Behold the Hodgepodge

1. ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’  What’s something you’ve seen recently that you thought was beautiful?

Our new granddaughter born on March 20th is the latest most beautiful thing I’ve seen.

2. Our culture and beauty…your thoughts?

The nosiest people in our culture usually try to force what they think is beautiful upon us. Beautiful to me is someone who’s inner being is loving and kind and who stands up for what is true and what is right. Someone who will make a stand quietly yet forcefully not giving in to bullying. Being comfortable in your own skin is beautiful to me.

1 Peter 3:3-4 (ESV)

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

3. Age before beauty, beauty queen, beauty mark, beauty sleep…which beauty-ful phrase resonates with you today? Why?

 I’m going with age before beauty in the sense that as my outer beauty fades I will be content in my grey state because of all I’ve already experienced and learned and continue to learn.
Isaiah 40:8: The grass withers, the flower fades,
    but the word of our God will stand forever.

4. I read here a list of the top ten beasts animals that scare us the most-alligators, coyotes, black bears, birds (but pigeons in particular), sharks, bats, bed bugs, rats, rattlesnakes, and the black widow spider. 

Which ‘beast’ on the list scares you the most? What is the likelihood of you having an actual encounter with that particular beast? Did a movie contribute to your fear of this creature? Have you ever had a real life encounter with any of the animals listed?

Because they are so hard to get rid of the scariest on this list are bed bugs to me. I’ve never experienced them but just the thought gives me the creeps. I have had life encounters with bats, coyotes, a black widow spider and rats in the attic!!

5. Where were you when you last heard a bell ring? Was it alarming or musical?

At Providence Mount Carmel Hospital on Monday the 20th of March when our granddaughter was born the hospital played a lullaby over the loud speakers throughout the hospital letting everyone know a baby had been born. We were in the waiting room and we all cried when we heard the bell toned Lullaby and Good Night over the speakers. It was musical and beautiful.

6. What’s your favorite carb? How’s that for random?

Bread, all kinds of bread, plain, savory, and sweet. I’m so thankful I’m not gluten intolerant.

7. Let’s wrap up another month of Hodgepodging and life with an acrostic. Recap your month using the word MARCH.

March brought
Addyson May into our lives causing
Rejoicing in our family and putting
Colville on the map as our favorite place to visit for the joy of
Holding our precious little granddaughter

Addyson May was born on the 20th. We left our house at 4am to drive 5-1/2 hours to Colville Washington to be at the hospital when Addy was born.

Our son’s response for us when he came into the waiting room to let us know all was well with his fresh wee babe and her mama.

Rejoicing over our first grandchild.

Colville is going to be our favorite road trip so I can do more of this…

Holding her and just watching her breathe and listening to her baby sighs is heavenly.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

March 2017 is an epic time for us as we entered the world of grand parenting. Looking forward to getting back over the mountains and through the woods to spend some more time with Addy and her new parents! My blog posts have been all about this new time in our lives and hopefully everyone will bear with me as I share what I can’t keep under my hat. Rejoice with those who rejoice.

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

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.

Hello Winter Hodgepodge

1. What’s left to be done on your Christmas to-do list? 
Buy the ingredients for our Christmas Eve and Christmas day menus. Dear will be making his famous Tomato Rice Soup for Christmas Eve and then on Christmas day we will have Swedish Pancakes for breakfast (Dear makes those, too) and Prime Rib and Yorkshire Pudding for dinner. Oh my, looks like Dear will have the lion’s share of cooking duties since he’s throwing the Prime Rib on the Traeger this year, too. I’ll work on the sides. Daughter in love is bringing the homemade pies.
2. The Hodgepodge lands on the first day of winter this year. What’s your favorite thing about winter? 
Since we moved to Washington State from Southern California twenty eight years ago I have enjoyed having 4 distinct seasons. I appreciate different landscapes throughout the year. Winter isn’t my favorite but I appreciate it’s difference.  Winter clothing is my favorite thing about winter. I like comfy clothes.
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3. In what area of your life are you immature? Feel free to elaborate or not. 
First I’ll choose this definition of immature; not fully developed.  I am not fully developed in my life as a follower of Jesus. I still have lots to learn about trusting God in this daily walk. Obedience does not come naturally and easily to me. So in this I am immature. I thank God He loves me and doesn’t abandon me. He will never leave me on the side of the road and drive away like I threatened my children I’d do on some of those road trips when they were little.
4. What was the most (or one of the most) important lessons you learned in 2016? 
I can live with my husband under foot every day and still have joy. He’s been unemployed since June and from January till June he was a consultant working out of our home.
5. It’s Fried Shrimp Day…are you a fan? What’s your favorite way to eat shrimp? Will there be shrimp somewhere in your holiday feastings? 
Shrimp is not a staple in my culinary world. My favorite way to eat shrimp is coconut crusted as an appetizer at a restaurant. No we will not have shrimp in our feastings.
6. What sound lulls you to sleep? 
The lack of sounds is what lulls me to sleep.
7. What one word best describes your 2016? 
Unemployment

PM19088.  Insert your own random thought here.

