Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Prioritizing the Hodgepodge

Welcome to the last Hodgepodge in the merry month of May. Answer the questions on your own blog, then add your link at the end of my post. I understand how tempting it is to add links here for other wonderful things you've written, but please link only if you're joining the Hodgepodge. Thank you! And be sure to leave a comment for your neighbor, because that's how we roll round here.


1. What news story are you following right now?

Several, but particularly the story of the kidnapped Nigerian school girls, and also the story of the  Sudanese doctor (married to an American citizen) imprisoned and sentenced to death, charged with apostasy. She gave birth this week and has her newborn and her 20 month old son with her in prison. We Americans are pretty casual about our many liberties. These stories have faces and names and remind me that not everyone in this world lives with the same sense of freedom we enjoy in our country. 

2. What's the last thing you wanted but didn't get?

Well for about five minutes last fall we thought we might be moving. It didn't happen so here we are. We've had a few 'near misses' when it comes to relocation in the course of our married life, and I know God always has us right where He wants us to be. 

3. May 28th is National Hamburger Day...when did you last have a hamburger? Other than your own kitchen or BBQ grill, where is your favorite place to go for a hamburger? And for all you non-meat eaters out there...when you're invited to a cookout what is one side dish you hope is on the menu?

We had hamburgers Monday evening, hot off the backyard grill which is pretty much the only way I eat a burger. I like mine with lettuce and tomato, no cheese. I'm not particular when it comes to sides, but if it's a backyard BBQ I'd be hoping for some baked beans. If I were ordering a burger out somewhere I guess I'd choose Red Robin. I like theirs, but a hamburger isn't what I normally order when dining out.

4. How have your priorities changed over time?

I don't really think my priorities have changed a whole lot over time. They've pretty much always been faith and family, and that remains true today. The way those things play out in my daily life however, does look different. My children have grown up, and I've also matured and learned things about myself that cause me to interact with the world differently. Still faith and family take the top two spots on my list of what I prioritize, and I don't think that will ever change. 

5. What's a favorite memory with your grandparents?

I wrote about both sets of grandparents on my blog a while back (here and here), so I'm going to mention something I didn't mention there.  My maternal grandfather had a shop, and once when we were visiting he let us four kids ride over there in the back of his pick up truck. I know! Hey, it was 1969ish, and the laws of transportation safety were a lot looser back then. 

He drove slow as molasses, but we thought it was awesome. To top it off, once we got to the shop he got us each a Dr. Pepper in a glass bottle from the vending machine. Whoohoo! That was such a treat to my nine year old self.  

Do nine year olds still get excited about a Dr. Pepper from a vending machine? 
The times they are a changin'. Have changed. Sigh. 

6. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being fantastic!), how good are you at multitasking? Share an example.

I used to be, but I think this is one of those skills that gets rusty if it's not used a lot. When my girls were young I could multitask with the best of them. These days life no longer demands I do four things at once, so I don't. 

7. How would you summarize your highs and lows for the month of May?

May is always a bit of a mixed bag around here. Two years ago we lost our precious niece in the month of May, and when that date shows itself on the calendar we all feel so much. We do get to finally welcome springtime here in May, and that's a blessing. A visual reminder that God makes all things new.  

We celebrated much this month too, Mother's Day and a big graduation. Hubs and I thoroughly enjoyed spending a long weekend in beautiful Charleston. And I think my girls and I just might manage to squeeze in a day of wedding dress shopping before the calendar tumbles into June, so sending May out on a high note for sure!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Last spring a mama robin made her nest in the plum tree just outside my living room window. I watched and waited and fretted right along with her, anxious to see her baby birds. Upon returning home from a weekend away, I found a broken blue egg on the driveway, and knew those babies were lost. So sad.   


Like most mothers I know mama robin is nothing if not persistent, and we were so happy to see her rebuild that nest in the very same spot this year. Guess what??? 


She's got babies! And they are too adorable for words.

It's super hard to get a photo, given the way the nest sits in relation to our vantage point inside. There's a pesky branch in front of the nest, and the camera wants to focus on that instead of their wide open mouths and fuzzy little heads. Hubs stood on a chair and tried to aim the camera in towards the nest as he awkwardly hung over the top half of the window sash, but still was only slightly successful. 


