Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Are you a bird-brain??

It seems that birds of a feather flock together!  So, if you are reading this you are probably a blogging friend of mine.  Or, perhaps you are a Facebook friend popping in to see what this week's Hodgepodge questions are all about.   Read on to see that there is a theme this week.  Joyce, our dedicated blog leader, connected the questions once again!

1.  Joyce's hubby spent last weekend pheasant hunting.  Are there hunters in your family?  If so, what do they hunt?  Which of the following have you tasted - pheasant, rabbit, venison, duck, goose?   Which would you most like to taste, or are most willing to taste? 

Right off the bat, Joyce has a question that strikes a chord in me.  I do not have immediate family members that hunt, but I married into some that do.  And living here in South Carolina, I am surrounded by people who enjoy hunting as a sport, who were raised holding a gun from a very young age.

I did not grow up that way.  So, I have a couple of issues with it.  First, I do not like the fact that SO many people own guns.   I consider them too available, and therefore there is mis-use and accidents and I think it can be "asking for trouble."   Good  and careful hunters lock them up.  I am glad about that.   I also do not understand shooting at a living thing (a creature of God) and killing it.   There was a time in our country's past when our forefathers HAD to hunt to survive, to provide food for them and their families.  But, we do not need to do "survival hunting" anymore.  So, now it's a "sport" and not a necessity.

As for the list of animals above, I do not think I have had any. Maybe duck a long time ago.

2.  What high spot have you visited that gave you a wonderful 'bird's eye view' of something below? 

Immediately I thought about how I had been to the top of one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in NYC, to a bar and restaurant that used to be there.  It was an amazing view of all of Manhattan, and the boroughs - and all the way to parts of New Jersey.    Of course, we all know what happened to that view.

I have been to the top of other tall buildings - and to the top of a couple of lighthouses. The lighthouses give beautiful views of the waters and beaches.

3.  Do you have any birds in your home?  These could be either live pets or decorative, as in bird prints, knickknacks, fabric, or pottery. 

No real birds here inside! Only outdoors and free!    We have a cabin on the Black River about 40 minutes from here.  On the cabin's screened-in porch I have a small pottery bird.  i also have a print hanging above the couch there that has a bird sitting on a branch.

4.  Tell about a time you 'killed two birds with one stone.'

I can't think of a particular incident, but I suppose I try to do that as often as possible.  Isn't it another way of saying 'multi-tasking'??

5.  Your favorite song with a bird in the title?  

"Blackbird" by the Beatles.   And, who doesn't love "Freebird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd??

6.  What most recently gave you goose bumps? 

This past week, my hubby, my brother, and I took our boat down the Intracoastal Waterway from Pawleys Island to Beaufort.  It was a 6 hour boat ride each way…so we spent the night on the boat in Beaufort!  I got goose bumps when it got chilly and I have skinny legs that look like chicken legs when they get goose bumps on them! ha!!   Attractive - not!    But, it was a lovely trip, and a fun adventure.   So, I got goose bumps from the beauty of nature - and real goose bumps from the chill in the night air!

7.  Halloween is this Friday….any plans?  Did you trick or treat as a child?  Carve pumpkins? Share your most memorable costume. 

First, we have no specific plans for Halloween this year.  We do not get trick or treaters at our home so I think we will go out for a Friday dinner at a restaurant.

Yes, I did trick or treat as a kid!   I'm sure I was part of the pumpkin carving process too, but as the youngest of three I think my older siblings did the cutting, and getting the goop and seeds out of it.  I watched.

I used one of my mother's old fancy black formal dresses as the base for a few costumes when I was a kid.  I remember I used it to be a gypsy…adding a red bandana, big earrings, lots of baubles.     When we three kids were really little we did actually go to the store and pick out the plastic mask and costume that came in the box.  Remember those?    Do they even make them anymore?

8. My random thought this week. 

I am making wine cork Christmas trees to sell at a church festival/bazaar right before Thanksgiving.  I put a picture up on Facebook and already have "advanced orders".  They are a hit!   I ran out of corks and put out a plea for some more, and church members and others have come through for me.  So, now I need to get busy and make more.  Below is a picture of the sample one I made.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Turn, turn, turn...

