Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hodgepodge time

It's the weekly Hodgepodge time.  It's been a busy week full of  emotion.  I celebrated the life of my neighbor Don, and learned of my hubby's half-brother passing too.  I heard some other sad news, but also balanced it with good times with friends, and with enjoying this beautiful September weather boating and just beng outside. 

This is the first moment I have had to sit down and answer Joyce's Hodgepodge questions.

1. The hodgepodge falls on John Chapman's birth date.  He's more famously known as Johnny Appleseed...what's your favorite variety of apple?

Golden delicious. I like to just bite right in and enjoy the sweetness and juiceness of this apple! 

2. When did you last say "ick"? 

Just last week.  This is a true story.  Sometimes in the evening I leave our front door ajar so our pug Miss Honeybee can sit on the front porch and watch the world go by.  She loves being outside!  Hubby and I were right inside in the living room watching football.  Miss Bee came running in with something in her mouth.  Now, she's known to bring in a twig, or an acorn...but she outdid herself this time, and brought in a squirrel tail with some guts hanging on it! I screamed (IIIIICKKK!!) , she dropped it, and thankfully hubby came to the rescue with a pair of bar-b-que tongs and carried it outside.  I'm sure Miss Honeybee did not kill the poor squirrel (we have cats outside and fox roam around), but she found it and I think was pretty proud of herself for bringing it in....until I screamed ICK!!!!!!

3. Do you think there's a generation gap?

I want to say no, but I'm sure there is.  I know when I was a young person I thought the older generation was "square" and behind the times.  So, I'm pretty sure my daughters and their peers feel the same way about me and my generation.  I really TRY to stay current and to love change, and new fashions, etc.  but I also love history and nostalgia.  I sometimes wish the world moved slower.  I'm part of the older generation.  Geeez...    or should I say ICK !

4. What's on your computer screen saver? Do you change it often or leave it alone?

My screen saver is a picture I took of a pelican sitting on a pylon, posing nicely.  I took it awhile ago one day when at Murrells Inlet having dinner.   I don't change my screen saver pic very often but perhaps I will now.  Sometimes I will change it for the current holidays or seasons.

5. If you had the attention of the entire world for 2 minutes what would you say?

Please, please, please live in peace.  Accept everyone and their differences. Remember:  "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."   Trust God, take care of the poor, and feed the hungry.  

6. Four fashion trends to try this fall are brocade/jacquard (fancy fabrics), peplum, lace and printed pants...which of these four would you most likely wear?

I don't even know what peplum is.  I better look it up.  It sounds like the fashion styles his fall are a flashback to the hippie era with the fancy fabrics, prints, lace, etc.  I will not buy printed pants for a season.  No thanks.  Perhaps a nice top with lace on it.   I'm a pretty basic dresser, and enjoy the classic lines and fabrics.

7. What makes your bad day better?

A call from my daughters.  Turning up my country music and dancing with it.  A beautiful, sunny day.  The love of my doggie when I walk in the door.   Being thankful that I rarely have a bad day.

8. My random thought:

As I wrote earlier, and also devoted a post to last week, it seems the passing of a loved one, or good friend, can certainly bring everything in to perspective.  It makes you realize that it's all "temporary" and it's so important to enjoy each day on earth.    Go out today - and make the most of it! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

"Our Temporary Home"

I know the adage is that bad things happen in threes...   and this week it seems to be happening.  Yesterday I  received news of a young person whom I know and that she needs all kinds of medical tests because she has developed symptoms that occur with MS.  Then this morning I got word of the passing of my dear neighbor, Don, last night.  He was a great, loving person who fought off cancer earlier this year, was given a clean bill of health, but all of sudden last week he got sick and very weak and his body shut down.   I called a few of my neighbors to let them know and during one phone call I found out that another neighbor, who has been fighting pancreatic cancer for almost 2 years now, is getting hospice care. 

Bam... bam, bam.   Two of these three people I know are/were faithful believers in God and in the joy of eternal life in heaven with God.  I hope the other one is too. She spoke calmly about her situation and we talked of how we need to make each day a blessing.  She is in pain even with the hospice care,  but she was comforting me on the phone.

This is my reason for blogging:  I just don't know HOW there are people in the world that go through illness and sadness, and nearing death without knowing, without believing, that our time on earth is temporary - and that the everlasting life offered by God - is such an assurance.  I mean, how can someone lose a loved one without thinking they will one day rejoice together in heaven?    It just must be so, so, very overwhelming and "final" without knowing.

