Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Hodgepodge: Winging My Way Into June


Well, here we are on this last day (and Hodgepodge) of May...
...it not only means that summer is almost officially here,
but that after today the first half of 2017 is officially over.
Can you even believe it?
It also means that there are lots of little winged critters out there flitting about.
Over the long holiday weekend, I was able to capture quite a few...


well...not actually capture capture them, but you know what I mean :)


Dragonflies just amaze me and there are so many different varieties down at the pond.


There is a certain red one that wouldn't be still long enough for me to get a shot.
I will be looking for him the next time.
~
I had yet to see many butterflies this spring...



...until I brought home this planter of Lantana...


...and they came out of nowhere within an hour of setting it on the deck!


The bees are also quite fond of them.



And then there are the are those gorgeous thistles...



...the bees love them too!

So, enough winged creatures for one post.
Let's get on with the business at hand...Joyce's Hodgepodge...

...where she asks the questions and we write the answers.
1. What makes you feel accomplished? Explain.

Okay, I'm just gonna tell it like it is...on those rare occasions when I do feel a sense of accomplishment, it's because I have either just finished a major project of some kind or have gotten some very much needed deep cleaning done...you know, the kind that we all I keep putting off. I have so many things I need to do but it wears me out just thinking about them so what do I normally do? Grab my camera and head for the country. πŸ˜‰

2. If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be? Tell us why.


The likelihood of me having my own talk show is just as likely as who my first three guests would be, so I would like to invite the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit to come sit on my stage...and of course, they would only need one chair. I would ask [them] about all of the whys and wherefores of certain circumstances throughout my life. The Father might tell of how He created the universe and the love that He has for all of us, the Son might talk about His ultimate sacrifice and responsibility of carrying out His Father's will so that we could all be saved and the Holy Spirit would be there to help us try to understand it all. I would also ask Him [them] if we will see our pets in heaven. If they declined my invitation, I would just have to wait for my answers until I get to heaven.

Farther along we'll know all about it
Farther along we'll understand why
Cheer up my brother live in the sunshine
We'll understand it all by and by.

3. Do you have a great burger recipe? What's in it? What do you like on a hamburger and where is your favorite spot to order one out?


I do not have a special burger recipe when it come to beef burgers. I usually just buy good ground beef and freeze my own patties or get the gourmet burgers that are already frozen. Jim does the grilling and he prefers the burgers to be partially frozen when he cooks them due to them falling apart. (Don't tell him, but I think it's because he gets impatient and turns them before they're ready.) We usually add BBQ sauce to them, only when cooked on the grill. Occasionally I do make turkey burgers and although I don't have a certain recipe I follow, I do add lots of seasonings and spices to improve the flavor. There is a favorite restaurant in our town called the Blue Ribbon Diner and they make a mean bacon cheese burger that is probably my favorite.

4. What's the biggest anxiety producing thing you do on a regular basis?

Hmm...I've had to really think about how I was going to answer this one. For the most part, I am not a worrier or a stressed out person by nature. My job is not a cause for anxiety, I actually enjoy it very much...except for that time about a year ago when I was learning EPIC. I can't think of one thing that causes me anxiety on a regular basis....sorry, not sorry. Now if I was answering this question a couple of years ago, it would be a different story. Living with an alcoholic in the family, whether they are under your roof or not is a roller coaster ride...mostly heading in a downward motion. Those of you who read my blog know a little about our son's addiction, subsequent rehab and current recovery-in-process. I never take a day of his sobriety for granted but the constant anxiety is no longer a daily part of our lives, Praise God! Also, on July 1st Jim will officially be an old person and will start using his Medicare. There may be some anxiety there...we'll see. These days, for the most part, getting my next post written and posted in a timely manner might possibly cause a minimal amount of anxiety.


