Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Remembering the past...

Hello Facebook and blogging friends!  Here are this week's Hodgepodge questions and my answers. As always, I love to hear your responses too.  Let me know what you think!

1.  What's one thing that's still the same about you as when you were young? 

I'm laughing at this because it is a lot easier to answer what is NOT the same:  my hair!  Looking back over the years I have had various lengths, colors, textures (straight/perms), and styles!  Some of them were pretty scary!   But, one thing that has stayed the same?   Actually it's nothing physical.  Aging does change the body!  So, I will say my beliefs.  I have not waivered from knowing right from wrong, and in living my life to be kind and to serve others.  God is central in my life and therefore I live my life in response to His grace and love for me.

2.   What's more important - history or science? 

I have to say history is more important.  We learn from what has come before us.  We honor those who have forged the way.  Science has certainly given us unbelievable medical advances and an easier way of living, but the people who came before us who did not "enjoy" the science that we do now still lived full lives.   Think about it.  Would you rather read a history book or a science book?  HA!!  No doubt in my mind...  it's history!

3.  Lima, kidney, string, garbanzo, black or pinto - your favorite bean? 

The good ole green bean!  I love them as a side dish, or in a casserole... and we can't have  Thanksgiving without the green bean mushroom soup dish!  You didn't ask, but my least favorite is the lima bean.  Blech.

4.  What's something people come to your town to do? 

Easy answer! I live in a vacation resort town.  So, people come here to enjoy the beach, and to play golf, and to spend time with family, and to boat, and go up to Myrtle Beach to the amusement parks and boardwalk.   I am fortunate to live full-time in a place some people come to for a week of vacation.

5.  When was the last time you were in a meeting?   Sum it up for us in five words or less. 

I attended a Habitat for Humanity meeting one week ago, last Tuesday morning.  I am on the "Church relations" committee and each year we help build a local Habitat house with other churches in the area.  The five words:  productive, informational, new family home.

6.  What special event would you like a VIP pass to attend? 

I immediately thought about the CMA Festival I attend each June.  This coming year will be my 4th year in a row!  I love it!!!  It would be beyond awesome to have a special VIP pass and be "up close and personal" with all those great musicians and to experience the week long event from the "inside."  

7.  What's one piece of advice you'd give a writer? 

I think a better question is what advice would a writer give me?!! I'd love to know!  I wish I could express myself better and could be a "writer" - and I suppose it is one reason I decided to blog.  I like practicing my writing skills, such as they are.   But, my little piece of advice for a writer:  be positive.  Write about things that can change the world for the better.

8.  My random thought. 

I find myself busy most evenings right now with outside activities and am not turning the TV on as much.  It's a good thing - but I have not seen DWTS and I missed last night's "The Voice" premiere.   I will NOT miss "American Idol" tho when it comes back on - it's my favorite of the talent "reality" shows.  What's your favorite?     Wondering...did you watch the Emmy's?   I don't watch any of the drama shows that were nominated/won.   But, I was certainly glad to see The Colbert Report win!  I love Stephen Colbert - and his writers are the best!

Have a good week all.  You know what  day tomorrow is?  What day is it?  Hey - what day is it??   It's hump day!    ( :

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fall birthdays

This week's Hodgepodge has a lot to do with birthdays in autumn.  Our blog hostess Joyce is celebrating hers this week...and earlier this month both my Dad and my brother had birthdays.  Tomorrow is my cousin Kay's big day too.  So "happy birthday" to all!

1.  When did you last sing "Happy Birthday" to someone?  When were you last sung to?  Does that embarrass you or do you enjoy being the center of attention on your special day? 

I last sang it two weeks ago when one of the members of our Tuesday "Good News at Noon"  Bible Study had a birthday. We all sang to him.   When was I last sung to?  I'm pretty sure it was my last birthday, this past December 15th.  My sis-in-law usually sings it for every birthday on our answering machine!  I went out to dinner with my family - but I don't recall them singing it to me at the restaurant this year.  That's ok.  I mean it's alright to have it sung to me, even if I get a little embarrassed, because it's nice to be given a bit of special treatment on that day.

2.  Name a famous or 'infamous' person, living or deceased, who shares your birth day and month.  Is that someone you'd like to meet in person if it were possible? 

Well, I had to google my birthday to find out who else shares it with me.   Many names I didn't recognize but of them all, I particularly like that I share it with the comedian/actor Tim Conway - and with Gustoave Eiffel, the civil engineer who built the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty.   I think I'd enjoy having a birthday drink with Tim Conway!  I loved him on the Carol Burnett Show, and in other comic skits and TV shows.

