Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Taking a little break...

The past several days have been a whirlwind of changes...
...some anticipated, some not so much.
A sudden recurrence of an old medical issue paid me a visit 
which sent me to the ER on Sunday, at which time I was admitted.
A couple of procedures and as many days later, 
I am back home and feeling well again...Praise the Lord!
I had been anticipating a break soon but just received this news a few moments ago... brother seems to have started his journey home.
It doesn't appear that it will be long now at all before he sees His Jesus, face to face.
Thank you all for your love and prayers.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A Total Eclipse (almost) of the Hodgepodge

It came and it went, just like that.
Another week that included a once in a lifetime event.
I would love to have just a nickle for every pair of cardboard glasses that were sold.
More about that later.
Come one over to this week's Hodgepodge...

...where Joyce asks the questions and we write the answers.
1. Did you watch the solar eclipse? Your thoughts? Sun Chips, Moon Pies, Starburst candies, a Blue Moon beer, a Sunkist orange, or a Milky Way candy bar...what's your favorite eclipse related snack on this list?

Yes, I did and I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with my experience. My location was to have 94% coverage and I guess I just didn't realize that the 6% that was uncovered still let out A LOT of light from the sun. There had been tons of hype...signs along the interstate warning folks to keep their headlights on, news media telling everyone how dark it was going to get, etc., etc. I was at work and kept stepping out every little bit and doing the selfie thing with my phone since I didn't have any of those glasses. I got a little chuckle about all of those warnings that said not to take selfies with your phone because the sun's rays would ruin it. I mean how many of us have taken tons photos of the sky, sometimes even directly at the sun? Hype, hype and more hype! I kept waiting for it to happen and before I knew it, it had passed! The sky did get strangely dimmer but it was cloudless until right after the moon passed over. I saw many great photos that were captured during some cloud-cover and they were stunning, showing that perfect crescent-shaped slice of sun peeking through. I was, however, able to capture it too, although I wasn't even aware of it until I enlarged one of the photos.

...I found that it was literally under my nose the whole time...LOL! A perfect reflection of it from the camera lens! And here's another, even more defined....

And then moments later the clouds moved in, enveloping the sun completely.

My son, Adam, drove about 50 miles east from where they are in TN and was able to witness a 99.5% coverage. He said it was the coolest thing he's ever got completely dark and the crickets even started chirping! It's amazing how just a few miles could make such a huge difference! And my favorite eclipse related snack? Well, I think I'm going to go with the healthy one, a Sunkist orange.
2. What are you 'over the moon' about these days? There's probably something but I just can't seem to think of one thing right this minute. Does that make me a bad person? What's something you enjoy doing every 'once in a blue moon'? Well, I don't drink, so it can't be can't be eating desserts because I do do that...I know, how about getting a professional pedicure...yes, that's it! I normally do my own but there is NOTHING to compare! Hmmmm...home alone this weekend...I am thinking that the "blue moon" might just be showing up within the next few days. Thanks for the great idea, Joyce!

3. Tell us about something in the realm of science that interests you. How do you feed that interest?

Been racking my brain over this many things that are of interest to me are pretty much just examples of God's unending and magnificent creations. You can back them up with all kinds of scientific facts until the cows come home if you'd like.

4. What are a few things you remember about going back to school as a child?

Going back to school was just about as exciting to me as Christmas. I knew I would be getting new clothes and shoes...that was the main source of my excitement...and new school supplies were right up there as well. I remember getting all of my new supplies out, spreading them all over my bed and organizing and re-organizing them several times until I got them just right. And just the thought of using a brand new lunch box with matching thermos filled me with joy, especially as the aroma of that cold meat sandwich wrapped in waxed paper wafted out when I opened the lid. There was usually an apple or a banana, maybe some Frito's and a couple of the vanilla/chocolate duplex sandwich cookies... remember them? To this day, those cookies bring back fond memories whenever I see them. It was an extra added treat when Mom would give us an extra nickel a couple of times a week for ice know, the cups with the little wooden paddle spoons?

