Laughing along with the Hodgepodge

1.  Did you make someone laugh yesterday? Was it intentional?

Well, not me exactly, but just tonight – I was playing Scattergories with my kiddos and the letter was “D” and the category was “Tools” and my daughter put “Dentures” as her tool – I made her call her dad to confer with him on whether that was acceptable, and we were all laughing, the conversation was so funny!
2. What’s a simple question with a complicated answer?

What does it mean to love?

3. Rhododendrons or azaleas…you have to choose. Are either currently blooming in your yard?

I love them both – especially when we lived in North Carolina, the rhododendrons were gorgeous!  I don’t have either in my yard, but my camellias have just started blooming, and the bougainvillea is blooming – gorgeous!
4. May 21st is National Waitstaff Day. Have you ever worked as a waiter/waitress? How would you rate the experience? What was the best/worst part of the job?

Nope, I’ve never worked as a waitress.
5. What fashion trend for women should be outlawed? How about one for men?

Spandex.  And that goes for both men and women.  Seriously.

And thongs… also for both genders.
6. Name a writer who inspires you….now tell us why.

So many to choose from… besides the obvious, GOD, check out His best seller – it’s awesome!  I also greatly admire Jan Karon (The Mitford Series) – stories of faith, real life, small town living… love it.
7. What well known quote or saying sums up your plans for today or this week?

“Let go and let God”

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Meh – I’ve got a cold.  I don’t have any random thoughts.  No thoughts at all.  I’m exhausted, stuffy headed, achey… and just tired.  Under attack from all sides.  Prayers for rest and healing appreciated!  Thanks friends – I’ll be back with more typical witty banter next week!

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A much better Hodgepodge…

Thankfully a much better week than last week – boy, that was a doozy!  God is good, friends.  Bring peace where there is chaos… words where there are none… and silence where it is needed.  So now, with a deep sigh of contentment, lets Hodgepodge!

1. When is your next big deadline? What’s it for?

As you know, I am not only our church receptionist and Family Ministries Administrator, but I am also a Deacon.  In a couple of weeks we have a New Members Class, and I need to create a new brochure for it – letting people know how to use our online directory.  It’s a bit daunting – but it’s due in 10 days, so I’d better hop to it and GET IT DONE ALREADY!
2. May is National Barbecue Month. Do you prefer cooking indoors or out? What’s the best thing about a barbecue? What’s the last thing you cooked on an outdoor grill?
I love cooking outdoors!  I think everything tastes so much fresher cooked outside!  In the summer especially, when our schedules are more relaxed and it’s hot and I don’t want to turn on the oven or cook over a hot stove… I love cooking on the grill outside and then eating on our patio.  We cooked hamburgers a few weeks ago.  YUmm…
3. What is one thing on your “never again” list?
Never again will I look at a chance to serve as an inconvenience.  Humbled today.
4. What’s something that annoys you about people your own age? Something you love about your generation?
Something that annoys:  the constant obsession with their i-devices.  And yes, I’m as guilty as the rest of them.
Something I love:  the fact that it was our generation that ushered in the internet and made it accessible to everyone in every home.  Pretty darn amazing.
5. Lilac, iris, hyacinth, pansy…your favorite purple flower?
I love pansies – mainly because when we lived in colder climates they were the hardy ones that could be planted as soon as spring whispered in the air, but were hardy enough to withstand the snows that inevitably came the minute I planted them in the ground!
6. Whats a song that always calms you down?
This one:  .
One of my favorite songs to play on the piano as well.
David Nevue – The Gift
7. What’s the last thing you donated?
Our church is serving at a camp in Mexico that serves as a church to gypsy Mexitecan workers.  It is truly humbling, in every sense of the word.  Transient.  Illiterate.  Don’t speak Spanish, but their own version of the language and they can’t read or write.  And yet this camp has a service every Saturday that is a VBS style service, almost a school – and they serve 150+ children every Saturday.  And they have nothing.  So… I have gone through my children’s closets and dressers and have gathered shoes, clothing, toys.  We have so much.  They have so little.  And while they definitely teach me that you don’t need “things” to be happy… maybe I can help them be a little more comfortable.  It’s something… right?
8. Insert your own random thought here.
I won’t go into details on how last week ended up… but a huge thank you for all of the prayers.  They mean everything to me.
Here’s a pic of my kiddos and I on Mothers Day – aren’t they sweet?!
IMG_1633
Now – on a different topic – we have at least two bunny rabbits that have decided our yard is a good place to live.  In truth, they are very cute.  BUT – it appears they are killing our grass.  Anyone have any good (humane) ideas on how to encourage them to live elsewhere?  We live in the hills, so there are lots of little critters around…
Bunny friend

