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Monday, May 15, 2017

Monday morning QBing

It's been a few weeks since I have posted anything on my blog.   It's been a busy time lately, but now I am seeing a break in the action, and I gotta say, I am ready for it!   Busy times are great...  especially when they are followed by a space of time where you can breathe, rest, and catch up. 

So, what's been going on?

* We have had family and friends come and visit - to both the Pawleys Island home, and to the riva place.  It was great times (no complaints) seeing everyone, but also a little extra work, preparing, and then cleaning up.

* I coordinated the church garage sale again.  It happened last Saturday.  It went fine, but it's a "project" that requires publicity, and set-up, getting helpers, then clean up, etc.   We raised money for local charities and we donated our leftover items to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.   I'm proud of the efforts by all! 

*  I played with our handbell group at St. Peter's (my home church) and I still have rehearsals for the St. Paul's group.  We play the last Sunday of May and then we will be on break through summer.   I also played with some flute friends at a wedding this past Saturday and we had rehearsals leading up to it.

*  I'm still running back and forth between two houses because we have not sold the one that is for sale yet.  Seriously, I'm at the point to ask for your prayers on this.  It's getting old! We have made nice inside changes and now the comments from showings are favorable about them.  But, lately, the comments have been about the outside - which we can't and won't do anything about!  A few people who have seen the home have dogs and do not like the Charleston garden area in the back because it isn't a yard.  Also, a few have commented about the marsh behind the home as a mosquito haven, and worry about snakes, etc.   Well, let me tell you (and I'd like to tell them) that there are mosquitoes and snakes and gators everywhere around here!  It's the lowcountry!  There is water everywhere!

We had two showings this past weekend and both didn't like the outside.  Ugh.  And, I still run over to that house everyday and do some yard work, and occasionally vacuum, and change lightbulbs, etc.  Oh - and feed two kitties.  Yes, they are still there.  Waiting for me...

* Mother's Day was yesterday - and I just want to say that I have the BEST daughters in the world!  I know I am a little partial, but I just am so proud of who they are, and that even though I love that they send me flowers, and acknowledge the day - really, I prefer to let them know I am BLESSED to be their mom... and they bring me much joy! 

*  My sights are on summertime now.  The CMA Fest is less than a month away!!  I can't wait for our time in Nashville!   The Friday after the festival, we head to Raleigh for a wedding.  The son in law is in the wedding's a good buddy of his getting married.   While we are there, we will also get to see our daughter and SIL's new home.  They put a contract on it and will close the end of June.  I'm excited to help them with the move!    After returning from that weekend, I will be helping with our church's Vacation Bible School.  I helped with it last year, and had such a fun time, that I was anxious to sign up again!  

July brings the 4th of July - and the annual week at Lakeside, Ohio.

*  Random thoughts...     Flying these days.  No thank you.  I can't believe the stories these days about tension between crews and passengers.  Customer service??  Hello??

Does your supermarket have a frozen food aisle that treats you like a star??   What do I mean?  My local Lowe's and Publix stores have systems where the lights in the freezer coolers are off until someone walks down the aisle - and then the lights turn on to see what's inside.  I know it's a way to save energy - but every time I walk down the aisle I feel like a queen...walking along and having the lights come on - for me!!!  ( :

So, the other evening I was driving flute friends home from the wedding.  We were getting off the Charleston beltway (426) on to Long Point Road.   We were on the ramp and had to stop the car... because in front of us, at the intersection, there was "police activity."  As we sat there and watched, we saw a man in the intersection - who had gotten out of his car, that was parked across from the ramp.  I'm not sure if he had a gun, but we saw two of the officers with their guns drawn. The one had gotten a rifle out of the trunk of his cruiser.   We watched for a couple of minutes - and finally the man got down on the ground and the cops were able to handcuff him and put him in the back of the cruiser.  Crisis over.  BUT!!  We then watched as the police officers pulled a baby and baby seat out of the back of the guy's car!!!     So, I'm not sure why all this went down...   but, I'm guessing it was the end of a chase.  Weapons were involved.  There was a baby in the car!!!      Thank God it ended without shots.   By the way, the guy in the car in front of me was videoing it on his cellphone. 

Oh, what a world we live in!  

This is my blog, so I'm going say this:   I sure miss the Obamas.  I miss a president who speaks thoughtfully, and doesn't tweet. I miss a president who is cautious and lives his beliefs. I miss the family living in the White House.  I miss the feeling that our president will not 're-act' and say and DO something rash, and stupid.  I felt safer before January 2017.   I miss a president who is about inclusion and acceptance of all.  I miss turning on the news and not having scandal be the lead story. 

I admit it, I have made Sean Spice's press conferences my lunch time entertainment!  If possible, I try to sit down with a sandwich and turn on CNN to watch him squirm, and to see how he can turn his boss's actions into a positive thing.  Yep - it's 'reality TV'!!

Daughter #2 is heading to Prague tomorrow to attend an International Tax 2-day program.  It's a long way to go, so she is going to spend sometime sight-seeing too.  Her boyfriend is busy with his work and can't join her... so, who is??    Her dad!!   Yep, hubby and daughter #2 are meeting up in Italy and spending days there seeing Pompeii and other spots around that area. Also taking an Italian cooking class!

I will end this with a tease...  more news to come soon.    Stay posted here.

Happy  sum-sum-summertime everyone!  It's definitely feeling like it here now, even tho it's officially still spring on the calendar.  Bring it on!!

Enjoy - and stay safe everyone!!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May day! Why is it a call for help??

Welcome to May!  What a wonderful time of year!  The weather,  the feeling,  the holidays, and celebrations - I love it all! 

Here are this week's May Hodgepodge questions with my answers.   Take a look.

1. Can you tell I'm embracing a Cinco de Mayo theme here this week? Do you like Mexican food? What's your favorite dish? How about on the side-black beans, pinto beans, refried beans, rice? What about heat-mild, medium, hot? Will you celebrate with Mexican food and drink on May 5th aka Cinco de Mayo?

I love Mexican food!  It is probably my favorite "ethnic" food - and I love having some loaded nachos anytime, anywhere!   It is definitely my favorite!   I love all the side dishes mentioned above too.  Really - all of them.  But... I do not like my food spicy or hot.  My mouth and my stomach just can't handle it burning.    Will I celebrate Cinco de Mayo?  I hope so!  Locals:  who wants to go to Habaneros with me??  I'm ready!

2. Ever been to Mexico? For work or holiday? Love it or no? If you haven't been is this a place you'd like to visit? Can you speak Spanish?

I have been to Mexico a couple of times.  The first time was when a cruise ship I vacationed on stopped in Cozumel.   I also went with hubby on a sales reward trip to Acapulco.  All expenses paid.  Good food, wonderful place to stay, and fun people!  It was some 30 years ago.  It was a great vacation!   I hear that the area has changed for the worse. though...and that is sad.   

Mexico has some wonderful coastal resorts, but you don't really want to leave those "safe" areas.  It is scary and dangerous in the non-touristy spots.

I do not speak Spanish.  (I took French in high school.). Hubby does a little.  He used to work in Florida before we got married, and he spoke Spanish with some of the co-workers.

3. What's one thing you may accomplish this month?

I may...  get caught up.  Right now I don't feel that I am. I'm in charge of our church garage sale and it happens this Saturday.  Thursday and Friday are set-up days.  Then I'm helping with a 'going away' party for a friend.  This month is my anniversary month - and Memorial Day weekend is coming up too.  Lots of good things happening this month.  I may... make it through the month without eating too much!  lol

4. If you were mayor of your village, city, or town, what's one thing you'd like to see changed, done away with, revamped, or accomplished? Is serving in public office something you've ever seriously considered?

I would love to see a safer 'main road' (Rt. 17) and have people (especially the tourists) slow down and follow the traffic rules.  It's crazy out there right now, and drivers are scary!   I wish people would drive the speed limit. Some go fast - and some go slow because they are not sure where they are going.  Grrrrr

Running for office?  Gee, I can't imagine anybody who seems sane and caring that wants to run these days.  It takes too much money, and too many political favors.  Huge egos and double talk.    But, saying that, I do not want to give up on our government, and still believe, and care, and want to hope my voice can be heard.  

5. What's something that may be popular, but that you just don't get?

Oh gosh.  I know that today's current 'pop' music is popular, but it is challenging for me. Saying that, I am disappointed with myself for feeling that way.  I do like a little of it.  But, I have trouble with the music that is so racy, and sexy - and the videos that go with the music.  Crazy.  Out there!   Yes, I'm showing my age.  I realize it.  But, I am a music purist in a way and I feel music doesn't need all the hoopla - the dancing, the special effects, and the scanty costumes.   Give me a good melody and amazing lyrics... and I am happy.

6. Can't let this week slip by without mentioning Thursday May 4th is Star Wars Day. As in 'May the 4th be with you' ahem. Are you a fan of the Star Wars series? Exactly how much of a fan are you? On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being 'I've seen every film, own the action figures, might have dressed as Darth Vader for Halloween one year', and 1 being, 'what's a Vader?' -where do you land?

