Monday, August 31, 2020

Celebrating 80th & 55th

80 years of living should be celebrated!

And we did!

Our daughter, Christy,her husband Chuck and three of their daughters hosted the big event at their lovely home in Dallas this past Saturday.

I asked granddaughters Chandler and Cassidy to be responsible for some of the food and they went over and above.

They combined their talents and created these amazing charcuterie boards full of delicious meats, cheeses, crackers, fruits and sauces.

We also had warm roll sandwiches that were absolutely delicious and the perfect compliment.

Because our 55th wedding anniversary is only two days after Dick's birthday, our daughter had this gorgeous and delicious cake made.

55 years ago

Our beautiful daughter and gracious hostess.

We were thrilled our nephew Lee and his fiance' Jacqueline were able to come from Little Rock.

Our nephew Glen, who lives in the Dallas area, and Chuck are in deep discussion.

Chuck's sister, Robin and her son Preston joined us.  Sadly, his parents Charles and Sandra were unable to come due to a health issue.

Granddaughter Ava Grace not only assisted with getting the food prepared and served, but also was our main photographer.

Mother Daughter duo

Chandler and Brad

Lee and Glen are the son's of Dick's oldest sister, and it was a blessing to have them with us.

Post clean-up was a time to visit and look at Dick's book capturing his past 80 years.  Hopefully, this will be a keepsake for generations to come.

It was a great time and reason to celebrate and we are looking forward to many more.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

It's a Dog's Hodgepodge

Thank you for joining us for this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge where we answer questions given to us by Joyce.  Check out her blog at From This Side of the Pond

1. The Hodgepodge lands on National Dog Day this year (August 26th). Do you own a dog?  No

Did you have a dog when you were growing up, or maybe some other kind of pet?  Oh yes, we had dogs, cats and even a baby skunk for a short time.

Would you say you're more of a dog person or a cat person? Neither is okay too: )

I have always been more of a cat person, but we also had a dog when the children were home and I love my granddogs.

2. Last time you felt 'dog tired'?

I do everything I can to keep from feeling 'dog tired."  The most tired I get these days is walking my usual five miles every morning, but that is an exhilarated tiredness.

3. It's said you can't teach an old dog new tricks. When did you last prove this idiom true or prove it wrong?

I prove it true three days a week in the pool.  This old dog will never be able to swim, nor will she want to.

I have proved it wrong by staying abreast of new technology; stretching myself to walk further than I had been doing previously.  When I started painting, that was a new trick for me and I feel I did well with it.

4. A favorite book, television show, or movie featuring a dog. Why did you love it?

I think the most recent movie was "Old Yeller." We really enjoyed seeing it with our son and his family in Indiana because the book was one of his favorites.  I remember reading it to him as a child, before he went to sleep at night.

I am listening to a Charles Martin novel, "Maggie" that has a dog named "Blue."  Blue seems to understand not only words, but also emotions that I find fascinating.

5. Last time you had reason to (literally or figuratively) exclaim 'hot diggity dog'?

That would be following my eye exam this week.  My vision is unchanged and still 20/20 with my current lens.  No vision changes at all, and no need to go back for a another year.  HOT DIGGITY DOG!

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

The big news for us is Hurricane Laura that is barreling toward our Gulf Coast.  Predictions as of a few hours ago say the eye of the storm will be right over us on Thursday morning.

We live in Shreveport, in the northwest corner of Louisiana (see X on map) and it appears we will get a good bit of rain and winds between 50 - 80 mph.  It won't be anything like what those on the coast will receive, but we are still making preparations  just in case.

One thing is for sure!  It will not dampen our big celebration in Dallas on Saturday.  More on that next week.

Oh and by the way, I have ordered a dress for the wedding, so we will see how that goes.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

A Looking Back Post

I was curious to see what I blogged about when I first started back in August 2011.  I wasn't surprised to see that the early posts were on image and wardrobe planning, because that was supposed to be the reason for and direction I had hoped my blogging would take me.

These are still topics of interest I think, based on the number of fashion blogs and Instagram accounts I see every day.

So for this Monday post, I am going to take bits and pieces from several of those early posts and combine into one.

Does talking about your best colors bring to mind the 70's and 80's when a conversation starter was "I'm a Spring, what are you?"  Even though there doesn't seem to be as much emphasis on having your colors done today as it was back then, there is no doubt that having a personal color scheme is a hallmark of all truly stylish women.

The first step is to determine your skins undertone.  You will have either "Warm" or "Cool" undertones and this never changes.  It is what you are born with and have to live with.  Warm will mean that you have yellow undertones, and cool means that you have blue undertones.

Because of this, colors either blend and compliment, or fight and detract.  

Based on your skin tone, which of the following colors and characteristics best fit you?

IMAGE - Spring

Warm undertones

Think vibrantly alive, freshly appealing, animated, bubbly, brilliant, radiant, crisp, fun, and unstructured!!!

