Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A 'trippy' Hodgepodge!

Hello Hodgepodgers!  No small talk...   let's just get right to the questions!

Our leader, Joyce, asks...

1.  I recently read about four secrets to happiness from around the world.  They were -

Overcome your fears by facing them head on, allow yourself to relax and reset, work to live versus living to work, and find the good in life.  Not sure if these are the actual secrets to happiness, but which of the four do you struggle with?   Which one comes most easily to you? 

I have to agree with Joyce that I don't really think these four things are the BEST, or ONLY ways to happiness.  But, of the list above, I suppose I struggle with facing fears head on.  I prefer to side-step them, or just turn around and walk the other way.  I'm not confrontational and I'm not one to purposely get out of my comfort zone.

The thing that comes most easily to me is to relax and reset.   I am fortunate that my age, my family, and the place I live ALL make it easy to do!  I am fortunate to afford myself time to "chill" each day and to do something I enjoy.  I think it's important to balance life - to take some each day in quiet (meditation, prayer, enjoying nature, reflecting, etc.)

2.  How would you spend a found $20 bill today? 

Well, unfortunately these days 20 bucks won't get anyone too much.  I'd just pop it in my wallet and use it for the next thing that comes along when I need to pay for something that isn't over $20 - to pay cash instead of putting it on credit.  I still prefer to pay cash on smaller amounts.  Now, Joyce, if you asked what I would do with a $100 bill...  I'd have to think about that more!   (Another week's question, perhaps??)

3.  Ego trip, power trip, guilt trip, trip the light fantastic, or trip over your own two feet... which 'trip' have you experienced or dealt with the most recently?  Explain. 

Within myself, the answer is 'guilt trip'...  and can I say it's almost a daily trip!  ha!   You know, the thoughts that go on in my head are often..."why did I say it that way?" or "Should I have done more?" or "how did I get so fortunate?  So blessed?"  

i think I have experienced dealing with people's ego and power trips...   but it's kind of the human condition, right?  I try to remember that.   (I'm sure others see it in me too.  Sorry.)

4.  If you could master any physical skill in the world what would it be, and how would you use that skill? 

I have said before I wish I could sing. I am an average singer but I'd love to MASTER it and use my talent.  Music is a "gift"... so not just a skill.   But, it can certainly be improved upon with practice and techniques.

So, another physical skill?    I guess I'd like to be a better golfer.  (Again - I don't practice like I should so I have myself to blame.  Guilt trip?!)  I would love to play more with my lady friends here  and be on their level.   I go out to play with them a few times, then I get frustrated and stop playing...which I know is the wrong thing to do but I get frustrated and feel "less"....   okay. Guess it's an "ego trip" thing for me!

5.  As July draws to a close, let's take inventory of our summer fun.  Since the first day of (North American) summer (June 20th) have you...    been swimming?  enjoyed an ice cream cone? seen a summer blockbuster?   camped?  eaten corn on the cob?  gardened?  deliberately unplugged?  watched a ballgame?   picked fruit off the vine?  taken a road trip?  read a book?   Are any of these activities on your must-do-before-summer-ends list? 

Wow!  I better get going!   I haven't done many things on this list!  ha!    Here's what I have done:   had corn on the cob, gardened (I do it year round), taken a road trip, read a book (I do it read round), and deliberately unplugged.

Watching a game is a FALL activity for me!  I'm a big football fan!   I enjoy going to a baseball game, but do not sit home and watch baseball on TV.   Oh - I have watched golf on TV!   That's a "small ball" game!

I keep meaning to go to my neighborhood pool and haven't gotten there yet.   I want to go for exercise!   I NEED to go there for exercise!   (Guilt trip!!)

6.  The Republican Presidential candidates will debate on August 16th. What's your question? 

Wow!  Joyce asks a political question - sort of.   I know, really it's a question about what we find important for our country's future.  It's not meant to be a "party question," right?  

But...  as most know, and I am proud to say, I am a Democrat.  Therefore, many of the Republican platform beliefs are not similar to mine...although the Republican party's candidates ARE all over the board right now!!  And, in general, sad but true, I don't believe anything any of them say!   I also don't trust them enough now to think they won't be pulled one way or another by big lobbyists and their money.  We need to get rid of "payola".  But, how??

I have found that I have been happy with the past 7 years - less unemployment, less "boots on the ground",  less fear of economic disasters with our banking systems, healthcare for more people, and I feel we have a better "world situation" right now.    Obviously, gun safety and better laws to enforce it  is a big issue for me - again, I have that is as a major concern - too many innocent children and adults being killed.

