th is National Ask a Stupid Question Day...what's your stupid question?

This is one of those questions that causes me to draw a blank. Not that I haven't asked plenty of stupid questions in my lifetime, it's just that none are coming to mind. I could ask my husband if he can think of a stupid question I've asked recently but I'm pretty sure that would be a stupid question.

6. Roller skates~hula hoop~jump rope...which activity would you most enjoy? Yes, you have to choose.

Roller skates. My girls can hula hoop til the cows come home but I've never gotten the hang of that activity. If you're over 40 you probably know why I 'just say no' to the jump rope. If you're under 40 and have ever given birth just wait...your day will come.

I've always loved to skate and I still had a pair of roller blades up until we moved to England. We had great bike trails near our house in Maryland that were perfect for roller blading and we used to go pretty often. My current neighborhood is super steep so no roller blading for me these days. My girls are probably sighing with relief right now.

7. What's your most sentimental possession?

Do you read here? Ever? Then you know I'm sentimental and can't possibly pick just one thing.

A couple of letters hubs has written me over the years. My girl's baby books. My wedding album. A letter my dad wrote me while he was in Vietnam. Many of my Christmas ornaments. Dishes. Yes, I can be sentimental about pottery. It's not so much the dish but more the memory of the trip to get it that sparks the sentiment. I'm sure there's more but I'll stop now. You're welcome.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

This picture was taken on the beach in Marco Island Florida in the summer of 1995-

That adorable little munchkin sitting smack in the middle of her two cousins is my sweet, funny, courageous niece who is turning 17 years old today. I wrote about her in this post if you're new here.

Happy Birthday Niece!

She will spend her birthday in the hospital recovering from her second round of chemo as she waits for a bone marrow donor match to be identified. Becoming a donor may not be something you've ever thought about but I am asking you to consider it today. I know it all sounds a little bit scary so here are a few facts taken from their info packet about the process-
  • You must be between the ages of 18 and 60, be willing to donate to any patient in need, and meet the health guidelines.
  • Donors never pay for donating and are never paid to donate. Medical and travel costs are reimbursed.
  • Every person who registers provides may never be identified as a match for someone or you might be one of several potential matches. You may also be the only one on a registry of 8 million people who can save a patient's life
To register or learn more please visit Be the Match. After you register you'll be sent an easy to follow packet of instructions. A simple cheek swab is all that is needed to put you into the system. Further testing would happen should you be lucky enough to match someone on the wait list.

If you do decide to register I'd love for you to let me know. And even if you don't I'd really love for you to leave a happy birthday wish in the comments section of my blog today for my favorite seventeen year old. I'm pretty sure my blog is the first place she goes when she gets online, ahem, but just in case its not I'll make certain she knows to visit on her birthday.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hodgepodge Questions-Vol 46

Here are the questions for the weekly Wednesday Hodgepodge...don't forget to come back tomorrow and link answers for all the world to see.

1. It is officially fall here in North America...I realize not everyone who participates in the Hodgepodge lives in North America but if you do, what's your favorite memory of Summer 2011? If you're not in North America, what's your favorite memory of the season just ending on your side of the world?

2. Your favorite nut? You know I mean the edible kind, right?

3. What activity puts your sense of balance to the test?

4. How would you describe your sense of humor?

5. September 28th is National Ask a Stupid Question Day...what's your stupid question?

6. Roller skates~hula hoop~jump rope...which activity would you most enjoy? Yes, you have to choose.

7. What's your most sentimental possession?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Shrimp and Grits and a Glass of Sweet Tea

We were not at home this weekend. Are you surprised? I know we've always traveled a lot but I cannot remember a chunk of time where we've been on the go the way we've been this summer and now fall. We hop from weekend to weekend it seems and while its all fun and games (mostly) it is a wee bit exhausting too. Airports are not the place to hang out if you want rest and relaxation. They help you get to places where you may find rest and relaxation but the whole airport hullabaloo is about as far from R and R as one can get.

