Wednesday, October 25, 2017

THe Hodgepodge is back...

Hodgepodge time!  Our leader has been away, on the west coast, sightseeing and visiting her brand new grandbaby!  What fun!  We are still on 'babies watch" here but it should not be too much longer.
Let's get to today's Hodgepodge questions and my answers.    Shall we?? 
1. What's surprised you most about your life or life in general? 
Starting off with a doozy of a question!   What has surprised me most?    I don't know if it's a surprise but I have been very happy with the way my life has gone in general.   I have no major regrets or disappointments.  I wish my Ohio family was closer at times (or I closer to them) and that I saw them more often.  But, I also know we have busy lives - and I don't like to travel to the 'cold terrain' and I limit myself.     

If I can think of any surprise, it is that I have worked through a lot in my head, and I am pleased with where I am in my faith, and in my heart.  

2.  Sweet potato fries, sweet potato casserole, a baked sweet potato, a bowl of butternut squash soup, a caramel apple or a slice of pumpkin have to order one thing on this list right now. Which one do you go for?

Oh...easy answer.  A slice of pumpkin pie.  I am not a big sweet potato lover.   Caramel apples are messy.   Pumpkin pie means autumn, and holidays.   I'd definitely go with the pie (warm and with a dollop of whipped cream on top.) 

3. What's a famous book set in your home state? Have you read it? On a scale of 1-5 (5 is fantastic) how many stars does it rate?

Well, all of Pat Conroy's books are well known, and take place in my state, South Carolina.  He was a SC boy and wrote about what and where he knew best.    I love "The Water is Wide" about a small SC island that really exists (we have a few like it) that is a step back in to the gullah time.   It's about a school teacher who goes over to the island and the differences he finds.

It's been a long time since I have read it... I might need to pick it up again!   Really, all of Pat Conroy's books are excellent!

Another SC writer who writes about her home state is Dorethea Benton Frank.  She is lighter in style than Conroy, but she loves to include local flavor in all her books.

4. There are 60 days until Christmas...have you started your shopping? How do you stay organized for the holidays?

So, I was telling my very pregnant daughter just the other day that the timing of the baby boys arrival is wonderful!  We will have all our attention on them - and will put the pressure of the holidays by the wayside.  That pleases me!!   I have written in the past how the Christmas pre-craziness is my worst time of year.  I dislike the expectations, and the rushing, and the worry about doing the right thing, buying the right thing, etc.

So, this year, both Thanksgiving and Christmas, will be all about the boys!  Nothing else matters!  Yeah!!

Oh, okay. I have bought a couple of items on line.  Things I have happened to see that will make nice gifts.   

5. October 26th is National Tennessee Day. Have you ever lived or spent any time in Tennessee? Is this a state you'd like to visit one day? The top rated tourist attractions in Tennessee are-

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park (Gatlinburg area), Elvis's Graceland (Memphis), Birth of the Music Biz (Memphis and Nashville), Dollywood (Pigeon Forge), Tennessee's Military Heritage (many battlefields), The Hermitage (Andrew Jackson's home), The Parthenon (Nashville), Oak Ridge American Museum of Science and Energy, Chattagnooa and the Tennessee Valley Railroad, Downtown Knoxville, Lookout Mountain, The Titanic Museum (Pigeon Forge), The Museum of Appalachia (Clinton), and The Lost Sea Adventure (Sweetwater)

How many on this list have you seen? Which one on the list would you most like to see?

I have spent time in Nashville every June for the past 7 years - attending the CMA Festival.  I have yet to go to the Parthenon.  And the Hermitage is close by but I haven't stopped in yet.   When I go, it's all about the music.  So, I have been to the Grand Ole Opry, and the Ryman, and other country music venues in that area.   I also spent a weekend in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area.  We hiked in the Smoky mountains one day - and also went into underground caves.   We did not make it to Dollywood but I am not a big fan of amusement parks so although I love Dolly, I don't need to ride carnival rides, and eat cruddy food.     I saw items from the Titanic Museum when they were touring.  It was interesting.   But, I have not been in the museum in Pigeon Forge.

Of the ones listed that I have not been to yet, I would like to go to Memphis for the 'music biz' - not for seeing Graceland.  My hubby went once - and I saw the pictures.  That was good enough for me.  lol 

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

It's been a couple of weeks since blogging so it seems there is so much I could mention...  the #metoo movement (are you part of it?), and the amazing speech by Senator Flake yesterday.  

I could update you on the twins growing, and my daughter hanging in there.   Barely!  She is at the end of this pregnancy and moving is difficult, eating is limited, etc.  She is READY to see those boys!

I could also tell you about the celebration of the Lutheran's 500th anniversary of the Reformation THIS Sunday in all Lutheran churches around the world!

I could tell you about seeing the Soul2Soul concert with Tim & Faith for a 2nd time, in Greensboro, NC.  

I think each really deserve an individual blog post.  Will I get around to it?    lol.   Most likely NOT! ha.   So, instead I will say... have a great week!!  See you here soon.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mapping it out, finding the right path...

I'm running a little late with the Hodgepodge questions and answers this morning.  The power went out here for about 45 minutes or so which left me without an internet connection!  Horrors!  lol.   I actually picked up my book and read for awhile, which I rarely do in the morning time.

But, now the power is back on, and so let's proceed with the Hodgepodge!

1. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your sense of direction? 1=can't find my way out of a paper bag and 10=if I've been somewhere once I can find it blindfolded ten years later.
When was the last time you looked at/used a map you could hold in your hand? (phones don't count!) 

back east, down south, out west, up north

Choose one of these directional expressions and tell us why you chose it.

I will rate myself an 8 when it comes to knowing my direction. Occasionally I can get turned around, but I seem to have a pretty good sense of north, south, east, west.   I was just telling someone last evening that my hardest time with it came when I lived in California, and I could not get used to the ocean being west.  Having lived east of the Mississippi most my life, the ocean was always east. 

Driving in a car I have an okay sense of which direction I am going.  It's a feeling within me.

Last time I used a map?  For a road trip?   Oh wow.  It's been a long time.  I use the map on my display screen in my car dashboard often.  And, I use my phone's GPS and map trips with it.   But, a paper map??   It's been too long ago to remember.

Of the expressions listed above, I will pick "up north" because I used to live there.  I lived in New Jersey for 12 years.  And now I live in South Carolina.  So, I find myself (and hear from many others here) about when I lived 'up north'....and it was cold, and it was crowded, and it was crazy!  I like it here... 'down south!"

2. Did you do more talking or listening yesterday? Is that typical? Describe your yesterday in one word.

Yesterday, bring Tuesday, I went to the noon Bible Study, which is mostly listening, but we discuss so I also did a bit of talking.   I ran errands in the afternoon.  Then came home and did some listening to the TV.  But, I talked with my dogs - and I do that ALL the time!  lol.   Last evening I went to the weekly community band rehearsal... which involved a lot of listening.  Listening to the conductor, and listening to the band as a whole as we worked on pieces for the upcoming Veterans Day event, and the holiday Christmas concert.

My day in one word:  pleasant.  

3. Time, money, water-power-resources, opportunity...which one on the list are you most guilty of wasting? What might you do to change that?

Oh, I suppose I can answer that I waste too much time.   But, I think it was Jackson Browne who sang "if you enjoy wasting time then it's not really wasted time" or something like that.  We all need a little wasted time... time to sit, reflect, chill, and recharge.

I can also answer that I waste money.  I spend pretty freely, but I also try not to be over the top.  In fact, in the past year or so, I have made an effort to downsize, and to minimize, and to realize how little it really takes to live.  I am in a position of not needing to count pennies (or dollars), but I also know money doesn't buy happiness.   

4. Did  your family take regular vacations when you were a kid? Tell us something you remember about a family roadtrip from your own childhood.

Each summer we did take a road trip vacation, usually to a camp ground.  We pulled a trailer and traveled to parks.  We sometimes stopped in a visited family friends on trips.  But, most times if I remember right, it was a two week trip - up to Cape Cod, or to Michigan's lakes.  

One interesting thing I remember:  This was before cars had AC so we would travel with all the windows down and feel the warm breeze.  My dad drove with his left arm sitting on the top of the car door (open window).... and by the end of vacation he would have a VERY tan left arm!   Just his left arm!  

5. If you could grow anything you wanted, what would you grow? Why?

I am guessing leader Joyce means growing vegetables...??    Or flowers?   I love working outside in a flower garden so I can answer that way.

Can I go beyond physically growing something, and  say I'd love to grow more love, more acceptance, more peace.   Yep.  That's growing the deep stuff.  It's a lot harder to grow than veggies. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Babies update time:  My daughter's twins are about 3 and a half pounds each right now.  Week 32 or 33 now.   She has adjusted to her gestational diabetes diet and her sugar numbers are good.  She is starting the once a week visits now to the OB/GYN office, and she & hubby just completed their parenting classes offered by the hospital.  They have toured the Labor & Delivery area...and car seats are in the car.   My daughter has started packing her bag - and her babies bag (little going home outfits, etc.)  So, we continue to wait... and let the baby boys grow more.   But, it won't be long now!

