Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Midterm Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge! So glad you've stopped by today! If you've answered this week's questions add your link at the end of my post, then leave a comment for the blogger linking before you. Let's get started-


1. Growing up, were you close to your grandparents? Tell us one or two specific things you remember about them.

For most of my growing up years we lived on the East Coast and both sets of grandparents lived out west, so we didn't see them often. They typically came for a visit once a year and we went out west even less than that. Back then families didn't hop on airplanes and fly here there and everywhere like we do now. Different times. 

When I was a year old my dad was sent to Okinawa and my mom and all my siblings moved in with her parents in Albuquerque New Mexico. My baby sister had a lot of illness that first year of her life, so my grandma spent a lot of time with me. My mom was just telling me the other day how my grandma would take me back on her bed at naptime and talk to me and then have me show off all the new words she taught me. Perhaps this is why I'm chatty to this day? Hmmm....

I know I loved her dearly and as I grew into adulthood she spent more and more time at my mom's house so I did know her well later in life.  I have lots of memories of her, but one favorite is the way she prepared iced tea by the glass with just the right amount of lemon and sugar in each serving. It was fascinating to watch and thinking about her homemaking skills makes me feel a bit lazy. 

My paternal grandparents had a farm and we absolutely loved visiting there, exploring the barn, and especially the ultimate treat-a 'swim' in what I think was an animal trough of some kind, which only goes to prove kids don't need much in the way of entertainment. 


This is the only picture my mom has of all four of us kids with both sets of grandparents. I'm the one in the orange dress and that's my maternal grandparents behind me and my big sister. My paternal grandparents are standing behind my younger sister and brother.  I must say my mom is looking very glam here! 

About five years ago I wrote two posts sharing some of my memories, here (Colorado) and here (New Mexico) if you're curious. 

2. What's an item you were attached to as a child? What happened to it?

My thumb. I've still got it-ha! Also my very special baby doll, the one I named Catherine and who I mothered to death. I think she's in a box of keepsakes I've saved for my girls. They played with her sometimes too. 

3. When you look out your window, do you see the forest or the trees (literally and figuratively)? Explain.

Literally I see more trees than forest, but figuratively I try to keep my eye on the bigger picture and what's important in the grand scheme of things. 

4. Do you like sour candies? Which of the 'sour' foods listed below would you say is your favorite?

grapefruit, Greek yogurt, tart cherries, lemons, limes, sauerkraut, buttermilk, or kumquats 

Have you ever eaten a kumquat? What's your favorite dish containing one of the sour foods on the list?

I love sour candies and many sour foods too. I like everything on the list except maybe buttermilk, although I like that too if it's used in cake baking or a biscuit. I've had kumquats in Indian food and liked them, but have never eaten one plain. Do you eat them plain? My favorite on the list is probably tart cherries, but I eat more lemons and limes on a regular basis. Lemonade, limeade, and cherry cobbler rank up near the top of my list of favorites. 

5. July 1st marked the mid point of 2017. In fifteen words or less, tell us how it's going so far.

Bit of a roller coaster, but always the happy knowledge a baby boy is on his way. 

Two words over, but it's the best I could do. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I made this simple dessert the other night and it's definitely a keeper. 


Super easy and so delicious, especially if you have access to Carolina peaches. You'll find the recipe here.  Note-I baked mine a bit longer than suggested but probably depends on the firmness of your peach. 




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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 314

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




1. Growing up, were you close to your grandparents? Tell us one or two specific things you remember about them.

2. What's an item you were attached to as a child? What happened to it?

3. When you look out your window, do you see the forest or the trees (literally and figuratively)? Explain.

4. Do you like sour candies? Which of the 'sour' foods listed below would you say is your favorite?

grapefruit, Greek yogurt, tart cherries, lemons, limes, sauerkraut, buttermilk, or kumquats 

Have you ever eaten a kumquat? What's your favorite dish containing one of the sour foods on the list?

5. July 1st marked the mid point of 2017. In fifteen words or less, tell us how it's going so far.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Summer Sunsets and Other Stuff

Life's been a whirlwind this summer and our grandbaby isn't even here yet. Grandbabies add to life's whirlwind, right? I hope so. We need a baby boy to keep us young.

A beautiful sunset makes the whirlwind feel less whirly.


We had house guests for the weekend and while they were here some other friends boated over to say hello. These peeps all worked together for the same company for many years.


