Starting Fresh with Hodgepodge…

1. Share one favorite moment/memory from your Christmas holiday.
 15747502_10211510518384524_8505381520756214670_nOur Nutcracker Christmas Crackers had little whistle/flutes in them and instructions to toot some Christmas songs together. It was so much fun with us laughing so much we snorted and maybe drooled a bit while trying to toot our whistles upon demand. Each whistle was numbered to created the right tone/note. Oye…it was fun!
2. What was the best thing you ate over the holidays? Was it homemade or store bought? If it was homemade did you make it?
swedishSwedish pancakes on Christmas morning are the best. 1st because Dear cooks them. 2nd because we all love them. A tradition that will not be broken.

3. What was one of the most beautiful things you saw over the holidays?

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People, people, people are the most beautiful things we saw over the holidays. A very beautiful thing was that our oldest flew to eastern Washington to help his brother and sister in law move into their new home in frigid temperatures. Our boys have a way of being able to motivate and help each other in good and tough times and it’s a beautiful thing to see and hear about.

4. What does fresh start mean to you?

Fresh Start was the name of my home cleaning business that I started in the late 80’s and early 90’s and that’s the first thing that came to mind with this question. Dear was in Pharmacy School for a mid-life change in his profession and I cleaned toilets to make money in several homes and at a medical and dental clinic. Of course I cleaned more than toilets but you get the idea. The work was so aerobic and I was so skinny.

5. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being very positive and 1 being not so great) how would you rate 2016 in terms of personal achievement and well being? Explain.

If I take my fluff out of the equation I’d give myself an 8!

van 2 035I’m still fluffy but besides that my health and outlook are good. I am not taking any medications. An IT Band Syndrome is still plaguing me even though I’m not a runner by any stretch of the imagination. Exercises to strengthen my core and take the strain off my IT band are helping. It generally takes a lot to get me down and I’m thankful for that. So…I’ll stick with an 8!

6. Every January 1st since 1976 Lake Superior University has published a list of words they’d like to see banished from the Queen’s English. Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse, or just general uselessness. Go here to read more about how the words were chosen or, if you’re like me, to find out what in the world the word or phrase even means or the context in which it’s used. There were quite a few on this year’s list I’d never heard before. Here’s the 2017 list of banished words-You, Sir-focus-Bete Noire-Town Hall Meeting-Post Truth-guesstimate-831-historic-manicured-echo chamber-on fleek-bigly-ghost-Dadbod-listicle-get your dander up-selfie drone-frankenfruit-disruption. Which word on the list would you most like to see banished in 2017? What word or phrase would you add to the list?

I’m tired of hearing about Town Hall Meetings. Another one I’d like to not hear again is “Gun Control”.

7. Large or small, light or deep, share with us one goal you have for the new year.
misc-stuff-028I got this fitbit for Christmas and I’d like to add the light goal of moving more.
My deep goal is to pray more.
 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18:
Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
I’ve got a recipe for Crock Pot Potato soup inspired from bj’s blog and Paula Deen up on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog. It was easy and satisfying. Click on over to see it.
The illustration at the top of this post is Russian and the words translate Happy New Year. I wish you all a very Happy New Year!
Linking up with Joyce at From This Side of the Pond. She provides the questions and we provide the answers.

St. Patrick’s Day Table

Kathleen at Kathleen Cuisine is hosting her 8th annual St. Patrick’s Day Blog Crawl today starting this evening and I didn’t want to miss it so I found some green to share.

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It was hard to get the kitchen colors to show right in these photos. We have no yellow on the cabinets. The kitchen and eating area are three shades of green.

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Pewter seemed like a good choice to add to the table so my chargers, flatware, and tankards are pewter. Maybe those tankards will hold some Guinness tonight. The flowers at the center of the table were a birthday gift for me from the Mennonite Girls Can Cook delivered to my birthday brunch by Anneliese. My milestone medicare birthday was on Monday of this week. I’ll share about my birthday on Friday.