I'm heading up to visit them this weekend, It will most likely be my last time seeing her pregnant!  Next trip will be for the deliveries.   Also, while I'm in NC this weekend,  I'm meeting my other daughter and her boyfriend at the Tim McGraw and Faith Hill "Soul 2 Soul" concert in Greensboro.   I saw it back in March in Charleston, SC...  but I am ready to experience it all again!!  

Have a great week friends.  See you here next time.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Hodgepodge and more...

Welcome to this week's Hodgepodge and the first for the month of October.  I don't know about you, but I can't believe it that we are into another season.   Our first question makes me think of fall activities. 
1.  Have you ever spent time on a farm? Tell us a little bit about it. Have you ever grown your own pumpkin? Been on a hayride? Driven a tractor? Milked a cow?
I have not spent very much time on a farm.  When I was young, and I visited some of my mom's family in rural Ohio, a few of them still lived on a farm and it was their livelihood.   But, my only other farm experiences have been day trips with schools, or with the Girl Scouts.  
I have not grown my pumpkin.  I have not driven a tractor.  I think once a long, long time ago on a school trip I got to try and milk a cow.  And, I went on a hayride or two through Girl Scouts and church youth activities.  
2. What's something younger you would like about you now? 
"Younger Me" would love that I am much less concerned about social groups, 'clicks,' and have grown way beyond the need to 'fit in.'      I am who I am.   I like who I am.    Part of my growing up and growing older is becoming content with my place in life.
3. What are three things you'd like to do more often? Three things you'd like to do less often?

The three things I would like to do more often:

* See my daughters
* Go to more live concerts  (and I will talk about that more in my random comment.)
* pay it forward

The three things I would like to do less often:

* mis-judge situations and people
* speak too quickly
* clean bathrooms - lol

4. What's on your nachos?

Everything by jalapenos!   I LOVE loaded nachos!!! 

5. What's the most random thing in your purse or wallet? Does it need to stay there?

Right now?  I have my black handbell gloves in there.   I stuffed them in my purse after playing at another church and keep forgetting to put them back in my music book.   I use fun tie-dyed gloves at rehearsals, and only use the black ones at performances.

6.  Insert your own random thought here. 

We are all reeling right now from the madman who gunned down so many innocent people at the country music festival in Las Vegas.   If you read my blog often, you know that I love country music and I have gone to outdoor festivals.  I attend the CMA Festival in Nashville every summer.   I love the experience!   The music is incredible, and I love the sense of 'family' with the musicians and with all the other fans there.  The festivals are 'love fests' because everyone who comes is there for the same reason, and they strike up conversations, and they dance together, and just share being in a special environment together.    So, when this madman picked a country music festival to do the unthinkable, it hit me hard.  He picked a place of music and love and connection.   How dare he!!    Read the tweets and the messages from the country music artists since Sunday night... it was very personal.   My heart goes out to the families that lost loved ones in such a hideous way at the festival.  And to the hundreds injured - and the thousands there who had to experience the horror.  It's something that will be with them for life.    But, music is healing... and country music lyrics tell of heartbreak and also of community and love.   That is what is so great about it.   The music expresses it all.... that is what I love.   It is personal. It is family.   The family is hurting right now, but it will be there to support us.    I'm off to see Tim & Faith in concert in 2 weeks.  Another large concert venue.  Probably tight security.   But, nothing will stop me from being among all those country music lovers.  Perhaps now it's even more important to be there.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Pets, adventures, and more...

It feels like I was just here - at the Hodgepodge.  But, it's that time again!   So, lets do it!

1. What pets did you have while growing up? Tell us a little something about them.

I grew up with a dog in the house. We always had a Boston Terrier.  When I was young our BT was named Pal.  Then after he passed, we got Ace.  Next came Deuce.  My dad grew up with a couple of Boston Terriers so it was his breed of choice, and it therefore became mine.  Even after I married we had a BT, named Ralph.  

We were Boston Terrier lovers before they became so popular in advertising.  

2. What is one thing you absolutely must accomplish today?

Today:  I plan to get more baby layette baskets ready for taking to the local hospital.  I want to get ahead on it a bit, in case I need to run up to Raleigh if my daughter goes in labor. 

I also plan to practice my flute for a bit before I go to church later and have a rehearsal for a flute duet.  The handbell choir rehearsal follows it.
Nothing else is a 'must do' but I plan to clean a bit, water my newly planted flowers, and perhaps put a few fall decorations out on the front porch. 

3. Where were you ten years ago? What were you doing there?

Ten years ago:  2007.   I had just started living full-time in Pawleys Island, where I am now.  The year before I went back and forth from NJ to SC while my younger daughter finished her senior year in high school in Sparta, NJ.  

So, I was learning the area, and getting involved in things around my new home.  My mother-in-law was still living so I was hanging with her some.

4. September 26th is National Dumpling Day. Did you celebrate? Apple dumpling, xiao long bao (steamed Chinese dumpling), chicken and dumplings, pirogi, matzoh balls, or gnocchi...which dumpling on this list would be your dumpling of choice? Have you ever made homemade dumplings of any kind?

Of the dumplings on the list, my absolute favorite dumpling would be apple dumplings, especially the homemade ones my mother used to make!  They were wonderful, warm out of the oven - and with some cold milk poured on. 

My church here has an annual apple dumpling festival in November, and makes the same kind as my mother made.  The recipe comes from someone who grew up in Ohio - like I did.  

I also like chicken and dumplings.  The other ones on the list do not appeal to me.

I have never tried to make dumplings.  As I have said before, I do not enjoy 'creating' in the kitchen!  lol

5. 'There are two kinds of adventurers: those who go truly hoping to find an adventure and those who go secretly hoping they don't.' William Trogdon

So which kind are you?

I do not go forward looking for an adventure.  In general I do not like 'living on the edge' and I do not like the unexpected.   So, I suppose I secretly hope I don't find one.  But, of course, there have been unexpected adventures that I have experienced that have turned out fine - fun in fact!  

Here is one example:  My husband knows I stress over trips and I don't do well going to unknown places.   So, a few years back, when my daughter was living and studying in St. Petersburg, Russia, he planned a trip for us to go see her.   I didn't know about it until right before...and off we went.    Well, the trip went fine, and was fun, and I experienced a new place AND got to see my daughter and where she lived during that summer.   I'm glad I went - and it all went well.   But, I would have NEVER planned it on my own.   In general, I am content to stay home.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

There is SO much I could talk about here... because as you know the news is full of protests, and scary times... and a dufus of a president who puts his ego before the safety of millions.

BUT...  I won't go there!  lol

Instead I will mention that my daughter, pregnant with twins, we just diagnosed with gestational diabetes.  She has been incredibly faithful about eating well, and has been walking.  So, this diagnosis was disappointing to her.  But, GD is more likely in multiple baby pregnancies - and is something she can probably control with a few diet changes until the boys are born.  I don't think there will be any long term issue.   Does anyone have stories from your own experiences or of family who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes?    I'd like to hear them!   Thanks.

Have a great week - remember those in PR, the other islands, the Florida Keys, and Mexico.   They need our help. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Monday morning quarterbacking

Hi blog friends and readers,

I hope you have had a good week where ever you are!  Let's not forget our neighbors struggling with a new reality in the Florida Keys and in Puerto Rico.  And, let's pray for them and the people in Mexico digging out, and still looking for loved ones.

Here are a few of my thoughts bouncing around in my brain...

* Life is short - stop spending it feeling entitled.    We were all born on this earth the same way, but then we grew up in very different situations which molded us into who we are as adults.   Nobody is to blame.  Nobody is better for that.   Get over yourself.

*. Speaking of being born, my identical twin boy grandbabies continue to grow inside their mommy.  My daughter is doing well as she is now in week 29 carrying them.   We have our fingers crossed that she keeps them there until week 37.    She and I have had interesting discussions lately about all the choices new parents need to decide on - and it can be overwhelming!!  And, everyone has an opinion!!   My advice to her and her hubby: do what seems right and feels right to YOU!  The boys will grow up loved!

* I am thinking of getting some fall flowers but I am not a big fan of mums.  Does anyone have a suggestion on other plants that can add color to a front yard bed?  

* Fall is football time!  You all know I love watching the game!  Again, the Gamecocks were tough to watch.  Somehow they won at the end.  But, I sure didn't see it coming.  They are ALWAYS a surprise!  

* And speaking of football, I can't write a QB post without mentioning the 'demonstration' displayed by almost every pro player yesterday - along with other sports players, reporters, and musicians yesterday.    I have seen some pretty mean reactions on Facebook.   My take on it:   We live in the United States, a land that allows free speech and accepts expression of opinions. We live in a place where our flag is a visual representation of who we are.  So, I get annoyed that some say the players were disrespecting the flag.  Kneeling.  When do you kneel?   I kneel at church. I kneel in prayer.  They locked arms in support of each other.   The players did not do anything violent or said notthing mean.  In fact, it was the president who said the mean spirited words.  Offensive words.   My opinion: he needs to keep his nose out of it all.   He creates these situations.  He is So abrasive!!     Some people say what the NFL players did was disrespectful to the military.  I disagree and I hope the members of the armed services 'get' that they are using peaceful demonstrations to stand in agreement on inequality, and truly on having a president that is the offender.    Of all the rhetoric yesterday, did anyone hear from the military or vets?  

