Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Another Wednesday and another Hodgepodge.
Thank you Joyce for doing this each week.
Click HERE to join the other bloggers.

1. What pets did you have while growing up? Tell us a little something about them.

My dad loved animals so we always had at least one dog and maybe a cat along the way.  The pet I most remember was a big black lab we named BeeBo.  He was such a sweet and gentle dog.  One specific incident I recall was him bringing a baby bird to my dad - held gently in his big mouth.  The tiny bird had fallen from its nest and Beebo knew instinctively that Dad would take care of it.

2. What is one thing you absolutely must accomplish today?

As I answered these questions in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, 2AM, that will be my today.  There are several things that must be done on this Tuesday as I will be leaving to spend a couple nights with my sister who will be having cataract surgery this morning.  I must attend my 5:30 AM Pilates class (didn't make it because I was blogging at 2AM); finish the floors that I didn't get done yesterday - check; pack - check; help Hubby make a Chicken Pot Pie (he did it all by himself because I was busy); go to our first handbell rehearsal for the Fall - check; then get on the road before 2PM.  Actually, there were some must-do errands to be run in there somewhere, but you get the picture.
3. Where were you ten years ago? What were you doing there?

In 2007 I would have been working so would have been at home this time of year.  I would have definitely been anticipating having all our family together in our new house for Thanksgiving.

My goodness how these grands have grown in these ten years.  So much has happened.

4. September 26th is National Dumpling Day. Did you celebrate? Apple dumpling, xiao long bao (steamed Chinese dumpling), chicken and dumplings, pirogi, matzoh balls, or gnocchi...which dumpling on this list would be your dumpling of choice? Have you ever made homemade dumplings of any kind?

I did not celebrate and not a big dumpling fan.  Of the ones on the list, it would be gnocchi.  I do like Olive Garden's chicken gnocchi soup.  No, I have never made dumplings and that is not on my bucket list.

5. 'There are two kinds of adventurers: those who go truly hoping to find an adventure and those who go secretly hoping they don't.' William Trogdon

So which kind are you?

The most simple unexpected thing can be an adventure for me.  I enjoy a good adventure and as a child, dreamed of having all sorts of exciting happenings.  So, I think I would be the former, truly hoping to find an adventure.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

This is all I have to say about the kneeling controversy.  The media can't have it both ways.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Orange Who?

Knock, knock
Who's there?
Banana who?

Knock, knock
Who's there?
Banana who?

Knock, knock
Who's there?
Orange who?
Orange you glad I didn't say banana!
Now, that is an oldie and not sure exactly why it came to mind, except, because I'm in an orange mood these days.
Orange is a difficult color to wear and one a lot of ladies wouldn't even think about doing. 
However, I love it and feel invigorated when I wear it.
I recently bought the shell and jacket on Talbot's sale rack and loved wearing it with white jeans.
But last week, while shopping with a friend at Belk, I found these great orange crops.  They are a perfect blend with the jacket and I am a confident punkin when I wear them together.

These slipper flats came from Soft Surroundings.  They go with so much, such as the outfit I wore to church yesterday.
I wore the orange shell with this colorful lightweight cardigan and brown pants.
I love this top because it has all my favorite colors and can be worn in so many ways.
It even has a little bit of bling which is enough for me.
I may do a whole post just using this top. 

What do you do with orange - use it or toss it?

Linking to Amaze Me Monday

Friday, September 22, 2017

Using Less Rather Than More

Last week one of my favorite decorating bloggers, Marty at
A Stroll Thru Life, challenged us to consider using less rather than more in our entrance area.

I was due a change and decided to take her up on her challenge.
My entry way is small and only accommodates a narrow table.  Right after moving in ten plus years ago, I repainted this area a deep red simply because I thought it set the mood and color theme for the rest of the house.  I still like it and don't anticipate changing it any time soon.
These abstract prints by Lin Leger introduce the colors I use throughout my house, and hang opposite the table in the foyer.
 This was my table arrangement for spring and summer and you will see that I didn't make a big change for fall.
In fact, I left the table runner because the gold with deep red stitching and edging is still perfect for fall.  I also left the tall arrangement on the left simply because I like it and it also is appropriate for the upcoming season.

 So, playing off the colors of the vase and lamp and items in the arrangement, I cleaned up the space by adding my beautiful bowl, made especially for me by California potter Susan Bass.  I wrote about her and my bowl HERE.  I absolutely love the colors that she masterfully created in this
one-of-a-kind piece.  You may also notice the fleur de lis she added to the side.
I added to the bowl an assortment of decorative balls that played off the ones in the floral arrangement,
then topped them off with a few faux pumpkins that are in a similar design.
 I like this combination for fall.
 And that is all the change I made.
I have to agree that using less rather than more was a good idea and exactly what I needed in the foyer.  So, thank you Marty for the challenge.
Do you also need to be challenged to do something fresh or different for the season change?
I would love to hear what you have done.

Linking to Celebrate and Decorate

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Fall is not in the air where I live yet, but this Hodgepodge about Fall makes me even more ready to see it arrive.  To see how other bloggers have answered these questions Joyce has given us, click HERE
and scroll down to the list of participants.

