Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Sweet sweet summertime!

It's back!!!      After a week away, the Hodgepodge is back!

Here are this week's questions and my answers.  Feel free to 'pipe in' and tell me what you think!

1. It's officially summer (in the northern hemisphere anyway). Which summer month is best and why?

I love all the summer months but it I must pick one I will say my favorite is July.  For me, it is the month of family activities,  specifically our Fourth of July get-together at the 'riva' and then the  Milheim family get-together at Lakeside.

2. Can you swim? How did you learn? June 27th is National Sunglasses Day. How many pair do you own?
I can swim but I don't have good endurance swimming -  because I rarely swim!    It's been a couple of years since I have gone to the neighborhood pool and did some laps.  I like it as a form of exercise because it's cooling off, having fun, and working out together.  I really should go this summer! I have no excuses.

I learned to swim when my parents sent me to swim lessons as a kid.  I went to a YMCA program at an indoor pool.  I remember it well.  I took lessons up to the skill of achieving how to dive off the diving board.  I remember being frightened!  lol

Sunglasses:  I only have two pair that are my prescription - and I NEED the prescription to see well, especially to drive a car.   I have a few other pairs of sunglasses that I keep in a drawer.  I keep them mostly for others who come to visit and may have forgetten their own.  When you live at the beach you need sunglasses! 

3. What characteristic do you judge most harshly in yourself? How about in others?
Good question.  I think I judge myself in how I use my time.  I am fortunate to have 'free time' but I don't like to waste too much of it.  I remind myself that sometimes I need (as everyone does) down time to just 'be'.  My soul needs feeding and I get that from sitting outside, or listening to music.   But, I can not sit still and watch TV without doing something else at the same time... even if it's doing a crossword, or doing something on the computer.  
I get antsy after a few hours of time when I am not 'productive' in some way. Yes,  I consider sitting and  reading valuable.  But, often I like to get physically moving - to go outside and do garden work, or work on a project.

A characteristic in others?   I judge others (often wrongly I realize) if I think they are self-centered and do not give back. 

4. Robert Frost wrote the now well known poem entitled The Road Not Taken. What's a road (literal or figurative) you've always wanted to travel, and where do you hope it takes you? 
Yes, I can come up with roads or paths that might be interesting and beautiful to travel, but I don't have a need to go anywhere.  Traveling is not really top on my list of things to do!  I don't like the stress involved with it.  And, in the past I have had opportunities, actually throughout my life, to see many places.  Okay - I haven't walked along the great wall of China, or safaried in Africa.  I haven't cruised up to Alaska or down the great rivers of Europe.   So, those would all be nice 'roads' to travel.  But, none of them are calling to me to leave my little piece of paradise here. 

5. Popsicles-yay or nay? If you answered yay, what's your favorite flavor? 
Nay.  I can't remember the last time I had a popsicle!  Oh wait... the last time was a couple of summers ago at Lakeside and we had champagne and popped a popsicle in it for flavor!  ha!!  Other then that one time I think I was a kid the last time I had a popsicle.

6. Brexit-on a scale of 1-10 how knowledgeable are you on what's involved here? (1=very knowledgeable and 10=what's Brexit) Is this news you'll follow or is it something you think won't impact your life in any way shape or form?
I rate myself as a 4 right now.  I have been watching the news each day and I try to stay informed, BUT I admit the Brexit  (Britian-exit) has not been a high priority for me.  I realize that we live in a very global world, and yes, actions anywhere in the world can effect our economy, our stock market, immigration concerns, etc.  

But, I think we still have to "wait and see"  what happens with the Brits - and if other European countries decide to leave the union. 

7. Share a favorite song on your summer play list.
One of my all time favorite summer songs is Kenny Chesney's "Summertime" !  Classic words - classic feel good sweet summertime song!

