Mexican court homeless vaping boats. huh?

Trust me, after that blog title, you’ll just want to keep reading… no intro necessary!


1. Lets run with a Cinco de Mayo theme here this week! Do you like Mexican food? What’s your favorite dish? How about on the side-black beans, pinto beans, refried beans, rice? What about heat-mild, medium, hot? Will you celebrate with Mexican food and drink on May 5th aka Cinco de Mayo?

I’ll admit, I never thought about Mexican food one way or the other, until I no longer lived in California and realized that good Mexican food is really really really hard to find in other parts of the country!  Now, I absolutely love it – my appreciation has grown immensely!  My favorite dish is a good chimichanga (still the best, La Fonda’s in Flagstaff, Arizona.  Who would’ve guessed…) On the side, refried beans please, mild on the spice, because I’m a wimp.  Not sure if we will celebrate with Mexcian food on May 5, but we very well could, seeing as we now live two hours from the Mexican border and there is TONS of really good Mexican food around here!  Yummm…
2. Ever been to Mexico? For work or holiday? Love it or no? If you haven’t been is this a place you’d like to visit? Can you speak Spanish?
Yep, our church goes down to Mexico for mission trips all the time – we have been to a school for deaf children called Rancho Sordo Mudo, we have done house builds in Tijuana, we have helped with a transient population at Campo de Esperanza.  Truly incredible.  Y si’ yo habla espanol un poquito… (And yes, I speak a little Spanish)
3. What’s one thing you may accomplish this month?
Finally, 13 months after we moved out, our court appearance is FINALLY happening with our former landlords.  Please God… in one week we will hopefully be done with them forever, and God willing, will have our security deposit back, and maybe even some extra money…  we found out on Sunday that they are counter-suing us, with charges that are ridiculous.  (charges for rent lost while the house was being worked on, after we moved out, which they forced us to do?  Um yeah, no.)  Please pray that our court appearance next Monday goes well, and that I”m able to present our case matter-of-fact and without a lot of emotion.  (Which, quite frankly, is hard for me…)
4. If you were mayor of your village, city, or town, what’s one thing you’d like to see changed, done away with, revamped, or accomplished? Is serving in public office something you’ve ever seriously considered?
If I were mayor, I would make a push for there to be services for homeless in the areas where the homeless actually are… and provide services that help them, like legal assistance, identification cards, connection with family, etc.   I haven’t ever considered serving in public service, but I have thought about becoming a paralegal… maybe someday.
5. What’s something that may be popular, but that you just don’t get?
Vaping.  I just don’t get it.  Today, I was turning left, and a car facing me was turning right, and all of a sudden their entire car filled with a white smoke.  I just don’t get it!  And it’s SO bad for you… sigh.
6. Can’t let this week slip by without mentioning Thursday May 4th is Star Wars Day. As in ‘May the 4th be with you’ ahem. Are you a fan of the Star Wars series? Exactly how much of a fan are you? On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being ‘I’ve seen every film, own the action figures, might have dressed as Darth Vader for Halloween one year‘, and 1 being, ‘what’s a Vader?‘ -where do you land?

Hmm, I guess I would be a 7.  Funny, I remember being dragged to see Return of the Jedi with my dad and brother when my mom was on a church retreat one weekend when I was little, and I was bored to tears.  Fast forward many years, with a house full of boys, and yeah, I enjoy the series.  Loved the last one “Rogue One” as it connected so many loose ends that I didn’t realize were loose!  And it’s really fun to share this with my kids.

7. Scroll back through your blog posts and in three sentences or less tell us the general theme of your fourth blog post. Does it still ring true today? Is it a topic you re-visit on your blog from time to time?

Wow… going back to my original blog ( and looking back at my fourth post… it was about our sailboat.  I called it the “Yo Ho Ho” because we had bought it from a squadron member for a Bottle of Rum!  Not a lot of themes in my post… but fun to look back at the memories of owning that boat while we lived in Pensacola, Florida.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

SO for any working mamas out there, THIS is for you… seriously, the most truth filled commercial I have ever seen in my life.  Preach it, sisters.


How in the name of all that is sacred is it the end of April already?  Craziness, people!  Craziness!  Weren’t we just on spring break?  What do you mean the kids will be on summer break in just 6 weeks?  Lord have mercy… lets Hodgepodge quickly before it changes seasons on us!


From this Side of the Pond


1. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Has your April been filled with showers? Do you carry an umbrella, wear a slicker, or make a run for it? Besides rain, what else has filled your April?

