Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Hodgepodge is falling! The Hodgepodge is falling!!

The weeks are flying by faster than ever it seems.
How can it be Wednesday again already?
And in another couple of days, fall officially arrives and I am ready!
But you knew that already, didn't you?
We are having another little warm spell, this week before it officially become fall.
It has been the low to mid 80s with big puffy clouds filling bright blue skies.
Little by little, the trees are beginning to show some color and according to the weather man,
 it's supposed to be a very pretty fall...I guess this depends on several factors...
the summer's amount of rain, drought, temperatures, etc.
We do hope to be able to find some time for a little drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway,
one of most favorite places in the country.

So if it's already Wednesday again, it also means it's Hodgepodge day...

...where Joyce asks the questions on her blog and we answer them on ours!
So here are the questions for this week...

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

Wow...thinking of something right off the top of my head is not easy...whatever it is has to be pretty awesome to rate a 10 out of 10! So after doing some pondering, here is what has come to mind...and most of you will probably think I must be very strange. But I have to say that my brother's "home going" (I choose not to call it a funeral) service a few weeks ago was a "10" as far as that type of thing goes. My brother spent all of his adult life in South Carolina and although I knew him well, I found out so much about him at that service that I never knew before. The pastor and other friends who spoke had known him for 40+ year and told stories and gave testimonies of how he had touched their lives and many other's as well. Although we were all were dealing with the fact that we would no longer have him here on this earth, the spirit of this service was so very uplifting and it actually made it kind of difficult to be really sad, considering all of the circumstances. Does that make sense to anyone?

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

It would be a toss up between a teacher or a public speaker. Although I love children, I don't have the patience that the job would require...although I can remember some of the teachers from when I was in school and wondered to myself how and why they decided on that as a career! I think I mentioned a coupe of hodgepodges ago that just the thought of speaking in public makes my stomach hurt.

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

The last time I remember taking a fall was the winter before last. I actually had two falls, just weeks apart. My first one came when I was gingerly trying to navigate the icy three brick steps that go down into the side door of the garage to get something out of the freezer. I fell hard and my butt hit the corner of those sharp steps and I could swear I saw a few stars! A few weeks later, for my next trick, I stepped down from the deck (three icy wooden steps) onto the brick patio, I lost my traction on the last one and fell, once again, hitting the exact same place that was just beginning to feel better. I was bruised and hurting for weeks. These days, I am falling in love with fall, as I do every year at this time, with the cooler temps and the falling leaves....

...and many of these are also falling. It won't be long now before the deer start gathering in the yard every evening for a midnight snack.

1. 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?

No, I have never been to any of the above and if I could choose one on the list, the Apple Harvest Festival in PA sounds like it would be right up my alley. We do not have a celebration in my town in the fall (we have the Dogwood Festival in the spring) but every fall we host a huge fall festival at our church as an outreach to the community. Every year more and more folks attend and last year we had over 450 I believe. My back is already aching just thinking about painting all of those little faces for 1 1/2 hours straight...oh me oh my!

5. What is your goodbye message to summer?

Buh-bye, summer...don't let the door hit you on your way out!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Tasha says she's read for fall too...the crunchy leaves tickle her belly!

Have a good one!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Hodgepodge for All Seasons

Happy Wednesday, friends.
It's good to be back to normal (what ever that is) after a couple of bumps in the road, 
some expected, some not so much.
And then everything really gets put into perspective when events like Harvey and Irma happen.
We were able to dodge the bullet here in central NC once Irma changed course and headed west.
We have several loved ones that were right in Irma's path but thank the Lord,
they are quite drenched but safe and sound.
So we're here for the Hodgepodge...

...where Joyce asks the questions and we answer them on our blogs.
Here are this week's questions.
1. Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.

I am a visual person so I say yes, yes, 1000 times yes. For example, there are just no words that can really describe the vastness of the sea...

...or the solace and refreshment of a cool, shady trail in woods.

What words would you use to describe the minuscule details when you get up close and personal with a geranium bud?

Words aren't needed to tell the story of a cold and wet cardinal as she waits her turn to grab a morsel.

