Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Getting to the ♥ of the Hodgepodge

Happy Valentine's Day!



No snow here this year...dang it!
In fact, we were in the 70's over the weekend...quite balmy, actually.
This time of year, especially, you never know what you will get.
But I do know one thing about today...
...it's not only a day to celebrate love, it's also the day we join in for Joyce's Hodgepodge.

That's right...she asks the questions and we answer them on our blogs.
So let's do this!


1. When's the last time you had a heart to heart talk with someone? A change of heart? Experienced figurative 'heart failure?'

Joyce, have you been hiding in my closet or something? C'mon now, fess up! I mean seriously...it just so happened that a certain husband and I had a long overdue heart to heart last Friday before he went off to work for the weekend. We are both guilty of using the "broom technique" when it come to dealing with issues at times...you know...the one where you kinda sweep things under the rug...and they stay there until that rug gets kicked up somehow and then you see where all of "it" went. Sometimes that stuff stays hidden for a very l-o-n-g time. Anyway, it was actually a good thing...a "come to Jesus" moment if you will. And there was a change of heart...on both sides...and that is always good. Heart failure? Life is filled with ups and downs and the heart is always involved. I can't seem to place the last heart-stopping moment in my life, although there have certainly been quite a few. I guess it's a good thing that I can't actually recall it. 


2. Champagne, chocolates, flowers...what's your Valentine pleasure? Any special plans for the day?

No doubt about it, flowers win every time. No special plans since V-Day falls mid-week and work schedules are involved. Our road trip to Tennessee on Friday will be the highlight of the week for both of us!



3. Are you a hopeless romantic or do you fall more in the category of practical and pragmatic? What's a gesture you find romantic?

I am not a hopeless romantic but there was probably a day when I did look at love like that. I am a pretty practical gal and the last time I remember drifting through life on the "love cloud" I was probably in high school...and it wasn't with my husband. Seriously, Jim and I both fall into the latter...practical and sensible...like a good, comfortable pair of loafers...maybe even bordering on the edge of boring? Not really, boring.......well, maybe so! In my mind, the most romantic gesture (which is way more than just a gesture) is to fulfill the role of the spiritual leader of the home...and that encompasses many things.


4. Do you ask a lot of questions in life or are you pretty content with what you already know?

As long as I can remember, I have been as curious as a cat. Still am in some ways. Inquiring minds want to know...you know? Saying that, I think I can also say that the older that I have gotten, the more lessons I have learned and one of them is "What you don't know won't hurt you"....IF you can hold yourself back to keep yourself from finding certain things out. There have been too many times when I have found out more information than I ever really wanted to know and the thing is, you can't ever un-find it out...just like you can't un-see something you've seen.


5. Your favorite power ballad?

If I ever had one, it could possibly be something by the Righteous Brothers..."Unchained Melody" on the good side of love and "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" on the other end of the spectrum.  Click on the link and enjoy listening to the latter (if you like) while you read my random thought.



6. Insert your own random thought here.



Can I get an amen?

Hoping your Valentine's Day is filled with lots of 
♥LOVE♥

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Six More Weeks of...Hodgepodge?


So ol' Phil saw his shadow and you know what that means...
...six more weeks of winter.
But many of you already knew that you'd have six more weeks of winter anyway,
depending on where you're at on the map.
Of course, here in NC, it could go either way...it's a coin flip to say the least!
The calendar says it's still winter until March 21st or around there,
so we might as well just let it happen.
So settle in by the fire or wherever (it's warm and rainy here today)...
...and let's get ready for another edition of Joyce's Hodgepodge.

She asks the questions and we answer them on our blogs...
...so why not come on over and join the fun?
Gee, I sure hope we're in for more than six more weeks of the Hodgepodge!

1. February can be a little bit tricky given the weather and the winter and the whatnot. I read a list (here) of things you can do to make your February brighter which included-start planning your next trip, take more baths, make your own chocolate covered strawberries, and exercise in preparation for swimsuit season. Anything on the list you might try? Which suggestion on the list appeals to you most? Tell us something not on the list that helps make your February brighter.