A reluctant Hodgepodge…

Two things.  First – I really wasn’t going to do today’s Hodgepodge.  I had a crummy day yesterday, and just. wasn’t. feeling. it.  For many reasons.  Secondly – you know I’ve been doing the Hodgepodge for a couple of years now.  And in that time, have come to know several of the fellow weekly Hodgepodgers like family.  A handful in particular, will email me if I haven’t posted to see if I’m ok, our emails to each other go beyond the weekly Hodgepodge and into praying for each other and sharing our lives – even though we have not physically met.  It’s a God-thing, this little community and the blessings that come with it.  So – this Hodgepodge is for you, Zo… you encouraged me in your email this morning to do the questions, even if I didn’t feel like it.  You are probably right.  And I”m nothing if not stubborn – issue me a challenge, and I”ll rise to meet it!  Here’s to you, Zo.  Love ya.

1. What’s a phrase your mother often said to you? If you’re a parent, is this something you now say to your own children?

“Clean your room!”  or “You can’t go out and play until your chores are done” and yes, these are both things I say now, obviously!

Funny story – so my deal with my hubby is that now that I”m working full time and he is working 2000 miles away, I get a housecleaner twice a month.  Bliss.  Last week our cleaners were coming, so I told the kids to straighten up their rooms – at which point my smart-mouthed teen boy said “But isn’t that the cleaner’s job?”  I just stared at him, and very slowly, very quietly said “It is NOT their job to pick up your moldy socks and underwear that shouldn’t be on the floor in the first place.  There is no way I pay them enough for that.  Their job is to dust and vacuum and change the sheets and make your room look like a teenage behemoth does NOT live here!”  To which he responded “Oh.  Ok.”  Message received.  (I have also told my kids that if they aren’t willing to do their part – putting clothes away, etc. then I will put a post-it note on their door telling the cleaners not to clean in there.  I haven’t had to do it yet!)
2. What is a scent you associate with your mother or your childhood home?

Gardenias, because we had a gardenia bush right outside our front door.
3. What’s an activity you remember always doing with your mother (or someone who was a mother figure in your life)?

4. Flared jeans, maxi dresses, and jumpsuits are 70’s fashion trends back this spring. Are you on board? Which trend would you be most inclined to try? For the men…flared corduroys, wide-collared shirts, and floral prints…what say you? 
I don’t mind the flared jeans – they look cute with boots!  I’d love the ease of the maxi dress. but I’m too short to pull it off well.  Jumpsuits – ugh, no thank you.  You have to undress completely every time you have to use the bathroom, and I would feel like I was in one of those one-piece outfits that are adorable on toddlers, but not so much on 40-somethings.
5. May 6th is Teacher Appreciation Day and also Nurse Appreciation Day. Is there a nurse or teacher  you have especially appreciated along the way? Tell us why?
I LOVED my labor and delivery nurse when I had my Little C.  She was British and motherly and wonderful.
6. If I came by your house, what would I find on your frig door?
A message center – with our family calendar and some graduation announcements.  Not much else though – I try to keep it clean looking.
7. Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana made her royal entrance on Saturday, May 2nd. On a scale of 1-10, how much attention did you give to all the news coverage? 1=Who’s Charlotte? 10=sat glued to the telly, cuppa in hand.
I’ll give it a 5 – I was curious, of course, even if my hubby thinks all of the hoopla is ridiculous.  (And I LOVE her name.  Good choice!)
8.  Insert your own random thought here.
So… yuckiness.  to say the least.
A high school friend lost her husband in a car accident on Sunday, leaving behind my sweet friend and their three young children.  One of my prayer partners in Idaho has an adult son who tried to take his life this weekend and is in the critical care unit.  My husband and I have had to take a difficult stand for the protection of ourselves and our children, but in doing so have upset other family members who do not support our decision.
My heart is hurting.  Please lift my friends and my family in prayer.  Being an adult sucks sometimes.

