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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!