Anyhoo, it was a good weekend to exit NJ. The rain people. What is up with the rain??? It was pouring buckets Friday afternoon as we made our way to the airport. By some miracle our flight was only slightly delayed (do flights ever leave on time anymore?) and we arrived in warm and sunny South Carolina around dinner time. Always happy to see my beautiful daughter2's face greet us as we step out into the sunlight there.

We were in town for Parent's Weekend at her university. We have been trekking to Parent Weekend events since Daughter1 started at this same uni back in 2006. Two 'kids' and six years later means this was our last...Daughter2 graduates in the spring. Sigh. Well, only a small sigh. Whenever we feel a little bit sad about that fact we need only remember that while Parent Weekends may be ending for us tuition paying is also ending for us. (Insert happy dance here!!) Oh, and fyi-if your kids are infants and your financial planner is blabbing on and on and on about putting money aside for uni in the far off distant future you best do what he says. You'll thank him for that advice one day.

Hubs cannot go to collegetown without having a meal at his favorite spot...his favorite meal I mean-shrimp and grits. This particular restaurant makes the absolute best. They are serious about their shrimp and grits. I have the restaurant's cookbook but have never attempted to recreate their version at home. Maybe this is the year to learn although I'm not sure shrimp and grits eaten in NJ is going to taste the same as having that dish served below the Mason Dixon. We'll find out.

Saturday was full of sunshine and we had a full day. We normally attend Daughter2's sorority tailgate before the game but this year Daughter2 is a rush counselor and there are lots of complicated rush rules she must follow which include not identifying to Freshman girls which sorority is hers. They are supposed to be neutral advisors to the rushees and her 'girls' won't find out which sorority is hers until after they've signed their bid sheets. I know some of you know what I'm talking about and some don't. Hubs finds it all very confusing...fraternity rush is nothing like sorority rush.

Anyway, because of this we ended up at a fraternity tailgate. Daughter2 is this particular fraternity's sweetheart and we enjoyed meeting some of the parents there. Being named sweetheart is an honor and you are chosen as sweetheart mostly because you have been a good friend and also maybe a little bit because you are an excellent baker and bring banana cupcakes with peanut butter icing and butterfinger crumbles around on a regular basis.

The sorority tailgates have tablecloths and dinnerware and balloons and lovely handpainted signs in the sorority's colors. The boys drag sofas from their house out to their tailgates. Somehow the sofas work.

While on campus we also visited the newly remodeled bookstore which is technically a Barnes and Noble. So nice! If you haven't been on a college campus recently you'd be amazed at how modern and convenient and wonderful our tuition dollars they have made life for the students.

We went to the game of course...always great fun when your team wins and the stadium sits in a beautiful spot. Daughter2 hates heights but she is putting on her game face here for a photo op with mom.

Speaking of sorority stuff...before we went to dinner on Saturday night we were able to meet up with one of my college sorority sisters and her husband. They live in town but we're always so busy when we're here we don't usually get to see one another.

We had bbq with my sister and brother in law and niece on Sunday afternoon before heading back to the airport for our (delayed) flight. We love collegetown and will miss visiting once Daughter2 completes her studies.

No more tuition. No more tuition. No more tuition.
Hey, that kinda works.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

And the seasons they go round and round...

Tomorrow is the first official day of fall which happens to be the season I love best. I ran across a photo recently that's one of my all time favorites-

This picture was our Christmas card in 1991 and I've never forgotten that tree even though it was four houses and twenty years ago.

That's our dog Abbey...she's never been forgotten either.
She was abandoned as a puppy and we took her in back in 1986. To be honest German Shepherds used to scare me a little so that was not a breed I'd ever have picked but she needed a home and we had one. She had a lot of Collie in her too so there was definitely a hint of Lassie under all that fur.