Uniformly Hodgepodge…

Hey there friends!  Thanks for joining me back at our weekly Hodgepodge!  I’m so grateful that Joyce provides these questions every week – not only is it a fun creative outlet, but I’ve made some wonderful friends in this community.  I dream of someday actually meeting some of these friends in person – what fun a Hodgepodge Retreat would be!  Hey Joyce – maybe we should put one together after your hubby retires and your dream home is built and a bajillion other things fall into place!

In the meantime, lets Hodgepodge! 🙂

1. Have you ever had to wear a uniform? If yes, tell us more. Did you love it or hate it?
My first uniform (other than Brownies/Girl Scouts) was when I was a volunteer at our local hospital.  I was a candy striper – a term that really had nothing to do with my duties, which were mainly to deliver cafeteria-smelling meals to people.  Here was my uniform:
UnknownThat’s not me, by the way… thanks Google images… you’d have to put braces and awkward glasses on the poor girl to make her look like me.  I didn’t particularly love the uniform.  But I liked helping people!
My son now volunteers at our hospital in town, and he has really cool looking tropical print scrubs.  Much cooler than my pinstriped uniform, which is now hanging in the Archive Hall of my hometown hospital.  Don’t know how I feel about that.
My second uniform was at my first job, at the Blue Chip Cookie Company.  I had to wear a tie.  A TIE!  Did I know how to tie a tie?  no, I did not.  Did I ever learn how to tie a tie properly?  No, I did not.  God only knows how I looked the entire time I worked there.  I’m just saying… if you require your 16-year-old employees to wear a tie, you should at least provide a handout or video or something that shows them how to tie a tie.  After all, this was before Pinterest and YouTube, people!
2. April 22nd is Earth Day. What is one thing you do personally to be a good steward of planet Earth?

I recycle all of our glass and plastic, even bringing items home from work so they can be recycled.  I’m planting low-water plants in my yard.  I unplug devices that aren’t used all the time instead of leaving them plugged in.
3. Brown rice, quinoa, or couscous…your healthy grain of choice? How often are one of the three on your menu at home?  Given a choice between white rice, brown rice, wild rice, and fried rice which would you go for? 
My grain of choice – quinoa.  We usually have one of these at least once a week.  As to what I prefer, it really depends on what it is going with.  You’ve got to have fried rice with Chinese food, brown rice with Mexican food, wild rice if you need a carb with your meal but don’t want it all beige on your place, and white rice if you are having meat with good sauce that can soak in and make it tasty.
I don’t think I have ever spent this much time thinking about rice.
4. In your opinion, who has the best job ever?

Anyone who genuinely loves their job, feels like they are making a difference in the world around them, and is content, has the best job ever.
5. What’s a situation in your life currently requiring patience? 
It’s looking like my hubs’ job is going to be extended a few months longer than what I was anticipating.  I’m disappointed, I mean, he hasn’t even seen this house all put together!  I know in the scheme of things, it’s a good thing – getting paid is a good thing, after all – but I can’t help but be a little disgruntled.  Patience indeed.
6.  Do you live your life around days of the week? Explain.

A little bit – with kids in school, and a work schedule, it’s hard not to know the various days and what they bring!  Never enough time to get the “little stuff” done… no matter what the day.
7. In a nod to the A to Z challenge happening around town this month, what ‘R word’ best describes your April? 
Ridiculous!  Spring break – one child in Mexico, one in palm springs, one with me in Missouri, now going to see my in-laws this weekend in Utah, then next week going to Mexico on a mission trip… on top of a massive work project I’m in charge of… it’s nuts!
8. Insert your own random thought here
So last week Joyce asked us what the last “crafty” thing we had done was, and i was really sad when I couldn’t come up with anything!  In between working and moving, I haven’t even found my craft supplies, much less done anything with them!  But THEN… I got the summer Pottery Barn catalog in the mail.  And i LOVED the lanterns on the cover page… but, like so many things Pottery Barn, I did NOT love the price.
But check them out!
grayson-lantern1
Cute, right?  Oooh, ahhh… Pottery Barn…
But then I thought – HEY!  I have the lanterns (thank you Lowes, only $7!) and I have the flameless battery candle (thank you Michaels!)  All I need to do is get some seashells and nautical rope (thank you, I live at the beach, and also have a Michaels down the street)  – so, here is my version that I made tonight!
IMG_1556
Not bad, if I do say so myself!  And, all for the bargain price of $15… as opposed to the $70 at Pottery Barn.  yay!
Hope you have a good week friends!!

