Wednesday, March 23, 2022

It's Time on the Hodgepodge

Another Wednesday Hodgepodge by our soon-to-have-3rd-grandson hostess, Joyce.  We will not have the Hodgepodge next week.

1.  What's something you never seem to have enough time for?

You know, at this time of my life, I have pretty much the time to do whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it.  The problem is the 'want to do' part.

2.  If you could turn back time and relive just one day in your life, which day would you choose and why?

I have never desired to go back and relive any day in the past.  The past is the past.  For the sake of answering this question I will play.

There have been many really good days in my life for which I am forever grateful.  It is impossible to isolate just one, so I will choose two.  Those would be the days I first saw my baby son and daughter; when they were first placed in my arms and I experienced a love I had never known possible.

3.  Something you enjoy making that takes a long time to prepare/cook?

This is a real easy question to answer.  Nothing!  I do not prepare/cook anything that takes a long time.  I prefer to prepare/cook a nutritious meal/dish that can be done with a few steps and in a short amount of time.  The kitchen is not my favorite room in the house.

4.  A time recently where you needed/gave yourself a 'time out'?  How do you do that?

It was more of a 'time away' than 'time out'.  I took a few days off and visited my sisters in South Louisiana.  That is always something to look forward to.

5.  Something you've done recently that you'd describe as a 'good time'?

Last Saturday, I volunteered to work at the Pregnancy Center since they were short-handed.  Seeing women enter undecided about what to do about their unplanned pregnancy, and leave excited to have chosen life after hearing a heartbeat is definitely a 'good time'.

I got to see the nursery for my first great grandboy a few days ago.  He will be here in two weeks!

Sunday morning, I sat by my daughter as we worshipped and got a good hug.

Sunday night, we had a phone call from our son in Northern Indiana to share some news he wants us to pray with him about.

We had a good phone visit with our grandson while he was working on a job in Lafayette, IN, and heard about the preparations they are making for our 2nd great grandson.

Another day this past week we had a lovely Facetime visit with granddaughter #3 and heard about her newest promotion and plans to move to Indianapolis soon.

On Monday, I had one of those long, much needed phone visits with my daughter-in-love.  We discussed all sorts of things you talk about on a catch-up visit.

These sure were all 'good times'!

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

There were 11 confirmed tornados in the Dallas area Monday afternoon and evening with only 1 death.  Praise the Lord!

Thankfully, the touch-downs were not in the metroplex, or the death count would be so much higher.  It was a bit of a scary time as I was texting my daughter and granddaughter as they were huddling in protective spaces in their homes.  There were sirens sounding all around all of us.

My husband was hosting a men's bible study and I just knew I was going to have to share a bathtub with those big guys.  LOL!  I think they were afraid of that too and prayed the storms away.

The storms continue after hitting New Orleans last night.  Praying for all in the path of these storms as they move eastward.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Another Home in The Village

Welcome to another of our Village's homes with a story.

Val bought her Canterbury Home in The Village at Prestonwood, in 2006 while it was still in the development stage.  She is in fact, one of 27 original owners still living here.

In 1972 Val got her real estate license and that was the beginning of a most highly successful business and professional career.  While living and working in Houston, she began doing relocation work, which involved her with many international transactions.  It wasn't long before she became a multi-million dollar producer.

A few years later she and her husband returned to her home, Plano, Texas, where she opened Fenwick Realtors as Broker/Owner in 1982.  During this time, she was able to mentor and train some of the most successful agents in the market, while maintaining her status as a high producer.

A few years ago Val sold her firm and currently is an independent realtor with Ebby Halliday, one of the largest real estate firms in North Central Texas.  She remains very busy partly because of her longevity in this area, but mostly because she has a reputation for excellent service and representation of her clients.

We are blessed to be neighbors with Val, who graciously invited you into her home.

Upon entering this lovely home, it is evident that the homeowner has a taste for warm, inviting elegance.

In the entry is this antique in-laid chest accented by the gorgeous gilded antique mirror.  Val's taste is very eclectic, but everything seems to be part of a grand plan.

Blue and white is a timeless, classic scheme that runs throughout this home.  Because there is a little less that 1,800 sq. ft. of open space, it is imperative that there be a cohesive flow, and you will see how Val has achieved that.

The fireplace is the focus of the living room.  Her comfortable, neutral colored seating is arranged around a large glass and metal coffee table.

On the table are some of her favorite items including this large bowl of sea shells collected from all over the world.  On the right side is a jointed fish from Spain that she treasures.  I love the way she intertwined a strand of pearls among the shells.

One means of incorporating the blue/white theme is in the use of large Chinese ginger jars, as seen on top of this china cabinet.

There are other treasured collectables inside the cabinet which Val says she has had for many years.  The furniture in her home are favorite pieces purchased with both her deceased husbands and hold a great deal of sentiment. 

The dining room table and chairs date back to 1968.  That's the beauty of purchasing quality furniture of classic design.  It never ages.