*. "The Red Zone" is the most amazing football network!  You can watch ALL the big moments of all the games ALL day long on Sundays!   The hard part is keeping track of which teams you are watching at any given moment.  It's exhausting - AND there are NO bathroom breaks!  lol    But, you never miss a bit of action!

* Thank you Maria for staying out in the ocean!  You have done enough damage.  So, now, just GO AWAY!!!  lol

*. Everyone needs a 'go to' thing or place to chill, to re-group, to find calmness.   Do you have one?

* I've had some interesting dreams lately.   I've had a few with babies in them.  I get that since I have grandbabies about to arrive.   I have also had a re-occurring dream that I am in a school - and I can't remember where my classes are... then when I go in a classroom,  it's time for a big exam and I am not prepared.  I stop the dream in my head because I can't answer the questions.   Last night I was at a hotel, at a large gathering - and there was live music.  Brad Paisley played on stage for awhile.   Then I sat with Martina McBride for awhile and chatted.   And...  then I saw Stephen Colbert there, and I didn't want to bother him, but I went and sat on the floor by him.  I told him how much I have loved him over the years and I thanked him for making me laugh.  I even told him that my hubby gets a kick out of me laughing out loud when I watch him.         Dreams are fun at times, weird too... and I suppose a way of expressing some anxiety.  

*. We finally made the effort and moved our kitty Moonlight from our old house (the one for sale) to our new house.  She is an outside cat and I really worried about whether she would accept the different environment.   It took hubby and I a bit of a struggle to get her...we cornered her in the empty Carolina room, and then had to throw a towel over her and grab her.  She was NOT happy!   Then she cried the whole time in the car.  I fed her in the garage - and I'm glad I did, because she ran out the back garage door and darted away!!!   She ran across the street and behind the house there.  We called her and called no avail.  But, somehow she remembered where the food was - and she came back in the evening for some dinner, and has been hanging in our bushes ever since. 

With that thought, I need to end this and go put more food out.  She is now here with our other cat Midnight - I'm feeding two now!

Have a great day - and week!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

How does it rate??

Hello Hodgepodgers!  No fooling around...let's get right to it! 

1. What's something you'd rate a 10/10? Tell us why.

A perfect weather day....sunny, not too humid, with a lovely breeze.

Newborn babies.

Couples on their wedding day.

 Getting lost in a music experience.

A God moment in church.

2. What job would you be terrible at? What makes you think so?

Oh my.  I think there are many jobs that I would fail miserably doing.  But, to pick one I think I would say I should NEVER have a job in is accounting.   Why?  I am left handed/ right brained.  I like creative things, and I like the arts.   Since I was a teenager I found I leaned towards visual and musical professions.  I volunteered at a museum, and then my first jobs while in college were at florists.   After graduation I worked at radio and television stations.  

My hubby is very analytical and can work numbers quickly.  One of our daughters is the same way.  (Although she loves the arts too.)   

3. When did you last take a fall? What's something you're falling for (in a good way) these days?

Knock on wood, it has been a long time!  I have not taken a physical fall in years and I don't want to anytime soon.  No broken bones please!!!     What am I 'falling for' though??   All things babies!   I have a very renewed interest in them since I have my twin grandboys on the way!  I now go on Pinterest all the time and browse things that have to do with babies, and I read about baby care - and the joys of being a grandparent.  

4. According to the Travel Channel here are some of America's best fall festivals-

National Apple Harvest Festival (near Arendtsville PA, close to Gettysburg), Harvest on the Harbor (Portland Maine), German Village Festival (Columbus Ohio), Wellfleet Oyster Fest (Cape Cod), and Wine and Chile Fiesta (Santa Fe NM)

Have you ever been to any of the festivals listed? Which one appeals to you most? Does your hometown have any sort of fall celebration, and if so will you make it a point to attend?

I have not been to any of the festivals listed above.  I went to college in Columbus, Ohio for a couple of years, and was not far from the "German Village" area.  But, I never attended the festival - and perhaps it did not even exist way back then!!  lol.   Which fest appeals to me?   Well...I love wine, and I love mexican food - so I think I would enjoy the Wine and Chile Fiesta in New Mexico.

My hometown, Pawleys Island, does not have a festival with the word 'Fall' in it's name, but we have a  Music & Arts Festival (at Brookgreen Gardens), and we have a large Crafts Festival (at Huntington State Park).  I have attended them in past years.  There is a lot of choices of wonderful things to do around here locally.   I live in an area that is filled with activities for all ages. 

5. What is your goodbye message to summer?

I'm always sad to say goodbye to summer. I love the warmth of the sun, and I love the 'vacation feel' here where I live.   Many, many people come here for their vacation.  I am blessed to be here all year.  So, although saying goodbye to summer is hard, I do love September and October because the tourists are gone.  The weather is still beautiful (when we don't have a hurricane!!) and the beaches are not crowded.  

So, summer: although I will miss you, I do enjoy the days right now. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

How can I post without sending prayers to Puerto Rico, and to Mexico.   The power of "Mother Nature" has been devastating.   But, people are resilient.   It will take time to rebuild.  But, it will bring people together.   God be with those who have lost so much, and be with the helpers.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday morning QBing

Hi everyone.   It's football season, so here's a Monday Morning Quarterbacking post...  about football and other stuff.

*. My favorite football teams sure were lackluster this past weekend.   It might be a tough season!!  lol.  The Gamecocks were just downright sad, and not impressive at all.  I hope it was just an 'off' week and that the loss kicks them into action.    The Carolina Panthers held on but they didn't look very good either.   Both teams had key players get injured.   Deebo Samuel for the Carolina Gamecocks, and Greg Olson for the Carolina Panthers.   Oh no.

*  Stephen Colbert did a great job as host of last night's Emmy's. Of course, in my book he can do no wrong.  I love him.   Yes, he has great writers but the man is not afraid to express his opinion (which usually coincides with mine) and I love his expressions!  

* Speaking of Emmys:  I guess I need to watch The Handmaid's Tale!   I read the book  by Margaret Atwood recently after seeing women dressed as handmaids at Trump events.  I wanted to know what it was all about.  Now, I need to watch...  and I think it's on Hulu.  Time to download it!!      And, I want to watch Big Little Lies too.  

*  What is with this hurricane season???   Harvey and Irma were both devastating to millions and now we have Jose and Maria out there.   (Did you notice the Spanish names?!?   Can we blame it on Trump and wanting to close the borders??  ha! )    Seriously, I am not happy about the hurricane after hurricane forming out there and scaring us.  I have had enough of them.   We still own three properties in the lowcountry area, and even with a small hurricane or tropical storm, we have cleanup to do.   If a bigger one comes around, then I am leaving to safer, higher ground.  And, I don't want to do that!   But, I am not going to stay for a hurricane category higher than a 2.

*  The last three fall seasons have brought natural disasters here.  Two years ago was the "Thousand Year Flood" that went over our dock, and then last year Matthew came and dropped a huge tree through our roof.  So far we have had nothing major (praying we don't) but the hurricane season is not over.    

*. Babies Watch is starting!!   Our twin boy grandbabies are due in mid-November, only 2 months away.  The time will go by quickly!  Well, for me - maybe NOT for my daughter who is carrying them!  ha!   She is in the last trimester and she has had a picture perfect pregnancy to this point.  I think she will do just fine, but she will be getting bigger and bigger.  

* Other daughter is learning to be a yoga teacher.  She had her first (of nine) weekends of school and training.   She fell in love with yoga a few years ago - it has made her fit, and flexible, and has helped keep her calm through tense, long hours of tax seasons.   She is a CPA.  

* I have said this before:  I love being outdoors and doing yard work.  I actually like to weed.  Why?  I like fresh air, seeing the difference I can make ...and it's good exercise!  Squats, up and down, and arm work with cutters.. and lugging things around.   But, this getting old stuff is not fun!!   I have a sore arm - near the elbow - that just will not heal.   Ok.  Maybe I don't give it very long to heal...   which is another annoying thing about getting older:  healing takes longer!

* Music!  It makes the world go 'round!   Yesterday our church handbell group was part of a lovely community service and blessing of musicians, that was put on by the American Guild of Organists, the Grand Strand Chapter.   Church choirs sang, a brass quintet played, there was a beautiful flute and piano piece, and our group.  Along with prayers and hymns and a short sermon.  Music really does give me "God moments."  

* Another favorite of mine:  Reading.   If you'd like to know what to read, and perhaps would like to see what I have read, I encourage you to download  It's free and it's a wonderful site to learn about books, to read reviews - including from friends, and it's a wonderful place to keep track of what you have read.   Please feel free to visit my "bookshelf" on the site and see what books I have far.