What about the raw emotion that pictures like these portray? Words just aren't needed here.

But on a much lighter note, sometimes a picture tells a different kind of story. Like the time you bring home that extra bread stick from Olive Garden so it doesn't go to waste...and then you forget about and find it three days later in your purse, hard as a rock. Yes, I found it Sunday morning before I left for church.

And it's an ongoing story as well. I may never get the garlic smell out of my purse! Now, where did I put that Febreze??

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?

No, I have never been anywhere even close to the Pacific coast. I have never had a longing desire to go there, although if someone were to offer me an all-expense paid trip, I would certainly take them up on it and I'm sure I would enjoy it. Visiting Ireland and Scotland now, that's a different story...bucket list for sure.

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?

I consider myself fortunate to have always lived where I can enjoy all four seasons and I can't think of any real ways that the changes affects me. There are things I love about each one of them and I'm always ready to welcome the change when it comes. Although summer can be full of fun things to do and all of that, the heat and humidity does get to me a bit but as long as I have my A/C, I'm good! I do get rather giddy when fall is in the air because it is my favorite season. But even when the trees have lost all of their leaves and the wintry winds begin to blow, I take delight in hunkering down in front of a cozy fire...and there's always that one little thing to look forward to...Christmas, which is even better if its "white"! But after a couple of snowfalls, I'm pretty much done with winter and you will find me out looking for signs of spring...and the world goes around and around and we start all over again. If there even is a season to season transition that bothers me, I guess it would be the spring/summer one. It seems many years it starts to get hot before we have the chance to enjoy much springtime weather. That's one of the joys of living in the south!

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

Funny you should ask! My birthday is this Friday and I am hoping to enjoy a yummy meal out with the hubs somewhere. The All-You-Can-Eat shrimp special at Red Lobster always coincides with my birthday, although I am not sure that's what I'll be having...I must ponder that for the next couple of days...and no, I never lie about my age.😉

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

To never take 'just a regular day' for hard as it is to do.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

                                                                    'Til next time.....                                                                  

Friday, September 8, 2017

And then there were seven.

He was just one week shy of turning twenty and already serving in the Air Force
stationed in South Carolina when I came along.

He came home as often as he could but South Carolina soon became his permanent home.
My first memories of him, although somewhat faint due to the fact that I was only three or four,
was when he would pick me up, balance me in the palm of one big hand
and extend me up to the ceiling, all the while chanting, "Way up high! Way up high!
I can also remember Mom offering this warning..."Now, Bob, you be careful with her!!"
Funny thing is, later on he performed this trick many times with his own three little girls.
 I remember looking forward with great anticipation to his arrival when we were expecting a visit.
You could find me perched at the window that faced the end of our road throughout the day,
not putting into perspective the 13+ hour drive it took to make it to Ohio.
What does a little kid know about perspective, anyway?
 Back then I called him Bobby and he called me Little Sis.
Later on, he was just Big Brother and I was Dee-bor-AHHH.
He had a nickname for just about everyone and mine was his quite unique interpretation of Deborah.
The name stuck with me all throughout my life and if he would have felt up to it,
I'm sure he would have called me that when I saw him a few weeks ago.

Judging by the shirt (and the wallpaper) this photo was surely taken the same day as the first one.
These are my other two brothers, Jerry on the guitar and Doug on the fiddle.
Music has played a huge part in our lives and you could always find a collection
 of stringed instruments stashed here and there throughout the house.
They say it all began with our dad although the only instrument I ever heard him play
was the harmonica, which he called the french harp.

Fast forward to what looks like the 70's (above) and sometime in the 80's (below).

This is one thing the Billheimer brothers were kind of famous for...well, maybe not exactly famous.
Now, I don't know how to play either one of these but I can only imagine how difficult it might be to strum someone else's guitar with one hand and chord another's mandolin with your other hand...
...all at the same time!

The video above was taken several years ago at one of our reunions.
They really all can sing quite well but this is just an example of their crazy shenanigans.

Group photos through the years...

