Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A Haywood Hollow Hodgepodge

We had a beautiful weekend visiting our Tennessee Bunch.
Spring was in full swing and it occurred to me that it was the first time 
we had actually experienced this season at Haywood Hollow.
There are many huge dogwoods and they were in all of their glory...

...just about everywhere you looked.

And we got our first live and in person look at what will be our new temporary digs!

It's really quite roomy...well, except for the bedroom...
...not quite sure how that is going to work out.
All I know is I have claimed the bunkhouse room as my space.
A throw rug here and there, a quilt or two, a few colorful pillows tossed around,
maybe a table runner...and the place will feel just like home.
Like I said, the weather was just perfect... 

...perfect for a picnic lunch down at the creek near where our home will be.
Whose white legs are those, anyway?
I'll never tell.

These pretty little purple flowers were growing profusely all along the creek bank.

Time seems to get away from us when we're there and it's hard to remember what day it is.
Saturday came and so did the rain but we were inside at Parker's wrestling tournament
most of the day so it really didn't matter much. 
Rain or shine, it's always so beautiful there and I am looking forward to the day... know.
So now, on the Hodgepodge...

Joyce asks the questions on her blog and we answer them on ours.
Here we go... 

1. Three things on your spring bucket list? If you don't have an actual list that's fine, pretend you do.

I'm just dying to shop for outside plants/flowers and get them's on the top of my list. In spite of this crazy spring weather, I hope to get it done this coming weekend or next. I've got a couple of closets that need thinning out so I'll add that to as well. Also on my list would be to visit the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte (which is only two hours away) and finally, get to the beach before the summer rush and rate increases.

2. Where do you find rest? What restores your soul? When was the last time you did whatever it was you answered here?

Rest, whether it be in the form of a noun or a verb is simply what we need to get through life. If I have been doing something strenuous or just running around like a chicken with it's head cut off, the best place for me to find rest is right in the comfort of my own home...either sitting down in my favorite chair or maybe on the front porch glider (weather permitting). When the things of life are weighing me down (and even when they're not) I find rest for my sometimes weary soul by getting somewhere quiet, preferably out among God's creation. Sometimes it's in the form of prayer, sometimes I worship through my photography and other times I might just need to literally cry out to Him. When was the last time? Just this past weekend in Tennessee. Between gazing off over the mountain while sitting on the back porch swing and getting lost in the glorious dogwoods, I was in my element!

3. April is National Celery Month. Who knew? Do you like celery? What's your favorite dish made with celery? On a veggie and dip platter which would you reach for first-carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumbers or cherry tomatoes?

I didn't know there was a month set aside to celebrate celery but I'm not surprised. I do like celery (especially when it's spread with peanut butter or pimento cheese) but I wish I liked it more than I do. That way I would reach for it instead of something a cookie. 😏 Many things that I make just wouldn't be the same without my Thanksgiving dressing or chicken noodle soup. It would be a toss-up between the carrots and celery that I would reach for first but I also enjoy the cucumbers and tomatoes.

4. I read here eight things to do before 8 am to make your day less hectic-Start one load of laundry, drink water, empty the dishwasher, read your Bible, know what you're having for dinner, get dressed, brain dump (two lists-one what you're thankful for and one what's weighing on your mind), and after the brain dump make your to-list for the day...How many of these are you currently doing? Which one do you think would help the most if you added it to your early morning routine?

Since I get up at 5 AM every day, even when I don't need to (I just can't help it), I should make the time to do many of these things. Do I? No, not all of them by any means. On days when I work, it isn't even practical to try to accomplish that...although I do get my devotions in and get dressed. I am not a regular list-maker unless I have a bunch of tasks to do in a time crunch so mostly I only make a list if I'm heading out to the grocery store. I do the brain dump thing occasionally and not as often as I should. From the list, I would say that adding the brain dump lists to the Bible reading would be the most beneficial for me.

5. Describe the view from your window.

At this moment, I have no view from my window because it's dark outside. The only thing I see is the neighbor's motion activated security light come on every now and then. But if it was daytime, I would be see trees that are FINALLY getting green leaves on them and that's exciting. No doubt I would also see many birds and squirrels fighting over the feeders.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I just heard the sad news that Barbara Bush has passed away. I have always admired and respected her as our First Lady. She was definitely a class act. Prayers for the Bush family.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A Fine Feathered Hodgepodge

Hello and Happy Wednesday!