Sorry, Joyce... and everyone else reading this.   Guess your question opened up the door!  Ha!

I have promised to stay away from Facebook political jokes, etc.  AND I have promised to not bring out the NEGATIVES in specific candidates, or to belittle anyone running for office.   It's so easy to say how bad things are, and complain.  We need to focus on the good, and doing better.

7.  What's your most listened to song so far this summer? 

And, now to totally switch gears!  (This is why I love the Hodgepodge!)   I find that every time the song "House Party" by Sam Hunt comes on the radio I crank it up - and I dance around, even in my car driving!  ha!!  It's a fun, upbeat happy - summer-feel song!  

8.  My random thought. 

I do not EVEN want to think about summer ending yet.  And, thankfully, here where I live September is still nice and warm. October is a beautiful month.   So, I love stretching out the warmth...the chance to be outside, to sit on my porch, to walk the beach.    We may be officially halfway through summer on the calendar...but not here.  Phew!

Go out - and enjoy your day!!!!



Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A light hodgepodge

Hello blogging friends!  I missed last week's Hodgepodge while I was away visiting family and off to a couple of concerts.  (See blog post before this one.)  It's good to be back.  Joyce:  I have been meaning to tell you this...every time I check out this week's questions I see your picture, you standing in snow in a winter parka. I think you need to "summer-ize"  the shot!  I get cold looking at you standing there!  lol

Speaking of being cold...     read on!

1.  Is your house air conditioned?  If it's not air conditioned, is that by choice?  Did you grow up with air conditioning?  If not, how did you cope with the heat?  Share about a time or place you remember as being too hot - the temperature kind of hot, lest anyone be confused. 

Yes, my house has central air conditioning.   I live in the south so it's a must! And, not just to cool the temperature but to get rid of the humidity in the air!

Growing up our house did not have AC.  I'm thinking back to the days when I was a kid living in Ohio.  We had a huge built-in hallway ceiling fan on the second floor to suck the hot air out.  When you turned the thing on it sounded like a jet engine taking off!    I remember when my dad got a window air conditioner for his office in the house. He converted the attic space into an office and into a bedroom for my brother.  Obviously it would get very, very hot up there.  So, he put in a window AC unit and that's where we would like to hang out when it was really warm.  He had a small black & white TV up there too.  It made a great little get-away spot.

I also remember going on long car trips without AC.  All the windows would be "rolled" down... and the warm air blew on us three kids (and the dog) in the backseat.  Dad always got a very tan left arm from resting it on the open windowed door while driving.

2.  What's something in your life right now that falls under the heading 'up in the air'?  

Personally, nothing really.  I guess it would be that our pastor has accepted a call/job at a church in suburban Chicago and he and his family are leaving next month.  It makes me sad because he is a great pastor and person, and I just love his wife and children too!   So, our congregation will have an interim pastor as we go through the process of finding a new pastor.  We will be 'up in the air' for about a year until all of that happens.

3.   Your favorite light and airy dessert.

I am not a big dessert eater.  I really only eat dessert on special occasions.  So, believe it or not, it's a tough question for me.   I am going to pass on the "light and airy" part and just say a warm brownie.  lol

4.  When did you last feel like you were floating on air?  

Okay, don't laugh or judge me!!?!  Two Saturdays ago I went to the Tim McGraw concert and my daughter and I got to be on the side of the stage for the first two songs.  I'll see if I can post a video I took when Tim first came out...    and yes, that is me screaming!  (You aren't judging me, are you?  ha)

I could not get the video to load.  Drat.    Sorry.

5.  Airport, airmail, airtight, airhead...  which have you recently encountered? 

Well, I guess I AM a bit of an airhead at times.  So, I will go with that.  Sometimes, I can't make my brain work fast enough to retrieve a name or past situation, and that upsets me.  Scares me.  I think I come across as an airhead.

6.  Have you been to the Alps?  If so, where did you go?  If not, is this a destination on your must-see list?  If you were headed that direction this summer, which of the following would be your preferred activity... a gentle walk, a serious walk, a bike ride, a boat ride around one of the lakes, or summer snow skiing? 

Yes, I have been to the Alps!  I have been to both the Switzerland and the Austrian Alps... back in the early 2000's when I chaperoned on Sussex County Youth Orchestra music trips.  One of the group's concerts was played in Mayerhofen, a beautiful town at the foot of the Zillertal-Achensee range (yes, I had to check back in our scrapbook to remember that name!)  We went on this trip in early July and there was snow up on those mountains.  People were skiing at the top.  We also went to Engelberg and Lucerne, Switzerland.  We went to the top of Mt. Pilatus on a cog train.  It was very cool and foggy on that day.

