Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hello October!

Welcome to another edition of the weekly Hodgepodge.  Without further ado...

1.  Something on your October calendar that makes you smile? 

A wedding!  Weddings always make me smile!   We are going to my hubby's cousin's daughter's wedding the second weekend of the month.  (Ok... does that make the bride my hubby's second cousin? I never get that right.)   Weddings are joyous, fun family get-togethers.  I am happy that both of my daughters will be attending too, so I will get to see them.

2.  Food for the soul or music for the soul... which camp are you in?  Why?

Oh, definitely music for the soul!  I love music!  Many different kinds.  I love to listen,  and to dance - and to play music.   Music is one of life's most wonderful things!  It's what gives daily life a lift!     Food, although often tasty and a social experience, is really a body need.  But, music...oh music,  it's a need for the heart and the soul!

3.  What are two or three things you have learned recently as a result of an online search? 

Well, I love to do crosswords and I admit that after I do as much as I can on my own I occasionally google some clues that I get stuck on.  So, from last Sunday's NY Times' crossword I learned:  Cassio's jealous lover in "Orthello" was Bianca... a "Lion King" song is Hakuna Matata (yes I have seen it on Broadway but I could not remember the song title), and I learned a 1975 show biz autobiography was "I am not Spock."   So, there you go!

4.  Share your favorite game day recipe.  You can describe it, post the "how-to," or add a link to the actual recipe.

I love nachos!  I do not make them at home - so if I'm out at a restaurant, or more likely at a sport bar to watch a game, I will definitely order them!  I don't think I need to describe them... but I will say I love everything on my nachos BUT jalapenos.  Plenty of sour cream please.   Watching football is not the time to worry about calories! ha 

5.  What are your five essential steps for creating the perfect morning routine? 

I love this question!  Let me say first, unfortunately this morning I did not get to have my perfect morning routine because I had to be out of the house to a handbell rehearsal by 8:45am.   But, my PERFECT morning goes this way...

I wake up early but without an alarm, and I take the doggies out back to do their business.  I then feed them and the kitties.  Once that is done - it's time for me.  I make my favorite coffee drink, Cafe Francais by International House.  I sit at the kitchen table with my computer and check in with Facebook and emails...without watching the clock.  I make myself my peanut butter sandwich that I eat almost every morning for breakfast.   Afterwards I throw on some "work clothes" to do some outdoor weeding and piddling in the yard.  Then I come in and shower and maybe turn on "Kathie Lee and Hoda" while I'm getting ready for the day.  

I think that was more than five steps, but it's how I love to start off my day when I don't need to hurry anywhere. 

6.  What small thing have you taken note of today? 

Well, as I type this it's 11:00am so...  so far this morning?  I noticed that the recent daily humidity and off & on rain has really been good for my flowers.  They still look beautiful!  I will try to post a pic at the end of this. (No promise that I can get it to work.)  

7.  Sum up your September in seven words or less.

Beautiful but wet, busy, and too fast.

8.  My random thought. 

I just upgraded my Iphone yesterday and got my first Ipad too...all in one day!  I'm still definitely in the "learning curve" of the new devices.  So, for today's Hodgepodge I went back to my comfort zone with my old laptop with its regular keyboard.   Change is good - but hard work sometimes!

Have a great start of October everyone! 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Back at it... the Hodgepodge

Our Hodgepodge leader Joyce took last week off, so it's been awhile since I have sat here and had to respond to random questions.  But, I'll give it a go!  How about you?

1.  What have you 'fallen for' recently? 

I don't know if it's a love thing, but I have gotten more into using Instagram lately, and it comes after checking out of Twitter (I could not keep up with it.)    I like following people & their pets on Instagram, and I like to see the pictures posted each day.  I follow 4 or 5 Instagram sites that are all about pugs (I own two pugs - and they are "my children" - or should I say they own me?? ).  If you are interested, follow "Doug the Pug" and "Roxie" on Instagram - both have daily pictures posted and they make me laugh because they are so cute!!   

Halloween is coming and it seems pug owners LOVE to dress their dogs up in costumes.  Sometimes they are pretty silly, but pugs have an easy temperment and allow being dressed up.   Do you ever dress your dog up?  Maybe put bows in their hair?