*. Before I end this QB post, I must say I am still a resistor to what is going on with our administration.  Nothing has changed.  (Unfortunately.)   I see no change, no better decisions by our president.  He still embarrasses me as a citizen of this country.  I continue to prayer he will not lead us into war, or be erratic in action.  He has certainly been erratic with his words and tweets. 

Have a great week ahead everyone.    Make a positive difference out there...  

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Seeing is believing??

Happy Wednesday to you all!   It's time for the Hodgepodge.  I hope you can take a minute and read on...

1. Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.

The first question is a toughie.  Right off I want to say that yes, a picture is worth a thousand words.   It makes me think of "seeing is believing" which ties in to a discussion I have been having on line the last couple of days.  The discussion has been about whether TV reporters have gone too far standing hours and hours out in the weather elements during Harvey and Irma.   I found myself turning off the news because I got tired of seeing those poor drenched, wind-whipped reporters - really saying nothing more than "Wow! It's crazy out here!"  I questioned WHY and worried about their personal safety.  Plus, they told the public over and over to get inside and to hunker down.   But, they did not.

I have a good friend in the news business and she responded on Facebook that it makes for good television - and she sent me an opinion piece which said in this time of "Fake News" people no longer believe anything when told it.  So, to see is to believe.   For many Americans the propaganda out there now has turned us into doubters.

Putting this issue aside, I believe that both pictures and words are equally important.    I am a visual person so I love seeing beautiful sights.  Setting my eyes on the marsh, or on a garden can not be duplicated.    Bit, I'm also a reader so I know that a thousand words can take me places I may never know any other way.  Words CAN bring people or places to life.  Words count.   

2. Have you ever driven any part of the Pacific Coast Highway? If so what was your favorite stop? If not, is this sort of trip on your bucket list?

Yes, I have driven a small part of the highway.  I used to live in Northern California so I had the opportunity to take in the views around Big Sur (back to question one!) on the narrow highway, high above the ocean.  I also rode up along the coast in Oregon.  It was a breathtaking visual trip!

3. How do the changing seasons affect you? As the seasons change do you find yourself looking more forward or backward? Which season-season transition bothers you most? Why do you suppose that is? 

Ha!  Oh, I definitely have the seasonal disorder...  I get sad when the light of the day gets shorter, and the temperatures get colder.   I get down and I dread the expectations of the holidays.   So, going from Fall to Winter is my worst time, but I really start to feel it as summer goes into Fall.   I have written posts about it.  I struggle each year.

But, this Fall I am actually looking forward to it arriving.... why??   Because I will become a grandmother in November!  As you know, my daughter is pregnant with twin boys.  I plan on moving in with her and her hubby for awhile to help out.  So, this Fall and Winter I don't care about anything else!!  

4. It's your birthday and you get to pick the dinner menu. What are we having? Do you ever lie about your age?

I enjoy Mexican food and don't eat it often, so I would pick a big plate of loaded nachos (no jalepenos) and wash it down with chardonnay.

I have never lied about my age.  For two reasons.   I try not to lie on purpose (and I am not good at it) and I think I am holding myself together pretty well for my age. 

5. What's a life lesson you've learned recently?

Hmmm.   I guess my life lesson is that I know life, and I, constantly change - and that there are seasons in life.  I have learned that I can change my mind and that's okay.  I think back on who I was (and what I didn't know) as a young person, and I realize I have been able to accept the growth and changes - in attitude, changes in latitude (thanks Jimmy Buffett).  

My hubby took job positions around the country throughout our marriage so I have learned to accept various styles of living, and a wide variety of people.   I have learned that core family, and faith, and positive energy, keep me going.  

So, I haven't recently learned this...but perhaps, I have recently appreciated it.  And, I think about my future and want to stay open to more change. 

6.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Last night's "HandinHand" special to raise money for Harvey and Irma victims was amazing!  I wish it would have been more than one hour.  I have heard it has raised over $14 million....which is wonderful.   All money is good and needed.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

What's in your future?

It's back to the Hodgepodge... after a busy week has passed, and I am sad to say a busy one on the way (thanks Irma.)   For now, let's take a break and look at the Hodgepodge questions.

 1. When you think about your future what do you fear most? Hope for the most?

Ha!   My very near future??   IRMA!   I live along the coast in South Carolina and right now we are waiting to see when she decides to turn north.   She could wait and go through Florida and then come up our way as a tropical storm OR she could turn a bit sooner and come up the east coast and hit us hard.   I guess today I need to start gathering what I need if we need to hoe in the car and head out.  We plan to go to my daughter's home in Raleigh.

Just last year Matthew hit here and took a big tree down, and through our roof.   So, I'm "hurricane scared"... and this one coming is HUGE and DEADLY and very SCARY.    So, it is my biggest fear right now.

My hope?   That Irma leaves me alone!!! ( :

I think Joyce asked this question as a long term question.  So, after Irma, my other biggest fear in my future:  that something might go wrong with my daughter's twin boys before or at birth.   Which leads to my biggest hope:  that the boys are born healthy and that we welcome two wonderful little guys in to our family!

PS:  My daughter is doing fine as she enters her third trimester carrying the twins.  Each checkup has gone well and the boys look fine. 

2. September is National Chicken Month. How often is chicken on the menu at your house? What's a favorite dish made with chicken? What's something you're a 'chicken' about doing or trying?

When I was preparing dinner for my family chicken was often on the menu.   Now I don't eat it as much as I used to, but we do still make chicken kabobs on the grill from time to time.

I'm chicken about trying many things!  I'm not very adventurous!   So, I have not bungee jumped, or gone up in a hot air balloon, or tried to water ski, or scuba'd, or really anything up or down - where I could hurt myself!  lol.  

3. What are three things you don't own but wish you did?

At my age, I am fortunate to say there is nothing that I don't have but wish I did. 

4. Would you rather be a jack of all trades or a master of one? Elaborate.  If you answered one, which one?

I think I would prefer to be a master of something - and I think it would be something to do with music.  Again, at my age I can say it is not going to happen.  ) :

5. Ketchup or mustard? On what?

I like to put ketchup on burgers.  I like mustard on bratwurst.    So I go both ways!   ha!!   

6.  Insert your own random thought here. 

I mentioned at the beginning of this that I had a busy week just pass by.   Saturday we went to our daughter and son-in-law's home to gather with family and friends for two big events.  First, was the beginning of the 2017 Gamecock football season!  Second, was the  'babies' shower for my daughter.  The whole weekend was fun, and happy (Gamecocks won), and everything went smoothly.   Well, except for one thing.  There is always one thing, right??   My daughter & SIL bought their house and have only been in it a few months - and are first time home owners.   It's a beautiful home, but as it goes, things happen!  Right?   On Saturday night the septic tank alarm went off.   Sunday morning my son-in-law called all around to get someone to come look at it.  Keep in mind it was a holiday weekend.    Thankfully, after some calls he found someone who would come (only $100 extra).  when did he arrive??   At the exact time of the shower starting!   We closed all the doors... while the tank was pumped outside.   Ha!   All went well - and smelled fine inside. 

So, if I am not here next week, it will be because Irma has reared her huge, ugly head and come up my way.    For all those who are in Florida, you are in my prayers.  Be safe.   Get out of the path if you can.   God be with you.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Laboring over today's Hodgepodge

Don't blink!   It is the title of a song by Kenny Chesney.  And, it goes on to say that "just like that" your babies grow... so don't blink!  I'm feeling that way right now.  My babies are grown.  Young women.  I am seeing them this coming Labor Day weekend - which leads into the first question:

 1. Can you believe we're rolling in to the Labor Day weekend? What's a project you'll labor over this fall?

Can I believe it?  No!  Time goes by so quickly sometimes.  Especially summertime.    Don't blink!

A project?  I have my usual projects (the layette program, church WELCA activities, community band) and they are a 'labor of love.'   This weekend is my daughter's "Babies shower" to help her  prepare for her twin boys.  My other daughter and I are hosting it.  I'm excited about it!  Getting it all together has been fun, and seeing all the gifts she receives will be exciting.  It will be a great time of family and friends together. 

2. Tell us about the best perks you ever had in a job?

This is an easy question to answer!  I worked at 98 ROCK in Baltimore, and as Promotions Manager it was often part of my job to go to concerts!  Sometimes I was going with the DJ who was MCing, or I was meeting some winners/listeners to take them backstage to meet the band.   But, sometimes I was given tickets as a perk from the record reps or the concert promoter.  Oh - and often I got a backstage pass! 

It is certainly where I got my love of experiencing live music!   But, I also got spoiled - and now I like to be 'up close and personal' at concerts...and now I have to pay for it!  

3. August 31st is National South Carolina Day. Have you ever been to SC? Any desire to go? According to Southern Living, these are the top ten things to do in South Carolina...

Explore Charleston, bike, golf or relax on Hilton Head Island, see the beach and the boardwalk at Myrtle Beach, visit the state museum in the capital city Columbia, observe the wildlife and natural beauty of the Ace Basin, take a walk or hop on a trolley and check out Greenville's charming main street, visit Fort Sumter where the Civil War began, stroll through Pearl Fryar's Topiary Garden in Bishopville leaving time to check out The Button Museum, also in Bishopville, see Morgan Island (also known as Monkey Island)-home to nearly 4000 Rhesus monkeys. 