This is an easy one. We are planning a trip to TN in a little over a week. Even though it is a trip we make pretty often, it's still a trip and there are always things to do to prepare for it. We will be able to watch Parker wrestle in a tournament, get a first time live look at our RV and hopefully meet with our builder to discuss plans for the creek bridge, which is the next step before anything else can happen. Although I haven't actually planned this, part of your question reminded me that I have chocolate dipping sauce AND strawberries in my fridge as we speak. Hmmm...I am thinking I see some chocolate dipped strawberries in my very near future.


UPDATE: Actually, they are in my past now...and in my tummy. Thanks for the reminder Joyce! And this may seem a little strange to some but I always look forward to February since it is the month when we normally have the most snow....yeah, you heard me right. If you'd like, you can click on the link to reminisce with me about My Snowy Valentine from a few years ago. Oh...and just so you know, I could try until either the cows come home or Jesus comes back and my body would never be swimsuit ready.

2. Tell us about something you've seen or done recently that you'd say was 'super'?

The fact that I have finally been able to lose the five pounds I gained over the holidays. Hey, slow progress is better than no progress, right? Still doesn't do much for swimsuit issue though.

3. Best thing you ate in a 'bowl' last week?

It would have to be the yummy salad that I made for myself one day for lunch last week...crispy romaine, sliced chicken breast, strawberries, feta cheese, a few crunchy pecans with balsamic vinaigrette dressing. I wish I would have taken a photo...I must be slipping...the colors were so pretty.

4. Something you're 'cheering' for right now?

Maybe the fact that I was able to put a small dent in my office/craft room...room #1...over the weekend. Just getting started was a major reason to cheer....HIP, HIP, HOORAY! I just had to get a picture of the first box I packed...



...but as you can see below, believe me when I said it was a small dent.😉



5. The Winter Olympics begin Friday, February 9th in Pyeong Chang, South Korea. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being all in and 1 being no interest whatsoever) how interested are you in the games? Which event do you most want to see (you'll find a list here).

I will probably watch some of the events but I will not be glued to the TV....my interest level may fall somewhere around a 3 or 4. And whether I watch or not will also depend on Jim being at home...when he's there, it's quite likely going to be on so I will no doubt be watching more than I normally would. I could possibly even tune in on my own to watch some figure skating or ice dancing. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

As I was ready to walk out of the house for work yesterday morning, keys in hand, I turned to leave and caught the golden morning sunlight peaking through the blinds, creating this bright spot on the dining room table. I put down my keys and whipped out my phone to try to capture the moment. 


Of course this picture doesn't do it one bit of justice (it looked way better on my phone). I love it when God shows off like that. 😊

Happy Hump Day!


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January's Last Hodgepodge

Goodbye,
Can you even believe it?
Wasn't it just last weekend when the ball dropped and we sang Auld Lang Syne?
Time is passing CRAZY fast!
~
And here it is, time for Joyce's Hodgepodge again already...

...where she writes the questions and we answer them on our blogs.
And this week's questions are.... 

1. Speaking of endings....at your wit's end, at loose ends, a dead end, burn the candle at both ends, all's well that end's well, or no end in sight...which 'end' phrase might best be applied to your life lately? Explain.

So I guess if anyone read my post from a couple of days ago, they could guess how I might answer this question. I have a monumental task ahead of me...getting the house ready to sell...and everything that goes along with that. I am not at wit's end or at a dead end...nor am I burning the candle at both ends...YET. You actually have to start before you can be any of those things, am I right? So that leaves things at loose ends because that basically means unfinished business. I'm sure once I finally get started, it will seem at times like there is no end in sight and finally, then and only then, I'll be able to say "All's well that ends well!"

2. What was a must have accessory when you were growing up? Did you own one? If so tell us what you remember about it.

Do shoes count as an accessory since they are plural?
  
If I have understood the question right, shoes would be my favorite accessory when I was growing up. With so many kids in the family, we weren't able to afford new ones very often but I was beyond excited when it was shoe shopping day...black patent leather ones made my heart go pitter-patter. If you'd like to know more, you can read the details here over on my childhood memories blog. Oh yes, there were many other accessories that I had to have that were the latest thing, but I remember it was always about the shoes...I still love me some cute shoes!