Nope, no rain for us here this April – which, after how much we got in January and February, is fine with me!  And nope, I generally just make a run for it – which my boss makes fun of, as he jaunts around with his ginormous “fit-4 under here” golf umbrella! We have been enjoying the massive amounts of wildflowers that are blooming all over though, as a result of all the rain.  These are my kiddos and doggie hiking in the hills right above our house!  How nice it is to be out of the severe drought we have been in for the past several years!

2. What’s something you could you give a 30-minute presentation on at a moment’s notice and with zero preparation?
The Church Community Builder program that houses our church database.  Yeah, exciting stuff.  I could also give a presentation on being a military spouse, being a mom, and what wine goes best with your toddler/teenager’s whine!  (Answer: all of them)
3. Share with us a favorite food memory from childhood.
My grandma used to have rows and rows of strawberry plants and radish plants in her backyard.  And I thought it was SO cool that at dinner we would have radishes on our salad that were picked right from the garden, and strawberry pie made from HER strawberries.  What can I say, I’m a city kid.
4. What’s a song you thought you knew the lyrics to, but later discovered you were wrong?
The song “In a New York Minute” by Don Henley… I thought it was “If I Knew Your Limit” – guess I had a dirty mind as a teenager!
5. According to one travel website, the most overrated tourist attractions in America are- Niagara Falls (NY), Hollywood Walk of Fame (California), Times Square (NYC), Epcot (FL), Seattle Space Needle (WA), and Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market (Boston). How many of these have you seen in person? Did you feel like a tourist? Did you care? Tell us about a place (not on the list) you’ve visited that might be considered a tourist trap, but you love it anyway.
I’ve been to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Times Square, Epcot, and the Space Needle.  Most definitely felt like a tourist at all of those, although maybe less so in Hollywood since I grew up in southern California and Hollywood was just something I grew up with.

A place that is most definitely a tourist trap but I love anyway is Venice Beach in CA.  The best place to people watch, that’s for sure!
6. Your signature clothing item?
Um, am i supposed to have a signature clothing item?  Not sure how to answer that one!
7. What’s an experience you’ve had you think everyone should experience at least once? Why?

Snorkeling in tropical waters.  Absolutely incredible to me that you can be standing on the beach, enjoying the warm winds, the sandy white beaches, the turquoise water – and if you walk out 5 feet and put your face in, suddenly you are in the middle of another world just teeming with life!  Brightly colored fish, coral, turtles, eels… absolutely breath taking.  But if you spend your whole time just on the shore, you miss out on being a part of a whole new world that is just seconds away.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

So, prayers appreciated friends, as I have been sick with strep throat the past two days, and I”m supposed to be driving down with a bunch of teenagers to Mexico this weekend to take part in a house build.  Oy!  Pray for healing, for strength, and for wisdom as I decide whether i should still go.  And let me just say, getting strep is NOT fun!  I used to get it when I was a teenager, and although there are times I’d love to relive my high school experiences, this is not one I would choose.  On the plus side, I’m now caught up on Gilmore Girls, I’ve mastered three more levels in Candy Crush Saga, and I’ve read a chick-lit trash novel that my mom gave me 7 months ago.

A lemony yellowy springy Hodgepodge…

Our quote of the evening came from our eldest son, 19 years old, caught in that bizarre child/man world that I remember detesting when I was that age… but he seems to have captured it perfectly with this quote that he said tonight “I may lack common sense, but I did not break any rules!”


Seriously, how can you argue with that?


Oh how I have missed my Hodgepodge blog!  For some reason my Tuesday nights lately have been filled with meetings or being out of town, or my computer decided to be a royal pain in the arse (its not cussing if you use the British term, right?).  Anyway, its good to be back!  Spring Break next week for ye ‘ol Hodgepodge, and Holy Week, so we will be back after Easter!  So, lets Hodgepodge while we can!  Join in if you wish!!


1. April is Lawn and Garden Month. On a scale of 1-10 what’s the current state of your lawn and/or garden. (10=a showpiece, 1=send in the professionals). Tell us about any lawn or garden plans you have for this month.

