Spring Hodgepodge

The Cherry Blossom Quad at the University of Washington. Katie, Laura and I enjoyed a couple hours at the University with lunch on the “Ave” on Monday.

1. On this first official day of spring tell us something (besides the weather) you’re looking forward to in this season of the year.

Well that’s a great question. This Saturday we are celebrating Addy’s first birthday with family and friends. She was born on the first day of Spring last year and she turned 1 on the first day of Spring this year. She’s our very special Spring gift. We are also looking forward to finding our new home somewhere close to our kids in Colville.

2. When it comes to spring cleaning would you rather wash windows or wash baseboards? Clean out closets or clean out the garage? Dust ceiling fans or dust bookcases? Wipe down the patio furniture outside or wipe down the light fixtures inside? Any of these tasks recently completed?

I’d rather wash baseboards.

I’d rather clean out the garage because Dear will do that and not me.

Dust ceiling fans since I only have one but I have a ton of bookcases.

Wipe down the patio furniture outside because that means the sun is shining.

I’m trying to pack a box a day so my closets are getting cleaned in a manner of speaking.

3. Your favorite thing to make/eat that calls for cream cheese? Sour cream? Whipped cream?

Cream Cheese = Cheesecake

Sour cream = Beef Stroganoff

Whipped Cream = Parfaits

4. I read here a list of commonly mispronounced words. What is a word that gives you trouble when it comes to pronunciation?


5. What’s a song you love with the word ‘rain’ in the title or lyrics?

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

We are headed east again for a very special birthday celebration and to look at some more houses that are for sale. Tuesday I clocked more than 20,000 steps…a first for me this year. We did some major yard work. Hello Spring and so it begins, weeds and the grass growing before our eyes. That’s a spring cleaning job that I don’t mind, mowing the lawn. Crazy but true. Happy Spring dear bloggy friends. Hope you find renewed energy and new things every day to thank God for.

Hop over to From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thank you Joyce!

Weekend Roundup “K”

Time to link-up to Tom’s Weekend Roundup. This week prompts are: 1. Starts with K 2. A favorite 3. Kids

Starts with “K.” 

Katie starts with K and she’s knowledgeable and kind and is our third kid.

A Favorite. 

The latest view from our Kid’s driveway.


Six of our kids (our granddaughter Addy was sleeping).

Parting Shot…

Keeping up with this little Kid will keep you young or knock you out.

Happy weekend and Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all.

The Best of February Hodgepodge

1. Are you currently operating at 100% capacity? If not, what % are you? What’s keeping you there?

At this stage of life I have spurts of working at different capacities. I’ve been working on one project at 100% which means my other daily operations are working at a lower capacity. I am learning more and more to appreciate the days and hours that my output is 100%.

2. Have you done your taxes? Planned/booked a summer holiday? Thought about or started your ‘spring cleaning’? Besides what’s listed here, tell us one task that needs doing before spring rolls around.

We have an appointment with a bookkeeper to do our taxes on Thursday. Spring cleaning is definitely on the schedule as we are putting our home on the market in May. Spring cleaning will probably start in April, with the most daunting project being the cleaning of our mini blinds. No Summer holiday this year as we will be using all our energy to move and adapt into our new environs. We do have a fall road trip planned in October to attend my 50 year high school reunion in Montebello, California.

3. What’s a favorite food from your part of the country?

Fish and shellfish stand out as the favorites for the Greater Seattle area. A favorite cooked in a variety of ways or smoked is Salmon. I did not grow up with much fish and it is not my favorite thing. A good barbecued Salmon is something I like. I also enjoy Penn Cove Mussels in a great sauce on occasion with a thick slice of bread that I can dip in the sauce. This next weekend the Penn Cove Musselfest in Coupeville is happening on Whidbey Island. I have to mention Dungeness Crab, too. We have Dungeness Bay, Spit and Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge in Washington State.

I’m amazed with myself that I’ve grown to enjoy a good oyster in a great sauce which would have made me gag years ago. A good piece of halibut, swordfish, or some good ole fish and chips cooked to perfection are dishes that I enjoy once in a while.

4. This isn’t a leap year, but let’s run with it anyway…look before you leap, a leap of faith, grow by leaps and bounds, leap to conclusions, leap at the opportunity…which phrase might best be applied to your life currently (or recently)? Explain.

We will be leaping at the opportunity to sell our home in a very hot market in the Seattle area and move to an area of Washington that is more affordable.

Special Side note about Leap Year: My sister Vera was born on leap year and only has her real birthday once every 4 years! We celebrate her on the 28th the other three years. Happy Birthday Vera! You are a dear sister and I appreciate you!

5. As the month draws to a close list five fun and/or fabulous things (large or small) you noticed or experienced in February.