Hello!  This week's Hodgepodge questions fit the season and are about leaves and things that turn.  Read on.

1.  Elizabeth Lawrence is quoted as saying 'Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.'  So, have you done just that?  And what did you leave undone in order to do so? 

I have a few local friends who have taken a couple of days off to drive west to the mountains of South and North Carolina.  The leaves are changing there now, and it is more majestic than the change of seasons here along the shore.   As for me?  I have not specifically planned a trip to a region where the fall leaves are colorful, but I will say that whatever the time of year, I take time to sit - to be still - and to watch nature around me.  It keeps life in perspective.  It also brings me peace.  I do not do well being on the run 24-7, and I learned long ago to "stop and smell the roses"…or to stop and watch the ocean waves, or to see the leaves change color.  

Do I leave anything undone?  Not really.  I plan my day to include time of quiet and reflection.  

2.  Since we are talking turning… what's one thing you feel you're doing 'every time you turn around'?

One thing?   Sorry…   got to make a list!   lol      I do a lot of repetitious things each day, like I walk the dogs, do laundry, make the bed, and go to the grocery store.   Little things?  I close a lot of cabinet doors (someone in my house likes to leave them open), and I pick up glasses, spoons, etc. left around the house.  I replace the toliet paper rolls, and I carry out the trash.

3.  How hard is it for you to turn the other cheek? 

Oh wow.  A question that hits home.  In general, I can say I can turn the other cheek easily…BUT, when it comes to loved ones it is harder.   I struggle to forgive and forget.   It's hard for me to let something said to me just slide off my back and I have been known to let words cut through me.  I may hold it inside quietly, but it hurts and I can't just turn the other cheek.  

But, I will say that I do not lash out - and for that I am thankful.  I know words said in anger are toxic.   I would rather stay quiet, walk away….or 'turn my cheek' vs. yelling or being purposely mean.

4.  When did you last turn a drawer,  your car, a room, or your entire house upside down looking for something?  Did you find it? 

Most recently (and not just once) I have had to search for my eye glasses.  I have several pairs that are prescription.  One pair are sunglasses, one pair for everyday life, and one pair especially made for "music stand distance."    I have had lasik surgery on my eyes twice now and each eye's prescription is different, one eye is for up close/reading & one for distance viewing.  But the surgeries were not completely successful.  Thus, the need for glasses.  But, I don't wear them all the time.   Therefore I'm constantly setting them down…. and looking for them.  

5.  'One good turn deserves another'…. were you most recently on the giving or receiving end of that sentiment? 

I like to think I was on the giving end.   I make a point to give whenever I can.  And, I don't keep score.   But, I am fortunate in my life so I am also on the receiving end many times.   This is maybe not the last good turn, but my hubby came home one evening and surprised me, walking in with my favorite chinese takeout dinner.   I had to run to a rehearsal and had not planned anything to eat so it was a perfect gesture.

6. Red, yellow, and orange are the colors of fall. They are also the colors of fruit.  If you were permitted only one color of fruit in your diet, which would you choose? 

Red - red grapes.  I love grapes and keep them around the house most of the time.

7.  The Hunt for Red October, October Sky, Halloween…   which October film is your favorite? 

Well, I HATE scary movies so Halloween is out.   I can't even think what October Sky  is about or who is in it.  So,  I have to go with The Hunt for Red October because I have seen it, and I liked the drama, and I liked the actors.  

8.  My random thought.

Who's with me and ready for the midterm elections to be over???    I am tired of seeing the political signs on every street corner, and major roadway.   It's basically litter and has no meaning.   The commercials are usually stupid and lies too.  Cynical?  oh yes I am.   Okay…one good thing about pre-election time:  it gives Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert - and their writers - endless amount of material for jokes!  

Have a good week everyone.  We are getting ready to turn the calendar page, and the clock too.   These shorter days are rough.   I already miss summertime….        turn, turn, turn.  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Hodgepodge - Don't cry about it!

It's a rainy Tuesday here as I type at my computer.  I know a major line of storms is coming in a bit later and many across the center of the US have been hit already.  I hope my Hodgepodge friends are all safe!

