Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Tidings Of Hodgepodge Joy

Yep. Still here. Still hodgepodging while we wait for the world to regain some sense of normalcy. It's been fun to reconnect with so many of you who I knew only through this weekly link up. Thank you for making Wednesdays in 2020 merry and bright. 

If you've answered this week's questions add your link at the end of my post. It's nice to leave a comment for the blogger linking before you too... 'tis the season...

Here we go-

From this Side of the Pond

1. Here we are entering the last month of the year 2020. 2020!! Every year The Oxford English Dictionary publishing team chooses a word that captures the general mood of the year we're leaving behind, or the one word that will leave a lasting impact on the world at large. This year they needed sixteen words in order to cover the whole enchilada. 

While two of the other major dictionaries selected pandemic as their word of the year, Oxford came up with a long list including-bushfire, impeachment, acquittal, coronavirus, COVID-19, lockdown, social distancing, reopening, Black Lives Matter, Cancel Culture, BIPOC, mail-in, belarusian, moonshot, net zero (read more about each word here)

Of the words listed which ONE would you say should be in the number 1 spot? Which word/phrase on this list would you be happy to never hear again? 

If I have to pick one for the top of the list I'm going with coronavirus. I know we tend to call it COVID these days, but corona was how the virus was first known, and how I think of it still. 

The second part of this question is easier than the first. Which word would I be happy to never hear again? I choose D) all of the above.  If pressed I'm going to say the phrase 'social distancing' grates, but the actual concept of 'cancel culture' really grates. 

2. What one word from your own list of words describing this year sums up/best reflects your 2020? Tell us why. 

Trust. 

Wait I need two words. 

Trust and control. 

If this year has taught us anything it's how little we control. We know this, but we live our lives as if we're running the show until BAM! some crazy virus turns the universe on it's ear. So very many unknowns all these months later, and we struggle with the not knowing maybe most of all. 

When I look back over my life I can see it has always been during times of great stress, change, and disappointment that God reminds me He is faithful. I can trust that what surprises me does not surprise Him.  While it sometimes feels the world is spinning like a top He's got this. 

The pause this strange year has ushered into our normal routines and busy-ness was a fresh reminder He's the One in control. The One who changes seasons, tells the ocean where to stop, and commands the morning to appear knows all about what's been and what's to come. And He is trustworthy. 

3. Do you like peppermint? Peppermint mocha, a candy cane, peppermint bark, peppermint tea, York Peppermint Pattie, peppermint ice cream...of the peppermint treats listed, which one is your favorite? Will you bake anything featuring peppermint this holiday season? 

I do like peppermint, in moderation of course. I never cared for the flavor as a child, but in recent years it has become one of my holiday favorites. Of the peppermint treats listed I'm going to choose the ice cream, especially if it's homemade. I bake a peppermint snowball that is made with crushed candy canes and they're one of my must-haves as far as Christmas cookies go. 

4. Besides Christmas, what do you associate the color red with? How about the color green?

I associate red with danger, a warning of sorts. The word STOP came instantly to mind. 

Green for me shouts the great outdoors and it's one of my favorite colors. 

5. Is your tree up? Real or artificial? Is your house decorated? Is your shopping done? Started? Wrapped? On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being Scrooge-like and 10 being Buddy the Elf, how's your Christmas spirit? 

Our trees are partially up. The ornaments are in place but the trees still need a few bells and whistles. My house is the same, but it's getting there. It normally takes me about a week to get things the way I want them in terms of decorating. Our trees are artificial this year, but we love a real one too. 

My shopping is not done but I'd say it's more than 50% complete which is typical for how I do Christmas. I've wrapped one present, something I sent home with my mother-in-law, so there is also a  lot of wrapping to be completed. 

How's my Christmas spirit? I'm at about a 5 right now, but once the boxes are put away it will be a notch or two higher. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Hubs says I post this song every year and he's right. The carol was never my favorite as a child, but this particular version is haunting and beautiful and has become one of my favorites. The lyrics are so timely, and could have been written in 2020 instead of 1863. 

May your hearts be full of peace and hope this Advent season-


Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 397

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. Here we are entering the last month of the year 2020. 2020!! Every year The Oxford English Dictionary publishing team chooses a word that captures the general mood of the year we're leaving behind, or the one word that will leave a lasting impact on the world at large. This year they needed sixteen words in order to cover the whole enchilada. 

While two of the other major dictionaries selected pandemic as their word of the year, Oxford came up with a long list including-bushfire, impeachment, acquittal, coronavirus, COVID-19, lockdown, social distancing, reopening, Black Lives Matter, Cancel Culture, BIPOC, mail-in, belarusian, moonshot, net zero (read more about each word here)

Of the words listed which ONE would you say should be in the number 1 spot? Which word/phrase on this list would you be happy to never hear again? 

