Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Rooted in the Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Hodgepodge!  So glad you joined the fun this week, and if you haven't, well what are you waiting for?  Answer the questions on your own blog, then add your link at the end of my post.  Easy peasy. Oh, and be sure to say hi to your neighbors, because we're neighborly here.

1. Do you have an interest in learning about your family's heritage? Why or why not? If you know a little bit about your roots, share an interesting piece of trivia or a fun fact about someone who goes way back on your family tree.

I'm interested in knowing my family's heritage. Much of my dad's side has been researched, but less has been tracked down on my mom's side of the family.  My dad had gotten into this before he died, and the Christmas after he died my sister put his findings into a binder for each of the 'kids'.  I still enjoy looking through it from time to time.  

One of my favorite bits in the notebook is in reference to my great great grandfather, about whom it was written, " He was known as the most reasonable of men. He never lost his temper, but could stand for the right against any odds, and was known the same way in Illinois as in Kansas." What a remarkable way to be remembered. He died in 1885 but I feel great admiration for him in 2014.  

2. Branch Rickey, the baseball exec credited with signing Jackie Robinson, is credited as saying-

"Luck is the residue of design."
Agree or disagree? Why?

I think so often people we label as lucky have actually worked quite hard to get where they are, or to obtain what they have, so I would agree somewhat with Mr. Rickey. I don't think I'd go so far as to say we never fall into something wonderful, but more often than not, achievement and success are the result of effort and hard work, not luck. 

3. In the town where you currently reside, what's your favorite green space?

My backyard? We look out on several acres of woods, which are ever changing and never dull. I wish I could describe the level of activity that goes on in these woods. It's some sort of social gathering spot for animals of all kind including chipmunks, groundhogs, fox, coyote, deer, and black bear. 

The landscape is beautiful no matter the season, and I'm pretty happy sitting beside the firepit on a cool fall evening, watching the leaves change from my kitchen window, or waking to bare branches suddenly dressed in white. Its almost like art.  

4. Who is your favorite comedian?

I don't know if I have a favorite, but a couple favorites would be Brian Regan and Jim Gaffigan.  

5. March is National Nutrition Month, and almost everyone needs to improve their diet in some way. What about you? How can you improve your nutrition on a daily basis? Will you try?

These days I'm making an effort to eat less sugar, drink half my body weight in water every day (in oz!), and to be more conscious of exactly what it is I'm consuming. I am definitely trying! 

6. Which of these green expressions have you 'experienced' in recent weeks-green with envy, green thumb, green around the gills, or give the green light? Explain.

Nothing leaps to mind.  

Wait...a  friend in London recently posted a picture from a restaurant I love, and it's possible I turned   green with envy wishing I was there too. 

7. What is one place you don't mind waiting?

If I know my car repair won't take all day I don't mind sitting in the dealer's lounge. They've got coffee and comfy seating, I bring a book or my notebook, and best of all they always wash my vehicle before handing back the keys.  

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Today would have been my dad's 88th birthday. 
He surely loved his grandgirls and could always make them laugh. 

They were toddlers when he died, so while they don't remember him very well, I like to think they know him through the stories we tell. So much family history is passed down via storytelling, and no matter how fast the world spins, I hope we never stop doing that. My dad loved computers before computers were a household word, and I like to think he'd appreciate this side of the pond as a place where I remember and record my stories.  


  1. Love the photo of your father!!
    And, loved the descriptive words of your backyard as your 'green' space!! That too is a work of words! It was like I was there viewing it all.

  2. Thinking of you on this special day of remembrance, Joyce...that's such a sweet picture. My dad would have turned 90 this coming October...hard to believe.No matter how long they've been gone, your heart still aches to have them here, even though they're in a much better place. I would love to have a backyard like yours...I'd probably never go inside my house, except in the winter, of course!

  3. Hi. Thank you for the interesting topics.
    Do you often encounter black bears near your house?

    1. Occasionally. Mostly they just pass by, but every now and then one wanders into the yard, a little closer to the house. Last year one came right up against my kitchen sliding door. I almost had a heart attack! They're beautiful, but I don't need to see them up close and personal like that : )

  4. The description of your great-great-great grandfather is great. I love it when I find little descriptions of those in my family tree too! Like little mirrors into the past.

    I think I am now green with envy over your backyard, so I may go and update my post! You are very lucky to look out on so much nature. And my husband would envy you your fire pit. It's on his list of "wants".