This is an interesting question because our community band, which I am a member of,  just did it's Spring concert two weeks ago and it  was all about 'space.'  Therefore, we played some Star Wars music... and it did nothing for me.    I think I saw the first Star Wars movie, start to finish, but after that, I didn't see the rest.   I am not a fan of science fiction in general...books, music, and movies.

So, I give the Star Wars series a 2.  It just isn't my thing.

7. Scroll back through your blog posts and in three sentences or less tell us the general theme of your fourth blog post. Does it still ring true today? Is it a topic you re-visit on your blog from time to time?

The title was "Life Can Change in a Minute" and I wrote about a friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer.   It still rings true today for sure.  Life can be great, but then a health issue happens and yes, daily living is not the same - life changes in a minute.   Each day takes on a deeper meaning.   It still rings true for sure.  Do I re-visit the topic?   Not that often.  

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

I love May!  it's one of my favorite months!   I hope it is for you.   Have a wonderful week ahead... and month!  

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Bye bye April !

Where did this month go?
We are almost to May and the Hodgepodge questions start off with a little saying about the month of May.  Join in!

1. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Has your April been filled with showers? Do you carry an umbrella, wear a slicker, or make a run for it? Besides rain, what else has filled your April? 
Around these parts we have had a bit of rain the past few days.  Yesterday was a "wash out."   But, before that the month has been pretty dry - and sunny.   We needed some rain so I'm not complaining.
When I go out in the rain I keep myself dry with an umbrella.  I keep an umbrella in my car to be prepared.  
How did I fill April?  With the usual:  music rehearsals and a couple of concerts, gardening, and work around the house.  I also got to spend some time with some family members and some friends.  

2. What's something you could you give a 30-minute presentation on at a moment's notice and with zero preparation?

Hmmm.  I don't know.   I don't have any unusual, or special, knowledge that others might find interesting.  If you are reading this, give me a suggestion!?!   

3. Share with us a favorite food memory from childhood.

One favorite food memory is the homemade cheesecake that my mother made for us every Christmas... she served it with canned cherries on top.  I loved that cheesecake!   It had a graham cracker crust - and a sweet, smooth cheesy filling.  

4. What's a song you thought you knew the lyrics to, but later discovered you were wrong?

This question makes me laugh.  For the longest time I sang the old Bread song called "Everything I Own" wrong. It was popular when I was in high school and the lyrics are:  "You taught me how to love, what it's of - what it's of..."  and I thought it said "You taught me how to love, what a tongue - what a tongue..." and sang it that way.   My best girlfriend and I laughed and laughed when we realized what I was singing!!  

5. According to one travel website, the most overrated tourist attractions in America are-
Niagara Falls (NY), Hollywood Walk of Fame (California), Times Square (NYC), Epcot (FL), Seattle Space Needle (WA), and Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market (Boston). How many of these have you seen in person? Did you feel like a tourist? Did you care? Tell us about a place (not on the list) you've visited that might be considered a tourist trap, but you love it anyway.

From the list above, I have been to Niagara Falls, Times Square, and Epcot.   Did I feel like a tourist?  Yes - and I was.  I didn't care - most people are tourists in those spots.

Another spot I have been to that is considered a 'tourist trap" is "South of the Border" on the state line for North and South Carolina.   That's all it is - one big tourist trap!!  And a dirty one it is!   It's best to just keep on driving and not stop there!! 

6. Your signature clothing item?

Variations and all kinds of flip-flop sandals.  

7. What's an experience you've had you think everyone should experience at least once? Why?

 I'm trying to think of an experience I have had that is a bit unusual, or different, or that is something not everyone knows about or does.  I can't think of anything. I'm not a dare devil, or a person that lives on the edge -  and I have no special talent.   I look forward to reading other Hodgepodge answers.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

May is one of my favorite months.  The weather is nice.  Some activities are winding down and I'm ready for a break from them.  Other summer-time activities are kicking in, like boating and concert going.   I like the summer-time 'state of mind.'  Less hectic.  Longer daylight.   I like a warm day, followed by a nice evening to sit out on my deck with a glass of wine.  What's a summer-time 'treat' you enjoy? 

I hope you get to enjoy it soon!     Have a great week ahead!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday thoughts...

Monday, Monday... can't stop that day!

And, another song comes to, it's "Rainy days and Mondays"...   we need the rain so it's not really getting me down.  But, I have some errands to run in a while, hopefully between the drip drops.

*  It was "Earth Day" a few days ago.  I remember one of the very first ones. I was living in Baltimore and a huge rally was planned in front of the Capitol in DC, and I went down for it with a couple of friends.  In reality, I think I went down for the music.   It was back in the days of Jackson Browne, and Bonnie Raitt, and that whole LA group - singing and speaking out for causes.

* "Earth Day"  is still so relevant!  It seems even more so now that we have a president de-funding environmental protection, and questioning science.   Geez.

*  I played handbells yesterday at St. Paul's and I have to admit that that group struggles at times BUT... yesterday, we played one of the hardest pieces that we received at the handbell workshop back in February AND we pulled it off!  In fact, I think we played it quite justly and the congregation loved it!  You know what? I think it has become my new favorite piece.   Woo-hoo for us!

*  Having a stomach bug for 4 days - with some serious D - was NO FUN last week.   Oh my.   I was exhausted for a day or so when it hit, and it has finally taken me this long to feel like I can safely eat anything again.

*  Although sick, I made it to our community band's spring concert.  We were playing pieces with "Space" as a theme... so some Star Trek and Star Wars medleys, along with Holst Mars, and Superman medley, and some Frank Sinatra (Fly Me to the Moon), and more.   One of our trumpeters arranged a flute piece for us - using the various Star Wars themes, and it was one on a part.  I had to be there!  It all went well - and I made it through without running quickly to a bathroom.  (Small victories!!)

* Despite still not feeling up to par, I went to the Tim & Faith concert Thursday.  Nothing would have stopped me short of a trip to the hospital!! lol    My review...   obviously I am a huge Tim fan so I felt there was not enough of just him singing.  He and Faith both had their solo times on stage, and yes, she is a great singer and looks like a million bucks, but I wanted more Tim!   He has so many, many more hits songs that he didn't do... including "Indian Outlaw" and he shortened "Live Like You were Dying."   He and Faith sang a few of their amazing hits together, but did not do "Meanwhile Back at Mama's"  and really there just wasn't enough time to do it all.    It was not a typical country music show because it had more staging and lights, and things going up and down, and the show rarely highlighted the band (and I missed that.)    In truth, those two can do no wrong.   It was a wonderful concert... and I look forward to seeing them again in August, and then again in October.

*   What a beautiful weekend it was here in the lowcountry!  This has been such an early spring, and now we are almost into May!  It's my favorite time of year!!  

*  Daughter #1 and her hubby are house hunting in the Raleigh market.  Oh my!  Twice now they have put offers on homes, just to have another offer come on top of theirs, and they then lose the homes.  The one yesterday they offered just $10, 000 below asking price...which is a good offer.  But someone came in with an all cash deal!   I feel so sorry for daughter and SIL!   They find a house, get excited, and put in an offer... a less than a day later its gone.   How about a prayer that the next one goes through?!?!

*  And a prayer for us?  Our house on the market didn't even have one showing this past weekend.  Oh what a difference between what they are experiencing in Raleigh and what we are here!!  

*  Daughter #2 was here this weekend, and was my concert buddy to Tim & Faith's show.  I'm so happy that tax season is over and she now has room to breathe, and has some traveling ahead.  In May she is going to go to Prague for work (classes on international tax) and will extend the time for some vacation and sightseeing.   Her dad is meeting her in Italy for some history, good food, and wine!

* I watched "Milk" yesterday On Demand - the movie about gay activist Harvey Milk.  He led a movement back in the 70's in the San Fran - Castro district.   True story.  Watching it I remembered it a bit (I was in college), especially the Anita Bryant push back,  but I learned a lot too - and as I watched I was amazed at how it seems little we haven't come that far since then. It's been almost 40 years and yes, homosexuality is more in the open, and understood...and accepted in some parts. But, not everywhere yet - by everyone.     I think our next generation (our kids and their kids) will be way beyond seeing it as a dividing issue, and will wonder what all the fuss was about.  Let people love who they want to! 

*  It was nice to spend some family time this past weekend... with Stan's niece Kim and her girls, Stan's sister Kathy & Ted, and then dinner with my cousin Kay and Bill.   Also having daughter #2 here.

*  Just wondering... is any Trump voter ready to say they made a mistake yet?  Don't worry... I will forgive you.  Just tell me you have seen the light!

*  Same goes for O'Reilly!!   Ha!   My brother:  What are you going to watch each night now??