She won me over and I couldn't help but love her back. We were living in the NJ countryside in 1991 (not the NJ countryside we're in now, but some nearby) and she was a most excellent watch dog. And I know this will shock you but the girls and I were home alone quite a bit in those days since hubs regularly traveled for work. Any criminal types would have had to go thru her to get to us so we knew we were safe.

I've also never forgotten the little girl outfits.
They came from Lands End and were so stinkin' cute I could hardly stand it.

Speaking of stinkin' cute...those faces!
Oh my.

If you look really closely you'll see that I have the grip of steel on Daughter2. She could get away quick when she put her mind to it which, I'll be honest, was pretty darn often. She has had laser like focus since the day of her birth, not unlike one of her parents who shall remain nameless but is not me. She is thirteen months old here.

Where oh where did my chubby cheeked baby go?

To college.
That's where.

Daughter1 looks happy, doesn't she? She's three years old in this picture and just recovering from a wicked and scary case of mononucleosis. Did you even know a three year old could get mono? I didn't.

Motherhood: learn as you go.

Shall we discuss my hairband or my matching top and pants outfit or how about my very large hair? How about we don't?

Instead let's talk about the tree.
Can a tree show off because this one did.
She wore her red dress and danced in the golden light of a sun kissed autumn day.

And when she danced life slowed a little.
It slowed so we could see light changing in the afternoon sky.
We tucked hands in pockets.
We smelled the damp dark earth settling down for a nap.
We sipped warm cider and snuggled close.
What is it about fall that plucks the chord of memory so?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Giddy Up into the Hodgepodge-Vol 45

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge...add your link at the end of my post and join the party. After you read my answers of course-

1. Do you like chili? Red or white? Beans or no beans? Spice or no spice? Toppings?

I love chili, both the red kind and the white. With beans please although if you leave them out I won't turn it away. I definitely like some spice in mine along with a little grated cheese, a tiny dollop of sour cream, and some sliced avocado on top. Yum!

2. Red-orange-gold...your favorite fall color?

I love all the colors of fall and use them in my home year round. I have a red kitchen and my family room and foyer are painted a soft warm gold. I don't use a lot of orange in decorating unless we're celebrating Tennessee football but I do love to wear orange if it's warm and not garishly bright. As far as the fall trees go, any and every color is my favorite. My back hillside will very soon be a swath of gold and positively gorgeous.

3. Who did you idolize when you were growing up?

No gangsters or sketchy celebs. Well, I guess the celebs may have been sketchy, but we didn't know that since we didn't have access to their every thought, bad habit, credit card charge and criminal misdeed like we do now.

I idolized my camp counselors and also my youth leaders. My youth leaders were a young couple, volunteers in the youth department. He was in the Navy back then and she gave piano lessons. We lost touch for a long long time but we're facebook friends now. He went on to seminary and has been a pastor for many years.

I idolized my mom and the moms who lived on either side of us...I always wanted to be a mother and I had some good examples.

4. When was the last time you did something 'arts and craftsy'? Share please.

I'm not a terribly 'artsy craftsy' person. Last weekend we had friends over for dinner and as part of the decor I put tea lights into apples that had been partially cored. They were super cute and easy, went with my fall theme, and looked something like this.

5. What's a place that makes you really nervous?

The dentist. I'd rather do almost anything than go to the dentist. My stomach is in a knot the whole time I'm in the chair. Normally there's no real reason for that...I think I'm always nervous anticipating something painful and expensive but mostly painful.

6. Horseback riding...yay or nay (neigh?)

St. Lucia, 2003

It's not an activity I seek out but I do enjoy it every now and then. I learned to ride as a kid at summer camp and hubs and I have ridden a few times while on holidays. The problem is I like something leisurely and he prefers FAST! EXCITING! YEEHAW!