2.  What's something you are 'squirreling away' for later? 

Well, I collect a lot of infant items because I put together baby layette baskets for our local hospital.  I drop off baskets almost weekly and the nurses give them as gifts to those they designate as needing some basic needs for their baby, or who might not be getting any special attention from family.

One day when I was shopping at a thrift store for items I found a brand new little New England Patriots "lovey" blanket - and I decided to hang on to it.  I am 'squirreling it away' for the day my daughter and her new hubby have a baby.  My son-in-law is a huge Patriots fan and I think this little blanket will make the perfect gift for their first baby!!  (They just got married in April - so I may have to hang on to it for a bit....    but, anytime is fine with me!!)

3. How do you like apples?  Sweet? Tart? Crisp? Cooked?  Apples are one of the superfoods for fall.. how often do you eat an apple either plain or as a part of a favorite recipe?  What's your favorite variety? 

Oh boy. Now I'm feeling guilty.  I should be eating apples more often than I do!  I love them, I do...  tart and crisp!  I love them plain.  So, I really should pick up a few apples next time I go to the supermarket.  I tend to forget about items I put into my refrigerator "crisper" but I like apples cold - so I guess I need to store them somewhere I can keep them, but also see them.    Yes, unfortunately, I'm the type of person who finds rotted black tomatoes, and mushy oranges..and liquid celery... and growing potatoes  ... all in my refrigerator drawer.    I waste so many vegetables and fruits.

4.   According to Fodor's the ten best fall foliage trips in the US of A are - Aspen Colorado, the Catskills New York, the Berkshires Massachusetts, the Columbia River Gorge Oregon, the Green Mountain Byway Vermont,  Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway New Mexico, the Great Smokey Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee,  the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the LAkes of the Ozarks Missouri, and Glaciers National Park Montana.  Which would you like to visit and why? 

Well...   I think just because it's the closest, I will say the Smokey Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee.   Seeing fall foliage requires a car trip.... and I would not want to fly (I just did last weekend and I am not a fan.)  So, I would do a weekend trip to the near-by mountains I suppose.  But, really, I'm happy staying right here where I am.

5.   The topic of legalizing marijuana was raised in the most recent televised political debate so let's wade in too.  23 states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some form.  Four states have legalized marijuana for recreational use.  Your thoughts? 

I definitely believe that marijuana should be legal and available for medical use.   I suppose I believe it should be acceptable for adults as long as the same laws hold true as with drinking alcohol.   Abusing any substance is scary and can hurt the user and people around them.  Driving and smoking pot should be illegal.    I just saw something on FB from a high school teacher who talked about how he sees teenagers who smoke marijauna lose all their interest in really anything else.  They are not motivated.  They lose energy.   I believe children and young people don't have the ability to regulate their own use (same with alcohol) and therefore I think smoking pot should be illegal until 18.   

I think just about everyone has "tried" pot just like they have "tried" alcohol.  Mistakes have been made while under the influence of both. 

6.  Are you okay to watch a movie already in progress or do you always need to see it from the beginning?  How about jumping into a TV series somewhere in the middle?  Is that okay? 

I don't mind flipping channels and stopping on a movie halfway through.  But, if I sit down with someone already involved in a movie it's not fair to them in a way.  You can't ask questions... like "what did I miss?"  Or "what's going on?? "  If I come in to a movie halfway through and I do like it, I try to catch the whole thing soon after.    As for TV series...  the dramas on television now are hard to jump into part way through and understand  the characters and the plot.   In general, I am not a big TV drama viewer...but more for the reason that I think they start out interesting but quickly "go astray" or get too far out there and unbelievable.  I lose interest.   I guess that's why I tend to watch comedies and music shows.

7.  Thursday, September 24th is National Punctuation Day. What rule of punctuation trips you up most often?  What rule of punctuation when broken by someone else bugs you the most? 

Oh, my...in this day and age when we use shortened styles of writing, slang, and initials... and lots of dot, dot, dot (I definitely overuse it).... see?   I don't worry too much about proper punctuation unless it's for a formal letter, for business, or for an application.  I don't deal with formal writing in my life anymore.   My worst punctuation?   Those....   dot dot dots!     What I get annoyed about?  I suppose when someone doesn't use commas and I can't figure out a sentence.   (Sorry if I do that!)  