Our friends had their grandchildren with them on the boat when they stopped by, and I enjoyed watching hubs splash the little boys and make them laugh hysterically with his great big running leaps off the dock. He is going to rock the grandpa thing.

Maybe I should learn some tricks too? Or I guess I can just feed him. Nana's homemade peanut butter cookies will surely rank right up there with a grandpa who should have his own variety show, wouldn't you say?

I don't have any solid statistics with which to back up this next statement, but we've had buckets of rain this summer. Barrels of rain. Vats of rain. At least on the weekends anyway. These haven't been gentle summer showers either, more like crazy storms with gusting winds, overflowing gutters, and scary lightning and thunder. On the bright side, our new grass is very very green.

And Saturday night sunsets are completely awesome.


I don't think that has anything to do with all the rain we've been having, but true nonetheless.

My mom was in the Palmetto State last week staying mostly with my sister since we were in Tennessee for a fair chunk of time. Still we managed to squeeze in an overnight at the lake and an afternoon of shopping in my favorite little children's boutique. My mom and I agree newborn babes cannot have too many adorable things to wear. I really just need to stay out of the baby shops because all the tiny little outfits positively slay me.

As do sunsets on the lake.


I finally booked flights to Washington and now just have to wait and see if baby boy cooperates with my agenda-ha! It's kind of been stressing me out, the whole trying to anticipate when he'll arrive and when I should fly out thing, but I finally booked a trip and if he comes on the very early side of things I'll pay the change fee, but if he's on-time or close to it I'll likely leave my ticket as is. Daughter1 wants me there once she's at home with him and I'm doing my best to get there as close to that date as I can. Her sister is there now, and she's my mini-me in every sense of the word, so a good stand in for mama in the meantime.

Also, 'very early' isn't really a thing anymore because we're only a couple of weeks out from his due date. Insert clapping hands, heart eyes, and excited emoji here.

Or a picture of a sunset.


We get killer sunsets on the lake and I'm seriously obsessed.
Obviously. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Hodgepodge Chatting

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge! So glad you've joined us today, and if you've answered the questions add your link at the end of my post. Be sure to leave a comment for your neighbor because it's summertime and the commenting is easy. Something like that...


1. When was the last time you chatted with a neighbor? About what? (sharing that last bit is optional)

I chatted with a neighbor in the grocery store this morning (Tuesday). We talked about an upcoming event in the neighborhood and our summer comings and goings. We often chat with neighbors as they walk their dogs or pull up close to our dock by boat. 

2. River, lake, ocean, or waterfall...which one are you most like and why?

I'm going with the obvious-a lake. Mostly calm and serene, sometimes deep, rarely murky.  

I took this fun little quiz online which said I was the ocean, and I'm okay with that too. According to this four question quiz I'm a deep thinker. 

3. July 13 is National Delaware Day. Ever been to Delaware? Delaware is called 'the first state' because it was the first to declare independence from the British. What's your state's nickname and does that moniker make sense to you? If you were in charge, what nickname would you give your home state?

Bethany Beach Delaware

I've been to Delaware many times. We spent several summers vacationing in Bethany Beach, a family friendly town on the Delaware shore. We've also spent time in Rehoboth Beach, Bethany's neighbor. 

Cape Henlopen State Park

Another little spot we love in the state of Delaware is Cape Henlopen State Park. We lived in Maryland for nine years and Delaware was a short car ride away so an easy trek. And just like George, I've also crossed the Delaware River. I've driven over the Delaware Memorial Bridge too many times to count in our travels north to south and vice versa. 

I live in the Palmetto State which applies more to the coastal areas than the upstate, but I'm okay with it. 

4. What dish did you contribute to the last pot luck meal you attended? Do you have a go-to recipe for pot luck suppers?

Trying to remember the last pot luck I attended? It's been a while, unless you count dinner at my sister's house where I offered to bring dessert. I made Texas sheet cake cupcakes and they were yummy. I don't really have a go-to pot luck recipe. It all depends on my mood and what I feel like cooking. 

5. What is your number one tip for a brand new parent?

Trust your instincts, and remember parenting is a thousand moments spread out over the course of a lifetime. Having a bad moment or even a bad day doesn't make you a bad parent. Rest in the knowledge that the maker of heaven and earth knows your little one by name and loves him more than you can fathom. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Daughter2 flew to WA on Monday to spend time with her sister before baby boy arrives. All of us soon to be grandmas and great-grandmas here on the East Coast are glad she's there to provide some TLC to the soon-to-be mama, and send us first hand reports on any baby bump activity. 