1. What's something you'd rate a 10/10? Tell us why.

Having been married to my man for 52 years.  We have a beautiful relationship that has gotten better and sweeter as we've aged and learned to love each other more completely.

2. What job would you be terrible at? What makes you think so?

Accounting.  Numbers are not and never have been my thing.

3. When did you last take a fall? What's something you're falling for (in a good way) these days?

Having had back and cervical fusions, falling is a fear; therefore, I take extra precautions to not fall.  So far, I haven't.  Something I am falling for these days is fixing up and enjoying our new covered back porch.

4. According to the Travel Channel here are some of America's best fall festivals-

National Apple Harvest Festival (near Arendtsville PA, close to Gettysburg), Harvest on the Harbor (Portland Maine), German Village Festival (Columbus Ohio), Wellfleet Oyster Fest (Cape Cod), and Wine and Chile Fiesta (Santa Fe NM)

Have you ever been to any of the festivals listed? Which one appeals to you most? Does your hometown have any sort of fall celebration, and if so will you make it a point to attend?

I have not been to any of the listed festivals, but the one that sounds the most interesting would be Harvest on the Harbor (Portland Maine).  I have never been there, but think the fall colors would be magnificent.

A second choice would be the one in Santa Fe simply because I love Santa Fe.

5. What is your goodbye message to summer?

Good bye, farewell, good riddance, don't let the door hit you on the way out, and take the mosquitoes and lovebugs with you.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I read recently that the Monarch Butterflies are migrating and that we should provide food for them in the way of plants.  So, I ran out and got a mixture of plants that hopefully would attract them and provide traveling nourishment at the same time.  And yes, they are attracted to those plants, but I was able to capture one feeding on Lemongrass seed pods in another pot.  They are so beautiful close up, so I am going to show it in enlargement shots rather than a collage.

There are such minute details in these close-ups.


Woooow amazing, brilliant, wonderfully true!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Another Wednesday, another Hodgepodge.  Join us on Joyce's blog HERE.

1. Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.

It truly can be.  In these two pictures for instance.
Or how could words ever tell the story and evoke the emotion that Van Gogh told in this painting?

Whether or not a picture represents or misrepresents truth, it still tells a story.

2. Have you ever driven any part of the Pacific Coast Highway? If so what was your favorite stop? If not, is this sort of trip on your bucket list?
We have, and there is absolutely no way to have one favorite stop.  This is going to be a pictorial tour of just some of my favorite stops from our trip back in 2004.
San Fransisco:  We started in San Fransisco where one must experience the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the San Fran skyline.  You will also want to take a Trolley/Cable Car to Fisherman's Wharf.  We took a Gray-line Tour which gave us a great overall view of the city.

San Jose:  You do not want to miss seeing the crazy and fascinating Winchester Mystery House.

Half-Moon Bay:  This is certainly worth stopping for.  The back of the Ritz Carlton is one of the most beautiful scenes.

Big Sur:  Oh my, the sights along this stretch of the highway.  The Bixby Bridge, barely seen in my picture above, is one of the tallest single span concrete bridges in the world and one of the most photographed bridges on the West Coast.  You will want to park often in order to not miss these most amazing views.
Don't forget Big Sur National Park where there are huge Red Woods that you can literally stand inside.

San Simon:  Here is the magnificent Hearst Castle and definitely worth visiting

San Luis Obispo:  Also known as Pismo Beach, there is a lot to do here, but I will just highlight some of the things we did.  Dick had lived here for six months right out of high school and we visited a distant cousin he had lived with and had not seen in over 50 years.  This was the highlight of the whole trip.  As part of her tour, we had lunch at an outdoor restaurant on Moro Bay, where we could watch the boats and seals.  She told us that sometimes the barges get so loaded with seals, that they sink.  I can see how this would happen.  We also visited the gaudy Madonna Inn and sampled some of their renowned cakes.

This was our last stop on the Pacific Coastline before going back north on an inland passage.  I can honestly say this was one of the best trips we have taken and would do it again in a minute.

3. How do the changing seasons affect you? As the seasons change do you find yourself looking more forward or backward? Which season-season transition bothers you most? Why do you suppose that is?

The changes into Fall are my favorite and invigorate me.  We happen to be getting a foretaste today with a wonderful 79 degrees.

As I get older, I am probably looking back a little more than I used to because I am old enough to have accumulated memories and experiences worth reliving.  But, I am also old enough to look forward with anticipation knowing this is not my home and it will be so much better when I get there.

I do not handle the time change in the spring well.  I love fall and winter and dread the coming summer heat.  Perhaps this is why I struggle with that transition.

4. It's your birthday and you get to pick the dinner menu. What are we having? Do you ever lie about your age?

I don't really care what is on the menu as long as I have some German Chocolate Cake.

No, I am proud of every one of my almost 73 years!