 Summertime is finally here
That old ballpark, man, is back in gear
Out on 49
Man I can see the lights

School's out and the nights roll in
Man, just like a long lost friend
You ain't seen in a while
And can't help but smile

And it's two bare feet on the dashboard
Young love and an old Ford
Cheap shades and a tattoo
And a Yoo-Hoo bottle on the floorboard

Perfect song on the radio
Sing along 'cause it's one we know
It's a smile, it's a kiss
It's a sip of wine, it's summertime
Sweet summertime

Temperature says 93
Down at the Deposit and Guarantee
But that swimmin' hole
It's nice and cold

Bikini bottoms underneath
But the boys' hearts still skip a beat
When them girls shimmy off
Them old cutoffs

And it's two bare feet on the dashboard
Young love and an old Ford
Cheap shades and a tattoo
And a Yoo-Hoo bottle on the floorboard

Perfect song on the radio
Sing along 'cause it's one we know
It's a smile, it's a kiss
It's a sip of wine, it's summertime
Sweet summertime

The more things change
The more they stay the same
Don't matter how old you are
When you know what I'm talkin' 'bout
Yeah baby when you got

Two bare feet on the dashboard
Young love and an old Ford
Cheap shades and a tattoo
And a Yoo-Hoo bottle rollin' on the floorboard

Perfect song on the radio
Sing along 'cause it's one we know
It's a smile, it's a kiss
It's a sip of wine, it's summertime
Sweet summertime
8. Insert your own random thought here. 
The 4th of July is Monday and it really is the one and only day of the year that all Americans stop concentrating on all their differences, and celebrate together!  Nobody asks which party you support, or what causes you believe in.  Instead, we all stop and for ONE DAY and say we LOVE America!  We celebrate this great land and we celebrate it's founders. We celebrate with picnics and fireworks. We laugh and we feel fortunate to live in this great country!   Let's try and keep that feeling on July 5th...and the 6th, and 7th... and on...

Be safe and be Happy 4TH OF JULY!!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Sit down! ENOUGH!

Thank you US Representatives in the Capitol who are holding a 'sit-in' on the house floor!   Totally frustrated by a majority group that will not even allow certain bills to come forward, these members have found a way to highlight the injustice. 

It is nothing new - the injustice that is...  for 8 years the majority (the Republicans) has stated they will not work with President Obama and the Democrats in any way.  From 'day one' of Obama's first term, they vowed to stop everything he proposed.  They spoke like bullies.  Outloud - in front of the cameras.   Politics became so low.   There was no "we gave it a good fight - now let's see where we can work together."   Therefore, as a bully does, they used power to hold bills hostage, and have stopped any action on all kinds of possibilities for our country. 

For eight years.

Even longer,  Congress has acted like young children, wanting only their way, and not learning to share... and unable to feel for anyone but themselves.   They have been lured by power and money.  Lobbyists have snuck in like a coiling snake to influence them.  Re-election is the big prize. 

So, like children left with nothing (no respect, no chance of being heard, no confidence)  and feeling tired - with no ability to act grown-up,  some representatives have reached the point of  'dropping down on the floor'...and saying NO, I will not allow this anymore!  Can you picture a toddler doing this in frustration?  

I personally am happy that SOMETHING is happening. Finally.  I am glad that there are members of Congress who have found a way to make a point - to sit down - and to make a point in a non-violent way.  They are staying put - at their job - until something happens.  They are using social media to get the word out.  They are letting those who voted for them aware that they are beyond tired of the political game playing.

Game playing.  Toddlers.   It's pretty sad that I see our Congress that way.  Once, a few generations ago, men and women in the House and Senate were respected.  They felt that they worked FOR those in their home areas. I remember.  

Now, these days,  I think most of us see them as people out of touch with the real world, living on lobby money, moving voting lines to their advantage, only concerned with personal 'winning.'    Child-like.

Have you noticed?   I have written this far and have not even mentioned that the 'sit-in' is about the desire to bring a couple of bills to the floor that have to deal with better gun safety and control?  After another horrible mass-shooting in our country, our politicians can not even agree to discuss and compromise on ways to make our country safer.  

Embarrassing.  In-humane.   So completely sad.   

So - sit!  Make a spectacle of the injustice.   Show America that we can't go on like this anymore.

Do it!  And keep on doing it...        you have my support!  I'm sitting right with you!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday morning QBing...

It's almost Monday evening so I'm coming to you a little late in the day for Monday morning quarterbacking...  but, I'm going with it anyway!

*  First, congrats to the Cleveland Cavaliers!  Cleveland needed something good to happen to the city,  and the way the team came back from being down 1 game to 3 and win last night was an amazing thing to watch! It was great to see them win!!   I have family in northern Ohio and I know they are enjoying the "day after" today and feeling good about their city and their Cavs.  