Oh, definitely around a 3.  Our home was a rental for 25 years, and we have only lived here for a year, and California has been in a massive drought until recently.  So, makes gardening a bit of a challenge.  Our “grass” is more like crabgrass that has taken over, but it’s green, so we let it… And I do have a beautiful camellia bush and hydrangea bush that someone planted at one time, so I love those.  We just had a dead tree removed from our yard, so now we just need to figure out how to get the sprinklers changed to a drip system and plant some vines and such to cover the fences!  We’ll get it figured out – it is just a matter of time (and money!)  Luckily my eldest son is dating a sweet gal who’s dad is a landscaper!  I”m thinking a fire pit area, a trellis with vines, maybe a citrus tree or bush… Pinterest is both a blessing and a curse, friends.

2. “Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there.”~Thomas Fuller  What does this quote mean to you?

Hmmm,  this is an interesting quote.  To me it can say that one can discover great things no matter what their circumstance or upbringing and become successful… but it also says that one can have the most privileged of upbringings and still make poor decisions.

3. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about God?
Love.  Grace.  Peace.

4. If we were chatting in person, how would I know if you were nervous?
I would be chatting about nothingness, scrambling my words, fidgety.

5. Do you like the color yellow? Would I find any in your home or wardrobe? Daffodils, tulips, roses, sunflowers, day lily, black eyed susan…which yellow bloom on this list is your favorite?
I do like the color yellow, but can not wear it to save my life!  Nope, its my anti-color!  I love Sunflowers, especially in a pretty blue vase that was given to me as a wedding gift – absolutely beautiful and so cheery!

6. Flip flops or bare feet?

Flip flops!  (And cute pedicured toes too, thank you very much… oh, I need a pedicure!  Anyone looking for a late birthday gift for me?  Pedicure please!) 😉

7. Tell us about any Easter plans, celebrations, or traditions you’ll carry out this month.
A year ago on Easter we were staying with friends, in limbo in between moving out of our rental and into our home.  And our youngest mentioned the other day his lament that he didn’t get an Easter egg hunt -so yeah, we’ll be doing that for sure!  And church!  And dinner with my parents!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

So, speaking of Easter – I made this pie for our church small group the other night, and ohmygoodness, it was AMAZING!!!  Seriously, not hard to do, and delicious – everyone was raving about it!  Try it if you are looking for something new!!!  (I saw it in the Magnolia Journal, the magazine published by Chip and Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper. And you know, if you’ve seen that show, you know how it is – you think “hey, I could DO that!” and then you try, and it turns out like a Pinterest fail.  But not so with this pie, friends… trust me, I’m not a spectacular pie maker (other than the caramel apple pie from Pioneer Woman, that’s another good one) – but this Lemon Pie was amazing.  Try it, you won’t be sorry)

Lemon Pie by Joanna Gaines

Bell bottoms, Carmelitas, and Air Supply



1. ‘Slow and steady wins the race’…tell us about a time this was true in your own life. 
Oh, we are homeowners now.  Which means that as far as our visions for making this house more modern go, yeah, it’s going to be slow and steady!
2. ‘As slow as molasses’…Do you like molasses? How about maple syrup? Caramel? Butterscotch? What’s your favorite of the slow moving treats mentioned here, and what’s your favorite food made with that sweet treat? 
Gotta go with caramel.  Every time.  And my favorite recipe is my mother-in-law’s Carmelitas – oats, butter, chocolate chips, caramel, oh yeah… good stuff!
3. Your favorite slow song?
SO many good ones – but my favorite one is “Open Arms” by Journey.  (Also “Faithfully” by Journey.  And anything by Air Supply.  (there’s a reason why our youth pastor warned us about listening to Air Supply alone with a member of the opposite sex before we were married.  Just saying.)
But, back to Open Arms, which is what came to mind first – In case you have forgotten which one that is, you can swoon to it here!
4. Your favorite thing to make in a slow cooker or crock pot? 
Chicken tortilla soup!
5. ‘You may delay, but time will not.’ ~Benjamin Franklin Are you more a hurrier or a delayer when it comes to unpleasant tasks that need doing? What are you currently either delaying or hurrying to get through this week or month?
It depends what it is – if it has to do with a personal relationship, then I will take care of it quickly because I don’t like conflict in relationships.  Filing and monotonous things like, er, taxes… yeah, I delay.  Because, ewww.

6. Tell us three things you encounter regularly or even just occasionally that you find to be annoyingly slow.
1) my children doing their laundry

2) tourist traffic
3) financial stability
7. March is National Craft Month. Are you crafty? Tell us about something crafty you’ll try in the next thirty one days. Or something crafty you’d like to try or wish you had the skill to make happen. 
I do consider myself crafty – but I simply don’t have much time for it anymore unfortunately.  I would LOVE to have the skills to install crown moulding in my house, make our fireplace really cool, and the list goes on.
8. Insert your own random thought here. 
I can’t believe how long I sat watching this… you are welcome. I now need bell bottoms and a teeter totter.

