Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Late Summer Post

My blogging has been rather sporadic this summer but I always look forward to participating with Joyce and others for the Hodgepodge.
1. It's National Waffle Day (August 24th)...what decision are you currently 'waffling over'? (or share one you've recently 'waffled over')

What clothes to pack for an upcoming trip.  (See #8)  We will be attending both noon and evening football games in Illinois and Michigan so will need to take something for two seasons.

2. It's the middle of August, but I'm already seeing lots of autumn-related posts. Do you think we rush the seasons? If so, does that bother you? I saw (here) an end of summer bucket list that included-

make s'mores, read a new (or favorite) book in the park, eat something delicious and bad for you at a state fair, be a tourist for the day, have a pot luck picnic, book a last minute summer getaway, relax by or in the pool, take a hike to watch the sunset, have a day on the lake, try a new summer recipe

Which activities on the list might you squeeze in before summer officially comes to a close?

Take a last minute summer getaway, although planned for several weeks (See #8)

3. Your favorite summertime 'art' found in nature?

Early morning sunrise.

4. Stephen R. Covey is quoted as saying 'We judge ourselves by our intentions, and others by their actions.' Agree or no? Do you define yourself based on your intentions, your actions, or something else?

Yes, I agree with this statement and I acknowledge that I have been guilty.  I define myself as a child of the King and a follower of Jesus Christ.  I would hope that others would see this and base their opinions of me accordingly; however, that is not always the case, I'm sorry to say.

5. Are you useful in a crisis? Elaborate. 

Yes, in most incidences that I have had to face, I am.  I am not an initiator however, but am happy to assist.  If there is a leader vacuum, I tend to be assertive, but if there is someone in charge, I am usually happy to follow -  as long as I agree with the way things are going.  Otherwise, I may try to do it my way.

6. What's been your go-to dish this summer? Is it something you'll continue making as the seasons change?

I really haven't had a go-to dish for the summer.  Thinking back, I'm not sure what we've eaten this summer.  It all seems a hodgepodge of last minute throwing something together depending on our mood and time.

7. Adult coloring books are a thing now. Have you jumped on the bandwagon? If not is this something you think you might enjoy?

I downloaded an app on my iPad that I enjoyed for a while, but tired of it after paying to have access to all the varied colors.  I did enjoy it and will probably pick it up again from time to time.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

My post cervical fusion twelve-week check-up is Sept. 1 in Mishawaka, IN.  Hubby suggested that rather than going straight there as we usually do when visiting our son and family there, that we take a side trip and visit the Smokies.  So, we have rented a cabin in Gatlinburg, TN for a few nights.
 On Saturday, Sept. 3, we will get to see our Big Boy grandson play his first football game of his senior year.  We are expecting good things from the Western Michigan University (WMU) Broncos as they meet Northwestern U in Evanston, IL.  We will also get to see the first home game for the Broncos the next weekend before heading home.
Granddaughter #4 plays varsity soccer so we will get to watch her play a game or two.  And, I look forward to hearing Granddaughter #5 play the piano.  Of course, we don't want to forget about the parents.  It is always a joy to be with our grown-up kids.
It is good to be with family and participate in activities which they take for granted and we deem as monumental.

By the way, if you would like to see America's most expensive home for sale, click HERE!
And it can be yours for a mere $195 million.

I will see you back on the Hodgepodge when we return.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

It's All About the Gold

One of the things I always look forward to on Tuesday is reading and responding to Joyce's
probing and thought provoking questions for the

1. Are you watching the Olympics? Your favorite summer Olympic event? I read recently a list of the most iconic Olympic moments in history...what stands out in your mind as a great moment from some past summer Olympic games?

Yes, I have watched a good bit of the Olympics this week.  My favorites are of course swimming and gymnastics, but I have also enjoyed watching Rugby this year.  It is a newly added sport and it is so exciting.  Since our grandson played Rugby in HS, we have an elementary understanding and a deep appreciation for the game. Direct TV has given us access to several options of sports and events taking place all during the day and I have enjoyed watching these.

There are actually three events that stand out in my mind as iconic moments.
First would be USA's Rulon Gardner's 1984 wrestling match against the Russian wrestler who hadn't lost a match in 13 years and had a brutal reputation.  Rulon was just a country boy who worked hard on his little farm.  In overtime, he dominated and had a major upset for the Gold metal.
Second, is Mary Lou Retton's spectacular Gold Metal All Around performance in gymnastics, also in 1984.  She was the first American to receive this Gold Metal honor.  Mary Lou had injured her knee and had surgery only a short time earlier and no one was sure she would be able to compete much less dominate.

Third, and perhaps most memorable was in 1992 in Barcelona, when British runner, Derek Redmond tore his hamstring during a semi-final race and his father ran onto the track and helped his son complete the race.  Amazing!
2. Have you ever been to Rio?  No
How about the place that started it all-GreeceYes!!!
Have you ever been to any of the Olympic Games in person?  No
Is that something you'd like to do?  Yes, perhaps if it was held in the USA.
Have you ever met an Olympian in person?  No

3. The ball's in their court (tennis), cross the finish line (track and field), on target (archery), make a splash (diving), on a roll (gymnastics), out of one's depth (swimming)...which Olympic-related idiom best applies to your life right now? Explain.

make a splash (diving) - I was able to get back to the gym this morning after letting my abused hip heal for a couple weeks and spent my time in the pool.  That will be the extent of my workouts until after my neck checkup in Sept. and eventual hip surgery.