Enjoy it now Cleveland - because in just a few weeks the Republican National Convention comes to down and the atmosphere will be very different then!  I am actually flying into & out of Akron during that week, and I have to tell you I am a bit nervous to be around crazy Republicans (wearing silly hats, and buttons, and loving Trump). I am going to have to be 'incognito' as a Democrat.

*  Hello Summer!!!  Today it is officially here!   I love the weather, but more than anything I love the feel of summertime...  the vacation atmosphere, the slower days, the life of living near the beach.  I love being outdoors - and I love lazy evenings on my back porch, with a glass of wine, and a book.

*  Have I mentioned our house is on the market?  Just wondering because...   we haven't had one person come through yet to look at it.  Not one.   This is only day number 9 but I thought that realtors out there would see it as a new listing on the MLS and bring in some clients to look.   But, no.  Nothing.  I have had friends say to me "your house is beautiful and it will sell easily."   Yes, thank you.  But, it takes the right buyer with the right bank account, and the right timing.   Please do NOT let me go crazy over this!  It's been 10 years since I have had a house up for sale, but I remember well the stress of having everything perfect for walk-throughs, and then wondering what they liked, didn't like, etc.     Here I go again.

*  "The Bachelorette" is back on tonight!  It's my Monday night TV excitement!   I'm not sure but I think Jojo is not going to find her Mr. Right among this group.   What do you think?

*  The US Senate is supposed to vote this evening on a couple of bills that will help stop guns from getting into the wrong people's hands.  One bill will ban anyone who is on the "No Fly List" from buying weapons.  Another, bill will add to the required waiting period and will help get around loopholes.  I called both of my South Carolina Senators' offices this morning and left messages asking them to vote in favor of the bills.  So - Senators Scott and Graham:  I will be paying attention to you!!    I mean, this is just common sense - and it should do nothing to upset the NRA'ers and gun people at there.  It's not a slippery sloop and the government will not take away your guns.  By the way, it annoys me about people getting so concerned about that even IF it might make a peaceful, less scary environment.

So I lead to this...  Today is the first day in South Carolina that people who have a concealed gun license can carry legally in a bar!  Oh joy!!  The law states that they are NOT allowed to drink alcohol (in the bar - mind you) if they are carrying.  It's kind of like being the DD (designated driver) but it's the DGT (designated gun toter) ready to shoot (soberly) at a moments' notice.  

I'm sorry but this is not a GOOD idea.

*  Our church has a new pastor on the way!  As a member of the committee who spent almost a year researching, interviewing, traveling, etc. to find the right person - and the right match for our congregation - I am excited!   Now, I ask...  can everyone be positive?   let's pray for a good connection and let's remember as Christians we realize nobody is perfect  but we know each individual has strengths and gifts.  

*  I am craving some corn on the cob - and sliced tomatoes!  It's summer! I haven't had any yet. 

*  Nashville and the CMA Festival is over.  Again, epic music and a wonderful time with my kids.   There are still things I want to do in Nashville that I never get to do during the festival.  I have yet to go see a live show at the Ryman Auditorium or at the Grand Ole Opry.  I mean, I see plenty of live artists all week long at the fest - but they are outdoors on big stages.  Sometime I need to go to Nashville just for a regular weekend, when it's "normal" on lower Broadway, and go see shows at the Ryman and at the GOP.

All for now.  There is no Hodgepodge tomorrow.  Our leader is traveling.  Speaking of traveling...  I live in a "vacation destination" and it's pretty crowded on the roads and in the restaurants right now.  I know the tourists are good for our economy because we rely on them bringing their money here.  Sometimes it gets annoying tho.   I have to remember how fortunate I am to live here ALL THE TIME!  

