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.