Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Look Back at Thanksgiving Past

This was a list of hard questions this week.  Join us on
to see how the other bloggers answered these Hodgepodge questions.
How would you have answered them?
1.What's something you wish you knew how to do, but feel like it's too late to learn?

I would love to be able to do some of the yoga and Pilates positions that I see much younger and much more agile women being able to do.  However, it is not just a matter of FEELING like its too late, IT IS, if it ever was.

2. Your least favorite thing to shop for? Why?

Swimsuits.  I am really not a shopper at all, even for groceries, but trying on a swimsuit is torturous.

3. How has the celebration of Thanksgiving today changed from when you were growing up?

We would often get together with some of my mothers nine siblings and their families.  These were large gatherings that we cousins always looked forward to.  Below is a picture of some of the grandchildren with "Mama" in approximately 1950. I am in the front row between my little sister and favorite cousin.  My dad is standing on the left in the suit.  As you can tell, we dressed up for these casual often outdoor affairs.

By the way, Thanksgiving Day is my sister's birthday, so Happy Birthday my sweet Gin!
4. What's something that when other people see it, reminds them of you? Explain.

I have no idea how to answer this, so I asked Hubby.  His response after looking at me like I had three heads was, "short haired, good looking women."  So there!

5. If you could guest star in a TV show, what would it be and why?

Two tuffies in a row and again I have no answer.  I don't see myself in any particular show or in a particular role.  Sorry to not play along, but I'm stumped.

6. Have you ever farmed or spent any time on a farm? Are there farm stands in your little corner of the world and do you make it a point to shop there? If so, what item do you particularly like to buy from a roadside stand or farm shop?

No, I have never lived on a farm nor spent time on one.  We do not have actual farm stands unless you consider selling veggies from the back of ones truck, but we do have a large downtown farmer's market in the summer.  From the truck bed parked along a road side, we have purchased watermelon, strawberries and sweet potatoes.

7. What's something you've experienced recently that made you feel a sense of awe or wonder?

Our grandson attends the Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI and last Wednesday there was such an amazing phenomenon - a large double rainbow that spanned the entire horizon.  It appeared in the midst of international turmoil and uncertainty as an everlasting reminder that our good and faithful and sovereign God is still in control.
This photo was taken of the arch over Sprau Tower on the college campus.
8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

 Yesterday Hubby and I went to a matinee showing of the movie "My All American" on the recommendation of our daughter.  Her specific instructions were to "take a tissue."  It is such a great true story about Freddie Steinmark who played football for the University of Texas Longhorns.  I highly recommend it to you.

For those of you new to UT Football, Coach Darrell Royal is renowned and the stadium is named for him.  From all accounts he was truly a great coach and gentleman.
Here is a trailer to whet you interest.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Thanksgiving Post

The Hodgepodge almost got away from me this week.  Better late than never I guess.
I miss when I don't join all the Hodgepodgers on

1. What's surprised you most about your life, or about life in general?

That it could be even better than I had dreamed.

2. Among others, these ten words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary this year...awesomesauce, beer o'clock, brain fart, buttdial, cat cafe (apparently this is a real thing), fatberg (gross-read the definition here), fat shame, hangry, Mx (gender neutral), and skippable.

Your thoughts? In looking over the list, which word do you find most ridiculous? Which word would you never in a million years say out loud? Which word would you be most likely to use in conversation?

Honestly?  I think Mr. Webster would cringe to know these are actual words being used and accepted as part of any dictionary.  But that's just me.  He may celebrate the individuality that created such a diverse and questionable vocabulary.  The only word in this group that I have or would ever use is buttdial, but I much prefer pocketcallI might use skippable as I can already think of possibilities for its usage.  Such as these new words.

3. Do you like gravy? Is there a food you'd rather not eat unless it comes with gravy? Do you make your own or buy the canned or store-made variety? Turkey and gravy, sausage gravy, mashed potatoes and gravy, country ham and red eye gravy, biscuits and chocolate gravy, pot roast and gravy...which one on the list is your favorite?

