Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Hodgepodge Secrets

First things first, happy birthday to my mama! I wrote a celebratory post earlier in honor of her big day, which you'll find in the link here. Now for the 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. Here we go-



1. The Hodgepodge lands this year on National Secret Keeping Day...on a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being I'm a blabbermouth and 10 being I'm a vault) how good are you at keeping secrets?

I read here nine jobs for people who can keep a secret-cybersecurity worker, executive assistant, housekeeper, lawyer, nuclear plant technician, physician, private investigator, psychologist, security guard  Of the jobs listed, which one most interests you and why?

I think I'm pretty good at keeping a secret, particularly if it's related to something serious in nature. Giving myself a 9 because I'm not sure I've never accidentally spilled something I shouldn't have. 

As for the jobs listed I'm intrigued by the private investigator, but far too chicken to actually try it. I'll say psychologist since I'm a mom and I've also worked as a kindergarten teacher, speech pathologist, and school director, all roles requiring a bit of psychology. 

Plus hubs says I like to analyze him-ha! 

2. What's the secret of life (or one of them anyway)?

I think Solomon summed it up best...'Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

3. Off the record, best-kept secret, a fly on the wall, top secret, my lips are sealed, secret shopper, as quiet as a mouse, poker face, spill the beans, open secret, bite your tongue...which secret idiom can you best relate to right now? Explain.

When to speak and when to bite your tongue...a real dilemma in the year 2020. 

4. Spill here the secret ingredient in one of your favorite recipes?

Since it's my mama's birthday and she's both a fabulous baker and a serious chocolate lover I'll say her chocolate cake, the one with coca cola in the mix and also cooked into the fudgy icing. So yummy! 

5. Speaking of my mom...she celebrates a birthday today and she reads my blog.  Share a favorite quote, song lyric, saying, or verse of scripture that will add some sunshine to her day (ours too!)

'Mother is one to whom you hurry when you are troubled.' Emily Dickinson 

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Was this really just last year? 


Little man says yes indeed. 



And where's the party this year?



The Gift Of A Mother

If you're here for the Hodgepodge you'll find that post by clicking here

Today my mother celebrates a milestone birthday. Except because of you know what she's in New Jersey and I'm in South Carolina many many miles away. Boo.

But!! One of the many wonderful things about mothers is they're always close in heart. She'll be well celebrated by my sibs who live nearby, but since she loves to read my blog it seems only right I add something here too.


Without mentioning her actual age (she would not like that at all) here's a list of oh, let's just pick a random number...say 90 things I know-love-appreciate about my mom.
  1. she was raised in New Mexico
  2. but there's a little bit o' Jersey in her too
  3. she's smart
  4. still a beauty
  5. with a great smile 
  6. she loves Jesus
  7. taught us to love Him too
  8. she took us to church
  9. said grace before meals
  10. studied her Bible
  11. studies it still 
  12. knows scripture from memory 
  13. loves books
  14. especially mysteries
  15. and novels set in England
  16. she read to us when we were small 
  17. and also when we were too big for her lap
  18. she's a little bit shy
  19. loves words 
  20. is an excellent cook
  21. taught us all to cook
  22. baked Christmas cookies by the hundreds
  23. tells a plant to grow and it does 
  24. presses a tablecloth to perfection
  25. cut out all the paperdoll clothes without snipping off any of the tabs
  26. bought a dress for my favorite doll every Christmas
  27. bought dresses for my real life daughters every Christmas 
  28. brushed out all my tangles
  29. listened to all my worries
  30. listens to them still
  31. prayed for me
  32. prays for me still 
  33. raised four children
  34. is Mema extraordinaire to four grands
  35. great-gran to my daughter's darling boys
  36. was a caring sister
  37. a loving daughter
  38. a devoted military wife
  39. moved like a boss umpteen times
  40. learned to sew
  41. do needlework
  42. has an artists' eye
  43. arranges flowers like a pro
  44. started a church library
  45. taught Sunday School to young married couples
  46. could speak Spanish
  47. volunteered in lots of ways
  48. kept a super clean house
  49. manages a large home still
  50. makes the best pan of enchiladas anywhere
  51. was a librarian
  52. is a good neighbor
  53. loves to shop
  54. has great style 
  55. a perfect complexion
  56. she collects angels
  57. loves chocolate
  58. eating out
  59. traveling
  60. she set a good example
  61. rocked my babies
  62. never didn't have time to drop everything and play pretend
  63. loved my little girls with all her heart
  64. still loves my girls with all her heart 
  65. has trouble saying no to my girls
  66. really has trouble saying no to my nephew, her only grandson
  67. she cried when our dog died
  68. solves difficult crossword puzzles
  69. is independent
  70. determined
  71. capable
  72. generous
  73. loves a cup of tea
  74. pretty teapots too
  75. ties beautiful bows
  76. always did Christmas up big
  77. chooses gifts with tender loving care
  78. wraps gifts with that same care
  79. hung tinsel one single strand at a time
  80. sent us to camp
  81. loves games
  82. hates to lose at games 
  83. still plays in her neighborhood bridge club
  84. made me feel safe 
  85. is always happy to see me
  86. talk to me
  87. spend time with me
  88. is loved beyond measure
  89. a part of myself
  90. her children call her blessed
...and feel grateful to have grown up and older with a mother like ours.


