Wednesday, May 26, 2021

A Memorial Day Hodgepodge

We have Memorial Day questions on the Hodgepodge today.  Thank you Joyce for keeping us inspired to blog.

DID YOU KNOW THIS: ? Memorial Day was started by former slaves on May, 1, 1865 in Charleston, SC to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp. They dug up the bodies and worked for 2 weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom. They then held a parade of 10,000 people led by 2,800 Black children where they marched, sang and celebrated.

No, this wasn't taught in any of my history classes. We were taught that the first Memorial Day was May 28 or 30, 1868 when flags were draped over the graves of Union and Confederate soldier's graves in Arlington Cemetery.

1. We're approaching Memorial Day Weekend in the US of A...will you mark this in some way? If so tell us how. According to a list found here some things you might do in honor of Memorial Day would be-shop in a Veteran owned business, learn to play a patriotic song, watch the Memorial Day concert, take a virtual tour of the White House, write a letter to a soldier or a soldier's family, fly a flag, attend a Memorial Day parade, donate flowers for a soldier's grave, put together a care package for a soldier, and take a moment of silence at 3 PM (the National Moment of Remembrance)....of the ideas mentioned are there any you will try? 

We do not at this point have any plans for Memorial Day Weekend that will relate to that specific holiday and are not likely to do any of the suggested activities.  We will go to church on Sunday, and I feel sure there will be some kind of patriotic emphasis.

2. What's something recently that made you 'come to attention'?

On my early Monday morning walk, I rounded a curve to see water pouring down the street from the direction of my house.  The source was our neighbor's yard where evidently a water valve had burst in two places and water was gushing from both.  I quickly called the HOA president who is our neighbor and it took a village to get the water main cut off.  Thinking it might be coming from our house definitely made me 'come to attention.'

3. In what area of your life do you need to 'soldier on'? 

Giving myself permission to do nothing if doing nothing seems to suit me at the time.  I am still having to adjust to not having a lot to keep my mind and body occupied.  Never one to watch TV during the day, I am finding that an episode of "Heartland" is alright to watch once or twice a day if I so choose.  It helps break up the monotony some days.  I have never allowed myself to say I'm bored.  Until now!

4. As a long weekend approaches and summer draws near, what's a favorite food from your childhood you think about adding to the menu?

 Who still has one of these?  We sure don't but wouldn't a big bucket of homemade ice cream be a wonderful idea?

5. Your favorite patriotic movie?

I do not have a favorite, but there are some great oldies such "Bridge Over the River Kwai."  I did like more recent ones such as "Lincoln" and "Independence Day."  

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Granddaughter #2 celebrated her 25th birthday this past Sunday.  She and her older sister Chandler, indulged their grandmother and let me buy brunch for them.  We went to No 1 Rise in Dallas, and ate our weight in soufflés.  Rise is such an appropriate name for a soufflé restaurant, isn't it. 

We actually had five different kinds, but the Spinach was my favorite.

Cassidy even had her own special birthday napkin and the near by old Inwood Theater actually had "Happy Birthday You" on its billboard.  Is she not the cutest 25 year old?

Any time you are in the Highland Park area of Dallas, I recommend stopping by Rise.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

A Random Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond

This is the day we get to answer questions posed by Joyce

1. Realist, idealist, optimist, pessimist...which one are you?  Elaborate.

A realist probably best describes me; however, because I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior and know how all this reality ends, I can be very optimistic about what lies ahead.

2. What's something currently on your wish list? 

For our proposal to add a little patio to the side of our house to be approved.  All outdoor things like this have to be approved by the Architectural Committee of our village.  I happen to be one of the three members, but will not be voting on this one unfortunately.

3. Three things on this week's shopping list? 

Almond milk, fresh flowers and fresh veggies

4. According to Trip Advisor here's a list of the top ten things to do in the US this summer-

Chicago Architecture River CruiseSkip the Line Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour, New York In A Day  guided sightseeing tour, Charleston's Old South Historic Horse and Carriage tourGrand Canyon helicopter tourFull day iconic sights of LA, Beverly Hills, Beaches and more, D.C. at Dusk guided night tour, Beneath the Streets Underground History tour (Seattle)New Orleans Swamp and Bayou Boat tour, Gangsters and Ghosts tour in more about each excursion in the link here. 

Of the ten attractions listed which do you find most appealing? Have you already experienced anything on this list? 

I have done the following:  Charleston's Old South Historic Horse and Carriage tour and the Grand Canyon helicopter tour.  Both were wonderful and I highly recommend them.  They are obviously extremely different - one is relaxing, the other thrilling.