5. This is the last Hodgepodge of May. Tell us about your summer plans.

So far, we have plans to travel to see the Tennessee bunch near the end of June and in late July, the whole family will make the trip to Ohio for my family reunion. The photo below was taken two years ago at our last one and the day before, my oldest brother, Bob, who lives in SC was hospitalized and unable to make it. I edited the photo and added his picture as a way of including him in spirit. Since then, the cancer that he had a couple of years ago has reared it's ugly head and is currently in stage 4. He recently told his doctors that he wanted no more chemo (which was severely debilitating him) and that he wanted to return to his active lifestyle and have quality of life for as much time as the Lord allows him. We are all praying that he can make the trip to Ohio.


6. Insert your own random thought here.

I'm stuck on my random thought and it's getting late. I feel just a tinge of anxiety coming on....πŸ˜“



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Hey there....I hope everyone has been having a good week.
Who's looking forward to a long Memorial Day Weekend?
 I don't work on Fridays so that means a 4-day weekend for me...yippee!
We have a birthday to celebrate (Aaron's) and who knows what else we may get into?
~
Anyway, let's head over to the Hodgepodge and what's going on...
...remember, Joyce asks the questions and we answer them on our blogs.
 

1. What color is prominent in your home? Are you glad about that or wishing you could cover it up or remove it?

I would describe most of the walls in the main part of the house as a soft golden beige...I think the paint was named "Wicker Basket". Reds and a little moss green are my accents. My kitchen is red, which is also in open view to the main part of the house. Most of you know that I have wallpaper in a couple of my rooms which also follows a similar color palette. In the 25 years that we have lived there, I have changed things up quite a bit, including painting, re-painting, papering, and re-papering—the whole nine yards. Right now, I am happy with the colors and do not plan any huge changes. Just the thought of another big project any time soon makes me nauseous. So I guess I have already answered the second part of the question.

2. What's something you'll NEVER do again?

I have been pondering and pondering how I would answer this question ever since Tuesday morning when Joyce posted them. My first thought was NEVER say NEVER! But after thinking about it, that is not true for me. There are many things that I have done before in my life that I can say with confidence, that I would never do again. I won't go into them now because there is simply not enough room or time to mention them all (as if I would or could). But I can though pretty much assure y'all and anyone else that you will NEVER catch me riding another roller coaster...EVER. There....I said it.

3.Tell us a couple of ways you fit the stereotypes associated with your gender, and a couple of ways you don't.

I wouldn't exactly call myself a super girly girl but I do like feminine things...lovely flowers, ruffles and frills (not necessarily on my body), pretty clothes and jewelry, pedicures, etc., etc. On the flip side, I don't mind getting my hands dirty (to a point) and I can think of a couple of other not-so-girly things I do. Jim is not a Mr. Fixit so I am Mrs. Fixit and can hammer a nail or repair a broken.... whatever, when I need to. I have even installed a few ceiling fans in my day, among other such electrical tasks...nothing too involved, mind you...I wouldn't want to burn the house down. I also like to shoot guns and have proof that I'm a pretty good shot.
 

 
4. May is Motorcycle Awareness Month. Have you ever owned a motorcycle? Ever ridden a motorcycle? If the opportunity presented itself would you hop on a motorcycle and go for a ride?
 
Hehe, funny you should mention this. I didn't know that May was Motorcycle Awareness Month simply because EVERYDAY is motorcycle awareness DAY in my neighborhood. Let me explain.
 
 

 
What you see here is what started out as a motorcycle (I think) and has been transformed into this hybrid contraption with a VW rear end...you could call it an adult tricycle. I have seen this type of thing before but this one is a quite unique. Every morning at 6:00 (you can set your watch by it) the man who owns this (my back door neighbor) wakes up the whole neighborhood (except for me because I'm already up by 5:00) by starting it, revving it up (a lot) and blowing out of his driveway. Let me just tell you....this thing is not just loud...
...it's REALLY, REALLY LOUD!!