2. What one word from your own list of words describing this year sums up/best reflects your 2020? Tell us why. 

3. Do you like peppermint? Peppermint mocha, a candy cane, peppermint bark, peppermint tea, York Peppermint Pattie, peppermint ice cream...of the peppermint treats listed, which one is your favorite? Will you bake anything featuring peppermint this holiday season? 

4. Besides Christmas, what do you associate the color red with? How about the color green? 

5. Is your tree up? Real or artificial? Is your house decorated? Is your shopping done? Started? Wrapped? On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being Scrooge-like and 10 being Buddy the Elf, how's your Christmas spirit? 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

A Hodgepodge Of Thanksgiving

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. Be sure to leave a comment for the blogger linking before you because everyone is grateful for comments. Here we go-

From this Side of the Pond
1. It's Thanksgiving week in the US of A so let's talk turkey. And by turkey I mean the elephant in the room because it's still 2020 and our blogs are a record of sorts of the times in which we live. 

Do you live in a state (or if you're outside the US, a country) that's instituted restrictions on the size of gatherings in your own home? What do we think about this? 

No I don't live in one of those states. I think its fine for health officials to offer recommendations about gatherings, but states saying fines will be issued and police will come knocking are in my opinion, overreaching. A lot. 

I'm not someone who thinks the virus is a hoax and hubs and I have made the decision to limit travel and group activity. We wear masks without complaining for shopping, hair cuts, and appointments. That being said cities are literally burning to the ground and we're going to send the police after families having Thanksgiving dinner together?

I find the current level of hypocrisy in our country to be mind-blowing. People can protest in the literal thousands, but businesses with social distancing measures in place can't open? Large scale funerals for the more well-known are celebrated but you can't sit beside a dying parent? Police cannot intervene in the rioting but can knock on your door if you have eleven people around your dining room table? 

This explains why at least one half of  the people in our country are so angry. Add to that all the social media scolding and shaming and it's no wonder the pot is boiling over. 

Personally I'm not in favor of shutting down the economy, and I think everyone needs to make the best decisions they can given their own particular circumstances. There are many factors that go into these decisions, a family members isolation and mental health being just one. Oftentimes these factors cannot be known or assessed from an online photograph or Facebook post so maybe less judgement of that would be a good place to start. 

Will some people make unwise decisions? Absolutely. I think we've learned after 200+ years as a nation, some things cannot be legislated. Most people I know are considerate of others and are trying their best to do the right thing for their circle of connection. God bless America, land of the free...

2. Let's move in a cheerier direction. Will there be corn on your holiday dinner menu? How so? Cornbread-corn pudding-corn chips and dip-cornbread dressing/stuffing-corn chowder-or regular canned, frozen or fresh corn in a bowl...which of the 'corns’ listed is your favorite? 

There will be corn pudding on our Thanksgiving table. Since my plan was to simplify the menu a bit I asked hubs and my mother-in-law what would be the one side dish they'd most like to have and my mother-in-law chose corn pudding. I normally make corn pudding for holiday meals only so I'm glad it's on the menu.  

Of the corns mentioned cornbread dressing would be tops on my list. It's another dish I only make at Thanksgiving and sometimes Christmas. 

3. What is there a cornucopia of in your home, job, or life currently? 

Cookie dough? I have buttercreams waiting to be dipped, chocolate crinkles waiting to be baked, and shortbread ingredients waiting to be mixed, rolled and decorated. 

4. Have you ever quit something (such as a habit, a food, a time-sucker, a relationship) cold turkey? Is there something you need to quit cold turkey? 

A while back I quit french fries cold turkey. I just decided they were something I did not need to eat and I quit eating them. I have fallen off the wagon a teensy bit, but am back at it.  I'm sure this is a ridiculous answer but it's the one that popped into my brain first so I'm going with it. 

5. Share a favorite verse, quote, saying, or song lyric relating to gratitude. 

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things."  Philippians 4:8

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

HappyThanksgiving Hodgepodgers! I'm grateful for our every Wednesday meet up...

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 396

Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then hop back here tomorrow to share answers with all the turkeys playing along. See you there!

1. It's Thanksgiving week in the US of A so let's talk turkey. And by turkey I mean the elephant in the room because it's still 2020 and our blogs are a record of sorts of the times in which we live. 

Do you live in a state (or if you're outside the US, a country) that's instituted restrictions on the size of gatherings in your own home? What do we think about this? (keep it classy folks)

2. Let's move in a cheerier direction. Will there be corn on your holiday dinner menu? How so? Cornbread-corn pudding-corn chips and dip-cornbread dressing/stuffing-corn chowder-or regular canned, frozen or fresh corn in a bowl...which of the 'corns’ listed is your favorite? 

3. What is there a cornucopia of in your home, job, or life currently? 

U4. Have you ever quit something (such as a habit, a food, a time-sucker, a relationship) cold turkey? Is there something you need to quit cold turkey? 