Which is most appealing to you today? If you're a SC native, resident, or frequent visitor what would you add to the list?

Happy South Carolina Day!   My home state!  Yes, I live here - and I love it!  

But, here's the interesting part:  some of the places on the list above I have never even heard of!   I live on the east (coastal) part of the state and I have not explored the western areas.  So, I have yet to see Greenville, but everyone says it is a beautiful city.  And Ace Basin??  What is that?    Morgan Island??  I never heard of it until reading it here.   But, I think it would be quite an amazing place to visit!   I better google and find out where it is located!! lol

4. Beef, pork, country-style, barbecued, baby back, spare or short...your favorite kind of rib? What's a dish you enjoy that really 'sticks to your ribs'?

Here's my advertisement for the day:   Best ribs I have ever eaten can be found at The Corner Stable in Cockeysville, Maryland (a northern suburb of Baltimore.)  They are pork baby-back ribs, slow cooked in a secret sauce, and they are tender and fall of the bones.  They are amazing!  

A dish that sticks to my ribs?  Anything made with potatoes!  Mashed potatoes are my favorite but I rarely have them anymore...   because, darn it, they stick to my ribs!! 

5. What's one important skill you think every person should have? Why?

I am not sure if I would call it a skill, but I think everyone should have some education in money management.  It is said that high schoolers graduate without knowing anything about how credit cards work, and how to budget their money month to month.   I think that's an important thing to know - more than knowing how to solve an algebra problem. 

6.  Insert your own random thought here. 

So, most of you know that we are trying to sell a home.  It is a beautiful place, but it has been difficult to sell because it has lots of steps, and it is a big family home but does not have a big yard.  People who have gone through it have been impressed but continue to have 'something' that holds them back.  So, it's been frustrating....VERY frustrating.

On Monday we had a realtor come with clients to see it... and they opened the front door, and were greeted with a SNAKE in the foyer!!   Yep, a snake!! So, they shut the door and left.  According to the realtor the clients have NO interest in coming back to see the house.   So, here is the thing:   it is the lowcountry.  Yes, snakes and alligators live here.   They pop up from time to time.  The house has been empty (little activity) and it was raining.  

Sometimes I want to scream...  plus, I want to tell realtors to be honest with clients.  Tell them it's part of living in marshy, coastal areas.   Hey - I hate snakes.  I really do.  But, a snake can show up in any house...   but, of course, it happened in mine.  Grrrrrr.        Will the house ever sell???  

Ok.  My rant is over.  In reality my problem is so very minor when I think of the thousands of people in the Houston area who have NO house now.   I can't get over the devastation there.  My heart breaks for all those who will be displaced for so long.  For those who have lost all their possessions.  For those who will not have a job anymore.  For those who can not get basic needs of life. 

Pray for them.  Give if you can.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

"Over the moon" in more ways than one.

Another Tuesday, another Hodgepodge!  Let's get started!

1. Did you watch the solar eclipse? Your thoughts? Sun Chips, Moon Pies, Starburst candies, a Blue Moon beer, a Sunkist orange, or a Milky Way candy bar...what's your favorite eclipse related snack on this list?

Yes! Yes I did!  I was fortunate to live in the center of the path as it came across South Carolina.   So, hubby and I went out on our riva cabin dock and watched the eclipse from there.  I have to say going into the "big day" I was a bit tired of all the hype, and the traffic around here.  I figured I would watch it - la dee dah - and then be happy when it was all over.   As we got to just a few hours before the start of the beginning of the eclipse it became somewhat cloudy, and so I thought maybe we would not see anything. Oh well.

But... the clouds moved on and the sky cleared enough for us to watch - as the moon started to block out the sun.  For an hour it was glasses on, glasses off. on again, and off, and repeat.   We had a few drip drops but still we hung in there and waited....and watched.   And I have to say that the moment we saw the full 'totality' of the solar eclipse, it was quite something special to see!   When we could take off our glasses and look directly up at the full eclipse it was a pretty awesome moment!  An 'aha' moment!!

As for the snacks, hubby and I should have thought ahead and had some!  My daughter's company had everyone go out on their outdoor veranda, and they served Blue Moon Beer, and Moon Pies - with other goodies.  They also provided the glasses for everyone.     Of the candies on the list above, I would probably go for a Milky Way bar.   It's always been one of my favorites! 

2. What are you 'over the moon' about these days? What's something you enjoy doing every 'once in a blue moon'?

What am I 'over the moon" about?   Ha!  I think you know!  The answer:  The fact that I will soon be a first time grandmother - to identical twin boys!   I am very excited!  Just earlier today I was in a second-hand store and found a cute little bathroom step up stool - for little ones to reach the sink.  The boys are not even born yet and I'm already thinking of how they will need the stool! !! Oh, yes, I bought it!!    It's very sturdy - and just needs a fresh coat of paint.   It won't be but a year and a half and they will be needing it... right? lol

'Once in a blue moon' actually means very rarely.  So, I think I will say I rarely fly in an airplane.  I will because it's convenient, and can be quick if all goes well, but I don't like particularly prefer it.  I'm limited to what I can bring, and I am at the whim of the airlines and the weather... and I just don't get HOW that huge, heavy thing gets up in the air anyway!?!    I'm not good with turbulence.  And I'm not a fan of such close sitting. I have long legs so I'm always crammed.   I only enjoy it if all goes well - that means that it is in time, people were kind, and it was a nice smooth ride.

3. Tell us about something in the realm of science that interests you. How do you feed that interest?

This is a funny question to answer right after admitting I don't get how airplanes fly!  lol    What kind of science interests me?   I guess I like horticulture (is that science??). I like playing with plants and flowers......   and I love when I can make them thrive!!

4. What are a few things you remember about going back to school as a child?

I have said this before, but I remember 'back to school' time not being until AFTER Labor Day.  So, I'm still sad for all the students who head back in mid-August.  It just seems too early.  Summer isn't over yet.    I remember my mother taking me shopping for new school shoes - and I think they were often new penny loafers (and yes, I put a penny in each!)  I would get a new dress or outfit too.

I remember being excited on the first day back to school, seeing who was in my class, and starting off with brand new school supplies! 

5. I've seen several versions of this around the net so let's make one of our own...share with us five words that touch your soul and briefly tell us why.

Five words that touch my soul?  Five separate words?  Or a sentence/line of five words.   Wow...   this is the first I have heard of this, so let me think...

Music -  It's a direct avenue to feelings.   It can bring out emotions to love, to dance, to feel sadness... or to jump around and act silly.  Music touches and moves me.

Peace - it's allusive but I think we all strive for it.  I hope so anyway.   When people get together disarmed - and share in a moment, it's a beautiful and soothing experience.  A feeling of oneness and a shared humanity brings peace.

Passion - I admire those with a lot of it.  A person with passion for an art, or a belief, or a cause... they live 'strongly' and care deeply.

Children -  They are precious, and innocent, and untouched by the bad in the world.  They often just live in the moment and therefore change their emotions quickly.  Honestly.   A hug from a child (when not told to do it by an adult) is just the best thing ever!   Children are fun to watch as they explore and learn new things....  we need to remember how we were once that way.

God -  I've had "God moments" as an adult.  Things that have been so lovely, or where the dots have connected just right, that it is God giving me a 'gift'.   I appreciate it.  It certainly makes me smile - and believe.   I've seen God in unexpected moments... and they really are the "aha" times.    

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

 If I could add on to my list above of the words that touch my soul...  I'd add nature (because I have God moments there) and pets.  Both nature and pets add depth to living and bring joy to an ordinary day.

Have a great week ahead!  I'm off to a wedding this weekend...  which is another thing that sure can make the soul sing!  It's wonderful to watch two people express their love and commitment, and. for family and friends to be there to witness it - and to paaaaarty!?!!!!    ( :   

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The dog days of summer

It's that time again. Another week flew by.  Is it just me, or does summertime seem to go by faster than winter?   And, even though it's hot and humid here in these parts, it's the time of year I love.   There is something lovely about walking outside at 10:00pm and not feeling chilled.  Seeing the stars, hearing the deafening crickets and tree frogs!  I love a summer night!   (Winter nights start at 4:00pm and I find I hibernate inside.  Oh, what a difference.)

Anyway, I am off subject to this week's Hodgepodge.  Let's get back on track!

1. Do your actions match your words? Elaborate.

I sure hope so!  I am not a game player, and I do not purposely say something and then DO the opposite.   Why?  Well, for one thing, I am not a good liar.  I am happy that I am not.   Plus, I just don't think I could be happy with myself if I said something and then didn't really belief it, and follow through with actions about the belief.   I don't know, but that seems like it would be a constant internal struggle and difficult to handle... and just a sad way to live a life.

2. Sick as a dog, go to the dogs, dog days of summer, dog tired, it's a dog's life, every dog has it's day, can't teach an old dog new doggone it which saying could most recently be applied to your life?

Ha!  Well, a few dog sayings probably do apply to my life, like "You can't teach an old dog new tricks."  My hubby will vouch that I am not always ready to jump in to new technology, or try a new way of doing something because I was okay with how I have 'always done it.' 