He wasn't able to be with us for the past two reunions.
Cancer that he thought was behind him returned, this time with vengeance.
He fought the good fight until he just wasn't able to fight anymore.

Last Wednesday, August 30, his three beautiful daughters were given the gift
of singing him into glory.

It's really kind of difficult to wrap my brain around—losing a sibling.
I've tried to imagine what it would be like, especially since all of us are getting up there.
Although, due to miles, we weren't able to be together as often as we would have liked, 
our moments together as a family were such blessed times.
Over the past several weeks I am learning that one of the greatest losses in life
surely must be the death of a brother or sister...
 ...and many of us will have to face the loss of a sibling more than once.
Our siblings share many of the same memories and family history 
and when one of them passes away, 
they take one of our connections to the past with them.

My family and I miss him so very much already, 
yet we are rejoicing that he is with the One that he had served for so many years.

So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:6-8
So I want to say "thank you" for the sweet and kind words of condolence
and particularly for the prayers for me and my family.
You all are the best.

Much love,

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Taking a little break...

The past several days have been a whirlwind of changes...
...some anticipated, some not so much.
A sudden recurrence of an old medical issue paid me a visit 
which sent me to the ER on Sunday, at which time I was admitted.
A couple of procedures and as many days later, 
I am back home and feeling well again...Praise the Lord!
I had been anticipating a break soon but just received this news a few moments ago... brother seems to have started his journey home.
It doesn't appear that it will be long now at all before he sees His Jesus, face to face.
Thank you all for your love and prayers.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A Total Eclipse (almost) of the Hodgepodge

It came and it went, just like that.
Another week that included a once in a lifetime event.
I would love to have just a nickle for every pair of cardboard glasses that were sold.
More about that later.
Come one over to this week's Hodgepodge...

...where Joyce asks the questions and we write the answers.
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, I did and I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with my experience. My location was to have 94% coverage and I guess I just didn't realize that the 6% that was uncovered still let out A LOT of light from the sun. There had been tons of hype...signs along the interstate warning folks to keep their headlights on, news media telling everyone how dark it was going to get, etc., etc. I was at work and kept stepping out every little bit and doing the selfie thing with my phone since I didn't have any of those glasses. I got a little chuckle about all of those warnings that said not to take selfies with your phone because the sun's rays would ruin it. I mean how many of us have taken tons photos of the sky, sometimes even directly at the sun? Hype, hype and more hype! I kept waiting for it to happen and before I knew it, it had passed! The sky did get strangely dimmer but it was cloudless until right after the moon passed over. I saw many great photos that were captured during some cloud-cover and they were stunning, showing that perfect crescent-shaped slice of sun peeking through. I was, however, able to capture it too, although I wasn't even aware of it until I enlarged one of the photos.

...I found that it was literally under my nose the whole time...LOL! A perfect reflection of it from the camera lens! And here's another, even more defined....

And then moments later the clouds moved in, enveloping the sun completely.

My son, Adam, drove about 50 miles east from where they are in TN and was able to witness a 99.5% coverage. He said it was the coolest thing he's ever got completely dark and the crickets even started chirping! It's amazing how just a few miles could make such a huge difference! And my favorite eclipse related snack? Well, I think I'm going to go with the healthy one, a Sunkist orange.
2. What are you 'over the moon' about these days? There's probably something but I just can't seem to think of one thing right this minute. Does that make me a bad person? What's something you enjoy doing every 'once in a blue moon'? Well, I don't drink, so it can't be can't be eating desserts because I do do that...I know, how about getting a professional pedicure...yes, that's it! I normally do my own but there is NOTHING to compare! Hmmmm...home alone this weekend...I am thinking that the "blue moon" might just be showing up within the next few days. Thanks for the great idea, Joyce!

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

Been racking my brain over this many things that are of interest to me are pretty much just examples of God's unending and magnificent creations. You can back them up with all kinds of scientific facts until the cows come home if you'd like.

