Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Summertime: the good and the bad.

It's Hodgepodge time! 

1.  Some of my blogger friends are taking the "101 in 1001 challenge."    They are creating a list of 101 things they hope to accomplish in the next 1001 days.   What's one thing you'd put on the list?

Since I can only list one thing, I believe it is to get back on an exercise program.  I have slacked off somewhat over the summer and I need to get back to it for better physical and mental health!  (And no, I should not wait til the 1001st day to start back into it.)

2. How many remote controls do you have in your house? What's one item in your house you wish you could operate by remote control?

If I counted correctly, the number is 9.  We have one for each TV and a couple of them have two.  (Don't ask me why!?!)  We have a remote for our gas fireplace in the living room. We also have a remote for an Ipod player in our master bathroom.  Our cars have remote contol for the garage doors bu they are "programmed in" so I don't know if that counts.  The one item I wish had a remote control?  We have a firepit in our backyard and I would probaby use it more if it had a remote control (and gas line) to turn it on and off.

3. What does "having it all" mean to you? Is it attainable?

To "have it all" means to feel complete and happy.  It means a person is satisfied.   Yes, it is attainable!  I have proof of it.  I am blessed, and have it all!

4. What's your favorite movie soundtrack?

I automatically go to a movie musical.  My first thought:  "Grease".    Also "Saturday Night Fever" but I don't like that movie storyline.  It's depressing.

5. Describe the last view you've seen from a rooftop. 

Last September I  was with my hubby and daughters on the rooftop at a brewery in Bruge, Belgium!  We took a tour of the local brewery there while on vacation, and we got to go up to the top, out on the roof - and look out on the "old city" of Bruge.  It was lovely! 

6. What's your least favorite thing about summer?

I hate to even answer this because I AM a summer person! It's my favorite season!  I like so, so much associated with this time of year.  But, since you asked, I guess I have to say the afternoon humidity.  I live in the lowcountry in South Carolina and it gets sweltering here sometimes.  This summer we have had a long stretch of really hot, humid days.  I try to plan outdoor activities for morning or evening but because we have had an "extreme" summer the mosquitos are abundant and biting during those times.  

7. Today is August 1st.  In ten words or less sum up your month of July.

Hot, fun times together with family and friends!

8. My random thought.

I went to the new Target store (it just opened!) yesterday.  I was very excited about taking my time and going up and down each aisle because I had not been in a Target in a long time.  I quickly realized that at this time of year the store devotes it's wares and space to "Back to School", especially for those going off to college.   It felt weird because I didn't have to do any of that shopping.  Both daughters have finished (SUCCESSFULLY) their educations.  I'm very proud - but it made me a bit melancholy as I watched so many people in the store selecting dorm room items and buying new school supplies.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Back to the Hodgepodge.

I missed last week's Hodgepodge questions while I was away on vacation.  It's good to be back.

1.  The summer Olympics officially begin this Friday night.   Will you be watching?  If you could see just one event in person, which one would you pick? 

I will certainly watch some of the events but I'm not very interested in the hoopla of the opening and closing ceremonies.  If I could attend only one event it would most likely be the women's gymnastics.  I'm always so impressed with the beauty AND the strength of the sport. 

2. Do lazy days make you feel rested or unproductive?

 No wavering here...I feel unproductive.  I'm not good with being lazy and enjoying it for very long.  I like to "do something" even if it's to catch up on reading or pulling some weeds. 

3. July 25th is officially "Threading the needle day". Can you sew? On a scale of 1 - 10 with 1 being not at all, and 10 being Betsy Ross-like, how would you rate your skill with a needle and thread? 

Joyce, you must have an unusual calendar to list this day on it! ha!   I took Home Ec in middle school and learned to thread a needle, sew a straight line with a machine, and make a skirt.   That's about it.  I do keep a "sewing kit" for quick repairs on hems and for special needs that come along.  When my girls were in Girl Scouts I had to sew on their badges!  But, no, I really do NOT sew. I will rate myself as a 2. 

4. Threading the needle can also mean to walk a fine line between 2 things or issues (think awkward social situation.)  When was the last time you had to "thread the needle" figuritively speaking?

I think when it comes to my political beliefs I "thread the needle" during discussions with people who have other and sometimes opposing views.  It's often hard to have a discussion about views concerning how to operate the country, or on war, or social needs, without offending someone, or turning them off to you.  So, I know there are times when I try to say what I believe without creating a big abyss.   I think this blog has given me an outlet for expressing myself without being offensive.  But, then again...maybe not. 

5. Kidney, pinto, black, or navy. Your favorite bean?   Well, my favorite bean is green.  But, of the legumes in this question I will say kidney.  Black comes in second.

6. Have you hosted a garage sale?  Was it more success or bust?   I have hosted a couple of personal sales - in my driveway.  Both were very successful.  I made a little cash BUT more importantly got rid of stuff I didn't want/need anymore.   And, for the past couple of years I have been in charge of our church garage sale.  It's a much bigger scale.  Church members bring in the sale items.  Our women's group hosts it, and we open the doors to the community.  Enough money is raised to donate to some very worthy local charities, plus we offer items to those who can not pay "full price" in stores.  It's a goodwill event all around.  

7. What makes your eyes roll?   Ha!  Funny question. My hubby would answer that I roll my eyes whenever he says some silly joke.  My daughters would answer I roll my eyes when I don't like something but don't want to verbally say so.  I think I roll my eyes when I hear of an injustice.  Geez.  I must roll my eyes alot!

