Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Recording The Hodgepodge

Welcome to this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. As a reminder, there will not be a Hodgepodge next week (September 28th). The Hodgepodge will resume the following Wednesday, October 5th. 

If you've answered today's questions add your link at the end of my post. Be sure to leave a comment for the blogger before you because comments make the blog world go round. Here we go- 

From this Side of the Pond

1. Volume 478. Sounds like a lot. Where were you in 1978? If you weren't born where were you in 2008? 

In 1978 I was a freshman in college. I was living in East Tennessee, making new friends, picking up an accent, and settling on what I would be when I grew up. 

In 2008 my Daughter2 was a freshman in college. I was living in England, making new friends, picking up an accent (or at least a new way of saying things), and growing in so very many ways. 

2. Raise your hand if you remember records playing at a speed of 78 rpm? What's a topic that when it comes up you 'sound like a broken record'? 

Raising my hand, but we were mostly all about the 33's and the 45's. 78's were a bit before my time. 

A topic where I sound like a broken record? Hmmm...well I do like to talk about beautiful weather lol. 

3. What's the last thing you recorded in some way? 

I suppose many will reply with something they've added to their DVR, but for me I think of recording as writing things down. The last thing I recorded (besides this Hodgepodge) would be my weekend birthday celebration right here on the blog (Another Trip Around The Sun). 

4. Thursday is the first day of fall (in the northern hemisphere). How do you feel about the changing seasons? Something you're looking forward to this fall? 

I love the changing seasons.  I like the rhythm they bring to life, and the way each season has a particular beauty all its own. Out of all the seasons though, summer rolling in to fall is my favorite. 

Something I'm looking forward to this fall? Lots of  things, but especially attending the wedding of our long time and very dear friend's daughter.  We live miles and miles apart and are so excited to spend time with them in person.

5. In what way (or ways) are you like the apple that didn't 'fall far from the tree'? 

Many ways...I wrote a whole post about this very thing once upon a time. You can read it here-One Of These Things Is A Lot Like The Other

In short, we both love books, shoes, Jesus, our grandchildren, a cup of hot tea and a good puzzle. We're both stubborn, sensitive, and independent, and we both like to make holidays and celebrations a big deal. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Monday night...

"Softly the evening came with the sunset." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 478

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! 

Wait! One quick item of business before you run off...there will not be a Hodgepodge next week (September 28). The Hodgepodge will resume the following Wednesday October 5. Now carry on. 


1. Volume 478. Sounds like a lot. Where were you in 1978? If you weren't born where were you in 2008? 

2. Raise your hand if you remember records playing at a speed of 78 rpm? What's a topic that when it comes up you 'sound like a broken record'? 

3. What's the last thing you recorded in some way? 

4. Thursday is the first day of fall (in the northern hemisphere). How do you feel about the changing seasons? Something you're looking forward to this fall? 

5. In what way (or ways) are you like the apple that didn't 'fall far from the tree'? 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Monday, September 19, 2022

Another Trip Around The Sun

So how did we mark the voyage? When I say 'we' I mean hubs and my girls and their boys because they're what make the day special. Good friends help too. 

For starters the weather was absolute perfection and you know I'm all about the weather. 
Also, hubs and the girls have no control over the weather, but whatever. 

Another also, the girls and their boys were not in the house but whatever. Hubs and I boated into the real Friday Night Lights because I like my birthday to last at least three days. 

There were bright blue skies all weekend long, a gentle breeze, and church on Sunday morning. There was a light lunch on the porch right after, and a nap for hubs because birthdays and college football games where kickoff isn't until 8 PM on a Saturday night wear a body out. 

In the days leading up to my birthday I had my teeth cleaned, my eyes checked (aka another new prescription), and a small something which was fortunately nothing taken off my back by the dermatologist. This is 60-something. 

I know those things happen in every decade but you give them a lot more space in your brain at this age.

Saturday morning we kayaked. The pup nearly drowned me in his efforts not to be left behind (we were not leaving him behind!) but we all survived and he swam and chased sticks and jumped on and off the boat because he was that excited. 

I get it. Birthdays are exciting. 

