Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The last/first Hodgepodge of the year (depending when you read this.)

It's New Year's Eve Day as I read Joyce's questions, and answer them here.   HAPPY NEW YEAR to all my friends who take a few minutes to read this blog. I wish you all a safe start to 2014, and a wonderful year ahead.  I hope life is good to you in the coming year, and that even when you hit the bumps in the road, you can bounce on through...

1. Times Square is the setting for the infamous ball drop signaling a brand new year...when did you last 'drop the ball' on something? 

Thankfully I can't think of anything major that I dropped the ball on this past year.  I have forgotten things every once in a while and I have gotten upset with myself mostly for my "senior moments". I  hope my brain won't get worse.  it scares me sometimes.  

2.  What is one thing you resolved to do in 2013 that you actually did? 

I had to go back to my blog posts from a year ago to see if I actually made any resolutions.  I guess that tells you right there that I didn't follow through... ha!  But, I re- read my posts and saw that I hoped to work on physical fitness - and I didn't stick with it very well.  So, here's a surprise - not.  It's one of my resolutions for this year!

I am blessed to have good genetics and metabolism.  I don't let myself gain weight.  BUT, BUT, BUT as I age I know how important the need to be active and to be aerobic is for my heart and for my bones.  I have been on Boniva now for over a year and I recently had a new dexi-scan which shows bone strength.  The med is helping me and I am no longer categorized as having oesteoporsis.  I don't want to add more prescriptions to my life if I can help it.  So, I need to take care of myself on an on-going basis...and that means exercise!   So, yes, it's one of my 2014 resolutions.  (See my last post.)

3.  Jack London is quoted as saying "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."  Agree or disagree?  Why? 

I disagree with Mr. London on this.  I have sat in front of a blank canvas too many times, waiting and hoping for inspiration.  It didn't happen for me.  I prefer to think a person needs to be "open" for inspiration - to walk through life with eyes wide open, looking for good things and looking for new options. And, I got to tell you, I'm a self-proclaimed pacifist and don't like violence in any form so his quote rubs me the wrong way!  No clubbing please!! ha

4. What was the best thing you ate in 2013? 

Seriously??  Only one thing??  That's impossible to answer!  Just last night I had a great steak. We celebrated the new year early!  I love loaded nachos (no jalapenos), and I will never pass up a bite of warm, chocolate of any kind.  Summer tomatoes are awesome - with fresh corn on the cob.  We had ham smothered in brown sugar and pineapple for Christmas - and homemade mac and cheese.   Delicious!   Sorry, but I can't answer with one "best thing".

5.  Share an anti-resolution...that is, something you plan to keep on doing in the new year. 

I wrote about this very thing in my last blog post.  I am fortunate to be doing many things I enjoy and plan to keep doing them in 2014.  I love playing music, and I love putting together the baby layette baskets for the local hospital.  I enjoy my Book Club and plan to attend more of the book discussions.

6.  The Pantone color of the year for 2014 is radiant orchid.   Like or no like?  would I find this color anywhere in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in this shade to either? 

Last year's color was a shade of green.  I think that was more acceptable for most.  Including me.  Although people tell me I look good in a light purple color, I don't prefer it.  Now, my sister will be right on for this year's color!  She's a "purple person" and wears it often (and she wears it well I must add!  (:  )    

I will not be running out to the store to buy radiant orchid for my home or for my wardrobe.  I have a couple of lilac (soft purple) tops hanging in my closet.  I think that's enough.

7.  In three words or less sum up your 2013. 

Blessed  -  Happy  - Content.

8.   My random thought. 

Wow.  After just writing my 3 words for 2013, all I can say is I hope at the end of 2014 I can write the same ones!  If I was allowed a few more words I would have added "love" and "family".   Actually, I wish the same for everyone...   and I wish good health and peace in this world.

Goodbye 2013 - you've been great.  Hello 2014!!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Do you resolve to change something?

Resolutions.   Everyone thinks about making a few resolutions when a new year hits.  It's that time of year nowto turn the page, to start a new calendar, and to think about resolving things that you are not satisfied with in your life.  Perhaps they are things that have been getting in the way of bringing greater happiness, or perhaps you want to improve yourself - physically, emotionally, spiritually.

