Monday, October 16, 2017

On Grandparenting

So I'm a grandmother. Well really a Nana or at least I'm trying to be. I quite often call myself Grandma so maybe I should just go with that. I need to figure it out before baby boy starts talking.

Oh he talks, just not in complete sentences yet-ha!

I'm so thankful for technology, and the way it allows me to watch him grow from so many miles away. And of course when his little face pops up on whatever screen we happen to be on I literally want to crawl through the glass and kiss his chubby cheeks in person.

Baby boy loves his chow and I can't wait to make all his favorite foods.

Once he's eating actual food of course, but let's not rush things because these early months are oh so precious. Babies whose age is still counted in weeks literally change before your very eyes. One minute they lack the muscle control needed for smiling and the next minute they're smiling. Life is an absolute miracle and grandparenting reminds you this is so.

Last week Daughter1 and her hubs took their lil' punkin to the pumpkin patch.


You know once upon a time hubs and I took our lil' punkin to the pumpkin patch too. This was back in the day before cell phones took over our lives so we didn't snap a picture until we'd already turned our find into a jack-o-lantern, but the memory is no less sweet.


This photo y'all! Here I'm young and naive about all the ways motherhood will change me, grow me, sanctify, and define me. All I knew for sure was I was head over heels in love with someone I'd met just four months prior.

Grandparenting is like that too, with a cherry on top. You lay eyes on this little person and your heart opens the door wide to a love that feels positively endless. But this new love is layered in all the best ways with your first love. Your child. The one you raised who is now the one raising.

Someone asked me recently what was my favorite thing about being a Nana, and it's many things but mostly it is this-


It's watching the girl who just yesterday sat atop my lap on a front porch stoop mother her very own son. It's watching her find the rhythm of her own life.

It's remembering the sweetness of all the firsts, and how every day I knew her just a little bit better than the day before. It's remembering the wonder I felt as love was multiplied and I'd say to myself, 'what a wonderful world'.  

Some things don't change.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Life And Stuff

My daughter and I were talking about how she had recently gone back and read a blog post written in 2006 by someone who went on to become a very popular blogger. This particular blogger had taken a trip somewhere my daughter plans to visit and she remembered this blogger writing about it.

She told me how much she loved reading the post and how it was written in the format of here's what I did on day one of my vacation and here's what I did on day two of my vacation and here's a picture of every single dessert we ate and here's the beach we walked on and how there wasn't a single link to anything commercial and it wasn't polished but it was oh so real.

And we both agreed this was why we became bloggers and it's the thing we miss when we don't blog.

I'm bringing it back. Here's some stuff from the past few weekends that I never got around to mentioning and that maybe isn't worth mentioning because it's just friends gathering and reminiscing and people coming and going and babies being adorable and isn't that the stuff life is made of?

Two weekends ago I was here-


Hilton Head Island.


It was a too quick weekend spent with girls I pledged a sorority with nearly four decades ago, but who are still eighteen in my head. We laughed until our sides hurt and remembered how good that feels. There was some beach sitting, some shop til you drop kind of fun, shared appetizers and stories and a brilliant sunny Saturday. There was birthday cake (pink of course) with too big candles and heartfelt wishes.


We chased down a sunset but were laughing too hard to run so almost missed it.


Almost.

The kind of weekend you want to tuck in your pocket and pull out from time to time when the world feels gray and your heart needs a pick-me-up. That kind of weekend. These girls. The stuff life is made of.


While I was away hubs drove over to Tennessee and picked up his mom and brought her to the lake to spend a few days with us here. The weather was glorious and we had a wonderful time showing her around tiny town. On Tuesday she visited Daughter2's classroom and read a book to her kindergarten students. So special!


We had an early dinner afterward and enjoyed hearing about her day, and then we spent most of the next day on the lake because it was too nice to do otherwise. This summer weather in October is something, isn't it?


We drove my mother-in-law back to Tennessee Thursday evening, then went on up to collegetown Friday morning for homecoming festivities. We had lunch at a little spot called White Duck Taco where we sat outside and caught up with some of our favorite people also in town for the homecoming shenanigans. White Duck does fancy tacos and I had one Thai chicken and one pork belly and both were scrumptious.

That evening we went to dinner with a big group of friends and then Saturday was game day. Let's just say it was warm. Have mercy! 



Still we tailgated and enjoyed seeing the brand new stadium, but by halftime we were melting so we called it a day and headed back to the hotel for a nap before the evening party.