Hubs bought me yellow roses and a delicious chocolate cake with raspberry filling which is tradition. This year he managed to order just a six inch cake and my waistline thanks him. So good though! 

The girls sent cards and presents and we facetimed and the oldest grandboys sang happy birthday while the sweet baby gave gummy smiles that light up his whole face. Mine too. 

Three deer ran across the yard when I stepped outside with my Sunday morning coffee.

That evening we drove a few towns over with friends to eat sushi at a place we love. It's a tiny town but the sushi is on point. 


We laughed a lot. 


It was a weekend filled with some of my favorite things...beautiful weather, physical activity, porch sitting, book reading, wonderful food, faith, family, and friends. 

Ordinary bits and pieces that, when combined, somehow made the ordinary feel a little bit extraordinary. 

"May you live every day of your life." Jonathan Swift

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

A Perfectly Perfect 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. Be sure to leave a comment for the blogger before you because that's what good neighbors do. Here we go-

From this Side of the Pond

1. What's something you've learned from a younger person?

When I think of 'younger people' I think of my girls and I've learned a lot from them. 

Computer shortcuts, good follows on Instagram, tv shows I might like, book titles I might not have found on my own, how to laugh at myself, and how to see shades of gray in a world I often see in black and white. 

2. Are you a perfectionist? Elaborate? 

About some things. I was a bit of a perfectionist back in my student days. I can be picky (is that the same thing???) about my handwriting, a table setting, the way a towel should be folded, how the dishwasher is loaded-ha! In other areas of my life good enough is good enough. I will say I don't expect perfection from others, and in general give other people more grace than I give myself. 

3. What makes you cringe? 

I learned a new word recently that fits here, the German word fremdschamen. It means second hand embarrassment which is what I think of when I hear the word cringe. Someone else is doing something embarrassing (although they may not realize it) and that causes me to feel embarrassment for them. 

A list of things that make me cringe would include small children going barefoot in restaurants or public restrooms, someone talking with a mouthful of food, a person's mistake being called out in front of others, poor grammar from someone who should know better, someone misusing a word (pacific for specific), any time our Vice-President makes a speech of any kind, and virtue signaling. 

4. September is National Honey month...do you have bees and make your own? Know someone who has bees and they share? Your favorite thing made with honey? 

We do not keep bees but daughter2's father-in-law does, and he keeps us in honey. We also have a good friend here on the lake who has bees and he shares too. We love it. 

My favorite thing made with honey is probably a toasted English muffin with honey dripping in to all the nooks and crannies. I drink my tea with milk, but if I have a scratchy throat I love hot tea with honey. I like honey mustard dressing on a salad, and honey butter on a warm piece of bread. 

5. Where is your happy place? 

The English countryside.

My backyard is pretty great too. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I made an apple cake with a caramel drizzle for my book club this week. It was easy and delish and you'll  find the recipe in the link here (The Best Apple Cake)  Enjoy! 

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Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 477

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's something you've learned from a younger person? 

2. Are you a perfectionist? Elaborate? 

3. What makes you cringe? 

4. September is National Honey month...do you have bees and make your own? Know someone who has bees and they share? Your favorite thing made with honey? 

5. Where is your happy place? 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Saturday, September 10, 2022

The Times Of Our Lives

Doing what I do every year on this date and that's write something for daughter2 in honor of her birthday. She told me once it's one of her favorite things about her birthday and that thought has stayed with me. 

A ten year old memory popped up on hubs facebook page this morning, a picture of him with the birthday girl taken in an apple orchard not far from our NJ home. 

It was probably taken the year before and he was sharing it on her birthday because it's a sweet photo.  The day was bathed in almost autumn light and had the cozy feeling that eases in as summer turns to fall.  

That was then. 

This is now. 
Ten years is a long time.


Also the blink of an eye. 

That's how raising children goes. One minute they're sleeping in the bed upstairs and the next they're swaddling a child of their own. 

Birthdays remind us to savor the gift of another day. To look back and see all the ways we've grown and changed, but also to love where we are right now. To acknowledge we don't control the future, but it's in good good Hands. 

Happy birthday my darling girl. The year ahead will bring you joy and dirty diapers. Moments of wonder and weariness and wow. Beauty and barf and boogers and a love so big some days you think your heart might burst. 

