Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The LAST Hodgepodge of 2014

Hello blogging friends - and Facebook friends!

This is the final set of Hodgepodge questions for the year!  Goodbye 2014. It's been an interesting year on this blog site, with the meeting of minds AND the accepting of differences among friends.   Let's see what this last Hodgepodge brings.

PS: It is the last for this year but it will be back!   There will not be a Hodgepodge next week as Joyce, our leader, celebrates her daughter's wedding!  I can't wait to hear about it and see many pictures!!  Congratulations to the bride and groom and the families!

1.  Share a favorite moment from your Christmas holiday celebration.

Well, on Christmas Eve we put on the camo pajamas that my husband got us all -  head to toe flannel with footies.  I am guessing we will not wear them again for a long time - if ever!  My daughters and I got pink cammy jammies.  Hubby and fiancé got green ones.  I suppose the guys could wear theirs out if they decide to do some duck hunting!  lol

2.  What would you say has been the biggest news event during your life so far? 

When I first read this I thought the question was about the biggest news event of the year.   But…no!  It's the biggest event of my life so far and... I have lived a long time!  So, I don't think I can narrow it down to ONE news event.   Here are a few:

* Genius kids in a garage create a computer     * Kids figure out way to share info from computer to computer - via the internet!   *  Civil rights movement in 60's - and we are still trying to create equality.  Although one EVENT might be  * man on moon.  I think everyone was glued to TV watching it.   Did it make a difference?  Perhaps not.    I prefer to better this world we already live on.

3.  The Pantone color for 2015 is Marsala.   What say you - like or no like?  Would I find this color anywhere in your home or wardrobe?  Will you add something in this shade to either? 

Well, my first question is:  what color is Marsala?  For those of you like me who didn't know, it's a terra-cotta, or earthy red…  perhaps with a bit of plum in it.

I googled it to see the color  - which takes me back to Question 2.  Thank you to those kids in the garage!  

I like the Marsala color.  I have similar colors in my house.  I have a deep red, or brick red, wall paper in my kitchen… and I use this same color as an accent color (pillows and such.)  I don't think it's exactly "marsala" but close.   In my wardrobe?  I have a couple of deep red tops and in fact I bought a top not too long ago that is almost reddish purplish.  Perhaps it qualifies as marsala?

4.  Would you rather meet your ancestors or your great-grandchildren.  Explain why.

I would certainly like to meet my ancestors - and thank them!  I would love to learn more about them, and their experiences. I'd love to hear their stories about living in Germany, and about how and why they came over to America.  I'd love to learn about their thoughts for the future (now).

We cannot escape our genetics and our history.  I'd love to know more about it!

5.  Share one life lesson learned in 2014. 

A personal life lesson?  At first I was going to say I am getting to the age where it's hard to learn NEW life lessons.  But, maybe that is just it!  My life lesson is to accept aging and try to continue to age gracefully.  My hubby turned a milestone birthday this past year - and I'm only 2 years behind him.  When we married 30 plus years ago we never really thought about ourselves at this age.  (Who does?)  But time goes by. And, thankfully, the years have been good.  But, the life lesson is that we can not stop it as much as we'd like to and that we either have to accept aging gracefully or be miserable.

6.  What was your best or favorite purchase of 2014? 

Hmmm.  In general I try not to think about the material things… but I suppose technology has certain been a plus. This past year we have updated our iPhones and computers.

7.  What is ONE thing you are looking forward to in the new year? 

Easy answer!  Like Joyce, I am preparing for my first daughter's wedding!  My daughter will marry April 25th and so we are really into the planning mode now!  It will be beautiful - exciting - and probably over way too quick!  That's what everyone tells me.  Months of planning goes into one day that whirls by so fast!

But I can't wait for the joy of the day and to see so many friends and family members - AND of course, to see my daughter marry a wonderful man!   I'm so happy for them!!!

8.  My random thought. 

With the year coming to a close, I think my random thought should be about making resolutions.  Do you make one or more each January 1st?  If so - how long do you stick with them?   I tend to start the new year off with positive thoughts…about taking care of myself, and helping others.   If I'm too specific I get disappointed.   I prefer to think about ways to make each day happy and worthwhile.
How about you?

H A P P Y    N E W     Y E A  R   !!!!!!

See you in 2015….

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas, the end of the year, and weddings - a few favorite things.