  5. I agree with you about luck. Though some things do happen by chance most things are earned through effort.
    I enjoyed reading about your dad. Today would have been my mom's 100th birthday and one of the things I miss the most is that she did not live to know my kids.

  6. A man before his time... he had Bill Gates blood in him, huh? :) Hoping you all get to celebrate him somehow today. HUGS

  7. I didn't even think about our family farm as my favorite 'green place'! Of course, if I had, that would've been my answer!
    That's a great picture of your dad! Happy Birthday, in heaven, to him. We never stop missing them, do we?

  8. Hubby and I are cutting down on sugar too by doing low carb for awhile. It's hard in the beginning, but the longer we're on it, it gets easier. I think because you start getting the sugar out of your system, you don't miss it quite so much.

  9. I'm not sure I have seen Byran Regan but I agree Jim Gaffigan is funny! I know the last few times Mark has been in Europe I've been green in envy too. Happy Birthday to your dad. My Mom would have been 88 this past January and passed away in March 32 years ago. My children were toddlers and I can't believe how quickly time passes.

  10. Oh, I so miss participating today but yesterday just wasn't long enough to work it all in. I am quite certain your Dad would love "This Side of the Pond" and be very proud of you. My Dad had a computer 3-4 years before I had one. Now, I can't believe that but he was always on the "cutting edge" and it's something he misses greatly now that he has such comprised vision. Oh, I'll miss next week too as I'll be at our daughter's making memories. See you the next!

  11. I just loved what you shared about your great, great grandfather. That's the testament of a life well-lived. It is evident that the values he lived by were passed down to the generations that followed him.

  12. What a wonderful thing to have been said about your great great grandfather. The world needs more people like him.

    It is sad that your daughters didn't have the opportunity to know your father as they grew up, but they must certainly know him somewhat through you and your memories and photos of him. And I think that's so important.

  13. Can't wait for warm enough weather to enjoy the back patio again!
    Love that last picture of Poppie and sister. Wish I could have known him longer.

  14. I loved reading your #8!! You are so right, and I'm sure he would love this blog!!

  15. I was surprised by how many answers were the same although I differed in the comedian answer.

  16. The half your body weight eyebrows went up...then I read oz and laughed out loud. I'm glad I'm sitting here alone. HA! I'm not even the last one to link up today!!

  17. Love, love, love your #1 and 8! What a sweet gift from your sister! I love what people said about your great great grandfather. Sounds like you are from good people :)

  18. Happy Birthday to your Dad...sounds like he was a wonderful man! I really am bothered and try not to say the words your so lucky because it often does take away from the hard work someone did to get there. I'm also trying to make better choices but on a snowy day like today all I can think about is baking!! Happy Wednesday!

  19. Your backyard sounds wonderful. Also, I thing we are part of the consensus opinion regarding the "Luck" question. I am touched by your fond memories of your dad. He sounds like a wonderful man. Thanks for another thought provoking Hodgepodge.

  20. Do you have a secret to being able to down that much water? Ugh. I dislike drinking water.
    I so love your backyard. I could get used to it very quickly. :)

  21. Hi! I love the backyard! I agree, the car dealership is a nice place to wait. The one i went to a few years back had nice air conditioning on a unreasonably hot day, also the Giants game was on and they had okay coffee. :)

  22. Oh Joyce, I don't where to start commenting on your answers today. I so enjoyed reading them and could relate to so many. However, I want to respond to the last one about your dad. Does a girl ever stop missing her "Daddy?" This one sure hasn't! And yes, I think yours would especially enjoy reading your blog and look forward to each one. And, I bet he would also enjoy spending some time appreciating the ever changing show of nature around your fire pit.

    One more thing: For the Christian, I don't believe there is luck, just divine planning and intervention. See you next week.

  23. Nice tribute to your Dad. I like passing down stories about my grandparents as well.

  24. I agree 100% on #2... I was the first thing I thought when I read the question!

  25. I would spend time sitting in your back yard any time. Well, after the snow melts, that is. :)

  26. What a great legacy your great grandfather left. We should all be so luck to be remembered that way. :)

  27. What a wonderful tribute to your great-grandfather! I wonder what he did that made him known that way in Kansas as well as Illinois...

  28. I'm sorry your children didn't get to know their grandfather. You are right though, stories will keep the memories alive. Especially the way your sister put together a binder. That is awesome!