That's motherhood. The good-the bad-the hard-the bliss. All of it. 

I pray this year you are overwhelmed by the goodness of God in the extraordinary ordinary moments of your life.  xo Momma

"Time is free, but it's priceless." Harvey Mackay

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

On The Street Where You Hodgepodge

Monday holidays always mess with me, but here we are rolling in to Wednesday without too much trouble. If you've answered the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge add your link at the end of my post. And remember good neighbors leave a comment for the blogger before them! Now here we go-

From this Side of the Pond

1. Tell us a little bit about the best birthday you've ever had. 

This is a toughie. I'm sure I had some really great birthdays as a child, but I can't recall specifics. My mama made occasions special and birthdays were no exception. 

I guess I'll say either my 40th or my 50th which I wrote about in posts here (In The Words of Gomer Pyle) and here (Let Them Eat Cake) The best thing about these two particular birthday celebrations was the forethought and planning that went into them and the surprise. 

2.  In what way(s) have you changed in the last five years? 

I started to say many, but I'm still me so maybe not as much as I initially thought. Obviously my hair is less 'natural' and my eyesight needs greater correction and I can't jump up from a seat on the floor without planning ahead, but none of those are a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Probably the biggest thing would be I'm a Nana now and my heart has grown in ways I couldn't have imagined prior to grandchildren joining our family. 

On the inside though, I'm not that different. I have less patience for all the judgement and assumptions people throw down these days, but I still trust my life to the Maker of it all.

3. What's your favorite thing about the street on which you live? 

We have really nice neighbors and this in the backyard-

4. The Hodgepodge lands on National Beer Day...are you a beer drinker? What's a recipe you make that lists beer as one of the ingredients? If not beer, how about yeast?

I am not a beer drinker. We make brats and add beer to the cooking water which makes them extra delicious.

5. As I grow older I would like to be a woman (or man, if there are any men in the HP today) who points people to Jesus.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

My girls and their boys...

Labor Day 2022

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Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 476

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. Tell us a little bit about the best birthday you've ever had. 

2.  In what way(s) have you changed in the last five years? 

3. What's your favorite thing about the street on which you live? 

4. The Hodgepodge lands on National Beer Day...are you a beer drinker? What's a recipe you make that lists beer as one of the ingredients? If not beer, how about yeast?

5. As I grow older I would like to be a woman (or man, if there are any men in the HP today) who __________________________.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Monday, September 5, 2022

The Labor Day Weekend

Our Labor Day weekend was light on labor and big on fun, family, good food, and foul weather. We didn't let that foul weather dampen our spirits though, and it was the most fun-full Labor Day weekend we've had in a long time. 

Daughter1 and her two boys drove over on Friday from their Tennessee home. Her hubs was on call this weekend so he couldn't come with, and it was a long drive for her.  We all do what we must to have family time, and she's a trooper. 

Also, seven months pregnant so go her! 

They arrived about 6 PM and the grandboys hopped out of the car and asked to go swimming. Why not? We put on our bathing suits and cowabunga-d off the dock. 

Not the pregnant lady. She sat in a lounge chair and watched and everyone was happy. 

Daughter2 and her hubs and baby boy drove over from their Tennessee home on Saturday morning. It rained buckets but they arrived without incident. We oohed and ahhhed over baby boy and then hubs, my son-in-law and the mancub crossed 'swimming in the rain' off their bucket list. 

Oh and their chiahuahua learned he is in fact a water dog, much to everyone's surprise. 

The sky was so gray all weekend long and we had a tremendous amount of rain all weekend long, but no  thunder or lightning so we made the best of it. Swimming in the rain is how you make the best of it. 

Saturday night daughter1's in-laws, who live nearby,  joined us for dinner. As it happened our brother-in-law was traveling north from Florida and was also able to join us for dinner and stay the night. He hadn't met the newest little guy yet and doesn't get to see his nieces often, so this was a treat. 

Hubs grilled wings and brats and the in-laws brought everybody's favorite sweet potato cake for dessert. Since hubs celebrated a birthday on Thursday the boys added candles and helped him make a wish. 