4. What have you earned a 'gold medal' in recently?

Enjoying my granddaughter's visit last week.  We did so many fun things and we both earned a gold medal.

5. What is it (or who is it) that motivates you to eat right, exercise, and do what you can to be healthy?

My motivation comes from knowing I don't have a choice if I want to be mobile as I get older.

6. Are you young at heart or an old soul? Explain.

I think I'm probably both.  My grandchildren tell me I'm the youngest of the grandmothers of their friends regardless of my age and that makes me feel good.  But I also know that I am an old soul when it comes to morals and expectations.

7. It's National S'mores Day (August 10th)...are you a fan? Will you celebrate with a s'more today?

Nope and nope!

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

This is as close to making a political statement as I will go.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Super Duper Hodgepodge

Joining Joyce and other bloggers for

1. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your summer so far? Why?
(1=eh and 10=best summer ever)

I would rate it a 6!  Not the best but not the worst by a long shot.  Why?
Downer?  Cervical surgery
Upper?  Surgery went great; pain free; spent three weeks recuperating with my family.
Downer?  Spending six weeks in a confining, suffocating neck brace 24/7.
Upper?  My healing went without a hitch and the x-ray looked great to the doc.
Downer?  Pretty confined during that six week period.
Upper?  It was too hot to be outside anyway.
Downer?  Couldn't drive.
Upper?  Am now able to drive my new car and planning upcoming day trips.
Super Dupper Upper?  My daughter and her girls are coming this weekend for a few days.  Yippee!

2. July 26th is National Aunts and Uncles Day. Did you have many aunts and uncles growing up? Were you especially close to any one or maybe all of them? Are you an aunt? (or uncle for the men who join here on Wednesdays) Share a favorite memory relating to one of your own aunts or uncles or relating to a niece or nephew who call you Aunt (or Uncle).

This is my aunt Thyra.  She was several years older than my mother and played a very important role in my mother's life growing up, therefore ours as well.  She was the most elegant, and classy lady I knew growing up.  She and her husband were educators, she a teacher and he a principle.  He was also a member of the state legislature.  Aunt Thyra had what to me at that time was a magnificent wardrobe which was housed in the very first walk-in closet I had ever seen.  She cultivated my interests in fashion and decorating by letting me play pretend in her closet and in her large well decor'd living room.  These are all wonderful memories that helped shape my future tastes.  But, the best memory was when she asked me, a high school senior to chauffeur her on a road trip in her new yellow 1962 Chrysler Imperial that looked just like this.
I thought I had died and gone to heaven, but I mostly treasure the one-on-one time with her.

Yes, I am an aunt to five big, successful nephews.  They each know their Aunt Bibby loves them very much.

3. What's your favorite food dipped in chocolate? What's your favorite food dipped in cheese?

I think anything is better dipped in chocolate!  Favorite dipped in cheese would be Nachos.

4. When were you last astonished by something? Explain.

I am astonished every time I hear of an attack by someone who is willing to kill innocent people and themselves be killed, because they believe it is their right to do so.

5. Surf board, paddle board, ironing board, Pinterest board, score board, clip board, bulletin board...which board have you most recently encountered?

Ironing board and Pinterest board.

6. What's your favorite story from scripture? Why that story?

How do you choose just one?  It would be a toss up between two - the story of Ruth because it shows first of all God's unfailing faithfulness to His people and that He has a perfect plan for each of us.  The other is the story of the prodigal son.  It is such a beautiful picture of God's unconditional love and that He draws us to Himself even though we aren't worthy of such love and salvation.

7. If you were to travel from the east coast to the west coast in your own country, which five cities would you most want to see?

I am not drawn to cities but to the landscape so I will have to ponder this a bit.
I would start in New Hampshire and go to Boston, New York City, down to Roanoke, WV, then across the country to Denver then Seattle.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

We had baby Mockingbirds on our front porch for a couple weeks.  They have made a mess for sure, but they have been so much fun to watch.  I was able to stand inside my front door and capture these pictures.
These are the babies waiting for Mom to come with food.



 She did show up with a berry and made this little one very happy.

 I loved watching them groom.  They were quite the contortionists.
This little one had called and called and finally heard her mom coming.  It was so much fun to catch her looking for her and finally, there she was.
Today, they were gone, so I guess they passed all the flying tests and it was time to move on.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Wednesday Collection of Thoughts

I am not spending much time on my blog these days except to share with
Joyce and my Wednesday Hodgepodge Friends.  It is something I always look forward to.


1. Pokemon Go...your thoughts? Are you playing? Do you even know what it is?

I think it is just another craze that is fun for the moment and will be forgotten before too long.
I am not playing and really wasn't even familiar with it until one of my great-nephews cane running into the house at the family reunion a couple weeks ago, shouting, "I got him!"  Who would have known a blue Pokemon would found on a rural country road in south Louisiana on a hot Saturday?  But there he was.
I learned what it was right then and there.

