Sunday, January 23, 2022

A January Sunday Stealing

Welcome to Sunday Stealing that is actually being done on Saturday.  Should that make it Saturday Stealing instead?  Oh well, it was not my original idea, so we will stay with the program.  Hope you enjoy reading my answers and coming up with some of your own.

1.  Would you rather be the guest or the host?

I would rather be the guest, that way I can leave when I'm ready, not bother with entertaining or do the prep and clean-up.  That being said, I do enjoy hosting as well.

2.  What do you like to wear when you feel fancy?

As I no longer wear dresses, I feel fancy in nice dress trousers, a nice fabric top or jacket with appropriate jewelry.

3.  How often do you try something completely new?

A year ago we completely uprooted and moved to a different state and have made all new friends.  I did recently venture out and tried a new type painting.  Hubs and I are attempting a new concerted effort regarding our diet.  Taking on a position with our Homeowners Board was a big step into something new.  But mostly, I'm pretty comfortable with the status quo.

4.  Do you enjoy weddings?

Only if it's the wedding of someone I love.

5 Have you ever had something customized?

Not that I can think of at the time.

6.  Do you cook spontaneously or meal plan?

Both.  Right now, our new diet requires some degree of prior planning - shopping, preparing, etc.

7  Books you like to read over and over

The Bible.  I do not normally re-read a book or re-watch a movie.

8.  What you are really good at?

Organization; doing things sequentially and in order; 

9.  Do you sleep with windows open or a fan on?

No open windows, but usually a ceiling fan is on.

10.  What is the easiest recipe you know?

Scrambled eggs

11.  Are you comfortable starting conversation with strangers?

I rarely if ever initiate a conversation with someone I don't know.

12.  Do you prefer quiet, or ambient noise when you relax?

Most of the time, we have easy listening music in the background, regardless of what else is going on in our house.  I also enjoy quiet.  Noise for noise sake is a bother and irritant.

13.  Who is your most adventurous or exciting friend?

The most adventurous is definitely our granddaughter #2.  She is only 25 and has studied abroad and traveled to over 27 countries, most by herself.  She is also starting her own business.  Exciting?  I don't seek out exciting friends.  Interesting for sure, but not exciting.

14.  What do you eat when you can't decide what to eat?

Heretofore, it would be cashews, but those are no longer allowed.  Shucks!

15.  Do you have any funny pet stories?

We haven't had a pet in our home for many years, so no funny stories I'm afraid.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

From Popcorn to Babies

Joining Joyce at From This Side of the Pond for another week of Wednesday Hodgepodge.

1.  It's National Popcorn Day - my favorite!  Are you a fan?  Sweet or salty?  A good or great movie you've seen recently (at home or in a theater,  either one)?I

Oh yes, I am a huge popcorn fan.  Sweet, salty, caramelized, cheesy, lots of butter, it doesn't matter.  Just not burned.

Cassidy, Granddaughter #2 and I went to see "West Side Story" on Sunday afternoon.  The original has been my favorite musical since it came out in 1961, and this new version did not disappoint.  Masterfully done!  And that they brought Rita Moreno back to play in this version is a stroke of genius.  (She was in the original and was the first Latin actor to win an Oscar for her role as Anita)

I do believe there is more Latin spoken in this one than the original.  But that was no problem for my world-traveling-Barcelona-educated partner.  And she loved the movie too.  Note:  There was no popcorn involved unfortunately.

2.  What's something you didn't realize was going to take so much of your time as an adult?

I think maintaining relationships.

3.  Your favorite yellow something?

I looked around my house and closet to find something yellow.  The only things I found were a couple yellow sweaters; therefore, probably my favorite yellow something would be a banana.

4.  Why do you write?

I often write because I have no other avenue of expression.  I write because I enjoy words, and how they can paint a picture without an image.  I most like composition and that I can express whatever it is I am feeling through writing.  I recently felt led to write a prayer for my family.  Although a copy was sent to each member of our family, it was my conversation with God on paper.

5.  Share a favorite memory associated with snow.

Our son and his family had just moved to Northern Indiana and this was our first Christmas up there.  It was such a gorgeous snow and these Louisiana girls got to wear their new snow suits and I got to play outside.  I still love snow.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.