I snapped this one yesterday, and have been walking around the house ever since saying, "Out came a baby bird".  It must be said in the same sweet voice my own baby girl used when she was just a tiny tot. Daughter1 was obsessed with the P.D. Eastman book, Are You My Mother, and when she 'read' the story herself she emphasized every single syllable of that phrase. 



Also too adorable for words! 







Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pretend It's Monday

If you're looking for this week's Hodgepodge questions, they are one post down. 

As I walked the recycling bins to the curb this morning I couldn't help but think about how amazing the temperature felt. Just the right amount of warmth on my skin and sunshine reaching down from a bright blue sky. 


We haven't had much of a spring here this year, but these past couple of days have been absolutely gorgeous, the kind of days that make you want to stand outside and turn your face heavenward. I wonder if I'd even mark a morning like this one had the winter been less brutal. Perhaps we need winter to more deeply appreciate the gift of spring. 

There's a life lesson in there somewhere I'm sure. 

We had such a nice weekend, and I hope yours was the same. Of course it feels like a Monday, so I'm going to catch up here as if it were...just play along. Friday hubs and I had an early dinner then came home and finally watched American Hustle, which I thought was just eh. I wanted to like it, but think it was way over hyped. 

So why is it always the case that when you don't have to be up at the crack of dawn, you wake up at the crack of dawn?  Hubs was up before the sun Saturday morning, and wanted me to accompany him to the gun range. For the record, when he gets an idea in his head you need to just get on board. I hadn't even had a full cup of coffee. 


He hit some clay targets and I tried firing the shotgun, which is not really my thing. I'd rather point and shoot my camera, except I didn't bring my camera so you're getting a so-so picture from my phone. Which hubs took (obviously), but let's not blame the photographer, it's the phone. I need an upgrade. 

Remember when we bought phones for making calls and not for the quality of the camera? 

Saturday afternoon we went a few towns over to see a movie. We wanted Indian food for dinner so decided on a theatre closer to the restaurant, which turned out to be a good call. The theatre was small, but all the seats were big huge comfy recliners. The kind that go all the way back. I told hubs the movie better be good, or else to wake me at the end.  No need...we saw Million Dollar Arm and both loved it, and of course having Indian food afterwards felt appropriate. 

We always feel a little homesick for the UK when we eat Indian food. Just sayin'. 


Sunday was an absolutely picture perfect day, and we finally got a few of our pots planted, the patio cleaned up, and some odds and ends done in the yard. Honestly this was the first weekend where that felt possible. Friends came for dinner and hubs made the first fire of the season. We sat outside and let spring soak into our skin.  


Just before Christmas hubs put some solar lights on the bushes that surround our fire pit. Then came the snows. I mean THE SNOWS, and those lights were forgotten. One early April morning I glanced out my kitchen window to see Christmas lights shining in the backyard. Our back is private so we decided to leave them for a bit. Old man winter was hanging on, and seeing those Christmas lights when I looked out the window made me smile.  


Sunday hubs took them off the hedge, but we weren't quite ready to let them go. He got creative and  wrapped them around the pole we hang flower baskets from then dubbed it our 'festivus tree'. Colored twinkle lights make the world a happier place, don't you think? 

Monday morning I went to boot camp. I have to say that a few months ago I would have used the 'holiday' as an excuse not to work out, but not anymore. I got up and went, happily I might add. Hubs ran while I was in 'camp' then we came home, put our flag in it's stand, and headed over to the tinytown parade. 


I think I love small town America on days like this one more than any other. A soft breeze was blowing and flags were flying in neighborhoods and businesses and around the center square. 


Children of all ages donned red, white, and blue, and I always feel such a mixture of pride and patriotism as I stand along Main Street and see the veterans and scout troops and fire fighters pass by.  The high school band played the Marine Corps Hymn right in front of where we stood, which could not have been more perfect. 


Afterwards we sat on the Boardwalk for a while and watched some of the water ski team's exhibition, then grabbed lunch nearby, al fresco of course! We had a delightfully delightful afternoon nap, then hubs grilled burgers for dinner, and we wrapped up the day with Jack. Bauer not Daniels. Ha!   

So how'd you spend your weekend? 

