Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter & Spring Hodgepodge

It's Holy Week... and the Hodgepodge questions for this week are about Easter, and spring, and love. Aaaah.   Oh, but also karoke and being foolish - those two can go hand in hand! ha!   Below are Joyce's questions and my answers. 

1.  What are your plans for Easter?  Are you cooking a big lunch or dinner? Dyeing eggs?  Attending a sun rise service?   Eating too much chocolate?

My one daughter and her boyfriend are coming home for the weekend.  We will all attend the 10:00am service together.  Yes, our church DOES have a sunrise service - on the beach - but it's really early AND it's going to be pretty chilly.  So, we will go to the church service. I play in the church handbell group and we are playing a piece with a brass group on Sunday.  It should be very special!   Afterwards we will enjoy Easter brunch at a local restaurant.  Then we plan to head over to our  "riva-side" cabin for the rest of the day.  We plan on playing games together, and just enjoying the time together.   As for chocolate: I gave it up for Lent (I usually do) and so I will "indulge" in a piece or two on Easter. 

2.  What is something you feel too young to do?

Join AARP!   They keep sending me mail.  Stop it!!! 

3. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.... it is not seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs..."     Of the characteristics mentioned, which do you find the most difficult to live out and why?

I think it is hardest not to keep a record of wrongs.  I think it's very challenging to "forgive and forget" another individual.   When I feel like someone has said or done something mean to me, then it's hard for me to let it slide off my back.  I know in my head we all do & say dumb things, or that we react improperly when angered or tired...    but it's hard for my heart to let go of it.  I need to keep working on forgiveness. 

4.  What's a springtime flower you associate with your childhood?

Definitely daffadils.  I grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio during a good bit of my youth.  One year when I was in elementary school, our teacher took us to the grassy area by the playground where a sea of daffadils were planted by the fence.  We each got our picture taken by them, holding a little bouquet of daffs...and the picture was used as a gift to our parents.  Perhaps it was for Mother's Day - because, remember, this was northern Ohio!  Spring didn't come early.  I don't really remember what occasion it was for - but I certainly remember all the pretty yellow daffadils!

5.  Ever sung karoke?  If so, what's your go-to song? If not and your given the opportunity would you?

One year for Christmas when our daughters were young we got them a home karoke machine.  I tried it out when nobody else was in the house!   The machine taped you singing & then you could play it back.  OUCH!!!   After hearing myself I don't think I would ever sing karoke in public.  Perhaps with a couple of other people...and with lots of wine! 

6. What is something you keep in a basket?

Shells!   Since we got our boat last year we have gone out to untouched barrier islands and have collected conch shells.  I have a basket of them in front of our fireplace.  I also keep a basket of them at the "Riva-side" cabin.  Recently I took a bunch of small round shells and put them in a natural weaved baasket and it sits on my coffee table. 

7. When was the last time you felt foolish?

I am surprised that I can't come up with a particular time or incident right now, because believe me, I have moments of feeling foolish!   Wait... I remember long ago, when I was engaged and my hubby was working for Pepsi-Cola I went to a big shmancy event with him - and ordered a Rum & Coke!!  I felt like the room stopped...and looked at me!  (Remember the EF Hutton commercials?)   I felt SO foolish!!! 

8. My random thought. 

It's kind of serious this week.  I am a pretty big advocate for gun safety and I have become more active these days. I have emailed & called elected officials about the need for stronger laws and I have joined the national Mothers group that is speaking out.  Too many children are killed by gun violence - and by accidental gun shootings.  I see in my local newspaper and hear on TV daily shootings.  It break my heart.  Such stupidity out there when it comes to gun safety - or lack of it.   Don't just shake your head and feel sad about it.  Don't do nothing.  As mothers we can be strong on this issue...  and we can make a difference! 

Happy Easter everyone!  "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son."    He is risen, He is risen indeed!!  Death is conquered.   Hallelujah!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Springy Hodgepodge

Hello everyone - and welcome to the weekly Hodgepodge questions - and my answers.  Spring is in the air! Someplaces.  But, it's definitely in this list of Hodgepodge questions this week.

