Tuesday, May 29, 2018

It's Tuesday

I felt that needed to be said, because when a weekend lasts three days it's easy to forget what day it is. That also explains why there are no Hodgepodge questions on my blog today. I normally write them on a Monday so they'll post on Tuesday, but I spent all day yesterday thinking it was Sunday so no Hodgepodge this week.

Let's talk about other interesting things. Like the weather! Ugh! Memorial Day weekend feels like the official start of the summer season which I guess is why we expect the weather to be lovely and summer-like. We're almost always disappointed. I keep reminding myself it's May and it's still spring so rain is the norm, but it feels like warm sunny skies should be the norm.

I remember when my girls were young we always went to a friend's parents house on Memorial Day weekend because we lived in Annapolis and the Blue Angels would fly right over her parent's pool. The water would be freezing and the skies were most often gray and cloudy but the kids would try to convince us it was perfect swimming weather and we'd let them swim because it really does feel like the kick off to summer.

In spite of the dreary weather, or maybe because of it, we had a really enjoyable, low-key, restful weekend here at the lake. Daughter2 drove out after work on Friday and made it in time for dinner. Hubs grilled chicken and made yummy margaritas, and we set up a taco bar of sorts. It was perfect.

We ate almost all our meals this weekend on the screened in porch which is my favorite thing to do. The lake is never not pretty, and honestly watching rain fall from the comfy coziness of the porch is good for the soul.

We've had a houseful of company all month long so a quiet weekend was definitely in order. Hubs likes the idea in theory, but in reality not so much. He can create a project where none exists. At one point this weekend I actually uttered these words, which I know some of you won't understand, but if you're married to a do-er like I am you'll get it..."Hon, I really need you to do less this weekend." 

Seriously, how can I stretch out for a nap with a book on the back deck when he's killing weeds, rearranging hoses, and moving rock??? Turns out I can, but 1% of me feels like I should also be 'toting that barge and lifting that bale' right along with him.

Daughter2's fiance arrived from out of town late Friday evening and the four of us had a great time lounging. I actually got the kayak out early Saturday, they're new so this was my first time in ours and it was nice. We're still waiting on the other one to get here because somehow the place we ordered from 'lost' the other one. Not sure how you lose a lime green kayak, but apparently it can happen.

Hubs took my advice mid-morning Saturday and joined us on the porch. There were a few pockets of sunshine late in the day and some neighbors popped over for cornhole on the back drive. We had steaks for dinner and taught the fiance how to play Hearts which was fun. Daughter2 and I both LOVE to play games, the fiance likes to play games, and hubs (once he's talked into the fun) tolerates playing games.

He did grill some awesome ribs on Sunday which is basically an all day kind of process, so while he did that Daughter2 and I played dress up. We pulled out my wedding gown, circa 1984, and I took pictures of her and marveled at my once tiny waistline. I was so in love with those Cinderella sleeves and seeing them again makes me secretly happy.

There's nothing quite like seeing your baby girl in a wedding gown, yours or the very elegant and beautiful gown she'll wear on her actual day. I'm so looking forward to that!

Sunday evening the weather perked up long enough for a boat ride which we all enjoyed. The clouds were impressive!

Monday the monsoon rains were back again. Daughter2 and I spent the morning looking at all things wedding related while the fiance took care of some work stuff on his computer, and hubs...wait for it... napped! in the porch rocker.

Porches make life sweeter y'all.

Before 'the kids' headed back to the small big city Monday we had an afternoon of bowling and burgers at a nearby place. I'm a terrible bowler but it was really fun and we will definitely do that again before summer's end.

Which isn't for a long long while because summer hasn't even started yet.

Note To Hodgepodge

Hello Hodgepodgers! I knew the month of May would catch up with me eventually and here we are. There will not be a Wednesday Hodgepodge this week (May 30th), but the HP will be back in action the following week (Wednesday June 6th).

June! I know!

Thanks for understanding.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Hodgepodge Royale

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge! If you've answered this week's questions, add your link at the end of my post, then go say howdy to the blogger linking before you. Here we go-

1. The last place you visited/patronized where you felt like you were given 'the royal treatment'?

I'm struggling to think when/where this would have been. Probably my birthday which was spent right here at home this year. No matter where we celebrate hubs always makes sure I feel pampered and well-loved on my birthday. 