Here are this week's questions and my answers.  As always, please feel free to play along!

1.  What's your favorite time of day?  Why? 

Right now… early morning time is my favorite time of the day! I love getting up and spending time with my computer and a cup of coffee.  I read updates on FB, and check my emails.  I occasionally post on my blog.    Morning time is my time to plan out my day and make a list of what I want to accomplish.  It's the time I feel my brain is most sharp.  (And, some days I worry that it's not…   lol)

I also read the morning newspaper.  Question:  Do you still get a daily paper delivered?  Or do you get your news off the computer and TV?    I still enjoy reading local news from our newspaper AND I pull the crossword puzzle out each day to help keep the ole brain sharp.

2.  Waffle iron, toaster, coffeemaker, mixer, blender.  Which small appliance would you say most needs replacing in your house? 

Here's the comedy question for the day!  I do not own a waffle iron, a toaster (I have a toaster-oven), or a mixer.  I get a long just fine!  Remember I do not cook much and I do not collect small appliances.   My hubby uses a blender most days for his special vitamin concoction.  And, our Keurig coffeemaker gets used all the time.   Both are rather new.

3.  It's National Grouch Day on October 15th…   What's something that makes you feel grouchy? 

Well I try not to concentrate on things that make me feel grouchy.   Life's too short.  To tell you the truth, back ten years ago or so I was a more grouchy person due to hormonal ups and downs, and anxiety/depression issues.   Now I take my "happy pill" each morning and life is a lot more rosy!   Thank God for modern medicine.

But, what makes me grouchy?   Lack of sleep.    Being stuck inside for long periods of time.

4.  Ever been to Canada?  Is this a country you'd like to visit?  According to Trip Advisor the top ten best destinations in Canada are - Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Victoria, Calgery, Niagra on the Lake, Whistler, and Halifax.   Which city would you most like to see? 

I have been to Canada several times.  The first time I was a kid on a family vacation and we stopped at Niagra Falls.  Although I don't remember if we actually crossed over into Canada, I'm guessing we did.  I then went to Toronto when I was in my 20's.  Back before being married I worked for a rock radio station and we played music by the band Triumph, and they were Canadians, based out of Toronto.  The manager of the band and I became "friends" (I"ll leave it at that! ha) and I went up one weekend and he showed me all around.

Later, happily married, hubby and I drove up to Quebec City from NJ.  A road trip through New England!  We stayed at the Hotel Frontenac in old town QC and it was lovely!  We were there over July 1st,  which is the Canadian Independence Day, so we saw a parade and everything was festive!

Of the places listed, I think I might like to see Vancouver because people rave about what a cool city it is.  I'd have to go in summertime though!

5.  What was your favorite food (or one of your favorites) when you were a child?  Is that still a favorite?  

When I think of favorite foods from my childhood I think of some of my Mom's dishes…  she made apple dumplings, a tuna casserole with potato chips, and homemade cheesecake topped with cherries.   Yum! I should make them occasionally…  but I don't.   Part of the reason I don't cook a lot is I feel I will eat more and I am careful about my weight.

A favorite food item for me has always been peanut butter.  I loved it as a kid and I still love it now and eat it almost every single day.

6.  Do you cry easily? 

Well, back to question 2….   I used to cry easily.  Especially in my 40's when I was going through crazy hormonal changes and life angst.  I wasn't as happy with myself.   So, I cried too easy.  Here's a secret - I let it out in the shower….   because nobody knew!

Now, I don't cry as much…but I don't have REASONS to cry unless tears of joy!

7.  Have you started your (gasp!) Christmas shopping?  If so, when and how much?  If not, when will you begin thinking about it? 

I have picked up a few things when I am out shopping and see them, and think they would be nice for  stocking stuffers, or whatever.  I put purchases away and revisit them after Thanksgiving.  I am fortunate that my hubby likes to also Christmas shop - especially for our daughters.  in fact, he goes overboard - he always has.  I have another question for my Hodgepodge friends:  when do you cut back on gifts for your adult children?  When they get married… or perhaps when the grandchildren come along?  I mean, I love getting my daughters lots of gifts but there has to be a time when we slide into a nice "couples gift" and perhaps put emphasize on gift giving to the young ones.  Right?