3. Something that made you smile yesterday?

Meet Snickers, my new little grand puppy...Aaron and Michelle's newest addition as of yesterday. He is a Silky-haired Dachshund and is the color of.......a Snickers! 😉 Isn't he adorable? He sure made me smile!


4. January 30th is National Croissant Day. Do you like croissants? Sweet or savory? We're having chicken salad for lunch...would you rather have yours served on a croissant, a wrap, a bagel, bread, or a roll of some sort?

I do like croissants of all kinds but rarely do I eat them because I simply don't eat many breads or rolls of any kind for the most part. If someone came up with a low-carb version, I would be all over that puppy in a heartbeat. Even though I love the combination of chicken salad on a croissant, I would choose to have mine in a Mission Carb Balance flour tortilla wrap, thank you!
BUT...if I was invited for lunch and they were on the menu, I would eat it. Far be it from me to offend!
😋

5. Sum up your January in fifteen words or less.

We had snow...lots of it and ate comfort food...lots of it.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.


Sunday, January 28, 2018

One Room at a Time (Sweet Jesus)

My plan was to start in January.
Well, January has come and will be gone in a couple of days.
Have I started yet?
That would be a big fat NO.
~
Every room in our house needs some attention in one way or another.
We replaced the floors less than a year ago and closets were cleaned out...


...and remember that bedroom redo from last spring?



But that is just a drop in the bucket, my friends.
And since we all are aware of how the months fly by,
the spring will be here before I blink twice.
There is so much to do before our home is market-ready.
~
I get overwhelmed thinking about all I have to do as a whole...
...sorting, purging and getting rid of the organized (organized?) clutter.
So I have decided I need to do this one room at a time.
And by that I mean not only the de-cluttering, etc., but repairing nail holes,
touching up walls and painting the new primed doors and woodwork, etc., etc.
One. Room. At. A. Time.
~
 So the other day I was when I was feeling particularly lazy and disinterested,
That still, small voice in my head reminded me, "Just do one room at a time, Debby."
And then that old gospel song from the 70's infiltrated my brain...

"One day at a time, sweet Jesus, that's all I'm asking from you,
Just give me the strength to do everyday what I have to do...."

You probably remember how the rest of the song goes.
~
Once the song started playing in my head, I couldn't make it stop
so I thought I'd take advantage of the opportunity and take it a step further.
I decided to take a few creative liberties with the song...no offense to anyone...
...and I'm not trying to make fun of this beautiful song or it's message.
So here it is...

One room at a time, dear Debby, that's all that you have to do,
You'll muster the strength to do everything that you need to do.
January's near gone, dear Debby and spring will be here real soon.
So get off your tail, let progress prevail,
One room at a time.

I really do need Jesus to help me with this.
I'm feeling a little emotional these days and unmotivated to get my act together...
...dragging my feet, I guess you could say.
I'm thinking that subconsciously I'm still in a bit of denial when it's all said and done.
Twenty-five plus years is a long time...lots of memories under this roof.


Remember how excited I was when I finally got my front porch?





Don't get me wrong...I am getting excited about our move to Tennessee.
But a part of me is also a little ambivalent...having a hard time letting go.
And a maybe just a tad apprehensive...
...but I've just got to suck it up and get motivated, y'all!
~
"Yesterday's gone, sweet Jesus and tomorrow may never be mine.
Lord help me today, show me the way,
one day (and one room) at a time."


 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Very Positive Hodgepodge

What a difference a week makes!
Last week at this time it was just beginning to snow... and man, did it snow!
It didn't stop all day Wednesday and by 7 pm we had nearly 10 inches.


I spent most of the day taking photos of the hungry birds...of all types.
But these guys always steal the show, especially when it's snowing.


So the snow is nothing more than a beautiful memory,
 unless you count those traces of ugly piles still hanging out in the shade.
It has been in the mid to high 60s the past several days and feels like spring...
...even had a thunder storm the other night! Crazy!
~
So we're here for the Hodgepodge...
 ...where Joyce asks the question and we answer them on our blogs.
Here we go.
~
1. January 24th is National Compliment Day. Is it easy or not so easy for you to accept a compliment? Share a recent compliment you've given or received.

