Wednesday, July 29, 2020

A Moving Hodgepodge

What happened to July?  Come join us as we close out this month on the

1. Last time you moved house? Something you've learned in moving house?

"Moving house" is not a phrase I am familiar with so I will assume it means moving to a different house.

We moved into our current house back in 2007.  We learned that we only needed to keep what we loved.

2. Move mountains, move along, make a wrong move, moved to tears, get a move on, move up, move over, move out of the way, move the deck chairs on the Titanic, move it!...pick one and tell us how it fits your recent circumstances.

I suppose "make a wrong move" applies the most.  I messed up a knee right after the gyms closed and I started walking in the neighborhood.  I haven't let it slow me down too much, but recently had to have a steroid shot; however, I know if I make a wrong move, it won't be good.

3. What have you been doing to make yourself move (aka stay fit-active) during these strange times?

Since our gym closed I have been walking in the neighborhood every morning at 5:30.  The temperature at this time is still in the upper 70's and the humidity is usually in the 90's.  I walk for about an hour and manage to get in between 3.5 and 4 miles.  I try to get in a few additional miles during the day if the heat allows.  Three days a week I also do water aerobics at our HOA Club House from 8 to 9 a.m.  I do some stretches and exercises before and after walking.

I'm certainly not doing as much as I did at the gym, and once the pool closes, I will probably start back again.  I so wish though that sitting was considered part of staying fit.

4. This week's calendar includes celebrations for the following foods-

National Coffee Milkshake Day (Sunday), National Creme Brûlée Day (Monday), National Milk Chocolate Day (Tuesday), National Chicken Wing Day (Wednesday), National Lasagne Day (Wednesday), National Cheesecake Day (Thursday), and National Avocado Day (Friday)

Which one on the list would you be most inclined to celebrate? Which would you be most inclined to skip?

Definitely Milk Chocolate Day would be reason to celebrate.  I would most probably skip either the Chicken Wing or Coffee Milkshake day.

5. Next week's Hodgepodge lands in August! I know!! Raise your hand if you feel like July flew by in the blink of an eye? Now bid farewell to your July acrostic style. If you don't know what that means click here.

July brought fireworks and chaos
United we had trouble standing
Liberty took on a new definition
Yet, we trust God to heal and bind

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

 Dick and I are taking a free online course on the Book of Hebrews, offered through Dallas Theological Seminary. These courses are excerpts from the same courses that are offered to our students.  So far, it has been a great experience.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Weekend of The 3's

This past week "The 3's" gathered at the Baton Rouge home of our friends the Smith's.  As you may recall, there were four couples of us who had been friends since all of them (except me) were in college together back in the early 60's.

Wayne and I have known each other since we were children, so we had that connection.  Everyone was a music major except Wayne and I.  Our joint friendships developed through everyone's personal involvement in the Louisiana Baptist State Music programs.  We traveled to conferences together, camped together, did state-wide and convention music programs, and our seven children grew up being friends as well.

Due to moves out of state and life in general taking over, we lost our connection through the years.

In 2017, we all met up for lunch and the reuniting began.  Since that time, we have made it our mission to get together at least once a year.  We did that as four couples until the passing of Nancy this year.  Then Wayne designated us "The 3's," and that is sadly what we have become.

As Wayne was visiting his children in another state, he was unable to join us for our most recent get-together this past weekend.  We decided once a year was not enough any more, because we never know when it might be the last time for one or more of us.

Isn't it unfortunate when we take our special moments with family and friends for granted?  We tend to think those opportunities for sharing love and memories and new experiences will last forever.  But, they never do.

I told you we would definitely eat well because Vicki is a wonderful cook.  Dinner Thursday night was a typical "Southern" menu with squash casserole, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato casserole, rice and gravy with roast, with home-made rolls.  I didn't get a picture because I was much too busy enjoying this delicious fare to think about anything else.

We enjoyed our early Friday morning on the patio overlooking the pecan orchard expanse of the their backyard.  Rain from Storm Hannah was headed our way, so we loved the glimpses of sunshine through the trees.  And yes, it was a very humid and muggy 80 degrees at 8 a.m. in Baton Rouge.

Friday morning breakfast was perfect because we knew we would be eating better than we should for lunch.

We had breakfast banana splits (minus the Blue Bell ice cream) with lots of berries on bananas topped with nuts, granola, and yogurt.

Healthy, tasty and pretty is a perfect combination.

Lunch time found us about an hour southeast, nearer New Orleans than Baton Rouge at Manchac where we ate fish prepared in several ways.  Their specialty is thin fried catfish and all I can say about that is, it must be tried to believe how good it is.

The storm hit and we were unable to walk outside and enjoy the sights and sounds from the Manchac River and resident animals there.  However, the drive in the rain was well worth it for the renowned food.

Friday night we sat around the table playing games and eating popcorn with chocolates.

 Before we reluctantly went our separate ways Saturday morning, we had one more delicious meal together.  This Cinnamon Roll dish was as easy to prepare as it was good to eat.

