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.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Flying Through October

I really had good intentions for a few minutes to participate in the 31 Day Challenge where we post a blog on each of the 31 days of October.
Joyce somehow was able to pull this off while also giving us thought provoking questions each and every Wednesday.  I do not know how she does it!
But, I admire her and will be faithful to at least participate in a 4-day blog post challenge for October.

So, here goes with our second
for October.

1. What's something that has recently 'tried your patience'?
Getting the pictures from our 50th Anniversary.  A dear friend who loves to take photos and is quite good at it, agreed to record our day with his camera.  However, he uses a setting on his camera (RAW) that enables him to edit his pictures in certain programs.  This put the pictures in a format that I cannot use.  I have tried to convert them to jpg but it changes the quality.  This has also tried the patience of my sweet friend, because he is disappointed for me.  Anyway, he has the camera card is now trying to make them usable for me.  When that happens, I will be more than happy to share them with you.

2. Do you think patience comes to us naturally or is it something you have to learn as you grow? On a scale of 1-10 generally how patient are you? (1=I blow up at the drop of a hat and 10=I've got all the time in the world).
All one has to do is look at a baby to know that patience is not a natural character trait.  I think it is something that has to be worked on every single day.  I would probably give myself a 5 because there are some things that I tend to be very impatient with these days.

3. Share about a time when you felt like you could fly. Or a time you wished you could fly. Or a time you felt like you were flying.
 

It would be nice to be able to soar during these early fall mornings when the sunrise is spectacular and the air is fresh.

4. Your favorite song with the word fly in the title or lyrics, or your favorite song that relates to flying in some way?
"Fly Me to the Moon"

5. What's in your fall picnic basket and where are we picnicking in your neck of the woods this time of year?

 
I'm not sure if you're asking for a literal answer or not, so I will just go with it.  We don't do picnics, but we have a nice little park in our subdivision where we could go should the urge ever hit. Which I'm not expecting.

6.  Carpentry, electrical, plumbing, landscaping...which skill would you most like to possess and how would you put that skill to use today?
I don't think I want any of these skills right now in my life.

7. What's something you think is too expensive to justify buying lately?
 

A new vehicle.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

Last night we took our good friends out to celebrate Tom's 75th birthday.  When did our husbands get so old!  Anyway, we went to a new restaurant in town, Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar.
Walk-On's has a very interesting story.
A walk-on is an athlete trying out for a team who has not been drafted, invited, scouted, awarded a scholarship.

Jack Warner and Brandon Landry, the founders and walk-ons for the LSU basketball team, played proudly for the Tigers, driven by the team camaraderie and their true love of the game. 

In 2001, on a plane ride home from a game at the University of Tennessee the idea began on the back of a napkin.  They now have seven locations in Louisiana.

In 2012, Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar was named the #1 Sports Bar in America by ESPN.

There are more than 60 large TV screens carrying every imaginable game every night of the week.

The food is a Cajun flavor and was delicious. 

Welcome to Shreveport Walk-On's and Happy Birthday to Tom.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

One Dress - Multiple Looks

This summer I decided to give in to the maxi craze.  I found this brown number at
Soft Surroundings.  I liked it so well I ordered a deep teal one as well.
I wanted something that I could dress up or down and use for a variety of summer occasions.

Needless to say, I do not wear anything sleeveless so I had to be creative with something to cover the upper arms.

This blog is about some of the things I came up with that I already had in my closet.

NOTE:  Always shop in your closet first!

Because I adhere to the principle of capsule wardrobe planning, all of the items in my closet can be worn in multiple ways.


For a night out for dinner and Little Theater, I added this cream silk, bead-embellished jacket.
 You will notice I am wearing the same shoes in all these pictures.  Know why?  I'll tell you later.
 For lunch with some lady friends, I added this bright yellow, light-weight sweater.
For a less than formal event for the symphony, I added this shear shrug that covered the arms, but also added a degree of frivolity and pizzazz.
 
Now that fall is in the air down south, I plan to continue wearing this versatile, comfortable dress with a heavier covering.

I found this sweater while in northern Indiana a few weeks ago and loved it.  It is perfect with this dress and will be a cozy covering.
 
 This longer sweater works because of the short cut in front.

One of my favorite combos is the embellished jean jacket.  I find with over air-conditioned rooms during the southern fall, the jean jacket is very comfortable.
Now, why the same shoes.  Any ideas?  No, they are not the only pair of shoes I have.

These particular shoes have a slight wedge which lifts the hem of the dress off the floor.  Also, the color creates a continuation of the color giving a seamless flow.  The eye is drawn to my upper half and the overall affect is not broken.

Remember, unless you want your shoes to make a statement, match your pants or dress with the same color shoe or a neutral shade.

I think brown boots are going to be a good change in a few weeks.  And yes, the south allows us to wear this sort of attire for a couple more months.