There's no doubt that I can give a compliment easier than I accept one. I am one of those who usually has a come-back with maybe "This old thing?" or "I'm having a really bad hair day." I wrote about this in one of my early posts, Gracie's Nativity. My MIL was one of the sweetest women you would ever want to meet and she handed out compliments like it was breathing...but she wasn't ever really able to accept one. I try to remember the words I wrote in that post when someone compliments me and I hesitate to accept it...in fact, I just went back and read it again. The last compliment I think I gave was to a new lady at church on Sunday...telling her what a blessing her outward enthusiasm for the the Lord was to me.


So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

2. Ten little things you are loving right now.

Even though it's all gone now, I am still loving the fact that we got 10" of snow last week and the beautiful birds that all came out of the trees to play in it, especially the cardinals. I can still love it even though it's gone, right?



We always have lots of cardinals but when the are placed on a backdrop of white, they almost take my breath away. The day after it snowed, I got out to make a trip to the grocery and it was the first time I had driven my Honda CR-V in very deep snow...all-wheel drive is a wonderful thing! And now that the snow is all gone, I was loving that rain that we had yesterday morning as it washed off all of that road salt. Let's see...flowers from the hubby that looks as though spring has exploded on my dining room table...


...the new prime lens for my camera, comfort food, a vintage quilt top that I got on eBay and the perfect fabric for the backing (it's really a great Ralph Lauren sheet) that I found at Goodwill.
 
 
And as of this evening after opening the mail, I am more than loving the fact that a letter from my healthcare insurance stating that the appeal that I filed for overcharging me due to using out-of-network doctors in the ER without informing me...and this is the same hospital that I have worked for the past 25 years...has approved it! They charged me over $2300.00 for two five minute visits. I won, I won! Yeah, I am loving that...thank you, Jesus!!

3. Would people describe you as a positive person? Do you see yourself that way? I read here  a list/description of eight things positive people do differently-

Positive people find something to look forward to every day, they celebrate the small stuff, they're kind, they stay busy, accept responsibility for their actions, forgive themselves, know when to move on, and resist comparisons.

Which action on the list would you say you do regularly? Which action could you add to your life to give you a more positive outlook?

I'd like to think that others see me as a positive person and for the most part, I see myself that way too. I will say, however, that although I would like to be able to say yes to all of the above, the fact remains that I am a flawed human being and don't always succeed. I am pretty much an up-beat person from the time I get up...and I don't even need my coffee first. I'm sure Jim sometimes wishes I wasn't because it takes him a while to get his social groove on when he first gets up. Mondays are just another day to me because I really like my job and I usually have something that I look forward to everyday. It doesn't take a whole lot to make me happy...it's the little things, you know. Kindness is very important to me and I try very hard to practice it daily...it's very important to what I do for a living since I deal with patients that are already in pain. Making them feel welcome and comfortable makes their physical therapy experience easier and sometimes even fun. Am I always kind? I'd like to say yes and I try very hard...but I can get riled up with the best of them. Depending on what the situation is, you may not want to cross me.😇Where I'm lacking the most would be comparing myself to others and self-forgiveness...I'm pretty good at beating myself up...sometimes with a smile on my face.


If you're a positive person, what's something you do regularly that's not on the list?


Smile...I smile a lot, whether I feel like it not. I can be carrying an almost unbearable burden and still smile. Many times folks around me have no clue what's going on inside. I guess that can be a good thing.

4. Homemade chicken soup, beef stew, or a bowl of chili...what's your pleasure on a cold winter's day?

It's probably homemade chicken noodle...with chili coming in as a close second. I made some last week during our snowfall (this is not it) and as I was getting ready to put the noodles in, I realized that I only had a handful of the spiral kind. I had some lasagna noodles though (the no boil kind) and broke them up into small pieces and threw them it. It worked great.
 

5. The best part of my day is....


6.  Insert your own random thought here.




Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Snowy Hodgepodge

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


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


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

1. What keeps you blogging?

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

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

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

 

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


6. Insert your own random thought here.

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

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