Simply cut 2 rolls of Cinnamon Roll Dough into quarters and mix with a can of Apple Pie Filling, and chopped walnuts then bake at 350 until done.

We served it with our left-over berries and yogurt.

After we had devoured most of it, we remembered Vicki's special cream sugar topping she had made.  Needless to say, it was good even without it.

A few years ago, Vicki and Marvin's home was totally destroyed by flooding waters.  After it was rebuilt I painted this linen canvas for her to remind them that God's mercies are new every morning.  I loved seeing it again hanging in their home.

We are grateful for our time together as The 3's but still desperately miss when we could have been called "The 4."

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

A Trippin' Hodgepodge

It is Wednesday so we are joining with Joyce on her blog,
for this week's Hodgepodge questions.

1.  Do you think the pandemic has had any kind of positive impact on your mental health? Explain.

To some extent I think it has.  I have always been perfectly content to be in my house all day long.  I do neither crave nor desire a lot of human interaction.  This time of "forced" isolation has certainly not had a negative impact in any way.  I have learned that I can live with less trips to the grocery store, fewer new clothes and selective fellowship.  This time has allowed me to create new routines and provided opportunities to be more creative.  All in all, I'm not complaining.

2. A hot mess, hot under the collar, in hot water, hot button, hot diggity dog!, hot shot, hot seat....choose one and tell us how it applies to your life currently.

The only option that remotely applies would be "in hot water," and that would be literally. I love a long hot soaking, detox bath once or twice a week.

3. Speaking of the hot seat, do you work well under pressure or do you actively avoid high pressure situations?

I have always worked well under pressure.  My job required it, and since being retired, I find myself waiting until I'm under pressure to get some tasks done. 

4. Hotdogs-yay or nay? If you said yay how do you like yours? Did you know July is National hotdog month? 

The only time I would have given a YAY on a hotdog was when I was pregnant with our first child.  It was the craziest thing.  I had never liked them until then, and I could not get enough for a few weeks.  Since then it is a big NAY!

5. I read here a list of America's coolest Southern towns. They are Marfa Texas, Greenville South Carolina, Abindgon Virginia, Athens Georgia, Bentonville Arkansas, Florence Alabama, Oxford Mississippi, Abita Springs Louisiana, Wilmington North Carolina, Monroeville Alabama, McMinnville Tennessee, Natchez Mississippi.  How many on the list have you seen in person? Which town on the list would you most like to see?

I have been to the following small towns on the list:
Greenville, SC, Athens Georgia,  Oxford MS, Abita Springs, LA, and Natchez MS.  Bentonville, AR was the last place on the list that we have visited.  It is such a fun and interesting place to visit.

Downtown Bentonville

Crystal Bridges is a must see when visiting Bentonville

I think I would most like to visit Abindgon, VA in the fall.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Tomorrow we will be traveling down to Baton Rouge to spend a couple nights with friends.  Another couple will also be joining us.  We call ourselves "The Three" because that is what the widow of the 4th couple started calling us after Nancy's death a few months ago.

We plan to eat well because Vicki is a wonderful cook and because we will be going to Middendorf's at Manchac, on Lake Pontchartrain for lunch on Friday. The rest of our time will be spent playing games and talking non-stop.

We are so grateful for these special friendships that go back to the 70's.

And next week, I get to baby sit grand dog Sophie again while her family vacations.  Good days ahead for the Days.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Family Shots

Recently, both my son and daughter had their family's pictures taken.  Daughter Christy's were made on the beach and son John's were made at their home.  Photographers for both families were able to capture some really great shots that show the personalities of both.

Christy's Family

John's Family


Are we blessed or what!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Hodgepodge On the Sweet Side

Thank you Joyce for these "sweet" questions this week.

Join us on Joyce's blog post, From This Side of the Pond to see how others answered.

1. The sweetness of summer...where have you found it recently? If you're in the Southern hemisphere, feel free to tell us about the sweetness you're finding in winter.

For the past two days, I found the sweetness of being with sisters.  The sweetness in summer has been the deliciously sweet watermelons we have eaten in abundance.  It has also been in being able to walk by myself early in the mornings, then splash around the pool with other neighborhood ladies for water aerobics.  There is just something sweet about both family and routine.

2. Take your sweet time, sweet tooth, home sweet home, short but sweet, the sweet smell of success, sweet talk...choose a sweet idiom and tell us how it fits your life currently?

No matter where I go or how much I enjoy being there, there is still nothing like being at home.

3. Sweet as honey, sweet as sugar, or sweet as pie, which phrase do you use when a sweet phrase is called for? What's the last sweet treat you indulged in?

The phrase I would be most likely to use is "sweet as honey."

Dick tried this new cookie recipe for me to bring to share with my sisters.  I had some with watermelon following a big bowl of my sister's delicious home-made soup and cornbread.  Yes, we eat well.

