Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Does this time of year make you 'blue'?

It's Hodgepodge time again!  For those new to it, each week leader Joyce asks 7 questions.  Then we respond and meet back the following day on her page. We share our posts - and read the ones from others.  

Here is how I answered this week.  Feel free to respond.  I love to read your thoughts!  

1.  Are there any men or women in blue on your family tree?

No, I don't think there are any family members wearing the uniform.  No police or security officers that I know about.   

2. Are you someone who suffers from the Sunday night blues? What helps you get over it?

I am fortunate that I do not work a Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 job.   In fact, I haven't for years.  Even when I was working back in my radio days, I had unusual hours and often had weekend work activities. So, I never have experienced Sunday night blues.

I enjoy a quiet Sunday evening.

3. I read the color blue is an appetite suppressant since there are very few naturally blue foods out there. How do you feel about blue cheese? Love it or blech? If you're a fan, what's something you like that's made with blue cheese?

IWell, that's interesting that food rarely comes in the color blue. I hadn't thought about it before. See what you learn here at the Hodgepodge!  lol

As for blue cheese, I can take it or leave it.  It's not my favorite kind of cheese but if it's on a salad I will eat it.   

4. We can't head in to the Labor Day weekend without a related question, can we? Complete this thought: I work best when____________________. 

I work best when - I'm well rested.  I work best - in the morning.  I work best - when I have a definite task to accomplish.  I work best - with music on in the background.   I work best - when I'm excited about the project.  

5. 'Everything yields to diligence.' Antiphanes Your thoughts? (on this particular quote or on diligence in general)

Yes,  I believe the statement is true.  Most times.   When someone sticks to their beliefs and continues constantly to work towards it, it has priority in life.   Never giving up.  Pushing forward.  Staying consistent.  All are ways of being diligent to a cause or a task.  Making it important over other things.

Diligence is commendable for sure. Always successful?  Maybe or maybe not.  But the work and effort used with diligence is admirable.

6. The National Park Service turned 100 years old on August 25th. Have you been to many of America's National Parks? If so share with us a favorite or two. Which National Park would you most like to visit before the next birthday rolls around? 

I don't think I have been to many national parks.  (How many are there?)  I have enjoyed Yosemite and I have been to the Smoky Mountains.  Blue Ridge Mountains too.   I have probably been to more...but I need to pull up a list to see them.   Some parks are national, some are state funded.  I think I have been to more state parks.

Where would I like to visit?   I would not like to travel there (it sure is far away), but seeing Mt. Rushmore would be interesting.  

7.  Bid farewell to August in seven words or less.

Summer days gone.  Summer feeling gone.   ) :

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

So, with the two crazy 'false alarms' at big airports lately, do you worry about being in airports? Or other large, crowded venues?   I can't imagine being at an airport and seeing people running for their lives because word got out that there was an active shooter!   I watched the footage on the news last night from LAX and immediately thought that someone could have had a heart attack, or been  trampled on, or pulled out their own gun out of fear, and gotten 'trigger happy.'   

I don't know about you, but it makes me want to stay away from those places. 

Do you have that fear?   Just wondering...

Be safe - and have a wonderful week!



Thursday, August 25, 2016

School has started. Don't blink!

My blogging friend Joyce made a list of "things I miss" and "things I don't miss" now that her daughters are all grown up and not in school anymore.  I loved reading it - and it made me laugh, and think back to my days of being mom to my daughters during the school years!   Good times (and a few crazy times) made me think to make my own list.  So, here goes...


Morning fights in the bathroom
cold mornings waiting in the car at the bus stop
fundraisers - for everything
being taxi mom and waiting in the pick-up line
the third snow day in a row
parental forms and permission slips
Limited Too and Delia's  (too grown up clothes  for young girls)
lost books, lost clothing, lost anything
car vs bus talks

THINGS I MISS   (sniff sniff)

band and orchestra concerts
warm cinnamon buns and icing in the morning
being a room mom and volunteer
football games and the marching band
Tricky Trays
Fabian Friday Night Dinners Out
morning drives to high school and listening to Elvis Duran
copying music in the teachers room
Chaperoning class trips
daughters' best friends
teacher connections
reading in my car
Listening to my daughters talk about things that happened in school
class pictures
being proud of my girls and their decisions, grades, friends, choices. 

My hubby used to always say when I was the mom in the middle of the school years that one day I will really miss it.  Because, sometimes when you are busy it's hard to stop and enjoy the moments.  And, he was right.  As Kenny Chesney sings "Don't blink...  because just like that your babies are all grown up."

