Wednesday, April 3, 2024

An Excited Hodgepodge

Joyce posts the questions on her blog From This Side of the Pond and we answer them on our blog each Wednesday.  Thank you for joining me this week.

1. What's a talent you wish you had? 

I would love to play the piano like my friend, Sarabeth.  But since there is no one like her, that is only a dream.

2. In one word, what's your state of mind right now?

Excited !  (See #6)

3. What's the next major purchase you need to make? Will it happen this month? This year?

A new vehicle and hopefully it will happen this month. 

4. Tuesday (April 2nd) was National PB and J Day...did you celebrate? Is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich something you eat weekly or more? What's your favorite kind of jelly?

I did not celebrate and wasn't even aware it was PB and J Day.  I do love a good PB & J sandwich though and would  eat one on a weekly basis for sure, if it weren't so fattening.  The only jelly to eat with PB is grape.  Otherwise, my favorite is peach. 

5. Are you easily intimidated? Who or what intimidates you?

I am not easily intimidated, and there isn't anyone that I know who intimidates me.  However, I could be intimidated were I in a room with highly skilled mathematicians or scholars and expected to compete. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Why am I excited?  Our son and daughter-in-law fly in Wednesday morning for a several day visit with us.  We can hardly wait.  Also, this Saturday, our first great grandson will have his 2nd birthday and his mother will turn another year older on Monday and we get to celebrate them both on Sunday.  Those are all good things to look forward to and reasons to be excited.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Easter Hodgepodge

Thank you Joyce for asking thought provoking questions each week.  If you're interested in seeing how she answers her own questions, click HERE.

1.What do you love about your life right now? 

This is my fifth week of living like a princess.  Who can complain about that!

2. March 26th is National Spinach Day...are you a fan? If so, how do you like yours prepared/served?

 Even though I love fresh spinach in a salad, or cooked in a quiche or added to an omelet, I never turn down the opportunity to have creamed spinach.

3. In this current season would you say you need to spend more time looking inward or that you need to get out of your head? Tell us why.

I can't say I spend a lot of time looking inward and nor do I want to.  When I find that I'm "in my head", I realize it quickly becomes very selfish thinking and that's not where I want to spend my time. 

4. Are you following the 'March Madness' madness? (That's US college basketball in case you're out of the loop) What's something that feels like actual madness to you right now?

Yes, we are all in with the women's trek to the Sweet Sixteen.  

I have enjoyed following Caitlin Clark's road to stardom this year as she has helped take Iowa to the #1 spot.  Of course Bayou Barbie, Angel Reese with LSU is our favorite player on our favorite team.  As they won the national title last year, we are hoping for a repeat, but the pathway is tough.

What is actual madness is this crazy world and the blatant injustice all around us.  There seems to be very little that actually makes sense anymore.  I'm so glad "this world is not my home - I'm just a pass'n through."

5. How will you celebrate the Easter/Passover holiday this year?

I am hoping to be able to go to church for the first time in several months to worship our Risen Savior with my family. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Another March Wednesday Hodgepodge

Thank you for joining me for another week's Wednesday Hodgepodge where Joyce posts questions and we give our answers.

1. Spring is officially upon us, no matter what the weather may be in your neck of the woods. Is there any 'spring cleaning' on your to-do list? What's your most dreaded task? 

After being "laid up" for 5 weeks, house-keeping has gone rather unattended.  That being said, Hubs has done a great job of maintaining for which I am most appreciative.  The only big thing that I intend to do once I'm able is dust the plantation shutters that are throughout the house.  And that is without doubt my most dreaded task.

2. What's something many people seem to love, but to you feels like 'watching the grass grow'?

3. Mint grows in abundance during the spring season. Are you a fan? What's your favorite food with a 'minty' flavor? 

Yes, I love to grow mint IN A CONTAINER!  

My favorite minty food would be chocolate covered mint cookies

4. It's been said, 'Absence makes the heart grow fonder.' Agree or disagree? Explain. 

I think perhaps a short absence from a loved one can help us appreciate the absent one even more; however, too much absence can create division and a sense of separation and independence that is hard to overcome.

5. Are there any festive spring events in your city or town? If so, will you take advantage of them?

The Solar Eclipse of 2024 will go right over our Village on April 8 and this will be the big spring event of the century.  People from all over the country are expected to invade the Dallas, TX area. There is a watch party planned outside our clubhouse for all residents who are interested.  We have our glasses and camera lens ready and can't wait to experience this exciting event.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Plano, TX is in the path of totality

This community is in totality from 1:41:26p to 1:44:56p. Partial eclipse begins at 12:23p.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Green Pi Hodgepodge

Click here for a song to help celebrate National Pi Day - "That's Amore"

Thank you, Joyce for giving us such a variety of questions to consider each week.