I know this picture looks cloudy, but those clouds lasted just long enough for me to snap a picture. The rest of the time the hot hot sun was staring us down.

I love visiting campus even if they did take down 'our tree' and put the stadium in it's place. The grounds around the school are still so pretty and hubs and I always take a walk hand in hand and remember why we fell in love. It's good to remember.

Are you still in touch with your college friends? Do they still know how to make you laugh, pull at your heartstrings, say remember when, sense you need a hug or maybe lemon drops and a reality check (hi Amanda!)? Ours do, and for that we are truly grateful. Who knew thirty five+ years ago our lives would be so entwined still?

I really need to blog more because now here I am many paragraphs later and I haven't even mentioned baby boy being adorable. He needs his own post anyway, don't you think? No worries...he'll get one. Or ten. Or maybe a hundred. teehee.

Happy Thursday everyone!
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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Roadtripping Through The Hodgepodge

Welcome to this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you've answered the questions add your link at the end of my post, then hop over and leave a comment for the person linking before you. Or leave a comment for everyone if you've got the time.

As a reminder-I'm declaring next week Fall Break in the Hodgepodge so no Wednesday Hodgepodge on October 18th. The Hodgepodge will return the following week, October 25th. Thanks for understanding.

1. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your sense of direction? 1=can't find my way out of a paper bag and 10=if I've been somewhere once I can find it blindfolded ten years later.

When was the last time you looked at/used a map you could hold in your hand? (phones don't count!) 

back east, down south, out west, up north

Choose one of these directional expressions and tell us why you chose it.

I will rate myself a 5, but that might be generous. Hubs will say it is most definitely very generous. Oh well, it's my blog. We're going to be doing some driving out west and I ordered paper maps because I like to see the big picture. Also, I've read some travel forums that say cell service is spotty in places so having a map is a good idea. I love a map, but rely on GPS to get me anywhere. 

I'm from back east, live down south, am headed out west, and can't wait to see my favorite tiny human up north later this month. 

2. Did you do more talking or listening yesterday? Is that typical? Describe your yesterday in one word.

Yesterday was probably 50/50. Is that typical? Typically I think I lean more to the talking side of things, but I'm working on that. 

Yesterday (Monday) in one word? Productive

3. Time, money, water-power-resources, opportunity...which one on the list are you most guilty of wasting? What might you do to change that?

It's a toss up between time and opportunity. I think we're all guilty of wasting time now and then, but missed opportunity bugs me more. How often have I missed an opportunity because I'm wasting time? I've recently set some reasonable personal goals for myself in one area in particular that I'm hoping to improve. 

4. Did  your family take regular vacations when you were a kid? Tell us something you remember about a family roadtrip from your own childhood.

Not regular no. We always had a day or two at the shore in the summer, and we belonged to the swim club which is where my sister and I spent most afternoons. We always had a week or more at camp and that was a lot of fun. Some years we traveled out west as a family to visit grandparents in Colorado and New Mexico, and that felt like a vacation to us East Coasters. 

One road trip I remember from my childhood was taking my sister to college. We drove from NJ to TN and visited some other colleges along the way so my brother could tour and see if he might be interested in attending one of those. It might not sound like fun, but we had fun. The best part was I don't think my parents booked hotels ahead of time. We'd drive and decide where to stop and look for a hotel that way. And the criteria was always the same for us kids-what's the pool look like? 

5. If you could grow anything you wanted, what would you grow? Why?

Peonies. Because I love them. My next door neighbor in the UK grew peonies and had some very rare varieties. A stroll through his garden was such a treat. 

Actually I'd like a big English garden with peonies, lilacs, and other blooming things in shades of red, pink, peach, and purple. My English garden still ranks right up there as one of my favorite places on earth. I didn't plant it...just watched it grow and bloom and change and make me feel a whole lot of things that are hard to put into words. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

For anyone who relates to my answer in question #3 you might like a book I'm currently reading called Finish.  It's written by Jon Acuff and below the title is the tag line 'Give Yourself the Gift of Done' 

I'm about halfway through, and find myself nodding my head in agreement on nearly every page. He says the biggest obstacle to meeting a goal is not laziness, but perfectionism and boy do I understand that. This book is for chronic starters who want to become consistent finishers (anybody else raising their hand here?) and is full of strategies and practical advice, including specific actions to take listed at the end of each chapter. And he's funny too! 



Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 325

Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then hop back here tomorrow to share answers with the universe.

