Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wednesday Blogging AKA The Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge! Can you believe this time next week we'll be in to the second month of the year? January did not linger. If you've answered the questions here today, add your link at the end of my post. Do your best to drop by and say hi to the blogger who linked before you, because comments make the world go round. The blog world anyway.

Also, I'm wordy today. Some days are like that on From This Side of the Pond.


1. Share a winter memory from your childhood.

I remember waking to the magical gift of an unexpected snow day. Of the urgency to hurry through breakfast and put on all those layers in order to get out in it. I remember neighbors up and down the street shoveling sidewalks and drives. I remember building forts made of snow, running from neighbor boys who threw wicked icy fastballs, and sledding with my sister. 

That's me in the blue and my sister in red, standing on a sled. We find something hilarious here, and I wish I knew now what it was. Maybe the notion we were preparing to sled on concrete? Our driveway must have been icy, because I'm not seeing any snow.  I do remember we loved sledding in that saucer.  It was fast and spun like crazy, and all you could do was hold on to the flimsy plastic handles and pray you didn't tip out. It dented easily but you could un-dent it pretty easily too. Do they still make those? 

Also, this picture. Sigh. This is one picture I have of us standing side by side that when I look at it I see my own girls. The unmistakable trace of family around the eyes and nose.  The giggles...the camaraderie...the give and take and push and pull, the deep deep love you feel for that person who grew up beside you.  I see it here. 

2. What was on your blog this time last year? (Besides the Hodgepodge of course!) If you weren't blogging, what in the world were you doing with all that free time?

As it happens I wrote a whole post about this very thing. It was seven years ago this month I started blogging, and I recapped my Januaries here in A Stroll Down Blog Memory Lane.  

Specifically last year though? The wedding of course. 

3.Ellen Goodman is quoted as saying, 'We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives...not looking for flaws, but for potential.'

Do you see more flaws or potential in your life at the start of a new year? Have you done anything specific this month to address either one? Does the new year truly begin for you on January 1, or is there some other month of the year that feels like a fresh start and new beginning?

I think I see potential in my flaws? Does that make sense? I like the word picture she paints of walking through our lives room by room, and I would say this is something I do beginning in December. I see areas that need improvement and come up with a plan to improve. I'm not always successful at following through with the plan, but I get excited about making the next year better in some way. 

For me September has always felt like the fresh start, clean beginning. There's something about the end of summer, a new school year, the shorter days and cooler nights and the year-end within sight, that makes me feel hopeful. Like change is possible and inevitable and should be pondered and planned for so I'm ready come January. 

4.Who's an athlete you admire or respect and why?

I imagine some people will turn their noses up at this question, because honestly all we seem to hear about are the athletes who misbehave, and it might be hard to come up with one to admire. I think there are many, and I love when successful people use their money and their name and give their time for good. I especially love the stories of generosity and kindness, performed away from the camera, which isn't always easy to do. 

Tim Tebow, the Manning brothers, and Phil Mickleson are all on my list. 

5.Do you like cream in your coffee? Whipped cream on your pumpkin pie? Cream cheese on a bagel? Sour cream on a baked potato? Cream of wheat for breakfast? Have you ever had a scone with clotted cream? Of all the creamy foods mentioned, which one sounds most appealing to you right this very minute?

I love cream in my coffee, but just a splash and only the good stuff please. No flavored creams, no artificial creams, just the deliciousness that is half and half. Whipped cream on my pumpkin pie? Yes! In my case it might make more sense to ask if I like pie with my whipped cream.  No to the sour cream on a baked potato, yes to the cream of wheat, and a yes to the scone with clotted cream. While clotted cream doesn't sound all that appetizing, it is so yummy! 

Right this minute I'm sipping my Tuesday morning coffee with a splash of cream and all is right with the world. Morning coffee is one of life's small pleasures. 

6.Where were you last kept waiting for 'hours on end'? Or for what felt like hours on end? How well did you cope?

