Christmas 2020 Hodgepodge

Yesterday was a beautiful day in the neighborhood. It was very windy which made it icy cold! The big news from yesterday is that the siding on our new shop is complete! Still lots to be done but what a relief to have all the steel panels on the shop and off our garage floor. I can now park my car in the shop/garage that was already on our property when we bought this country home.

Time for Wednesday Hodgepodge #400! That’s a lot of hodging or podging or hodgepodging. Thank you to Jo From This Side of the Pond for asking the questions, all 2000 of them!

1. I feel like episode 400 cannot go without comment. That’s a whole lot of Hodgepodging folks. 2000 questions if my math is right. So, what’s something you feel like you do 400 times a week?

Good thing you added the feel part. At this stage of life, nearing 70, I feel like I double check a lot. Did I turn out that light? Why did I walk into this room? Did I put deodorant on? Are the doors locked?

2. Tell us where you were and something about what your life looked like in the year 2000?

Yikes, that was before blogging so I pulled out the photo album that had photos from 10/23/99 thru 5/27/01 to get my bearings for the year 2000. We had been living in Kenmore, Washington since October of 1998 in the same home we sold in 2018 to move to Colville. Our oldest turned 21 in January of 2000. We had two family weddings that we traveled to Southern California for in May and July. On December 20th our oldest, Josh, asked his high school sweetheart, Laura, to marry him and she said yes. We are forever blessed by their union.  Dear was working for Immunex in downtown Seattle. I was enjoying my last year in my 40’s.

3. Do you like cinnamon? What’s something you make and enjoy that calls for cinnamon? Of the cinnamon ‘foods’ listed which is your favorite-red hot cinnamon candies, cinnamon toast, cinnamon rolls, cinnamon toast crunch cereal, apple cinnamon oatmeal, churros, an Indian curry?

I do enjoy cinnamon. The Applesauce Spice Cake is a family favorite requested for birthdays and it has cinnamon in it.

Click here for the recipe for the cake.

In that list I’ll choose cinnamon toast as my favorite.

4. Does Christmas 2020 (or Hanukkah) look much like it has in years past, or is this year vastly different for you and your family? How so? How are you feeling about it all?

We are gathering with our children and grandchildren this Christmas as we have in other years so that isn’t changing. Other gatherings aren’t happening like our annual Mennonite Girls Can Cook Christmas dinner which was sad. Since that is something we travel to Canada for it couldn’t happen because of the border being closed and because of the lockdowns in our countries. I know many are not gathering as usual and I’m sorry about that and for many who are compromised and need to be extra careful. May God bring joy to your gatherings no matter how small.

5. What’s one thing you need or want to do before this year ends?

Plan our daughter’s birthday dinner which will be at our home while they are here for the Christmas celebrations. Her birthday is on December 27th.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Along with my morning Bible reading I’m slowly going through a work by Spurgeon called, Christ’s Glorious Achievements ~ What Jesus Has Done For You. Yesterday I wrote down this quote:

“Man’s books have usually far less in them than we expect, but the book of the Lord is full of surprises, it is a mass of light, a mountain of priceless revelations. We little know what yet lies hidden within the Scriptures.”

I’m hoping that more is uncovered in 2021!

Reminder: We won’t be having our Truth from A to Z Bible Verse Challenge tomorrow or next Thursday. We’ll resume the first Thursday in the New Year!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Whatever Dims Thy Sense of Truth ~ Hymn

Whatever Dims Thy Sense of Truth

Whatever dims thy sense of truth
Or stains thy purity,
Though light as breath of summer air,
Count it as sin to thee.

Let not the world thy God dethrone
Or from His smile divide;
And count compared with heavenly wealth,
As dross all things beside.

Dim not the crystal of thy soul
By sin’s destroying breath:
There lurks beneath the siren smile
Dark treachery and death.