Yesterday they took advantage of the date and got free Slurpees. When I look at this picture I flash back to the days of summer reading programs at our local library where they'd earn a coupon for a free Slurpee by reading a pile of books. 

Wasn't that just yesterday too?



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 313

Wednesdays roll around fast, don't they? Time for another edition of the Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then jump back here tomorrow to share answers with the universe.  Here we go-


1. When was the last time you chatted with a neighbor? About what? (sharing that last bit is optional)

2. River, lake, ocean, or waterfall...which one are you most like and why?

3. July 13 is National Delaware Day. Ever been to Delaware? Delaware is called 'the first state' because it was the first to declare independence from the British. What's your state's nickname and does that moniker make sense to you? If you were in charge, what nickname would you give your home state?

4. What dish did you contribute to the last pot luck meal you attended? Do you have a go-to recipe for pot luck suppers?

5. What is your number one tip for a brand new parent?

6. Insert your own random thought here.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Hands Free Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge! If you've answered this week's questions add your link at the end of my post, then leave a comment for the blogger linking before you. The button is still a work in progress, so don't worry about adding that today. We'll figure it out eventually.

And by we I mean my Daughter because we all know that sort of thing exceeds my tech capabilities.

Okay, here we go-

1. When and where were the best fireworks you've ever seen? Speaking of fireworks...do you know your hot buttons? The things people can say and do to set you off? When was the last time someone pushed one of your hot buttons?

All fireworks are the best, aren't they? Probably the best best would be those we saw our second Independence Day as husband and wife. We met friends in D.C. and the fireworks at the end of the evening were spectacular. 

As far as that other sort of firework, well of course I know my hot buttons. I don't have many, but you don't live five+ decades without knowing what makes your blood boil. I detest conflict and try to avoid situations I think might set me off because I hate feeling angry.

Last time one was pushed it was probably a minor disagreement with hubs, because we're married and I can't avoid him. teehee. 

2. Have you hosted any outdoor summer parties this year? Attended any? What makes for a great outdoor party?

Everyday's a party here. Ha! Not really, but kinda. It's summertime on the lake so we're living outside and people are always coming and going. I don't think you need a lot in terms of making an outdoor party great...nice weather of course, citronella candles to keep the bugs at bay, casual dining under the stars, and music in the air works for me. 

3. What does freedom mean to you?

Freedom to me means choice. We're so fortunate to live in a country that, while governed by law, still grants us a tremendous amount of freedom. We can speak, worship, gather, vote and more as we choose. I also feel like with every conversation we have about freedom we need another about responsibility. While we're free for the most part to make our own choices, we are not free from the consequences of those choices. 

4. July is National Cell Phone Courtesy month...what annoys you most about people's cell phone habits?

My biggest pet peeve is a cell phone at the dinner table, either at home or in a restaurant. Unless you're performing heart transplants or something similar there's nothing that can't wait until after a meal. 

5. What's your current summer anthem?

Not so much an anthem, but definitely a song I am loving and have on repeat quite a lot. It's upbeat and there's something about the picture it paints in my head that makes me think of summertime and the boy I married. Hey hubs...''...make me your country bride, you'll be my prince of tides...'  



6. Insert your own random thought here.

 In less than a month we welcome our first grandchild, a baby boy we will love and adore. We'll celebrate his birth and all the days after as our family grows and changes to welcome a new little life. 

My father-in-law passed away this week. He and my mother-in-law were married more than 60 years and their lives have been a wonderful example of persevering through all the joys and trials life brings. Together they raised four children and from Day1 embraced all the in-law children as their own.  


My father-in-law was a wonderful grandfather who thought my girls hung the moon and told them so every chance he got. This week we'll celebrate his life and remember all the days that came before as our family grieves the loss of one who loved us well and was so well- loved in return. 

 "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven." ECC 3: 1



Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 312

Happy July 4th Hodgepodgers! And if you're joining in from outside the US of A, then happy Tuesday! Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog then jump back here tomorrow to share answers with all your friends and neighbors.

Also, there's a little something going on with Photo Bucket right now causing my button (and thousands of other bloggers buttons, headers, content, etc ) to look a little funny. Until my IT department aka Daughter1 gets it sorted it's fine to just link to my blog without the button this week.