One item of note-I'm declaring next week Fall Break in the Hodgepodge so no Wednesday Hodgepodge on October 18th. The Hodgepodge will return the following week, October 25th. Thanks for understanding that life is a little too full right now and I need a fall break somehow somewhere.

Okay, here we go-
1. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your sense of direction? 1=can't find my way out of a paper bag and 10=if I've been somewhere once I can find it blindfolded ten years later.

When was the last time you looked at/used a map you could hold in your hand? (phones don't count!) 

back east, down south, out west, up north

Choose one of these directional expressions and tell us why you chose it.

2. Did you do more talking or listening yesterday? Is that typical? Describe your yesterday in one word.

3. Time, money, water-power-resources, opportunity...which one on the list are you most guilty of wasting? What might you do to change that?

4. Did  your family take regular vacations when you were a kid? Tell us something you remember about a family roadtrip from your own childhood.

5. If you could grow anything you wanted, what would you grow? Why?

6. Insert your own random thought here.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Farming The Hodgepodge

Welcome to this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you've answered the questions add your link at the end of my post, then go say howdy to your neighbor on the list. Happy October y'all!

From this Side of the Pond  

1.  Have you ever spent time on a farm? Tell us a little bit about it. Have you ever grown your own pumpkin? Been on a hayride? Driven a tractor? Milked a cow?

My dad grew up on a farm near Denver, and growing up we spent some time visiting my grandparents there. I knew I'd written about it somewhere on my blog and when I searched discovered I'd asked the first part of this question just two years ago

I aim for no repeats here in the Hodgepodge, so oops. 

Also, I mentioned it here and here too which confirms what I already knew, and that is

-this blogger ain't what she used to be!


Anyway, a few things I loved about the farm were-playing with my cousins, following the farm cat around, swimming in the farm tub, climbing trees, and the feeling of freedom and wide open spaces the farm provided. Farming is a lot of hard work and not a job you can 'leave at the office' so I have great admiration for farmers.  
I've never grown my own pumpkin or driven a tractor, but I have milked a cow and been on many a hayride. 

2. What's something younger you would like about you now?

That I raised daughters who love to read, cook, talk, and take care of people. Daughters who are so much like me yet are also not like me in the most magical of ways.

3. What are three things you'd like to do more often? Three things you'd like to do less often?

More often? Hold my grandson, have a cup of tea with my mama, and hang out with my girls any old time I felt like it. 

Less often? Pay bills-pay taxes-watch what I eat

4. What's on your nachos?

Speaking of watching what I eat-ha! I can take or leave the chili on nachos, sometimes I think it makes them too messy, but definitely add plenty of cheese, chopped tomatoes, and jalapenos. And don't forget the guacamole. 

In fact you could skip the nachos and just bring me the chips and guac. 

5. What's the most random thing in your purse or wallet? Does it need to stay there?

I pared down my purse at the beginning of summer, so not a lot of extras in there right now. I am carrying around tickets to a fundraiser we're attending later this month and I definitely need to put them somewhere safe. Safe and in a location I'll remember when it comes time to attend the actual event. ahem. 

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

My mother-in-law has been here visiting this week so we've been out and about every day. Also, I'm getting PT three times a week for my ankle not my rib which, by the way, is better but not perfect and my smashed finger is also finally on the mend in case you were wondering. Did I mention my smashed finger? 

We're traveling this month, twice!!, and I still need hotel rooms for two different spots, a rental car reserved, and a rough itinerary. My house needs dusting, vacuuming, and sprucing and we likely need to purchase outerwear, rainwear, and footwear for one of those trips I just told you about, plus the zipper on our go-to suitcase is on the fritz so there's that to think about as well.  Also the world. The WORLD! 

And then of course way down the list there is this poor neglected blog that I sometimes wake up in the night thinking about all the thinks I want to tell you about but see above. October is not for sissies. 

Here's my happy thought-The dimple! The hair! The smile! 




Every little thing is gonna be alright.  



Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 324

My October calendar is chock-a-block full of company, travels, events, and appointments but let's not worry about that today. Today let's Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then jump back here tomorrow to add your link to the party. See you there!


1.  Have you ever spent time on a farm? Tell us a little bit about it. Have you ever grown your own pumpkin? Been on a hayride? Driven a tractor? Milked a cow?

2. What's something younger you would like about you now? 

3. What are three things you'd like to do more often? Three things you'd like to do less often?

4. What's on your nachos?

5. What's the most random thing in your purse or wallet? Does it need to stay there?

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Adventuring Into The Hodgepodge

Welcome to our end of September Hodgepodge. So glad you've landed here today! If you've answered this week's questions add your link at the end of my post. And before you run off say hi to your neighbor on the linky list because being neighborly is what it's all about.