Happy birthday Mom! We all love you BIG xo

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 376

Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Hop back here tomorrow to share answers and link your post with Hodgepodgers around the globe.


1. The Hodgepodge lands this year on National Secret Keeping Day...on a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being I'm a blabbermouth and 10 being I'm a vault) how good are you at keeping secrets?

I read here nine jobs for people who can keep a secret-cybersecurity worker, executive assistant, housekeeper, lawyer, nuclear plant technician, physician, private investigator, psychologist, security guard  Of the jobs listed, which one most interests you and why?

2. What's the secret of life (or one of them anyway)?

3. Off the record, best-kept secret, a fly on the wall, top secret, my lips are sealed, secret shopper, as quiet as a mouse, poker face, spill the beans, open secret, bite your tongue...which secret idiom can you best relate to right now? Explain.

4. Spill here the secret ingredient in one of your favorite recipes?

5. My mama celebrates a big birthday tomorrow (Wednesday).  Share a favorite quote, song lyric, saying, or verse of scripture that will add some sunshine to her day (ours too!)

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, July 6, 2020

'Merica 2020

Happy July 4th! I know I'm a couple of days late, but it's never too late to mention Independence Day in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

We're still that, in spite of all the messaging out there currently.

I'm a bit weary of it to be honest. Weary of the complaining and the nit picking and the nastiness. The steady stream of fault finding and blame/shame and most of all the thought police who tell us loving our country is wrong.

America is an imperfect place full of imperfect people. She was founded by imperfect people too, people doing what they felt was right given the times in which they lived. Making mistakes, failing in a lot of ways, but also gettting a whole lot right because here we are more than 240+ years later and America still stands, still brims with opportunity, diversity, and a long long list of freedoms so many people around the world can only dream of.


A long time ago, before the internet, television, or even the telephone, courageous men and women envisioned something beautiful and set the wheels in motion to birth a nation.

The wheels are still turning and we're not there yet, but we have come a long long way.

If this country were my children I'd send them to their room to write a list of all the good and hopeful things to be found in America. I'd make them read it every morning as a reminder that gratitude is a habit just like complaining, but it's gratitude that softens hearts while complaining makes us bitter.

Are there things in this nation worthy of real complaint? Absolutely. But those very real issues are lost in the noise and chaos of so much that is not. Somewhere along the way we adopted an 'everybody get out there and change the world and be loud about it' sort of mantra. And p.s. if you're not you don't count.

Maybe we need to stop aiming for the whole world?

This is planet Earth not heaven, and I for one wish we could each strive to bring peace, forgiveness, and kindness to our own little corner of it. America is a beauty. Flawed and free. Pained and  passionate. Imperfect, impatient, strong and generous. She is not just one thing. She is not an either or.

America is a mixed bag of people, emotion, imagination, wit, brains, skill and heart.
'May God shed His grace on Thee....'

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

It's A Grand Ol' Hodgepodge

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. Are you currently making plans of any kind? What kind? What emotions are associated with the planning process? Tell us about one plan you had to cancel due to the current situation which shall remain nameless. Ha!

As far as current planning goes we're trying to make some wedding plans for Daughter2 and her groom. How does it feel? A wee bit complicated. Also exciting, joyful, overwhelming, and fabulous. Taking it in small chunks and making the best decisions we can with the information we have at hand which, quite honestly, is conflicting depending on who what when where the information comes from.  

On a smaller scale, we're trying to make plans to see my sister in a couple of weeks and praying everyone stays well in the meantime. 