5. Share a favorite verse, quote, saying, or song lyric relating to gratitude. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Monday Morning Pre-Game Roundup

Good Monday morning! It's going to be a beautiful day here, the roofers are coming to start the re-shingling, my house is one part Thanksgiving, two parts Christmas, and there is so much to be grateful for as we head into this holiday season. 

Some of you are already there. Smack dab in the middle of full blown Christmas. I was watching an instagram story this morning and a young wife was stressing about 'only having her tree done' and nothing else and how she was feeling so behind. Dear mamas everywhere... it's November 23rd. If your house isn't picture perfect ready for Christmas right now you are NOT behind. 

The internet can make you feel all sorts of things that aren't true, right? 

Anyway, it's 2020 and I say if you're sipping eggnog round your fully decked out tree before Thanksgiving arrives, or if you opt to forgo any decorating at all this year, that is A-OK. If there's anything 2020 has taught me it's to focus on the heart of a thing and not the bells and whistles. 

A Saviour is born is the heart of the thing. 

Hubs picked up his mama yesterday and she's here spending Thanksgiving week with us. I'm not going to bother inserting the 2020 caveat that she's been home and we've been home and it's fine for us to be together. Except I guess I will mention it because someone will likely feel the need to comment on it if I don't. People have lost their minds over this virus and pretty much everything lately. 

I always really enjoy this week of Thanksgiving. There's a sense of anticipation drawing us into Advent, and family, no matter how large or how small, gathered round my dining room table is pretty much my favorite thing in the world. 

This week we'll work a holiday jigsaw puzzle, begin the Christmas baking, and decorate our tree. We'll set the table with the fancy china and feast on turkey with all the trimmings because that's what we enjoy. 

Also, maybe not all the trimmings. I'm trying to keep it a bit simpler since there's just the three of us here this year. And I'm also thinking I don't need to indulge in a carbpalooza with a wedding right around the corner. Just sayin'. 

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and while it's sometimes overlooked in the ever increasing chaotic frenzy of all things Christmas, I love this late November pause. I love this day that turns our hearts toward all we have, not what we don't. Toward home and food and family and finding much to be thankful for.

Yes even in 2020. 

Maybe especially in 2020.  

"For the beauty of the earth, For the beauty of the skies, For the love which from our birth, Over and around us lies, Lord of all to thee we raise, This our hymn of grateful praise."

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Happiest Hodgepodge On Earth

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

1. It's Mickey Mouse's birthday (November 18)...happy birthday Mickey! He reads here, right? Have you ever been to Disney, any of the parks at all? Are you a Disney superfan or something less than that? They're open right now so tell us, would you go if you had the time/money/a free trip?

I've been to Disney World and Disneyland Paris, but never Disneyland California. It's been a number of years since I've been to any of the parks, but hopefully when my grandsons are a bit older I'll have a chance to see the magic again through their eyes. I shared some of our Disney memories in a post linked here, and reading it back just now made me wish the world was normal, my grandkids weren't an ocean away, and a trip to Disney World was on the calendar. 

I enjoy the parks, but am not a superfan. I'm not someone who wants to go every year, but for sure wouldn't turn down a free trip either. And I soak it all up when I'm there. 

2. Your favorite place to go when you want to be quiet as a church mouse? Would those who know you well describe you as more churchmouse or perhaps more like mighty mouse? 

When I'm looking for quiet I head to one of our porches. This time of year especially the lake is quiet and I love the view, a fire in the fireplace or in the fire table, a blanket on my lap, and a good book. Or a good nap. Or both. 

As far as which mouse? I think I'm a bit of both. 

3. The day before Mickey's birthday happens to be National Homemade Bread Day. Did/will you celebrate? Do you bake your own bread? Last time you had hot out-of-the-oven homemade bread? What's your favorite kind of bread? 

I used to bake bread on a pretty regular basis, but not so much these days. I try not to eat a lot of bread. I had homemade hot-out-of-the-oven bread a little over a week ago. My neighbor brought me a loaf of her sourdough and it was scrumptious. I took half the loaf to my sister and brother-in-law because momma of the bride does not need to eat an entire loaf of homemade bread. ahem. 

My neighbor is going to bring me some starter and I'm excited to make my own sourdough loaves. I plan to wrap them up and share with friends and neighbors though because see paragraph above.  

It's hard to choose a favorite bread, but I do love a sandwich on rye. I might say my absolute favorite bread is homemade cinnamon, lightly toasted please.   

4. What's something you might say is 'the greatest thing since sliced bread'? 

Not to be a broken record here, but Facetime is pretty much the greatest thing since sliced bread. Maybe even better than sliced bread. 

