No Secrets Hodgepodge

What secrets lie behind that door?

1. The Hodgepodge lands this year on National Secret Keeping Day…on a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being I’m a blabbermouth and 10 being I’m a vault) how good are you at keeping secrets?

I’m going to say 8.

I can keep secrets but I will not listen to secrets people want me to keep from my husband except for surprises for him. 

There are secrets that are more detrimental than helpful. The truth is easier to deal with than secrets has been my mantra for years. I can deal with the truth but the imagination is hard to deal with. 

I read here nine jobs for people who can keep a secret-cybersecurity worker, executive assistant, housekeeper, lawyer, nuclear plant technician, physician, private investigator, psychologist, security guard  Of the jobs listed, which one most interests you and why?

I could be an executive assistant and I have been a housekeeper. The houses I cleaned never needed secret keeping. I did get called on occasion wondering if I saw the remotes or other things the homeowners found missing. I also found things in the cushions that they were missing. Sometimes I think I could have been a good detective…

2. What’s the secret of life (or one of them anyway)?

The Bible has the best prescriptions for life and they aren’t a secret. 

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. 

Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Him. 

Today counts for eternity and life continues into eternity. Where will you spend it? There are only two choices heaven with God or Hell without Him. And the great news is you can start spending life with God right now. I pray He is calling you to live life with Him through the life and sacrifice that Jesus made for us. 

3. Off the record, best-kept secret, a fly on the wall, top secret, my lips are sealed, secret shopper, as quiet as a mouse, poker face, spill the beans, open secret, bite your tongue…which secret idiom can you best relate to right now? Explain.

Bite your tongue is the one I’ll choose. Don’t answer a fool according to his folly…

4. Spill here the secret ingredient in one of your favorite recipes?

This is a story about my dear mother. She had lots of great recipes that she had in her head not on paper. Our sister Vera worked hard getting those recipes recorded for all of us. Once when our mom visited us at our home in Kenmore she decided to make a large pot of her Borsch. When I was watching her she added something that was not in the recipe, a cube of butter. Maybe that was her secret. I don’t think I have any secret ingredients although sometimes I’ll add a little sugar to some sauces that I don’t publicize.

5. My mama celebrates a big birthday tomorrow. Share a favorite quote, song lyric, saying, or verse of scripture that will add some sunshine to her day (ours too!)

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

A very happy birthday to your dear mom!

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Today July 8th is Dear’s only brother’s birthday and Terry is his only sibling. Dear is younger by 4 years. I made this collage to show the resemblance of each of the boys to their parents. I think Terry resembles my mother in law and that Dear resembles my father in law. Rex died in 1985 before our Katie was born and Verna died in 1997. Verna was very close to our daughter Katie. Dear’s brother’s family is living in North Carolina these days. The photo of Terry and my Dear was taken at my mother’s funeral in 2013.

Thank you to Joyce for asking the questions! Click here to see more answers.

Determination or…

…the many faces of mastering the marker pen lid.

I should have videoed this series because this little guys determination to take the lids off the pens was hilarious. He would yell when he finally gave up and wanted one of us to get the lid off for him.

Auntie Katie was a great helper.

Prayer for our sons and grandson and other young men in our lives from the third chapter of Proverbs:

The Rewards of Wisdom

1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
But let your heart keep my commandments;
For length of days and years of life
And peace they will add to you.
Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.
Honor the Lord from your wealth
And from the first of all your produce;
10 So your barns will be filled with plenty
And your vats will overflow with new wine.
11 My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord
Or loathe His reproof,
12 For whom the Lord loves He reproves,
Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.

13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
And the man who gains understanding.
14 For her profit is better than the profit of silver
And her gain better than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than jewels;
And nothing you desire compares with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
In her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are pleasant ways
And all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who hold her fast.
19 The Lord by wisdom founded the earth,
By understanding He established the heavens.
20 By His knowledge the deeps were broken up
And the skies drip with dew.
21 My son, let them not vanish from your sight;
Keep sound wisdom and discretion,
22 So they will be life to your soul
And adornment to your neck.
23 Then you will walk in your way securely
And your foot will not stumble.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Do not be afraid of sudden fear
Nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes;
26 For the Lord will be your confidence
And will keep your foot from being caught.

Stars and Stripes Weekend

How cute are our little grands sporting their 4th of July matching outfits??

On the Fourth this year we gathered at Jamie’s Uncle’s home for a potluck barbecue. I didn’t take a photo of the salad I contributed but it was from our Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog and here’s the link. A refreshing summer Watermelon Cucumber Salad from Bev.

Before we left to the 4th of July gathering I worked on our backyard planters weeding. Our front planters need a lot of work still and I hope to get to them this week.

A walk about the yard taking photos of all the pretty things and weeds that are blooming.

Our day lilies are in their glory right now as is this Clematis.

After a wonderful 5th of July service at church honoring God and country we took a Sunday afternoon drive up Aladdin Road all the way to the Washington US Border with Canada. On the way back we took a side road to check out Deep Lake. I’m not able to upload the photos from this spur of the moment road trip yet.