8.  My random thought.

You know, September and October really are beautiful weather months just about everywhere!  It's a beautiful, low humidity, sunny day here today - and I hope it is where you live too!  Have a great day! 




Monday, September 14, 2015


I can't explain why it happens like this, but in the past three weeks or so I have the death of someone I know in my life happen.   I hear "things come in 3's" well, unforunately I can list 4 that have left earth.  And, because each life is of such important worth, let me briefly tell you who each one was...


Beverly - a lovely, southern woman and devoted wife, mother, grandmother to her family and to our church.  Think sweet?  That was Beverly.

Ann Marie - my best girlfriend's younger sister, taken at age 50, with a new husband and a beautiful daughter.  A long timer county 911 operator who saved countless lives on her job.

Carl - a fellow band mate with the PI Community Band, and sometimes fill-in director.   He spent his whole career as a music teacher and band director.

Gary -  he hits home the hardest.  An amazing husband, father, and doting grandfather. Full of life til the moment he died on 9/11 (his wife's birthday.)  A funny man and a deeply caring and devoted man to his faith and to all those around him.  He was our one daughter's Confirmation sponsor.  I was his daughter's.  We shared many meals together - as neighbors, golfing friends, church buddies, and more.  Many discussions.  Deep discussions - about life after,  about whats happens to people when they don't believe.  He worried about others' souls. 

I know Gary, Beverly, Ann Marie, and Carl are all at peace.  They died different ways.  Most rather suddenly, so for their sake it was a blessing. 

But, certainly not for us still walking around who knew them and will notice the huge hole they left behind. 

Their deaths in a row certainly highlight to me how each of us has such a limited time on earth to make a difference, to love, to enjoy each day, to work for the betterment of this place we all call home. 

I have always been a believer in life after death.  I believe Jesus conquered death and rose again... to show us that there is heaven.  There is more.  There is a loving, caring God.   And, because I do believe I have always wondered how connected we stay with those who are "on the other side."   I had my mother come to me in a dream a week after she died.  I have heard similar stories from others.  Really, I don't know if it's because we WANT it, or we NEED assurance, or if they really do have the ability to reach us in dreams or at other waking moments.  I like to think it's possible.  I want to stay connected with them.  Physical death is not the end.

So, this morning I prepare to head to another funeral.   I realize I'm aging...so this will happen more and more...   and after the shock of word of the passing, I have realized how important the celebration of the life is.  I'm heading to NJ on Thursday for a group hug, for a lot of tears and lots of stories.  I will show my support to the family I love so much, and I will see others from the community that I have not seen in 9 years!   I know it's going to be a time Gary will really like!  In some way,  I hope he will be there!!  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Hodgepodge - What to do?

It's time for the weekly Hodgepodge.  Want to play along? Perhaps you have an AMAZING answer to one of the following questions.   Read on...

1.  Last thing you did on the spur of the moment? 

In general I do not make quick decisions, and I do not ACT on something unexpected very quickly either.  So, it's hard for me to think of a time that I did something, or went somewhere, totally "spur of the moment."  I like to have it on the calendar.  I like to have time to prepare. I like to know the start and stop times.  And, I like to make sure it's a "good" thing to do.  

Pretty boring, huh?  Yes, I suppose.  But it's also less stressful.  

BUT - that doesn't mean I don't like to have fun!!    It just means I am not good at deviating from my plans for the day or week.   I like to feel in control.   Then have fun!

2.  How well informed do you feel about the current Syrian refugee crisis? 

Hmmm.   Well, I know enough about it to know it's a terribly sad situation!!  Once again a whole group of ordinary people,  including many families with children, are leaving Syria because they feel totally unsafe there, and they are willing to leave everything behind, to just get up and go from their homes, to travel to anywhere that will accept them.   Walking mostly.   Going to other countries to get away from the constant warring and terror in their homeland.  How very, very sad.

I do not know enough about the middle East sects and those groups causing the havoc to know WHY they fight.  It's just really hard to figure out "sides" and all of the history that got them there.   I mean... What do they hope to gain in the end?  For me, it makes sense for the people to leave because they no longer can not live there and still be 'normal.'  Yes, It takes a lot to just up and leave.  But, for survival the refugees are heading out - going away from it, and hoping for a better tomorrow.  They need help.  They need support.