Have you thought about it? Do you make resolutions?

To be honest, I don't always.  But, it's 2 days until a new year and I can't seem to sleep right now.  So, it seems like a good time to write down a few ideas for things I'd like to resolve:

1.  I want to work on how I react to things I don't agree with at times.  I want to be "cooler" about it.  Less abrasive.  I want to stop thinking that I know best. I've been known to give a look, and I often jump in and say something quickly without thinking it through.  I hope to do better. I want to think more, respect other opinions, and stay calm.

Let me be clear that that doesn't mean I will be wishy-washy, or not care about subjects or people... hopefully that will NOT change.  I just hope to handle situations better.

2.  It's what everyone says, but yes, I need to get more aerobic for my health.  Move, move move!  I'm getting to an age (well, actually I'm not "getting" there - I'm there) and I need to be more active to help with keeping muscles toned, to help with weight control, and with bringing on the happy endorphines naturally.

3.  I want to work harder on my music.  I get spurts of energy at times that last a day or a week, and I practice and focus on it, but I'm not consistent and I know to really improve and to be more assured in my ability, I need to make it a priority.

4.  I find myself at a time and place where I don't really have to do much that I don't want to do, or that I don't like to do.  Wow!  How wonderful!   It's been a lifetime of getting here...but I have learned to say "no" gracefully and I have reached a time when all of my day-to-day activities are fun for me.  I want to continue doing them in 2014.

I think that's enough.  Too many resolutions and I'm not sure I could work at them all and be successful.  The point is NOT to fail, right?

I hope I can keep mindful of these resolutions as the months of 2014 pass...

No promises.    I resolve to TRY my best to start off working on them.

Ask me how it's going in a few months!  I might need a reminder! ha

Have a happy new year!!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

December 25th has come and gone.

The dread I felt at Thanksgiving is over.   The fear of doing everything that needed to be done is past.  Christmas Day 2013 has come and gone.  Along with it, the parties and the events are done.   There's nothing more on the calendar for December and I'm ready to start a new year.

There were certainly some wonderful moments this month.  As I have already said, the music is a highlight for me.  The candlelight church service too. The family getting together is great!  I enjoy seeing the Christmas lights and enjoy the good food.  Too much though! I still have leftovers in the fridge and my conservative ways won't let me just throw them out.   A funny side story:  my sis-in-law & her hubby ordered us 2 boxes of Shari's Berries and due to the problems with FedEx and the weather, we didn't get them until after Christmas.  Then the next day TWO MORE boxes arrived!!!  Anyone want a chocolate covered strawberry or two?? We have plenty!   Come on over!!

It's funny how the days after Christmas are SO quiet.  I mean...what to do?   It's not time to put away the decorations yet. I like to leave them up until New Year's Day.   It's a reminder for me  that there are actually 12 days in the Christmas season.  You know, like the song...  and although retail marketers try to fool you that it starts before Christmas Day, it doesn't.

So - I go from running around, going to extra events (I missed my Book Club Christmas luncheon in all the hustle and bustle and I'm still upset with myself over it), to making errand lists, and buying extra food for the fridge....to - doing nothing.  Quiet.

I am looking forward to New Year's Day when the SC Gamecocks take on the Wisconsin Badgers.  The bowl game starts at 1pm.  In fact I enjoy the whole couple of days of football at the first of the year - it's the last hurrah of college games.  

After that...  the chore of putting away the decorations. Time to get back to serious reading that I didn't have time for in December - and time to wait for spring.  For warmth.

I am finally exhaling now.  I am happy the craziness of the holiday is over.  I think back on the fun parts for sure!  I loved having my daughters home...  it's a comfort feeling like the "ole days" when they were younger.

So,,,phew.  And....yeah!   And, bring on 2014!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Dynasty is flawed. Will it survive?

I feel compelled to write this morning after hearing that Phil Robertson of "Duck Dynasty" fame gave a magazine interview where he said that being gay is wrong, and against God's teaching.  He said other things too - not politically correct and rather hurtful to the show.  In fact, I don't know if the producers will be able to "save" the TV show now.  It's very sad that a person's personal belief can do such damage.  But, it sure can.  

