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Thursday, February 22, 2018

The circle of life

Thursday has become my time to catch up on my blogging.  Today is Thursday.  So, it's that time again.  I wrote a post last Thursday and was a bit surprised that nobody responded about it.  There wasn't a single comment.  I don't know if anyone read it or not, but it was therapeutic to write...and isn't that what blogging is all about?  

So, today... what do I want to post about?

I think today is a day to write about the circle of life.   (Cue "The Lion King" music.)

As you all know I have been spending lots of time with my daughter and her new baby twin boys.  I have written about it here already, and you know that I am already in love with those cute little guys.  We have made it through the first months, when it was all about feeding them as preemies. It was about keeping them alive... and helping them gain weight and grow.    Now they are becoming little people and it's a joy to watch them smile, and to interact with us.  It's just the start.  So many wonderful months and years ahead!

These are my first grandchildren.  I am not particularly young to have just become a grandmother.  Not at all.  I realize that. 

I am blessed to have no major medical issues right now so I can get down on the floor with the boys. I can hold them and rock them, and I can help out as needed.   I hope it continues because I enjoy it very much!  I love being Mimi!

Here's the thing:  I really can't believe I am the age that I am.    Sometimes I wonder: how did I get here?   

In general I'm holding it together pretty well.  But, sometimes it is hard to look in the mirror.  Sagging skin and wrinkles.  My upper arms have loose skin ALL THE TIME.  My skin is dry.  I can't seem to moisturize enough!   My hands are looking old.   And wow - when my roots start to grow out, my hair looks like it's much more gray than any other color.  The texture is different. 

I'm not saying anything prophetic.  Anyone my age or older understands what I am talking about - I know that.  But, dang, sometimes it is hard to face!  Right?

And, I don't want to be vain about my looks.   I know life changes us physically.   I just heard a saying:  the days can go slow, but the years go fast.  It's true.   I love the country song about "don't blink" because you might miss something.  And,  that 'you're gonna miss this' because each stage of life is beautiful, even when you don't always realize it at the moment. 

But, seriously, how did I get this age??? 

Life is wonderful.  Every part of it!   I have a little sign in my bathroom that says "Live your life and forget your age."  I try and be that way.  I try and stay relevant - and I try and stay connected.  I know that thinking and acting old makes a person old.

The outer part may be changing.  I try not to let it bother me too much. 

First I was a daughter.  Then I became a mother.  Now I am a grandmother. 

It's all about enjoying that circle of life. 


Saturday, February 17, 2018

I'm tired of this. Aren't you?

I don't know what it is.  I can't let go of the fact that we had another school mass killing and nothing is happening.   Before I go on, don't worry people... I am not 'obsessed' and I am still living in reality.   I think I am sane and rational.   Some of you may not agree! ha!!

But, I just saw on TV the man who was the principal at Columbine 19 YEARS AGO on that day when two young men went in and terrorized the school and killed innocent teachers and students.   Guess, what?  We were shocked and we cried on that day.  That was 19 years ago.  More people were just killed on Valentine's Day in a Florida school.   Yes, the number is bigger than Columbine.  And, in between then and now we have had mass killings in other schools, in movie theaters, at music concerts, in night clubs, and more.

Here's one thing (of many) that I don't get about it.  When a mass killing happens we ALL feel terribly sad and the news channels cover it non-stop.  For a few days.  I use Facebook a lot and the posts pop up all over it about sending thoughts and prayers out to the victims and their families.  It happens time and time again.

I have tried to think of HOW we can get beyond just that.  HOW we can make schools safer.  HOW we can make living in America safer.   WHAT can I do?   WHAT can we agree on?   Will people sacrifice a bit of their personal freedom for a greater good?  Will America EVER be safer??


*  We will never be like we were 'back then' in simpler days.  We live in a diverse country more than ever and have varying hopes and dreams.  But, we can not go back to the 'good old days'.  There is no back to the past.

*  Our forefathers never envisioned the technology we have now.   They were smart and they started this country off with some amazing 'rights' but they had no clue that we would be this advanced in communication technology and in gun power and warfare.  No idea. 