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 176

Monday holidays always throw me off in blogland. I hope you had an enjoyable weekend and you're ready for a new set of questions in the Hodgepodge. We had a fun full weekend here, which I'll get around to recapping later today, but for now here are your questions for this end of May Hodgepodge.  Be sure to hop back here tomorrow and add your link to the party!


1. What news story are you following right now?

2. What's the last thing you wanted but didn't get?

3. May 28th is National Hamburger Day...when did you last have a hamburger? Other than your own kitchen or BBQ grill, where is your favorite place to go for a hamburger? And for all you non-meat eaters out there...when you're invited to a cookout what is the one side dish you hope is on the menu?

4. How have your priorities changed over time?

5. What's a favorite memory with your grandparents?

6. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being fantastic!), how good are you at multitasking? Share an example.

7. How would you summarize your highs and lows for the month of May?

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Five Minutes of Close

Joining with Lisa Jo Baker and the inspiring writers over at Five Minute Friday today. Here's the drill-write for five minutes flat, which means no editing, no over thinking, no negative self-talk. Five measly minutes on a one word prompt. Ready go-

Five Minute Friday

Today's prompt-close

She came into the world six days overdue, wailing for all she was worth. Like she was angry they were taking her from the very nearness of me. If she wasn't in the hospital room with me you'd find her in a nurse's arms. Hold me and your clipboard she'd demand, and the nurses complied. Enormous blue eyes made her impossible to refuse. She needed skin upon skin the way most people need air.

She slept in a bassinet beside our bed until it could no longer hold her squishy legs and golden curls. Up until she was nearly two she woke countless times a night just to see my face and hear my voice, to be nestled into the crook of my arm. If I were washing dishes or preparing dinner her infant seat took up space on the kitchen counter I really couldn't spare. A front row seat to me and all was right with her world.


She grew. Soft and strong. Sensitive and confident. Full of words and giggles and a little sass too. The blue eyes were her saving grace. The blue eyes and the arms as soft as velvet that wrapped themselves so freely and so completely around your neck and your heart you felt you'd seen a snapshot of heaven.

When she was about eight years old someone commented to me in church they'd noticed she always sat with her hand on my arm, as close to me as possible. They remarked on the sweetness of it and I remember thinking how sometimes it made me weary, this need to always be somehow rubber banded together.

And she grew. Long legs and opinions. Brains and beauty and a heart woven so tightly with my own it was a tangled glory of a mess. A teenager ready to take on the world. When did I become the one who needed close? I'm the one who always needed space and lots of it. Room to breathe and think and be.

Somehow as the years rolled by she knew I needed close. Knew I needed that rubber band to stretch and twist, but never break. As tall as me, and a little bit smarter, she held my hand as we crossed the streets of London. As we navigated foreign cities, adolescence, and a future that was suddenly here. Holding my hand came to her as easily as breathing...unforced, natural, and without any hint of self-conciousness.

And she grew. An ocean away. States away. An apartment, job, and life away from me. Separated by miles and responsibilities and calendars that don't always mesh. By the adult world that says we can't always do what we want. That we sometimes have to do what we must. Inside I wail at the top of my lungs at the geographic far-ness of my people. I need to wake up in the night and see her face and hear her voice.

I remember the arms around my neck and the fearless way she hugged without letting go, the way her grown up hand held mine in a city far away. 


It's not perfect, but it's close.  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hodgepodgeaphobia

That would be fear of not answering this week's questions.

Welcome to your weekly Wednesday happy! Answer the questions on your own blog, then hop back here to add your link to the party (hodgepodge posts only please!). Don't forget to say hi to the blogger who linked before you...or all the party goers if you've got some time today.

Here we go-


1. Under what circumstances do you do your best thinking?

Probably in the early morning when the day is new and the house is quiet. It's my favorite time of day and I use those hours to think, pray, journal, plan my day and sometimes my life. Oh, and it's also when I drink coffee. Coffee helps tremendously with the thinking.

2. Are you a risk taker? What's one big risk you've taken?

Not in an adrenaline junkie sort of way, but sure I've taken some risks. Getting married might be considered risky.  I think 'for better or worse' implies some risk is involved. Having children, which for me has meant living with a heart forever open and vulnerable to big hurts and great joys. 

