Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Raindrops Keep Falling on my Hodgepodge

Hello and Happy Wednesday!
 I'm glad to be hodgepodging again today after missing it last week.
Let me tell you, we have been getting tons of rain here in NC!
It has poured everyday for about ten days with even more in the forecast for the next several days.
We needed it terribly and have now gotten more than our share...
...of course come July, we'll be praying for more as always.
There have been periods of sunshine as well and my little container garden is thriving!
Yes, I've got babies coming on but I'll wait 'til next week to take photos.
And speaking of photos, you all know how I roll.
I like to get my lens up as close and personal with anything that will let me... this cute little guy...or gal.

And in between downpours, I couldn't resist dodging the showers to capture some fresh droplets.

And there were plenty of them to go around.

Have you ever noticed how sometimes the backside of a flower is just as pretty as the front?

Okay...enough soggy's time to get on with the Hodgepodge.
Joyce asks the always interesting questions and we answer them on our blogs.

1. The last place you visited/patronized where you felt like you were given 'the royal treatment'?

I don't think I have ever been anywhere that has treated me (us) quite like royalty...and the closest thing I can even compare it to would be when we went on a "Royal" Caribbean cruise several years ago. We have been in restaurants, hotels, etc. where we have gotten really good service...and of course others, not so much. But royalty...nah. And speaking of royalty, how about that wedding over the weekend? I thought it was just wonderful and loved the mixture of cultures, especially that awesome message on love delivered by Bishop Michael Curry. 

2. The last task you completed that was a 'royal pain'?

That would be the time a few months ago when my refrigerator decided to go "pee-pee" all over my kitchen floor. I was home by myself when I discovered it and frantically began to stuff towels under it so the water didn't ruin my wood floors. I then had to pull it out, unplug it, remove everything from the freezer and figure out how and where to find out exactly where the water was coming from. Turns out it was just frozen up due to overcrowding and after it thawed out, we were good to go. Of course, while it was empty I went ahead and wiped it down inside and out...a job I was not expecting to have to do at a most inopportune time. Of course later I was glad to have been forced into getting my freezer cleaned out!

3. How have your strengths helped you succeed?

I may be my father's daughter and I did inherit his strong personality but any real strength that I might possess comes only through Jesus. I have been through some "stuff" in my life and there will, no doubt, be more to come. The only way I have been able to succeed...or get through it in once relying on His strength, not mine because I am nothing without Him.

How have your faults hindered you?

How have they not? Pride, lack of faith, self-righteousness, just to name a few, are never good things. Thank God for mercy and grace...and thank God I'm still learning.

4. If you found a remote that could rewind, fast forward, stop and start time, what would you do with it?

Oh wow, what a loaded question. I would probably wear the batteries out in that thing in just one day. It would be during those moments when I'm thinking about my parents, or maybe back when my boys were little and carefree...I would hit rewind so I could go back and relive some of those precious moments in time. I would press the stop button when I could sense danger or something on the horizon that I didn't want to happen...and the start button to get me motivated into action OR when it seemed like my life was going nowhere. And then there's the one you didn't mention...the pause button...when everything in life is good and you want it to last forever. I would use that fast-forward button when last minute company's coming and my house could be ready in a flash....OR when I'm finally just ready to go home and be with the Lord.

5. Any special plans for the Memorial Day weekend? Rain is in the forecast here for pretty much all weekend but Friday is our son Aaron's birthday. Hopefully, we will be able to have a dry celebration somewhere over the long holiday weekend. Will you in some way honor or recognize the meaning of this day (remembering people who died in service to their country)? Our Sunday morning worship service will be honoring those who have served, are currently serving, along with a few teens who are preparing to serve. They will be wearing their uniforms and a special video will be shown as a memorial for all whose lives have been lost serving their country. Have you ever been to Arlington National Cemetery? Yes, I've seen it once during a very rushed trip through DC. Does your town do anything special to mark the day? Not that I'm aware of.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Teacup & Mug Exchange Reveal

 Well, it's that time once again...
...time to reveal to the world what we received in our lovely packages from
Teacup and Mug Exchange
This was my 6th exchange to participate in and each one has brought such joy.
And you just couldn't ask for a more fun way to make new friends!
It is beyond me how our dear and gracious hostess pulls these events off twice a year.
Just thinking about all of the time, commitment and organization that goes into each one...
well...I just can't even imagine! 
As much as I enjoy the anticipation of receiving a teacup package from a new friend,
I get as much joy, if not more, from shopping, wrapping and getting together the package to my lady.
Before I show you what was in my goodie box, I'll show you what I sent to my new friend, Sam,
a lovely lady from the Sunshine State of Florida.
Sam does not have a blog but I discovered that she and I like many of the same things.