You know, sometimes every now and then, when we least expect it,
something is put in our path that changes the way we look at an ordinary day.
Some of you make think this is a little hokey but it really did make my day.
Last Friday morning I went out and about to look for some signs of spring,
 my cameras in tow, as usual.
I decided to head for our local Lake Michael, a place I have shared with you before.
I had missed the sunrise by just a few minutes and as I started walking towards the lake,
I noticed what I thought was a lone goose swimming close to the bank.

As I got closer I saw that he was not alone at all but instead, hovering near his mate.
I couldn't quite make out her form at first...
...her feathers were all fluffed up and her head tucked in under her wing.
Then I saw it...she was sitting on her nest right out in the open!
No tall grasses to cover or camouflage...nothing.

I got within maybe 10-15 feet and they just watched me as I began snapping away.
As I started to sit down on the bank to get down to their level,
Mamma Goose stood up, gave me a little hiss or two and flapped her wings.

I reassured her (yes, I spoke to her gently) that I would not hurt her and she calmed down...
 ...but while she was still standing, I got a peek at these...

...six of them from what I could see.

I just sat there for a while taking it all in.

Isn't she beautiful?
Papa Goose did not leave her side, not even for a moment.

It reminded me just how blessed and grateful I am to have a Heavenly Father
who guards and protects me every moment without fail.
I love it when that happens.
So, are you ready for the Hodgepodge?
Joyce asks the questions on her blog and we answer them on ours.
Welcome back, Joyce...we missed you!

Come on over and join the fun!
1. April is National Jazz Appreciation Month. Are you a fan? If so what's a favorite you'd recommend to someone new to jazz listening?

I never have been much of a fan of jazz although a little Kenny G as soft background music wouldn't bother me so much. (Is he even considered jazz?) I would not be the one to recommend jazz to anyone, simply because I am not familiar with the artists.

2. Mandolin, ukulele, harp, accordion or banjo...which would you be most interested in learning to play? Or do you already play one of the instruments listed?

I grew up in a family that was quite familiar with many kinds of stringed instruments. As long as I can remember, my three brothers played the guitar and mandolin mostly and messed around a bit with ukulele, fiddle (not violin) and banjo at one point. We girls all played around with them and learned some basic chords but never became accomplished like the brothers did. At one point, two of my sisters and I and a family friend would get together and play and sing a sis on guitar, the other on the mandolin, the friend on tambourine and me on the electric bass guitar. We called ourselves 3+1 (3 sisters plus 1 friend). Man, you shoulda heard us.......well, maybe not. LOL!

3. Do you judge a book by it's cover? Elaborate. You may answer in either/both the literal or figurative sense of the word.

I would be a liar if I said I have never judged a book by it's cover, figuratively speaking. Haven't we all been guilty of this at one point in our lives, or is it just me? I give thanks to the Holy Spirit for convicting me when I have done so but mostly teaching me about grace through some experiences of my own and in my family..."There but for the grace of God, go I". Do I always succeed? No, but thankfully He's still working on me.

4. According to a recent study the ten most nutritious foods are-almonds, cherimoya (supposed to taste like a cross between a pineapple/banana), ocean perch, flatfish (such as flounder and halibut), chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, swiss chard, pork fat (shocking! but I don't think they mean bacon), beet greens, and red snapper. Are any of these foods a regular part of your diet? Any you've never ever tasted? Which would you be most inclined to add to your diet?

Out of the list, I have never eaten (nor have I ever heard of it) cherimoya. I'm pretty sure my mom used to cook beet greens but I don't remember eating any. All of the fish varieties, except for ocean perch I eat but not on a weekly basis. Pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and bacon (or pork fat) would be something you might find me eating most often. I really do like most greens but I don't cook them just for me...Jim would NOT eat them!😣

5. Besides a major holiday what is the most recent thing you've celebrated with your people? Tell us how.

Since we're not counting holidays, I would have to go back to September of last year when my family celebrated my brother's home going. Death isn't necessarily such a sad thing when you are certain they are with Jesus in heaven after being so sick for so long. The family celebrated after the service by going back to his home where everyone had gathered to eat, enjoy a family song fest and just love on one another.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

And the corners of my mouth will most definitely be turning upward, more than usual today since we are finally (maybe I should say hopefully) getting to make our trip to Tennessee tonight. I'm so excited! 
Enjoy the rest of your week, friends!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Has spring finally sprung??

