Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Everything's Relative In The Hodgepodge


Welcome to another week of Wednesday Hodgepodging. If you've answered today's questions add your link at the end of my post, then leave a comment for your neighbor there. Here we go-

1. What's something that makes you feel stressed? How do you cope? 

Something that makes me feel stressed? Running late. 

How do I cope? I don't lol. I despise being late and am usually careful to plan my travel so as not to be late. If I am late for some reason I remind myself that it's not the norm, that sometimes circumstances arise that are outside my area of control, and I try to call wherever I'm headed to explain. Once I'm there I apologize profusely. 

2. What's a food you eat that evokes a memory? Explain. 

We don't have it very often but homemade ice cream takes me right back to my childhood. My sister and I taking turns sitting on the freezer so it didn't 'walk' while my dad and my brother took turns with the crank. The smell of rock salt, and that first taste we always had as my dad pulled the paddle out of the container. 

We have a new freezer, electric so not the same sort of charm. Not the same amount of work either so there's that, but still...there was something about the process that made the ice cream taste extra good. 

3. This week's Hodgepodge lands on National Visit Your Relatives Day. Will you celebrate by visiting a relative? If so is travel involved? Geographically, who is your nearest relative (not counting those living in your own house)?

As it happens I am going to see Daughter2 today, so yes travel is involved, but just the car kind. My momma is here visiting and we're taking a little road trip to see both girls and the grandboys, which will be fun. Hubs is home minding the fort and the pup. 

Geographically my nearest relative is my older sister who is a little over an hour away. 

4. What's your most frequently used emoji? Do you make more phone calls, send more emails, or mainly text to communicate with friends and family? 

Usually it's the laughing face although lately it might be the blue heart. Every time I text about baby boy I add a blue heart. 

I definitely do more texting and emailing than phone calling but there are times when a phone call is necessary. I used to do a lot of emailing, but these days its mostly texts. 

5. Tell us the story behind a favorite piece of furniture. 

This is our antique Monk's Bench. It's a tabletop set onto a wooden chest in such a way that when the table isn't being used it can be flipped up to form a bench. 


We generally leave ours as a table-

We bought this on a bright blue sky day in the little village of Hungerford while living across the pond. It was a fun day out with friends and is a little piece of England now living in the southland. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

A few things-

  • I'm so glad we added the Murphy Bed because it's been the extra space we need when we have a full house. 
  • We often have a full house.
  • My freezer door 'broke' when I had company about three weeks ago. That was fun. My houseguest got to help me empty my overly full freezer and move everything to the garage freezer which was also already overly full so ugh. The repairman managed to get it closed though, I think because I threatened tears saying I had a shower coming up and really needed everything in working order. Today he came back with the ordered part and we're back in business. 
  • Hubs drove my car one hour to the dealer this morning to have a part replaced, one they'd ordered and let him know had come in, only to discover after he got there someone had sold the part. Double ugh. The dealer is making it right. 
  •  I'm tired. Yay for leftovers! 

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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 463

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 rest of the world wide webbers. See you there! 

1. What's something that makes you feel stressed? How do you cope? 

2. What's a food you eat that evokes a memory? Explain. 

3. This week's Hodgepodge lands on National Visit Your Relatives Day. Will you celebrate by visiting a relative? If so is travel involved? Geographically, who is your nearest relative (not counting those living in your own house)?

4. What's your most frequently used emoji? Do you make more phone calls, send more emails, or mainly text to communicate with friends and family? 

5. Tell us the story behind a favorite piece of furniture. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Showered With Love

What a fun, full, fantabulous weekend we've just had, with friends and family here to shower the momma-to-be with love and diapers and lots of baby blue. What a treat to have both my girls and my grandsons in the house all weekend long.

Their husbands were working so it was just the originals for a few days, which is marvelous and rare. The originals plus the grandsons which is also something special. 