This is me in the first and second grade. My mom never failed to cut my bangs crooked... every. single. time.

5. I've seen several versions of this around the net so let's make one of our own...share with us five words that touch your soul and briefly tell us why.

LOVE - Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. ~1 John 4:8
JOY - The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for , and with my song I praise him. ~Psalm 28:7
PEACE - And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:7
TRUTH - Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. ~John 8:32
FORGIVENESS - For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. ~Matthew 6:14

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

I want to thank those who are praying for my brother, Bob. Two of my other siblings and I were able to spend precious time with him and his family this past weekend. He is very weak and frail and it was quite a shock to see him like that. He wasn't able to play his guitar along with my other brother but he was still able to belt out (well, kinda) a few of his favorite old songs. When we left to go home we told him goodbye knowing that this would be the last time we'd see him on this side. I do appreciate your continued prayers as he and his family face the days ahead. God is good, all the time.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mid-August Hodgepodge

We interrupt this muggy, hot, sweltering, miserable day 
to bring you some images of fall.
I know many of you are are ready for it like I am so I dug back into my archives
to cool things off a bit!

I don't know about you, but I feel much better now!
So are you ready for the Hodgepodge?
Joyce asks us the hard questions on her blog and we answer them on ours.
Come on over and join in the fun!

1. Do your actions match your words? Elaborate.

Commitment is very important to me and I think it says a lot about our integrity and who we are as a person. The true desire of my heart is that I would always be able to say what I mean and mean what I say...and that whatever I say is said in love, backed up with my actions. In a perfect world, I would be able to carry this out 100% of the time but there's just one problem... I am a flawed human being. Although unintentional, there have been times when I have said and done wrong things...OR maybe have said something and didn't quite practice what I was preaching. I am beyond thankful that I have a Savior who understands my struggles and continues to love me, forgive me, bless me and cover me with His unending grace and mercy, in spite of myself. Thank goodness that He isn't finished with me yet!

Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
~1 John 3:18

2. Sick as a dog, go to the dogs, dog days of summer, dog tired, it's a dog's life, every dog has it's day, can't teach an old dog new doggone it which saying could most recently be applied to your life?

A couple of weeks ago, I titled my hodgepodge post "Dog Days of Hodgepodge". Well, the "dog days of summer" are still hanging around and after a slight reprieve, they are back with a vengeance. This morning when I opened the blinds, the condensation on every window of the house was so thick, it took hours to evaporate. And speaking of dogs, it's all about "a dog's life" every day around our house. These two spoiled rotten wienies pretty much know our life revolves around them. How could you resist these sweet little faces??

3. Your favorite book featuring a dog in the storyline? Does this count? 

What makes it a favorite? Well....I think you know.

4. What's something you hope to one day have the confidence to do?

You may not believe this but I have a real fear of speaking in front of others...can you imagine that about me?? I mean, y'all know I can be a real motor-mouth on my blog, right? I have no  problem speaking out in a group of people...I always interject and participate in discussions such as in SS class, social situations, meetings, whatever. I am not a teacher or anything remotely close and even teaching a children's SS class when I was asked to fill in absolutely made me nauseous. Oh yes, I have facilitated a few ladies group meetings over the years but I tell you, I get a knot in my stomach every time and am totally relieved when it's over. Every Sunday I sing in front of the entire church as a part of our praise team and have sung more solos than I can even remember over the years...that, I can do. I leave the talking part of the worship to my counterparts. PLEASE, don't ask me to speak! Oh well, I guess we all have our issues...and if we think we don't, then that is our issue! 😏

5. August 16th is National Tell a Joke Day. So tell us a joke.

Instead of "the John," I call my toilet "the Jim." That way it sounds better when I say I go to the Jim first thing every morning.... (wah, wah, wah...)

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Does anyone here think we'll ever see peace again, this side of heaven? 

