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

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
happy tears
foreign travel
help with technology
a tidy house
toddlers who call me Nana
time to dream
thoughtful gestures
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. 

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 459

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 wish you had spent more time doing when you were younger? Explain. 

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

3. Share a money saving tip with us. 

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

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

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Monday, April 18, 2022

Come On Over

Good Monday morning. I hope you all had a joyous Easter Day. Ours was lovely with beautiful weather, a really great church service, and a delicious meal shared with several couples from our church who also happen to live in the neighborhood. 

Hubs came home and washed my car. I came home, put on my yoga pants, and took a quick nap. 
Hey, we all have our superpowers. 

Continuing now with this month's A-Z Blog Challenge...

Day 15-O is for Out Of Town Visitors 

I know not everyone feels the same, but we love company. When you move around a lot you end up with friends in every corner of the world, and connecting when they pass through town for a night, a weekend, or a few days mid-week is something we welcome and enjoy. 

That being said unless you're related to me, a few days is good. Ha! We have the room so physical space isn't an issue, its more the mental space for me. I like activity and then I like quiet. I love seeing friends pull down the drive and I love waving goodbye when it's time to go. 

We've had a lot of company in this house. Our many visitors have been great, turning up with wine and treats and sometimes even their own bath towels (less laundry for me) and rolls of Bounty since paper towels are something we seem to run through when company comes to town.  

One thing I've learned is I'm far more anxious about the menu, the plans, and the accommodations than my guests are. I want everything just so and they want to go for a boat ride, sit on the porch with a glass of wine, and catch up. I try to remember this and not overly stress about something that in the end isn't important. I love make ahead dishes that allow me to hang with my guests rather than spending a lot of time in the kitchen while they're here. 

People almost always offer to bring something and rather than saying no thanks, I've learned to say sure...bring boat snacks or a fruit salad or bagels for breakfast. People want to contribute and I need to let them. We love our charcuterie boards and if I'm having a big group here I tell everyone I'll do meats and crackers and they can all bring a favorite cheese or 'relish item' to add to the tray. This has worked really well. 

While we do have room for a large crew here we, more often than not, have a larger than large crew come to stay. This year we added a Murphy bed to my office, designed, built, and installed by our cabinet makers. We couldn't be happier with the end result. 

It hides a queen-sized mattress and the design makes it feel like the bed has always been a part of the room. 

I still need a chair and a small table for the sitting area, and we still need to hang some art, but this bed has been slept in more than once since the install and it's not even summer yet, so a good investment. While the room may not be 100% done, people are sleeping in there because they don't care that I haven't hung the pictures or landed on just the right piece of furniture to add between the chairs. They just want to come hang out and we want them to come hang out. 

In this age of social media we can start to feel like our homes need to be picture perfect and our guest accommodations over the top luxurious before we invite friends to stay. But once upon a time people would come to your house and kids would give up their beds and enthusiastically move to a pallet on the floor or a blanket on the couch to make room. More chairs were squeezed around an already crowded table, hamburgers were cooked on the grill, and the bathroom was shared with whoever lived in the house.

We're all a bit spoiled in this new century. We need hotel quality pillows and a private bath and soy milk- no gluten options wherever we go, and honestly that can be a little bit intimidating to a host. 

Host anyway. 

Welcome people into your home and your life and your heart. Make memories. Build relationships over cups of tea and a lazy afternoon spent floating on the water. It might not solve all the problems of this world, but it definitely solves a few.  

Lake life is meant to be low key and casual. If you need a special pillow or a certain kind of bread bring it with you. Come enjoy the spectacular view, the serenity of nature, the quirkiness of a small rural town, and most of all your people. Come and enjoy your people and the gifts of time and togetherness. 

The door is open and the kettle is on. 

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Small Niceties

Saturday blogging in the A-Z Challenge means a list. Still 'a few of my favorite things', but in list form using the letter of the day. And I always start off by saying, 'in no particular order' but that first thing on the list is definitely the first thing on my list -ha!  