* Guns are apart of daily life in America.  I mentioned this earlier, but I grew up in a home that did not own a gun.  My parents never talked about needing one for home security.  Their parents were rural people.  If they had guns for protection, I never heard them talk about it and certainly never saw a pistol or rifle. No gun cabinet.  Nothing.   My parents never ever felt I needed to learn to shoot a weapon.

Some of you reading this DID grow up in homes with guns.  So, please keep in mind, it is hard for me to 'get it.'  I don't understand hunting in today's world.  The days of needing to shoot an animal to get food to survive is over.  I actually had a person tell me he hunts to get lean meat. So, he spends money on a rifle, ammo, a hunting license, hunting attire - all to get lean meat.  I think you can buy lean meat in a supermarket.   I don't get how it's a celebration to 'get a kill' and to display the dead animal with blood dripping from it's mouth. 

* Mental health is a huge issue in America!  Again, our complex world - our busy schedules, and our societal stresses may add to it.  But, some mental illness is an affliction just as cancer is.  We must treat it as soon as it is diagnosed.  We must remove the stigma.  We must spend money on treatment just as we do on cancer or any other medical issues.

* Nothing happens overnight.  Change is slow.  Sometimes it takes generations to change.   The desire to 'throw up your hands' and give in is real.  But, then good change will never happen if we don't try.

* A little bit of change is better than no change.  One life saved is worth a little bit of change.

*  Each person CAN make a small change. Each person has a voice.  Each person is unique and important.

* Today's Congress will not help us.  Congress is stuck. Broken.  Paid off.  

In back and forth streams on Facebook, and in face to face discussions, I have heard all kinds of reasons we are where we are with the problems in America.  I have heard illegal guns and drugs are the reason.  I have heard bad parents are at fault.  All those bloody video games!  Kids seeing movies with killings all the time.   Desensitized.   I have heard mental illness is hard to diagnose and even tougher to treat.  I have heard we don't have God in our lives anymore.    Yes. True.  Yes, yes, yes, yes.

So, I go back to this; do we throw up on hands?   Do, we say this is who we are?   Do we then allow the mass killings to keep occurring and then just keep being sad?   Thoughts and prayers...

Little ole me thinks we can work towards safer schools - and really safer communities.  But, it will take some sacrifice from us all. It will take money (everything does) and it will take speaking out, having patience, and a positive attitude about it.   You with me?

Let's tell our leaders ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.  They will need to find new employment unless they are not with us on this.   We need to hire more trained mental health and social workers (and pay them properly) and we need to require ALL children in ALL schools to be part of ongoing programs on how to live with others, how to be compassionate, how to meditate and calm the mind in stressful situations.  If children are identified with mental issues we MUST give them more and special care. No more slipping through the cracks.

We must also tell our leaders that our databases and the government agencies MUST get better and work together.   Again, it takes skill and MONEY.   We saw this week in Florida how horrible the effects are when even one person gets lost in the system.  

Now - I bring up guns.   First, I have heard in the past few days from a couple of people that legitimate gun shops sometimes do not really do background checks.  And, of the ones that do - some are practically done within 5 minutes.   Different requirements are state by state.  That is just wrong.  Stupid really.  We must have punishments - licenses taken away from gun store owners.  Jail time.  Whatever it takes.  Do away with all the gun glorification we have in this country.  Remember how it used to be with cigarettes in America?  For decades smoking was cool!   It took a long time to turn around the mindset of the young but we have.   We can do that with guns too.

We can not rely on our hard working police officers to do additional work on enforcing gun laws that are on the books already. We need more people (which is money too of course) for enforcement.   We can have 'gun turn in' days - for money.   Have them every month!  Why not??  I know... oh Marla, so many guns are out there, it won't do any good.   Back to my earlier response: change is slow.  It takes a long time to turn a big ship around. BUT, every single gun turned in is one less out there with the potential to be used to kill someone.

We need to stop fear-mongering.  Oh, it's out there.  If you listen long enough you think that everyone is out to get you.  That there are no good and honest people in our country anymore.  We are told we need a gun just to drive down the street.   Hey people!  It isn't true!!   As Luke Bryan sings "I believe that most people are good."   Good people just need to get together and not fear each other. 

Offer govt tax credit for anyone who puts an alarm system in their home.

This one is easy:  Make the military style automatic weapons illegal to buy!  Duh!  If someone is found with one purchased, both the owner of it and the seller go to jail.  We need tough, scary punishment.