Your natural gift is IDEAS!  You may have trouble carrying them all out, but you are absolutely full of them.

You are vibrant, expressive, cheerful, spontaneous, and the life of the party.  You help the rest of the world have fun and hope!

"You are like the sun, shining brightly on humanity."  
Carol Tuttle, Discover Your Personal Beauty Profile

IMAGE - Summer

The summer woman is usually characterized by soft femininity with Dresden-like qualities; quietness, fluid movement; curves, perhaps even an hour-glass figure.

This person is somewhat introverted and moves slowly but deliberate.  She is steady, easy-going, relaxed, connected, nurturing, warm and detail-oriented.

The Summer's skin will be rosy or very pink which just fits perfectly with the overall sweetness of this person.

Think Monet!!

Cool undertones

The Summer loves floral patterns, lace, frills, and flowing designs in her clothing which enhances her soft romantic appearance.

Wear silver and rose gold jewelry and remember, Pearls are always perfect for the Summer.  Hair should be worn in  a soft style around face.  If you have natural curls, showcase them.

IMAGE - Autumn

Warm undertones

The absolute Autumn's skin may have more yellow, orange or gold undertone.  Because the hemoglobin count is high in the Autumn (I know, go figure), the color of their skin is more coral-orange.  This Season usually suntan beautifully,  and has been called the Bronze Goddesses of the Seasons.

There is nothing soft and frilly about this Season. Think texture and angles.

Autumn's characteristics are those of strength and strong will, just like the rough and fiery colors of nature.

You are a determined woman (some even dare to call us - yes I'm one - stubborn) and you need to honor your desire to accomplish your tasks swiftly and practically.

From your make-up which should be in the warm tones with golden and bronze highlights to your hair which should be a no-fuss style, you demonstrate the practical nature of this beautiful Season.

IMAGE - Winter

Cool undertones

The winter woman has been described as "Shimmering ice with warm friendly fires.  Elegance, poise and drama, independence, quietness with a touch of shyness."

Winter's look is "Elegance"  The bold colors of winter accent the striking color scheme of the season.  Think Picasso with his brilliant colors and angles.

She has cool - blue - skin undertones and will more than likely have a fair complexion, but not in all cases.

Winters are insightful, intense and precise.

The best shades are strong, vivid shades with blue undertones such as red, royal blue and emerald green.  The best neutrals are black and navy.  This is the only season who can wear pure white and look gorgeous.

few of us are an absolute Season but because of genetics we are blends of all the four Seasons.  BUT, we will always have a dominant and sub-dominant Season.

I hope you have enjoyed our journey back in time with the four Seasons and have found your distinct coloring and temperament here somewhere.  I pray you will take this bit of information and find what best enhances your God given beauty.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Wednesday Hodgepodge Memories

The beauty of diversity!

1. Five years ago this month hubs and I relocated from New Jersey to the Palmetto State. What were you doing five years ago this month?

Looking back over pictures, we were probably pretty busy in August 2015.  The most memorable event was a great visit with my 1st cousin and her husband in Austin, Tx.  We were also getting ready for a trip to Northern Indiana in early September.

2. What was the last 9-5 job you worked? Tell us about it.

My last job was more like 7-till.  I was a financial aid officer at the local technical college.  There were two of us, and I not only worked directly with students but also was responsible for numerous reports directly related to financial aid, but also state required data reports.  There were a lot of deadlines that necessitated long hours.  Thankfully all that ended in 2011.

3. Plead the fifth, high five, take five, it's five o'clock somewhere, or the big 5-0...which number five phrase relates to your life in some way currently? Tell us how.

It would be the big 5-1.  Son John will have his 51st birthday on the 22nd.  We are so proud of this handsome, compassionate man with high integrity, a phenomenal work ethic, great leadership abilities and is the best dad and husband.

The link below is a short video where he explains his and his hospital's concept of patient care and I think you will understand why we are proud parents.

4. During this season of spending so much time at home, what distractions get in the way of being your most productive? Or have you been extra productive since this whole thing started?

I think I have been as productive as I've wanted to be; however, I do admit to easily being distracted.  My distractions keeping me from doing routine and mundane chores relate to my computer, cell phone, and iPad.  I read books on the Kindle app on my iPad, and also listen to audiobooks on an old phone, not to mention finding all sorts of fun things to do on the laptop.  I always manage to get necessary tasks done and don't worry about the others.

5. Give us a list here of your top five anything.

1.  My relationship and fellowship with Jesus
2.  Family with Dick being at the top
3.  Staying healthy
4.  Enjoying our home
5.  Blogging

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Dick and I have been enjoying a salad.  In fact, we have had it almost every day for a late lunch and haven't tired of it yet.

The basic recipe consists of grilled chicken, corn, purple onion, avocado, and fresh parsley mixed with olive oil.

We have added black beans, tomatoes, sliced black olives, with chopped romaine lettuce.  We have also used chicken nuggets, and salmon for variety.  You may also like sliced boiled eggs or deviled eggs as in picture.  It is both delicious and filling.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

A Tribute to My Friend Terry

Last week I attended two funerals.  One was of a high school classmate.  Terry was only 75 but what a rich life he had lived.