3. Someone hands you a box tied in a lovely bow... what are you hoping to find inside? 

I would definitely enjoy a couple of concert tickets!

4.  What can you guarantee about yourself? 

I guarantee to tell the truth. I just can't lie.  I will stay quiet before purposely saying an untruth to someone. I just can't live with myself if I lie...so you won't hear one come from my lips.

5.  Talking art and beautiful cities here...   "The Last Supper" in the Santa Maria della Grazie Abbey in Milan, or the "Mona Lisa" in the Lourve in Paris...  which would you like to see? 

I have been to the Lourve and have seen the "Mona Lisa" so I have to answer that I would like to see "The Last Supper."  I have heard it is painted on a wall with a door frame partly in it, and it is fading, so I would probably be surprised at it's condition.  But, I'd still love to see it.  I think it's got to be one of the most copied works of art anywhere.  

6.  Your favorite dessert? 

A warm chocolate brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some chocolate syrup on top - please!

7.  This coming weekend marks the official start of Autumn...  what is something you do to get ready for fall?  What is one thing you're looking forward to on your fall calendar?   Spring or fall - which do you prefer? 

I can't think of anything I "do" to get ready for fall.  I try to stay in denial about it coming.  I love warm weather, and long sunny days.   But, I will say I am looking forward to going with my hubby and meeting my daughters in Columbia, SC for a Gamecocks football game in early October!  We plan to tailgate...then go to the game (they play Kentucky & it 'should' be an easy win), and then we will have dinner together afterwards to celebrate hubby's birthday.    I definitely prefer spring over fall because it's the start of warmer days, and beautiful flowers, and outdoor activities.

8. My random thought. 

Continuing my thought from the question above.  I might prefer fall more if I didn't start to worry about the holidays, and expectations, and everything that goes with that time of year.  I know I put it on myself but I feel pressure on making the holidays right.  Don't get me wrong - I too love the traditions and the family togetherness. And, I try to keep the real meaning of the holidays in my forefront --- Thanksgiving is for giving thanks and Christ is to celebrate Christ!   I wish there would be a way to get rid of the stressful parts, and of the busy schedules, and the other "stuff" that comes with it.  Anybody got any ideas???  I'd love to hear em!  ( :

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

If it's Tuesday, it must be the Hodgepodge.

Thanks again Joyce for some thought-provoking questions - and happy birthday to your daughter!

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

The best thing is finding my place in the world, and being content with it.  Don't get me wrong. Not that I am always content, but I know who I am more now than when I was younger and I know what I can/can not do.  With understanding my place (and my reason for being) comes contentment  - which can then bring happiness more often.

2. When did you first feel like a grown-up? 

As soon as I graduated from college, I had my first "real" job that paid enough for me to move out of my parents' home and into an apartment with a girlfriend.   I was able to pay my own bills.  I worked full-time and supported myself.   I made my own choices on everything at that point.  So, I became a grown-up at 22 years old.

3.  Chocolate cake with white icing or white cake with chocolate icing? 

Easy answer!  Definitely chocolate cake with white icing!

4.  What's the nicest thing a stranger has done for you? 

I am going to tell you about what a stranger recently did for my husband.  About 2 months ago hubby took his truck to the car wash.  He uses the truck for taking our dog & neighbor's dog to the beach often, so they can romp with other doggies.  Therefore the truck gets really, really sandy.  So, hubby took out all the stuff in his truck at the car wash to vacuum it out really well.  I'm going to say hubby was "distracted" and forgot to put everything back in to the clean truck.   About an hour later a stranger came to our neighborhood gate with hubby's laptop computer!!!  He had left it sitting by the vacuum... and this wonderful stranger found our address in it, then used his GPS and drove the laptop to us.   He was a vacationer here for the week - from Tennessee.  We tried to look him up to thank him but was unsuccessful.  ) :  Thank you Mr. Stranger!!

5.  What's something you learned from your grandparents? 

My mother's father, my grandpa Fogt, gave me a love of crossword puzzles.  He used to do them out of the newspaper, and he would sit at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and work on them.  When I visited I would sit with him and he would involve me in it.  I continue to work crosswords almost every single day.

6.  Wednesday marks a sad day on planet earth - 9/11...  what's something you do (or can do) to bring peace to your little corner of the world? 

hmmm.  I do not do enough.   But, I suppose I try to live my life as a peaceful person, and share God's love.  Many of you know I am a follower of the Moms group that wants better gun safety...and I truly believe we need to tighten the laws on gun availability, on gun use, and illegal gun punishment.   So, I suppose that's one thing.  But, I think we all should become better activists for peace.   The president is givng a speech tonight about Syria (on the eve of 9/11) and I am concerned about what he will say.   One thing I do: I PRAY for peace every single day.