On Sunday daughter2's in-laws drove over from their home to spend the night and celebrate daughter2's birthday. And see the grandbaby of course, but that goes without saying. Hubs and I really enjoy both sets of in-laws which is such a blessing.

Hubs and my son-in-law (along with their talented sous chef) grilled a ginormous brisket for our Sunday dinner-

They actually put it on the Green Egg the night before and spent at least another 24 hours discussing the finer points of grilling-ha! 

It was de-lish! I made a chocolate cake for the birthday girl and there were more candles and wishes and gifts. It was noisy and sweet and oh so special. 

Daughter1 and her crew left Monday morning for their ridunkulously long drive home. Goodbyes are always hard for sisters turned aunts.

Plus her six hour drive turned into more than nine hours and we just hope she'll come back lol. 

Daughter2's in-laws left a little bit later in the morning, and there was a miniscule break in the weather so we let baby boy have his first dip in the lake. It took longer to get him in the swim suit, hat, and life jacket than he lasted in the water, but it was super cute so that's something. 

We spent the rest of the day relaxing on the porch (there will be a nap in my week somewhere!), made a shepherds pie with some of our leftover brisket, and then watched college football because it's that time again. 

We love a full house and having family and extended family here is a true labor of love. Hope your weekend was full of the people you love too. 


Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Everybody's Workin' 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. Before you run off be sure to leave a comment for the blogger before you, because that's how the Hodgepodge rolls. Here we go-

From this Side of the Pond
1. Something you've labored over recently? 

Hmmm...I can't think of anything recently that involved true labor.  I guess I'll say planning a trip. Not physically laborious but it's been a bit of a brain drain getting all the bits and pieces to come together. 

2. How will you rest on Labor Day? 

Ha! We'll have a houseful here, including all three of my grandsons, so I'm not sure rest will be on the agenda. We're all looking forward to being together though, and there will be plenty of time to rest next week. In the meantime I plan to embrace all the noisy fun. 

3. Margaret Mead is quoted as saying, "I learned the value of hard work by working hard." Would you agree? Where and how did you learn the value of hard work? 

I agree with the saying. 

I learned the value of hard work from my parents. Growing up we were expected to work hard- try hard- do our best-whether that meant in school or in a household chore we were assigned. My parents worked hard too. They lived within their means, saved for a rainy day, and were generous with their time and resources with those less fortunate. That was the example I had and the one I have tried to emulate. 

4. It's National Eat Outside Day (August 31st). Will you? Do you enjoy dining 'al fresco' or do you prefer indoor seating? 

Hubs and I love dining al fresco and we eat outside every chance we get. If the humidity is ridiculous then we opt for indoor seating, otherwise we're all about eating outside. We have a table on our screened porch and love to eat out there in the autumn months especially. 

5. Somehow it's the end of August. What was the best day of the month for you and tell us what made it so?

We've had a lot of 'best days' this month so it's nearly impossible to choose just one. My best day would definitely be one where grandchildren were part of the equation. A day at the beach with Daughter1 and her family or a morning spent sitting on the porch with the cutest little nugget I know.  

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Speaking of the littlest man, here's the cutest thing you'll see today. This month. Maybe ever-

Be still my heart. 

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Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 475

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

1. Something you've labored over recently? 

2. How will you rest on Labor Day? 

3. Margaret Mead is quoted as saying, "I learned the value of hard work by working hard." Would you agree? Where and how did you learn the value of hard work? 

4. It's National Eat Outside Day (August 31st). Will you? Do you enjoy dining 'al fresco' or prefer indoor seating? 

5. Somehow it's the end of August. What was the best day of the month for you and tell us what made it so? 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Blueberry Waffles With A Side Of Hodgepodge

Welcome to another 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. August 24th is National Waffle Day...what's something you've 'waffled' on recently? 

Booking hotels for an upcoming trip. I spent so much time reading reviews and comparing prices vs. value vs. convenience and yadda yadda yadda that it was hard to hit the reserve button. But I did and it's done and that's that. I'm not a huge waffler, unless you ask me where I want to eat. 

2. Do you like waffles? Make your own or 'leggo my Eggo? Any favorite toppings or add-ins? Waffles or pancakes-which do you prefer? 