The other adventure listed that I have not taken literally is the New Orleans Swamp and Bayou Boat tour.  However, I grew up in the Bayou and Swamp country in Louisiana.  There were bayous all around us, and my dad and I fished in some.  We have driven through many of the south Louisiana swamp lands and spent a year in the deep swamp lands of Houma, La, near New Orleans.  So, I'm thinking this may qualify as a yes.

The one other thing I would like to do is the Chicago Architecture River Cruise

5. Besides home and work where do you spend the most time? 

Lately its been the plant nursery.  But home is where my time is spent and where I most want to be.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I received an email advertisement from a town where I used to live and a boutique I actually shopped in a few times.  In the past, they have catered to mostly adult professional women who could afford to shop there.  I really couldn't afford to buy much to be truthful but did like their clothes at the time.

But, I couldn't believe the clothing line they are now advertising and wondered if you as an adult woman/lady would purchase any from this selection.


Note rips and holes!  Is this really a fashion statement?  In this particular garment, I'm wondering if the holes actually represent musket fire - as in Revolutionary War.


Last but not least, you can have these pants for a mere $475.

The line is Magnolia Pearl and based in Fredericksburg, Texas, if you are interested.  I do really like the building and find the decor perfectly suited for that part of the country.  I just wonder how many cowgirl locals are buying the clothes though.

Go Here for views inside.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Springing in the Hodgepodge

Welcome to this week's Hodgepodge questions from Joyce and my answers.

1. It's like my mama always said, "______________________________________________." 

I can't remember my mother having a saying as such, but Daddy always said "Remember who you are!" every time we left the house.

2. May 11th is National Eat What You Want Day. What will you be having by way of celebration?

I indulged in a mini Snickers bar left over from last Halloween.  And yes, I did remove all the Snickers from the bag before putting candy out for the kiddies, and yes, I did make sure that jar of Snickers made it into the moving van.  Priorities!

3. Describe your idea of a perfect spring day.

I know, most of you will think I'm crazy, but I love rainy days.  That would make today just about perfect.  There is rumbling thunder and occasional lightening strikes, and lots of rain.  Days like this are perfectly spent reading in the sunroom, watching a good movie, or doing a blog post.

When it's not storming, then a close second would be a cool, sunny day when we can walk around outside, plant and/or enjoy the flowers, and have a meal on the patio.  That could still be a day perfectly spent with reading in the sunroom, watching a good movie, or doing a blog post.

4. Success, fulfillment, growth, achievement...pick one and tell us how it relates to your life in some way, either currently or in days gone by. 

To tell my story, involves all four of these words.  When I worked for the Technical College system, I held positions for which I had no training or experience.  Through each position I grew because I chose to learn something new; I achieved because I worked hard and devoted myself to my job; I experienced success with each new accomplishment; and found fulfillment because I learned through failures and successes and accomplished my goals in the end.  On top of all that, my husband continues to be proud of what I was able to accomplish and lets me know.


5. I saw this going around on various social media sites and thought it would be fun to answer here. The last thing you bought on Amazon is your weapon in battle. How will you wield it?  (if you're not an Amazon shopper, then the last thing you bought online anywhere)

I am not a big Amazon shopper but I did purchase something that Katie from Preppy Empty Nester recommended.  Actually, it was her daughter who was filling for her one week who showed this item.  I weld it on my upper lip and chin fuzz and it works so well I have shared some with my girls. So thanks Daughter1.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

We have doubly celebrated our granddaughter #4, Savannah this week.

Last Saturday, we were able to watch her walk across the stage on live stream as she was awarded both her BS and MS degrees in Business Administration and graduated Cum Laude from Trine University.  During her four years there she played soccer, held offices in both Student Government and in her sorority, as well as working part-time.  Yes, this qualifies as a high-achiever in our book.


Today, the 11th, she is celebrating her 22nd birthday.  Where else would Savannah want to celebrate big time before starting a new job than in Savannah, Georgia.

Mary-Elizabeth is also enjoying her break from Nursing School at Xavier University in Cincinnati to help big sis celebrate.

Their dad has left nothing undone in the week's activities which also includes several days in Hilton Head and the boy friend being flown in for some of the fun.

Of course, the family pup who thinks Savannah is the most wonderful thing since doggie treats is also along for the trip.

We could not be more proud of all our grandchildren who continue to achieve and succeed.

Friday, May 7, 2021

What Time Is It?

As I sit here in my little, and I truly mean small yard space this morning, my thoughts again turn to what am I doing here? At the age of 76 and living in a new location, making all new friends, establishing new routines and expectations, what am I truly doing here?

I’ve read the statement “Christians never retire!” so many times, it has ceased to have meaning for me. Christians do retire! My husband and I retired from the work force, me from an administrative position and him from church work back in 2011. We were both more than ready for that change and never regretted the decision. So yes, Christians do retire. My husband recently retired again as a realtor, a job that gave him a purpose for getting up and out of the house each morning and offered a social as well as service outlet for him. So what does it mean then that Christians never retire?

