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.

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

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