5. Let's keep the gratitude theme we started last week rolling on through November. Share with us five little things you're grateful for today. Small blessings. One catch-they all must start with the letter T. Gotta keep us thinking, right? 

turning leaves
Thanksgiving memories
tiny handprints
afternoon tea 
a warning instead of a ticket

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Who's watching the newest season of The Crown? Your thoughts so far? I think the program is so well done, but I do wonder if the royals watch? And I wonder how accurate some of the Diana storyline is? If it's even close to accurate it's awfully sad. 

Also I miss England. 
Carry on.


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 395

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. It's Mickey Mouse's birthday (November 18)...happy birthday Mickey! He reads here, right? Have you ever been to Disney, any of the parks at all? Are you a Disney superfan or something less than that? They're open right now so tell us, would you go if you had the time/money/a free trip?

2. Your favorite place to go when you want to be quiet as a church mouse? Would those who know you well describe you as more churchmouse or perhaps more like mighty mouse? 

3. The day before Mickey's birthday happens to be National Homemade Bread Day. Did/will you celebrate? Do you bake your own bread? Last time you had hot out-of-the-oven homemade bread? What's your favorite kind of bread? 

4. What's something you might say is 'the greatest thing since sliced bread'? 

5. Let's keep the gratitude theme we started last week rolling on through November. Share with us five little things you're grateful for today. Small blessings. One catch-they all must start with the letter T. Gotta keep us thinking, right? 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Monday, November 16, 2020

Autumn In The Age Of Corona

How many times can I say it? This has been a weird hard year. For everyone. And it continues to be weird and hard. Also confusing, labyrinthine, and a little bit beautiful too. Cherry trees in November anyone? 

Even the landscape isn't sure what to do. 

So it blooms. It bursts forth out of season and reminds us we can too. This is Autumn in 2020. Cherry trees in bloom amidst the fiery golden hues of fall. 

Unexpected beauty tucked just beside the broken. 

Like 2020. 

Like always. 

One of the things I enjoy about my little corner of the internet is looking back at an event or a season written about here and seeing it from a new perspective. One of distance and hindsight and maybe less adrenaline than I felt when I first put pen to page. 

How will I remember 2020? What will stand out in my mind years from now when I read this blog and the snippets I've recorded from a year that's run amok? Will it all look and feel the same some years down the road? 

Will I remember the trees that fell and the dull brown landscape of one day rolling in to the next? 

 Or will I remember the small surprises of color that found a way to burst through? 

Autumn is my favorite season of the year for a few reasons, but mostly because it makes me mindful of things I want to be mindful of. I read somewhere that trees show us how beautiful it is to let things go, and autumn is the season we remember this is true. 

This year maybe more than any other in my lifetime has called for a lot of letting go. So many disappointments on both a small and grand scale. So much hurt and anger and a general sense of unease we try our best to tamp down but only sometimes succeed. 

I'm pretty sure years from now we'll remember the masks and the no toilet paper and washing our hands til they were raw, but I hope there's more. I hope when my grandchildren ask about this year I remember autumn. The season that shouts without saying a word. 

Look up she said, and so we did. 

                  

Through the icky dead browns and the fading yellows we found the sunlight was still there. 


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

11 on 11 In The Wednesday Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge! If you've served in our country's military or are the spouse of someone who has served I truly thank you. I hope you feel honored and appreciated every day, but especially so on this Veterans Day. 

Now on with the questions. Add your blog link with today's answers in the space at the end of my post. And please leave a comment for the blogger linking before you so everyone has a little company in their corner of the internet.  Here we go-

1. It's the 11th day of the 11th month and bloggers often make lists on days like today. Let's go with a list of eleven things you're feeling grateful for today.

daughters who stand firm in their faith, grandbabies who make me forget for a minute the troubles of this world, the colors of fall, insurance, nice neighbors, books, God's word, imagination, new mercies, time

2. What's something you decided to do or act on at the '11th hour'?  

Hmmm...I'm not really much of an '11th hour' operator. I am more of a let's plan weeks in advance and also have a plan B and maybe a plan C too.  I guess I'm often an 11th hour blogger-ha! As in let me just sit down for a minute and see what words happen. 

3.  Apparently the Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe contains 11 herbs and spices. What's a dish you make that calls for exactly eleven ingredients? Feel free to share the list and/or recipe. 

Well this question sent me on a ridiculous hunt through my most used 'shared recipe' cookbook and what I discovered is most of my recipes call for nine ingredients or fewer than six. My momma's enchilada recipe does list 11 ingredients as best I can determine. I have it written down in narrative form as opposed to a list so if I counted correctly it's eleven. 

It would be a lot to share here and not gonna lie, this recipe is super labor intensive. Hubs says I use every pot and pan in the house when I make them, but they're his absolute favorite thing. 

