Wednesday, December 13, 2017

An Ultra Violet Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge! Christmas is right around the corner and I'm invoking the hurry less, worry less mantra in order to participate today. If you've answered this week's questions add your link at the end of my post, then go say Happy Hodgepodge to the blogger linking before you. Here we go-


1. 'Hurry less, worry less'...what's your strategy for making that happen this holiday season? How's it going so far?

My strategy is one day at a time. I have a mental list of a few Christmas related tasks to tackle every day and I do my best to tackle them. That being said, there have been a lot of interruptions to my daily plans this month, and I probably haven't rolled with them as kindly as I could have. I'm a work in progress. I don't think I feel hurry and worry so much as I feel pressure to accomplish so many things. ALL THE THINGS. 

My survival tips are few and simple-start the day sitting quietly by the light of the Christmas tree. Watch the sun rise and remember the God who made it happen has the day in hand. Have a conversation with Him about my to-dos and my people, my hurries and worries. Have a cup of coffee and take time to ponder. This season is made for pondering. One day at a time. 

2. Do you have a list of to-dos that need accomplishing in order to prepare your home and/or property for the winter season? What are some of the jobs on your list? Are you a do-it-yourselfer or do you hire someone to accomplish these tasks?

Sort of. It's not written in stone, but certainly there are jobs that need doing this time of year and somebody needs to do them. Mostly that somebody is hubs. Hi hubs! We have loads of tall trees and hubs collected all the leaves into piles, but we did pay someone to come in and take care of mulching them. I think they mulched them? They may also have hauled some away. Whatever the job is done. 

The boat needs winterizing and we paid someone to do that job this year. Some thing-a-ma-jig was due for tweaking or replacing so we had the marina guy winterize at the same time. Hubs was on top of things and we managed to get that done right before the cold snap hit so yay hubs! 

It's clear why I'm not in charge of winter prep around here, isn't it? Ha!  

3. According to dietitians surveyed, the most popular health foods for 2018 will be -turmeric, sprouted foods (bean sprouts, breads with sprouted grains, etc), veggies in place of grains, dairy free milk, and pulses (lentils, chickpeas, etc).  What's the first thought that ran through your head when you read this list? Of the foods listed which one might you add to your regular diet? Also, can milk really be dairy free? Is it still milk?

My first thought was blech! That list sounds a little bit too healthy to taste good. I do like turmeric and I love veggies and lentils and chickpeas too so I guess pulses, but ewwww...in my opinion the healthy food industry needs some new terminology. Also, I like milk. I know there are people out there who cannot tolerate lactose, but I'm not one of them. And I read somewhere that non-dairy doesn't necessarily mean milk-free, so it's all pretty confusing. As far as what item from the list will be added to my diet, well I already eat quite a few. I love lentils so will maybe find some new ways to use them. 

4. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2018 is Ultra Violet. According to the Pantone site 'Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking pointing us to the future.' What say you? Do you like the color purple? Did you see the movie or read the book-ha!?  Is purple a color you wear often? Describe for us one purple item in your home without using the word purple.  If you were in charge of such things what color would you select for 2018?

I do like the color purple, and wear it on occasion. Something in my home that's this color? One of my most favorite pitchers, purchased in a tiny little town called Nove in the northern part of Italy. The trip there might be one of the reasons I love it so-


It's a fig, and the perfect shade of 'aubergine'. FYI-saw the movie, didn't read the book. If I were in charge of the world I think I'd choose a sunny yellow. Don't we all need a little more sunshine in our lives? 

5. Favorite book you read this year?

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

I'm helping in my daughter's kindergarten classroom today. Her students are working on presents for their parents and she needed some extra hands. Kindergartners are my favorite. 


Kindergarten teachers too. 



Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 333

So a whole week has passed since our last Hodgepodge, which coincidentally was also the last time I even peeked at my blog. Sigh. I'm determined to throw some Christmas spirit into a post and get something up here this week besides the Wednesday Q & A.

In the meantime...here's the Q & A.

Well just the Q. The A goes up on Wednesday, and that's when you'll need to skate back over here and add your link to the party. See you there!


1. 'Hurry less, worry less'...what's your strategy for making that happen this holiday season? How's it going so far?

2. Do you have a list of to-dos that need accomplishing in order to prepare your home and/or property for the winter season? What are some of the jobs on your list? Are you a do-it-yourselfer or do you hire someone to accomplish these tasks?