4. First thing that comes to mind when you hear the word fidget?

What I do every single night in bed.  In fact, I am working on this blog post at 12:47 a.m. because I was unable to sleep due to my fidgeting legs.  Two nights in a row of fidgeting, does not a good nights sleep make.

5. Share with us one of your favorite childhood travel memories.

About the only traveling we did as a family was to drive to visit family within the state.  We did however, take an overnight trip up into Arkansas once.  We had a wonderful time, but one night was about all my daddy could take or afford.  The thing about traveling back in the 50's was there were no "convenience" stopping places along the route.  So, when one of us had to use the bathroom, it meant stopping on the side of the road and going into the woods and squatting.  I remember keeping a collection of pretty leaves and rocks from these stops one year.  Unused ones of course.  LOL

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I have put my two oldest granddaughters (shown above with their beautiful mother) in charge of doing a Charcuterie board for Dick's late August birthday party.  They love to entertain and have great ideas for food presentation.  I cannot wait to see what these creative and industrious gals come up with.  I think they are as excited to see it as I am.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

A Secret Hodgepodge

Welcome to another Wednesday Hodgepodge.

Do princesses have secrets?

1. The Hodgepodge lands this year on National Secret Keeping Day...on
a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being I'm a blabbermouth and 10 being I'm a vault)
how good are you at keeping secrets?

I'm probably an 8 or 9 because sometimes what someone considers
a secret really isn't and needs to be shared for resolution purposes.

I read here nine jobs for people who can keep a secret-cybersecurity
worker, executive assistant, housekeeper, lawyer, nuclear plant
technician, physician, private investigator, psychologist, security guard
of the jobs listed, which one most interests you and why?

I was an executive assistant for several years and yes, there were
things I learned, heard and/or knew about that needed to remain in
the office.  Other times, there might be an issue, had I not confronted
or dealt with the matter, it would have gotten completely out of hand.  I learned that what one person considers a secret may really just be hiding a truth that doesn't need to kept hidden but brought out and resolved without causing one unnecessary embarrassment or harm.

2. What's the secret of life (or one of them anyway)?

Love the Lord God with all your heart, mind and soul, and others as you would yourself

3. Off the record, best-kept secret, a fly on the wall, top secret, my lips are sealed, secret shopper, as quiet as a mouse, poker face, spill the beans, open secret, bite your tongue...which secret idiom can you best relate to right now? Explain.

"My lips are sealed" relates to an incident today when it was decided by a friend and myself that it was best to not disclose something of which we were both aware to another person.  It would have done no good to bring up the matter and therefore it is still our secret.

4. Spill here the secret ingredient in one of your favorite recipes?

I'm not that much a cook and don't do a lot of experimenting, therefore have no secret ingredients.

5. My mama celebrates a big birthday tomorrow (Wednesday).  Share a favorite quote, song lyric, saying, or verse of scripture that will add some sunshine to her day (ours too!)

From John 15:16
"You didn't choose me, I chose you.  I appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name."

There is no doubt of the legacy your sweet mother has passed down to three generations because she was chosen and blessed to produce such beautiful fruit.

Happy Birthday to your mama!

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

What could be sweeter than this little doll from a few years ago?  Could she be hiding a secret behind those mischievous brown eyes and adorable smile?  We may never know. 

Thank you Ava Grace for bringing so much joy.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Nothing Boring About White on White

I do trust you had a wonderful, restful, fun, patriotic, or simply fill-in-the-blank
Independence Day weekend.

Ours was all of the above with lazy thrown into the blank.

 My July 4th day began with cooler than normal temperatures, and a feeling of great gratitude for a country of the free and the brave.

Early Saturday I began with an early 3 mile walk which was so enjoyable.  Let me show you why.

I decided to get off the neighborhood walking path that I usually trek, and go into an adjoining neighborhood.

This beautiful colonial style home dressed in flags and bunting caught my eye.

On another street was this lovely columned home.  I want you to notice the brick walled off side garden of this home which is characteristic of most of the homes in this exclusive neighborhood.
 What was so interesting about this house was how bedecked it was for the holiday weekend.

This lovely home is for sale.  The combination of white and brick is stunning.  I love the glass front doors.

As it is empty, I ventured into the side courtyard.  Is this not a lovely spot?

On one of the little cul-de-sacs, I found this pretty "cottage."  It really is a lovely, rather small house for the neighborhood, but I love it.  The brick is painted a brilliant white.  There is nothing boring about white-on-white on this house for sure.

Unintentionally, I carried out the white-on-white theme on Sunday.

I wore these white Jag jeans with a gauze top.

The beauty of wearing white-on-white, is you can be as versatile as you wish with accessories and especially shoes.  I chose my comfortable silver and black slip on Stevens by Steve Madden.

My jewelry was a simple gold choker and gold loop earrings.

My top is a Doe & Rae that I found in the neatest little shop while visiting South Haven, Michigan last June with our Indiana family.  It is 100% Cotton and is really better suited for cooler temperatures.  But, I like it and think it is perfect for combining a great white-on-white outfit.

What about you, do you do much white-on-white?