Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Welcome to Joyce's 475th Wednesday Hodgepodge.

1.  Something you've labored over recently?

A couple weeks ago I labored over a painting.  I thought I knew what I wanted to achieve using a new technique.  After applying layer after layer and removing layer after layer, I finally resigned myself to the fact that it looked better hanging on a wall of the garage than one inside my house.  And there it remains.

2.  How will you rest on Labor Day?

Much as I do every other day.  Nothing planned and life goes on.

3.  Margaret Mead is quoted as saying, "I learned the value of hard work by working hard."  Would you agree?  Where and how did you learn the value of hard work?

Yes, I do agree.

My parents were great examples of doing whatever it took.  Though neither had "hard" jobs per say, they worked hard to keep a roof over our heads, food on the table, nice clothes to wear, and always a home where people were welcomed.

I also learned the value of hard work from our son.  He started working on a friend's farm at the age of 13 and with each difficult job, and every degree thereafter, developed a great work ethic. He is reaping the benefits of that to this day.

4.  It's National Eat Outside Day (August 31st).  Will you?  Do you enjoy dining 'al fresco' or prefer indoor seating?

I will not be dining outside on the 31st.

Yes, we do enjoy dining 'al fresco' when the Texas weather permits.  That means that most of our dining-out seating is inside.  Dick and I enjoy having our brunch out on our patio though as weather permits.

5.  Somehow it's the end of August.  What was the best day of the month for you and tell us what made it so?

The best day of the month of August would be days in early August that we spent in Indiana with our family.  We got to meet our 2nd great grandson, so that was mighty 'best.'  We took some fun road trips while there that helped make those days also some of the best.  Family time is always the best!

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

September 2 is my sweeties 82nd birthday and the 4th is our 57th wedding anniversary.  We are so grateful that God has blessed these many years together and Dick with good health.  May we have many more.


Wednesday, August 24, 2022

A Waffling Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Hodgepodge with Joyce

1.  August 24th is National Waffle Day...what's something you've 'waffled' on recently?

Whether or not to replace my living room rug.  I really like the rug and it worked perfectly in our Louisiana home; however, it does not fit our current living room the way I would like it to.  Do I replace a beautiful antique large rug that we spent over $1,000 having cleaned when we moved in, with one that does fit?  Or do I keep it and live with it?

2.  Do you like waffles?  Make your own or 'leggo my Eggo?  Any favorite toppings or add-ins?  Waffles or pancakes - which do you prefer?

Yes I do but haven't eaten any in years.
When I served waffles, I made my own but used a batter mix.  Bisquick, I think.
I added whatever toppings the kids wanted at the time.  Yes, it's been that long ago.  I finally got rid of my iron when we moved.
You see the problem is I prefer them both!  And I prefer them drowned  in butter and syrup

3.  Do you have any mementos from this summer (or past summers)?  What do you do with them?

I've never been a memento collector other than memories.  I do have tons of pictures of summer excursions and trips but no shells and trinkets.

4.  One thing you'd like to do before summer ends?

Oh gracious, I'm just ready for it to end.  I think the cool temps this week after the horrific flooding in the Dallas/Ft Worth area have been a nice teaser.  We got lots of rain but thankfully no flooding on Monday as those just south of us did.

I do have some road trips on my fall list though.

5.  Life is too short to not live in harmony with others.  "How good and pleasant it is when brothers (and sisters) live together in harmony...for there the Lord has appointed the blessing - life forevermore." Ps 133:1 & 3

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Random thoughts usually turn toward grands and greats these days.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

School & Life

It is time again to join Joyce for the Wednesday Hodgepodge.

1.  August is National Back to School does that make you feel?  Share a back-to-school memory.

Mainly it makes me feel very grateful those days are waaaaaaay behind me.

I have only one granddaughter who is still in school.  Ava Grace will be entering the 10th grade this week at Prestonwood Christian Academy.  Because of the Christian environment, excellent education, opportunities to use her talents, and the teaching of a Biblical worldview, I feel very good about the year ahead for her.

Memory:  I mostly remember the excitement of having a new dress and shoes (yes, we only wore dresses back then) for the first day, and seeing friends I hadn't seen during the summer.

2.  Something you've learned in 'the school of life'?

Never assume or take anything for granted.

Don't save plastic bags and tin foil.

3.  Three words to describe your current mood.

At this moment on Tuesday, I have some apprehensions regarding discussions and decisions in our HOA Board Meeting later today.

I feel assured knowing we have done all we need to do for our kids in the event of our death.  That is a good feeling and puts me in a confident mood.