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

Going back to school was just about as exciting to me as Christmas. I knew I would be getting new clothes and shoes...that was the main source of my excitement...and new school supplies were right up there as well. I remember getting all of my new supplies out, spreading them all over my bed and organizing and re-organizing them several times until I got them just right. And just the thought of using a brand new lunch box with matching thermos filled me with joy, especially as the aroma of that cold meat sandwich wrapped in waxed paper wafted out when I opened the lid. There was usually an apple or a banana, maybe some Frito's and a couple of the vanilla/chocolate duplex sandwich cookies... remember them? To this day, those cookies bring back fond memories whenever I see them. It was an extra added treat when Mom would give us an extra nickel a couple of times a week for ice know, the cups with the little wooden paddle spoons?

This is me in the first and second grade. My mom never failed to cut my bangs crooked... every. single. time.

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.

LOVE - Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. ~1 John 4:8
JOY - The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for , and with my song I praise him. ~Psalm 28:7
PEACE - And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:7
TRUTH - Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. ~John 8:32
FORGIVENESS - For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. ~Matthew 6:14

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

I want to thank those who are praying for my brother, Bob. Two of my other siblings and I were able to spend precious time with him and his family this past weekend. He is very weak and frail and it was quite a shock to see him like that. He wasn't able to play his guitar along with my other brother but he was still able to belt out (well, kinda) a few of his favorite old songs. When we left to go home we told him goodbye knowing that this would be the last time we'd see him on this side. I do appreciate your continued prayers as he and his family face the days ahead. God is good, all the time.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mid-August Hodgepodge

We interrupt this muggy, hot, sweltering, miserable day 
to bring you some images of fall.
I know many of you are are ready for it like I am so I dug back into my archives
to cool things off a bit!

I don't know about you, but I feel much better now!
So are you ready for the Hodgepodge?
Joyce asks us the hard questions on her blog and we answer them on ours.
Come on over and join in the fun!

1. Do your actions match your words? Elaborate.

Commitment is very important to me and I think it says a lot about our integrity and who we are as a person. The true desire of my heart is that I would always be able to say what I mean and mean what I say...and that whatever I say is said in love, backed up with my actions. In a perfect world, I would be able to carry this out 100% of the time but there's just one problem... I am a flawed human being. Although unintentional, there have been times when I have said and done wrong things...OR maybe have said something and didn't quite practice what I was preaching. I am beyond thankful that I have a Savior who understands my struggles and continues to love me, forgive me, bless me and cover me with His unending grace and mercy, in spite of myself. Thank goodness that He isn't finished with me yet!

Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
~1 John 3:18

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?

A couple of weeks ago, I titled my hodgepodge post "Dog Days of Hodgepodge". Well, the "dog days of summer" are still hanging around and after a slight reprieve, they are back with a vengeance. This morning when I opened the blinds, the condensation on every window of the house was so thick, it took hours to evaporate. And speaking of dogs, it's all about "a dog's life" every day around our house. These two spoiled rotten wienies pretty much know our life revolves around them. How could you resist these sweet little faces??

3. Your favorite book featuring a dog in the storyline? Does this count? 

What makes it a favorite? Well....I think you know.

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

You may not believe this but I have a real fear of speaking in front of others...can you imagine that about me?? I mean, y'all know I can be a real motor-mouth on my blog, right? I have no  problem speaking out in a group of people...I always interject and participate in discussions such as in SS class, social situations, meetings, whatever. I am not a teacher or anything remotely close and even teaching a children's SS class when I was asked to fill in absolutely made me nauseous. Oh yes, I have facilitated a few ladies group meetings over the years but I tell you, I get a knot in my stomach every time and am totally relieved when it's over. Every Sunday I sing in front of the entire church as a part of our praise team and have sung more solos than I can even remember over the years...that, I can do. I leave the talking part of the worship to my counterparts. PLEASE, don't ask me to speak! Oh well, I guess we all have our issues...and if we think we don't, then that is our issue! 😏

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

Instead of "the John," I call my toilet "the Jim." That way it sounds better when I say I go to the Jim first thing every morning.... (wah, wah, wah...)

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Does anyone here think we'll ever see peace again, this side of heaven? 

Love and peace,

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

You Light Up My Hodgepodge

Hello and Happy Wednesday!