1.  March 20th is the first day of Spring...is she a lion or a lamb in your part of the world?

I think Winter is going out like a tired, old lion here in South Carolina.  For some reason the warmth and mild weather just has not come to stay yet, so it's like the winter lion holding on for a few last gasps.  Now, I know our winters are pretty easy compared to many other places but it's enough for me and I am certainly ready for full-fledged Springtime to be here!  Bring on the lamb!! 

2.  What's the most dreaded task on your Spring to-do list?  Do you have a 'plan of attack?'

I don't really dread anything that needs to get done. My biggest task is getting the piles of items I've been storing for our church Garage Sale out of my garage and storage shed.  We were supposed to have a garage sale last fall, but our church had a big construction project going on (which is good - we now have a beautiful new building),  So, I have been hanging on to my stuff AND other people's stuff just waiting for the sale to happen.  I'm in charge of it, so I want to make sure we have lots and lots of items to sell. We raise money for charitable needs and for our church quilting group for supplies.  I am SO READY to have my garage back!  I can transfer all the junk (excuse me, 'treasures') after Easter Sunday.  The sale will take place on April 13th.  I know it's a big task - but I am really quite looking forward to it!

3.  Peas... love 'em or hate 'em?  What's a favorite dish you make using peas?

I like peas.   As I have said before, I'm not a wonderful gourmet cook so I keep things pretty simple.  I like peas in salads.  I like them all on their own as a side veggie.  Why is it when you go to a restaurant peas are never served?   Asparagus, broccoli, vegetable medley...  they seem to be the sides, and I love them all.  But, poor peas!   They need equal time on the plate!

4.  Do you feel appreciated?

Yes I do.   Thank you to everyone in my life who is kind and thoughtful with their words.  My hubby doesn't like me blogging about him but I will say he makes a point to let me know he appreciates me.  My wonderful daughters do too.   Have I mentioned before I am blessed?? YES!!!

5.  Have you been using Google Reader?  If so, what are you switching to now that GR has announced retirement?  If not, how do you read your favorite blogs?

I hope this question helps me figure it out.  I'm not sure.  I use blogspot...is that Google Reader?   I'm pretty ignorant of the blogging tech world.   Am I going to lose my system?   I really look forward to reading everyone's answers on this so I will know what to do.  Joyce, when does GR end?   Uh-oh.

6. Anne Bradsheet is credited with the following guote -
"If we had no winter, the spring would not be as pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste adversities, propserity would not be so welcomed."   Agree or Disagree?  Why?

I agree with the quote in general.  Be it weather, or job challenges, or anything in life... after facing adversity and making it through, the joys are often sweeter.   That being said, I must confess I have faced ENOUGH winter conditions in my 56 years of life to know it,  and to say "enough is enough!"  I'm done with winter.  That's one of the many reasons I love living where I do now.  We have a mild winter and an early spring (usually - but this year is hanging on like an old lion)

7.  When did you last 'spring for something'?  What was it?

In regards to purchases, my last un-neccesary thing was buying Tim McGraw tickets for his May 3rd concert in Charlotte.  I'm taking my daughter Kristen - and I also "sprung" for the fan club option of buying tickets to the pre-acoustic concert backstage. I've never experienced it....and I'm excited about it!!!  The concert is for a small audience, includes hor'dourves, drinks, and a small gift.    I am sure I will "spring for joy" when I'm there! 

8.  My random thought.

Continuing with the seasons theme...  I am on the cusp of the start of my favorite time each year!  I love gardening, and seeing the beauty of the flowers.  I love the warmer temps and living in shorts and flipflops.  I love long hours of daylight.  I love my country music experiences ahead (the May 3rd Tim McGraw concert AND the CMA Festival in June).  I love the Memorial Day and 4th of July holidays that we spend outdoors with family and friends. I love the Lakeside week in July.  I love boating on the rivers around us.   BrRING IT ON!!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

What to do on a Thursday afternoon.