8. My Random thought.   Can I have several this week?  First, I just got back from a week's vacation with extended family.  (I wrote a separate blog post about it.)  Fun times!  But I also can't think of last week without mentioning the Aurora, Colorado horror.  When will we ban assault weapons?   My prayers are with everyone so affected by what happened.  The person who did this was so "humanless" at the time.  Psychotic?  yes.  Disturbed? yes.  Why?  We may never know.  But God got some more angels in heaven this week. May God's love and assurance of eternal life help the loved ones of those who died.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A different kind of vacation.

I just got back from vacation two days ago.  I went to northern Ohio to my side of the family's annual get-together in a place called Lakeside on Lake Erie.  I have been going to Lakeside, Ohio since I was a young child.  I first went as a "wee" little one, really before I can even remember.  Then I think I missed a few years but started back in high school.  My parents had moved at that time just an hour & a half from Lakeside, and my Dad bought a lot and built an A-Frame cottage there.  I missed a few times during college and when my hubby & I lived in California.  But since 1989 I have not missed one summer of meeting up with my family there. Parents, siblings, cousins get together.

Each year we pick a week in the summer and try to get us much of the family as possible to congregate there.  We rent a cottage near the one my Dad built so we can have enough bedrooms (and bathrooms) for everyone.  We have lost a few family members through the years, and have gained a few too.  It's a tradition that continues year after year.

It's not a "flashy" vacation. In fact it's a step back in time.  Lakeside is a chatauqua town that offers wholesome family entertainment. Religious programs and values. It has a slow pace and it's a break from the modern world.  We sit around and talk, we put together jigsaw puzzles, and make crafts.  (Ok, we bring computers and iphones now. We can't totally live in the past! ha)

I have learned through the years to really appreciate the family vacation.   It's so hard to get us together with our busy worlds and with all the miles between us.  But, we can always count on the Lakeside week.  It's a rare thing.

I am very happy to have this tradition.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer has been heating up!

After a week's break for Independence Day celebrations, the Hodgepodge is back!  Thank you Joyce.  Here are her questions and my answers.  Please feel free to respond. I love to know who's reading the blog and I love comments.

1. How often do you check the weather?  How do you check the weather?

I check the weather most mornings. Our local paper has a full page on the back of a section devoted to local, national, and international weather.  Often I have on HLN News on TV while getting ready in the morning, so I hear the weather there too.  I like to know what's going on where my family members live.  I also use my computer's "Weather Bug" or my Iphone weather app during the day if I see a storm approaching.

2. "Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other or even are similiar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least.  They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life."  -  Jane Austen, "Pride and Prejudice"
Agree or disagree?  Why?

As much as I love Jane Austen's writing I disagree with this.  I think the more you know about a partner the better.  The good AND the bad.  Then, if you still love them and want to be with them, a marriage can work and withstand the years.  Yes, people continue to change throughout life but it's best to at least start out knowing as much as possible.  Secrets are never good.  

3. Do you like to dance?  Have you ever taken dance lessons? 

I love to dance!  I used to go out dancing in my younger years.  Good exercise and lots of fun!  I don't go "out" like that anymore so I don't have many opportunities. I must say it has to be GOOD music to dance to... and I have to be in an environment where I don't feel on display.  (I suppose a glass of wine or two helps. Ha)   I have never taken any dance lessons.  I have done Zumba though.  Does that count?

4. Fresh from the oven peach pie or homemade peach ice cream?  Pick one.

I would pick the pie with the ice cream on top!   YUMMMMM!

5. Should people accept unfairness and learn to make the best of it? 

I love how Joyce throws in this "serious" question right after pie & ice cream!  lol.   I do NOT think people should accept unfairness, but at the same time I know this world is not fair.  I remember telling my daughters when they were young "life is not fair."  I wanted them to understand that there are times when they will be disappointed and that they must continue on.  But, I do NOT believe people should become apathetic to injustice and to unfairness.  Absolutely not.  It is our duty to live our lives accepting & loving each other as one of God's own. We are no better (or worse) than anyone else.  We should not keep silent when we see unfairness.

6. The top 5 all-time summer movie blockbusters are:  Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars (the original), Ghostbusters, and ET.  Your favorite? 

Of the list above I will pick ET.  I loved the children in this. Perhaps it goes back to the question before.  Children are accepting of all - even aliens - until someone tells them it's wrong or scary.  I loved the humor in the movie.  I loved the "sweetness" of the movie.

7.  If given the chance, would you like to visit the moon?

I am not the adventurous type so NO I have no desire to travel to the moon.  I'll stay with my feet planted firmly on the Earth's terra firma, thank you very much.  

8. Random thought.

Summer always seems to fly by!  Can you believe it's mid-July already?   I guess I feel this way because it's my favorite time of year.  I stay busier and enjoy outdoor activities.  But, I haven't even been to my neighborhood pool yet!   I haven't slowed down enough to read and that really upsets me.  I belong to a Book Club September through May. So, summer is my time for reading the "other" books on my list.  I am only halfway through my first one.    Summer:  please slow down!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Eating like an American.

Pulled pork bar-b-que, chicken, potato salad, baked beans, cole slaw, hamburgers, brownies, cookies, and more....  all-American food! I had it all the past 4 days as we celebrated the 4th of July here.  But, now - I DON'T WANT the all-American figure! 

We Americans have a weight problem.  We have lots of good food and many reasons to celebrate, and we enjoy all our blessings. 

I'm at an age where the "battle of the bulge" is getting tougher.  I never thought I'd be 55 and looking at myself in pictures - and seeing flabby arms, and a pot-belly stomach.  But, it's happening.  I see it.  I know it's part of what happens as we live and age, but I'm not going to "give up" and give IN to it being that way.

So...hear me now blogger friends:   I'm going to stop eating "junk" food and try to put some sort of exercise into my life each day.  I think that much of a change will make a difference and make me feel better. 

Here goes.....

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