3.  What have you changed your mind about? 

I like to think I am open minded enough that I do not have to CHANGE my mind on a subject  completely.  I usually can see both sides in situations anyway.  I tend to follow my heart, but also I follow my faith in God and in love.   That works for me.

I will say I resisted getting an Iphone and thought I would not need one.  (And, really I do not NEED it - but I sure do love it!!!)   My hubby got me to trade up awhile ago, and once I got my Iphone I quickly became very reliant on it.  In fact, I'm quite connected with it now.  If I accidently leave home - or just the room - without it, I panic!!     lol    True.

4.  Joyce writes...A medium sized non-poisonous snake found it's way into the pool trap this weekend.   If you'd been sitting poolside would you have fished it out?  Gone running? Called for help? Pretended not to know?  Continued swimming? 

Oh my!  Pretended not to know and continue swimming??    NO WAY!!!!!      First,  how do you know it was non-poisonous?  I live in an area where unfortunately I do see snakes around - and I still have no way to be certain which are poisonous and which are not.  I have been told you can tell by their eyes...or shape of the head... or markings on the back.    I for one will not stand close enough to a snake to gather all that information AND really, it does not matter - because I hate ALL snakes!!  

I would quickly move away (ok, maybe run) and immediately call for help (meaning somebody else to remove it and get rid of it for good.)     I have had to do this a few times around and IN my house.  If you are wondering... bar-b-que tongs work well for grabbing a snake and a shovel works well for getting rid of it for good.  I have watched this done...from a distance...    because I hate snakes!!

5.  September 10th is National TV Dinner Day...  what's your idea of a great TV dinner?  (Or at least a pretty good one.) 

I'm not sure of the question.  Is the day to honor the invention of the pre-packaged TV dinners like the ones Swanson put on aluminum trays and froze?   Or, are we to honor any meal we eat in front of the TV?

Most of my meals are consumed in front of the TV.  So, I guess I like anything that I can set on the coffee table and enjoy while watching a favorite TV show.    (Sad.)

6.  Samuel Johnson is quoted as saying "Courage is reckoned the greatest of all virtues, because, unless a man has that virtue, he has no security for preserving any other."  Would you agree?  Where have you seen this played out recently?  What's the second greatest virtue? 

I had to look up who Samuel Johnson was  (an English writer and essayist) and the definition of virtue (because I wanted to be sure)...   it is "Behavior showing high moral standards.   Do I agree with Mr. Johnson?  Yes and no.   It takes courage to take any step forward for a positive reason, or for a moral response.  But sometimes it takes just as much courage to stay put.    Both can require courage. 

I am wondering if Joyce asks this question now because the clerk in Kentucky used courage to stand by her religious belief, and not process marriage certificates to same sex couples.   Perhaps it was an example on Joyce's mind.  

But, let me be clear,  I do not agree with the clerk.  She was elected to do a civic job, and to follow the rules of this land.  If she personally does not want to comply (for any reason), than she should leave the position. 

The greatest virture?  Love.  Agape love.   Loving because God loves you.

7.  What are three words you have trouble remembering how to spell?  

I get in trouble when two vowels are next to each other - I  turn them around sometimes.  Like the word 'behavior' that I used in the last question.  Spellcheck didn't like it as behavoir.   I also have trouble with niece (neice) and from question 1:  poison (not pioson.)

8.   My random thought today. 

Today starts a new time of the year in a way.  Labor Day weekend just ended so now it's time for a new school year for many, and a new outlook. There's a change of season coming, and I'm wondering if I'm ready.    Activities start up again.  The holidays seem 'around the corner.'   My calendar gets full (enough.)   Am I ready?     I guess it doesn't matter.  You just can't stop time!!     But...

It's one of the reasons I get sad when summer ends.   That "vacation" feel is gone.  

Do you experience it also?  



Wednesday, September 2, 2015

It's what I believe... on gay marriage.

In the past few months I have had to think about my "stance" on the subject of whether or not gay couples should be allowed to marry in a church, and/or allowed to be married by an ordained person of a church. 

Having to think now?  Why?    Yes.  It's become an issue at MY church, and I think since the Supreme Court granted all 50 states the right to same sex marriage,  it's probably an issue in many churches and houses of worship all across America.