We are expecting some out of state visitors this week. Looking forward to that. What is up in your corner of the world?

Loved With Everlasting Love ~ Hymn

I Am His, and He Is Mine

Loved with everlasting love,
Led by grace that love to know;
Gracious Spirit from above,
Thou hast taught me it is so!
O this full and perfect peace!
O this transport all divine!
In a love which cannot cease,
I am His, and He is mine.
In a love which cannot cease,
I am His, and He is mine.

Heav’n above is softer blue,
Earth around is sweeter green!
Something lives in every hue
Christless eyes have never seen;
Birds with gladder songs o’erflow,
Flowers with deeper beauties shine,
Since I know, as now I know,
I am His, and He is mine.
Since I know, as now I know,
I am His, and He is mine.

Things that once were wild alarms
Cannot now disturb my rest;
Closed in everlasting arms,
Pillowed on the loving breast.
O to lie forever here,
Doubt and care and self resign,
While He whispers in my ear,
I am His, and He is mine.
While He whispers in my ear,
I am His, and He is mine.

His forever, only His;
Who the Lord and me shall part?
Ah, with what a rest of bliss
Christ can fill the loving heart!
Heav’n and earth may fade and flee,
Firstborn light in gloom decline;
But while God and I shall be,
I am His, and He is mine.
But while God and I shall be,
I am His, and He is mine.

Words: George W. Robinson, 1876.

The Fourth of July

God Bless America

“While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free.
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer:

God bless America, land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless America,
My home sweet home.”

Hope you all have a safe and sane fourth of July!

Lumberjack Take Two!

For the summer lumberjack redo party the sleeves were cut off the flannel shirts. Jaymison Joshua turned one on April 16th right in the middle of COVID-19’s isolation restrictions. On Sunday since the family were all together in Colville a party redo was scheduled for JJ. We had Addy’s on the day before. For Addy’s party we were served lunch and for JJ’s party we were served brunch.

Jaymison warms up slowly to people he doesn’t see often so Katie and Andrew had their work cut out for them to win him over.

Uncle Joshie and Auntie Lolo have been able to travel more and spend enough time with Jaymison so he is more comfortable with them.

Granny Great, Mommy, JJ, and Granny, four generations on Jamie’s side of the family.

Great Uncle Scott and Aunt Rhonda have not been able to be around enough for JJ to be on his best behavior with them. We called in the stabilizer…mommy for the next photo.

Baba and Gramps enjoy seeing our little lumberjack as much as possible. It’s been so good to live in the same town!

Jaymison loves music, singing and dancing so he was very engaged and moving back and forth while we all sang Happy Birthday to him!

For Jaymison’s re-do party his parents served brunch with pancakes, waffles, bacon, little smokies, and his Granny and Addy made a pull apart Monkey Bread for his birthday cake.

Jaymison loves anything with long handles like brooms and mops so Gramps and Baba bought him some garden tools and he’s enjoyed them.

While he wasn’t using them this boat crew used them to row row row their boat and we all joined in with a round in song. Fun!

The boat crew could pretend while JJ used his gifts elsewhere.

Jaymison Joshua and Joshua enjoying chillin on the porch swing.

It was such a full weekend enjoying these celebrations and time with loved ones.

We have a 4th of July event with Jamie’s family that we are looking forward to. What are your plans for the 4th?

 

Daniel the Tiger, Take 2

Be forewarned that there is a photo overload in this post. Not apologizing just forewarning.

This time around Addy’s aunties and uncles could attend her party redo!

And we could all be close and personal with hugs galore.

Addy helped to decorate her second birthday cake. I think she helped with her first cake, too.

Addy’s re-do party landed on Dan and Jamie’s 5th Anniversary, June 27th, 2020.

Addy’s friend was able to attend her party re-do. The party was in Addy’s front yard which looks like a park.

Addy’s Granny and Granny Great made this 4 generation party great!

Addy is surrounded by those who love her and those she loves, too, like…

…Great Uncle Scott and Rhonda.

Little brother had a blast as long as he was in the arms of those he knows best.

Expressions galore…

For the most part there was good social distancing.

After a while more chairs were moved to shady spots.

We remembered the party game after all the guests left.

Our daughter in law was very creative with all the Daniel the Tiger party accessories. The Daniel the Tiger Trolley has given Addy and Jaymison lots of great creative play opportunities.

Lots of good Daniel the Tiger themed food for us to enjoy.

All in all our birthday girl was happy and pleased with all the festivities before, during and after her party.

We all were so happy to finally be together for the proper celebration of your 3rd birthday dear Addyson May! You are loved by so many and cared for in wonderful ways by your mommy, daddy, brother and family. Baba and Gramps love you dearly.

This was one full Saturday and our Sunday would be the re-do of Jaymison’s 1st birthday. It was a party animal weekend. Next up will be the photo overload of our Lumberjack Jaymison’s party part 2!

Best-Laid-Plans Hodgepodge

Dear and me at a courtyard on the campus of Magdalen College (pronounced Maudlin) in Oxford England. (July of 2014)

The phrase the best-laid plans is a translation of a Scottish proverb that was first published in 1786.