*  I'm gearing up for our church garage sale again.  I'm in charge (mostly out of default) and it will be held on Saturday, May 6th.   If you are local, bring in your items now - and clear your home of unnecessary stuff, but things that others might need!   We serve the community by offering used but good items... AND we raise money that we turn around and give back to the community.   Habitat for Humanity picks up the leftovers for their Re-Store.  So, it's a win-win-win!

*  FYI - it's still the Easter season.  (Did you know it's not just a day?)   Hallelujah!  

It's time to get my Monday rolling... and to start scratching things off my list of "to do" today!
I hope your week is starting off well, and that you take time to appreciate this earth we all share together.  Be good to it.  And to each other.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Do you like to fly??

Here's this week's Hodgepodge questions and my answers.   Feel feel to join!

1. Tell us about a time you felt like you were 'flying by the seat of your pants'.

I think there have been many times I have felt that way, especially when it's the first time I try doing something.   The first day at a new job comes to mind.  Also, the first time of walking into a group or meeting where I have never been before.   I just have to take a deep breath, put on a smile, and go forward.  To get rid of some nervousness, I  like to think "let go, let God."

2.  When or where would you most like to be 'a fly on the wall'?

I gotta wonder these days what happens inside the Oval Office.  I think I'd like to be a fly on the wall there.  

3. 'Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.'-Henry David Thoreau 

Would you agree? Why or why not?

In general, yes, I do agree with Thoreau.  Often happiness is the by-product of doing what you love to do, or in directing your life towards doing something that helps others.

I know people who try so hard to find happiness that they never know what to do, or they never stick with doing what they love, or they are just confused about life and their place in it.  Nothing seems right.  Their circumstances are never right.   If they could be content in the moment, and look for ways to help others, then happiness comes.

4. Share a favorite movie, book, or song with flying in it's title, lyrics, or theme somewhere.

My first quick thought was "Come Fly with Me"  by Frank Sinatra.

But I have to include a Tim McGraw song. It's called"Down to my Last Dollar (Fly Away)"
and here is the chorus:

1-2-3 Like a bird I sing
Cause yo've given me the most beautiful set of wings
I'm so glad you're here today
Cause tomorrow I might have to go and fly away
Fly away, fly away,

5. What is one task or chore you tend to do 'on the fly'? Is this something that really needs to be done another way?

Most of them! ha   I am not one of those who is regimented with cleaning. Like... If it's Monday then it is laundry day! Or Tuesday I clean the bathrooms.  No way! I know people like that. But, I usually clean as I see the need.  Don't worry: I always do a very thorough cleaning before company comes! 

6. What was happening the last time you thought to yourself or said aloud

Spring break.

These days when I hear the words "Spring Break" I think of more people coming here to the beaches, to my home -  where I live!  The roads get more crowded. The food stores are crowded at the beginning of the week and you can see people filling carts full, filled with fun vacation food.  The beaches themselves get more crowded.

But, I know that the Spring Breakers are vital for our local economy, so I am okay with them being here.

7. This Thursday is National Garlic Day. Will you add garlic to your menu on Thursday? Do you like garlic? What's your favorite dish made with garlic?

Well, funny you should ask about my Thursday plans! I am going with my daughter to see Tim McGraw and Faith Hill in concert together on their Soul 2 Soul tour. They are playing the North Charleston Arena.   So,eating garlic isn't my number one thought for Thursday! And perhaps I shouldn't eat garlic since I will be up close with my daughter and thousands of my close friends and music lovers!

Yes, I do like garlic - in moderation.  I like garlic bread with any Italian dish.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

So,  Springtime always gets me outside doing yard work, which I love - and it always gets me into the poison ivy.  Yep. I have it again.   It's become a part of my transition of seasons.   Are any of you like me?  If so, what has become your best way to fight the effects of it?   I'd love to hear advice on how to stop getting it (no, I'm not going to stop gardening) and how to treat it.

Have a wonderful week Hodgepodge friends!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Life as a Christian

So, sometimes it is really hard to be a Christian - to live as a Christian, and to support actions (and non-actions) that promote the Christian creed. 

Today is Maundy Thursday, the day that Christians around the world remember the evening that Jesus sat and ate with his disciples all together in one room, and had the "Last Supper" with them (and what became the first communion), knowing what would happen the next day.  It was also when He said to do unto others as He would want you to do... which is to love each other, and to serve those who need you.  He went off into the garden and prayed for Himself, for strength, and for understanding. He prayed for us too.

Flash forward to now.

Today, Maundy Thursday,  our country dropped a big bomb on the mountainous area in eastern Afghanistan, the area where Isis hides in tunnels and lives away from others.   So, hopefully the damage by this bomb was in areas that left Isis leaders feeling more vulnerable and frightened. Their hide-ways were damaged.   We haven't heard yet about the numbers killed by the bomb, but certainly some were.  I'm praying that innocent people were not there, hurt or killed by today's actions.  

Every time something like this happens,  I feel conflicted.  We live in a world with such horrible, horrible people.  We live in a world where there is an amazing amount of pain, and hurting, and unfair decisions, and disrespectful action -    Dropping a bomb makes a big  statement.  

When I heard about it this afternoon I felt a bit scared.  No lie.  I wondered what will happen next.   Will there be retaliation from Isis?    Because, there usually is.  Will it be here in America?    An eye for an eye.   Will it be a surprise event?  When?     It's a scary world - and events like what happened today make it even scarier.  

So, what should I think?  

As a Christian,... HOW should I think?   

Sometimes I feel I live in two parallel worlds:   The Christian world of loving and accepting everyone, and being open to differences (in fact celebrating them) and reaching out to help those who need it.     And, then, the other "real" world of living in a country that gets involved in world political and social conflicts... a country that considers itself the 'leader' of the world, and sometimes acts in ways that goes against the Christian creed. 

So, where do I fall in my belief?  And what do I do about it?  For sure,  I am happy that I live in a country that allows freedom of religions and doesn't officially put one before another.  (Although, does it really?)  I like that the US says it accepts all... as long as we can live in peace together. 

But, what would Jesus think about military action against this evil?    Jesus was the opposite of how we normally think...  he said to show love to the enemy.  He humbled himself instead of being ego driven.  He turned everything upside down. 

So, what to think of this all?  

Deep thoughts for me on this Thursday before Easter.     And, who knows, maybe it brings home the meaning of Easter.   Pain, and differences, and confusion - and death - is not the end of it.   As a Christian I believe that.  

Monday, April 10, 2017

What's good...what's not.

Hi all. It's Monday - so I'm quarterbacking....   and I'm thinking about what's good and what's not so good.

What's good?

This weather!   It's another beautiful day here in paradise, here where I live in this little corner of the lowcountry.  

Also good:   The weekend was lovely!  I spent time with hubby, and we planted in our new garden in the backyard, and I spent time with cousin Kay and Bill Saturday evening, and played in our community band dress rehearsal for the folks at Lakes of Litchfield retirement center (even though we had some rough spots in a couple of pieces that need to be worked on!?!).   Palm Sunday (yesterday) I played with Marjorie a wonderful flute duet piece at both church services.   And then the weekend finished up with a great ending to the Masters as I watched Sergio Garcia finally win a Major event, after years of being a professional golfer.  I was so happy for him!

Not so good?   The continual scary world happenings and the frightening political decisions.   The bombing of the church in Egypt by Isis, and the US decision to bomb in Syria.  What consequences will happen from it? 

Also, today a shooting at an elementary school in San Bernadino, CA.   Two children were shot (and hopefully will be okay) and two adults are dead - the shooter, and a teacher.   It sounds right now that it was a domestic dispute...but why oh why would someone come into a school with a gun?  When so many innocent, young children are around?   Obviously the shooter was not thinking clearly.  Gee... there's something new...NOT!   A person upset, with a gun... and doing something crazy and deadly.   I'm sorry all you gun owners who think you will never be that type of person. But, I know humanity well enough to know we all have the capability to 'lose it' and do something stupid in a quick moment.  If you have a gun when you have the stupid moment....  even YOU can do something you will regret.

Good?   It's almost time for "Happy hour" ...   my wine hour (or two.)

Also good?   TV watching tonight: "Southern Charm" is back!  I think this is the third new episode for the season airing tonight.  The continuing trials of Katherine and T-Rav, and the antics of Shep!

Not so good?    I'm still waiting for the house to sell.  I spent a couple of hours there yesterday cleaning up after the painters and floor installers.  Dust and dirt everywhere.   Hubby cleaned the decks and railings.

Good:  Today is "Sibling Day" as claimed on Facebook.  I have two.  So cheers to them!  They are in Ohio, probably thinking about me today....ha!   Remember, I am ALWAYS the youngest!  ( :

Good:  It is Holy Week and I am looking forward to the services, and the joy of Easter... and the worship, and the music!   And, I am looking forward to having daughter #1 and her hubby here for the weekend.   Not good: it will go by too quickly!!  I also want them to check out all the stuff in our garage we pulled from the house for sale.  We need to decide what to save, what to take to the church garage sale, and want to just throw away.   

