Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Snowy Hodgepodge

It's going to be a white Wednesday here in central NC...
...I'm so excited that we are expecting to get several inches of SNOW today! 
I know...I can see all of you out there snickering and shaking your heads at me.
I understand that many of have had enough so just humor me, okay?  
It's a snow day for me even though it's just started.

 And of course it's also time for Joyce's weekly Hodgepodge...

...where she asks the questions and we answer them on our blogs.
Here we go....

1. What keeps you blogging?

I know some of you have been at this a very long will be 5 years for me this is still kinda hard for me to believe. I have said this before but I never, ever thought it was possible to form relationships with those I have never met face to face. My #1 reason that I have continued is because I truly feel like my life has been enriched by "meeting" so many wonderful friends... kindred spirits even, over the years. We have prayed for and encouraged one another and shared our heartaches and joys. Blogging has truly been a blessing. These days, I seem to be finding a way to intermingle what's going on with me mostly with my weekly Hodgepodge posts. Blogging has also become a way to keep record of what's going on with me...a bit of a journal, so to speak. There are times when I am trying to remember when I did this or that...or whatever...and I find myself going to my blog archives where I know it is documented. And sometimes when I feel a bit down or discouraged, I will go back and read some of my older posts to be reminded just how good God has been to me, not that that I would ever forget, but there is just something about going back and reviewing it...kind of like reading your diary. Does anyone else do that?

2. Some people like to travel in the winter months. Do you enjoy the beach in winter? According to Southern Living the best U.S. beach towns to visit this winter are-St Simons Island (Georgia), Hilton Head (South Carolina), Bald Head Island (North Carolina), Seaside (Florida), Bay St. Louis (Mississippi), Cape San Blas (Florida), South Padre Island (Texas), Folly Beach (South Carolina), Chincoteague (Virginia), Duck Key (Florida), Nags Head (North Carolina), and Fairhope (Alabama)

Although I've never been, I think I would enjoy the beach even in the winter. A couple of weeks ago when we had that super cold spell, the beach closest to me that we go to most often, Kure Beach, had snow and ice. Here are a couple of photos I found online. I only wish I had been there to take my own photos. 


Have you been to any of the towns listed (in any season)? Which on the list appeals to you most this winter?

Out of this list, Bald Head Island has been at the top but I have yet to go there. I still hope that there might be a chance before we leave NC. I was just thinking the other day how much I will miss having the beach only a couple of hours away after we move to TN...but I will have the beautiful countryside in it's place. I have been to Seaside in Florida a couple of times...the first time was when the community was just being built back in the late 80's I'd say, before the crowds of people took over and spoiled the beautiful seascape. I have photos in an old album somewhere of pastel and brightly colored pristine homes scattered across the edge of the unspoiled, you are lucky if you can catch a glimpse of it. When we were there a few years back, I was able to make my way past the cars and people to get a shot of the beach. 

3. What's a song you're embarrassed to know all the lyrics to? Are you really embarrassed or do just think you should be?

There are really too many to name them all but a few from the 60's come to mind..."Young Girl" by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, "Wild Thing" by the Troggs, "Light My Fire" by the Doors ...the list could go on and on...these are just the ones that popped into head. I am not  embarrassed that I still know them, that's just the way my mind works when it comes to popular songs. Today I mostly listen to contemporary Christian/Praise & Worship music or soft instrumentals when I don't want any lyrics. I can also attest to the fact that I have memorized many of the words to them as well. The thing is about these old songs I've mentioned is this...I haven't heard them, sung them or thought of them for a very long time...but now they will be playing in my head for the next few days... at least. Thanks a lot, Joyce! 😒

4. When you were a kid what's something you thought would be fantastic as an adult, but now that you're an adult you realize it's not all that fantastic?

I had so many bosses when I was a kid. Being the baby of the family and having so many people telling me what to do really got under my skin at times. There was a time when I couldn't wait to get out from under my parent's roof and when I did at 18 or 19, it didn't take too long to realize that it wasn't all it was cracked up to least the situation that I found myself in. I played and partied for a little while but it wasn't long before I was asking to move back home. I thank God that He kept me safe when I was doing a lot of stupid things and that He let me get a little taste of a lifestyle that I didn't really want. Lessons learned. 