So I purchased a few things I would like, although I have never tried Darjeeling tea.
I fell in love with this teacup when I saw it...perfectly vintage that I found on eBay.
For a fleeting moment I was just a bit tempted to keep it for myself!
Of course, I'm kidding....mostly. {smile}

I also included some honey straws (something new to Sam), yummy biscotti,
and a quilting magazine since I found out that she was an avid quilter.
Sam is also a member of the Red Hat Society so I added some darling clip-art onto her card.

She also collects vintage handkerchiefs and she absolutely loves yellow roses.
 How blessed I was to find this true vintage hankie with none other than yellow roses on it!
I think I may have been as thrilled as she was!
I was able to find Sam on Facebook and I hope to keep connected with her there.

My lovely package was sent to me all the way from New York by Jacqueline.
"Jackie" does not have a blog but she had evidently been reading mine a bit...
...the girl knows what I like!
First things teacup was just exquisite.

I fell in love with the all-over pattern of delicate flowers and butterflies.
I don't have a teacup that's anything like this one.

Along with my beautiful teacup and saucer was an array of other goodies...

...including this darling vintage tin with chocolates inside (mmm...Hershey's Nuggets!),

zinnia flower seeds, a variety of teas including homemade strawberry mint julep loose tea,

a package of lovely note cards, some yummy chocolate mint cookies (she must be psychic),
and this darling wooden sign which now sits in my kitchen window sill.
And of course, all of these lovely gifts were accompanied by a sweet note card.

And it didn't take long for temptation to set in...
the cookies were calling my name and I'm pretty sure I heard them say, "Open me, open me!"

So I did...imagine that!

Girl Scouts of America, you've got nothing on Benton's Minty Fudge Cookies!

So another one of Stephanie's Teacup & Mug Exchanges in the books.
Each one unique, yet the sentiment is the same, time after time.

Stephanie, you put so much of yourself into each one of these exchanges.
Thank you for all you do...and what a blessing you are to so many!

Have a beautiful week!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

A Mother's Day....Memory?

Most of us have many wonderful and precious memories of Mother's Day...
...I know I have and I hope you have as well.
But have you ever come across a so-called memory that you don't even remember?
This is something I experienced this very week and it still has me puzzled.
A while back, as I was going through an old photograph album from my school days,
something fell out that had been tucked between the pages.
It was some folded up papers that were tattered and yellowed, sealed in a zip-lock sandwich bag.

So I opened it up and saw that it was a Mother's Day picture that I had made for Mom,
and stapled to it was a two-page handwritten note.
At the time I discovered it, I was up to my eyeballs with stuff. 
I promptly set it aside to read later and then possibly blog about it for Mother's Day.
Y'all know how much I like to reflect on the good old days!
Long story short, I set it aside so well that I actually forgot all about it...
...until this week and then the hunt was on to find where I had put it.
I tore my craft room apart trying to locate it and finally, there it was, hiding in plain sight.
Oh I was so excited when I carefully opened that plastic bag and slipped it out,
taking great care to not tear those brittle folded papers.
I don't know how old I was when I when I wrote this.
Heck, I don't even remember writing it at all...
...all I know was that I still spelled my name with an "ie"...(Debby with a "y" came later).

When I had set my little discovery aside, I had then imagined it being a sweet and heartfelt letter... that said all those things that we say to our moms on their special day.
You know, just oozing with all those loving expressions and declarations of our love for them.
And so I began reading what looked to be 3rd or 4th grade cursive handwriting.
It was just too much to get into the photos and very hard to read so here's what it said:

What Is A Family?