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I don't waffle on my opinions! lol

1. It's National Waffle Day (August 24th)...what decision are you currently 'waffling over'? (or share one you've recently 'waffled over')
I have had a few decisions lately to make about the new house we are fixing up.  Paint colors, light fixtures, carpet choices.   Thankfully, I don't have any major decisions in my life that are 'life or death,' or any that I find myself waffling over.
2. It's the middle of August, but I'm already seeing lots of autumn-related posts. Do you think we rush the seasons? If so, does that bother you? I saw (here) an end of summer bucket list that included-

make s'mores, read a new (or favorite) book in the park, eat something delicious and bad for you at a state fair, be a tourist for the day, have a pot luck picnic, book a last minute summer getaway, relax by or in the pool, take a hike to watch the sunset, have a day on the lake, try a new summer recipe

Which activities on the list might you squeeze in before summer officially comes to a close? 
I do think that the season of summer is rushed. I am amazed that so many school systems start back in the middle of August, including the one here where I live.  I hate sounding old, but here goes..."back in my day school never started until AFTER Labor Day."   It's still very hot here.  It doesn't feel like autumn at all.  I feel sorry for the children back in the classroom already.

What do I want to do?   I still want to spend more time on our boat.  We haven't been on it enough yet this summer, but September is a beautiful month for going out on the rivers and waterways.
 I like summer meals and I have not had my fill of them yet.  I'd like a good cookout with burgers, sliced tomatoes, and corn on the cob.  

I never like to push the seasons. Time goes by too quickly as it is.  I get silently annoyed with people who are already putting up Fall decorations.  There isn't a crispness in the air. The leaves are not changing yet.     And, don't even get me started on people who decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving!! ugh
3. Your favorite summertime 'art' found in nature?
Just this past weekend on our beach walk with our doggies, hubby and I saw many dolphins swimming not far from shore. I mean a lot of dolphins!!  It was awesome to see - but very hard to catch with my camera.  The fins pop up quickly, then back down they go.   Most of the dolphins seemed to be swimming north in the ocean, which I thought to myself was a bit strange. They need to stay south, where the waters stay warm longer.   At least that is what I would do.
The dolphins were 'moving art.'  Beautiful to watch!

4. Stephen R. Covey is quoted as saying 'We judge ourselves by our intentions, and others by their actions.' Agree or no? Do you define yourself based on your intentions, your actions, or something else? 
Oh, I like this quote.  Yes, I do think it's true.  I always feel a bit guilty inside because I know I can do MORE... more of lots of things:  more in helping others, using more time to commit to causes, spending more ways to make the world better.  I have an internal struggle with myself - because I also really like 'my' time too.  

I judge myself on my actions.  And, I know it's not right but I judge others by their actions too.   "Actions speak louder than words."  

As I write this I feel bad that I judge that way because really I do not know what is going on in the minds and wallets of others. 
5. Are you useful in a crisis? Elaborate. 
I hope I can be a calming force.  I don't have medical training. I don't have an education in psychology.  But, I do try and stay calm - and really, I prefer to walk away in a crisis situation.  If it's where someone is being hot-headed and scary - I'm out of there!  If it's a natural disaster, I'm out of there! I leave it to experts. I don't want to get in the way.    ha!   

I think the best thing I can do is keep calm, and try and keep others calm.  And, say a prayer.  Or lots of them!! 
6. What's been your go-to dish this summer? Is it something you'll continue making as the seasons change?
I don't have a go-to dish, but I love to eat the fresh shrimp brought in right from the boats.  I love shrimp cooked in dishes but I also love a good shrimp cocktail.   I just had a flashback to "Forest Gump" and all the different ways Forest's army buddy loved his shrimp!  
7. Adult coloring books are a thing now. Have you jumped on the bandwagon? If not is this something you think you might enjoy?
No!  No!  No!   Really?  I don't get it.   I was an art major for part of my college life, and I love aspects of art - but coloring within the lines just doesn't do it for me.   I prefer to have quiet time with a crossword puzzle or with a book.  

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
So, my daughter and I were feeling a little 'off' about the Olympics this time.  I'm wondering about you?  We felt that the countries that compete are so unbalanced in terms of population... and money, and ability to support Olympic hopefuls.  I felt wrong at times rooting for the USA - because I know how our country is so large, and dedicated to the athletes, and it's just another "power" thing we have over other countries.
Do we really need another reason to put countries against countries??   

