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.

Good News from North Carolina

We got some good news from North Carolina on Thursday. Dear’s niece got engaged. We are hoping to be able to travel to the wedding when we get the invite with time and place. We know the wedding will be in North Carolina. The collage above is from Katie and my trip across the U.S. to get her to North Carolina in time for her Marine husband to return from Afghanistan in 2014. We stopped in Asheville for a night and enjoyed a delicious meal on the Sunset Terrace at this hotel.

This is Dear’s older and only brother. I took this photo at our mom’s funeral in 2013. It’s his daughter Kacie who is now engaged to Chris. Terry is married to Christina and they have 3 daughters. Kacie is the youngest of the three.

Our kids just met up with Kacie and her sister Annie in California in January. These four happened to all be in California at the same time and carved out some time to meet up and get caught up. Kacie is standing between Josh and Laura. Our nieces are real beauties.

This is our daughter Katie, Christina (Dear’s SIL) and our oldest niece, Jenna. Jenna, Annie and Kacie are sisters. Christina is married to Dear’s brother, Terry.

Another post to keep me on track of what happened when.

Looking Back…

Another year has come and gone and it was fun to look back and see the highlights of 2014.


This collage is not in order of some of the events of our year. I realize that this post is mostly for my benefit to keep the events of the year from getting lost in my mind. (photobucket highjacked some of my photos)

January ~ Both our sons have birthdays and we celebrated in person with Josh. The excitement of the Seahawks getting to the super bowl was brewing. Katie was still living with us while Andrew was serving in Afghanistan.

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February ~ Super Bowl hysteria and fun in the Seattle Area. We had snow. A trip to B.C. to visit Matthew’s House with the Mennonite Girls Can Cook. New Dishwasher.

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March ~ Sounders Soccer Season opens. Weekend trip to Eastern Washington to visit Dan. We celebrated my birthday there. Attacked by tumble weeds! Celebrated my birthday again with Josh and Laura at the Wild Ginger. Katie and I traveled to Abbotsford for the Mennonite Girls Can Cook Paska class at Lepp Farm Market.

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April ~ Got my first “Smart” phone that made me feel less than smart. I was able to set a table for 10 at our Friendship Tea at church which was such a fun and well planned out event.Katie and I visited the tulip fields in the Skagit Valley. We celebrated Easter with Josh, Laura, Katie, Steve and Lana. Katie and I packed her and Andrew’s car up and headed out on our road trip from Seattle to North Carolina. I named our trip Sea-Jack since our destination was in Jacksonville. We met up with Dan and Jamie on the first day of our journey for breakfast in Spokane. The last few days of April we hit some wild weather in Montana, South Dakota and then we got weather relief in Nebraska and Illinois. We met up with my bloggy friend Pam and her daughter for lunch in Kansas City on the last day of April. Happy meeting and time together.

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May ~ We traveled through Kentucky and into Tennessee making a two night stop in Asheville North Carolina where we enjoyed a wonderful meal on the Sunset Terrace at the Grove Hotel and the next day we toured the Biltmore Estate and Gardens. We reached our destination on Sunday May 3rd and began the search for an apartment for Katie and Andrew. We didn’t search long and signed a lease and moved in within two days! Katie and I celebrated Mother’s Day at brunch and the next day treated me to a massage that was real nice after our road trip and moving everything into the apartment on the 3rd floor with no elevator. I flew out from Jacksonville to meet Greg at his conference in Orlando on the 15th of May. Andrew returned home from Afghanistan on the 17th of May safe and sound for which we are so grateful.

Pictures18June ~ Started the process for our bathroom renovation. Had a large pine tree cut down. World Cup began. My niece Debbee and her husband Lenny came to visit. The “Girls” from B.C. road the train to Edmonds and we had a fun day together eating and shopping. We traveled to Portland to attend Nate and Abbys wedding.

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2014-06-25 The GirlsJuly ~ We traveled to Jolly Old England to celebrate our 40th Anniversary early. We enjoyed a week in the Cotswolds and time in South Wales and Henley on Thames and finished off our trip in Windsor. Our bathroom renovation began. My niece Michelle, Ryan, Jackson and Avery came for a visit.

To Windsor 123August ~ My brother Leonard and Mandy returned to Kiev to finalize adoption proceedings for our new nephew Andrew. Katie and Andrew packed up all their belongings in North Carolina into a pod and their car and started their roadtrip across the country to settle here in the Seattle area. Andrew’s terminal leave was final the end of August. Almost as fast as Katie and I found an apartment in Jacksonville Andrew and Katie found an apartment about 10 minutes from us and had possession of it in time for their pod to arrive from North Carolina. Their apartment is withing walking distance to the college Andrew is now attending. We celebrated Josh and Laura’s anniversary together the end of August.