4. Something you remember about your 11-year old self? 

It was 1970-something which would have been the end of grade five and the start of grade 6. In the 'old days' 6th grade was the last year of elementary school before moving on to Junior High and I remember loving that year...my teacher, my friends, lots of fun experiences, one foot still planted happily in childhood, the other stepping tentatively into adolescence...

I found a couple of pictures from that year in a scrapbook my mom made me. That summer I turned 11 we traveled out west to visit my grandparents in Colorado and New Mexico. I'm the one in the middle with the ginormous smiley face button on my shirt, standing between my sisters. It was always exciting to make a big trip like this one. Families didn't travel the way they do now so this was a big deal to my 11-year old self, and to most kids I knew. 

Later that summer we took my sister to college. In Tennessee. A hop, skip and jump from where I'd eventually meet the hubs. Life is funny isn't it? 


Here I am in Maggie Valley NC, not far from where I live now, wearing what we used to call 'hot pants' and now I guess would be called just plain old shorts. Hot pants were short shorts which in 1970-something earned them a name all their own. There's Adidas on my feet and my very own camera, the kind that needed flashcubes for indoor picture taking, hanging in my hand. I don't even know what to say about those skinny legs, except I promise my mom fed me very well. 

Sidebar-I look so much like my own daughter here it kind of makes my heart beat fast. Hey Daughter2...I bet my momma said the words 'too leggy' when I walked down the stairs in a short skirt too. 

Mostly I remember this year as one of carefree innocence. I grew up knowing I was loved. 

5. The 11th of November is Veterans Day in the US of A. This is a day to honor those who have served their country in war or peace-dead or alive-although according to the government's website it's largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices. 

Memorial Day is when we honor military personnel who died in service to their country. 

Share a thought relating to Veterans Day or tell us something about a Veteran you know-love-admire. 

I have many friends who are veterans, I'm the daughter of a career Marine, and I have a son-in-law currently serving in the US Army so I guess you could say this day feels very much worth the pause. I honestly don't think a lot of people in this land I love recognize the quiet sacrifices made every single day on their behalf and I find that disheartening. 

Hubs and I watched a movie over the weekend called The 12th Man. It had subtitles but was so good we didn't care. It's based on the true story of a Norwegian man named Jan Baalsrud, who was a commando in the Norwegian resistance trained by the British in WW2.  It's the story of bravery, fortitude, and survival, but also the courage of those who helped him along the way. It's the story of selflessness, sacrifice, and truly doing something for the greater good of humanity. It's a far cry from what's happening in our cities today. 

I'll hush now. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

We went to church in person this past Sunday, our first 'live' service since March. We had to reserve a spot ahead of time, wear a mask, sit spaced apart, doors were wide open, and there was no singing along, but still it was wonderful to be back in the building. 

Afterwards we went to brunch with friends which felt almost like the good old days. 

Almost.


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 394

It's kinda like Groundhog's Day around here on Tuesdays-ha! Here are the questions for this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog then hop back tomorrow to add your link to the list. See you there...

1. It's the 11th day of the 11th month and bloggers often make lists on days like today. Let's go with a list of eleven things you're feeling grateful for today.

2. What's something you decided to do or act on at the '11th hour'?  

3.  Apparently the Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe contains 11 herbs and spices. What's a dish you make that calls for exactly eleven ingredients? Feel free to share the list and/or recipe. 

4. Something you remember about your 11-year old self? 

5. The 11th of November is Veterans Day in the US of A. This is a day to honor those who have served their country in war or peace-dead or alive-although according to the government's website it's largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices. 

Memorial Day is when we honor military personnel who died in service to their country. 

Share a thought relating to Veterans Day or tell us something about a Veteran you know-love-admire. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Five Minutes of Ahead

Haven't participated in Five Minute Friday in a while, but here's the deal-write for five minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word. Link back to Five Minute Friday, and leave an encouraging comment for the person who linked before you. For the record overthinking is always the hardest part for me, but here we go-

Today's prompt-ahead

I looked back this week at my blog from a year ago to answer a question asked in the Wednesday Hodgepodge, a link-up I host on From This Side Of The Pond. In looking back I realized this time last year we were around the world meeting our newest grandson.


Who turned one year old just a few days ago. 


In the middle of a chaotic US election cycle, with everyone masked and scrubbed like we're all prepping for surgery. 

Raise your hand if you're glad we couldn't see what lay ahead. 

If you're glad God gives us life one day at a time. Grateful He grants grace for the day and instructs us not to worry about tomorrow. About what's ahead. 

He doesn't say do nothing but He does say do not worry. Over and over again we're reminded He alone knows the end from the beginning. Knows how this election will go and how tomorrow and all the days after will go too. Some call even saying that privilege and I'm going to disagree. God's love is irrespective of race, gender, ethnicity, and political party affiliation. It's for every single person on planet earth. 

