Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Merry Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge, Volume 400. 400!! How many of you have been here since the beginning? I think there's a few. 

And since we've all got lists we need to be checkin' let's roll right on in to episode 400. If you've answered the questions add your link at the end of my post. Then go say hi to your neighbor and have yourself a merry little Christmas Day. 

From this Side of the Pond

1. I feel like episode 400 cannot go without comment. That is a lot of Hodgepodging folks. 2000 questions if my math is right. So, what's something you feel like you do 400 times a week? 

Rearrange my refrigerator and freezer? They both get a workout this time of year and I feel like I'm constantly moving things around to make room for more things. 

2. Tell us where you were and something about what your life looked like in the year 2000

Twenty years sure goes fast, doesn't it? I feel like maybe this question needs to be it's own blog post. Let's see if that can happen before the calendar page turns.  

In the year 2000 we were living by the Bay (the Chesapeake of course), I was working as the Director of a church preschool (a job I loved), hubs was working and traveling quite a bit for work too, and together we were parenting girls in grades 5 and 7. 

I think I've made my feelings about 7th grade pretty clear on the blog, but in case you don't know-NOT my favorite. My girls know-ha!  

It looks like we spent Christmas in the Smokies that year. It used to be an every other year tradition, one year with hubs family in the Smokies and the next year with mine in New Jersey, but then in the blink of an eye your children grow up and get married and you realize you need to start some new traditions. See question #4. 

3. Do you like cinnamon? What's something you make and enjoy that calls for cinnamon? Of the cinnamon 'foods' listed which is your favorite-red hot cinnamon candies, cinnamon toast, cinnamon rolls, cinnamon toast crunch cereal, apple cinnamon oatmeal, churros, an Indian curry?

I love cinnamon, and I especially love the scent of cinnamon. I love the Yankee Candle Christmas scent called sparkling cinnamon. I use cinnamon a lot in cooking, but one dish I make that everyone in my household loves is my overnight French Toast. I like all the foods listed but will confess I probably love red hot cinnamon candies the most, particularly hot tamales. 

4. Does Christmas 2020 (or Hanukkah) look much like it has in years past, or is this year vastly different for you and your family? How so? How are you feeling about it all? 

It's going to look a little different than most years in that it's a smaller group, but then our last few Christmases have been smaller so maybe that's our new normal? I'll have the soon-to-be marrieds here and that makes me happy. Daughter2 spent last Christmas in South Korea with her sister and I can't tell you how often we all say we're so glad she went when she did. She had considered waiting to go until her school spring break (she's a teacher), but opted for Christmas because it gave her more time. And of course we all know what happened in the spring. 

How do I feel about what this year's Christmas looks like?  I'm learning (and it's a process) that when traditions change, when I have to let go of some of what I love most about the holidays, that it helps to turn my eyes on the real meaning of the day, the birth of Jesus.  To do what I can to amp up the Christmas spirit in my own home and heart. 

5. What's one thing you need or want to do before this year ends? 

Write that blog post I mentioned above? 

We have a wedding coming up in the new year so there's a fairly long list of things to do before the new year rolls in. Fun stuff though so not complaining. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Merry Christmas Hodgepodgers! May the love born this day find room in your heart this holiday season.


  1. Merry Christmas Joyce! Enjoy your Christmas with daughter and soon to be son-in-law.
    Much love to you and your family.

  2. I placed a big order with Yankee Candle for Christmas. I have Christmas Cookie in my kitchen now and Red Apple Wreath in my living room. Their candles are the best! I love overnight French Toast casserole too but I no longer eat eggs so can't have it (food intolerance). Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  3. Oh, my goodness, I could have said refrigerator and freezer rearranging as well. We have two huge refrigerator/freezers and another chest freezer and I'm forever rearranging them this time of year. I had 35# of fudge in the freezer until last week when I started packaging it and delivering it. What a task! But, I do love it. Wishing you and yours the "bestest" ever!

  4. That's interesting about the refrigerator workout. I just didn't have the brain energy yesterday to go back to the year 2000. Great job Joyce! Overnight French Toast sounds delicious. That was great timing for her visit to South Korea. Amen to turning our years to the real meaning of Christmas. Love your random. Merry Christmas....

  5. How timely indeed that your daughter traveled to Korea last Christmas! Lots to think about when planning a wedding for sure. May all go smooth and may the joy abound on their day and in their lives together. A very Merry Christmas to all of you!

  6. Merry Christmas!
    I didn’t think about the fridge/freezer. I can’t stand digging around in the freezer, especially in the colder months cause it’s in the garage and just makes me colder!

  7. Thank you for 400 Hodgepodges, Joyce! This one is fun and interesting (as they all are). Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, and blessed new year!

  8. Back in the year 2000 I was 14, in year 9, going into year 10 at secondary school. I remember flying back to South Africa for the summer, to stay with my Dad's side of the family, as my Grandpa had passed a few months before at the end of 1999.

    Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2021.

  9. Hello! I discovered your blog via Lea at Cici's Corner and would like to start linking up for your hodgepodge posts. Have enjoyed reading Lea's answers this year. She mentioned that she was linking up with Joyce but I wasn't sure who Joyce was until I read your comment on her post. Ta-da...JOYCE!

    Wishing you and yours a merry Christmas, even if it takes on a new look this year. I appreciate what you said about reminding ourselves of the reason for the season. That remains constant. Praying 2021 will bring restored health to our country and our world.

  10. I honestly have no idea where I was/what I was doing 20 years ago... I must have been planning my wedding and that means I was probably in grad. school.

  11. 20 years ago I was trying to parent kids who were 14, 12 and 10. I also worked part time so had my hands full lol. I still feel like I'm trying to parent those kids who now have kids of their own. Wow 400 posts! that's some feat. And way more than 2000 questions because you used to have more questions each week. Haven't been here from the beginning and don't always get to take part. (This week a prime example) but I really do appreciate all your effort. Thank you!

  12. Congrats on this achievement of Hodgepodge!!! You have most definitely helped the blogging community to be truly that -- a community where we meet and make friends. You do us a fine, fine service!!!

    I am greatly looking forward to the upcoming wedding. It will be such a bright spot for all of your readers!!

  13. I didn't know you were doing this again. I will have to try to remember and come back to the Hodgepodge. I loved it before.