From this Side of the Pond   
1. What pets did you have while growing up? Tell us a little something about them.

We had a wire haired terrier for most of my growing up years. I think she was about six years old when we got her from a friend's neighbor. The woman had remarried and her husband said he was allergic to dogs. I remember going to their house to pick up the pup and her son was sobbing as we drove off with their dog. Still not sure the new husband was actually allergic to dogs. ahem. 

Misty was already very well trained by the time we got her, and while all dogs have one bad habit or another overall she was a wonderful pet. One of my favorite memories of her was the time we came home from church and she came slinking down the stairs, playing it all cool and nonchalant. She was a terrier so had a 'beard' and stuck to the side of her beard was one of those gigantic lollipops my sister had gotten at a fair. The whole thing was stuck to the side of her face, stick and all. 

She loved to play Frisbee, ride with her head out the car window, and 'try' to drink from the hose. She lived to the ripe old age of 16 and was loved to the end.  

2. What is one thing you absolutely must accomplish today?

Groceries! And I need to finish booking hotels for an upcoming trip, change the sheets in the guest room, reschedule a doctor's appointment, and answer the Hodgepodge questions of course.  

3. Where were you ten years ago? What were you doing there?

Ten years ago hubs and I were living in a little village outside of London. Daughter1 was here in SC beginning her sophomore year of university, and Daughter2 was home in England with us just starting her senior year of high school. High school! Whaaaat???

Italy, Summer 2007

I spent my days volunteering with the American Women's Club, the PTA, and Young Life. Also traveling, lunching with friends, hiking in the pastoral English countryside, drinking proper tea, popping into London at least once a week, and pinching myself that this was my life. 

4. September 26th is National Dumpling Day. Did you celebrate? Apple dumpling, xiaolongbao (steamed Chinese dumpling), chicken and dumplings, pirogi, matzoh balls, or gnocchi...which dumpling on this list would be your dumpling of choice? Have you ever made homemade dumplings of any kind?

I didn't celebrate, but am not opposed to it either. I'm a fan of everything on the list but xiaolongbao is my favorite.  I think I had an order every day we were in Shanghai.  


I've made apple dumplings and homemade gnocchi but it's been a long while since I've made either. 

5. 'There are two kinds of adventurers: those who go truly hoping to find an adventure and those who go secretly hoping they don't.' William Trogdon

So which kind are you?

I think we know which kind I am-ha! Actually here's my answer-I'm an adventurer who goes secretly hoping they find adventure, just not too much of it. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

The new TV season has begun...what are you watching? We typically don't watch a lot of TV here, and as a result I'm often out of the popular culture loop. I'm okay with that by the way. 

We watched the season premier of  The Good Doctor and hubs and I both really liked it. We'll keep watching. I'm also recording Navy Seals and thought the first episode was just okay, but we'll stick with it for now. 

Daughter2 and her boyfriend like Survivor and she's convinced me to give that a try this year too. Hubs and I watched for several seasons way back when, but haven't seen it in years. The teams this season do look interesting-heroes, healers, and hustlers-so maybe I'll give it another chance. 

My secret guilty TV pleasure is The Making of the DCC. My girls and I all watch it and we love it. I may give up on the NFL, but I do like to see the intense competition that goes on in trying to become  one of the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders. It's nearly over for this year, but I'm sure it's available somewhere. 




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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 323

Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then hop back here tomorrow to share answers with the universe. See you there!



1. What pets did you have while growing up? Tell us a little something about them.

2. What is one thing you absolutely must accomplish today?

3. Where were you ten years ago? What were you doing there?

4. September 26th is National Dumpling Day. Did you celebrate? Apple dumpling, xiao long bao (steamed Chinese dumpling), chicken and dumplings, pirogi, matzoh balls, or gnocchi...which dumpling on this list would be your dumpling of choice? Have you ever made homemade dumplings of any kind?

5. 'There are two kinds of adventurers: those who go truly hoping to find an adventure and those who go secretly hoping they don't.' William Trogdon

So which kind are you?

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, September 25, 2017

End of September Stuff

Y'all what happened to September? Do we say that about every month now? I feel like maybe we do except I really truly mean it about September.

We've had one whole entire complete month at home. Whoohoo!