Here we go-

1. When and where were the best fireworks you've ever seen? Speaking of fireworks...do you know your hot buttons? The things people can say and/or do to set you off? When was the last time someone pushed one of your hot buttons?

2. Have you hosted any outdoor summer parties this year? Attended any? What makes for a great outdoor party?

3. What does freedom mean to you?

4. July is National Cell Phone Courtesy month...what annoys you most about people's cell phone habits?

5. What's your current summer anthem?

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

June Days

Let's talk about June.
Because now it's July and I haven't even begun to talk about June.

Also, my sidebar may look wonky (or it may not?) but my daughter needs to do something something technical blah blah blah and she'll get to it soon. Please carry on.

Back to June. In short (or maybe not so short)...Daughter1 had a birthday, hubs and I celebrated an anniversary, we marked Father's Day with Daughter2 and her boyfriend, I drove 1300 miles by myself, hubs and I drove lots more than that together, we had three sets of houseguests, I attended a reunion of my 'growing up church' youth group, we dog sat our favorite greyhound, we boated, swam, grilled, cornholed, reminisced, and whew! I am suddenly a teensy bit tired.

Also a little overwhelmed by all these separate events that I'd like to record on my blog, but probably won't because now it's July and July looks a lot like June in terms of all the everything all the time. I'm certain this should be about fourteen different posts, but let's lump it all into one because that's kind of how I roll here.

Or how I used to roll before I became a slacker blogger.

See this is why my posts are so long. I need half a page to tell you why I need another four pages to make a point. How 'bout I just dive in?

Rooftop anniversary celebration-


Father's Day with his baby girl-


Some of the church reunion crowd-


Wait just a second...I need to add a few words here before I move on. These people y'all. They are so dear to my heart. People I grew up with who helped me become me. For years we sat side by side in church pews and Sunday School classrooms and at Wednesday night dinners. We played side by side on weekend retreats, sang side by side in choir, attended picnics, pot lucks, lock-ins and spent most Sunday evenings together in somebody's house or backyard. We laughed and cried and said come as you are, and only occasionally got into mischief (ahem).

We knew one another's parents, sisters, brothers, dogs, fears, faults, and dreams and we loved one another well. I've moved a bunch of times in the intervening years, but every church building I set foot in I am seeking the spirit of love that permeated the church I called home when I was a kid.

I got home from the reunion weekend last Sunday evening about 7 PM and on Monday afternoon family came to town-


With them came the most spectacular weather.


My big brother and his wife spent a couple of days on the lake with us and we pretty much lived on the boat. Sunshiny skies and zero humidity made for a picture perfect holiday.



We might have also had a little too much fun trying to catch a football while taking a flying leap off the dock. I've got the videos and an empty bottle of Aleve to prove it.



At the same time, we were also dog sitting Daughter2's greyhound while she vacationed up north with her boyfriend's family.


We took her everywhere we went including the boat dock, and she was a good sport.


We managed to have our first outdoor fire while my brother was in town and it was a beauty. Hubs may have gotten a little carried away stacking wood in there-ha!


Family headed home Thursday morning and then another batch of my favorite people came to town Thursday afternoon.


College friends.


Not the same college friends who visited in May, but they do all know one another. Hubs and the boys were all fraternity brothers back in the day, but more than that these friends hold a special place in our hearts because they were such an integral part of our early married years too.


They were a couple years ahead of us in school, so already had the married life thing down pat by the time we tied the knot. As newlyweds we lived in Knoxville Tennessee, and spent every single weekend with D and D. He and hubs even worked for the same company, and we'd basically move into their house on weekends to eat her wonderful home cooking, play games, cheer for the VOLS, and fall through ponds but that's another story for another day.


We moved to Richmond Virginia towards the end of our first year of marriage and it just so happened K and M were living there too. We have so many happy memories of sailing on their Hobie cat, buying our first home with K as our realtor, and hanging out with their baby boy who has a baby of his own now but we won't talk about how every cliche you've ever heard about time flying is so very, very true.

I haven't even mentioned the week I spent with my mom, or hubs treks to Tennessee for special visits with his dad, but these moments too are tucked away in our hearts and memory.

And now here we are already the second day into a brand new month. A month with more Tennessee road trips planned, more long time friends coming to stay, a grandson closer and closer to making his grand entrance into our lives, more boat rides and BBQ's and the ordinary business of everyday life to happen too...

Thinking maybe I'll go ahead and kick off July with a nap.