Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Good Grief It's The Hodgepodge

Welcome to December and another edition of the weekly Wednesday Hodgepodge. So glad you've joined in here today! If you've answered the questions in this week's random add your link at the end of my post. And be sure to spread some Christmas cheer by leaving a comment for the blogger linking before you. Here we go-

1. Did you watch The Charlie Brown Christmas special Monday night? Who's your favorite Peanuts character and why?

"Most psychiatrists agree that sitting in a pumpkin patch is excellent therapy for a troubled mind."~Linus

Would you agree?

We did watch the special. Charles Schultz was such a talented man and his simple message at Christmas is timeless. I love that the gospel of Luke is read aloud in the middle of a Charlie Brown Christmas. My favorite character is Sally with Linus running a close second. 

Would I agree with the wisdom of Linus? Yes. When the mind is troubled or weighed down with worry  seeking out a quiet corner in nature is therapeutic. Sitting somewhere in the great outdoors helps me put life in perspective. 

2. Describe a sound from your childhood. What does this sound bring to mind?

Quite a few things came to mind when I wrote this question, but I'll go with the first thing that popped into my head. The sound of a lawn mower on a Saturday morning. When I wake up and hear a lawn mower on a Saturday morning I'm momentarily carried back to my childhood. 

My dad mowed the grass every Saturday morning. Eventually my brother took over the task, but the sound makes me think of my dad. I can see him still, in his work-outside-trousers and white t-shirt, pushing the mower at a precise angle across the grass. The sky is always blue in this scene, and the air warm, but not too warm. 

Mowing the grass is what everyone did on Saturday mornings way back when. There was a comfortable sameness to the routine of suburbia in 1960-something, and the sound of a mower on a Saturday morning can still wrap me up for a brief minute in that safe place called childhood. 

3. You've won a trip to a winter wonderland...would that excite you? Which one of the following would you most want to experience (or which one would you dislike the least)-see the Aurora Borealis in Norway, stay in Sweden's Ice Hotel, go dogsledding in Lapland Finland, take a winter wildlife safari in Yellowstone or celebrate Winter Carnival in Quebec.

I won a trip-whoohoo! Yes I'd be excited, and if you make me choose I'll say the Aurora Borealis in Norway. The Northern Lights are on my bucket list. Really they all sound like locations I'd enjoy, with the exception of the Ice Hotel. I do know people who've done the Ice Hotel and it gets mixed reviews. I think it might be one of those things you do just to say you did it, but I don't know if I'd actually enjoy that one. The others are all destinations I think would be fun. 

4. Who or what keeps you humble?

Isn't that why we get married? To stay humble? My hubs keeps me in check-ha!

5. What part of preparing for Christmas do you like the most? Explain.

I really enjoy choosing our card every year. I don't mind addressing them either, and I love checking the mailbox during the month of December. I'm glad everyone hasn't gone the email route. There's something special about 'real' mail, and I think Christmas is an occasion that calls for real mail. Are you sending cards this year? 

6. Gingerbread-yay or nay? Is making a gingerbread house part of your family holiday tradition?

It's okay. It's not my favorite holiday flavor, but if you set a plate of gingerbread cookies in front of me I won't turn up my nose. We made faux gingerbread houses when the girls were young. 

Technically they were graham cracker houses, but still fun and messy and everyone overdosed on too much sugar in the creating. Good times! 

c. 2009

We kept it going into their college years, and for the record... 

c. 2009 girls never outgrew the seriousness with which they approached construction. 

7. What's one thing you want to start, do, or complete before the calendar rolls into a new year?

I have a homemade Christmas gift I'm putting together and I do hope I don't drop the ball there. I quite often drop the ball when it comes to creative projects. It's not that I don't have good intentions, it's more like my crafty daydreams don't exactly match up with my crafty ability. ahem.  I'll keep you posted. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

My daughter2 shared this recipe with me and it's a keeper. 

One Pan Autumn Chicken Dinner

Simple, healthy, pretty, and delicious. You're welcome.


  1. I love the gingerbread houses made of graham crackers! Never even thought of that....might just have to try it now! Thanks so much for hosting! I have missed linking up a few times and I have totally missed you! Happy December! xx

  2. Thanks for the questions Joyce. Keeping us on our toes as usual. Might have to try out the chicken recipe. Guess who had chicken out for dinner tonight? :)

  3. Great answers to some awesome questions. Have a great week.

  4. Maybe we can book our trip to Aurora Borealis together! Thanks for the recipe.

  5. I also love doing Christmas cards. :) I printed the recipe to try. Sounds delicious and I really need to get back to cooking on a regular basis. So hard for me with just the two of us now. :)

  6. Joyce... you are so right - marriage and humility go hand-in-hand. I sent the link to your recipe to my #1. Enjoy your week.