1.  Thursday is National Pi Day...are you good at math?  What was the last thing you had to calculate?  did you use your head or technology?  Last slice of pie you ate?

No, math was never my strong suit inspite of all my dad's efforts to turn that around.
The last things I calculated were totals for my tax forms.
I definitely used technology!
The last slice of pie I ate was the last slice of peach pie in the pan provided by a sweet friend.

2.  What makes a house a home?

The people who live there!

3.  Your current favorite green thing?

Green is not one of my favorite colors but I do love my green plants.  I brought this bamboo into my bedroom so I can keep it watered and enjoy it from my bed.  Dick gave this to me years ago and it continues to thrive.

4.  How do you define achievement?  How does your personal definition look similar to, or different than, society's definition?  What's something you think is worth achieving in life?

Definition:  a thing done successfully, typically by effort, courage, or skill

My personal definition isn't too different from the one above.  I have never achieved something without putting forth an effort to do so.  Those achievements also came with a lot of perseverance and determination as well as failure.  That being said, nothing I have ever achieved was done so by my own power.  I believe that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength, according to His purpose, because I am among His called.

The thing I most wish to achieve is learning to love God above all else, and my neighbor as myself. 

5.  What song is a good soundtrack for your life right now?

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Our granddaughter #2, Cassidy, spends most of her time traveling abroad.  Recently, she posted these pictures from Milan, Italy.  She could have stepped off the fashion runway.

Granddaughter #6, Ava Grace, spent last week on a mini-mester mission trip in the Amazon.  Above, they are swimming with a pink dolphin.  She is on the left and I'll let her facial expression tell you what she thought about it.

 Their older sister, granddaughter #1, Chandler has been doing some modeling of her own.  Check out @stylekalon on Instagram to see other fashions worn by this beautiful mom.

And that's just three of my amazing granddaughters.

Monday, March 11, 2024

Oh the Trials - Woe is Me!

Have you ever noticed that the thing(s) you can no longer do, are the very things you need to be able to do?

I have also noticed that I am a very clumsy person.  Who knew!

A few years ago when I had to have surgery on my right hand and underwent PT for three months to regain the use of the hand, I started dropping things.  All kinds of things.  My toothbrush, a dish towel, a clothing item, etc.  I forgave myself liberally for these little mishaps because I was able to lean over and retrieve whatever had fallen.  All was forgiven and I moved on.

Now that I have had my left hip replaced, I am denied the ability to bend over or lean too far, at least for another two weeks.  All of a sudden I am reminded that I really am a cluts.  On top of recuperating and having to have help for the simplest things such as putting on socks, to again be reminded that I really am a clumsy person might make one feel a bit sorry for oneself.  Just say'n.

For example, I dropped a dryer sheet and it had to lie there on the floor until Dick either slipped on it or noticed it.  I dropped crumbs from a brownie and there they lay, hoping Dick would notice them before they got ground into the tile.

Several times, I have dropped a vitamin or pill just as I thought I had it in my mouth.  Normally, I would have picked that bugger up off the floor and reinserted it where it belonged.  But not now.  This morning I dropped a Tylenol on the bathroom floor.  As I was using the bathroom I saw our visiting grand dog come looking for me and instead found the pill on the floor.  Since she is deaf, I clapped my hands real loud to stop her from tasting it.  It scared her to death because she thought it was a clap of thunder which is the only thing she can hear.  She thankfully ignored the pill, but kept looking for the lightening and shivered for an hour.

Who drops a pill out of their mouth?  Anyway, that seems to be the new challenge this week - make sure the pill(s) are properly inserted in mouth before removing the fingers from said pill.

On top of all that, I dropped my grabber.  That's right, I knocked over the grabber I keep by my bed in order to help retrieve items that I have dropped and are out of reach.  NOTE:  It doesn't work with pills or crumbs.  Now I find I need a backup grabber to pick up my grabber.

Oh the trials of post-surgery!

All this aside, I continue to make amazing progress and remain pain free.  I am so grateful for my sweet hubby who doesn't seem to mind being my human grabber and sock putter-oner.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

A Purrrfic Wednesday Hodgepodge

Welcome to another Wednesday Hodgepodge with Joyce asking the questions.

1.  Has March come in like a lion where you live?  If not a lion then what animal would you use to describe the weather in your area this first week of March?  Does the weather affect your emotions?  When did you last feel 'under the weather'?

March certainly did not come in like a lion in Plano, TX.  Instead it was more like a frisky kitten who loves to chase anything that moves when not lying out in the sunshine.  We have had plenty of sun and wind.  The only weather that affects my emotions is a storm.  Bad weather seems to feed my soul and I feel very content.  I don't remember when I last felt 'under the weather'.  Even two weeks post surgery, I have not felt bad at all.

