Purple Haze Hodgepodge

1. ‘Hurry less, worry less’…what’s your strategy for making that happen this holiday season? How’s it going so far?

Well, we threw in an overnight getaway to La Conner to celebrate our 43rd anniversary and that included lots of country roads less traveled instead of the interstates. It was good to take the time away from our renovations and decorations. Our leisurely walk along the waterway in La Conner was relaxing. So far so good.

2. Do you have a list of to-dos that need accomplishing in order to prepare your home and/or property for the winter season? What are some of the jobs on your list? Are you a do-it-yourselfer or do you hire someone to accomplish these tasks?

Winter is not that harsh in the Puget Sound area. Generally all we need to do is lock the windows so they are shut tight and disconnect the water hoses so they don’t freeze. Sometime after Christmas and before Spring we need to prune the apple and pear tree. We do all these things ourselves. I still need to cut back my lavender plants!

This is what the apple tree looks like before pruning and all the branches that are growing straight up need to be cut. After pruning it looks more like this with still a few more branches to cut. Ignore the evergreen in the background.

3. According to dietitians surveyed, the most popular health foods for 2018 will be -turmeric, sprouted foods (bean sprouts, breads with sprouted grains, etc), veggies in place of grains, dairy free milk, and pulses (lentils, chickpeas, etc).  What’s the first thought that ran through your head when you read this list? Of the foods listed which one might you add to your regular diet? Also, can milk really be dairy free? Is it still milk?

The first thought I had was healthy trends aren’t my thing. Maybe I’ll add more veggies.

4. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2018 is Ultra Violet. According to the Pantone site ‘Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking pointing us to the future.’ What say you? Do you like the color purple? Did you see the movie or read the book-ha!?  Is purple a color you wear often? Describe for us one purple item in your home without using the word purple.  If you were in charge of such things what color would you select for 2018?

I don’t mind the color purple. I did see the movie. We have three University of Washington alums in our family and we live in Husky country where slogans like “let purple reign again” are alive and well.

Purple evokes passionate pride. It’s the color that stands out as most quintessentially to our University and is therefore the dominant color in our communications. Gold symbolizes excellence. It’s a sophisticated hue that speaks to our extraordinary standards and immense quality. And when you combine the two? That’s the UW.

Sometimes I wear purple. The little girl with the W on her shirt is now an alumnus of Udub and her husband will soon be a graduate of the Udub, too. I helped put my Dear through the UW school of Pharmacy so I wear my purple with pride.

We do have some walls at this old house that remind me of lavender sprigs . Not the vibrant variety.

You can see that color in what used to be my master bathroom? Here’s what it looks like now.

If I was in charge of such things the color of the year would be China Blue.

5. Favorite book read this year?

Glass Houses by Louise Penny

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Today I’ll be mailing our Christmas cards. We’ve received a few already and I always enjoy being brought up to date on what is happening with friends from far and wide. We still do not have our tree and that’s the last purchase we need to make for Christmas. Once the tree is up I’ll start thinking about wrapping the presents that will be going under it.

Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond for asking the questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thank you to whoever takes the time to read the answers.

Anniversary Hodgepodge

1. What title would you give this current chapter of your life?

Preparing for Change

Today is our 43rd wedding anniversary and we are preparing for another major change in our lives. We were married in 1974 and in 1975 we bought our first home moving to Huntington Beach from West Los Angeles. In 1976 we moved to our second home in Huntington Beach where our two sons were born. The photo above is from our first Christmas in that home. In 1984 we moved from Huntington Beach to Ventura, California with our two young sons (our hearts and minds are with the people of Ventura during the latest Thomas Fire). In 1988 we made the huge move from California to Washington State with our two sons and 3 year old daughter so Dear could go back to school (University of Washington) to become a Pharmacist. We settled into Washington State nicely but in 1996 we experienced a major landslide behind our dream home and after many setbacks and huge costs mounting on saving our home we walked away and gave the home and all our equity to the bank. We lived in 3 rentals. A month after moving into our 3rd rental home in 1998 the owners told us they needed to sell the home even though we had a 1 year lease. We could not face another move and offered to buy the house and were surprised that the bank would give us a loan since we had defaulted on our landslide home. We have been in this old house, the only house we didn’t really choose to buy for almost 20 years. I’ll need to add that because of a job change we moved to Camarillo, California for 4 years from 2006-2010. We did not sell this old house but left two of our adult children to live in it and to care for it while we were gone. Now we are making some extra improvements on this old house to get it ready to sell in Spring of 2018 and make a major move across the mountains to a small country town in northeast Washington. I have to say that change at this stage of life is a little more scary then when we were in our twenties, thirties, forties, or fifties!

But…the consolation is that we will be close to one of our sons, daughter-in-law and little miss Addy!