Okay, okay. Right about now (if you are still reading) you are screaming at me "What about my rights???  I live in America!  It's a Constitutional Right!!"   "Don't take MY gun!  I'm responsible. I'm not going to kill anyone.  Dag-nab-it, I am my own person Don't tell me what to do!!"

All that is true.   So, all I can say is - stop thinking only of YOU.  Stop for a minute and think about those who have already been gunned down - the innocent people - good people - just like you.  Stop and think of the children gunned down in schools.  Sandy Hook.  How can we ever forget that?!?!

Remember YOU can sacrifice a little to save children!  You can do the "right" thing.  You can consider the "right to live" instead of the "right to bear arms".

If someone says to me one more time "there's nothing we can do...."  I think I will cry.   Again.



Saturday, February 10, 2018

Hello from here!

Hello from my 'crazy life'...    it certainly seems that way right now! 

Don't worry. It's all good. 

But, I am living these days out of a suitcase.  I am spending half of my weeks at my daughter's home and I am helping out with my precious grand-twins.  They are past their 'preemie start' and are catching up well.  They were born October 29th but were considered 'full term' on December 5th.  So, with the adjusted age, the boys are in their third month.  They have gained weight well, and are focusing on their surroundings, including this Mimi's face!  They smile back!  They have happy times!   They are at the age to finally start training them...  we have moved them into 'nap areas' and they are getting used to a darkened room, and time to take a snooze.   Once awake, its a diaper change and then a bottle... and "tummy" and play time.  Lots of smiles then...and baby cooing.   Two babies still really requires two sets of hands.  The boys are not always on the same schedule, and at times when they are it can be very hectic! 

The other half of my weeks are spent back at home.  I'm getting back into my music hobbies and am making it back to church.   I'm also around to enjoy Friday night date night with my hubby.   It's a tradition for us.

Right now we are having some work done in our home.   So, everything is 'out of place' for a while.  The washer and dryer are sitting in the living room - not connected.  Our master bath has been torn apart down to the studs. We are getting it redone, top to bottom.  New cabinets, new tub, new shower, tile, lighting, etc.   We also had old flooring pulled out of our main hallway and the kitchen area.  New tile is going in there too.    Dust is everywhere.   I'm feeling a little bit like a Chip and Joanna Gaines project!  I just hope our people get it all done as fast as they do on TV! 

The other part of my crazy life right now is the planning of my younger daughter's wedding.   We just found out that Saturday, October 20th is THE busiest day around here in the fall for a wedding!!  I live in a place considered a destination for many weddings.  We have beautiful spots, and weather... and it's a vacation place for many.  So, I have been scrambling and making calls to reserve some things for it.  Thankfully, I kept my older daughter's wedding notebook, filled with all the paperwork and contacts we used in 2015.   Yesterday I secured the DJ for the reception, and the salon that will do the hair and makeup for the bride and bridemaids.  I also booked a block of rooms at the nearby Hampton Inn.     Now.... let's see: we still need to get a florist, and test cake options... and the food - and the liquor...and...    

So, like I said above IT IS ALL GOOD !  

I'm trying to get back into reading again. It was put by the wayside for three months while the twins were so tiny.   I have a few books ready to be cracked open.  But, does anyone have a new favorite to pass along?  I miss my Book Club. I haven't been to a meeting since the boys were born.

I also need to do yard work!  And, yes, I love yard work!  It's February but it's going to be almost 70 degrees today so I plan to spend some time outdoors.  There is debris to pick, some trimming of dead limbs, and I want to blow off the deck and driveway.

* I'm watching the CMT Countdown as I type this morning.  I have missed my country music.   Gee, I guess I need to introduce the boys to some soon!  ha    Actually, I want them to know all kinds of music, as do their parents.  Both parents love music and I know it will be an important part of their growing up.   Yeah!

*  Politics.   Nothing to say except the disdain and disappointment continues.  

*  Younger daughter is almost done with her yoga training and will be certified as a yoga instructor.  It's been a big undertaking and has involved quite a few weekends away at 'school.'   She is also getting into her busy tax time as a CPA.  I think her life is crazier than mine!  And, yes, she is planning a wedding too!   