8.  My random thought. 

Do you have a team you are rooting for in the major league baseball championships??   I have always been more into the American League, and have always been an Orioles fan.  I lived in Baltimore for years back in the 80's, back when the O's had some great teams and players.  Once a "bird brain" always a "bird brain".  But, I have Royals fan friends too.     Who are you hoping to see go on to the World Series?

Have a great week!


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tuesday means the Hodgepodge questions...

It's Hodgepodge time! Our leader Joyce recently went with her husband to their financial advisor and therefore she asks the first question to all of us…

1.  Do you manage your own money or do you have a financial planner who helps in some way? Do those kinds of conversations stress you out?  A lot of a little? 

For years now we have used the services of financial planners, but my hubby also stays on top of investing, retirement funds, and the like. He "enjoys" watching the financial news channels, reading the stock pages in the paper, and the like.  I'm glad he does - because it doesn't interest me at all.  But, I admit I have security knowing he takes care of it.   I should probably be a bit more "into" knowing where our money is.   Thankfully, he keeps an updated list of our accounts, etc. in our security box at the bank in case he becomes incapacitated and I need to know.  

2.  The second week of October is Pet Peeve Week.  Off the top of your head, share TWO of your current pet peeves. 

1.  Drivers who drive in the left lane when not passing!!  I live in an area with one main north-south road (Rte. 17) and it's two lanes each direction.   It seems there is always a slow driver - off in another world, not considering other drivers - just taking his/her time in the left lane.   It slows down everyone!  Impatient people end up passing on the right… and yes, I have done that too.  And, I can't help but look over at them when I pass - and they are totally oblivious to what they are doing to the traffic!   Seriously, do they teach "Stay right except to pass" in Driver's Ed anymore??     Grrrrrr

2.  The news media calling everything "Breaking News" is another pet peeve.  We have had to become de-sensitized to the term because we hear it every day.  Yes, when news happens…it is "Breaking News" but I prefer the term to mean something so serious that regular programming is interrupted on TV, or we as a country are all effected.  

3.  What is one thing you'd like to learn right now, this very week if you could? 

I'm not sure if this question is asking whether we wish we knew how to do something immediately…so as to be good at it right away OR, if we had the opportunity to take time to learn a new skill, then what would it be??     I know with every new skill or program there is a time factor involved.  If I could magically blink my eyes and know something new…  perhaps it would be how to play guitar.  We have one in the house.  I just need to pick it up and work on it.    

4.  How concerned are you about the recent health related news concerning Ebola?  How about Entrovirus D68?   

On a scale from 1 to 10, my worry is a 2 for me personally.  I do not work in an environment or go places where I could be contaminated.   But, globally, I am very concerned about Ebola.  It seems that we hear on the news the numbers dying and forget that each is a unique human being, and many are children.  Areas devastated by Ebola do not have sanitary hospitals, and know how to stop the virus.   Here in the US we have Ebola contained, and are tightening our airports and hospitals, making sure those with symptoms are secure, away from those who could be effected.   Entrovirus D68?   This seems to be of more concern for our school age children.  Right?  I don't know enough about how it is spread.  I need to google and learn more. (Back to #3 question above!!)

5.  Garfield, Nemo, or Tigger - your favorite orange cartoon character? 

It's got to be Garfield!  Why?  One of my daughters had a little stuffed Garfield when she was a toddler and our doggie at the time loved it - and it became his special item!  Our toy poodle Lucky carried that Garfield around everywhere and slept with him.   It was so sweet!

6.  Joyce is going to see 'Gone Girl' with her neighborhood Book Club this week.  So often books made into film are disappointing. What's a book turned into film you thought was well done, in that casting was 'like you pictured' when you read the book, and the film plot remained mostly true to the book plot? 

First, let me say our neighborhood Book Club also read 'Gone Girl" last year and we talked about going as a group to see the movie.  I have seen commercials and the movie trailer for it and I am struck by how 'dark' the movie seems… the lighting, the feel of suspense, etc.    When I read the book I did not get that from it.   I will be interested to hear Joyce's review of the movie.

As for a film that I enjoyed after reading the book and I felt it stayed true to it?   I will say "The Great Gatsby".  I have read the book several times through the years, and I have seen both movies of it.  The first with Robert Redford seems more "true" to the book, but I also loved the newer version with Leo DiCaprio.  Both are worth watching!!

7.  What is one story your family always tells about you? 

A childhood story?   Probably when I got sick from eating too many onion rings on a camping trip. We were in our family trailer and I slept above my parents bed in a hammock, and my brother was in the hammock next to me.  I was squished back in a top corner of the trailer - and I could not get out in time. When I started throwing up my brother quickly opened the cabinet next to him that held the kitchen bowls and passed one - then two- over to me for my use.  I filled them up.  Ugh.  I did not eat onion rings for YEARS after that.

8. My random thought. 

In my constant effort to stay positive during the change of seasons, and shorter daylight hours, I must state that we have had some absolutely beautiful weather days here all week!  Sunny, much less humidity - and crisp air in the morning and evening.  Really lovely!  I will not think about the season and weather that follows.   Denial, denial, denial.      

I hope you are enjoying early October too!

Monday, October 6, 2014

60 and 30

So, this past weekend we celebrated my hubby's 60th birthday - and we are into our 30th year of marriage too.  Milestones both!

I was sitting here at my computer thinking it seems like just yesterday when we met and married, and when we did, we NEVER thought about our lives together at this age, and after 30 years into our marriage.   I mean, who does?   We were young, having fun…had new jobs.  Buying a first house.  And then came children.  Yes… we saw that in our horizon and we were excited!  But, to see this far into the future?   I don't think it really crossed our minds.

But here we are.

In our twenties 60 years old sounded VERY old. (It still does….)  Everyone we knew at 60 was from the generation before us.  Our parents and their friends.   But now we are here, and that circle of life has brought us to be the parents our kids and their friends think of as being old.   I  know. I get it.  (But I still hope we "seem" young. lol)

My hubby and I both have a belief  that you ARE as old as you act.   To tell you the truth, he has always believed that, and I have learned it from living with him.   Hubby has a zest for life that is contagious when around him.   Enthusiasm?   He's got plenty of it!  Quick moving?  Absolutely.  Tiring at times?  yes.

But, hubby at 60 is as active as a young man at 30.  So, because of his behavior he has needed knee surgery and two hernia surgeries… and has aches and pains.   It doesn't stop him.

It's mind over matter.  Nothing in moderation.   So far.    I hope it continues.

This post is also about our years together and his lifestyle with me.  From day one in our marriage he has never "expected" me to be a certain way…   thankfully. He knew he wasn't getting a good cook and I'm an okay housekeeper - certainly not neurotic about it.  He realized I had lived alone and had a sense of independence.  In 30 years he has not told me what to do - or not to do.  Well, not directly!

I think I was much more conservative in my 20's than I am now.  I was afraid to try things "outside the box" and I was worried about what others thought.   As time has gone by, living with hubby, I have had the freedom to open up, to try, to think for myself, and to continue to make decisions.   THANK YOU HUBBY!!!

Don't get me wrong - we are a team.  But we are a team that value our own self too.   So, I thank my hubby for understanding the things I enjoy.  He flows with my interests.  He accepts them, and because of that,  they become his too.  Music.  Reading.  Pets.  Sports.  Outdoor life.  We share these loves.  

We were sitting together yesterday watching football on TV saying we like to watch sports together… we make "dates" to watch our favorite teams.

And, I look at my soon-to-be married daughter and her fiancĂ© and I see many of the same attributes with them - and it makes me VERY happy!   I think they are going into marriage with similar shared loves, and with respect for each other's individual beliefs and ways.

So, although my hubby may not know it, at age 60 with 30 years of marriage under his belt, he has made a life for his wife and his children that keeps passion alive!  Life is never boring for any of us.  Life is full of twists and fun!

I pull the reins in sometimes when I can.  (Somebody has to do it!)    Marriage is also about balance.

So…  60 and 30.   Nice round numbers.   Amazing years.

Let's get going on 70 and 40!