I admit that it has changed my view of Phil and the Robertsons.  I know the family is sticking together through this, and supporting Phil.  He has been let go from the show...and I'm not really sure how it can continue on unless they totally write out Miss Kay too.  The producers may just focus on the 4 boys and their families....and Uncle Si! He's a BIG part of the dynasty!! You got to know the producers are having major stress over it right now!!

Here's why I am writing this blog:   I am a Christian and I feel that once again the differences in interpretations of the Word of the Bible has done damage - damage to all Christians.  It happens.  People stereotype groups.  So, Phil's comments have been distressing to other believers in God and in Jesus's message of love and peace.  It has given non-believers ammunition against God and his teachings.   Unfortunately it's a "all in" or "all out" mentality.  "Are you one of them? "

Am I wrong?   I question why Phil spoke up.  But then I think in his mind he was speaking his truth - and the one thing about the Robertsons: they say what they feel!  It's usually very funny.  Or endearing.  This time it wasn't.

Perhaps the Robertsons will overcome it.  Perhaps this is a way for them to step back from all the madness that "Duck Dynasty" has become.   Maybe they need to lay low for awhile.

Freedom of speech is a foundation in our great country.  But, that doesn't mean that speaking won't get you in trouble!  

I fundamentally disagree with Phil Robertson's remarks.  I believe God loves everyone - regardless of their sexuality, or race, or IQ, or status, or anything else.  Viva la difference!  God wants us all to love each other and to live together, honestly caring about each other.  Every single one of us.

I am sad about what has happened.  I enjoyed "Duck Dynasty".  (I didn't like the hunting but over-looked it knowing it was their culture.)   I am also sad that this came out just days before Christmas.  Or, maybe it's a good thing...  because hopefully we all stop and think a bit more about what the baby Jesus brought to the world.  Love, peace, forgiveness, salvation.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tis the Season!

It's the last Hodgepodge before Christmas.  Our "question lady" Joyce is taking next week off to spend time with her family and to take in all things Christmas!  So, before I start in on this week's Hodgepodge I'd like to say MERRY CHRISTMAS to Joyce and to my fellow bloggers!  Have a wonderful celebration!

1.  Do you believes in miracles?

Absolutely!  It's not all "coincidence"... and I have certainly felt "God moments" in my life..... and I have faith.  So, yes, absolutely!

2. What's a recent fad you admit to trying? 

I think I have written about this recently, but I got my hair colored in a "hombre" (I think that's the term).  Light on top, dark on the bottom - and underneath.  I like it a lot!  but, I must admit (and Joanne my hair stylist may read this here) that the last time I got it done I came right home and cut some of it off the bottom.  It was a bit "too extreme" for me.  But, I asked for it that way so I am not complaining.   In general I really like the look!

3.  Peppermint - are you a fan?  if so, what's your favorite food or beverage containing peppermint? 

I only like peppermint as a breath mint!  I am not a fan of it as a dessert or in a beverage.

4.  Break the ice, on thin ice, as cold as ice (emotionally, not literally)...  which phrase have you run into most recently?  Explain.  

I really can't think of an incident recently that would fall into any of the categories listed.  When it comes to cold and ice lets just say I avoid it!  ha!!  I know it's not really what Joyce is asking, but I am a person who prefers warmth in every way!

5.  Have you ever broken or spilled something in someone else's house?  Still friends? 

When I first read this question my mind went all the way back to my childhood and I was at my grandparents home visiting.  My grandmother had a tall, decorative vase that stood on the floor in a walk-through area between the kitchen and living room.   I was with some cousins and somehow it fell over and broke.  I might have been the one to bump it.  I really don't remember if I was...but I definitely remember feeling guilty. I remember my grandfather sternly looking at me and talking to me about it.  I was not a kid that got into trouble much so it's an incident that still remains with me to this day.

I can't think of a time as an adult when I have specifically broken something or spilled a beverage.  But, I'm sure it has happened.  Thankfully, it must not have been a "big deal" and the host overlooked it.  Whew.

6.  Tis the week before Christmas...  are you feeling more like Buddy the Elf or the Grinch before his heart grew? 

I am feeling somewhere in the middle.  I'm not super giddy like Buddy (and I am sure people around me are happy about that), but I am also no longer feeling like the grinch. That's a good thing because around Thanksgiving I admit I was a bit grinch-like.  I was experiencing a bit of dread, thinking of ALL that had to get done in the coming weeks.  I was also feeling sad over the commercialization of Christmas, and the fact that so many celebrate the season without making the birth of Jesus as the center point.

