Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Summertime and the Hodgepodge is Easy

Actually, in my opinion, the Hodgepodge is never easy... fact, some of the questions really make you think very hard!
But yes, summertime is officially here.
I do enjoy summer but to tell you the truth, I really prefer spring...
and I tolerate the summer until fall comes.

It's also Wednesday and time for Joyce's Hodgepodge...
where she asks the questions on her blog and we answer them on ours.

From this Side of the Pond

If you've never joined in, you should give it a try... just never know what you might learn about your fellow bloggers!
Here are this week's questions:
1. The first day of summer rolls in later this week. What are ten things you'd put on your list of  quintessential summer activities?
1. Visit my Tennessee Bunch...happening tomorrow!
2. Make and eat black raspberry pie and ice cream for Jim and Adam's birthdays.
3. Head to Ohio for a family reunion...happening next month.
4. Sit on the porch and listen to the rain.
5. Take a weekend trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
6. Eat some watermelon.
7. Head to the beach after Labor Day (when it's cheaper).
8. More porch sitting.
9. Anticipate the arrival of fall. (no doubt I will be ready for it)
10. Use up as many of the 80+ hours of accrued vaca as possible before September 30...or I lose it.

Will you try to manage all ten this summer?
I will do my best to accomplish these goals. 😄

2. Do you collect seashells when you're at the beach? Sometimes, depending on how collectable they are. What do you do with them once you get them home? When the boys were little (or the grand boys) they have been known to put them in their fish tank, lizard habitat or whatever critter they may have had at the time. Years and years ago I made a wind chime out of some smaller shells. Usually they just stay in the plastic bag that I brought them home in. What's your favorite place to comb for seashells? You don't find many whole shells at our go-to beach (Carolina Beach) so I don't even try...but I might be on the hunt if I was at the Outer Banks.
Shells from Ocracoke

How many of these 'best beaches for hunting seashells' have you visited? Destin, Ocracoke and the Bahamas.

 Sunset at Miramar Beach, Destin, Florida
Beach at Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas

Which one would you most like to visit? Calvert Cliffs State Park (Maryland), Jeffrey's Bay (South Africa), Sanibel Island (Florida), Shipwreck Beach (Lanai Hawaii), Ocracoke Island (North Carolina), Galveston Island (Texas) and The Bahamas. I would go back to Ocracoke in a heartbeat but not necessarily for the shells. I love lighthouses and it's closer to home. Unfortunately, any photos that were taken are in an envelope somewhere with the digital camera in those days.
3. At a snail's pace, shell out money, come out of your shell, go back into your shell, drop a bombshell, happy as a clam, clam up...which 'shell' phrase could most recently be applied to some event or circumstance in your life? Explain.

It would have to be a combination of snail's pace and shell out the money. Home improvements can creep along like a snail and you can't do it without shellin' out the dough!

4. What summer activity do you dislike? Sweating. Why? I think you know why. And speaking sweat, I was playing around with my macro lens over the weekend and as I was trying capture the water drops on my rose bush leaves, something else came into view.

Who knew that a teeny-tiny sweat bee was so colorful? I have seen these annoying, bothersome little creatures all my life and I have to say that I was stunned by the beauty of it. I am so thankful that you can never grow too old to be amazed by God's creations!

5. What's something you see as quickly becoming obsolete? Kindness and respect. Does that bother you? Very much so.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
After 13 years, I may be getting a new 'ride' this week. It's kind of exciting! 😊

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Heat, Humidity and the Hodgepodge

Well, I think summer is finally here, although maybe not yet officially by the calendar.
 Last week I was just saying how absolutely gorgeous the weather was here.
Even though it's not that bad, the heat and humidity have kicked in this week.
Now that it has arrived, it's likely to hang around until September.
Looks like it's time to get the pool ready!

No, this little pool was not for the grand kids...they were already in their teens when I bought it.
I actually got it for myself a few years back and yes, I actually got in it.
I was home by myself and there were no other witnesses nor were there any photos of me in it.
I was very careful not to have any "evidence" in case there was ever a threat of blackmail.
Images of a beached whale come to sure was refreshing though!
So welcome back to Joyce, hoping that all is well in your family...
...and welcome back to the Hodgepodge...
...where she asks the questions and we answer them on our blogs!

1. The Hodgepodge lands on June 14th this week, Flag Day in the US of A. Do you fly your country's flag at home? Sometimes, often, or every single day? 
Every single day, you will find Old Glory either waving with a gentle breeze or flapping profusely on a windy day, getting all wrapped around the pole. 
Have you ever visited the city of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia)? Did you make a point of seeing The Betsy Ross House? Have you ever made a trip to Baltimore? If so, was Fort McHenry on your itinerary? (where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write The Star Spangled Banner

No, I have never been to Philly (even the state of Pennsylvania) nor have I been to Baltimore, although the thought of visiting those historical sites sounds interesting. If I was heading in that direction, I would most likely be planning to visit the Lancaster area and Amish country.

2. Red flag or white flag? Which have you encountered most recently? Explain.

No real warnings or surrenders going on here currently. Boring, I know.

3. Are you a stay in the car listen to the end of a song kind of person?

I rarely (if ever) have the radio on in my car anymore. It may have something to do with the fact that both of my back speakers are blown and it sounds like two sheets of sandpaper rubbing against each other...not a pretty sound. My little Jeep is old and I have no intention on replacing the speakers...BUT...hoping to replace the vehicle, itself real soon! Now riding in Jim's car is a different matter entirely...his radio is usually blaring. 😒 I used to always have music playing in my car and I am sure there were even times when I have stayed in the car to hear the end of a certain's been a while though. These days I like the peace and quiet when riding in any car...getting old and set in my ways? Maybe. What kind of person is that? I really don't know what that says about a person. I'm not so sure that you have to be a certain kind of person to either do that or not.