Then of course there's moving across the pond with teenagers. Except we were very sure God had opened that door, so is walking through it an actual risk? Or is it just doing what you're told and maybe quaking a little on the inside?

3. Some of the most common phobias according to the Institute for Mental Health are-spiders (arachnaphobia), snakes (ophidiophobia ), heights (acrophobia), fear of spaces from which escape is difficult (agoraphobia), fear of thunder and lightning (astrophobia), fear of dogs (cynophobia), injections (trypanophobia), social situations, flying (pteromerhanophobia), and fear of germs and dirt (mysophobia). True phobias affect only 10% of adults, but of those listed which would you rate as your greatest fear?

I'm surprised claustrophobia (fear of small spaces) isn't on there, because that would be my number one answer to a phobia question. Agoraphobics can be very fearful in large spaces too, so therein lies the difference. 

If I have to choose from the phobias listed I guess maybe snakes? For one thing I like saying the word ophidiophobia-ha!  I don't mind looking at a snake in an aquarium, but I am not a fan of running across one anywhere else. Hubs likes snakes so any dealings with them are his department. 

4. Are you settled or do you feel you need to move somewhere new?

We definitely feel the need to move somewhere. That's the plan anyway. People don't actually retire in the land of 'worst property taxes in the US of A' do they? Anyway, the south calls our name, and our plan is to get back there one day in the not too distant future. 

5. What is something you find annoying when dining in a restaurant?

People who allow their little ones to run around the restaurant while you're trying to eat. Unless you're in a fast food restaurant, which I wouldn't be, so yeah...littles running around while you're trying to have a nice meal. 

6. Daffodil yellow, sunset orange, spring green, or sky blue...your favorite color this time of year?

I'm slightly obsessed with a clear blue sky any time of year, but especially after a too- long, too-gray winter. Course an orangey orange sunset is pretty hard to resist too. My answer is the colors of the sky...the blues, the oranges, the pinks, and lilacs too.  

7. If you were going to take a holiday all by yourself, where would you go?

Maybe Paris. 
Likely London. 
Probably both. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

One thing I especially love about Charleston are all the beautiful big old trees, especially the magnolias. In case that sentence feels more random than normal (even for me), I was in Charleston last weekend (and wrote about it here).  


There was another plant blooming and growing along many of the fences, something called Confederate Jasmine, and it was gorgeous. The hedges were so full of tiny little blooms my camera struggled to focus-


Or maybe it was the photographer, but whatever...the jasmine had a soft sweet scent that was so delicate and lovely. 


I bet it doesn't grow in The Garden State where it's almost the end of May and we still have our heat on. Ridunkulous! I've been singing this song all week, and I think it fits here today. If you love the south, live in the south, or long to be south, these lyrics make you feel all warm and cozy.  



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 175

It's Tuesday, which means it's time to post the questions to this week's Hodgepodge. Be sure to hop back here on Wednesday and add your link to the party! See you there-





1. Under what circumstances do you do your best thinking?

2. Are you a risk taker? What's one big risk you've taken?

3. Some of the most common phobias according to the National Institute for Mental Health are-fear of spiders (arachnaphobia), snakes (ophidiophobia), heights (acrophobia), fear of spaces from which escape is difficult (agoraphobia), fear of thunder and lightening (astrophobia), fear of dogs (cynophobia), injections (trypanophobia), social situations, flying (pteromerhanophobia) and fear of germs and dirt (mysophobia). True phobias affect only about 10% of adults, but of those listed which would you rate as your greatest fear?

4. Are you settled or do you feel the need to move somewhere new?

5. What is something you find annoying when dining in a restaurant?

6. Daffodil yellow, sunset orange, spring green, or sky blue...your favorite color this time of year?

7. If you were going to take a holiday all by yourself, where would you go?

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Charleston Weekend

It's always a little bit hard to recap a weekend where we did a million and ten things, but I'm gonna try. Hopefully it will not require a million and ten words.

It might.


Hubs and I flew to Charleston on Thursday morning and I feel I must digress here for a minute and tell you that I cannot even remember the last time I took a flight inbound or outbound from Newark that was not delayed. ahem. 