One plan we were forced to cancel due to you know what was a birthday luncheon celebration for my mom in N.J. She has done so well during this crazy at home time and I'm so sad we're not going to be able to mark her big day as we'd hoped. Still, my brother and younger sister live in her neck of the woods, and will have a small outdoor party for just the six of them, and no matter where we are in the world she's still my mama and I thank God every day for giving her to me. Me to her? Either way, I'm truly grateful for the way she has loved, supported, and prayed for me all of my life.

2. Last time you saw stars, either literally or figuratively?

Literally seeing stars would be pretty recently. Hubs and I like to sit on our covered deck in the dark of night and star gaze. Figuratively? Hmmm...the thing that came to mind immediately was my mishap with the step ladder a couple of summers ago where my foot slipped causing the ladder to collapse. I came down with a bang on my rib cage and definitely saw a few stars.  

3. Blueberries yay or nay? Blueberry pie, blueberry muffins, blueberry yogurt, blueberry pancakes, or blueberries by the handful...what's your pleasure?

Blueberries are my favorite berry so yes please! Of the choices given I'd go for the pie or just blueberries by the handful. 

4. swim against the tide, swimming upstream, in the swim, sink or swim, makes your head swim...choose one of the 'swim' idioms listed and tell us how/why you relate?

Let's go with makes my head swim. 'Merica. No explaination needed is there? 

5. Sum up your June in a single sentence.

Young love, old love, longer days, shorter fuses, riots, cruelty, self-centered humans and a God who loves us in spite of ourselves. 

6.  Insert your own random thought here.


If June were a picture. 



Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 375

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


1. Are you currently making plans of any kind? What kind? What emotions are associated with the planning process? Tell us about one plan you had to cancel due to the current situation which shall remain nameless. Ha!

2. Last time you saw stars, either literally or figuratively?

3. Blueberries yay or nay? Blueberry pie, blueberry muffins, blueberry yogurt, blueberries by the handful...what's your pleasure?

4. swim against the tide, swimming upstream, in the swim, sink or swim, makes your head swim...choose one of the 'swim' idioms listed and tell us how/why you relate?

5. Sum up your June in a single sentence.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, June 29, 2020

More Summer Sweetness

Last Monday I wrote about the sweetness of summer and not gonna lie, I had to look a little harder for it this weekend. The weather y'all! What is up with the weather? I live in sunny South Carolina except this year we've had so much rain. And if it's not raining it's cloudy more often than not, so the days aren't feeling the way summer normally feels.

What is normal anyway, in this very abnormal year? Perhaps weird weather is just par for the course. 

Hubs and I did manage a Friday evening boat ride and in case you didn't know, watching the sun slip from the sky will add a splash of sweetness to your weekend. 


Satuday we had plans to take the boat out but the air was coated in a thin layer of Saharan dust storm dust (did I mention the weather has been weird??) so we headed to the plant nursery instead. By car in case anyone is confused. We needed to repot a couple of plants that grew like beanstalks (see there's a bright side to all that rain!) and we wanted to get something for the pots beside our garage which have been sitting empty for a while. 


We opted for Lantana and I love this color combo. Also, I have the most gorgeous shade of geraniums beside my front door which have been blooming big since the first of May. 



Shoutout to my sweet limelight hydrangeas too, which are one of my favorites. 


In other nature related happenings we have a new crop? flock? of baby bluebirds in the house (the bluebird house, not our literal house), and they are noisy and precious. 


I know this photo looks like a big ball of fluff but I have to hold my camera up over my head and tilt it down which means I have no idea if I'm capturing anything or not. Still here they are...a big ball of fluff. 


Watching all the adults care for them is super sweet too. There are at least six parents-aunts-uncles-so I guess bluebirds are quarantining with extended family in 2020.  


Hubs would say this was pretty sweet. 

I was actually sound asleep on the screened porch enjoying the sweetness of a Saturday afternoon nap when he started hollering for me to get the camera. I tried to pretend I didn't hear him (hey, we've all been there, right?) but he wasn't having it. 

It's a ginormous, albeit harmless, black rat snake which supposedly keeps the copperheads and other unsavories at bay so I tried to act like it was cool but if I'm being honest I'm not all that cool with snakes. Or bats. Bats really give me the heebie jeebies. 

Did I tell y'all hubs was on a ladder last week, 18 feet up checking out what we thought was some sort of mark/stain on our covered deck ceiling, and I was holding said ladder to be sure it didn't tip when a bat flew at lightning speed, straight out of the deck light in that crazy erractic way bats fly, and dive bombed us? I might have lost it. Thankfully hubs had the presence of mind not to fall which I guess was pretty sweet. Also, thankfully the pest guy said it was a fluke and not a whole crop? flock? of bats living up there. 

