Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Remembering our Fallen Soldiers and thanking a veteran starts off the Hodgepodge.

Hi everybody!

It's the day after Memorial Day, and the end of the holiday weekend.  I think it's interesting that because Memorial Day always falls on a Monday it has turned into the "travel day" for many, and I wonder if people don't do anything to remember our war heroes because they are stuck on the road, or in an airport. 

That leads to Joyce's first Hodgepodge question for the week:

1. What can the average citizen do to honor a military veteran and/or those currently serving?  First, let me say that yesterday, Memorial Day, is THE day to stop and honor our country's war dead.  Veteran's Day falls in October and that is the day to honor and thank a veteran.  Ok. That being said, what can we ordinary citizens do?    My personal thoughts are to really STOP, and take a minute to realize what risk they took (whether they signed up or were drafted) to protect our country here or abroad. Then, THANK THEM!  It's that easy.  Say a word of thanks.  It goes a long way.  Keep politics out of it and don't be opinionated.    Thank them for giving a portion of their time on earth, time away from their homes and families, to serve us all.

2. Besides a flag, what is something you own that is red, white AND blue?   I have other patriotic decorations... do they count?  The 4th of July is big here on the beach and we like to make a colorful splash of it.  We often have a houseful and so we take in the local parade, and we cook out, and then watch the fireworks on the beach.  So, I have red, white, and blue bunting to hang, and picnic plates and napkins, etc.  and a few other red, white & blue items for decorating.

3.  Does love conquer all?  Oh Joyce.  Once again, a short question - with a loaded answer!   Is love the most important thing in this world?  Yes it is.  Does love mean asking for forgiveness when wrong. and forgiving?  yes.  But, does love conquer all?    Hmmmmmm.   I guess I don't like the word "conquer" because it sounds like love can beat out everything else.  But when there is REAL love, then there is also trust.  And that is VERY important!  So, with love everything else can be right.  Without it, nothing is right.    Did I answer the question? 

4. Strawberry shortcake or blueberry pie?   Now the easy question!  No doubt in my mind: strawberry shortcake.  The best is when it's made with fresh sweet strawberries, and they are over cake made with my mom's "dinette cake" recipe. The cake should still be warm, with a little milk poured on it.  Whipped cream is optional.  YUM!!!! 

5. Do you share personal stuff with your hairdresser?   I share with her the same as I share with anyone else.  I consider her a friend because she's been doing my hair for 5 years now or more.  And, therefore we know quite a bit about each other's families, and life before we both lived here in Pawleys Island.  I am pretty much an "open book" anyway and don't have big secrets to hide.    That's why I enjoy Facebook.  And, yes, my hairdresser is even my FB friend!

6. Does money lead to selfishness?  I don't think so.  I think a person can be a selfish sort with or without money.  Just the same,  I think a person can lead their life "self-less" and for others with or without money.

7. What piece of furniture in youe home needs replacing or refurishing?  I could probably replace a chair in my living room that my doggie lifted his leg on too many times.  (This doggie is now deceased. RIP sweet Peanut butter.)  I also could update my cushions on the furniture in our Carolina Room.  One day.... 

8. Random thought:  I recently read a FB post from a friend annoyed with all the politcal signs out there littering the streets.  And, this past weekend my daughter & her friend also brought up how they are everywhere.  We have signs out there for people running for national and state Congress, for local seats, for sheriff, etc.  They are everywhere! They are on the main busy roads - and in people's yards in residential neighborhoods.  And when one sign goes up, others feel it necessary to put their candidates' signs up at the same intersection or in a row along the street.  It's so ugly!! It almost makes me want to vote for the name I DO NOT recognize on the ballot come Election Day.  At least that candidate didn't spend/waste money on making signs and littering our roads!!  And I have a question: are these signs up all the way til November's Election Day now?  It's only MAy and some have been up a good while already. This just doesn't seem right.  Can't we vote to have them either banned completely, or at least make them unlawful til one month prior to the election?   I mean it.  I really don't like them! 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Weekly Hodgepodge

I am glad Joyce is back with her Hodgepodge questions.   Here they are, along with my answers. Feel free to make a comment and add your "two cents."

1. What's something you miss about the 80's? How about the 90"s?  I prefer to live in the moment and not think of "do-overs" but for the decade of the 80's I guess I miss being a new, YOUNG wife and mother. I was married and had both of my daughters in the 80's.   Same with the 90's.  The family was together under one roof.  I was involved with school volunteering and the girls' music.  