Love and peace,

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

You Light Up My Hodgepodge

Hello and Happy Wednesday!

Welcome back, Joyce and congratulations on that beautiful new grand baby boy!
And what a handsome little guy he is!
I guess you already know your life will never be the same, right?
And a week without the Hodgepodge is like a peanut butter sandwich without the jelly...'s like being at the movies with no popcorn...
...or having a lawn mower but you have no grass to mow.
It's like having a hummingbird feeder with no hummers swarming!
And speaking of hummers...

They have been swarming like flies recently...

...nearly dive-bombing you when you walk out onto the deck!

This little guy sees that SOMEONE is eating his food.

Awww...looks like he's gonna be nice and share! 😊
So come on over to the Hodgepodge where Joyce asks the questions...

...and we answer them on our blogs.
1. Do you try to set rules for yourself about how you use your time? Explain.

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. When I know there is some sort of deadline or time frame involved, then yes...but I have to tell you that I work better under pressure. If something needs to be accomplished a month from now, I can pretty much tell you that I won't be starting on it tomorrow... unless whatever it is will take a month to complete! One thing I do is make sure I get my quiet time with the Lord in and it isn't always the same time everyday. I think it's possible to get hung up on too many "rules" in our lives and sometimes doing so only adds to the stresses of every day life. Here are a few examples of my take on this... 

2. Monday was National Lighthouse Day. Have you ever visited a lighthouse? If not, do you have any desire to see one up close? 

I love lighthouses and you'd think that living here in NC for the past 25 years, I would have seen them all. Unfortunately, that is not the case...I have only seen what might be the most famous one, the Lighthouse at Cape Hatteras. You may remember seeing this on the national news back in 1999 when they began the delicate task of relocating it to keep it from falling into the sea. You can read about it here. We took Adam there the summer of 2000 before he headed off to college...Hatteras Island is a wonderful place. The lighthouse was already at it's new destination by then but unfortunately, wasn't open to visitors due to the new foundation that was not completed. I took some photos (non-digital) but was unable to locate them. Here's one I pulled from the web.

Of the 10 Most Beautiful that made this list which would you most like to see in person- Lindau Lighthouse (Germany), Fanad Lighthouse (Ireland), Portland Head Light (Maine), Yaquina Bay Light (Oregon) The St. Augustine Light (Florida), Peggys Point Lighthouse (Canada), Start Point Lighthouse (England), Tower of Hercules (Spain), Bass Harbor Head Station (Maine), and White Shoal Light (Michigan)  The Fanad Lighthouse in Ireland would be my pick since a trip to Ireland is on my bucket list :)

When you've been away, what's your 'lighthouse' telling you you're on the right road home?

Oh my...I think there are so many ways to answer this question. First of all, no matter where I've been or how long I've been gone, home is always a welcome Dorothy said "there's no place like home". Getting off of our exit from the highway is usually when the anticipation kicks in for me... home is just around the corner! I could also answer this by thinking back to when I was a young girl still living at home.  If any of us were out past dark, Mom always had the porch light burning so we could easily see the house when we returned home. There's just a special kind of comfort that memory brings with it. I could go on and on...but I won't :)

3. What have you unintentionally stopped doing? Is this something you need to pick back up and begin again, or is it something you need to let go of for now (or even permanently)?

Somewhere between February and now, I lost my vision and enthusiasm to finish my office/craft room redecorating project. I had a great start with brand new floors, even bought the fabric and had a plan for everything. I got as far as making the window valance, the room arranged like I wanted it and even got some organization started. I don't remember what exactly got in the way...I was on a roll! It is definitely something that I need to pick back up, regardless, but especially if we decide to put our home on the market in the spring.