Aaron had this in his shop not long ago working on it snapped these pictures and posted them on his facebook page. So as you see, I really didn't even need May to remind me to be aware of motorcycle -ish vehicles...although I do realize the purpose is to alert drivers to them since they aren't a easy to see as cars. I don't know about you, but I think I'd see and hear this guy coming without any problem! So to answer the rest of the question, no I have never owned one, yes I have ridden on the back of Aaron's years ago and it scared the crap daylights out of me and I doubt that I would ever ride on one again...but...NEVER SAY NEVER!! 😁

5. If someone wanted to understand you, what should they read, watch, and listen to?

Read my blog, watch my face and listen to what I'm not saying...although sometimes I goof up and say it anyway. πŸ˜‰

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

This is Dacey...Aaron's oldest son and my oldest grandchild. He's been a huge part of our lives these past 18+ years. I took care of him while his mama worked until he went to kindergarten. This was taken when he was nearly a month old and he was still so tiny he fit in this Christmas stocking that I made for him.


He will be graduating from high school in a couple of weeks. Really?? It's making this Molly-Maw (that's what he calls me...don't ask me why) feel kinda....o-o-o-o-old...there, I said it.

 
He sure has grown into a handsome young man and we are all so proud of him.


Okay, enough bragging...so like Dacey, I'm outta here too!
HUGS!

Monday, May 22, 2017

It's What's Inside that Counts

We've all heard it said... "It's what's inside that counts."


We live in a world that is totally consumed with outside appearances.
I mean, I find myself getting a little that way myself at times...
...just being real here.
I mean a girl's gotta do the best she can with what she's got...or hasn't got.

~BUT~

The LORD does not look at the things man looks at.
 Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
~1 Samuel 16:7

Of course, I know this to be true but I sometimes miss the mark.
That's why I need Jesus.

I have mentioned this before but even though I don't feel like I always deserve them,
Jim makes sure that I have fresh flowers about every other week to adorn the dining room table.
Most of the time they are a mixed bouquet of some kind, usually including roses.
Here lately, because the roses don't seem to last more than a few days,
he has been experimenting with finding different types that hopefully will last a bit longer.
One of my favorites that seems to last and last are the Peruvian Lily.

  
They come in such beautiful colors and can last for 2 weeks or more. 
 And one of my favorite things to do with any flower is get in really close with the camera.
There is so much going on deep inside of a flower that is so easy to miss.

 

Just look at the little surprises tucked inside these Pink Campanulas.

I've never had any of these until they were among the last bunch...
in fact, I didn't know what they were until I googled them.
They were all closed up at first and were quite slow to open.


 But when they did...


look what was inside!  
And they lasted for nearly two weeks!
~
Here's a little more beauty from within...

 petunia...
a purple rhododendron...

a tulip poplar bloom that had fallen from the tree...

 orange lily.


I don't know the identity of this one (below) that was also included in my flowers from Jim.
Before the petals unfurled, they looked like rolled up tissue paper.
I have googled it's description to no avail...



...all I got were photos of flowers that were actually made from tissue paper. 😐
~
What an amazing Creator we have.
Only the One True God would and could design gazillions of flowers...
...each and every one completely unique.
Just like us.
~
So let's just remember this...

source

Happy Mosaic Monday!

Sharing with Maggie at...



Mosaic Monday

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I like my Hodgepodge a little on the salty side

Happy Wednesday to ya!
I trust everyone enjoyed a wonderful Mother's Day weekend...
...our weather here on Sunday was outstanding and it was a great day!
~
So....who's ready for some Hodgepodge?
Join me and a bunch of other folks over at Joyce's to find out their answers to her questions.


1. May 17th is National Pack Rat Day. Sidebar-should we be celebrating this? Hmmm... Are you a pack rat? Even if you're not a full fledged pack rat, most people have one thing or another they struggle to part with. Tell us what's yours.

What I think is this...the person or people that come up with these crazy "national" days have w-a-a-y too much time on their hands. I think every year they come up with more of them. With 365 days in a year, I wonder if they are all taken? I guess I should check that out. I don't consider myself a pack rat but I will admit to liking and collecting some things. I don't care much for bare walls or a lot of big empty spaces...I like cozy. Old mirrors are among those things that take my eye. This was my Goodwill find ($7.99) from over the weekend. It was absolutely covered with dust and spider webs...I guess they really wanted to get across the point that it was truly an antique. It is super heavy and looks like it could be 100 years old. A little Liquid Gold and some Windex later and well, here she is...



