Tuesday, July 29, 2014

To memories - and making them each day. It's Hodgepodge time.

It's hodgepodge time again. I had planned to write a blog post this week because several things have been on my mind, but I will wait now and have fun with these questions first.   So, for your blogging pleasure….  ta-da!  The weekly Hodgepodge!

1.  "Summer is like childhood.  It's full of warm memories and gone too soon." - Kellie Elmore.  Agree or disagree?  Share something you love about the summers of your childhood. 

I agree with Ms. Elmore.  I have good memories of childhood summers so I'm lucky.  And, yes, every year I feel summertime goes by very quickly.  I'm never ready for cooler weather.  But, thankfully, football in the fall is something I DO look forward to so it helps me say goodbye to summertime a bit easier.  (I do intend to write a separate blog about football - coming soon.)

A favorite childhood memory of summertime?  Back then we kids weren't put into lots of camps to fill the time as the kids of today have, but we did attend vacation Bible school each summer.  When I got a bit older (11, 12, 13, years old) I was a "helper" during VBS and I remember helping in the "babysitting room" for mothers who were teaching.   It was "play time" for toddlers - and I enjoyed playing right along with them.

2.  Are you a fan of auto racing - NASCAR, Indy, stock, Grand Prix, etc. ?  Ever been to a race in person? Any desire to do this?  Do you know a lot about cars?  Do you notice particular makes and models when you're out and about? 

Am I a fan?   No.   Have I been to a race?  Yes - twice.  I went to the Indy 500 when I was a member of our high school marching band and we got the opportunity to march in the parade through town, then ending at the track.  We marched once around the track (it's really big and quite slanted around the curves!)  We watched a few minutes of the race but that year there was an early crash and we could not stay through all the delays.  We had to board the buses and head on back to our small town in Ohio.

The second car race I went to was the Coca-Cola 500 in Concord, North Carolina.  My husband was working for Coca-cola at the time so we got complimentary tickets, and even got to view the festivities and the race from a loge up high above the grandstands.  I was offered the opportunity to go down into Jeff Gordon's pit area, but I declined.  If you have not been to a NASCAR race, you have no idea how HUGE the place is (football stadiums dwarf compare to the size of a race track, the grandstands, the fields, etc.) and the noise!!  It was crazy loud!   So, I preferred staying in the loge - enjoying refreshments and AC.   Once was enough for me.

I know very little about cars, although I have a brother who is fanatical about cars. He knows most everything about them inside and out.  The guy reads car magazines all the time.  He has a huge garage "complex" at his home and collects cars, works on them, sells them, etc.  My hubby is a car lover too.  So, I'm around it.  But I'm not interested.   Do I recognize makes and models?  Oh - sometimes.  But really, it's not something I try to learn.  And, when I look for a vehicle for me to own it's all about comfort, gas efficiency, and storage.  I don't care about how fast I can get to 60 lies per hour when I step on the gas.  I don't car about the rumble of the engine.

3.  What is something you think is too serious to be joked about?  Or do you think anything and everything is fair game? 

War.  Mis-use of guns.   Poverty.   Disabilities.      Not funny.

4.  April 29th is National Lasagna Day.  Are you a fan?  Do you have a great recipe, and if so where did it come from?  If given the choice would you choose a plate of lasagna or a plate of spaghetti? 

I like lasagna, but I think I have only made it 2 or 3 times.  Guess it's because it takes steps… first boiling the noodles, making sauce, layering, then baking. (I know - I'm lazy in the kitchen)  I heard recently there are noodles you can buy now that you do not have to boil first.   I don't have a special recipe.   And if given a choice between lasagna or spaghetti I probably would take the lasagna.  I do love the taste…just not the work.  I'm not a big pasta eater in general.  Lots of carbs and calories, little value.

5.  What's a simple pleasure you'd miss if it were not a regular part of your life? 

I can't answer with just one.   Coffee…     doing crosswords…     working & weeding in my garden…  reading…     listening to music…       my pets….      this computer.