I have to wonder how different our country would look today if Christians, particularly those with large platforms, had encouraged and prayed for our current president as hard as they've criticized and complained? 

Tomorrow is another day, and the very big problems of this world are likely with us still. 

New mercies too, because He promised.  

And so we forge ahead. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Peace And Quiet In The Hodgepodge

Happy Wednesday everyone! So glad you stopped by for a little mid-week break and to share your answers to this week's random. If you've answered today's questions add your link at the end of my post, then leave a comment for the blogger before you. Kindness always counts and the world needs more of it. Here we go- 

From this Side of the Pond

1. How do you define peace? 

Not to be cliche, but if the shoe fits...No Jesus, no peace-know Jesus, know peace. That pretty much sums it up for me. 

2. November 3rd is Election Day in the US of A, but did you know it's also National Sandwich Day? Let's vote, shall we? egg salad or tuna salad? chicken salad or grilled chicken on a bun? peanut butter and jelly or a bagel with cream cheese? turkey and swiss or ham and cheddar? grilled cheese or pimento cheese? roast beef-corned beef-or make mine veggie? 

Hardest question of the day. Egg salad, chicken salad, a 'real' bagel please (it's the Jersey girl in me), ham and cheese, grilled cheese on a winter's day and pimento all the rest, roast beef if it's in the form of a French Dip, otherwise corned beef.

Giving myself a high five for not overthinking this one. 

3. When did you last say (or feel) 'no rest for the weary'

I think I feel this most evenings as I wrap up things like putting away the last of the dishes, folding anything left in the dryer, prepping the coffee for the morning...there is always one more thing isn't there? 

4. This time last year, where were you? 

South Korea. To be more precise I was enjoying a beautiful blue sky day in a gorgeous park beside the water with hubs, my daughter, son-in-law, the mancub, and the newest member of our family just six days old. 

It feels like a million years ago. Hmmm...I think this will be it's own blog post, so stay tuned. 

5. Share a favorite song, verse, or quote featuring the word 'peace'. 

Sometimes the songs from my childhood are so comforting. In this season of exhausting conflict and turmoil every which way you turn, I go back to one of my old camp favorites...'I've got peace like a river, I've got peace like a river, I've got peace like a river in my soul..."

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I write my answers to the Hodgepodge on Tuesdays so I can get the link up early every Wednesday. I don't know how this election day will go but no matter the results I will wake up Wednesday and be grateful for the gift of another day. I will go about the ordinary business of living because my hope for this nation and for my own future and that of my children and grandchildren is not found in any presidential candidate, political pundit, or online pontificator. 

One of my favorite hymns-



Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 393

It's time to ask the weekly Wednesday Hodgepodge questions. Come on in...it's a friendly space. Answer the questions on your own blog, then hop back here tomorrow to add your link to the party.  See you there!

From this Side of the Pond

1. How do you define peace? 

2. November 3rd is Election Day in the US of A, but did you know it's also National Sandwich Day? Let's vote, shall we? egg salad or tuna salad? chicken salad or grilled chicken on a bun? peanut butter and jelly or a bagel with cream cheese? turkey and swiss or ham and cheddar? grilled cheese or pimento cheese? roast beef-corned beef-or make mine veggie? 

3. When did you last say (or feel) 'no rest for the weary'

4. This time last year, where were you? 

5. Share a favorite song, verse, or quote featuring the word 'peace'. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 


Friday, October 30, 2020

Zeta'd

Well it's been quite a day. And by day I mean year, right? 

Thursday morning situation.

UGH!

Also yowza! And oh crud! and possibly a few other choice words which I will leave to your imagination. 

Of course I need to also say whew! and thank goodness! for the place and the time and the fact that exactly five minutes prior I happened to notice hubs car had been left out overnight and he dodged the rain to pull it into the garage. 

For the record hubs never leaves his car out. 

The tree hit the garage/attic end of the house where nobody lives and where nothing is stored, and nobody was injured although the sound of this big boy striking the house may have taken a few years off my life. 

The tree is actually on our neighbor's property and was perfectly healthy. It doesn't take much to blow a pine to the ground (or onto a roof) and we had crazy winds courtesy of Zeta.

I have been on a bit of a news boycott so hadn't heard anything about the storm until late Wednesday. My daughter2 who is several states away mentioned her SC teacher friends said school would be virtual on Thursday due to bad weather. 

Hmmm. Bad weather? Maybe I better tune in? So I turned on the news and still wasn't overly concerned but we did pull in loose pots and moved the porch furniture back and took all the normal precautions just in case. The winds were nuts and the lake neighborhoods looked like a war zone on Thursday with so many downed trees, power outages, and boats and docks on the loose or damaged (not ours!)

Shout out to my hubs the squeaky wheel which in all honesty can sometimes be annoying, but in this case got the job done. The tree fell around seven am, and he managed to have the tree guy in the driveway by nine. They had to wait for the crane because did I say ugh? It's never good to need a crane is it? 

