Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Hodgepodging In Abundance

Welcome to this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. A gratitude theme felt appropriate today...thanks for playing along! If you've answered the questions add your link at the end of my post then go say hey to your neighbor. Everybody's welcome here on Wednesdays (and everyday) so why not take a break from all that turkey prep and join us? Here we go-

From this Side of the Pond  

1. tightly do you cling to tradition when it comes to holiday gatherings and celebrations? For instance do you always do the cooking, never eat at home, always go to grandma's, never miss the parade, always watch football, never change the menu, always eat at 2 PM, etc.? Have you ever celebrated Christmas or Thanksgiving away from hearth, home, and family? How did that feel?

I used to hold tradition tightly in my iron clad fist, but you know life and all that. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and if I had my way my family would all be gathered round my dining room table each and every year. So how often does that actually happen? Rarely. Very very rarely. And I adjust and feel grateful for my many blessings, but I miss my girls in the kitchen on that day most of all. 

Cooking together opens the door to the very best conversations. 

I've spent very few Christmases in my own home, a factor of living far from family most of my adult life so I've learned to enjoy Christmas wherever we're celebrating. We spent two Christmases in England, and seven Thanksgivings and we absolutely cherish those memories. We spent our first Thanksgiving in the UK on the Eurostar to Paris eating a fish dinner which Daughter1 claimed was not very Thanksgiving-y, but then Paris so yeah. It's one of our favorite travel memories too because we were total novices and blundered a bit. We learned. 

The year before we moved to England we spent Thanksgiving in St. Thomas and had a delicious turkey dinner at the Marriott where we were staying. If I've got my girls I'm good to go. Not sure how it would feel waking up somewhere tropical on Christmas morning, but as I said a few paragraphs ago I'm an adjuster so I'd probably adjust. 

2. it easy for you to ask for help or are you a do-it-yourselfer? How is that a good/bad thing?

I'm a do-it-yourselfer and will admit that's not always a good thing. I've said it here before, but my mom and all my siblings will tell you my mantra even as a young child was, 'I can do it myself'.  I'm not talking about home repairs, or plumbing, or car maintenance...when it comes to that type of thing I'm all about asking for help. I'm talking about everyday life kind of stuff, and in my defense it's not always a bad thing either. 

3. Abundance...what is there an abundance of in your kitchen?

This is a tough one, because last week's Hodgepodge inspired me to rearrange my pantry and clean out that annoying overly full cabinet, so I got rid of a few things that fell into the category of 'too much'. Is abundance too much or just plenty? I found two unopened bags of Resees so let's go with that. 

4. Name...the smallest thing you're thankful for? the biggest?

The smallest?

The biggest? 

"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below-indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)

5. Key...What do you think is the key to living a more grateful life?

This may sound simplistic but... be grateful. We always have a choice as to how we see things and I think gratitude is a choice. Sometimes life is hard and we have to dig a little deeper to make that choice, but there is always something to be thankful for. 

6. State your own random thought here.

Are you cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year? We're having dinner with my sister and I'm making the desserts. Of course it's plural-ha! My niece requested a coconut cream pie and I've never made a coconut cream pie but I'm going to give it a try. I'm also baking an apple pie and making my mom's Thanksgiving Day fruit salad because that's the law. It's simple-sliced purple grapes, oranges, and apples with a can of crushed pineapple poured over all. So refreshing after a meal where you don't mean to eat too much but you always eat too much. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


  1. Your grandson is absolutely beautiful! I'm just a tad bit jealous! :)
    My SIL & I split up the cooking duties...I do what I can at home and pop things in the oven after the 4 hour drive to her house. Good times!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Joyce! I made up lists of all I needed to do in the next two days. I guess I am not sleeping! LOL! The stock is on for the gravy and very soon I will start chopping vegetables for the stuffing. The chestnuts are all roasted and soaking in rum! I'm making only one pie, pumpkin and the apple crisp and mince tart bites.

  3. "Cooking together opens the door to the very best conversations" So does doing their hair :)
    Love your biggest and smallest things to be grateful for and the key to a more grateful life.
    Thank you for hosting the Hodgepodge, I am grateful for your faithfulness in gathering us all together!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Hubs!

  4. Such a sweet little thing to be thankful for. I enjoyed your reminiscences of Thanksgivings. Have a wonderful one this year!

  5. Good luck with those desserts, Joyce and have a happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Sweet little grandboy! We just spent 4 days with our little grandgirlie. So much fun. Enjoyed reading about all your holiday experiences in other countries. :) Amen to your biggest grateful.

  7. Your answers are excellent and always enjoyable. The fruit salad just like yours was the law with my mother-in-law, too! Your baby boy is adorable. What a darling pic! I really appreciated your quote from this week about latitude and gratitude. Very good. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours and good luck with my favorite pie! Coconut cream!

  8. I do okay on Thanksgiving and Easter although I would love everyone around my table. However I want them here for Christmas Day and now I must adjust for that one. Thankfully we were all together in Cancun and those kind of memories get us through. It is hard when you are a do it yourself kind of person and you have to start asking for help. Way to go on getting your pantry organized. Your grandson is so precious. I'm cooking for Mark and I. If I hadn't just traveled I would have loved to go to Florida to be with my family. Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  9. That smallest blessing I know is also a HUGE one ;)
    Enjoy making all those yummy treats & HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you!

  10. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! Safe travels and safe return. Love the picture of your little man.

  11. Awwww . . . that picture . . . so adorable. <3

  12. Hey Joyce! Couldn´t join in today, but I loved reading your HP. Tommy is just precious!!
    I am adjusting to not being traditional anymore around the holidays as well. Christmas Eve used to be "the law" for us to spend it together as a family, but since the new husband´s joined, it never seems to work out, that both of the girls have Christmas Eve reserved for us, at the same time. But you adjust and it´s ok. We are thankful for the time we have together.

  13. Oh, little Tommy is just adorable. I know you enjoyed him so much. And, I'm a do it myself sort of gal as well, and, as you said, it isn't always a bad thing. Blessings for a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  14. Yes, I'm cooking and I've been baking for two days now. Tomorrow should be easy. It was a good Hodgepodge and I enjoyed reading your answers!! Happy Thanksgiving to your and yours!

  15. It's your fault now if I have not too many "abundance" in my kitchen cupboards ! There must be a lot of things probably outdated !! Your little grandson becomes bigger and bigger !

  16. Well, I cooked most of the dinner with the exception of deviled eggs and 2 cheese cakes which my dear son made with his own two little hands...I was so proud of him! I am still stuffed but it was a great day. I enjoyed your answers and again, I appreciate all you do to bring us the hodgepodge every week! Now...ON TO CHRISTMAS!

  17. Wow it's been a long time since I've been here. I love the fresh look your blog now has and thank you for the questions that I've answered on my blog. Love the photo of your Grandson.