Tuesday, February 24, 2015

February - you are still here.

Well, many, many people are once again indoors today due to snow, and cold, yucky weather.  Here in the south we have schools closed and everyone is at a standstill due to icy conditions out there.  I live along the coast so I don't see snow very often (thankfully) but ice happens - and the world here stops.

So, it's a good time to be inside and to put down my Hodgepodge answers to this week's questions.

Shall we?   Join along!

1.  Did you watch the Oscars? How many of the Best Picture nominees have you seen?  (American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, Selma, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash.) 
Do you think the actors should use their acceptance speeches as an opportunity to promote their political and/or social agenda?  Does that sort of speech make you more or less inclined to change the channel?

Yes, I watched a good bit of the Oscars.  I started early by watching the Red Carpet coverage too.   But I did not see anything past 10:30pm and had to wait until the morning to hear who won the big awards of the night.  I also watched Lady Gaga's performance the next morning on my computer.

I have see Selma and The Grand Budapest Hotel.  In recent years I have become much more selective in my movie choices, and which movie I "vote" for with my dollars. I loved both of two I saw.

I do not mind hearing actors talk about their political/social agenda during a speech.  I guess I can relate that given an opportunity to speak out, it's too hard to pass up sometimes.  I think of my blog in the same way - as an avenue to express myself.  It's a way for reaching out, for educating, and for encouraging others to care.    Actually, I kind a like hearing actors (who can too often be only into themselves) speak out about a cause near and dear to their heart.   We must remember: this is America and the Freedom of Speech is a pillar of our country.

2.  Speaking of movies...  are you comfortable going to a move alone?  How about dinner in a restaurant (not fast food, but an actual restaurant)? 

I am absolutely comfortable going to a movie alone.  At times I downright enjoy it!   As for dining alone in a restaurant, I am not comfortable doing that.  I think I would prefer to do "carry out" and eat at home. 

3.  What's the last home improvement project you had to pay someone to complete?  In hindsight was it a project you could have done yourself?

The last project we had done was to have a new furnace "handler" put in - and to have some other updating to the system.  so, NO I could not have even thought about doing it myself.  We have a friend from church who is in the AC/heating business and he came and did the work for us. We trust him.  Anything that has to do with electricity, and heating/cooling, should be left to a professional!!

4. Have you ever had Indian food?  Like it or no?  If you're a fan, what's your favorite dish?  Have you prepared this yourself at home?  Is there an indian restaurant in your hometown? 

I remember once when I was in my 20's and working that I went to an Indian restaurant in Baltimore with co-workers.  It was the first and the last time.  I do not like, and my stomach does not handle, really hot spicy food.  I'm not a fan of curry and I'd probably have to down lots of milk with it to keep my stomach from hurting.

I do not think there is an Indian restaurant in Pawleys Island (the area I live in) but I am sure there must be one somewhere along the Grand Strand (the Myrtle Beach coastline towns) just north of here.

5. A song that reminds you of your parents? 

Oh, wow...  I can think of several hymns. My dad was a Lutheran pastor, and my mother sang in the church choir.  When I think of hearing both of their voices in my head, it's of them singing "A Mighty Fortress" or "This is My Father's World" or a few of the older, standard hymns I grew up hearing.  

6.   The 26th of February is National Tell a Fairy Tale Day.  What's your favorite, or one of your favorite fairy tales?   Do you have any childhood memories associated with a particular fairy tale?

I'd love to hear my sister's response to this one.  I can't think of even one fairy tale that my parents read to us... or any fairy tale books that I owned as as child.   Sue, do you remember?  

I do love "Cinderella" and I remember when I was a middle-schooler watching the Hallmark presentation of it starring Lesley Ann Warren. I can still hear her singing "In My own Little Corner, in my own Little World... I can be Whatever I want to be."    She was beautiful - and the whole TV movie was magical to me. 

My younger daughter loved "Cinderella" also.  I got her the children's book, and the Disney version of the movie - and we watched it over and over.  I loved that one too. 

7.  What's a problem you solved yesterday? 

Well, I continued to work on the wedding invitations for my older daughter's April wedding. The invitations will hopefully go out at the end of this week or the first part of next week.  I addressed a few more envelopes, and I sent off an email to the groom's mother to clarify a couple of addresses.

That was not really problem-solving work - but the closest activity I can think of that can qualify.  The rest of the day was spent with usual household work: laundry, some cleaning, nothing too exciting.

8.  My random thought.

I think it's similar to many of us today. I am SO tired of winter at this point on the calendar.  I am not a fan of cold, and of dreary days with little sunshine.  I suffer from SAD - the seasonal disorder that makes me sad when I don't get outdoors in to fresh air, and into some sunshine.   So - come on March - and come on Spring!!! 

