Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Back at it... it's Hodgepodge time.

Hello Hodgepodgers!  I missed a week while I was away visiting family.  It's good to be back.  Here are this week's questions with my answers.   
1.  On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your summer so far? Why? 
(1=eh and 10=best summer ever)
 I give it an 8.  I love summer in general and this one has been full of celebrations so far... birthdays, the 4th of July, and our family week together.  

I have not gone to summer concerts like I sometimes do (well, except for the CMA Fest in early June... and that is my favorite event!) I miss seeing some of the shows at the outdoor amplitheatres. Thankfully, I am meeting up with my daughter and her boyfriend to see Keith Urban next month.  I'm definitely looking forward to that night!

2. July 26th is National Aunts and Uncles Day. Did you have many aunts and uncles growing up? Were you especially close to any one or maybe all of them? Are you an aunt? (or uncle for the men who join here on Wednesdays) Share a favorite memory relating to one of your own aunts or uncles or relating to a niece or nephew who call you Aunt (or Uncle).

Yes, I have/had a few aunts and uncles growing up.  Was I especially close to one or several?  Well, not really.  I think it was because we didn't live close by to one another.  We only got to see them on some holidays and occasional vacations - and then it was in a group setting.  

There were one or two I think I related to more than some of the others.  I will say that my mother's sister, my Aunt Susie, was someone who I felt was always sweet and caring.  I rarely get to see her anymore, but I am Facebook friends - and although she doesn't put much up there, I get to occasionally see a picture or comment.  She is still lovely.   I wish we were in better contact. 

I am proudly an aunt!  I love being an aunt AND a great aunt!
3. What's your favorite food dipped in chocolate? What's your favorite food dipped in cheese?
I will say that strawberries and pineapple dipped in chocolate are my favorites!  What a great way to eat fruit!  ha!  
4. When were you last astonished by something? Explain.

Astonished?  It can mean surprised in a good way OR a bad way I suppose.    Astonished in a good way:  by those who give freely without wanting anything in return.   Anonymous donors amaze me with their generosity.    Astonished in a bad way:   politics. 
5. Surf board, paddle board, ironing board, Pinterest board, score board, clip board, bulletin board...which board have you most recently encountered?
 I was just on Pinterest yesterday pinning ideas to my board for the house we close on this Friday!  We plan to do some updating inside it, so I have been searching for color ideas, and lighting choices.
6. What's your favorite story from scripture? Why that story?
Only one story?   I assume our Hodgepodge leader wants us to think beyond the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus.   I mean - that IS the BEST story ever.  
But, let's see....   how about John leaping in his mother's womb just by the presence of Jesus (in Mary's womb?)   Or, how about the very first miracle:  Jesus turning the water into wine at the wedding - I like my wine!  ha     And, of course,  the story of Jesus going to the woman at the well... an 'unclean' woman, scorned by most, working in the hot sun.  He approaches her and speaks with her... and doesn't care that she was of low status.  Just one of his many examples of loving those who many looked down upon. 
7. If you were to travel from the east coast to the west coast in your own country, which five cities would you most want to see?

East to west....
Philadelphia - to see my friend Sue
Cleveland area - to see family
Chicago - to visit my friends the Lyles
Rolla, Missouri - to see my aunt I mentioned above.
San Francisco area - to return to the places we lived, where both our daughters we born. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I hope everyone is staying cool in the heat, and making the most of summer! I can't believe it is unofficially halfway over.  Schools start in less than a month in many places. Crazy!!   I really wish summers would slowdown...and winters speed up! ha

Take care! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Hot days of summer - hot times in our world!

Hello to all who are taking a moment to read my Hodgepodge answers today!  I hope you are staying cool in this July heat.
1. Do you find yourself influencing your world, or is it more the other way around? 
I hope to be a good influence in my own little piece of the world.  I don't really know how others respond to what I do, but I do it anyway!   I never want to lose the hope I feel that, yes, I can make a positive difference.  And,  I think it's important to speak out when needed, and I think it's important to "do" something good for change. 

2. July 14th is National Tape Measure Day...the device was patented on this date in 1868. When did you last use a tape measure? Do you always know where to find one in your house? Tell us one way in which you feel blessed 'beyond measure'. 
First, I am just amazed that there is a National Tape Measure Day.  Really?   huh. 
 We always keep one in our laundry room cabinet.    I just used a tape measure on Sunday when my daughter, her boyfriend, and I were trying to figure out if a nightstand would fit in the backseat of his car.   They were here visiting, and since hubby and I are down-sizing, we are passing some items on.  Thankfully the nightstand DID fit - and off it went!
Blessed beyond measure?  How about the fact that I have daughters who like to come home and visit! That makes me very happy!  ( :

3.The Plaza Hotel (Eloise), The Land of Oz (The Wizard of Oz), Narnia (The Chronicles of Narnia), The Hundred Acre Wood (Winnie the Pooh), Wonderland (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), or Never Never Land (Peter Pan)...which storybook land (on this list!) would you most like to visit and why? 
Wow.  This question is 'different'!  I do not know the lands from Eloise or The Chronicles of Narnia.   So, of the ones I am familiar with, I would say I would go to The Hundred Acre Wood.  Beside the possibility of a honey pot landing on my head, and some bees swarming after me, I don't think it's as dangerous or 'odd' as some of the other lands in the list.
4. Where and when do you get your best ideas? 
I think I do some of my best thinking in the shower!  ha!  True.    But, if I'm looking to 'steal' a great idea I go to Pinterest!

