Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Young At Heart In 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 blog. Be sure to visit your neighbors on the list as comments make the blog world go round. Here we go- 

From this Side of the Pond
1. Do you feel older or younger than your age? Elaborate. 

Hmmm...depends on the day and what's happening. While I don't feel like a 20-something I also don't feel four decades beyond that either. Physically there are definitely days I feel my age. On the inside I'm still younger than the calendar claims. 

I think about this quite a bit as my mom and my mother-in-law are three decades ahead of me, yet I know they still feel young at heart. It's frustrating to have your thoughts and opinions discounted or unappreciated because of a number when on the inside you are still the girl you always were. I feel this too. 

2. What's one thing you should toss right now, but just can't?

I have several dresses I feel like I should part with, but there they hang...still in my closet. They fit, and are mostly classic in style, but I never wear them because they have been worn and worn and worn and sometimes you just want new. 

3. Have you visited many of the 63 National Parks in the US of A? You'll find a list here. Do you have a favorite? What National Park that you haven't seen do you most want to see? 

We've visited some, but not nearly as many as I'd like to see. A trip out west (Yellowstone and Grand Tetons) is high on my 'to-see' list. My hubs grew up just outside of the Smoky Mountain National Park and we've spent a lot of time there. It's for sure a favorite. 

I had to go in search of a photo because I have literally dozens of us at various ages and stages in the Smoky Mountains, but here's where I landed-

Be still my heart. I think this must be 1992 and y'all those babies on my lap now have babies this very same age. The absolute sweetest days. Then and now. 

Also there's my God given hair color. 
Carry on. 

Acadia is another favorite, definitely one of the prettiest places in America. I've also been to the Rocky Mountains many times as my grandparents lived on a Colorado farm with a view, Shenandoah (ooh, that's another favorite...they're all favorites I guess)...Mt. Rainier, The Everglades, The many beautiful places. My sister and niece were in Joshua Tree recently and they loved that. I've been to California a few times so not sure I'll get to that one, but never say never. 

4. How often do you get take out? What's your favorite? 

There's basically no take out where I live. I mean there is I suppose, but by the time you get home with take out it's cold so you may as well eat there. We don't even have pizza delivery. We either cook at home or go to a restaurant. There's not a lot of in-between. I keep a frozen pizza here for when we want pizza, but on the whole we don't miss take-out. 

Well okay, occasionally I might pine for pizza delivery, but mostly we have adjusted expectations and it's all good. There is so much to love about living on a lake, and I have a grocery store and all other life 'necessities' within an 8-10 mile radius so I don't pine too much over the no-delivery. 

My favorite would be Thai or Chinese but it's not happening here. We do have a Thai restaurant we enjoy so if we want Thai we just eat there. 

5. Do you have many (or any) subscriptions? Not necessarily magazines, but thinking more along the lines of boxes or products that companies offer, and you can sign up to receive on a regular basis. Could be weekly, monthly, quarterly, even daily. Tell us about them. 

I have several subscription boxes. I've been ordering Home Chef a couple of times a month since the Covid nonsense, but am going to cancel that one at the end of the month. We recently bought a chest freezer so I've started a meat subscription to Good Ranchers and will do that instead. 

Not the same thing, but honestly we're not enjoying the Home Chefs as much as we did in the beginning. If you're looking for lower calorie/lower sodium content the options are few. And I never order any of the steak entrees because we're picky about our steak. 

We've ordered random boxes from Good Ranchers and like their product. It's all American ranchers and farmers and the quality is excellent. I started a subscription that included free Wagyu beef patties in every box for a year, plus a $100 dollar/box savings over the course of four orders. I signed up for a delivery every six weeks, but you can pause or cancel at any time. My box includes ground beef, chicken, sirloin, and flat iron steak, plus the free burgers. They always have specials so check for one before you order. The podcasters Allie Beth Stuckey and Alisa Childers both always have codes you can use too. 

