Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Joining Joyce at From This Side of the Pond for this week's Hodgepodge.

1. Your favorite cleaning product?

My favorite cleaning product is Thieves by Young Living.  I keep a spray bottle under my sink and use it often.  I also like the Meyers cleaning products.

 Do you clean your own house or hire out? Most disliked household chore? What one chore do you not mind so much? 

I clean my own house and dislike cleaning the bathrooms the most.  The one job I don't mind is dusting and cleaning the kitchen.  Of course, this latter one is an on-going, never-ending chore.

 2. It's Canned Food you use a lot of canned goods? What are the three canned items you purchase most often? Last thing you made using a canned ingredient? 

Who named these months and weeks?
I don't use a lot of canned goods because we just don't eat out of cans and they have too much sodium.

The ones we purchase most often are Black Beans and Corn that we use in salads, plus Tomatoes.  The last thing I cooked was Chili and used two cans of tomatoes and one tomato sauce.  It was perfect for those iced-in, cold days last week.

 3. Can of worms, anything can happen, can you imagine?, as best I can, kick the can down the road, more than one can take, no can do, not if I can help it...choose an idiom and tell us how you currently relate.

After the last week of major snow and ice and its consequences, I will have to go with "anything can happen."  "Can you imagine?" fits right in there as well.  No one could have imagined or prepared for what Texas and our former state of residence, Louisiana experienced and millions still are.  For many of them "more than one can take" also fits.

4.The last Tuesday in February is National Spa Day. Are you someone who enjoys a day at the spa? Last time you visited a spa? Do you have a favorite spa? Are salons open for business in your area? Have you made changes to your hair and nail routine since Corona hit? In what way? 

The last time I actually enjoyed a spa was several years ago at our hotel in Las Vegas.  I have never had a whole day at a spa, but don't think that would be something I would want to do.  Yes, salons are open for business where I live, and no I did not allow Corona to affect how I had my hair or nails done once my salon reopened.  Life goes on and I have not allowed it to have a major affect on my life.

 5. Believe it or not this is the last Hodgepodge of the month. In one sentence sum up your February. 

Even though I loved all the ice and snow both up north and in the south, it also brought much destruction, death, and inconvenience to millions.  At the same time, thousands were willing to assist, and give, and share with those who were without.

 6. Insert your own random thought here.

Along with a move comes having to find all new doctors, etc.  One of my biggest pet peeves is having to fill out all the paperwork required.

Our prospective new Internist required that we pre-register online and this process included pages of questions.  I did that!

Because our appointments were canceled due to inclement weather this week, my husband went by the office to re-schedule.  What do they give him, but two - that is TWO packets of additional (some repeated) info to fill out and bring to the appointment.  On some of the info, I wrote "refer to electronic submission."

Now, what do you bet, once we see the doctor's assistant, we are asked the same questions so she can put them into her computer.  Then when the doctor comes in she will want to know some of the same things.  I'm thinking my stock answer will be, "Previously Submitted!"

Now, one of the forms in the packet is "Gender Identification."  Yes, a whole form to know whether you were born what you claim to be, or wish to be, or can't decide what you are or wish to be.  This is truly "more than I can take."

Rather than end on a negative note because there is so much good in this world and in my life,

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Our Frigid Northern Indiana Trip

I'm sure like me, you are pretty tired of anything regarding snow and ice; however, I still have beautiful scenery and places to share.  

This was a view of our son's snow encased home in Northern Indiana before the snow plows came and before I got out with the shovel.

Early morning sunrise

This sweet granddaughter came home from college for a couple days and blessed our hearts.  Savannah is a senior at Trine University and will be receiving her BA and MBA in May.  Not only is she gorgeous, sweet but very intelligent.  Not to mention, she loves her grandparents.

Savannah suggested we take a road trip up into Michigan to see a beautiful old church on the St Joseph River.  Needless to say the scenery was amazing.

This beautiful old church is now only used for events rather than worship, and is part of a large estate where they also have B&B's for event attendees.

This is the iced-over St Joseph River and yes, that is a large snow bank on the other side.

The scenery was spectacular and I found it impossible to tire of it.

I was grateful for a very skillful driver and precious companion on this outing.

Later in the week, Michelle and I took another road trip, this time in another direction.

In Goshen, Indiana there is this large building with a most interesting history.

It is now simply called The Old Bag Factory.

In June 1896 an Ohio native with a canny business mind, opened the Cosmo Buttermilk Soap Company.  The building, built expressly for this business, was almost 80,000 square feet and strategically placed near a railway depot.  Their products were carried by train across the country.  Here they made laundry soap, fine bathing soap and toilet paper.  An interesting combination, don't you think?

In 1910, the plant was renovated and purchased by the Chicago-Detroit Bag Company.  After a merger in 1924 under the control of the Chase Bag Factory, the Goshen plant became one of the largest and most important of the 15 plants owned by the company.  Their specialty products ranged from waterproof burlap sacks to the fine, sheer paper used in Hershey's Kiss wrappers. Again, very diverse products.

The term "bagology" was coined during this period, meaning "to elevate the production of bags to the level of science."  This evidently didn't go over very well, and after a long decline in business, the Bag Factory closed its doors in 1982.

In 1984 the Swartzendruber family bought the building.  Wind and weather had taken its toll, and electricity and plumbing were no longer working, so after an extensive renovation, the Swartzendrubers made the Old Bag Factory the headquarters for their handcrafted custom furniture.

During this time, they also made space available for other Artists and Merchants to use this historic building and its surroundings as their home.

In December 2010, the building was sold, but it continues to be used by area artisans and the tradition of locally made Amish furniture continues.

Inside the old building the first thing you see is this beautifully carved stair railing.