7.  Share a favorite quote, scripture, or song containing the word peace. 

I think I have shared this before, but when my daughter was in second grade the end of the school year program showcased their new knowledge of geography: the children made flags from all the countries, sang songs about different lands, etc.  The final song was "Let there be Peace on Earth - and Let it Begin with Me".  There was not a dry-eyed parent in the auditorium!  Out of the mouth of babes!! It was the most beautiful thing to hear those sweet, young voices sing so innocently about peace in the world!    I have downloaded a version of it on my Ipod: Vince Gill singing it with children.  It gives me goosebumps every time I listen.

8.  My random thought. 

I lived in northern New Jersey on 9/11/01 and was leading a "Sparta Friends & Neighbors" meeting when cellphones started going off that morning shortly after the meeting began.  We quickly learned of the first plane going into the World Trade Center.  I think I tried to keep the meeting going for a couple of minutes but then realized it was impossible.  Our town was only an hour's drive into Manhattan and we all knew people who lived and worked in the city.  We ended the meeting...most ladies went off to their homes to turn on their TV's - and I was still cleaning up from it when the 2nd plane hit.   In the days that followed we learned that one of the planes actually flew right over Sparta on it's way towards the towers...and we learned of many, many connections to those lost in such a horrible way.  I remember the NJ newspaper running the obituaries of hundreds...  with pictures, and individual stories of who these lost people were.  It was very, very sad.    I sometimes wonder if we read the obituaries of all those lost in other parts of the world from war if we would rethink what our nations do to each other.  Each one a special individual -  a family member, loved, leading a full life. Each one counts as much as every other individual.  They are not just a statistic.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Trying to understand - and then praying.

Once again the United States, meaning our elected President and our Congress, is in the middle of talks to decide whether or not to get involved in the horrible situation in Syria.   I have been trying to listen to some of the discussions, to hear "both sides", so that I can understand that whatever decision is eventually made, I can somewhat get "why" it was made.

Those who know me know that I am a peace-maker and I REALLY, REALLY do not believe in engaging in any war. I do not believe in the "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" mentality.  In fact I think responding with fire power can be weak - and that restraining and negotiating is tougher and what we should always try to do.   I believe as an American, but more importantly as a Christian, that we are to love one another and to never bring harm to another human being. We are all God's children, individuals with a special reason on this earth.

But here we are in a situation (again) where a ruthless leader of another country has done inhumane things to his people, killing thousands - including children.   It is intolerable.  It is SO wrong...and  ignoring the horror in Syria can not continue.  I understand that.

There was an article in this morning's newspaper written by David Lightman of the Washington Bureau (side note:  he was my news-writing professor at Towson state University & at the time he wrote for the Baltimore Sun).  The headline of Mr. Lightman's article said "For members of Congress, vote on war is wrenching" and it went on to say that Congressmen and women are really struggling with what to do and are looking to religious leaders, to strategists, to anyone who can help them make the right decision.

I am glad they are reaching out. I am glad Congress men and women are feeling the anxiety over this. Okay, the cynic in me says part of why they are unsure is that they do not want to "pick" the wrong vote and lose their seat, and be ridiculed, and be embarrassed.  But I really hope they are above that.

If Congress and President Obama decide that some military force is the best way to stop the regime in Syria, I will get a huge lump in my throat and I  know my heart will ache. I will fear for the people of that land, especially the innocent so wrongly put in the middle.  I can not even imagine living in a land where getting through each day is so scary!  I will pray for physical safety, and pray for those who will carry the emotional scars of war.

This is not a black and white issue.  The decision is so very difficult.  To go to war or not... it's something I would NEVER want to have to decide.  So, yes, I pray for those in the position to have to decide, and I pray that peace will come quickly and  that in the end LOVE will win out.  

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

You are NEVER too old!

The weekly Hodgepodge questions, and my answers. Please feel free to respond here or on Facebook. I'd love to hear your answers too!

1. What's something you are never too young or old to enjoy? 

Music!  Absolutely!   Research shows that babies in vitro respond to music played outside their mommies' wombs... and science also says that hearing is the last thing to go when people are on their death bed.  So, hearing sound, and in particular music, is something that we all get the ability to hear and enjoy ALL our lives!  Music brings people together, it creates moods, it inspires, and comforts. Music makes a moment more impactful and it can lighten a tough situation.  It helps ease boredom.   People don't really have to know much about making music to totally enjoy it. They can still get up and dance wildly (or just tap their toe), they can often relate to the music's lyrics, they can laugh to it,  or cry to music.  Thank God for music!

