Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Lost Among the Sunflowers

I was heading home from the city just east of us (that I rarely visit) when I saw them. 
They were on the other side of the highway so I hadn't noticed them at first.
I think every single one of us can say that we love sunflowers, am I right?
But when there's a whole field of them, well, that's just a glorious treat for the eyes.
Once I discovered how to access the field I went back, cameras in tow.
I stepped further and further into the maize of golden beauties until that's all I could see.
I snapped and then snapped some more...
I was all alone, lost in a world where nothing but the sky and sunflowers existed.
Oh...and bees.
We can't forget about the bees.
And it was at that moment when I felt the first drop... had started to rain.....oh great!
 I knew I had to make a mad dash for it if I didn't want soggy cameras.
My car was............right
...where was my car, anyway??
 Of course, I had lost all sense of direction, being up to my eyeballs in sunflowers.
Standing on my tippy toes, I was finally able to see my car in the distance.
 Had I really waded out that far in this delicious sea of yellowness? (is that even a word?)
So as fast as my short little legs could take me,
I made it to my car, just seconds before the bottom dropped out of the sky.
I had gotten what I came for.
And I was happy. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A Hodgepodge and a Recipe 😋

Is it hot enough for you in your neck of the woods?
It wouldn't be that bad if we would only get some rain every now and then.
I have been watering my little garden morning and evening...'s about the only thing in my yard that is green.
Our small patches of grass and usual carpet of lush green moss is brown and crackly.
But I am thankful that my potted veggies are producing.
Here is one of the golden zucchinis......isn't it pretty?

 And I'm about ready to chop another lovely purple eggplant off the vine.

I took the first one to TN a couple of weeks ago and fixed it there.

Here's how I prepared it:

*cut eggplant into approx. 3/8" slices leaving peeling on (you can remove it if you prefer)
*salt both sides of slices and lay in colander for about 15 min. to let them sweat out the moisture
*pat dry with paper towels after the time is up
*combine panko bread crumbs, grated Parmesan and garlic powder and place in pie plate
*beat 2 eggs and place in shallow dish
*heat large skillet with a generous amount of oil of your choice (I used olive oil)
*dip slices in egg wash to coat and immediately dip in crumb mixture, pressing it in to both sides
(It's best to prepare enough so you can place them in the skillet to cook at the same time.)
*add prepared slices to skillet and fry until golden brown, turning half way
*add salt & pepper to taste, remove from pan and rest on paper towel-lined tray

It was delicious and I could have eaten the whole bunch of them!
Super good dipped in ranch dressing too!
So let's get on over to Joyce's Hodgepodge...

 ...where she asks the questions on her blog and we link up answer them on ours.

1. I feel most energized when I.....first get up in the morning. Remember that mini-trampoline? Every morning at 4:45 or so you will find me bouncing my little pea-pickin' heart out for about 15-20 minutes. It gets my blood a pumpin' and afterwards I am ready for some breakfast and my coffee. It's important to jump first, before you eat or drink...too much sloshing if you don't...and that's not a good thing.

But even before I started this regime, I have always been an early riser and if there is a big project on my agenda, I need to get started on it as early as I possibly can. Don't let me forget these words in mid-September when I take a week off to do nothing but BIG PROJECTS.

2. Where were you ten years ago?

Here, doing what I'm doing now. Jim was probably unemployed...the company he was employed by for 36 years moved to Mexico and he was unemployed for 18 months. It was also the year that a little girl was finally added to our family...our precious grand-daughter, Olivia was born that December of 2008. What a joy she has been! We were also still enjoying our cabin in VA as often as we could and the plans for moving to Tennessee didn't exist.

3. July 17th is World Emoji Day. Do you use emojis? Uhh...let me think...
Which one's your favorite?Your most used?

4. What song would you put on a wedding DO NOT PLAY list?

Basically, anything by George Jones or Tammy Wynette..."He Stopped Loving Her Today", "She Thinks I Still Care", "D-I-V-O-R-C-E", "I Don't Wanna Play House"...just to name a few.
5. What deserves less of your attention? More of your attention?
Well, let's see...there's social media, surfing the web, photo editing, Pinterest and did I mention social media? I'm probably making it sound as if that's all I do, which is really not the case...I'm just trying to be honest here. I could most definitely cut back on my time online, period. Lord knows how much time I waste some days. I am the procrastinator of all procrastinators unless I have a deadline, which I I better get busy on this house of mine...again. But ultimately, I need to give less of my attention to me and more to others. Ouch.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
I have always been a fan of "Little House on the Prairie" and I record the reruns, always having some of the episodes on my "to watch" list. But believe me when I tell you, "Little House on the Prairie" this is not...I knew that going in.

I am only less than a third through the book (which is over 600 pages) and if you can get through the long two-part introduction, which is the history (a quite graphic description I might add) of what was going on in land at the time, you just may have trouble putting it down. I am truly amazed by this woman.

