Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Lottery and April Fool's Day!

As I type this I have not yet heard if there is one winner or many winners in the mega-million lottery event. I haven't watched the news yet.   But, during the past few days the talk around town and on TV  has been all about how huge the winning amount is, and just what people would do if they were "lucky" enough to be the holder of that winning ticket.

What would you do? 

As a quick response, I think we would answer that we'd pay off bills, then buy a bigger car and house, buy more stuff.  And, give money to our family and friends of course.   Oh - and to charity.  But which ones?  How much?  How much to keep and how much to give away?  How much money is enough? 

Earlier today I looked on the calendar and realized tomorrow is April 1st - APRIL FOOL'S DAY - and it became a bit ironic to me.  Could the lottery winner be the biggest April fool?  

I have heard about past winners and the troubles they encountered after coming into big money overnight.  How people come out of the woodwork to get a piece of the green pie.  Distant "friends"  and those rarely seen, twice-removed on your mother's side, family members show up.  Scammers call asking for help, or offer to help with the accounting, or investing of the new riches. 

All of a sudden the winner is a celebrity - and is unprepared for the change of behavior around him or her, and can't trust ANYONE anymore.   The money soon becomes a burden. 

I hope that whoever holds the winning ticket stays hidden as best as possible for awhile.  I hope this person is smart enough to know it's a big responsibility.  And, I hope the money can bring joy to an already good life, and to those the person decides to then help - the world needs are many.

What is the ole saying?  "A fool and his money are soon parted."   

Happy April Fool's Day Lottery winner!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's Hodgepodge time again.

1. What's the last job that required "elbow grease"?   Good question.  When do we put our sweat into a tough job anymore? In this world of tech advances and machines that do so much for us, we don't have to put "elbow grease" into much anymore, especially compared to the generations before us.   I am fortunate that I do not do "manual labor" for a living.  So, to answer this I think I have to say I work physically hard out in the yard.  As I have mentioned before, I weed, plant flowers, etc.  Oh, occasionally I have some housework that needs some effort.  Cleaning the carpets, and lugging the vacuum around.  But, really, can you say "cushy life"?   

2. "March Madness" is nearing an end.  What sort of "madness" has your house seen this month?  March has been a beautiful month here.  In fact, I consider it one of the prettiest of the year with so much blooming and coming back to life.   March is a month that goes from winter to spring.  So, I have to say we had "outside madness" here.  The days are getting longer, the flowers are coming out, the grass is greening.  It's hard to stay inside.  I love to sit on my back deck, to listen to the birds, to feel the sun's warmth.  I'm "mad" about the beauty of the outdoors.

3. What's your favorite shop for browsing? Ok. Here's a plug for a local place. It's called "Inlet Queens" and it's one of those places where artists/crafters/antiquers rent space to sell their wares.  I love to walk through it and see all the different and cool items that local women make or collect.  Everything is arranged beautifully too.  There's a little bit of everything there:  furniture, wall hangings, clothing, knick-knacks, jewelry, etc.    2nd favorite:  "Tuesday Morning".  Again, items change with the seasons there and it has a little bit of everything.

4. Is there ever a time when giving up makes sense? Absolutely!  I think when you have given a person or a project your all, and have tried and tried and tried, then "let go, let God."  

5.  What's a song you love that contains the name of a city, state, or country in it's title? Do I have to pick only ONE song?  I can't.  So, instead, here are three songs I love about the state I live in:  "Carolina in my Mind" - James Taylor, "South Carolina Lowcountry" - Josh Turner (another "JT"), and "Carolina" - Eric Church. 

6. When did I first begin using a computer? I can't remember the year exactly but it must have been in the late 90's.  We were living in Sparta, NJ. I remember setting up my first desktop Compaq computer is a small bedroom upstairs that we used as an office.  My first email address was  The company was "Net Access" out of Parsiphany.  I don't know if they are there anymore.