4. What are some of the traits or qualities you think a good dad possesses? In other words, what makes a good dad?

Someone who sacrificially loves the mother of his children and shows that by being a hands-on kind of guy...that would be a bonus. He is firm but soft and is a good provider. Back in the day, most men didn't get involved much in the day-to-day raising of the's just the way it was. My dad was not what I would call that kind of dad either but I never doubted his love for me. I have described him as 'the softer side of sandpaper' here on my other blog.

What's an expression you associate with your father? "

"In back of who's barn?" My dad was always full of funny expressions and words and this was his way of asking, "What did you say?" There are many more where that came from but I bet you already guessed that.

5. What's one rule you always disagreed with while growing up?

My parents, especially my mom, was very strict and we were not allowed to do many of the things that our friends were able to do. I'm talking about things like going to school functions, including dances, basketball games, etc. and visiting friend's homes that Mom didn't know well. I really didn't understand why but just knew it was the way it was. Don't get me wrong...neither one of my parents, especially Mom, were mean at all, just very strict.

Is that rule somehow still part of your adult life?

I believe it contributed somewhat to how I raised my boys but to a much lesser degree...still erring on the side of caution, so to speak. We definitely made sure they had opportunities to be involved in school activities, sports, mission trips and other extracurricular activities. They had many friendships but we were careful to know as much as possible about the family.

Is that a good or bad thing?

I think being too strict is not always a good thing. I speak from personal experience when I tell you that I truly believe it caused rebellion...mostly in the last of us three girls. Praise God for His amazing grace. And that's all that needs to be said about that!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Is anyone else tired of hearing about Russia?

Have an awesome week!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Prayers for Kelly-Anne

Hello friends.
The Lord has put it on my heart to share this most urgent need for prayer.
Many of you may have already heard this news but for those of you who haven't
 and follow Kelly-Anne's blog, The Diary of a Country Girl,
(and for those who currently do not)
it is with great sadness but yet with great hope that I share this request.
Last Wednesday, Kelly-Anne and her family's home and farm was consumed by a terrible fire
that was raging out of control where she resides in South Africa.
There has also been loss of life, including some, very close to her family.
Thousands have been left homeless.
You can read her accounts of this horrific ordeal here and here.
You can read a local news report about the devastation here.
What she has shared is utterly heartbreaking but her faith is unshaken!
For those of you who aren't familiar with Kelly-Anne,
she is a lovely 18 year old young woman who has been blogging since she was 12 years of age.
Her family consists of six younger sisters and a darling baby brother who just turned one.
According to her newest update, which you can read here,
she and her family are currently in a borrowed home until July 10 or so.
Can you just imagine?
After reading this most current update, it was really a blessing to hear such hope in her post!
For he himself has said, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you."
(Hebrews 13:5c)
Ever since I read about this tragedy, my heart has been so heavy.
Why is this?
Kelly-Anne lives thousands of miles away and we have never met and most likely never will.
You know, in blog land, miles may separate us but once we become long-distance friends,
some how, some way, we are connected... least that's the way I feel about it.
I, as well as my family have been on the receiving end of your prayers and I have felt them!
So please, if you think about it,
please lift up sweet Kelly-Anne and her family in prayer.
The way I see it, sending our prayers and encouragement is better than sending money or clothing...
...actually it is the best kind of help anyone can receive! 
Hugs and blessings to all,

Monday, June 5, 2017

Living on the Edge

Welcome to the month of June!

 The weather here has been absolutely beautiful for the most part.
Usually by this time of year in NC, even before summer officially arrives,
it is really hot and humid and pretty much stays that way until fall.
This week, my Friday morning excursion took me to a park I had never visited before.
Great Bend Park is located on the Haw River,
which extends 110 miles from the piedmont to the coastline of NC.

I arrived right around 8:00 AM and there wasn't another soul in sight.

I thought for just a fleeting moment about me being there all alone...
and then I forgot all about it.
Risky? Maybe.

A gentle breeze whispering through the trees accompanied by the songs of the birds
 were the only sounds to be I heard as I walked along the trail.

Follow along with me, won't you?

I will tell you though, that I was just ever-so-slightly distracted from my gorgeous surroundings.
I kept glancing down at the ground...and not just because of the bumpy trail.
 I had read a review of the park and this one comment in particular went something like this...
"Beautiful place to hike but watch out for snakes."

Thank the good Lord, I saw not a one.
Risky? Possibly.
Not really very smart? Some might think so.

 I wasn't on the trail very long until I began to hear the river up ahead.

This might be where the park get it's name...Great Bend...just guessing.

Up a bit further, I came to the dam where I stepped up onto a stone retaining wall to see the falls. worries...there was a ledge to keep me from falling over the edge,
although I could have jumped if I'd have wanted.
I may have an adventuresome spirit, but not that adventuresome.

And then I saw something(s) moving on the very edge,
w-a-a-a-y over on the far side of the falls.

My trusty zoom brought them closer and closer.

I was shocked that they were standing so close to the edge!

I stood there and watched them for what seemed like forever until they finally took flight.
Of course I had put my camera down by then and missed that shot.

So whatever you may think about my somewhat risky hike,
all alone.........except for the unseen snakes...

...this is really what I consider living on the edge.

It was a lovely hike and no doubt I will be returning.

Next time I just may take Jim with me...

 ...but I'm not making any promises. 😉
I'm sharing with Maggie at...
Mosaic Monday

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Hodgepodge: Winging My Way Into June

Well, here we are on this last day (and Hodgepodge) of May... 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 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. 😉

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....😓

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 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...'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. 😉

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 like Dacey, I'm outta here too!
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