I subscribe to Lovery for my youngest grands, and I get a Stitch Fix box once a quarter which I enjoy. I get a Grove box once a month, although some months I skip depending on what we've been doing. I get trash bags, dishwasher soap, dish soap, dog treats, dog bags, toilet bowl cleaner, and a few other odds and ends from them and it's nice not to have to add those items to my grocery cart when I shop in person. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Well I have a million things to do to get ready for next week, but instead I spent a good part of today (Tuesday) putting together a photo book from a trip we took in 2017. 

I'm on top of things. 

In 2017 we drove up the coast of California from San Francisco all the way to Tacoma Washington, where my daughter1 was living at the time, and every time I look at my photos I think 'I should really make that album.' 

My daughter makes beautiful family yearbooks with Mpix and I had a 40% off coupon sitting in my email that expires today, so I made a book. It was time consuming and I'm so glad I have my blog, because I wrote about the trip in great detail when it happened and that helped me get the album in chronological order, and also remember the names of all the tiny towns we drove through. 

Still a long to-do list, but tomorrow is another day. 

Also, in 2022 we drove up the California coast from San Diego to San Francisco and once I see how this  album turns out I'm determined to get Volume 2 done as well. Before another seven years pass I mean. 

Have a great day everyone! 

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  1. So interesting! I highly recommend Slender Kitchen website. I have been amazed at the Asian and Thai food I have made at home. It's healthier but my family didn't know it was supposed to be. They have loved all the recipes. The beef bulgogi bowl is one of our favorites, but her website is easy to use.
    That would be a challenge sometimes but you are not missing out and you have that beautiful lake!

  2. Enjoyed reading all your answers. I will likely leave out something that I wanted to reply to but here goes... Good Ranchers- how cool. Let your blog friends know what you think. I would love to do a subscription with them! You have been to amazing places- how fun to have many pictures of your kids at the same general (beautiful!) site. No take out- it would be a life adjustment to not have restaurants nearby for take out... but those view you have. I can see how it´s worth it :). Great questions, great answers- thanks for the link up!!

  3. The Smoky Mountains are beautiful and love that picture! I hope all the preparations are going well as you prepare for your family coming. I can relate to the clothes in the closet. Because I have purchased some new ones this year, I did finally get rid of a few. It is hard though! Have a good day!

  4. Great post. I had not heard of Good Ranchers before. I think it would definitely benefit our budget not to have takeout spots so close! Thanks for hosting the Hodgepodge.

  5. We had similar answers to both #1 &2. Many times I have wanted to subscribe to Stitch Fix, but I am skeptical. So you like it and is it easy to return?

    1. Very easy to return. If you need an extension on the return you can get one online. It does take a couple of boxes for the stylist to get your style. I have had a couple but the one I've used the last few boxes seems to get me so I've stayed with her. They ask every time if you want a different stylist.

  6. Acadia is one of of our very faves!! we camped there in 2004 when my daughters were 5 and 10. SO much fun and we hiked every day except the day we went to the fresh water lake and swam. The 2nd time we went in 2009 it was a drizzly hardly any sun week so we biked, kayaked and only did one short hike up Beech Mt. Spent time at the aquarium there. We love Maine and I'd retire there if i could talk hubby into it.

    I can so relate to the dresses in the closet!!

  7. I really need to get some photo books done before my blog and photos disappear. Good for your for getting one done. Our honeymoon was up the coast of California fifty years ago! That good ranchers subscription sounds good. I like the idea of supporting ranchers and farmers, too. Have a great time finishing up your prep for your girls and grands!!

  8. Well, I keep a photo book going all year long. I've used Shutterfly ever since it started. I start in Jan and finish up with our family Christmas. If I don't do it along as events happen then I'd feel too overwhelmed to even fool with it. Hats off to you for tackling a whole book at one time. The Smokies are near and dear to my heart as Virginia is my birthplace and we've been to the Smokies more times than I can count. I know next week will be a memory making time. Enjoy!