2. Do you have a library card? If so, how often do you visit?  I have always had a library card - until moving here.  For me, the technology now has made "going" to the library unneccesary.  Thanks to "Google" and "Wikapeadia" I don't need to physically go to a library building to research.  I can do it quickly, at home.   I download books on my Kindle. Occasionally I BUY a book if I feel it's one I'd like to keep.  And, actually, I have questioned my town's ongoing fundraising for a new, larger library.  I think perhaps those funds could go to more needed causes.   

3. What's the secret to success?   Wow!  Short question with a long list of possible answers!  But I think my short answer is "giving love and being loved."    Also secrets of success:  following your heart, enjoy the small stuff, live to help others, put God first!

4. This is National Backyard Games week.  What's your favorite?  It used to be badmintion. I played it all summer long as a kid. We kept the net up in the backyard, and go out and play in the evenings after dinner.   Now, I think I have the most fun with "corn hole".    I also like bocci ball on the beach.

5. If I dropped by today, what would I find on your coffee table?   You would find a small stack of books, incliuding a couple about where I live, Pawleys Island. You would also find a photo album in the stack.  Also on the coffee table:  3 small candles, and a plant.  A few coasters and sometimes the TV remote.

6. Do you have a bicycle?  When was the last time you rode?  Is it something you enjoy?  We keep 3 or 4 bikes in the garage for when we have company.  This is a nice area for biking because it's flat (it's the "lowcountry") and we have some beautiful bike paths.  My husband is much more the cyclist in the family.  He rides once or twice each weekend - to the nearby state park, and on the beach.   I'd like to go on leisure rides - but don't.  I should tho!  ha!   Last time I rode was probably last summer when I was at Lakeside, Ohio during our annual family get-together.  We rent bikes there. 

7. What's your favorite cheese?   Sharp cheddar.  With triscuits and a glass of chardonnay! 

8. Random thought:   Who's been watching "American Idol"?   Tonight's the finale for the season.  I have been a Phillip Phillips fan all along.  I have voted for him each week.   I think the talent has been exceptional this time around.  The other finalist Jessica is an amazing singer - and I can't believe she's only 16 years old, and not vocally trained.  The girl has some pipes!  But Phillip is a free spirit who interprets a song with "his" style.  He has come across as humble and true to himself.  Hopefully the music industry won't eat him up!  The top ten all have a good chance of a professional music career.  They are THAT good! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

The golf god

Today I participated in a ladies member-guest outing at a nearby golf course.  A friend from church invited me even though she had never SEEN me play golf.  I know she was nervous as we started out.  But, for some reason I was not. (I usually am. Maybe it was because I felt her fear and wanted to be the calming one in our group! ha) 

60 women played today, and today was the first of two consecutive days of golf for this ladies event.  I rarely play two days in a row.  So, who knows what tomorrow will be like for me.   It may not be good.

But, as for today, I started out okay - for me.  I held my own and was happy with how I got the ball into the air.  The format was that twosomes took their best score of the two on each hole, then took the net from the gross.  We were happily surprised at how our scoring worked well with each other.  When I didn't have a great hole, she did, and vice versa.

The course is beautiful, and the weather today was awesome.  We were supposed to get the first tropical storm of the season skimming by, but it ended up staying out to sea, and we had Carolina blue skies, and temps in the 70's.

The golf god was very good to me!  

To top if off, on a par 3 - one on a causeway out in the marshes, and has an island green - I used my pitching wedge and hit the wooden pylon that surrounds the island.  My ball bounced off it, rolled and ended up just a little over 3 feet from the hole!  This was the "closest to the pin" hole for the guest players. So.... I had THE closest to the pin! 

 I should end the story right now.  It was a lovely day!

BUT....  we had about 6 more holes to play.   For some strange reason(s) my game went to pot at that very moment.  From that point on I could not get a fairway wood up in the air.  I found just about every sand trap on each hole.  I looked like I had never played golf before!   I ended up picking up my ball a few times and relied on my partner to score for us.  She did well and we ended up okay score-wise.

Now, I know I am not that co-ordinated when it comes to golf, and I know when I "try too hard" I usually do worse.   That's how golf is.  It's the one sport where having a calm, even swing and laid-back demeanor is an asset.   But, 2/3s of the way through a round I still just can't fathom what I do to go so bad.  Was the golf god done with me?  

I don't put practice time into golf, and that's fine. I know I can never get really really good at it.  At my age it's not really worth it.  I have other things I want to do with some of my time each week.  I don't live and die golf.   

But, I swear I will never understand how I can play so sporadically at the game!  It baffles me!

Do you remember the commercial for the PGA Tour where they say "those guys are good"?  It's true.  They are amazing - and I don't think they rely on any golf god. 