Finally, these sweet things-


I swiped this picture from my daughter and it's everything I imagined when I imagined baby brothers. They are just too sweet! 

Hope you found some sunshine in your weekend too...happy Monday!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

A Rosy Wednesday Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge, our first edition of the summer. If you've answered this week's questions add your link at the end of my post, then pop over and leave a comment for the blogger linking before you. That's the neighborly thing to do here on From This Side of the Pond.

Here we go-



1. This time last year where were you?

Can I sigh a little? Right here on the lake with my not quite two year old grandson. My daughter, son-in-law and grandson spent a month with us prior to their move to South Korea and it was pure gold. 



And now he's turning three and is still as precious and precocious and perfectly hilarious as he was at two, only more so. Grandbabies just keep getting better y'all. 

photo credit: Sincerely Shannon

Plus now he's got a completely adorable baby brother to add to the shenanigans so I can't sigh too awfully much.    

photo credit: Sincerely Shannon 

2. In honor of National Pink Day (June 23rd) tell us your favorite pink food or beverage. Was it on the menu at your house yesterday? Do you like to wear the color pink? If we came to visit would we find this color in your home decor? Blush-fuschia-salmon-raspberry-your favorite shade of pink?

I'm not good at the 'just one' questions. One of my favorites would be salmon which I think is more orange than pink, but salmon is officially considered one of the pinks so salmon it is. And it's often on the menu at our house, but not yesterday. 

My favorite shade of pink is blush. 

If you came to visit would you find the color in my home decor? Not inside, but does outside count? 



Yes it totally counts. 

3. Stop and smell the roses, looking through rose colored glasses, a rose by any other name, not all moonlight and roses, no rose without a thorn...which rosy saying currently fits your life in some way? Explain.

I am known for my perpetual wearing of the rose colored glasses, but y'all the mean crazy in this world is smudging them a little. Still I think we always have a choice as to how we'll view our circumstances and I'm going to choose the bright side as often as I can. 

4. Are you a 'reader'? Do you tend to read lighter books in the summer months? Do you have a summer reading list? If so, give us a title or two.

I'm a reader and always have a general list of -to be read- books going, not specific to the summer season. I don't purposely read anything that falls under the heading of 'beach read' because I prefer meatier stuff. Not that all beach reads are light, but I think it's fair to say most are, and that's generally not my cup of tea. 

I'm currently reading The Dutch House by Ann Patchett and it's good so far.  Next up American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins and The Huntress by Kate Quinn. 

5. Share with us one rose and one thorn from your weekend.

No daughters in the house on Father's Day, no grandsons either which would be my thorn. However we are masters of FaceTime and making the most of what technology has to offer when it comes to communicating long distance, so it was still a mostly rosy weekend. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Artist John Marshall makes cardboard cutouts and sets them against sunsets and it is so cool. Check them out by clicking the link here.



Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 374

While it sometimes feels like time is standing still Wednesdays sure do roll around fast! Here are the questions to this week's Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then hop back here tomorrow to share answers with the universe. See you there!


1. This time last year where were you?

2. In honor of National Pink Day (June 23rd) tell us your favorite pink food or beverage. Was it on the menu at your house yesterday? Do you like to wear the color pink? If we came to visit would we find this color in your home decor? Blush-fuschia-salmon-raspberry-your favorite shade of pink?

3. Stop and smell the roses, looking through rose colored glasses, a rose by any other name, not all moonlight and roses, no rose without a thorn...which rosy saying currently fits your life in some way? Explain.

4. Are you a 'reader'? Do you tend to read lighter books in the summer months? Do you have a summer reading list? If so, give us a title or two.

5. Share with us one rose and one thorn from your weekend.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, June 22, 2020

The Sweetness of Summer

Hello Friends! And strangers stopping by too. It's Monday and it's officially summer and it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. While the world feels more salty-less sweet these days, there is always sweetness to be found. Today I choose to see it. 

Sweetness is found in red ripe tomatoes on the vine-


In a friend saying come pick blueberries we've got a yard full and so you do-


It's Father's Day and you bake a blueberry pie because it's his favorite and because there is so much sweetness in a dad who loves his daughters well-



There is sweetness in an early morning kayak with a little brown dog in tow-


Always the first one ready to go-


But there's a whole lot of sweetness in the way he runs headlong into everything he does-


The boat captain is pretty sweet-


Except when he's salty. Ha! Hi hubs! Sunshine, a boat ride, and lunch in a cooler eaten side by each on a deserted island in the middle of the lake can be pretty sweet too.