I know, I believe, that my loved ones that have already gone before me will be waiting to greet me.  I don't get "how" or I don't understand it, but I have faith.  Earth is my "temporary home."  I am happy I believe.  It has gotten stronger as I have aged.  I still get scared. I still have moments of doubt, but most of the time I BELIEVE...

Thank you God. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Looking up as we "fall".

Today is the birthday of the author of the weekly Hodgepodge. Happy birthday to Joyce! I hope she has a great day!

Since she is turning another year older, the first question this week is about just that.  Take a look...

1. What's the best and the worst thing about growing older?

The best thing is the gained confidence in who I am, and in my own path in life.   The worst?  I can only name one thing?  Ha!  Well, I think the worst thing is the physical limitations.  So far I have been lucky/blessed with no "major" physical problems and am still able to have an active life.  But, I have already noticed that I can't keep going like I used to go.  I need, and I ENJOY, a time of calm and reprieve.  But, question, why when I sit down to read do I fall asleep when I don't want to?   It frustrates me!

2. Autumn arrives this week in the northern hemisphere...what one thing do you love most about the fall season?

I really answered this last week because my favorite thing about fall is the start of football season.  So, if I were to pick one other thing I would say it's the startup of activities after the summer break...and for me this month it includes starting an art class, joining in with the community band, returning to some volunteer work (Backpack Buddies, our church garage sale, etc.).

3. Speaking of fall...pumpkin seems to be flavoring everything these days - are you a fan?  What's your favorite pumpkin flavored food or beverage?

I like some pumpkin flavoring BUT only in pretty traditional ways.  I love pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread.  But I don't order the pumpkin flavored coffees or ice cream or anything else that is "pumpkin-y" for fall.

4. Since we're on the subject of fall - what's the worst fall you've ever taken?

My worst fall was when I was ice skating with friends, during my college years.  I am an okay skater but this particular evening I was "showing off" how I could skate backwards and I skated right into another person skating.  I went down hard, but I made the mistake of trying to catch myself as I went down, so I took the force of the fall with my arm.  It hurt at the time but I 'bucked up' and didn't fuss about it.  I think the embarrassment of the fall covered up my pain!   The next morning I was unable to move my arm. I remember trying to get ready for school.  I had to do everything one handed and could not get my arm to move enough to use my curling iron!  Horrors!!   Somehow I got to school and was working one-armed at my PT job on campus, at the university's candy & cigerette counter (I am sure that place is long gone).  My girlfriend came up to me and suggested I go to the doctor's.  In fact she drove me there - and after x-rays we found I had fractured my bone at the elbow.  So, I needed six weeks in a cast and then some physical therapy afterwards.     (My other bad fall was also while skating - that time I was on roller skates. Perhaps I should keep my feet safely planted on the ground?)

5. If you could own a prop from any film what would you choose?

First, I must say I am not a "collector" of things or autographs from famous people or movies.  So, this question has me baffled.  Hmmmm.   Well, one of my favorite movies of all time is "The Sound of Music" so I guess I would like Maria's guitar.  

6. What is the most interesting word you've read or learned in the past week?

I play a lot of "Words with Friends" on my Iphone, so I am constantly amazed when words I never heard of are accepted and "useable" in the game.   This past week I saw souter, weel, and fey.   Look em up!  ha

7. When was the last time you locked yourself out of your house, car, or office?  Was it a big deal?

Wow.  I can't even think when it was - so it was a long, long time ago.  Now I'm probably jinxed and will lock myself out soon.  (Thanks Joyce - ha!)   I try and do routines with my keys to avoid lockouts.  I try to put my keys in the same place all the time so I know where they are.  I guess it's working!

8. My random thought.

Today's random thought: It's been one year now since I started the "baby layette program" with my church, St. Peter's Lutheran Church.  Women from the church continually donate new/gentle used infant clothing, baby blankets, soaps, towels, etc. - and these  items are then put into a basket to give to new mothers once they have delivered.  The nurses identify the mothers who need them - the are mothers alone, and sometimes don't even have a "going home" outfit for their new little one.  I went by the hospital yesterday to talk to one of the nurses in the OB/maternity area just to make sure it was going smoothly and to see if I could improve on the program.  The nurse told me that ALL the new moms who get them are very receptive and thankful. She told me that everything is going well.   (SMILE)    So, thanks for all the donations this first year - and here's to another year started, so we can give new moms and their new babies a better "start"!  God bless the donors, and the Moms and babies! 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Seeing the world through a camera lens

I have become a crazy photo-taking nut! I know it. I apologize to the many that see my pictures I continually post on Facebook.   But, this is why I have gotten into photography:

*  As singer Gary Allen says "Life ain't always beautiful, but it's a beautiful ride! "  I have opened my eyes up to the beauty around me.