And thus begins a new day in the hodgepodge…

Happy Tax Day – Happy First Hodgepodge on my new blog – not something I was anticipating, but that’s just how it goes sometimes.  But, since I have to leave in, oh, 45 minutes for work, I’d best be getting on with our hodgepodge!  Follow the link below to see what other Hodgepodgers are chatting about, or play along on your own blog!  Either way, please let me know that you’ve stopped by!  have a great day, friends!

1. Speaking of April 15th…what’s the most ‘taxing’ thing you’ve done recently?

Ha!  Yesterday, i would have said traveling back and forth to St Louis last week with my Little C to visit my hubby.  We had a great trip, but man, the airlines have sucked the joy out of traveling.  But then i discovered last night that my Google accounts had been hacked, thus blocking me from posting on my blogs.  Grrr… So I have just spent the last hour creating this new blog site.  Annoying, really.  But maybe it will turn out to be better!  (But please bear with me as I try to figure out the ins and outs of this new blog site – surely I’ll have pictures in all the wrong places.  Such an adventure.)

2. When did you last take a taxi somewhere and where was that somewhere?

I don’t remember the last time I took a taxi… my dear friend drove us to and from the airport, but I don’t think that counts!

3. What’s something you can do today that you couldn’t do a year ago?

Maneuver an excel spreadsheet.  Still not my favorite thing, but I’m learning!

4. How often is chicken (in some form or fashion) on your menu at home? Which of the following would you most like to see on your table tonight…a chicken salad sandwich, your mom’s fried chicken, a Chick-fil-A meal, Cracker Barrel’s chicken n’ dumplings, a roast chicken dinner with all the trimmings, or ‘hold the chicken, I’m a vegetarian‘…?

We have chicken at least once a week, sometimes more.  I love its versatility, and the protein and low fat content.  I do love a good chicken salad, and I love Chick-fil-a, though we don’t have one close by here, sadly.

5. What was your favorite television program when you were a kid? What characters do you remember the most?

My favorite television program when I was little was Mr Rogers Neighborhood.  His calm, sweet voice and gentle demeanor were so soothing!  I also loved Sesame Street and the Mickey Mouse Club!

6. What was the last piece of ‘art’ you made?

Sadly, i can’t remember this one either… I suppose creating a flyer promoting our new church directory doesn’t really count…

7. What frustrates you most about the Internet?

Ugh!  See my comment in question #1!  Darn hackers…

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Like I mentioned, our Little C and I flew to St Louis to visit my hubby for a few days.  My Big C was in Mexico on a mission trip, and Middle C went to Palm Springs with a couple of girlfriends and their moms.  So we were all spread out!  Little C and I had an awesome time – aside from a few travel hassles, like sitting for an hour on the jetway with no explanation or apology from the captain or crew, watching our connecting flight take off while we were still in the air… oy… but once we got to St Louis it was wonderful!  Movies, science center, hikes around the lake, zoo, visiting with good friends, it was a fantastic few days together!  Here are some of my highlight photos…

IMG_1444Little C and I in the airport – 0-dark-hundred  in the morning!

Nothing sweeter than a father and son..

.IMG_1455 IMG_1456a boy and his frog… we released him back into the woods.  (The frog, that is… not the boy!)

IMG_1471 IMG_1473 IMG_1479

Adventures at the Magic House – a children’s science center.  SO cool!

IMG_1482 IMG_1495 IMG_1505 IMG_1524 swinging on vines during a hike!

IMG_1530Ending our time in St Louis with a dinner hosted by good friends from the Air Force – I haven’t laughed that hard in a LONG time!  What a perfect way to end our trip!

Blog Interrupted…

SO hi y’all!  Welcome to my new blog.  Lately I’be been getting tons of emails letting me know that my Google accounts have been tampered with… and apparently, whoever has been fooling around with my accounts resulted in my blogs being cut off from me.  And, while I will certainly try to resurrect them, or at the very least get them printed out so I don’t lose the material, in the meantime I’m starting new.  New is good, right?  So please bear with me as I figure out this new configuration – I wasn’t anticipating this change, but that’s nothing new! 🙂

I’ll begin with my weekly Hodgepodge in the next post.