A whale of a tale Hodgepodge

What a whirlwind of a week! – Helped my in-laws settle into their new home – celebrated our youngest child’s birthday (we now have 3 teenagers living at home… Lordhavemercy!) – My sis-in-law came to visit for the weekend – Our eldest son started his first official job as an EMT (with benefits and a 401k to boot!  At the age of 19!  Craziness!)  Softball season began for our daughter… Never a dull moment around here, that’s for sure!  So lets take a quick breather and just Hodgepodge!


1. Have you ever been fishing? Did you catch a fish? If so did you keep it or throw it back? If you haven’t been fishing is that something you’d like to try?

In our Pensacola, Florida neighborhood there was a neighborhood pond that they stocked with fish – it was a strictly catch-and-release pond, which was fun for us to take the kids down to.  Every once in a while we would catch a turtle, who were less than thrilled about being caught, that’s for sure!

Honestly, rather than catching them, I prefer to see my fishes while snorkeling!  I’d love to see a whale in the ocean someday.  And yes, I KNOW that whales are mammals, not fish… but you KNOW what I mean!

Fish out of water, big fish in a small pond, living in a fishbowl, packed in like sardines, this is a fine kettle of fish, plenty of fish in the sea, fish or cut bait…which fishy phrase most recently applies to some area of your life?

If I have to chose one, it would probably be “This is a fine kettle of fish” – I’ve been having numbness and tingling in my left wrist and fingers, and the dr believes it is carpal tunnel syndrome.  Not a big deal, but an inconvenience – but the treatments are covered by worker’s compensation, which is a blessing, but has its own belabored process of dr referrals and such!  Meanwhile, trying to figure out how to still do my job while wearing braces on my wrists should be interesting!
2. What’s something you’re always fishing for in your purse, wallet, desk, or kitchen junk drawer?
My keys.
3. Your favorite fish tale or movie?

I’m going to have to go with “Jonah” – the Veggietales version!
4. Are you sunrise, daylight, twilight or night? Explain why you chose your answer.

Sunrise.  I’m optimistic, looking at things in a new light.

5. What’s the oldest piece of clothing you own and still wear?

I have a cute little black dress that I’ve had for years – and yes, it still fits and yes, it is perfect for all of those “little black dress” occasions!

6. We’ve got one more month of (officially) winter here in the Northern hemisphere. Are you feeling the need for a getaway? What’s been the best and worst part of your winter so far?
I don’t know that I need a getaway, but I will say that I would like a break from all of the rain!  I know, I know, California has been in a drought and we really really really needed this rain – and it IS incredible, the hills are green again, the snowpack in the mountains is fantastic, it is a blessing.  But… there has been a LOT of rain, and I would like to be able to plan my garden and paint my fence and things like that, and just dry out a bit!  First world problems.  Remind me of this complaint when I’m griping about the heat this summer.
7.  The Wednesday Hodgepodge lands on National Margarita Day…will you be celebrating? Frozen or on the rocks? Are you a Jimmy Buffet fan? If so, what’s your favorite JB tune?
Nope, I won’t be celebrating – I don’t drink tequila, after discovering that doing so makes me really really mean.  So nope, I avoid it.  However, I do enjoy Jimmy Buffet!  In fact last week we were at Universal Studios in Hollywood, and they had his concert playing on the big screens, and it was his concert that he did on Period Key in Florida, which is where we lived for years!  So we all sat there, singing along with the concert and reminiscing about when we lived there!  Good times.

One of my favorite JB songs is actually one that Alan Jackson did with him: “It’s Five-o’clock Somewhere”
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Well shoot, now I can’t think of anything to write because I’ve got that song stuck in my head!  So, here it is – sing along folks!



A super duper uber Hodgepodge

I spent the weekend up at Big Bear on a middle and high school church retreat.  It was the culmination of our Pure Vida series – a view on sexuality from a Biblical perspective.  Kinda cool – and being with these kids, hearing the things they are dealing with, playing in the snow, getting away from school and work, it was a lot of fun.  But oh man, I’m not twenty anymore!  This chick is tired! But, before I turn in, lets Hodgepodge!