We wish you a Merry Christmas,  we wish you a Merry Christmas, We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Good tidings we bring to you and your kin, Good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thank you Joyce for asking the questions. To see more hodgepodge click over to From This Side of the Pond.
Happy First Day of Winter y’all!

Pearl Harbor Day Hodgepodge

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PM1910. This postcard is from a stash I have that Dear’s Great Great Aunt Emma Danielson collected. Many who knew her would send her postcards over the years. This one was postmarked 1910 with a 1 cent stamp on it.

1. Let’s talk holiday decorating. On a scale of 1-10 where do you fall? (1=Scrooge and 10= Clark Griswold). What’s your favorite corner-room-table-space to decorate? Is it done?

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My best guess is that I’m about a 6 since I only decorate 2 rooms and a small area outside. I don’t have a fine large porch and my Dear is not a hang the lights kind of guy. He does hang my lighted star and the lights on the tree. We don’t have our tree yet this year. I like the old china secretary passed down to us from Dear’s parents all lit up at Christmas. Decorating is not done this year yet. The photos I’m sharing are from Christmas Past.

2. Is there a nativity scene in your decorating somewhere? Post a picture or, if it’s special to you in some way, tell us why. Or do both-it’s Christmas!

This little wooden nativity is the very first one we bought from Disneyland when our boys were young and before we had our little girl. I wanted something that they could handle and that would not be broken easily. Lately I’ve collected a few nativities and enjoy putting them here and there and everywhere. Here are some of them.

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This last one is a Wee Forest Folk nativity. These pieces were given me individually over the last several years and the set is now complete.

3.  Do you live in a social neighborhood? If so are you glad? If not do you wish you did?

Our neighborhood is not social. I’ve been tempted to have an open house but have never followed through. In the past in other neighborhoods we would have 4th of July block parties or Christmas open houses.

4.  As the saying goes, ‘there’s no time like the present‘. How does that ring true in your life right now?

This rings true as we are getting older. I’ve said that we better get out there now while we can still walk and have the time. Also we are reminded more than ever that life is unpredictable and we need to enjoy our friends and loved ones. Hand in hand with “there’s no time like the present” is…”Don’t put off until tomorrow…”

5. Do you dread Mondays? Why or why not?

I don’t dread Mondays anymore. When I was younger I dreaded them because it meant back to school. When I worked it meant back to work. Now I’m okay with Mondays. My mother had a bad relationship with Mondays and I’ve had to get over that influence.

6.  Poinsettia, Christmas Cactus, Amaryllis-which on the list is your favorite holiday plant? Are any of these on display in your home right now?

I’m not a Christmas plant person and generally house plants end up dead. None on display right now. I do like live wreaths and garland.

7. Share a favorite quote from a Christmas movie.

“Merry Christmas you filthy animal!”  “No, You’ll shoot your eye out”

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

This is the 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. This was 10 years before I was born and before my parents immigrated to the United States.

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

When Dear and I were choosing our wedding date we decided on December 6th instead of the 7th because we didn’t want our wedding to be on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Today Dear and I are heading to La Conner to enjoy an anniversary meal a day late. Dear is getting over being sick and we decided to wait a day so his taste buds would be more ready to enjoy food.

Hope you all are in the midst of the Wonder of it all this Christmas season.

Linking to Hodgepodge Wednesday with Joyce at From This Side of the Pond. Thank you Joyce! Is it Hodgepodge Wednesday or Wednesday Hodgepodge??

 

Happy News Hodgepodge!

1. Let’s all think happy thoughts…share one of yours here. 
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We have the best of news that we have permission to share now with the world. Dear and I are grandparents for the first time and will  be able to see our new little granddaughter for the first time in person sometime in March or April depending on when she pops out. Even though our little granddaughter is not born yet we consider her our granddaughter already as God is wonderfully forming her right now.
2. There’s a Chinese proverb that says, “If you want happiness for an hour take a nap, if you want happiness for a day-go fishing….” What say you? If you want happiness for a day _____________.
10570497_10211352172425902_7840964481559702568_nThis is my 93 year old Pop and what he’ll tell you is if you want happiness you need to Love the Lord your God and follow Him all the days of your life because He will give you the contentment you need everyday whatever comes your way.
3. Where do you go to decompress from the world around you? 
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One of my favorite things to do to decompress is go out into a part of the world I haven’t seen before. A little day trip works better than Calgon in a bath! In the last couple months we explored Discovery Park in Seattle and took a Fall drive to the Skagit Valley north of us.
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 4. What song never fails to make you happy? 
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Our daughter, the bride, singing heartily at her wedding.
Songs/music are one of my love languages. I’m tempted to have conversations using lyrics. I met my husband in a music group. My church youth choir has an album and recordings that were broadcast behind the Iron Curtain back when there was an Iron Curtain. Whenever my extended family gets together we end up singing at least one or two songs in harmony, in Russian and English. We passed out music to two songs (The Battle Hymn of the Republic -groom’s choice and Come Thou Fount -Bride’s choice) at our daughter’s wedding during the reception and had the guests all sing together and then my family sang one in Russian, too.
This Beatles tune always makes me smile and especially so on my 64th birthday!