With one week of Advent to go, and most of the pre-Christmas work done I am feeling much  better.  No doubt about it!  The gifts have been bought and most are wrapped.  The house is decorated.  Some social commitments have happened and they have been wonderful.  This week I have something every evening... but I can handle it!  With a real smile on my face!!  ( :

7. Share a favorite quote relating to Christmas. 

I have to say my favorite quote is when Linus tells the Charlie Brown kids the Christmas story (from Luke) in the "Merry Christmas Charlie Brown" TV special.

 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah,the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

8. My random thought.  

Merry Christmas everyone! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Ups and Downs of Preparing.

Happy Hodgepodging everybody! It's Tuesday and I have a busy day, but I still am making time for the weekly questions and answers.  Why?  It's become a weekly routine and I enjoy reading the other bloggers' answers.   I hope you are making time for things you enjoy as we get closer to Christmas...which leads to the first question:

1.  Are you doing something special to mark this season of Advent?  If so please share. 

Yes, I am. I am going to our church on Wednesdays at 7:00pm for the Holden Evening Service, which is a beautiful musical vespers service.  I am also passing along to my Facebook friends a daily Advent Calendar quote/reminder that I receive each day from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America website.

2.  Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixon, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen... and of course as you recall, the most famous reindeer of all... Rudolph.  So, which reindeer name best describes you this week? 

Vixon! Yep that's me!   Ha!!!        No, really, I think I have to go with Dasher because I'm dashing here and there. (Thankfully not "through the snow!") I'm running lots of errands and getting ready for a small gathering here on Friday evening, and then the arrival of my daughter the next day, and trying to finish up Christmas shopping, etc.    It's the preparing time before the celebration.  But, hey, isn't that what Advent is all about?

3.  What's worse - too quiet or too loud?  Which have you had more of lately? 

I never mind "too quiet"... and at times I down right enjoy everything being very still and quiet.  So, my answer is that I feel worse when things are too loud, for too long! I get a headache from "over-load".  It's just how I'm wired. I know that some people enjoy the "hustle and bustle of the season" but not this girl.   During this time of year I make a point to make time for quiet...or I'll go a bit crazy!

 4.  When you are administratively gifted, how often do you find yourself not trusting less- gifted people to do what they've committed to do?   If you are not so gifted that way, but are reliable, how do you feel when the stronger person goes ahead and covers it before giving you a chance to come through? 

This question came from one of our regular bloggers and I'm guessing she is dealing with a particular situation right now. I'm not sure if she is the administrative person or not, but I know that it's sometimes a problem in committees, because often one person "takes over" to get it done THEIR way.   I have certainly been in groups that have had those dynamics.   I consider myself someone able to do a job thoroughly and efficiently, and  I can think back on times when someone has been "pushy."  It can be one ego against another.  Thankfully, over the years I have learned to let the other person go - and do - and be happy.  It all works out in the end.  It's not worth making a big issue over.

5.  What is your most dreaded task relating to the holidays?  Your task most looked forward to at this time? 

I do not like grocery shopping on a regular day, so shopping pre-Christmas and planning out the meals and providing food is definitely not my thing at this time of year.   I do a bit of baking in December just to have cookies around, etc. Plus, I have more people in the house (that part is GOOD!) and so I have to shop more, buy more, hope to have the "right" items on hand and prepare more.

My favorite task?  I suppose wrapping gifts.  I would say decorating the house, but as I do it I think how I have to "un-decorate" a few weeks later and I do NOT like that part.  Although once everything is put away again I like the "emptiness" and cleanliness of the house.   Can you tell this time of year can be a real tug of war within me??

6.  Facebook has released its list of the "most talked about topics of 2013." Pope Francis took the number one spot. Does that surprise you?  He was followed by election, royal baby, typhoon, and Harlem Shake. Your thoughts?  What was your most talked about topic in 2013  (Facebook, around the kitchen table, or where-ever it is you talk) ?