Preserve the tablet of thy thoughts
From every blemish free,
For our Redeemer’s lowly faith
Its temple makes with thee.

And pray of God, that grace be given
To tread time’s narrow way:
How dark soever it may seem,
It leads to cloudless day.

Words: Mary W. Hale, 1840.

Whatever weak­ens your rea­son, im­pairs the ten­der­ness of your con­science, ob­scures your sense of God, takes off your rel­ish for spir­it­u­al things, what­ev­er in­creas­es the au­thor­ity of the bo­dy ov­er the mind, that thing is sin to you, how­ev­er in­no­cent it may seem in itself.

Susanna Wes­ley, mo­ther of John & Charles Wes­ley

Looking Back…

… to a time and place where we were able to head out at the last minute to a nearby “Happy Hour” with lots of good choices (2012 at the Beach House). Sigh.

Also looking back at early morning walks at Emma Wood State Beach in Ventura (2009).

We are wondering what we can substitute for our cancelled trip to Great Britain. Time will tell. Maybe a new recliner. Haha!

We are getting summer heat this week getting hotter everyday with the highest temps expected on Thursday and Friday, 101 degrees. We’ll head south to do our Spokane shopping on thursday since it doesn’t make sense to work outside on the shop or in the yard in that heat.

Cooling off just looking at these beach scenes.

Looking back, living today and looking forward to the future I will rejoice.

Came across this quote from R.C. Sproul:

“Our calling isn’t to follow our hearts. Our calling is to have our hearts informed and directed by the clear and plain teaching of the Word of God.”

Hot Diggity Hodgepodge

Standing tall at almost 500 years-old, the Airlie Oak tree invites guests out to the
Oak Lawn. The Airlie Oak is a Southern Live Oak and draped with Spanish moss.
This moss does not harm the tree and uses water & nutrients from the air to grow
and thrive. 

1.  Do you think the pandemic has had any kind of positive impact on your mental health? Explain.

Now that’s an interesting question. For me, depending on God more and reading His Word more has been the best positive impact on my mental health during this weird time. Knowing that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever brings stability in my mind when things get crazy.

2. A hot mess, hot under the collar, in hot water, hot button, hot diggity dog!, hot shot, hot seat….choose one and tell us how it applies to your life currently.

I’m choosing hot diggity dog because this song was popular and reached #1 on the “billboard” in 1956. I was five years old then and how it applies to my life now is that it makes me smile to remember it and sing along with Perry! 

 

3. Speaking of the hot seat, do you work well under pressure or do you actively avoid high pressure situations?
I’m really not involved in high pressure situations. Being retired adds to that fact. If I have the choice I’d stay away from high pressure situations. 
4. Hotdogs-yay or nay? If you said yay how do you like yours? Did you know July is National hotdog month?
Yes, please. I love a good hot dog. Nathan’s are my favorite. When in Chicago years ago I experienced a Chicago Dog and I would enjoy being able to have one of those when the hot dog craving hits. Haven’t found a good Chicago Dog on the West Coast. 

5. I read here a list of America’s coolest Southern towns. They are Marfa Texas, Greenville South Carolina, Abindgon Virginia, Athens Georgia, Bentonville Arkansas, Florence Alabama, Oxford Mississippi, Abita Springs Louisiana, Wilmington North Carolina, Monroeville Alabama, McMinnville Tennessee, Natchez Mississippi.  How many on the list have you seen in person? Which town on the list would you most like to see?

The only place on this list I’ve been to is Wilmington, North Carolina, specifically Airlie Gardens. Abingdon, Virginia looks like a nice place to visit.

In 2013 our daughter and I drove from the Seattle area to Jacksonville, North Carolina. Our son in law was stationed at Camp Lejeune and he was returning from a deployment in Afghanistan. We had the task of finding an apartment for the two of them and moving some of their stored possessions into that apartment along with buying some furnishings. When our work was done we took a little side trip to enjoy Airlie Gardens in the Wilmington area. The photo at the top of this post is of our daughter in front of the famous Airlie Oak.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Here are some more photos from Airlie Gardens.

