Wednesday, July 3, 2024

A July Hodgepodge


Our church singing "Salute to the Armed Forces"

I am joining Joyce who hosts the Wednesday Hodgepodge each week on her blog From This Side of the Pond.

1. It's a big week in the US of A as we celebrate Independence Day. Do you have any special plans? How will you mark the day? BBQ? pool-lake-beach time? fireworks? homemade ice cream? If you're not an American you can tell us what's happening in your corner of the world on Thursday.

Our plans at this time are to go to the "All American 4th" music and fireworks event on a local college campus in the early evening.  It will be sweltering as temperatures here are exceeding 100 degrees, but we're hoping for shade and a breeze.  Of course these plans are subject to change.  As for the actual 4th of July, we will be home and having our own quiet celebration.

We may also go to Music in the Park for a Patriotic Band Concert on the 3rd.

We went with friends last week and it was so much fun.

2. What's your favorite 'All-American' dessert?

We don't do a lot of desserts, but we do like a homemade ice cream recipe we call "Lemon Fluff."  It is made from sto-bought vanilla ice cream, sweetened condensed milk and frozen lemonade.  This is a long-time family favorite and so refreshing this time of year.

3. Does that patriotic feeling come easily to you, or are you having to work for it more these days? What's something that makes you proud to be a citizen of your country?

My feeling of patriotism and loyalty to my country isn't conditional on the political climate or a recent debacled debate.  Now, my being pleased with what is going on in this country is getting harder and harder to experience.  In fact, I find it all very sad and discouraging most of the time.

What makes me proud to be a citizen of this country is the fact that we can still celebrate the freedoms so many fought and died for through these 200 years.  I am proud that our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles that formed the very foundation and guiding declarations of this country.  I pray that these will again be the guiding force for future generations, though that seems doubtful at this time as there are no moral principles guiding our nation anymore.  Only God knows what is ahead for America!

4. Your favorite 'patriotic' movie? Favorite patriotic song?

  • Sands of Iwo Jima
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • Black Hawk Down
Favorite Patriotic Song:    National Anthem & God Bless America

5. One simple pleasure on your July 'bucket list'? 

We don't need a July bucket list because our calendar is quiet full of pleasurable things.  We have several dates planned for simple fun times with friends; we will be grand-dog sitting while our Dallas family is on our church's youth choir/mission trip in Hawaii; the youth concert when they return; and to top it all off is a trip to Michigan for our granddaughter #3's wedding.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

One thing that has been on my bucket list is to visit the French Lick Hotel and Resort in southwest Indiana.  Several months ago I read an article about it's history and transformation.  This captivated my interest not only in history but in architecture.

Being that we were going to be in Indiana in late July following the big wedding, and had the time, we decided it wasn't enough to just make a detour to see it, we wanted to spend a night in this historic and beautiful place.

One of the must sees is the gorgeous dome and completely refurbished interior and massive columns.

I can't wait to share this trip with you in August.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

It's a Crazy Hodgepodge Saturday

How about a hodgepodge of things that have run through my pictures and crazy mind of late.

A couple weeks ago, Granddaughter #3, Savannah celebrated a fun Bachelorette trip to Pensacola, FL with all her attendants and cousin, Chandler.  It was such a fun time celebrating this beautiful bride-to-be.  The wedding will be on July 27 in Three Oaks, MI.



Now, how about an update on two of our Great Grandsons.

Our Landon is a busy, loving, adorable 2-year old.

Our Jax is a busy, loving, adorable almost 2-year old.

This morning, I decided to see if I was ready to accomplish one of my main goals after having hip replacement surgery on Feb 20th.  That goal was to walk the hilly walking paths of the nearby nature preserve.

Goal Accomplished!  I think I will make this an every Saturday morning treat and challenge.

  The other day as I was watching a video of Jax sent by his grandmother on Snap Chat, I decided to play with some of the filters.  The following is what I came up with.  Enjoy and laugh along with me.

If we can't make fun of ourselves, then who will?  Happy Saturday afternoon.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Simply a Special Father

Happy Father's Day, Dick!

1. June 12 is National Simplicity Day. In what way is your life simple? What's one way that it's not?

I had never heard of this, so looked it up and found the following:

"The theme for this year is ‘Look for the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities.' This year's theme implies that an individual should focus on their life on fulfilling the necessities by not wasting money on unnecessary objects."

Our lifestyle is simple in that we live fairly frugally while also enjoying life to the fullest.  We don't deny ourselves anything, so I guess it boils down to our needs and desires are pretty simple.

2. Something you remember from a 'simpler time'?

Simpler times were when we were perfectly content with what we had, and never thought to compare what we didn't have with others.  When I was a child in the 50's, there was no economic difference in our village - we were all poor but didn't know it.  We enjoyed simple things such as playing outside all day, playing games and reading at night, going on picnics and spending time with friends.  We were creative and enjoyed meals around the table every night.  Simple, but quality times.

3. Do you like squash? If so what's your favorite variety? What's a favorite way to prepare squash?

Yes, I do like squash and prefer yellow and zucchini smothered with onions.


4. Do you shop the warehouse stores (such as Costco, Sam's B.J's, etc)? If so how often do you go, and what's something you always buy in this type of store?

We have become so spoiled since moving to Plano, TX.  There is a Costco less than two miles from our house and a Sam's about 15 minutes away.  We go to Costco as often as we think of something we need or want.  We also use the pharmacy there, so that gives us plenty of excuses to visit.

There are specific things we get at each warehouse store such as individually packaged chicken breast and meat patties at Sam's.  Costco has the best chicken salad, Trail Mix, fresh veggies and fruit, plus a variety of frozen prepared veggies.  Also, we get our organic eggs there, and the list goes on.

5. Father's Day is this coming Sunday. Any plans to make the day special? Tell us something about your own father, or something about your hubs as a father, or about someone who stepped into your life and acted as a father if yours was not a part of your life. 

We may go to our daughter's for lunch after church, but no other plans than to just enjoy the day together.

My dad was a "gentle giant" and a prince of a godly man.  He was our hero in every respect and still is, not only to my sister and me but to all his grandchildren as well.  I am also so grateful for my children's father who has been a godly influence and leader in our family.

Happy Heavenly Father's Day, Daddy!

6. Insert your own random thought here.


Wednesday, June 5, 2024

A Cheesy, Summery Hodgepodge

What happened to a regular blogging routine?  I have no idea except that it no longer exists.  I will keep making an effort however, and what better time to do that than on this rainy Tuesday morning.  Thank you Joyce for keeping on keeping on with the Wednesday Hodgepodge.

1. It's National Cheese Day (June 4)...does anyone not like cheese?  What's your favorite?  Last thing you ate or made with cheese?

A couple weeks ago we hosted a cousins get-together for a California cousin we had never met.  I served Monte Cristo sliders which included a variety of cheeses and Dick's famous New Orleans Muffulettas full of cheeses and an olive mixture.  Oh my, to die for.

My favorite cheese would depend on what I'm cooking.  For these sandwiches I used Havarti, Provolone, Gouda and Colby Jack.  For most other dishes I use a Mexican mixture.  We are cheese lovers for sure.

This is a picture of our Colvin line cousins - 4 generations.

2. Last time you were instructed to 'say cheese!'? How do you feel about having your picture taken?

The picture above was the last time I had my picture taken.  I don't mind saying "cheese" as long as I am prepared.  Otherwise, I get something like this:

3. What's your travel packing strategy? Are you typically a light packer or do you throw in everything but the kitchen sink? When flying do you check a bag or aim for carry on only?

Of course it all depends on where, when and how.  When we drive to Indiana or a vacation trip, we take whatever we feel might be required for the season.  When we fly, we have to limit the amount because we always check package for both of us, plus carry-ons. 

4. What is it about people's cell phone habits that you find most annoying?

Using an earbud and carrying on a conversation with an invisible person in public.  I find this so extremely irritating not to mention rude.

5. What will be your summer mantra/slogan?

Stay inside and as cool as possible! 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

A lot has happened in the last month and especially in the past week or so, but I guess I need to just do a specific blog on all that.  For today, I'll show you what happened last week to our church during one of the huge storms to go through North Central Texas that caused several deaths, huge power outages and millions of dollars in clean-up.

We live less than a mile from our church and personally experienced what I call "the first unnamed hurricane of the season".  We had winds over 100 mph and rain and lightening like I've never seen in an actual hurricane.  And I'm from Louisiana!  Thankfully, we did not experience any damage at our house, but trees were damaged all over the area.

Yesterday, work started on the massive job of replacing the whole western exterior wall of our worship center.  It will take a couple weeks to complete plus doing all the interior work due to heavy rain damage.  In the meantime, we continue to get daily rains.

I would not want this job!

Thursday, May 2, 2024

A Month-Long Roundup of Memories

This is a "catch-up" blog post since I have not been posting lately.  Now that my bed-ridden days are past and I was released by my Dr. following hip replacement surgery, life has gotten busy and regular again.  So, this will be a picture overload to recapture recent happenings.

I had posted several weeks ago that one of my goals for the month of April was to get a new vehicle.  That happened with the purchase of this beautiful Highlander Limited.  I never desired a red car, but this one is the prettiest color and definitely meets my need for a nice, comfortable SUV.

Great Grandsons:

Jax, in Indiana is thriving and talking up a storm.  look at those beautiful, expressive eyes.  He will be two in July.  We miss him so much.

Landon had his first haircut before celebrating his 2nd Birthday.  He is growing so fast and getting tall and very verbal.

Savannah is getting ready for her July 27 wedding and has just about all the i's dotted and t's crossed.  She is so organized and will definitely have the wedding of her dreams.  We can hardly wait to experience this special event with her.

Savannah's little sister, Mary-Elizabeth will be graduating from Xavier University in Cincinnati this week with a BSN degree.  We are so proud of this smart girl and she will be working at a local hospital there.  Best wishes for a very bright future in nursing, M-E.

Youngest Granddaughter, Ava Grace is a HS Junior and continues to excel.  A few weeks ago she performed in the school production of "White Christmas."  (Above middle)  She was recognized as an honor student and for excelling in the area of anatomy at the recent school Honors Night.  She was absolutely beautiful for the Junior/Senior Prom last weekend.  It is hard to believe she will be a senior in a few months.  How fast time flies.

Our son, John and Daughter-in-love, Michelle visited us a few weeks ago.  It was so good to have them with us for several days.  We managed to stay busy as well as just doing nothing but enjoying them.  They were also here to see Ava Grace's theater production.

This week I am visiting my sister in South Louisiana.  We always treasure these times together.  Yesterday we drove down near New Orleans to spend time with her youngest son and grandson at their house on Chinkapin Canal.  It is life right on the water which is exactly what Doug was seeking.

He has three levels of decks that are right on the water.  As we sat we saw gators glide by and birds hoping to catch something popping up out of the water.  After a delicious lunch, Doug wanted to show us all that lives in his backyard.

Deep in the Maurepas Swamp, the Chinkapin Canal opens into the Amite River and from there we went into the Diversion Canal.

In order to prevent future flooding, back in the 1950's the Army Corps of Engineers created the Amite River Diversion Canal.  It is a 10.6-mile long flood control channel that conveys the Amite River flow to the Blind River.

  This created a swamp island across from Doug's house.  We rode around that island in a slow, interesting 40 mile, three-hour drive on a small party boat.

Because this lovely waterway has direct access to the infamous Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans and provides thousands of acres of water access, it is prim property.  It is interesting to see the diversity of homes in this area.  Above are only three of the huge, gorgeous multi-million dollar homes.  There were boats and yachts at almost every home that costs millions as well.  There are several restaurants and bars that are accessible only by boat where Doug and Alex enjoy going to.  This is another lifestyle that I can only imagine.

After seeing how the other half live here, Gin and I thought we finally found something we could possibly afford.

This boat ride was so relaxing and enjoyable that I was afraid I may have trouble driving home.  We decided to skip the notoriously nightmare traffic of Baton Rouge and took a rural route through Antebellum country with old plantations such as Nottaway.

  To get there we first had to cross the famous Sunshine Bridge over the Mississippi River.   This woke us up for sure.

 This concludes my catch-up blog post and I hope you enjoyed reliving fun times with me.  I will try to get back to regular posting with Joyce for the Wednesday Hodgepodge if not other happenings.