Have a good week!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Dads and summertime life

I missed a week of Hodgepodge because I headed out to Nashville for the CMA Festival.  The 6th year in the books! I just never get tired of it!  (Well, I get physically exhausted because it's morning to very late in the night for 4 days in a row! My feet were swollen and my legs ached...but it was worth it!))  The caliber of live music and the AMOUNT of music during the CMA Fest in Nashville is just awe-inspiring!  Now, I'm back to reality, well sort of...  our house just went on the market so I know this summer will be somewhat different as we jump up when realtors call for a showing, and then we wait...and wait...and wait for that 'right' buyer. 
But, in the meantime I will get back to one thing that is normal in my life: the weekly Hodgepodge questions!
 1. If you could sit beside and/or jump in any lake in the whole wide world today, which lake would you choose and why? 
I can not think of a specific lake, but I can tell you it would need to be relatively warm water, and free from snakes, and gators, and other slithery things!  So, maybe I will just stay in the boat!  
I live near the ocean and many rivers.  I love boating - but not swimming in them.

2. What's your favorite 'fruity' drink? 
I think a strawberry daiquari is my favorite fruity drink.  I don't make them at home, or order them out very often though.  They are tasty on a good hot day.   As many know, I prefer wine in most situations.  I guess you could drop a couple of grapes in my wine and I would be happy! 
3. I read a list here of thirteen things to do right now to simplify your life. They were-

clean as you go, re-evaluate your relationships (cut toxic ties), unsubscribe (too many blogs and websites), de-clutter, write down your daily goals, reply to emails right away, forget multitasking, create a morning routine, re-evaluate your commitments (which hobbies and responsibilities are most important to you), say no, clean up your computer, and plan your day ahead

Which of the tasks listed do you currently find most helpful in keeping life simple? Which item on the list should you adopt in order to simplify your life this month?
Wow.  Easy answer on this one!  Since we have just put our house on the market to sell, and we are downsizing to a smaller place, my goal is to DE-CLUTTER!!!  I am making trips to Salvation Army and Goodwill to give items away - and I have made a pledge to myself to make sure my garbage can is FULL each and every time I wheel it out to the street.
4. What did you do the summer after you graduated from high school? 
I'm trying to remember that far back!  ha!  I think it was the summer I worked at a Ponderosa Steak House - as a server, salad prepper, and dishwasher.   I tried to make a little money to take with me  when I went off to college.  The fringe benefit of working there was getting a free meal. And I ALWAYS had a slice of the "dutch apple" pie.  I was addicted to it!   Apples and raisins inside, with a thin layer of icing on the top of the pie.    It was deeeee-lecious!
5. Are you a fan of podcasts? If so what's a favorite? 
It's not anything I have gotten into yet.  And, perhaps that is a good thing!!   I already spend too much time on social media, and now it seems more and more the "Live Facebook" events are popping up and I get caught up in them sometimes!
6. Do you think today's fathers have it harder, easier, or just different than fathers in the past?
Hmmm.  I am not a man or a dad. (Duh)   So, from looking from my perspective I would say they have it "different" now.  Maybe it's a bit harder than in the past tho, because fathers have more technology connections.  Work can come home with a laptop and iphone.  Work sometimes never stops, depending on the type of job a man has.  Finding a way to balance the time to be a husband and dad might be more challenging due to it. A generation before once fathers left the office they could focus on family.

7. Tell us one way you're like your father? Or not at all like your father if that's easier?
I can look in the mirror and see my father!  Yes, physically I think I look like him a lot.  And, as I age the similarities seem to show up more!  When I was younger I saw my mom in me often, but now I think I see my dad more.     He and I are both pretty similar in our political thinking too.  We share the same beliefs about many of the issues in today's world.    Speaking of...

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
As I mentioned on Facebook earlier today, I had a wonderful weekend spent in Nashville among thousands of "friends" who all were there for the same love of country music.  It was a warm feeling.  There was a bond with each other as we went around to the different venues, and saw so many wonderful live musicians all in one place.   Polar opposite to that experience was the distraught-ful news of the shootings of so many in Orlando.  One hate-filled, unstable, and bigoted person turned a music and social event into the unthinkable.   I saw the shooter's father interviewed and I felt so uneasy thinking that the shooter was living a double-life, or un-able to feel love fro his own father, or was raised not open to the freedoms of others.  We may never know what set him off.  But, because he was able to use an assault weapon in killed many young vital lives very quickly.  I am a proud believer of needing tougher gun laws, and limitations.  Assault weapons should NOT be for sale to anyone!!!   I know many disagree with me.  But, EACH life is precious and unique - and each person deserves to live in a land when they can feel safer FROM these weapons!  I pray one day we outlaw them and that we change lives with love.