6.   If you could be the CEO of any company, which one would you choose? 

First off, being a CEO isn't all it's cracked up to be.  (Hubby was one and had tons of stress trying to keep the board happy.)     But, if you are asking what company could I run and why…  I would pick a company that offered services to those in need.  I think I would get satisfaction knowing I was making a difference to those who need a helping hand.   Habitat for Humanity perhaps.  Any charitable organization.

7.  August is just around the bend…  bid farewell to July in exactly seven words. 

Thanks for the beautiful days and evenings.

8.  My random thought. 

I have several thoughts running around in my brain right now, and I hope to take time to write about them later in separate posts.  My daughter's wedding plans continue and everything is going well.  My dad just had to put his rescue dog down and I worry about his loneliness.

 On a larger scale,  I struggle with  Americans' willingness to jump into war and other countries' civil struggles. (Sending humanity care - yes.  But military? )  I love football but wonder how much I can support the players and team leadership when time after time horrible things happen (but doesn't it in every sport - and every way of life?)

I worry about dementia and alzheimers as I get older and more "forgetful".  Am I normal?

What is normal?  HA!!!!  

Oh - my. I better stop thinking.    My mind CAN really go to random places sometimes!
For now, have a great day and week fellow bloggers - and to everyone who read through to this point.
As Si Robertson says…"happy! happy!"    Have a happy day!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Vacation over. Back to the Hodgepodge routine...

Hello everyone!   I was away on vacation last week so I missed the weekly Hodgepodge questions.  I had a lovely time visiting family in northern Ohio and the weather was about as perfect as it could have been.  No rain.  Temps in the low 80's with low humidity.   Now, I'm back in the humid lowcountry and I'm still catching up on laundry, cleaning, errands, etc.  Question: how can only one week away get me so behind on everything?    

Here are the Hodgepodge questions and my answers.  Play along!

1.   When I look at the sky I feel ________________.  

Here in my part of the world we have beautiful blue skies, called Carolina Blue, and they are gorgeous in color - and expansive.  Sometimes there is not a cloud in the sky.  When I see this kind of sky I think it's absolutely amazing!  I think I'm lucky to live in an area free from smog and pollution.

I thank God for such a beautiful sky.

2.  If you had to run for political office, which would you run for?  Do you have any real desire to actually do this? 

Wait.  I have to stop laughing.     Run for political office??   Not a chance.     But, if I HAD to choose an office, I would have to pick something on a local level.  A city council member or mayor might be a position to consider in hopes of actually making a difference for the better.   State and national political offices are so tainted with special interests, and with nonpartisan stand-offs, that I think I would be frustrated beyond belief - and totally lose faith in my fellowman.  

3.   What scent makes you think of home? 

I have mentioned this before, but I love the smell of my linen closet.   Crisp, clean sheets nicely stacked in the closet… have a fresh smell. I love it!

 I also love the smell of my coffee in the morning as I sit at the kitchen table in front of my computer.   It's a good way to start the day.

4.  How often do you take a step back to think about where you're headed in life?  Do you need more or less reflection? 

Because I enjoy quiet time, and being alone, I feel I reflect everyday.  Sometimes it's in prayer, sometimes it's with a glass of wine on my porch.  Sometimes I reflect in the shower - I do some of my best thinking there!    So, I reflect often.  But, specifically about where I am headed in life?   Not  really.  I'm at an age that I know my life path.  I am content with it.  I am happy to let the days play out…

5.   July is National Ice Cream Month…   besides a cone, what's your favorite food ten to top with ice-cream? 

I don't do it very often, but I have to answer that a piece of warm pie is awesome with a scoop of ice cream on top.  Any warm pie will do.  Apple, cherry, pecan…   with vanilla ice cream on top!

6.  What might your autobiography be called? 

Seriously?  I don't know if it would be interesting to read - and it certainly would not be a best seller!
ha!!    How about "Making a Difference with Love and Kindness"….??   That's what I want to do.    Or,  "Marla Fabian, a life lived to serve.  A life filled with joy."   Sounds like a pretty good title!