7. What's your favorite cliche?

This question is for the birds. When I looked thru an online list I realized that the cliche is my friend. I need to back off the cliche talk. Avoid them like the plague so to speak. I'm like a broken record. As luck would have it I saw a few of my favorites listed-bull in a china shop, better late than never, and thick as thieves. I hope my answer didn't drive you up a wall. ahem...moving on with my random thought now-

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Our gourmet group held their monthly luncheon on Monday. The theme this month was Jersey fresh and all the dishes were made with Farmer's Market produce and good! I love fall but will miss the summer fruits and veg when they are gone for the season.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hodgepodge Questions-Vol 45

Here are the questions for this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog or facebook page and then be sure to come back tomorrow to link up for all the world to see...

1. Do you like chili? Red or white? Beans or no beans? Spice or no spice? Toppings?

2. Red~Orange~Gold...your favorite fall color?

3. Who did you idolize when you were growing up?

4. When was the last time you did something 'arts and craftsy'? Share please.

5. What's a place that makes you really nervous?

6. Horse back riding...yay or nay (neigh?)

7. What is your favorite cliche?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Perfect 10

It's Monday. I have a busy day week month life so I think maybe a list is the way to go this morning.

1. Yesterday was my birthday. Y'all know how I feel about birthdays, right? I like to make them last as long as possible.

2. Know what the best part of my birthday was? It was this-

3. Daughter1's last minute trip home for the weekend.

4. This came a close chocolate cake with a delicate raspberry mousse filling and a sinful chocolate ganache icing. Hubs rocks!

5. No he didn't bake it but he did order it ahead of time so yay hubs!

6. Daughter2 and I share a love of kitchen gadgets and she knows Williams Sonoma is my love language. We missed you daughter2!

7. Please disregard the open garage door. I guess we were all caught up in the excitement of opening presents.

8. Daughter1 was very clever. She looked at my pinterest style board and bought me a sweater and scarf I had pinned there. She even photocopied the ensemble so I'd make the connection.

If you don't know what I'm talking about you need to check out pinterest. If you're already a fan then you'll understand why I think I may start pinning jewelry.

9. We technically celebrated on Saturday night. We had friends over for dinner and there was a definite chill in the air. Hubs grilled steaks and made an awesome fire. It was a relaxing day and evening.

10. My actual birthday meant breakfast out, returning daughter1 to the train station, a stroll thru a local barbecue festival, and a nap on the couch.

Not a milestone birthday but a picture perfect day nonetheless.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Forced Family Fun in the Great Outdoors

It's a gray, drizzly Thursday here and the weatherman says we are in for some honest to goodness fall weather this weekend. Hopefully DRY fall weather as I'm pretty sure this state is about to break off and sail out to sea.

I love the way God ordained the seasons. Just when we think we can't handle any more heat, cooler weather rolls in and the leaves begin to change. As the leaves drop and we grow weary of the bare brown forest we suddenly awaken to the beauty of a white winter snow. Finally, when we think we can't stand one more minute of the cold and damp, a spring breeze sweeps in bringing splashes of color and a fragrance all its own.

When our girls were growing up one of the things we liked to do in the fall was go camping. I just lost some of you, didn't I? Some people hear camping and immediately turn up their noses and think ewww but when you camp with my hubs he pretty much does all the work so what's not to love?

We took a couple of trips with another family too and they also have a worker bee for a dad which was perfect (for the rest of us). We used to joke that they should sign up for the Amazing Race because they're like a highly industrious comedy tag team. On one camping trip an older woman and her daughter who were set up in the campsite opposite ours started a conversation with us. The older woman said she and her daughter had been watching our husbands and they couldn't get over the way our hubs never sat. She then added that she was heading off to give her lazy good for nothing son in law a 'talking to'. Uh-oh.

We tent camped and I know there are haters out there but I have to say there is nothing quite like having your whole little family lined up all together in sleeping bags in a tent. Sometimes we'd have the dog with us too because the more the merrier, right? I love sleeping tucked in tight under the stars.