Good: I got a mani-pedi today.  The first time in weeks.  It didn't seem worth it while I was cleaning and gardening.  But with Easter in a few days I hope I can keep my nails looking okay.

I hope you have mostly GOOD things happening to you this week.   There's always something good happening!  Just look for it!  

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Growing flowers and faith

Hello again everyone! It's Tuesday afternoon and I am taking a few minutes to answer this week's Hodgepodge questions.  Join in.   Comment here or on Facebook.

 1. April is Lawn and Garden Month. On a scale of 1-10 what's the current state of your lawn and/or garden. (10=a showpiece, 1=send in the professionals). Tell us about any lawn or garden plans you have for this month.

Our lawn needs work so I will give it a 3.  I have already put some weed killer on it in spots.  I plan to "weed and feed" it soon.  But, I am not today because we have heavy rain in tomorrow's forecast.   We are currently getting a new little walkway put in in the backyard, going in on the shady side where only moss seems to grow.  My hope is to add some shade-loving plants on each side of the walkway once it's done.  The other side of the backyard is lawn (mostly weed) and I am determined to get it looking healthy this spring! 

2. "Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there."~Thomas Fuller  What does this quote mean to you?

I think this line can mean that although the work you put into something can reap benefits that are expected, it can ALSO reap other good things!  I suppose it can reap bad things too, but I prefer to be positive about the outcome.   So, whenever you put in work you have an idea what should happen, but life gives you little surprises.  I guess you can expect the unexpected!  

3. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think about God?

First thing -  since we are talking springtime and things growing already in this Hodgepodge, I think of God as the creator of it all.  God set up this beautiful world for us and we are the tenders of it.   The plants and flowers, and the birds in the air, the animals, and even the snakes that I don't want in my yard! (Yes, I have seen 3 of them the past couple of days. )

I try to pause. and purposely thank God for the gift of nature!

4. If we were chatting in person, how would I know if you were nervous?

I would probably say something stupid!  ha   When I am nervous my brain starts to race, and I think of too much too fast - and sometimes it just doesn't make sense.  

And  - I would probably try to escape quickly, to get out of the nervous situation. 

5. Do you like the color yellow? Would I find any in your home or wardrobe? Daffodils, tulips, roses, sunflowers, day lily, black eyed susan...which yellow bloom on this list is your favorite?

I love yellow!  It's cheery and uplifting.  It's an interesting question because right now we are updating our home that is on the market.  (I know you already know about this...yes, I have been writing about it! LOL)  The walls WERE deep yellow in the entryway, great room, and kitchen.   We just had the walls painted and now they are in cool gray. Yellow is not in right now.  ) :

Oh, wow, picking a favorite flower from the above list is difficult!   I love them all!   I suppose my favorite of favorites is the sunflowers.  My daughter used sunflowers in her wedding bouquet and in other wedding arrangements.  It looked beautiful! It was perfect for the outdoor event, and with the other decorations used. 

6. Flip flops or bare feet?

Definitely flip flops!  I wear them all the time!  Truly...I wear them 9 to 10 months of the year!  If it's 60 degrees or warmer I am in them.    I live in flip flops and I have them in various colors!  

7. Tell us about any Easter plans, celebrations, or traditions you'll carry out this month.

I just got back from Bible Study and we talked about Holy Week and the changes of the way Christians spend their time during it.   I grew up with the week starting on Palm Sunday, then we went to Maundy Thursday service, and Good Friday service - and the week ended (and we can say life started) with Easter!   We discussed the ways American Christians don't participate as much in the middle of the week services...remembering the impactful Last Supper, and the time of prayer in the garden, and then the crucifixation.  Some go from Palm Sunday - right to Easter.   The full meaning of the joy of Easter Day is unfortunately lessened or missed without experiencing the week.

So... that said,  hubby and I are ushering for Palm Sunday.  We will help hand out the palms to everyone.    I have the usual musical rehearsals during the week, and then I am playing one part of a flute duet during the Good Friday service.  It is a beautiful rendition of "Where You There?"   

Daughter #1 and her hubby are arriving Friday night and they will be with us over the holiday weekend.  I'm looking forward to seeing them, and spending time together.   During two of the Sunday's Easter morning services I will play as part of the handbells group at church.  

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

 I wrote a blog post right before this on that brings up some random stuff.  If you have time, scan down and read.    Have a wonderful week everyone!! 

you might also enjoy...

Monday, April 3, 2017

Monday: QBing

Here I go again...

A little Monday morning quarterbacking!

*   First, congrats to the Lady Gamecocks of the University of South Carolina!  NCAA Women's basketball champs!   And, congrats to the Gamecock men who made it into the Final Four and gave us all some thrills along the way!

*  I'm not a huge basketball fan in general but it's fun to watch during March Madness.  I filled out a bracket before the games started and I picked UNC to go all the way!  They may just take it all!  (PS - it's the only time I ever root for the 'other' Carolina! )

*  You know I have to say something about the ACM Awards last night!!  Right?      In the past, there have been a few performances that were lackluster or questionable.... but NOT last night!  I thought ALL the performances were awesome!   I normally don't like the collaborations with non-country artists, but since Florida-Georgia Line has a song on the radio with Backstreet Boys, it made sense to have them perform together.  I gotta admit it was good!  Of course, I loved Keith Urban - and thought he should have won Entertainer of the Year.   And, I love Tim...and Dierks, and really all of them.  I'm glad the Brothers Osborne won for best Duo!  They are awesome in concert!    It was a great night of country music!

* And, you know I can't QB without saying something political.  My hubby told me Friday night that I turn people off with all my Facebook posts on the subject.   He said I'm not changing anybody's mind... and they get annoyed with me.    I know he is right.  Really, I know I am not going to change anyone's mind. But, I get SO SO SO frustrated sometimes!   Facebook (and this blog) is my only outlet for my frustration.  So, I continue to apologize.  Really.   You all don't know ALL the posts I see on my timeline that I "like" or laugh at, but don't re-post.   I try to restrain myself, and I am successful - sometimes.    Again, I apologize.    And, as I have said before, I continually question how much 'activism' I should do - because I don't want to be a part of the silent majority, or don't want to live my life without having passion... or don't want to see the pain of those who suffer from inadequate systems. 

*  Speaking of....   hubby and I also talked about how Sean Spicer Press Conferences have become "Must See TV!"   Never ever before have I turned on the TV around 2:00pm in the afternoon on a regular basis to watch White House press conferences!  But, these are different times... and I enjoy watching Sean do what he does. From 'day one' he has had a boss that keeps him on his toes, and has him trying to figure out how to rationalize tweets, etc.  

*  So, I have mentioned handbelling before.  Yesterday I played in a handbell trio at church.  It's a different feel when you are only 3 (and piano) . We played two pieces at both church services.  It went pretty well. There were a couple of mistakes among us (bells that didn't ring out enough, etc.) but all in all, it was fine.  We had to change bells between the pieces - and had practiced doing it.  But somehow (?!?!) I had placed the E 5, instead of the E 6, in front of me to play - and I didn't know it  until I struck it.  It surprised me - but I tried not to show it on my face.  That's a part of performing:  don't show mistakes on your face because often nobody knows anyway!  lol  

* House update:  Our home that is for sale is still 'in process' of updating the interior.  It should be done by this coming weekend and then we will update the pictures on the MLS, and Zillow.   We had a realtor bring a woman through on Wednesday.   I think she liked it.  She was there a long time.  But... but...    who knows!?!   Can I ask for a few prayers on this?

*  As timing would have it, the house we live in is having some landscape work done right now too.   Everywhere I go:  work people!     They all have been nice - and have done good work.  The landscapers have an irrigation issue.  A broken pipe or something?!?   But, it happens.

* Is April the giraffe even pregnant?  How can the zookeepers be so off on her due date?!?!

*  For years now I have lived away from my family... my Ohio family.   I moved away, really away - across the country - when I got married some 31 years ago.  Hubby and I have lived in different areas of this country, but never back close to the Ohio group.   It makes me think of the saying about the "family tree" that has the same roots but that the branches go out in all different directions.  We are still the same tree.  I'm just a branch that went 'errant' somehow.  LOL   A branch off alone at times.   It makes me sad because I don't know much about what the Ohio branches are doing.  But it is how trees grow, and how life takes us.   It still makes me sad.

*  Speaking of family, daughter #1 and her hubby are coming here for Easter weekend!  I can't wait!  I haven't seen them since....  Christmas?  Can that be right?    oh my.    Daughter #2, the CPA, has to work because the tax deadline has been pushed back until the 18th.   I look forward to seeing her when we go to the Tim & Faith "Soul 2 Soul - 2" concert in North Charleston a few days after.   She has always been my concert buddy!   (I raised her right!  ha  Other daughter:  I know you love concerts too... and I raised you right too. )

*  Time to run.  I am helping our church quilting group this afternoon.  What a wonderful group of ladies!  No - I don't quilt, but I lay out the squares and pin them.  And, I tie.   We all pitch in and make many, many quilts that go out to Lutheran World Relief, and to local charities and members.