We'll be on the road again in a couple of days, this time to Ohio. Spending time with my brothers and sisters is always at the top of my list and there is never a dull moment.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

A Nostalgic Hodgepodge

 Hello Hodgepodgers!

I certainly hope that you all had a fabulous Fourth of July weekend!
Our trip to Tennessee was great and by traveling at night, we had no traffic to speak of.
The weather was sweltering, as it was here, but on Saturday it cooled down and was just perfect...
...perfect for baking Adam's birthday pie (black raspberry, of course) and sitting on the back porch.
And just for fun, we thought we'd try out our future temporary home.

Adam had cranked up the A/C the day before we arrived and got it all cooled down for us.
 Parker slept in the bunkhouse room but Olivia chickened out at the last minute,
 being the creature of habit that she is...nothing like her own bed!
It was a little claustrophobic and the mattress needs a good topper which we will remedy later.
I imagine we'll get used to it when the time comes.😏

Something is always blooming in the meadow where we'll be building the house.

My favorites are the passion flowers...what a stunning and unique bloom.

They actually grow an edible fruit on their vine and you can bet I'll be doing more research on them.
I hope to be able to transplant some up close to the house one day.

And here are Ruby Slipper Hydrangeas that Adam planted a couple of years ago.
Aren't they gorgeous?

I think I need to get him to plant me some when we get settled. 😉
So who's ready for some Hodgepodge?

Joyce asks us the questions on her blog and we link up and answer them on ours.
Won't you join in the fun?
1. What's something in your house you'd like to get rid of but can't?

This one's easy...but it's not because I can't get rid of's because I refuse to go to the bother, the mess and the expense.  After 26+ years, there are many fond remembrances about many things and people relating to our home here in NC... but those hideous popcorn ceilings that we have throughout our 80s-built home will definitely not be one of them! Never again!

2. When is the last time you experienced a sense of nostalgia? Elaborate.

It seems the older I get, the more I experience a sense of almost every day. You all probably know me well enough to know that already. It doesn't take much to send my mind trailing back to years gone by...just a random word or object might do it at any given moment. Currently though, I am in the midst of trying to come up with something to say about my brother, Jerry for his retirement party in a couple of weeks as he prepares for his last Sunday of leading worship at the church where he has been on staff for 40 years. Although I have been away from Ohio for nearly that long, it has been a blessing to have been a part of quite a few of those services over the years and singing together as a family. It gives me great pleasure to hang on to those memories. And speaking of looking back...

I took this photo on the road to Tennessee last week. The morning sunrise in the mountains was just glorious as it reflected in my rear-view mirror and I had to capture the moment. Looking back can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your perspective. I like to think that just like this image, what's behind you, when applied correctly, can be what makes you who you are today. Hmmm...that reminds me of this post that I wrote a few years back...I wondered why it sounded strangely familiar.

3. You're only allowed three apps on your smart phone or tablet...which three do you keep?

As one who has only had her smart phone for a little over two years, let me just say how quickly one learns to get used to having all of this info at your fingertips. I probably don't have as many apps on my phone as many of you hardened smart phone users do but if I had to narrow it down to three, I would most likely keep Google (because if you keep it, the whole world is at your beck and call and also because Siri is idiot), Facebook so I could stay in touch with my peeps and Wellsmith, which is the app for my healthcare maintenance through my employer.... BUT...if I could just pretty please keep one more app, I really don't want to part with my Waterlogue app....please...can I keep it??

4. July 11th is National Blueberry Muffin Day. Who knew? Do you like blueberry muffins? If you were going to have a muffin would blueberry be your choice? What's the last thing you baked?

I did not know this but it doesn't surprise me...simply because every day is something day, right? And if I were to have my choice of muffin, blueberry might just be my top pick. The last thing I baked was over the weekend when we were in Tennessee celebrating Adam's birthday and it was a black raspberry pie. Ironically, the week before, I had baked some blueberry-cornbread muffins. Have you ever added blueberries to your cornbread/muffins? Oh my, they sure were tasty!

5. What's the biggest way you've changed since you were a child? In what way are you still the same?

It would probably have to be the way that I see and understand who God is. As a girl growing up, I saw God as a stern authoritarian, shaking His finger at me when I had done something wrong. I didn't picture him smiling or showing love and mercy. It wasn't until much later in life when I realized that a relationship was needed to be able to understand who He truly is. I thank Him for His patience with me! Being the youngest out of eight children, it hasn't been easy to shake that "baby of the family" role...and it still continues to a point today. There is a part of me that will never grow up, I'm pretty sure and I'm okay with that. I can only do so much to keep my body from aging but I hope to allow that little girl living inside me to keep on playing Hopscotch and Red Rover as long as she can, even if it is only in my mind.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

And since we're talking about time...

Have a great week, what's left of it!
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