2. The last task you completed that was a 'royal pain'?

Our tax returns. Or maybe it was reprogramming the TV. Both were royally painful. 

3. How have your strengths helped you succeed? How have your faults hindered you?

I think my biggest strength lies in my ability to always see the bright side. I'm an eternal optimist and I think when you're an optimist you find a way around life's obstacles and challenges, or at least a way to deal with them. 

As far as faults that hinder me I guess fear and worry have at times kept me from seizing the day. Course I'm married to someone who always seizes the day so that helps. 

4. If you found a remote that could rewind, fast forward, stop and start time, what would you do with it?

I'd remove the batteries and crush it with a hammer. I don't think we want to mess with time, or at least I don't. If I have to choose an answer from the options listed above I would say rewind. I suppose there are moments I'd like to relive, but I wonder if they'd feel the same? I know for sure I don't want to fast forward. Time is moving fast enough on it's own. 

5. Any special plans for the Memorial Day weekend? Will you in some way honor or recognize the meaning of this day (remembering people who died in service to their country)? Have you ever been to Arlington National Cemetery? Does your town do anything special to mark the day?

Our special plans involve a whole lot of nothing and we can't wait. I think Daughter2 and her fiance are going to come hang out at the lake, and we're all looking forward to a very low key, go-where-the wind-takes-us kind of weekend. There will be lots of porch sitting and lake swimming, a little corn hole, something on the grill, probably a nap or two...

We'll fly a flag of course and I will certainly think about the meaning of the day. I've been to Arlington many many times. My dad is buried there and it's a sacred place. Every American should see it at least once. 

Our little town has a 2-day festival over the Memorial Day weekend which includes carnival rides, concessions, and live music but we have no plans to attend. Like I said, we're keeping it low key here. 

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

On this Memorial Day weekend may God be especially near the families missing loved ones who died in service to our country. I love this beautiful song-


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 353

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

1. The last place you visited/patronized where you felt like you were given 'the royal treatment'?

2. The last task you completed that was a 'royal pain'?

3. How have your strengths helped you succeed? How have your faults hindered you?

4. If you found a remote that could rewind, fast forward, stop and start time, what would you do with it?

5. Any special plans for the Memorial Day weekend? Will you in some way honor or recognize the meaning of this day (remembering people who died in service to their country)? Have you ever been to Arlington National Cemetery? Does your town do anything special to mark the day?

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, May 21, 2018

A Right Royal Weekend

Good Monday Morning! I guess it's technically now Monday afternoon, but it was a.m. when I started this post. Monday mornings quite often get away from me somehow.

I'm regrouping here after a fun weekend on the lake with nine of my college sorority sisters. In spite of the less than stellar weather we had a fabulous time catching up with one another in person. One friend was there who most of us hadn't seen in 36 years so that was really special.

There were ten of us all together and two of us have houses on the same lake so we spent Friday at her house and Saturday at mine. Half the group slept there, and the other half here, everyone brought food and drink, and it was all so easy peasy. We talked and we laughed and we told stories and put our collective brains together to remember things we'd forgotten. So much fun!

It was mostly cloudy all weekend, but we still spent a lot of time outdoors, sitting on porches and patios and docks. The sun popped out long enough for a boat ride Saturday evening which was nice. Hubs acted as Cabana Boy and waited on us hand and foot and took pics so yay hubs! He knows all the girls and I think enjoys catching up with them as much as I do.

Hey, did you hear there was a wedding this weekend? Ha! The hype leading up to the day was a little over the top, but we loved watching it together. I thought she looked lovely and let her natural beauty shine. People are sometimes just plain awful aren't they? So many mean spirited comments in the world of social media. What is it about weddings that brings out the inner critic in everyone? She might be marrying into the royal family, but I thought the ceremony felt like it belonged to the bride.

I have to say I felt for the mother-of-the-bride. How hard to be on your own in that particular setting, but she seemed to handle it with grace and I admire that so much.

