Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hodgepodge - a weekly part of my life.

It's Hodgepodge time once again,  so below you will find  the questions with my answers.  Please feel free to speak out too and answer here - or on my Facebook page.  One of the reasons I love blogging is I get to think about these random questions and share them with my online friends.  It keeps my brain working.  It keeps me tuned into life.  How about you?   Give it a try!

1.  What is something in your life right now that feels a little 'hodgepodge'? 

I think it goes without saying (but I will anyway!?!) that this time leading up to Christmas Eve and Day are busy ones, filled with various activities…. it's a bit of a juggling act to do what I WANT to do, to finish projects, to shop, to wrap, prepare music, attend special events, etc. - and still ENJOY the time.  For me, I have to remind myself to take it all in and stay positive.  And, yes, perhaps NOT do it all.  And that's okay.

Did I answer the question?  

2.   What does 'peace on earth, goodwill to men' mean to you? 

A dream!  But, it's worth striving for…. and maybe we won't ever have total peace on earth but we can be examples of living a peaceful and loving life and we can treat our fellowman fairly.  I am a Christian and I believe that God wants us to work for peace on earth, and to treat ALL others with goodness and love. It's a tough thing to do sometimes.  But it's a mandate from Him.   When we do treat our neighbors (down the street AND across the world)  as we want to be treated, we are doing God's work.

3.  Which edible treat are you most looking forward to sampling this December? 

Well, I can't say there is one thing that is a MUST HAVE during December.   Growing up my mother always made sugar cookies and for many years I made them for the holiday too.  Perhaps I will make a batch later this month.  

I try not to focus on food!  It will come back to haunt me!  Ha!!!   I learned long ago - everything in moderation.  And I try to keep to a basic diet, or I will not be happy with myself later.

4.  It's the most wonderful time of the year…   do you agree, and if so why is it so wonderful?  If not, what would you say is the most wonderful time of the year? 

Oh boy…  I can just hear people groaning as they read my answer.   But, hear goes.

For me, NO, it is not the most wonderful time of the year.   Why?  Expectations that I put on myself.   Too many "should do" and "have to" things happen.  And, don't get me wrong, many I am happy with AFTERWARDS, but I stress and worry that I do not live up to everything that needs to get done in December.    

I wish Christmas happened every third year! ha! I think then it would be more joyful for me.   I feel like the year goes by so quickly… and many of the activities become rote and less meaningful perhaps.   I know,  I'm a downer.   Christmas has become such a money making event in our country.  It's so glitzy and commercial.  Every year I struggle with accepting that and seeing people celebrating without ANY connection to the baby Jesus born for us.   It saddens me.

My favorite time of the year?   Springtime.  I feel a connection with nature coming back alive, and I do too.  I love "rebirth" and beautiful flowers and birds singing.   And I love that Spring comes without expectations. It arrives and it's literally a 'breath of fresh air.'

As a Christian I love Easter because there is not as much hoopla before it. In fact, the days leading up to it are somber. It's Lent.  It's reflecting on Christ's life and his death - and then the greatest gift for us - showing that death is not final.

One other note about this spring: my daughter is getting married in April.  We are planning it all and I know it will be beautiful - and I am happy it's a spring wedding.  Again, it's a time of newness and for my daughter and her fiancé it will be the start of  a new life together.

5. What was the last word you looked up in a dictionary (actual or online) and why? 

Thanks to spellcheck and other games I play (Words with Friends in particular) I don't look up words for proper spelling often.  But, because I enjoy doing crosswords I sometimes "google" words or phrases to help me when I get stuck.  I don't consider it cheating - because I'm learning!  ha!!

6.  Besides a Christmas tree, what is your favorite thing to decorate this time of year? 

Back to question #4, because Christmas comes around each year (and the year goes by so quickly) I find I like to "change up" decorations - to keep things fresh.  So, I try each year to think of a different way to decorate outside.   One year I might put colored lights on the bushes - then next I will use white lights, and maybe decorate the porch with them.    I don't like doing the same thing over and over.  