Yes, I am surprised that Pope Francis came in on top of the list, but I am pleasantly surprised.  I have never been a big fan of popes in general (I'm not Roman Catholic) but I like this one so far.  I like that he is humble, and reaching out, and going out to the poor, and more accepting of people in general.  He is not as rigid with his doctrine as other popes have been.  It's about time!

I can certainly see election, royal baby, and typhoon showing up on the list.  Harlem shake?  Ok.  But, what happened to "twerking"?   I wish gun control would be on the list.  I also am surprised Obamacare was not in the top 5.  Go figure.

7.  What's something you consider a necessity that others might view as a luxury? 

Oh, what a loaded question.  I mean, really, beyond a dry & warm home, enough food to eat, and love in your life...isn't everything else a luxury?   I thank God every day for my blessings and feel the need to give back, and to help those who need it. But, if this question is asked more "friviously" then I'd say my Cafe Francais coffee. I start every morning with it.

8.  My random thought. 

I can't believe college football is over but the bowls!  I'm a bit sad about it.   My Gamecocks will be playing the Wisconsin Badgers on New Year's Day.  I will watch most of the bowls... and then it's a quiet sports time for me. I'm not a big basketball viewer.  I know the Olympics are coming in February. That's something to look forward to watching.  In fact, Joyce, that might make a good future Hodgepodge question or two...will you be watching?  What's your favorite event to watch?  Have you been to Russia?   etc. etc.    Just a thought.

Have a good Advent week!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

How do you celebrate?

One of the reasons I find this time of year "challenging" is because I struggle inside myself with what I call the "false Christmas hoopla."  And, guess what?  Sometimes I think the false Christmas is winning out and I feel pretty frustrated about it.

When I was growing up in a religious family we celebrated Christmas solely as the time to remember the birth of Jesus Christ.  Now, granted, I grew up as a daughter of a pastor, so I know I was not in an ordinary home -  my Dad had "extra work" during Advent and Christmas.  There were more services, the children's program, etc.   Oh - and the beautiful music!  Hymns like "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and "Silent Night".  One of my favorites has always been "Lo, How a Rose Ere Blooming."   The church was decorated and then lit by beautiful candlelight!

My parents never brought Santa Claus into our house.  I never heard of Jolly Ole St. Nick coming down a chimney. (Don't feel sorry for me.)  Token gifts were given to each other as expressions of love, and remembering that the wise men brought gifts to honor the baby king.

Christmas Eve was about going to church.  As a kid I know I did it because it was what my family did...I learned from them... it was tradition.  My grandparents celebrated Jesus's birth and their parents before them,  and my parents...and so I learned what the real reason for Christmas was. I heard the true story read from Luke in the Bible every year.

What  has happened over the years?  Today the secular Christmas is everywhere! It's taken over.  Santa seems to be front and center.  Buying gifts has become unbelievably big business.  I just saw a TV commercial for a new reality show about people "fighting" to have the best holiday lights!  People get edgy this time of year (me included), wondering what to buy and what to bake, and who to invite, and how much to give.   Expectations are SO high! Travel is difficult.  Calendars get full.

Is it me?  Or, is there a collective sigh on December 26th?  Phew. We made it through another year.  Maybe I feel this way because I'm an aging adult and I have watched so many Christmas celebrations come and go.

Each November I truly think to myself...THIS YEAR I'm not going to do anything but prepare to worship the Lord.  I'm not going to do any of the "false Christmas" stuff.   But, I don't stick to it.  How can I?  People would think I'm a stick in the mud, that I don't like to have fun... that I am a scrooge.  Bah Humbug.  

So, here it is.  December 5th.   20 days to go.   We are in Advent, preparing for Christmas.  I'm working on being patient...being focused...finding the joyful parts.  Trying my best to celebrate the Christ child.

So far, "Christ" is still in the holiday name.  Will that change one day?  Will it be declared politically incorrect, and offensive to others?  Possibly.   How many people now say "Merry Christmas" and don't even think about the origin...the Christ?  

Oh yes, I'm frustrated.  I'm stressed.  I worry about expectations.  BUT....BUT...BUT I also still have faith, and I still go on...and I celebrate. I want to be an example.  I love the family time. I love the music. I love the tingles I get on Christmas Eve at church.   I keep on keeping on...and I repeat over and over "It's all about the baby Jesus."  