And, should not ALL the countries have helped Rio get ready?  It's wrong to make one country once chosen to host put it all together, to use only their money, and to get all the flack over problems.  We heard for months ahead of time about the bad situations there.

I am not putting down the individual athletes.  Gifted.  Trained.  Life-time consuming efforts.   But, I have a hard time seeing some lose - especially when it's by mere seconds, or by one exhuberant over-reach, or one slip on the bar.   

I know many of you will not agree with me and love watching the games.   


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Living in the moment... and savoring the time.

1. I read here four creative activities to try this month. They were-calligraphy, make your own cookbook, dance or learn a new type of dance, and letter writing. Which activity on the list appeals to you most? Will you add it to your August? 
I love to dance - free form! ha  And I don't cook much so making a new cookbook is a waste of time. Calligraphy is cool - but I don't have the patience.  So, for me - I think letter writing is something I could tackle - or should I say 'enjoy' to do more often.  In general I think I do not send out enough cards to people the old fashioned way. Snail mail.  I should do it more often.    Will I?   It's doubtful.
2. Bertrand Russell is quoted as saying, 'To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.' Agree or disagree? Explain. 
Hmmm.  Not sure if I 'get' or agree with this statement.  If there is something you want, but don't have, but it's on your mind, then it can take away from feeling happiness.  But, we have to remember that what really matters and what are the real treasures of life...they are not things.  So,  I think if we concern ourselves and spend too much time thinking about the things of life and not the people and moments of life then we will not experience true happiness.

Did I answer this?  lol.  
3. August 17th is National Thriftshop Day...are you a 'thrifter'? If so, tell us about one of your best or favorite finds. 
I used to enjoy finding a bargain or a great deal at a thrift store. Around here we have quite a lot of second-hand stores and it is fun to browse, and to look for that 'special something.'  But, lately I have been in another mindset: that of down-sizing and getting rid of things.  So, I have only gone to thrift stores lately to drop off items.  Once we move into our smaller house and I see what, if anything, I may need, then I will shop in a thrift shop again. 
4.  On a scale of 1-10 (with 1= almost none and 10=loads) how would you rate your sense of wanderlust? What kicks your wanderlust into high gear? 
I don't have a big desire to travel, or to explore new places, or to wander aimlessly... so I will go with a 3.  I used to want to see more of the world, and I am glad that I got the opportunity to travel to the places I did go see.  But, now, I enjoy being right where I am, and enjoying the beauty that is right here in my own backyard. 

5. Has life felt more like a marathon or sprint so far this month? How so?
Summer months in general seem to go by quickly.  August has especially gone fast so far.  It's half way through the month already!  What?   How did that happen?  I love warm weather and summertime so I feel like the season sprints...and then the winter months come along and it's a slow marathon during those months.  
As I have written here before, I usually start getting the 'after summer blues' in September.  Thankfully, here where I live September is still a lovely month weather-wise and with the vacationers heading out it is a much calmer month. Less people, less traffic, more space on the beach, more room in restaurants.  But,  I would be happy to jump right from the end of October over to the beginning of March.   If only... 

6. What do you need to get a jump on before fall officially arrives? 
It's kind of a broken record because I have said it before.... but I would love to get a contract on the house we are selling.  That sure would be nice!  Then I could get moved over to the smaller place, and be forced to get rid of the leftover stuff.   
7. What's the last thing you did with friends or family where you lost track of time? 
Well, last Saturday hubby and I, along with my cousin Kay and her man Bill, went out on our boat.  We stopped in Georgetown for dinner and had a nice time.  Then we hopped back on to the boat as the sun was setting...which was beautiful to see!!  But, we left from dinner a little too late because halfway through heading back, we ran out of nature's light - and had to use a flood light on the boat to find our way back.  We also have a GPS that leaves 'electronic bread crumbs' to follow and stay on the path.   The river winds and when it's dark it is really hard to see the banks.  Thankfully the GPS kept us on track!  We made it back and didn't run aground anywhere.
8. Insert your own random thought here. 
So, how many of you reading this pay for a DVR or whatever it is called from the cable TV company?   Do you watch TV on your own time - by taping shows and then watching them back later?  I went to my cable company this morning to set up cable for the new house and was given it as an option for $12 more a month.  I passed... thinking I watch enough TV as it is, and I really can't see myself sitting down the next day watching an 'old' show.  My daughters do it all the time though.  In fact many times they tell me not to tell them what has happened on "The Bachelorette" or a game... because they haven't seen it yet.    I guess I'm old school because I figure I can watch it when it's first on...or I can just go about my life not really needing to watch.   Plus, I can pull things up on my computer if I really, really want to see it.   Just wondering...  do you tape & watch, or watch as it airs?? 