 Day 14-N is for Small Niceties

nice neighbors
being a Nana
baby boys nestled into my lap
good news
Nestle's Toll house cookies right out of the oven
love notes
eggs in a bluebird nest
The National Anthem sung by the crowd
NJ bagels
the beauty found in nature
The Nutcracker ballet
nieces and nephews
a well written novel
our national parks 
moonlit nights
navel oranges
new shoes 

Friday, April 15, 2022

By Design

We're midway through the April A-Z Blog Challenge on this good Good Friday. Have a joyous Easter everyone!

Day 13-M is for Motherhood

Going with something obvious today. 
Obvious, but not easily captured in words. 

There are very few things in this world that completely engage you the way motherhood does. In fact I'd be hard pressed to come up with anything that even comes close. 

My theme in the A-Z Blog Challenge this year has been, 'these are a few of my favorite things', and of all my favorite things motherhood ranks at the top of the list. 

Being a mother, loving my own mother, watching my girls become mothers.

What else can fill your heart to overflowing, break it, mend it, keep you on your knees, make you laugh til you cry, stretch you, grow you, frustrate you, and have you feeling on top of the world, sometimes all in the same day? 

Motherhood is the place where I'm my harshest critic, but also my best self. 

Motherhood changes you, and it continues to change you as you adjust and embrace each new season of parenting. Like the earth itself, the seasons of motherhood are fluid, and while you know this in your head, you still won't always succeed in seeing your grown adult children as the grown adult people they've become. 

Sometimes they're still the little girls whose hair you brushed and whose tears you dried and that's okay too. It's more than okay really. 

Mothers need grace too. 

My mom is in her ninth decade, still listening to my problems, still asking me if I got enough sleep, still telling me how to drive. She can't help it. We can't help it. We're moms from the moment our first born draws a breath to the day we take our last.

 Motherhood is the hardest best thing I've ever done. It's the gift I keep opening, that keeps on surprising...

...and it's my favorite. 

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Life Is Better At The Lake

You may have noticed I missed a letter this week. Or you may not have noticed and that's okay too. This alphabet thing is a lot, isn't it? I'm still trying to decide if I want to go back and fill in the missing letter or just keep calm and carry on. 

For the record, it would be hard for me to keep calm with one letter missing, but it's only Day 12 so I've got time to figure that out. Let's press on-

 Day 12-L is for Lake 

Lake life to be precise. 

It's lovely-

Laid back-

Life here moves at a leisurely pace...

Lazy in a good way-

The big fun here can be loud-

But the stress low-

Beauty lives large at the lake- 

We feel lucky to call it home-

"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." 
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Hey Peeps! It's Hodgepodge Time

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 hop over and leave a comment for your neighbor there. Here we go-

From this Side of the Pond

1. Do you celebrate Easter? If so what are your plans this year? Did you have egg hunts as a kid? 

Yes we celebrate Easter, or as my grandson says, 'good news'! The events of Easter are what give me hope in a world gone mad. We don't have any big plans this year. Both girls will be here in early May for a baby shower and it's a bit of haul for Daughter1 to make the trip twice with toddlers in a short span of time. Daughter2 has been in clean up mode from a water leak so they need some time to regroup and relax. 

We'll attend church. I'd love to talk hubs into the sunrise service and the weather looks like it might cooperate, but he may prefer to stick with our usual later morning service, and that's okay too. A church friend who is also a neighbor invited us for lunch with two other couples and we'll all bring a dish and share a meal. Afterwards I'm thinking a nap. Sunday afternoons are made for naps. 

We did have Easter baskets and egg hunts when I was a kid. I don't remember ever going to any huge egg hunts, but the living room was still a lot of fun. 

2. What's your favorite bread to find in a bread basket? 

Not too particular about the type of bread but make whatever kind it is warm and the butter soft. 

3. Your favorite chick flick? 

It's hard to pick just one, but a few favorites are Under the Tuscan Sun, Sweet Home Alabama, 27 Dresses and My Big Fat Greek Wedding, 

4.Tax day is rapidly approaching in the US of A...what's something you currently find 'taxing'?

