Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Falling Into The Wednesday Hodgepodge

Welcome to another edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you've answered this week's questions add your link at the end of my post. Be sure to leave a comment for the blogger linking before you because who couldn't use a little mid-week company these days? Here we go-



From this Side of the Pond  
1. It's fall y'all. What's something you love about this season and also something you don't? 

Autumn is my favorite season of the year and I think there's a lot to love. The color, the light, the sky, blue jean weather, soups-stews-chili on the stove, a blanket on my lap, a fire in the fireplace, and Thanksgiving to name just a few. 

Something I don't love? Hmmm...how about election ads? 

2. When you think of the colors of fall, which one is your favorite? Is there somewhere you could easily day trip to see the leaves in all their glory? Will you? 

This is a toughie, but I'm going with gold. I loved my New Jersey backyard this time of year...


The color never got old.  The snow and ice and taxes did which is why we live in South Carolina now, but the color was a stunner. 

I live within a half hour of fantastic fall color in the Blue Ridge Mountains and would love to take a leaf peeping drive sometime this month or next. 

3. What's one thing you've let 'fall' by the wayside during this season of staying home and staying away? 

Housework. Oh the basics are getting done, but we normally have a steady stream of company in the summer months which is highly motivating in terms of really staying on top of keeping things pristine. Hubs and I home alone=not so motivating. 

4. If you're wearing a sweater is it most likely a cardigan, crew neck, v-neck, or zip up hoodie? 

A cardigan or v-neck most likely, especially if I'm seeing actual humans or we're going somewhere. For lounging around the house I love a zip up fleece. 

5. What's your secret to dealing with change? 

Less digging in of the heels, more surrender. Know that one day you'll look back and see all the ways God used change to grow you, to draw you closer to Himself. Know it's possible in hindsight, if not in present day, to  feel tremendous gratitude for this change you never wanted and were so sure you didn't need. 

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

"Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each." Henry David Thoreau

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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 387

It's that time again, and 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 fall y'all. What's something you love about this season and also something you don't? 

2. When you think of the colors of fall, which one is your favorite? Is there somewhere you could easily day trip to see the leaves in all their glory? Will you? 

3. What's one thing you've let 'fall' by the wayside during this season of staying home and staying away? 

4. If you're wearing a sweater is it most likely a cardigan, crew neck, v-neck, or zip up hoodie? 

5. What's your secret to dealing with change? 

6.  Insert your own random thought here.




Sunday, September 20, 2020

1,892,160,000 Seconds


So I had a birthday.  


A pretty big birthday number wise, but maybe not as big celebration wise because thanks Covid. Can you tell from my face it was still pretty great? What can I say...I love my birthday and my family tried so hard to make the day special and they succeeded. 

While I do have a few thoughts on this next new decade, I think that will be it's own post and today I'll just recap all the sweet stuff that made up my birthday week.   

Daughter2 was in the house and we had the best time running wedding errands all week long. We spent Monday morning at the party rental place, then met with the florist that afternoon. We had our hair and makeup 'trial' on Tuesday and wrapped it up with a dress fitting for the bride-to-be on Wednesday. 

Y'all. I forgot how stunning this girl looks in her wedding dress. 


No this is not her wedding dress, but I will tell you the sight of her in that gown literally takes my breath away.  I cannot wait to see the groom's face when he sets eyes on his bride on their special day.  


After the dress fitting we celebrated with crepes at our favorite crepe spot, so the order of these events would feel correct. 

1. Try the dress on and be sure it fits perfectly. 

2. Share one sweet and one savory crepe with your momma because it's almost her birthday and because we both love crepes and can never decide between the sweet and the savory. 

3. Pledge going forward not to feast on crepes or sweets in general pre-wedding. 

4. I mean except for the birthday cake we'll eat later. 

If it looks like we're eating in a parking lot it's because we are. The restaurant had some indoor seating available but we opt for dining outdoors whenever we can, especially when it's a crystal clear morning or there's a pandemic hanging about. 


On my actual birthday my little family planned the absolute best surprise. Let me just say I think every birthday needs a surprise. Not necessarily a surprise party, but definitely some unexpected little bit of happy that brings a smile to your heart and maybe a tear to your eye. 

And that's what they did.  

They had many many of my friends and all of my family record video wishes for me, then Daughter2 magically put them all together on the big screen (aka the TV) and it was too wonderful for words. No one had come close to spilling the beans which made it a real surprise. 

That evening we had a delicious dinner at a very nice restaurant in tiny town and shout out to my hubs who never fails in sourcing a chocolate cake with raspberry filling, because that's my favorite. He also knows I don't think it's a birthday without balloons and believe fresh flowers are one of the secrets to a happy life so he obliged.


It's true y'all. Fresh flowers in the house makes the world feel less harsh.  