How do you celebrate?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sights and sounds

Welcome to this week's edition of the Hodgepodge.  It's a busy time for me and everyone, but I enjoy this question-answer session, so I continue to make time for it.  What do you make time for during the holiday season?

Thank you Joyce for the the questions - without further ado, my answers!

1. According to Oxford Dictionaries, the 2013 word of the year is 'selfie.' Your thoughts? When did you last take a selfie?  Do you post them online somewhere?  Do you prefer to be in front of the camera or behind the lens? 

I think 'selfie' is a good choice for the word of the year.   It certainly has become widely known, and it is another example of how technology is changing everything in our world, including our language.   The last selfie I took was about a month ago, on the day I got my hair colored - and wanted to show my daughters and my sister.  I attached the pic to a text to the three of them.  I have NOT posted any selfie pics on Facebook though.

As for my choice of being in front of the camera or behind it, I enjoy both!  I LOVE to take pictures and now with digital photography, I love being able to take many shots and delete those I don't like.  I can be a bit over the top with the number of pictures I post on Facebook - of my family, my dogs, and the beautiful area where I live!  I know. And yes,  I also like being in pictures IF (it's a big IF) I like the way I look in the shot!!  Again, thank goodness there is a delete button!

2.  Will you send out Christmas cards this year?  If so, are they ready to go?  If not, are you glad or sad about leaving the tradition behind?

I am not ready to give up on this tradition!  In fact, in November I ordered cards and they are sitting here on my kitchen table, waiting for me to get going on them.  My card list is smaller than in the past.  I don't send cards out to people I see all the time. But, I still enjoy hearing once a year from some "old" friends in far away places, so I know I need to send cards to hopefully receive some.  I love receiving the cards with pictures and/or letters about the past year.

Oh! I really need to get working on mine!  ( :

3.  Do you trust easily? 

Yes!  Perhaps too easily. But that's me!   I believe in taking people at their word, and honoring the word.  I don't want to be cynical and think someone is purposely lying to me.  That's a sad way to be.

4.  Pine - cinnamon - peppermint - vanilla (sugar cookie)...  of those listed, which one is your favorite December scent? 

Cinnamon is my favorite!  I like pine aromas, but in small doses.   And to tell you the truth, peppermint and vanilla (sugar cookie) can be too sweet smelling and make me a little sick.

5.  Did you do more talking or more listening yesterday. Was that by choice or necessity?

I've got to say it was about 50/50 yesterday.  I had some nice interactions in the afternoon when I was at my church's quilting get-together.  We meet once a month and I help lay the squares out and pin them.  Others then stitch, tie, etc.  I worked yesterday with a church friend, Mary, and we spent the time catching up on our families, etc.  She and her hubby just got back from a cruise for Cincinnati Reds fans which I found very interesting!  There was one current player but also some retired Reds players on it with them.  I have thought about going on a country music cruise.  (Bet you are not surprised!)

I also spent a little time talking with my next door neighbor in the evening - while we walked our dogs on the street together.

6.  What's the last song that got stuck in your head?  (Sorry if it's back there now! ( :   ) 

I have a strange brain because I find that I am often humming - while I'm working on a project, or cleaning, or whatever - and it's not really one particular song.  I kind of make up songs as I hum!  I do it often!  I know...weird.   But, to answer the question, I suppose the last song that got stuck in my head was "The Highway Don't Care" (Yes, April - it's A Tim McGraw song!!).  I love it - and "pretend" I'm singing the Taylor Swift part. Hey - don't judge me!?!

7.  Which world explorer would you most like to have traveled with, and why?

First I have to say, I am not adventurous enough to go "where no man has gone before" and I'm guessing there were no Hyatt Hotels there! But, to answer the question, I suppose Ponce de Leon was my kind of guy, looking for the Fountain of Youth! ha!

8.  My random thought. 

I wrote a blog a couple of weeks on this, but it bears repeating!  As I go through this busy time I am doing my best to remember that Christmas is about the birth of the baby Jesus.  That's what I celebrate!! I love family time together too of course. But, all that other stuff, is just the  "extras"...and I need to keep focused on "the main event!!"