2.  Do you know what your name means?  Does the meaning of your name fit with your personality?  Do you like your name?  If you have children did you consider the meaning of their names before choosing them?

Elizabeth:  My God is abundance
Claire:  Clear, bright or light-colored

Yes, I think both my given names fit my personality.  My God is all I ever need.  As for the meaning of Claire, it is true I am probably more clear and bright some days more than others, but always light-colored.

Yes, we considered the meaning of our children's names.
John:  "Yahweh has been gracious"
Christina:   "Follower of Christ". 

3.  It's National Sauce Month...what's your favorite sauce?  Last thing you ate that used a sauce?

I found the most delicious tomato basil sauce at Home Goods a while back that we have used as a soup more than a sauce.  I bought all they had and wish there had been more.  I don't remember the last time I used just a sauce.

4.  Something you've seen, tasted, done lately that you'd describe as 'awesome sauce'?

I discovered Cauliflower Gnocchi a while back that I used in making a Chicken Gnocchi Soup.  It has quickly become a favorite dish for us and for sharing.

5.  What kinds of things do you love to collect?

I no longer collect anything.  Space is too limited for collecting.  In the past I collected white pottery pitchers and still have some of my favorites.  I also, for a period of time collected vintage and antique gravy boats.  When we moved three years ago, I gave all of my collection to a friend.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Saturday 9 With Eydie

It has been forever since I participated in the Saturday 9 meme and since this weeks song harks back to my teen years, I thought it would be a fun Saturday to join in.

I do not have any special memories associated with this song although I did think Eydie Gorme and Steve Lawrence made the sweetest couple.

Saturday 9:
Blame It on the Bossa Nova (1963)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This week's song tells the story of a girl who found love at a dance. Share a happy memory from a party, prom or dance you attended.

As a sweet little Baptist girl and a preacher's daughter, I did not dance, nor did we have proms back in the early 60's; therefore I do not a specific dance memory to share.  This did not keep me from enjoying American Bandstand and other teen bopper dance programs on TV.

2) This record was a big hit for Eydie Gorme, which surprised her. When she first heard the song, she disliked it and had to be convinced to her record it. Tell us about a pleasant surprise you had recently.

A friend sent me a huge gorgeous bouquet of roses as a get-well-soon gift.  An hour later I received another one exactly like the first.  Come to find out, the first was supposed to be delivered the day before, and when it wasn't they delivered a second one.  Needless to say we loved having twice the beauty and the house smelled divine.

3) "Blame It on the Bossa Nova" is about love at first sight on the dance floor. Eydie's husband Steve Lawrence maintained he fell in love with her the first time he heard her sing. Have you ever felt a sudden, powerful attraction to someone? If yes, did you act on it?

Yes, in fact, my husband and I met on a blind date and had an immediate attraction to each other.  We met on Feb 6, 1965 and were married on Sept. 4 of that same year.  We acted on it pretty quickly.

4) While this was a solo success for Eydie, she was also known for recording and performing with Steve Lawrence. He was just 22 and she was 29 when they married. Eydie admitted she was self-conscious about the difference in their ages. Do you think age matters in a romantic relationship?

There is no blanket answer for this question.  I have known couples who were several years apart in age whose marriage lasted until death parted them.  One couple I know, the woman is considerably older than her husband and they are a perfect match.  For a couple months each year my husband is five years older than me and I think its great.

5) Eydie was fluent in Spanish, which enabled her to pay for her classes at City College by working as an interpreter. Tell us about one of your early jobs.

My first job was gift wrapping during the Christmas holidays at a large department store.  I actually did this for three Christmas seasons and enjoyed it.

6) In 1963, when this song was popular, The Rambler was Motor Trend's car of the year. It was a 9-passenger station wagon, perfect for families. What do you remember about your childhood family car?

We had a Studebaker that my sister and I loved to sit in and take many a pretend trip.  What adventures that car had.

7) Also in 1963, President Kennedy made a state trip to Ireland. Have you visited the land of your ancestors?

Most of my ancestors hark from England and Scotland, but no I have not visited these countries.

8) The pilot for Gilligan's Island was filmed in 1963. Were you a fan of the show?

Oh yes, I suppose most households watched that show during its run.  I eventually got tired of it but in 1963, it would have been a must see each week.

9) Random question: Crunchy, smooth or organic peanut butter?

It depends on how I'm using it.  For a PBJ sandwich, I prefer smooth.  For a favorite PB snack, I prefer crunchy and being organic is not important to me.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

End of February Wrap Up

Two blog posts in two days is a new record for me, but it is so good to have nothing else to do but think about doing something a bit creative for a change.  If you are interested in seeing how I do little vignettes in my house, click here

Love you to the moon and back!