Also, Windsor. Sniff. How I miss you. I loved seeing the town almost more than I enjoyed watching the wedding. We spent a lot of time in Windsor back in the day and have our own favorite photo taken on the long walk.

And now it's Monday and we're back to a quiet house. Hubs has already repaired a broken door lock and is power washing the dock because he always needs to be doing something. I'm tackling the laundry mountain, straightening the house, putting away stray dishes-table leaves-and the like, catching up on my blog, and drinking gallons of coffee. There was a whole lotta fun packed into these past three days, but not a whole lotta sleep.

So did you watch the wedding? What did you think? Happy Monday all!

Friday, May 18, 2018

F is For Friday And Other Favorite Stuff

I have a bunch of miscellaneous moment pictures from last week's hoopla and thought I'd post some of my favorites here today.

F is for funny faces-the mister was way too mobile for a bath in the big tub. I'd seen someone online suggest putting a laundry basket in there to contain his wiggly squiggly self so we gave that a try.

Yeah. He was way too busy to sit in a laundry tub in the big bath, so it was back to bathing in the farm sink Day 2. I love the way he and his Aunt M are making the same funny face. 

2. F is for feed the birds-every morning hubs feeds the bluebirds and fills the bird feeders. 

Last week this little guy was his right hand man and he loved it. Baby boy loved it too.

F is for first taste of a fruit pop-

Dining al fresco-

And fun PawPaws who juggle-

F is for the fab four-

Fish under your feet-

And these free and easy days on the lake-

Fantastical moments with a fabulous baby boy and the mama who loves him-

F is for fast and the way time flies when you're having fun.  

Thursday, May 17, 2018

She Said Yes To The Dress

I think I might have mentioned Daughter2 is getting married, but in case I didn't-

...she's getting married!

And of course she has asked her big sister, the person she's loved best and longest, to be at her side on the big day. She had the most adorable box of personalized goodies made as a way of asking, including this little print-

One of the things Daughter2 has looked forward to the most was having her sister with her for dress shopping. That sounds simple enough, but with the bride in the southeastern corner of the US of A and her sister in the northwestern corner of the US of A, maybe not so simple.

It's okay. We're all used to not simple round here.

We were so excited with the way timing worked out for Daughter1's trip to the lake (note to self: in all things wedding related timing generally works out), and we happily scheduled an afternoon of dress shopping last Thursday.

Our appointment was for 5 PM, but we wanted to pop in to the reception venue just before that so Daughter1 could see it up close and in person. She worked in events and sometimes notices things about a space that I might miss. It was really fun to see the venue again and I'm excited to see it all prettied up for the big day.

Which is still many many days away, but anticipation is all part of the fun.

We dropped baby boy at his other grandparents house then headed to the very lovely bridal shop where we had the nicest afternoon I've had in a long time. This particular shop books appointments so we were the only people there, never felt rushed, and our consultant was so sweet and helpful in understanding the different bits and pieces (fabric, cut, neckline, back, sparkle, etc) Daughter2 was hoping to find in a gown.

Our plan had originally been to have a first look in this shop, then perhaps check a second shop only because Daughter2 wasn't exactly sure what she wanted.

Except she kind of was.

And y'all she's such a beauty. When I saw her in 'her' dress the word that came instantly to mind was breathtaking. As in she literally took my breath away.

She tried on several dresses, but came back to this one every time and it's absolute perfection. As soon as the consultant set the veil on her head she knew.

I knew the minute I saw her step out of the dressing room in it, but that's because I'm her momma.

And now a public service announcement for anyone who's watched too much TV-

I don't believe there's just one dress out there that's right for you. Nor do I think you need to try on  umpteen million to find 'the one'. In fact I think if you try on too many it all becomes a jumble and none feel like the one. There are many, many dresses you can look and feel beautiful in on your special day. My philosophy is choose one you love, one you feel comfortable in, and most importantly one you feel like YOU in.

Then love that dress.

Your dress.

And that's what she did.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Heigh Ho Heigh Ho It's The 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 leave a comment for the person linking before you. And anyone else you have a chance to visit today because comments make the blog world go round.