Have a great week!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Olympic moments - in life.

Hello to my Hodgepodging friends!   Each week our volunteer leader, Joyce, comes up with 7 random questions and we answer them personally.  Then we all meet back and read each others responses.  Over the years now I have found it fascinating, because we come from different walks in life, from different locations, with different backgrounds.  Sometimes we almost all answer the same, but other times we have completely different insight.  

Play along if you would like.

1. Are you watching the Olympics? Your favorite summer Olympic event? I read recently a list of the most iconic Olympic moments in history...what stands out in your mind as a great moment from some past summer Olympic games?

Well, my hubby has been teasing me because I told him last week before the games started that  I was not excited to watch the Olympics -  due to all the negative press ahead of time about the water situation, about the delay in getting the city ready, the doping, etc.  I felt sad for the athletes.  I felt like the games had already been so tainted.

But, on Sunday we did have NBC on all day while we were painting at our new house, and I watched some of it then.  Unfortunately, I saw the end of the women's bike event - with the horrible crash of the one rider, and then the loss of the American because she had 'broken away' too soon, and she was beat out in the final seconds.  Those moments just break my heart.  I think about how they train for so long for this one race, one event, and then something goes wrong, or they get an injury - or it just isn't their best day.   Therefore, it's hard for me to watch.

So, yes, I admit I prefer to watch other TV.  My heart just can't take the disappointments.

2. Have you ever been to Rio? How about the place that started it all-Greece? Have you ever been to any of the Olympic Games in person? Is that something you'd like to do? Have you ever met an Olympian in person?

I have not been to Rio or to Greece.  I have been to Munich on an orchestra tour with my daughter some years ago.  It was during a day off from traveling and performing.  The kids got to swim in the pool where Mark Spitz won all his gold medals.

Would I like to go to the games in person?  Hmmm.  Read my comment above.   Plus, the security issues would also make me tense.  

I do not think I have met an Olympian.  Not upclose and in person.  I did see Bruce Jenner speak when I was in college.  Yes, he was Bruce... and it was just a few years after his Decathalon gold.   He was a motivational speaker at the time, still married to his first wife.  Little did I know he would one day be part of the Kardashians, and then become Caitlin!!

3. The ball's in their court (tennis), cross the finish line (track and field), on target (archery), make a splash (diving), on a roll (gymnastics), out of one's depth (swimming)...which Olympic-related idiom best applies to your life right now? Explain.

Well, I guess as we continue to wait for the right person to come along and buy our house, I will say "the ball's in their court."  It's beyond anything I can do - except to keep the place 'show ready' and pray that it doesn't take too long to find a buyer! 

4. What have you earned a 'gold medal' in recently?

Oh my.  I can't think of anything.  Gold?  No.    Maybe silver or bronze in some thing, but even now I can't think what that would be.  

5. What is it (or who is it) that motivates you to eat right, exercise, and do what you can to be healthy?

I totally have to give kudos to my hubby about setting an example of how to care for yourself.  He has always been into exercise, and a motivator to stay active.  Now, saying that, I believe he personally goes overboard often, and over the years he has needed surgeries because of it...two hernias, knees, etc.   He also gets into some crazy food and vitamin kicks.  I find for me it's best to live by the motto "everything in moderation" and I pace myself.

Through the years I have also learned that I do not like to eat too much and have that over-stuffed feeling.  Ugh.    I do not like to put on clothes that are snug!  I proudly can say I have not put on much weight since my teens.   Maybe ten pounds.  My weight has 're-distributed' itself though...  and that's just an age thing.   Again...ugh.

6. Are you young at heart or an old soul? Explain.

Oh - I try try try to stay young at heart!  I hope I succeed at it sometimes!  Since my years of raising my daughters is now over,  I feel more freedom to just 'be' and not have to worry as much...and I think it has made me feel young.

I feel young - but I don't look young.   Dang.   That mirror is not my friend!!  