The mancub photobombed almost every picture snapped this weekend which was hilarious and precious. Baby Max was having none of it. He was too busy making change and ordering 'cleanup on aisle 4' through the microphone on our Barbie cash register, circa 1990-something. I found it while rifling though some boxes last week and it was a big hit. 

We took a boat ride Thursday afternoon, everyone but the baby momma who at almost nine months pregnant was not up for a cruise. 

The boys took turns playing captain and the mancub did his best to try to talk us into letting him go for a swim. We finally let him put his feet in and he decided for himself to wait for next time. 


Friday we spent the day doing the final prep for our Saturday celebration. Hubs brother and sister-in-law arrived with his mom late afternoon and after an easy pizza dinner we girls got busy wrapping up the food and decor, and laying out the umpteen hundred dishes, serving utensils, tablecloths, bowls, platters, and glassware we were going to haul up to our clubhouse Saturday morning. 

We made twenty two hundred trips to the car to get it all loaded and then another twenty two hundred trips from the car to the clubhouse to get it all unloaded, then did it all again in reverse once the shower wrapped up. Whew! I could not have done this without daughter1 and my sister-in-law who are rock stars when it comes to this sort of thing. 

The shower was darling. I could not have loved this theme more and all the little details came together so sweetly to make a really lovely day. 

the grandmothers

Once I discovered daughter2's wallpaper from the very first house we brought her home to some 30+ years ago I knew I wanted a Peter Rabbit theme. I love the stories and soft colors and the garden setting so that's what we did. 


Daughter1 found the cutest printable on Etsy, a giant book taken from the Tale of Peter Rabbit, but personalized to the mom and dad to be. She ordered a poster sized print, had it professionally mounted on some foam board, and set it on an easel with fresh greenery added both top and bottom. 

We used A Beatrix Potter Treasury as our guest book, and set up a mini-garden, complete with Peter's little blue sweater hanging on a stand my brother-in-law made. 

We used fresh cabbage, radish, a watering can filled with hydrangea, and some marigolds and terra cotta pots to complete the look. 

There was a jar filled with cottontails for everyone to guess the number and lettuce seed packets as favors for our guests. 

Lunch was a 'make your own salad' from Mr. McGregor's garden served on my china, my grandmother's china, and daughter2's mother-in-law's china which all felt extra special. 

We had green salad, pasta salad, chicken salad, fresh fruit salad, and pimento cheese served on a combination of my sister-in-law's beautiful cabbage dishes and my Italian vegetable bowl and platter.

 Guests were also served a cup of carrot-ginger soup and there were yummy cupcakes for dessert. 

We played a fun game and oohed and ahhed over all the cute baby boy clothes and gear she was given. Baby gear has surely come a long long way since I birthed mine and that's a good thing. 

the great-grandmothers

The best part of the weekend was seeing Daughter2 surrounded by so many people who love her so dearly. Friends and family who have supported her, rooted for her, and prayed for this precious little boy she and her hubs are adding to our family. 

We don't know him yet, but we already love him more than words can say.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

There Once Was A Hodgepodge On Wednesday

Welcome to another edition of your weekly Wednesday Hodgepodge. 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. Here we go-

From this Side of the Pond
1. What do you never get tired of? 

watermelon, popcorn, small acts of kindness, a bright blue sky, watching the sun rise

2. My mother made the best enchiladas.

3. What machine or appliance in your home aggravates you the most? Why? 

Besides the computer you mean, because that's a given? Of our home appliances I guess I'll say the TV. The remotes still make me crazy, I guess because they are basically mini computers. I try, but operating the tv like a computer does not come naturally to me. 

4. What are three things that brighten up your day when they happen? 

A facetime call with the mancubs
A spontaneous invitation to dinner 
Checking off my to-do list

5. Thursday (May 12) is National Limerick Day...write a limerick about relating to spring weather, spring blooms, or a spring event (five lines, the first two lines rhyme with the fifth line, the third and fourth lines rhyme together).