Stay warm - and stay safe friends.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Oh February... Are we almost done with you?

Without further ado....

The weekly Hodgepodge!

1.  When did you last have to interact either by phone or in person, with someone in a government run agency?   On a scale of 1 - 10, how would you rate the experience?  (10 being fabulous and 1 being pass the Tylenol.)

Well, I do my best to avoid having to deal with government agencies and leave most of that "work" to my husband.  The last time I personally can remember is when I went along with my daughter to get her SC driver's license.  That was over 7 years ago.   So, not bad, huh??   I DO try to keep stress out of my life!  It really wasn't bad.  So, maybe I will rate it a 7.

2.   The current governor of Wisconsin is considering running for president next time around.  Scott Walker attended Marquette University, but never graduated.  In terms of any candidate running for the office of president (not asking here if you agree or disagree with Walker's politics) would the lack of a college degree influence your vote or no?   Would that be a factor in your support of any candidate running for public office? 

I do not think where they went to school, or whether or not a degree was achieved, would factor in much for me.  Without mentioning names I can think of a president in recent history who went to an ivy league school - but perhaps on the family name only - and he didn't study, was a cheerleader in fact, and partied...    so, the fact that he went to a "top notch" university meant nothing to me.   When making a decision on who I would prefer to be in office, including the oval office, I tend to look much more at who they are now, and how they handle themselves, what they believe in, how they would represent me and all other Americans.  That's much more important than what kind of school they went to, and if they finished or not. 

3.  When did you last visit a place or site named for George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, and what was that place or site? 

My.  This should be an easy answer!  But I am having trouble coming up with a recent time I have been anywhere named in honor of George or Abe.  One of my daughter's went to UVA for grad school, so there was much homage to President Jefferson there.   But Washington or Lincoln?   Well, I have driven "around"  Washington DC many times back when I was still commuting from NJ to SC.  (As I child I lived in Rockville, MD - right outside of DC, and later on I lived in Frederick, MD and we visited the museums and did sight-seeing in Washington DC then.)   

When I lived in NJ I would travel across the George Washington Bridge to go into New York City often.  Bet ole George could never picture all those lanes, and being charged $7 to cross it. (Maybe it's more now.)

But, since moving permanently to SC, I can't think of a place named after those particular presidents that I have been to recently.  I mean, this is the south ya'll know!  

4.  February 16th was President's Day in the US, but did you know it was also National Almond Day? I didn't think so!   Do you like almonds?  If so, what's a food/dish/recipe you enjoy that contains almonds? 

Yes, I like almonds!!  I enjoy eating a handful as a snack.   I also enjoy sprinkling them on a salad made with fresh spinach,  and mandarin orange slices.   I do not bake/cook with them....but only because I do not bake/cook very much!?!

5.  The television program "Saturday Night Live" celebrated it's 40th anniversary this past weekend.  Were/are you a fan of the show?  If so what has been your favorite (or one of your favorite) skits, sayings, or characters that came out of that program? 

I wrote about SNL and the anniversary show on Facebook.  But, for those who didn't read it there...

Yes!! I love Saturday Night Live, and have watched it from it's inception!  What a ground-breaking show 40 years ago!  I watched it religiously in my 20's and then as my lifestyle changed (kids!) and I didn't stay up late I missed it on a weekly basis.  But, I have always stayed aware of the skits, and guests - and now love that I can pull up parts of the show if I want to see it.  Thank you internet!!  

My favorites??   Too many to mention ALL...but here's just a list of some of my favs:

the Coneheads, two wild & crazy guys,  the cheeseburger restaurant cooks,  the samurai,   Rosanna Rosanna-danna,  Mr. Bill (oh no!!),  King Tut, the Blues Brothers,  the lounge singer, the Spartan cheerleaders, all the newsdesk anchors, the political skits, land shark, Father Sarducci,  the nerds, the church lady, ....  and more!!  

Like I said -  TOO many to name!!!  

6.  Anything purple within 10 feet of you?  What is it? 

No.  I'm at my kitchen table and there is nothing purple anywhere around me.  It's not my favorite color in general, although people have told me I look good in purple. Go figure.   

7. Back in December I (Joyce) asked you to submit a question for the future HP as part of a giveaway I was hosting.   Here's one..
"How often do you make your bed, and how do you make it - pull the covers all the way up over the pillow, tuck the covers in around the pillows, or place the pillows on top of the covers?" 

I make my bed each and every day unless I am sick and plan on crawling back into it.  I do not like to go to bed at night in an un-made bed because I feel like it's gotten dirty, and the sheets are colder in an un-made bed.  I keep a bunch of pillows on the bed.  So, I pull the bedspread all the way up, then I place the pillows used for sleeping propped up on the headboard, then put 3 big pillows on top of them, and 6 more smaller pillows...     aren't you glad you asked??!  lol

8. My random thought. 

Should it be heavy or light?     How about one of each.