2. December 6 is National Microwave Oven Day. Who knew? Besides popcorn and coffee reheats, what’s the most common thing you microwave? Could you get along without a microwave?

Frozen entrees like lasagna or corn on the cob or artichokes. Yes, I’d be able to survive without a microwave.

3. If you could insert yourself into any Christmas carol and experience the lyrics in real life, which Christmas carol lyric would you choose and why?

Away in a Manger

4. Describe the most beautiful drive you’ve ever taken.

We’ve experienced so many beautiful drives that it’s very hard to choose one. I’ll choose drives in the Cotswolds on narrow lanes that were so scary but beautiful.

5. What’s something on your Christmas list this year? (an actual list or figuratively speaking, either one)

I went with actual. Gift cards to nice restaurants in Seattle. We are moving to a very small country town 6 hours from Seattle and I want to get my fill of the restaurants I’ll miss.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves.
Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance,
baptism without church discipline,
Communion without confession….
Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.
~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond for providing the questions and to all of you who take the time to read our answers.

This morning we see that there are multiple fires in Southern California fanned by Santa Ana Winds. A few freeways have been shut down. I’m sad to see the fires near the Getty Center, Santa Clarita, San Bernardino and of course Ventura. Prayers are up for the people in the paths of these fires and all those who have to evacuate. So frightening, thinking of all my family and friends down there. Go outside and water down your roofs! Be wise about evacuating!

What About You Hodgpodge

1.  What’s something blogging has taught you about yourself?

I’m social and I like to meet new people and see and experience new things. Blogging has opened up a whole new world to me with a walking buddy while I was living in Southern California (Willow’s Cottage), tour guides on trips to Canada (Pondside), outings with blogging friends to museums in California (Willows Cottage and Sara), a meet up and shopping trips with a blogging friend from Orange County who is no longer blogging, a meal with another blogging friend in the Sacramento area (Scrabblequeen) Lunch in Kansas with another blogging friend who is no longer blogging. The most amazing impact on my life that came to me through blogging is my association with the Mennonite Girls Can Cook. These nine women have enriched my life in more ways then I can count. I’m so thankful to God for them and the lives they lead in service to others and all the dear friends I’ve met in person or enjoyed by visiting their blogs. I’m ready and willing to meet any more of you who travel to my part of the world.

2.  Leftovers…are you in the ‘reheat and eat’ camp or the ‘put them in the fridge until they spoil and then toss them’ camp? What’s your favorite thing to have leftover? What can you not abide as a leftover?

Both. I like small amounts of leftovers but I get tired of some things that linger in the fridge. I really enjoy Stroganoff and tuna noodle as leftovers. Soggy salads aren’t my cup of tea.

3. ‘Me time’…your thoughts?

At this stage of life I have plenty of “Me Time”. When my children were living under our roof “me time” was a rare commodity. I don’t think it’s too healthy to think too much about ME. There are seasons of life where we have more time for self and seasons with less time for self.

4. When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?

Emotional support.

5. If your childhood had a smell what would it be? Tell us why.

 Cabbage as in Borsch. Marinated lamb cooking on the barbecue. Lots of rice.  Sour cream as a side dish. Blintzes swimming in butter and half and half. Good fresh bread. In other words heritage food was the smell of my childhood. My mother’s and father’s love language was providing good eats for their family and others. We would probably be considered poor growing up but one thing we never lacked was tasty food.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Yippee, Yahoo, our countertops are being installed this morning, one week late! Better late then never! In the meantime I’ve accomplished some organizing and thinning out of stuff at this old house with the anticipation of moving next June! No Christmas decorating at this old house yet till we clean up the mess from the new countertops going in. Next week sounds like a good week to get a tree and start decorating.

Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond for asking the questions!

Traditional Hodgepodge

1. Tradition…how tightly do you cling to tradition when it comes to holiday gatherings and celebrations? For instance do you always do the cooking, never eat at home, always go to grandma’s, never miss the parade, always watch football, never change the menu, always eat at 2 PM, etc.?

No set time, no set home, sometimes I cook it all, sometimes I take a dish to someone’s home, but never change the main menu. You have to have the turkey, the stuffing, the gravy, the yams with marshmallows on top. Even though I don’t have room for pie please keep the pumpkin and the pecan in the round up!  Feel free to add interesting appetizers and drinks. Those don’t have to stay the same. I always miss the parade and never watch football on Thanksgiving but I’m okay if you have to.

Have you ever celebrated Christmas or Thanksgiving away from hearth, home, and family? How did that feel?

Our first married Thanksgiving everyone we knew and were related to were out of town so Dear and I found a restaurant in Huntington Beach/Fountain Valley that was serving Thanksgiving with all the trimmings. It was so weird. I think this motivated me to learn to cook a turkey and all the fixins so we would never have to do that again.