* Hubby had successful shoulder surgery.  He is in PT now.   The rotator cuff was cleaned up, and a bicep tendon had to re-attached.  He is frustrated not being able to lift anything for awhile, and he is a workout fiend.  No weights.  Certainly no bicep curls!!  He is not a happy camper when he can't get a good sweat going.

* Congrats to the Philadelphia Eagles!  It was a great game, and a wonderful football season!  Yes - I watched.  I did not ban the NFL from my viewing!!  What can I say? I love watching football.  

Which takes me to where I will end this meme.   Let's NOT judge others.  Especially when we have not walked in their shoes.  Or, have been raised as they have. Or, have felt injustices.  Or, have been put down because of a color, or a sexual identity, or for their birthplace.   Give value to their pain.   Don't dismiss it. 

And, on that note...   I hope you have a wonderful week ahead!    Spring is one week closer!  

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

This and That

Hello everyone!

I'm back home for a few days so I have the opportunity to pause, to sit down, and blog...

Some of my thoughts:

* I'm HAPPY to be home but I do miss my adorable little grandsons!  I will be back with them this Sunday afternoon.  We have a new plan...I will drive to my daughter's after church and help out each Sunday evening through Wednesday noonish.  Then back home for the second half of the week.  It's a good way to wean myself off their care and get back into my regular life.   I will be home for the weekend to hang with hubby, and to get to church.

The grandboys seem to still have some reflux issues and are often fussy after having a bottle.  That's a bit frustrating.  The main goal these days is to get them content during their wakeful times.  Until then, it's a dance/challenge/work to keep them from crying.  Their eyes are focusing well now, but they haven't figured out how to use their hands and can not sit up on their own.  With a bit more time and maturity,  they will be able to play better.  That will help.

I have said this already:   I now know that having twins is more than DOUBLE the work!  Rarely are both napping at the same time for any length of time to get anything else done.  It's tough on my daughter.  No down time.   When I think back on having one infant, it seems like a breeze compared to constantly tending to two. 

* The upcoming Olympics.  Are you excited about them?  I think I am more worried than excited.  The South Korean location concerns me.  The world politics scare me.

So much has come out on abuse - steroids, other performance drugs, and now sexual - all to WIN.  Is winning worth that??     In life, is winning the be all, end all?? 

*  Speaking of politics... was I?   lol      I debated whether or not to watch last night's State of the Union address.  I usually do watch each year, regardless of who is the president.  But, I ended up turning off the TV and not watching any of it.  In general, the State of the Union Address has become a 'show' and I have gotten really tired of all the applause - and I don't like the 'pawns' (people invited to sit in the balcony) to make a point.

More than anything though, this president has shown how low he can go, and how when NOT reading a teleprompter, he reveals his true colors.  I don't believe anything he says.  And... even then, what he says goes against my beliefs.  From the beginning I have been offended by the "Make America Great Again" slogan.  1.  American IS great!   2.  Every era has good and bad issues.   3.  The slogan sounds pompous... sounding like we are ONLY concerned about America, and not the people in other countries.  With communication and technology today, we are a GLOBAL world!  We need each other. We should CARE about the good of all, everywhere.

I still believe a President should be a role model.  He is NOT!  He is embarrassing. Our poor youth have so few honorable people to look up to anymore.  Wait. I take that back.  They do... those who give back, and those who use respect in words and actions.   Again, our president is NOT that type of man.    I believe we need to stress that politics should not just be about personal financial gains... it is so much more! It is working together to help everyone together.  To give equality... in the workplace, in the health world, in nature. It's reaching out - and doing it because it is RIGHT to do.

*  2018.  Sometimes I am surprised it's a new year.  We have lots planned in the months ahead.  The highlight:  our 2nd daughter's wedding!   It will be in October.  A beautiful time of year here (as long as no hurricanes come around!?!  eeek!)   She said yes to a dress a few weeks ago.  A venue has been picked. We have the pastor...the wedding party is picked.  Things are moving along!   It will be beautiful!

Also this year:  the CMA Festival in June.  Of course!!  The annual Lakeside week, which will also be a celebration/bachelorette time for my niece - she is getting married in January.  August will bring my daughter's bachelorette weekend. 