The mirror itself is somewhat cloudy and a bit distressed but that's okay...it adds to her charm if you ask me and after doing a little research into re-silvering old mirrors, I found out that sometimes people actually distress the old silver backing on purpose! I felt much better after knowing that...I didn't have to do anything to mine to make it look authentic! And of course you know I had to have a little fun with it.


The older I get though, the more sentimental I am about things that are connected with the past and the memories they conjure up. I have never been one to keep all my boys' school papers or things like that but I cannot part with a few items from when they were babies and some little clay and/or ceramic things they made in grade school. I'd say my biggest problem is getting rid of clothes that I plan to wear...right after I lose "that 20 pounds". I'm still waiting.

2. What are two things you know you should know how to do, but you don't?

After I read this question, a few things came to mind right away...one would be using a pressure cooker and another is canning. I grew up with a mom who regularly did both of these things but after the pressure cooker exploded one day when I was a little girl, it kinda did me in on that one...and back in the day, I just didn't realize the goodness contained in those glass jars. More and more, I find myself  thinking about the old days and the old ways. But an old dog can learn a few new tricks, right? I haven't given up the idea just yet. Now...if I could only learn to keep my mouth shut....help me, Jesus....

3. Do you crave sugar? Do you add sugar to your coffee and/or tea Do you use artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes?? When dining out is dessert a given?Are you someone who has slain the sugar dragon, and if so tell us how you did it.

Whoa...that's a doozie! Joyce, you could have just asked this five-part question and been done with the whole thing! So...yes, sometimes I do crave sweets and when I do, it's usually right after a meal but I only want a little bite. My usual cravings though are for a salty sumpin'-sumpin'...or better yet...a sweet/salty combo. When it comes to coffee and tea, I'll take sweetener in mine, and make that Splenda, please (it hasn't killed me yet) but if it happens be iced tea, then I'll take it unsweetened, no lemon. I don't use much sugar in most things unless I am baking something yummy, which is not something I do a lot of. This is what I mostly use for baking...unless I'm out of it, then sugar, it shall be.
Very seldom do we ever eat dessert out at a restaurant...where do you put it after the size of those meals? When we do, it is something that everyone can share. We will indulge on special occasions but most of everything we eat of a sweet nature is actually sugar-free....I said most. πŸ˜‰

4. What's a trend it took a while for you to come round to, but now you can't imagine living without?

This one's easy, although I would consider it a bit more than just a trend. It would be me finally getting a smart phone. I've had my iPhone now for just under a year. I remember when I first got it, I thought I'd never figure out how to use it. Of all the things it is capable of, my favorite is probably having a cool little camera always with me and being able to share a photo on facebook or more recently, Instagram is fun as well. It's a little hard to utter the words, "I'd be lost without it"...so I won't. It might take a little while but I think I could find myself again.

5. What's a song that reminds you of a specific incident in your life? Please elaborate.
It's funny how immediately after I read this question, a really random memory (and song) popped right in to my head and I may even actually said out loud, "What in the world...?" It's funny how my crazy, silly the mind works at times. Who remembers this old song by Lou Christie from the mid sixties? Click and listen...it just may remind you of something.

 

The memory connected to it? You wouldn't believe me if I told you but I will anyway. It was a good thing for my mom that I had lots of big sisters growing up. Mom wasn't very comfortable discussing sensitive issues with us when we were young and so the older girls were given the responsibility of schooling us younger ones about "life" and what to "expect" as we started maturing...yeah, the ol' birds and the bees conversation. The day that I was becoming enlightened, I remember this song playing on the radio up in our room. Did it strike me like lightening? Naahhh...I had guessed most of it already. πŸ˜‰

6. Insert your own random thought here.
I think that last answer is enough randomness for one post.


Enjoy the rest of your week, friends!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Wednesday's Hodgepodge and Happy Mother's Day

 It's Wednesday and time for Hodgepodge...
...where Joyce asks the questions and we answer them on our blogs.
Come on over and join in the fun, won't you?