One of our prayers and greatest concerns when we moved to Plano, Texas a few months ago, was that Dick find purpose and new ways to serve and be used by God in ministry. He was called by God as a teenager to “special service” and God used him in church music ministry for 50 years. But, God used him in so many other ways besides music during those years. What would there be for him in this new place, a huge church where no one knew us or possibly even cared what we had done before?

God, in His faithfulness has opened doors we could not have even imagined for Dick to remain involved in ministry and service. God sent a special man named Allen to be our friend and guide to find places and opportunities for service.

My concern for myself wasn’t so great and aspirational. I am happy to be anonymous and off the radar. I have not been one to volunteer and my need for social interaction is not what it is for Dick. So being a retired Christian sounded pretty good and seemed to fit into my plan pretty well. And then!

And then I heard about volunteers being needed at our church’s pregnancy center. As I read about the needs, the Lord seemed to say, “I equipped and prepared you for this!” So, one day a week, I work at the front desk at one of our sites, welcoming, checking in young women who God has led to that Holy place for a purpose. Not knowing I needed a new purpose in my own life, He gave me one. For four hours a week, I can be the face a frightened, uncertain, excited mother-to-be sees, that hopefully will convey love and acceptance.

Allen invited us to go on a Senior Adult mission trip this summer with other people from our church. We did not feel led to do this; however, he asked if I would write a devotional for the participant’s daily private time of meditation. Another door opened for what God had gifted and prepared me to do.

Yes, Christians do retire, but we never retire from being a Christian. For many of us senior adults, our time is NOW! It is our time to seek those doors God is opening. “They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, ‘The Lord is upright; he is my rock.’” (Psalm 92: 12, 14-15)

It is our time to follow the paths for which God has prepared and equipped us, as did the disciples. Jesus did not hand out pink slips to them at His ascension. Instead, he gave them a mission. “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

It is our time to be prayer warriors. I for one cannot move as fast as I did even a year ago, and that troubles me. I can however move mountains through prayer. The one thing I desire that my children and grandchildren can say about me is, “She prayed for me!” That is what I miss most about my deceased parents - their consistently lifting me to the Father. My mother faithfully prayed for missionaries on their birthdays every day. Prayer was her legacy to her children and grandchildren. May it also be mine as well that will bless a future I may never see.

Senior adults, let us never retire from God’s call on our life of service. Let us “fan into flame the gift of God.” (2 Timothy 1:6). Our light is still needed in this dark world. Our time is now!

Thursday, May 6, 2021

A Mountaintop Wedding Weekend

We attended the wedding of our nephew in North Central Arkansas this past weekend.  He and his fiancé built a lovely "cabin" at the very end of the road and on top of an Ozark mountain, overlooking the Buffalo River National Forest.

Nothing was left undone on the inside in order to capture this amazing view.

Family and friends came from far and wide to witness the union of Lee and Jacqueline.

Each location was marked with this most clever sign.

In order to accommodate the out-of-towners, Lee rented several RV's of varying shapes and sizes, and parked them in the large yard of good friends.

We were upgraded to the friend's cabin which was more than accommodating and gave us our own mountainside view.

The rehearsal supper was reflective of Lee's Louisiana roots - a grayfish boil.

Of course there were other choices for those who did not hail from Cajun land.

Saturday morning breakfast was prepared by those same good friends from down the road and it was delicious.  Anything eaten outside on a mountaintop tastes good.

After breakfast, our host took Dick and me on a most interesting Kubota ride along the whole mountain ridge and valley.  It got rather scary at times, but thankfully we had a very experienced driver.

I had never seen coloring with an outline like this before.

If you look closely, you can see that we are on a ridge overlooking the wedding cabin from an opposite perspective.

From the top of the mountain to the bottom. Along the way, we found some large Arkansas stones that we brought back home.

Can you find the old cabin?  We were told that a family of six lived here only a few years ago.  Now, that would be truly living off the grid.

And then, it was time for the wedding.

Jacqueline's daughter made this beautiful 5-tiered masterpiece.  As you can see, each tier was doubled.  She also made the grooms' double chocolate cake and it was equally beautiful and delicious.

Dick sang prior to the wedding vows and also read an "ode" that he had written for the couple.

The anticipated sunset did not disappoint.

The wedding dinner consisted of a variety of charcuterie boards and topped off with a Louisiana gumbo made by the groom and his son, Clay.  It could not have been more perfect.

On Sunday, we drove to Deer, AR to visit friends we hadn't seen in 20 years.  They left Louisiana several years ago to carve out a space in the Ozark mountainside, to build a beautiful log house.  Our time with Kennon and Sandra was much too short, but it was wonderful to see them again.

Without a doubt, this was a recipe for a perfect weekend.