Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Back at it... after a week away. This week: expectations, nature, foolishness.

I took a week off from the Hodgepodge while I had some family visiting, and I got myself ready for Easter. 

But, it's back for a new week - and so am I !!   Read on, and please feel free to respond here or on Facebook.

1. What are two or three expectations you have of yourself?

I have many expectations, but the first three that pop into my head are...

1. to be an honest person.  Once you start lying I think it gets easier. Once you start lying you have a much more complicated life.  Once you start lying you play games, and feel guilt.    And, I don't want to live my life that way. 

2.  to stay as 'up' as I possibly can.  I have suffered with down days in my past, but I make it a point to see the sunny side of life much better now, and to be joyful about today, and the future. 

And, 3.  to give back.   I am blessed with so much that I really do feel a responsibility to give back.  I enjoy giving back, and I feel I am called to represent a good Christian.  (Unfortunately, there are so many false or fake ones out there.)   I give because He gives to me. 

2. In what way does your outdoor space need sprucing up this spring?

Well, this morning I just bought a big ole bag of 'weed and feed' for the front yard!  Tell me, how is it that weeds feel the first warmth of spring's sun and flourish?  My yard is more weeds than grass right now.    In general, I try to stay on top of my 'outdoor space' and clean, prune, and weed all the time.  And (I have written about this before) yes,  yard work is something I enjoy doing, and I love being outside with nature.

3. According to this site (Roadtrippers), six of North America's most wondrous waterfalls are-Webster's Falls in Ontario, Upper Whitewater Falls in North Carolina, Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon, Multnomah Falls in Oregon, The Lower Yellowstone Falls, and Niagara.  Have you seen any on the list? Which one on the list would you most like to visit? Prettiest waterfall not on the list that you've seen in person?

I am surprised at the fact that I have only seen one of the waterfalls listed above.  I saw Niagara Falls as a kid.  That is it. But,  I have seen some beautiful waterfalls in Hawaii, and I have seen them in the fiords of Norway.

Of those on the list above, I think I should work on going to see the Upper Whitewater Falls in North Carolina, because I live easily within a day's drive to it. 

4. Looking back, what's something you wish you'd done as a teenager?

I had my sister visiting me last week and we did some reminiscing about our teen years at home; our years growing up together.  We had some laughs about it.  But, I really can't think of anything I wish I had done as a teenager that I never got the chance to do.  I was pretty content with my life.  I am fortunate to feel that way. 

5. Ham...yes please or no thank you? If you said yes please which of the following do you like best-baked ham with all the trimmings, a ham and cheese sandwich, prosciutto with melon, a ham biscuit, a bowl of split pea and ham soup, or a slice of pizza topped with ham and pineapple?

Oh, definitely yes, please!! I love ham!  We had some for Easter - spiral-sliced, and glazed.  Along with all the trimmings.  It was delicious!!  Of the choices above, I will say I love it baked with all the trimmings best.  My second choice is having a warm ham biscuit.  I think it's more of a southern thing.   If you haven't tried it, you should.  Yum!!

6. Are you typical of your generation? How so?

Tough question.  I think I am NOT typical of others of my age in that I try to stay 'in tune' with what is happening in the younger generations.  My daughters and their friends help keep me that way. (But I suppose others like me feel the same.)  I am determined to stop myself from 'being old'...acting old.  I want to go out - have fun.  There is something very freeing about having your kids raised, and being able to experience things without worry.

I do NOT want to be 'set in my ways.' I suppose some people reading this are laughing right now.  Because, of course, I am set in my ways on certain things.  But, I TRY to be open, and to be giving, accepting, and forgiving. 

Am I like others of my generation?   Some yes - some no.

7. April rolls in at the end of the week, and in keeping with that theme...'act the fool', 'nobody's fool' 'a fool's errand', 'could have fooled me'...which foolish idiom most recently applies to you?

Recently?   ha.  How about 'always'?  I think I don't always get when I am being fooled by somebody else.   So, which idiom is it?  'Could have fooled me?'   I am gullible. I take people at their word. I expect people to follow through on what they say they will do.  

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I hope everyone had a nice Easter day!  I love the Easter season so much more than the Christmas season.  Anybody else like me?  I love that it does not have the same expectations, food orgy, presents to buy, cards to send, etc.  It's about the event... the fact that Jesus, the son of God, conquered death - for us all.   The lead up is very different, obviously.  And, I like that.   Easter is such a joyous day! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Luck, life, and things green.