Hubs kinda went all out on the balloons this year. I don't think he knew about these until I sent him last week to collect a giant 3-0 for daughter2's birthday, but now that he's on to them I predict there will be more jumbo going forward. 


Of course Daughter1 called and the mancub sang happy birthday from a million miles away and helped me blow out all the candles via Facetime which tickled him so much.  I have to tell you that when he utters the word 'Nana' in his precious little boy voice I have an actual pain in my heart. It's a happy/sad sort of pain but it's very real, and if you're living away from your own grands you know what I'm saying.  

Little brother clapped and smiled big and took a couple of steps on camera which also made my day/week/year, and all in all it was a lovely way to end the day and usher in a brand new decade. 


"With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come." William Shakespeare

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Growing Older With The Wednesday Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge! If you've answered this week's questions add your link at the end of my post, then leave a comment for the blogger linking before you. Comments keep the Hodgepodge rollin' right along. Here we go-



1. What's one thing you learned at the ripe old age of whatever age you are now?

Does Zoom count? I'd never heard of it before this year. 

2. I read here a list of foods that can help you look younger-

extra virgin olive oil, green tea, fatty fish, dark chocolate, vegetables, flaxseeds, pomegranates, avocados, tomatoes, spices, bone broth

How many of the foods listed have you tried? How many do you eat regularly? Your favorite from the list?

I've tried them all and regularly use extra virgin olive oil, eat fatty fish (salmon), dark chocolate, vegetables, avocados, tomatoes, and spices.  I like pomegranates but wouldn't say they're a staple here. If I could only have one thing on the list I'd choose vegetables.  

3. Something you miss from the 'good old days'? When were the good old days anyway?

Common courtesy, respect, and humor.

When did they occur? I'm not sure I can give precise dates, but feel pretty certain it was sometime prior to the invention of the iphone. 

4. What are two or three of the most rewarding things to be found in growing older?

There are many, but I'd say one of the best things about growing older is knowing who you are and being comfortable with that. Interacting with my adult children is pretty great too. 

Also see next question. 

5. What's your favorite part of your life right now?

Did you really need to ask? 



Grandparenting is not overrated. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

As I was turning off the light about 10:30 pm Tuesday night I suddenly remembered, that while I wrote the Hodgepodge questions, I never answered them. Bother. You'd think after almost 400 episodes answering would be automatic. Chalk it up to 2020 and/or turning a year older this week. 

On the bright side I did not overthink this one. Happy Wednesday! 





Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 386

Still here, Hodgepodging on Wednesdays. This week's questions are below. Answer on your own blog, then hop back here to add your link to the party. See you there!



1. What's one thing you learned at the ripe old age of whatever age you are now?

2. I read here a list of foods that can help you look younger-

extra virgin olive oil, green tea, fatty fish, dark chocolate, vegetables, flaxseeds, pomegranates, avocados, tomatoes, spices, bone broth

How many of the foods listed have you tried? How many do you eat regularly? Your favorite from the list?

3. Something you miss from the 'good old days'? When were the good old days anyway?

4. What are two or three of the most rewarding things to be found in growing older?

5. What's your favorite part of your life right now?

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

And The Seasons They Go Round And Round

This girl celebrates a birthday today...


She doesn't ask for much on her big day other than a blog post, so how can I not? That being said, eleven years of birthday blog posts means I might need to give this one a good hard think.

Plus thirty.
Feels like a thing, doesn't it?

Sometimes we call daughter2 my mini me. If you and I are acquainted in real life and you happened to meet her out somewhere without me, you'd still know in an instant she's mine.


It's more than just the physical resemblance. She and I also share many of the same mannerisms, patterns of speech, a particular way of seeing life.

We both work/worked as teachers

We both love to be in the kitchen.

We're both a little clumsy (sorry sweetie)

We're both determined. Or maybe stubborn is a better word? You decide.

She's a mamas girl and I am too.

Jesus loves us this we know.

We're both patient.

Responsible.

Chatty.

Overly-independent. ahem.

She and I are both September babies, and while I'm not into astrology at all, I will say she and I share more than a few traits common to the September-born.

Last night we watched an old home movie, the one from her very first birthday, and I was taken aback by how quickly the years have flown. How this small but mighty baby girl there on the screen has, in the blink of an eye, become the woman who sits beside me on the couch.

It didn't feel like the blink of an eye. The days, the moments, the ordinary living of life. It wasn't really the blink of an eye. We lived those years between then and now. Filled them to the brim with so much goodness, so much fun, of course there was hard stuff too, but it's the goodness that bubbles up most in my memory.

We grew up side by each she and I and we marked the moments every chance we got.