I personally had not thought about it too much earlier, because I have always been of the mindset that whatever people do in and for love is a good thing.  If it's a mutual decision, who am I to say no?  I have always believed that being gay is not an option.  It's not a choice. It's not a fad.  Gay men and lesbian women are born with genetic attraction to their same sex.  Most gays come to some understanding of their sexuality by the time of puberty, and by that age, they already know they will have a hard road to travel in today's society.  So, it's not a "cause" to take up.

Everyone - EVERYONE - wants love.  Everyone wants to be accepted by somebody.   The desire to marry and make a family is a natural part of existing for most,  although it's reached at different times and ages.   But, yes, I think given an option of being alone, or in love with someone and sharing life together, most will prefer to be with someone.

So. Okay.  That's what I think...

BUT, now let's think about what God "might" think about it.  I say "might" because NONE of us are God, and really, none of us know for certain what God thinks about homosexuality.   I can hear some of you getting all riled up right about now.  So, hear me out.

I have gone to Sunday School as a kid, and have gone to church all my adulthood. The past 12 or so years I have gone to a weekly Bible Study in a small group setting.  I have read much of the Bible, and I have had wonderful opportunities to discuss the great book.  I don't know if you have noticed, but the Bible is written in some hard to understand language and mysterious ways... Jesus used lots of parables (stories), some different prophets came with messages, and then the disciples wrote "with divine guidance"...   all giving us "God's Word."   I do not doubt that.  

But, still, I have a hard time always being clear on what God wants for us.   EXCEPT...  and this is a BIG thing.....  God makes it clear that there are 10 Commandments (instructions for us to stay on the right path and please him), and, most of all He says "Love each other as I have loved you."

I think God knows we humans can't get too complicated.  10 rules and one major way to live out life.  We can handle that. (Or can we?)       Did you notice?  The ten commandments do not say anything in them about limiting our love, and about judging who can love each other and who can't.

So, back to the main debate at our church and other churches, can a gay marriage take place there...and by an ordained pastor?   Well, what is a church wedding?    It's about two people coming before God by choice, in His special home with community around, declaring and vowing to love each other, to be true to each other, in sickness and in health, etc.  I think you have heard it before.   Bible passages are read.  Prayers are offered up to God for the couple.   Usually, at the end of Christian ceremonies, the pastor then gives a benediction asking the Lord to bless the union, and to let His light shine upon their faces.  To give thee peace.

How can any of that be wrong?  

 I suppose I can not leave off mentioning something about the physical part of a gay marriage.  Some have issues with that.   Like I said before being gay is not a choice, so it's not kinky, or odd.  For a gay person.    I think enough is said about that.   Also, yes it takes a man and a woman to make a baby.  That is how God created us.  But, have you noticed there are a lot of babies looking for some good loving parents?

I think about how many heterosexual marriages and families would probably do better with God in the equation.  That marriage is tough, and having God, having Jesus and his example of love - especially the love for others who are poor, downtrodden, different, needy - it is all good.  It's all positive.

Positive.  Here is my last thought about it.   When people say "no you can't" they sound so  judgmental, and they sound very negative.  Now, there is a time/need for rules and punishments - when people go against the civil laws of the land, or when they hurt or kill others.  We need order in society.   But, when it comes to accepting gay marriage there is nothing hurtful, certainly not murderous - and now it is the law of our land.

I am a Christian.  I love my God. I do my best to love my neighbor.  If any person, gay or straight, can keep and respect the civil laws of this land, then I believe they have every right to stand before God and ask for His blessing.

So now - when someone asks me why I believe what I do - I can say "read my blog post from September 2, 2015."   

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The passage of time.

Hello September 2015!  It's another day and another month.  Can we please slow down the passage of time a bit?  As much as I like days with a bit less humidity and the start of football, I always get a bit melancholy in September.  I know that Fall is on the way and I feel holiday pressure, and I'm not a fan of colder temperatures, and shorter days of light. In general it's tougher for me to stay "up".... but one thing helps me...

The weekly Hodgepodge!

So, here it is.

1.  What's on your September calendar?  Anything fun? 

I still have two concerts in the summer "megaticket" country concert package I bought in to for the summer.  So, I look forward to seeing Jason Aldean this Friday night - and then Luke Bryan in a couple of weeks.