Besides taxes you mean? Because I still find those taxing. We just had a dead tree removed and have quite a few other outdoorsy projects that need doing and paying for and prioritizing and I find just thinking about it all somewhat taxing. I prefer sitting on the porch with my iced coffee and a good book. 

5. Have you ever ridden in a taxi? Do you have a funny-scary-crazy-interesting taxi story to share? Do you use any of the newer taxi-like services such as Uber? 

I have ridden in many a taxi and have had more than a few scary-crazy rides. London cabs are the best by the way. Don't even try to convince me otherwise. 

We use Uber when we're in a place that has Uber. Not really an option out here in the country. 

One of the 'scarier' taxi rides I experienced was in the Bahamas. I was meeting hubs at the end of a work thing there and another woman was supposed to be on my same flight but missed her connection. We were going to share a cab but it ended up just me and the cab driver in the dark of night and this was back in the olden days of no cell phones. 

We were driving along when he suddenly pulled into a small apartment complex, told me he'd be right back, took a paper bag from under the front seat and dropped it on someone's doorstep. He then carried on driving me to the hotel as if nothing had happened. I lived to tell the tale so maybe it was simply take out for his momma as opposed to something nefarious? Right. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Using this space for today's letter of the day in the A-Z April Blog Challenge. My theme this year is 'these are a few of my favorite things'...

Day 11-K is for Promises Kept

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Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 458

Here are the questions to this week's Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then hop back here to add your link to the party. See you there! 

1. Do you celebrate Easter? If so what are your plans this year? Did you have egg hunts as a kid? 

2. What's your favorite bread to find in a bread basket? 

3. Your favorite chick flick? 

4.Tax day is rapidly approaching in the US of A...what's something you currently find 'taxing'? 

5. Have you ever ridden in a taxi? Do you have a funny-scary-crazy-interesting taxi story to share? Do you use any of the newer taxi-like services such as Uber? 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Monday, April 11, 2022

Fresh Ink

Hello Monday morning afternoon evening. Did I take advantage of the weekend and write ahead a post or two for the April A-Z Challenge?

No I did not.

I spent the weekend out of town with friends celebrating a birthday (not my own), arriving home Sunday afternoon in time for a nap on the couch and the end of the Masters. What that means is we're winging it here today. 

I actually don't mind winging it. Sometimes those are my best posts. 
But probably not this one because letter I is tricky. 

Day 9-I is for Ink

I like the written word. 

I like reading and I like writing. I love blogging, poetry, historical accounts, smart writers, funny writers, travel writers, and especially writers who capture the bittersweet moments of life using tender words I wish I'd written myself. 

I know blogging is a bit passe in the year 2022, but I still enjoy it... still need some place to dump all the words in my head and still love recording life as it happens or viewing it through the technicolor lens of hindsight.

Writing about life has taught me to notice life. Time speeds up with every turn of the calendar page and sometimes we forget to pay attention.

I like to pay attention. 

The written word. Ink. One of my favorite things. 

Saturday, April 9, 2022

If You're Happy And You Know It Make A List

For the past two or three years I've dubbed Saturday 'list day' in the A-Z Blog Challenge. Blogging six days a week is a lot for me so I give myself a small break come Saturday. 

On Saturdays I use the letter of the day to make a list of little things I love. Think counting your blessings, but only those that fit the letter of the day-ha! This year a gratitude list actually ties in nicely with my theme ('these are a few of my favorite things'), and in no particular order here's today's list-

 Day 8-H is for Little Bits Of Happy 

hopeful people 
an empty clothes hamper
hearing little boys say 'Nana' 
a hug around the neck from those same little boys
a great hotel
a helping hand
the view from somewhere high
friends with bees who give me honey
a good hair day
Hunley (the dog, not the submarine)
a beautifully set holiday table
trips to historical sites
the scent of honeysuckle on the breeze 
a perfectly grilled hamburger 
a waterfall hike
coming home 

Friday, April 8, 2022

It's All Fun And Games

Still blogging my way through the alphabet with the April A-Z Challenge. People related to me will not be surprised by today's entry-

Day 7-G is for Games 

Listen up. There are two kinds of people in this world-those who love to play games and those who don't. Guess which one I am-ha! I'm not talking athletic competition, but I am talking competition because I do like to win. 