*  This is  the award show season!  Do you have a favorite?   Have you seen any of the nominated movies?  I have not.  What did you think about the music at the Grammy's?   Is it just me, or does it seem that rap has taken over the Grammy show?  I also wonder if there still is a genre called "pop" or "contemporary".   It's rap, soul, country (yeah) - at least during the televised show.

* Hubby just had surgery to have a bicep tendon reattached to the bone.  Thankfully he didn't need rotator cuff work.  I hope this surgery will end his constant pain.  He has lived with it a long time.  I have discovered A LOT of people have had shoulder surgery!  Since posting about my hubby I have heard from SO MANY others who have needed similar surgery.   Man, when you get to this age, body parts wear out - and get torn, and ache.   Crazy!!!  

*  I got home and found all my plants had gotten zapped by the cold and the rare snow we had while I was away.   Yesterday I spent time cutting off all the dead and brown.  Spring can't come soon enough.  I wonder what may come back and what will need to be replaced.   PS: I love Spring!!

Time to get today going...

I hope to see you back here soon.    I have missed blogging.   Have a GREAT day!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Miss me??

Where have I been?  

Perhaps you have been asking that.  Or perhaps not.   But, I have not posted on my blog since late October and I have missed it.  I have not participated in the weekly Hodgepodge since then either and I hope my friends from that group have not given up on me.

So, where have I been??


Roman and Logan were born on October 29th, coming a bit earlier than my daughter had hoped, but they were born healthy and fine...  just tiny.  The boys spent about 12 days in the NICU to give them time to acclimate themselves to the real world and to have some help in feeding.  They quickly learned and came home to my daughter and SIL's home - and so did I! 

Since then I have learned these things:

* Twins are more than double the work! 

* It takes two (preferably three) adults to rotate the feedings and changings, etc.   AND it's important to rotate sleep time (ours, not theirs! lol).

* I can easily go every other day now with a shower.

* I know all the HGTV shows.

* Books tell you how to handle twin babies but they are not always right.  Same schedule?  No way!  It's best to have them feed at least 45 minutes a part... which includes burping and cuddling.

* Emotions are at the surface.  Joy and frustration.

* I can live without a lot of my usual stuff.

* Dining out is rare and a special occasion.

Okay.  I know I am only the Mimi.  So, the above list is short-lived for me.   Already the boys are changing: growing and becoming more aware of their surroundings.  I am seeing a smile from time to time that isn't just from gas.  Their eyes are focusing more.  They stare at me sometimes... which normally would creep me out a little, but I love that perhaps they are connecting with their Mimi.  In the coming months I plan on bouncing back and forth more between my daughter's home and mine.  And eventually, it will get to the point where I am not needed as much.  I know my daughter can not yet picture that day. But, it will come.

In a few months they will be sleeping better, eating more, crawling, laughing, babbling, and hugging!  Double the work - and double the joy!!

So, I have enjoyed this 'moment in time' living with my daughter and SIL and the adorable little guys.  I am glad I can help out.  I am glad I am needed.   I am glad I am bonding so early with the babies.  I am lucky and blessed to be there.

But, I have been away from my usual life for almost 3 months now.   I will be back.  

Future post titles:

A Less stressful Christmas

Snow in the South

Preparing for another Wedding

Watching Babies Grow

Stay tuned....

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

THe Hodgepodge is back...

Hodgepodge time!  Our leader has been away, on the west coast, sightseeing and visiting her brand new grandbaby!  What fun!  We are still on 'babies watch" here but it should not be too much longer.
Let's get to today's Hodgepodge questions and my answers.    Shall we?? 
1. What's surprised you most about your life or life in general? 
Starting off with a doozy of a question!   What has surprised me most?    I don't know if it's a surprise but I have been very happy with the way my life has gone in general.   I have no major regrets or disappointments.  I wish my Ohio family was closer at times (or I closer to them) and that I saw them more often.  But, I also know we have busy lives - and I don't like to travel to the 'cold terrain' and I limit myself.     

If I can think of any surprise, it is that I have worked through a lot in my head, and I am pleased with where I am in my faith, and in my heart.  

2.  Sweet potato fries, sweet potato casserole, a baked sweet potato, a bowl of butternut squash soup, a caramel apple or a slice of pumpkin have to order one thing on this list right now. Which one do you go for?

