Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Farewell to November

Welcome to another Wednesday Hodgepodge with questions you may also choose to ask and answer.

1.  Sum up your November in ten words or less.

My favorite month of the year left too quickly and left me one year older.

2.  Are you hosting any holiday parties this year?  Attending any?  Party pooper, party animal, or life of the party...where do you land when it comes to parties?

I will not be hosting any holiday parties because we leave for Northern Indiana mid December for the remainder of the month.  Yes, we will be attending some Christmas parties before we leave that are church related.  I am NOT a party animal - more a party tolerator.  I tend to sit on the sideline at parties and enjoy watching the others.

3.  Do you purchase holiday clothing of any sort (sparkly tops, Christmas jammies, Santa suit, etc.)?

I do not purchase holiday clothing per se'.  I do own one sort-of sparkly top that was purchased years ago that I pull out for the occasional holiday gathering. I am not a sparkle clothing type.

 My Christmas jammies were given to me by my daughters and I love them.

4.  What's your go-to recipe when you're asked to bring an hors d'oeuvre to a party?

I do not have a go-to recipe but recently tried a new recipe to serve at home which was a big hit.  It will also be on our Christmas Eve hors d'oeuvre table this year.

5.  December 3rd is National Play Outside Day...what might you do to celebrate?

National Play Outside Day?  I may walk outside but that will be the extent of my celebration.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Thanksgiving 2022

Christy always hosts our Thanksgiving Dinner with a beautiful table setting, and we all contribute food.  
She went less formal this year with these pretty disposable dishes and we loved it.

Ava Grace enjoys making the place cards every year, and she also makes 
labels for the food.

This little turkey was the chief center of attention and the blessing for which we were most grateful.  Landon is 7 months old and such a joy.

Two of our girls were absent this year, but not far from our thoughts.

The other blessing for which we are most grateful this year, is our big boy, Jax.  His mother sent this picture of him and his daddy Thanksgiving morning.  This rascal is only 4 months and wearing 9 month clothing, and you see they are a snug fit.  Yes, another BIG DAY BOY!

Trust your Thanksgiving was also full of thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Tis the Season to Give Thanks

After being absent for a couple weeks it is good to be back with the Hodgepodgers on this day before Thanksgiving.  Thank you Joyce for bringing us together.

1.  Have you ever been on a cruise?  If so where did you go and how did you like it?  If not, do you have any desire to take a cruise someday?

In 1996, we and four of our best couple friends took a Caribbean Cruise to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversaries.  We had a great time making tons of memories, but realized that the sun on the sundeck of a cruise ship got old.  Regretfully, two of our group are now deceased and one couple divorced.  Time and life can take a toll, but we will forever be grateful for friendships.

In 2000, we took an Alaskan cruise with two other couple friends and it was a wonderful trip.  Yes, I would do this one again.

2.  Tell us about your Thanksgiving plans...are you hosting?  cooking?  eating out?  turkey or some other main?  is it stuffing or dressing in your house?  homemade cranberries or cranberries in a can?  are pies on the dessert menu?  what kind?  what are your 'must have' sides?  Tell us one thing you're especially grateful for this year.

We traditionally have Thanksgiving with our daughter and her family, along with her husband's family.  Since moving to Plano, it is only a 10 minute drive rather than the 3 hours it used to be.

Dick and I will be bringing the cornbread dressing and gravy, - yes dressing not stuffing- a Cajun Rice Dressing better known as "Dirty Rice," sweet potato casserole, and our family's favorite "Pink Salad."  Granddaughter Chandler will bring the favorite side, green bean casserole.

Christy always provides the meats, cranberries in a can, drinks and a beautiful table setting.  Chuck's mom, Sandra brings her much desired pecan and pumpkin pies; His sister, the bread.

I am most grateful for my family and especially for our two healthy, beautiful great grandsons.

3.  If someone approaches you and asks for money do you give it to them?  Do you drop money 'in a tin cup' that belongs to a person on the street?  Do you have a specific charity you support during the holiday season and/or year round?

No, I never give money to anyone asking on the street or elsewhere.  I sometimes will put a few dollars in a red kettle manned by a bell ringer.
I give year round to a ministry that supports widows of deceased ministers in our denomination.  I also support a child in Rwanda.  Our extra holiday giving is done through our church for missions.

4.  Have you started decorating for Christmas?  Is your tree up?  Shopping done?  Wrapped?

As I do not decorate for Christmas because we leave mid-Dec., I just today put out one little throw pillow that says "Joyeau Noel!"  NO TREE!
I have wrapped one gift and have another ready for a party auction, and that's pretty much all I have.  I haven't seen the shopping lists for the babies yet, so that remains to be ordered.

5.  Create your own acrostic using the word THANKS.

The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious unto you;
Now and for evermore.
Know the Lord will not leave you or forsake you.
Sing praises to His name.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

We saw the movie, "The Chosen" Season 3 Episodes 1-2 today and it was great.  We marathon'd the first two seasons and enjoyed them much more than we thought we would.  If you haven't seen these, I do encourage you to do so.

May this be a wonderful time of praise and thanksgiving for each of you and all within your door. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

A Grateful November Hodgepodge

I started blogging after retiring from a full-time, demanding job in 2011.  Curious to see if I had posted anything about my 67th birthday that first year, I looked back and found that yes, I had.  It was spent with our daughter and her family in Dallas, but my outing with Ava Grace, 5 at the time is still a special memory.

We went to the Galleria where we had lunch and shopped at American Girl and even took Kit to the ice skating rink where she excelled on her first try.

That night we went to the huge Fall Festival at Prestonwood Baptist Church where Bat Girl was not too proud to snuggle with her pretty mom.

Gracious, the changes these 11 years have brought and I am more than grateful for the majority of them, especially for my 78th birthday today, the 1st of Nov.

Thank you Joyce for this week's Hodgepodge questions.

From this Side of the Pond
1.  What about your upbringing are you most grateful for?

My parents.  I am grateful for the life of commitment to each other, to our family, to their faith, to the people they ministered to, and the example they set every single day of their lives.  I'm grateful to have grown up in the south in the mid 40's - 60's, in a rural area where everyone was either called "Aunt" or "Uncle" or by Mr. and Mrs.  That was an idyllic time to grow up.

2.  What are two or three things that bring you comfort?

Sitting around a roaring fire snuggled in a warm blanket, sipping hot chocolate, surrounded by family.

3.  Something beautiful you saw today?  (or yesterday depending on when it is you're answering this question)

The sunrise while on my morning walk in The Village.

4.  Have you ever used a typewriter?  Tell us a memory associated with that.

Oh yes, and in fact first typed on one that looked exactly like the one above.  My dad had one that he used all the time, and allowed us to play on it.  My memory is watching him type a mile a minute with no errors using his forefingers only.  I was shocked when I took my first typing class that that was not the right technique.  It sure worked for Daddy.  He would have been a great texter.

5.  Something you are grateful for today.

To be healthy, active, happy, and a year older.  I'm grateful for God's faithfulness to me and my family and for my eternal hope in Jesus Christ.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Jax's 1st Halloween

Landon's 1st Halloween

Ava Grace (Center) and fellow students will have their first school theatrical performance this weekend.  Obviously, acting comes more natural for some than others.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Happy Halloweenie Hodgepodge

Welcome to what appears to be the first real Autumn Wednesday Hodgepodge where I live.  It is truly a gorgeous day after having 24 hours of thunderstorms yesterday and a lovely cool front.  Glorious!

1.  In two or three sentences describe yourself to someone who has never met you.

If you have never met me, then I would be the 5'6" tall slim, soon-to-be 78 year old woman, who hopefully doesn't look her age. Also hopefully I would appear approachable, attractive and someone you would like to know.  I am a daughter of the King, wife of 57 years, mother of a son and daughter, grandmother of 7 and great grandmother of 2.

2.  Will you celebrate Halloween this year, and if so tell us how?

No, the only celebration at our house near Halloween is my birthday the next day, Nov 1.

Let's play this or that-chocolate candy or fruity candy?    Chocolate candy
Pumpkin seeds or pumpkin pie?    Pumpkin Pie (as a last resort)
Halloween party or scary movie?    Neither
Hay ride or corn maze?    If I were still a teenager it would definitely be a hay ride in the country.
Carve a pumpkin or paint a pumpkin?   Not interested in either at this point.

3.  What's something that scared you when you were young?  Are you still afraid?

I think my greatest fear was failure.  No, after having failed and survived repeatedly, it is no longer a fear.

4.  Your favorite soothing drink?

My soothing hot cup of Mystic Chia every morning

5.  Are you thinking about Christmas yet?  Does this make you feel happy or stressed?

Yes, I have been thinking about it, and in fact have already made some of our travel arrangements to Northern Indiana for Christmas.  Also, we have decided that from now on our gift giving will be concentrated on the two Great Grandsons.  Thankfully, the parents will be making gift option suggestions which will simplify the process.  Planning ahead always makes me happy.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Speaking of those adorable baby boys!

3 month old Jax made his first trip to the pumpkin patch last week.  And by the way, the cute monogramed 3-6 mth old outfit I gave him pre-birth does NOT fit.  He is going to be a tall big boy like his daddy.

Aunt Cassidy has declared that 6 month old Landon is the "avocado to her toast" for an early Halloween party last week.

Yes, I agree!  We are greatly blessed.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

A Non-Brainy Autumn


It's all about Autumn on the blog today and I do love all things Fall.

1.  Thursday (Oct 13) is National Train Your Brain Day.  What do you do to keep your brain in tip top shape?  Is it helping?

I feel that the operative word here is "KEEP" as it implies my brain was at some point in tip top shape.  What would that even look like for me?

Oh well, keeping it all in perspective and assuming that at some point my brain did actually function in tip top shape, I doubt very seriously that it is there at this particular point in time.

In order to keep my brain function from further decline, I read, paint, exercise, play mentally stimulating games on the computer and iPad, maintain a blog and compose a quarterly newsletter for our HOA, and serve on said Board of Directors.  I also attend a very stimulating women's Bible Study with women who are mentally acute and stimulating themselves.  My husband and I also attend a weekly Bible Study that is on the par of a seminary course.  We listen to and read the writings of scholars in fields that we have interests.  I volunteer one day a week at our Pregnancy Center.

I think the people with whom we surround ourselves can be one of the greatest ways to keep our mind in tip top shape.

Is it helping?  I suppose it is because I still know my name and address.

2.  You can sit with anyone in the world and 'pick their brain'...whom do you choose?  Tell us why?

I'm assuming this person needs to be currently alive, so I will go with Joel Rosenberg, author, speaker who formerly served with the then Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu.  He spoke in our church several months ago.

Why?  He is one of the most knowledgeable people of the ever shifting landscape of the Middle East and capable writers to explain it.  Having moved his family to Israel several years ago, he has met with some of the most complex and controversial world leaders.  His fiction books have been prophetic and one of his most recent non-fiction, "Enemies and Allies" tells about many of these meetings. 

3.  What's something happening in the world (or your corner of it) right now that you have trouble 'wrapping your brain around'?

WOKEISM!  A No-Brain Issue

For the life of me, I cannot 'wrap my brain around' why anyone, with or without common sense, or any sense at all, would think the concepts and teachings of this ideology is good for the human race. (Or the political party that supports/promotes it) It is the most destructive, divisive, demeaning, evil and selfish movement to ever come out of America.  The empires of Babylon, Persia, Greek, and Rome, not to mention Nazi Germany, fell because of a very similar belief system and so will America if God doesn't intervene.

4.  On a scale of 1-10 where do you fall in the pumpkin fan club?  (1=blech, 10=make it all pumpkin all the time)  Tell us something delicious you've tasted recently that had some pumpkin in it somewhere.

I much prefer my pumpkins as decorative items and not on my fork or scenting my home, so that would put me at a 1=blech.

5.  Share a favorite song, book, or movie with an autumn title, setting, or vibe.

The song "Autumn Leaves" was one of my favorite solos to sing back in the '60's.  Movies would be "Autumn in New York,"  "Hunt for Red October," and my favorite "You've Got Mail."

My most favorite recent picture with an autumn setting is Granddaughter Ava Grace all dressed up for her sophomore homecoming prom picture.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

While contemplating the current state of my brain, I came across an article on home decor and whether the things I have in my house screams "Granny Chic."  I do wonder though how bad a "Great Granny Chic" might be.

If you are the least bit concerned about the vibes your decor is putting off, you may want to check out this link.

The cherry wood furniture was a big shocker for me.  How did you fare?

Sunday, October 2, 2022

A Day With Friends Among the Pumpkins

Every year, the Dallas Arboretum ushers in fall with a most spectacular Pumpkin Patch.  In fact, the Pioneer Woman declared it one of "20 Best Pumpkin Patches in the U.S. to Visit With the Family This Fall."  This is the 17th year for Autumn at the Arboretum.
This past Friday, a group of ladies from our church Life Group met for a day among the pumpkins.  It was absolutely the most perfect fall weather for such a fun outing.  In fact, it doesn't get any better in Dallas.
We agreed that every family there thought it worth coming out for too.

The grounds of the Arboretum are spectacular with or without pumpkins.  There is something to see at every turn of the walking paths.
Around one such turn, we found this entertaining lovely Spanish lady being filmed pantomiming a song.  Every garden should have a bit of drama, right?
In early November the pumpkins will be removed and these small domed glass cages will be dressed for Christmas.  Opening November 10th is the Holiday at the Arboretum, featuring the return of The 12 Days of Christmas exhibit.  We went last year and it was totally amazing!
Jane, Sharon, Mary and Carolyn were deep in conversation when I asked them to pose.  Behind them, you can see one of the hundreds of trees already lighted for the Christmas display.

Carol and Margaret decided to get acquainted with Shakespeare;
however, he got a little too acquainted with Margaret.
The following are some of the most interesting stems that I couldn't ignore.

We enjoyed a delicious lunch in the lovely DeGolyer Restaurant with an overview of the Dallas skyline in the distance.

Each of these ladies are God's special gift of friendship to me.
After lunch, we visited the acclaimed Pumpkin Village featuring large-scale pumpkin houses and creative displays utilizing more than 100,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash.  The theme is "A Fall Fairy Tale."

This is the Jack and the Beanstalk House with even the cherished cow.
Peggy and Jone are standing in front of the Texas Star House.

The Three Little Pigs would love this solid orange pumpkin house.
Solid white pumpkins are the building material for Cinderella's castle.
Her magic carriage is being pulled by a team of large cornhusk horses.  The children loved having their pictures made inside the carriage.  We didn't attempt it.
The Sword in the Stone corn maze was very popular as well.

The colorful Gourd House was a lovely backdrop for Libby and Margaret.

And then, there are some more imaginative than others.
It is not all pumpkins and gourds at the Arboretum.  There are also quiet streams and places to sit or walk and contempt the beauty of God's creation before daring to drive the Dallas freeways again.