Have a great week everyone!!   HELLO APRIL!!!  

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

"Everything is Beautiful... in it's own way..."

1. 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder'  What's something you've seen recently that you thought was beautiful?

This time of year all I have to do is look outside and I see beauty!   Springtime flowers are blooming!  The  trees are greening up!   Nature is coming back to life here where I live.  It's beautiful! 

2. Our culture and beauty...your thoughts?

Well, obviously there are problems in our culture with what we sometimes think of as beautiful.  It often comes from companies marketing their products to unsuspecting young people (and old too.)   We tend to value the exterior more than the interior.  We value how we look instead of what we feel.  Beautiful is considered skin-deep. 

The confusion is particularly tough on girls and young women.  Too much emphasis on looking a certain way! 

3. Age before beauty, beauty queen, beauty mark, beauty sleep...which beauty-ful phrase resonates with you today? Why?

Hmmm.  Well, I sometimes say I need to go to bed to get my 'beauty sleep' and, really, there is truth in looking better when well-rested.  

But, I suppose I most find myself dealing with 'age before beauty' these days.   My last birthday was a decade birthday and there is no doubt that looking good and feeling good takes a bit more work now!  I have trouble looking into the mirror sometimes.  I am particularly challenged by the change in my skin these days.  What used to be young and moist is not anymore.  Arm skin and leg skin look wrinkly and dry. I have started putting vaseline on at night to try and keep it looking okay.   But, alas, I fear it's a losing battle.     So - I think I need to go back to the question/answer before this - my beauty HAS to be on the inside now!!   ha

4. I read here a list of the top ten beasts animals that scare us the most-

alligators, coyotes, black bears, birds (but pigeons in particular), sharks, bats, bed bugs, rats, rattlesnakes, and the black widow spider. 

Which 'beast' on the list scares you the most? What is the liklihood of you having an actual encounter with that particular beast? Did a movie contribute to your fear of this creature? Have you ever had a real life encounter with any of the animals listed?

Oh, definitely a rattlesnake!   I do not like ANY snakes!  Where I live we have snakes... and they freak me out.    I have had encounters with snakes, thankfully not a rattlesnake though.   Did a movie contribute to my fear?  No, but there is no way that I would want to watch a movie with snakes in it.  I never saw "Snakes on a Plane" for that very reason.  

Of the other animals on the list, I have come close to black bears.  We used to have them come walking through our yard in New Jersey (as did our leader Joyce!)  Now, I live in the land of alligators - and they hang out near lots of ponds.  Once when golfing I teed off and my ball rolled right up and rested against a gator.  And there is stayed!  ha!   I dropped another ball and played on, away from the alligator.  Oh - that reminds me: once playing golf in northern NJ a bear came out to the green at a par 3 when we were getting ready to tee off.   We wisely decided to give ourselves a bogey and skip the hole - and move on!

5. Where were you when you last heard a bell ring? Was it alarming or musical?

Ha!  I love this question!   Why?   Because I am in two handbell ringing groups!   I last heard many bells ringing this past Sunday morning when our St. Peter's group played a beautiful piece during two worship services.  After I finish here, in an hour or so, I'm off to another bell rehearsal.  

Hopefully last Sunday was VERY musical - not alarming!  lol    It was - it was a beautiful piece! 

6. What's your favorite carb? How's that for random?

Warm, soft, fresh bread - from a restaurant

7. Let's wrap up another month of Hodgepodging and life with an acrostic. Recap your month using the word MARCH.


8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Gotta brag on our South Carolina Gamecock basketball teams!   Both the men AND the women made it to the NCAA Final Four!!   This is practically unheard of - and our state is SO excited right now!   I hope the guys and girls win it all, but if they don't, it has been a great ride for us!  GO GAMECOCKS!!!!   

Monday, March 27, 2017

Monday morning QBing

Just a bit of Monday morning quarterbacking... 

My brain is swirling with these thoughts:

*   First, YEAH to the Carolina basketball teams!   The South Carolina Gamecocks have surprised us all and we are enjoying the ride!  The ending of yesterday's Tarheels game was incredible with the last two shots.  We saw some amazing basketball played yesterday.  And, now it's on to the Final Four!  GO CAROLINA!!

*  It was a beautiful weekend here in the lowcountry.  Spring is just so lovely!  I am blessed to live here in this little piece of paradise.   I was happy to do a bit of planting outdoors on Saturday - and more is to come!

*  The renovations at our house for sale continues.   I hope most of it gets finished up this week so new pictures can go up on the MLS and on Zillow.   Money going out - and I am so anxious to have some money coming back in. 

*  I have said this over and over:    that I struggle with just how much to speak out politically.  I use Facebook occasionally to express myself.  I see many, many posts from organizations and like-minded people who express jokes and serious concerns.   Most of them I see online, and then I just go on by without clicking on them. I don't share them.   But, every once in awhile, yes, I post something.   I don't believe I should always stay silent.   I am sorry to know that again it has upset a friend.   I hope she knows it's not meant to hurt her or other friends, but it comes from my frustration in what is going on in our executive office.  

*  I am filling in for our church secretary a couple of days this week - and I will be in the coming weeks.  She is having surgery and will need time to heal and rehab.   Along with all the music rehearsals, Lenten services, home upgrades and maintenance,  etc. my schedule is busy.  I look forward to a break in summertime.

*   I'm happy my sister is healing after eye surgery.  She is seeing better and soon will look better (after the redness and bruising goes away.)

*  I miss those Lyle kids - all the time!  I have some friends who have seen them lately and I am so jealous.  Every single weekend I am busy with music, but I sure hope to go see them soon - before they forget me!  

*  Another big shootout - this time in Ohio at a nightclub.  Hmmm.   Alcohol and guns. NEVER an acceptable combination!   I can't believe our country allows it.

*  My washer died last week.  I decided to go smaller and with less computerized settings and choices.   I'm simplifying life.   Sometimes bigger is not better.

*  Another struggle for me:  praying vs. action.   Yes, I pray - all the time.   More now than ever.  But, I also wonder what God wants ME to do about the things I pray about.    When should I use my time to change the worries I have?

Gotta run.  Off to meet the day - and the week ahead.    Have a wonderful and safe - and loving week ahead readers.   I appreciate you stopping by here. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Are you mad about Spring?!?

Hello friends!  I hope you are having a good mid-week and I think I know you are happy it's officially Spring! Right??   Here are this week's questions with my answers.  As always, feel free to answer or comment. 

1. Setting aside the real March Madness (NCAA Basketball) describe something happening at your house this month that might earn the title 'March Madness'?

I am definitely experiencing some March Madness these days.  As I have mentioned before ( many times - sorry) we are trying to sell our 'big house' because we felt it was time to downsize.  Months have gone by without an offer and so now we are doing some upgrades inside it to help give the house more appeal.  I think I mentioned before that we bought all new kitchen appliances and had the entry, great room, and kitchen painted gray. 

Well, we have decided to do more!  We are pulling up the carpet and laying hardwood in the entryway, in the great room, and in the dining room.  We are also pulling down the wallpaper in the master bathroom and painting it, and also changing out the faucets, lighting, and mirrors in there too. 

We have hired a handyman to do some 'fix it' jobs that will help the house show better and will also come up if we get an offer and then have a home inspection. 

I went to Home Depot today and spent $400 on bathroom upgrades.  I will meet the handyman in the morning.  I am doing some yard work there too,  So, yes, this is all "March Madness" because I know this is the season to sell.  Spring is here!  We want to get this house sold!   Help - I'm going crazy!?!!

2. What's a favorite made up word from your childhood or a favorite from your children's childhood? Does your family still use the word today? If there's a story behind the origin please share.

Hmmm.  Immediately I thought about how I would say 'buzzard' instead of 'buzzer' when the doorbell would ring.   Being the youngest I was teased about things I said.   And, my dad called me 'misery'... I think he did as a funny, sweet thing - but it is something I remember.  

3. Will you be doing any spring cleaning now that the season is upon us? I read here a list of 15 quick (under one hour) spring cleaning tasks. They were-

clean out a drawer, vacuum furniture, whiten tile grout, dust the nooks and crannies you don't get to year round, degrease kitchen cabinets, wipe down walls, go behind furniture, wipe down ceiling fans, vacuum the mattress, clean the range hood, wash baseboards, shine the stainless steel, clean out vents, tackle the windows, and wipe down gadgets

Of the fifteen 'quick' tasks listed which two most need doing at your house? Will you do them?

Well, not counting the house we are selling - right??  Because I am doing lots of cleaning there.

But, at my present home, I constantly vacuum furniture (sometimes twice a week) - because I have two pugs that shed big time!   Since we have only lived here since October I don't have too much in the  heavy cleaning that needs to be done.  Although, with all the pollen we have had, I definitely need to wash the windows! 