But, I will pick "it's a dog's life" because I know that I am blessed, and have many good people around me, supporting me, taking care of me...and loving me.   Gee - should I give them a good dog kiss on the lips?? ha!! 

3. Your favorite book featuring a dog in the storyline? What makes it a favorite?

I did not read the book, but I did see the movie "Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog."   I loved it!

My favorite though?   It's got to be Clifford books - Clifford, the Big Red Dog!  My daughters had a few of them.  I loved the one where Clifford went trick or treating. I just googled him and there are over 70 Cifford titles, a tv show - and a movie coming soon!   Yeah for Clifford!!


4. What's something you hope to one day have the confidence to do?

Hmmm. If I don't have the confidence now, at my age, will I ever??    

The only thing I can think of is to be confident enough to speak up against injustices, and - going back to question #1, then to act on them. To go the extra 'step' and not just verbalize when something is wrong, but to DO something to help make a situation better.

After this past weekend's sad events in Charlottesville, VA, I think we ALL should think about having confidence to speak and act against blatant racism, and to care for those who feel the pain of it.

5. August 16th is National Tell a Joke Day. So tell us a joke.

I could not think of one on my own, so I just asked my Alexa!   Here is hers...

Why was the pizza maker so terrible at golf???

His whole round was full of slices!!

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I'm curious if where you live is already preparing for "back to school"?   Here in my area, schools start up a week from Monday!   I'm still "old school". (haha - get it?) when it comes to thinking schools should not reopen for the new year until September.  Mid-August just seems too early!!   And like I said above, summertime flies by too quickly as it is.  I feel sorry for kids who have to return to school soon - AND the teachers!!

Have a good week - and enjoy these dog days of summer!!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Monday morning QBing

* It's almost football season...   yes!   Okay, actually it's already 'pre-season' and football is now on TV.   August is the month to get back in the conversation... to watch the early scrimmages with the new guys.   But, once September arrives, so does the REAL season!

* Rain, rain, rain.   Enough.   But, it's August - and it's hot and humid.  That means pop-up thundershowers.  Heavy downpours.      We have entered hurricane season here in the lowcountry.  After what we went through last October with Matthew I hope and pray that we have a quiet next few months here.   Please oh please!

*  Weekend ups and downs:      What a joy to sit with sweet Greta at church, and to spend time with her yesterday.  That girl got my heart at a very young age and she remains so special to me.   Her hugs are the best!  

The hate openly shown in Charlottesville this weekend by neo-Nazi's and white supremists makes me very upset.  It seemed by what I saw on the News that most there, marching, and spewing hate, were  young white men.   How did they become this way?    What did they not learn, or feel, during childhood?   Or, maybe it's really what they DID get taught.  Someone, a parent or someone else, must have put hate and racism into their minds when they were young.  Maybe.  I can't figure it out.   Some come from a bad environment - but some come from Christian families.   Just typing that - scares me!  How can that be??  

Golf!   Yesterday's final day was again an exciting Sunday!  A 12 second pause before the ball dropped in the hole!  Golf is certainly a game of skill - but it always has an element of luck.   Daughter #2 and boyfriend were there,  hanging in a VIP tent part of the time - and then walking the fairways, watching the pros being so amazing!

* Confederate statues.    Seriously.   I can not even understand why moving them gets people so upset.   But, I know it's the tip of the iceberg for some who think our country is not for them anymore.   Selfish people - people who can not be empathetic to others who feel the statues are offensive to history and their grandparents.   

Which leads me to think of the word 'entitlement.'    What a bad word.    No good comes from it.

* Have I said lately that I love my hubby and daughters?   This morning seems like a good time to state it.  I love my son-in-law and the little nuggets growing in my daughter too!  Above all else!   They are my world. 

*  I'm wrapped up in a book right now.  "The Lilac Girls" by Martha Hall Kelly.   I'm 2/3s of the way through it. I'm totally wrapped up in the lives of the 3 women.  I'm appalled by the atrocities in it, and I'm hoping for happy outcomes for these tough women.    What should be my next read?   Any book suggestions??

Here's to a good week ahead... and to peace, and understanding.    Let's live it!!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Do I dare? How can I not?

Disclaimer:  This is a post about politics.  With a bit of religion in it too. So, if you can't handle reading my opinions, then exit now.

My blog. My thoughts.

In America you get to say what you feel. 

Here goes...

You all know this:   I cried on Election Night last November. I have written about it already.   I hurt.  Physically and mentally.  I was in shock - for days afterwards.   Some people told me to get over it, and to accept the results.     Well, I had to accept it...  even though I suppose I tried to stay in denial for a bit...   but get over it?    How does a person get over the sadness of knowing fellow Americans voted the way they did?    Some are people I know and love.  Family and friends. 

It was a blow to me.   It was SO obvious to me that our country was going to go backwards with this man at the helm.  It was obvious to me back then that he was a fake. An egotist.  An embarrassment.   I knew he was irrational.  Hot-headed.  Unprepared for holding the office.  

7 months in to his presidency, I am saddened to say that I was not even able to foresee all the craziness that is reality now.   I didn't think he would bring us into a place of war talk with one of the other crazy men of the world already.   I didn't think he would devalue so many people...  trans, gays, minorities, women! I didn't think he would so quickly deny climate change, and go backwards on our care for our land.   I didn't think he could not bring saner people into his circle - and keep them.  (Back then I hoped people around him would ring him in.) I didn't realize political posts would stay vacant because nobody can work for him.  I didn't know he would tweet like he does!!

But, here we are. 

I am a woman of faith.  I believe in God.  I know He (God our creator) has given us this amazing planet to live on... to tend it, to share with each other.  We are to love one another...even our enemies.  We are to feed the poor, to value our individuality, to give without judgement. These are basic beliefs - the foundation of following Him.  My belief as a follower of Jesus guides my life.  I fall short all the time, but I TRY to do what I think God wants me to do for others.... ALL others. 

Living as a Christian woman can be hard at times.  But,  Jesus told the disciples that there would be those who challenge, and do not understand, and that we must dust ourselves off and keep on going.   Never give up.  7 times 7...   keep on going...  Profess God's love and message.  Live as a child of God. 

I try.  I pray for guidance.   I ask for balance.  And strength. 

I am a happy person.  You may think I am not because of what I write here.   But, it's true.  I find constant comfort in my faith.  I find joy all the time!!  I am fortunate.  My circumstances, where I am on this earth and in America ...  I am blessed.      And, I live in a real world - and I speak out when I see wrongs, and I worry about innocent people getting hurt, and when I see political injustice.   I feel I must.   That is why I speak out about politics sometimes.  I can not hide my head and heart away.  

I will not, and can not, stop.  Yes, politics is so very depressing at times.  So much is wrong with it. So many are involved in it for personal satisfaction only, and for ego strokes.  Elected officials are supposed to work for the betterment of us all...but they don't.   Money, lobbys,  business - all need to get OUT of politics.

Caring, and working together for a better America for ALL is possible...    politics and religion can find common ground.   I believe that.    So, I speak out.  


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Isn't life GRAND?

Hello Hodgepodgers!   Welcome to this week's set of questions, and my answers.  People ask me why I do the Hodgepodge, and why I blog.  For me...  It is a good way to keep my brain working, and my blog is my way of speaking out.  I get frustrated sometimes.  I don't keep secrets.  I like to share life.  

The Hodgepodge questions are usually not controversial.   This week is fun and GRAND!    So, read on and enjoy.  Feel free to answer too. I love getting comments at the end of the post.

1. Do you try to set rules for yourself about how you use your time? Explain.

Yes, I definitely am aware of time and how I use it.  I keep to a schedule if possible.  I wake up the same time each morning (within a half hour), and I think about my day ahead - and what I want to accomplish.  Most things are not life or death!  But, I plan my day around things that are already at set times, and I plan the best way to use the hours of the day.

I am a 'rule follower.'  If I set one - then I do my best to follow through.   Time is valuable!  

2. Monday was National Lighthouse Day. Have you ever visited a lighthouse? If not, do you have any desire to see one up close? Of the 10 Most Beautiful that made this list which would you most like to see in person-

Lindau Lighthouse (Germany), Fanad Lighthouse (Ireland), Portland Head Light (Maine), Yaquina Bay Light (Oregon) The St. Augustine Light (Florida), Peggys Point Lighthouse (Canada), Start Point Lighthouse (England), Tower of Hercules (Spain), Bass Harbor Head Station (Maine), and White Shoal Light (Michigan)

When you've been away, what's your 'lighthouse' telling you you're on the right road home?

Yes, I have visited a couple of lighthouses, up close and personal.  I have gone in and up into the Marblehead Lighthouse on Lake Erie in Ohio, and the Tybee Island Lighthouse near Savannah.   I have boated by others, including the Georgetown Lighthouse, at the entrance of the Winyah Bay in South Carolina.  

Of those listed above, I would like to visit Maine (in the summertime) and see both the Portland Head Light and the Bass Harbor Head Station.