5. Share a quote you hope will inspire you in 2018.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

 Hmmm....I think it sounds like a great day to make some soup and snow cream for dessert. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Once Upon a Cold Winter's Hodgepodge

Well, have y'all thawed out yet?

I don't remember when it has been so cold for so many days in a row.
It has certainly been the main topic of conversation for days and days around here.
I mean, it has been FRIGID just about everywhere but we so called southerners
aren't quite used to such temperatures!
I have a high-school friend from Ohio that started making up "It was so cold..." jokes
and posting them on her Facebook page...
...she started out with one and before it was over, she was posting them several times a day
and they just seemed to just get funnier and funnier.
Or maybe they weren't actually all that funny but we just needed to laugh to stay warm!
Here is a compilation of some of them that decided I would share with you.

And along with this cold weather, came some beautiful skies...

...feather-like clouds... mortars lighting up the darkening sky... strange looking funnel-ish cloud formations...

I am forever amazed by the masterpieces the Master Artist paints for us all to enjoy!
So lets get to why we're here...the Hodgepodge.
grab button for From this Side of the Pond
Joyce asks the questions on her blog and we answer them on ours.
1. January is National Mentoring Month. Have you ever had a mentor? Been a mentor? How would you rate the experience?

Wikipedia's definition is this: Mentorship is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger than the person being mentored, but he or she must have a certain area of expertise. If I was answering this off the top of my head, I wouldn't say I have been much of a mentor throughout my life. But when I really look at the given definition, I'd say that just about all of us, including myself, have been both the mentor and the mentee. Most every one of us have had mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters and other women in our lives that have taken us under their wings... that we have learned from...God's word tells us we need to do this. And most of us have done likewise for the younger women/girls in our lives...some daughters, grand daughter, nieces, friends, etc. The only other time that I knowingly mentored someone is when I had to train a new employee in a job that I was knowledgeable in. Through the years I'd say I have had many mentors in one way or another and at the moment, nothing stands out in my memory about having a bad experience. I'll have to think more on that one.

Your job is to speak out on the things that make for solid doctrine. Guide older men into lives of temperance, dignity, and wisdom, into healthy faith, love, and endurance. Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior. 
Also, guide the young men to live disciplined lives.
Titus 2:3-6 MSG

2. What current trend makes no sense to you?

Aw, come on...just one? I have a whole bunch! Man buns, water bottle flip, fidget spinners, ripped and holy jeans, taking a knee (unless you are going to pray)...the list goes on and on.

3. I saw a cartoon on facebook highlighting a few 'weird' things that make you happy as an adult. The list included-writing with a nice pen, having plans cancelled, freshly cleaned sheets, eating the corner brownie, cleaning the dryer lint screen, and sipping coffee in that brief time before anyone else wakes up. (Credit for the cartoon goes here) Of the 'weird' things listed which one makes you happiest? What is one more 'weird' thing you'd add to the list?

I can actually agree with the ones listed except for maybe the dryer lint one...okay so maybe if I have just taken brand new towels or something fluffy that left a lot of lint behind.... I can kind of see how that might be just a tad gratifying. There are probably many more of my own that I could add to the list but the first one that I thought of was messing up that nice, fresh, semi-soft surface of a newly opened carton of ice cream...using a spoon (not the scooper) and taking a big bite!

4. What's the last good thing you ate?

That would be this...

I was wanting something like pizza but without the carbs. I regularly use the Mission Brand low carb flour tortillas for tacos and ultra thin crusts for personal pizzas but I tried something a little different for my supper tonight (Tuesday). I sauteed all of my pizza toppings together in a pan, added a little pizza sauce and then fried up the tortilla in olive oil. I then scooped all of the yummy toppings and placed them on the tortilla, added Italian cheese and folded it over to could call it a "skinny calzone" or a "pizza quesadilla". It was great!

5. Describe life in your 20's in one sentence.

Looking for love in all the wrong places...until I finally found it.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I saw this earlier on Facebook this evening and just had to share it. Only God.

Have a blessed week and stay warm!