There once was a bird on a rock
His eyes on a chipmunk were locked
He swept in for the grab
The chipmunk he nabbed
His dinner he ate on the dock. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Who plays Mahjong? I'm learning and it's a lot of fun. I probably don't need any more games to play but this one requires a bit of skill so good for the brain, right? 

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Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Pass The WD 40 Please

I'm rusty. I feel like we should catch up here, but what exactly have we been doing that you need catching up on? Not a whole lot. 

Actually a whole lot, but nothing really blog worthy. 

We had friends visit two weekends ago and that was a lot of fun. The weather was delightful so we took the boat out, showed them tiny town, hubs was helping with a car show in our neighborhood so we spent some time there, and we visited our local wine bar and the Italian restaurant in town. 

Lots of talking and late nights. 

And pollen. Can't forget the pollen. It won't let us forget. 

We had our deck railings and all the pillars stained and hubs spent today getting all the cushions and plant pots back where they belong. 

Mother's Day happened. No girls or grands in the house, and raise your hand if you thought my kids would live closer and be here for all the holidays and are actually here for none. Life y'all. One is eight months pregnant and one is just a little too far geographically to make two weekend treks in a row so we pick and choose. 

My girls are thoughtful though, and they sent lovely gifts and special cards and hubs and I went to church then brunch after. Then a nap because Sunday naps are my jam. 

Both girls will be in the house this coming weekend with the grandboys, and I cannot wait. We're having a shower for Daughter2 and are so excited to celebrate baby boy coming soon. Not before next Saturday though because we want to have this shower lol. 

On Monday the mancub called us first thing in the morning and when we answered he said, 'I can't wait to see you soon.' Be still my heart. He is so like his momma when it comes to extended family. 

My mom is coming to town for the shower and will stay for several weeks after. We have some fun things planned while she's here including a road trip to Tennessee so she can see where her grandgirls live. Knowing I'll see my girls and the cutest little men on the planet again next week will make saying goodbye to them on Sunday a little easier. 

My older sister lives nearby so we'll share time with my mom which works out well, 'specially if baby boy decides to come early. If he's anything like his momma he'll hang out well past his due date. 

Also, I hope he's exactly like his momma because she's the best. 

And I guess you're all caught up now. 
Mostly caught up. 

There are always things I opt not to write about here in an effort to keep this space peaceful and upbeat. We live in a world where everyone feels the need to comment on every big and little thing, but more and more I am choosing to keep mum about the train that is today's culture flying off the track. 

Which doesn't mean I don't have opinions. I just  prefer sharing mine face to face, and will gladly discuss all manner of the world's ills over a cup of tea on my back porch. 

Remember when social media felt a little bit like inviting people into your living room? 
Now it's more like inviting them into the ring. Or maybe shoving them in? 

No thanks. 

The sky is a cloudless true blue today and the grass is finally green. Flowers are blooming and our bluebirds are nesting and when I step away from the noise of the Internet I remember the world is a beautiful place. 

Happy Spring! 

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 462

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. What do you never get tired of? 

2. My mother made the best ________________________________. 

3. What machine or appliance in your home aggravates you the most? Why? 

4. What are three things that brighten up your day when they happen? 

5. Thursday (May 12) is National Limerick Day...write a limerick about relating to spring weather, spring blooms, or a spring event (five lines, the first two lines rhyme with the fifth line, the third and fourth lines rhyme together)

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

It May Be Time For The Hodgepodge

Welcome to this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. 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. Here we go-

From this Side of the Pond

1. May Day! May Day!...last time you shouted for help? Or maybe just asked?

I don't think I've shouted for help lately but I'm sure I've asked. Nothing remarkable comes to mind, it was probably something like asking the hubs to carry something downstairs, or lend a hand with something in the kitchen. 

2. What's something you may do this month? 

I may get my closet cleaned out. It's overdue. 

3.  'April showers bring May flowers'...is this true where you live? What's blooming? What's your favorite springtime blossom?