4. We've had a full week of August. Share a GRAND moment from your month so far.

This past Monday, August 7 was our 41st wedding anniversary but I guess you couldn't really call it a grand moment because it came and went much like any other day. Jim was working a 9-day stretch so there really wasn't a good time to do anything special. I did have a little fun on Facebook by posting a photo of us in the back seat of our getaway car right after we were married. See below:
So forty-one years ago today, this happened. Over zealous friends and relatives thought it might be a good idea to write "funny" messages all over Jim's cherished Gran Prix that day. Did you know that black shoe polish doesn't come off of a white car? My new hubby was NOT a happy camper and had to get a new paint job after the honeymoon. Ah...the memories...

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We had many, many "Happy Anniversary" greetings, sweet comments and well wishes...some were from even several of you!

5. Tell us one song you love with the word 'baby' in the title.

6.  Insert your own random thought here. 

It looks as if I will probably be making a trip next weekend to meet up with my siblings from Ohio as we gathering to visit my oldest brother, Bob, at his home in South Carolina. He has been suffering from cancer in several areas of his body and has recently decided on no more chemo. It looks like we may be having another family reunion of sorts...definitely not the one we had hoped for. Your prayers for him and his family would be most appreciated.
Enjoy the rest of your week, my friends!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

In my mind...

No, in my mind I'm not going to Carolina, as James Taylor sang about...
y'all know I'm already there.

But here lately, my imagination seems to be in overdrive.
More and more I find myself daydreaming about our future move to Tennessee.
In my heart of hearts, I know this will happen only in the Lord's perfect timing.
But if His timing and our timing happen to coincide, we may be there next spring or summer.

In my mind...

...I see a little white (or gray) farmhouse with a red tin roof nestled in the corner of a meadow.
It looks something like this, only fresh, new and pristine.

The house plan is a one-story pyramidal, hip-roofed style that was popular in the 20's and 30's,
particularly in the rural areas of the deep south.
This is the actual house plan.
In my mind...

...I am trying to imagine what it will be like to see so much open sky for a welcome change.

Although I have mostly enjoyed living in the woods, there are a few draw backs...
...especially if you are a cloud watcher like me.
We will have to create much of our own shade so the front and back porches will be perfect.

In my mind...

...I am wondering I how I am ever going to live in something like this for several months...

(google image)
...or know how construction projects go. 😒

Now, I'm sure you must be thinking,
"You're going to live in a camper for possibly six months to a year?"

Believe me when I tell you I am asking myself that question almost daily.
We're talking about the girl (me) who needs her space.
You know, the same one who doesn't like loud TV and endless sports programs.
The one who really has to have her quiet solitude.
Lord Jesus, help me...I'll need lots of grace, grace and more grace.

In my mind...

...I see myself spending quite a bit of time down by the creek on the swing,

or exploring all of the wonders of Haywood Hollow,

or making friends with the horses down the way,

or spending time up the hill at Adam & Carrie's place on the back porch swing,
and taking in this view...

...and trying not to wear out my welcome before the farmhouse is even built.

In my mind...

...I am pondering with great anticipation what a joy it will be to watch these two grow up.

In my mind...

 ...the farmhouse is already decorated with antiques and vintage pieces,
some that I have had for many years, others recently acquired from thrift stores and yard sales.
I have had this photo saved on my computer for a while now and I can't even find a link to it.
Although I won't be having what seems to be clusters of grapes on the wallpaper,
(but you can bet that there will be wallpaper)
I just love the comfortable, homey feel of this room and the design of the fireplace.

In my mind... 

...I am also seeing some things like these...

...and I really want some of these...

...and definitely some of these...
...and maybe even one of these.

I've always wanted a rooster...a real one.

In my mind...

...I feel like I should have been born a country girl.
Funny thing is, back in 2013 when I began My Favorite Things,
I started a random post that I never finished and titled it Country Girl Wannabe.
Actually, I just wrote the title and never wrote the first word of the post.

I guess we can never get too old to hold on to a dream, can we?
I may have to just go back and write that post and retitle it one day.

How does Old Lady in the Country sound? 
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