5.  So what have you been watching on TV this summer? Anything good? 
I am definitely limiting my TV viewing these days.  Too much negative news.  Too depressing.  I am so fed up with the so-called 'news stations' that I really do not watch any of them anymore.  I have not gotten into any of the series on Netflix.  In general, summertime television leaves me bored.
BUT... I am hooked on The Bachelorette!!   Who else is?   Who do you think Jojo will end up with - if anyone??   We are down to 4 men now and it sure looks like Jordan will be her pick - but the producers love to edit in a way to throw the viewer off.  So, I'm not sure.
6. 'Don't swim for an hour after you eat', 'Dog days of summer', 'Knee high by the Fourth of July'...choose a summer saying from the list or share one of your own, then tell us what image or memory comes to mind when you hear it spoken.
Growing up in Ohio I definitely remember hearing the saying about corn: "knee high by the Fourth of July" from my childhood.   I remember riding in the car along rural roads and looking at the cornfields and seeing the stalks growing... with that expression in my head.

7. In a single sentence, sum up one life lesson you've learned. 
Each day is a new beginning and a blessing.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 
Should I get heavy here?  There is so much that could be said about this past week in America - the violence, the racism, the divisions, the gun issues.   It was a hard week.  I felt so sad, so frustrated, even so mad at times.   I know we as a country always have problems and things to work on, but we seem so very polarized these days and unwilling to compromise - and especially unwilling to find the good in people.    Sad.     The hot days in summer seem to bring out hot tempers too.   
It's so important to make the effort to be positive, when so much negativity is on TV, and on social media.  Step away and look at the big picture!  But also, step forward and do what is right.  Step in - and make a difference!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Loving the red, white, and blue!

After a busy holiday weekend, I'm sitting down at the computer and thinking back on it all. 
The weekly Hodgepodge questions also asks...
1. How did you welcome the month of July, and tell us one fun thing you did to celebrate the 4th. (or the weekend for any non-USA residents playing along today)
We had our annual Fourth of July get-together at the riva cabin!  The big celebration was on Sunday and we had a lowcountry boil  (know what it is?  Throw red potatoes, corn on the cob, sausage, onions, and shrimp all in a pot together!)   I think we had about 28 people hanging with us, celebrating the joy of living in America! 

It was hot and humid (heck it's the south) but we had games of cornhole, can-jam, badminton, and ping pong going on.   

2. Right now..what's your favorite red thing? white thing? blue thing? 
Favorite red thing?  My red front door!
Favorite white thing?  My Honda CRV.  It's dependable, easy to drive, gets good gas mileage, and gets me where I need to go. I really should give it a name.  Any ideas?  

Favorite blue thing?   My super comfy blue couch.  My pugs and I spend many hours on it together! 

3. Wave the white flag, raise a red flag, fly your freak flag...which 'flag' have you flown most recently? Explain. 
Well.... I don't think any flag above is waving here.   I think that's a good thing.  In life there are moments to give up (white flag) and times to speak up (red flag - warning!)  I'm normal that way.
4. According to Cond Nast Traveler these are the seven best places to visit in July-

a boat safari in Botswanna's Okavango Delta, Riviera Maya Mexico (it's whale shark season and apparently you can swim with them), Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, Pamploma Spain, St. Petersburg Russia, the Fuji Rock Festival at Mount Naeba Japan, the Salzburg Festival in Salzburg Austria

If time and money weren't factors would you want to see any/all of these? Which would you most like to see and why? 
Although I have not been to the specific festivals, I have been fortunate enough to have visited both Salzburg and St. Petersburg.  I have NO desire to swim with sharks (thank you very much!?!) and in general I prefer to stay home.  But, I have never been out to Yellowstone and the Grand I will say I would like to see this beautiful area of the U, S of A.
5. Grilled cheese, pimento cheese, or mac and cheese...your favorite from the cheesy treats listed?
Absolutely...  homemade mac and cheese!  Still warm out of the oven.  Browned on top.  Yum yum!
6. What makes you sweat? 
Physically, just walking outside these days!  ha!  It's HOT - and it's July in the south!   
Figuratively, I sweat when I have to stand up in front of people.  I get nervous when I play my flute at church.  But I do it anyway...thinking it will get easier.  (It hasn't yet.)
7. Your favorite movie with a 'patriotic' theme of some sort?
I had to google patriotic movies to get a list.  Most were war movies... no thanks.   I will go with "Miracle" - the movie about the young "no- name" USA ice hockey team in the Olympics.  It's up-lifting.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I hope we all can continue to feel the '4th of July' love and remember that America is great!  We have differences and problems, yes, but we love this amazing land....and ALL the people who live here.  We are so fortunate to call it home!