Moving on...Daughter 1's fiance graduated from medical school on Thursday evening, and we were so happy to celebrate with his family as he walked across that stage, the letters M.D. now officially behind his name. Also now officially a Captain in the US Army, because gaining his M.D. meant a promotion in rank. Whoohoo!


Choosing to become a doctor is not a small thing, it truly is a commitment to a lifetime of dedicated service and continued learning. Next on the agenda is a five year residency, which I'm pretty sure is not a walk in the park either. He's excited and brilliant and so looking forward to this next chapter with our girl by his side.


We stayed through the weekend, spent time with his family, and enjoyed exploring this beautiful historic city in weather that could not have been more perfect. Hubs and I played tourist all day Friday, beginning with a walk through Riverside Park...


You can see Fort Sumter from the water's edge. We didn't get out there this trip because you can only do so much in a single weekend, but another time I hope.


The Civil War began at Ft. Sumter, so lots of history round every cobblestoned Charleston corner. It's pretty peaceful here now.

We did take a carriage ride around town...


...followed by a delicious low country lunch in a well known restaurant called Poogans Porch where we dined, appropriately, on their lovely upstairs porch.


.
Funny story-standing in front of me when I stepped into the restaurant was a sweet friend I met via my blog. M lives in North Carolina and came to stay with me back in October along with another friend I'd met via my blog. She happened to be in Charleston for a couple of days with her daughter and another friend and we both ended up in Poogans Porch at the very same time.


'It's a small world after all....". Everybody sing!

Also you should know I'd just stepped off a carriage and it was breezy so my hair was crazy. I had a fried green tomato BLT sandwich with crab remoulade and it was positively delish. Hubs ordered their shrimp and grits, a dish he'd eaten for breakfast just a few hours earlier in another spot, but when in Rome, right?


NJ is not known for her shrimp and grits, so he fills up when he's down south. Plus, there are many variations to the recipe so it's not like you're actually eating the same dish twice. We agreed we should not live in Charleston because when someone sets a warm from the oven biscuit in front of you it's hard to say no thank you. Fortunately we logged a lot of walking miles this weekend!

Friday night we ate at Hank's Seafood which is another well known spot, famous for its seafood and maybe shrimp and grits, but we both had seafood. It was just the hubs and I, but we sat at a community table with people from Kansas City and discussed our mutual love of good BBQ. Food really is a universal language.


On Saturday we had a light leisurely breakfast in the East Bay Meeting House, a small coffee shop in the French Quarter that made me think of Europe. The fiance's family were all staying in a house over on Folly Beach, and had invited us to join them for a lunchtime low country shrimp boil.  I promise we did more than just eat all weekend.

That felt like it needed to be said.

The 'kids' picked us up, and we had an enjoyable afternoon chatting and getting to know his family a little bit better. There was boiled shrimp and baked grouper, corn and potatoes and a wonderful salad.  This post is a little heavy on food shout outs, but in all honesty, you can't go to Charleston and not talk about the food. At least I can't.


Saturday afternoon we drove back into Charleston so the fiance's sister's and her boyfriend, and another family friend could play tourist. The sister's boyfriend is not a local, so he wanted to see some of the area's historical sites too.


The homes in this town are to die for.  Seriously, I could just move right in, plop myself with a good book onto one of the umpteen covered porches and stay for a while.


I'd noticed a hotel's rooftop from the street level and wanted to check it out in person so Hubs and I, along with Daughter1 and her Dr. Captain rode the elevator all the way up inside the Market Pavilion Hotel late Saturday afternoon. The hotel lobby is quiet and elegant, so that's more or less what I was expecting to find rooftop.

The elevator doors opened and Whoa!


There's a pool! Literally right in front of you!  And lots of people and tables with umbrellas. It was lively and fun and the sun was shining so we sat up there soaking it all in. We talked and took pictures and enjoyed the lovely temperatures and maybe a glass of bubbly. There were views all across Charleston from up on that roof.


Saturday night we met Daughter1, the fiance, and his parents at a lovely restaurant called 82 Queen.  The restaurant's dining spaces are spread amongst three buildings with a beautiful patio in the center of it all. Our table was in a gazebo on the patio where an enormous magnolia tree grows, and the food and ambiance were delightful.