Here we go-

1. What would you say is your biggest day to day challenge?

Hmmm...what's for dinner? I mean seriously, every single day. Or maybe loading pictures onto my blog? In the past year this computer, or maybe it's blogger or perhaps the it's the operator has become persnickety. If I upload photos to my computer I have to shut the whole thing down and restart in order for them to be made available for upload to my blog, even though I can see them in my photos. So annoying! Of course I'm not doing that every day, so maybe that doesn't count as an answer to this question. 

I guess I'm going to say carving out chunks of time for writing or establishing a routine when it comes to writing. I'm all over the map and mostly it feels like snippets are all I can manage these days. I find it really frustrating. 

2. May 16th is National Biographers Day. What's a biography you really enjoyed reading? Is this a genre you read regularly?

One of my all-time favorite books is The Hiding Place. It's classified as a biography even though Corrie ten Boom is listed as one of the authors along with John and Elizabeth Sherril. And yes I do enjoy reading biographies, but wouldn't say that's my go-to genre. 

3. How important is keeping a clean house? Do you need to de-clutter your life?

I like a clean house but am not an obsessive cleaner. I want my home to feel comfortable, like you could plop down on the couch and we could relax with a cup of tea or a glass of wine. A too tidy house makes me twitch. 

My hubs likes to vacuum so he stays on top of that. He's also in charge of (and excels at) cleaning the stove top and the granite. We share the housekeeping chores, and since there's usually just the two of us here not a lot of mess. Dust is another story. Where does it all come from???

4. You're the 8th dwarf. What's your name?

Gabby of course. 

5. What's surprised you the most about your life or life in general?

How fast time moves. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

"It wouldn't be a holiday round here without a hedgehog in there somewhere." What my daughter2 said when she gave me the most adorable Mother's Day gift-

I love it! She gave me the cutest box filled with all kinds of goodies including these glasses, one for her and one for me. 

Hers says 'I got it from my Mama' and mine says 'She got it from me'.  

She's my favorite bride-to-be. 


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 352

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 would you say is your biggest day to day challenge?

2. May 16th is National Biographers Day. What's a biography you really enjoyed reading? Is this a genre you read regularly?

3. How important is keeping a clean house? Do you need to de-clutter your life?

4. You're the 8th dwarf. What's your name?

5. What's surprised you the most about your life or life in general?

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, May 14, 2018

She Loves You Yeah Yeah Yeah

The last of my company pulled away this morning and I'm pretty sure there's a nap with my name on it in the plans for today. Can pollen kill you? Because I feel like I might keel over from the pollen and am so ready for it to cease and desist.

Also it was actually hubs who pulled away with the last of my company this morning, the last being his mama. He's driving her back to Tennessee then turning around and driving back to SC because time and house guests wait for no man. The next wave rolls in this weekend so there are beds to change and groceries to buy and shenanigans to plan. FYI-the next wave will be some of my college sorority sisters and we have a royal wedding to attend. In our pjs, but still there will be scones and Pimms and maybe a tiara or two. Like I said, I need to plan.

And learn how to take a selfie. Still haven't mastered the selfie face. My eyes are half closed and I've got that puzzled expression I save for selfies. Oh well, what matters is the moment, right? Well the moment was magic.

Let's talk about Mother's Day. Mine was lovely and filled with some of my favorite women in the whole wide world. The one who birthed me and the ones I birthed. Women I'm related to by DNA, by marriage, and by my daughter's marriage.

Mamas and mothers-in-law, sisters and sisters-in-law, cousins, aunts, nieces, grandmothers and great-grands too.

How extra special it was to have this little mancub in our midst surrounded by so much love on Mother's Day.

These women are strong and gentle. Generous and creative. Smart and funny and full of opinions and wisdom and life experience. They're readers and gardeners and students and teachers and crafters and cooks and prayers and selfless givers.

They are storytellers and memory makers.

Keepers of the flame and passers of the torch.

Most of all they love so well.
I think when we're loved well we can conquer the world...

...or at least believe we can.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Mother May I Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge. I've got a houseful here pretty much all month long, but I squeezed in the HP this week because priorities people. If you've answered the questions add your link at the end of my post, then leave a comment for the blogger linking before you. Wishing all the Mamas reading here today a very happy Mother's Day!