I've taught my grandson how to play Crazy 8's and apparently he played with his grandfather during a recent visit. My daughter texted saying the mancub didn't cut granddad any slack when it came to winning, just like Nana. 

Is that a compliment? 
I'm going to say yes. 

The mancub also likes to play Go Fish, Candyland, and Guess Who, and you need to know if you play once you're going to play twenty times. I love that he asks to play games and that it's something we can do together. He's a very good sport and seems to know he can't win every time. 

Hubs would say especially if he's playing with Nana. 
He's not wrong. 

Hubs is not a big game player, but he'll humor me now and then with a game of Rummy or Backgammon. Whenever we play a new game with people, one I already know how to play, he likes to remind me not to go overboard with the rule keeping. 

I don't deny it. I mean games have rules and rules are meant to be followed, right? 

Our next door neighbors love to play games too and we get together pretty often for cards or Sequence or Dominoes. We play Euchre with them too and Darts which is a game of a different sort, but also fun. We have Cornhole and Yardtzee and also a pool table, all fun games to play with a big group. Hubs may not love games but he does love a houseful of people. 

fyi-games that involve too much eye hand coordination are not my strong suit.

When Covid was in full force and everyone was hunkered down alone I started playing a card game with my mom via Facetime. It's called Hand and Foot and while we had to tweak some of the rules, we've made it work. It has been such a fun way to connect with her every week, and do something 'normal'. 

Also, she likes to win too, so I guess the apple didn't fall far from the tree. 

During Covid I learned from another neighbor how to play MahJong, and I really enjoyed it. I haven't played much lately as we've had so much going on here, but I hope to get back to it. MahJong requires focus and strategy and it's quick so you need to play regularly if you want to be any good. 

Daughter2 and I played a lot of games when she was living with us and we still play at least one or two or ten games of Skipbo every time she visits. We got a fun game for Christmas called Chronology and it seems everyone likes that, which is good for a group.  

I play an online game, which I call brain training because that's what the makers of the game call it, but hubs rolls his eyes when I say that so we'll just say game. And like the rest of the world I do the daily Wordle and also Quordle, which I think is a bit more challenging. 

So what games do you like to play or don't you? 
Are you a person who loves games or are you no fun? teehee. 

Enjoy your weekend everyone! 

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Family Matters

More A-Z blogging on a Thursday afternoon-

 Day 6-F is for Family

How could this not be one of my favorite things? 

Actually I do know not everyone can say that. Families are complicated because people are complicated. I'm one of four children and hubs is one of four children and we are so very fortunate to be the ages we are and still both have our mothers in our lives. Everybody speaks to everybody including the moms, which feels like such a gift in a world filled with angry, impatient, opinionated people. 

When I thought about today's letter and thought about the word family it wasn't my children, but my siblings, who first came to mind. The 'kids' I grew up with and the ones I claim by marriage. The ones who've seen me at my absolute worst and also my very best. The ones who love me, tease me, root for me, and only sometimes annoy me. Hi family! You know you're never annoying-ha! Me neither-ha!

The people in our family do not all share the same political ideology, or even the same religious beliefs. We have varying interests, occupations, home lives, incomes, child/childless status, personal tastes, and abilities. 

What we do share is history...memories rooted and watered in our mostly happy childhoods. A sense of home and belonging that neither time nor distance can erase. We support one another in a variety of ways but we also argue, forgive, hammer things out. We gather round tables where food and laughter and stories are shared, and only sometimes exaggerated. The ties that bind may stretch and fray from time to time, but there's an unspoken agreement they'll never break. 

Family is forever and it's my favorite.