We have celebrated Christmas away from home in the past. We do enjoy Christmas mornings at home with all our kids emerging from the guest rooms for our stockings and then Swedish Pancakes and then opening the other presents under the tree.

2. Help…is it easy for you to ask for help or are you a do-it-yourselfer? How is that a good/bad thing?

I am such a do-it-yourselfer because I don’t like to impose on others or so I like to say. The reality of this is that this is more of a personal flaw of mine having to deal with pride more than anything else. I’m practicing in giving things up and letting others help more in my life.

3. Abundance…what is there an abundance of in your kitchen?

Oh my, I have an abundance of pots and pans and serving bowls and plates and cups and goblets, and platters, etc. etc.

4. Name…the smallest thing you’re thankful for? the biggest?

The smallest is food and drink. The biggest is family and relational harmony.

5. Key...What do you think is the key to living a more grateful life?

Knowing what a miracle it is that Jesus died for my sins so I can have peace with God. And after this knowledge, praying for others before I pray for myself.

6. State your own random thought here.

On this Thanksgiving week and for this Thanksgiving Hodgepodge I am so thankful for all my blogging friendships. You mean so much to me and I’ve enjoyed growing close through your posts and life experiences that have touched my life and enriched my life. Thank you for keeping on and continuing to post about the everyday and the beautiful things in your life!

Choosing joy despite the fact that I do not have a sink or a stove top in my kitchen for the next several days. Our counter tops were due to be installed by Wednesday but the company we are dealing with is having major issues with their machine that cuts the tops so we might not be kitchen functional until Monday of next week. So we are choosing not to rant but to enjoy this little glitch in our everyday adventures at this old house. So grateful to be invited to our dear friends for Thanksgiving again this year!

Thank you to Joyce from This Side of the Pond for asking the questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends and family in the U.S.A.

Historical Hodgepodge

1. What takes you out of your comfort zone?

A very manicured home or a completely cluttered home. I like something in the middle with comfortable places to sit.  Driving on snow and ice throws me over the edge. Lying in a dentist’s chair makes my blood pressure go up. Right now because my master bathroom is totally gutted (see photo above) I’m way out of my comfort zone.

2. Your least favorite spice?

This is a tough one for me. I like a variety of spices but not used in an overpowering way. I’ll say my least favorite is curry.

3. What’s a small change you’d like to make?

Flossing so I can use up the 500 free floss containers the dental hygienist has gifted me over the years. BTW: she wouldn’t think this is a small change.

4. Do you enjoy visiting historic homes?  What historic home near you is open to visitors? Have you been?

Yes, and yes. The closest historical buildings I’ve been to are located at Bothell Landing. Yes I’ve been to the landing but I’ve only seen the outside of the buildings.

Southern Living rounded up eleven of the best in the southern part of the US and they’re as follows-

Monticello (Jefferson’s home in Virginia), Nathaniel Russel House (Charleston SC), Swan House (Atlanta), Ernest Hemingway’s home (Key West), The Biltmore (Vanderbilt home in Asheville NC), Mount Vernon (Washington’s home in Virgina), San Francisco Plantation (Garyville, Louisiana), Windsor Ruins (Port Gibson Mississippi), Longue Vue House and Gardens (New Orleans), Whitehall (Palm Beach FL), and Pebble Hill Plantation (Thomasville GA)

Have you been to any on the list?

img317In the early 1970’s my best friend and I made a trip east from Southern California and one of the places we visited was Mount Vernon. I have a post about my first plane ride and all we saw and experienced here.

Biltmore 004

Biltmore 002Our daughter and I were at The Biltmore in Asheville in May of 2014 on a cross country trip we made. I have several posts of the gardens and grounds. One of the posts and photos is here.

If so, of the homes you’ve visited which one was your favorite?

I’ll have to say that the Biltmore was my favorite of these homes.

Of the homes listed which would you most like to visit?

Since I’ve never been to New Orleans I’ll say Longue Vue House and Gardens.

5. What’s something you think will be obsolete in ten years? Does that make you sad or glad?

Dvd’s and dvd players. I’m pretty neutral about it.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

We are having an early family Thanksgiving this weekend. We are going over the mountains and through the woods to granddaughter’s house. She’ll be 8 months old on November 20th. We’re slowly accepting some big changes at this old house. We are finally saying that Dear is retired instead of unemployed. With that fact there are many new choices to consider.

Here we are halfway through November! How did that happen?

Linking up with Joyce From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge.

Out with the Sink Hodgepodge…

1. In a rut, in a jam, in the groove, out of sync, off balance, out of touch…which saying best fits some area of your life currently (or recently)? Explain.

I’m literally out of a sink. The only thing that is still standing in our master bath is the toilet. The photo at the top of this post is what this area in our master bedroom looked like on Monday. Demolition started after I took the photo. Because of this chaos I am out of sync and off balance right now.