What will happen when I play tomorrow?       Ha!   I have NO idea! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

No Hodgepodge, but a few questions anyway...

Today is the day that Joyce usually puts out the weekly Hodgepodge questions, but she had a death in her family and is unable to return to her normal life just yet.  We are thinking of you, Joyce, and your family, as they struggle with a young person's passing.  God be with you.

I thought I'd ask a couple of questions, and answer them.  I'd love to hear from my blog followers - because I'm curious and I just really enjoy the connection.

1. What is one special trip or vacation you have planned for this summer?  If not a trip, perhaps an upcoming event?   I have several special things coming up this summer.  But, for June, it's my "country music" month again!  My hubby and I are off to Nashville in a few weeks to attend the CMA Music Festival again. We went last year and had a blast!  So, we signed right up to go again.  This year we have a few friends going too. I'm looking forward to hanging with them, and ALL the amazing music, morning to night, and the fun atmosphere.  I feel I have a better understanding of the festival the second time around and hope to do a few different things this time.   We will finish the "country music" month with going to the "Brothers of the Sun Tour" with Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw in Charlotte. Again, we will be with family and friends, and will tailgate during the day.  Then we will see 2 of my favorite country singers - together - live in concert.   Yeeee....haw!

2. Continung the music concert theme, what was your favorite concert you ever attended?  Can you remember your first concert?  My first real concert was when I was a freshman in college in 1980.   I saw "KC and the Sunshine Band"!   That was my first year of experiencing live bands (and other stuff...it was my first year of college! Come on! ha).    I remember seeing the Eagles (Dan Fogelburg opened for them), and Pure Prairie League that year.  Also Jesse Colin Young.   My favorite concert:  A tough choice.  I love concerts!  I was fortunate to go to a bunch of them when I worked in radio promotions.  So, in terms of memorable because of the band/person being such a legend:  seeing the Rolling Stones, and seeing Paul McCartney.   I saw The Jacksons on their "Victory tour", but you know, I don't remember much about it.   Of course now my favorite country artists are Tim McGraw, Keith Urban...  Dierks Bentley....   Kenny Chesney....    the list goes on!

3. Do you own a pet?  What kind?   What's one funny/crazy thing it does?    Most of you know that I have a pug puppy, named Miss Honeybee.   She is the noisiest yawner!   Whenever she wakes up from a nap, she stretches and yawns - and makes the cutest, and loud, high-pitched sound when she yawns.  She's very verbal in general.  She tries to talk to me often.  I don 't always understand what she is saying but she usually gets her point across.

4.  Do you consider yourself "political"? Do you follow the candidates and/or issues?   I try to be aware of what is going on with the politicians but I find I am more concerned about issues.  I have beliefs that I have attained through life experiences, and my faith, and I try to vote each time for those who will hopefully work towards those same beliefs. I have learned to limit my exposure of all the political noise, and all the game playing.  I will not watch TOO much news during the day...and yes, there are "certain networks" I will not turn on.  It's all too much!  And it's usually too depressing.

5.  Speaking of getting depressed - or feeling sad:  What is your favorite "comfort food"?  And, what is one thing you can do to bring yourself out of a funk?   My go-to food is pretty simple:  peanut butter!  I love it!  I never ever tire of it.  I eat peanut butter practically every single day.   And, the one thing I do to get out of a funk:  back to music!  Turn it on...and turn it up!

6. Random thought:  Joyce, I am not taking your place. It's just I have started to look forward to Tuesdays and the Hodgepodge questions.  Again, my sympathies on the death of your niece.  I saw on the news yesterday the pretty, young girl who got the flesh-eating bacteria in a cut when swimming in a river.  She's now in critcal condition and is losing limbs.  It is one more example of how a person just never knows how long they have here on earth, and how we hope to have good health on the journey.   I thank God everyday for the day, for me - and my loving family and friends. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Everyone should be allowed to marry.

Same sex marriage.  It's in the news again...   or, still.  A political issue.  A religious concern.  A hot potato issue. 

President Obama stated yesterday that he is for same sex marriage. It was a big deal!   He was the first president to come forward (not, come out! ha) on this issue.  All presidents have been afraid to in the past.  Actually, most politicans in America are afraid to be accepting of its legalization in fear of losing votes.  Politicans worry about being re-elected, and they try not to upset a portion of the people out there who do not agree with it.

I have thought about homosexuals and about same sex marriage, and what it means to the gay and lesbian community.  I have come to the conclusion that those who are homosexual are gay from birth, even though they may not realize it until their teenage years.  It's NOT A CHOICE.  It's a natural part of them, and to fight the feelings and to live a different type of life (to try to be a "normal hetereosexual") is extremely challenging to them.  They feel they are living a lie.  They are unhappy. If you  think I'm wrong and don't believe it, then you need just to talk to them and hear the extra challenges they face...including the inability to marry.