The dark mahogany kitchen cabinets are a great contrast to neutral tones in the back splash, granite and light wall color in the rest of the house.

It is vignettes such as these that create interest and carry out a theme in a home.

Off the living room is the guest suite.

Almost every element is blue or white or both, but there are important points of relief in the dark wood side tables and in the deep toned hardwood floors.  Both bedrooms have their own style of upholstered headboard.  This is the less formal of the two.

Last year, Val made a huge investment of time and disarray in completely redoing both her bathrooms.  It was definitely worth it because they are both so very well planned and decorated.

The primary bedroom also serves as Val's office, while the white plantation shudders provide a great deal of natural light.

The master bed is pure elegance with the large upholstered headboard and matching embossed silk fabric used for the bed skirt, throw and pillows.

Over the dresser is this beautiful decorative mirror that repeats the pattern in the bed fabric.

The primary bath, though small has all the amenities of a spa.

Nowhere is the blue and white theme more evident than in the sunroom.  This cozy, inviting room adjoins the living room and is where Val enjoys spending time with her sister, Pat who happens to also be her neighbor.

The yellow in the fabric of the stools and pillows adds warmth and compliments the blue as do the touches of greenery.

The highlight of the room to me, is this wall arrangement of vintage Blue Willow and other oriental dishes that Val collected through the years.  The elephant planter is one of her favorite pieces.

Thank you, Val for inviting us into your lovely home.

Hopefully you have gotten some inspiration or ideas for telling your own story in your home.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Roaming Through the Hodgepodge

After sitting out of the Hodgepodge last week, it is good to be back where my blog enjoys being on Wednesdays.

1.  It's March 15th and as the saying goes - "Beware the Ides of March".  Have you read or studied much Shakespeare?  Do you have a favorite Shakespeare play?  How do you feel about a Caesar salad?

No, I am not refined enough to enjoy studying much Shakespeare and I do not have a favorite play.  I do enjoy a Caesar salad although it isn't my favorite.

2.  Have you ever been to Rome?  If so what do you love about the city?  If not, any desire to go?

We were in Rome in 1972 and '75.  I loved everything about the city from the art, architecture, history, statues, to the atmosphere.  The only thing the least bit disappointing was the pizza we ordered at an outdoor cafe.

On our first trip, I bought a piece of beautiful lace for my sister's wedding dress that she was making.

  Below is a picture of my friend, Sarabeth and me in front of Trevi Fountain.  I would love to go back, but that probably won't happen.

3.  What's your favorite place to 'roam'?

I don't have a favorite place, but I do love to 'roam'.  We haven't done as much roaming around in Texas as I had anticipated, but we are determined to get out and roam around to see the Bluebonnets soon.

4.  Do you like pizza?  Thick or thin crust?  Red sauce-white sauce-other?  Your favorite toppings?  How do you feel about pineapple on a pizza?

I do like pizza but don't eat it often.  My favorite would be Johnny's Pizza House Sweep the Kitchen.  This is original to Monroe, LA and the best pizza in the world - minus the anchovies.  NO to the pineapple as well.

5.  'Rome wasn't built in a day'... tell us how this expression applies to something in your home-life-job currently (or recently)?

My HOA newsletter sure wasn't built in a day; in fact, it is taking all of three months to get it the way I want it.  Fortunately, it only goes out quarterly.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

How about an update on my future great grandboys?

My daughter hosted the most beautiful shower for both families and a few friends.
She used an Easter theme since Landon will be born in April.

Are these not stunning and happy ladies?

Baby Landon will be blessed with five (5) great grandmothers.  How special is that!

Now, about Baby Jax who is due in July.  From all accounts mother is doing great, and we are going to have a big boy.  In fact, both of our boys appear to be quite large and husky at this point.

Monday, March 7, 2022

A Proverbs 31 Woman?

We are studying scripture from the Book of Proverbs in our Sunday morning Life Group.  Yesterday our teacher very delicately and diplomatically addressed Proverbs 31.  I remembered a blog post I did on this way back in 2011 right after starting my blog.  I thought it might be a good time to repeat it.

Recently I saw a blog entitled "Seeking to be a Proverbs 31 Woman."  My initial thought was "Bless her little heart."  Then I remembered, when as a young mother, those Mother's Days at church this Proverb always seemed to be the topic of the sermon.  I can't recall one single message, but I do remember how I struggled with a feeling of inadequacy, knowing I could never live up to this high standard.  Shucks, I was doing well if I just got the laundry done and folded and put up and maybe one meal on the table every day.  How could I ever possibly be as industrious, as productive, as godly, as perfect as Mrs. Proverbs?  With two toddlers it just wasn't happening!

Then I remembered a conversation I had with my precious daughter-in-love this past summer (2010) as we were planting flowers in front of her house and she mentioned this godly Proverbs lady.  I had an epiphany and suggested that perhaps our role model did not do all these things at the same time, but was able to accomplish them over her life time.  As I thought more on this, I realized that "Hey, I've done most of those same things in my life time."