And I think there's a special sort of sweetness to a soft summer rain-


Sweetness spills over in Facetime chats with daughters calling to say I love you Dad. In an almost three-year-old grandson grinning great big as he shouts 'Happy Favers Day!!' across the miles.

In the gift and beauty of each new day.


In choosing joy, not complaint. In choosing peace not rancor. In counting blessings not 'things I wanna be mad about'. In harsh words left unspoken and kind words spilled instead.

This weekend I was part of a virtual reunion via Zoom. Friends from long ago days spent as summer camp counselors on Maryland's Eastern shore. It was sweet. The then and the now. As I was writing this post the simple words to a grace we used to sing before meals kept rolling through my brain...

'For health and strength and daily bread we praise Thy name O Lord...'

Sweetness abounds and today I choose to see it. 

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Thursday Thirteen Anniversary Edition

It's Thursday and every Thursday I try to post a list of 13 somethings. I like to keep it light because I think we've all had enough heavy to last us a while, and since hubs and I celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary on Tuesday I'm going with an anniversary theme here today.

1. We celebrated at home. It was 65 degrees and windy and we both said it felt more like October than June. We discussed all the rigamarole involved in dining out someplace but in the end decided there's no place like home. Good thing because we've surely spent a lot of time there this year. 

2. There are some wonderful restaurants in the nearby small big city, but it's a bit of a drive and there's that whole pandemic thing which puts a damper on the mood, plus none of those spots offer a better view than our own backyard so home it was.


3. Hubs grilled a filet to perfection and we toasted to another year of married life with a glass or two of Schramsberg. Then we scooped everything up and ate inside because it was too cold and windy to dine al fresco. In June. 

Crazy but crazy is the name of the game in 2020. Fun fact-Schramsberg is known as the White House champagne because it has been served in the White House by every President since Nixon. 

4. Speaking of the White House, we spent our very first anniversary as husband and wife in Washington D.C. Hubs keeps this picture handy to show people when they want to see a picture of his wife. 


They're not confused at all when they meet me in person. Ha! 

Takeaway from Anniversary #1-you'll grow older, wiser, and grayer but three+ decades on you'll  look at your spouse and still see the boy/girl you married. 

5. We talked about some of our other anniversaries and a few stood out. We spent anniversary #5 dining in a fancy frou frou place in NYC. We were living in North Jersey and had a little bitty daughter at home. My parents drove up from South Jersey to babysit so we could have a fun night out in the Big Apple. 

What hubs and I both remember about that particular anniversary is not so much the dinner, but more how we thought we were going to die in the cab ride to the restaurant. True story. The driver was an absolute maniac and I have never traveled that fast in a vehicle in the middle of any city as I did that night. But hey, we lived to tell the tale so there's that. 

Takeaway from Anniversary #5-always wear your seatbelt. 

6. We spent our 20th at an 8th grade graduation. Woohoo! Good times! Sixty students from approximately 15 different countries crying their eyes out as they bid farewell to friends leaving England for their home countries or other new adventures. 

Takeaway from Anniversary #20-anything can be fun if you're with the one you love

7. Our 24th found us dining at the very elegant Cliveden House, enjoying every morsel of a meal that would make my list of top ten best meals I've ever eaten. Cliveden is where Meghan Markle spent the night before her wedding and it's dreamy. Remember Meghan Markle? 

Takeaway from Anniversary #24-your shared experiences in far away places will cement you togther in a way very few things can for ever and ever amen.

8. Of course sometimes it's elegance and sometimes it's raw real life. The very next year we marked 25 years as man and wife in a lawyers office in Northern NJ, signing the 101 documents you need to sign to call a house your home.

We were mid-move, settling back stateside after a few years across the pond, and were living in a hotel while we waited on our belongings to cross the ocean and clear customs.  

Takeaway from anniversary #25-there are a lot of mundane tasks and boring paperwork in the world of adulting. Also, memories are precious but new chapters are good too. 

9. I do know over the course of our married life we've spent at least a couple in two different geographical locations. Anniversary #27 found me home alone in NJ while hubs partied it up in India.  


Not really. He was working, but the hotel staff posed for some pics with the gorgeous flowers on display to help us mark the day. 

Take away from #27-you don't have to be physically near to be close in heart. 

10. I do know we spent #30 on a fun trip to Portugal. One of our most fun anniversaries ever filled with so many of our favorite things...dear friends, wonderful food and wine, travel, new cities, new places, adventure, and bling. 