My girls have always had very active imaginations and the family we camped with had two girls who were the same. They loved playing pioneer or what they called "poor". They collected berries for food, created homes in the trees, and one time they tied daughter2 to a tree-I believe it was their version of the wild wild west which I know is not pc but it was the nineties people.

Some of our favorite stories to tell and retell come from camping. We especially love the one where we pulled into a campground to check in, followed closely behind by our friends in their mini van. They thought the electronic arm of the gate would allow two cars to pass but unfortunately that was not the case as they discovered the hard way. When our friend went to the window to explain what had happened the guard casually grabbed the broken arm and tossed it into a big pile of other broken arms and said, "That happens all the time." He had a stash of replacements right there. It seems the simpler thing would be to repair the gate, doesn't it? To make matters worse (or funnier depending on who you are) this little mishap occurred mere minutes after the same friend had somehow managed to drive over a rake sitting prong up in the middle of the highway.

One year the two dads took the four little girls on a weekend camping trip. Vacation Bible School was kicking off that Sunday evening and I was involved in the preschool department. The plan was that the dads would return in time for everyone to clean up and come to VBS. I remember being in the church office and glancing out the window to see a pile of absolutely filthy children clambering out of a vehicle. I think I was even just a teensy bit judgemental in my head before I realized THEY WERE MY CHILDREN. Turns out they'd been having so much fun on their weekend away that there was no time to go home before VBS. I love that camping affords us the freedom to get a little dirty and wear a baseball cap now and then.

The dads of the girls in daughter1's scout troop got to be friends and they began organizing a father daughter camping trip every year. I think it's good for dads and daughters to do things on occasion without the moms around because let's face it...dads don't immediately run thru a mental list of all the dangers involved in a particular activity and then say no because in reality, a little bit of adventure is good for building confidence in young girls.

The first year they did this the girls all got out of the cars shouting, "We wrote our names with fire!!!" The dads had asked them to keep that on the qt but every mom knows girls are not really capable of that. Had I been on the trip would I have said, "Hey girls, let's all write our names in fire?" No. No I would not. I would have said, 'Now girls, that's dangerous..everyone stay back from the fire...and put down those sticks before someone gets hurt." Just keepin' it real. Dads on the other hand say things like, "Hey girls, watch this...I can write my name with fire! Who wants to try?"

I love hot chocolate and cats cradle first thing on a chilly fall morning.

I love the time and space to dream big dreams and little girls who furiously pen those dreams into a journal from the comfort of a camp chair.

I love cobbler cooked by the hubs over white hot coals.

I love the thrill of discovery.

I love making memories.

I love secrets told on a rock.

I love small hands getting an up close look at the natural world .

I love little girls who ask, " becomes______?"

I love a front row seat to the beauty of a setting sun.

And most of all-
I love life unplugged.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Apples Peaches Pumpkin Hodgepodge

Welcome to another edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Add your link at the bottom and be sure to comment on some of the other bloggers who are playing today too. After all, that's part of the fun. Here are my answers to this week's questions-

1. What do you do at the first sign of a cold? Will you get a flu shot this year?

I try to drown it. I drink gallons of water and hot tea. I use it as an excuse to nap. I will definitely get a flu shot.

2. What advice can you give about how to conquer fear?

Am I the right person to answer this question? Hmmm...I think the best way to conquer fear is to plunge in and plow through. Quite often we discover the thing we are afraid of is not nearly as scary as it seemed from afar. And prayer may be a trite answer to some but I believe prayer is a powerful weapon in the battle against fear.

"I sought the Lord and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears." Psalm 34:4

3. Share two good things about your life right now.

Daughter1 and Daughter2.
I'm so predictable.

I have to add that they did not coordinate their wardrobe ahead of time but they are dressed almost identically and Daughter2's 'mod' sunglasses are the exact color of Daughter1's necklace. I love when that happens.