If I went back I would probably prefer a serious hike - and really any hike in the mountains is serious, isn't it?

7.  What is one saying or phrase that was considered 'cool' when you were growing up? 

Well, I must go back to question 5, and say I can't get my brain to recall specific sayings....     I do remember calling girls "guys" which my mom never understood.   Guess it sounded better than saying 'girls' or 'gals'!  ha!

8.  My random thought today. 

I could randomly write about what all continues to go on in our country...  deep stuff.  But,  no, it's summertime, and it's the start of a beautiful day as I type this!!    So, I will say to you all to have a wonderful day!!  I hope you get rain if your area needs it - and I hope you stay safe.  I don't always agree with my blogging friends here when I read their replies, but I am happy that I can enjoy a place  here on this site, where we can all agree to disagree - and still wish each other a beautiful day!



Monday, July 20, 2015

Returning home. A little this and a little that...

No, it's not the Hodgepodge.  That's tomorrow.  But, this morning I am back at my computer after a week away (I had my Iphone so I wasn't detached - how horrible that would be!! lol)  But, I have a keyboard now and I feel like putting down some thoughts from the last week.

* I traveled by car and put on a bunch of miles.  I should have kept track but didn't.  I went from Pawleys Island, SC to Charlotte, then to Lakeside, Ohio (northwestern Ohio.)  After a few days I then went back south to Raleigh, then over to Charlotte again, and back home to Pawleys Island.  All in a week's time.    Thank you little Honda CRV for taking me and my daughter safely on the journey!  

We discovered that traveling on days when vacationers are NOT (Saturdays) is much better!  We didn't experience volume backups anywhere, even in the usual places...like the W VA turnpike toll booths and the tunnels through the mountains. 

I still get claustraphobic going through the mountains. I feel like the people in the valleys are living in shadows all the time. The sun might be shining but they don't get it for long.   I dislike driving the winding roads because semis scare me, and other cars in general seem to go to fast.   It's pretty scary!

My GPS took me on some fun backroads in South Carolina, past tobacco and corn fields...and another crop.  Beans??   I'm not sure.  If I wasn't on a long trip I would have stopped and checked, and taken a few pictures.

Coming back south at the end of the week, I passed the clean-up from a very serious accident involving a semi hitting a group of motorcyclists parked on the side of Interstate 85.   It was an incredibly horrible scene.  It turned my stomach and made me realize how fleeting life can be.

* I saw two concerts during the week.  First Tim McGraw (with Billy Currington opening), and then Dierks Bentley ( with Canaan Smith, Maddie & Tae, and Kip Moore as openers.)   Many of you knew I won the "on stage experience" for the Tim McGraw concert.  So, yes, my daughter and I got escorted on to the side of the stage and we got to watch the first two numbers from there.  It was AWESOME and I acted like a silly school girl.  But, whatever!   It amazes me that these artists perform live concerts 2, 3 sometimes 4 times a week.  I wonder if it gets old for them.  I wonder if they know just how special it is for the fans?? 

All the musicians were wonderful!  I am a happy person seeing my country singers!  MINE?  Well, yes...  we devoted fans are on first name basis, you know?   Tim and Dierks were the best!

*  There's no place like home!   Traveling is good from time to time, but coming home is the best!  I love being greeted by my hubby and my dogs!  I love getting back into the piddling I so enjoy in my yard.  I love my views out my back windows!   Actually, that sounds like a country song...doesn't it?  I think it's something about the view from my front porch looking in....  Phil Vasser?   Yes, I think so. 

See you all back here tomorrow.  Tuesday - and Hodgepodge time.   Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Water water everywhere!

Welcome back - another week has come and gone by, and it's time for another set of Hodgepodge questions, along with my answers.  As always, I love to hear your answers too - so feel free to comment at the end of this, or on Facebook.  

Here we go...

1.  When did you last 'swim against the tide'?  Explain. 

I think my answer here will go along with #3 - as you will see.  (It will hopefully make sense when you get to it.)  I feel I sometimes swim against the tide when it comes to the issue of gun control in this country.  I live in the south and the people around here REALLY love their guns - I do not understand it.  I stand up for what I believe is a need to tighten gun safety, gun availability, and punishment for misuse of guns.   I also believe that we have to be willing to change the "sport of hunting" for there are life and death truths.  Too many guns are used improperly, or are purposely used as weapons against people. Too many stupid people are not taking care of them and storing them  properly.  Too many wackos are out there who can grab them and hurt others.  