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Happy New Year Hodgepodge

It's a brand new year and a brand new Hodgepodge!
Even though I say this every year, I hope to make this year better than last year,
not that 2017 was a bad year by any means...
but if I am able to step it up a notch at any one place where I am lacking,
and there are too many to count,
I will have accomplished that...only with the Lord's help.

So let's get down to the business at hand...the Hodgepodge...

...where Joyce asks the questions and we answer them on our blogs.
1. It's that time of year again...time for Lake Superior University to present a list of words (or phrases) they'd like to see banished (for over-use, mis-use, or genera uselessness) in 2018. You can read more about the decision making process and word meaning here, but this year's top vote getters are- 
unpack, dish (as in dish out the latest rumor), pre-owned, onboarding/offboarding, nothingburger, let that sink in, let me ask you this, impactful, Cofefe, drill down, fake news, hot water heater (hot water doesn't need to be heated), and gig economy
Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you'd like to add?

Oh my, there are so many to choose from...some I've not really paid much attention to and others that are just plain silly. Of all that are on this list, I'd like to see "fake news" disappear...and not just the term...but the real thing, which sounds like an oxymoron. Remember the days when we used to be able to trust what we heard on the news and respect the people who brought it? I hope that day will return soon. Right now I can't think of another word to add to the list, although there surely must be more floating around out there.

2. What's something you need to get rid of in the new year?

Many, many things but mostly this one...

3. Where do you feel stuck?

Worrying too much. I know better.

4. January is National Soup Month. When did you last have a bowl of soup? Was it made from scratch or from a can? Your favorite canned soup? Your favorite soup to make from scratch on a cold winter's day?

If you consider Brunswick Stew soup, then that's my answer and it was on New Year's Eve at Aaron's house that he made from scratch. Click on the link if you northerners want to know it's origin and a little more about it. To tell you the truth, it's not my favorite but there is Brunswick Stew and then there is Brunswick Stew...

...and this was Brunswick Stew! 

It's a thing here in NC and large gatherings are usually held when folks are "doin' a stew". The taste is wonderful but it's the consistency that is my least favorite thing about it since you cook it so long that the meat is in strings. Some cook it even longer and the vegetables are no longer recognizable. That's when I say, "No thanks". Aaron's was actually very good! My favorite soup right out of the can would be the one and only Campbell's Chicken Noodle (with crackers) and my favorite from scratch on a cold winter's day is either chili or broccoli cheese...but any homemade soup on a cold winter's day hits the spot!

"I don't usually open my mouth this wide when I am eating Brunswick Stew,
but when I do, it's because I'm posing for the camera." 😉

5. Tell us one thing you're looking forward to in 2018.

Country living.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Well, I hope that the first few days of 2018 have been goods ones for you
and that the next 362 are even better!


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Closing the Door on 2017

At the risk of sounding redundant, I just can't help but say it again... probably already guessed it.

Where did this year go?

I just don't ever remember time flying by as quickly as it does now. 
I guess it's God's way of letting us know that we're getting ---o--l--ol---d---OLD...
...there, I said it!
But this will be my mantra until the day I die...

or how about...

And then there's always this truth...

How would YOU answer this question?
How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?
~Satchel Paige
I'll have to ponder that one for a bit. 😉
As I look back on my posts from this year,
it would seem that most of them were in the format of a hodgepodge.
Like it or not, I really try to make them as newsy as possible...or maybe you haven't noticed :)
But scattered among the usual trials and blessings that any new year brings,
2017 brought about more much needed updates to our home, some sweet surprises,
a milestone or two and the heartache of losing a beloved family member.
We began the year by having the whole house turned upside down by getting new floors...

...springtime brought about an opportunity to meet a sweet blog friend, Deborah...

...our oldest grandson, Dacey, graduated from high school in June...

...Jim earned his red, white and blue card by turning 65 in July...

...and late this summer my oldest brother Bob, lost his battle with cancer.

As you know, plans were put in motion for our upcoming retirement and move to TN.
The thought of that seems to have taken my brain captive on most days even though I try not to let it.
I've said before...we can have our plans but ultimately, it must be in alignment with God's.
So far, no doors have slammed shut so we continue to move forward.
As I was taking down the Christmas decorations yesterday,
it became more real that it would most likely be the last time I would be doing that here.
I specifically sought out the mini tree that I had among my other decorations,
anticipating that would most likely it would be the only tree I would have room for next year.