4. A hot fall fashion trend for 2011 is a return to sixties style...tunics with pants, shift dresses, pencil skirts, cinched waists, bold prints, high necklines and short lengths to name a few. How does this fashion trend fit with your wardrobe and personal sense of style?

Well, I don't do short short anymore, much to my husband's dismay. I love the idea of tunics with pants, shift dresses, and pencil skirts so I suppose I will incorporate something into my wardrobe. Probably not enough to be called 'mod' but classic is more my style of choice when it comes to dressing anyway. I hear a little bit of beehive hair is also making a comeback. Not sure how I feel about that one.

5. Were you involved in scouting as a kid? How about as an adult?

Yes and yes. I was involved in scouting as a kid, first as a brownie and later a girl scout. This picture shows my younger sister and I in our brownie uniforms. I'm the one with long hair and she is the snaggletooth. I'm struck by the fact that we're holding hands. We were only a year apart and we bickered a lot. I'm glad there is some of our sweetness captured in print.

I was also involved in scouting as an adult leader at every level either in the US or the UK. I enjoyed working with the girls and I support the mission of girl scouting which is to build girls of courage, character and confidence who make the world a better place. That being said, I do feel like the national organization expects an awful lot in the way of time commitment from their volunteers and in general the organization is sometimes just way too 'gung ho' for me.

6. Apple, pear, plum, pumpkin...your favorite fall flavor?

I am a fan of all of the above but if you make me choose (I make me choose?) I'll say apple.

7. What characteristics do you think are essential in a good teacher?

First of all, I think teachers need to enjoy children. Some people just don't enjoy being around kids and those people should not become teachers. Sadly many of those people do become teachers and I don't get it.

The best teachers I've known and worked with are organized, flexible, soft spoken but firm, and cheerful. I know there are many other characteristics that could be included here but these traits go a long way in my book.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I've had this song on the brain ever since I wrote question you can too. You're welcome.

Sixties clothes and style are one thing but how can anyone not love the music?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hodgepodge Questions-Vol 44

Here are the questions for this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer the questions on your own blog or facebook page then come back here tomorrow to link answers. We have quite a few playing along every week and the more the merrier....see you in the HP!

1. What do you do at the first sign of a cold? Will you get a flu shot this year?

2. What advice can you give about how to conquer fear?

3. Share two good things about your life right now.

4. A hot fall fashion trend in 2011 is a return to sixties style...tunics with pants, shift dresses, pencil skirts, cinched waists, bold prints, high necklines and short lengths to name a few. How does this fashion trend fit with your wardrobe and personal sense of style?

5. Were you involved in scouting as a kid? How about as an adult?

6. Apple, pear, plum, pumpkin...your favorite fall flavor?

7. What characteristics do you think are essential in a good teacher?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, September 12, 2011


So we were away for the weekend and I know this surprises you. There are four weekends in September and we will be home for only one of them-this coming weekend. Whew! We will finally have a much needed weekend at home with no plans.

Unless you count my birthday but seriously, what I want for my birthday is a weekend at home with no travel plans.

We did have a fun few days this past weekend though. A crab feast by the water with old friends is always fun. Yes we did have a crab feast by the water last weekend with family but crabs twice in one summer is not nearly enough. It will have to suffice.


That pest Irene got in the way of our original plans to be on a boat this weekend. The Bay has a lot of stuff floating around that doesn't belong there. Stuff like trees and branches and gunk that would make boating a bit iffy.

And this weather...what is up with the weather???

Thankfully we did get many splashes of sunshine on Saturday which we thoroughly enjoyed but we definitely have not seen enough sunshine on the East Coast lately.

We miss Maryland. We miss the water and boating and sunsets on the river and rafting up with friends and long naps under the shade of the bimini and picking crabs on a picnic table out back and sitting in a still silent cove watching the blue heron fly overhead and the water.

Did I mention the water?
Hubs and I are completely united in our love of the water.