4. A favorite movie set in Paris or New York?

I immediately thought of "Home Alone."   And, the end of "Sleepless in Seattle" - takes place in NYC.  It's one of my favorites movies.  

5. What's put a spring in your step this month?

Just this morning I was at my church and walked by the preschoolers (we have a Monday - Friday program there) and the kids were dancing to music!   I couldn't help myself but jump in and dance along!  Those kids are just adorable!!   

6. Did you ever want to be a teacher? Why or why not?

Good question!   I certainly admire teachers!!   My daughter got her teaching degree and gave it a try. She was batted down by the craziness in the high school environment.  The fear of violence and the lack of parental concern ruined her experience.     It's SO HARD these days!  There are so many things that get in the way of actually teaching children. It makes me sad.  It's such an important job:  teachers are under-rated, under-paid, and have too many expectations beyond reading, writing, and 'rithmatic.  

There have been times that I have thought about it for me.  I mean, I just mentioned the adorable preschoolers I saw this morning... and how I felt the joy of that moment!  I think it would be so wonderful to be a positive influence in a child's life, and to help set their course for being a caring person. 

But, I also remember when my daughters were little. We lived in a neighborhood with a co-op babysitting group - and there were times I watched neighborhood children that were unruly, and too active, and I could not wait til their parents came back to pick them up!  So, I don't know.   Teachers hands are tied when it comes to discipline and they have horrible parents to deal with sometimes, and sometimes administration & paperwork is just difficult.  Meeting standards and following proper procedures!

As I said in the beginning, I really admire teachers!   It's a tough job - and about the most important job out there!

7.  What's your favorite floral scent? Do you have this somewhere in your home or maybe in a perfume? How do you feel about florals in food? How about wines with floral notes-yay or nay?

When I buy a scented candle, or buy one of those plug-ins that release a scent, I pick vanilla.  It's not "floral"... but of the florals I do sometimes pick lavender.   Those are my two favorites aromas.

Florals in food?   No thank you.

Wine?   I'm a dry chardonnay drinker.  No flowery 'bouquets' in my wine please.

8.  My random thought. 

 Back to "March Madness" - I am a big University of South Carolina Gamecocks fan and they just beat Duke the other night in the NCAA play-off series!  It was VERY exciting!!!  So, my random thought is that they may not get much farther but they made it to the "Sweet Sixteen" which is a first for the school - and it's very exciting!!  GO GAMECOCKS!!!!   The Lady Gamecocks are also in the play-offs in the NCAA Women's Basketball League.   I'm rooting for both teams!!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Monday, Monday.... can't stop that day...

Hi everyone! It's Monday....

I have few thoughts rattling around in my brain today.

*  Well, the northeast states almost made it through the winter season without a major snow.  But, it looks like tomorrow will be a very nasty day... and people will have to hunker down til it is over.  Then there is all that shoveling to do.   I'm glad I don't have to deal with it.   Have I mentioned I am so happy I live in the south?  ( :   I think I have!

*  So,  I have Press Secretary Spicer 's White House daily press conferences pop up on Facebook.  I'm not sure why.  But,  I have been drawn in to watch them.   I truly feel sorry for the guy.  But, wow...  what a crazy hour!  I appreciate his talent to avoid questions.  He is getting better at it each day.   And then there is Kelly Anne.    Why oh why would they want to work for that president??   

*  So, who has seen the movie "Moonlight"?  It's available on OnDemand but I wonder if it's worth the money - and will I just get depressed?  Thoughts?

*  Speaking of movies, hubby and I watched "Jackie" on Saturday.  While we watched I realized that I knew a lot more than he did about those moments back then...Why?  Well,  because I am a female and I was more tuned in to the First Lady during the time of Pres. Kennedy's assassination than my hubby. I vivdly remember sitting with my mother watching the funeral on TV.  TV was new with all of the live coverage of events.    I remembered, and I paid attention to what Jackie wore, and the events of those hours.   Hubby and I both found it a very interesting movie.  I don't know if my daughters would care though.   It's all so before their time.   Ancient history.

*  Have you filled out an NCAA basketball bracket?   I did today.  You should do it - because it makes the coming games much more interesting to watch. 

*  The faked bloody stabbing murder in Sandusky, Ohio.   Absolutely stupid.  What are people thinking? 

*  So, I have noticed that many St. Patrick's Day parades happened this past weekend.   It sure seems early.  Why can't parades be on the actual day?    Don't answer.  I know why.  It just seems weird though.

*  Speaking of St Patrick's Day:  March 17th is my mother's birthday. She wasn't Irish - but just happened to be born on that day.   She's been gone since 2003 but I still think of her all the time.   A woman of another time.   Occasionally I see sweet older women and I think they look like her.  It's interesting (funny) because as I age I think to myself that I don't want to look old - and I try to dress appropriate for my age but still dress for the times.   Maybe she felt that way too.  Maybe young people look at me and see this 'middle aged' woman...   not quite yet elderly.   Oh - please!! 

*  Ways to stay young??   Stay current.  Stay involved.  Stay caring.

*  I'm really starting to count down to the CMA Fest in June!!    Right now is the time when fan parties are announced and the various stage schedules get listed.    I signed up to go to the Montgomery Gentry Fan party this time.  It includes lunch, a short concert,  meet and greet pictures, and a gift.   I went to the Scotty McCreery one a few years ago.  It was pretty cool!  And, shortly we all will be trying to get tickets to some of the smaller venues.  You have to sign up on line - and then hope.  It's comes down to random drawings.   We have seen Dustin Lynch and Eric Pasley at the Lodge, a small "up close and personal" stage.   Really cool experience.

* Daughter #2 is a tax accountant and is crazy busy right now.  She has a March 15th deadline, and of course the April 15th deadline.   I got us tickets to the Soul To Soul 2 concert in Charleston. Tim and Faith in concert!  It will be a fun time - and definitely a great "end of tax season" celebration.

*  The Bachelor.  Tonight's the final with Nick.   I don't know if he will pick one of the two girls remaining.  (I will be watching.)   But... it's already announced he will be on "Dancing with the Stars."  The guy has made a career out of ll this.

*  My friend mentioned to me that I should write a blog post about playing handbells.  We do have fun - even if we are all 'ding-a-lings!' Ha!   Stay tuned for it.
All for now.   Tomorrow we get the rest of the kitchen appliances delivered and installed in the house we have been trying to sell.  We should have the indoor painting done too.   Seriously, can someone come and see our house?  Come on realtors...  bring them by.   All the spring flowers are blooming and so beautiful right now.   It's the perfect time to see the place.

Have a good evening all.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Not so perfect Hodgepodge.

Welcome hodgepodgers!  I am not so sure about the questions this week.  I learned long ago that I fall short when it comes to making things perfect, so my answers may not be lengthy this time.  But, let's give it a go.

1. What is one area of your life where you're a perfectionist? Is that a good thing?

Seriously, I do not think I am a perfectionist in any area of my life. I have to say, it's less stressful that way.  If I can 'come close' than that is good enough for me.

2. What's something you find perfectly ridiculous?

Ha! I find striving for perfection ridiculous!  I also find much of what I see on TV these days as ridiculous.  I will leave it at that. 

3. What's a skill you've developed by way of that old fashioned saying, 'practice makes perfect?

Nothing. Like I said above, I am not perfect at anything.  I wish I had more dedication to some things I do so that I would practice more -  to improve.  I think about my music:  flute and piano playing.  I wish I would practice more and work on my skills.  But, I don't.

4. What's your idea of a perfect breakfast?

When it's a rare morning and I eat breakfast out, I will treat myself to eggs benedict.  I also love a good veggie omelet with some hash browns on the side.  Coffee - good coffee with some real cream in it is important too!

5. What's a trip, holiday, vacation, or day outing you've taken that you'd rate a perfect 10? Tell us why.

Recently I went with hubby and some church friends to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, outside of Charleston.   It was a beautiful day, and the gardens were beginning to bloom.  Camellias and azaleas were flowering.  It is a lovely spot along the Ashley River.   I suggest a visit there for anyone!!  History and beauty together.

6. What quote or saying perfectly sums up your life right now? If you can't do perfect, how about one that comes close?

I like the lyrics for the new song for "The Shack" co-written and sung by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.  Here are some of the lyrics.  I can relate.

 Ain't it the sinner
Who gets all the grace sometimes
Ain't it the saint
Who picks up the pieces left behind
Yeah, and it's human to hurt the one
You hurt the one you love the most
And you can't find the sun

Keep your eyes on me
When you're lost in the dark
Keep your eyes on me
When the light in your heart is
Too burned out to see
Keep your eyes on me

I hope to see the movie this weekend. 