Well not counting this coming weekend when I'll be traveling with some friends, but since October rolls in on Sunday that doesn't count. It's been so nice to have weekends here at the lake as opposed to weekends in the car. I do enjoy going but I also enjoy not going.

Back to September. I had a birthday. To be honest I wasn't feeling it this year and I told my family not to make a big deal about it, so they made a small deal instead and it was perfect.


Friday night Daughter1's in-laws came for dinner and surprised me with the most delicious coconut cake from one of my favorite little spots in town (Brick Street Cafe for you local peeps). We spent the evening catching up and talking about our favorite tiny human.

It never gets old. Daughter1 facetimed us and we all shriek and carry on when his little face pops up on the screen. We're ridiculous.

As all good grandparents should be.

Saturday hubs and I went out for lunch and arrived home in time to watch some of the Tennessee-Florida game on TV. We missed the sad brutal end because I'd requested a sunset cruise.


Sunsets and game clocks don't always mesh, and in case you're wondering the sunset was way better than the game.


Sunday afternoon we packed lunch in the cooler and took the boat out to a little island we love. We planted ourselves in the sun, sand, and water for the day, and later some friends boated by and pulled their boat up on the beach to hang out with us.


Hubs wanted to take me out for a fancy dinner but I asked him to grill me a steak at home instead. He was happy to oblige and you really can't beat the view from our own backyard. My actual birthday was on Monday and hubs spoiled me with a steak and egg breakfast. Side note-he insists on buying these crazy ginormous steaks which are delicious, but also crazy ginormous and impossible for me to finish. The upside to that is steak and eggs for breakfast the next day.

I spent the afternoon right here-


...floating and reading.
I highly recommend.


That evening we met up with friends at a local hangout where we dined on Mexican food and German chocolate cupcakes because German chocolate is how I like to roll on my birthday. The day after (don't worry, eventually my birthday ends) we met Daughter2 for dinner at Tupelo Honey downtown. We had a wonderful meal and she and her sister spoiled me with sweet gifts.


Which I think catches us up to this past weekend (yes, the birthday's over). We were invited to the Clemson game by a friend with a box in the stadium. Let me just say it's the only way to go on a hot hot hot September Saturday.

I'd never been to a game in this stadium before and I loved it.


The tailgating atmosphere is fantastic and the fans are true blue (or rather true orange), the band is great and for those not in the know, Clemson has what has been dubbed 'the most exciting 25 seconds in college football'.


The team makes their entrance onto the field by running down a hill into the stadium aka Death Valley.  I haven't tried it myself, but the hill looks pretty steep to me. The players all touch Howard's Rock for good luck as they run in, and I have to wonder if any players have ever been injured on the run in before making it to the actual game. I suppose youth and coordination help.

The band plays Tiger Rag, balloons are released and the fans go wild. So much fun!!



Especially when you're watching from an air conditioned box on a 90-degree day.


Just keepin' it real.

And now here we are nearing the end of my favorite month and I've got a jam packed calendar staring me down in October. There are no unclaimed weekends, lots of travel to book-organize-manage, and several appointments to squeeze in-between.

September is the lull before the storm. I'm thankful this month for time at home, daughters, coffee on the porch, technology that allows me to see my grandson miles away, rest, friends, the gift of growing older...


...and sunrises that remind me birthdays and every day offer us a clean slate-fresh start.
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Friday, September 22, 2017

Five Minutes of Accept

Joining with Five Minute Friday today. If you've got five minutes you can too-click here. 

Today's prompt-accept

When I was ten years old I stepped out of a church pew and made my way down the aisle. I accepted an invitation to make Jesus my Savior. I don't remember a bolt of lightning or drama of any sort really. Just me and my skinny legs walking forward to the pastor waiting up front.

I grew up going to church. Every single Sunday, and then some. My parents taught Sunday School classes of all ages and stages, worked in the nursery, carried covered dishes to many a pot luck supper, my mother started the church library, my dad was a deacon, and the list goes on. I loved that church and the people in it and the memories I have growing up there are so very tender still.

When I told the pastor I wanted to be baptized he gave me a little booklet to read that I've held on to-'What Saith The Scriptures?' No pictures, just words.

And Saith because it was 1970.

And then he drove to my house every Friday for a month and we sat in the fancy living room, the place reserved for special occasions, and my mama listened from the kitchen as we went through that booklet together, page by page.

