Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Total Eclipse Of A Summer

If you're looking for the Hodgepodge questions, scroll on down. 

Y'all it has been a summer. Not the summer we anticipated, but summer nonetheless. What day is it anyway? Is it still August? Where's my calendar? If I had a nickel for every time I've written the phrase 'once life slows down a little' in this space I'd be blogging from my beach house in the Caribbean.

But here I am on the back porch, which is not the Caribbean, but it's almost as pretty. We've had a fun day watching day turn to night turn to day here in the Palmetto State, and I thought I'd try to catch up a little.

When last we spoke I had just returned home from a two-week visit to Washington State where I got to meet my grandson. Everybody say hi, but quietly because he's sleeping-


Still not quite over the fact he's 3000 miles away, but my daughter's in-laws have been out there visiting and her mother-in-law has been sending me a text with pictures every day so that's something.


Also, my daughter set up a family website on Tinybeans and she drops pictures and sometimes videos in there almost every day. We get on her about the 'almost' but she did just have a baby so we try to be patient. Not really our thing, but we try.


She's doing great! by the way. That's her with baby boy tucked in close for a hike down to the water. He slept the whole way so I think he liked it.

Tinybeans is a terrific way for families spread far and wide to share photos away from social media. The admin invites whoever they want to have access to join their site, and it's very user friendly. It's been especially nice for the great grandmothers who haven't gotten to meet baby boy in person yet. Tinybeans also has an app for your phone, and visitors can like pictures and leave comments.

Anyway, back to the last seven days. We got home late Sunday night, then met up with some friends for dinner Monday. Somehow as we were chatting the subject of bloody marys came up, and I mentioned hubs makes the world's best because he hand crafts them, and someone in the group challenged me, so I ended up inviting everyone to our house for breakfast on Wednesday. Two friends there had house guests but the more the merrier, right?

I should host more breakfasts. I love entertaining this way. I made two different breakfast casseroles the night before, and hubs was in charge of the drinks where he proved me right. It was a fun relaxed morning and something we'll do again.

Actually I made the food the day before because the night before we met my daughter's in-laws for dinner a few towns over. We wanted to compare notes before they headed west. Our waitress was a good sport and looked at more than a few baby pictures on our phones.

Yes. We are those people.

I think I've rambled so let's recap...travel west coast to east coast all day Sunday, dinner out with friends Monday night, dinner out with family Tuesday night, 11 people at my house for breakfast Wednesday morning, and I haven't even mentioned yet the fabulous progressive dinner ala lake style we were part of on Thursday night. 

Oh, and laundry and packing on Thursday too because guess what? We were getting up early for a road trip to Maryland on Friday. Also, hubs needed tires which led to needing an alignment, which led to needing some other big expensive auto repair and we squeezed that in last week too. Mostly. Car repairs. Grrr.

The ladies in my bible study group planned a progressive dinner, and we thought it would be fun to travel to the various houses by boat. And it was!! We had a late afternoon storm that made us a little anxious, but the skies cleared and the weather cooperated beautifully.


Appetizers were at my house, so everybody boated over here for that, after which we loaded back up on the boat and motored a few coves over to another house for the main. We did a big Mexican feast which was perfect. When that course was finished we loaded back up on the boat and traveled a few docks down to a third house for dessert. Such a fun evening!


We slept a few hours, then woke bright and early (but mostly just early) Friday, loaded the car, and headed to Maryland. My nephew's Eagle Scout ceremony was on tap for Saturday afternoon, and his brother had a starring role in a community play that evening so it was a double header kind of day. Here's the Eagle with his uncle Eagles-


We were thankful both events were happening in the same weekend, and bonus! My mother-in-law was also in town for the happenings so we had a chance to spend time with her too.


Also, I love me a good ceremony and an Eagle Scout award makes for a good ceremony.

We knew going up we'd likely have horrible traffic coming home on Sunday since so many people were traveling to our area for the eclipse. We had the bright idea to get up at 3:30 in the middle of the night morning and get on the road. It worked, but we were wiped out Sunday and spent most of the afternoon napping. Well I napped and hubs mowed the yard because that's hubs.

Which brings me to Monday. Hey did you hear there was a solar eclipse on Monday? Ha!


We live in prime eclipse totality viewing real estate and the marketing for this event was ka-razy! We did not take the boat out, but instead went to a party at a neighbor's house. Two reasons really...one-they live on the water so the lake is right there, and two-we really wanted to spend time with some of our neighbors. We have been away so much this summer we've missed that. It was great fun, and the perfect place to see the whole event.

And that's the week that was.

The end.