And…speaking of gardens here are some quotes I want to remember:

“Ever since Satan deceived Eve false teachers following his pattern, have portrayed the truth as error and offered error as truth.”

“The risk of wandering from the truth and becoming confused and disloyal is a constant threat to the church of Jesus Christ.”

“Therefore, absolute loyalty to God, Jesus Christ, the gospel, and biblical truth are nonnegotiable principles for everyone who names the name of Christ.”

MacArthur New Testament Commentary 2 Corinthians, pg. 356 & 360

Thank you to Joyce for asking the questions.

Summer Shop Progress

In the last couple of days we’ve had some progress on the shop roofing. Dear and our son Dan are getting the hang of the 20ft 7inch steel roof panels (50#’s each) and how to maneuver them up onto the structure. Underneath each panel is a reflective vapor barrier that they roll out and fasten before they put the steel panel up and screw it into the purlin.

Some encouragement for those who are called by God from Spurgeon and God’s Word…

It is impossible for any human speech to express the full meaning of this delightful phrase, “God is for me.” He was for us before the worlds were made. He was for us or He would not have given His well-beloved Son; He was for us when He smote the Only-begotten and laid the full weight of His wrath upon Him—He was for us, though He was against Him. He was “for us” when we were ruined in the Fall—He loved us notwithstanding all. He was for us when we were rebels against Him and with a high hand were bidding Him defiance. He was for us or He would not have brought us humbly to seek His face. He has been for us in many struggles; we have been summoned to encounter hosts of dangers; we have been assailed by temptations from without and within—how could we have remained unharmed to this hour if He had not been for us?   
~
Psalm 56:9-11 ~ Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?

Dwell

Prayer for Spiritual Strength

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

From Paul in Ephesians to Spurgeon good prayers to pray and to dwell on and in.

We have been enjoying our niece, nephew and grand nephew and grand niece here and are busy from morning until night. No time for the computer. I will catch up hopefully on Saturday.

This dessert keeps making the rounds.

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!

On the Road Home

On Monday June 15th we chose to drive home from Bothell on Highway 2 to Wenatchee then switching to a smaller Highway 28 for the central part of Washington state. This route was more desolate than taking 2. We had more rain driving home but not a driving rain so that was nice. Going over Steven’s Pass we enjoyed views of the Wenatchee River. We left our kids’ home early, just after six a.m.

Such power in that water.

We stopped in Leavenworth at the Starbucks to get a cup of coffee and because of COVID-19 their bathrooms were closed. We got our snack and a cup of coffee and continued on to the little town of Cashmere (home of Aplets and Cotlets Liberty Orchards). We stopped at the city’s 9-11 Memorial and I’ll share those photos come September.

One more post will be coming full of photos of time on Highway 28 before we reconnected to highway 2 in Davenport, Washington.

The state of Washington as of today (Friday June 26th) is imposing mandatory face mask wearing in public spaces for the whole state. Sigh…

But…be encouraged!

Remain Unshaken

. . . In order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.

Hebrews 12:27

We have many things in our possession at the present moment that can be shaken, and it is not good for a Christian to rely upon them, for there is nothing stable beneath these rolling skies; change is written upon all things. Yet we have certain “things that cannot be shaken,” and I invite you this evening to think of them—that if the things that can be shaken should all be taken away, you may derive real comfort from the things that cannot be shaken and that will remain. Whatever your losses have been, or may be, you enjoy present salvation.