It is possible to make changes about care and use - but I certainly feel like it's an issue I find myself sometimes swimming against the tide! 

2.  What's the last self-help or self-improvement book you have read? 

The Bible.   I read it, and/or I hear it read, almost every day.

I can't think of another book, but I do "google" a lot now when I have something specific I want to learn about that might help my physical self, or my spiritual well-being!   It's the on-line encyclopedia of everything!

3.  "Tolerance is a tremendous virtue, but the immediate neighbors of tolerance are apathy and weakness."  (Sir James Goldsmith)

Agree or disagree?  Discuss with civility please because I think we have a good thing going in our neighborhood here. 

I do understand Sir Goldsmith's statement. I feel that often good people try hard not to ruffle feathers and therefore sometimes they don't do anything.   Unfortunately, it's the ones who don't care about tolerance, or of accepting our differences, who get noticed and sometimes do an unwanted, hurtful act.  Those actions are never justified.   We can be tolerant of differences in people but still need to feel some passion and believe we can make the world better.

When it comes to politics it's so easy to get apathetic.  And, when it comes to issues we believe in it's easy to feel we are just one person swimming against the tide, and that one on our own won't be strong enough to make a change.

That's why we (the silent majority?) need to make an effort to 1. YES be tolerant of differences, but 2.  NOT sit still and do nothing. 

4.  What is one of the most vivid memories of the kitchen from your childhood? 

I remember the kitchen in our house in Cleveland Heights had a "kitchen nook."   It was a little room (a space) off the kitchen where the table sat.  I also remember a "milkman's pass through" off the kitchen,  by the side door.  When the milkman came with deliveries of milk, the bottles could be left there.  It was cool enough to leave the milk there for awhile.  Actually, we didn't use it that much - although we had a milkman come by in his truck and deliver at home.   We also had Charles Chips delivered to our house.  Remember them?  In the large cans?   They were the best!

5.  How did your children's summers compare with your summers as a child?

Well, my summers were not really the same as my daughters.   Growing up my family took a two week camping vacation each year.  We loaded up the trailor and headed to state parks & campgrounds.  We spent a week camping at Lakeside, Ohio too.   The rest of the summer was quiet, except for a week of Vacation Bible School. 

I think my daughters did more "vacationing" because I would drive down to my mother-in-law's place in South Carolina (this was the early years, before we moved here) and we would spend a couple of weeks with her, playing on the beach, and going to some fun activities.... night-time shows, putt putt golf, etc.   Each summer the girls also spent a week in Lakeside, Ohio with family.  Again, lots of activities... and time with relatives.     Some of us head there this Sunday for a few days.   This tradition is still alive although the mix of family each summer changes.

6.  Tell us about a body of water you would most like to be on or near today, and why? 

I live near several bodies of water - so I am lucky to be near them all the time, and sometimes ON them!  I am only 2 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.  And I'm in eyesight of the Intra-coastal Waterway (which is the Waccamaw River at this point).  I also live near three other rivers that we boat on:  the PeeDee, the Black, and the Sampit Rivers.  

The river system here is a hidden gem.  Most people come to this area for the beach and ocean.  And, yes, it's wonderful!  But, the rivers are beautiful - clean, and full of wildlife.  Boating the rivers is my favorite way to spend some time on the water!

7.  Share a favorite song about water, or a favorite song with the word water in it's title, or a favorite song to listen to while you sit beside the water. 

I immediately thought of Brad Paisley - because he has written a few songs with water in the title AND about water.   One of his songs is called "Water" and he also sings of it in "Beat this Summer" and the fun "I'm Gonna Miss Her."

You gotta love the song "Toes" by the Zac Brown Band.... and some Jimmy Buffet music is always perfect for sitting by the water!

8.  My random thought. 

I thank Joyce for her work putting these questions together each week.  I enjoy "scratching my brain" and answering them, AND I enjoy reading my fellow bloggers' responses. I have been at this for a couple of years now and there are about 50 people (mostly ladies) who participate regularly.  I feel I have gotten to know them through their responses.  We live in many parts of the country, and have very different backgrounds and beliefs.   But, still, we take time to read each others posts, and just to say hello. 

Next week I will be away, visiting family, by a body of water!   Lake Erie!    But I look forward to getting back into the Hodgepodge when I return.   See you then!