I also am looking forward to seeing my daughters and son-in-law this coming weekend. I will see my one daughter for the Aldean concert.  I will see my other daughter and her hubby for the Labor Day weekend here.   The weather should be good so we hope to get in a little boating and continue the "summer fun" into September!

2.  You might be described as a natural born __________ . 

Tough question. I can only think of things I am NOT naturally born with, like amazing cooking skills, or athletic ability, or a singing voice.  And let's not even talk about my brain skills!  lol

So, what am I a natural at?    Just being me.  Nobody else can do it.

3.   September is National Courtesy Month...  what one act of courtesy would you most like to see more of in your home, town, or the world at large? 

Only one?   lol     Well, I have no issues about courtesy in my home.   But in the world?   I would like to see  much more respect for people's differences.  I would like people to understand that we all come from different backgrounds and have had different life experiences that shape us.  We need to honor them - and respect them - and treat each other WITH respect.

Can I add one more?  How about the courtesy of not littering, and picking up after yourself.   I wish everyone cared more about God's world and took better care of it.

4.  Eager beaver, chicken out, clam up, or let the cat out of the bag...  of the phrases listed, which one have you related to most recently? 

I guess of those listed I will go with "chicken out" because I am in a place right now where I do not want to add anything more to my daily life.  So, I will "chicken out" if I am approached to do something new.  I like my schedule as it is.  I am at a place in my life where I keep busy enough, I think I make a difference, but I don't stress myself too much.   I like it that way.

5.  What's your movie theatre snack protocal?  Do you chow down on snacks during the previews or wait until the movie begins?  Do you buy snacks or refuse to pay those kinds of prices?  What's the last movie you saw in a theatre?  How many thumbs up would you give it? 

First, my snack protocal is this:  If I haven't eaten for awhile or do not plan to eat for at least a few hours after the movie ends, then I will treat myself to a bag of popcorn.  It's a meal in itself so I only get popcorn if I am hungry.   I have never bought other snacks at the movie theatre.   I will start eating popcorn during the previews because that's a good half hour of sitting there. (so many previews!!).... I might as well eat!  Right?    I will say that I hate to crunch on popcorn during really quiet parts in movies - I don't like to make noise and disturb others!

The last movie I saw in the theatre?  Gotta think on this.  I don't go very often anymore. I don't like most that are out there right now.  I am not into all the action flicks or the sci-fi special effects movies.  I think the last movie I saw was the real life story about the woman who tried to get her family painting back after the Nazis stole it during the war.   I can't remember the name of the movie.  It was well done.  I give it 4 thumbs up out of 5.  Oh, it had Ryan Reynolds in it - and that was nice too!!?!

6.  Henry Ford is quoted as saying "Nobody can think straight who does not work.  Idleness warps the mind."  Agree or disagree?  Why? 

Obviously anyone who works outside the home gets a better view of society, and just interacting with other people will widen one's perspective.   Working for the good of the world will make you feel more valued.  Working for pay makes the world go round - economically.  But, volunteer work is just as needed, as valuable.   So, yes, I do believe that not being a part of ANY work will tend to make a person unable to relate.... and thereby they don't get a true vision of the world.

I don't know if I agree with Mr. Ford using the words "straight" and "warps"....    not politically correct in today's use of language!

7.  What's the last job you completed or task you performed where you had to work 'like a dog' until it was finished? 

Oh.  Back to question #4:  I do not like to put myself in a situation where I feel stressed for time in doing a task, or that I feel over my head in the task.  So, I truly can not remember the last time I felt that I had to 'work like a dog' to finish something up.   I don't function that way.

8.  My random thought. 

I traveled to Baltimore and back this past weekend.   I went up for a funeral and to see some friends.  I lived in Baltimore back in the late 70's and the early 80's.  I finished college there, got my first real job, and met my hubby there.  We married there.  I have extremely fond memories of the place - and loved my time living in "Charm City."    You know the Miranda Lambert song "The House that Built Me" that says I thought I could go back one more time...I'll take nothing but a memory...?     I rode by my old family house.  It was kinda sad because it looked a bit rundown. But, I pictured in my mind standing out front, and walking out to get the mail, and parking my first car on the grass on the side by the hill, etc.    It was an odd feeling... and a big reminder of the passage of time.

Like I started out saying in this Hodgepodge post, can we just slow down time please?!!