7.  Your least favorite mode of transportation?  Why? 

I normally love car travel.  I like going on trips in my own vehicle so I can throw in whatever I want to take.  I can leave when I want…and take roads I prefer (or my GPS suggests!)  BUT, I just returned on Saturday from my vacation in Ohio and I had to travel down Interstate 77 South - through Ohio, West VA, Virginia, into North Carolina.  77 is a road that goes through a few cities but is mostly "in the middle of nowhere."

One would think it would be an easy drive….but NO!  Actually, Ohio wasn't bad this past Saturday.  But once in West Virginia the traffic got heavier (lots of vacationers on the road with me.)  West Virginia turns 77 into it's turnpike so it has three toll booth areas.  It accepts "Easy Pass" but does NOT have a designated booth for it.  This makes no sense to me.  So, I had to wait in backed up lines with people paying with cash. Ugh. The road is windy through there.  And, I can get claustrophobic with high mountains on both sides of me.  Oh, and did I mention it was raining?

There is always an area in Virginia where traffic backs up - even on a good day.  It's near Wytheville - and where 77 and 81 intersect.   Due to all the summer vacation traffic it was a nightmare this past weekend.  We were at a standstill a few times…and when not, we inched along.  It was so bad that workmen were spacing out vehicles going through the tunnels because they didn't want breakdowns in them…or people running out of gas inside, etc.   These were standstill areas.

We finally got to North Carolina and I dropped my daughter off at her home in Raleigh.   Only after that did traffic lighten enough to use the cruise control on my car.   We left northern Ohio at 6:00am and I got home in South Carolina close to 11:00pm.

So….   my view of car travel is not a good one right now.  But, I'm not a big fan of flying either.  When  it goes without a hitch it can be great…but it seems rare anymore.  Weather delays, maintenance issues, too few gates, etc.  All can throw a wrench into a trip by plane.

I haven't traveled by train in years. I took Amtrak once from Baltimore to Miami.  It was an adventure. Yes.  And it was a very long trip!  The train made many, many stops along the way.

So least favorite?     I have a few!!! ha

8.  My random thought. 

My summer has been rather busy so far. It's all been good, but I'm looking forward to a few weeks now with a bit more free time…to golf, read, go to the pool, walk the beach, garden, etc.   These are all  summer activities I enjoy.  So…summer, please slow down.  I want to enjoy you!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Where are the "lazy days of summer?"

Welcome to this week's edition of the Hodgepodge.  It's hard to believe it's Tuesday again.  Do others feel like I do that the summer days seem to fly by too quickly?   Which leads me to wonder about the first question on today's list.  How can anyone get bored in summertime?

1.  July is National Anti-Boredom Month.  When was the last time you were bored?  What's your go-to cure for boredom? 

Who thought July should be anti-boredom month?  It must have been a parent trying to keep their kid busy without school activities.   For me, I rarely get bored.  I have learned to always have a book handy for quiet moments.  I have also gotten too connected to my iPhone and it's games (especially Words with Friends) and message updates.

So, I can not remember a time when I was bored - or having nothing to do.  Know the line "lazy days of summer"?   Not for me!  I have plenty to do!

2.  What's the last thing you made a reservation for? 

Easy answer!  I just made a reservation at the plantation where we will be holding my daughter's wedding and reception in April.  We had to book it early… wedding venues get filled so quickly!  We are really happy with the site and are now starting to prepare all the other million and one things that go along with having a wedding!

3.  What's one thing on your summer 'bucket list'?  Any plans to make it happen? 

Hubby and I want to take our boat out to some of the barrier islands, out from McClellenville, to pick up some great shells.  We went once last summer and found beautiful conch shells everywhere!   It's about an hour and a half boat ride each way, so we need the time and need to make sure the weather is good.