Salvation
Repentance
Baptism
Communion

I think about that pastor from time to time. He and his family moved on from our church and I grew up and moved away too. I think about how my ten year old self had nothing to offer, yet he invested in me and made me feel important. Like this decision was no small thing and that while maybe there was no lightning bolt in 1970 there would be plenty as the years rolled by.

Roll by they have. In 2017 the world is in turmoil, and we feel powerless to fix it. Christianity has taken a beating in the media, rightfully so at times, but still I cringe a lot. I don't want to be lumped in with the loud mouths, the ranters and the haters, with a generalized point of view, or a particular political ideology lock, stock and barrel.

What I want is to know people. To hear your stories and invite you to accept an invitation from the One who tells the ocean where to stop. He extends to each one of us the very thing we seek-peace, purpose, hope. Nobody can reply for you, but think about it...how amazing is it that the creator of the world hung the stars in the heavens yet knows us by name, and invites us to know Him too? Not on social media. Not through blogs or podcasts or heated debate, but from the inside out.

In the quiet hidden places of our heart.

He invites
We accept
He meets us there

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Fall In For The Hodgepodge

Welcome to the last of the summertime Hodgepodges for this year. If you've answered this week's questions add your link at the end of my post, then leave a sunny comment for the person linking before you. It's what all good blog neighbors do.



1. What's something you'd rate a 10/10? Tell us why.

That's easy...grandparenting. Why?

Do I really need to explain? 

2. What job would you be terrible at? What makes you think so?

Quite a few, but for starters-high rise window washing where you dangle by a thread off the side of a high rise, bridge building where you dangle by a thread over the wide open sea, and flight attendant because there's not enough Dramamine in the world. 

3. When did you last take a fall? What's something you're falling for (in a good way) these days?

I think we all know when I last took a fall. One month ago today and I'm still feeling it. Ugh.

Something I'm falling for these days?

Well it's not pumpkin spice lattes. When did we all go crazy for pumpkin? Hubs saw a pumpkin- mustard hotdog condiment the other day. Ewwwwww. 

Right now I'm loving real books checked out of the library and Pandora radio where one great song leads to another. Oh and cupcakes. I've been baking cupcakes for all the birthdays round here, and it's rekindled my love affair with baking period. 

4. According to the Travel Channel here are some of America's best fall festivals-

National Apple Harvest Festival (near Arendtsville PA, close to Gettysburg), Harvest on the Harbor (Portland Maine), German Village Festival (Columbus Ohio), Wellfleet Oyster Fest (Cape Cod), and Wine and Chile Fiesta (Santa Fe NM)

Have you ever been to any of the festivals listed? Which one appeals to you most? Does your hometown have any sort of fall celebration, and if so will you make it a point to attend?

I haven't been to any of the festivals listed, but they all sound like fun so how do I pick just one? I think I'd go for Harvest on the Harbor because lobster + Maine in the fall sounds like a winning combination to me. 

There are a couple of little towns nearby hosting Oktoberfest events, and we've also been to what is known as the Pumpkintown Festival the past couple of years. We love to attend Fall for Greenville which is all about great eating, and we've done that recently too. Most of these fall festival events land in October and our October weekends are already chock-a-block full, so not sure we'll make it to any fall fests this year. 

5. What is your goodbye message to summer?

Dear Summer-

You were complicated, but I love you still and am not quite ready to let you go. 

Signed-

A fan of bright blue skies, warm weather, and sunshiny days

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Just curious if you took any steps to protect yourself from the Equifax Data Breach? Does anyone use one of the credit monitoring services, and if so are you happy with it? 



Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 322

Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then fall back here tomorrow to add your link to the party. See you there!



1. What's something you'd rate a 10/10? Tell us why.

2. What job would you be terrible at? What makes you think so?

3. When did you last take a fall? What's something you're falling for (in a good way) these days?

4. According to the Travel Channel here are some of America's best fall festivals-

National Apple Harvest Festival (near Arendtsville PA, close to Gettysburg), Harvest on the Harbor (Portland Maine), German Village Festival (Columbus Ohio), Wellfleet Oyster Fest (Cape Cod), and Wine and Chile Fiesta (Santa Fe NM)

Have you ever been to any of the festivals listed? Which one appeals to you most? Does your hometown have any sort of fall celebration, and if so will you make it a point to attend?

5. What is your goodbye message to summer?

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Five Minutes of Support

Joining with Five Minute Friday today, where the rules are simple- write for five minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word. Link back to Five Minute Friday, and leave an encouraging comment for the person who linked before you.