Yes, we are going to have another great-grandson in 2022.  After having only one boy out of seven grandchildren, we are now having two great boy babies within three months of each other.  Both daddies have done their part in carrying on the family name.  Well done, Brad and Jackson!

Baby Landon Vincent is now 28 weeks along and Mom is doing beautifully.

The following is so amazing and only a God thing:

Heart Prints

“When pregnant, the cells of the baby migrate into the mothers bloodstream and then circle back into the baby, it’s called “fetal-maternal microchimerism”.⁠
For 41 weeks, the cells circulate and merge backwards and forwards, and after the baby is born, many of these cells stay in the mother’s body, leaving a permanent imprint in the mothers tissues, bones, brain, and skin, and often stay there for decades. Every single child a mother has afterwards will leave a similar imprint on her body, too.
Even if a pregnancy doesn't go to full term or if you have an abortion, these cells still migrate into your bloodstream.
Research has shown that if a mother's heart is injured, fetal cells will rush to the site of the injury and change into different types of cells that specialize in mending the heart.
The baby helps repair the mother, while the mother builds the baby.
How cool is that?
This is often why certain illnesses vanish while pregnant.
It’s incredible how mothers bodies protect the baby at all costs, and the baby protects & rebuilds the mother back - so that the baby can develop safely and survive.
Think about crazy cravings for a moment. What was the mother deficient in that the baby made them crave?
Studies have also shown cells from a fetus in a mothers brain 18 years after she gave birth. How amazing is that?”
If you’re a mom you know how you can intuitively feel your child even when they are not there….Well, now there is scientific proof that moms carry them for years and years even after they have given birth to them.
I find this to be so very beautiful.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Backward Forward Hodgepodge

Welcome to this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge.
1.  What do you wish you'd done more of last year?  Less of?

I'm not one to look back and regret; however I do wish I had read more, loved better, been more patient, enjoyed each day more.

Less of?  Eating chocolate ice cream at night, using a sharp tongue, sour attitude

2.  What's the tallest building you've ever been in?  Do you have a fear of heights?

I'm sure I have stayed in hotels taller but the Reunion Tower in Dallas is the most memorable.  We visited it shortly after it was completed in 1978.  At 561 ft, this observation tower is only the 15th tallest in the city, but it does command quite a presence and provides a 360 degree vista of the city.

At night it is spectacular.

I don't fear heights but let's just say I don't enjoy them.

3.  Do you have a word for the year?  Elaborate if you'd like to elaborate.

I haven't specifically chosen a word, but I always try to remember the word "JOY!" 

4.  January 11 is National Milk Day...are you a milk drinker?

Yes, I have always been a big milk lover.  While in college I lived with a lady whose family owned a dairy farm and she would have fresh milk with lots of cream on top in the frig every morning.  I over indulged!

 What kind?

These days I only drink Almond milk with a bit of chocolate milk added for good measure.

  Your favorite recipe that calls for milk (cereal doesn't count)?

I don't have a favorite, but anything with Sweetened Condensed Milk works for me.

5.  What excites you most about the future?

There is no doubt the expectation of having two great-grandbabies in 2022 is about as exciting as it gets at our house.

What do you miss about the past?

The past I most miss are the childhood days in rural Louisiana where everyone was family, we could catch crayfish in the ditch, explore as far in the woods as we wished, climb trees, and sleep outside without a care in the world.  My only concern was if my dad would discover I had "borrowed" one of his cigarettes.

Seriously, I do miss those days when there weren't so many major things to weigh us down and create fear and dread.  That being said, I did grow up in the days of the fear of the Communists bombing us at any time, and knowing there was no way we could ever have a bomb shelter.

  Although I do not cater to fear or dread, I see the affects of that on so many around me.  It is truly debilitating to them.  Yes, I miss the 'good old days."

6.  Insert you own random thought here.

I finally got a couple paintings done this week.  I will take them to the consignment store tomorrow and we will see if anyone thinks they are worth paying for.  I have fallen in love with abstract florals.

Blooms & Blossoms

Hydrangeas & Lilies

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

2022's First Hodgepodge

Today is January 5.  Where were you and what were you doing 5 years ago?

On this day 5 years ago we had just wound up the Cotton Bowl game where our grandson played the best football game of his 4-year career at Western Michigan.  The team his senior year, set and broke all records at the school and ended the year 10-1, losing only against Wisconsin by 7 points in the bowl game.  What a year 2015 was and what a great way to close it out with lots of family together.

Now to begin 2022 with a brand new Hodgepodge.  Thanks for joining in and thank you Joyce for hosting us again for another year.  Check in with her on her blog HERE.

1.  Share one happy moment/memory from the holiday season.

It would have to be when Jackson and McKenna told us on Christmas morning that they are expecting their first baby and our to-be 2nd great grandchild in 2022.  Wow!  What a year this will be - both our children will become grandparents within 3 months of each other.  How exciting is that!

2.  Let's be reasonable with our expectations going into this new year, k?  What is one thing you'd like to accomplish/improve/complete/do in 2022?

DO?  Definitely love on 2 great grandbabies as much as possible.

ACCOMPLISH?  I know, every year I say I am going to paint more and never actually accomplish very much.  Recently, I found a place of business that consigns paintings and is willing for me to show mine.  I'm hoping that motivation will help me get out the paints more often and see what I can accomplish.

3.  Every January 1st (since 1976) Lake Superior University has published a list of words they'd like to see banished from the Queen's English.  Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse or just general uselessness (go here to read more about how the words are chosen).  Here are the words/phrases they'd like to see banished in 2022- 

wait, what?-no worries-at the end of the day-that being said-asking for a friend-circle back-deep dive-a new normal-you're on mute-supply chain

Which of these words/phrases do you use regularly?  Which of these words would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why?  Is there a word/phrase not on the list you'd like to add?

If not the exact words, I surely have overused what would amount to "WAIT, WHAT?"  And with good reason, I might add.

I would most like to see the phrase "no worries" cease to be used.  So often "it's all good!" is added to those words and it seems to be used in order to sluff off what really might need to be dealt with.  And things worth being concerned about are all too often not good.  Why don't we try saying, "worry not because God is in control even when it appears things aren't going so well."

Yes, I would like to add "mandate!" to the list.

4.  Best thing you ate in the month of December?

December was a month filled with a most diverse assortment of delicious food, both in homes of friends and eating out.

This was our Christmas Eve traditional finger-food dinner display at our son's.  How about that appealing charcuterie arrangement that Savannah created? Everything was delicious, but perhaps my favorite was the Hot Corn Dip.  It was so good I made it for our Dallas family New Year's dinner as an appetizer.

5.  January 5th is National Bird Day.  Are you a bird lover?  What's your favorite bird to see in the wild?  Choose a phrase from the list that follows and tell us how it relates to your life like a bird, bird's eye view, early bird, bird-brained, free as a bird, a little bird told me, or kill two birds with one stone.

I am not a bird watcher, but I do certainly enjoy hearing and seeing them.  My favorite would be a male Cardinal, but I also love Hummingbirds.

I am hesitant to bring anything political into this 1st post of the year, but the only phrase that really seems to relate right now is "bird-brained."  No other explanation required.

6.  Insert you own random thought here.

On our way to Northern Indiana to spend Christmas with our son and his family, we made a stop for a much anticipated visit with dear friends and former neighbors, Randy and Cele.

They have recently completed their dream home in Cornelia, GA and it truly is everything they have dreamed of having.

It is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and perched atop a mountain with the most amazing views from every one of its wrap-around porches.

The house faces west and affords the most amazing sunsets.

It is here that you will find Randy and Cele almost every evening and I now understand why.

One afternoon before sunset, we drove down to a nearby walking path that meanders around the base of massive rocks and over quiet streams.

Another evening we drove to the most delightful little town, Dahlonega, GA for dinner.  I can understand why Southern Living Magazine featured it as "The Perfect Christmas Town" in a recent article.  You can read all about it and see pictures HERE.

Our trip northward from Georgia took us through the amazing scenery of the Smokey Mountains into the Mid-West.  We never tire of seeing God's incomparable natural creation.

This man-made creation was a sight to see.  This is what happens when sprinkler systems in Texas aren't turned off before a freeze.

Happy 2022 to you and yours!

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

A 2021 Final Christmas Post

A Joyous and Merry Christmas

 from our family to yours.

"I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people:  Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord."

For your personal enjoyment and pleasure I recommend listening to the following link which provides 3 continuous hours of the best instrumental Christmas music.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

12 Days of Jolly Hodgepodge

Merry Christmas
on the

Join all the Hodgepodge bloggers on Joyce's Blog.

1.  'Tis the season to be are you?

Oh yes!  There are too many reasons not to be joyful and merry.  Giddy jolly?  Probably not!

2.  Do you trim a tree this time of year, and if so is yours all done?  What's something in your home-closet-life that needs to be trimmed in the new year?

No, I do not have one single Christmas decoration out, much less trimming a tree.  We will be leaving for Northern Indiana where we traditionally spend Christmas with our family there, this weekend.  But, no fear, daughter-in-law will have the whole house bedecked and the tree trimmed when we get there.

I honestly can't think of anything in my life or house that needs to be trimmed in 2022.  I'm sure when I go through and transition my closets for spring/summer, I will find some winter things that weren't worn and could be trimmed out.  Maybe.

3.  Are you 'dreaming of a white Christmas'?  Is that a possibility where you'll be celebrating?

Oh yes, I always dream of a white Christmas, and my dreams usually come true.  I trust this year will be no exception.  If we don't have it at our house in Indiana, we won't have far to drive into Michigan to find it.
This was last year in Indiana, so this is the place I most want to be for Christmas.

According to this site the top ten places in the US you can count on for a white Christmas are - North Pole Alaska, Crater Lake Oregon, Yellowstone National Park, Winthrop Washington, Aspen Colorado, Ketchum Idaho, Mt. Washington New Hampshire, Whitefish Montana, Duluth Minnesota, and the Lake Tahoe town of Truckee California.

Of the snowy spots listed which would you most like to visit?

I would either like to go to Mt. Washington, New Hampshire or Aspen, CO.  We have always dreamed of going to the New England area and think winter would be great.  Yet, Colorado has never disappointed us regardless of the season.  I might not prefer Aspen because of the crowds, but a mountain cabin nearby would be divine.  Just give me plenty of snow and a cozy fireplace.

4.  December 8th is National Brownie Day.... will you be celebrating?  How do you like your brownies - chewy or cake-like, frosted or plain, nuts or no nuts, a piece from the middle or give me the corner?  As a child were you a member of a brownie troop?

As I love brownies, I may celebrate with this recipe.

I prefer chewy, plain with lots of nuts, cut right out of the middle please.  No, there were no Brownie troops in rural South Louisiana in the 50's.

5.  Share a favorite line or two from a Christmas carol or holiday tune.

There could never be just one.

"In the Bleak Midwinter"

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd I would bring a lamb;
if I were a Wise Man,
I would do my part;
what can I give him:
give my heart.

"Mary Did You Know"

"When you kiss your little baby you've kissed the face of God?"
"Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect lamb?"
"This sleeping child you're holding is the Great I AM."

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

One night last week a dear sweet friend invited us and another couple to dinner and then to see the amazing "Twelve Days of Christmas" decorations at the Dallas Arboretum.
Margaret, Carol, Libby

These are only a few of the pictures I took.

Day 1 Partridge in a Pear Tree

Day 2 - Two Turtle Doves

Day 3 - Three French Hens

Day 4 - Four Calling Birds

Day 5 - Five Golden Rings

Day 6- Six Geese A-Laying

Day 7- Seven Swans A-Swimming

Day 8 - Eight Maids A-Milking

Day 9 - Nine Ladies Dancing
(the dresses were absolutely gorgeous)

Day 10 - Ten Lords A-Leaping

Day 11 - Eleven Pipers Piping

Day 12 - Twelve Drummers Drumming
(One of my favorite pics from the night)

The German Village was also a highlight

And what is a Christmas event without Santa.
And the look of delight on children's faces.

Thank you, Carol for a spectacular evening.

As we will be on the road next week, I will skip next week's Hodgepodge.