What does a lighthouse say to me?  Is that the last part of this question?   Coming home is always a warm feeling.  A comfort feeling. Lighthouses gave the mariners the same feeling - of finding a warm home, and a safe harbor.   A light in the dark, and the direction to follow to get to solid ground.

3. What have you unintentionally stopped doing? Is this something you need to pick back up and begin again, or is it something you need to let go of for now (or even permanently)?

Ha! Thanks for making me feel guilty!  lol    Well, I have stopped walking for exercise and I need to get back to it!   I also need to remind myself to drink more water every day.   I know I feel better doing both, and both keep me healthier.   So...   yes, I need to get back at it!   

4. We've had a full week of August. Share a GRAND moment from your month so far.

Congrats to our leader Joyce on the birth of her first GRANDbaby, a little boy, with a head full of hair!  He's beautiful.   That's tough to beat for a grand first week in August!

For me, August has brought me closer to my daughter's arrival of her twin boys.  Sorry readers! You will be hearing about this for a long time!  The boys are due in November.    The first week of August also brought my other daughter and some friends to our riva cabin for a weekend get-away.  It was grand to see her and I am glad they all had a wonderful time.  

5. Tell us one song you love with the word 'baby' in the title.

Nice segway Joyce!    So many GRAND songs with the word 'baby' in it's title!  Here's a few...

The Supremes "Baby Love"
Amy Grant's "Baby Baby"
Britney Spears "Hit me Baby One More Time"!

Okay... now I will be singing these all day today!

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

So,  "baby oh baby" is the theme of my daughter's upcoming shower as she has TWO on the way!  I'd love to hear from you all on fun games or food for a baby shower.   We are planning one for Labor Day weekend (seems like an appropriate time, right?  ha)  and I have a few ideas.  But, if you know of something I should include, please tell me.  Double the fun - double the babies!  

As always, thanks for visiting me here.   Have a GRAND and safe week ahead! 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Rainy Friday morning...

Hi readers.  It's a rainy Friday morning and I have some time to write on my blog before starting my day.   So, here goes...

*  I'm sitting here with the morning news on. I'm once again questioning my need to know what is going on in the world, and I'm questioning how we Americans got ourselves to this place.   I just saw our president at another "love fest" for him, staged of course, in W VA - a part of our country hurt by a dying coal industry,  hanging on to some hope for a 'savior' and looking at our president for it.  

Every single day Trump shows off his pompous ignorance and embarrasses me more.   There really isn't anything new I can say about him, except I pray that he does not jump into a military action.  I don't trust him - at all. 

I know some people who still - S T I L L - support him.   I can't figure them out.  Except, I did hear that their allegiance is similar to when you love a football team... a blind love for them in bad times and good.  

* I'm now watching CBS and they are doing a report on the Chicago gun violence.  They are interviewing gang guys... and it is frightening. 

*. Okay...  I've got to turn my thoughts away from the woes we have.  It's important to focus on all the good we know.    So, here's a list of awesome-ness:     

I'm enjoying all the pictures of our NJ friends' daughter's wedding on Facebook!  What a beautiful day and the bride was just beaming!  I love how the wedding and reception - and all the happy people having a blast - are shared on FB.   

Before I go further,  my daughter continues to feel good and is carrying her twin boys well.   Absolutely NO issues to worry about at this point.  Thank God!  She is embracing this time, and is preparing for the boys' arrival.   She and hubby have settled into their home, and will soon start with a series of childbirth and infant care classes.    My other daughter and I are hosting a babys shower over Labor Day weekend.  I'm having fun looking on Pinterest for ideas, and getting my thoughts together for the day! 

Speaking of my son-in-law:  yesterday was his birthday.  So, here's a little toast to him.   Hubby and I have said often how perfect he is for our daughter.  He is dedicated to her and to his work and his family. He knows how to have a good time - and has a quick wit.  People enjoy being around him.   He has patience - and is a calming voice to our daughter when she needs it.    They enjoy sports together, and they love going out to dinner for a good meal.    Gee - as I write this, I realize how he is similar to hubby.   So, maybe it's true that a daughter picks a man that reminds her of daddy!  

I can't wait to see both of them as parents!   Fun times ahead!

* Football season.    I think I heard that the first pre-season pro game is today!   Each year it seems like football starts so early.  But,  by September I am ready for it!    I root for the South Carolina Gamecocks (through bad and good -  see above!  ha) and I love watching SEC games.  I also root for the Carolina Panthers. So, Saturdays and Sundays are filled during football season!!  

*. Another topic on the news right now:  tattoos.   I'm watching a report that the local police can not have a tat of something violent, or words that are racist.   Really? duh.    I am curious about tattoos.  Most used to be a sign of toughness endured by a guy in the military.  A badge of honor in a way.  But, of course now,  all kinds of people get them.    Even I have thought about what I would want if I decided to get one.  A Christian fish (like Tim's), or a musical note, a heart... or my daughter's initials.   I know myself well enough that 1. I don't like pain, 2. I change my mind over time (I'm not who I was when I was 20 years old), 3. I wouldn't want it showing all the time.   So, then... where to tat?     I also know tattoos are expensive.  I can't help it, but I see young people with all kinds of tats and wonder "this is how they spend their money?"    I see some on people that are grotesque and I can't imagine WHY that picture was chosen.    I know that tattoos are becoming more common place BUT it still is a statement - a forever statement.   I don't always think those who get them realize it. 

*.In case you have been wondering... we still have a house for sale.   But, we now have heard some comments like "it's on the short list" and "they plan to come back again for a second look."    Progress!   ha

*.  Speaking of homes: I love where I live so much!  The house we "down-sized" into is just perfect!  The square footage is less, and much more manageable (only 2 bathrooms to clean! yeah) I love the yard - because I love to be outdoors and garden.   There is plenty of space to plant.  Some spots of sun, and some of shade.  Yesterday I tried out a new battery-operated hedge trimmer - and it worked great!!  Simple pleasures. 

*  So - random thought. I downloaded Snapchat and for the life of me, I have not been able to understand how it works.  And, I don't get why people put up pics that don't last.   Guess that's why I like FB and Instagram...  and really, that's enough for me.    Some people probably think I'm on social media too much anyway!  ha!!!    Oh - and don't forget, I blog too!   lol

If you have read down to here... thank you.   If you want to comment back, I welcome it.

Have a great day! Think of the awesome-ness!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Hodgepodge questions - and my answers.

Hello Hodgepodgers!  I hope you have had a good week - and are ready for a new set of questions!

If so, then let's go!

 1. Growing up, were you close to your grandparents? Tell us one or two specific things you remember about them.

My dad's parents died rather young.  So, I never got to know them.  But, my mother's parents were a part of my childhood.  We would gather at their home during holiday times, along with other family members...aunts, uncles, and cousins.  We didn't live too close so we only got together occasionally and therefore I would say I was not extremely close with them.  Most times we were in large groups so I never had one-on-one time with my grandparents.

I have a couple of memories:  My grandfather would carry change in his pants pocket and reach his hand in and bring up the coins and toss them on the living room floor. We grandkids would get all excited, jump, and gather them up.   I also remember sitting on their living room floor and watching TV shows they enjoyed.  In the morning it was the Bob Braun Show (out of Cincinnati) and in the evening we watched The Lawrence Welk Show.   My grandmother made some special food when we cam to visit.  She made homemade chocolate syrup for ice cream (and called it 'dope') and she made amazing egg noodles from scratch!  We would put it over mashed potatoes!!  Can you imagine??   It was SO yummy! 

2. What's an item you were attached to as a child? What happened to it?

I can not think of one specific thing.  Although, I had a few dolls that I loved very much.  One was a "Betsy Wetsy."   When I was a little older, my sister and I had a bunch of Barbie dolls (including Midge, Ken, Alan, Skipper, etc.) and we played with them for hours.   What happened to the dolls?  I think the Barbie dolls were passed down to a younger cousin once we outgrew them.  I don't know what happened to my Betsy Wetsy.

3. When you look out your window, do you see the forest or the trees (literally and figuratively)? Explain.

When I look out my back windows I see a forest of trees!  Literally.   Behind my home is a natural area (and on one side too) and it is wooded and filled with nature! I love it!  It's very private and beautiful.

4. Do you like sour candies? Which of the 'sour' foods listed below would you say is your favorite?

grapefruit, Greek yogurt, tart cherries, lemons, limes, sauerkraut, buttermilk, or kumquats 

Have you ever eaten a kumquat? What's your favorite dish containing one of the sour foods on the list?
I am not a fan of sour candies.  And, of the food items listed I will say I eat the tart cherries... but, really, most likely I will pass on ALL of them.   I do not like sour foods.

No, I have not eaten a kumquat - unless it was in a mixed fruit dish and I just wasn't aware of it.   And favorite dish made from an item above?   I have cooked chicken dishes with lemon so I will go with that. 

5. July 1st marked the mid point of 2017. In fifteen words or less, tell us how it's going so far.

So far 2017 is filled with joy and expectation.