  • The most fabulous/large experience I had in February happened at the very beginning of the month when I was able to fly down to Southern California with our son’s family and introduce our granddaughter to some of her Great Uncles, Great Aunts, her cousins once and twice removed. Most special was introducing her to her Great Grandfather (Dzeda).
  • We had some unexpected snow that only lasts a short time which is great, the short part.
  • Our kids, all of them, spent a weekend together which warms a mom’s heart. (Top Photo)
  • My dear old pop is feeling better in his health decline and he sounds better which is good to hear.
  • We are making progress on this old house, getting it ready to sell.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I’m looking forward to March. Our little granddaughter is turning one year old! Wow how fast the year has gone. She is just marching forward to her milestone! Walking, signing, lots of new teeth, eating some solids, standing up from a sitting position, climbing and learning some consequences from over reaching her limits and safety boundaries. Her Baba (me) will be enjoying a birthday in the month of March, too.

Thank you Jo, for the questions you ask for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thank you, too, for those of you who swing by and read the answers. I appreciate you.

Weekend Roundup “H”

1. Starts with “H.”
2. A Favorite
3. House.

1. Starts with H: A heron hanging out.

2. A favorite: Happy kids hanging out together last weekend.

3. House: A front view of our house in the snow.

A side view in the distance of our house in the Spring.

Linking up with Tom The Backroads Traveller for The Weekend Roundup.

Next week’s prompts  Starts with “I.”  A Favorite.  Inside.

Our inch and a half of snow is now all gone since rains came in overnight and melted it off the roofs and grass. Yesterday we re-arranged one of our spare bedrooms and it makes better sense of the room. I’ve been walking in there a few times just to enjoy the new look. We have a quiet weekend ahead. How about you?


Inspiration Hodgepodge

1. Where do you go when you need some inspiration?

It all depends…

For Life: It’s man’s chief end to glorify God… for the inspiration I need for living a life that does that, I go to a good Bible Gospel preaching church and I listen to good teachers and read books from authors who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, God’s truth.

For Cooking: I glean from the other gals from the MGCC Blog. When I have to post a new recipe I look to magazines and cooking shows for inspiration.

For decorating: Fixer Upper, magazines, Instagram and blogs.

2. What’s under your bed?

I went and looked and at this time there is nothing under my bed except for most likely dust. The guestroom beds are another story. The guestrooms have those bins that fit under beds. A ribbon bin, a gift bag and tissue bin for packaging gifts, a Christmas bin with bags etc., linens in those space saver bags, and Katie and Andrew’s collection of swords. (I also found a stack of Chinese take-out boxes) I use those to send home leftovers with our kids and company when I cook too much food.

3. Thursday, February 22nd is National Chili Day, National Margarita Day, and National Cook a Sweet Potato Day. Of the three which would you most like to celebrate? Is that likely?

Hmm…who comes up with these days? Most likely we would be celebrating having a good pot of chili. It’s really cold this week in the Seattle area and chili is always a good choice in freezing weather. What kind of chili to enjoy? We enjoy chicken, turkey or beef. Our Margarita day is Tuesday…every Tuesday. In fact, our favorite waitress at the local Mexican restaurant sees us drive up and she heads to the bar to make our Margaritas. It’s telling on my state of healthy that I’m ignoring the sweet potato.

4. What are you ‘snowed under’ with right now?

I’m snowed under with stuff. Stuff, stuff and more stuff. Many years of accumulated stuff. We’ve been in this old house since 1998 and we moved a lot of stuff to this old house. Because we are moving and contemplating the wisdom of paying too much to move all that stuff we need to serious about what we can live without.

5. Tell us three to five things that make you feel balanced?

  1. Trust in God.
  2. Being at peace in my relationship with Dear, my husband.
  3. A good blend between learning and playing.
  4. Getting away from the day to day with a road trip now and again with my camera.
  5. A clean kitchen.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Speaking of snow or snowed under here are some photos of our kids in the snow from President’s weekend.

Linking up to Hodgepodge Wednesday with Jo From This Side of the Pond. She asks the questions and we answer them.

Twenty seven-ish more days until Spring and little Miss Addy’s first birthday. She’s the sweet gift of Spring to our family!

Update: I woke up to hear that Billy Graham has been ushered into heaven today. I’ll be posting a tribute to him later this week. Finally this great evangelist is in the arms of Jesus.


Heart Felt Hodgepodge

1. When’s the last time you had a heart to heart talk with someone? A change of heart? Experienced figurative ‘heart failure?’

We’ve had lots of heart to heart talks recently around our Pop’s failing health.

A change of heart: I’ve had a change of heart by praying for some folks in my life that I’ve wanted to give a piece of my mind to or punch. Praying for them gives me a different perspective.

Heart Failure: Watching the Olympics and seeing some crashes or falls or amazing spins in the air. Yikes!