Anyway, super super nice people who got the job done and they work within a network so also had the roofer there to put up tarps immediately after, which people tell us is a minor miracle. Then the guys came back this morning to finish the clean up, and we're on the schedule with the insurance adjuster a few days from now. 

Hubs and I are currently in the local Starbucks charging devices and making up for all the coffee we didn't drink yesterday because we're on day 2 of no power which is only a hair less aggravating than a tree through your roof. 

Did I have two neighbors over for happy hour yesterday afternoon? Why yes, yes I did. We sat out on our porch and it was a happy distraction from storm damage and insurance claims and basically the year 2020. 



So what's new with you? 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Let The Wild Rumpus Begin

Or maybe I should say continue because 2020 man. It's been a doozy. But here comes Pollyanna with the silver lining...

This little guy is officially ONE. 

I asked my daughter to send me a photo for my blog because that's what you do when you're 7000+ miles away. When I saw this I immediately thought of the little boy in the beloved children's book Where The Wild Things Are. 

And just like that baby brother has a blog name. Max. 

Max is not his real life name, but with the crown and the grin and the twinkle in his eye Max it is. 

Dear Max-

One year ago today Pawpaw and I were in the Land of Morning Calm. South Korea. Your birthplace. We arrived two days prior and were so thankful God chose today to be your birthday and not two days earlier or a week sooner, because we made it. Today is the perfect day for a birthday. One year ago your parents made the hour plus trek to the hospital where you were born knowing we were at home with your big brother. 

God's timing is everything little one and that is as true for me as it is your precious one-year old self. 

We are so grateful for those first weeks with you in our arms because what we didn't know then was a virus would sweep across the continents and we'd spend much of the first year of your life dousing ourselves with hand sanitizer, wearing masks, and not going anywhere, including South Korea. 

Nothing that happens in this world is a surprise to the One who made it. When life feels off kilter, uncertain, a little scary even, rest in His unfailing love. 

Your mama has been wonderful to keep us connected in the way we connect in 2020-Facetime. She normally calls when you're waking up and it's yesterday here and it's all a bit upside down but we hear her ringtone and we brace for cuteness. 

You never disappoint. 

You've gone from super snuggly newborn to squishy faced grinning baby to a running, laughing, let me get into my brother's favorite toys while he's not looking, little boy in a quick twelve months. 

You smile and clap and put your head on mama's shoulder and you make even the dreariest of days shine with the white hot sunlight of a summer afternoon. 

We love you baby 'Wheel'. You've brought love and joy into a year filled with conflict and confusion and you fill a space in our family that was waiting just for you.  

Know when you look at the stars I see them too. That God's grand design is so original, so spectacular in it's creation that you are with me even when you're far away. That my love for you is deeper than the ocean between us and not a single day goes by I don't give thanks for this day. 

The one that gave us you. 

xo Nana xo

"Stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Let all that you do be done in love." 
1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Boo! It's The Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge, our last one in the month of October. Somehow time is flying while also standing still. Anyone else feel the same? Let's move on...if you've answered this week's questions add your link at the end of my post. And before you run off leave a comment for the blogger linking before you because comments are a treat and this is the week for them. 


From this Side of the Pond

1. Boo, boo-hoo, make a boo-boo, boo(ze)...pick one and tell us how it relates to life lately. 

I'll say boo-boo. A couple of weeks ago the registration and sticker for hubs little red car came in the mail. He keeps the car covered because he doesn't drive it all that often so I took the paperwork down to the office to put with the insurance card. I thought I was being helpful putting the two items together so he could just grab them next time he went out to the car. 

My desk was a mess though and I went into a bit of a cleaning/shredding frenzy and oops, somehow I shredded the registration and sticker. Bother. Turns out when you misplace/lose/shred your documents you have to turn up in person at the DMV for a replacement. Double bother. 

2. Do you like the color orange? Would we find this color in your home? Your wardrobe? Peach-pumpkin-tangerine...your favorite shade of the three listed? 

I love the color orange. I live in Clemson Tiger country so there's a lot of it around, plus we're Tennessee Vol fans so orange pretty much rules the day in terms of our sports teams. I do wear orange, more tangerine than peach or pumpkin and that's probably my favorite of the shades listed. 

Would you find it in my home?


Um, yes. 

This is in the bar, but I also have some orange throw pillows in various shades on my sofas. Our cabinet maker crafted the giant T for us, and we even tracked down the authentic Tennessee orange to make it legit. 

Also, hubs has a smallish bourbon collection. ahem. 

3. October 28th is National Chocolate Day. What's the last chocolate something you tasted? On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being out of this world delicious, how would you rate it? 