We are getting closer to Christmas... and to the end of 2014.  There are only a few more Hodgepodge questions for the year.  Then in January, our leader Joyce will be focusing on her daughter's winter  wedding - as we here in the Fabian family will also be getting geared up for Lauren and Ryan's big day in April.

The questions today have a bit to do with all of it...     so, read on.

1.  Time Magazine has selected the Ebola Fighters as their 'Person of the Year' for 2014.  Do you agree, and if so who would you say is a close second?  If you disagree with their choice, who do you think should have been chosen?

I believe the doctors and nurses who treat Ebola rightly need to be acknowledged.  And, I like that Time Magazine picked a people who make a positive difference in our world.  Because, I suppose they could have picked someone or people who were negative but life-changing none-the-less.   The news outlets tend to zero in on the bad and the wrongs of our country and the world.  So, yes, I am pleased with the magazine's choice.

A close second?   I continue to like the new pope.  But, was he recognized last year?  Guess I need to google who Time picked last year. 

2.  With weddings on the horizon, here are some good questions!    What's your favorite something old?  Something new? Something borrowed?  Something blue in your home?

Something old?   (Not someONE old??! ha!)   I am not a big collector but I do have a few things that have sentimental value.  I treasure a few Christmas ornaments that my children made when they were small. 

Something new?   As much as I hate saying it, I think my favorite something new is my Iphone.  I use it all the time. Yesterday I accidentally left the house without it - which is rare - and I felt so disconnected!  

Something borrowed?   Tougher question.  Got to get back to you on it.   If I borrow something and then love it, I go get one myself! 

Something blue in my house?   It's definitely my blue comfy sofa in our living room.  The dogs and I share it and you can find me with them on it each and every evening! 

3.  Fudge - yay or nay?  Your favorite flavor?  Do you make it yourself?  With nuts or without? 

Who doesn't like fudge??   I mean REALLY?!!   Yes, I like it but I rarely eat it.   Calories.  Too sweet.  It's only for special occasions.  My mother used to make it from scratch in a big ole heavy iron pot, keeping the temperature just right. I have made it using a much easier microwave recipe.   It's been a long time though.    I like it with AND without nuts!
4.  December 17th is Wright Brothers Day,  commemorating the first successful flights made by Orville and Wilber Wright in 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  How old were you when you made your first flight? Do you like to fly?  Have you ever been to Kitty Hawk or other parts of the Outer Banks? 

I flew for the first time during my freshman year of college, which was in 1975.  I flew from Columbus, Ohio where I was going to Capital University back to my parents home in Baltimore, Maryland for Christmas vacation.  Do I like to fly?   Yes, IF it is a smooth flight - with little turbulence and no weather issues!  You can't beat flying for getting somewhere quickly - again, if there are no problems and delays.   Flying today has become more challenging due to luggage regulations and the like.  I'm not a fan of being squished into a seat, sitting close to others I don't know - who may be sick.   My hubby flies almost every week for business and handles it all pretty well, but as a "frequent flyer" he has earned some perks that make it bearable.

I have never been to Kitty Hawk, and thinking back I don't even think I have officially been to the Outer Banks.  I have been along the coast of parts of NC...and have been on the coast of VA and MD.  I live on the coast of SC.  

5.  Do people in your family tend to follow a particular career path, and if so what's the path? 

No doctors or lawyers in my family.   I would say we are all over the board when it comes to picking a career - we have a teacher, a tax accountant, a businessman, a pastor, a pharmacist, a medical ITer, a salesman, etc.  I used to work in radio before becoming a homemaker and volunteer.  So, we have all done our own things.

6.  What's one thing you absolutely must accomplish today? 

I have a hair appointment at 1:30pm.  I made it a month ago knowing that my beautician/magician would be busy the days before Christmas.  I must go today to get my roots back to "natural blonde"!  

7.  This Christmas I hope __________ .

This Christmas I hope everyone travels safely and celebrates the birth of Jesus at church, amongst family and friends.

8.   My random thought.

Yesterday was my birthday....  and I wrote a little post (right before this one) about how wonderful hearing from friends and family on Facebook is.  I know many people fear Facebook or think it's silly, but I really enjoy my Facebook connections and there is no better feeling than hearing from people far and near via it.   Thank you for all who acknowledged my birthday! I felt the love!  

Monday, December 15, 2014

Facebook friends

If anybody questions the value of Facebook, become a member of it and have a birthday! 