So, realizing that homosexuality is natural for certain people, I find it wrong to not allow them all the rights and priviledges that every other group of people have in the United States.   I was allowed to go to the county courthouse and get a marriage license, so that I could join my life with my hubby's, because we wanted to be a family. We wanted to live as a unit and share joys, sad times, to share expenses, and experiences.  As Christians, we also decided to have a church wedding because it was important to us to marry in front of God and to promise to share our lives together, in relationship with God.

I don't mind saying, I don't know what God thinks about homosexuality.  I don't know if He feels it's a sin.   That's up to God. It's not MY decision.  But, I do know that God loves every single one of us, and wants us to love each other.   There is no asterick in the Bible by those words.  No exceptions.  We are to LOVE everyone!

So, when it comes to our country allowing same sex marriage, I believe we must give every citizen the same opportunity to join together, to be a family, to love one another, to file taxes as a unit, to receive health benefits as a married couple.   They should have the same rights.

Thank you  President Obama for stating your opinion yesterday.  I liked him before yesterday, but I like him even more today.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hodgepodge questions about vacation

Thinking what you will do for vacation this summer?  Here are Joyce's Hodgepodge questions and my answers.  You can respond too! Please do!

1. What is a pet peeve you have when vacationing?  I don't know about you but sometimes it's hard to get everyone you are with on vacation to agree on an activity, or to pick a restaurant.  If you are on vacation with a group it seems nobody wants to be the "ring leader" and make the decisions. So, you sit around and wait... and time goes by, because everyone wants to be "too nice" and not be the chief to the indians (sorry. I guess that's not a politically correct thing to say.)  If there are more than 4 or 5 people in your group vacationing together, just ASSUME not everyone will want to do the same thing at the same time.

2. Would you describe yourself as a light packer or do you need every in your closet plus the kitchen sink?  I tend to pack on the light side, at least compared to other females.  I try and pack two outfits per day, one for day and one for evening.   Summer vacations are much easier to pack for since clothes are lighter in weight and no heavy sweaters or coats are needed.  And, to tell you the truth, if I'm going on a vacation I prefer to be going to a warm weather place. I don't like cold places or cold weather sports. I 'm not a skier.

3. What's the best lesson a child ever taught you?  I think I have learned from children in general to "live in the moment" and to enjoy simple things in life.  Adults, myself included, tend to worry too much, especially about things that have yet to be. I used to be more fretful than I am now.   

4. Share one piece of advice you'd give a recent graduate as they attempt to enter the job market.  My advice is to be open for any job possibility.  Don't limit the search and be willing to start at the bottom and work your way up.   Then work hard and show the employer how valuable you are to the company!

5.  What's your favorite lemon something?  I'm not a big lemon lover.  A squeeze of lemon juice in water or in iced tea is nice.  That's about the only time I use it.

6. Flat sandal, wedge, heel - your favorite footwear?  Easy answer: sandals, and specifically flip-flops!  I live in them most of the summertime.   I am NOT a shoe shopper and do not like the latest fads. I stick with basic shoes. If I can't wear a flip-flop, I will wear a flat shoe. Docksiders for casual, mules too.  I'm tall so I don't like to add more inches with a heel, and I think I'd fall off of them anyway!

7. What do you like best about a beach holiday?  If you are not a beach lover (GASP), what do you dislike the least?   I love being at the beach! I live only about 1 1/2 miles from the beach!  My favorite part:  the breeze from the ocean air. I love sitting and reading.  My least favorite part of going to the beach is lugging everything from the car to the right spot on the sand, and back.  We have a rolling, folding beach cart to put chairs in, and a cooler, some music, a book, and beach toys, etc.  It helps. 

8. My random thought.  This coming Sunday is Mother's Day.  My mother died in 2003. I can't believe it's been so long ago!  The years sure go by.  It is still strange to be in stores and see Mother's Day card sections and advertisements - and know I can't buy my mother a gift.   I am a mother and I appreciate my daughters giving me recognition.  They always give me a very sweet card with a lovely message.   I love being their mom!  I am so lucky to have them!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The two sides of John Edwards

I overheard someone yesterday talking with a friend about the ex-Sen. John Edwards trial going on right now in North Carolina.  In case you have been living under a rock, Edwards is on trial for mis-using campaign funds to cover-up his affair and to pay for the woman's living and medical expenses.  She became pregnant quickly into the affair. (Hmmm... woops?! Or not?)   The two friends talking yesterday called it a "soap opera."   A real life soap opera.

