Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Did someone say Hodgepodge?

And it looks like our friend Joyce is back at it!

Linking up with the Hodgepodge was a fun way of meeting many sweet blogging friends
and also, I have to admit, being accountable to posting on a regular basis as well.
Then Terri, our friend from Florida followed along with the Wednesday Medley
and she had a way of always keeping me on my toes...and accountable.
Life changes, our responsibilities change and sometimes life just gets crazy!
Thank you, Joyce...I know your world has changed a whole lot too!
So things here have calmed down a bit (they have?) and I was thrilled to hear the news!
Here in Haywood Hollow, it has literally turned green overnight.
The winter rains, which have never stopped, I'm now calling spring rains...'s much more pleasing to the ear, don't you think?
(shhhh...don't tell anyone but it's supposed to be dry and 80 degrees by Thursday.)

So here are just a few shots of my new views before we get started... I sit here now writing this post, window open, I hear the creek in the distance.

See our little camper in the distance?

Found this deflated Valentine balloon and although I was really glad that someone was going to love his Dearest Patricia forever, it still kinda made me sad that her balloon got away from her. 💏

The entry into the "Enchanted Forest"...

This purple dead nettle is growing as thick as carpet everywhere you look.
It seems to be a pretty amazing plant so I think I'll go rub it all over me...maybe even eat some.
It may be the answer to all my health issues, who knows?
This carpenter bee sure like it.

Our humble abode.

Okay...enough, enough...I know.
So now let's get on with the Hodgepodge.
Just copy and paste Joyce's questions from her blog to yours, answer them, and link back to her post!

1. Howdy Hodgepodgers. It's kind of fun to be back, isn't it?  Last time we met was September, 2018. Tell me something big-important-happy-or sad that's happened in your life since that date. Just one thing. We don't know how long this current isolation situation is going to last and we might need to dole out our news bit by bit.

Oh, this is big-important AND happy news! Most of you know this is huge for us....we have retired and relocated to Tennessee. We left North Carolina on October 5, 2019 and have been living in our cozy (did I say small?) RV, basically camping out in our son, Adam's driveway until a little over a week ago when we were finally able to move down the mountain and onto our property and the building site. So much more on the horizon but that's all fodder for future posts. Construction should begin whenever we see the heavy equipment arrive in early April...but, know...

2. Might as well get this out of the way early on...COVID-19. On a scale of 1-5 how serious are you about keeping your distance? Explain. fyi-I didn't create the scale but have seen it several places online. Also fyi-we won't only have virus related questions each week, but for this first one it feels right.

1-Not at all, living normally

2-Cautious but still going out

3-Going out as needed, mostly home or working from home, still seeing friends/family

4-Extremely limited, only going out when unavoidable, minimal contact with people

5-Full lockdown, no one in or out

I have to admit at first that the media was just doing what they do best, hyping things up. I had already decided from the start that I refused to live in fear but then I guess I realized as it was spreading so fast, I needed to rethink it a bit. I think the clincher was when Adam's office suggest  he work from home so as not to be exposed and bring it home to me and my compromised immune system. Let's just say I went from #1 to a #4. Good thing for me, I really don't feel confined since we are out in the middle of nowhere with plenty of room to roam. We have been practicing social distancing between our two households for the most part and we do plan to grill some burgers and dogs here at our place in the next day or two...and eat outside. The rest of the family has been homebound for days with limit trips for food and supplies.

3. Raise your hand if you think you might run out of steam in the cooking department before it's all said and done? What's something delicious you've cooked or eaten in your own kitchen in the past week?

I think we will get by just fine, however long it goes on. We have only gotten some drive-thru food a couple of times since this thing began. I am actually having fun experimenting cooking in a small space. 😏 I made spaghetti a couple of nights ago (yes, I do think I like cooking with gas) and gluten-free pancakes with turkey sausage this morning. The RV also has an outside kitchen and Jim has done some grilling...steaks last week!

4. What's a television show or movie you've seen recently (it could be an oldie) that you really liked?

Hmmm...I'm not watching much TV since we can only pull in four channels until we get set up with one of those 150 mile antennas. We do have access to Netflix and Hulu via my internet hotspot. When we were parked up in the driveway, we were able to pull in quite a few channels with the RV antenna and we had access to MeTV, MyTV, Antenna TV and major news outlets. Now, back to your specific question...Jim and I both have enjoyed getting reacquainted with Leave it to Beaver, My Three Sons, Hazel, Father Knows Best, among others. Currently we can't get any of them....WAAHHH!

5. Share something funny you've seen or heard this week.

 How would you caption this??

6. Insert your own random thought here

Not really my own random thought...a friend of mine shared this on her Facebook page yesterday. Dear Lord Jesus, please let this be so...and preaching to the choir here.

 So before I go, let me share a little sumpin sumpin I put together to spring up the place a bit.
Don't look too awful close at those high dollar Walmart flowers!  

And didn't Adam do a great job on those stairs?