7 It's National S'mores Day (August 10th)...are you a fan? Will you celebrate with a s'more today?

Back to Question 5 - I don't eat much in the way of sweets.   When it comes to s'mores... I like the chocolate, the graham cracker - but I'm not a big fan of warmed up, smooshy marshmallow.  I rarely eat chocolate but I think I would prefer just to have the Hershey's bar, and leave the cracker and marshmallow alone.

I will not be having one today. 

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

I can not believe that the schools around here start in a week already!  Time sure flies!  Summertime especially.   Teachers:  thank you for all the preparing you do, and for your devotion to all our children!!    I know it's an incredibly tough job these days.   It's so much more than teaching the basics.   The bad behavior, neglecting parents, lack of money, fear of disciplining, etc. make it so hard for you all!!    But, you have my back!  I support your efforts.  I know lives are molded when young.   You have my prayers - and you have my vote - always!  I hope it will be a great school year!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A bit of this and that.

Good morning.   It's Wednesday and I haven't seen the Hodgepodge questions pop up yet so I thought I'd take a few minutes to blog anyway.  So, bear with me...

* We are smack dab in the middle of summer heat.  Around here the month of July was the hottest on record - meaning each day averaged hotter than days from past July months since it's been recorded.   Of course, hot is hot - but , as we know, it's all about the humidity too!  And, it's been dripping, disgustingly humid out.  I have tried to do outside yard work early in the day but even then it's been crazy hot and wet!

But - mind you, I still LOVE summertime better than cold winter months.

*  I'm watching Headline News this morning.  It's my 'go to' for quick updates on yesterday and last night's news.   How about that golfer who hit into the group in front of him? Tthen a fist fight started!   Golf is known as a gentlemen's sport.  A game of rules and respect.   Hmmm, another sign of our world today?

By the way, why is Hines Ward doing sports now?   He's not good - and I feel bad for the sports guy who had the job before him.

*  Everyone knows I love Stephen Colbert!   His humor on political news and events is always very funny AND very 'spot on' to what craziness is happening.  Trump has been awesome for Colbert and the other comedians.   I mean, every single day Trump says something stupid... unpresidential.  Just how do people even really think of him as leader of the free world??  I'm totally baffled.

* Sorry. no more political comments. Thankfully the conventions are over.  Maybe the news will quiet down about it all until we get closer to the election.  Ha!!!   I can dream!!

*  I am now a homeowner of TWO homes. (Not by choice.)   One home just bought...one on the market.   Today I have a showing for the bigger home that is for sale.  And,  at the same  time I have someone coming to the new place to do some work in it.  It is becoming a juggling act.  I am excited about the new place and the updating we have done so far.   But - please, can someone put an offer on the house for sale??   It would certainly make me feel better about everything.

* As time goes by... I really do get annoyed with my body!   Ha!   Last evening my wrist started to hurt when I moved it....why??  I don't remember doing anything to pull it.  I didn't carry anything really heavy yesterday.  I didn't bang it.   What?  Why?   These days I wake in the morning and my first five minutes are all about working out the stiffness in my back and legs.  I walk like an old person when I get out of bed.  WHAT!?!!  Stop it body!    I know I need to stretch more...   my hubby used to always say "a stretched body is a happy body"... and I get it.  He is right.

*  I am excited about the new pastor and family coming to our church!!   He starts this coming Monday - and that is after a year without a full-time pastor.  It's normal to go a year in the Lutheran church...to have an 'interim pastor,' and to put together a 'Call Committee' (I was a member) and to research our needs, and then interview and visit candidates.   During the past year we have had several issues that have rocked many people in the church.  Some have left and some have dug in deep and held on to their church with conviction.   I am ready for the corner to be turned... for our focus to be serving God, and loving our community.   We are all different but we share our love for a God who knows us individually - and accepts us as we are.

*  Tonight is the special on TV - "CMA:  Country Music's Night to Rock".  It's a two hour concert that was filmed at the 4 day CMA Festival.  The footage really comes from the night time live performances at the Nashville Titans stadium.  All day long, each day,  there are 5 or more stages with live music happening too, not to mention all the honkytonks with live music too.  But, it's not included in the show.   The TV show is fun to watch for sure... it's got the big name artists on it.  Luke, Keith, Blake, Carrie, Miranda - all those we know by their first names!    I question why the word "rock" is in the title.  Seems dumb.  It's country music - not rock.    It's worth watching...and I always enjoy seeing it AGAIN after being there live.

All for now... got to clean this place and get ready for the house showing.

I hope you have a wonderful, warm (HOT) Wednesday!!