In the video my baby walks on chubby legs, feeds herself fistfuls of icing, smiles big at the world around her, and for a minute I wish I could be there again. Back in that dining room with the papered walls, my mom and dad at the table, her three year old sister in the middle of it all...the room bursting with celebration...love...family.

Except I don't think I'd really go back.

I know that while I might do a few things better, I'd likely make some new mistakes too. Hi. I'm a mom and we do the best we can with what we know at the time.

It seems my girls birthday posts always end up being a little bit about me too and that's okay. Our lives and hearts and beings are entwined in a thousand million ways and for that I'm grateful. I think we humans are a little bit nature and a whole lot nurture and all that I poured into mothering my daughters, the right words spoken and the opportunities missed too, all helped shape them in to the women they are today.

And the woman she is today is a complete treasure.


Welcome to this brand new decade my darling girl. May it be filled with more joy your precious heart can hold.  

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Hodgepodge Laboring

Welcome to another edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you've answered this week's questions add your link at the end of my post, then leave a comment for the blogger linking before you.  Ready-set-GO!


From this Side of the Pond  

1. Something you've done in recent days or months that might be described as a labor of love?

Planning my daughter's birthday dinner with all her favorite things, finding one or two special gifts that will be meaningful to her, shopping for family Christmas pjs for my daughter overseas...

Preparing foods and shopping for/making small gifts with meaning are a labor of love for me. 

2. Last time you 'worked your fingers to the bone'?

I pulled weeds on our back slope for an hour on Saturday morning, and I don't know about my fingers but I definitely worked my back to the bone.

3. According to a recent survey people named the following ten jobs as the hardest-nurse, doctor, paramedic, police officer, firefighter, surgeon, healthcare worker, bomb squad, farmer, and prison warden. Of the jobs listed which would you say is the hardest? The one you'd most like to do? Least like to do? What's one job you would add to the list?

Currently I'm going to say being a police officer in America is the toughest job there is, and the one I'd least like to do. Of the jobs listed the one I'd like most would probably be nursing. I thought about being a nurse while in college, then changed my major to speech pathology which was also a rewarding field. 

What job would I add to the list? How about window washers on our city skyscrapers? Or oil rig workers, the people who climb those ginormous communication towers...anything where you need your wits about you to do your work all the while knowing there is a danger of falling from a great height. Shudder. 

4. A recipe you make that is labor intensive, but worth it?

My mamas homemade enchilada recipe. They take me all day, but of course that could just be me. Honestly they've always taken my mom a fair chunk of time to put together too, so I think it's just a labor intensive recipe. Worth it? Absotively posilutely!!

5. Last job you did or task you completed that required teamwork?

I feel like hubs and I do things on a fairly regular basis that require teamwork of some sort. Managing the dogs (I'll feed while he waters), getting the kayaks back on the rack (he lifts and I help guide then in to place and hang on to the straps), docking the boat (I hang the bumpers while he maneuvers the boat into the slip, then I carefully, and also occasionally not so carefully, step off and pull us in), and the list goes on. We docked the boat more than once this weekend so that's probably the best example of recent teamwork.  And good news! There was hardly any yelling or swearing. 

We need this shirt. 

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Daughter2 has a birthday coming up this week and I will write a birthday post on the actual day because years ago she told me it's the one thing she looks forward to the most (no pressure Mom-ha!) but for today I want to share this-


For my beautifully strong hilarious girl on the eve of a brand new decade xoxo 



Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 385

I don't know why, but a post-holiday weekend Hodgepodge always catches me by surprise. Here are this week's questions...you supply the answers on your own blog then hop back here on Wednesday to share answers with the universe.  See you there-

1. Something you've done in recent days or months that might be described as a labor of love?

2. Last time you 'worked your fingers to the bone'?

3. According to a recent survey people named the following ten jobs as the hardest-nurse, doctor, paramedic, police officer, firefighter, surgeon, healthcare worker, bomb squad, farmer, and prison warden. Of the jobs listed which would you say is the hardest? The one you'd most like to do? Least like to do? What's one job you would add to the list?

4. A recipe you make that is labor intensive, but worth it?

5. Last job you did or task you completed that required teamwork?

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Hodgepodge Seconds

Welcome to another edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you've answered on your own blog, add your link at the end of my post then go say howdy to your neighbor there. Here we go-


1. The Hodgepodge lands on the second day of a brand new month. Tell us one thing you're looking forward to in September.

If you've been reading here a while then you'll know it's my birthday month. Also hubs birthday month and Daughter2's birthday month but let's talk about mine-ha! If you're a friend of ours on social media you'll be sick of us by the end of the month. It feels like we're everywhere. 

That being said, I think this year I'm more excited about Daughter2's birthday than my own, which I guess is motherhood in a nutshell. It's just so great to see her so happy and feeling excited about the new decade headed her way. 

