Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Positive Memory Post

It is Wednesday and we again join with Joyce for the Hodgepodge.
Click HERE to see the other bloggers today.

From this Side of the Pond

1. January 24th is National Compliment Day. Is it easy or not so easy for you to accept a compliment? Share a recent compliment you've given or received.

I have had to learn to accept a compliment graciously.  A dear friend has been a wonderful example for me.  She is beautiful and a sought-after soloist.  When complimented, she looks the person right in the eye, smiles, and sincerely thanks them for whatever they might have said.  I realize that a compliment can be gift and I try to accept it as such.

I see myself as an encourager and  delight in paying compliments to others.  I think the last one I gave was to my husband on Sunday morning because he looked so handsome.

2. Ten little things you are loving right now.

Clarification:  This list is more "LIKE" than love
  1. Ringing Handbells
  2. Winter
  3. A new candle stand in guest bath
  4. Doing Pilates with my friends
  5. Thinking about seeing my Dallas family in a few weeks
  6. Looking forward to joining long-time and seldom seen friends for a couple days on Feb. 2
  7. Reading the Bible through
  8. Learning to use the Pritikin eating plan (this may not be a love or even like thing yet!)
  9. Our new Alexa
  10. I do absolutely LOVE these new head shots of our little actress granddaughter
3. Would people describe you as a positive person? Do you see yourself that way? I read here  a list/description of eight things positive people do differently-

Yes, I think my glass is always half full.

Positive people find something to look forward to every day, they celebrate the small stuff, they're kind, they stay busy, accept responsibility for their actions, forgive themselves, know when to move on, and resist comparisons

Which action on the list would you say you do regularly?

Since a child, I have always had to have something to look forward to.  After retiring, that took some readjusting, but I still plan and look forward to something almost every day.

Which action could you add to your life to give you a more positive outlook?

I could probably do more outside the home to stay busy, but am not pushing it.

If you're a positive person, what's something you do regularly that's not on the list?

I pray and seek God's direction.

4. Homemade chicken soup, beef stew, or a bowl of chili...what's your pleasure on a cold winter's day?

Of these choices, it would be a bowl of chili

5. The best part of my day is....

Afternoons when Dick comes in from the office and we sit together, talk, read and enjoy a hot cup of tea.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

This past Saturday we did something Dick has been wanting to do for some time.  We took a road trip back to where he grew up, Columbia, Louisiana.  He knew all of the old houses they had lived in were no longer standing, but he wanted to see if he could find the old home places.

There was a huge flock of geese scrounging for food in a recently plowed field

We did find a couple sites and he relived many of the memories that took place at each.  It was such an interesting time for both of us. 

The house above was Dick's grandfather's house that was built in the early 50's.  He was blind, but Dick remembers seeing him sit out on the porch which overlooks the Ouachita River.  This whole area was once called "Hudson Bend."

He also remembered that his family had lived in an old house back on the other side of the field, which is long gone, and even as a small boy, worked in this cotton field.

Life was not easy during that time, but it was all they knew.  Because of those struggles, there have come generations of strong, well-educated, professionals who only hear the stories.

I recently came across this picture of  Dick's sisters, aunts and uncles and grandparents.  Dick is sitting in his mother's lap.  Evidently, the Ouachita River flooded in 1940 and this is where the farmer and his family lived until the new house was built.

We also found the cemetery where his mother's family is buried and the headstone for his grandparents, and great-grandfather, James.

This was such a fun day and we were so glad we took the time to go back and remember.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Monday Movies Monday

Movies Monday

Have you seen an interesting movie lately?

I thought this might be an interesting post to do once in a while.  Our son gave his dad for Christmas, a box set of 100 Warner Bro. classic movies.

So we anticipate movie watching in our future.

In the meantime, I thought I would share the most recent movie we've seen.

We are not big movie goers, but last week Dick and I decided to get a date in before the winter weather hit.  We went to a matinee as we much prefer this time slot.

We had seen the previews and thought it should be a good one.  And it was.

'The Post'

There has been some argument about the authenticity of this historical presentation - whether the role of The Times was downplayed in order to play up the Washington Post.  It really didn't matter to us one way or another; it was interesting to us because of the time-line - Vietnam era.

The acting was excellent which is what we would expect from this host of actors and the director as well.

The Post

With today's focus on "fake news" this movie would have set the stage.  Do we post what is truth in spite of the consequences or do we continue the propaganda.  Or is it even necessary to print the truth?  That will forever be debated for sure.

You might enjoy seeing the trailer before deciding whether or not to spend your children's inheritance to go to the theater.

You might want to share your most recent movie and whether or not you recommend it.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

A Snowy Japanese Indiana Wrap-up

This blog is to simply share some of the amazing shots I was able to capture while in Northern Indiana during the Christmas and New Year  holiday.

The following are of the snow in the back yard of our son and his family.

One afternoon I drove into Mishawaka and shot the following on the St. Joseph River.

Across the street from the river is a small Japanese Garden, the Shiojiri Niwa Gardens.  It is lovely in the spring and summer but amazing buried beneath the snow.

This Japanese strolling garden symbolizes the Sister-City relationship between Mishawaka, Indiana and Shiojiri City, Nagano Prefecture, Japan.

The Bronze sculpture of two American and two Japanese children was designed by Hidekazu Yokozawa and dedicated in 1992. It symbolizes the beginning of the special friendship between the two cities that started in 1964 when, under the direction of Hiroo Takasuna and Helen Amos, students from Nishi Primary School and Battell Elementary School first started exchanging letters, artwork, and gifts.

And this completes our wonderful, memorable and family-filled holiday.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A Snowy Hodgepodge

It is good to finally be back on the Wednesday Hodgepodge, so let's jump right in and see what questions Joyce has challenged us with today.

From this Side of the Pond

1. January is National Mentoring Month. Have you ever had a mentor? Been a mentor? How would you rate the experience?

Many years ago when I was in a deep spiritual and emotional slump, the dearest lady reached out to me.  She invited me into her home once a week for in-depth Bible study and counseling.  This dear saint shall forever hold a very special place in my heart.

I have not consciously mentored anyone, although there have been several times thru the years that I have counseled and encouraged specific women. I hope this was as meaningful a time to them as it was to me.

2. What current trend makes no sense to you?

No words necessary!

3. I saw a cartoon on facebook highlighting a few 'weird' things that make you happy as an adult. The list included-writing with a nice pen, having plans cancelled, freshly cleaned sheets, eating the corner brownie, cleaning the dryer lint screen, and sipping coffee in that brief time before anyone else wakes up. (Credit for the cartoon goes here) Of the 'weird' things listed which one makes you happiest? What is one more 'weird' thing you'd add to the list?

Freshly clean sheets for sure!

Bad weather makes me happy.  But this didn't just start as an adult.  For as long as I can remember, the worst the storm, the more I like it.

This was almost a white-out snow storm when we went out for the 11:30 PM Christmas Eve service.  Loved it!

Another thing that makes me happy is sitting on my back porch while it's raining, with a good book and music.  That's probably not too weird, but it does bring me joy.

4. What's the last good thing you ate?

My daughter-in-love always lets her children plan the Christmas Eve meal and they usually always suggest the same things.  We love tradition in our family.  There were so many delicious dishes but a new one was a Brie dip that we all fell in love with.  It is bottom center in the picture.

We had so much good food during this holiday period that it is seriously impossible to isolate just one dish.  Now, today I am looking forward to a very delicious Cabbage, Sausage, Potato Soup that will be the most delicious thing I've eaten lately.

5. Describe life in your 20's in one sentence.

I got married at almost 21, gave birth to my son at almost 25, my daughter at 26 and cried when I turned 30.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

On a very cold, snowy day during Christmas week, we took a road trip to Shipshawana, a small Amish town we always visit while in Indiana.

This trip was to specifically see the ice sculptures.

The nativity is always a favorite and never entered into the judging.

The three top winners were carved with much intricacy.

This Louisiana Bird, the Pelican was very much out of place but beautifully carved.

Then we strolled the snow covered streets and visited some of the unique little shops.

Yes, it was a wonderful excursion and one we will remember for a long time.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A Fun After Christmas Week

On the day after Christmas, two of our Texas granddaughters and grandson-in-law flew up to spend a week with us in Indiana.

Before leaving the Windy City, they visited The Bean.

We have never had this wonderful opportunity to spend Christmas with almost all our Grands before so needless to say, Dick and I were thrilled.

Some how they all ended up in one of the girl's bedrooms.

Then downstairs to laugh and catch up around the table.  Jackson tried his big hands at french braiding Cassidy's hair.  It left a wee bit to be desired, not bad for a football and Rugby player.

It was a week full of laughter, games, hugs, friends, and delicious food.

After dinner the first night, we gave the Grands our gifts for them, only to find out they had all gotten switched.  They decided it would be more fun to open each others present rather than their own.  And fun, it was!

These Texas Grands loved the snow off Lake Michigan and adapted quite well.

I read the following story today and thought it so relevant.

Holly Butcher was from Grafton, in New South Wales, Australia. She was an athlete, representing her state in squash and hockey. But she developed Ewing sarcoma, an extremely rare form of cancer, and died last week.

Her family then posted her letter on Facebook. It is making global headlines.
Holly notes that life is "fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right." She advises us to "work to live, don't live to work" and to "do what makes your heart feel happy."

She realizes that time spent on small frustrations—"You might have got caught in bad traffic today, or had a bad sleep because your beautiful babies kept you awake, or your hairdresser cut your hair too short"—is time wasted: "I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go."

And she notes that life is not in our control: "I don't want to go. I love my life. I am happy . . . I owe that to my loved ones. But the control is out of my hands." However, this is in our control: "Tell your loved ones you love them every time you get the chance and love them with everything you have."

Facing death can bring great clarity to life.

Let's not wait until life is threatened or special occasions bring us together, to share our love for family and friends.

Tell them!  Show them!  Be there for them in big and little ways.

Dick and I will forever treasure these days spent with these special people.

We loved the way they loved each other.

Thank you John and Michelle for making it all possible and for being the perfect host and hostess.

It's as if Chandler is saying, "This is the way Christmas is supposed to be.  Why have we waited so long?"  And I have to agree!