I can't think of anything recently, but one that used to get on my nerves was the veterinarian's office. I always, always had a ridiculous wait there, longer than at any 'human' doctor's office I visited. Yes, I know there are emergencies, but there's also overbooking and poor scheduling. 

7.Believe it or not, when next week's Hodgepodge rolls around it will be February. Huh?!? Bid adieu here to January in seven words or less.

One month closer to the lake house! 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I'm participating again this year, in the April A-Z blog challenge and wonder if anyone else here is doing the same? For those of you who aren't familiar with the challenge, it's a writing exercise where you blog every day in the month of April (except Sundays), using one letter of the alphabet as your daily prompt. April 1 is Letter A and April 30 Letter Z, which is perfect because when you remove Sundays in April you're left with 26 days and 26 letters. For more info or to sign up, click the link posted here. 

I will tell you up front, there is everything under the sun in terms of content in the blog world, and you figure that out pretty quickly in this challenge. In the past couple of years the organizers have very helpfully created categories, so when bloggers sign up they can select one to identity their blog genre...humor, photography, travel, book reviews, memoir, zombies... 

Okay I kid on that last one, but only sort of. Who knew there were so many sci fi/gaming/mythology fans out there in the blogosphere?  My blog defies description (ahem) so I opt not to choose a category. And you can write with a theme in mind, or you can fly by the seat of your pants. 

Guess which kind of blogger I am? 

Actually I always have a general theme, but it's not one thought out too deeply or too far in advance. I'm more of what you might call a free-flowing blogger-ha!, and believe it or not I do have an idea floating around in my head for this year. I just need to decide if I can fill 26 posts on this particular subject or if I'll run out of steam by letter G. We shall see. 

I enjoy this challenge a lot, mostly because it rolls around each year right about the time my blog needs an energy drink. It requires discipline and helps me remember why I like to write.  I've met some lovely folks via the hop each year, so I'm in. Let me know if you're participating and I'll look for you there. 


  1. Yeah on one month closer to that lake house!

  2. If I can get my act together, I'd love to participate in the A-Z Challenge...we shall see! I do need something like that to give my blog a little spark. The picture of you and your sister is adorable. Don't you cherish shots like that the older you become? I sure do. Time keeps on marching.

  3. I haven't even thought about the A to Z. Don't know if I'll do it this year or not. Knowing me, I won't make a decision until the week before.

    Cute picture of you and your sister. You look like you are having so much fun.

  4. Hi Joyce! Another great group of questions this week! I'm tempted to do the A-Z challenge, but we'll see. Our last vet had a really long wait but our new one is quick. Chowdah doesn't nearly have enough time to make friends with the other patients. Have a great week!

  5. What a cute pic of you and your sis. I knew which was you even before you told us. Standing on a sled seemed to be something all kids did. In the midst of winter, it's got to be wonderful to be looking forward to that lake house!

  6. OH!!! ME! Pick ME! I want to participate in the April A-Z challenge! I have 2 major events happening in April, so it will be a challenge in many ways. Thanks for sharing. Love your childhood picture, which reminds me of something I did not add: I had a white fluffy hat like your sister. I loved that thing. Thanks for a fun and thoughtful Hodgepodge. Have a super, awesome week!!!

  7. Every year I think I might give it a try, then I always chicken out. I'm not a great writer and my blog is more of a daily journal. I'll think about it again...two more months to mull it over. I enjoyed your answers to another fun Hodgepodge! I especially LOVE that photo of you and your sister.

  8. Oh, yes, I forgot Tim Tebow on my list. Absolutely. And I love the coffee just as you do. A little cream. No fancy flavors for me.

  9. I loved and enjoyed reading your winter childhood memories! That could have been a post by itself :)
    I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with for the A-Z challenge! I always think about participating, but never have--so far!
    Kathy (Reflections)

  10. Thanks for the heads up on the A-Z challenge. I went and signed up for it.

  11. We have saucers for the snow, but they are made of plastic. They still go fast but once they crack that's it. Thanks for another great Hodgepodge!