This saying rings true here. We are in full springtime mode and I've got the itchy eyes and sinus headache to prove it. The pollen here is something else y'all. But there is beauty too. 

Azaleas, iris, and my lily of the valley are all in full bloom in our yard and my knock out roses are opening up too. Trees are leafed out, hydrangea will open soon, and we'll probably try to get some plants potted for the porches this weekend. 

My favorite springtime blossom? Impossible to choose but peonies and lilac rank right up there. 

4. What's something you learned at your mother's knee?

"Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you' 1 Peter 5:7

5. Share a thought about motherhood. 

Just one? I've written hundreds of words on the subject. Here's a post I wrote back in 2013, and it's a favorite-

K is for Keepers

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Happy happy Mother's Day to the momma who made me Nana-

To the soon-to-be momma...

And to my own much loved momma...

These women have helped make me who I am and are so dearly loved. 

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Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 461

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. May Day! May Day!...last time you shouted for help? Or maybe just asked? 

2. What's something you may do this month? 

3.  'April showers bring May flowers'...is this true where you live? What's blooming? What's your favorite springtime blossom?

4. What's something you learned at your mother's knee?

5. Share a thought about motherhood. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 









Sunday, May 1, 2022

Zipping Up The A-Z Blog Challenge

Hello May. Pretend it's yesterday, the final day in the April A-Z Blog Challenge. Thanks for following along this year. Since it's the weekend it's time for a list of 'a few of my favorite things' starting with today's letter which, not gonna lie, is not easy. I may have taken some liberties here and there, but one does what one must to cross the finish line. Here we go-

 Day 26-Z is for a zillion little things

zesty key lime pie
zipping into my favorite little black dress
the waZe app for city driving
being in the (writing) zone
a soft cool breeZe on a summer's day
a nice glass of Red Zinfadel
a nap when I feel zonked
a trip to the zoo with my favorite little men
a choriZo sandwich from that Borough Market stall
zero issues when traveling
one doZen freshly baked chocolate chip cookies
dinner music jazz
a bright blooming pot of zinnias 
zucchini fritters
my comfy zip up fleece
good citiZens
Zoom calls during the height of Covid
a Zen garden
haZe on the mountains giving way to sunny skies
zzz...a good night's sleep



Friday, April 29, 2022

To Good Friends And Great Adventures

 Been a fun kind of busy in real life so it's a two for one today/yesterday..

Day 24-X is for X Marks the Spot

If you need me I'll be right here....

Spending the weekend with friends from yesteryear...

Day 25-Y is for Friends from Yesteryear

Friends we made in England and have carried in our hearts and our memory as the years roll by, are visiting for the weekend. 

Definitely one of my favorite things. 

We met more than fifteen years ago in a little village across the pond. We drove on the left as we sat on the right, figured out how many dollars we spent in pounds, measured life in kilometers and moments, walked wellie clad through the English countryside, grew teenagers and ourselves in a hundred different ways, and traveled many a European city together. 

We've sipped champagne in France, eaten too much apple strudel in Salzburg, shopped our way through most of Germany, reveled in the beauty that is Strasbourg, and soaked up every ounce of everything we could in our favorite city in the world-London. 

And now here we are, many years and miles and states later, siezing the day and loving where we live.  This ain't London....

But it's still pretty great. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

No Waffling In the Wednesday Hodgepodge

Welcome to this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you're visiting from the A-Z Blog Challenge you'll find today's letter in question 6 so scroll on down.  

If you've answered today's questions add your link at the end of my post (Hodgepodge links only please), then leave a comment for the blogger before you. Here we go-

From this Side of the Pond

1. What does the word values mean to you personally? Where did your values come from? What are some of the values that have guided you throughout your life? 

Values are the things that are most important to me. They're what guide my behavior and are the beliefs I hold most dear. My values are what motivate me in my decision making and in my interactions with others.