3. According to dietitians surveyed, the most popular health foods for 2018 will be -turmeric, sprouted foods (bean sprouts, breads with sprouted grains, etc), veggies in place of grains, dairy free milk, and pulses (lentils, chickpeas, etc).  What's the first thought that ran through your head when you read this list? Of the foods listed which one might you add to your regular diet? Also, can milk really be dairy free? Is it still milk?

4. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2018 is Ultra Violet. According to the Pantone site 'Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking pointing us to the future.' What say you? Do you like the color purple? Did you see the movie or read the book-ha!?  Is purple a color you wear often? Describe for us one purple item in your home without using the word purple.  If you were in charge of such things what color would you select for 2018?

5. Favorite book read this year?

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Simply Having A Wonderful Hodgepodge Time

Welcome to this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thanks for joining in today! If you've answered the questions be sure to add your link at the end of my post, then go say hi to your neighbor.

1. What title would you give this current chapter of your life?

I've written and deleted about ten different things here so how about we go with -

Figuring It Out

2. December 6 is National Microwave Oven Day. Who knew? Besides popcorn and coffee reheats, what's the most common thing you microwave? Could you get along without a microwave?

I guess by December the people who come up with these National Days run out of steam. Besides popcorn and coffee reheats the biggest thing I use my microwave for is melting either butter or chocolate.

Of course we could all get along without a microwave. Mankind was around for centuries before deciding thirty seconds felt like forever waiting on that coffee to get warm. But it is one of those inventions that makes life a little bit easier and more pleasant so I'm glad we have it. 

3. If you could insert yourself into any Christmas carol and experience the lyrics in real life, which Christmas carol lyric would you choose and why?

'Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus lay down His sweet head
The stars in the sky looked down where He lay, the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.'

How amazing to see Jesus, the son of God, become man. 

4. Describe the most beautiful drive you've ever taken.

Impossible! I've taken so many beautiful drives. Most recently we drove up the Northern California and Oregon coasts and the natural beauty there was staggering. Definitely one of the most beautiful drives I've taken. I wrote all about it beginning with this post

But then we've also done a lot of driving around Europe and it's hard to top the French Alps, Italy's Amalfi Coast and even hubs commute from our little village into Oxford. Just last weekend as we were driving home from Tennessee I declared the road between Johnson City and North Carolina one of the prettiest. 

Honestly there are just far too many beautiful drives in the world for me to dub one as best. I love a good road trip!  

5. What's something on your Christmas list this year? (an actual list or figuratively speaking, either one)

Practically speaking we need new luggage. Figuratively speaking I'd love to see more grace, less anger in the world at large. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I post this carol on my blog every year at Christmastime. I love this version so much and the lyrics are timely, '...hate is strong and mocks the song, of peace on earth good will to men...



'then rang the bells more loud and deep, God is not dead nor doth He sleep...'open up your heart and hear them, peace on earth, good will to men.' 

Wishing you peace this Christmas season. 



Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 332

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 title would you give this current chapter of your life?

2. December 6 is National Microwave Oven Day. Who knew? Besides popcorn and coffee reheats, what's the most common thing you microwave? Could you get along without a microwave?

3. If you could insert yourself into any Christmas carol and experience the lyrics in real life, which Christmas carol lyric would you choose and why?

4. Describe the most beautiful drive you've ever taken.

5. What's something on your Christmas list this year? (an actual list or figuratively speaking, either one)

6. Insert your own random thought here.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Hodgepodge Leftovers

Hello Hodgepodgers! And everyone stopping by here today!  I don't know about you, but I'm loving this 'extra week' at the end of November. I know there are still only thirty days in the month, but when Thanksgiving lands the way it did this year, I feel like we've somehow gotten a bonus in the time department.

Which means no excuse not to Hodgepodge...


From this Side of the Pond  

1.  What's something blogging has taught you about yourself?

Blogging helped me find my writer's voice, made me aware I even had a writer's voice. It's given me the courage to be vulnerable in print. It's taught me the power of words, which we all know in theory, but blogging really brings it home. I like to describe my blog as a 'slice of life' and writing in this way has forced me to really examine what I think and why about a whole laundry list of topics. 

I've never thought of myself as creative, but blogging has shown me there's a streak of creativity there, just maybe not in the artsy traditional sense of the word. 

Blogging teaches me time is swift and I've learned to be more intentional about how I spend it.    

2.  Leftovers...are you in the 'reheat and eat' camp or the 'put them in the fridge until they spoil and then toss them' camp? What's your favorite thing to have leftover? What can you not abide as a leftover?