I hope this gives you some ideas and encouragement to mix and match, and shop in your closet for creative outfits.

Linking with

Friday, October 9, 2015

Vogue Take-Aways and Significance

On Monday, I featured some of the previous week's comical/serious highlights from the Spring 2016 Paris Runway.  (HERE)  Now that it is all over, Vogue has chosen some of their favorite take-aways and I thought it might be fun to review some of those.

If you are interested in standing out in a crowd,
then Paris Fashion Week offered no shortage of beauty statements for taking your personal style to the next level. Here are some ideas Vogue thinks are worth stealing from the runways.

 Hair
  I mentioned previously what some consider the appeal of power ponytails.

Eyes
Instead of the classic winged liquid cat-eye look that has been popular, Louis Vuitton used black eyeliner in starburst patterns or sketched into geometric forms. 

Another way to stand out after dark, is with sparkle: A rimming of electric blue glitter along the lash lines or reflective silver on the lids.  This would really make you shine or glow after dark. 
 Hair Accessories 
If you’re looking for a way to organize pigtails or create a messy knot or bun, the season’s decorative hair accessories hold the key. For evening, you may want to try Chanel’s metallic barrettes or just twist or knot it up and attach a tacky ribbon.
Lips
The red lip is really big right now, and the easiest way to recreate a classic crimson comes down to the finish. You might want to top off that red lipstick with the high-gloss finish of car paint.
Skin
Fresh skin and undone waves are taking a turn for the romantic. Offering up the week’s prettiest incarnation of the look, Alexander McQueen’s vibrant skin and flushed cheeks focused on a soft new femininity.
So, what can we take away from Vogue's seven beauty choices?

On or off the runway, the sounding call for body confidence and individuality has never been out of style.

What makes you feel confident?

Is it knowing that your makeup is perfectly and creatively applied?

Is it wearing the most current fashions?

Or is it knowing that your hairstyle is the most becoming for you?

Is it knowing you are a strong person and have accomplished what you were designed to do?

For some confident women, it may be all of these and more.

But, for the Christian Woman of Significance, we know that we are an expression of His workmanship and creativity.

 Our confidence comes from recognizing our positional worth - that we are significant in God's eyes - and therefore, we have a confidence not of ourselves but through Him.

When we discover our significance and confidence in the eyes of God, we are empowered to develop the virtues that make a significant life - a significance that is from Him, through Him, and to Him.

"As water reflects the face,
    so one’s life reflects the heart."

Proverbs 27:19 

I am linking up with Jennifer for
Tell His Story 
 and Richella for
Imparting Grace 
 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Pumpkins, Music, Flowers and Small Towns

I thought October was going to bring fall weather but other than cooler mornings, afternoons have still been warm.  And still no rain for the deep south.  My heart does go out to those experiencing flooding in the Carolina's.  We know what that is like where I live.

Join all the Hodgepodgers at
1. It's October so let's get this out there first thing...have you jumped on the all-things-pumpkin bandwagon? How so?

No I haven't.  In fact, the only thing pumpkin I have at this point are some stacked pumpkins at my front door that I bought while in Amish country a few weeks ago.  We do not have access to the unusual ornamental pumpkins found in the Mid-West.  I will be adding more fall decor this next week to the inside of the house and that will contain a few faux pumpkins.

2.  "We have more power than will; and it is often by way of excuse to ourselves that we fancy things are impossible." Francois Duc De la Rochefoucauld  

What's something you once thought impossible, but in hindsight see as more a matter of lack of will?

Learning to roller skate.  After falling numerous times my first time out, I decided if I couldn't do it well to start with, it wasn't worth working at; therefore, I never tried again.

3. The rose is America's National Flower, but every state also has its own (click here to see the list). Are you happy with yours? If you were in charge what would you declare your state's flower? If you're outside the U.S. what bloom would you like to see labeled as your country's national flower?
 
The Louisiana State Flower is the Magnolia.  It is a beautiful, fragrant flower and I wouldn't change it at all.  In fact, I have a magnolia tree in front of my house.
4. What have you lost interest in recently?

Yard work.  I worked so hard to keep our flower beds and pots alive and looking pretty for our 50th Anniversary party.  Now that I no longer have that motivation, I have lost interest in making sure the beds are weeded and pots watered with frequency and fervency.

5. In your opinion, who's the best living musician?
 

Benjamin Harlan was a Professor of Church Music at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He became the second dean of the School of Church Music at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1995. He was also on the Music Faculty at Louisiana College and State Music Secretary for the Louisiana Baptist Convention.  He is an internationally known arranger and composer of choral, keyboard and handbell works. He is also known for his hymn arrangements for organ, choir, and congregation.  And he happens to be a very dear friend whom we have known since he was in high school.  And one of the funniest guys you could want to meet.  Yea, Benji!
 

6. S'mores-love 'em or no? Ever make them indoors? Last time you sat around an outdoor fire? Are making s'mores and sitting round a fire pit on your autumn bucket list? Do you have an autumn bucket list?
 