We don't have a time set yet but I hope we can plan it after our trip up to Ohio to see my family next week.   Our summer has been so busy up to this point (bored?  never!).

4.  What's your favorite summertime sip? 

Well, my year round sip is chardonnay.  But, if I ordered something different... perhaps something fruity and refreshing for summertime, I would order a strawberry daiquiri.     Non-alcohol sip is water! I'm trying to make sure I drink plenty of water on these hot summer days.  Got to keep hydrated!

5.  What do you find is the best way to handle another person's hostility and hopefully ease the tension?

I am not a person who can be around hostility at all.  I get nervous.  I do not like raised voices, or people spewing mean words.    So, I would most likely walk away.   I think often people who are hostile are looking for a reaction from others.   Walking away is not what they want!  They want to be the center of attention, or want to show off.     No thanks.  I'm out of there.

Now, if it's someone is hostile to another person or to an animal, I will not hesitate to call the police.

6.  Your favorite film set in the summer? 

I can think of a few summer movies… "Jaws" of course.  And, remember "Body Heat?"   I suppose my favorite is "Bull Durham"…I believe it's a summer movie (right?) because it's about a minor league baseball team and they play in summer.  It's warm, and sultry… and I love all the charactesr!  Especially Crash Davis!

7.  What word are you using too much lately? 

I'm at a loss for words for this question. Ha!   One word?    In an annoying way?  I can't think of one and I just asked my hubby and he didn't think I had one.  So, I'll just say I'm an equal opportunity word user.

8. My random thought. 

I'm off to Ohio Saturday for my family's annual get-together in Lakeside.  I always enjoy the time, but rarely enjoy the long drive there and back.   This time though I'm driving up to Raleigh a day early to go wedding dress shopping with my daughter.  I'm looking forward to that!!!  And, it will help break up the drive for me.   I'll miss Hodgepodge next week while I'm away.     So, you all have a wonderful two weeks!

Monday, July 7, 2014

I love summer!

The 4th of July celebration and weekend is over - and yes, I'm a bit tired.  We had 4 action-packed days doing what's best in the summertime…partying, boating, eating, drinking, playing games, and hanging out with friends and family!  

The weekend has re-affirmed all that is good!  I discovered that hanging out with people younger than me is one of my favorite things to do!  I don't mean to discount those older (and often wiser) than me.  You all are good too.   But, I find that when I spend time with the "younger generation" then I feel younger too!  So, thank you for that!!!   You all make me laugh!  You keep me feeling young.

I am at an age where I have re-discovered life…  fortunate enough to have time and resources to "go for it!"  

Yes, summer living is the best!  Summer holiday get-togethers seem less stressful and I like that!  Everything is laid-back, but still fun.  I can think of a bunch of country songs about "chillin"…and "barefoot bluejeaned nights"…and "koozie in my hand"…and "big orange ball sinking in the water…"


What a great time it was!       Let's keep the summer going…

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Living in the USA !

Welcome to the Hodgepodge!  According to our leader Joyce, this is the 180th edition.  I jumped on board awhile ago but I have not been posting the questions and my answers since the beginning of it.   But, I'm glad my friend Diane suggested it to me, and I enjoy it each week.  So, thank you Joyce!  I know it's sometimes work, but it's also a "labor of love."

1.  Since this is the 180th Hodgepodge….    When was the last time you 'did a 180' on something? 

Well, I think it's been a long, long time because I can't remember back when I made a 180 on a decision, figuratively or for real.   I usually stick with plans.  I usually don't change my mind on doing something, or on how I live my life.

I think when I was a young person, in my 20's, I may have made a 180 turn now and again, as I was trying to figure out my life.  But, like I said above, that was a long, long time ago!  

2.  It's Independence week in the US of A!  What's your favorite thing about America right this very minute?  Favorites only!  Let's hear what you love about America. 