2.  Share one happy memory from your high school years. 

Almost any of my happy memories include my two best girlfriends in high school, Paula and Terri.  We were known as "The three Muskateers"...because when you saw one of us, you saw all three.  When I look back on yearbook pictures we were standing there together in each club or organization shot.  I suppose one favorite memory is being in the Drama Club together.  We weren't leaders of it (thankfully), but we had bit parts in a couple of plays and of course stayed after to rehearse, work on sets, etc.  My other fun memories include football games on Friday nights.  I went to a high school in rural Ohio - and football was and is IT in small towns there.  I was in the marching band - and we marched through town on the way to the stadium, and then played in the bleachers, put on half-time shows, etc.  Paula was also in band. Terri was a cheerleader.

3.  A nationwide strike of fast food employees took place last week... they're calling for higher wages and the right to unionize.  Your thoughts? 

First, I think anyone working "full time" should be able to make enough in wages to at least support themselves, and if minimum wage can't do it, then the minimum should be raised.   Years ago fast food employees used to be a lot of young people (teenagers) working part-time.  But, in recent years that has changed (for many reasons - and that's a whole 'nother discussion!)   I believe corporate America, which includes large fast food companies, should take care of their employees with good pay and health benefits. It just makes sense to me.  Morally.   And from a business sense... a happy employee will work harder and care about the company more.  There's a fine line that makes people nervous because it can begin to sound like a socialistic system if a govt makes the company decisions. But, I still think it's right.  Anyway... I am not a believer of forming unions.  I understand how needed they were at one time.  But, I think unions often have a bad side,  and they make employees do things they don't want to do,  they allow "slackers" to stay in the system, etc.

4.  September is National Honey Month...what is a favorite dish you make or eat that calls for honey? 

Seriously can't think of one dish... SO, I will bend the question and ask what is my favorite "honey" ?  And the answer: my pug named Miss Honeybee.  Now, I have yet to figure out how to put pictures on my blog so I'm sorry I can't post a pic of her for you to see.  Miss Honeybee - named after the Blake Shelton song "Honeybee" - is adorable!

5.  If you notice someone with a tag sticking out, a button unbuttoned, a shirt on inside-out, or some leftover lunch stuck between their teeth, do you say something or do you keep quiet? 

Most of the time I do not have a problem saying something, kindly and discreetly...unless it's someone I know well, and then I use the situation to "rib" them!! ha!  I mean, come on, we ALL have these moments!

6.  What movies always make you cry?  Or, at least makes you feel like crying? 

It's been a while since I have cried at a movie...but then, it's been awhile since I have seen a good, emotional movie. But, I will definitely get choked up at a movie that has something/anything to do with an unfortunate death, especially if it's a child.  Or, if a love relationship didn't work out.  Seems the movie companies don't make those very much anymore.   I DO NOT cry at action, bomb exploding, or alien sci-fi movies.  Or at dumb, drop bad language for quick raunchy humor movies.   Do they make much else??

7.  "Mary had a little lamb" was written in May of 1830 and published in 'Juvenile Miscellany' in September of that same year. Now for the fun part... create your own four line rhyme using that same tune. 

Marla had a little pug - little pug, little pug.

Marla had a little pug who's nose was smashed in so,

that everywhere the little pug, little pug, little pug

Everywhere the little pug went, she snorted kinda low.

Marla had a little pug -  little pug,  little pug

Marla had a little pug whose snort was how she'd know

No hiding for the little pug, little pug, little pug

Her snort told Marla it was time to "go"!

8. My random thought.

We just spent a lovely Labor Day weekend with some family and friends here at our "riva" cabin.  I always think how quickly summer goes by, so this morning I spent a few minutes scanning through the pictures I had posted on Facebook of our summer get-togethers, and it made me realize it was "full" of people, fun, and memories.  I LOVE Facebook for sharing pics, and capturing events.   Last evening I spent about 20 minutes on Facebook "IMing" with my sister and we said we wished our brother would embrace technology more and be online with us.  I can tell you: It's not going to happen. I guess we all are the in-between generation,  where some love it, some hate it. But, you know,  I just can't imagine our children and grandchildren saying "oh, I'm not going to use social media because I don't believe in it."  What do you think?