  7. I enjoyed this as always! Someday I am going to get back to this! Oh my could I ever identify though with the lawn mower noise! It brought me right back to our sat mornings too. There was just something comforting about the sound....and then you add in the smell of freshly cut grass and I am in heaven! Never had much patience for the gingerbread house experience, but we made a few when the kids were young. My boys would eat more then the put on the house and it was always good for a scuffle or two. What I find most enjoyable now about the experience is two of my sons have carried on the tradition with their kids and I get to hear about their scuffles and candy eaters. What goes around comes around, lol. Have a good week!

  8. We used to send more cards, but now we're down to about a dozen (to mail, anyway).

  9. Regarding the lawn-mowing on Saturday mornings, I am always saddened to see people mowing their lawns on Sundays when I know they could have done it on any of the other 6 days of the week...

    The recipe for the Autumn Chicken dinner looks fantastic. I went to the link you provided and plan to give that one a try! Thanks so much!

  10. Oh, and I do love doing our Cmas cards each year as well. This year's is proving to be a challenge. WE tried getting a pic of us with the Grans while they were all here last week and our 6 year old simply would not cooperate. Ugh! wanted to pinch her. :o)) Still trying to see what I can come up with. Good questions, as always!

  11. My trip choice was Norway as well. I really want to see the Aurora Borealis in my lifetime.

    Recipe!! YAY!!!!!

  12. I think we had the same suburban childhood. There was something so safe about waking up in your bedroom on summer mornings to the sound of your father and his lawnmower :-)

  13. Hi,
    I also enjoy Christmas cards. I still send them out and I love writing out the address. It just makes me think of that family or person.
    I send a letter too. I try to get creative in a way to share about our year.
    I love what your shared about your dad and mowing lawn.
    Happy December,

  14. Great job on your answers to the hodge podge today, Joyce. Christmas cards seem to be going to the past, as I now get ecards and quick notes instead of the beautiful cards one could hang all over the doorways.

  15. We are twigs because we both have the Northern Lights on our bucket list! I WILL see them...somewhere...and our men keep us humble. Too much sometimes, huh? LOL I am having fun with the HP!

  16. I forgot about the sounds of the lawn mower. I love sending out Christmas cards each year. My father and sister seem to always be in a race to get them out so people receive them by Dec.1st. I received both of their cards yesterday! I can't believe that at 92 my dad still sends out cards and actually mails out more than I do!!! I think Gingerbread houses are fun. Thanks for the recipe link.

  17. Joyce...the gingerbread houses you and your girls created put the ONE my girls and I made to shame. I'm so impressed! No, I'm not sending out cards this year. I stopped doing so last year...just has become too expensive, in my opinion.

  18. Ah, yes, marriage keeps me humble. There's really nothing like living with someone who sees all your faults, occasionally points them out, overlooks them quite often, and loves you anyway. The verdict is still out on whether I'll send cards. Sometimes I drop the ball at the addressing part. As for the g-bread houses, is that last one a hotel with peppermint stick columns? I like! I also like the upsidedown cones. What's the green made of?

  19. Hi Joyce! I know its been a while, i just got distracted with other things and let three months go by. I hope all is well with you! Its hard to believe it's almost Christmas.

  20. Ha...your #4 and mine were answered the same! The one-pan chicken sounds great! Thanks for sharing it! You brought us another very fun Hodgepodge! Thank you!

  21. That recipe looks really good! Thanks for sharing!. I love the pics of your girls...graham crackers - good idea! I will have to share that with my daughter. Hope they are progressing on your house! Can't wait to see it!

  22. I enjoyed The Hodgepodge today. It was a welcomed distraction from the mess that has temporarily become our home!
    I enjoy sending Christmas cards, too, and will continue to do so, as long as I am able.
    I hope your homemade Christmas gift works out. Homemade gifts are the best :)

  23. I love that the Gospel of Luke is read too! I get excited checking the mailbox for Christmas cards too. I do plan on sending out cards this year. I make a similar one pan chicken dish but mine just has carrots, potatoes and onions drizzled with olive oil and s & p and topped with chicken legs. So easy and delicious. Thanks for another great Hodgepodge :)

  24. Hey there! I'm with you - I love doing Christmas cards each year - though I almost hesitated this year with the darn cost of postage! Good grief! But - I love receiving cards so much, how could I not send them out as well?! Too fun.

  25. I always enjoy your hodgepodge! I hope you get your homemade gift project done. Homemade gifts are the best and I always appreciate a gift that someone makes specially for me!

  26. From the pictures I'd say you guys get pretty serious about your gingerbread houses. I'm planning to do Christmas cards, but only time will tell if I actually get them completed and put in the mail. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten them addressed and then never made it to the post office with them. lol

  27. HA for #4!!!!
    Love the game faces on your girls when they made the houses!
    Hope your project turns out like you hope!!
    Didn't think I was going to make it to The Hodgepodge today! Have a good week!

  28. My four year old and I made a gingerbread house Tuesday. I think he had the same seriousness as your girls. We'll be making two more as a family activity this weekend. Great answers!

  29. Those Ginger Bread Houses were quite impressive! I agree that our president should be much more engaged in combatting the real existential threats against us and less on the theoretical or idealogical ones. As always thanks for the visit and your comments. Best to you and Hubs!