Thank you Joyce!  Good question and it certainly is the right time to list what's GOOD about our great country, which we sometimes take for granted.   Yes, we often focus too much on the wrongs, and the differences.  I love that we can take a little time to think about ALL the wonderful freedoms we have here in the US of A!  We have rights and freedoms that so many other countries do not have, and many in other countries have to live in fear in their homelands.

So… my favorite thing about America right this minute?   Freedom of speech! (I am blogging my thoughts this very second without worry of persecution.)

As we celebrate Independence day we need to remember ALL the wonderful freedoms we are given in this country!  We live in a land that respects people, that gives everyone a fair chance, that strives for equality and value.   We don't always get it right, and we have differences on HOW to get there…  but we are blessed to have had forefathers that set up a pretty amazing system for this country!

3.  Stars or stripes?  Red, white, or blue?  Watermelon, homemade ice cream, or blueberry pie? 

I will go with stars…  I love them on a clear, summer night!   And, I'll go with blue - as in a blue sky and blue ocean!   As for the food selections… since I'm married to a man who has worked in the ice cream business a good part of his career, I will say ice cream!!  Okay, not homemade… but, store bought…   especially Baskin-Robbins in the grocery store!  Yes, it's there now - in many supermarket chains.   Pick it up - for the 4th of July picnic!   ( :

4.  When did you last see stars, figuratively speaking? 

Well, years ago, when my daughters were in middle school and went to birthday parties at the roller rink, I wiped out and hit my head hard - and saw stars!  (Actually I didn't see stars, because my vision got effected for awhile - and it was scary.)  I had ice skated as a kid so I thought I was going to be fine at roller skating, but roller skating was more different than I thought it would be!!  My skates went fast - and my feet went out in front of me, so I flipped back and smacked the back of my head on the rink floor.   I made my way off the floor somehow and sat the rest of the time, trying to clear my head, and get my vision back.  I probably had a concussion but never got it checked out.  Duh.

5.  'Clear as a bell,' 'with bells on,' 'lots of bells and whistles,' 'saved by the bell'…  which phrase rings truest for you lately?  Have you seen the Liberty Bell? 

Toughie.  Hmmmm.    I guess 'clear as a bell' is the most accurate phrase for me right now.  I know who I am, and why I am here… and I guess it goes back to question #1 (above) that I am at an age where I have found my path in life, and I love where it continues to lead me.

I have been in Philadelphia a few times.  And I know I have driven by the Liberty Bell - and looked over at it and said "oh, there's the Liberty Bell!!"  But, I don't think I have actually parked, walked over and looked at it up close.  

6.  Are you caught up in World Cup fever?  Have you watched a lot or a little or none at all? 

The only time I really watched part of a game was about 2 weeks ago when I was getting a mani-pedi at the nail salon and the technicians were all glued to the TVs around the salon. They were cheering and rooting on the teams that were playing.  (I can't remember which teams… the techs are mostly Vietnamese so I'm not sure which soccer team they cheered for.)   So, I watched… and I asked a couple of questions about the strategy, etc.  But, I just could NOT get into it.  There seems to be SO much running without much scoring!   I'm a huge fan of "American football" - not world football.  

But, I will say I admire the stamina of the World Cup players!  And, I did watch enough to realize that it can be a dangerous sport!   Yowza!!

7.  Bid farewell to June in 10 words or less. 

Too quickly gone but a wonderful, exciting, summer month!

8.  My random thought. 

I hope everyone has a SAFE and fun 4th of July celebration!

 It looks like my part of the USA may be getting a tropical storm system effecting us for at least part of the weekend.  It depends on whether it stays out in the ocean or not.  We will be watching it's movement for the next couple of days.  (I have been worrying about this year being a worse hurricane season - after the weird winter we had here. And, already we have "action." )   It's also been a different loggerhead turtle season so far.  There have not been the number of nests yet.  For some reason mama turtles are not coming up on the beach at night to lay eggs.   I am a "turtle walker" on Monday mornings as part of a group that looks for tracks, nests, etc.   The nest numbers are really down so far.  It's a strange season.