I have been reading the testimony in the morning newspaper each day.  And, each day more comes out about what an amazing two-faced sleaze Edwards was as he conducted this affair during the same time his wife was dealing with cancer.   He invited the woman along on his private plane and she "pretended" to be a video-photgrapher.  Her videos have been shown in court and they are not very professional in style.  Blurry and not centered properly.

I have been thinking about this whole scenerio.  Here is this man who showed himself as a righteous husband and father, who said he cared about the "other America" (the poor, the down-trotted) but yet carried on this whole other life - under everyone's noses.  He then co-oerced  people who worked for his campaign to get involved, to lie for him, to launder money. 

Now, he is bringing his eldest daughter and his aged parents into court with him.  Still trying to look like a good father and son.  

He was someone we were considering as a possible leader of our country.  He "looked" dignified and spoke well.  He said the right things.

Now, I picture him as that "two faced" character in Batman.  Remember him?  One side of Edwards' face is smiling and that hair is immaculate.  But, the other side has a blank look, like something is missing. No emotion.  The lawyer in him?   Or, is he psychologically disturbed?   Is he bi-polar?  

I wonder what makes a person live a life with so much deceit.  So much ability to hurt others.  So little regard for his own family.   Is he missing something geneticly?  Will he ever be able to look beyond himself?  

I can not comprehend how someone becomes so self-centered with no thought of consequences.

I know God will give John Edwards a final judgement. And, I think even God will feel sad for him.  Sorry for him.   But in the meantime, I hope our American judicial system finds him guilty and gives him the punishment he deserves. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The weekly Hodgepodge

It's May!  It's graduation month for most colleges & universities!  Joyce, our Hodgepodge leader, has a a daughter graduating this month.  Congratulations!  Her daughter plans to teach elementary school.   So, hence, the first question:

1. List 3 qualities you most want to see evidenced in a teacher?   First, patience!  Other important qualities are compassion/caring, and morality.  After parents, I think teachers are important role models for children.   Good teachers - the ones children remember lovingly - are the ones that show true interest in the student, and encourage them.  Children will learn at different rates. Some will be A students but most will be B & C students academically. BUT, if they get a sense of love and importance from their teachers (and their parents of course!) then they will be more likely to be successful in life.

2. You can tell a lot about a person by __________.   My answer:  How they treat a stranger.  

3. What song makes you think Spring?   I can think of a bunch of Summer songs... and beach songs.  Some of my favorite country singers have some great Summer ones.  Kenny Chesney and the Zac Brown Band have fun good-time, enjoy the beach with your toes in the sand songs.  But, Spring...huh.  Tougher.  How about the Cat Steven's song "Morning has Broken"?   An old, old song just came into my head...."when the red, red robin goes bop, bop, bopping along!"

4. May 1st is Mother Goose Day! Share your favorite nursery rhyme.  I had to go "google" Mother Goose poems.  After looking at the list, I think I like "Pat a Cake" best.  Why?  Because every time you say it to a young toddler, with the hand motions,  they LOVE it and giggle!  There's nothing better than watching a little one smile and to hear them laugh!

5. What makes someone unforgettable?  A short, simple question....but, it's deep!  I think someone is unforgettable when they have done something that has helped someone else, or has changed someone or something for the better.   A person does not have to be super intelligent or unique to be unforgettable.  They don't have to look a certain way.    An unforgettable person is someone who has brought joy to a person or a situation. They have made each moment on earth a gift.

6. Should music and/or art be part of a well rounded education?   Easy answer:  YES YES YES!   I so believe in "the arts" as part of a basic curriculum.  It should be right there with math, science, and English.  I could tell you how music & art USE the brain in so many ways... that it takes math, and there is history learned in its study, and poetry, and on and on.  It also uses the creative part of the brain.   It's a VITAL part of a child's growth!

7. What social situations make you flustered or nervous?  I can have a hard time in "cocktail party" settings where people are standing in small groups.  Why?  I sometimes have trouble focusing in on one conversation.  It's hard for me to zero in on one voice, and to dismiss the other background chatter.   I also don't like standing with a drink in one hand, and a plate in the other...it's hard to juggle.   And, question: how do you know when it's time to leave that small group and move to a different one to chat for awhile?  And, how do you do it without being abrupt or insulting?  

8. My random thought:  Today is May 1st.  I remember as a kid in elementary school being on the playground and making a May-pole as a May 1st celebration.  Do you?  The teacher attached lots of crepe paper at the top of a pole and we took turns winding it around.  Does this ever happen anymore?  Is this a part of childhood anymore?    Just wondering...