Takeaway from Anniversay #30-friends add to the richness of life. 

11. So how did we top that in year #31? Back to raw real life, surrounded by boxes as we packed up the house from anniversary #25 and headed south. 


Take away from Anniversary #31-life is full of change. Learn to embrace it. 

12. And then five years flew by and here we are. Something like that. My point is, it really doesn't matter where we are or how we mark the day or even if we mark the day, although we always do. The calendar turns and what matters is we're still sitting side by each in the roller coaster cart of life, saying hold my hand...I'm glad it's you...I love you, forgive you, need you, like you, bug you, want you, am glad you're mine. 

Take away from a long married life-those vows were not cliche. They paint a pretty accurate picture of what marriage will be...better and worse, richer and poorer, sickness and health...it's all of those things at one time or another so keep honoring the vows you made. 

36 years and we still haven't figured out the selfie.


Anniversary 2020 feels like it should come with a Public Service Announcement- Hey kids! Marry someone you love but also like, because someday you might find yourself in the middle of a global pandemic at home together for 98 days and counting and you're not even mad about it because you married someone you love and also like. 

Happy Weekend Everyone! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Lovin' The Hodgepodge!

Welcome to summer (almost) and another edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge! If you've answered this week's questions add your link at the end of my post. Be sure to jump over and say hey to the blogger linking before you because everybody's cleaned up for company on Hodgepodge day. Here we go-

1. Saturday marks the first official day of summer! Whoohoo! Your favorite thing about the season?

We have had some delightfully cooler weather aka no humidity these past couple days and if summer could be humidity free I'd be happy. Here in the Palmetto State summer is the opposite of humidity free so long story long, not the weather. Did you ask what I don't love about summer? No? Oops.

Longer daylight is what I love most about summertime. 

2. Love it!, labor of love, not for love or money, no love lost, love handles, love does, love-hate relationship, misery loves company, tough love, love will find a way...pick one and tell us how it applies to your life right now.

Hubs and I celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary yesterday, so I'm going with love does. I love words more than the average person, but love is also an action that needs to be expressed in a thousand large and small gestures over the course of a long and happy marriage. 

3. What's one thing currently causing you to seethe? One thing currently making you smile?

I don't like to write about what makes me seethe here, but I will for the sake of answering this question. Also, just one thing? There is much to seethe about in 2020 but I'm going with this- 

Throngs of people protesting, sharing the same bullhorn, shouting, also sitting in tightly packed venues to attend the funeral of someone they did not know even a little bit. In the meantime Joe Citizen was denied the chance to say goodbye or hold the hand of the one person they held most dear in the world as that person drew their last breath. 

Mothers, spouses, sisters, and more died alone save for some blessed healthcare worker because people followed guidelines set forth by the medical community, but in literally one flip of the calendar page, it was suddently okay for thousands to gather?

Let's shift gears and think happy thoughts...what makes me smile? My grandsons-


Always my grandsons-


4.Of the following to-dos found on a summer checklist (here) which three would definitely make your personal list of summer want-to-dos?

roast marshmallows over a fire, go berry or peach picking, dangle your feet off the end of a dock, sit on a porch swing, watch the sunset from a beach, nap in a hammock, go barefoot in the grass collect seashells, play tennis, go fishing, build a sandcastle, catch fireflies, eat a soft serve ice cream cone, make a pitcher of Sangria, swim in a lake, stargaze, ride a bike, paddle a canoe or kayak, make a summer road trip, throw a frisbee


I will definitely swim in a lake, paddle a kayak, and stargaze. 

Do you make an actual list?

Not usually. I live on a lake and most of the activities listed are part of everyday life here in the summertime. Now I always have a travel list, but that has been set aside, temporarily I hope. 

5.Thursday is National Splurge Day. What might you splurge on in order to celebrate?

Perhaps that soft serve ice cream cone?

6. Insert your own random thought here.


Happy Father's Day to my hubs who was made to be a girl dad xo


Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 373

It's that time again, which means I'm here with our questions for this week's Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then hop back to this space on Wednesday and share answers with all the other stay-at-homers. Non-stay-at-homers too. See you there-



1. Saturday marks the first official day of summer! Whoohoo! Your favorite thing about the season?

2. Love it!, labor of love, not for love or money, no love lost, love handles, love does, love-hate relationship, misery loves company, tough love, love will find a way...pick one and tell us how it applies to your life right now.