I like a home made waffle and I definitely prefer waffles over pancakes. Pancakes are usually too heavy for me.  The only time I have frozen waffles in the house is when the grandboys are visiting because they like waffles of all kinds. As far as toppings go, there must be butter and a little maple syrup. Blueberry waffles are my favorite and I like mine with a side of bacon to help cut the sweetness.  

3. Do you have any momentos from this summer (or past summers)? What do you do with them? 

Do words count? Yes they count and I put them here-ha! I do have seashells from past trips to Marco Island which is where we used to go when our girls were young (er). They're in a jar in one of the guest room baths. Occasionally we'll buy a t-shirt or ball cap but we haven't done any of that this summer. 

When we traveled around Europe we bought furniture and prints and my favorite-pottery. I enjoy it all still today. 

4. One thing you'd like to do before summer ends? 

A sunset boat cruise. We just need to put it on the calendar and then the weather needs to cooperate, but I'm pretty sure we can make it happen. Plus, PSA- even though we're all sliding in to autumn mode, summer doesn't officially end for another month.  I get it though, because fall is my favorite and for some reason feels like a shorter season than all the rest. 

5. Life is too short to argue on the Internet.  

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Speaking of booking hotels, I did something stupid recently. We are doing a little road trip in September where we'll be making several stops en route to a wedding. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out where those stops would be and where we should stay once we decided. About a week later hubs asked me about a charge on the credit card for a hotel we had considered but hadn't booked. I shrugged and said maybe I'd booked using one of those deals where you pay in advance. 

Oops. That wasn't it. 

Apparently I did book it only I booked it for July not September. Bother. The hotel even tried to call me late one night while I was at my daughters and when hubs asked who it was I said SPAM. It was 11:30 PM and because I didn't recognize the number I didn't pick up. 

Bother. Bother. Bother. 

Life is too short to beat yourself up about stupid stuff  Right? 

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Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 474

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. August 24th is National Waffle Day...what's something you've 'waffled' on recently? 

2. Do you like waffles? Make your own or 'leggo my Eggo? Any favorite toppings or add-ins? Waffles or pancakes-which do you prefer? 

3. Do you have any momentos from this summer (or past summers)? What do you do with them? 

4. One thing you'd like to do before summer ends? 

5. Life is too short to___________________________________. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Monday, August 22, 2022

Meetin' And Greetin'

We have a big family. I guess you'd call it big? I have three siblings and hubs has three siblings and all our siblings are married and some have children too, and then there's also my mama and hubs mama, so I guess that qualifies as big. 

And we're all spread out geographically too so it takes several months for the newbies joining our family to meet the oldies already here. It's probably best that these introductions happen in stages because we're all baby hogs and nobody wants to hand over baby boy once they've got him on their lap. 

I get it. 

First things first. Gotta meet the aunt whose been his mama's best friend since the day she was born. 

Next up were the cousins. 

I mean THE COUSINS!! 

These little men were sooooo excited to meet their very first cousin. 

What's a cousin? Does he talk? Why not? When will he talk? Can he throw the ball? Why can't he throw the ball?

Baby boy is well loved by these first new friends who are also family...

Also he's tough-ha! 

Little man was also introduced to my mama when she was in town this month. They share a name which made their meeting extra special. My girls like to share the baby's gender before baby arrives, but they always hold off revealing the name until baby is actually here. I like this. 

Hearing his name was a sweet surprise and made my mama a little teary. His middle name is her maiden name, and it all made me a little teary too. 

My oldest sister and her hubs drove out to the lake to pick up my mom so they were also able to meet their newest great nephew while he is still pretty new. 

My oldest sister loves babies and you have to check her car when she leaves to make sure she's not taking yours home with her lol. 

Then last weekend hubs brother and sister-in-law took his mama for a meet and greet. How awesome is it to be so loved by not only your grandparents but by your great grandparents too? 


I will tell you. 
It's completely awesome. 

Okay little man, that's ten down, thirteen more to go. On your momma's side I mean. Your Daddy's got more than a few folks waiting in the queue too.

Welcome to your great big loud big fun big loving family...

 I suspect you'll fit in just fine.