Today I had planned to spend my afternoon with my lady friends out on the golf course. We have standing tee times each Thursday and sometimes up to 12 of us get together to play - and talk.  But today, here in golf-land, in the lowcountry of South Carolina, we have a cold day with some wind.  It's certainly not acceptable golf weather for us "locals."  We know better days are just around the corner.

 Which makes me think:  You can always tell a vacationer here because they are out on the courses in all weather, including cold days and even really rainy ones.  Canadians come down this time of year and play in shorts.  They even go swimming in the ocean! Those crazy northerners!!   I know they often only have a week or so, and want to make the most of it...so out they go. And really, a 45 degree day is practically summertime for them! Right?

Anyway, I find myself with the afternoon wide open now.  I have nothing that MUST get done and so I get to choose how to spend my time now that golf is not an option.  I have read my book - and I'm about to finish it.  John Grisham's "The Racketeer" is the neighborhood book club pick.  It's been okay.  Not a great book of fiction that will stick with me a week from now - which concerns me since our Book Club meeting isn't until the end of the month.  By that time I will be on to a new book and have forgotten details of this one.   Does anyone have a good choice for my next read?

I have practiced flute. We (the PI Community Band) have a gig tomorrow playing at the new library ground-breaking, and I even played the piano alittle.  Yes, I know I can find more cleaning to do...   but I'd rather not.

I'm wondering...what is your "go to" hobby or fun thing to do when you find an extra hour or two?  

If it were warmer I'd be "piddling" away in my yard. I love to do that. I'm also VERY anxious to start planting some flowers - even though I know it's still a tad too early. 

So, here I am on my computer.  Checking Facebook. Blogging.  Even tweeting. 

I MUST step away - from - the - computer!  Now!!  

(Don't worry. I'll be checking in soon, very soon.) 

I guess I'll go clean something....

Happy Thursday afternoon!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

It's an all St. Patty's - all green Hodgepodge!

Top of the mornin' to ya all!  The Hodgepodge this week is all about St. Patrick's Day, one way or another.

1.  Do you play games of luck/chance for money?  Have you ever played bingo for money?  Visited a casino?  Placed a bet on a horse?  Bought a lottery ticket?

I rarely play any sort of games of chance.  I'm wondering...do you all have the "Sweepstakes Gamerooms" popping up in shopping centers like we do here in South Carolina?   It's strange.  Yes, I have played Bingo, but only at company work events and winners got prizes that had been donated, not money.  As many know, I just went to Las Vegas this past December to go to the Tim McGraw - Faith Hill "Soul To Soul" concert.  We were there for a weekend, and I realized I had not played any game or slot machine the entire time there, so at the airport waitng for my flight home I quickly lost $10 in the Poker machines there.   I've never bought a lottery ticket.

2. Will you be preparing and/or dining on the traditional Corned beef and Cabbage meal this St. Patrick's Day?  Mashed - baked - hash browned - french fried...your favorite way to have potatoes?

I will not have the traditional meal.  I'm not a fan.   As for my favorite potatoes, that's a tougher answer.  I'm a potato lover!  I love a baked potato and sometimes make a meal out of it, of course adding some cheese & sour cream on top!  Really, I like all the styles of potatoes in the question PLUS I like scalloped potatoes and potato salad too!

3. What's the last thing you felt 'green with envy' over?

It's been so long I can't remember.  Thankfully!   I have been blessed to have MORE than I certainly need, or even really want....  so even though I have green eyes, I am not the jealous type.

4.  What's at the end of your rainbow?

Ah, lads and lassies, the Lepracauns found a pot of gold... but my rainbow is beautiful as it is.  I am not searching for anything more.

5.  March 12th marks the anniversary of the death of Anne Frank (June 6, 1929 - March 12, 1945).  Anne's diary detailing her time spent hiding from the Nazi's during the war ranks as one of the best selling books of all time.  Besides your blog, do you keep any sort of diary or journal?

First, let me say, that I love Anne Frank's book...and I think EVERYONE should read it! I know it's required reading in many schools.   When I was a teenager I went to a high school production of it and it still stays with me all these years later.  What an amazingly scary time - but the story is one about family love and helping your neighbor.  Anne's diary tells of her hopes and dreams that never came to be, but yet, she lives on in her beautiful descriptions and writing.  Ok, now that I'm saying this,  I think I want to read it again!    As for myself, I do not keep a diary or journal. I am happy that I blog though!