2. What was something you collected as a child? Do you still have that collection? If you're a parent what's something your own children collected? Have you ever camped out, stood in a crazy long queue, or paid a ridiculous sum for a 'collectible'?

I don't really remember collecting anything other than Lightening Bugs as a small child.  As I got older I began collecting pictures of Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural designs and favorite movie star's pictures.  They all went by the way-side as interests and locations changed.
Son John collected Baseball cards and Daughter Christy had quite a large collection of Barbie Dolls.
I have never done any of these crazy things to secure a collectible.

3. "Collect moments, not things"...tell us about a moment you've added to your collection this summer.

The summer isn't over and neither is collecting special moments, but so far, I will say the time spent with family at the get-together a couple weeks ago and mentioned in last week's Hodgepodge.

4.  What's something collecting dust in your home right now? Any plans to do something about it?

Nothing is collecting dust that I don't want to be there.

5. A favorite song relating to time?

Interesting you should ask because I just listened to the video of a friend of mine who is a one-man quartet, sing "Soon and Very Soon" we're going to meet the King.  You might enjoy it as well.

6. What's been your most frightening or your most interesting encounter with wildlife?
This would have to be the most interesting and memorable because of how much our children enjoyed it.  This was many years ago while on a trip in North Carolina.  Love those two silly kids!

7.  On July 20, 1969 Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong set his foot down on the moon. If you could travel to the moon would you go? Why or why not?

I remember that night well as I was one month and two days from delivering our first child.  We didn't have church that Sunday night and instead gathered around the TV with several friends to watch it all take place.  I have no desire to travel to the moon.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

So much has happened in our world in the past week that could easily defeat the non-believer and certainly discourage those of us who believe in an Almighty, Sovereign God.
Even in these troubling days there is one answer.  There is one message that we must rely on and spread to the world.

"For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life."  John 3:16

Thank you Kaoma, for arranging and sharing this message that so beautifully reminds us of His great love in the midst of the storm.
 
 Reminder:  This is only one person singing all four parts.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Five Year Look Back for Today's Post

Being that I am celebrating my five years of blogging this month,
I thought I would follow up and post the second one that was posted exactly five years today.

Although I had NO comments and probably NO readers, it is still one of my favorite posts.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Image

This week I spent some time shopping with my two oldest granddaughters, 18 and 15, who by the way are absolutely precious and so much fun to be with.  As we were looking and trying on, I couldn't help wondering how in the world any young lady today can develop an eye for appropriate clothing.  If you have been in a mall lately, you know what I'm talking about.  The amount of fabric in any garment is so minimal.  I think the designers must have had a contest to see who could make the lowest and shortest dresses with the most bling.

With that in mind I was reminded of a recent article written by Natalie Livingstone for Vogue Magazine about Charlene Wittstock, now the bride of Prince Albert of Monaco.  Wittstock made this statement:
"Finding my fashion feet has certainly been the biggest challenge," she says, remembering her 'trial by fire' at Monaco's 2007 Red Cross Ball.  "I was literally a fish out of water.  I thought it was all fun, fun, fun, and didn't give my outfit any thought.  I had been playing beach volleyball all day, painted my nails red, and threw on a green dress.  I thought I looked great at the time, but looking back, I realize that my debut into Monaco society should have been better executed!"
 Has this ever happened to you?  It sure has to me!  There have been times when I either did not put enough thought into my appearance for a particular event or totally misjudged the appropriateness of my attire.

I will never forget thinking I looked pretty cute for a class I attended only to be told that I evidently dressed only to get attention.  This judgmental statement angered me at first and I let the person know how much I resented the remark; however, afterward I realized that my accuser had actually done me a favor.  My appearance had mistakenly conveyed a false message about me.

Charlene Wittstock claims that from her embarrassing experience she learned how to dress more suitably for her body and her new role.  She watched other people, listened to constructive comments, and sought professional opinions, all of which resulted in the new princess establishing her own personal style.  After all, she represents the Prince of Monaco!  I think she was pretty successful, don't you?

From my embarrassing experience, I also learned a valuable lesson.  The image I project to others must not just be couched in what I wear, but it must be a true reflection of the person I am inside and whom I represent.  For you see, I represent my Father, the King of Kings!  And, this is the image that others must see without the distraction of a contradictory appearance.

Hence and therefore, came my study of "Beauty Without Within."  How to truly be God's Special Lady.

Please stay with me as we take this interesting journey together.  Have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Blogging Anniversary First Post

I recently celebrated my fifth year of blogging.  When I started, I had no idea what I was doing or how long it would last.  It has been interesting to look back and see how the blog has evolved.

I have done several series featuring different things such as image, wardrobe planning, local businesses and special ladies.  But mostly, my blog has been an avenue of sharing my life, both good and not so good.

It has remained the creative outlet I had hoped it would be.  As it continues to evolve, I trust this will remain; however when it is no longer something that brings joy and a creative expression, I will close it down.

This was my very first post:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Welcome to My Blog!

First of all, we must be clear about one thing.  I am not an expert on any subject and that especially includes the topic of this blog.  That being said, although I am not an expert or even close to being one, the topic of "Beauty Without/Within" has been a major interest and concern of mine for many years.  Back in the 80's during the Color Analysis era, I had my own business called, "Color Me a Season."  During this time, I had the opportunity to speak to groups of women all across my state about not only how to enhance their natural beauty, but also what God's Word says about the beauty that comes from within.  This was such a rewarding time for me and I like to think it may have also benefited a few ladies along the way.

As is so often the case with self-employment, self runs out of time to do all self would like or needs to do, thus the demise of "Color Me a Season" ala Libby Day.  However, this did not end my interest and study of the subject.  As is often God's plan, we have to take zigzag steps in order to begin taking forward steps, and this is how I look at that period of my life.

At the right time, the Lord opened the door for me to begin taking some baby steps back into the public speaking arena.  My first opportunity was to co-present a professional development seminar for my peers.  My topic was how to put together a Working Wardrobe.  The following year, I was asked to present again on a regional basis, then on a state level for the Louisiana Technical College System.  This opened other doors of opportunities that eventually led to my presenting to the Executive Assistants for the Louisiana Department of Education.  Shortly after this event, I was side-lined because of other job responsibilities.

Now that I am retired, I do not believe the Lord is finished with me, but has only prepared me for other opportunities of service.  As Zig Ziglar says, "Not retired, but refired!"  This blog is one avenue for me, and I look forward to sharing some interesting tid-bits about practical wardrobe planning, clothing trends and styles, as well as image concepts as we talk about how to enhance our God-given beauty without.

But, for the truly beautiful woman there is always that beauty that comes from within.  So, we will always be looking at Biblical truths and see what God's Word has to say.

So, come back often and contribute to the discussion.  My opinions will never be the final word on a subject.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A July Hodgepodge

I always look forward to joining in with Joyce and others for
1. Do you find yourself influencing your world, or is it more the other way around? 

I do find that my thoughts are often influenced by what is going on around me in my world and I tend to dwell on those things too much sometimes.  My moods and actions are sometimes temporarily influenced as well depending on the seriousness of a matter.  This being said, I trust that my belief in a Sovereign God and that He is in control would be an influence on the world around me and not the other way around.

2. July 14th is National Tape Measure Day...the device was patented on this date in 1868. When did you last use a tape measure? Do you always know where to find one in your house? Tell us one way in which you feel blessed 'beyond measure'. 

I do not recall the last time I used a tape measure but I do know where to find one or two in our house should it be needed.  I am blessed beyond measure by the family God has given me and that I know I will spend eternity in heaven with my parents, my husband, my children and each of my grandchildren.  That is truly the greatest blessing I could ask for.


3.The Plaza Hotel (Eloise), The Land of Oz (The Wizard of Oz), Narnia (The Chronicles of Narnia), The Hundred Acre Wood (Winnie the Pooh), Wonderland (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), or Never Never Land (Peter Pan)...which storybook land (on this list!) would you most like to visit and why?

I really don't think any of them, but I will say Narnia only because of the opportunity to personally meet Aslan.

4. Where and when do you get your best ideas?

Some of my best ideas happen during the awake hours in the middle of the night.  I get inspiration from several sources such as the internet, magazines, and things I see in my community.

5.  So what have you been watching on TV this summer? Anything good?

Hubby and I do not enjoy sit-coms so we record the few shows we do like to watch such as the NCIS programs and PBS mysteries.  Recently, we discovered the Hallmark Mystery and Movie channel and I record some of those movies that Hubby calls "lovey shows."

6. 'Don't swim for an hour after you eat', 'Dog days of summer', 'Knee high by the Fourth of July'...choose a summer saying from the list or share one of your own, then tell us what image or memory comes to mind when you hear it spoken.

'Dog days of summer'!  This brings memories of days spent as children in rural, south central Louisiana when summer days were spent outside playing, pretending, picnics, and simply lying in the grass watching the clouds.

7. In a single sentence, sum up one life lesson you've learned.

It is not about ME!

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

 This past Saturday, my two sisters,
  our husbands, and as many of our children and grandchildren as possible, gathered at the lovely home of one of my nephews and his wife in south Louisiana.  We had such a great time together.  We had not all been together since our mother's funeral eleven years ago, some of the great-grandchildren had never met.  We missed those who couldn't be there, but the rest of us had a great time.
Isn't this a beautiful backdrop?  So typical of the natural beauty of South Louisiana.

Our daughter and her family were scattered around the world and unable to attend, but our son and his family from Indiana were there.
We remembered that four of the greats had been in a wedding together several years ago.  It was so much fun to look back at these pictures of then and now and see how the personalities were evident even then.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Independence Day Well Celebrated

I am again joining Joyce for the Wednesday Hodgepodge.

1. How did you welcome the month of July, and tell us one fun thing you did to celebrate the 4th. (or the weekend for any non-USA residents playing along today)

I did not welcome the month of July because it meant more heat advisory days in the south.  However, it slammed into our calendar welcome or not.  We did meet out-of-town friends who were passing through our city for dinner on Friday evening.  That was fun.  On the 4th, we went to the home of another best friend couple for an early dinner of ribs, corn-on-the cob, potato salad, baked beans, home-made hot rolls, plus this beautiful watermelon cake.
 
Later in the evening we had a fresh peach pie for dessert.  It was a great evening of good food and good friendship.

2. Right now..what's your favorite red thing? white thing? blue thing?

Red:  Fresh, home-grown tomatoes
White:  White stretch crop jeans from Chicos

Blue:  My dark navy jeans from Jag

3. Wave the white flag, raise a red flag, fly your freak flag...which 'flag' have you flown most recently? Explain.

I guess it would have to be my freak flag as I am still having to wear my getup around my neck 24/7 and it could certainly be seen as freakish, I guess.

4. According to Cond Nast Traveler these are the seven best places to visit in July-
a boat safari in Botswanna's Okavango Delta, Riviera Maya Mexico (it's whale shark season and apparently you can swim with them), Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, Pamploma Spain, St. Petersburg Russia, the Fuji Rock Festival at Mount Naeba Japan, the Salzburg Festival in Salzburg Austria

If time and money weren't factors would you want to see any/all of these? Which would you most like to see and why?

I would most like to see the Salzburg Festival in Salzburg Austria.  To hear that amazing music in such a scenic and historical place would be wonderful.  Second, I think we would enjoy a trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons because of its natural beautyA possible third and fourth would be St. Petersburg Russia and Pamploma Spain.

5. Grilled cheese, pimento cheese, or mac and cheese...your favorite from the cheesy treats listed?

Grilled cheese although I don't fix them very often and never order one when out.  I haven't eaten much pimento cheese since my mom stopped fixing it years ago, and I never prepare mac and cheese.

6. What makes you sweat?

A workout in the gym.  Although I am only doing the stationary bike and walking right now, I still sweat profusely.  Just let me tell you, I hate to sweat!  I used to be a "glisten" lady until I turned 60.

7. Your favorite movie with a 'patriotic' theme of some sort?

My favorite right now is "American Sniper"; then, "Saving Private Ryan"; "Forrest Gump"; "Independence Day".

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

Speaking of how to celebrate the 4th, let me share with you how my daughter and granddaughter spent their Independence Day.

Daughter, her husband and youngest daughter are spending a couple weeks with and at their best friends second home at Montage Kapalua Bay in Maui.   They have had an amazing time so far.
This was God's reminder of His presence from their balcony on Sunday morning.
Our oldest granddaughter and her husband are celebrating their first wedding anniversary in Greece for two weeks.  She doesn't want to come home.  She has sent pictures from Mykonos and Naxos so far.  They still have Santorini and Athens before they head home the end of this week.  How wonderful to share this amazing part of the world together.
 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Returning to the Hodgepodge


It is good to be back among the Wednesday Hodgepodge elite today after being inactive for four weeks.  More on that in the random thoughts, but in the meantime, check out my answers to today's questions then join the others to read their answers HERE.


1. It's officially summer (in the northern hemisphere anyway). Which summer month is best and why?

I am not a summer person so it is difficult to isolate one particular summer month as a best.  Summer where I live is hot and humid and I do not appreciate either of these.  Just to be a good sport, I will say August, although it is always our hottest month, because we usually go to Northern Indiana in late August and it is somewhat cooler up there.  We also get to be with family and watch our grandson play some football for the Western Michigan University Broncos.  However, this will be his last year to play sad to say.

2. Can you swim? How did you learn? June 27th is National Sunglasses Day. How many pair do you own?

Do not swim!  I probably have five pairs of sunglasses, each in a different location.

3. What characteristic do you judge most harshly in yourself? How about in others?

The characteristic I probably judge most harshly in myself is that I don't get out and engage with people more.  The characteristic I most harshly judge in others is the "over the top" friendliness and gushy demeanor they display with someone they hardly know.

4. Robert Frost wrote the now well known poem entitled The Road Not Taken. What's a road (literal or figurative) you've always wanted to travel, and where do you hope it takes you? 


5. Popsicles-yay or nay? If you answered yay, what's your favorite flavor? 

Popsicles are nice but I have not had one in many years.  My favorite though was a fudgesicle.

6. Brexit-on a scale of 1-10 how knowledgeable are you on what's involved here? (1=very knowledgeable and 10=what's Brexit) Is this news you'll follow or is it something you think won't impact your life in any way shape or form?

I am probably about a 5 because I am aware of Brexit and what it could mean historically and prophetically at this point.  I did follow it pretty closely last week when it took place but have not read as much in the last few days.  It did impact us directly when the stock market plummeted and I think there is a possibility it will affect the upcoming national elections.  I also think it is going to be very interesting to watch and see what continues to unfold with other countries in the EU.

7. Share a favorite song on your summer play list.

I don't have a favorite song.  I love music and choose to play my genre selections from Pandora through a wonderful Sony speaker Hubby gave me for Christmas a couple years ago.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

As you may recall, I told you in my last post that I would be going to Indiana for cervical surgery at the surgical hospital of which our son is President and CEO, Unity Medical & Surgical Hospital in Mishawaka, IN.  I had a fusion of the C5/6 & 6/7 three weeks ago this past Monday, June 6. Ever since waking up following surgery, I have had zero pain.  My surgery was a huge success for which I give my God all the glory.
I flew home this past Sunday and although my little family up there took wonderful care of me, it is good to be back in our home and with my sweet Hubby.

I returned to the gym this morning with my doc's blessing and did walking as well as the stationary bike.  That is all I will be allowed to do until after further x-rays three weeks from now.
Until then, this is my getup:  A neck brace that I wear around the clock except for showering when I wear a water-proof brace,
 and a bone growth stimulator that I wear four hours every day until the fusion is complete.
Am I not the bionic woman?

Now, let me just tell you what a wonderful hospital Unity is.  I wish all hospitals could be as efficient, friendly, positive, supportive, where everyone there has you and your best interests at heart.  And just a side-note - where the CEO is one of the most handsome, sweet and qualified administrators anywhere.  Just say'n!!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

What's Ahead for June

Join me and others for the Wednesday Hodgepodge by clicking HERE
1. Tell us about one fun thing on your June calendar. 

Assuming you won't consider cervical surgery as a fun thing, how about being with two special granddaughters and their parents while I'm recuperating.  Yes, that sounds like fun to me.
 
2. How careful are you in the sun? Do you tan or burn? Do you make it a point to see the dermatologist every year? 
 
Having been a sun worshiper when I was younger, I now am very careful about being in the sun too much.  Actually, I can't stand to be outside for very long any more.  I find the sun too bright and the southern heat too intense. I used to tan beautifully, and still do to some extent, but my aging skin doesn't need that exposure and there is nothing really very pretty about old burned skin to me.  I do not see a dermatologist every year.

3. Describe a time when you wanted to 'throw in the towel'? 

That would have been right before I retired.  Our college system had been through several changes during my tenure and we foresaw others coming that did indeed prove to be the downward spiral of our system.  Needless reports and deadlines, plus the lack of administrative oversight, and the attitudes of persons with whom I was having to deal, definitely led to my timely retirement.
 
4. What's a song you love that has a day of the week in the title or lyrics? 

"Come Saturday Morning" by the Sandpipers in 1969.  This was the theme song to the Liza Minnelli movie The Sterile Cuckoo.
 
5. Are you a fan of berries? Which one's your favorite? What's the most recent berry dish you've eaten? Which blueberry breakfast food appeals to you most-blueberry pancakes, blueberry yogurt, or a blueberry muffin? 

Berries are not my favorite fruit.  I do remember as a child, going blackberry pick'n and Mother making a Blackberry Cobbler from the ones that didn't get eaten first.  Today, my favorite would be the blueberry.  I have not eaten a berry dish in many, many years.  Of the three breakfast choices, I will go with blueberry pancakes with blueberry syrup.

6. What's something you want to do before your next birthday? 

I know this sounds less than exciting and one would think if this is the best I can come with, then shame on me.  But, I would like to have hip replacement before November 1 of this year.  I am so ready to get these necessary surgeries over and done with so I can get on with my life.  Then, I'll do something fun and exciting.

7. June 1st is National Say Something Nice Day, so let's all say something nice here. 

I would just like to say how much I admire and appreciate Joyce for taking the time to bring us all together once a week.  She has managed this blog with not only consistency but with integrity.  She has always taken the high road with her questions and answers and for all of that, I thank you, Joyce.  You have made it possible for a group of folks who will probably never meet or get to know each other than this meeting once a week, to feel like we are visiting with friends.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 
 
I will be away from blogging for the next several weeks.  As I said earlier, I will be having surgery on my neck next Monday at the hospital where our son is President and CEO,

By the way, if you should visit their website, scroll down and watch the two videos.  You may get a glimpse of Hubby and me.

I will remain up there three weeks before flying back south.  I have already started putting items in a large suitcase in anticipation of what I might need during that time.  One thing I will not need to pack is jewelry and that is something I am not used to doing.

These will be my only accessory for the next six to eight weeks.
The one on right is only for showering.
   I'm thinking I might should have planned this surgery for when it isn't 100 degrees outside.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Another Successful Hodgepodge

1. How should success be measured? Using that as your standard, who is the most successful person you know? (Or one of the most successful?) 

I think success should be measured not by man's standard but by God's standard and that is found in His Word.  Perhaps it could be simplified in this way:
1.  Am I fulfilling Gods calling and purpose for my Life?
2.  Do I love God with all my heart, my mind, my soul, and all my strength?

Based on this standard, the most successful person(s) I know would be my parents.  This was what their whole lives were built upon - Seeking to know and do God's will.

2. Have you ever been to a hot air balloon launch/fest/party? Ever taken a ride in a hot air balloon? Is that on your bucket list? According to Frommers the ten best hot air balloon adventures in the world are-

Loire Valley (France), the Serengeti (Tanzania), Napa Valley (California), Lake Champlain (Vermont), Cappadocia (Turkey), Istria (Croatia), Gstaad (Switzerland), Yarra Valley (Australia), Muelle (Costa Rica), and Albuquerque (New Mexico). 

Which one on the list would you most like to experience? 

I have not been to a hot air balloon anything and have never ridden in one.  Furthermore, it is not something I want to do.  I have seen pictures of and heard wonderful stories of the show in Albuquerque, NM.  I think this would be my choice so I could also include a visit to Santa Fe.

3. May 25th is National Brown-Bag It Day. Did you/will you pack a lunch today? When did you last pack a lunch for someone and what are your go-to ingredients for a brown bag lunch?

If you call eating chicken salad and crackers at my desk while working on this blog post a brown-bag lunch, then I got a day's jump on the celebration.  I guess the last packed lunch would have been while Hubby and I were still working.  That would have been five years ago.  Ingredients would probably have been something left over from dinner the night before or a quick salad.
 
4. What's one of your favorite dance scenes from a movie or television show? 

I really don't have one.

5. John F. Kennedy made famous the line, '...Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." So what can you do for your country?
 

That is a good question and one friends and I have been discussing.  We are frustrated that social media seems to be where most are able to express themselves.  And we acknowledge the futility of that.  We agree that voting for the best candidate is our duty and responsibility, but after that, how do we hold our elected officials accountable?  I still don't have an answer to this ever growing frustration.

However, as parents, we must set the example of patriotism - love for and respect for our country and its history.  Understanding that we are a nation under God, regardless what others might think, and to pray for His direction and intervention in the affairs of our country.

We must be willing to be the difference in someone's life; whether an act of kindness, or assistance, a smile, a word of encouragement, or job where God has put us to make a positive contribution to mankind.

6. Weekends are made for __________________________________.

At our house Saturdays are made for Hubby preparing to teach a Sunday School class on Sunday.  Sunday is made for assembling ourselves with like believers for Bible Study worship, prayer and fellowship.

7. On this last Wednesday of the month, bid farewell to the month of May in seven words or less. 

May's good memories overshadow the bad.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Sister Time 
Tomorrow I will be meeting my two younger sisters at a mid-way point in our state for lunch and some much needed time together.  We try to do this at least three or four times a year.  It doesn't take much to entertain us, because we just enjoy being with each other.  We are so grateful our parents instilled the importance of family in us many years ago.
16 Quotes About Sisters That Celebrate 'Last One Home':   
Happy to be joining Joyce @ From This Side of the Pond
for the Wednesday Hodgepodge.  

Monday, May 23, 2016

A Good Monday for a Birthday

Today is my Granddaughter #2's 20th Birthday
Happy Birthday Cassidy! 
  As you can see, even as a child Cassidy had a natural beauty and grace.  She is one of the sweetest and most tender children among our flock.  She thrives on order and organization.
One of my favorite stories with Cassidy is the first year I took all my granddaughters on a one-on-one shopping trip as part of their Christmas present from us.  The picture above is of us as we were leaving the house.

This eight year old not only had her list of what she wanted, but where each item could be found, and the stores listed according to convenience to access.  She knew exactly what she wanted and how much each item cost.  She got everything on her list, plus even more of her grandmother's heart.
She started working during high school and has quite an entrepreneur spirit.  She sets goals and works hard to meet them.
She graduated from high school a semester early and was accepted into the University of Texas where she will be a Senior next spring.  She plans to study abroad next year.  Another goal set!
She is a survivor because she chooses to be and makes it happen.  She is a joy and complete delight.
 Our Cassidy is so very special to us.
She is a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and has given Him her life.  All of this makes her a real keeper in our book.
So,
Happy 20th our darling girl.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

In the Middle of Optimism

IT IS GOOD TO BE BACK!
I have missed the Hodgepodge for a few weeks so it is good to be back among this great group of faithful Wednesday bloggers.
Joyce, I trust you enjoyed your break as well.

1. Tell us about a time you found yourself 'in the middle of nowhere'. Was this deliberate?

West Texas is the middle of nowhere.  Our trips through that area were always deliberate, but it seemed to take forever. It always took a bit of creativity to entertain our two kiddos during that trek.  I will have to admit though, the view is expansive with a beauty of its own.  I can understand why one might have thought the earth was flat when seen from that vantage point; there is very little to break the horizon.

2. What's something you're 'in the middle of' today or this week?

I'm really not in the middle of anything right now.  No projects going.  However, I have been right in the middle of trying to make an important and difficult decision, but I think that is about settled.

3. At what age do you think 'middle age' begins? What does it mean to be 'middle aged'?

We used to think middle age was 40.  Then middle age was said to be whenever a woman went through menopause.  I think that might make the most sense because it does issue in a lot of changes not only for a woman's body but her psychic as well.  If there are children, then this time period often brings it's own changes and stresses.

What does it mean to be middle aged?  It is that period between young adulthood and old age.  Thankfully, I'm still there at 71.

4. Ravioli, stuffed peppers, samosas, deviled eggs, steamed dumplings, pierogis, or a jelly donut...your favorite food (from this list!) with something yummy in the middle. Your favorite not on the list?
Deviled eggs.  We recently had a "Boudin Stuffed Chicken."  Only we southern cajun folk will know how good that is.

5. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying ''In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.' Would you agree? Have you found this to be true in your own life? Feel free to elaborate. 

Yes, I agree.
I have found this to be true many times.  Of course it depends on the difficulty as to what opportunities might be possible.  But, I think it would be safe to say that in any difficulty the opportunity to come out of it better than you were would always be the desired result.

6. What's a song you remember loving from your middle school years? Do you love it still?

It is impossible to pick out a favorite from this time.  It was the late 50's and there were so many wonderful, great songs during those years.  Perhaps the one that was a favorite across all ethnic, racial, and religious barriers and is still sung today was "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" by Laurie London in 1958.

7. May 18th is National Visit Your Relatives Day. Will you celebrate? Which relative would you visit if time, distance, and expense were not considered.

I would want to have all mine and my sister's families together again like we used to do before our parents died.  My sisters and I see each other as often as can, but the cousins who used to be so close have not all been together since our mother's funeral in 2005.  That would be my wish. 

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

While in Indiana, I had a cervical injection that didn't work, necessitating the need for neck surgery up there on June 6; a lumbar MRI that showed collapsed vertebrae in the L3 and S1 that will require surgery and fusion in the near future; a lumbar injection that did sort of work; an X-ray that revealed my left hip is bone-on-bone and the need for a hip replacement before the back can be mended; and more evidence of spinal stenosis and degenerative arthritis in my neck, back and hips.

Needless to say, this all threw me for a loop for a day or so.

But, I can't let that keep me down or I might never get back up.  I came home determined to do whatever I need to do to be in the best condition for rapid and quick recovery from each of the upcoming surgeries.  I foresee being the healthiest bionic woman around when its all over and done with.

I am not seeing my glass half full, but brimming over. 

I recently read a joke about ever being the optimist and if you'll not judge me too harshly, I'd like to share it with you.

Late in the night, he finally regained consciousness.
He was in the hospital, in terrible pain.

He found himself in the ICU with tubes in his mouth, needles and IV drips in both arms,
a breathing mask, wires monitoring every function, and a nurse hovering over him.
He realized that he was obviously in a life- threatening situation.

The nurse gave him a serious, deep look, straight into his eyes, then spoke to him slowly
and clearly, enunciating each word and syllable, "You may not feel anything from the waist down."

Somehow he managed to mumble in reply,
"Can I feel your boobs, then?"


AND THAT, MY FRIEND, IS AN OPTIMIST!!
 
 HAVE A GREAT DAY!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A House Makeover for Summer and Spring

Let me just begin with the fact that I am blessed with the best Daughter-in-Love God could have given me.  For many reasons!  But, for the purpose of this blog I'll go with the reason she allows me to play decorator in her home.

While up there earlier this month, she asked what I thought we could do to freshen up what was to her a very tired looking decor in the family room.

She knows how to speak my love language!

This is the large rug that anchors the family room.  I love the rich tones.  We have always pulled out the russets for accessories because she and I both love those colors and they also compliment the wall colors.
After giving it some thought I decided to go in a totally different direction than we have in the past.

I went shopping and found several items that pulled out the teal shades in the rug and took pictures to show her.  She liked what she saw so we both went shopping with son's credit card in hand.

This is a view at what we got to just look at for a while and get family input before removing any tags.
 She had been using this sofa table on a wall in the breakfast room but liked using it here near the sofa.  It also balances the large TV on the other side of the fireplace.  The urn is an old Southern Living at Home piece that we both love and liked the way it pulled out some of the gold tones in the picture and rug.  She may add some neutral floral stems to it in the future.
We thought the picture was perfect to unify the color scheme throughout.
I think the use of pillows is a great way to add color and this family loves their throw pillows.
 We found everything at TJMax, Kirklands and Pier 1 and almost everything was on sale.
We moved this beautiful large Fleur-de-lis to another wall and replaced it with this mirror.
After moving the table, we needed something on this wall under the chalk board the family loves to use.  I found this table that picks up the teal/gray colors.  It also serves as a beverage or desert buffet when needed, plus adds needed storage for napkins, etc.
We found these trays and chargers at Kirklands and love the way they carry the theme into this part of the open space.  We even found matching hot pads.  We leave no leaf unturned in our decorating.
The family approved of everything so this is the finished product.  DIL will probably add something to the mantel when she finds exactly what she wants.  We just ran out of time this trip.
 Everyone loved how bright and summery it looks now.
 The glass pelican was brought in from another room because we thought this was the perfect new home for it.
 This white tray and colorful dishes add a neat touch of organization to the large ottoman/coffee table.
 This is a good view of the mirror and how the rug anchors this whole room.  She will also be adding a window treatment at some point when she finds what she wants.
We didn't stop there.  This was a table in the adjoining dining room.  It needed a makeover as well.
 I moved the large mosaic tray on the wall and floral arrangement to the foyer and brought in some beautiful bronze pieces from a set used in the office.
   They tied in beautifully with the new bowl I found.  We also brought down from the Master Bedroom, this picture that just seemed perfect here.  DIL has picked out a new lamp that will replace this old one.  I loved the simplicity of the light urn on the bottom shelf.
 The foyer couldn't be left out as it sets the stage for the rest of the house.
 
 The Master Bedroom was already using these colors so now, the flow is complete.
 So what do you think?  Did we pull off our goal to make the house more ready for summer and spring?

Linking to Amaze Me Monday #163