Okay, I haven't bought a field or planted a vineyard, or dressed my family in scarlet.  But, I did keep my children clean and healthy and loved abundantly.  I made my daughter's clothes out of the best fabric I could afford until she finally informed me she was ready for something with a label in the neck.  At one period, I planted a garden and reaped what little harvest there was.  I made fresh bread for my adoring family on a weekly basis.  I played ball with my son, baby dolls with my daughter, and mowed the yard with my husband.  I taught Sunday School and sang in the choir.  Through the years the Lord put me into positions of authority and greater responsibilities outside the home so that I was able to help support our family.

But, do you think Mrs. Proverbs would pat me on the back and say, "Well done my child, you have lived up to my example and perhaps even excelled?"  I don't think so.  I think she would say, "Libby, did you do all these things 'in delight'?  Did you do them for the Glory of God?"

I'm afraid I would have to shamefully answer, "No" to those questions.  My striving for significance and meaning by performing the acts I thought were expected of me were not always done in delight or for God's Glory.

Donna Morley, in her book "A Woman of Significance" writes this as a statement from Mrs. Proverbs that I like:
"I suggest that they (the contemporary lady) live life at the bottom.  The bottom is the place of humility...It's a place that saints of the past have occupied, where great rewards are found.  Those who live at the bottom come to discover that it's really living life at the top.
"It is important that each woman realize that God has given her a specific personality, talents, and giftedness...a unique beauty...that can be used to fit into His plan and accomplish His will.  Real change...and real significance comes from the inside out."
The beautiful, significant, special lady seeks first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all these (other) things will be added to her.

I admire the young mother and wife who challenges herself to be the Proverbs woman before her family and community.  Oh that more women would have this desire.  As for me at this "Senior" time of my life, this should still be a desire of my heart; to strive to be the woman God would have me be, willing to live at the bottom in order that I might live life at the top.  

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

The Times

It is a Wednesday so we're spending time answering questions given to us by our Hodgepodge leader, Joyce.

1.  Somehow it's March?  Is it coming in like a lion where you live?

No, March came in as mild as a lamb with a low of 38 and a high of 72, plenty of sunshine and no Texas wind.  I would say a pretty perfect day.

Tell us one fun thing on your March calendar.

This Saturday I will attend a baby shower for my oldest granddaughter, Chandler, who, in April will give us our first great-grandson.  The picture below is with her best friend who hosted a shower this past weekend.

2.  In what way(s) do you 'march to the beat of your own drum'?

I'm not afraid to say 'No!"

3.  The Hodgepodge lands on Dr. Suess Day (March 2ne).  Do you like eggs?  How about ham?  Share a favorite quote from one of his books.

Oh yes, I love eggs and in fact have at least one every day.  Ham is perfect with eggs or a myriad of other ways.

My favorite quote and one I repeated to my children (that I'm sure they don't remember) is:

“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!”

4.  Have you read Little Women?  How about Alice in Wonderland?  Did you love them, like them, feel just eh about them?  Why is this question in the Hodgepodge today?

I read both these books many years ago.  In fact, in 1971 I bought a set of seven small abridged classics to read to my then babies and it included Alice in Wonderland.  I have sense read it to at least one grandchild.

Did I love them?  Not really.  Perhaps it was the time in my life that I read Little Women and didn't fully appreciate it.  Although I tried to make the reading of Alice exciting for my babies, it was beyond their comprehension at the time, and I failed to appreciate the symbolism myself.

I do not know why both were included in the Hodgepodge as they were published three years apart and written by different authors.  Perhaps because Joyce does love both of them as well as Dr. Suess?  Can't wait to find out.

5.  How do you meal plan?  How often do you shop for groceries?  One homemade meal that was on your menu last week or is on your menu this week?

When I get up in the morning I give it some thought and base it on whatever is in the freezer and on hand.  We do not shop on a routine basis, just when we happen to be near the grocery store, or need something particular. Or, whenever Dick decides its time to go.  We try to keep the freezer and pantry well stocked.

All our meals for the most part are homemade.  We are eating a lot of eggs, cheese, avocados, meats and a prescribed list of veggies and berries; therefore the two meals a day that we eat will contain a combination of these foods.

Perhaps my favorite meal was an Olive Mixture Stuffed Chicken Breast with sliced boiled egg and avocado on the side.  Dessert was a small bowl of mixed berries and nuts.  Oh my goodness, sooooo good.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

The thoughts on the minds of most of us concerns the Ukrainian people.  The images and stories coming from there are both inspirational and heart-breaking.  For something so preventable to affect our world is overwhelming and beyond my understanding.

If you are into Bible prophesy, keep your eye on what all of this means for Israel.  Israel is the epicenter.  The Russian invasion of Ukraine may impact the world order and lay the groundwork for Ezekiel 38, but Putin is not Gog and the end is not yet, but it is near.  Are you ready?

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall have eternal life.”