You are standing at the foot of Christ’s cross, trusting alone in the merit of His precious blood, and no rise or fall of the markets can interfere with your salvation in Him; no breaking of banks, no failures and bankruptcies can touch that. Then you are a child of God this evening. God is your Father. No change of circumstances can ever rob you of that. Even if by loss you are brought to poverty and stripped bare, you can still say, “He is still my Father. In my Father’s house are many rooms; therefore I will not be troubled.” You have another permanent blessing, namely, the love of Jesus Christ. He who is God and man loves you with all the strength of His affectionate nature—nothing can affect that. The fig tree may not blossom, and the flocks may dwindle and wander from the field, but it does not matter to the man who can sing, “My Beloved is mine, and I am His.” Our best portion and richest heritage we cannot lose.

Whatever troubles come, let us play the man; let us show that we are not like little children cast down by what happens to us in this poor fleeting state of time. Our country is Immanuel’s land, our hope is fixed in heaven, and therefore, calm as the summer’s ocean, we will see the wreck of everything earthborn and yet rejoice in the God of our salvation.

C.H. Spurgeon

Peaceful Hodgepodge

1. What’s something you could do today to feel more peaceful?

Turn off the TV and open my Bible!

2. June 2nd is National Rotisserie Chicken day. Who knew? Are you a fan of rotisserie chicken? You’ve purchased one at your local market for tonite’s dinner. Will you serve as is or make something else using the chicken?

First meal we would eat it as it is with a salad. Then I’d take all the meat left on the carcass and save it for a Chicken Pot Pie, or Chicken Chili, or Chicken Enchiladas, or Chicken Noodle Soup. A Costco Rotisserie Chicken is our favorite and you can’t beat the price.

3. I read a list recently (go here to read more) of 20 of the most beautiful places in America. How many of these have you seen up close and in person? Of the sites on this list that you haven’t seen, which would you most like to see?

Antelope Canyon Arizona, Kenai Fjords Alaska, White Mountains New Hampshire, Crater Lake Oregon, The Palouse Washington and Idaho, Grand Prismatic Spring Wyoming, Multnomah Falls and Columbia River Gorge Oregon, Horsehoe Bend Arizona, Na Pali Coast Kauai Hawaii, Antelope Valley California, Lake Tahoe California, The Berkshires Massachussets, Maroon Bells Colorado, Angel Oak South Carolina, Acadia National Park Maine, Grand Teton National Park Wyoming, Turnip Rock Michigan, Central Park New York City, Niagara Falls New York, and Skagit Valley Tulip Fields Washington

I’ve been to Crater Lake, The Palouse in Washington, Multnomah Falls and the Columbia River Gorge, Grand Prismatic Spring Wyoming, Central Park, Niagara Falls, and Skagit Valley Tulip Fields (Photo Above).

I think I’d like to see Acadia National Park in Maine.

4. What’s one pretty spot you’d add to the list in question #3?

I’d choose one of the beaches along the coast of California or Oregon like Laguna Beach in Southern California or Cannon Beach in Northern Oregon.

Are there travel plans of any kind on your calendar right now? Does that make you happy, anxious, excited, sad, or relieved?

I’m sad that we are in the process of cancelling our trip to Great Britain. Things are not loosening up in travel abroad quick enough for our comfort in keeping our plans intact. Airline tickets are purchased already and half of the cost of our lodging has been charged to us, too. So I’ll have to contact the airlines and Airbnb to work on getting our money refunded. I will be relieved when that is taken care of.

5. Tell us one un-COVID related thing you’re looking forward to in the month of June.

We are going to Church on Sunday June 7th in our building not online! That is very exciting!

And yesterday, June 2nd,  I had the wonderful experience of finally having my hair cut and styled! And I have another appointment in 6 weeks.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I looked up peace in my Bible and wanted to share these verses:

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1, ESV) 

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility  by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,  and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. (Ephesians 2:13-16 ESV)

 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:5-7, ESV)

“Whoever desires to love life
    and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
    and his lips from speaking deceit;
 let him turn away from evil and do good;
    let him seek peace and pursue it.

(1 Peter 3:10-11, ESV)

Thank you to Joyce for posting the questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge.