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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The dog days of summer

It's that time again. Another week flew by.  Is it just me, or does summertime seem to go by faster than winter?   And, even though it's hot and humid here in these parts, it's the time of year I love.   There is something lovely about walking outside at 10:00pm and not feeling chilled.  Seeing the stars, hearing the deafening crickets and tree frogs!  I love a summer night!   (Winter nights start at 4:00pm and I find I hibernate inside.  Oh, what a difference.)

Anyway, I am off subject to this week's Hodgepodge.  Let's get back on track!

1. Do your actions match your words? Elaborate.

I sure hope so!  I am not a game player, and I do not purposely say something and then DO the opposite.   Why?  Well, for one thing, I am not a good liar.  I am happy that I am not.   Plus, I just don't think I could be happy with myself if I said something and then didn't really belief it, and follow through with actions about the belief.   I don't know, but that seems like it would be a constant internal struggle and difficult to handle... and just a sad way to live a life.

2. Sick as a dog, go to the dogs, dog days of summer, dog tired, it's a dog's life, every dog has it's day, can't teach an old dog new doggone it which saying could most recently be applied to your life?

Ha!  Well, a few dog sayings probably do apply to my life, like "You can't teach an old dog new tricks."  My hubby will vouch that I am not always ready to jump in to new technology, or try a new way of doing something because I was okay with how I have 'always done it.' 

But, I will pick "it's a dog's life" because I know that I am blessed, and have many good people around me, supporting me, taking care of me...and loving me.   Gee - should I give them a good dog kiss on the lips?? ha!! 

3. Your favorite book featuring a dog in the storyline? What makes it a favorite?

I did not read the book, but I did see the movie "Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog."   I loved it!

My favorite though?   It's got to be Clifford books - Clifford, the Big Red Dog!  My daughters had a few of them.  I loved the one where Clifford went trick or treating. I just googled him and there are over 70 Cifford titles, a tv show - and a movie coming soon!   Yeah for Clifford!!


4. What's something you hope to one day have the confidence to do?

Hmmm. If I don't have the confidence now, at my age, will I ever??    

The only thing I can think of is to be confident enough to speak up against injustices, and - going back to question #1, then to act on them. To go the extra 'step' and not just verbalize when something is wrong, but to DO something to help make a situation better.

After this past weekend's sad events in Charlottesville, VA, I think we ALL should think about having confidence to speak and act against blatant racism, and to care for those who feel the pain of it.

5. August 16th is National Tell a Joke Day. So tell us a joke.

I could not think of one on my own, so I just asked my Alexa!   Here is hers...

Why was the pizza maker so terrible at golf???

His whole round was full of slices!!

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I'm curious if where you live is already preparing for "back to school"?   Here in my area, schools start up a week from Monday!   I'm still "old school". (haha - get it?) when it comes to thinking schools should not reopen for the new year until September.  Mid-August just seems too early!!   And like I said above, summertime flies by too quickly as it is.  I feel sorry for kids who have to return to school soon - AND the teachers!!

Have a good week - and enjoy these dog days of summer!!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Monday morning QBing

* It's almost football season...   yes!   Okay, actually it's already 'pre-season' and football is now on TV.   August is the month to get back in the conversation... to watch the early scrimmages with the new guys.   But, once September arrives, so does the REAL season!

* Rain, rain, rain.   Enough.   But, it's August - and it's hot and humid.  That means pop-up thundershowers.  Heavy downpours.      We have entered hurricane season here in the lowcountry.  After what we went through last October with Matthew I hope and pray that we have a quiet next few months here.   Please oh please!

*  Weekend ups and downs:      What a joy to sit with sweet Greta at church, and to spend time with her yesterday.  That girl got my heart at a very young age and she remains so special to me.   Her hugs are the best!  

The hate openly shown in Charlottesville this weekend by neo-Nazi's and white supremists makes me very upset.  It seemed by what I saw on the News that most there, marching, and spewing hate, were  young white men.   How did they become this way?    What did they not learn, or feel, during childhood?   Or, maybe it's really what they DID get taught.  Someone, a parent or someone else, must have put hate and racism into their minds when they were young.  Maybe.  I can't figure it out.   Some come from a bad environment - but some come from Christian families.   Just typing that - scares me!  How can that be??  

Golf!   Yesterday's final day was again an exciting Sunday!  A 12 second pause before the ball dropped in the hole!  Golf is certainly a game of skill - but it always has an element of luck.   Daughter #2 and boyfriend were there,  hanging in a VIP tent part of the time - and then walking the fairways, watching the pros being so amazing!

* Confederate statues.    Seriously.   I can not even understand why moving them gets people so upset.   But, I know it's the tip of the iceberg for some who think our country is not for them anymore.   Selfish people - people who can not be empathetic to others who feel the statues are offensive to history and their grandparents.   

Which leads me to think of the word 'entitlement.'    What a bad word.    No good comes from it.

* Have I said lately that I love my hubby and daughters?   This morning seems like a good time to state it.  I love my son-in-law and the little nuggets growing in my daughter too!  Above all else!   They are my world. 

*  I'm wrapped up in a book right now.  "The Lilac Girls" by Martha Hall Kelly.   I'm 2/3s of the way through it. I'm totally wrapped up in the lives of the 3 women.  I'm appalled by the atrocities in it, and I'm hoping for happy outcomes for these tough women.    What should be my next read?   Any book suggestions??

Here's to a good week ahead... and to peace, and understanding.    Let's live it!!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Do I dare? How can I not?

Disclaimer:  This is a post about politics.  With a bit of religion in it too. So, if you can't handle reading my opinions, then exit now.

My blog. My thoughts.

In America you get to say what you feel. 

Here goes...

You all know this:   I cried on Election Night last November. I have written about it already.   I hurt.  Physically and mentally.  I was in shock - for days afterwards.   Some people told me to get over it, and to accept the results.     Well, I had to accept it...  even though I suppose I tried to stay in denial for a bit...   but get over it?    How does a person get over the sadness of knowing fellow Americans voted the way they did?    Some are people I know and love.  Family and friends. 

It was a blow to me.   It was SO obvious to me that our country was going to go backwards with this man at the helm.  It was obvious to me back then that he was a fake. An egotist.  An embarrassment.   I knew he was irrational.  Hot-headed.  Unprepared for holding the office.  

7 months in to his presidency, I am saddened to say that I was not even able to foresee all the craziness that is reality now.   I didn't think he would bring us into a place of war talk with one of the other crazy men of the world already.   I didn't think he would devalue so many people...  trans, gays, minorities, women! I didn't think he would so quickly deny climate change, and go backwards on our care for our land.   I didn't think he could not bring saner people into his circle - and keep them.  (Back then I hoped people around him would ring him in.) I didn't realize political posts would stay vacant because nobody can work for him.  I didn't know he would tweet like he does!!

But, here we are. 

I am a woman of faith.  I believe in God.  I know He (God our creator) has given us this amazing planet to live on... to tend it, to share with each other.  We are to love one another...even our enemies.  We are to feed the poor, to value our individuality, to give without judgement. These are basic beliefs - the foundation of following Him.  My belief as a follower of Jesus guides my life.  I fall short all the time, but I TRY to do what I think God wants me to do for others.... ALL others. 

Living as a Christian woman can be hard at times.  But,  Jesus told the disciples that there would be those who challenge, and do not understand, and that we must dust ourselves off and keep on going.   Never give up.  7 times 7...   keep on going...  Profess God's love and message.  Live as a child of God. 

I try.  I pray for guidance.   I ask for balance.  And strength. 

I am a happy person.  You may think I am not because of what I write here.   But, it's true.  I find constant comfort in my faith.  I find joy all the time!!  I am fortunate.  My circumstances, where I am on this earth and in America ...  I am blessed.      And, I live in a real world - and I speak out when I see wrongs, and I worry about innocent people getting hurt, and when I see political injustice.   I feel I must.   That is why I speak out about politics sometimes.  I can not hide my head and heart away.  

I will not, and can not, stop.  Yes, politics is so very depressing at times.  So much is wrong with it. So many are involved in it for personal satisfaction only, and for ego strokes.  Elected officials are supposed to work for the betterment of us all...but they don't.   Money, lobbys,  business - all need to get OUT of politics.

Caring, and working together for a better America for ALL is possible...    politics and religion can find common ground.   I believe that.    So, I speak out.  


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Isn't life GRAND?

Hello Hodgepodgers!   Welcome to this week's set of questions, and my answers.  People ask me why I do the Hodgepodge, and why I blog.  For me...  It is a good way to keep my brain working, and my blog is my way of speaking out.  I get frustrated sometimes.  I don't keep secrets.  I like to share life.  

The Hodgepodge questions are usually not controversial.   This week is fun and GRAND!    So, read on and enjoy.  Feel free to answer too. I love getting comments at the end of the post.

1. Do you try to set rules for yourself about how you use your time? Explain.

Yes, I definitely am aware of time and how I use it.  I keep to a schedule if possible.  I wake up the same time each morning (within a half hour), and I think about my day ahead - and what I want to accomplish.  Most things are not life or death!  But, I plan my day around things that are already at set times, and I plan the best way to use the hours of the day.

I am a 'rule follower.'  If I set one - then I do my best to follow through.   Time is valuable!  

2. Monday was National Lighthouse Day. Have you ever visited a lighthouse? If not, do you have any desire to see one up close? Of the 10 Most Beautiful that made this list which would you most like to see in person-

Lindau Lighthouse (Germany), Fanad Lighthouse (Ireland), Portland Head Light (Maine), Yaquina Bay Light (Oregon) The St. Augustine Light (Florida), Peggys Point Lighthouse (Canada), Start Point Lighthouse (England), Tower of Hercules (Spain), Bass Harbor Head Station (Maine), and White Shoal Light (Michigan)

When you've been away, what's your 'lighthouse' telling you you're on the right road home?

Yes, I have visited a couple of lighthouses, up close and personal.  I have gone in and up into the Marblehead Lighthouse on Lake Erie in Ohio, and the Tybee Island Lighthouse near Savannah.   I have boated by others, including the Georgetown Lighthouse, at the entrance of the Winyah Bay in South Carolina.  

Of those listed above, I would like to visit Maine (in the summertime) and see both the Portland Head Light and the Bass Harbor Head Station.

What does a lighthouse say to me?  Is that the last part of this question?   Coming home is always a warm feeling.  A comfort feeling. Lighthouses gave the mariners the same feeling - of finding a warm home, and a safe harbor.   A light in the dark, and the direction to follow to get to solid ground.

3. What have you unintentionally stopped doing? Is this something you need to pick back up and begin again, or is it something you need to let go of for now (or even permanently)?

Ha! Thanks for making me feel guilty!  lol    Well, I have stopped walking for exercise and I need to get back to it!   I also need to remind myself to drink more water every day.   I know I feel better doing both, and both keep me healthier.   So...   yes, I need to get back at it!   

4. We've had a full week of August. Share a GRAND moment from your month so far.

Congrats to our leader Joyce on the birth of her first GRANDbaby, a little boy, with a head full of hair!  He's beautiful.   That's tough to beat for a grand first week in August!

For me, August has brought me closer to my daughter's arrival of her twin boys.  Sorry readers! You will be hearing about this for a long time!  The boys are due in November.    The first week of August also brought my other daughter and some friends to our riva cabin for a weekend get-away.  It was grand to see her and I am glad they all had a wonderful time.  

5. Tell us one song you love with the word 'baby' in the title.

Nice segway Joyce!    So many GRAND songs with the word 'baby' in it's title!  Here's a few...

The Supremes "Baby Love"
Amy Grant's "Baby Baby"
Britney Spears "Hit me Baby One More Time"!

Okay... now I will be singing these all day today!

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

So,  "baby oh baby" is the theme of my daughter's upcoming shower as she has TWO on the way!  I'd love to hear from you all on fun games or food for a baby shower.   We are planning one for Labor Day weekend (seems like an appropriate time, right?  ha)  and I have a few ideas.  But, if you know of something I should include, please tell me.  Double the fun - double the babies!  

As always, thanks for visiting me here.   Have a GRAND and safe week ahead! 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Rainy Friday morning...

Hi readers.  It's a rainy Friday morning and I have some time to write on my blog before starting my day.   So, here goes...

*  I'm sitting here with the morning news on. I'm once again questioning my need to know what is going on in the world, and I'm questioning how we Americans got ourselves to this place.   I just saw our president at another "love fest" for him, staged of course, in W VA - a part of our country hurt by a dying coal industry,  hanging on to some hope for a 'savior' and looking at our president for it.  

Every single day Trump shows off his pompous ignorance and embarrasses me more.   There really isn't anything new I can say about him, except I pray that he does not jump into a military action.  I don't trust him - at all. 

I know some people who still - S T I L L - support him.   I can't figure them out.  Except, I did hear that their allegiance is similar to when you love a football team... a blind love for them in bad times and good.  

* I'm now watching CBS and they are doing a report on the Chicago gun violence.  They are interviewing gang guys... and it is frightening. 

*. Okay...  I've got to turn my thoughts away from the woes we have.  It's important to focus on all the good we know.    So, here's a list of awesome-ness:     

I'm enjoying all the pictures of our NJ friends' daughter's wedding on Facebook!  What a beautiful day and the bride was just beaming!  I love how the wedding and reception - and all the happy people having a blast - are shared on FB.   

Before I go further,  my daughter continues to feel good and is carrying her twin boys well.   Absolutely NO issues to worry about at this point.  Thank God!  She is embracing this time, and is preparing for the boys' arrival.   She and hubby have settled into their home, and will soon start with a series of childbirth and infant care classes.    My other daughter and I are hosting a babys shower over Labor Day weekend.  I'm having fun looking on Pinterest for ideas, and getting my thoughts together for the day! 

Speaking of my son-in-law:  yesterday was his birthday.  So, here's a little toast to him.   Hubby and I have said often how perfect he is for our daughter.  He is dedicated to her and to his work and his family. He knows how to have a good time - and has a quick wit.  People enjoy being around him.   He has patience - and is a calming voice to our daughter when she needs it.    They enjoy sports together, and they love going out to dinner for a good meal.    Gee - as I write this, I realize how he is similar to hubby.   So, maybe it's true that a daughter picks a man that reminds her of daddy!  

I can't wait to see both of them as parents!   Fun times ahead!

* Football season.    I think I heard that the first pre-season pro game is today!   Each year it seems like football starts so early.  But,  by September I am ready for it!    I root for the South Carolina Gamecocks (through bad and good -  see above!  ha) and I love watching SEC games.  I also root for the Carolina Panthers. So, Saturdays and Sundays are filled during football season!!  

*. Another topic on the news right now:  tattoos.   I'm watching a report that the local police can not have a tat of something violent, or words that are racist.   Really? duh.    I am curious about tattoos.  Most used to be a sign of toughness endured by a guy in the military.  A badge of honor in a way.  But, of course now,  all kinds of people get them.    Even I have thought about what I would want if I decided to get one.  A Christian fish (like Tim's), or a musical note, a heart... or my daughter's initials.   I know myself well enough that 1. I don't like pain, 2. I change my mind over time (I'm not who I was when I was 20 years old), 3. I wouldn't want it showing all the time.   So, then... where to tat?     I also know tattoos are expensive.  I can't help it, but I see young people with all kinds of tats and wonder "this is how they spend their money?"    I see some on people that are grotesque and I can't imagine WHY that picture was chosen.    I know that tattoos are becoming more common place BUT it still is a statement - a forever statement.   I don't always think those who get them realize it. 

*.In case you have been wondering... we still have a house for sale.   But, we now have heard some comments like "it's on the short list" and "they plan to come back again for a second look."    Progress!   ha

*.  Speaking of homes: I love where I live so much!  The house we "down-sized" into is just perfect!  The square footage is less, and much more manageable (only 2 bathrooms to clean! yeah) I love the yard - because I love to be outdoors and garden.   There is plenty of space to plant.  Some spots of sun, and some of shade.  Yesterday I tried out a new battery-operated hedge trimmer - and it worked great!!  Simple pleasures. 

*  So - random thought. I downloaded Snapchat and for the life of me, I have not been able to understand how it works.  And, I don't get why people put up pics that don't last.   Guess that's why I like FB and Instagram...  and really, that's enough for me.    Some people probably think I'm on social media too much anyway!  ha!!!    Oh - and don't forget, I blog too!   lol

If you have read down to here... thank you.   If you want to comment back, I welcome it.

Have a great day! Think of the awesome-ness!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Hodgepodge questions - and my answers.

Hello Hodgepodgers!  I hope you have had a good week - and are ready for a new set of questions!

If so, then let's go!

 1. Growing up, were you close to your grandparents? Tell us one or two specific things you remember about them.

My dad's parents died rather young.  So, I never got to know them.  But, my mother's parents were a part of my childhood.  We would gather at their home during holiday times, along with other family members...aunts, uncles, and cousins.  We didn't live too close so we only got together occasionally and therefore I would say I was not extremely close with them.  Most times we were in large groups so I never had one-on-one time with my grandparents.

I have a couple of memories:  My grandfather would carry change in his pants pocket and reach his hand in and bring up the coins and toss them on the living room floor. We grandkids would get all excited, jump, and gather them up.   I also remember sitting on their living room floor and watching TV shows they enjoyed.  In the morning it was the Bob Braun Show (out of Cincinnati) and in the evening we watched The Lawrence Welk Show.   My grandmother made some special food when we cam to visit.  She made homemade chocolate syrup for ice cream (and called it 'dope') and she made amazing egg noodles from scratch!  We would put it over mashed potatoes!!  Can you imagine??   It was SO yummy! 

2. What's an item you were attached to as a child? What happened to it?

I can not think of one specific thing.  Although, I had a few dolls that I loved very much.  One was a "Betsy Wetsy."   When I was a little older, my sister and I had a bunch of Barbie dolls (including Midge, Ken, Alan, Skipper, etc.) and we played with them for hours.   What happened to the dolls?  I think the Barbie dolls were passed down to a younger cousin once we outgrew them.  I don't know what happened to my Betsy Wetsy.

3. When you look out your window, do you see the forest or the trees (literally and figuratively)? Explain.

When I look out my back windows I see a forest of trees!  Literally.   Behind my home is a natural area (and on one side too) and it is wooded and filled with nature! I love it!  It's very private and beautiful.

4. Do you like sour candies? Which of the 'sour' foods listed below would you say is your favorite?

grapefruit, Greek yogurt, tart cherries, lemons, limes, sauerkraut, buttermilk, or kumquats 

Have you ever eaten a kumquat? What's your favorite dish containing one of the sour foods on the list?
I am not a fan of sour candies.  And, of the food items listed I will say I eat the tart cherries... but, really, most likely I will pass on ALL of them.   I do not like sour foods.

No, I have not eaten a kumquat - unless it was in a mixed fruit dish and I just wasn't aware of it.   And favorite dish made from an item above?   I have cooked chicken dishes with lemon so I will go with that. 

5. July 1st marked the mid point of 2017. In fifteen words or less, tell us how it's going so far.

So far 2017 is filled with joy and expectation.

Why this sentence?   Because our family has been blessed with the news of baby boy twins on the way!  We are excited and ready for this new chapter in our lives.  I will be a first time grandmother and I look forward to it, and in spending time with them once they arrive around Thanksgiving!

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

 I got caught up in a documentary series called "The Keepers" on Netflix the last two days and "binge watched" the 7 one hour segments.  It's the first time I have sat and watched episode after episode.  Do you 'binge watch'?   If so, what has been a series that you have spent a whole day watching?   What is your favorite Netflix TV show?  

Have a good week ahead!  I will not be here next week because I will be in Ohio spending time with my family there.  It is our annual week together that we do each summer in a place called Lakeside.   The town is a step back in time... a place where people stay in cottages, and ride bikes, or walk (or golf cart) around.   There is family-style entertainment and religious programs throughout the day.  I've been going there since I was a kid.  Our family gathers and we play games, and do puzzles, and hang together.  

Monday, July 17, 2017

My thoughts... just because...

Good morning friends!

Here's a little Monday morning quarterbacking on this cloudy and rainy start to a new week.

* It's been a pretty hot July so far, so when we get a few days of clouds and rain then the drop in temps that comes with it is a nice change.  Instead of high temps close to 100, we are only going to reach mid 80's today.  I'll take it.

*  We had a beautiful weekend though and hubby and I made it to both the beach and to the riva. We walked the dogs on the beach in the morning - and we got the boat out and enjoyed the rivers around here.   My favorite beach time:   morning before the vacation crowds come out - AND evening, when the sun is getting low, and the vacationers have headed back in after getting sunburned.   Reminder to self:   grab a little wine and a beach chair and head to the beach for an hour around 7:30pm.   A perfect time.  Who wants to join me?

*  I love summertime.  I love piddling in my yard.   This summer I have had poison ivy pretty much constantly since the season started.   I have gone to the doctor's twice to get help...  and I have another dose pack of cortisone awaiting me at CVS if I need it.   Most days I try my best to keep my skin away from what ever it is that effects me:   long sleeves, yoga pants that keep my legs covered - and rubber garden boots.  I'm quite the sight out there! ha     After yard work, I run in and take a shower and scrub - BUT STILL I BREAK OUT!    ugh.   

*  This happened:  So the other day I thought I'd take my pugs out for a walk in the neighborhood early, before the heat of the day.  The dogs don''t handle heat well.... ok - at all.  Thick fur and pushed in noses make it difficult for them.   Daisy will stop dead in her tracks when she has had enough.  Therefore, I push along the 'pug wagon' so she can get in and ride when she gets overheated and tired.   So, I was walking them on their leashes - and pushing the wagon along.  It's not easy to do!   The pugs never seem to just walk nicely.  They stop, smell, pee, stop, smell, pee, and then stop, smell, pee!   I was struggling to keep the dogs untangled and the wagon with us, cars would come by - and I had to get off to the side of the road.   Cars came by - over and over.   So...when one went by I quickly got over and off the road, and stepped right on top of a red ant hill!!   I had on tennis shoes and socks, so I didn't realize it right away - I didn't realize until I felt the sharp, painful bites as the ants were climbing my ankles... and going down into my shoes!!    So, here I am - holding two leashes, pushing a wagon, and stomping my feet - and smacking myself... but getting bit up anyway!   What a sight!    At that point, I gave up on the walk - and rushed home.  I quickly got my socks and shoes off - and found 6 red ant bites.   Have you had ant bites?    Then you know...  painful, very itchy, swells up, lasts forever.   ) :

*  On to better news:  daughter #1 and the pregnant mother of identical twin boys is doing well.  She looks great as she is in the middle months of pregnancy.   She and her hubby are done with the move and are now settling into the new home.  It's time to turn their thoughts to preparing for the babies.

*  So... I have been thinking what I want to be called as a new grandmother.   My two choices:  Meemaw - or GeeGee.    Which do you like?

*  I'm watching Al Gore on a morning news shows right now.   He is talking about an "Inconvenient Truth Sequel" that is coming out.  It's been 10 years since the first book and movie.   Since then we made some great progress with taking care of our world.  We have acknowledged climate change - and we have realized that we are the care-takers of nature.    But...  now we have a president who denies it and is putting business ahead of nature.  It makes me very sad.

*  I guess I can't have a QB post without mentioning that I think I have seen it all and heard it all when it comes to our inept president.  But, yet, every day something new seems to happen.   I am torn between being "on top of the news" to watching our prez and feeling totally embarrassed by him.   He turns my stomach.

* Speaking of TV:   a friend told me about a documentary series on Netflix she has been watching and it peeked my interest.  It's called "The Keepers" and it's about the unsolved murder of a Catholic nun in 1969 in Baltimore.  She was a young school teacher at the time.  Two of her female students from that time, who are now in their 60's, along with some journalists, have decided to try and find out what happened to their beloved teacher and friend.   I lived in Baltimore in the late 70's and 80's and I know the city and areas around there well.  So, I started watching yesterday.   Oh my!!!!   I won't give away what I have watched so far, but let me tease you by saying some unbelievable and horrible events are discovered that have to do with sexual abuse by priests.    It's all fact.   I think I need to finish watching it today.  

*   I also need to finish reading "The Handmaid's Tale."   I picked it up to read after seeing the women dressed in red at Trump protests.   The book is not new, but there is a TV series based on it now.  So far the book is reminding me a bit of the book '1984' which I recently finally read.  Both books take place in a country where the government rules strictly, and by fear.   In "The Handmaid's Tale" women are put into classes, and some are only needed because they are fertile and can provide children for the powerful men.

*  Let's end on a happier note!  Thank you to Suzanne and Barbara who invited me to be a part of a beautiful piece in church yesterday.  Barb sang "O Lord Most Holy" also known as Panis Angelious, and I played my flute.  It was a beautiful arrangement. Both Suzanne and Barb are pros and, although, I get nervous, they gave me confidence and I think the piece was beautiful!!

Have a great week all.  Stay cool.  Stay safe.  

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A true Hodgepodge

Hello Hodgepodgers!  I have missed a few weeks because life has been busy.  It's good to be back now and to answer this week's questions.  Feel free to play along. I'd love to hear your answers!

1. When was the last time you chatted with a neighbor? About what? (sharing that last bit is optional)

I live on a wonderful street with great neighbors!  I walk my dogs almost every day (weather permitting) and I run into neighbors and have chats.  The last time was on Friday when one neighbor was walking her dog and hubby and I were in the front yard doing some yard work.   What did we talk about?   Dogs! ha   And we let her know that we were going to be gone over the weekend. It's always nice to have someone watching the home when you are away.  

2. River, lake, ocean, or waterfall...which one are you most like and why?

This question reminds of the days when Barbara Walters would ask celebs "if you were a tree, what kind would you be?"   ha!!   Sorry Joyce.  It's a bit odd.  But, okay, I'll answer it...

I think I am most like a river. Why?   Well, a river is always moving and I like to think I do not stay stagnant in life - and that I like to move forward, and I look on to what might be downstream.   Rivers have banks on each side - so safety is close by.  

3. July 13 is National Delaware Day. Ever been to Delaware? Delaware is called 'the first state' because it was the first to declare independence from the British. What's your state's nickname and does that moniker make sense to you? If you were in charge, what nickname would you give your home state?

Yes, I have been to and through Delaware.  For many years I lived in New Jersey and traveled Route 95 down to South Carolina - and that trip took me into Delaware.  Occasionally I took the "Eastern Shore route" which took me through a bit more of it.

For awhile, years ago, my bestie girlfriend lived and worked in Delaware - and I visited her there.

I live in South Carolina and it is known as the Palmetto State.  It's motto is "As I breathe, I stand."  Why the Palmettos?  They are a type of palm tree, seen a lot around here, and the trees were used to build Ft. Sumter because the trunks are very dense and solid - and could stop cannonballs from going into the fort.

My nickname?   I love my state, so maybe "A little bit of paradise!" 

4. What dish did you contribute to the last pot luck meal you attended? Do you have a go-to recipe for pot luck suppers?

Ha.  You'll know I don't cook much, right?   Well - the last contribution I made was this past Saturday night when I was at my daughter and son-in-law's home and I boiled the red potatoes!   But, in my own defense, I did help with setting up the buffet of food, and did most of the clean up!

I don't really have a 'go to' dish but in summertime I often bring deviled eggs. And, yes I make them!

5. What is your number one tip for a brand new parent?

Joyce and I both have daughters who are about to be new parents.  So, I like this question - because we can pass along some advice and tips answered here!

My number one tip?  Stay calm.  Take each day as it comes.  And, it's amazing how fast new parents 'learn the ropes' and get into the swing of parenting.  After a couple of months, new parents become comfortable and life with baby becomes routine. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I know my daughter and son-in-law will quickly learn parenting, BUT I still plan to help out for awhile once their identical twin boys arrive!!   Double the fun and double the work - and double the lack of sleep and double the feedings, diaper changes, etc.    The babies are due in late November so I look forward to spending the holiday season with them.

Have a good week ahead.  Stay safe.  Fires in the west. Oppressive heat in the east.  I hope you are not effected by mother nature's summertime wrath!  

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

After the 4th - QBing

It's July 5th.  Tired?   Many are heading back to work today after a long weekend with celebrations and family get-togethers.  I'm thinking of my daughters and my son-in-law who have such busy lives right now.  Back to work they go!   No rest for the busy!!  lol 

* But of course, daughter #1 (eldest) HAS to pace herself and take moments of rest now as she is carrying two little baby boys in her!  Being pregnant and working full-time still - and moving into a new home.  ALL are tiring, and she is doing all of it right now.   I don't want her to overdue it.  She is aware of her situation, and being careful.  Each new day during this time will bring changes, excitement, some fears, and lots of joy!   Continue to say a little prayer that she carries the boys for as long as possible to let them grow inside and turn out perfectly.

* As a grandmother-to-be my thoughts are pretty much consumed with the coming babies.  For the next year most everything else will be put on the back burner.   It's a rare and special time in life and I plan on enjoying it all!

*  4th of July thoughts:  America, America!  It's a day we can all come together and throw a party and celebrate all the GOOD about where we live.  And, wow!  We are good at it, aren't we?  All across this vast country with such different terrain and people, we know how to party!  Morning to night.  Amazing fireworks displays across the land.  I watched the NYC event on TV last night.  It was incredible!  Such a loooong fantastic display set to live music!!  Quite over the top!    Someone brought up on Facebook this morning the fact that millions were spent on fireworks yesterday - money that could have gone to help feed the poor... or perhaps put to another use to improve something long term in our country.      Your thoughts?     

*  But, this is nice...     The 4th of July is a day long break - a moment - to stop with all the divisive rhetoric - for ONE day.    Maybe it is worth it just for that!!

*  So, back at it and the prez keeps tweeting.   Social media at its worst.  

*  Hot enough for you?    We here in the lowcountry of South Carolina have a string of mid-90 degree days going.  And, oh yes, with a bit of humidity!! ha    I normally don't mind, but for some reason this season the mosquitoes are the worst I can recall in a long time.  Someone told me that my new backyard was a festering place for them, and now I believe him.  I go out to fill the bird eeder or to do a bit of gardening in the yard, and I am attacked!      I have also gone through two dose packs of steroids for fighting poison ivy so far.   I can't keep myself from getting out in the yard - because I love it!  But, the poison ivy (or creeping sumac ivy or whatever it is) is everywhere!   It's an endless battle.

*  I feel sorry for my pugs with the heat.  Miss Daisy really can barely be outdoors without panting and struggling to breathe right now.    Both pugs are shedding and shedding - and shedding.  Trying to get rid of that heavy coat I guess! But it keeps coming back!   My dark blue couch is constantly full of it. Every day I use the hand vacuum on it and fill it with pug hair!   I am amazed they have - and lose - that much! 

*  By the way,  tropical systems have started to form down near Africa...   and after last year I really REALLY want a quiet hurricane season!   We still have 3 properties to contend with here... and although Matthew cleared out a lot of the troubling trees last year, I don't want to spend my time doing major cleanup again.   Stay away hurricanes!!

*  Wedding season.  Some of my daughters' friends are marrying this summer.  I love going to weddings!  Such hope... and so happy and beautiful.   It's so much fun to watch them all grown up and start lives together.

*  I'm getting ready to head out and meet up with my bestie girlfriend in an hour. She is down here at the beach on her annual family vacation.  We meet up each summer when she comes down - but not for long enough.  The good news is we fall right back into where we left off.   We have so many, many years of history now.   We met in college and have kept the friendship going ever since.   I gotta go get ready... 

July brings family and friends - and summer activities!  

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

QBing on a Wednesday morning

Summertime, summertime...

It's supposed to be lazy days and time off from what you do the rest of the year, right?

Well - then, why is it that my summertime seems to go by so quickly?  We are almost to the month of  July and I have been very BUSY!!  So busy in fact,  I have neglected posting here.  But, this morning I will try and take a few minutes to put down some thoughts.  Here goes.

*  Number one thought is the twins that are on the way!   Daughter #1 is halfway there with them and she is doing well.  The babies are growing and her doctor appointments are going well so far.  No problems.   But, keep saying a prayer for her and the little ones!  (By the way, I know the sex of them now but daughter & son-in-law have not announced it to friends and on Facebook, so I will not post it here.)   So many changes happening for them!  With babies on the way, they have just moved into their first home and are finding out the ups and downs of home ownership.   It's fun for me to watch, and to remember hubby and my journey as newlyweds and then becoming young parents.   Oh, the circle of life!

* Life brings joy - and it brings sorrow.  Last week my hubby's brother-in-law passed at the young age of 64.  He suffered with some physical problems for quite a while, but his faith stayed strong - and perhaps got stronger during it all.   The funeral was a lovely celebration of his journey, of his recent years getting back with family, and making the most of his days left.

I have heard of several deaths recently of those in their 60's.   And, yes, as of December I am now in that decade.  It's a bit scary, but it's also a wake-up call to tell me that I need to take care of myself, with some exercise and proper eating - all the time.  Stay positive.  Stay current.  Enjoy each day.

*  This is minor but geezzzzz   - I have had another bad time of it with poison ivy this spring and summer!!  Actually, I have discovered the real culprit is a vine called Virginia Creeper, that grows wildly everywhere around here.  It clings to bushes and can take over... it grows very quickly!   I am taking care of two houses right now (the one for sale - and the one I live in) and I try, try, try to be careful...  but, I still get it.  It's bad again right now, so I may head to the doctor's for a shot and meds again.  I was there last month too.  ) :

*  Yes, the Willbrook house is still for sale.   It's been over a year now.   The responses from those who have seen it say it's a beautiful home, in a lovely setting....  but there are too many steps, and they don't like the floor layout, or they want a bigger yard for dogs or a pool.    I was there yesterday before a showing and vacuumed, etc.  As I walked around, and wiped down window sills, etc. I thought about the need to paint some more.  So, it's on my list to do.  All the furniture is out now - so smudges show more, scratches, etc. 

*  I just reserved our ticket/hotel package for the CMA Festival for June 2018 yesterday!   The 4 day festival is so popular that you need to book it quickly!   I book now especially because we love staying in a downtown hotel, and love the Gold Circle tickets we have for the night time concerts.   It gives us a whole year to pay on it, and to look forward to it!   The festival just gets bigger each year and never disappoints!

*  I live near Myrtle Beach and historically it has been known as a "family vacation spot" because hotels and restaurants are reasonably priced, and the area is a drive-able beach/ocean spot for people who live in the northeast or in the mid-west.   But, as with other places these days, the violence by guns has gotten worse.  There have been shootings on the main drag, and in the parking lots of local malls.   Some of the violence is drug related.  Some is because tourists can be easy targets to rob.   It's gotten scarier to be out at night.  I remember driving my daughters there and dropping them off to walk the strip to shop, and to go to a youth club.  I don't know if I would do that today.

*  I guess that leads me to my thoughts of America and it's love of guns.  You know me.  I believe we have to change the philosophy of guns here.  There is no need to own multiple weapons.  There needs to be better security issues with them... it can be done.  But, the NRA and gun-makers fight it... all for the mighty dollar.  It saddens me VERY much!  I am a member of Mothers for Gun Safety, and Mothers Against Hate organizations.  On Facebook I see posts every day of children 'accidentally' shot and killed.  It just seems to sad - and we CAN lower the numbers.  If only, each and every gun owner took responsibility.  But, most say "oh, I know what to do with my gun and I won't let my gun be stolen or left unattended."      Grrrrrrr  

*  Politics:  Our president is such an embarrassment to me.  I "resist" and will continue to speak up.   I have to.    I'm still waiting for someone out there who voted for him to say they were wrong.  Come on - you can do it!   We all make mistakes.  

* Back to summertime flying by....  I still want to go shelling and boating but we haven't done it yet.  It takes time to go out to the barrier islands.  And good weather.  We have had lots of rain lately.   I want to spend a whole day out on the boat.   Maybe soon!!

*  And I want to read more!  On my chaise lounge chair in the Carolina room.   Maybe tomorrow! ha

*  I'm revamping an old changing table for my daughter's babies' room.  I've painted it...and will now put a coating on it to give it a 'weathered' look.  Next: new contact paper and baskets on the shelves.  I think it will be cute (and functional) once done.    I've also started buying a few other things.  Being a first time Grandma is so exciting!   I love it!!!

Ok. Time to get going...    it's summertime and I have much to do!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

An early Father's Day meme

Today is Thursday, and, yes, Father's Day is not until Sunday.   But, I'm already thinking about my hubby and the 31 years of fatherhood he has experienced - and now... well, wow!  He's getting ready to be a grandfather!  So, it seems like a good time to put down a few thoughts here on my blog about the guy... in honor of him as Father's Day comes near.

He came from a family where men didn't stick around all that long.  By the time I met him he already had 3 daddies...  One biological one who left when he was two years old, and then two step-dads who probably would not win any awards in a "Father of the Year" contest.    And, I met hubby in the midst of our 20's when the guy had a pretty 'active' life at that time, if you know what I mean!  Settling down?  Being a good dad?   Who knew if he could do it?!?   Who knew if he knew HOW to do it?!

Well, the timing was right - and somehow I just knew hubby was going to be different from what he grew up with... we had talks, and I heard his determination to succeed - in all aspects of his life.   Two years after we got married, he became a father.   Two years later he became a father again.

What kind of father??      Indulgent for sure!!  ha  (You know - it's that daddy and his little girls thing!!)   And he was FUN - all the time!  And - hands on with his girls as much as possible considering his work and travel commitments.   Hubby was a great example of blending both fatherhood and businessman together.  He made sure he didn't short himself on experiences, or that his daughters ever felt left out. 

A proud father!  Hubby encouraged his daughters all the time, but never (I hope) put too much pressure on them to do something they really didn't want to do. (I'm probably the one who did that more...   )   He knew better than me, though, the reality of the teen years when they came around,  and he never 'laid down the law' and scared our girls into obedience.   He trusted.  

Hubby and I are different in some aspects of parenting for sure, but thankfully we blended, and my ying went with his yang.   We all know hubby will give and give for the joy of it.  His daughters were recipients of much - but, through their own life experiences, our girls have learned about the world, felt blessed, and appreciated his gifts.  Yes, they are lucky.  No doubt.  They got a dad who showers them with things... but his biggest showering is his love, and his pride, and belief in them.

So... in a few months from now, hubby becomes a grandfather!   All I can say is "what lucky grandkids!"  (Yes, twins are on the way.)  He already talks of being involved in their lives, and not wanting to miss events and celebrations...  and I have a feeling we will be wearing out the path from our house to theirs.  I'm thrilled to be there too - with him.  

This is a special Father's Day on Sunday. Soon his baby will have babies.  The circle of life... and the passing down of love, and pride, and faith.      Happy Father's Day to you hubby!!    Love you!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Flag Day and Father's Day.

Hello Hodgepodgers and friends! I missed a couple of weeks, but I am back.   This time of year is busy, but I am happy to find time to answer the weekly questions.  Join in with me if you would like!

  1. The Hodgepodge lands on June 14th this week, Flag Day in the US of A. Do you fly your country's flag at home? Sometimes, often, or every single day? Have you ever visited the city of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia)? Did you make a point of seeing The Betsy Ross House? Have you ever made a trip to Baltimore? If so, was Fort McHenry on your itinerary? (where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write The Star Spangled Banner)

We don't have an American flag flying all the time in our yard but I do make sure we have one up for special times... i.e.  Memorial Day, Flag day, the 4th of July, etc.   I also have some red,white and blue bunting I hang on our front porch railing.

Yes, I have visited Philadelphia, and yes, I do believe I have been to Betsy Ross's home... many, many years ago.   Fort McHenry?  Oh yes.  I lived in Baltimore back in the 80's and I have visited the famous fort a few times. 

2. Red flag or white flag? Which have you encountered most recently? Explain.

Red flag = emergency.  White flag = surrender.   Have I encountered one recently?   I don't think I have, in any major way.   That's a good thing!  ha  I am happy to say that I have not had anything  happen in my life that would want to make me wave either of those flags.  

3. Are you a stay in the car listen to the end of a song kind of person? What kind of person is that?

Oh, I am DEFINITELY a 'stay in the car and listen'  type of person!  In fact, I feel bad if I cut off a song halfway through.   I love listening to a song to its end, and I time when I turn off the music so that it is between songs.  I have always felt that a song is written to be experienced beginning to end - and to stop listening halfway through is disappointing to the hard work of the artist, musicians, and producer who created the music.  

4. What are some of the traits or qualities you think a good dad possesses? In other words, what makes a good dad? What's an expression you associate with your father?

A good dad?  Well, the most important quality is unconditional love.  And, then let's add in pride, consistency, solid belief, and fun!

A good dad is there for their child - with time, and advice, and comfort, and commitment.  Add in some silliness too!!

An expression?  My dad always said chronology is inexorable.   In other words, you can not stop the passing of time... that good and bad things are temporary.  It's all temporary.  Make the most of each moment. 

5. What's one rule you always disagreed with while growing up? Is that rule somehow still part  of your adult life?  Is that a good or bad thing? 

Hmmmm.  Tough question.  A rule I did not agree with?  I have to say that I was raised to be a 'rules follower.'  I have always felt that rules were made for, and important for, the common good.  I have always felt that rules keep society sane, and that rules are needed so we can live in peace.

So, yes - in general - rules are good.  Rules give guidance, and can teach right and wrong.   I believe in rules.

6.  Insert a random thought.

Okay.  It's a big random thought!  Finally, I can announce that my daughter and her husband are having TWINS!  The twins are identical - and are due sometime after Thanksgiving!  I am beyond excited and I am ready to pitch in and help out as much as needed.   Life will change for us all - for the better!!  It's going to be crazy, busy, fun, sweet, and beautiful!   I ask for prayers for a normal pregnancy.  She has just entered her 2nd trimester.  And, prayers for the new mom and dad - to be!  We should know the babies sex in a month or so.  I will keep you all posted.

Have a great week ahead all.   Enjoy summertime!    Enjoy life!

of yo

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A new month is starting - with summertime activities!

Hello Hodgepodgers and other readers...

I missed a few weeks but today I have a bit of time.  So, I'm back to the Hodgepodge questions.  Here they are with my answers.

1. What makes you feel accomplished? Explain.

I have been doing a lot of yard work lately.  We still have a house for sale so I'm trying to keep up with that place and also doing yard work at the home where we live.  This time of year there is endless work!  Pulling weeds,  pruning,  cutting, etc.   I have to say I feel 'accomplished' when I look at what I have done and see the difference the work I put in makes.

I like yard work because 1. I'm outdoors, 2. I'm getting exercise, and 3. I feel accomplished! 

2. If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be? Tell us why.

People living today?   I assume.  I will go with that.    Well, I'd have a country music day and invite three of my favorite artists.  ha!!  That would be Tim, Keith, and Dierks!     I admire Jimmy Carter.   He would make my list.  If it was a political theme...  Jimmy, and Barak, and...  Stephen Colbert!  Now, that would be a fun show!

3. Do you have a great burger recipe? What's in it? What do you like on a hamburger and where is your favorite spot to order one out?

As we all know, I don't cook much.  I don't have a secret, or favorite, hamburger recipe.  I like a dried onion package mixed in with the ground beef.  I also like a good burger with cheese melted on top.   I like to put a slice of tomato on top... a touch of mayo and a pickle or two.    My favorite spot to order one?   I rarely order one unless I'm going through a fast food place.  I suppose Sonic would be my favorite place to get a good fast food burger.    

4. What's the biggest anxiety producing thing you do on a regular basis?

I try to live without anxiety - but I still get some when I play my flute in church.   I tell myself it's a gift to God, and that I am adding to worship, and I have the best and most forgiving audience there is...   but I still get nervous.  Every time. 

5. This is the last Hodgepodge of May. Tell us about your summer plans.

I have a pretty busy summer planned.  June 6th I head to Nashville for the CMA Festival and this year we have a 'newbie'.  My daughter #2's boyfriend is coming and he has never experienced the festival or Nashville before. I love sharing the whole thing with someone new!   It's tiring but wonderful - and the best music morning to night!   As soon as I get back I help the following week with our Vacation Bible School at church.  

This 4th of July we are breaking with tradition and having a celebration and "moving party" at my daughter #1 and son-inlaw's new home in Raleigh.   I will miss the big gathering at our riva place, but we want to help the couple get settled in their new place.   
In July I also head to northern Ohio for the annual family get-together at Lakeside.  Another tradition of each summer! 
This summer I am going to two weddings - which is always exciting!  They are friends of our daughters, but OUR friends/kids too... they have become a part of our lives and it's a thrill to be invited to the big days! 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

My daughter #1 turns 31 this Saturday!   June is the birth month of both girls.    I have a feeling more announcements are on the way with them.

PS:  Hubby and I just had an anniversary.  33 years - on May 26th.    When I got married all those many years ago it was a glorious day, and I had only good thoughts about our future together.  I have to say my hopes for our life together could not be any better than it is!  I went with the ride... the moves, the changes, the babies, etc - and it was amazing.  Absolutely no regrets.  Nothing I would want to change.  I don't know how I got so lucky!  (I like to think God has always been there.)  I am very excited about the future. I pray...for good health, and little stress, and that each day is new and interesting!  I have faith it will be. 

Have a good and safe week ahead friends!

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!