Hubs and I both said we needed a few more days, but the real world beckoned so we headed back home on Sunday afternoon. Home where we had to turn our heat on. Boo.


But happy for the memories made and for the exciting future awaiting the happy couple.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hodgepodge Mayhem

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge on this merry day in May! Add your link (Hodgepodge answers only please!) to the end of my post, and then go spread some Hodgepodge cheer to your neighbors.  Here we go-


1. It's still May, right? When were you last in the middle of something that might be described as mayhem?

April 26th, Newark Airport. How's that for specific? Terminal A is where most of the regional flights arrive and depart, and it quite often feels like chaos. The gate section of the terminal is circular in design, so there are always a lot of people everywhere. On this particular date, nearly every outbound afternoon flight was delayed and not just a little bit. Mayhem.  

2. When did you last feel dismayed?

Pretty much any time I listen to the news. The media...politicians...the combination of the two...fallout from the aforementioned shenanigans on social media and the nastiness that sometimes ensues. Dismayed feels like exactly the right word.

3. What's a food combination you like, but other people may find strange?

I don't think I have strange food combinations, but as a child I liked ketchup on my rice. Shudder!

4. "It is never too late to be what you might have been." Do you think that's true? Why or why not?

In general, yes I think it's true. Not in absolutely all things (childbirth for instance), but in most things.  If there's something you've always wanted to do or be, then absolutely- go do and be. 

I will add here, that I think its easier to give that advice to some other person than to follow it yourself.  

Dear self-see #4. 

5. US News and World Report listed the best historic destinations in the US as follows-Washington DC, Philadelphia PA, Williamsburg VA, Charleston SC, Boston MA, Richmond VA, Savannah GA, Santa Fe NM, Yellowstone, San Antonio TX, San Francisco CA, New Orleans LA, and Charlottesville VA. 

Of those listed how many have you seen in person? Which two sites on the list would you most like to see in person?


How many have I seen in person? Quite a lot actually. I grew up on the NJ side of Philadelphia so that city is home to me. We spent nine years living on the Maryland side of DC so that also feels like home to me. When we were newlyweds hubs and I moved to Richmond Virginia so that city was also home for a time. 

Home is a complicated thing when you're me. How about the historic destinations on that list I haven't seen in person?

Yellowstone, San Antonio, San Francisco, and New Orleans.  Of the four I most want to see Yellowstone and San Francisco in person. 

6. May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. If you had to participate in a single fitness activity for the next half hour, which activity would you choose?

I am loving boot camp, so I'd probably choose that. If you'd told me a year ago that would be my answer I would have laughed.  Hey-it's never too late to be what you might have been! 

7. What did you like best about the city, town, or neighborhood where you grew up?

My mom and I were talking about this over the weekend, since I was in the neighborhood for Mother's Day. We both agreed it was a wonderful place to raise a family, a sweet place to grow into adulthood.  I started to list the reasons why, but remembered I wrote a post on this back in my early days of blogging.  If you're interested click the link-  My Very Own Wonder Years

Of course you're interested!  

8. Insert your own random thought here.

My girls spoiled me with sweet gifts this Mother's Day. They bought me a really cute new beach bag and two new beach towels. I'm still using towels that say American Girl so am more than a little bit overdo for new beach towels. 


The bag features my signature color which apparently is orange. I didn't know for sure I had a signature color until recently, but I do, and it's orange. My girls are laughing. They would say I've always had a signature color, I was just the last to know. 

The bag is insulated on one side, so you can put drinks or snacks or aloe in there to stay cool. I love it! 


They also got me this water pitcher which I absolutely love. It's shaped like a fish, and is called a gurgle pitcher because when you pour from it, the pitcher gurgles. Like a fish. Too cute! And you can never go wrong with pretty pottery.

That being said, the best gifts I received came in the form of words. I like words. Words are my love language, and my daughters know this. I like reading them and writing them. I like cards and notes and letters. Pretty stationery, post it notes, hearts spilled onto a page and shared. 

This year both my girls wrote such sweet posts on their blogs. They knew this would be a gift I'd treasure, and I do. Their words made my heart happy in a way a wrapped gift cannot. 

Even if that wrapped gift is pottery or something in my signature color. 





Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hodgepodge Questions Volume 174

Here we are again. Wow Tuesdays roll around fast, don't they? Almost as fast as Wednesdays when we have to post answers! See you back here tomorrow for the linky party!


1. It's still May, right? When were you last in the middle of something that might be described as mayhem?

2. When did you last feel dismayed?

3. What's a food combination you like, but other people may find strange?

4. "It is never too late to be what you might have been." Do you think that's true? Why or why not?

5. US News and World Report listed the best historic destinations in the US as follows-Washington D.C, Philadelphia PA, Williamsburg VA, Charleston SC, Boston MA, Richmnd VA, Savannah, GA, Santa Fe NM, Yellowstone, San Antonio TX, San Francisco CA, New Orleans LA, and Charlottesville VA.

Of those listed how many have you seen in person? Which two sites on the list would you most like to see in person?

6. May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. If you had to participate in a single fitness activity for the next half hour, which activity would you choose?

7. What did you like best about the city, town, or neighborhood where you grew up?

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mothers Do

Good Monday morning! Mine has started off at full throttle, but I'm taking a few minutes to recap the weekend, because why have a weekend if you can't talk about it? 

Hubs and I spent the weekend at my moms house. Daughter1 met us there, only she arrived bearing a pretty pink box.  Sometimes it pays to have a daughter working in D.C.  


Georgetown Cupcakes and we didn't even have to queue. If you're not familiar with the famous bakery you should know people stand in a ridunkulously long line to get their mitts on one of these.


Coconut, chocolate-chocolate, raspberry-white chocolate, and then the lovely green tea with lavender icing. They are sooooo rich, a quarter piece was enough. 

For me anyway...hubs might not agree. 

On Saturday we spent the day doing a fun project-cleaning out my mom's basement. Isn't that the way every Mother's Day should be celebrated? Ha! My brother, sister-in-law, sister, brother-in law, nephew, husband, and daughter1 all pitched in and hauled bins and boxes and all sorts of goodies up and down the stairs. Initially my mom tried to stand watch, but at some point she gave up and sat in the family room where she couldn't see what was going out the front door.  It was better that way.  


Remember when every kitchen in America had a giant fork and spoon on the wall? 
How can anyone not love the 70s'? 


The weather was gorgeous all weekend long. We declared Sunday a day of rest and spent most of it sitting on my mom's patio admiring her azaleas. Why did I get her stubborn streak instead of her green thumb? 


She can look at a plant and make it grow and bloom.  


I didn't take a single picture of me with my mom. Or me with my brother, sister, and mom. Bother. I did get one of my sister and her son. The terminator was there too which my mom would probably say is exactly how she felt.  


It's not always an easy thing to let go of stuff, even stuff you don't need or use. We develop an attachment to things based on who gave them to us, how much they cost, or the season of life we lived through when they were relevant.

Hubs and I move like we're in the army (plus he cannot abide clutter), so not a lot accumulates around here. My mom has been in her house almost 50 years, and after 50 years you end up with some stuff.

She did great at the letting go.
Pretty great anyway. Like most hard things in life, its a process.


My nephew was a trooper all day long, and was happy to challenge his cousin to a game of indoor soccer. It's good to be almost 8 and filled with boundless energy.  Some of us are more than 8 and were wiped out from the great basement clean out.


Sunday we had a late lunch/early dinner at my brother and sister-in-law's house. They have a lovely deck overlooking the woods and the river and the temperature could not have been more perfect. Afterwards hubs and I dropped Daughter1 at the train station in Philly and then turned the car north to head home. We rode the whole way back with the sunroof open and the windows rolled down which doesn't happen very often around here.

Mother's Day is pitched as a chance for moms to have a break. To sit and relax and let someone else do the waiting and the cooking and the cleaning. It seems in recent years mine have been spent 'working'. We've moved our daughters from one dorm, apartment,  or storage unit to another the past several Mays, and this year was definitely a big, busy, tote that barge-lift that bale kind of weekend.

I'm okay with that. In fact, I think in some ways that sort of day stamps me as a mother more than a lazy Sunday ever could.

Mothers do.
That's who we are, so what better way to acknowledge that than by doing?


Doing, followed by a Georgetown cupcake and a nap in the sun of course.