My values absolutely came to me from my parents and they parallel what the Bible tells us about how we should live. Some of the values that have guided me throughout my life would be faith, kindness, compassion, integrity, patience, respect and selflessness. 

2. Your favorite vanilla flavored something? 

I love pretty much all things vanilla so choosing just one is hard. I'm going with my favorite dessert-creme brulee.

3. What's something you've seen/done recently that you found to be very difficult, very  confusing, very helpful, very interesting, or very special. Elaborate. 

My daughter2 has an ultrasound at most of her appointments and she always texts me a picture afterwards. The technology is absolutely amazing and is why I like to support crisis pregnancy centers that offer moms-to-be ultrasounds. How can you look at these photos and deny what you're seeing is a baby? 

I love getting the picture, seeing the shape of his tiny nose and his little hand held up against his cheek. Very special indeed. 

4. Something you own and love that is violet in color? 

This is not a color found in abundance in either my home or my wardrobe. I do love the color in nature though, particularly pansies, clematis, wisteria, and iris and I will for sure have some pansies in a patio pot. I have some iris about to bloom right now, but I'm not sure of their color. A neighbor gave me bulbs from her yard last year and miraculously they've popped up and are ready to burst. 

5. Do you have vacation plans on the calendar this summer? Tell us more. 

Is sitting and watching a new born baby for hours on end what you'd call a vacation? Because that's my summer plan and I cannot wait. 

Besides a new baby in the family we have three weddings this summer, all of which involve at least one overnight somewhere. The last of the weddings is actually end of September but it's in California and hubs and I plan to add some vacation days to that destination as long as we're going all that way. 

I'm really looking forward to spending a few days at the beach with my daughter1 and her family in August. My son-in-law has a conference to attend in a resort location so they've extended over two weekends and will have us with them the first half and her in-laws the second half. 

Finally, when you live on a lake every day feels vacation-like. We will boat, float, run off the dock with grandsons in tow, entertain friends, be entertained by friends, kayak, swim, sit under the stars, and sip an orange crush or two. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

The A-Z Blog Challenge is winding down and as per usual I'm limping towards the finish line. But! I'm still at it, I've only missed one day which, not gonna lie, bothers me a little, so maybe I'll go back and add in, but only maybe. 

My theme was light, but it's been a day brightener thinking about some of my favorite things and trying to find one that fits each day's letter. Twenty-two letters in and I've not devoted a single post to anything edible so let's go with the first thing that popped into my head today-

Day 23-W is for Waffle

I'm not a big pancake eater but I do love a perfectly cooked waffle with just the right amount of butter and not too much syrup. If there are blueberries in the batter so much the better. I don't make them often because they're calorie laden, so when we do have waffles it feels like a treat. 

I enjoy making them too. There's something satisfying about closing the lid on liquid batter and lifting it four and a half minutes later to a golden brown waffle. 

When the grandboys visit I like to let them 'help'. Waffles are probably their favorite breakfast food and everything tastes better when you make it yourself. They like chocolate chips in theirs and Nana aims to please. 

They don't like the noise of the mixer.

Cooking with little ones beside me was something I imagined would be part of grandparenting. 

As I was writing a somewhat meaningless post about a breakfast food it occurred to me the word waffle has more than one meaning. I went back and forth, or you might say I waffled, about which way to go but in the end decided breakfast food. 

Because what is cuter than tiny chefs in the kitchen? 

Definitely one of my favorite things.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Hodgepodge Questions and the Letter V

Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. I'm also going to count this post as my entry in today's April A to Z Blog Challenge because I am so busy right now. I'm giving myself a little break here with the letter V. 

Firstly, V is not an easy letter and second, as I was writing this week's Hodgepodge questions it occurred to me I've written volumes. VOLUMES. 460 volumes of Hodgepodge questions to be exact and that's a lot. That's 2300 questions people, and this weekly linkup counts as one of my favorite things so there you have it-

Day 22-V is for Volume

If you're a regular here, you know the drill. Answer on your own blog, then hop back here tomorrow to share answers with all your friends and neighbors. See you there-

1. What does the word values mean to you personally? Where did your values come from? What are some of the values that have guided you throughout your life? 