7. How would you spend $300 today?

My day is already planned out.  I plan to drop off baby layette baskets at Georgetown Hospital and then run over to Wal-Mart.  I need to pick up birdseed, and pet food, and may take a look at the flowers that have come in. So, I guess $300 could go towards that.  I also need to pick up bread for our Lenten soup supper tonight.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Today is International Women's Day.  Are you acknowledging it in anyway?  I will wear red in support of my sisters around the world. I am not holding back on shopping today (see question 7.) Some people are and that is fine.  But, I think it is not a positive thing to do.  We need to do good things, not hurt each other. 

Have a wonderful day everyone....and 'near perfect' week ahead.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Monday morning - pause.

Sometimes I start a post and never send it out for public reading.  I wonder if this will be one.   lol

 Monday mornings are my time to pause, and think, and to thank... so here goes.

*  How was your weekend?  We spent part of Saturday appliance shopping.  After having our house on the market now for 9 months we met with our realtor about ways to improve the place and give it more appeal. I always knew the kitchen appliances were outdated but I hoped that if someone loved the many other features of the home, then they would put in their own appliances.  So far we have had no luck - no offers.    I  know many people like a place that is "move in" ready.  So, that is what we are working on now.

It's weird to pick out a refrigerator, dishwasher, stovetop/oven, and microwave with no plans of using them!   FYI: First we went to Lowe's and we spent more than an hour with a woman named Carol, who really did her best to help us.  Once we picked out the pieces, she went to the computer to see what was in stock.  2 of the pieces were on 'back order' with no date on when they would come in.   We just could not take the chance on waiting.  So, we walked out without buying a thing.  It was a waste of her time - and ours.   So, then we went to Best Buy.  Totally different experience - and better outcome!  We were able to bring to our salesman at Best Buy the same list, all Samsung, and he was able to get us all the appliances - for delivery next week.   He was thorough, scheduled the installation, and let us know of the dishwasher kit, etc.

Today:  I will be calling Habitat for Humanity to pick up our old - but perfectly good and working - appliances.  I hope they take the outside grill too.

We are having the great room, kitchen, and hall painted too.  The 'in' color is gray.  So 'bye bye' to the cheery deep yellow the walls have been.   The wallpaper in the kitchen eat-in area is going too.

*    I don't know if you have heard this:  I follow some women's rights groups on FB and this Wednesday is designated as a Day without Women.   Women are to wear red, and they are to stay home from work, and not shop retail.   I understand that women need to keep politically active and to push back against the changes coming from the current administration.  I am with those women - I want equality and I believe in the right for free choice.  But, I question WHY women should stay home - and not work or shop.   One day of not shopping?  Hmmm. Most shopping is out of necessity.  So, those who don't shop Wednesday will probably shop Thursday.  And... not go to work?   That's just a waste of a vacation day or sick day.  And, really, work will pile up and be waiting on Thursday.   What do you think?

*  We stopped newspaper delivery a while ago.  And, I miss my daily crossword puzzles.  And playing on the computer just isn't the same.   ) :

* Movie thoughts:  Will you be seeing "The Shack?"  I definitely want to see it soon.    Yesterday I found a movie called "Wheeler" on OnDemand.   It's about a guy from Texas who goes to Nashville to make it as a singer/songwriter.   The movie is shot like a documentary - done by a couple of buddies who follow him on the adventure.  If you like country music, you will really like it.  If you enjoy seeing Nashville sights, you will too.   I realized at the end it is a true story.   Don't worry I'm not giving anything away but telling you this.     I also saw that "Moonlight" is on OnDemand. I may have to watch it soon too.... since it won Best Picture (after the crazy LaLa Land mix-up.)

*  "The Bachelor" is 3 hours tonight.  I will be in front of the TV! 

*  Lent has started.  Do you take part on the 'journey to Easter?"   If so, how?    I attend our Wednesday night service each week during the 40 days of Lent.  Before it, our church has a soup and bread meal - and this year the whole community is invited.  So, if you are reading this and you are a local, come on by! It's free.      Have you added to/given up anything during Lent?  Each year I think about what to do.  In the past I have given up chocolate, and I have tried to add something to my life too.  My focus has been on kindness lately.  So, I think I will continue keeping it foremost in my mind.   I have tried to stay open to all people, and not pre-judge when meeting a person, and just be kind!

Seems not too tough?   HA!!!   No!   Especially during these divisive days politically.   I don't do a very good job accepting those with views that are different than mine.   As I have said before, I have a really hard time understanding them sometimes.   I really need to 'pause' more and not lash out on Facebook.  I didn't at one point this last week, and I am sorry about that.       But, saying this, I do want people to know that if I do make myself pause - and then I don't respond - it doesn't mean I don't care.  It doesn't mean I have 'settled' with our president's way.  Hardly.

Hmmm...  I think my Lent word should be 'pause.'

*  We had some chilly weather this past weekend.  Nights with lows into the upper 30's.  That is cold for here.  We have had a very mild winter though, and I am hoping this past weekend was the last of the cold nights.  I am so ready for getting yard work done.  I am waiting to hear about getting some beds in our front yard redone.  We already took down two trees - one was damaged and leaning after hurricane Matthew. The other tree was next to the one that fell into our house.  We took it down because we do NOT want a repeat of that!  

* Things I am thankful for right now:  Monday mornings.  A hubby who gets me.  Daughters who make me proud.  Pugs with cute faces.   Music (although I watched part of the IHeart Awards last night and ending up changing channels - ha).      And you - for reading this.   ( :

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Take it slow

Well, I'm back at the Hodgepodge today.  I missed a couple of weeks.  I'm glad to be here, and answering the following random questions.

1. 'Slow and steady wins the race'...tell us about a time this was true in your own life. 
In this generation it seems like much, often too much, comes at us very fast!   We get everything in a quick click, or a fast download. We ask Alexa a question and she responds.  We text an order and it's to our door overnight. 
So, learning to be patient, and waiting for something good to come, or to be 'earned,' is becoming a lost art.
I'm thinking back to times of slow and steady in my life.  I suppose it has to do with child rearing.  Remember how long a day could be back then?  Even if it was active?  Sometimes especially when it was active!  Teaching a child, and raising one to be a good person, can take a lot of work - and a lot of love. It takes a slow, and steady pace... each and every day.    The result doesn't "pay off" until you see an adult standing in front of you, and realize this person is smart and caring and funny!    

Yes, raising a child (actually two)  is a "long term project" but one of the best things I ever did!! 

2. 'As slow as molasses'...Do you like molasses? How about maple syrup? Caramel? Butterscotch? What's your favorite of the slow moving treats mentioned here, and what's your favorite food made with that sweet treat? 
Okay, I don't think I have ever had molasses.  Seriously.    But, I love maple syrup and caramel.  Butterscotch can be overly sweet.
  Even though I love maple syrup and caramel I can not remember the last time I poured it over pancakes or ice cream - or anything.  It's been years!  I don't have a sweet tooth, and when I do splurge on anything sweet as a treat it is usually made of chocolate.

3. Your favorite slow song?
"Look At Us"  - by Vince Gill

4. Your favorite thing to make in a slow cooker or crock pot? 
As I have said before, I am not a chef - or a lover of kitchen culinary time.  So, about the only thing I have made in a crock pot is homemade chili.   
Next Wednesday, I got 'volunteered' to make a children's soup for our Lenten Soup & Bread meal before the church service.  Anybody have a great recipe or suggestion for something children will love?     I may just buy cans of alphabet soup and pour them into the crock pot!  ha
5. 'You may delay, but time will not.' ~Benjamin Franklin Are you more a hurrier or a delayer when it comes to unpleasant tasks that need doing? What are you currently either delaying or hurrying to get through this week or month?
I'm a bit of both.  If it's a task I want done, then I will move on it quickly.  But, if it's both unpleasant AND I don't really care about it, then I have been known to delay starting the task or project.   If it's been 'assigned' to me....  I will sometimes wait a bit out of spite.  (I'm bad.)   
Thankfully, I can not think of an unpleasant task that needs done, at least one that I am responsible for right now.  If there is one, then I must have put it out of my mind!?!

6. Tell us three things you encounter regularly or even just occasionally that you find to be annoyingly slow.
1.  Traffic!  Especially going up and down Highway 17, our main drag to get anywhere around here.  Between the tourists, the elderly, and just rude drivers, the traffic moves under the speed limit too often.  Grrrrr
2.  My dogs when I take them on a walk....which is really just a sniff, stop, pee, and repeat adventure for them.  

3.  People in supermarkets, especially the ones with the cart parked in the middle of the aisle and they are lost in thought reading a label!   I outwardly patiently stand there, waiting for them to acknowledge me and move aside.   Inside, I'm not feeling so patient.

7. March is National Craft Month. Are you crafty? Tell us about something crafty you'll try in the next thirty one days. Or something crafty you'd like to try or wish you had the skill to make happen. 
I am somewhat crafty.  I used to enjoy doing crafts more in the past than now.   I have tried lots of things and I certainly enjoy going on Pinterest to get lots of ideas.  Yes, I "pin"  them, but then never get around to actually making them.  
What would I like to try?   I can't think of anything off hand.  I guess I better go check my Pinterest pages!
8. Insert your own random thought here. 
Interesting air today here!   We have had warm temperatures for weeks now so our spring is arriving early - and so is the pollen!  The past two days all the cars have become covered with yellow and green layers of it!  And, today, we also have some purposeful fires set in areas nearby to clear out underbrush, etc.  It's done here each year.  But, the smoke is stagnant and just hanging in the air.  It's a good day to stay indoors! 
So, it's a good day to do the Hodgepodge!  