Today is my birthday and I have received so many, many short and sweet messages, along with some fun e-cards and videos! I'm just an ordinary person that goes through life trying to make the best of everyday.  And, yes, I'm somewhat addicted to Facebook.  I know.  At times I worry that I am on too much and that I am often annoying to my "friends" on Facebook.  They have to put up with ALL my posts! ( Or at least scan on by them.)

But, Facebook has become a way for me to consider things in a positive way, and to share inspirational quotes and stories.  It also allows for sharing funnies and jokes.  Yes, I admit that every once in awhile I vent a bit - and even then someone replies with a sentence of compassion or a little boost when I need it.

So, this little post today is a BIG thank you to my Facebook connections, far and wide.  Some are family, some are friends, and a few are blog friends that I have never met yet face to face.   You all are important to me and help make my world go round!  You bring me chuckles, and pass along advice, you "like" my comments, and take a look at my pictures.  You laugh at old TBT photos and accept my difference of opinion, be it religious or political.  Sometimes we agree! 

Thank you, thank you!  You all make having another birthday so much easier to accept!  I appreciate all your posts! I love our connection!

PS:  Where am I going to post this?   On Facebook - of course. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas - of course!

As we get closer to Christmas most of the Hodgepodge questions have to do with it, and that makes sense. But our leader Joyce threw in one question - number 6 - that doesn't apply.  Or does it?     Got you wondering?   (It's a teaser.)   Keep reading to find out.

1.  What is one new holiday tradition you'd like to establish, or one you've established recently, say in the last year or two? 

Well, if you have read my past blog posts you know I have trouble with a lot of the commercialism of Christmas, so perhaps I would like to make Christmas more about the birth of Jesus.  I get a bit upset when I think about how the "holiday" Christmas has become a money-making event in the US, with little regard for the Christ in Christmas.

I try each year to focus on the birth of the baby Jesus.   I know it's also a wonderful time for family and friends to get together and share food, laughs, gifts, etc.  

I guess my new tradition is to find a way each Christmas to give - and not just family gifts.  But, something out of the ordinary.  It's also the end of the calendar year so it's just a good time to give to people who have needs, and to give them a bit of help before the new year starts.  

Did I answer the question?   Not really.  

2.  It's the second week of December.  Have you sipped a cup of eggnog yet this month?  Wrapped a gift?  Opened a gift?  Kissed someone under the mistletoe?  Lit a candle?  Eaten a Christmas cookie? Seen Santa in person?  Watched a Christmas movie or special?  Read scripture relating to the birth of Jesus? 

Wow! Lots of questions wrapped in one!   So, okay… here goes…

* I do not enjoy the taste of eggnog.  So, no, I have not sipped any yet and will not during the Christmas season.  * Yes, I have wrapped some gifts already.  I like to do it in bits and pieces so I am not overwhelmed right before Christmas. Plus, I like to have a few wrapped gifts under the tree.  * I have not opened a gift yet.  * We don't have any mistletoe hanging here, but perhaps I should get some!    Ooh la la!!   * I lit an evergreen-scented candle last evening here at home.  We have an artificial tree so I enjoy "faking" the aroma with a candle! *I have not eaten a Christmas cookie yet.  I'm trying to stay away from sweets for as long as possible!   * I have not seen Santa.   * I watched the CMT Country Music Christmas Special last week.  I enjoyed it very much!  I also was flipping channels and came across "Christmas Vacation"  so I HAD to watch it!  I love that movie!  I still hope to see "White Christmas" with Bing, Rosemary, Danny…and ?  What's the other "sister's" name?  I LOVE LOVE LOVE that movie!     *  And, yes, I have read/listened to scripture regarding the foretelling of the birth of Jesus - at the Tuesday Bible Study, and at Sunday morning worship.    Might I suggest everyone do that?

3.  Do you think it's better to be an adult or a child at Christmastime?  Explain. 

Well, this is not an "either or" answer.  Being a child at Christmastime is awesome, but much more selfish.  It's about receiving gifts. But, also singing about the baby "Away in the Manger".   And, dressing up to be an angel in a pageant, and staying up late to see the Christmas tree lights.    But, Christmas as an adult has much more meaning.  Giving gifts and giving love plays a key role.  And, just understanding the importance of that baby "away in the manger."    So, Christmastime came be wonderful whether a child or adult.   But let's not forget, not to be Debbie Downer, it can also be a very tough time too…  probably more for adults.

4.  It's often said "Good things come to those that wait"…agree or disagree?  Why? 

Hmmmm.    Well, I think the expression is useful in today's society when we want everything NOW, and we expect good to come back to us when we give it.   But, sometimes it is not true.  And, you can't just sit around, do nothing, and wait.  You have to be pro-active.  And, you have to - pardon me for using another expression - but you have to learn to make turn lemons into lemonade.    So - it's not just about waiting.

5.  What's the last sweet thing you baked?  Did you keep it, take it to a party/event, or give it away? 

I have said this before - cooking and baking are not my favorite things to do.  I used to bake a bit when my daughters were still home, but even then it was simple recipes.  I rarely made anything from scratch.   Thinking back, it's been a long time since I have made a sweet thing in my oven!   Hubby and  I don't need them - and I don't trust my skills (or lack of them) to bake and share.  

6.  I heard an actor talk about how he makes a conscious choice to talk to people in elevators.  He chooses to connect, make eye contact, and converse.  Do you talk to people/strangers when you're in an elevator or any other place where you may have to wait together?  Why or why not? 

First, let me say - I live in the south!  People/strangers talk to each other much more here than in other parts of the country!  I like that.      In general, as an adult, I think I have always tried to make eye contact when I walk into an elevator and say 'hello' and if I get a 'hello' back then perhaps a conversation will start.  It depends.  But, I like to at least be friendly and acknowledge them.  It's so awkward to be in an elevator and NOT look at them!   The same goes with waiting in a line.  Why not be friendly?   We are all there together!

Here's a question:  Do you like sitting on an airplane with a person/stranger who talks next to you?  Or, would you rather be left alone?   It's another place we are close, but often a wall goes up.    Just wondering…

7.  Are you on the naughty or nice list this year?   What put you there? 

Ha.  I'm on the nice list - and that's where I want to be.    

8.  My random thought.  

I know some people are upset by the demonstrations and all the media hype right now since our country had two horrible deaths happen where police officers were involved.   (And believe me, more have happened.)   But, I still think we need to show respect to our officers and realize that they have extremely difficult jobs to do.  They never know who will approach them, or what will happen to them each day on the job.   I am a white woman so I have never feared a police officer - in fact I feel safer when I see one nearby.     But, I realize that many others in this country are judged improperly and are not given a fair shake.

Peaceful demonstrations are a wonderful way to bring attention to an injustice.  I have no problem with them.  We live in a country that allows them - freely, without fear of prosecution.   I admire those who participate - yes, in PEACEFUL ones.  Once violence happens it's a different thing completely.

Sometimes I think we ALL need to be more peacefully expressive, and we need to be more accepting of those who take part.  

Christmastime is about the baby born so long ago who taught unconditionally about love and peace - and acceptance.   He connected with the down trod, those in society who were shunned, and poor.  Is that not the example we should follow?


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hodgepodge - a weekly part of my life.

It's Hodgepodge time once again,  so below you will find  the questions with my answers.  Please feel free to speak out too and answer here - or on my Facebook page.  One of the reasons I love blogging is I get to think about these random questions and share them with my online friends.  It keeps my brain working.  It keeps me tuned into life.  How about you?   Give it a try!

1.  What is something in your life right now that feels a little 'hodgepodge'? 

I think it goes without saying (but I will anyway!?!) that this time leading up to Christmas Eve and Day are busy ones, filled with various activities…. it's a bit of a juggling act to do what I WANT to do, to finish projects, to shop, to wrap, prepare music, attend special events, etc. - and still ENJOY the time.  For me, I have to remind myself to take it all in and stay positive.  And, yes, perhaps NOT do it all.  And that's okay.

Did I answer the question?  

2.   What does 'peace on earth, goodwill to men' mean to you? 

A dream!  But, it's worth striving for…. and maybe we won't ever have total peace on earth but we can be examples of living a peaceful and loving life and we can treat our fellowman fairly.  I am a Christian and I believe that God wants us to work for peace on earth, and to treat ALL others with goodness and love. It's a tough thing to do sometimes.  But it's a mandate from Him.   When we do treat our neighbors (down the street AND across the world)  as we want to be treated, we are doing God's work.

3.  Which edible treat are you most looking forward to sampling this December? 

Well, I can't say there is one thing that is a MUST HAVE during December.   Growing up my mother always made sugar cookies and for many years I made them for the holiday too.  Perhaps I will make a batch later this month.  

I try not to focus on food!  It will come back to haunt me!  Ha!!!   I learned long ago - everything in moderation.  And I try to keep to a basic diet, or I will not be happy with myself later.

4.  It's the most wonderful time of the year…   do you agree, and if so why is it so wonderful?  If not, what would you say is the most wonderful time of the year? 

Oh boy…  I can just hear people groaning as they read my answer.   But, hear goes.

For me, NO, it is not the most wonderful time of the year.   Why?  Expectations that I put on myself.   Too many "should do" and "have to" things happen.  And, don't get me wrong, many I am happy with AFTERWARDS, but I stress and worry that I do not live up to everything that needs to get done in December.    

I wish Christmas happened every third year! ha! I think then it would be more joyful for me.   I feel like the year goes by so quickly… and many of the activities become rote and less meaningful perhaps.   I know,  I'm a downer.   Christmas has become such a money making event in our country.  It's so glitzy and commercial.  Every year I struggle with accepting that and seeing people celebrating without ANY connection to the baby Jesus born for us.   It saddens me.

My favorite time of the year?   Springtime.  I feel a connection with nature coming back alive, and I do too.  I love "rebirth" and beautiful flowers and birds singing.   And I love that Spring comes without expectations. It arrives and it's literally a 'breath of fresh air.'

As a Christian I love Easter because there is not as much hoopla before it. In fact, the days leading up to it are somber. It's Lent.  It's reflecting on Christ's life and his death - and then the greatest gift for us - showing that death is not final.

One other note about this spring: my daughter is getting married in April.  We are planning it all and I know it will be beautiful - and I am happy it's a spring wedding.  Again, it's a time of newness and for my daughter and her fiancé it will be the start of  a new life together.

5. What was the last word you looked up in a dictionary (actual or online) and why? 

Thanks to spellcheck and other games I play (Words with Friends in particular) I don't look up words for proper spelling often.  But, because I enjoy doing crosswords I sometimes "google" words or phrases to help me when I get stuck.  I don't consider it cheating - because I'm learning!  ha!!

6.  Besides a Christmas tree, what is your favorite thing to decorate this time of year? 

Back to question #4, because Christmas comes around each year (and the year goes by so quickly) I find I like to "change up" decorations - to keep things fresh.  So, I try each year to think of a different way to decorate outside.   One year I might put colored lights on the bushes - then next I will use white lights, and maybe decorate the porch with them.    I don't like doing the same thing over and over.  

I also don't use ALL my decorations each year.  I have a Dickens village that I put up maybe every third year. It's a lot of work - and takes up space.  It's very pretty once up…   hmmmm.  Maybe this year I will put some of the houses on our fireplace mantle.

7.  Share one thing you've learned (about yourself, people, or anything at all) in the Hodgepodge, or through blogging in general. 

I started participating in the Hodgepodge because I love how the questions made me think and how I can voice my opinion in a thoughtful - and hopefully fun - way.  I never want to offend anyone.  And, at the same time I want to express myself.  

I have learned that the ladies who also take part in the weekly Hodgepodge are from various walks of life, and live all over the country,  BUT  we all give amazingly similar answers at times!   I know I lean more liberal than some, and I think it's a micro-picture of how America is.

I have become friends with a few of the regular Hodgepodge participants and that is special to me.  It's funny I have said in conversation…."my friend Joyce (or another name)"…and yet we have never met face to face.  But I feel I know some of you quite well!

8.  My random thought. 

Okay, this IS random.  And it's just a funny little story.  I bought a new fuzzy green top and wore it Thanksgiving.  We drove up to Raleigh and had Thanksgiving at my daughter's apartment with her fiancé and some of his family.  So, I sat in the car for 3 1/2 hours and started noticing little specks of green on my seat belt, and then on the console of the car.  When I got to the apartment, I started picking off green lint on my jeans and my daughter's couch.  Then a bit later my other daughter had a few pieces of green sticking to  her too!  And, she started sneezing!     oh my!!!  

So, yesterday I took the top back to the store I purchased it from, really just to let them know how miserably it sheds.   They took my name and number but told me to first take it home and wash it…perhaps it will get off the remaining spitball-sized pieces of green.  

So, I have washed it. I  let it dry flat AND then put it in the dryer to pull off the lint.

This story is to be continued…..       will it be wearable now?  Will I leave green lint everywhere I go next time I wear it?  Will people start sneezing around me??!