2. Your favorite vanilla flavored something? 

3. What's something you've seen/done recently that you found to be very difficult, very confusing, very helpful, very interesting, or very special. Elaborate. 

4. Something you own and love that is violet in color? 

5. Do you have vacation plans on the calendar this summer? Tell us more. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

Monday, April 25, 2022

All Over The Map

I started this morning with a long to-do list, intent on running through it like a boss. But here it is, almost 9 o'clock, and I've had to resign myself to the fact that tomorrow's list might look a little bit like today's. We're in the last week of the April A-Z Blog Challenge and I don't want to miss the end. Question for you-why are the last six letters of the alphabet such oddballs?

Another question for you-will this be the year we finally master the selfie? 

Not so far. 

We had a nice weekend with gorgeous weather, and since the pollen is mostly down we took our boat out for the first ride of the season. We discovered a plug needs replacing so hopefully that can happen tomorrow. 

It's always something when you own a boat. Or a house. Or a car, but I digress. 

Day 21-U is for Unexplored 

I like to go places I've never been. That might be a country, a city, or a new-to-us path through the woods. I get excited about a car trip where I know we'll be on roads we've never traveled, and unless we have a set arrival time we are all about stopping at whatever interesting, quirky, out-of-the-way spot catches our eye. We especially love to see a mom and pop restaurant with lots of cars in the lot that tells us this is where the locals eat. fyi-they almost always have pie. 

I know people who vacation in the same spot every single year. I understand the appeal, but that could never be me. How will I see the world if I always stick to the same four corners? 

My list of unexplored places I still need to explore is long, but near the top are-

The Grand Tetons
Banff-Lake Louise
Ireland

What's on your list? 
Any plans to explore the unexplored? 

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Tiny Blessings

It's time for my weekly (in April) gratitude list. Little things I love that begin with the letter of the day. Only problem is I made a list using this same letter back in 2019 (linked here) and I don't like to repeat myself. So here's to a brand new list and lots more tiny treasures-

Day 20-T is for Tiny Treasures

freshly polished toes
salt water taffy
tenderness
happy tears
foreign travel
help with technology
a tidy house
toddlers who call me Nana
tranquility
time to dream
thoughtful gestures
Twizzlers
twilight
fresh thyme from the garden
a family Thanksgiving
trouble averted 
treasured memories
true love
tunes on the porch
East Tennessee 

Friday, April 22, 2022

Sunshine On My Shoulders Makes Me Happy

One more week of A to Z-ing...

The first word that came to mind when I thought about today's letter was sisters. I adore mine and am so grateful for them. And I love that my own girls feel the very same way about each other. I've written many a post centered around the word sister, so while they're definitely one of my favorite things I'm going with the second word that popped into my head today-

 Day 19-S is for Sunlight

While I can fully embrace the coziness of a rainy day, my favorite days are full of sunshine and light. And my absolute favorite sunlight is the kind that shimmers and dances across the water. 

Coming in a very close second is that splash of light that slips through the bright green leaves of a forest in springtime. 

Hubs and I hiked through a forest today, to one of our favorite local spots. It's an easy trail that meanders through the woods and across a sometimes gently flowing-sometimes rushing stream, then lands you beside a beautiful waterfall. 

Light is good for both body and soul. We all know we need a daily dose of Vitamin D to maintain our physical health, but sunlight does more than that. It gives me a peaceful hopeful feeling about life in general. 

Exposure to sunlight releases serotonin, a mood booster that makes us feel both calm and focused. 

Be it water or woods if I'm feeling out of sorts, down in the dumps, or sick about the state of the world, sunlight is the cure. 