We are extending the bathroom wall into the bedroom by a foot and the wall will go all the way on the right instead of having that useless desk area. A new double vanity should be delivered on Tuesday. The new toilet will be in a different spot. Instead of a tub/shower unit we installing a shower stall. New flooring and two new smaller windows in different spots which means the siding on the outside of the house will need to be re-done, too. Dear is doing all the work himself. He will get some advice from a plumber along the way.

2. What is it about somebody else’s style of work (coworker/employee/shared volunteer project/household chore) that makes you crazy? Why?

Oh dear, this question can get me in trouble. I get antsy around laid back, do it the last minute kind of people. I might start tapping my foot wondering when the job is going to get started. Now I’ve learned over the years that these types of workers still get the job done but I’d rather not be there to watch. I like to plan and plan and make a list and start things early and have everything ready on time. For unplanned last minute things I’m good with fly by the seat of your pants.

3. What’s a tradition that always makes you feel at home?

Having a meal with family and friends sitting together around a table holding hands while saying a prayer of thanksgiving to God before we eat.

4. A favorite song with a girl’s name in the title or lyrics? Any reason why this is a particular favorite?

Michelle by the Beatles. Beatlemania was alive and well in my junior high and high school years.

5. Share a favorite quote, verse, or saying relating to gratitude or thanksgiving.

Psalm 118: 28-29 ~

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
    you are my God; I will extol you.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

On Sunday I posted this for Bread for the Journey at Mennonite Girls Can Cook Blog.

More and more it seems the world around me is choosing to come against the truth of God’s Word. Some of these voices, strong and bold, can confuse me and sometimes because of the labels they attach to anyone who does not have their strong point of view I am silenced. What should I do? …read more at this link.

I’ll be linking up with Joyce From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge. She asks the questions and we answer them. Thank you for stopping by and reading my answers. I appreciate my fellow bloggers and others who stop by, too.

Interrupted Hodgepodge

1. What does/did Halloween look like at your house this year? Did you decorate? Pick pumpkins? Carve pumpkins? Expect trick or treaters? Wear a costume to a party or event? Make a costume? Feel glad you didn’t have to come up with a costume? Cook a Halloween themed treat? Eat all the leftover candy?

Minimal decorations on the front porch that I’ve collected over the years. Not much but enough for me. I’m working on this post in between the doorbell and knocks and shouts of “trick or treat”. So far we’ve had 35 costumed cuties.

We went to the pumpkin patch a couple Sundays ago with the newest member of our family and she was the cutest pumpkin in the patch.

This is the closest we came to costumes this year. We were at a favorite garden store today and they had these props to take photos with.

2. What are you waiting for? Elaborate

We are in the process of replacing counter tops, sink, cooktop, and back splash. All the old back splash has been removed so things are looking a bit untidy around here as we wait on the quartz guys to template and prepare and install the quartz for us. Then dear can get to work on the back splash. (Is that two words or one?)

We’ve now had 40 trick or treaters at the door.

3. Do you wish you were friendlier, braver, more creative, more athletic, or something else? Explain.

How about skinnier. I’ve put on a lot of weight since I hit 60 and I don’t like it much.

4. When it comes time to paint are you a do-it-yourselfer or do you hire someone? What was the last paint job completed at your house? What room most needs painting now? How do you feel about wallpaper?

Dear’s father had a house painting business and Dear was trained well. Dear does all the painting at this old house and any of the houses we’ve lived in. No room in this house is in desperate need of painting. After we gut our master bath that will be the next room that will get a fresh coat of paint. We haven’t wall papered anything in any house since our 2nd home in 1976. I can enjoy wallpaper but hate removing wallpaper.

44 trick or treaters so far and #44 really needs to go home and go to sleep, just a little cranky.

5. What is one specific thing you felt gratitude for in the month of October?

I am so grateful for our first annual family hunting trip at our son, DIL, and Addy’s home in northeastern Washington. All of our kids, spouses and our little grand were together under one roof for a few nights and we had a great time.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

We have so enjoyed the fall colors this year in our area. So thankful to God for all the seasons of the year and the beauty that we can find in each one.

Dear and I walked the river trail on Sunday afternoon and I have a lot of photos to share from that walk. The reflection of this tree in the river was beautiful.

Thank you to Joyce From Across the Pond for asking the questions for Hodgepodge Wednesday. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read my posts. I appreciate your visits!

Just when I thought cranky #44 was the last trick or treater we had another wave and we are up to 51! It’s after eight and all is quiet in the neighborhood so I think I’ll turn off the lights and call it a good night with 51!

Before I could turn out the lights 4 tall teenagers came by to grab a handful of candy so our final count was 55!