6. What's an item in your home or closet that contains every color of the rainbow?

I don't think Joyce is asking our sexual preference here - but it's the first thing I thought about when I read the question! ha!!   I can't think of anything I have that has the full colors of the rainbow. Not that I'm identifying my sexuality! HA!!!

7. Write a limerick with you as the subject. You can do it!

There once was a girl from Ohio
who traveled the country through time.
She lived east, and west, and in the cold north
and settled the best in the south.

This girl loved her family,
she loved her pets and home.
She married the man of her dreams.
With dear friends and bloggers
she never felt alone.

So now, she likes to celebrate good times
and music makes her smile,
the lass is as happy as can be.
So she toasts to days fine
and lifts high a glass
not beer, but of chardonnay wine!

8. My random thought.

A serious moment about March 17th.  It is also the birth date of my mother.  She passed on almost 10 years ago which is really hard to believe! The years continue to go by.  I'm sad she is not here but she suffered for many, many years with Parkinsons and with colon cancer.  She was a sweet and kind woman - and a great mother to me.   Even though our heritage is German, on St. Patty's Day, her birthday,  I will raise a glass (of wine) to toast her! 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Responding to the Hodgepodge.

Time for the Hodgepodge and I have to admit that this week's questions don't "hit home" so much for me. How about you?  Read on - and tell me what you think.

1. When you've eaten at a restaurant do you complete the comment card?  Do you take the online surveys highlighted at the bottom of store receipts?

No, I do not complete comment cards at restaurants.  I should because I'm sure they appreciate feedback.  And, I rarely take the online surveys from stores. I think I have gone to the Home Depot site a couple of times, and CVS...but it's because I'm lured there by the chance to win money.

2. The US ban on women in combat was lifted at the end of January.  It will probably be next year before specifics are worked out, but it's been reported over 200,000 frontline positions will eventually open up to women.  Your thoughts?

I believe in equal opportunities for the sexes.   But, that being said, I do not like sending ANY of our people, men or women, into war.  I am a pacifist and prefer to deal with conflict through love (through discussion, providing food, etc. but not combat.)  I do not want to put ANY person in harm's way.   I have been told numerous times that I am not realistic in my beliefs, but that's okay.  It's the only way I can be.  I can not, will not, accept a reason for sending someone to war to kill others and be killed.

3. In looking back at all the blog posts you've written, what's your favorite title?

I just took a moment and looked back on my post titles. So, they are not very profound - or funny. I guess my first one "Welcome to my blog" means a lot to me because it was a long time ago and I am happy to have stuck with blogging.  My first reason to start it was to get rid of the thoughts rolling around in my brain, and thinking I had a little something to say.  I wanted to write so that my daughters could see another side of Mom.  I wanted to have a way to leave my mark so to speak.  I am happy I started blogging.  One fun extra has been this Hodgepodge each week. Thank you to my Sparta friend Diane who told me about Joyce and this weekly set of questions!   It's given me fuel for thinking - and I have met and made some nice friends through it too!

4. What's worse - overly permissive parents or overly protective parents?  Did your own parents lean more to the permissive or the protective category?  If you are a parent where do you fall?

I think most new parents tend to be overly protective and that's okay.  I think I was that way when my daughters were young.  I didn't want anything to happen to them physically or socially.  Life is tough out there and I wanted to protect them for awhile.   If the question deals with those scary teenage years, then again over-protective has to be the way. Why?  Because overly permissive could possibly bring on school discipline problems, issues with the law, etc.  These are events that can stay with a person all their life.   There comes a point when a parent MUST parent to protect the child from bad people and ways - even foolish acts that can cause irreversalable harm (even death.)  

My parents were quietly protective.  I would say they did not allow my siblings and I to do anything that we would regret or that would harm us, but they didn't lecture or punish us when we made wrong choices.  I would not say they were permissive either.    I guess with all parenting there is a happy medium, and each parent - child relationship has to be a constant balancing act!