*  Hubby and I have spent a lot of time on our boat, just purchased this summer.  We have discovered a whole 'nother world out there, right in our own backyard - literally.  Beyond our house, and over the old ricefields is the Waccamaw River/Itracoastal Waterway.   From the waterway we have discoverd endless creeks and unspoiled lands, full of nature. 

I always knew we were fortunate to live near the ocean, but I didn't realize how awesome the river system here is too.  We are blessed to live in an area that offers both, and thankfully it's preserved and untouched.  South Carolina has it's share of problems but one thing the state has done right is to protect the rivers, the old ricefields, and the lands around it.  The history is still right there - old "trunks" (locks) for flooding the ricefields, old dock landings, etc.   An era gone by. 

* Camera technology has come a long way!  I have a Canon that fits in my handbag and goes everywhere with me. I am always prepared in case I see something so beautiful or interesting that I just HAVE to "keep" it on film.  Did I say film?  Ha!  Correction:  keep it on my photocard.   I can quickly, and easily, download pictures right on to my computer - and on to my Facebook page. 

* I still love taking pictures of people best - my family, friends, and my dog!  Miss Honeybee is often posing or doing something so cute!  ha!  My kitties are "subjects" too.  But I do love the moments I see, and I want to "capture" them... 

So, bear with me.  Facebook is the perfect place to "album" them and to include captions.  If you are a blogging friend, and would like to see my pics, "friend" me on FB with a note that you want to see my pictures.   

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A September Hodgepodge

Hi to my blogger and Facebook friends!  Here are the questions, courtesy of Joyce, to ponder on this September 11th.

1. Are you ready for some football?  Are you a fan?  If you are not a fan, what do you do while the rest of America watches Saturday, Sunday, Monday night, and now Thursday night?

I LOVE football!  It's my favorite sport to watch and I always look forward to this time of year when the college and pro seasons start.  I grew up in a huge football-loving state, Ohio, which even has the Pro Football Hall of Fame.   I learned the rules of the game early on.  As a member of my high school marching band I went to all the games, home and away.   Later, when I was in college in Baltimore I worked for a season in the pressbox for the Colts (yes, they were STILL in Baltimore then.) 

Once my daughters got into high school we went to all the Sparta High School games at home and even some away.  We were lucky to be there when the team won the state championship (played in the Giants stadium at the Meadowlands). It was VERY exciting! 

I continued to follow teams and loved watching, and THEN  my oldest daughter got to the University of South Carolina and I became a HUGE Gamecock fan!  It didn't hurt that the tailgating was so, so fun and that the weather is great for football in the south.   I also love the "good natured" rivalries between Carolina and Clemson, and with the other SEC teams. 

I still follow the NY Jets and Giants - and now support the Carolina Panthers. 

So, yes, I love football, college and pro... it's a good time of year!!

2. What's something I'll always find in your closet?

I'm a bit confused by this question.   Which closet?  In my linen closet you will find towels and sheets.  In my own clothes closet you will find clothes, shoes, handbags, etc.    I don't think I keep anything "unusual".   Sorry.

3.  Share one of your earliest memories.

This is an interesting question because sometimes actually remembering, or looking at an old picture, or being told by an older relative what happened, can get mixed up.   I don't think I actually remember when I was a toddler.  Maybe it would be when I first went to kindergarten and I remember that my mother bought a little rug for me, to keep in class for "rest time".  We kids would lay out our little rugs and the teacher would turn off the lights in the classroom (it wasn't pitch dark) and we had "rest time" for ten minutes or so.  I can picture that rug in my I know it's a memory.  There are no pictures of it.

4. What circus act best describes your week so far?

Ok, the "easy" answers are a three ring circus, or a juggling act, or something like that.  But, not really.  I haven't had any lions to tame, or had to fly in the air without a net!  It's been an un-circus like week so far.

5. What's a food you disliked as a child but you love now?

I know there were some green veggies I tried to hide on my plate thinking if I put my glass in front of it, and covered it with my spoon and fork then my mom would not notice! ha!!  I love most green vegetables today.  I don't think we had asparagus (Dad only liked the "basic" veggies...peas, green beans - so that's what mom prepared) and I love it now!

6. Describe your summer in three words.

enjoyable - eventful - thankful

7. Where were you on Sept. 11, 2001?  Will you do something special to mark te day this year?

I wrote a blog post about it last night because I realized the anniversay date was approaching.  So, I guess that is how I have "marked" the day this year...with the blog post.  Feel free to read it.  As I wrote in the post, I was living in a town in New Jersey only an hour outside of New York City.  The events of that day effected me greatly.   What I did not write about is how we went into the city 3 days later because we had Broadway show tickets. It was Friday, and the theatres reopened that night and the mayor was encouraging everyone to come back into the city. So, we did.  When we drove to the Lincoln Tunnel we saw the black smoke still billowing upwards where the towers had stood.  The city was still quite empty.  It was eerie.  We stayed in the theatre district that night - we didn't head south and I doubt we could have gotten down close  anyway.  This was when family & friends were still searching for loved ones and hanging pictures everywhere. I remember the actors coming out after the performance thanking everyone for attending and we all stood together and sang "God Bless America." 

8. Random thought.

It's hard to have a random thought after remembering that day.   I guess my thought is that we people are resilient.  It's best to remember how people came together afterwards and helped each other. How after the worst thing happened, the best in people also showed up. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

9 - 11

Tomorrow is the anniversary of that day in 2001, September 11th, when the terrorists hijacked and flew planes into the World Trade Center, into the Pentagon, and took down the plane in PA.  It is a day when we remember all the innocent people who lost their lives and the families they left behind. It is a day when we honor those firefighters, the police officers, and the civilians who ran "in" to danger to help, and did incredibly courageous acts. Some of them didn't make it "out."

It was an awful day for America.  A surprise attack on the United States. On our turf.   It was something not done here since Pearl Harbor.

On that date we put politics aside because we all felt very vulnerable and scared.  We were unsure who was attacking us and why.  And how it could happen.  It had started out as such a beautiful early fall day in the east with a clear sky overhead (we later learned one of the planes flew through  that sky directly over our town on it's way towards the World Trade Center.). 

I lived in Sparta, New Jersey, a small city just about an hour away from New York City.  It was a town close enough that some of our citizens commuted into NYC for work each day.  On that Sept. 11th I was with a group of women and we were having our first "Sparta Friends and Neighbors"club meeting of the new year.  All of a sudden during the meeting cellphones started ringing. One by one.  After a few calls were answered we realized what was happening. We stopped and most went home to check in with loved ones, and to turn on their TV's.  We were all in shock.  It's one of those times when you always remember where you were when you got the news.  And, since we all lived so close to NYC, we worried about who might have been there that we knew personally. 

I will admit it was a time in my life that I felt very nervous, and I felt my bubble of a happy life was shaken up.  I felt so sad in the following weeks.  The local NJ newspaper ran the obituaries of all those who died. Pages and pages of them.  There were pictures of  young fathers, many were businessmen or were fire and police men.  It was incredibly sad. 

I was mentally, emotionally, and physically effected. 

Today, as I remember back and remember that day, I think about all the people around the world that live in places that go through the same sadness and the fear that I felt -  because they too live in place where war and terrrorist acts happen by their homes.  There are so many families today that experience the same pain of these senseless killings. 

What happened on Sept. 11th here put us in the same boat as others in the world.  Not a good boat.  But, I for one know how they feel.  Let's pray for peace around the world.  Pray for safety. Pray for those affected by the acts of  terrorists everywhere.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A birthday blog

Last month I was inspired to write about my best girlfriend on her birthday.  It seemed fitting at that point to remember back to some of the fun things we have shared together over the years.

Today is my (only) brother's birthday.  My "older" brother that is!  (by just a couple of years...)  He's not on the computer much if it's not work related and he is not a Facebook person.  But, I will write a little tribute to him here anyway.   Hopefully his wife will show him. 

My brother is and has always been a very sincere, and very "mild mannered" person.  He doesn't care much about being macho - but that's not saying that he is not.  He knows his way around any car, and has a big interest in many sports.  He is very "handy" with all things at home.  In fact, the guy practically built a house he used to live in, and he has put in great upgrades to the one he lives in now.   The guy can learn something, apply it, and the job turns out beautifully.