May you all stay safe and healthy, dear friends...
...sending my love and prayers.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Moving Day, Take Two

Yes, it's me and I haven't posted to my blog in over a month.
Not much going on to report...
...until this happened over this past weekend.

I was beginning to think this day would never come. (well...not really)

We've been here in Tennessee since October 6, and we thought it would take a just a few weeks
to temporarily camp out in Adam's yard and be down the hill in a couple months, maximum.

Well, I won't even go there because y'all know the story and that's not the point of this post... would be like beating a dead horse....and have I mentioned the rain?
Thought so.

So last week we actually had several days of dry weather in a row,
just what we needed to get "the man" out there with the loads of churt and his heavy equipment...
...a pad for our "pad" in other words. 😉

And here it is, all level and perfect waiting for the arrival of our "pad".

Anyway, miracle of all miracles, this past weekend it finally happened!
I mean, it probably wasn't a true miracle...but yeah, maybe it was.

We had one window of opportunity on Saturday because the rain was to return by that evening.

But we made it....HALLELUJAH!!

And now that we're here, I've been as busy as a li'l ol' bee...
...unpacking boxes that I really couldn't unpack before, finding a place for everything,
and putting everything in its place.
That's another post entirely. 😊
And now that I'm pretty much confined from going to public places due know,
(and in the words of Forrest Gump, “that’s all I’m gonna say ‘bout that”)
I've got plenty of safe places to roam, birds that wake me up every morning,
and something beautiful to open my windows to everyday...even if it's still raining most of the time.

Do I sound like a happy camper?
I guess that's because I am...but most of all, God is GOOD!

Until next time, friends.


Friday, February 14, 2020

♥ My Tardy Valentine ♥

So it's me again, late to the party, as I have been so much here lately.

It's been a month since I've last posted but wanted to get a quick one in 
to tell y'all that I am still alive and kicking (for the most part)
and to wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day!

Jim and I have been keeping the roads hot in these parts lately (between the monsoons of rain)...
making a few planned and unplanned trips to NC and even SC.
In between our two trips to NC, we took an unplanned and very quick trip to SC.
A very dear, old friend of ours unexpectedly passed away in his sleep.
I've known him since I was a teen...he was "Cousin Jimmy" from West Virginia
when his Aunt Thelma lived across the street from me growing up in Ohio.
We went way back.
Jim and he worked together in Ohio as well and wouldn't you just know that the Lord
placed us all together in the same town in NC...and even in the same church!
His dear wife became one of my besties and we worshipped together for many years.
They had relocated to SC about a year ago after retirement to live close by to their younger grands. Kinda like us. 
We just never know what tomorrow will bring, do we?

Our winter here has consisted of nothing much more than rain, rain and more rain.
To say that I am pretty sick of this weather is a huge understatement.
I must be perfectly honest and tell you that today the sun is shining brightly...but brutally cold!
I am biting at the bit to get out and return to my walking and exploring Haywood Hollow.
These poor little measly muscles of mine need help, y'all!

But despite all the rain, on those rare days when the sun decides to come out from behind the clouds,
you can rest assured that it will leave behind a treasure to end your day.

So who says Valentine's Day flowers always have to be red or pink?


RV living...gotta love it!
(maybe...maybe not)

So stay tuned...exciting new updates coming soon!
Here's just a little hint....

💗Love to all!💗

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The Blueprint

Okay, I'll admit it.
This mostly cheerful, smiling self of mine has been struggling a bit.
After just saying that, I can't help but feel a bit guilty because since we have retired and relocated,
there have been so many blessings to many.

You'd think I'd realize by now that our plans don't always unfold the way we imagine they will. 
I mean how many blog posts have I written about "plans" in the last six years??

I could blame it on the weather which has just been pretty awful...rain, rain and more rain.
We have everything ready to go down on the property to hook up the RV but the rain has kept us from being able to get the dirt smoothed out and bringing the gravel in.

Or I could blame it on the fact that my recent health issue has raised its ugly head again,
making it necessary to make a couple of unplanned trips to NC and Duke Hospital.

I had a little pity party yesterday morning....and I was the only one I invited.
After the party was over, I dug into some emails where I found some encouraging words
from a couple of lovely and wise blogging friends.
I felt so much better.

 So after all of that, this is what the Lord had for me in my devotional reading for this morning.


The word seemed to hit me right between the eyes.
I'm sure it seemed that way because ironically, today was also the day that we were to pick up
the blueprint for the farmhouse.

Even though we may look at a blueprint as a plan or design that represents a finished product,
blueprints can also be revised, changed, and adjusted.
It got me thinking that even though I know that I know that God has the grand plan,
He doesn't necessarily map out every single detail of our lives in blueprint form... least I don't think He does.
He gives us free choice which means that at any given moment we can blow it all to smithereens.
Sometimes all it takes is a bad attitude...or yes, even a pity party!

So now, with all that out of the way...

Looky here...I'm so excited!
Seeing the actual blueprint (although it's not blue at all) for our new home all professionally drawn up just really makes it!