Happy Tuesday!
Here's this week's Hodgepodge.

1. What do you think about luck?

I think it seems like sometimes people have good luck or bad luck, but in reality things just happen in life.   Sometimes life goes their way; sometimes it doesn't.   

I don't believe that people are predestined to have more luck than others.  And, I think some people are better at turning bad things into good things...and it seems they have good luck. 

2. Not counting your own backyard, what's a favorite green space in your town, city, or state?

This is an easy answer for me because I live close by to Brookgreen Gardens.  The gardens are on land that originally was comprised of several large plantations.  After the rice era ended here and slavery ended, the plantations were sold.  The Brookgreen land was bought by a famous sculpturer (Anne Huntington) and her philanthropic family.  They turned much of it into absolutely beautiful year-round gardens, and they started collecting sculpture to place among the beauty of nature.   The Huntingtons have passed on, but the Brookgreen Gardens continue to be a picture perfect spot... with huge live oaks, magnolia trees, azaleas, many seasonal flowers, walking paths, etc.  A small walking zoo has been added, a small cafe, and historical lectures and classes are given.   Google it - and see the beauty!  Better yet, if you plan a trip this way (the lowcountry of South Carolina) you must make it a stop! 

3. How do you make your life more complex than it needs to be?

I have worked over many years to simplify life.  But I certainly still have WAY TOO MUCH STUFF!  Next month is the annual church garage sale (and I run it) and I plan on getting rid of stuff... I already have an area in the garage loaded with items to take to the sale. 

Beyond that though, I try to stop worrying.  Worrying, especially about things I have no control over, makes life complex and complicated.   "Let go, let God" has always been an expression I turn to when I feel my life getting out of hand.

4. I read here the three places you should visit with friends. They are-New York City, Hawaii, and Amsterdam (rent a bike, walk along the canal, visit one of their world class museums). I felt the need to expound on that one. Moving on...Of the three places listed which would you most like to visit with friends? What's one place not on the list you think should be visited with friends?

Of the three places listed, I have visited both New York City and Hawaii with friends (and family.)  I have not been to Amsterdam although my hubby, and both of my daughters have explored the city.  I have been to Venice, and Brugge, and other European cities with similar old charm. I have walked along canals and visited museums.

A great place to be with friends not on the list?   For me - it's Nashville.  I love the lower Broadway area.  There are many places to hang out, endless music.... museums, and more!  I have noticed it has become a destination for bachelor and bachelorette parties.   It seems every time I have visited "Music City" it has festivities and people just having a really good time!

5. What's the last live performance you saw? On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being best) how would you rate it?

Live performance.... well, I am a live concert person! For sure!    I love musical theater too!    The last one I went to?  I went to some local non-professional Christmas concerts.   But, the last professional music event?  I had tickets last summer to the Country Music Series at the pavilion in Charlotte.   I think Jason Aldean was the last in that series - in September.   I rate it a 9.  I love Jason's music. He has had many hits - so the concert was one hit right after another.  

I have tickets  to see Kelsea Ballerinni and Billy Currington next month at House of Blues.  I'm looking forward to it - and looking forward to going with friends!

6. March 14th is National Potato Chip Day. Are you a fan? Your favorite flavor? Besides potato, what's your favorite chip type of snack?

Hubby and I were just talking about potato chips the other day!  I never buy them for the home because I know they are fattening and have no real nutritional value.  We were saying how every once in a rare while now we will be out at a restaurant somewhere and chips come on the side of a dish ordered.  It is a BIG TREAT!   ha

Favorite flavor?   I like basic potato chips.  Nothing spicy or weird.   

Another chip snack?   Fritos.  I used to love them when I was a kid, as the side for a peanut butter sandwich.  

7.What rule is most important in your home?

I think I have always lived in a home where people are not loud.  Nobody yells... or speaks foul language.   It's calming.  Comfortable.   So, I think that it is an unspoken rule here...  we speak with "inside voices" and are therefore calm and easy-going.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Spring is here - and so is the pollen! If you are not familiar with the yellow and green stuff that lands everywhere, you are not living in the south.  Within hours we have it all over cars, outdoor furniture, over everything!  Even the roads get green!  It's only here for a week or so while all the buds start to pop.  A good rain usually washes it away.          This year it happens to hit right at St. Patrick's Day... I guess it's appropriate!  We literally have our world turned green!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Here's to women!!