Except not really because my sister and brother-in-law and their son arrive Wednesday. I'm excited to see them because we don't get a lot of time to just hang out together, and they haven't been to the lake yet. Also, my nephew can't wait to take a running leap off the dock with his aunt. He doesn't know it yet, but he can't wait.
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Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 318

So much to blog about, so many other things that need doing besides blogging. In the meantime... here are this week's questions for the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Fly back here tomorrow and add your link to the party.




1. Did you watch the solar eclipse? Your thoughts? Sun Chips, Moon Pies, Starburst candies, a Blue Moon beer, a Sunkist orange, or a Milky Way candy bar...what's your favorite eclipse related snack on this list?

2. What are you 'over the moon' about these days? What's something you enjoy doing every 'once in a blue moon'?

3. Tell us about something in the realm of science that interests you. How do you feed that interest?

4. What are a few things you remember about going back to school as a child?

5. I've seen several versions of this around the net so let's make one of our own...share with us five words that touch your soul and briefly tell us why.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

It's The Dog Days of Hodgepodge

Welcome to another edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you've answered this week's questions add your link at the end of my post, then go say hello to your neighbor. I've got a full calendar this week so let's get to it-


1. Do your actions match your words? Elaborate.

I'd like to think so, but I'm sure that's not always the case.  I certainly want them to line up, and I do try to always do what I say I'll do. For me the problem is more personal. Where I drop the ball tends to be in the words I tell myself. It's the promises I make to myself about things I want to change/improve/quit doing/start doing where my actions don't always line up with my words. 

I'm a work in progress. 

2. Sick as a dog, go to the dogs, dog days of summer, dog tired, it's a dog's life, every dog has it's day, can't teach an old dog new tricks...now doggone it which saying could most recently be applied to your life?

It's a toss up between dog days of summer (Washington State last week!) or dog tired because we've been traveling, have about forty things on this week's calendar, another quick trip coming up, then company coming. Whew! 

3. Your favorite book featuring a dog in the storyline? What makes it a favorite?

Where The Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls  If you've never read it I highly recommend. I read it many times as a child, then read it to my own children, and have re-read it myself another time or two.  I cry every single time. The timeless tale of a boy and his coonhounds may not sound like your cup of tea, but this sweet sweet story captures your heart and never lets go. I get teary eyed just thinking about it. 

4. What's something you hope to one day have the confidence to do?

Dock the boat. 

5. August 16th is National Tell a Joke Day. So tell us a joke.

I'm terrible at telling jokes. I usually remember the gist of a joke, but am not great at the delivery. Here's one we always laugh at in our house...not sure what that says about us, but we think it's funny. 

'A horse walks into a bar. Bartender says, 'Hey why the long face?' 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

We spent two weeks in Washington and due to the Canadian wildfires our only view of Mt. Rainier was from the plane heading home. Still, not too shabby-


Also, what's a post without a picture of baby boy? 


You're welcome. 



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Like Riding A Bicycle

If you're looking for this week's Hodgepodge questions you'll find them here

So we're back home in the Palmetto State after nearly two weeks out west. I know I need to write something, but where in the world to begin? I think I'll start here-

With this girl.



She's a mama now, yet when I look at her with the pony tail and the bright eyes I struggle to mesh the passing of time with the here and now.


Baby boy is absolutely beautiful. He has long legs like his Daddy and long arms and fingers too. Babies are so funny. Sometimes he holds his arms out wide like he's conducting a symphony.


And of course I don't need to mention his hair do I? It's the best! The dark color was such a surprise to me because my girls are, and always have been so fair headed, but I love it.


When I look at his face I see my daughter. There is definitely much of his mama in the shape of his face, his chin, and the way his deep blue eyes seem to study you.


He has a sweet disposition unless you try to change his diaper, then all bets are off. He's a mover and a shaker and while many babies absolutely hate 'tummy time' he seems to enjoy it. I know this for a fact because he told his PawPaw so.


One other little thing that upsets him is if you're slow in getting his supper to him. And by slow I mean not lightning fast. He gets hangry which I guess means he does have a little of his Nana in him too-ha!


Hubs and I so want to be those laid back go with the flow kind of grandparents, but who are we kidding?  We're not those people.


We're often a little bit too helpful, because that's how we roll in these parts, but here's the thing...baby boy's mama is still our girl and she's so geographically far away from us that we just want to take care of things for her when we can.


Don't get me wrong. These brand new parents are two very capable adults who are managing the early days with a newborn like they've been doing it all their lives, but still...hubs and I? We need to help. And my daughter seems to know this so she lets us.