The next step is getting the plans to our builder and sign a few papers.
He hopes to be able to start by the first of March, possibly before...(hmm)...
That's where the weather comes in to play might be rain, it might be snow, who knows?
Today it was in the 70s and tomorrow it isn't getting out of the 40s.
But whenever the Lord allows the actual building process to begin, we are making progress!

So we've been talking about blueprints here and since we're on the subject,
I will just say that for the last ten years or so, my hairstyle hasn't changed much.
Well, right before the new year, I decided it was time for a new blueprint for my hair...
...I guess we might call it a "doo-print". 😄

Last year had been particularly hard on my hair with all of this weird stuff happening to my body.
It has gotten quite thin so I thought cutting it short might be a good thing.
My first thought was, "Oh no, what have I done?!"
I hate fresh haircuts but I figured I would like it better in a couple of weeks.
I am getting used to it day by day....and Jim really likes it too. 😉
After all, it's only hair and it will grow back. (I hope.)

So even though my pity party is over now and all the mess is cleaned up,
I would just like to mention that if you think of me, I would welcome your prayers.
The prayers from my blogging friends have gotten me through some of my darkest hours
this past year and I cherish and appreciate every single one!

Much love to all, 

Thursday, December 26, 2019

A Dickens of a Christmas (in more ways than one)

What? How can this be?
Another post from soon??
It's really unbelievable that Christmas has already come and gone, isn't it?
I trust that everyone enjoyed a wonderful Christmas...I know I did.
 I had part of this post ready to publish over a week ago...
...that is until it happened.
I have been without internet service until just yesterday.
More about that later on in the post.
So on Sunday, the 15th, we drove over to Franklin, TN (about 30 minutes away)
to take in a little bit of Christmas nostalgia.

It was the 35th Anniversary of A Dickens of a Christmas, a street fair in the heart of town.
We had attended this several years ago but all I remember was that it was so cold and blustery,
we weren't really able to enjoy it much and we stayed long enough to buy a bag of their
fabulous kettle corn that they make out on the square.
This year the weather was just about perfect as we made our way through the maize of people.
I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

The only thing missing was the snow. I borrowed the above photo that was taken a previous year.

Mr. Scrooge, himself...

...and of course his three visitors.


It was almost like stepping back in time...
...that is, if you could ignore the huge crowd of modern day onlookers...and the traffic lights.
Like I said, almost. 😉

So the next day our Olivia turned eleven and this particular birthday is one that will no doubt
be forever ingrained in our memories for a long time to come.
 A warm front that was moving through had churned up some nasty storms
and by later that afternoon, it had become so dark it looked like dusk...
...but never imagined in a hundred years what we were in for.
Sometime around 4:00, it began raining very hard and let me tell you,
inside of the RV it sounded like we were being riddled with BBs.
Carrie was inside of the house getting the party table set up, Adam was still at work,
Jim was on his way home from picking the kiddos up from school
and I was alone in the RV (probably watching Judge Judy)....then it hit...
...the loudest bang of thunder I've ever heard followed by a blinding flash of light.
I immediately called Carrie (in the house) and through a panicked voice
she told me that lightning had struck the house.
The light bulb in the fixture directly above the birthday table had exploded
and blown clear across the kitchen!
Some of the breakers were blown but there was power to parts of the house...
and then she began to notice the odor of burnt know, that electrical smell.
Jim was halfway up the driveway when he heard and saw it hit
and Adam literally must have flown home from work.
Carrie called 911 and it was only a matter of minutes before what seemed like every emergency vehicle in the county and the power company had found their way up the winding driveway.

The first responders were surely on their game! 

By then it was pitch black and still raining hard but the lightning was farther away.
After about an hour everything was checked out, the rest of their power had been restored
and the "all clear" was announced.
 It was finally time to par-tay!

So the little party was moved out into the RV since broken glass was still all over the place...
good thing the cake was still covered!
But it was a quick little party to say the least.
Later that night, the damage began to show up when it was determined that many of the
major appliances didn't function any more.
The washer (which was full of water and clothing in mid-cycle), the kitchen range, the microwave, the dishwasher and the internet router all got fried!
The next day more things were discovered as well...
...also on the fried list was the well pump (discovered after we ran out of water),
the thermostat to our heating/cooling unit in the RV (since we are plugged into their house),
and various other smaller things.
Then these thoughts crossed my mind..."What if the lightning had caught the house on fire?" 
"What if it would have struck the RV and ignited the propane tanks?" 
But of course these things did not happen.
God had His hand on us and protected us from what could have been a real tragedy.
For that, we are truly thankful.
After something like this happens, one never knows what might be hiding in unseen places
 so on Monday the power was shut down all day while everything was checked out thoroughly and major electrical panels were replaced along with a thorough inspection.
Oh yeah, and Christmas came a few days early for Adam and Carrie.
There is always light at the end of a tunnel and they now have a houseful of new appliances.
Thank goodness for a good homeowner's policy!
We didn't have to have a Crockpot Christmas after all!
So as this wondrous Christmas season winds down and we prepare for the New Year,
I'll end with this...and no one said it better than Tiny Tim, himself...

God bless us, every one!

Much love to all,

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