7. Did you buy Girl Scout cookies this year? What's your favorite flavor?  This year a GS leader at our church and her daughter sold cookies BUT also gave us the option to pay for cookies that would be sent to the military.  I opted to buy a few boxes and donated them to the men & women in service.   But, if I had bought cookies for me, I definitely would get Tag-alongs (pb and chocolate.)   Since I gave up chocolate for lent it's best I kept them out of my house! ha! 

8. Random thought:  It's about guns.  Most people that know me know that I am anti-guns in general, and consider myself a pacifist.  Once again the news has brought the horrible ramifications of gun use into light with the sad, wrong death of Trayvon Martin.  In my opinion there are too many, many guns in the US, too easy to get, too "glorified" as a way of protection.   I believe that guns are used much more often either by "accident" or stolen/bought off the street by people looking to do harm.   Rarely is a gun used as a home protector or used to kill an animal gone wild.   I get tired of those "excuses" for carrying.  I just don't believe it.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wednesday's Hodgepodge questions

Here are this week's Hodgepodge questions

1. Yesterday was the first day of Spring. Do you enjoy working in the yard?   What is your least favorite yard activity?     I love love love doing yard work.  As I wrote in one of my earlier posts, I am definitely an outdoor piddler.  I love to spend time in my yard picking up twigs, and weeding, and planting flowers, transplanting, etc.  We still use a service for the major stuff like mowing and pruning and shaping the bushes and trees.   My least favorite activity?  I can't think of one but I will say my least favorite part of yard work is finding snakes.  And, yes, they are around.  I fear them.  I can't identify a "good" snake so I am afraid of ALL of them.  I don't like how they hide and slither.  I don't like how they can climb and lay up on tree limbs and door frames.  (I just had a head to toe shiver! Eeeeooow.)

2. What puts a spring in your step?     Two things:  This beautiful spring weather and seeing the earth come back to life.   And, listening to my favorite country music.  I can't help but "move" and sing along. It definitely puts me in a good mood!  I love to start my day listening. In fact I have it on right now.   ( :

3. Describe a time when you had to spring into action?   I thought about this awhile.  I can only remember times when as a mom I had to jump up, out of bed quickly...  when I heard the sound of one of my young girls sick in the middle of the night.   That maternal instinct took over and even in a deep sleep I could open my eyes, get up, and spring into action. 

4. Carrots?  Cooked or raw?  I only eat cooked carrots in stew or veggie soup, when mixed in with other vegetables.   So, for me it's RAW, dipped in a little ranch dressing.

5. Do you take hotel shampoos and sundries from a room when you check out?   I used to collect them to put into our guest bathroom for our visitors.  But, now I only take them if I opened them and they are "half used."  

6.  Which team or club that you belonged to was the most enjoyable?  Why?  During my years living in Sparta I belonged to a group called "Sparta Friends and Neighbors",  It was like a newcomers group and we held meetings, had coffees, social events, and did a little charitable work.  It was a fun group of ladies, mostly like me, with husbands who transferred for the job, and were looking for friendship.  We had all kinds of activities available.  I often when on day trips with the group, I was a substitute for the bowling group, loved doing crafts, and of course eating out with them.  I was president one year and secretary for the group a few. I also typed up the monthly newsletter for 2 years.   I am still in contact with some of my friends from there, thanks to Facebook and email. 

7. Is cloning a sign of progress?  The questions above have been light, but this topic of cloning is pretty serious!  I'm trying to make the connection. birth... replicating birth?    I have a concern about cloning because I think we should all be totally unique individuals.  BUT, I must say that by cloning animals and copying genetic makeup we might find medical cures or be able to "wean out" physical defects.   I see the good uses, but I also worry about "mis-use."  Part of me wants God to be God....He does it best!