     Take one husband, one wife, four walls, one small dog or stray cat; mix well; add a generous portion of time; and you are almost certain to have a family. The dog or cat isn't absolutely necessary for the recipe, but somehow or other it seems to give Mother Nature the right idea. (What??)
     The family from Dad's point of view, could be the collection of people in the whole world--a pretty and efficient wife, a highly intelligent son, an angel of a daughter, a well behaved dog, and of course, himself -- very nearly handsome and has a real head for business....if only the rest of the family could have a little of Dad's intelligence. (Haha!)
     Mother comes to view her family with fatalistic resignation. (fatalistic resignation...oh my) No matter how she slaves at cleaning, cooking, washing, polishing, sewing, mending or ironing, Dad will never notice it. Then there's Sonny...spends his Sunday School money for jelly beans...Sister getting phone calls from strange boys. If only the family would appreciate all that Mother does for them. Sonny thinks he has a keen family (keen...haven't heard that word since Leave it to Beaver) would be nice if Dad was a little to make a kite that would fly. Mom is an angel (of course)--but a strict angel. Do this, run here, stop that, pick it up-- gosh! Sister? Well she's better than most girls. Sister is tenderly tolerant of her old-fashioned family. Dad is a lovable old man--easy to persuade with a smile and a kiss. Mother is just dear but so far behind the times....Sonny? Ugh! (poor Sonny)
     When God made the family, He must have meditated a long time. The family must have food, shelter and clothing, and guidance, so there must be a mother. The family must not be dull, so there must be boy to shout and jump, run and get in the way. The family must not be forgotten, so there must be a girl, an angel who will make them so very, very proud.
     The family is a storehouse in which the world's finest treasures are kept. The small pleasures, the great sorrows, the dreams of the world are contained within these four walls called HOME. 


I have racked and racked my brain to try to remember myself writing these words,
let alone presenting it to my mom...needless to say it didn't come from my heart...or my own mind.
I can only guess that it must have been some sort of writing assignment.
How is it that I cannot even remember this at all?..., who remembers so many trivial and minute details from my childhood?
Where has this memory-that's-not-a-memory been hiding all these years?
I may never know...or, it may come to me tomorrow!
All I know is that my mom undoubtedly got a big kick out of it!
As hokey as most of this little piece of prose sounds, especially in today's world,
the last paragraph tugged at my heartstrings, bigtime.

If the family is a storehouse then Mama must be the shopkeeper.

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Hodgepodging Motherhood

 If it's Wednesday, it must be Hodgepodge!

I hope your week is going well.
The beautiful weather continues but we need some rain to wash away the yellow dust.
I did hear that 90s are predicted for this not ready for that
but unfortunately, spring is pretty short-lived here in the south.

So as the spring quickly is turning into summer,
we are in the midst of setting up some travel plans starting in June.
It's a trip that has been our bucket list for over 25 years.
It's not the Grand Canyon (although I'd love to go there), it's not Hawaii (especially not now!),
and it's not anywhere in Europe (although Ireland is on my bucket list).
Give up?
It's the Cass Scenic Railroad in West Virginia!

Image result for photos of cass scenic railroad
We heard about this place years and years ago when we lived in KY and always wanted to go.
Through the years we've talked about it a lot but just never made it there.

The trains are original Shay steam locomotives from back in the logging days of the 1920s.
The railroad, along with the logging town of Cass itself, which is where you board the train,
was acquired by the parks system after all logging operations were shut down in 1960.

Here's a short video of the view from the top of Bald Knob, the final destination,
and the third highest point in West Virginia and the Allegany Mountains.

It takes about 4.5 hours for the round trip to go up 11 miles to the top and back down.
That is one slow train, y'all!
All the better to take in and capture some breathtaking scenery from the open-air cars.
It may not be a tropical paradise but it doesn't take much to thrill us simple folk!

We have a couple of other trips in the planning stages for later on this summer.
But now it's time for the Hodgepodge...

...where Joyce asks the questions and we answer them on our blogs.

1. What are your ingredients for a perfect Saturday?

My ingredient list would be different depending where I am, but for a perfect Saturday at home it would look something like this...
~housework caught up
~blue skies with big puffy clouds
~temps in the mid 70s
~lots of yard sales (with great finds)
~a nap on the porch
~grilled something-or-other with corn on the cob...followed by strawberry shortcake

2. What skill do you wish more people took the time to learn?

Kindness. Plain and simple.

3. What's something you ate as a child you can't stand now as an adult?

I can't think of anything that I liked as a kid that I don't like now but surely, there must be something. For me, it's more about what I couldn't stand as a child that I love eating now, like vegetables for instance. We always had a big garden every summer just loaded with all kinds of wonderful produce. I wanted no part of those veggies...MAN, what was I thinking? Now that I have gotten smarter, I crave them!

4. Something parenting has taught you? If you're not a parent tell us one important lesson you learned from your own parents.

Wow, this is hard to actually put into words. Becoming a parent is such a life-changing experience and as a parent I feel I am always learning...still today. When I became a parent, life was just not about ME anymore. The days of making it all about wants and desires...were replaced by the knowledge that I was actually responsible for sustaining the life of that little one that I had been given. Even though the fathers are involved (hopefully) as they should be, the mother's role is unique and none can take her place.

Forty years ago I never dreamed being a parent would be so challenging. My firstborn will be thirty-nine this month and goodness, what a ride it's been! Never have I feared more, never have loved more...and God has always been right there, making me stronger with each new trial and ever so grateful for each new triumph.

5. Share a favorite quote or saying about mothers or motherhood.

I couldn't just pick one...
They will always be our babies.

Lord knows I have failed in many ways over the years but thank goodness He was always there to show me a better way...many times even learning lessons from my boys, themselves.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I'd give just about anything to see her again.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

MAY...we hodgepodge for a bit?

When April steps aside for May, like diamonds all the raindrops glisten;
fresh violets open every day; to some new bird each hour we listen."
~Lucy Larcom

Happy May, y'all!

One more month and we will be halfway into 2018 already.
How can this be possible?
The weather here is just utter perfection...and look here, I got my veggies planted!
I read where planting marigolds among them helps keep the bugs out.
We shall see!

I'll keep you posted if they live... or if they die. 😉
"The world's favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May." 
~Edwin Way Teale
So Saturday morning while I was getting my hands dirty,
Jim was out of his (mine too) favorite things to do,
and he came home with some great vintage finds...

...a great old rocker for $20, this adorable enamelware tea kettle for $4
and a mismatched set of old...and I do mean OLD salt and pepper shakers for 10 cents each.
The shakers are the same pattern, but are from two different sets.
They were absolutely filthy with what must have been years worth of yuck
and the lids were so corroded that I had to soak them off in hot water.

Look what beauties they turned out to be.
After a bit of research, I found that they were made in 1897 by Heisey.
I had no idea what Heisey glass was until I googled it.
"The month of May is the pleasant time; its face is beautiful; the blackbird sings his full song, 
the living wood is his holding, the cuckoos are singing and ever singing; 
there is a welcome before the brightness of the summer."
~Lady Gregory

Purple salvia, African daisies and snapdragons. now on to the Hodgepodge...

...where Joyce asks the questions on her blog and we answer them on ours.
1. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Is there a flower you associate with a particular memory? Explain.

Well, I have several, actually. but after reading this question, my mind immediately went to snapdragons. I have always loved them because they remind me of my sweet mom and I even wrote a post about them a while back. Every time I see snapdragons, I think about the time when I was a little bitty girl and she showed me how to make them "talk". I think you know what I mean. And naturally, you can find some growing in my planter boxes year after year.

2. Last time you helped someone? Tell us how.

Pretty much on a daily basis, I am in the position of helping someone...whether it might be assisting a patient with appointments, getting in and out of the door, directing lost folks to the proper building, and many times it's just greeting them with a smile and helping to make their visits to physical therapy a positive and sometime actually fun experience. Of course there are many other times that I, along with Jim, help people in other ways but this is what came to me today.

3. It's National Salsa Month (the food, not the dance) so tell us, do you like salsa? Hot, medium, or mild? Homemade, store bought, or from your favorite restaurant only?

I like my salsa a little on the spicy side......I think I hear a song coming on...I'd say medium+ and not too heavy on the cilantro. I have tasted some awesome homemade salsa and then I've had some that practically gag me. I personally have never made any of my own. Our favorite local Mexican restaurant has very good salsa...and we sometimes even judge the restaurant by their salsa. Jim is pretty much a straight forward salsa kinda guy but I like some of the fruity varieties as well. This is one brand I have tried and it's excellent.
4. When I was twelve years old...

...I looked like Miss Piggy. Lord have mercy.

5. It's the first of May so let's run with it-first things first, don't know the first thing about it, first dibs on something, first impression, first rate, first cousin, first string, first come first served, at first light-which phrase can best be applied to something in your life currently or even recently?

It would have to be first light. It would apply to my life every day just about as long as I can remember...let alone recently or currently! I am up before first light and ready to start my day. I keep waiting for the day when my body allows me to sleep in somewhat. But you know what? I'm really okay with it because I love getting an early start to my day even if I don't have any real plans so it's all good.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
I saw this on Facebook the other day and realized I was just like Snoopy.  😏

Until next time, Hodgepodgers...
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