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.