  12. Oh, my, I can't even imagine blogging every day but guess if I was motivated enough then I'd do it. I always enjoy reading yours and others though. These were great questions today and as always, I enjoy the HP each Wednesday.

  13. Enjoyed this as always. I thought I saw the http:// BEFORE my link this time but I don't think it's right again, and i don't know how to do it again...sorry, I am NOT very electronically gifted I am afraid! Maybe it's ok though I see it is taking me to my dashboard instead of my blog!

  14. Hi,
    I am with you about good old half and half in my coffee. None of that other stuff. ;-)
    I also liked how you answered #4.
    Have a great week.

  15. Loved the questions....we had a lot of similar thought. Great Hodge Podge.

  16. Love your memories in the first question and I see your two girls when I looks at that picture too! I like that Joyce, I get it, you see potential in your flaws. Phil Mickelson is the perfect choice, I really like him.

  17. Hi Joyce! Little by little I'm getting back at it. Maybe I will try to A to Z in April. Could get me motivated to write more regularly. I completely agree about seeing potential in your flaws. I am the same way. Also, I love thinking about a new beginning at the beginning of the school year and New Year's and also the beginning of summer (end of school). It helps me to stay focused on what I want to accomplish and to take inventory of things I seriously want to do versus those things that may not actually happen but are fun to dream about.

  18. Yes I did see 42! It was such a powerful movie, i couldn't believe the amount of stress Jackie went through. Which is why he died young.
    I agree with the doctor office thing, it feels like you're always in the waiting room longer than when you're with the doctor.

  19. I agree with your choices for question #4. I would add to my list Derek Jeter, Cal Ripken Jr, and Roberto Clemente. Also, no matter how Super Bowl 50 goes, you win! Good for you! I'm cheering for Payton as this is most likely his last chance to get a ring...even though he sent my beloved Patriots packing. He really is one of the good guys!

  20. Joyce, I'm a black coffee drinker, and prefer my pie without the whipped cream. Cute picture of your winter childhood.

  21. Hey! I started blogging seven years ago too! Crazy. If I were to name some athletes, the ones you named would be on my list. :) I wish I could come up with a good theme for the A-Z.

  22. I love when my kids show me their ancestory. I love when they give a look that screams my brother, or say something in a way that reminds me of my grandfather, or I see a picture of someone and see my kids in their faces.

  23. LOVE the picture of you and your sister!
    I am considering the A to Z Challenge this year, my blogging groove has been seriously thrown off and maybe that will help!

  24. Hi Joyce! I enjoyed your hodgepodge, especially your childhood memory. I'm going to go read about the A-Z challenge. I need something to jump start my blogging again!

  25. I did the A-Z challenge twice. The first time was a few years ago, and I had so much fun with it. I tried again last year, but only made it to M or so. I just didn't have time. I'm thinking about trying it again this year, but with an easy theme.
    Peyton Manning was my pick for an athlete! They seem like such a nice, fun family.
    Clotted cream is delicious. Why, oh why, can't it be found in the states??
    Thanks for hosting the Hodgepodge! It's a fun linkup!

  26. Good answers! Yes I am thinking on the A to Z again this year. We shall see.

  27. Long waits at the veterinarian's office always made me especially nervous if the wait was in the waiting room. Keeping the dogs from unpleasant socialization always worried me.

  28. Yes! I'm so glad that you mentioned the A to Z challenge. I was wondering if she was doing it again. I always seem to miss it, remembering it AFTER its started! I'm going to click over and snag the button so hopefully I can remember this April! LOL

  29. I've still got to finish last year's A-Z challenge or delete the entries I'd already made.

  30. Well I'm here because of the A-Z challenge and yes I'm planning on doing it again. It came at the right time for me last year. I think a theme helps (I used one last year) and I already have a bit of a theme worked out for this year so I can get a bit ahead of myself because even with a theme I still ended up flying by the seat of my pants some days!