2. Champagne, chocolates, flowers…what’s your Valentine pleasure? Any special plans for the day?

A confession about the heart shaped box of chocolates above. I had never in my life received a heart shaped fancy box of candy on Valentine’s day and a few years ago I decided to treat myself to one. I’ve received flowers or chocolates (not in a heart shaped box) or a nice card but that evasive heart shaped box of chocolates was haunting me. It haunts no more! See’s Candy’s are favorites in these parts.

I like all three of those things but I don’t need them on Valentine’s Day. Tonight we are having our weekly small group gathering at our house. No one had plans so they all opted to continue on. I did a little decorating for the day.

3. Are you a hopeless romantic or do you fall more in the category of practical and pragmatic? What’s a gesture you find romantic?

Absolutely more practical or pragmatic. I find kindness, encouragement and service on Dear’s part to be romantic.

4. Do you ask a lot of questions in life or are you pretty content with what you already know?

I wonder a lot and that’s why I named my blog The Happy Wonderer. My wondering leads me to research and find out, to travel and see, and sometimes that involves verbal questions.

5. Your favorite power ballad?

First off, I had to google Power Ballad to see what it was. I’ll have to go with Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers. I went to our Junior/Senior prom at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in 1967 and my date made reservations for dinner at the famous Cocoanut Grove where the Righteous Brothers sang. Pretty amazing. Then in 1968 I was watching television when presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was shot at the Ambassador Hotel. Talk about a heart failure moment. If I hadn’t packed away my scrapbook from those years I would have taken a photo of some memorabilia from that time. Here’s what I wore for the prom and the Righteous Brothers. My dear mom sewed this dress for me.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Bottoms up! Still basking in the hours I got to spend with this little one who has learned so many new tricks. Our kids will all be together this coming weekend and that makes me smile. It’s been a long time since uncles and aunties have seen Addy face to face. Dear and I will be heading to eastern Washington the end of February.

Speaking of love…

These two are the last of the Bagdanov siblings left who fled Russia walking to Persia and later immigrating to the U.S.A. My Aunt Anna came to visit my pop last week and she walked into the room with her walker and took a few steps on her own to hug him, give him a kiss and then she asked him not to leave her alone on this earth. She said, “Don’t leave me”. The doctors told Anna she had a month to live several years ago. That comment from the doctor made her consider her future and she told our pop that she was ready to listen to him about the gospel of Jesus Christ and was ready to be born again. Such a sweet moment for our pop and mom and all of us a few years ago. My pop and mom witnessed to all of their siblings over the years from 1963 on when my pop was born again.

Linking up for Wednesday Hodgepodge where Joyce asks the questions From This Side of the Pond and we answer.

We’ve had a lovely string of days without rain and with lots of sunshine. It’s good for the soul. It’s been quite cold but the sun warms things nicely.

A Bright Hodgepodge

1. February can be a little bit tricky given the weather and the winter and the whatnot. I read a list (here) of things you can do to make your February brighter which included-start planning your next trip, take more baths, make your own chocolate covered strawberries, and exercise in preparation for swimsuit season. Anything on the list you might try? Which suggestion on the list appeals to you most? Tell us something not on the list that helps make your February brighter.

The suggestion that appeals to me most is to plan a trip!

I just flew to Southern California and enjoyed lots of extended family time along with sweet Addy time and sunshine, so February is having a good bright start.

While Addy’s mommy ran in the Surf City Half Marathon in Huntington Beach with our niece Debbee, and her daddy rode a bike along the route with our nephew-in-law, Baba watched and mostly sat with Addy asleep and cuddled on her with Great Aunt Vera preparing brunch for the marathoners in the background. Addy slept for 3-1/2 hours and woke up just in time for mommy and daddy to arrive for brunch.

2. Tell us about something you’ve seen or done recently that you’d say was ‘super’?

Umm, spending Super Sunday with my extended family in Southern California. Am I sounding like a broken record?

3. Best thing you ate in a ‘bowl’ last week?

Just one? We enjoyed some Ground Chicken Chili in a bowl last week. Recipe coming soon to the Mennonite Girls Can Cook Blog. Yesterday we had some fabulous guacamole in a bowl at Ola’s in Huntington Beach.

4. Something you’re ‘cheering’ for right now?

Cheering for my daughter-in-law and niece who completed a half marathon with flying colors in Huntington Beach on Sunday.

5. The Winter Olympics begin Friday, February 9th in Pyeong Chang, South Korea. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being all in and 1 being no interest whatsoever) how interested are you in the games? Which event do you most want to see (you’ll find a list here).

I’ll give it a 9! I enjoy watching many events and will never forget the Ice Hockey final in 1980 in Lake Placid. I’m pretty sure we were late or missed church that day. We could not tear ourselves from that “miracle on ice” moment for the USA.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Addy met my dear old pop on Monday. He was able to have enough breath to pray a blessing over her and over Dan and Jamie as they raise her. So grateful for this moment. Otherwise, he is ready to go be with his Savior, Jesus.

More about my time in Southern California coming soon.

Linking up with Joyce From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge. She asks the questions and we answer them.