3. What's one thing currently causing you to seethe? One thing currently making you smile?

4. Of the following to-dos found on a summer checklist (here) which three would definitely make your personal list of summer want-to-dos?

roast marshmallows over a fire, go berry or peach picking, dangle your feet off the end of a dock, sit on a porch swing, watch the sunset from a beach, nap in a hammock, go barefoot in the grass, collect seashells, play tennis, go fishing, build a sandcastle, catch fireflies, eat a soft serve ice cream cone, make a pitcher of Sangria, swim in a lake, stargaze, ride a bike, paddle a canoe or kayak, make a summer road trip, throw a frisbee

Do you make an actual list?

5. Thursday is National Splurge Day. What might you splurge on in order to celebrate?

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Still 2020

Hello. It's Monday, and the world is still a bit too loud. A bit too 2020. What's a blogger to do? I like my quiet cozy space here, but a part of me would love to throw down some words too. Literally throw.them.down. because everything feels pretty ugly online and words are thrown now instead of thoughtfully set in place.

We have a couple of big fat crows that swoop into the tall trees at the edge of our property now and then and they make so much racket you cannot possibly ignore them. When I hear them I step outside and clap my hands as loud as I can and yell shoo! shoo! because their CAW-CAW-CAWing makes my ears bleed. 

That's what the world sounds like right now. 
A bunch of crows. 

And I hear all the noise and I think of my beautiful grandboys living half a world away with their innocent eyes and their curious minds and I pray for healing and peace, for a return to common courtesy, and a kinder, more gentle world. 

Dear Mancub and Darling Baby Brother, 

It's 2020 and I wonder what you'll be told about this year one day. I wonder what your history books will record or if you'll even have a history book? Will there be any words on a page or any visible reminders of all this country has gone through to get to whatever year it is now? 

There are some things I want to tell you that might not make it into your 'history book'. 

I want you to know that God is God. That nothing we humans do in the year 2020 or since the dawn of time has ever surprisd Him. I'm sure we've caused Him sorrow the likes of which we cannot fathom, yet still He created and loves every single person on planet Earth. 

I used to sing a song to your mama and your aunt when they were young, one my mama (your great grandmother Mema) used to sing to me...'Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.'...and He does.

He loves the big ones too

I want you to know little men, that you're smart. That God gives us brains so we can think for ourselves, and while jumping on bandwagons is a very popular thing to do in 2020 I hope you'll always use your brain before deciding which side of a line you want to plant your words and actions on. 

I hope you know it's okay to have opinions and it's also okay not to share all of them with everybody everywhere. 

It's not okay not to vote, but it is okay not to tell people how you voted. 

It's never okay to be disrespectful. I want to go on a little rant here but then I remembered I don't want to be a crow so will leave it at that. 

Nobody likes a whiner and in 2020 people whine like it's their job. Judgey judgeyness is off the charts but what people need now and what they will always need are grace, compassion, and second chances. Be the one who gives that. 

Be kind in word and deed. 

One of my most referred to verses in all of the Bible is found in Proverbs 10:19 "When words are many transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent." 

When I'm tempted to rant at the universe I try to remember this verse. It's something I'm still working on, but I'm telling you now so you'll have a head start. 

Kindness and compassion are what change hearts and minds, not sanctimonious Facebook postings, burning down cities you have to work and live in, or hurling insults and slapping labels on people you know next to nothing about. Pretty sure this will always be true. 

In 2020 it feels like we're expected to be serious every minute of every day, but the world is heavy and we all need relief. It's good to find humor where humor can be found, to have an honest to goodness belly laugh now and then, to smile and discover people smile back. Or not, but smile anyway.  

Keep your hearts merry and know you are not living in this time and this place by happenstance. 


Know too that in 2020 your Nana loves you as deep as the ocean and as big as the sky.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Five Minutes of How

I have lots of thoughts about lots of things, but the world is so loud and so angry and so completely bonkers right now that I decided instead of launching into a rant I might regret I'd hop on the Five Minute Friday bandwagon. Happy Friday! Let's keep it that way, k? 

For those who are unfamiliar with how FMF works, here's the deal-

Tell your inner critic to hush then write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word. Then hop over to our hostesss with the mostest (Kate Motaung), and add your link to the party. Be sure and leave a comment for the writer who linked before you, because a little bit of kindness goes a long way. 

Today's prompt-how

When I saw today's prompt my first thought was something like how do I love thee...let me count the ways. For real. Let me count the ways. 