From this Side of the Pond

1.  February is coming to a close.  Give us a two-word phrase that tell us something about how yours went.

February came in with a lot of pain and closed with the elimination of said pain.  Thank you God for sending your angels of healing.

2.  If you had to describe how you're feeling right now as an amusement park ride, what ride are you on?  Explain.

The carousel seems to fit what's going on with me right now.  It was one week ago as I'm writing this that I had my left hip replaced.  My surgeon has a regime to accomplish maximum healing but it isn't overnight.

My daily schedule is going round and round and getting up and down doing 5 - 10 minutes of walking every hour; icing the incision; increasing the reps of exercises every day and then simply resting in bed.  So round and round and up and down about describes my month of March.

3.  What's something on your desk or a nearby wall that cheers you up when you see it or walk past?

Since my lap is my desk right now, my view is this large beautiful piece of furniture that holds a TV I rarely watch, a glass vase I enjoy seeing and all the printed copies of my yearly blog posts.  On top are two favorite pieces that were purchased in Greece many years ago.  There also is a tiny picture from my dad's last driver's license.  Normally, those doors would be closed, but I enjoy the view.

4.  Are you a salad eater?  How many salads do you typically eat in a week?  Your favorite kind of salad?

Yes, we are salad eaters and typically eat one a few times a week.  My go-to salad is a Cobb with black beans, corn, chicken and all the fixins'.

5.  Without telling us the category give us your top five ---
  1. Sitting in my sunroom on a bright sunshiny morning
  2. Walking outside on a brisk cool morning
  3. Doing Facetime with a great grandson
  4. A good nights sleep
  5. Waking up alongside my beloved
6.  Insert your own random thought here.

I know you are more than ready to get caught up on our great grands since it's been a while since an update.

Landon, who will be 2 in April entertained me on the foot of my bed the other day with his "happy face" and sweet antics. He is such a little ham and so full of life.

Jax is so fascinated by all the new house building going on in his neighborhood and loves to watch for the dump trucks and excavators.  We love our FT visits with this Indiana baby boy who will be 2 in July.

Jasper Rex lives in Fayetteville, AR and is not quite 1.  Isn't he an absolute doll?

Four months ago I was adopted as grandmother to this precious little girl, Piper.  She has stolen our heart as did her mother a few years ago.

And that about wraps up the Hodgepodge for this week.  Come back next Wednesday because I'm not going anywhere.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Creating Interesting Vignettes in Your House

With not much to do other than walk every hour, exercise three times a day, change out ice pack and lie in bed, I have had time to think about the blog again.  There really isn't much to think about other than how quickly bored could I make a reader.

This is the view from my bed perch and one I may eventually get tired of before the month of March expires; however, right now I am not complaining.

Several weeks ago, I went around my little house enjoying a few of the vignettes I've created.  I love groupings of favorite things that have something in common and are repeated somewhere else in the room or house.  I find this creates continuity. Since we have such an open living space, it is important to have a flow.  I also want to have items I like where I can see them.

Our mantel is situated at an angle in our living room and is part of the focal point seen upon entry into our house.  It is heavy white stone that requires anchoring.  I have chosen to do that with a large gold framed picture above and a wrought iron fireplace screen below.

To further create balance, I layered a black wrought iron framed mirror in front of the painting along with a matching candlestand to the side.  I love the idea of layering and the depth and interest it creates.  Because I am using deep teal pillows on my sofa, I added a lovely decorative plate in front of the mirror.

The colors of the plate also repeat the colors of the vase to the left and other gold touches throughout.

The grouping below is part of a focus wall that includes some of my original paintings and the TV.  I love the two antique English pieces on this corner and how they play off the colors in each of the paintings.  Again, you will see gold being used.  On the opposite end is a single large abstract gold sculpture that anchors the weight of the console.

Behind the dining table is this vintage pie safe that holds china and special crystal bowls.  Above it are two more of my paintings that continue the color scheme.  I love the large red vase.  A smaller matching piece is also located in another part of the room.  The painting to the left has gold highlights that reflect and further repeat that theme.

This final grouping is in a corner between my sofa and the sunroom.  

The red velvet patchwork cloth, with sprinkles of tiny sequins, really anchors the overall color scheme of my house and fills this otherwise empty space.  The large gold framed mirror is an interesting piece upon entry in the room.  Again, I have used gold accessories.

Once I am able to be up and moving around in April, I will bring in some spring accessories and who knows, may even paint something new.

I hope you have been inspired to see how you can create groupings using something unexpected already found in your home in unusual ways.