Yes, we are gravy people although I rarely make it any more.  When we do, we usually use Tony Chachere's mix.  You can't beat the flavor and taste of this.  The Instant Roux is also excellent for making gumbos and flavoring pork ribs.
Mashed potatoes and meatloaf need some kind of gravy for me.  Sausage gravy would have to be my favorite because Hubby makes the best and it is always part of our Christmas Breakfast with son and family. 

4. Do you have a plan? Do you need a plan? Have you ever had a plan fall into a trillion pieces? Explain.

I am a planner and yes, need a plan.  I have had many, many plans fall into pieces.  I envision something happening and take steps to bring it about, but rarely does it unfold exactly the way I had planned.  I am learning to live with fewer expectations.

5. November 19 is National Play Monopoly Day. Do you own the original or some version of the game? Do you enjoy playing Monopoly? How likely is it you'll play a game of Monopoly on November 19th? Ever been to Atlantic City? Ever taken a ride on a railroad? Is parking in your town free? Last thing you took a chance on?

Do not have the game.
Do not like to play the game.
I will not play the game on November 19.
But I do like green eggs and ham.
I have never been to Atlantic City.
I have never taken a real trip on a railroad other than sightseeing.
We have parking meters in downtown.
The last thing I took a chance on was trying a totally different type painting for me.  See below.

6. A song you like that has the word (or some form of the word) thanks in the title, lyrics, or meaning?

There isn't just one, so I'll list some of my favorite hymns that have the word THANKS.
"Because I Have Been Given Much"
"Come Ye Thankful People Come"
"Count Your Blessings"
"For the Beauty of the Earth"
"My Tribute"
"We Gather Together"

7. In keeping with this month's theme of gratitude....what is something you're taking for granted that when you stop and think about it, you're grateful for?

I think I am guilty of taking many things for granted although I know all things come from a Sovereign God.  Because I know this about myself, I constantly try to have a grateful heart and express my thanks for both large and small.  But, I probably take my ability to think and faith for granted.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

As I mentioned above, I tried something different for me.  I have never drawn or painted a face since I started sketching as a child.  But, I saw a painting that I wanted to try to adapt.  This is my rendering.
 The verse is from Psalm 123, "Unto You I lift my eyes, You who dwells in heaven."

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Seasonal Personal Post

After being out last week, I look forward to rejoining the Hodgepodge bloggers for
Thank you Joyce!
1. In two or three sentences tell us what Veteran's Day means to you?

Will Rogers is well known for this saying:  "We can't all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by."  Veteran's Day is that special day when we can do just that - appreciate the heroes who have fought for the freedom to sit on the curb and clap.

2. What's your favorite film with a patriotic theme woven into the storyline?

"American Sniper" but also I liked the old movie, "Patton."

3. Flu shot-yes or no? If you answered no, do you plan to get a flu shot? If not, why not? Have you ever had the flu?

I do not plan to get a flu shot this year for several reasons.  First, I don't like putting the virus in my body in order to prevent getting the virus.  Second, I have never had the flu and third, I am not around children or a large gathering of people on a regular basis in order to be exposed to the virus.

4. I've seen lots of people posting pictures of their Christmas trees up and decorated. Many stores have had Christmas on display since well before Halloween. Red cups are back at Starbucks, sans the holiday decor, and that has some people up in arms. What are your thoughts on all the holiday ruckus this second week of November?

I haven't even decorated for fall yet!  So what does that tell you?  After our little anniversary party that can be seen HERE, I just haven't been in the decorating mood.  I never do a lot of Christmas decorating anyway because for the last several years we have not been at home for Christmas.  Now, what do I think of all the early ruckus?  I think it unnecessarily gets earlier every year.  There is admittedly a very short commercial Christmas season if they wait until after Thanksgiving, but many stores are putting decorations out in mid October.  Much too early!

5. What 'critter' are you most afraid of encountering unexpectedly? Why that one?

Either a mouse or a roach.  Can't tolerate either one!

6. Do you like building things? What's the last thing you 'built'?

I don't think I'm a builder unless you want to consider the two books I "compiled" or built for our anniversary celebration.

7. In keeping with this month's theme of gratitude...what are you most grateful for that brings beauty to your daily life?