1. Share a favorite memory of your mother or share a favorite something from your own life as a mother. If you're a mother (or stepmom) tell us how your experience as a mom differs from your own mother's experience.

I have so many memories of my mom, just as I'm sure most of us do and I could write a book about my own journey... most of the chapters would be happy, some might be funny and others, sad. My mom was born in 1912 and that would make her 105 if she was still living. She was 42 years old when she gave birth to me. I don't have any memories of my grandparents since they had already passed on and some of the memories I have of my mom probably resemble those that some of you have of your grandmother. 
Just a little over a week ago on April 30th was the 7th year since her passing and I shared a post from my other blog on facebook that day. It's titled Her Crowning Glory... some of you have read it.

 
 It is probably my most precious memory since it connects my childhood memory of combing her long hair to the last day I saw her before she died...I combed her hair that day as well.

Me and my first little bundle, Aaron
I'd say there was huge difference since she had eight children between her early twenties and early forties...I. Can't. Even!... and I was finished giving birth while I was still in my twenties. She was old-fashioned in every way and in those days, I really wasn't at all. But all in all, we were very much the same when it came to loving and our children and doing everything in our power to raise them right...
  
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6
 
2. In May we celebrate teachers (May 9) and nurses (May 6) both. Most every family has at least one in their midst, so tell us something (or a few things) you appreciate about the teacher or nurse on your family tree.

I have one niece that is a teacher and several of other nieces and great nieces that are nurses or soon will be. I think this is a wonderful thing because some of their parent's didn't have the opportunity to go to college, yet these girls made the decision to find a way to make it happen. Hooray for them!

3. Chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad...which would you go for if all three were on the menu? On bread or a bed of lettuce? If you answered bread, what kind of bread would make it the perfect sandwich?

Yes, please! Actually I do like all three of these but chicken salad (especially the rotisserie kind) is my favorite. Although I love a slice of sturdy, grainy and seedy bread, I prefer my chicken salad on a bed of lettuce....OR...right out the bowl!

4. Do you have a desk? Is it organized? If so, share your secret to keeping it that way. If you don't have a desk, where in your home do you take care of family paperwork and business? Where do you normally sit to blog?
 
I do have a desk and currently it is organized for one simple reason...I haven't really used it yet. My office/project/craft/sewing room is still kinda a work in progress since we had the new floors installed in February. As you may have gathered by now, I use this excuse frequently when I'm not getting things done promptly. Oh yes...I have a plan, I have the fabric and I have gotten as far as arranging things where I want them which included multiple work areas. My old desktop PC is in there which I don't use much unless I need to print something so there's not a lot office work that I do in there. But since we are talking about it, I will give you a little sneak peek of my finished window treatment in that office/project/craft/sewing room.
 
 

But the desk that I use most often when I am home is the one that I carry everywhere with me...my very own lap :)  I pay bills online and do most other business plus blogging on my laptop...in the living room...on my "portable" desk. Sometimes if the sun isn't too bright you might find me on the glider on the front porch :)
 
5. When I was nine years old....

Hmmm...when I was 9 years old was in the 4th grade and the year was 1963. I was taking a spelling test when the announcement came over the loud speaker...President Kennedy has just been assassinated. I will never forget it. The other thing that I remember was that it was probably the only time in my life I had really long hair. I remember one of my sisters measuring my pony tail and it was nearly 14 inches long. Soon afterwards, I had my hair cut short and it has been short-ish ever since.....except that time I let it grow out just a little, to my shoulders...back in my Farrah Faucette days. πŸ˜‰

6. Insert your own random thought here.


 
May you all have a blessed Mother's Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

May the Hodgepodge Be with You!

It's MAY...can you believe it?


Everything here is green, green, GREEN...


...we've had tons of rain lately but will certainly need it this summer.


