Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Keeping it real...

Hello December! Hello Hodgepodgers!  Take a breath, be still... and take time to read. 

Yes, this month can get so crazy, but it's good to keep a routine happening, and for me one routine is the weekly Hodgepodge.  So, here it is. 

1.  Did you watch The Charlie Brown Christmas Special Monday night?  Who's your favorite Peanuts character and why? 

I did not watch although I planned to and I turned the TV on at 8:00pm.  But then I realized it was a 50th anniversary special of the classic show and it had lots of "fluff" so I decided to watch "The Voice" instead.  We own the Charlie Brown Christmas Show that is the classic - half-hour long - on DVD, so I will certainly watch it at some point. I do love it!

My favorite character is definitely Linus.   Out of the mouth of babes!  He is young, but wise.

My second favorite is Charlie Brown because he is so relate-able and TRIES all the time. I love his innocent efforts.

"Most psychiatrists agree that sitting in a pumpkin patch is excellant therapy for a troubled mind."  - Linus      Would you agree? 

Well, if it weren't cold in the patch,  then yes I would definitely agree!  Being still, enjoying nature, having time to think about all that is good and God-given...  there is always a need for quiet time.  It's not just for children!

2.  Describe a sound from your childhood.  What does this bring to mind? 

I have a few...        in hot weather I remember the loud "whoop" when we turned the fan unit on in the hallway ceiling.  The slats opened in the ceiling when the fan started, it was loud - but it keep the air circulating because we didn't have central air.  It brought relief.

I remember the sound of  Lawrence Welk's program at my Grandparents.  It seems it was on TV there often!  I don't think I ever watched the show in my own home, but I always did at my grandma and grandpa Fogt's house.

And, I suppose I think of hearing trains from my youth.  Again, at my grandparents (they had tracks right behind them), and also in several places I lived growing up.  In rural Ohio trains still run today, and whenever I visit there is a chance of having to wait as one passes on the tracks.  I was just there over Thanksgiving and we had to wait - but it was a short train.   I never even see them - let alone HEAR them - here where I live now.

3.  You've won a trip to a winter wonderland. Would that excite you?   Which one of the following would you most want to experience (or which would you dislike the least)?   See the Aurora Borealis in Norway, stay in Sweden's Ice Hotel, go dogsledding in Lapland, Finland, take a winter safari in Yellowstone, or celebrate Winter Carnival in Quebec?  

If I won a winter wonderland trip I would "re-gift" it for sure!   I do my best to stay away from cold weather and snow.   So, no thank you.  I would definitely pass on the trip.

Of the ones listed above, the least miserable sounding trip would be the Carnival in Quebec...I think.  Why?  Because they have to have warm restaurants, bars and hotels, right??   I was in Quebec once - in June - and it was lovely.   I suggest staying at the Hotel Frontenauc. It's old and beautiful!

4.  Who or what keeps you humble?

Well, in general, I suppose I keep myself humble.  I don't think I have extra special anything to boast about... and I try to remember that what talents I do have to offer comes from God and should be used for His favor.  My husband can keep me humble too....  with "jokes" about my lack of cooking skills, etc.   And that's really alright.  I know I do okay with some things BUT certainly not everything!

5.  What part of preparing for Christmas do you like the most?

Wow.  Easy question. Tough answer.    Maybe it is why I'm not a big fan of this time of year and I always feel some dread.   As I noted above, I am not a good chef or baker...so I will make some Christmas cookies but I don't enjoy it.  I worry they won't taste good. The big holiday meal? Ditto.   I do the decorating - and undecorating...a task.  I put together the Christmas cards each year, and mail them...  and it's okay to do. I LOVE to get cards in the mail, so I need to send them. I love to hear from people and to see some pictures. 

Hubby and I share in the Christmas shopping. I worry that I don't get enough for everyone.  Then there is always one or two I forget, or wonder if I should buy for or not.   Then I think about our over-indulgences, and those REALLY needy.     I wrap some of the gifts, but hubby does some too - usually the items he buys. 

My favorite part of preparation???  It's got to be the music rehearsals and extra performances.   The Christmas music is beautiful!!  I love playing it - and I enjoy listening to it. 

6.  Gingerbread - yay or nay?  Is making a gingerbread house part of your family tradition? 

I am not a big fan of the taste of gingerbread.  It's just okay.    As for making a house, yes, we have bought the kits in the past and we have made them.  When my daughters were younger we did.   It's not really a "family tradition" as such.  I do not have plans for one this year.

7. What's one thing you want to start, do, or complete before the calendar rolls into a new year? 

We have a new garage with an office above it under construction at our river place.  I hope it is fully completed by the new year.  We really hope to have it done by Christmas!  It's been delayed by the usual... waiting for inspections,  sub-contractor scheduling issues, etc.   The drywall is being painted right now. The floors are to go in next.  We still need the bathroom fixtures in and connected.  Electrical finished.  Then furniture put in it.   Don't know if it will get done by the 25th!  Or the 31st for that matter.

8.  My random thought. 

I don't mean for this Hodgepodge post to be a downer.  I struggle with these weeks leading up to Christmas each year.  Don't get me wrong! I'm all about celebrating the birth of the baby Jesus, and I love having my daughters and my son-in-law at home!  I love the music.  I love the children's joy at the Christmas pageant and church events.   Each year is the same with the expectations that I probably put on myself.  And each year, I tell myself FOCUS on the real meaning of Christmas and leave the other stuff behind.  

As I said at the beginning of this post, breathe,  be still at times.  Keep to a routine when possible. 

So, I'll see you here next week!  



  1. We had a train that ran near our house the year we lived in Ohio. After a while they become part of the landscape and you almost don't notice it. I like the sound of a train. I need a bit of routine in every day too. Good luck with your garage project!

  2. It is so easy to feel overwhelmed this time of year...hence the reason I got most of my shopping done early on. Like you, I always worry about not getting enough, but keeping a list helps. I just care that my family can be together and celebrate the birth of Christ.

  3. I would watch the Lawrence Welk program on Saturday evenings with my parents before heading out. I use to feel overwhelmed with the weeks leading up to Christmas plus both daughters' birthdays are around Christmas-one is the 26th and the other is the 30th double whammy!

  4. Thanks for your comment on my blog, Marla! I enjoyed reading your Hodgepodge too!

  5. Lawrence Welk, what a great memory to have. How sweet of you to re-gift your prize. That is awesome that your husband helps you shop. I totally understand your random. After spending all day in the kitchen cooking on Thanksgiving we just have to turn around and be in Christmas mode.....it is taking me time to feel that spirit!!!