I am most grateful for and humbled by the unconditional election of my Sovereign, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I am also grateful for and humbled by the unconditional love and acceptance of my Hubby.  For instance, this morning he sent me this video and then walked in with a beautiful plant.  Just because!
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

We have been so thrilled to be able to watch our grandson play football on national television the past few weeks.  He plays for Western Michigan, who I might add is undefeated in the Mid-America Conference.  They play Bowling Green tonight on ESPNU or ESPN2 at 6:30.  Look for the handsome guy wearing #65 and DAY on the back of the jersey.
 This past week, I spent some time with one of my sisters - the middle one.  We cleaned out and organized closets, took road trips, and just enjoyed each other.  On Friday, we met our youngest sister to watch her grandson play his last regular season football game as a senior.  He did a great job.  I had forgotten how fun and different high school games can be.
Nothing like sister time!
 It was Parent's Weekend on the University of Texas Campus and granddaughter #2's sorority, Alpha Phi, participated in the Red Dress Gala fundraiser for the American Heart Association.  Is this not a great-looking family?
 I am very blessed and so very grateful for all the good things He bestows.

Monday, November 9, 2015

50th Wedding Anniversary Recap

I have not had time to give you a recap of our 50th Wedding Anniversary Open House,
so since I now have the pictures ready, today seemed like a good time.

Hubby and I were married on September 5, 1965 and on September 5, 2015 we hosted an 
Open House for close friends and family.
It was a gorgeous day and even our house was happy.
I designed our guest book with pictures from the 50 years and asked guests to select a page to sign.
 I also compiled a book that encompassed special events during the past 50 years as a keepsake for us and our children.  Guests really enjoyed looking at it.
 The food and flowers were perfect and set the stage for a very festive and welcoming party.
 My long-time friend, Jean Ann took on the task of doing the food and she could not have done a better job.
I was so glad to have my sisters there as they were my bridesmaids 50 years ago and such an important part of our lives.
On the right is my daughter and two of her daughters enjoying the book.
 Cousins!  On the left are our Lazenby cousins; center is son (center) and two of his cousins; right is granddaughter and a new cousin she had never met.
 We missed our Daughter-in-Love, Michelle and three Indiana grandchildren due to previous activities, but were so grateful to have our son, John and daughter Christy and her family.
 So many sweet friends representing different times of our life together came to help us celebrate.
Our little garden home was filled with laughter and lots of hugs.
 There is nothing like treasured friendships!
 Yes, it was a memorable event for a memorable milestone.
We are so grateful for the 50 years God has given us together and for the many blessings He has poured out in our lives.

Monday, November 2, 2015

How I Wear My Gray

Today I am participating with Adrienne
How I Wear My Gray.

Gray may be the season's hottest hue, but that doesn't necessarily make it easy to carry off.  And, it is not my best color.  So, here's how I wear gray and some pointers that may help you wear it as well.
  Add shine to gray.
Either choose gray pieces with hints of metallic thread or sequins, or layer with a sequin or satin piece.  My suit has a sheen that adds interest and keeps it from being a boring old gray suit.
I like to wear a black shell with suits because I can accessorize it anyway I want to.  But, for the most sophisticated and professional look, pair gray with black or white.  Or wear various shades of gray, layering dove gray and charcoal together.  The lighter the gray, the darker the complementary color should be, and vice versa.
Match gray with colors that work.
If you are like me and gray is not your best color, then add interest to gray with color.  Jewel tones -- ruby, purple, cobalt, and violet -- all look rich with gray.
Many women find the best way to wear gray is as a jacket or bottom, using color (in the form of a blouse or shell) up close to the face for flattery.  Scarves and jewelry add a great option too.  These kinds of color combinations give the impression of a balanced outfit, with just enough contrast to keep it interesting.
Have fun with gray!
There are so many possibilities for changing up what otherwise could be a very boring and bleaching color.  For ideas, find a piece of art that you really like.  This will give you color combination suggestions.
Do any of the following paintings speak to you and inspire you to shop in your closet for new combinations and outfits?
So how do you wear your gray?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Silent, Scary, Superstitious Hodgepodge

Joining Joyce for this Halloween Wednesday Hodgepodge.
Click HERE to see how others answer these questions.

1. Are you comfortable with silence? If you're home alone, do you like silence or do you need regular background noise? Do you seek out times and places to be silent? What's your favorite place to find silence/be silent?

Yes, I am very comfortable with silence, and a great part of my day alone is spent in silence.  I may turn on background music occasionally, especially when I'm painting.  Because I am alone for a good part of the day, I don't need to seek out times or places; however, I do love sitting outside on the patio where for the most part it is quiet.

2. October 28th is National Chocolate Day. Can't let that go by without a mention now, can we? Will you celebrate? How? Let's say you can have one of the following right this very minute... a cup of hot chocolate, a strawberry dipped in chocolate, a bowl of plain chocolate ice cream, or a slice of chocolate pie...what's your pleasure?

I do love chocolate but will pass on the celebration.  I would go for a cup of hot chocolate as it is a cool, misty day at my house right now.  I am also addicted to a combination of chocolate and white almond milk.

3. How do you feel about blue jeans? Favorite thing in the world to wear or nope, don't own a single pair? How often do you wear blue jeans in a typical week? Do you own a blue jean jacket?

Yes, yes, and yes!  I do love to wear a good pair of blue jeans, black, white or blue, doesn't matter.  I wear a pair of some description an average of four times a week. I have a couple blue jean jackets that I wear once in a while.  NOTE:  Don't mix blues for the best look.  Wear the blue jean jacket with black, white, etc. for the best looks.

4. Are you superstitious? If so, in what way?

Nope, not superstitious at all.

5. If you had to come up with a costume using only things you have on hand right now, what could you come up with?

I just don't do costumes, sorry.  This has never been something I enjoyed doing.  But, my granddaughters have no problem with this at all.  See random below. 

6. What scares you a little? What do you do when you feel scared?

The future?  The unknown?  What's ahead for my grands?  Will our retirement investments last? Falling?

When I'm afraid of falling, I hold on to something.  In the same respect, when I feel a little afraid of things out of my control, I hold on as well.  I hold on to the hand that is holding mine.

"You hold my right hand.  You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will take me up in glory....God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever....As for me, God's presence is my good.  I have made the Lord God my refuge, so I can tell about all You do."  Psalms 73:21-28

7. Perhaps today will be the day I think seriously about my next painting.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

This past Friday night our two Indiana granddaughters helped with a Halloween party for special-need children in the South Bend area.  Aren't they adorable?  Savannah is pointing to the gloves I gave her several years ago that I wore in 1962 when I was Homecoming Queen.  She said they were perfect for her costume.  I'm so glad she is benefiting from my antiques. HA!  Can they even be purchased any where these days?
This past weekend Hubby and I visited my cousins in Austin, Tx.  Yes, we were aware that the greatest hurricane to hit the country was headed in that direction.  But, that's not all!  We also agreed to attend the University of Texas football game against Kansas State on Saturday.

Our host is a die-hard alumni and our granddaughter #2 attends UT, so we were good sports.
Granddaughter #1 and #2's big sister, who is a die-hard A&M alumni and arch rival of the Longhorns, was also visiting.  So we were all good sports.
We lasted until half-time when the temperature began dropping and the bottom fell out.  I guess you could call our "die-hard" support conditional.  From the empty seats, there were a lot of other conditional supporters.  And for some, man and beast alike, bad weather can't keep them away.

But, it was a great weekend spent with family and watching the rain fall in a very needed part of the country. This was the rainy but beautiful view from my cousin's upper balcony over-looking the Steiner Ranch Hill Country and UT golf course.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Past, Present & Future

Another Wednesday with the Hodgepodge group on
1. October 21, 2015 is Back to the Future Day. Did you see the movie? The sequels? In the second film, Doc takes Marty into the future to prevent Marty's future son from making a mistake. They leave 1985 and land on a 'skyway' on October 21st, 2015. So tell us, what were you doing in the fall of 1985?

In the fall of 1985 my children were 16 and 14 and in grades 10 and 8. Although I don't remember anything specific, I'm sure I was caught up in the throes of rearing two very energetic and involved teenagers.  John would have been heavy into sports and band, and Christy would have been in middle school, YIKES!  Not to mention activities at church.  Those were very busy, trying and fun times as I recall.

2.  If time travel were possible, would you want to go to the future? The past?

I have no desire to go back or forward one single day.  I find contentment right where I am.

3. We're not flying cars, but some of the technology imagined in the 80's film has indeed come to pass in real life 2015-flat screen TVs on the wall, tablets, fingerprint recognition, video conferencing, online banking, 3-D movies, motion controlled video games, drone cameras, and smart glasses (Google glass).  Do you worry technology is growing at a rate so fast we'll soon be unable to keep up with it's demands? Do you think the Internet does more harm than good?

Seriously, I think I have lived through the most rapidly advancing technological age.  I know my generation has seen the greatest amount of change than any other.  I remember large black, table top rotary dial phones and wall mounted phones that were on party lines.  I remember the first black and white televisions.  We were so excited to be able to get a bag telephone that actually worked in the car and then to have immediate internet access from anywhere. Not to mention the medical break through's. This has truly been an exciting era in which to live.  Yet, I know there is much more to be discovered and developed that is beyond my comprehension or imagination and as with the other advances, I will embrace them and learn to go with the flow.

Does the internet do more harm or good?  That depends on the user of the internet.  I frankly don't want to go back in time before the internet. (Ex. Our Blogs) It has its purpose and has made the world a much smaller place.  We have immediate access to more information than we ever knew existed and how that is used is dependent on the person using it.  The internet is neither good nor bad.
4. Your favorite dish prepared in a slow-cooker? Your favorite fast food?

I don't use a slow-cooker that often and when I do it is usually for soup.  My favorite fast food would be just a good hamburger.

5. No time like the present, down time, face time, pressed for time, in the nick of time, make time, mark time, or just in time...which timely saying most relates to your life right now?

In many ways this is down time for us due to retirement.  We get to choose how we want to spend our time.  But it is also make time, because we want to make time for those things that are important to us and we now have the time and resources to do.

6. Tell us about a place you went as a child or younger person that's no longer there or is now something else. How does that make you feel?

As a young teenager in the late 1950's , my favorite place in the whole wide world to visit and explore was the old Hotel Bentley in Alexandria, Louisiana.  It took up an entire block and was the biggest, grandest building I had ever seen.  The inside was all marble with huge columns and amazing mill work.  In the center of the lobby was the grand staircase that I absolutely loved.

I would go there and just walk around and explore all the floors and even ventured into the tallest tower one day.  This beautiful old hotel held dreams and wishes only a 14 year old could have. 

When I got a bit older, I would go to the first-floor restaurant and simple order a cherry coke and imagine what it might be like to actually belong in such a society.  Who could have guessed that I would one day stand on that marble staircase and be crowned "Miss LSU-A!"  What a thrill that was for me.
Prior to the announcement
The hotel was in disrepair for many years and only in 2012 was it purchased by a preservationist with plans to convert the top seven stories into condos.  I think it currently provides space for certain religious retreats and is used for receptions and events.  This grand old place will always hold a very special place for me.

7. Describe your comfort zone.

In my house doing what I enjoy most.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Speaking of times past, who of us ever celebrated birthdays like the kids do today.  For example, this past weekend, our youngest grand, Ava Grace celebrated her 9th birthday.  Actually she started the celebration the week before with two of her besties.  They had a large 3-way Mermaid Birthday Party.
Photos Complimentary of Johnita Smugmug Photography
On Friday, we got to be with her for Grandparent's Day at her school.
I also had the joy of spending the afternoon shopping and just playing with her.  She is so funny.  She said, "Bibby, I want to do all the fun things I will be too old to do tomorrow."  So she got to do whatever she wanted.
 On Saturday, we watched her play a soccer game before coming home.  That night she had a big date with her birthday besties to see Taylor Swift.  They wore matching outfits, had their hair coiffed, rode in a limousine bus and enjoyed the show from one of the family's skybox in the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tx.
 On Sunday afternoon, Ava Grace, her friend, Chandler and some of their friends attended the American Girl Fashion Show at the Stonebriar Country Club, where obviously a good time was had by all.
Yes, it may be hard to top this 9th birthday for this sweet girl.