May your weekend be filled with sunlight that dances.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Just One More Chapter

Continuing today with the April A-Z Blog Challenge...

Day 18-R is for Reading

It wouldn't be a true collection of 'a few of my favorite things' without mentioning reading. It's my favorite pastime, and case in point-on Thursday mornings I have a volunteer commitment, but I told myself as soon as I got home I'd get today's post written. That was over three hours ago and I'm just now getting round to blogging. 

I needed to finish a book first. 

I didn't mean to finish the book, it just kind of happened. One page leads to another, then another, and if you know you know. Hi people who love to read and never judge people who don't do the things they should be doing because they're in the middle of a good book. 

I've written several posts with reading as a theme so thought I'd do something different here today. I found a reading survey on a blog (linked here) that was written quite a few years ago, but still feels current.  I'm going to answer the questions asked there as part of today's post. Feel free to play along-

When did you start reading for pleasure? 

Hmmm...I have always read for pleasure. I can't remember a time when I didn't love books and have a stack waiting to be read. I grew up with a mom who loved to read and who read aloud to us kids far beyond the point where we could read for ourselves. That's one of the ways to raise a reader. Read. 

What popular book did you dislike? 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

What book should everybody read?

This question is hard, because books hit you differently depending on what season of life you're in. I think if you haven't read some of the 'classics' you will miss out on references in both the spoken and written word taken from those works which are now part of our shared language. Pride and Prejudice, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and Alice's Adventures In Wonderland would be some I'd recommend. 

What genre do you never read? Why? 

Comic books/graphic novels. Why? There are far too many great books out there in genres I do love. This one is not my cup of tea. 

What's your favorite book? 

Impossible to say. A few of my favorites are-Anne of Green Gables, Charlottes Web, The Pillars of the Earth, The Prince of Tides, 1000 Splendid Suns, and Where The Red Fern Grows. 

Whenever I'm asked this question my mind always goes back to childhood favorites. 

If you could have a pint with one author, dead or alive, who would it be?

Pat Conroy or C.S. Lewis. They're two of my favorites. 

Where is the best place to read?

Anywhere really, but if I get to choose then my porch on a not-too-hot summer day. 

Who's your favorite book character?

Anne (with an e). That's Anne of Green Gables in case you're not a reader. It's never too late to become one, you know! My mother first read this book to my sister and I when we were in elementary school and it has never left me. This book has provided plenty of 'scope for the imagination' all my life. If you aren't familiar with that phrase you should read the book. 

What book death hit you the hardest?

Dan and Ann in Where The Red Fern Grows. I've read this book many times and obviously know how it ends. Still cry every time. 

Which book world would you like to live in? 

The town of Mitford sounds nice. 

What are you currently reading? 

We Begin at the End by Chris Whittaker

What book has been on your TBR list the longest? Why? 

I haven't read all of the Harry Potter Books. I know!! I read the first one and feel like I should read them all, but when it's time to choose a new book I always go for something else. I've seen all the movies (and yes, I know that's not the same thing!), but I think that might be what keeps me from plowing through all the books.

So tell me something you've read lately that you've really loved. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Quiet Down Now, It's The Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge and/or the April A-Z Blog Challenge, Day 17. If you've answered this week's HP questions add your link at the end of my post (Hodgepodge links only please), then go say howdy to your neighbor there. If you're looking for letter Q scroll on down to my random thought. Here we go-

From this Side of the Pond

1. What's something you wish you had spent more time doing when you were younger? Explain.

Doing more of what matters for eternity and caring less about what people think. In a completely different vein I wish I'd spent more time learning to speak French like a native. 

2. Who inspires you to be better. Tell us how. 

My daughters. I feel like they live their lives with great intention and that's how I want to live mine too. 

3. Share a money saving tip with us. 

Stop buying things? Ha. Seriously, that Amazon app. Holy moly it's dangerous. 