5.  Candlelight - moonlight - firelight - bright lights in the city....which one's your favorite?

I love candlelight for a special occasion. I love moonlight on a lovely summer night. I love firelight when we all sit around our firepit.  I'm not fond of the bright lights of the city.  It's too garish, too flashy, too unsettling.   Geez, I'm getting old...

6.  Dr. Seuss's birthday was celebrated on Saturday. What's a favorite book you remember (Seuss or otherwise) from your own childhood?  Did books play an important part in your growing up years?  Explain.

My parents were from a generation where the early childhood years were for play, not so much for education.  It was before preschools, and before Sesame Street.   I want to say that because I don't want to dis my parents for not putting books into my hands when I was a little one.  But, I don't think they knew it was valuable. Times have changed.   Therefore, the first book (series) I remember really enjoying were the Bobbsey Twins books.   Then Nancy Drew books.  

I don't think books played a big part in my growing up - and that makes me sad.  But, I think I have made up for it as an adult. I have belonged to book clubs for years now and I live every day with a book in my hand. 

7.  To quote Dr. Seuss..  "From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere" - from One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.   Share something funny you've recently read, seen, or heard.

Just one thing?  I get a lot of chuckles from jokes and cartoons shared on Facebook.  But, yet, I still haven't figured out how to cut & paste to here...  so all I can say is, go on Facebook you will see them!

8. Random thought.

As you know I'm a country music fan.  There is a song out right now by Lee Brice (from Sumter, SC) called "I Drive Your Truck."   He didn't write it - but he sings it with such passion.  If you have not seen the video, pull it up.  I watch CMT and it's running on there right now.  What an emotional video.  (It goes back to my answer on #2).    Love it!
Also, The CMA Festival people just released the names of many of the artists that will be performing in June.  I was excited about going before but now I'm SUPER excited for festival time to get here!  Keith Urban, Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley, Eric church, Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley...  to name a few!  

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Kicking the bucket list down the road.

Yes, I know...really the saying is "kicking the can down the road" but, I have been thinking about the trend to make a bucket list and then to figure out how to accomplish the items on it.    I have friends who have made rather large lists of things to do, or to learn, or finish... items to accomplish within their lifetime. 

It stems from a movie that came out a few years back with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman called "The Bucket List"  where they play characters who meet when they share a hospital room and talk about what they still want to do before they die.  They go off together on an adventure to accomplish some of the items - but along the way, the most important thing becomes their relationship - and Jack's character re-uniting with his daughter.

So, the movie really tells us that the people in our lives are the most important reason for living. It's about sharing our lives and expressing love!  It's not about doing things.

I digress though, because I realize that people have started their own bucket lists and I really didn't consider it a bad thing, but I have worried myself for awhile trying to rattle my brain about what I still want on my list - what do I want to do, to see, to accomplish before I die?   

I realize at my age some things are just impossible.   I would love to have the talents of singing, of playing guitar, and of being a better piano player.  I would love to be fit enough to run a marathon.  I would love to shoot 90 on the golf course.   These things are just not going to happen.   I don't want them on a bucket list because I could never scratch them off!  

So, then I thought about places I'd still like to see.  Again, I rattled my brain.  I have been fortunate to travel some throughout my life so far.  I have been to some pretty interesting places.  I have been in various states in the US, to countries in Europe, to Mexico, Martinque,  and other islands in the Caribbean.  Guatemala, Belize - in Central America too.  I've learned history, and I have set my eyes on some gorgeous sights!   But I can't think of a place I "need" to see and put on a bucket list.  And, truth be told, most of my travels have been fun because of the people I was with on the trips.

I don't want to stop learning, or reading, or doing crosswords, and I love being involved with music.  I love spending time with family and friends. I want to contribute and help my fellowman.

But, I think the whole idea of "making a bucket list" is something I will now give up on.  I find it frustrating and futile.  I prefer to be content on being where I am, and being with the people I have the joy of knowing.  To steal from another saying "my bucket is full" and I don't need to find ways to fill it anymore.    I'm just going to "kick the bucket on down the road."