My heavy thought this morning:  I continue to be so saddened by the daily shootings that take place in this country.  Too many innocent children and young people killed in a blink of an eye by stupid people who have guns.

My light thought this morning:  Today is Fat Tuesday. Do we really need a day that encourages gluttony in America??   (Yes, I know the history of the day - one last day of fun & eating before Lent.)  But, most of us do not need to pig out on sweets and pancakes - and worry that we will not get a good meal for the next 40 days!

Stay warm out there - come on March!  Come on Springtime!!!



Tuesday, February 10, 2015

All for the love of love. Except the question about tuna fish!

Good morning Hodgepodge friends...   let's get right to this week's questions with my answers.  As always, please feel free to comment, or to answer them yourself. 

1.  Have you ever written a love letter?  Have you written one recently?  Had one written to you?  Did you keep it? 

Well,  huh....   I have written love notes in cards to my hubby.  And, on occasion I have made unique love Valentine's crafts, etc.  for him.   Thinking back, I do remember once writing a "love letter" for hubby for Valentine's Day, which I presented to him framed.   Last year, I took the lyrics to Kenny Chesney's "Me and You" and typed them up and framed them as a gift.   Since first hearing that song I have felt it describes our relationship.  Hubby picked Vince Gill's "Look at Us" as "our" song many years ago.   Both songs have beautiful lyrics about lasting love.

This goes way back, but I dated a guy when I was in college and we were at different schools, in different states.  This was WAY before the internet and texting.  So, we had the phone (connected to the wall) and "snail mail" letters.  He wrote and sent me cute cards and letters in the mail.  I would certainly consider them "love letters" and yes, I have saved them.

2.  What's a movie that ends in a way you especially love? 

The movie "Wuthering Heights" is and has always been my favorite movie about love, with a wonderful, haunting ending.  The book has been made into a movie several times, and my favorite one is the one that came out in the 70's starring Timothy Dalton as Heathcliff.    The book continues on into the next generation, but this movie ends with the lovers, Heathcliff and Cathy,  finally together with each other - but dead.  The final scene shows them (as spirits) running hand in hand away from the graveyard.   It took them both to die before being free to be with each other. 

If you have not seen it, find it!  The love they had for each other was depicted so well - starting when they first met as children, and then throughout their young lives.  But society, and timing, never let them be together for long.   It's a "chick flick" for sure. So, don't ask your guy to sit and watch it with you.

3.  Something that makes your heart sing?   (not counting children.) 

* a beautiful sunny morning  * hearing amazing musical talent   * getting lost in a book  * the unconditional love of my pets   * feeling God around me

4.   What's the last event you had to attend, phone call you had to make, routine task you needed to complete, or meal you had to prepare, that you did but only half-heartedly?  

I am fortunate that in this stage of my life I don't "have to" do many things that I really don't want to do.   And, I suppose if something does come along, I try to make the best of it anyway.    So, I'm not coming up with a good answer, and even if I did I would not put it here in fear of hurting someone that also might have been involved.

5.  Tuna fish salad - yay or blech?  If you said yay, how do you like it prepared? 

I have mentioned before that I am allergic to seafood.  Although, tuna fish in a can sometimes doesn't really seem like fish, does it?    I find I can eat a tuna fish sandwich, loaded with mayo and some pickle added in.   On wheat bread - with lettuce.     But, really, I rarely eat it...I can't even remember the last time.

6.  What's something you 'know by heart'?

The Lord's Prayer.   

7.  In the spirit of Valentine's Day, what two or three word phrase would you write for someone you love? 

Meant to be.        Forever in love.           Two = one.        One and only.           I can keep going...   I think the candy company should call me!! ha!!

8.  My random thought.  

More a question than a thought.   I am wondering:  how many of you reading this actually go out and celebrate Valentine's Day?  Does this day still require special attention?    What do you do?

Most reading this blog are married and/or older.   So, I think the hype of Valentine's Day is considered just that -  hype, too much, too expensive, too everything.    Sometimes I wonder WHY couples need this day to say they love each other.  And if so, then do the other days go by not saying it??
Sometimes I think this day just makes people sad if they don't have a "valentine" or a special relationship.      ) :



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Hello February!

It's Hodgepodge day!!  I missed last week's so I am happy to be back.  Hubby and I went on a 5 day cruise out of Charleston with some family and friends.  Sounds good, right?  Well, yes some of it was wonderful - but unfortunately the weather and seas did not cooperate.  We had chilly air, lots of wind, and a rockin' and a rollin' ship.