Today's prompt-support

While we were not in the eye of hurricane Irma she did make her presence known around here. More so than expected I think, or maybe with all the weather reporting we were getting our area forecast simply hit my brain as white noise.

Nevertheless she was here.


In the grand scheme of things we had very minor stuff to deal with, a messy yard littered with hundreds or maybe thousands of sticks and branches, and no power for a couple of days. We love our electricity and don't do very well without it, do we?

Our power went out Monday evening and on Tuesday morning a friend called saying they'd hooked a generator up and would I like to bring over my frozen food and leave it for the duration to avoid spoilage. Yes please.


The worst of the wind and rain left our area on Tuesday so hubs and I got busy picking up sticks and debris. A neighbor down the street stopped by to see how we had fared and our next door neighbor phoned later to see if we needed anything.


Hubs and I went one town over in search of power and landed in Starbucks (naturally). It was packed with students as the local university had cancelled classes, and there were quite a few folks like us in search of a free outlet to charge devices. Everyone scooted in and moved over and passed cords under chairs to get connected. We got to know the man stuck in the corner beside us who, as it  happens, live in a neighborhood very close to ours. We exchanged contact info and made plans to meet for dinner soon.

We went out for dinner with friends that evening, and as we left the house hubs pulled the garage shut manually. When the power's out you do things the old fashioned way. A couple of hours later we pulled back into the driveway in the pitch black of night and much to our surprise the garage door was locked. Somehow when hubs closed the door he must have pulled it down just hard enough for the locking mechanism to kick in.

Which wouldn't normally be a problem but neither one of us had house keys. Oops.

We phoned the friends we'd just left and they said come on over and sleep in their guest room. They didn't have power either, but they did have a small generator and promised us an actual cup of coffee in the morning. Besides that hot cup of coffee they gave us toothbrushes and loaned us pjs and t-shirts for sleeping and we were so grateful.

On Wednesday we mentioned to another friend we were locked out of the house and her hubs came over and attempted to pick the lock. Apparently that's in his skill set-ha!, but our locks were too much even for him so we resorted to calling a professional. On the bright side, nobody's going to be breaking in here.

And now it's Friday, the sun is shining, we've had hot showers at home, done laundry, restocked the frig and carried on with life. We're not in an area where the cleanup will take months, where homes are gone and businesses demolished. Our little piece of the storm was an interruption to our daily routine, a frustrating few days, aggravating but certainly not devastating, and still the kindness and support we felt meant so much.

It's nice to have people worry about you. To do practical things like give you space in their freezer and a toothbrush from their cabinet. And I think about how everybody is just doing the best they can. Making their way through life, managing one storm or another.

How from time to time we all need someone to ask, 'are you okay?'



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Hodgepodge Happenings

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge. I wrote my answers on Monday evening as I wasn't sure we'd have power here on Tuesday, and as it turns out we don't so whoohoo! for planning ahead. We ended up with more Irma effect in our area than was predicted, but thankfully all our big trees stayed in the ground. They did drop about a million trillion leaves and branches all over the yard, but we'll deal.

Well hubs will deal because y'all my rib thing ain't no joke.

Power went out Monday evening around 8:30 PM and we have not been given an anticipated time frame for it's return. Ugh. A friend has a generator and called to tell me to bring over my frozen foods so that was a blessing. I know our problems are first world problems and I try hard to keep that at the top of my brain while standing in a cold shower.

What a hard few weeks it has been. Irma has certainly left a path of destruction in her wake and my heart is heavy with the needs of those who've lost homes, businesses, pets, and most especially their loved ones. I pray we can all continue to be good neighbors, helping one another in whatever way we're able.

I so enjoy this midweek gathering every Wednesday, and am especially glad you've stopped by today. Here are my answers to this week's questions. If you're playing along, add your link at the end of my post, then leave a comment for the blogger linking before you. Here we go-

1. Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.

Ha! I think you know my motto runs more along the lines of 'a thousand words are worth a picture'. Wonderful photographs inspire words, and I need some of both. 

2. Have you ever driven any part of the Pacific Coast Highway? If so what was your favorite stop? If not, is this sort of trip on your bucket list?

I have not, and yes it's on my bucket list. In fact it's on my autumn to-do list so definitely share your favorite stops. We're planning to drive a small amount of the California coast later this fall, then meander along the Oregon coast a bit too. 

I'd love to drive the southern end of the PCH, but that will have to be another time. 

3. How do the changing seasons affect you? As the seasons change do you find yourself looking more forward or backward? Which season-season transition bothers you most? Why do you think that is?