I also don't use ALL my decorations each year.  I have a Dickens village that I put up maybe every third year. It's a lot of work - and takes up space.  It's very pretty once up…   hmmmm.  Maybe this year I will put some of the houses on our fireplace mantle.

7.  Share one thing you've learned (about yourself, people, or anything at all) in the Hodgepodge, or through blogging in general. 

I started participating in the Hodgepodge because I love how the questions made me think and how I can voice my opinion in a thoughtful - and hopefully fun - way.  I never want to offend anyone.  And, at the same time I want to express myself.  

I have learned that the ladies who also take part in the weekly Hodgepodge are from various walks of life, and live all over the country,  BUT  we all give amazingly similar answers at times!   I know I lean more liberal than some, and I think it's a micro-picture of how America is.

I have become friends with a few of the regular Hodgepodge participants and that is special to me.  It's funny I have said in conversation…."my friend Joyce (or another name)"…and yet we have never met face to face.  But I feel I know some of you quite well!

8.  My random thought. 

Okay, this IS random.  And it's just a funny little story.  I bought a new fuzzy green top and wore it Thanksgiving.  We drove up to Raleigh and had Thanksgiving at my daughter's apartment with her fiancé and some of his family.  So, I sat in the car for 3 1/2 hours and started noticing little specks of green on my seat belt, and then on the console of the car.  When I got to the apartment, I started picking off green lint on my jeans and my daughter's couch.  Then a bit later my other daughter had a few pieces of green sticking to  her too!  And, she started sneezing!     oh my!!!  

So, yesterday I took the top back to the store I purchased it from, really just to let them know how miserably it sheds.   They took my name and number but told me to first take it home and wash it…perhaps it will get off the remaining spitball-sized pieces of green.  

So, I have washed it. I  let it dry flat AND then put it in the dryer to pull off the lint.

This story is to be continued…..       will it be wearable now?  Will I leave green lint everywhere I go next time I wear it?  Will people start sneezing around me??!    


  1. I hope your sweater is now fuzz-free : ) I don't think people groan at your answer. I think there's a lot of pressure this time of year, and I know I have to conciously focus on the important in order to reclaim the meaning of this holiday from the retailers. It's one reason I love Thanksgiving, although it seems every year Thanksgiving is becoming more and more co-opted by all the secular hoopla now associated with Christmas. Feel free to use the phrase you mentioned in your comment. It's been fun to 'meet' you in the HP!

  2. What a funny story about the sweater. Yes, I realize that it's only funny to us who are reading it, not having to wear it or pick off green lint balls from everything we come in contact with! Hope it works out for you. I had that kind of thing happen with a red sweater. I enjoyed your answers so much. I think many of us are sad that Jesus is overlooked in all of our Christian holidays. How can we possibly expect peace on earth.

  3. Love the sweater story! I have a village as well but no space to put it up. If I use the dining room table we can't have a meal.

  4. I had to laugh at your sweater story, Marla! That's pretty funny! I agree...Easter is such a wonderful time for those of us who BELIEVE! I, too, have made so many great friends through blogging...you're one of them! :)

  5. This must be the year for engagements and 2015 for marriage-daughter #2 getting married in August 2015! LOL-sweater story!

    1. Congrats to you! I have loved hearing Joyce's stories about wedding planning. As with her, this is our first wedding in the family. So, I'm also getting helpful hints. Have you gone to Pinterest? It's a great source for ideas.

  6. Sorry about your sweater. How annoying! I'm surprised the store didn't just refund your money without question. Hope washing it helps.

    1. Actually, I could not find the receipt so I did not expect a refund - maybe a swap. But, it's ok. It's a local store and the saleslady was very nice to me.

  7. It's not easy being green! Your answer to the "wonderful" time of year are just about identical to mine. Somehow it's easier to push the Easter bunny out and ignore the commercialism at that time than at Christmas. Besides, who talks about Easter wish lists?

    1. It's nice to know there are other people out there that feel the same way about the "extras" of Christmas. I think we lose focus when there is so much glitz and craziness.