It's nice to be on solid ground. I know not to complain - because I know many of you up north, or in the mid-west, are freezing right now, and digging out of snow, and dealing with slippery roads. I have been there, done that.  I feel your pain.  But, I also thank my lucky stars that I no longer live in regions that get hit hard by ole man winter.

The good news is we have turned over a calendar page and are now into February.  One month closer to spring!  Because it's February, our leader Joyce has some questions that tie in to February, the month of love and things pink, and expressing your emotions to the ones you love.  Read on.

1.  Do you wear your heart on your sleeve, or keep your emotions tucked in tight?  

I come from a heritage and family life growing up where emotions were kept tucked in.  My genes are German - stoic, serious, non-verbal.   I remember heading off to college and seeing families more open and it appealed to me.   I then met a man who was demonstrative and upbeat, and I was attracted to him because he could express himself.  (Even for a man!!  lol)   I married him!  So, I think my answer is that I still often do keep my emotions tucked in, but I am always working on living my life saying and showing my emotions - the good ones that is!  Love, happiness, joy!   Thankfully, I do not feel many negative emotions - anymore.  (I confess that there was a time and I did go get pharmaceutical help for it. )

I think my hope now is to live my life with my emotions not tucked away, but not always out on my sleeve.   As with everything, there is a happy middle place to be.

2.  How did you meet your closest friend? 

My closest friend is the one who came into my life at the beginning of adulthood.  I had some wonderful childhood friends.  But, my friend Sue and I met in college - and I think I can refer back to question #1 a bit when I speak of her.  She's of Italian heritage and she grew up  with "emotion" - we even called it that!  She started out as my fellow student/teacher at the college radio station.  I was taking a broadcasting class and I had to make a radio commercial, start to finish.  This was back in the days before computers people!!!   So, I had to actually use reel-to-reel tape and a splicing machine.  I had to put music down first, then add the "copy" (words) on top.   It was quite the process.  It never got completed because Sue and I went into the production cubbyhole and talked about everything else - and a wonderful friendship started.  We became apartment roomies in our 20's.   And, she was a bridesmaid in my wedding. Our friendship has stayed strong through years of changes,  of moves, of age issues, etc.   I am blessed to have her as a friend!

3.  Pink lemonade, grilled salmon, cotton candy, pink grapefruit, a strawberry milkshake, or raspberry sorbet...of the pink foods listed, which is your favorite?  Least favorite?  Which one have you most recently consumed? 

I guess I am not a lover of pink food!   Nothing in that list appeals to me!  (FYI - I'm allergic to seafood so can't eat salmon.)   If I had to choice one thing to like:  pink lemonade.  Least favorite: cotton candy.

4.  When were you last 'tickled pink' over something?  Explain.

I have had a few moments recently and they have involved my daughters.  In general I am 'tickled pink' over who they are, and how much I enjoy being with my girls.   I think the most recent time was just last week, coming home from our cruise.  While away I didn't have a phone connection with them - and I sorely missed it.   It's not that we talk all the time on the phone, but we send text messages - or a picture often.  Daily.  We think of each other and use our iphones to stay connected.   Both daughters missed me (and their Dad) and I was tickled pink to be back in touch with them.  I missed them too!

5.  Are you a fan of talk shows?  Daytime, nighttime or both?  What's your favorite? 

Yes, I like talk shows.  I prefer watching them over other types of television programming out there.   I first fell in love with talk shows with "Donahue"!   And, of course "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson."    For years I watched "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee".... and then "Regis and Kelly,"   And...come on, what woman did not love "Oprah"??   Those shows are gone and today I am certainly more selective.   I guess my favorite talk show now is "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" and I follow his skits, etc. on Facebook.  I'm rarely up late enough to watch him live. 

6.  When was the last time you wanted to ask a question, but felt too foolish to do so? 

I can't think of any one time specifically - but it probably was when I was trying to talk to a repairman or someone who knows about cars.  I am not mechanically-minded (by choice) and I am sure my questions sound foolish to experts.

7.  My favorite __________ right now is ____________ .

My favorite song on the radio right now is "Like a Cowboy" by Randy Houser.

8.  My random thought. 

I keep meaning to blog about my daughter's upcoming wedding, and all the planning, and the fun ideas we have in mind.  But, part of me wants to keep some things under wrap for the element of surprise for the guests.   I will say I am pleased with the way it is coming together and I am lucky to have my daughter's blessing in many of the decisions.  She is working hard, and is not living here, so much of the "grunt work" is mine... and I say that lovingly.  I will reveal it all AFTER the wedding!  I love reading Joyce's blog posts about her daughter's wedding last month.  She gives me inspiration, and makes me teary-eyed too.  What a magical, special time!   (Yes, I wear this emotion on my sleeve!!) 

Have a great week friends!