Well, let me just say, "I hope so."
We have been having some really nice weather...finally.
It seems like with every passing day the color is getting more visible.
I was beginning to wonder if the leaves on the trees were ever going to pop out.
 But my fears were put to rest when I noticed that the lovely yellow powder,
 (which I lovingly refer to as oak dust)
had started accumulating all over my clean black car over the weekend.
I detest this wicked yellow powder.
 Ah of my most favorite signs of spring...NOT!
But as much as I have been complaining about the weather, I better be careful what I say!
These pretty little violets have started blooming and are scattered throughout the yard.
I don't see them every year so I imagine some of our fine feathered friends have helped them along.
They are tiny, actually about 1/2 inch in diameter.
And I saw a few of these...although very few...and they are miniscule, as you can see.
The most prominent, standing out from the stark, leafless woods are these favorites of mine.
 After weeks of being in a state of dormancy, these pretties are currently in their glory!
Sadly, my wisteria didn't make it again this spring. 😢
This photo was from two years ago.
If they make it next spring, maybe I will still be around here to enjoy them once more.
We shall see.
 So as the outside world is slowly but surely bursting forth in glorious hues,
inside in the dining room, there is/was some color going on as well.
I say is/was because those beautiful orange and purple petals are all but gone...
...a few are still hanging on for dear life.
Thanks to my dear hubby, I can always count on it being springtime on my table.
I rarely get tulips and I have really enjoyed these.

Y'all surely must know I really like getting up close and personal with my blooms.

These purple ones stayed closed up for a couple of days after he brought them home 
and I wondered if they would ever show their pretty faces.

They finally did, as you can see.

Certainly only our Creator could manage something as intricate as these.

And in other news, as we were sitting and watching TV the other night,
Jim glanced out the back door and saw something crawling across the top of our shed.
By the time I had gotten my camera, it had made it's way into the tree.
As I stood below, looking straight up at him, he posed for the camera like model.
Cute or ugly?
I say cute, looking at him from the front...

...but that long pointed snout leaves a lot to be desired for the profile shot.
I liked him a lot better after I found out that they eat lots of ticks.
Better in his tummy than on my babies, I say!
Enjoy the rest of your week and weekend, y'all!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A Hodgepodge of a Hodgepodge

Hello, to all my peeps out there!

Well, we had more snow over the weekend leaving slushy roads and just overall yuckiness.
But there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel!
Tomorrow (Wednesday) we will have 70+ temperatures!
And if you can believe the forecast, Easter weekend is looking quite promising too.

Come on Spring, show your beautiful face!

This week, someone at our house celebrated a birthday.
I'll give you a hint...
...he's brown and furry all over and he walks on all fours.
Here's a photo of him the day we got him, at only 9 weeks old...

...yes, this would be our Oscar.
And below, here is today at 9 years old...and getting a little gray around the edges!

But he still acts like a puppy. 😉
And speaking of 9 year olds, I must brag a bit on our Olivia.
She competed in a climbing tournament on Saturday and did quite well.
There were only 12 competitors but they were all over 11 years of age and much bigger than her.
She came in 5th...nothing to sneeze at when you're climbing a rock wall!

That's her daddy (Adam) watching intently and Uncle Josh with the video camera.
See that inverted wall?
Well, I can't even imagine how they can do that...

...sheer determination, I guess...just look at that face!
 So now to the Hodgepodge...

 ...where Joyce asks the questions and we answer them on our blogs.
A couple of the questions this week really gave a me run for my money!
Thanks, Joyce, for keeping us on our toes!

1. What's a word that describes your life? I think this just might be one of the hardest questions I've ever had to answer on a Hodgepodge. After much thought and going back and forth, I have finally come up with one word...optimistic. The first words that came to mind mostly had negative connotations to them but after thinking about it, none of those words really described what I'm all about. A word you wish described your life? This one is nearly as hard because there are so many things that I am NOT and we would be here all day listing my wishes. I wish I could just snap my fingers and be more Christlike...that pretty much covers it all.

2. Back in my day we_____?

...lived a simpler lifestyle, no doubt about it. I can only answer based on what I experienced growing up and I'm sure we could all answer it a bit differently, yet with many similarities. Back in my day, we were taught to respect our parents and those in authority, love our family members and above all others, love God who created us. Yes, back in my day, we were actually taught that God was the Creator and that we didn't evolve from apes. There was just an overall sense of common decency that seems to be sadly lacking today. School shootings were virtually unheard of. These days, we never know what we might hear coming out of people's mouths...the hatred and venom spewed today surely must break the heart of God because it breaks mine. Back in my day, men were men and women were women...and there was no confusion. Back in my day, the best things in life were free...yet priceless. I could go on and on, but I won' makes me too sad.