Happy Hodgepodging! 
Here are today's questions and my answers.

1. March is National Women's History Month. In that vein, who are three women who've been influential in your life? How so? 
1. My mother, Gloria Milheim.  She was a very devoted wife and was a wonderful example on how to be in a long and loving marriage.  She was a sweet, caring mother and I always felt my dad, my  siblings and I were her "reason" for being.  She was 'old school' and traditional - but isn't that a good kind of mom to be?   She wasn't a strong woman under today's standards,  but she was extremely  loyal, spoke well of everyone, and loved her role in life.  

2. My mother-in-law Carol Dowdy.  She scared me when I first met her because she was so strong (on the outside. I later found she out she had her softness side and her weakness too), and she was at a time in her life that she could travel to see us and she made time for hubby and me.  She never made me feel like I was not the right one for her little boy.  I appreciated that she accepted me immediately.   Then when our daughters came around, she made them feel like they walked on the moon.  For her, they did!  She loved them incredibly and they loved her back the same.   

3. My first female boss was Denise Oliver.   She was the Program Director at 98 ROCK and she still did a 3 hour slot on-air each day.  She was strong, and fair, and she did not use being a female to her advantage to get things done.  She was business-like, and she was a pioneer for women in radio management by in the 80's.  She helped start that radio station and it was a powerhouse in Baltimore  (and I think it still does quite well) back when I worked there.  I was honored to work by her.

2. In what ways do you think women have it easier than men? 
This is an interesting question because we know there are many ways that women have it tougher in the workplace and still have unequal rights and pay.  But, thankfully,  women do have more choices than men in terms of working outside the home or inside the home.  Women also have the ability to show their genuine emotions more than men.  Some may say that is a hindrance, but I think it's an asset.  Women "experience" all emotions more - or at least can "let them out" and share them.  Men have been burdened by society telling them to keep that 'stiff upper lip' and to hold in emotions. 
3. What do you need most right now: faith, love, hope, or peace? 
Well, they are all combined.  But, I will say my faith is strong, and my love is there...and I am willing to give it.   Faith and love together give me personal peace.
So, I will say I need more hope right nowI need it as I watch this crazy political world unfold. I need it as my church family continues to struggle with many issues.  I need it for myself as I wait for my foot to heal (a stress fracture.)  

4. Do you have a collection? If so, what do you collect and why? 
I have had several collections over the years. I used to buy the Cat's Meow wooden houses from places I lived or visited.   I don't add to the collection anymore but I enjoy the ones I have.  
I also used to collect a Christmas ornament from the places we vacationed, or visited.  I have too many ornaments now - so I stopped collecting them.  lol
 I have a shell collection.  We live near the beach and we go there often, to walk our dogs and to enjoy the beauty.  While walking I keep my eyes open for interesting shells. I have a collection that includes conch shells, starfish, sand dollars, round urchin shells, and any other unique and beautiful shells that land on our local shoreline. 

5. Plaids, checks, polka dots, stripes...your favorite?
I am thinking about what is in my closet.  I think of the 4 listed, I have the most stripes.
6. In what ways are you the same as your childhood self? 
Oh my!  Funny question. I know I have aged and hopefully I have gotten a bit smarter through the years, but I think I am still a gullible person.  I still try to believe what people tell me as truth. I don't look for things hidden under the surface and I don't think about how people are doing something just to only better themselves.   Gullible...   yep, that's me.

7. You're a contestant on the TV game show Jeopardy. What category will you ace?  
I love Jeopardy and watch it every evening if I am home!  But, that doesn't mean I answer well or quickly enough!    I think I would do okay in a music category, especially about singers of the 80's.  And, I certainly could ace a country music category!!   Bring it on!

8. Insert your own random thought here. 
So, I am loving the days of spring here this week!  Do you have nice temperatures where you are?  Our flowers are starting to open and as they open I come more alive with them!!   I love sitting outdoors listening to the birds.  I love walking and doing yard work too - but I am trying really hard to temper it so my foot will heal.   It's the start of flip-flop weather here and I need to get my foot ready for them!!!  ( :   

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Hello March!

Hi Hodgepodgers. I was "down and out" for about 24 hours so I got behind in the weekly schedule.  I'm just getting to the questions now.   Better late than never I suppose! Here they are, with my answers...