Oh...easy answer.  A slice of pumpkin pie.  I am not a big sweet potato lover.   Caramel apples are messy.   Pumpkin pie means autumn, and holidays.   I'd definitely go with the pie (warm and with a dollop of whipped cream on top.) 

3. What's a famous book set in your home state? Have you read it? On a scale of 1-5 (5 is fantastic) how many stars does it rate?

Well, all of Pat Conroy's books are well known, and take place in my state, South Carolina.  He was a SC boy and wrote about what and where he knew best.    I love "The Water is Wide" about a small SC island that really exists (we have a few like it) that is a step back in to the gullah time.   It's about a school teacher who goes over to the island and the differences he finds.

It's been a long time since I have read it... I might need to pick it up again!   Really, all of Pat Conroy's books are excellent!

Another SC writer who writes about her home state is Dorethea Benton Frank.  She is lighter in style than Conroy, but she loves to include local flavor in all her books.

4. There are 60 days until Christmas...have you started your shopping? How do you stay organized for the holidays?

So, I was telling my very pregnant daughter just the other day that the timing of the baby boys arrival is wonderful!  We will have all our attention on them - and will put the pressure of the holidays by the wayside.  That pleases me!!   I have written in the past how the Christmas pre-craziness is my worst time of year.  I dislike the expectations, and the rushing, and the worry about doing the right thing, buying the right thing, etc.

So, this year, both Thanksgiving and Christmas, will be all about the boys!  Nothing else matters!  Yeah!!

Oh, okay. I have bought a couple of items on line.  Things I have happened to see that will make nice gifts.   

5. October 26th is National Tennessee Day. Have you ever lived or spent any time in Tennessee? Is this a state you'd like to visit one day? The top rated tourist attractions in Tennessee are-

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park (Gatlinburg area), Elvis's Graceland (Memphis), Birth of the Music Biz (Memphis and Nashville), Dollywood (Pigeon Forge), Tennessee's Military Heritage (many battlefields), The Hermitage (Andrew Jackson's home), The Parthenon (Nashville), Oak Ridge American Museum of Science and Energy, Chattagnooa and the Tennessee Valley Railroad, Downtown Knoxville, Lookout Mountain, The Titanic Museum (Pigeon Forge), The Museum of Appalachia (Clinton), and The Lost Sea Adventure (Sweetwater)

How many on this list have you seen? Which one on the list would you most like to see?

I have spent time in Nashville every June for the past 7 years - attending the CMA Festival.  I have yet to go to the Parthenon.  And the Hermitage is close by but I haven't stopped in yet.   When I go, it's all about the music.  So, I have been to the Grand Ole Opry, and the Ryman, and other country music venues in that area.   I also spent a weekend in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area.  We hiked in the Smoky mountains one day - and also went into underground caves.   We did not make it to Dollywood but I am not a big fan of amusement parks so although I love Dolly, I don't need to ride carnival rides, and eat cruddy food.     I saw items from the Titanic Museum when they were touring.  It was interesting.   But, I have not been in the museum in Pigeon Forge.

Of the ones listed that I have not been to yet, I would like to go to Memphis for the 'music biz' - not for seeing Graceland.  My hubby went once - and I saw the pictures.  That was good enough for me.  lol 

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

It's been a couple of weeks since blogging so it seems there is so much I could mention...  the #metoo movement (are you part of it?), and the amazing speech by Senator Flake yesterday.  

I could update you on the twins growing, and my daughter hanging in there.   Barely!  She is at the end of this pregnancy and moving is difficult, eating is limited, etc.  She is READY to see those boys!

I could also tell you about the celebration of the Lutheran's 500th anniversary of the Reformation THIS Sunday in all Lutheran churches around the world!

I could tell you about seeing the Soul2Soul concert with Tim & Faith for a 2nd time, in Greensboro, NC.  

I think each really deserve an individual blog post.  Will I get around to it?    lol.   Most likely NOT! ha.   So, instead I will say... have a great week!!  See you here soon.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mapping it out, finding the right path...

I'm running a little late with the Hodgepodge questions and answers this morning.  The power went out here for about 45 minutes or so which left me without an internet connection!  Horrors!  lol.   I actually picked up my book and read for awhile, which I rarely do in the morning time.

But, now the power is back on, and so let's proceed with the Hodgepodge!

1. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your sense of direction? 1=can't find my way out of a paper bag and 10=if I've been somewhere once I can find it blindfolded ten years later.
When was the last time you looked at/used a map you could hold in your hand? (phones don't count!) 

back east, down south, out west, up north

Choose one of these directional expressions and tell us why you chose it.

I will rate myself an 8 when it comes to knowing my direction. Occasionally I can get turned around, but I seem to have a pretty good sense of north, south, east, west.   I was just telling someone last evening that my hardest time with it came when I lived in California, and I could not get used to the ocean being west.  Having lived east of the Mississippi most my life, the ocean was always east. 

Driving in a car I have an okay sense of which direction I am going.  It's a feeling within me.

Last time I used a map?  For a road trip?   Oh wow.  It's been a long time.  I use the map on my display screen in my car dashboard often.  And, I use my phone's GPS and map trips with it.   But, a paper map??   It's been too long ago to remember.

Of the expressions listed above, I will pick "up north" because I used to live there.  I lived in New Jersey for 12 years.  And now I live in South Carolina.  So, I find myself (and hear from many others here) about when I lived 'up north'....and it was cold, and it was crowded, and it was crazy!  I like it here... 'down south!"

2. Did you do more talking or listening yesterday? Is that typical? Describe your yesterday in one word.

Yesterday, bring Tuesday, I went to the noon Bible Study, which is mostly listening, but we discuss so I also did a bit of talking.   I ran errands in the afternoon.  Then came home and did some listening to the TV.  But, I talked with my dogs - and I do that ALL the time!  lol.   Last evening I went to the weekly community band rehearsal... which involved a lot of listening.  Listening to the conductor, and listening to the band as a whole as we worked on pieces for the upcoming Veterans Day event, and the holiday Christmas concert.

My day in one word:  pleasant.  

3. Time, money, water-power-resources, opportunity...which one on the list are you most guilty of wasting? What might you do to change that?

Oh, I suppose I can answer that I waste too much time.   But, I think it was Jackson Browne who sang "if you enjoy wasting time then it's not really wasted time" or something like that.  We all need a little wasted time... time to sit, reflect, chill, and recharge.

I can also answer that I waste money.  I spend pretty freely, but I also try not to be over the top.  In fact, in the past year or so, I have made an effort to downsize, and to minimize, and to realize how little it really takes to live.  I am in a position of not needing to count pennies (or dollars), but I also know money doesn't buy happiness.   

4. Did  your family take regular vacations when you were a kid? Tell us something you remember about a family roadtrip from your own childhood.

Each summer we did take a road trip vacation, usually to a camp ground.  We pulled a trailer and traveled to parks.  We sometimes stopped in a visited family friends on trips.  But, most times if I remember right, it was a two week trip - up to Cape Cod, or to Michigan's lakes.  

One interesting thing I remember:  This was before cars had AC so we would travel with all the windows down and feel the warm breeze.  My dad drove with his left arm sitting on the top of the car door (open window).... and by the end of vacation he would have a VERY tan left arm!   Just his left arm!  

5. If you could grow anything you wanted, what would you grow? Why?

I am guessing leader Joyce means growing vegetables...??    Or flowers?   I love working outside in a flower garden so I can answer that way.

Can I go beyond physically growing something, and  say I'd love to grow more love, more acceptance, more peace.   Yep.  That's growing the deep stuff.  It's a lot harder to grow than veggies. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Babies update time:  My daughter's twins are about 3 and a half pounds each right now.  Week 32 or 33 now.   She has adjusted to her gestational diabetes diet and her sugar numbers are good.  She is starting the once a week visits now to the OB/GYN office, and she & hubby just completed their parenting classes offered by the hospital.  They have toured the Labor & Delivery area...and car seats are in the car.   My daughter has started packing her bag - and her babies bag (little going home outfits, etc.)  So, we continue to wait... and let the baby boys grow more.   But, it won't be long now!

I'm heading up to visit them this weekend, It will most likely be my last time seeing her pregnant!  Next trip will be for the deliveries.   Also, while I'm in NC this weekend,  I'm meeting my other daughter and her boyfriend at the Tim McGraw and Faith Hill "Soul 2 Soul" concert in Greensboro.   I saw it back in March in Charleston, SC...  but I am ready to experience it all again!!  

Have a great week friends.  See you here next time.