2. Do you enjoy browsing second-hand shops? Last thing you bought or 'inherited' second hand?

I'm not really a second-hand shop kind of shopper. I like donating items there, but don't do a lot of browsing in flea markets, consignment stores, or charity shops. 

Last thing we inherited or got second-hand? Does a dog count? 

3. Something you had second thoughts about after committing to, purchasing, or posting/commenting  online?

A volunteer role I took on several years ago immediately springs to mind. It was not for me and I think I knew that when I said yes because I had second thoughts almost as soon as I agreed to it.  I should have paid better attention. 

4. What's a product or service you use that you'd rate as second to none?

Lots of things, but one would be a company we use that auto ships the air filters for our house. You select how often you want them and they customize your order to whatever size filters fit your home. It's a no brainer, completely reliable, one of those things you don't have to remember to do because when they show up at your door you know it's time to change the filters.  

This isn't a paid endorsement btw, but here's the website if you're interested. Ironically it's called Second Nature 

5. Something you do so often or that comes so naturally to you it's second nature ?

I feel like with the age I am now most tasks require some level of concentration or intention. I suppose in practical terms there are a number of meals I cook on a regular basis that I can prepare without thinking too hard or referring to the written recipe. 

If you want something deeper I'll say looking for the bright side of life.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Yesterday was hubs birthday and on his birthday he always asks for a chocolate cake. Chalk it up to 2020, but this year he said he wanted key lime pie. I haven't made one in ages, but the recipe found here is so goodEven better, the mancub facetimed so he could help sing and blow out the candle. 


This might be the thing I'm most looking forward to about my own birthday in a couple of weeks.



Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 384

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. Here we go-


1. The Hodgepodge lands on the second day of a brand new month. Tell us one thing you're looking forward to in September.

2. Do you enjoy browsing second-hand shops? Last thing you bought or 'inherited' second hand?

3. Something you had second thoughts about after committing to, purchasing, or posting/commenting  online?

4. What's a product or service you use that you'd rate as second to none?

5. Something you do so often or that comes so naturally to you it's second nature ?

6. Insert your own random thought here.

    Yeehaw!

    I'd call this post a weekend roundup except it's Tuesday.
    Do we say Tuesday is part of the weekend now?

    If you're retired you do.



    Anyway, happy birthday to the hubs! This picture is from last year back when you could really celebrate life's milestones. No worrying about masks or hand sanitizer or gatherings of whatever size you wanted. 

    Today is still his day though, and while we won't have a houseful like we did last year, won't have any daughters in the house like we did last year, or a fun lake party like we had last year, we'll still mark the occasion with a birthday dinner of his choosing and a homemade dessert. Topped with a candle because that's the law.

    We had a fun couple of days this past weekend with shhh...out of town company. I feel like I need to whisper that or at least explain, because people feel free to weigh in on whatever anyone is doing right now. Rest assured we spent pretty much the entire weekend out of doors. 

    Our friends haven't been anywhere and we haven't been anywhere so we decided to be nowhere together. They arrived from the Volunteer State late Friday afternoon, and hubs grilled wings on the Big Green Egg, his best batch yet if I do say so myself. We had a charcuterie board to go with and we sat on our deck and fell right back into our old ways of talking and laughing and remembering and it was so so good. 

    True story-hubs and I spent nearly every weekend of our first year of married life at their house and we're all still exactly the same. I didn't take a single picture so you'll have to trust me on that. 

    Wait. I did take one picture of... guess what? 


    The evening sky. 

    The weather was supposed to be stormy on Saturday, but the wind blew those clouds right on out of here and weather wise it was one of the most beautiful weekends we've had all summer. We spent the day on the water boating and swimming off the dock and the sun shone and it was Grand. 

    Yes, with a capital G. 

    I made a pot roast in the crock pot Saturday because I thought we'd have rain but it ended up being the perfect thing. I was able to enjoy the whole day outside without worrying about dinner and I don't know why I don't use my crock pot more in warm weather. Of course we dined al fresco since that's our favorite thing, and also because it's 2020.  

    Our friends headed home late Sunday morning then hubs and I boated over to Daughter1's in-laws house to catch up in person, everyone on their own raft. We ended up talking and floating for hours. Summer has been so weird and we were overdue for a full weekend of lake living. 

    Also we never tire of talking about all the fun things our grand boys say and do and agreeing on how completely adorable they are and how we're the luckiest of the lucky. 

    Speaking of adorable...this little guy is ten whole months old.


    He's still chill, still darling and daring and precious, and still 7000+ miles from his Nana. And I know the mancub would love to be here sitting on his Pawpaw's lap today, helping to blow out the birthday candles...


    ...but a kiss blown from the other side of the world is pretty great too.