Yes, I like s'mores, but they aren't big on my bucket list.  The last time I sat around an outdoor fire was around a firepit after Christmas at our son's in northern Indiana.  I do not have an autumn bucket list.

7. Your favorite small town? Why?

Natchitoches, Louisiana, was established in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis as part of French Louisiana, and named after the indigenous Natchitoches people.   The City of Natchitoches wasn't incorporated until after Louisiana had become a state (1812), on February 5, 1819. It is the oldest permanent settlement in the state.  Pronounced “Nack-a-tish”, the quaint and perky town featured in the movie Steel Magnolias is real!

The City of Natchitoches, recently named Best Southern Small Town by readers of USA Today and 10Best.com, has a new title to be proud of. Natchitoches was recently named one of the 50 Most Beautiful Small Towns in America by House Beautiful and Good Housekeeping magazines.  Natchitoches is also recognized as the Bed and Breakfast Capital of Louisiana.
Natchitoches proudly hosts the Christmas Festival of Lights each year.  Over 300,000+ Christmas lights and 100 plus riverbank set pieces are on every night from mid November through early January and draws thousands of spectators. And all this is only an hour from my house.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 


A few weeks ago my daughter told me about a new food service she was trying.  She sent me a coupon and I decided to give it a try as well.
HelloFresh is a great service for someone who lives alone and doesn't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen and have tons of leftovers.

It is also great for working mothers who don't have time to shop and want a quick, nutritious dish in short order.

You get every single ingredient except olive oil so there is no having to run out to the grocery for that one item you are missing for a recipe.
You get three complete recipes a week delivered to your front door.  Doesn't get any better than that.
They also include a step-by-step instruction booklet.
 I love that we are getting to eat some things I would have never prepared and no recipe has taken longer than 45 minutes.

Even though it has really been a fun thing to try, Hubby and I have decided that it is really not cost effective for us.  I may still order some from time to time, but not on a regular basis.

But, I have no complaints.  All the food items have been fresh and the packaging could not be better.

You might want to give it a try as well.

Monday, October 5, 2015

What Does Fashion Have to Do With The Runway?

Last week was a fairly busy week for me in that I had to apply makeup every single day.

I know, some folks, like beautiful Lea at CiCi's Corner thrive on being made up by 5:30 a.m. every day of the week, with lipstick and everything.  I'm just not that way.  I like to look nice and all, but being fully made up every day now that I am retired is just not a major goal of mine.

Therefore, today you will find me in my workout clothes, without makeup and doing some much needed house work.  Tomorrow is another story.

With this in mind, I thought we might look at what's going on in Paris these days and live in someone else's reality.  If you can call it reality at all.

This is 2016 Spring Fashion Week in Paris, and so much of what happens there never affects those of us who live here in small town America.  At least not for the next five years and then its old news to everyone but us.

So, I am going to give you a very brief run down of the absurd and some trends that may be applicable.

For those of you with long hair, the pony tail is definitely in for 2016.  Otherwise, if you are waiting to find your ideal hairstyle on the Paris runway, forget it.
 There was everything under the sun in the way of hair styles and makeup not to mention fashions.
You may choose to go the minimal route with your make up, hair and clothing.  Especially with the undergarments.  So many of the designers have chosen to show all on the runway.  Do you ever wonder how these models handle that?  Not sure myself.
But, evidently when in doubt, wear a clunky shoe.
  Speaking of shoes, the big heel is obviously back in style.
And I am still scratching my head as to how in the world one walks in these shoes?
This designer, Jacquemus had some of the most bazaar fashions based on a man's suit and dress shirt.  I'm still trying to figure out the red one here with arms encased. 
 This was another of his runway features.  So, when looking for something for that special occasion, you might want to look him up.
I copied the following quote just for your information regarding the below designs: 

 Rei Kawakubo has cast a spell over her audience. The fashion community strives to keep believing that fashion can touch deeper meanings in this time of often bewildering industrial change, and she's the one people turn to for some kind of emotional stimulus that goes beyond the blunt service of commerce. Once more this season, she again blocked the expectation that she would offer anything recognizable as clothes. Instead she mounted a monumental sculptural meditation on “Blue Witches.
  
I would love to hear what these designs did to stimulate you emotionally with their deep meanings.  You don't want to know my answer.

But not everything was wild and crazy and bordering on the insane.
My favorite designer, Carolina Herrera doesn't usually do this Paris show, but she did this year and I am so glad because she actually brought some sanity to the runway.
A theme of her designs this years could probably be summed up with "pleats."  I can do pleats and simplistic elegance for which she is known.

In case you desire to know more about the runway show in Paris, you can go to

I think the main thing we can take away from this is that fashion is really what looks best on us, not what creeps across the runway masked as fashion.

But, the most becoming attire is to
"rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh."
 Romans 13:14

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