  9. I enjoyed your answers. I'm with you on the photo books..I keep saying I need to create some and then I just don't do it. I need to make that a goal. A friend of mine has been job hunting and has definitely felt that age is sometimes a factor in certain areas. Which is so sad. You probably drove past the town I live in on your way to Tacoma :)

  10. Good answer for #1. I can relate to the dresses in the closet. The photo from Smoky Mountains is so cute. Yes, there are so many beautiful places to visit in the United States. That's interesting about the take out in your area. I agree, living where you live can't be beat. That Good Ranchers will be nice to get. They sound like great selections of meat. I think Adam and Gabby get Stitch Fix deliveries. The Grove Box sounds interesting. I'm able to get the bigger items from Costco delivered which helps so you don't have to get things like detergent and toilet paper to fill your cart up. I wish I was on top of things with photo books. Never going to happen. I'll have to check out Mpix. Yes, your California trip would be nice in an album. Take care.

  11. Hi Joyce. The Hodgepodge was fun today and I'm enjoying reading everyone's answers. That Good Ranchers sounds good. The Smoky Mountains are definitely my favorite!

  12. It sounds like where we live! Though we do have a pizza place now that's only 15 minutes away; they don't deliver but we will pick up take out from there and at least we don't have to reheat the food... Funny enough it's actually just over the line in another state so it sounds weird to say we'll go pick up pizza in Rhode Island.

    We've only just started visiting national parks a couple of years ago but so far we have found something we enjoy in them all. I'd love to plan a trip out west to see some of the bigger ones like Yellowstone!

  13. You said, "It's frustrating to have your thoughts and opinions discounted or unappreciated because of a number when on the inside you are still the girl you always were."

    I completely understand where you're coming from. It's disheartening when people make assumptions about age or in my case, based solely on the white color of my hair. Their immediate dismissal of me as a person, my abilities and value hurts my heart.
    One day as they face judgment based on superficial factors like their age or hair color, they will look back and realize that we were all youthful and attractive at one point. Time is fleeting, and beauty and good health is not permanent.

  14. I love that picture of you and your girls!! I need to keep a frozen pizza - what brand do you buy? We have a pizza place within walking distance of our house, but it isn't our favorite. Mark doesn't even really like pizza!

  15. I had Chinese delivery today. Can't imagine how spoiled I am! Thanks for another fun Hodgepodge, Joyce! Those 'memory books' are so much nicer than the old scrapbooks we did back in the day. I've done several but not through Mpix. I will have to check it out! Blessings!

  16. Nice photo and bloody good answers, which I liked.
    Here are my answers

    Younger for sure, in my dreams and thoughts I am still in my 20’s, age is mostly a state of mind in my mind says I am in my 20’s, my body may not agree.

    I can’t think of a damn thing, maybe that’s because we have been having a clean out of stuff lately and because I am pretty good at tossing stuff I don’t use or no longer want.

    Nope but I am in Australia so not so easy to do

    Once or twice a month, mostly pizza

    Nope no subscriptions for anything

    When one has had their licence cancelled due to be medically unfit to drive, life becomes more difficult, and one can start to feel like a burden to their family. I can’t drive myself anywhere and I hate having to ask for someone to drive me places. I wish I could afford to just get cabs but I can’t so need to rely on family.

  17. I would be interested in Photo books. I was into scrapping for awhile. I made a scrapbook after our Alaska cruise and I still like going through it. We our about 90 minutes from San Diego and go up there a couple of times a year. We went to Coronado for our honeymoon and a few times since. I have been up the coast and inland a few times. My cousin and I spend a day there in 2018 and we walked 12 miles in one day! I would like to go to Yosemite again. Have fun on your vacation!!!

  18. Our previous home, where we lived for about 20 years, was too far out of town to get any kind of delivery, at least until DoorDash started gaining traction just in the last couple years. So when we moved here and takeout/delivery were just five minutes away it blew our minds that it was an option! I still haven't got delivery though - I always opt to go pick it up myself! LOL I've been thinking about trying Good Ranchers, so thanks for sharing about your experience with them. :-) Have a great week!

  19. I've always wanted to look into Good Ranchers and this might be the push I need to give it a try.