1. February ended with an extra 24 hours in 2016. What did you do with your bonus day?

 It was a nice day here so I did some yard work in the morning, and I did some of my normal chores.  Then I went over to our river place because we had my two cousins and a couple of friends coming over for dinner and some time hanging around the fire pit.   We had burgers and brats on the grill, some wine,  and a good time was had by all!

2. What's something in your life that's grown by leaps and bounds in recent days, weeks, months, or years? I'm giving you lots of room to come up with an answer here, so no fair passing on this one.

I can think of things that have not grown by leaps and bounds recently...  like my bank account or my weight.  lol     Let me think harder.   I have some plants that I put into the ground several years ago that have grown well and now require cutting back from time to time.   I love to work in the garden and watch everything grow.  My backyard is coming to life right now and I enjoy walking around and looking at the new growth.

 3. Do you read reviews about a film before deciding if you'll see it? Did you watch The Oscars this year, and if so your thoughts on the program? How many of the Best Picture nominees had you seen prior to the broadcast? (Spotlight, The Martian, The Big Short, The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road, Room, and Brooklyn) If you watched The Oscars who gets your award for 'best dressed'?

I have an app on my iphone called "Flickster" (I think) and I will read the reviews there sometimes.  But, I get a pretty good idea on movies from the ads for them, and the trailers in the theatres. 

I did not go to many movies this year. I have gotten a bit pickier on where I will put my money.   And, when I did go I did not see ANY of the ones listed above that were nominated for Best Picture.  My hubby saw "The Martian" and said it was very good.  He also saw "The Revenant" and knew it would be too bloody for me to see.  I have never been a Mad Max fan.   Although it was not in the category above, I did recently see the Steve Jobs movie and thought it was well done.

Best dressed:  Cate Blanchett.   Beautiful color. Style. maybe too many things attached to it but she wore the dress beautifully.  It was tasteful -  and not too revealing.  

4. When did you last have overnight houseguests? Give us your top three tips on being a good houseguest.
Not counting family?  It's been a little while.  My sis and her friend/her next door neighbor are coming here in a couple of weeks and I look forward to their visit! 

Three tips?   Have their favorite drink on hand, make sure their "space" is clean and has fresh linens,  and have several types of breakfast items.  People have a morning routine - and it's nice to have it available.  Coffee - or juice.  Cereal or toast?  Find out what they like.

5. March 2nd is Peanut Butter Lover's Day. Will you be celebrating? If so, would you prefer a home made peanut butter cookie, a Reese's peanut butter cup, an old fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or shall I just hand you a jar and a tablespoon?

Every day is peanut butter day for me!  I love peanut butter and eat it for breakfast almost every day. (See - question #3 - we all have breakfast items we love!  Right?)    What is my preference of the yummy items listed above?   I'll take the Reese's cup!  I love pb AND I love chocolate!!  

6. Why is failure important? Or isn't it?

I just saw a friend put a post on Facebook this morning about letting her child fail in something to learn from it.  It's hard for a parent to do.  But, it's a wonderful way to teach a child that not everyone wins all the time, and that when you lose, you can become stronger, and can feel compassion for others who don't always win.   It's a lesson in the real world!      At some point everyone fails at something.  It's how they deal with it that shows their real character!  

7. Share with us one fun thing on your March calendar.

As I said above, I have my sister and her girlfriend coming here to visit for a week.  I'm looking forward to that.   I hope the weather will be nice. I hope the azaleas will be in full bloom.  They are just starting to open in a few spots.  I hope we can do a bit of sight-seeing, and maybe take a river boat ride. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

I was struggling with a migraine last night so I didn't stay up and watch the results of all the voting yesterday. I'm glad I didn't. My headache would have been worse - if possible.  I wrote about Trump a couple of posts ago (scan back) and I really just can't believe how far this whole thing is going with him.  Seriously.  Do people not understand that if he beats Hillary (which I hope he doesn't) he will be President of the United States of America?    I understand that many that vote for him are trying to get a point across because they are so tired of Washington politics.  I get it.  We all are.  But, electing Trump will be th wrong, wrong, wrong thing to do!  He is the ultimate ego-maniac and he promises things that will set our country back. He will not make "friends" with our elected, and with world leaders.  He is too rude and crude, and bigoted.    I can go on... and on...       

What is happening to the respect of this office???