The best-laid plans refers to something that has gone awry, something that has not turned out as well as one had hoped. The expression the best-laid plans carries the connotation that one should not expect for things to always turn out to plan. Like many proverbs, the best-laid plans is usually quoted by itself, though it is not the full proverb. The full proverb is, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. This is a passage from the poem To a Mouse, written by the Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1786. The verse was translated into English, the original Scottish quotation is: The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley, / An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, / For promised joy. Note that best-laid plans is spelled with a hyphen, as best-laid functions as an adjective before a noun. Laid is sometimes misspelled as layed, though layed is not a word. Laid is is the past tense and past participle tense of lay.

And now here are the Hodgepodge Questions on this first day of July!

1. Are you currently making plans of any kind? What kind? 

Currently I am making plans for getting things ready for some summer visitors arriving next week. 

What emotions are associated with the planning process? 

Excitement to be able to share our new environs with some loved ones who haven’t visited with us in our Country Bungalow before.

Tell us about one plan you had to cancel due to the current situation which shall remain nameless. Ha!

We had to cancel our trip to England scheduled for the middle of September. We are very pleased with the cancellation policy of Airbnb. They refunded us our money within an hour. We still need to call British Airways and try to get our money back for our flights. That was a big chunk of change and we hope to have good dealings with the airlines. As you can imagine they are swamped with phone calls. We were going to stay in Oxford. We are disappointed for sure. 

2. Last time you saw stars, either literally or figuratively?

Our country bungalow is in a part of town where there are no street lights and very few lights shine from neighboring properties so star gazing is something we can do most nights when we don’t have cloud cover. It really is amazing to see so many stars and to be able to pick out constellations.

3. Blueberries yay or nay? Blueberry pie, blueberry muffins, blueberry yogurt, blueberries by the handful…what’s your pleasure?

Yes to blueberries. I like them fresh picked by the handful. I also enjoy them thrown into a bowl of cereal/granola.

4. swim against the tide, swimming upstream, in the swim, sink or swim, makes your head swim…choose one of the ‘swim’ idioms listed and tell us how/why you relate?

In the current climate of our country I’m definitely swimming against the loudest tide. I know there is a quiet tide that I’d fit in with but it is being drowned out by all the angry noise.

5. Sum up your June in a single sentence.

A glorious time in June for family to be all together again.

Be happy in your mask! 

Start them young!

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

One of my favorites to quote in good times and bad times, C. H. Spurgeon:

“Visit good books but live in the Bible”

“Let us not fear the enemy until he actually comes, and then let us trust in the Lord.”

“Lord, help us in such a way that we may see that thou thyself art working. May we magnify thee in our inmost souls. Make all around us to see how good and great a God thou art.”

Thank you to Joyce for coming up with the Hodgepodge questions!

Douglas and Grant County

I’m sneaking in the last photos of our road trip home from “the Coast” on June 15th. After we crossed the Cascade Mountain range we traveled on Highway 28 from Wenatchee eastward to Spokane and then north on highway 395 home.

Douglas county has 23 dams and Grant County has 75 dams! Our county, Stevens, has 42 dams.

Ephrata, Washington is the county seat for Grant County. It is located in the Columbia Basin area.

After Ephrata we had lots of rain and the driving privileges were passed on to me so no more photos. The road was similar to this view until we reached Davenport where we connected back to Highway 2 and on to I-90 in Spokane where we reached Highway 395 north to our home. We had a few stops in Spokane before we drove the last 70 miles home.

I’ll add this next photo here on this post, too.

On Saturday our Colville kids celebrated their 5th Anniversary! We hope to be able to do some proper babysitting for them so they can go out on their own soon! Those two toddlers are demanding of all of their time!

Back to the present, on Monday we worked on our acres mowing and weed wacking before the next showers roll through. After Wednesday Hodgepodge I’ll be posting the rest of our family party weekend. We are having many birds and other critters visiting our acres. I was able to catch a mama deer with a sweet baby fawn walking on our property when they alerted our motion detector light in the back acres. I happened to be looking out at the right time just before I went to bed. No photos.

I know this is an old story but our internet connection is never great and sometimes it is worse. I haven’t been able to visit because of that but please know that as soon as I can I will check on you all and see what you’ve been up to. Because we spent most of Saturday and Sunday at Dan and Jamie’s, I was able to upload lots of photos from the parties using their internet when Jaymison was not demanding my attention.

Here we are at the last day of June! Hoping for lots of good news in July!!

Catching My Breath…

We’ve enjoyed some nonstop fun since Friday afternoon and I’ll need to catch my breath before I can share all the activity. So good to have our little family reunited for the first time since Christmas.

(Not in any particular order for this post)

Seeing Auntie Katie and Uncle Andrew for the first time in 6 months.

Enjoying a Baba and JJ tradition of singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat with hand motions.

Three generations.

We had a mix of weather this weekend, cloudy, wet, bright, dark, sunny, showers, thunder, warm, and dry. So far we are lower in Yellow Jacket and Wasp swarms and higher in mosquitoes.

Hopefully I can come around and see what you’ve been up to soon.