1. What are your ingredients for a perfect Saturday?

Spectacular weather. After that I'm good with leisurely coffee and lake time. If my children and grandson are in the house that will be the cherry on top. 

2. What skill do you wish more people took the time to learn?

Which lane is the slow lane and which lane is the passing lane. Also why it's important not to confuse the two. 

3. What's something you ate as a child you can't stand now as an adult?

There was a short period of time where my sister and I put ketchup on our rice. Obviously I don't do that anymore so I'm not sure it qualifies as something I can't stand, but it definitely does not appeal.  

4. Something parenting has taught you? If you're not a parent tell us one important lesson you learned from your own parents.

Parenting has taught me so much about how God loves. It's given me a glimpse into how God feels about me, his child. Honestly I'm overwhelmed by it sometimes. Motherhood lets us see in part, understand in part, the depth and breadth of the love God has for His children. It's a love that is forgiving, sacrificial, and not dependent on our response to it. 

5. Share a favorite quote or saying about mothers or motherhood.

'I have so much of you in my heart.' 
John Keats

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

My grandson is here visiting and I could post one or ten pictures of him in this space, but instead will save those for a post of their own. Another post of their own. ahem. See Tuesday. 

How about a true random? We added stone to the columns on the back patio at the end of last week and we're really pleased with the end result. Technically 'we' didn't add the stone, but rather the stone people worked their magic and voila-

Also, my peony bloomed and there are few things in a garden that make me happier than a peony in bloom. 


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Busy Busy Busy

If you're here for this week's Hodgepodge questions, scroll on down to the previous post. 

Saturday hubs and I drove to Atlanta to pick up Daughter1 and the mancub for a week at the lake. I wasn't happy about it at all-ha!

This was Daughter1's first time flying solo with him and he was an absolute champ. Who can resist this face y'all??? Our son-in-law will be joining Daughter1 at the lake next weekend, then they're taking a little holiday, so lots of gear. LOTS! My girl who is no bigger than a minute dragged a suitcase behind her the size of herself, pushed a stroller in front of her zipped up in its carry case with a car seat perched on top and a diaper bag and tote stashed underneath, and she wore her baby. Whew! 

His aunt and soon-to-be uncle were there to greet him when we got to the house and then Daughter1's in-laws came for dinner. They'll move over to their house later in the week because we all need a turn waking up to his smiling face in our own house. The evening's entertainment consisted of everyone sitting around watching the mancub. We're grandparents. It's what we do. And you'd never know he'd gotten out of bed in the middle of the night, flown five hours cross country, then made a two hour car ride to the lake.

This little guy was the center of attention all weekend long and he just goes with the flow y'all. So sweet and easy and good tempered all the time.

And he is busy! I mean BUSY! Busy busy busy. He sleeps hard all night long, naps twice a day like it's his job, eats when it's time to eat, and the rest of the time? He is on.the.move. If he's not eating or sleeping he is crawling, climbing, pulling up on everything and everybody, and basically charming all who cross his path with those big blue eyes and sweet sweet smile.

Sunday morning started with a stroll to the dock in their pjs because Daughter1 could not get over the warm air and big yellow ball in the sky. What an absolutely beautiful day it was! Her in-laws came for breakfast and baby snuggles then had an event to get to so they left and the next wave rolled in around 2. My sister and brother-in-law drove over from a nearby town bringing my mother with them.

She's in the Palmetto State for a little visit and of course wanted to see her great grandson. And I think me too, but mostly her great grandson. It's okay. We get it. 

My niece and her boyfriend came too, because a baby boy just cannot have too many people adore him.

Also, we can talk weddings and be entertained by the mister all at the same time. Just sayin'.

I think his new uncle is gonna be a favorite. Actually he's pretty crazy about all the aunts and uncles he's met so far. Still a few more to introduce him too, but he definitely loved singing 'trot little horsey go to town...' with his great aunt P.

He's already mastered the game of cornhole.

It was such a fun day, filled with spectacular weather, food, and company. So what was the best part of this picture perfect day for me?


Always this.

 'Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina...