Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Random Thoughts

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1.  When were you last facing an ocean? Using just ONE word, describe how you felt as you faced that ocean.
A few years ago, we and best friends went to California on vacation.  We drove along the Pacific Ocean on Hwy 1 between San Francisco and
San Luis Obispo.  This may very well be the most scenic highway in the country.  I can only think of one word to describe this experienceAWESTRUCK!
 2. What are three sounds you hate to hear?
1.  A high-pitched, whiny female voice

2.  Screaming, crying baby or child
3.  The screeching of car tires and blowing of horns around me

3. This question comes to you courtesy of some real life friends. Hi real life friends! When you shop for yourself, do you try everything on in the store before buying or do you buy, try on at home, and then return what you don't like or what doesn't fit?
As a general rule, I try clothes on because I am so hard to fit.  Shopping is not one of my favorite things, so I sure don't like having to take something back.

4. February 26th is National Pistachio Day...are you a fan of the little green nut? Do you use them in cooking and baking or prefer to eat them right out of the shell?
Yes, we like the little green nut, but I had no idea there was a National Pistachio Day.  Interesting!  I usually keep a bowl of them out on our counter for munching.

  5. When did you last have to compromise with someone?  Were you happy to reach the compromise or slightly irritated it was necessary? 
Oh, life is full of compromises, both large and small.  However, I don't think I want to expound any more than that on this question.

  6.  Have you ever written a letter to an elected official? Did you get a response?
I did write a letter to our Congressman a couple years ago and received a form letter in return.  I decided then that it really doesn't matter what I do and will let my vote speak for me in the future.  It is very frustrating though to think that we really have very little say in the running of our government.

7. We 'March' into a new month at the end of this week...what's something on your March calendar guaranteed to make you smile?
We don't have anything big planned for March, but hopefully every day I am able to get out of bed will bring a smile to my face.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

On Saturday night, Hubby and I enjoyed our night at the Symphony.  They have had such a great variety of  performances in this season's Masterworks Series, and we have looked forward to every one of them.  This one was titled, "Wicked Divas."  It starred two young vocalists who have played roles in this Broadway production.  They sang three songs from "Wicked" but also a variety of others.  It was a wonderful night and made us look forward with even more eager anticipation to seeing "Wicked" on the stage in South Bend, IN while there in May.
 Hubby is on our church's mission planning committee.  That committee, under the leadership of a new pastor and new missions intern, are evaluating all agency/ministry involvement.  Hubby and I were assigned to interview the Director of Programing at the Providence House here.  We met with her yesterday and came away so impressed with what that agency is doing to break the cycle of homelessness in this area.  I am looking forward to becoming personally involved as the opportunity arises.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Aerial Yoga & My Oscar Review

Mid morning again, and I'm just getting my Monday post with Carissa done.  I had hoped to get it done yesterday, but since I didn't, I thought I would do a review of the Oscar Red Carpet attire from last night.  Did your favorite movie win anything?  Hubby and I paid $5.99 to watch ARGO from the comfort of our den yesterday afternoon and it was so worth it.  If you haven't seen it, I recommend it.  Now, we want to watch some of the other winners.

Aerial Flow Yoga

Last week I tried something new.  Two Pilates friends and I attended an Aerial Flow Yoga class taught by our Pilates instructor.
 Okay, the picture above is a slight misrepresentation of what we actually did, but it is something to work toward, I suppose.

This class is an excellent way of stretching and building core strength while defying gravity.
The following are some actual positions that I did, even with the rod in my back.
 It was a fun and different experience and I think it may become something to try on a regular basis.


Did you watch?  Following are some of my observations.
Best Dress Under 40
Best Dress Over 40
Best Full-Size Figure
Best (Back) & Worst Front (She needed a bra or something pick-me-up)
Most Gorgeous Princess Style and Most Embarrassing, but it afforded an outstanding view of this gorgeous dress and how a gracious lady responds after such a moment.  Thank you Jennifer Lawrence.
Love the Color but Didn't Like the Hair
  Best Hard Metal Dresses
 Absolutely the Cutest
Best Mommy Bump
Best Looking Couple

Now, from my "What Was She Thinking?" Category
Worst Full-Figure Dress
Worst Color
Could this color ever look good on anything other than a canary?  But, we must commend her plastic surgeon on a job well done.
ABSOLUTE Worst Fit, Most Boobs, Ugliest, Most Unappropriate!
  Worst Choker & Hair Adornment.  A Tiara?  Really?
That being said, Selma is still beautiful and that figure?  Oh, I could only wish! 
Why do designers think they have to use all the material on the bolt just because it is there?
And, what was her hair dresser thinking?  Trying not to distract from the bulbous skirt, I can only assume.
One of the Absolute Worst on the Red Carpet!
Did she really feel the need to remain in her Les Mis character this long?

May you have an Oscar Winning Monday!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Mountaintops, Cherrys & Tapas Cuisine

It is so good to rejoin Joyce for Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. When were you last 'on a mountaintop'?  You may answer in the literal or figurative sense.
I think the literal mountaintop must have been while traveling from Branson toward Springfield, MI.  There is a beautiful stretch of mountainous highway that has special meaning for us.  A few years ago, the husband of some of our dearest friends who live in Branson, fell hitting his head on a frozen concrete slab.  Because of the severity of his injury, it was necessary to transport him to the trauma center in Springfield.  Since they were in the midst of a terrible ice storm, they couldn't fly and had to take the treacherous mountain passage by ambulance.  What should have been a 45 minute trip, took them 3 long hours.  They made it and Jim survived for which we are more than grateful.  But, we never drive this stretch without thinking about them and praising God for His mercy and protection, and for our beautiful friendship of 47 years.

2.  Do you establish and maintain a strict budget in your household?  What is one piece of financial advice you would offer someone just starting out on their own?
No, we do not have a strict budget and really never have.  Both Hubby and I are very conscious of what we spend and don't make major purchases without consulting/discussing with each other.  Although, we have always maintained separate bank accounts, we have not ever had an issue with this as we share household expenses, etc.

My advice for someone starting out would be to not go into more debt than can be paid for.  Also, save, save, save, and invest for the future.  This being said, I believe the best advice would be to give back at least a 10th of what the Lord has blessed you with.  We have personally seen how He multiplies and blesses as He promised.

3.  Cherries-yay or nay?  Cherry pie, cherry cola, black forest cake, or a scoop of Ben and Jerry's Cherries Garcia...pick one.
Can't say that cherry anything is my favorite, although I do well remember my first cherry coke.  I was sitting in a window seat of Walgreen's in 1959 thinking that I was really somebody.  And I was!

4.  Should you ever discuss religion or politics with people you don't know?
That might be the safest time to discuss politics.  LOL  There are times and opportunities that the Lord provides when it is right to discuss "religion" under His leadership; otherwise, it might be best to leave it alone.

5.  When you take a road trip do you prefer to be the driver or the passenger?  Where were you headed on your last road trip?
Oh yes, I prefer to drive.  I told Hubby that if I drive, only one of us has to drive at a time.
The last road trip was returning home from a 3-week visit with son and family in Indiana, near South Bend.  We make that 15 hour trip in one day, which does mean we share the driving some.

6. If we peeked inside your closet, what color would we say is most prevalent?
Probably black.  But, there is a large variety of browns and reds as well.  You will also find it grouped by color, by the way.

7. Who's your favorite senior citizen and why are they special?
Since I am a senior citizen, that means all my friends are too.  How do you select just one?

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
Last week while we were with our son and his family, he made reservations for us to have a double date for Valentine's evening.  They treated us to their favorite restaurant, The Temper Grill.
 Sean, the owner/chef has become a good friend of Son's because Son frequents the place quite often for business dinners.  So, we had the royal treatment!

Their Mission Statement is:  Temper Grille is where fine tapas-style cuisine and attitude unite creating an ultimate and unforgettable dining experience, in which the highest standards of hospitality are fulfilled and exceeded to the “WOW” factor.

We were not familiar with the tapas-style of eating, but quickly decided that this is the way to eat.  Son ordered his favorite dishes which were absolutely delicious.  The only dish I did not sample was the Escargot, but I must admit it looked delectable.  Below are some of the dishes we had.

 Garlic Butter Baked Escargot Topped with Puffed Pastry and served with Toast Points
 Grilled Louisiana Shrimp with a Mango Dressing
 Lobster Mac n' Cheese
 Truffles for Dessert
 Son and DIL
Hubby and I
Thanks Son for a great evening!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Mardi Gras, Chicago & Glamorous Wash

It's Monday!  What's better than joining with Carissa for Miscellany Monday!
Mardi Gras
 Our son is CEO of a Surgical Hospital in Mishawaka, IN.  Last year, he introduced his employees to Mardi Gras and Cajun food.  His hospital chef insisted that it be repeated again this year, but he wanted John's wife, Michelle to assist him with some of her specialties.

 Gumbo & Michelle's Jambalaya
 Fried Catfish, Fried Okra, Cornbread & Michelle's to die-for Hush Puppies
 Desert Table
 King Cake was a huge hit
 Sweet Potato Pie
 Dick, Libby, Michelle & John
 John's Mardi Gras tie

On Friday, the kids were out of school, so Dad took the day off and we all spent the day in Chicago.
We left home in a blowing snow storm, but it didn't take long for the weather to change and it was an absolutely gorgeous day on Lake Michigan in the Windy City. 
 The Water Tower is the parking place of choice and a great place to do some shopping.
This picture was taken from the 5th level.  Can you find the lowest level without falling over?
 This unbelievable chandelier caught our attention.  Can you believe the bling?
 One of my feminine girl's favorite places is LUSH.  Oh my the aromas in this fun place.
 We managed to spend the whole day on and off Michigan Avenue.  This was the night river view.
 Breath taking night time view of the Windy City

 Glamorous Wash
A dear friend of my DIL's sent her a gift box the other day and one of the items inside was a container of Glamorous Wash - detergent for delicate wash.
I have to tell you that it was absolutely the most wonderful fragrance.  I decided I must have some of my own.
 It can be found at the Tyler Candle Company website.  You will find so many beautiful and fragrant items there for your home.

Happy Monday!