3. When it comes to takeout are you more likely to opt for Italian, Mexican, or Chinese food? Does a typical week at your house include takeout?

Out of these three options, I'd say it would be Italian, pizza to be precise. Normally when we eat either of these, they are in a restaurant. Occasionally we will get Mexican takeout but it is never as good as eating it in the restaurant. We will possibly get takeout once a week, depending on Jim's work schedule...I rarely get it just for me unless I get a real hankering for something specific or I am in a rush. Every now and then a little sumpin'-sumpin' from Wendy's or sometimes Arby's hits the spot even though they weren't on the list. 😋

4. Think about the people you most respect. What is it about them that earned your respect?

That they are genuine...the "real deal", if you will. Sometimes that is hard to determine when we first meet someone, especially if they seem to be a different person in different situations. People who I respect most are those who demonstrate that they are steadfast, faithful and constant. It's also important they are not afraid to admit it when they may be wrong about something and are never reluctant to apologize when they need to. In fact, that may just be when I respect them the most.

5. What's something your friends might see and say is 'so you'?

This kitchen from 'My Farmhouse Love'.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

May you all have a most blessed Holy Week and Resurrection Sunday!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Did Someone Say...Spring??

Have y'all seen a meme like this floating around out there the past few weeks?
I don't know who makes these things up but really, when you think about it,
it actually does seem like winter is doing just that!
It's Tuesday as I write this and tonight we are in for yet another batch of wintery mix.
I went back and looked at some of my old posts from previous Marches
and most of the photos look a whole lot more springy than it currently does around here.
The photo below was taken from a post on March 29th of last year...

...and the ones below from March 18, 2016.

So in the mean time, I'll share a few fun shots of my new little toy.

Well, would you look at that!
There's spring!

Alive and well, living inside of my little crystal ball!

But as you can see, it still doesn't look much like spring in my neck of the woods.
Even upside down. 😉
So while we're waiting for spring to appear,
how about let's getting on to the matter at hand...the Hodgepodge...

...where Joyce asks the questions and we answer them on our blogs.

1. On this first official day of spring tell us something (besides the weather) you're looking forward to in this season of the year.

This is weather-related but everything about spring seems to revolve around the weather, doesn't it? I am SO looking forward to seeing some color! February played a mean trick on us by getting so warm that many of the flowering trees bloomed and then just like that, the cold came back and zapped them. Also we will be heading for the hills of TN in a few weeks and that is never a disappointment, any time of year but springtime is especially lovely. Even though the selling of our house has been postponed for a bit, I am really looking forward to getting many of these projects completed so we can move forward when we get the green light.

2. When it comes to spring cleaning would you rather wash windows or wash baseboards? Windows...way easier on the knees :) Clean out closets or clean out the garage? I'd rather do the closets...less spiders...BUT the garage needs it most and it is at the top of our to-do list! Dust ceiling fans or dust bookcases? Ceiling fans because they are more obvious and I want to really be able see the fruits of my labor. Wipe down the patio furniture outside or wipe down the light fixtures inside? Patio furniture...who wipes down their light fixtures anyway? I can wipe down those inside light fixtures any old time. Any of these tasks recently completed? I would say that my closets are the least of my worries since I have done pretty well keeping them cleaned out since we got the floors last year. We have two new ceiling fans to replace two old ones so that is two less to clean the dust off of. It makes my heart sing to know that I will be throwing out the old dust with the old ceiling fans!

3. Your favorite thing to make/eat that calls for cream cheese? Cheese cake, any kind. Sour cream? I rarely make mashed potatoes but when I do, it's these... adding a dollop or two of Daisy to these, everyone will think you slaved over a hot stove boiling those spuds! Whipped cream? Pumpkin pie, hands down!
4. I read here a list of commonly mispronounced words. What is a word that gives you trouble when it comes to pronunciation?

Okay, I admit it...I just may have been pronouncing a few of these wrong all of my life. So, sue me. February is probably the one I mispronounce most often...but it usually only happens in February since I don't usually discuss February when it's not February. I actually know the correct pronunciation but I choose not to add that first "r" when I say it. It just doesn't seem right some how.

5. What's a song you love with the word 'rain' in the title or lyrics?

"Rainy Days and Mondays" by the Carpenters. But here's another one of my faves...

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

This just's the updated weather forecast:

Oh, Spring....where are you??
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