Wednesday, April 25, 2018

How Does Your Hodgepodge Grow?

Well, I think we've finally turned the corner.
I can't tell you exactly when it happened but it seems like I went to sleep one night
 and when I woke up the next morning, SPRING HAD ARRIVED!
And along with spring's arrival, so did the rain.
But that's a good thing so you'll not hear me complain about it...
...and just at the perfect time too since I planted some flowers.

Nope, I just couldn't wait any longer so I made a trip to Lowe's over the weekend.
I always head to the back of the garden area first, to the 1/2 price (or less) racks.
It seems they never fail to put things out a bit too early and they get a little overexposed.
Bad for them but good for me!
I don't mind nursing those little imperfect babies back to health...
...especially when they are dirt cheap!
I did pay full price for about half of what I bought...
...but now I am waiting for the Boston ferns to go on sale...
I refuse to pay $13 each when I know they will be marking them down too.
I need four of them for the porch.
The sun isn't supposed to reappear until Saturday...
...just in time to plant the rest of my flowers and do a little manicuring.

As you can see, we have some work to do.
 Just for fun, I have decided to try my hand at growing a little vegetable garden in containers.
I always have cherry tomatoes but this year I want to try eggplant and few other things.
I read where eggplant was one of the best growers in patio containers and I really do like it.

Actually, this is the variety I am leaning towards planting...we'll see

I'm not sure how much luck I'll have growing my little garden
so I will still rely on this guy to keep me stocked up!
He didn't inherit his gardening and mechanical abilities from me, but from my dad.
So maybe there's hope for me after all!

So let's say we get on with the Hodgepodge...

...where Joyce asks the questions on her blog and we answer them on ours.
1. They say you learn something new every day. What did you learn yesterday?

I can't think at the moment what I learned yesterday, specifically, but what I have learned over the past several weeks is that I can actually enjoy exercising. Yes, you heard me right. Now I realize that many of have made exercise a part of your routine for years but not this chick. I finally made a decision, especially after starting to have these health issues, that I was going to do all I can to get a handle on things. I have had a rebounder (mini-trampoline) that has been gathering dust under my bed for years. I knew that rebounding was one of the best exercises that you can can read for yourself right here. I started to just walk everyday but when I realized my hips were hurting and discouraging me, I got smart and decided to try "walking" on my rebounder. Walking turned into more like a slow jog and then I added some side-to-side movements as well and am now adding some hand weights. As the days passed, I was actually looking forward to it...I just put it in front of the TV and bounce like a fool! This morning I was up at about 4:30 and even got in about 20 minutes before breakfast! Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks? {This is me, patting myself on the}

2. Have you ever had a now or never moment? Elaborate.

Did I ever tell you about the time when I started exercising???

3.  April 25th is National Telephone Day. Do you still have a land line or have you gone mobile only? 

We gave up our land line ages may have been 10 years by now. We were getting so many telemarketer calls that seemed to come right at dinner time or after and we made the decision then. This is not to say we still don't get a few of those calls even on our cell phones but not nearly like the land line. When you receive a text message do you respond immediately? Mostly, yes...this depends on the situation and/or if I am in ear shot. Last time you turned your phone off?  I rarely turn my phone off... here recently, my sorry phone had been turning itself off due to a waning battery. I do, however, turn it to vibrate often when it's not appropriate to hear a ringing phone. And speaking of that, I just received my new upgrade fact, I just returned from the Verizon store getting them switched over. In two or three sentences share with us a story/memory/incident from your childhood (or something current if that's too hard) where the telephone is featured. I don't have to think too hard about this one. At one point when I was a young teen, my family seemed to be bombarded with calls from someone selling seemed like very other day or so. One evening when I happened to answer the call and while feeling particularly ornery, I turned the tables on the caller. It just so happened that this caller was selling light bulbs, of all things. So in the best old woman voice I could muster I gave this reply back the caller, "Honey, I don't need any of your light are talking to a blind lady!" I don't remember getting another call from a light bulb salesman after that. :)

4. Close call, at someone's beck and call, call the shots, call a meeting, call it quits, call in sick, call on the carpet, wake up call...which call have you 'heard' recently?  Explain.

I'll let my answer to the first question help me answer this....wake up call. No explanation needed.  

5. What subject do you wish you'd paid more attention to in school?

It would probably be history since it is the subject that I got the worst grades in. The thing is, I really like history now. It must have been having to memorize all of those dates. 😒

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

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!
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