Why this sentence?   Because our family has been blessed with the news of baby boy twins on the way!  We are excited and ready for this new chapter in our lives.  I will be a first time grandmother and I look forward to it, and in spending time with them once they arrive around Thanksgiving!

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

 I got caught up in a documentary series called "The Keepers" on Netflix the last two days and "binge watched" the 7 one hour segments.  It's the first time I have sat and watched episode after episode.  Do you 'binge watch'?   If so, what has been a series that you have spent a whole day watching?   What is your favorite Netflix TV show?  

Have a good week ahead!  I will not be here next week because I will be in Ohio spending time with my family there.  It is our annual week together that we do each summer in a place called Lakeside.   The town is a step back in time... a place where people stay in cottages, and ride bikes, or walk (or golf cart) around.   There is family-style entertainment and religious programs throughout the day.  I've been going there since I was a kid.  Our family gathers and we play games, and do puzzles, and hang together.  

Monday, July 17, 2017

My thoughts... just because...

Good morning friends!

Here's a little Monday morning quarterbacking on this cloudy and rainy start to a new week.

* It's been a pretty hot July so far, so when we get a few days of clouds and rain then the drop in temps that comes with it is a nice change.  Instead of high temps close to 100, we are only going to reach mid 80's today.  I'll take it.

*  We had a beautiful weekend though and hubby and I made it to both the beach and to the riva. We walked the dogs on the beach in the morning - and we got the boat out and enjoyed the rivers around here.   My favorite beach time:   morning before the vacation crowds come out - AND evening, when the sun is getting low, and the vacationers have headed back in after getting sunburned.   Reminder to self:   grab a little wine and a beach chair and head to the beach for an hour around 7:30pm.   A perfect time.  Who wants to join me?

*  I love summertime.  I love piddling in my yard.   This summer I have had poison ivy pretty much constantly since the season started.   I have gone to the doctor's twice to get help...  and I have another dose pack of cortisone awaiting me at CVS if I need it.   Most days I try my best to keep my skin away from what ever it is that effects me:   long sleeves, yoga pants that keep my legs covered - and rubber garden boots.  I'm quite the sight out there! ha     After yard work, I run in and take a shower and scrub - BUT STILL I BREAK OUT!    ugh.   

*  This happened:  So the other day I thought I'd take my pugs out for a walk in the neighborhood early, before the heat of the day.  The dogs don''t handle heat well.... ok - at all.  Thick fur and pushed in noses make it difficult for them.   Daisy will stop dead in her tracks when she has had enough.  Therefore, I push along the 'pug wagon' so she can get in and ride when she gets overheated and tired.   So, I was walking them on their leashes - and pushing the wagon along.  It's not easy to do!   The pugs never seem to just walk nicely.  They stop, smell, pee, stop, smell, pee, and then stop, smell, pee!   I was struggling to keep the dogs untangled and the wagon with us, cars would come by - and I had to get off to the side of the road.   Cars came by - over and over.   So...when one went by I quickly got over and off the road, and stepped right on top of a red ant hill!!   I had on tennis shoes and socks, so I didn't realize it right away - I didn't realize until I felt the sharp, painful bites as the ants were climbing my ankles... and going down into my shoes!!    So, here I am - holding two leashes, pushing a wagon, and stomping my feet - and smacking myself... but getting bit up anyway!   What a sight!    At that point, I gave up on the walk - and rushed home.  I quickly got my socks and shoes off - and found 6 red ant bites.   Have you had ant bites?    Then you know...  painful, very itchy, swells up, lasts forever.   ) :

*  On to better news:  daughter #1 and the pregnant mother of identical twin boys is doing well.  She looks great as she is in the middle months of pregnancy.   She and her hubby are done with the move and are now settling into the new home.  It's time to turn their thoughts to preparing for the babies.

*  So... I have been thinking what I want to be called as a new grandmother.   My two choices:  Meemaw - or GeeGee.    Which do you like?

*  I'm watching Al Gore on a morning news shows right now.   He is talking about an "Inconvenient Truth Sequel" that is coming out.  It's been 10 years since the first book and movie.   Since then we made some great progress with taking care of our world.  We have acknowledged climate change - and we have realized that we are the care-takers of nature.    But...  now we have a president who denies it and is putting business ahead of nature.  It makes me very sad.

*  I guess I can't have a QB post without mentioning that I think I have seen it all and heard it all when it comes to our inept president.  But, yet, every day something new seems to happen.   I am torn between being "on top of the news" to watching our prez and feeling totally embarrassed by him.   He turns my stomach.

* Speaking of TV:   a friend told me about a documentary series on Netflix she has been watching and it peeked my interest.  It's called "The Keepers" and it's about the unsolved murder of a Catholic nun in 1969 in Baltimore.  She was a young school teacher at the time.  Two of her female students from that time, who are now in their 60's, along with some journalists, have decided to try and find out what happened to their beloved teacher and friend.   I lived in Baltimore in the late 70's and 80's and I know the city and areas around there well.  So, I started watching yesterday.   Oh my!!!!   I won't give away what I have watched so far, but let me tease you by saying some unbelievable and horrible events are discovered that have to do with sexual abuse by priests.    It's all fact.   I think I need to finish watching it today.  

*   I also need to finish reading "The Handmaid's Tale."   I picked it up to read after seeing the women dressed in red at Trump protests.   The book is not new, but there is a TV series based on it now.  So far the book is reminding me a bit of the book '1984' which I recently finally read.  Both books take place in a country where the government rules strictly, and by fear.   In "The Handmaid's Tale" women are put into classes, and some are only needed because they are fertile and can provide children for the powerful men.

*  Let's end on a happier note!  Thank you to Suzanne and Barbara who invited me to be a part of a beautiful piece in church yesterday.  Barb sang "O Lord Most Holy" also known as Panis Angelious, and I played my flute.  It was a beautiful arrangement. Both Suzanne and Barb are pros and, although, I get nervous, they gave me confidence and I think the piece was beautiful!!

Have a great week all.  Stay cool.  Stay safe.  

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A true Hodgepodge

Hello Hodgepodgers!  I have missed a few weeks because life has been busy.  It's good to be back now and to answer this week's questions.  Feel free to play along. I'd love to hear your answers!

1. When was the last time you chatted with a neighbor? About what? (sharing that last bit is optional)

I live on a wonderful street with great neighbors!  I walk my dogs almost every day (weather permitting) and I run into neighbors and have chats.  The last time was on Friday when one neighbor was walking her dog and hubby and I were in the front yard doing some yard work.   What did we talk about?   Dogs! ha   And we let her know that we were going to be gone over the weekend. It's always nice to have someone watching the home when you are away.  

2. River, lake, ocean, or waterfall...which one are you most like and why?

This question reminds of the days when Barbara Walters would ask celebs "if you were a tree, what kind would you be?"   ha!!   Sorry Joyce.  It's a bit odd.  But, okay, I'll answer it...

I think I am most like a river. Why?   Well, a river is always moving and I like to think I do not stay stagnant in life - and that I like to move forward, and I look on to what might be downstream.   Rivers have banks on each side - so safety is close by.  

3. July 13 is National Delaware Day. Ever been to Delaware? Delaware is called 'the first state' because it was the first to declare independence from the British. What's your state's nickname and does that moniker make sense to you? If you were in charge, what nickname would you give your home state?

Yes, I have been to and through Delaware.  For many years I lived in New Jersey and traveled Route 95 down to South Carolina - and that trip took me into Delaware.  Occasionally I took the "Eastern Shore route" which took me through a bit more of it.

For awhile, years ago, my bestie girlfriend lived and worked in Delaware - and I visited her there.

I live in South Carolina and it is known as the Palmetto State.  It's motto is "As I breathe, I stand."  Why the Palmettos?  They are a type of palm tree, seen a lot around here, and the trees were used to build Ft. Sumter because the trunks are very dense and solid - and could stop cannonballs from going into the fort.

My nickname?   I love my state, so maybe "A little bit of paradise!" 

4. What dish did you contribute to the last pot luck meal you attended? Do you have a go-to recipe for pot luck suppers?

Ha.  You'll know I don't cook much, right?   Well - the last contribution I made was this past Saturday night when I was at my daughter and son-in-law's home and I boiled the red potatoes!   But, in my own defense, I did help with setting up the buffet of food, and did most of the clean up!

I don't really have a 'go to' dish but in summertime I often bring deviled eggs. And, yes I make them!

5. What is your number one tip for a brand new parent?

Joyce and I both have daughters who are about to be new parents.  So, I like this question - because we can pass along some advice and tips answered here!

My number one tip?  Stay calm.  Take each day as it comes.  And, it's amazing how fast new parents 'learn the ropes' and get into the swing of parenting.  After a couple of months, new parents become comfortable and life with baby becomes routine. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I know my daughter and son-in-law will quickly learn parenting, BUT I still plan to help out for awhile once their identical twin boys arrive!!   Double the fun and double the work - and double the lack of sleep and double the feedings, diaper changes, etc.    The babies are due in late November so I look forward to spending the holiday season with them.

Have a good week ahead.  Stay safe.  Fires in the west. Oppressive heat in the east.  I hope you are not effected by mother nature's summertime wrath!