5. What's a life lesson you've learned recently?

That God is not in my dress rehearsals.  I am so good at rehearsing what if's and I am so grateful to have learned this lesson, but wish it had come much, much earlier.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

This past weekend, we traveled to Dallas to see our youngest granddaughter perform in a play.
All of the kids did an amazing job and we are so proud of our little actress.
Just a very short clip of the opening number.
Also loved seeing and spending time with all the rest of the family as well.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Thank you Joyce for bringing us another fun Hodgepodge this week.
Please click HERE to join us and see how others have answered the following questions.

1. When you think about your future what do you fear most? Hope for the most?

First of all, my random thought will more completely answer this question.  But, my greatest fear is one day being a burden on my children.  I dread if/when I become unable to care for myself and am reliant on someone else.  Neither of my parents were ever a "burden" to us and I know this was one of their greatest concerns as well.  I pray God will be merciful to us and our children as well.

I hope most for the future to continue being able to travel and enjoy our children and grandchildren, and one day to be thrilled with great-grandchildren.

2. September is National Chicken Month. How often is chicken on the menu at your house? What's a favorite dish made with chicken? What's something you're a 'chicken' about doing or trying?

We purchase at least one rotisserie chicken a week.  I bone it and use it in a variety of ways from chicken salad, to casserole dishes or just plan sliced.  I also boil the carcass and freeze the strained broth for cooking with later.  So full of flavor.

Some of our favorite dishes are Chicken Pot Pie, Chicken Breasts in Sour Cream, Chicken Enchiladas, and Crockpot Garlic Parmesan Chicken.  But my favorite would be
Chicken Spectacular
  • 2 cups cooked chicken
  • 1 (6 ounce) package Uncle Ben's combination wild and white rice, cooked
  • 1 (10 ounce) can cream of celery soup
  • 1 (3 ounce) jar sliced pimientos
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups French style green beans, drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (Hellman's)
  • 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, diced
  • salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients.  Pour into a 2 1/2 or 3 quart casserole.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Serves 6.  To freeze do not cook prior to freezing.

I am a chicken about making dumplings.  We don't need them which is a good excuse.

3. What are three things you don't own but wish you did?

My want list is very small, in fact I can't think of a thing I really wish I had.  But, will play.
3.  A new body that could do yoga
2.  New SUV that would get 35 mpg
1.  A transport machine that would get me to family without hours on the road

4. Would you rather be a jack of all trades or a master of one? Elaborate.  If you answered one, which one?

I would rather be a master of one.  I would love to be a master painter and be able to inspire others with my vision.  I would also love to be able to sing again.

5. Ketchup or mustard? On what?

I rarely eat either one.  Ketchup on fries once in a while and mustard added to baked beans.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

I recently read a blog that spoke to me. I tend to play out negative scenarios of what I would do should something bad happens.  What would I do if this happened, or would I be able to handle it if that happened, etc.  You get the idea.

The writer and I have that in common evidently.  While playing this "what-if" game with herself, the Lord spoke to her with this message:  "Those decisions feel overwhelming because I AM NOT THERE.  If you were to actually find yourself there, I would be there too and I would guide you in those decisions.  Amy, you can't dress rehearse tragedy."

Wow, that got my attention.  It isn't our job to dress rehearse tragedy.  In fact, if is a futile exercise.  God isn't in that, therefore, we accomplish only stress, frustration, and needless worry.

Amy closes this post with this statement:
"Dress rehearsals might be helpful in the theater, but they are pretty pointless in matters of real life.  Jesus doesn't come to our dress rehearsal.  But come show time, He always shows up, and the whole script changes."

"Seek Me and you will find Me when you seek Me with all of your heart.  I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back from captivity."  Jeremiah 29:12-13

Monday, September 4, 2017

Celebrations in Hot Springs

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Anniversary to us

Saturday was Hubby's Birthday and it just so happened that our niece and her husband from Maryland were down visiting her brothers in Dallas and Little Rock.

What a perfect time for us to meet and spend time together and celebrate at the same time.

Three years ago to the day, we were all in Maryland for a most beautiful wedding of this sweet couple.
 We met in Hot Springs, Arkansas which was a beautiful mid-way point for all of us.  Younger brother, Glen was unable to be with us due to having had surgery last week.
We had a delicious lunch at Fisherman's Wharf while watching the ducks and boats on the water.
 Afterward, we crossed the lake and boarded the Belle of Hot Springs for a leisurely tour of the beautiful Lake Hamilton and all the gorgeous water-front mansions.
Being Labor Day weekend, there were plenty of boaters, skiers, and party barges out on the water.  And, it was a perfectly gorgeous day to do just that. 
Hubby with his nephew, Lee and his son, Clay
Glenn and niece, Tracy

 This is the rear view of the Hamilton House, completed in 1931 and now a B&B.  You can read about it HERE.  It sounds gorgeous and should you want it for a Honeymooners Haven, it can be yours for $995.  It just might be worth it.
 We were so grateful to have this time with our family and celebrate special events together.
 Today is mine and Hubby's 52nd wedding anniversary.  Yea Us!
Then and now!
And we are more in love now than we thought possible then.
Happy Anniversary, my love!