Monday, February 27, 2017

Monday morning quarterbacking

Hi everyone!   I haven't posted on my blog for a few weeks. 


Well, I have been feeling a bit afraid, and a bit fed up, and just a bit annoyed with all the stuff out there.  And, I know just by finally posting I will probably upset someone.   I constantly struggle with what to say, how much to say, and IF I should say anything.

I started my blog years ago for a couple of reasons. I wanted to use the outlet as a way to express myself. I wanted to work on my writing skills (or try to get some! lol) I wanted to put down my thoughts so that my daughters can see me as a whole person, not just mom.  (Although being mom has been my greatest joy! )

Sometimes I have used the blog to post personal stories. Sometimes I have given a review.   I have used it to honor a family member or friend.  Sometimes I have used it as my soapbox to express my opinion on politics, and the direction of the country.  Sometimes I have tried to open up about being a Christian.  Everyone has their own story.  I'm not extra-ordinary.  But, I am unique - and I find my blog as a place of therapy.  A place to put down my thoughts.   A place for some 'Monday morning quarterbacking."

So, here I go...

*  Although it's been a mild, and really lovely January and February, I still struggle during these months.  It is still a time of 'waiting.'   I wait for spring when it is safe to plant. I wait for events that are on the calendar a bit later in the year.  And, this year I wait for a buyer for our Willbrook home.  I wait and wonder what to do. 

*  I prepare for Lent.  Ash Wednesday is in two days. Will I give up something - or add something to my life?  And why?  I need to decide. 

* I struggle with 'not doing enough'...  in just about everything. 

*  I miss people.  But I also love being alone.

*  I turned a new decade two months ago.  In reality, I know I am blessed to reach the age. I plan/pray on having many, many more years ahead.  But,  it's been a tough acceptance.   I know it sounds shallow to say it.  But, growing old is tough. I have always considered myself just naturally in good health, lucky to have good genes, and in having an understanding of how to keep it together.   But, lately, I realize it is not easy anymore.  

*  Mondays are reflective!  ha!!

* I have made 'kindness' my mantra.  Every since the song "Stay Humble and Kind" came out and touched me so, I have purposely tried to live my life being kind.  I have tried to share a smile, or lend a hand - equally.  I post uplifting phrases about kindness.  I even wear a "Kindness" My Intent bracelet.   I truly believe being kind can change the world. 

*  I love being home, and in my beautiful spot on this earth.  So many of my friends travel and I sometimes feel that I should also... I see the pictures and I hear the stories.   But, I don't have an aching desire to pack a bag and leave home.

* I admit I still don't 'get' the other political side.  My brain just can't figure them out.  But, I realize they feel the same way about me and others that are 'like minded' with me.  I really don't think people can be changed in their thoughts.  And, I really think we can not come together unless we teach our children the art of compromise.   But, we don't. We teach winning, and children mirror the adults in their lives.  We don't set a very good example.

*  Thank you God for music!  

*  I have never been a person who needs the finer things in life.  Name brands don't mean anything to me (except higher prices), and I worry about leaving behind too much stuff.  I want 'reliable' and I want 'convenience'... yes.  But, I don't want to collect, or put my joy into inanimate objects. 

*  I love to read but I get really annoyed with myself because I start to doze while reading after about a half hour.  It has nothing to do with the book!   It can be an amazing story.  And amazing author.   Does it have to do with age?  Probably.

* Well, one good thing about aging: I have learned to stop and smell the roses.  I appreciate nature.  When I was young I concerned myself with other 'stuff' and never gave myself time to appreciate the beauty of the world. Perhaps it was where I was living too.  I love this place here.

*  I like social media.  I don't deny it.  I like Facebook -and the way to keep in touch on-line, and to share pictures.  I do not fear it as some do.  I love texting too and wonder how different my connection with my own parents would have been with it.  When I went off to college I only spoke with my parents on the telephone once a week.  I became self-reliant (actually I always have been) but we never got to share 'moments' or funny things... or just a quick hello.   I am so blessed to have it with my daughters.  Thank you technology!!

* As I type this I have a pug on my lap and one on the back of the sofa by my shoulder.  Pets are the best! 

* I will never ever understand why people who own guns can't see the big picture and won't personally give up their own gun for a safer society for us all.  I feel there is too much "me" in this world...and not enough "we."   Anytime a child is killed by a hunting gun, or an unattended pistol, or by someone who has been careless - or by an 'accident' - my heart breaks.    Why are people so selfish?

So, do I sit back and stay quiet?  Or do I blog?  Or, do I do more?   Do I become an activist without fear?  

*  Monday mornings are a time to regroup. To plan.  It's a chance for a start start a new week.  I will make a list of things to do today in a minute - and I will check my calendar for the next days coming.   Expectations?  Appointments?  Lenten choices?    Exercise? 

Let's get this week going!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The passing of time...

The passing of time - the joys and the struggles.

1. What do/did you call your grandparents? If it's something unusual tell us the story behind the name. If you're a grandparent what do your grands call you? Who chose your moniker?

My grandparents were called Grandma and Grandpa.  Nothing unique or different. 

Our leader Joyce is about to become a grandparent for the first time (very exciting!!), so I think she is getting ideas from us all who answer this question!  ha!   I don't blame her!   Wonder what she wants to be called.  I guess I will find out tomorrow.

If I become a grandmother, I don't know what I want to be called yet.    I love the idea of becoming one though!   If it happens!!

2. Ever taken a road trip along the California Coast? If so what was the highlight of your trek? If not, any desire to do so? If you were to take a trip along the California Coast what's one attraction you'd have on your must-see list?

We used to live in California.  We have traveled by car from the SF Bay area up north along the coast.  We have also gone the other direction, along Big Sur, and Pebble Beach.   Beautiful areas!  Definitely different than East coast beaches and the large expanses of sand and marshes.  I love the marshes!  So calming.   But, the high, rocky coastline is amazing too.

3. What are three things you don't know how to do?

Well, when it comes to car maintenance there are more than three things I don't know how to do.

I'm also not unable to do a lot when it comes to computer issues.  I love when my computer works right, but if there is a glitch, or a screen pops up that I don't understand, I am clueless. 

I don't know how to  play the guitar and there are times I really wish I could. 

4. Tom Peters is quoted as saying, 'Celebrate what you want to see more of.' If that's true what will you celebrate and more importantly, how will you celebrate?

Well, I want to see my daughters more often than I do - and I celebrate them!   But, I also know they have their lives and I am proud of who they are, and what they do.

I celebrate music - and I love seeing live concerts - and hope to see more of them.

5. Thursday (February 16) is National Almond Day. Do you like almonds? Which would you prefer-an Almond Joy or a macaron? What's something you make that calls for almonds?

Yes, I like almonds.  I will take an Almond Joy over a Macaron. Macarons have coconut, right? I'm not a big coconut fan.   I sometimes will add almonds to a green salad - along with mandarin oranges. It's a nice combination.

6. What does Saturday morning look like at your house?

Saturday morning here means up around 7:00am.  Coffee, news, and computer time.  Then we take our two pugs to the beach for a walk around 8:00am. They get to play with other dogs there. and get some exercise. We get exercise too - and get to experience a beautiful East Coast morning!  

7. Share with us a favorite book you've read this winter.

I have read two Sue Monk Kidd books recently.  I am loving her writing style and content.  The second book I read was written every other chapter by her daughter Ann. They traveled Europe together.  It's part a travelogue, but more importantly, part mother-daughter connection.  Family interactions - and age concerns.  A woman's book.  It's called "Traveling with Pomegranates."

Right now I am reading "Hillbilly Elegy" by J.D. Vance. I wanted to read it because people told me it helped to understand some of America's thinking these days.  It focuses on people of Kentucky and southern Ohio - from small towns, or "hollers," and why the areas have stayed in poverty.  It is a biography from a man who grew up there.  I am enthralled so far...but I am worried it is not going to end well.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

So, I opened mouth and inserted foot in a way (again.)  Here is my dilemma:  I try to stay aware, and concerned with my country - and I try to be Christian and say what I think is what Jesus would say and want.  But, often it can go against the grain of what is happening.  In Bible Study today we discussed that Christians are not 'normal' Americans and we live differently - and really, we try to see the country and world as Jesus would... and, yes, sometimes it's tough.  Thinking about what God wants, and how Jesus would have reacted to certain situations and issues in today's world.  Man, I struggle.  I WANT to and TRY to think about that all the time. I fall short.  I miss the mark.


Sorry.  It's been one of those days.

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