Random thought:  Continuing the spring theme:  does anybody else have this delimna?  I love this weather so much I don't want to do anything INSIDE my house!  I want to be outdoors as much as possible during these beautiful days.  So, the whole idea of "spring cleaning" gets put on the back burner for me.   Guess I need to wait for a raining day...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Reminiscing on life in my 20's

Last weekend I helped daughter #1 move from Charlotte to Chapel Hill.  She's in her mid 20's and has just changed her living location, has taken a new job, and has moved in with her boyfriend.  Lots of "new starts" in her life.  

As I drove home from Chapel Hill after her move I thought back on that time in MY life.  When I was in my upper 20's (just about 2 years older than my daughter) I moved from Baltimore to Norfolk, changed my job, and moved in with my fiance (now my hubby).   I remember so well that time, feeling the excitement of so much ahead.  I loved the "adventure" I was starting out on. 

My friends helped me move my furniture in a U-haul.  Just 4 of us carrying furniture and boxes down 2 flights, making the 4 hour drive, and then going 2 flights up.  What wonderful friends!  I felt that my fiance and I had such a cool apartment -  2 bedrooms AND 2 bathrooms, a wood burning stove, tennis courts and a pool out the back door.  We had a little back porch and bought a grill for it.  We were walking distance from "Waterside" in Norfolk and some fun restaurants.  

I made the move without a job in place (so kudos to my daughter for having one secured.)  At first I joined a temporary job placement company.  Remember "Snelling & Snelling"?  Yep. I worked for them.  They got me a job in a downtown bank, in a cubbyhole without windows, and I entered people's mailed-in credit card payments into a "computer".  I use that word lightly.  It was really a data processing machine and I had to enter in the account numbers, the dollar amounts, etc.  AND then at the end of the day it all had to balance out. If not, we stayed til we found the mistake - and sometimes it was a long and frustrating process.  Very stressful.  I quickly started looking to find a job on my own. 

Since I had worked in radio before, I looked for a radio job in the Norfolk market.  I found one.  Are you ready to go back in a time?  I interviewed and got a job at WRAP Radio.   The call letters were for rap music.  This was in the mid-80's and rap music was a brand new fangled thing.  So, here I am this young blonde-haired white girl and I get a job (trying to) sell time on an urban black rap radio station.  What was I thinking?  Ask me the name of one rapper from back then....  ? ? ?    No clue!  I remember going to an appointment at a client's office  and he laughed at me!   Pretty quickly I realized I was in the wrong place. I had to be "out on the street" as a sales person most of the day, just coming back to the office with my ad packages and orders.   It was horrible!  The one and only time in my life I played hokey from a job.  I took long lunches and I went back to our apartment in the middle of the day. 

Thank goodness my life was not all about my job.  And, thank goodness the IMPORTANT part of my life was going so, so well.  I was in love, planning our life together, working on making our "dreams come true."  

I found out life (God) has a way of making each day work out.   Right after we married, hubby got a new job, in a new location - across the country in California - and we set off together.  Again, a new home, news jobs for both of us, and new relationships...AND new babies!   Daughter #1 was born a year and a half after we moved out there. 

And, now, she, daughter #1, is living the life in her 20's!  I'm so happy for her, and proud of her, and excited for her! 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wednesday's Hodgepodge

My blogger friend Joyce has some good questions for her Wednesday's Hodgepodge. 

Here they are, and my answers.  What are yours?

1. St. Patrick's is this Saturday.  What is your favorite touch 'o green in your closet?  I have always liked to wear green because I have green eyes.  I think if I wear green it makes my eyes look bolder.  So, I have a few green tops, but perhaps my favorite is a mint green pullover sweater.  I wear it with jeans mostly. 

2. Where is your favorite green space?  I think I'd have to say I love the green grass on a golf course, both the fairway and the putting green.  I may not be very good at playing golf, but I love the beautiful manicured courses and open spaces.  When playing golf  I much prefer the green grass, and NOT the brown wooded trees, or the blue water, or tan sand traps! ha!