1. What’s the last thing you did that someone else thought was super? 
Wow, kind of a baggy question!  Not sure how to answer this… maybe me taking a meal to a friend in need?  Organizing all of the paperwork for our youth retreat last weekend?  Spending the weekend with 49 middle and high schoolers?  Yeah, lets go with that one!
2. The last thing you ate that tasted superb? 
Kirkland Trail Mix.  OK, not really, it’s just late at night and that’s what I”m snacking on right now.
3. Supersensitive, superstitious, superwoman, superambitious, supercilious, supervisor, superficial…pick a super word from the list and tell us how it relates to your life in some way recently or currently. 
I’m going with “supersensitive” – call it hormones, call it whatever – my poor family, last week I had a couple days of being uber sensitive – railing against our home that needs upgrades/repairs we can’t afford right now, railing against my job, you know… just stuff.  I got over it after a few days, but still!  One good thing I realized was that watching HGTV was actually making me cranky, discouraging me instead of inspiring me.  So I’ve taken a break from it.
4. Do you love easily? If you’re comfortable doing so, explain why you think that is. 
Yes I do, but I’ll admit as I have gotten older I have become a bit more careful about how much I share with people right away.
5. Valentine’s Day lands on a Tuesday this year. Will you mark the day in some way? If you’re celebrating with a dinner out somewhere will it be on Tuesday or will you celebrate over the weekend? 
Other than when we were dating, we don’t really celebrate Valentines Day.  My hubs and I are flying up to visit my in-laws the weekend before, my sis-in-law is coming to visit the weekend after, and our youngest turns 13 on the 15th… so it’s a busy but very fun week, even without Valentines Day in the mix!
6. What’s something you are loving right now? 
Gilmore Girls.  Yes, I know I’m 10 years behind.  But I’m loving it.  And it’s fun watching it with my teen kiddos.
7 Write a three word (or less) phrase you’d like to see on a Valentine candy heart.  
Just Be Nice
8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
oK, so I know I”m not alone in this… but the Mr Clean Super Bowl ad was fantastic!  Go find it on YouTube if you don’t know what I”m talking about.  You’re welcome.  (Even my hubby agreed that it was spot on!)

Rain, salt, tears, it’s all good.

Rain, rain, rain… we have waterfalls where no waterfalls exist.  Huge gushing waterfalls emptying into the ocean.  Children literally body boarding down their streets.  Craziness. So, lets thaw out and bit and hodgepodge, shall we?


1. “The cure for anything is salt water-tears, sweat, or the sea.” (Isak Dinesan) Would you agree? Of the three, which has ‘cured’ you most recently? 

A bit of all three, yesterday actually!  I woke up in a foul mood, so I went to the gym to get some exercise, and then after I got ready for work I drove down to the pier, got a tummy breakfast tomato and feta pie, sat looking at the ocean for a bit, then went to work and broke down in tears talking to one of my coworkers .  I felt a lot better afterwards – a good combo of all three!

2. What’s something you can’t eat without salt? Do you normally salt your food a lot, a little, or not at all? 

Popcorn.  I mean, why bother?
I don’t generally salt my food, because when I do I can’t seem to get it just right!
3. Sands of time, bury your head in the sand, built on sand, or draw a line in the sand…which sandy phrase could best be applied to something in your life right now? 
“Draw a line in the sand” – I kinda did that with a situation at work yesterday, and yeah, it felt good.
4. A favorite book, movie, or song with an island setting or theme? 
Fools Gold – cute movie with Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson
(And of course, Margaritaville is the BEST island song ever)
5. Yesterday-did you run your day or did it run you? How so? 
A little of both – as I mentioned, I woke up cranky… it kinda carried through the day, but you know, it’s ok to be cranky every once in a while – it makes people snap to and pay attention!
6. You’re on an island holiday. Will I most likely find you parked in a beach chair, shopping in town, on the back of a jet ski, or snorkeling off the back of a catamaran? 
Definitely snorkeling – I love it!!  And then a quick nap in a beach chair!
7. What do you think we humans most take for granted?
Each other.  Life is precious, it goes by quickly, and pettiness and arguing over every little stinking thing is just a waste of time.  Better to be real with each other, and err on showing too much grace rather than too much judgement.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
So, good news, the drought in California is now over – we have had a TON of rain in the last few weeks.  And a lot of my friends in other parts of the country are all snowed in.  So, to alleviate the hilarity of Californians freaking out over rain, and my friends literally snowed in, I give you this:
Go ahead – check it out.  you’ll laugh, I promise.