Hubs and I will celebrate another year of wedded mostly bliss on Tuesday, so one for every year feels about right. Also we've been married a long time so it's a long list and took more than five minutes to create. 

And now in no particular order here's the how-

  1. You're still funny, still make me laugh even when I don't want to laugh. 
  2. Especially when I don't want to laugh
  3. You vacuum. Should this have been in the #1 spot? Perhaps. 
  4. You grill a steak just the way I like it
  5. You read what I write and love it because I wrote it
  6. Still the best D.J. I know
  7. Still grab me for a dance around the kitchen 
  8. Still waterski like you're 25-ish
  9. Look at me like I'm 25-ish
10. Know a lot of useless but interesting random trivia
11. You love your girls
12. your grandboys
13. are the best Pawpaw I know
14. You push encourage me to try new things
15. Make friends everywhere you go
16. Love people
17. Love the great outdoors
18. Pull the covers back and stack my pillows just the way I like them every single night. 
19. Share my love of porch sittin'
20. Sunday naps
21. sunset cruises
22. You always have a to-do list
23. Actually check things off your to-do list 
24. Ask what's on my to-do list 
25. You love American history
26. all things space-sky-star related
27. your MG
28. a good haircut
29. me by your side
30. A dog is still your best friend
31. You obsess over every single blade of grass in the yard or a single stray leaf on the driveway
32. You cook a mean omelette
33, Are on board with a good road trip
34. Make sure there's chocolate-raspberry cake on my birthday
35. Let me sleep with the fan on in the dead of winter 
36. Are still the one

Happy Anniversary hubs...oh how the years roll by...

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Saying Yes To The Hodgepodge

Welcome to this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. When I resurrected this mid-week random twelve weeks ago I wasn't sure how it would feel. It's been fun reconnecting with so many familar faces, and I also enjoy having something I can count on for Wednesday content. Thanks for playing along!

Also, twelve weeks?!? I guess that old saying is true-'Time flies when you're home all day every day for months on end.' Something like that. If you've answered today's questions add your link at the end of my post, then leave a comment for the blogger linking before you. Here we go-

1. Last thing you said yes to? Did you regret it?

'Do you still live at xyz?' A question asked by the poll worker when we voted on Tuesday. Everyone was masked and gloved and appropriately distanced so voting in person was easy peasy. It was primary day in SC and they always verify your address when you sign in. Do I regret it? No.

For the record she didn't say xyz.

2. No big deal, no contest, no dice, no hard feelings, no ifs ands or buts, no kidding, no offense, no pain no gain, no way...choose one and tell us how it applies to your life currently.

This world needs Jesus. No kidding. 

3. Thursday June 11th is National Making Life Beautiful Day...in this strange season how are you adding beauty to your days/life?

I'm spending a lot of time on the covered porch. I watch the birds, marvel at the way sunlight dances on the water, and count the stars in the starry night sky. It's also my most favorite place to nap and I would argue there is great beauty in a good nap. 

4. According to an article found here, these six foods taste better in June than at any other time of the year-strawberries, asparagus, peas, peaches, beets, and garlic. How many of these have you tasted so far this month? Anything on the list you'd say 'no thank you' to trying? Rearrange the list starting with your favorite (1) to your least favorite (6).

I like everything on the list, so none requiring a no thank you. It's a tough list to rank (didn't I say last week food questions are the hardest?), but if I'm pressed I'd go with-

1. Peaches
2. garlic
3. strawberries
4. beets
5. peas
6.asparagus

I've had peaches, garlic, strawberries, and peas so far this month. 

5. Describe your current mood in three words.

full (after dinner Hodgepodging), tired (long day) confused (what to do or not do in this weird season)

6. Insert your own random thought here.


My mother-in-law has been with us for a bit and we took a sunset cruise Sunday evening. 


Talk about adding beauty to your life. 



I highly recommend. 



Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 372

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


1. Last thing you said yes to? Did you regret it?

2. No big deal, no contest, no dice, no hard feelings, no ifs ands or buts, no kidding, no offense, no pain no gain, no way...choose one and tell us how it applies to your life currently.

3. Thursday June 11th is National Making Life Beautiful Day...in this strange season how are you adding beauty to your days/life?

4. According to an article found here, these six foods taste better in June than at any other time of the year-strawberries, asparagus, peas, peaches, beets, and garlic. How many of these have you tasted so far this month? Anything on the list you'd say 'no thank you' to trying? Rearrange the list starting with your favorite (1) to your least favorite (6).

5. Describe your current mood in three words.

6. Insert your own random thought here.