Welcome back, Joyce and congratulations on that beautiful new grand baby boy!
And what a handsome little guy he is!
I guess you already know your life will never be the same, right?
And a week without the Hodgepodge is like a peanut butter sandwich without the jelly...'s like being at the movies with no popcorn...
...or having a lawn mower but you have no grass to mow.
It's like having a hummingbird feeder with no hummers swarming!
And speaking of hummers...

They have been swarming like flies recently...

...nearly dive-bombing you when you walk out onto the deck!

This little guy sees that SOMEONE is eating his food.

Awww...looks like he's gonna be nice and share! 😊
So come on over to the Hodgepodge where Joyce asks the questions...

...and we answer them on our blogs.
1. Do you try to set rules for yourself about how you use your time? Explain.

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. When I know there is some sort of deadline or time frame involved, then yes...but I have to tell you that I work better under pressure. If something needs to be accomplished a month from now, I can pretty much tell you that I won't be starting on it tomorrow... unless whatever it is will take a month to complete! One thing I do is make sure I get my quiet time with the Lord in and it isn't always the same time everyday. I think it's possible to get hung up on too many "rules" in our lives and sometimes doing so only adds to the stresses of every day life. Here are a few examples of my take on this... 

2. Monday was National Lighthouse Day. Have you ever visited a lighthouse? If not, do you have any desire to see one up close? 

I love lighthouses and you'd think that living here in NC for the past 25 years, I would have seen them all. Unfortunately, that is not the case...I have only seen what might be the most famous one, the Lighthouse at Cape Hatteras. You may remember seeing this on the national news back in 1999 when they began the delicate task of relocating it to keep it from falling into the sea. You can read about it here. We took Adam there the summer of 2000 before he headed off to college...Hatteras Island is a wonderful place. The lighthouse was already at it's new destination by then but unfortunately, wasn't open to visitors due to the new foundation that was not completed. I took some photos (non-digital) but was unable to locate them. Here's one I pulled from the web.

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)  The Fanad Lighthouse in Ireland would be my pick since a trip to Ireland is on my bucket list :)

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

Oh my...I think there are so many ways to answer this question. First of all, no matter where I've been or how long I've been gone, home is always a welcome Dorothy said "there's no place like home". Getting off of our exit from the highway is usually when the anticipation kicks in for me... home is just around the corner! I could also answer this by thinking back to when I was a young girl still living at home.  If any of us were out past dark, Mom always had the porch light burning so we could easily see the house when we returned home. There's just a special kind of comfort that memory brings with it. I could go on and on...but I won't :)

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)?

Somewhere between February and now, I lost my vision and enthusiasm to finish my office/craft room redecorating project. I had a great start with brand new floors, even bought the fabric and had a plan for everything. I got as far as making the window valance, the room arranged like I wanted it and even got some organization started. I don't remember what exactly got in the way...I was on a roll! It is definitely something that I need to pick back up, regardless, but especially if we decide to put our home on the market in the spring.

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

This past Monday, August 7 was our 41st wedding anniversary but I guess you couldn't really call it a grand moment because it came and went much like any other day. Jim was working a 9-day stretch so there really wasn't a good time to do anything special. I did have a little fun on Facebook by posting a photo of us in the back seat of our getaway car right after we were married. See below:
So forty-one years ago today, this happened. Over zealous friends and relatives thought it might be a good idea to write "funny" messages all over Jim's cherished Gran Prix that day. Did you know that black shoe polish doesn't come off of a white car? My new hubby was NOT a happy camper and had to get a new paint job after the honeymoon. Ah...the memories...

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We had many, many "Happy Anniversary" greetings, sweet comments and well wishes...some were from even several of you!

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

6.  Insert your own random thought here. 

It looks as if I will probably be making a trip next weekend to meet up with my siblings from Ohio as we gathering to visit my oldest brother, Bob, at his home in South Carolina. He has been suffering from cancer in several areas of his body and has recently decided on no more chemo. It looks like we may be having another family reunion of sorts...definitely not the one we had hoped for. Your prayers for him and his family would be most appreciated.
Enjoy the rest of your week, my friends!
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