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My house smells delicious right now as my corned beef and cabbage meal has been cooking in the slow cooker all day today. Since Dear and I are headed for a little getaway on St. Patrick’s day tomorrow I decided to make our Irish meal tonight. It will be fun for the four of us to sit at the table all decked out for Kathleen’s St. Patty’s Day Blog Crawl.

Here’s a link to a recipe for these light green cookies that would be fun to serve on St. Patrick’s day that I posted this week on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook Blog.

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Pistachio-Coconut Cookies.

I’ll leave you with this old Celtic blessing and a Celtic Cross from Graceland Cemetery in Chicago.

An Old Celtic Blessing

May the blessing of light be on you –
light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you
and warm your heart
till it glows like a great peat fire.

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It’s Guinness Time…

…and time for Kathleen’s St. Patrick’s Day Crawl at Cuisine Kathleen! This is the 7th annual crawl!

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It was a March miracle that I actually put together a tablescape and photographed it for the crawl.

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Will you be making Corned Beef and Cabbage or Irish Stew or something else that says “Ireland” for St. Patty’s Day?

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We saw this at the Crown and Trumpet in the town of Broadway in the Cotswolds.

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I hope to get around to see all the St. Patrick’s Day tables joining Kathleen’s crawl!

March Note Cards…

Time to get your choices together for Vee’s Note Card Party.

I’ve been busy traveling and partying and am a wee bit behind. Speaking of traveling last year at this time I was in Milan with Dear on a business trip of his. All my note cards will be from there. I honestly can’t believe that it’s only been a year since I was in Italy. I find it hard to believe I was there at all.

The Duomo in Milan

The inside of the Duomo was architecturally beautiful and magnificent but I’m choosing to show this more humble photo that I took in amidst all the grandeur.

I appreciate the chance I had to visit Milan with Dear. There were many more lovely things we experienced here but I chose to stick with the Duomo for my 4 note cards for March. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the offerings from Vee’s party link up.

We just arrived home yesterday (a 5 hour drive) from our son’s in Eastern Washington. I’m a little behind but hope to get to all the links at Vee’s. I’m also hoping I haven’t offered up these photos before for Vee’s party. Oye and Blessings.

Love is in the Air…

…and already stocked in some of the aisles in the local stores. I thought it was a good time to share about a fun party coming up just before Valentine’s Day.

Laurie is hosting this again this year. It’s a fun time to let the red, pink, and love flow freely. And speaking of love…

Here’s my sweet niece that I love dearly at Huntington Beach in California. I missed seeing her and the rest of my extended family this Christmas and New Year but at least I have photos to enjoy…

Cock-a-Doodle-Do!

It’s time for another Rooster Party hosted by Barb at Bella Vista

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I have very little rooster decor in my home and I shared it at the last party but when I’ve been out and about I’ve come across some fine rooster specimens both in art form and real. Hope you enjoy my contribution to the party!

Family was visiting and we made a quick stop at Country Village in Bothell, Wa. They have some fine Roosters around their grounds.

“The rooster may crow but the hen delivers the goods.”

This one is so interesting. It was funny that he walked up and down this bench and it’s right outside a fun shop that included a hairdresser! Looks like he could use a trim.

This pair are very old and came from Dear’s mother. I decided to use them on this table setting.

This three-some are in a yard in Camarillo where I used to walk with my good buddy Willow. I sure miss those walks…

I found this guy in Cambria, California.

Well enjoy your Rooster Party Hopping. Here’s a little refreshment to send you on your way!

You can find the recipe for frozen Raspberry Cream Pie at The Pioneer Woman.

Oh dear me my rooster friends. I’ve had an unfortunate injury to my right thumb that is making typing quite a chore. Please accept my generic comment on your posts knowing that I have looked at each of your roosters and enjoyed what I’ve seen.

Finding Beauty ~ Look Up!

It’s time to join Claudia at Dippity Road for Finding Beauty.

My husband was out barbecuing on Tuesday night and called me out to our little front patio to check out the great sky! Little puffs of clouds covered the sky around our condominium complex. I love it when all I have to do is step out my front door and see something as delightful as this!