The majority of the main space is filled with some of the most beautiful handmade furniture I've ever seen, done by local Amish craftsmen.

Michelle found the glider of her dreams and she may have actually had a dream or two while enjoying the chair.

I seriously have never seen or felt a smoother finish than on the furniture in this place.  Legacy Home Furniture

Beyond the furniture section was a large room full of pottery.

While looking around and exclaiming over the beauty of each of the unique pieces, a gentleman walked out and asked which we liked best.  Because it was an impossible question to answer, I asked if he was the potter, to which he replied "Yes!"

Mark Goertzen was such a nice and friendly man and took the time to explain some of his process and didn't mind a bit posing for this picture.

If I had any extra space in my suitcase, I would have brought home one of his pieces.  But, that will be reason to return on another trip when we drive.

We had the best time exploring all three levels of this huge old Bag Factory.

It is said that now, instead of transporting goods by train, the Old Bag Factory's artists and merchants can send their crafts away in - what else?  Shopping bags.

Our next stop was in Elkhart, Indiana at another old building full of magic.

I couldn't find any information about this grand old building, except that it is now the home of the Steelyard Coffee Co.  And although I am not a coffee drinker, my daughter-in-law is an expert and she says they have the best.

After eating the most delicious lunch in the Coffee Shop and exploring and making a few very small purchases in the boutique, we found the rest of the magic.

For some reason the composition of mirrors encompassed by the long doors kept drawing me back to just simply enjoy.

There was so much to see and in this space and we made several repeated rounds before we left.  This too is a definite do over.

Before Savannah left to go back to school, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast together at Uptown Kitchen in Granger.

We treasure our family time with our family even and especially when its zero degrees and layers of ice and snow on the ground, because being with them brings nothing but warmth and tons of love, not to mention sweetness to our souls.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Fire & Ice Hodgepodge

It is a very cold Tuesday here in Plano, Texas with a temperature of 1 this morning which felt like a -15.  We are expecting another round this evening and after that below freezing temps for the rest of the week.  So there will not be much thawing taking place.

If we hadn't survived the Polar Vortex in Northern Indiana a couple years ago, I would think this is really cold.  But, it's hard to compare this with a -23 temperature and a -50 degree wind chill factor off Lake Michigan.

It is very serious here though because our power grid was not made for winters like this but for excessively hot summers.  Wind and solar just don't work when it's this cold and as a result, there are millions of homes without electricity, water and/or gas.  We are among the fortunate ones at this point - we only have frozen cold water pipes in our master bath.  We are praying that God will melt the ice in His time without them bursting.

Our house and my footprints.

Now to today's Hodgepodge.  It is good to be back with Joyce for this week's questions.  Hop over to From This Side of the Pond to see how she and others answered the following questions.  How would you answer them?

1. This week's Hodgepodge lands on Ash Wednesday which signals the beginning of Lent. Do you mark this season in some way? If so tell us more.

We don't observe Lent; however, we are grateful for what Easter means to us as Christians.

 Did you grow up 'celebrating' Lent? 

No we did not even though I grew up in South Louisiana where those who do were in the majority.

Is attending church part of your weekly routine? Are churches open for in-person worship where you live? 

Yes, we attend regularly on a weekly basis as well as a Wednesday afternoon Life Group.  Our church as been open for in-person worship for several months.

2. When is the last time you sat beside a 'real' fire? Do you have a fireplace in your home? Wood or gas logs? Favorite thing cooked over a fire?

I really cannot remember the last time I sat by a 'real' fire.  We had one in a former home, but that was almost 30 years ago. I do love a real fire but have never missed the cutting of logs and cleaning the mess of wood and ash.

We do have a fireplace with gas logs.  It has been ages since I ate anything cooked over a fire, so I'm going to go with the obvious - marshmallows.

3. Something that's currently got you fired up? 

Honestly, my goal right now is to be un-fired up about any thing. 

4. February also happens to be National Cabbage Day. Who knew? Do you like cabbage?


 Is cabbage on your menu Wednesday?

Not at this point.

Of the following cabbage dishes which is your favorite-coleslaw (mayo or vinegar?), sauerkraut, cabbage rolls, cabbage soup, kielbasa and cabbage, grilled cabbage, bubble and squeak, kimchi, or haluski? 

Coleslaw with a mayo mixture my husband makes.  Delicious!

5. Do you hang on to pennies? What do you do with them? Last thing you purchased for $1.00? Last thing you purchased for $5.00? 

I do not hang on the pennies.  There is usually a small collection in my purse's coin compartment in case I need them.  I can't remember buying anything for $1 lately but did buy some of the most delicious chocolates for $5 last week from the nicest young lady.

Michelle and Michelle

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

The weather in Northern Indiana, where we were until this past Sunday, was very icy and lots and lots of snow. While there, I was able to get out and enjoy it all.

These were taken from our son's pool house.  There will be more pictures later.

On Saturday afternoon, I needed to get outside so John and I decided to get a start on clearing the driveway before the next system came in that night.

About 5" of snow was on top of a 1-3" layer of ice.

I could sure use this shovel here right now.

Salt didn't begin to phase the thicker ice.

After a couple hours and constant snowing and the temperatures dropping, we got all we could.  Sure enough, there was a heavy layer of snow the next morning.

Our flight from South Bend to DFW Airport was scheduled for Monday morning.  As the Dallas weather began to unfold, we fortunately were able on Saturday night to move our tickets to early Sunday instead.  God blessed us with this change because the airport canceled all flights that afternoon.

She caught me with my mouth full of that delicious grilled cheese sandwich.

Last Friday, Michelle and I went to Elkhart, Indiana for a girl's outing.  I will do a post later this week about all of my road trips and outings.