So here we were are...New Years Eve, 2017.
Whatever God has in store is yet to be seen but of this I know...
...2018 will most likely be a very HECTIC INTERESTING year!
I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your love and support throughout the year
and that 2018 brings you many wonderful blessings!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A Very Merry Hodgepodge Christmas

Merry Christmas!

It's almost here!

Are you ready?

As we speak, I smell the cookies baking and they must be getting done.
More about them later.

It sure would be nice to have some snow but it sounds like we're going to get rain instead.
Oh well, one can only hope.

The other night I got a little misty-eyed as I paid special attention to this picture of Mom and Dad.
It must have been taken back in the late 80's or so.
We were at a Christmas gathering at my sister, Ruby's house...
...I remember there was mistletoe hanging in the doorway and Dad stole a kiss.
Ah...precious Christmas memories!
So we're here for Joyce's Hodgepodge...

...where she asks the questions and we answer them on our blogs.
Let's get right to them...
1. Where have you found unexpected magic or delight this holiday season?

Funny you should ask this question this week. My sister in Ohio called me last Saturday to ask me if I had the recipe for Mom's fudge. I told her I would look for it and let her know. I knew it would take some effort to find it since I was sure it was in amongst a bunch of recipe cards I kept in a basket on the top shelf of one of my cabinets that I rarely use. Yep, there it was, copied on a recipe  card written by me when my handwriting was much more legible. As I was looking for it, I came across another card, written in Mom's handwriting. My heart immediately soared as I recognized her penmanship, the card itself stained with spots of this and that as well.

It was a recipe for Cut and Color Cookies, a basic, simple buttery sugar cookie that Mom made every year at Christmas along with her melt-in-your-mouth orange rind cookies and chocolate and peanut butter fudge. Instead of making the colored corn syrup glaze for the top that the recipe called for, Mom left it off and just added red and green sugar sprinkles on top. My mind was transported back to my childhood as the images of these goodies permeated through my brain, making it almost possible to taste them! That's when I decided I wanted to make a batch of my own!  So...these are the cookies I was smelling earlier.

Just like Mama used to make. Unexpected delight? You bet!

2. What's your favorite type of holiday gathering? Will you/have you gathered in your favorite way this month?

I'm sure most of us will agree that being around family is what we love, especially at Christmas, no matter where we are. I love being at home OR in someone else's home. Two years ago, we spent Christmas in the Smokies at an indoor water park in Pigeon Forge with all of the grands. The kids had a blast and while we had a great time, it just didn't quite seem like was 80 degrees, even in the mountains! As you may remember, we have already had our main gathering a couple of weeks back and will have another, a more low-key version, again this weekend at our home. I am making lasagna because I am already tired of Christmasy-type foods!

3. Time has named 'The Silence Breakers' (women who came forward with stories of harassment)  'person of the year' for 2017. Would you agree? If not, who do you think deserves the title?

You know, I'm not really sure what I think about all of this mess. All I know is I'm pretty sick of hearing about it and I can think of many other reasons to "glorify" a person or persons other than for coming forth with their version of the "truth". There is absolutely NO justification for a man OR a woman to behave badly, no matter what. My question is why wait years and years...and then one comes forward and then they all come out the woodwork, it seems. And were all of them totally innocent, themselves? Did any of them flirt or give those men the wrong impressions? Who knows? Why now? Why all of a sudden? Not a popular answer, I realize. These men (and/or women) will have to answer to their Maker, as we all must do. In this day and age, I have no clue who deserves the title...glad I'm not on that board!

4. How did you spend your time this year? Are you happy about that? Elaborate

I worked, I played, I worried, I prayed. That is about the norm for me. Just let me say that it has all worked together and I have nothing to complain about. How about asking me this question in a year or so. 😐

5. Bid farewell to 2017 in ten words or less.

What's done's done, what's said's said...another chance in 2018.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

If I don't get a chance to post again before Monday,
I want to take this opportunity to wish you ALL a very Merry Christmas!

Love and hugs,
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