When my family moved to Pine Prairie, LA in the summer of 1960, I was between my sophomore and junior years of high school.  I was not happy about this move any more than I had been of the previous move.  It meant I had to leave friends again with whom I felt a real bond.  Being somewhat of an introvert, it meant I again would have to put forth an effort to make my place in a new school and community.

Those feelings of fear and uncertainty didn't last long however.  I soon realized that there awaited a whole new group of really neat kids with which I could relate and be friends.

One of those was Terry.  Our junior class was small and although most if not all of them had known each other since 1st grade, yet they included me and made me feel welcome.  We made great memories together during those two years of high school.

After graduating from college Terry came back to Pine Prairie where he began his career in education, not only as teacher but as a basketball, baseball and track coach.  He later became Assistant Principal and then Head Principal. In all, he served over 35 years at the same school where he started as a 1st grader.

Because of the respect for "Mr Ardoin," and the concern of overcrowding, there were two funeral services held.  For a small community of not more than a few hundred people, this was remarkable.

There were numerous testimonies and eulogies given and memories and experiences shared. In every single one, the word "encourager" was used.  Following is one such example:

"I was a very poor country boy who thought I had nothing to offer, but you must have seen something in me.  You always encouraged me - push harder, run faster, study more...I feel that I have succeeded in my life's goals in large part because you told me to keep trying..."

The statement was made that I completely agree with.  "I have never heard one single negative word about Mr. Terry." What a tribute!

Another such story was given by a young man who now holds a very responsible position in D.C.

"I was in the first grade and walking down the long hallway loaded with my heavy book bag and looking at the floor.  I heard a big voice telling me "hold your head up boy!"  I was startled and looked up to see this tall man standing there.  He looked at me with a smile on his face and said, 'Son, never hold your head down, but look up and be proud of who you are.  Look me in the eyes, and be proud.'  From that day, the influence and example of that kind man, Mr Terry, has made all the difference in my life."

One more short testimony that sums up the life of my friend.

"You are definitely one of those special people who just make life better for everyone around.  Your kind heart and generous soul have blessed so many people.  You mean so much to so many of us."

A picture from our '62 yearbook of the yearbook staff.  Terry and I are on each end of the front row.

Thank you Terry for being my friend and for the thousands of lives you have touched and made better.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

In The Middle of a Hodgepodge

Welcome to this week's edition of 

1. August 12th is National Middle Child Day...are you a middle child? If not, where in your family do you fall in terms of birth order? Do you hold true to the typical characteristics of oldest-middle-youngest-only child? (a quick list can be found here) Elaborate.

I am the oldest of three girls and yes, my birth order characteristics are pretty much spot on.

For the most part, we are diligent and want to excel at everything we do. As the leader of our sibling pack, firstborns often tend to be:

  • Reliable
  • Conscientious
  • Structured
  • Cautious
  • Controlling
  • Achievers
  • Judgmental
2. Tell us about a time you felt like (or you actually were) in the middle of nowhere.

Several years ago, we took a bus tour to Denver, and to get there we had to travel through the western edge of Kansas.  That is definitely in the middle of no where.

3. What's something you're smack in the middle of currently?

I have converted most of our old slides and now am in the middle of trying to get them sorted and organized so I can do jump drives for both the children with their baby and early childhood pictures.  Back in the day, we thought slide projectors would be around forever, and slides were a whole lot cheaper to make than having rolls of film printed.

4. What's a food you love to eat that has something delicious in the middle?

Since I just finished one, I will have to go with Natchitoches Meat Pie.  I imagine this is new to most of you who don't live in Louisiana.  It is a crispy crust filled with deliciously flavored ground meat and deep fried.  You can see more about this local favorite and a recipe HERE.

5. Share a memory from your middle school days, or junior high if that's what your school dubbed kids somewhere between grades 6-8.

My family moved to a different location mid year of my 8th grade.  My dad was a pastor and was called to a new church field.  This was a pretty traumatic experience for this self-conscious pre-teen until I stepped into the new church where they were having a community-wide Christmas music rehearsal.   I immediately noticed several really cute boys in the bass section, and it was amazing how quickly I adapted to the move. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I hadn't realized it is National Middle Child Day, so let me celebrate our middle sister.  Gingie, short for Virginia, has characteristics pretty typical for the middle child.  She is strong, but has never chosen the limelight.  She was an excellent athlete, very popular and outgoing.  She has a very tender heart, and is a natural caregiver, but don't cross her too many times.  Gin is very much a people person and delights in having strong, loyal friendships.

My sister is a four-time cancer survivor, the mother of two grown sons and grandmother to three brilliant grandsons.  She is our glue and Sarah and I don't know what we would do without her.

Thank you for bringing so much joy, happiness and stability to our family.

Happy National Middle Child Day, Gin.