Hmmm...depends on the leftover and my mood and how full my frig looks and how re-heatable a particular left over might be. In my opinion there are some things that should never be reheated. Turkey. Roast chicken. Shudder. I love them left over, but definitely NOT reheated. I don't save a salad that's already been dressed. I sometimes save Chinese food, but usually end up pitching it as opposed to reheating. If I have just a little tiny bit of something left over it gets tossed. I sometimes deliberately make enough for left overs-soups, pastas, meat loaf...those are all dishes I love left over. 

3. 'Me time'...your thoughts?

I'm going to be honest and say my first thought is usually 'ick'. There's something about that particular combination of words that doesn't sit right in my brain. I know we all need time to ourselves, but when it's expressed as 'me time' it's off putting. Don't hate! I don't think taking time for self-care is in itself a selfish act, but generally when someone tells me they need 'me time' it's laced with resentment and is used to justify some choice or behavior they feel needs justifying. 

Hey I'm all about filling up a steaming hot tub and locking myself in the bathroom on a fairly regular basis so I'm not judging a person's need for solitude or socializing if that's more your thing.  If you  need 'me time' by all means take it. Maybe just don't announce it to the world. Or call it 'me time'. 

4. When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?

Well not the computer. Not the iPhone or the television remote or even the menu options on my car dash-ha! My girls frequently phone me for help with a recipe or a general cooking question and I absolutely love that. I still sometimes phone my own mom for those very same things. 

5. If your childhood had a smell what would it be? Tell us why.

A lot of things but the first one that came to mind was freshly mown grass. When I catch the scent of freshly mown grass I'm whisked right back to the Saturdays of my childhood. Back in the day it seemed like all dads (and it was mostly dads as opposed to moms, although there were likely a few) were outside cutting their grass first thing on a Saturday morning. Oftentimes a son was drafted for the job, but I don't recall anyone having a lawn service or mowing on a Tuesday night or any time other than Saturday morning. The sameness of it up and down the street and around the neighborhood was comforting. The smell of freshly mown grass makes me feel light and just a little bit nostalgic for the carefree days of my childhood. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Y'all the lake this time of year! Swoon! 





Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Hey Weary World

We're easing into the Christmas holidays here, if such a thing is possible. I mean once you haul all the bins and boxes from the attic you kind of have to deal, right?

I'm not dealing.

I'm easing.

My house is partially decorated, the main tree is up but I keep fussing with it, moving ornaments around and zhuzzing the beads. We put a tree in the pool room this year and it still needs a topper plus a few more ornaments before I declare it done. FYI-there's no pool in the pool room. There is a pool table but I tend to just call it the pool room. That seemed like it needed clarifying.

I have three fireplace mantles in various stages of completion, a stack of miscellaneous decorations on my kitchen table that I'm not sure what to do with, and a larger than I remembered collection of freshly washed candle holders, old wax laboriously dug out awaiting the new, but in the interim perched in a mostly out of the way spot on my kitchen counter.

My Christmas cards arrived on Monday and I kind of want to give myself a pat on the back for getting them printed in November, except they do still need addressing and stamping and the stamps still need buying, so maybe just a small pat. Shout out to Minted who is so nice to work with and does a fabulous job when it comes to printing Christmas cards. They might not be the least expensive, but their quality is second to none. Christmas cards make me so happy. I really hope people don't give up that tradition altogether.

I've done a little bit of shopping, no wrapping, and there's still shipping to deal with too.

Preparing for Christmas is a process, and if I look too often at the Internet it can start to feel like I've somehow fallen behind. Like there's some schedule I didn't get or some instruction sheet I missed on how to have the perfect tree or where to shop the best deal.

Then I look at my calendar and see it's not even December yet and I relax. Sometimes it feels like we're trying to remove one of the best things about Christmas from the season.

The anticipation.

The making room in our homes for the tree and the chaos and making room in our hearts for the wonder and joy.

Preparing for Christmas is part of Christmas. Taking my time. Easing, not dealing. Setting checklists and boxes and shopping aside to sit by the light of a less than perfect tree...


To rejoice with an oh so weary world at the birth of a baby, Christ the King.

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 331

Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog then slide back here tomorrow to share your link with the universe. Also, 27 days til Christmas. Just sayin'!


1.  What's something blogging has taught you about yourself?

2.  Leftovers...are you in the 'reheat and eat' camp or the 'put them in the fridge until they spoil and then toss them' camp? What's your favorite thing to have leftover? What can you not abide as a leftover?

3. 'Me time'...your thoughts?

4. When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?

5. If your childhood had a smell what would it be? Tell us why.

6. Insert your own random thought here.