These are just a few shots from my Friday morning ramblings.


 Can you believe that in another month 2017 will be half over...
...crazy, huh?
But that's still a bunch of hodgepodges to post!
So come on over to the pond lake...
 and let's find out what questions Joyce is asking this week...

1. Can you tell I'm embracing a Cinco de Mayo theme here this week? Do you like Mexican food? What's your favorite dish? How about on the side-black beans, pinto beans, refried beans, rice? What about heat-mild, medium, hot? Will you celebrate with Mexican food and drink on May 5th aka Cinco de Mayo?

I do enjoy Mexican food but we may only eat it out at a restaurant every couple of months. Hubby Jim loves homemade tacos and we do enjoy them about every other week or so. I'd say one of my favorite dishes is fajitas nachos...it's all of the goodness of chicken/steak fajitas on a bed of tortilla chips. A close second would be beef and chicken taquitos with a side of rice, beans and salad. I only enjoy black beans in something else (not by themselves) nor am I a lover of pintos but I could eat them as long as I could add me some ketchup. Refried beans with the melted cheese is the piece de resistance of any Mexican dish if you ask me...and you already know I like the rice although I do not order it always....the carbs, you know and I like my salsa medium hot. Cinco de Mayo is not an event that I celebrate as a general rule....PLUS...Jim will be working on Friday night and I will not be dining out alone :)

2. Ever been to Mexico? For work or holiday? Love it or no? If you haven't been is this a place you'd like to visit? Can you speak Spanish?


I've never been there and have never really had a desire to go...but if someone wanted to pay my way and get me there I would go and I'm sure I'd enjoy it. My Spanish is limited to por favor, muchas gracias and a few items on the menu.

3. What's one thing you may accomplish this month?

Getting a fresh coat of paint on the of the baseboards and new interior doors. I am getting so excited just thinking about it. πŸ˜–

4. If you were mayor of your village, city, or town, what's one thing you'd like to see changed, done away with, revamped, or accomplished? Is serving in public office something you've ever seriously considered? 


This is probably more of a state law issue but it seems like more and more people are not working (even though they probably could) and are on some sort of public assistance. I see it all the time at my job. Sometimes their situation is legit but other times it's pretty obvious that it's not. I would like to see more regulations in place to make sure the ones who really need it the most get it and those in question have to be drug tested regularly in order to keep their benefits. Never have I considered public service nor do I think I ever would....only will offer my opinion when asked for it...and even sometimes when it's not...haha!

5. What's something that may be popular, but that you just don't get?


PokΓ©mon GO.

6. Can't let this week slip by without mentioning Thursday May 4th is Star Wars Day. As in 'May the 4th be with you' ahem. Are you a fan of the Star Wars series? Exactly how much of a fan are you? On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being 'I've seen every film, own the action figures, might have dressed as Darth Vader for Halloween one year', and 1 being, 'what's a Vader?' -where do you land?

I saw the first movie way back when...not because I wanted to but because someone invited us. Science fiction is just not my thing nor is it Jim's, so it never really made an impression on us. Of course our boys were really into it and have probably seen every one in the series numerous times. I do know who Darth Vader is and few other characters so I think I'm probably a 2 or 3.

7. Scroll back through your blog posts and in three sentences or less tell us the general theme of your fourth blog post. Does it still ring true today? Is it a topic you re-visit on your blog from time to time? 


Wow, Joyce...what a unique question! My forth post was titled  Fancy Gap...a little Closer to Heaven, where once upon a time we owned a log cabin on top of a mountain in Fancy Gap, VA.  Anyone who has followed my blog for a while most likely remembers my posts about this special place. It doesn't seem like 2 1/2 years have passed since we sold it. I have a label on my sidebar that contains wonderful memories and photos of our former little home away from home. Things happen and life changes and new paths are set before us...we've all been there in one way or another. It isn't something I refer to very often anymore...but y'all are probably gonna sick of me talking about the future farmhouse in Tennesse. πŸ˜€

8.  Insert your own random thought here.


Where did April go, anyway??

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