“When I’m Sixty Four”

When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four? You’ll be older too
And if you say the word
I could stay with you I could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride
Doing the garden, digging the weeds
Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four? Every summer we can rent a cottage in the Isle of Wight
If it’s not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck & Dave Send me a postcard, drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?
Ho!
5. Wednesday is National Fast Food Day. Should that be a thing? Apparently it is, so tell us what’s the last ‘fast food’ you consumed? If you were putting together your own version of a ‘happy meal’ what would you include?

Does a Costco rotisserie chicken count as fast food? Now that we are empty nesters and almost retired we don’t do fast food unless we are desperate or have a craving for fries. Now if I lived close to an In n Out I’d be really tempted for one of their burgers and fries. The animal version. An Animal Style burger also includes extra Thousand Island spread, mustard grilled patties, and extra pickles.
 6. In a few sentences tell us why you blog.
My younger brother encouraged me to start a blog way back in March of 2007. At that time he had a blog and knew I visited many blogs and left comments. I also would send emails of encouragement to family. He basically said that I already was blogging but I just didn’t have a blog yet and needed one. Blogging gives me the opportunity to use my gift of encouragement and also an outlet for creativity. My blog is more interesting than I am in person.
The above photo was taken on the day my brother set up my blog back in 2007.
 7. List seven things you’re feeling especially grateful for today.
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Here are my seven: Our developing granddaughter, Our home church, Our children and their spouses, Friends that we can be ourselves with, my dear old pop and his love for the Lord, My sister and her family who are caring for my pop in their home, my husband “Dear” and his integrity.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
I am looking forward to our Thanksgiving days next week. Our kids from Eastern Washington are traveling across the pass to spend a few days with us. We will enjoy a huge Thanksgiving gathering with friends on the day of and then some smaller celebrations with our immediate family here in our home.
Thank you to Joyce from This Side of the Pond for Hodgepodge Wednesday. She comes up with the questions and we come up with the answers.

Summer Olympics Hodgepodge

HodgepodgebuttonI’m joining Joyce who blogs at From This Side of the Pond for Hodgepodge Wednesday. Joyce comes up with the questions and we come up with some answers. Thanks Joyce! I’m early this week…

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1. Are you watching the Olympics? Your favorite summer Olympic event? I read recently a list of the most iconic Olympic moments in history…what stands out in your mind as a great moment from some past summer Olympic games?

We are catching some of the Olympics. Swimming, Gymnastics and Soccer are my favorite events.

The moment that will always stand out in my mind is watching Dear as a Torch Bearer in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Because he won the honor to run with the torch it brought the Olympics into our home in a special way.

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2. Have you ever been to Rio? How about the place that started it all-Greece? Have you ever been to any of the Olympic Games in person? Is that something you’d like to do? Have you ever met an Olympian in person?

Never been to Rio or to Greece but I have been to an Olympic event at the 1984 Summer games in California. Our family and some of our extended family were able to attend a rowing event at Lake Casitas in Ventura County.

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3. The ball’s in their court (tennis), cross the finish line (track and field), on target (archery), make a splash (diving), on a roll (gymnastics), out of one’s depth (swimming)…which Olympic-related idiom best applies to your life right now? Explain.

I’m going to go with out of one’s depth as Dear and I are thinking about the fact that he might be retiring earlier than we expected. He’s been unemployed for a couple of months and if nothing happens employment wise by his birthday we’re considering retirement and who knows what all that means! Yikes. We know who holds our future so we aren’t going down the anxious road but we are going down the unknown road.

4. What have you earned a ‘gold medal’ in recently?

My Gold Medal comes to me through blogging and the fact that God plopped me into the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog through my personal blog and my Russian heritage and family recipes.  I’m one of 10 gals who post on that blog and we have authored two cookbooks, a just released devotional book and unbelievably a play about us will be released the end of September. What? Our author royalties have all gone to help feed widows and orphans and to help provide clean water to families in Kenya.

2015-06-18 Tea in Canada55. What is it (or who is it) that motivates you to eat right, exercise, and do what you can to be healthy?

The mirror motivates me when I don’t let the mirror completely discourage me. It does help to have a partner in the endeavor to eat right and exercise.

van 2 0356. Are you young at heart or an old soul? Explain.

I think I’m young at heart because I still want to try new things and learn new things.

7. It’s National S’mores Day (August 10th)…are you a fan? Will you celebrate with a s’more today?

Not a fan but I can provide the ingredients for anyone who wants them!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

This post made me start singing that song from Sunday School that comes from Acts 3:6, a verse in the Bible.

Silver and Gold have I none/ but such as I have give I thee, /in the name of Jesus Christ/ of Nazereth rise up and walk./ Walking and leaping and praising God./ Walking and leaping and praising God./ In the name of Jesus Christ/ of Nazereth rise up and walk!