Conveniently I just had a small bite of a chocolate cookie Daughter2 brought home from her girls weekend. They came from a bakery called Crumbl which I think is a chain although we don't have one in tiny town. It was a 10. 

4. Life is like a box of chocolates or so says Forrest Gump's mama. Would you agree? Aside from the pandemic fallout tell us one way this saying has played out in your life. 

You never know what you're gonna get...I think that's mostly true. Growing up we'd sometimes have a box of chocolates in the house and I remember poking the bottoms to see what was inside. Hey, I like what I like and some fillings are better than others.  

I guess we can look at a day as the box and while we know it's full of chocolate we don't know exactly what those chocolates hold. We make plans to eat a caramel and bite into a nut instead. 

Anyone else feel like they're working the simile a little too hard?

5. As October winds down tell us three things you loved about the month we're bidding adieu. 

The weather has been glorious

Daughter2 was home for a week and we had all kinds of fun together including a wedding dress fitting (swoon!), a bridal shower, a rehearsal dinner tasting, cups and cups of hot tea sipped on the porch, new episodes of The Great British Bakeoff to binge, umpteen games of cards played, plans made, meals cooked side by each, and a million conversations shared. 

The cutest little almost one-year old I know officially turns one before the month is out. 

6.  Insert your own random thought here. 

My Daughter1 sent us a box of South Korean goodies to try-


This one was particularly intriguing...a bag of Kit Kats-


Sweet potato Kit Kats.


I wouldn't say it tasted like a sweet potato or the traditional Kit Kat either, although it was shaped like one.  It was definitely sweet and the taste was very good. 

Know what's even sweeter than a sweet potato Kit Kat? 


This little canvas that was in the box too. My favorite sweet thing of all the sweet things. 

Happy Wednesday everyone! 




Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 392

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!

From this Side of the Pond


1. Boo, boo-hoo, make a boo-boo, boo(ze)...pick one and tell us how it relates to life lately. 

2. Do you like the color orange? Would we find this color in your home? Your wardrobe? Peach-pumpkin-tangeringe...your favorite shade of the three listed? 

3. October 28th is National Chocolate Day. What's the last chocolate something you tasted? On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being out of this world delicious, how would you rate it? 

4. Life is like a box of chocolates or so says Forrest Gump's mama. Would you agree? Aside from the pandemic fallout tell us one way this saying has played out in your life. 

5. As October winds down tell us three things you loved about the month we're bidding adieu. 

6.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Monday, October 26, 2020

Monday Miscellaney

It started out a gray Monday here today and we made a wasted trip to the DMV which is a little snapshot of how it's going so far. Who knew you could make an appointment at the DMV? I think it's a grand idea and will put that in the plus column when sorting Corona fallout, but of course knowing it's a thing would have been even better.  

I try to take care of all DMV business online, but this task requires an in person visit so hubs masked up and went in, paperwork in hand, and they told him without an appointment it would be an hour and forty-five minute wait. An hour and forty five minutes!! And oh yeah, don't leave the parking lot. 

So we left the parking lot and ate Mexican food instead. Much better. 

Let's talk about last week when Daughter2 was in the house and the weather was glorious and we enjoyed a  leisurely fall boat ride in our own backyard. We accidentally took the dog which does put a little kink in your level of relaxation, but nobody wanted to tell him he wasn't going and he was all in. 

He is always all in. When he's wearing his life jacket he thinks he's going for a swim and he was not going for a swim. 


Which took some convincing. 

Hubs and I have not had a 'day out date ' in a while so we made plans Friday to drive over to a nearby mountain town for lunch, browsing the shops, and leaf peeping. It sprinkled a little but was still a gorgeous ride up and over, and the color was lovely. 


fyi-we were not the only ones who thought a day out was a good idea. The place was hoppin'! 

Highlands is a charming little burg with loads of fantastic eateries, beautiful homes, and plenty of shops all plunked down in the middle of a scenic mountain landscape. I don't think I'd want to live here because it's a destination and has destination-like traffic but it is a great day out, and a trip to the mountains helps clear my head. 

Daughter2 had a little bridesmaid weekend with her girls, minus her favorite sister, and she brought me back a fun little mug as a gift. There are many things that make my girls think of me, but tops on the list are London and hedgehogs. Not related in any way shape or form except to say my run in with the hedgehog occurred while we lived near London. 

Also, run-in might be overstating things. More like an encounter but I shrieked a lot so maybe my girls will say run-in is accurate.  


I know, I know it's too early for Christmas mugs, and I'm someone who doesn't like to rush the holidays, but I'm going to rush it for a quick minute. I had a cup of coffee in it last night, snapped a picture in front of the candy corn so as not to confuse anyone about which holiday is happening now (aren't we all confused about the day-time-month-season???) then put it back in the cabinet until Thanksgiving has come and gone. 

Happy Monday and Merry Halloween everyone!