Sorry, overlooked the THREE word part.

4.  A summer food you've eaten too much of/are tired of?  A summer food you haven't had enough of?

I haven't eaten too much of anything and am not tired of any summer food.  Our diet is not really seasonal.  Now, the 'not enough' of part of the question would be watermelon.

5.  What small stuff do you sweat that you know you shouldn't?
The stuff I sweat is not small stuff to me.  I only sweat the big stuff that could be life changing, like will we have a shortage of food in the next year.  Things like that.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Speaking of school - this is my First and Twelfth Grade pictures.

Where did those years go! 

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Hiking Trails in Niles

Fernwood Botanical Garden is a 105 acre natural garden in Niles, Michigan.  It is only about 15 miles from the Day house.  Dick and I went a few years ago to see a specific exhibit, but Michelle had never been.  This was the perfect time.

The Welcome Center contains a two-level 
arboretum, gift shop, and large exhibit and teaching center.  There is also an educational center and library on site.

We even found a cool, secluded "hideout" suitable for adults.

Michelle is demonstrating the size of this enormous hibiscus bloom, and she has what she calls "basketball" hands.

There are numerous hiking trails full of beautiful vegetation and the occasional snake and squirrel.

Unlike the previous botanical garden we visited, Fernwood is much more natural and less manicured.

Included in the acreage is a 55 acre Nature Preserve consisting of hiking trails, numerous streams and a 125 foot drop in elevation down to the Saint Joseph River.

These tree-covered hiking trails on the ridge provided much cooler temperatures.

The Saint Joseph River, a tributary of Lake Michigan is one of the most beautiful rivers.  It flows in mostly a western direction across south Michigan and then southward into Indiana.  It flows right through the middle of Mishawaka where John's hospital is located.

The water wheel is one of the most favorite features of the garden.

As seen from above.

There are several buildings on the grounds and one is used for conferences, weddings and other gatherings.  Others are for over-night guests.  This one, however is probably not habitable.

Quaint but no thanks.  But, the chairs are cute and add a nice touch.

One of the "rooms" in the garden is this section that grows only herbs.  There was a large variety of interesting fragrances.

After trekking a good portion of the trails, we were more than ready for food and Dick and Michelle were in need of their caffeine fix.  This neat little Italian bistro in Niles had the most delicious food and self-brewed coffee.  It was worth the wait!

This was not the last of our outings and fun, but enough to help me recall in days ahead the great time we had with our Indiana family in the summer of 2022.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Mid-West Botanicals

There is no shortage of interesting things to do and see in the Michiana area.  There is unbelievable beauty along the many waterways and lakes; sandy beaches and fascinating lighthouses; quaint towns, organic farms and orchards; white, clean Amish homes and farms; and a varied mixture of cultures.

This short overall list doesn't include the beautiful Notre Dame and St. Mary campuses , the Studebaker Museum and hundreds of galleries, restaurants, numerous theaters, my favorite Japanese Garden (that I didn't visit this trip), not to mention interesting architecture and almost perfect summer weather.

In today's blog we will visit the first of two totally different botanical gardens.

This Japanese-themed garden consists of three islands and is located in the center of Elkhart, IN, a neighboring town southeast of Granger.  Come with me into the serene and lovely manicured grounds of Wellfield Botanical Gardens.

It is a Japanese-themed garden consisting of three small islands.

Being overseen by the elk of Elkhart

The sound of the rushing water was captivating and refreshing in the unusual Northern Indiana heatwave.

Thankfully there was a comfortable place to sit, relax and enjoy the sights and sounds.

Isn't this tool shed the cutest?

Large bronze statues were placed throughout the gardens.

Let's just say Dick has never met a pretty woman he didn't like.

We agreed this would be the perfect place to bring Baby Jax for play dates and to introduce him to God's wonderful world.

The roof of this building is as pretty as the grounds.

The next two close-ups are shots I particularly like.

Cross pollination was alive and well in this garden.

Standing outside the gates was this artist.  I checked going in and coming out and "Monet" had not made any progress.

Elkhart County is celebrating the 17th year anniversary of the first display of Seward Johnson Sculptures in the county.  Johnson is well known for his life-like bronze sculptures.

Another sculpture caught our attention downtown next to a jewelry store.
From what I've read, there is really no explanation for this sculpture, named "Contact," so I am assuming we are free to make up our own.

Tomorrow, I will take you to another botanical garden that will be totally different which will wrap up our Indiana visit.  In the meantime you might enjoy reading about and seeing other sculptures by John Seward Johnson.