4. It's National Garlic Day...are you a fan? Your favorite dish that includes garlic? 

Definitely a fan, I love it. How to pick a favorite dish though? That's a tough one. Italian is the obvious answer and while it's hard to beat a perfectly toasted piece of garlic bread or a yummy Bolognese,  I think I'm going with Thai Green Curry, which might top my list of favorite foods period. 

5. Would you describe yourself as decisive or indecisive. Elaborate. 

If we're talking about life's most important matters then I'm decisive. However if we're trying to figure out what to watch on TV or where to go for dinner then I'm more indecisive. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Continuing this month to use the random thought space here on Wednesdays for my A-Z Blog Challenge entry...

Day 17-Q is for  Quiet

I've decided not to overthink this one. This is my word and I'm sticking with it, even though I've written umpteen posts on the subject. All that blog space devoted to quiet only demonstrates how much I like it. 

My house is quiet. 
Except when it's not. 

And when it's not it's because it's full of people I love and that's a good thing. We're a loud bunch. Sure we have grandsons and while I'd like to blame all the noise on them, I can't. Our extended family on both sides is fairly large and we're not all together very often, so when we do get together we talk, sometimes over one another. We laugh and carry on and play our music with the volume turned high. 

We embrace the noise. Eventually everyone goes home and our house goes back to being quiet. In this season I'm learning that in order to appreciate both, I need both.

The rhythm of family life. 

It's the fish that got away because everybody had to run see. 
It's the one reeled in by the fisherman all alone. 

It's everybody in the kitchen trying to help.
It's nobody in the kitchen and a dishwasher at rest.

It's a hands held running COWABUNGA off the dock.
It's 'just us' coffee sipped on the dock.

It's beanbags flying and BBQ smoking.
It's a nap on the couch and an omelette for two. 

It's laughter and words and hey, remember when...
It's books read and words written in a silent room.

It's loving the quiet.
It's missing the noise. 

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Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Time Well Wasted

Still A to Z-ing... and for some reason I have three different sized fonts in this post that do not want to be made right. I'm going to live with it. 

Day 16-P is for Porch Sittin' 

Time spent on the porch is never wasted. Isn't that how the saying goes? Porch sitting is high on my list of favorite things and it never gets old. We have a covered deck, a screened in porch, and a lower level mostly covered patio and I love them all. These are the places and spaces I nap, pray, read, have heart to heart chats, watch college football, dine, stargaze, listen to music, and relax. 

You cannot be stressed out on a porch. It's the law. 

Also, hubs and I are not the only ones who love a little porch sittin'. 

I'd post some current pictures but all of our furniture is still under wraps due to another P word this part of the country is famous for-pollen. Pollen makes my list of least favorite things and in the Upstate 'tis a season all its own. 

To make post-pollen cleanup easier we bring cushions inside, roll up the outdoor rugs, and cover the furniture, typically end of March through mid-late April. Then hubs gets out there and scrubs the decking and washes the porch screens and we pull everything back out and enjoy. We're preparing to re-stage this weekend and we're both so ready. 

While I love all the porches here, the covered deck is my favorite 'room' in the whole house and where I spend the most time. We have a fire table on our covered deck and most mornings I take my coffee and sit out there. We spend most evenings out there too because it's peaceful. 

Hubs loves to hang out on the lower level patio since that's home to our Big Green Egg. The view from that particular vantage point is not too shabby either. 

We have a TV and a fireplace on our screened porch which is just off the kitchen. Come fall you'll find us there most weekends watching college football. We have a dining table on the screened porch too, and eat breakfast-lunch-dinner out there when the weather is nice.


If there's a crowd we move to the lower patio and the bigger table. 


We've got options and they're all good. When people ask for tips on building a lake house we always say pay as much attention to the outdoor spaces as you do the indoor. We pretty much live out of doors here. 


Except during pollen season. 
Which isn't all that long and also isn't snow.


Even this guy will tell you it doesn't matter which porch you choose-


There is no wrong answer.