I love the changing seasons and look forward to each one. I think it would be harder for me to live where the seasons don't really change. I'm someone who enjoys looking back and ahead and do both on a regular basis. 

4. It's your birthday and you get to pick the dinner menu. What are we having? Do you ever lie about your age?

What's on the menu? The main varies, but there will definitely be cake. German chocolate is my favorite but any chocolate will pretty much  do. 

I don't lie about my age. Why???

5. What's a life lesson you've learned recently?

I'm not as young as I feel? That little mishap I had three weeks ago was a doozie, and showed me I can't just go-do-grab-reach-hop like I could ten years ago. If I'd slipped like that ten years ago I think I'd have probably caught myself. These days I need to think before I act, instead of just going for it. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

A short while back a blog friend (Shannon at The Iron Diva) asked if she could make me something for our new house. Last week I opened the door to find her very special package on my doorstep-



She sent me this most gorgeous afghan which, as you can see, I'm enjoying. If you've got time today, hop over and say hi to Shannon at The Iron Diva . 

Dear world-unprompted kindness makes planet Earth a sweeter place to lay our heads. 

Thank you so much Shannon for thinking of me,  for the beautiful blanket, and most especially for brightening my day. 



Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 321

Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then skip back here tomorrow to add your link to the party. See you there!



1. Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.

2. Have you ever driven any part of the Pacific Coast Highway? If so what was your favorite stop? If not, is this sort of trip on your bucket list?

3. How do the changing seasons affect you? As the seasons change do you find yourself looking more forward or backward? Which season-season transition bothers you most? Why do you suppose that is?

4. It's your birthday and you get to pick the dinner menu. What are we having? Do you ever lie about your age?

5. What's a life lesson you've learned recently?

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Birthday Blog

I love having grown children. I didn't imagine I'd love it as much as I do but life is full of surprises and this is one of the nicest. Daughter2 is celebrating a birthday this weekend and she and her boyfriend are spending it at the lake. We had a celebratory dinner out last night followed by her favorite birthday treat- red velvet cupcakes.


With candles because you're never too old.

This morning me and my girl enjoyed leisurely cups of coffee on the back deck because when you have grown up children you sip coffee instead of itty bitty apple juice boxes. We talked about all manner of things because that's your reward for answering ten million questions in their toddler years. Conversation. And y'all! The conversations with your grown up children are so interesting. They are interesting and they know things and have opinions and they teach you things and make you think in ways you hadn't thought before.

This morning we covered, in no particular order-

the pros and cons of Hello Fresh, people who put their foot in their mouth and how to recover because it happens to the best of us, Thanksgiving travel maybe, aggressive hummingbirds, people who keep exotic pets and how that generally goes very wrong for them, allergies, Christmas plans, the cutest boy we know (her nephew, my grandson), how turning 27 doesn't feel like a big deal and how 57 does, our calendars, college football, funny things kindergartners say, baby showers, and more. 

As a bonus she recited for me the verses she had to memorize for her weekly Bible Study group (Isaiah 52:8-15), which I'm gonna go ahead and tell you are not verses that roll right off the tongue. Unless you're her. She might have sung it for me too because why not?

I wasn't sure I'd write a birthday post today, I mean I've been blogging for eight years so I felt like maybe there wouldn't be anything original to say, but then recently she mentioned how reading my blog on her special day is one of her favorite things about her birthday so there you go. Like I said grown up children surprise us in the happiest of ways.

And so in honor of her special day, here are 27 things about this girl that make my own heart want to sing.

She's darling
Funny
Smart


Determined
Resilient
and a teensy bit clumsy


She's her sister's best friend and a rockstar aunt


She loves Jesus
children
dogs
Netflix documentaries
and Diet Coke


She has style
self-discipline
eyes bluer than the bluest of blues
and a smile that lights up all the dark places


She is brimming with confidence
Takes charge in situations where somebody needs to take charge
and is brave in all the ways that count.


She cooks and bakes and is only slightly messy in the kitchen
She quotes Red Sox stats and the Bengals roster
can tell you anything and everything about sharks


She sings because she loves to sing

She chases her dreams
holds my hand
calls me Momma.


She gets me. This girl who came into the world late and loud, who velcro-ed her infant self to my person 24/7, had every nerve ending in my body on high alert as she ran (often literally) headlong into life as a toddler, who rolled with the changes and the challenges and whatever came her way as a teen, and who adults like a boss, is my hero.


I want to be her when I grow up.