Some people say he's quiet.  He doesn't speak LOUD and he doesn't use foul language.  He goes with the flow when it's the right thing to do and never makes a stink when things don't go his way.

My brother is a good role model.  I don't know if he considers himself one.  Probably not - because that's how he is.  But, when it comes to how a male should go through this world he sets a very good example.

He cares about his wife and daughter.  He's even learned to love his pets!  (Ha! That's something I didn't think he would do when he was young.)

Growing up, my brother and I "played" together - mostly physical activities like bandminton in the backyard, shooting "round the world" in basketball, and skateboarding down our driveway or around the furnace in the basement of our childhood home.  I do remember playing board games together:  Stratego and Risk.    Eventually, there came a time when I was the dopey little sister - and that was normal.  I remember a time where mom & dad told him he had to drive me to the away high school football game.  Oh - he didn't want to do it!  When we parked outside the grandstands he told me to go off and find my friends, and that we would meet back at the car after the game. In other words: SCRAM and I don't know you til I have to drive you home! ha!!

Well, at least now I think he will claim me as his sister!  

Happy birthday brother!   We live miles & miles away but we still see each other at least a few times each year.  Sorry I'm not there to celebrate and share some cake (darn!).    Enjoy your birthday!
Love ya...your LITTLE sister

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A little bit of this, a little bit of that...

Hi everyone!  I know some of you have told me you can't leave a comment after reading my blog - and sometimes you actually want to say something!  ( :  I don't know why (I'm still a blog newbie) but if you are having trouble, you may leave a comment at my email at   Some can leave it on FB too.

This week's Hodgepodge questions deal with a little bit of everything.  Gee, I guess that's why it's called the "Hodgepodge!" 

1. In your opinion, what's the most important job in the world?  Oh - and parenting is a "given" so besides parenting, what's the most important job? 

Most important job???  My first thought (after parenting of course) is teaching.  The teaching profession is challenging, and too often under-rated, but it is the job that gives each and everyone of us the opportunity to learn, grow, and hopefully have happy lives.  Teaching is a general term because it covers pre-K through graduate programs...and too many subjects to even think about listing here.   But, without organized, structured learning centers with valuable teachers, we would all be lost.

2. Share a favorite memory from a childhood birthday.

When I grew up birthdays were celebrated, but the big lavish parties of today were certainly not the "usual."  Most of my birthdays included a nice dinner at home with my family, and a homemade birthday cake, and a couple of gifts from my parents.  I do remember my 10th birthday party though because it was the only one I had where I invited school friends over for the afternoon and we played some games, I opened presents, and we ate lunch followed by cake - of course.   I remember my mother telling me that turning 10 was a special number.

3. Peanut butter- crunchy or smooth?

I always buy Jif smooth.   I like my peanut butter smooth...and if I want nuts I prefer to buy a jar of nuts.   (I don't mix them! )

4. William Butler Yeats is credited as saying "Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing."  Your thought?

Growth can bring happiness, but happiness can be experienced many ways... so I disagree with Mr. Yeats' statement.  I think a person can be happy when simply doing a fun activity, or a job they enjoy. Although learning something new (and therefore growing) can sometimes bring happiness on - it can also bring on other anxiety!   So growing = happiness is not always a true sentiment in my book.

5. What's something that makes you cringe?


6. Name a song that always puts you in a good mood?

Oh - a lot of the uptempo, fun country songs put me in a good mood!  One of my favorites is "Country Girl Shake It For Me" by Luke Bryan. 

7. The answer is yes.  What's the question?

"Do you love me?"

8.  My random thought:  

My answers above were short this time.  I guess they were not as "thought provoking" for me as some past Hodgepodge questions have been - and that's ok.  I also want to say that I just came back from a Bible Study where the following thought was expressed by someone, and I think it's good for everyone to keep in mind right now:

Republicans often say that Democrats want to just give money away, without the needy even having to earn it.  Democrats often say the Republicans are money hungry and just don't care about the poor and needy.  We have heard the stereotyped comments. Neither is true.

In reality, we ALL want to make sure ALL of us have a place to live, clothes on our back, and food in the belly.  Both parties agree on this.  Just the beliefs of  HOW we try and achieve it is different.   But, in the meantime, as we talk, and filibuster, and belittle each other, the needy are still there.  There are still Americans waiting for a place to live, some clothes on their back, and good food in their bellies.

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."