Sometimes I don't know quite what to do with all the love I feel for my girls so I cook them dinner and wash their dishes and put meals in their freezer. I run the vacuum and fold the laundry and hubs mows the lawn and handles a car repair and does his best to wear their puppy dog out when we're in town because that says love to us.


I'm not close enough to babysit for a Friday night date but by golly when I'm in town I'm going to mop your kitchen floor and change your sheets so you can rest and feed your baby.


There's an old home video in our family that we all love so much. It's my Daughter1 learning to ride a bicycle, pedaling her way around our cul-de-sac. In the background you can hear her sister, aged 3 1/2, saying, 'Keep going Sissy. You're doing great'. 


Honestly it kind of makes your heart go all mushy inside. The sheer sweetness of a summer day. The slightly nervous smile, the innocence, the joy all right there on her face for everyone to see.


The small glimpse you're given of a seemingly distant future...


That place where your little girl pedals through life without mom holding on to the seat, her family loving her and cheering her on...

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 317

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. Do your actions match your words? Elaborate.

2. Sick as a dog, go to the dogs, dog days of summer, dog tired, it's a dog's life, every dog has it's day, can't teach an old dog new tricks...now doggone it which saying could most recently be applied to your life?

3. Your favorite book featuring a dog in the storyline? What makes it a favorite?

4. What's something you hope to one day have the confidence to do?

5. August 16th is National Tell a Joke Day. So tell us a joke.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A Grand Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge! Thanks for your kind comments regarding our new little love. He has already added so much joy to our lives, and we are thoroughly enjoying him.

If you've answered this week's questions add your link at the end of my post, then kindly leave a comment for the blogger linking before you today. Here we go-



1. Do you try to set rules for yourself about how you use your time? Explain.

In this season of life my days are mostly my own, but once a rule follower always a rule follower, so yes I do set a few rules when it comes to how I spend my time. I enjoy having a plan for the day. I enjoy putting my head on the pillow at night knowing I didn't waste the gift of another day.  

Note-sometimes doing nothing is necessary and in fact there are times in life when doing nothing is just what a body needs, but I absolutely cannot do nothing every day. If I don't have at least a loose agenda I can be lazy and at the end of the day will feel disappointed in myself for wasting time. 

I get up about the same time every morning, begin my day with my coffee and my quiet time (on the porch if weather permits, and beside the sliders looking out if it doesn't), go for a swim or take a walk, and then I make a list for the day and/or week so at the end of the day I'm not scratching my head wondering what in the world I did all day, or kicking myself for not being more productive. 

Anyone who knows me knows I like rules. And I'm sure my hubs is laughing at the truth of that statement. He is the yin to my yang. 

2. Monday was National Lighthouse Day. Have you ever visited a lighthouse? If not, do you have any desire to see one up close? Of the 10 Most Beautiful that made this list which would you most like to see in person-

Lindau Lighthouse (Germany), Fanad Lighthouse (Ireland), Portland Head Light (Maine), Yaquina Bay Light (Oregon) The St. Augustine Light (Florida), Peggys Point Lighthouse (Canada), Start Point Lighthouse (England), Tower of Hercules (Spain), Bass Harbor Head Station (Maine), and White Shoal Light (Michigan)

I've seen a number of lighthouses in person, but only one on the list, The Portland Head Light, which is beautiful. The whole coast of Maine is beautiful. I've also been to the Cape Hatteras lighthouse in NC, and the Hooper Strait Lighthouse which is part of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels Maryland. I'm sure there are more, but those are the two that came to mind. Of the lighthouses listed I'd like to see Fanad Lighthouse in Ireland because the location looks fantastic. 

When you've been away, what's your 'lighthouse' telling you you're on the right road home?

The lake. We cross a couple of bridges on the road to our house, and as soon as I catch a glimpse of the water I know I'm home. 

3. What have you unintentionally stopped doing? Is this something you need to pick back up and begin again, or is it something you need to let go of for now (or even permanently)?

Dusting. Ha! Sadly, I'm only half kidding, but you have to be home to dust, and this summer we have been away more than we've been home.

It's definitely something I'll pick back up because company is coming and company on the calendar is highly motivating in the housekeeping department. 

4. We've had a full week of August. Share a GRAND moment from your month so far.


5. Tell us one song you love with the word 'baby' in the title.

One of my absolute favorite songs sung by one of my all-time favorite groups...Baby I Need your Lovin' by The Four Tops. Levi Stubbs without a doubt had one of the best voices ever. 



6.  Insert your own random thought here.

This is all the random I've got at the moment-

And it's awesome. 



Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 316

Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then hop back here tomorrow to share answers with all your friends and neighbors. Here we go-


1. Do you try to set rules for yourself about how you use your time? Explain.

2. Monday was National Lighthouse Day. Have you ever visited a lighthouse? If not, do you have any desire to see one up close? Of the 10 Most Beautiful that made this list which would you most like to see in person-

Lindau Lighthouse (Germany), Fanad Lighthouse (Ireland), Portland Head Light (Maine), Yaquina Bay Light (Oregon) The St. Augustine Light (Florida), Peggys Point Lighthouse (Canada), Start Point Lighthouse (England), Tower of Hercules (Spain), Bass Harbor Head Station (Maine), and White Shoal Light (Michigan)

When you've been away, what's your 'lighthouse' telling you you're on the right road home?

3. What have you unintentionally stopped doing? Is this something you need to pick back up and begin again, or is it something you need to let go of for now (or even permanently)?

4. We've had a full week of August. Share a GRAND moment from your month so far.

5. Tell us one song you love with the word 'baby' in the title.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Friday, August 4, 2017

A Day In The Life

Before we discuss my new favorite topic, let's discuss my old favorite topic-the weather. Holy moly it's HOT! I think these temps are atypical for the PNW, but we're melting.


Good thing we've got a brand new baby boy to distract us.


Which brings me to my new favorite topic.


Y'all. Grandparenting. It's just the best. The best best. Baby boy is a week and a day and he's eating and sleeping and doing math in his head like a champ. Here's how the day goes-


Hubs and I get up and drink coffee, take the dog for a nice long walk (bless his little heart!), read, write, pray, pace, and wonder when in the world the new parents are going to come downstairs so we can get started on the more serious activity of the day-baby watching.


Yup. That's pretty much how it goes when you're a week old. Your parents and your grandparents and your aunt look at you all.day.long. While we watch him eat and sleep we talk amongst ourselves and the conversation goes something like this-


"He is sooo cute!"
"Isn't he sooo cute?"

"He's perfect!"
"Isn't he sooo perfect?"

"He's got long legs!"
''Doesn't he have long legs?"

"His hair!"
"Oh my word I love his hair!! Don't you just love his hair?!"

"He's waking up. Look, he's waking up!"


I think you get the idea. Of course besides all the watching there is also a lot of doing. I have to take a thousand pictures and text them to his other grandparents and his great grandmothers and my siblings and hubs siblings so they can nod their heads and agree that he is indeed perfectly precious and has been graced with the absolute best head of hair ever.


Which of course they do, because I mean come on! How can you not??? 

We did get out of the house today for a little outing, but that might need to be it's own post, because leaving the house with a newborn is no small thing. He rocked it of course. And I guess eventually I'll get round to writing with more depth about this new season of life, but he's only a week old and I'm still too gaga to sort out the jumble of emotion. Also, it's hot. 

Did I tell you it's HOT here? 


And that I'm totally in love with this boy?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Snips and Snails and Nana Tales

Meet the little boy who has stolen my heart.


He made his way into the world last Thursday, a few days early but since he weighed in at 8 lbs, 1 oz hooray for early! Also Nana was getting anxious. And I'm just gonna go ahead and say now this living 3000 miles away is for the birds!!! Pretty sure I'll have more to say about that in a later post. ahem. 


Today I'm completely overwhelmed by all my thoughts (aka the words in my head) and a heart full to overflowing so let's just meet and greet for now, k? 



We are completely smitten. 


Did I need to tell you that?


After a long day of travel hubs and I finally met our grandson in person yesterday and fair warning, I
intend to overload photos here for ever and ever amen awhile. Sorry, but it cannot be helped. 


Also, not sorry because I'm his Nana and he is the most perfectly precious little boy in the whole wide world. 


He has the most gorgeous full head of dark hair you've ever seen and he looks you right in the eye when he's not eating or sleeping.


Which is often, but still...he's got his mama's spectacular blue eyed baby stare and his Daddy's long fingers, and I'm sure his brains too because I can already tell he's brilliant. Ha! 


He might be only six days new, but Nanas know these things.


My daughter and son-in-law both have such sweet dispositions, so obviously he will too because that's how it works, right?


Baby boy already has his aunt wrapped around his little finger as all good nephews should. Shout out to this girl who has been an absolute rock star in the sister department this past month.


Daughter2 has been in the Evergreen State since early July and what a special time these girls have had together waiting on baby boy to join the party.


This guy is not enjoying grandparenthood at all.


Their pup is a little confused as to why he's not the number one man in the house these days, but he's taking it in stride (mostly) and I know they'll be best buds one day very soon. 

I have so much more to say and share, but words keep and babies don't so for today this will have to do. If you need me I'll be right here...



Is there anything more enchanting than watching a newborn baby discover the world and all the people who love him best?