3. Do you wish you were taller, shorter, or are you just right?  I am 5'9" and am quite content with my tallness.  I can "carry weight" abit easier than shorter ladies, so that's good!  I think I can "wear"  clothes a bit easier too.  Occasionally I have trouble finding long sleeves long enough, or pant legs long enough, but that's ok.  I prefer to wear short sleeves and shorts (and flip flops) anyway and I live in a climate where I can a good part of the year!

4. What's a sure way to pick a fight with me? Ok.  My answer should be if you say something mean about my hubby or my daughters, or my family in general.  But, really, I will not fight.  Instead, I will be hurt and sad, and walk away.  I'm not a fighter.

5. Broccoli - spinach - string beans - peas. Which green veggie is your favorite?  Of the four listed I have to go with broccoli, BUT one green vegetable was left off the list and it is my favorite: asparagus.

6. March is National Women in History Month.  What woman in history do you most admire? 
I have a couple of answers.  First, Mary, the mother of Jesus.  At 13 she had a child. She trusted the angel and accepted her role and then came to find she raised God's ONLY son and perfect person.  Then she had to watch people torture him and kill him in a slow, awful death. What strength!   Other women I admire: Juliette Low (100 years of Girl Scouts this year), Belle Barach (NYer who came south and lived in a man's world during a time when women were usually seen & not heard),  and, yes, Oprah (modern history) for her commitment to making a difference via her show and then with her millions.

7. Finish this your way:  " Stay calm and____________ on."    I say "Stay calm and pray on."   Also "Stay calm and sing on."   "Stay calm and move on."  "Stay calm and love on!"

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Moving on...

In the last few weeks there has been "moving" in the air.  No, not me - this time. I'm not going anywhere.  I've moved a bunch of times over the years and I love where I am now, thank you very much!

The first move announcement came from daughter #1.  She's moving from Charlotte to Chapel Hill.  Whew.  She's staying in the same state and not really moving farther away from here (me).  It will still be a 4 hour drive away, give or take a few miles.  But, she's making big changes and it's exciting and a little scary for her.  Oh, and "Mom" (me) is helping AGAIN with the packing up and the move. I am an expert on preparing to move.  Let see...I moved 6 times as a kid, then 8 times once married, and I have moved my daughters more times than I can and out of dorms, and other school housing, first apartments, etc. 

The second move is still to happen, but this week my cousin has been here with me, finishing up her search for the right retirement home nearby.  She's leaving behind the snow up north and coming down to the world of endless golf courses.  Her move will happen in May or this summer, but yesterday she put an offer in on a home and as I type this she's waiting to her if there will be a counter, and if the purchase can go through.  Again, it's exciting and a little scary. 

Moving on, and making changes can be hard.  It's tough to make the step into a new and unknown world.  But,  from my experience (and I have quite a bit of it!) moves have been positive.  I have loved learning about new areas, and meeting new people.  I have learned to be open to new situations.

I have learned to be bold.  To reach out and say hello first.  I have learned to accept different ways of doing things.   I have experienced the mid-west, and the east coast, and the west coast too!  I can say the moves have taught me to live outside a limited way of thinking.

Ok.  Where was my toughest place to adapt?   I'd have to say New Jersey. We lived in a small-ish town, but it was only one hour from NYC, the Big Apple, the heart of the world!  So, it threw me.Why did we have oil heat with tanks underground?  And septic systems?  And limited stores for shopping?   And lousy weather? Small roads without sidewalks?    It was a hard adjustment after suburban MD, Atlanta, and East Bay, CA.  I felt people were "harsh" and too blunt sometimes.  I felt "stuck."   BUT...  it turned out to be a wonderful place for the daughters to grow up. Schools were very good.  Activities were multiple.  And, the music programs were wonderful!  I found a great church.  I met some dear friends through a "friends and neighbors" club.   So, even moving there turned out to be a very positive experience!

Moving on....     scary?  Yes.  But in my experience, always worth it.