10291122_10152701970813919_9195842261775056651_nSeptember ~ Our bathroom still wasn’t done. Ugh. I had two fun reunions with friends of our family growing up in September. Katie and I were able to meet Timi and her daughter Tamara here in Washington and then in the middle of the month I saw Timi again with her sister Milla in California at an open house on the anniversary of my mom’s death. It was good to see my pop and most of my family while I was in California. It was fun to see Terry (Dear’s brother) and Christina along with Kacie and her guy. The heat wave that was happening while I was there was epic. We terminated the bathroom contractors time at this old house and did the finishing touches ourselves. I joined the Senior Center and started in an exercise class there and joined a walking group, too.


bathroom 005October ~ Katie and I met up with some old friends for a tea expo in Seattle. We sold a couple vehicles and purchased another one. We got a new fireplace insert. We attended a Dave Ramsey seminar with the kids. On October 30th we all traveled (except Andrew) to Dan’s place for a fun weekend of hiking, eating and shooting. This was Laura’s first time in Dan’s neck of the woods.


November ~ We enjoyed an early Thanksgiving meal on November 22nd when Dan and Jamie traveled across the harrowing pass to spend the weekend with us. On Thanksgiving we went to Dave and Jody’s for good food and good company. Thanksgiving came late this year and we went right into Christmas preparations. We attended our last Sounders game of the season missing out on the MLS cup final game to the L.A. Galaxy. Boohoo.


December ~ We celebrated Laura’s birthday at a new restaurant in Bothell and enjoyed cake and gift opening at Katie and Andrew’s. On December 14th we had the B.C. Mennonite Girls and their husbands here for a dinner party. On the same day as the party we got the exciting news that our son Dan had asked Jamie to marry him and she said yes! We were able to celebrate with them in person when they traveled here on Christmas Day from Eastern Washington. Christmas was an all day fun time enjoying each other, gifts, and good food. The day after Christmas we celebrated again with my sister Lana and Steve and Dave and Beth. We had Dear’s famous tomato rice soup. We toasted Dan and Jamie and then later in the evening we sang Happy Birthday to Katie and enjoyed cake. Dan and Jamie made it back to Eastern Washington safely.


We are going to enjoy a quiet last day of 2014 here at this old house!

Blessings to all in the New Year!


T is for Trees!

It’s time for ABC Wednesday hosted by some brilliant bloggers here and across the sea.

While I was in North Carolina helping our daughter get ready for her husband’s homecoming we took a day away from the frenzy to enjoy Airlie Garden in Wilmington. Look at these majestic trees filled with Spanish Moss in the garden.

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Since we are on the letter T here are the turtles we saw this day, too.

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Airlie Gardens 074I’m back home in Washington State now catching up with yard work and house work. It is so good to be home.

Biltmore Bass Pond and Waterfall

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When we were done at the Bass Ponds we found our way back to the Biltmore House and took the bus back to the parking lot where we parked our car. We then drove to Antler Hill Village. After all our walking about the grounds and trekking through some warm trails we were really ready for some nice refreshment.

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We had a great lunch at Cedric’s Tavern named after the family dog. “Named for George Vanderbilt’s beloved Saint Bernard, Cedric, this warm, relaxing tavern overlooks the village green at Antler Hill Village. The décor, ambience, and menu pay tribute to the neighborhood pubs of Britain and Ireland. Enjoy satisfying pub fare alongside robustly flavored American and global cuisine presented with Biltmore flair.”

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We weren’t disappointed by the food or drink at Cedric’s.

So I’m still catching up on our Road Trip posts. I only have a couple more. I was so busy over the weekend I really didn’t have time to come up with something more current. Here we are in the last week of May. Soon the wedding month will be here and this year we actually have a wedding to attend in June. We also are getting some visitors in June. This week we will make some decisions on our main floor bathroom. We were so gung ho to have it gutted by now but here we are dragging our feet. It’s hard to decide how much to let someone else do and charge you an arm and a leg for…

What’s happening this week in your world?

Biltmore House Azalea Garden

Biltmore 062These photos are from our time at the Biltmore Gardens on Saturday May 3rd.

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I want to finish up my posts from Katie and my cross country trip before June. I still have a few posts from the Biltmore House and Gardens. A few of these posts are visual with no need of commentary. Remember if you visit the Biltmore to wear comfortable shoes and clothing. There are lots of trails to explore.

It’s amazing to think of all the miles we logged and all the beautiful sights we were afforded on our cross country trip.

Today I’m home again home again jiggity jig. Dear and I got home at about 11:00 P.M. on Tuesday night. Dear was off to work on Wednesday at 5:00 AM and I had my annual doctor’s visit just after 8:00 A.M. on Wednesday.  On Thursday I will be mowing our overgrown lawn (mostly weeds). I’m pleased with the Spring growth that has bloomed while I was gone.  I’ll have to take some photos of some things that surprised and blessed me on my return. I’ll share my sweet memorial azaleas for my dear mom that bloomed so pink and pretty.

How are things in your corner of the world?



May Note Card Party!

Pop over to Vee’s at A Haven for Vee to join in on her May Note Card Party.

Thank you Vee!

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I guess you see where I was going with my May Note Cards. We are so thrilled for our Son-in-law Andrew’s homecoming from Afghanistan.

Collages9Late August 2013 they drove from Jacksonville, North Carolina to Seattle in their car packed with all they could carry. Katie moved in with us. Andrew flew back to Jacksonville. Andrew was deployed to Afghanistan in September. Katie sent packages, wrote letters, communicated via the internet. We all prayed. September, October, November, December, January, February, March went by and April came. Andrew’s time was extended in Afghanistan. We kept praying. We started making plans to get Katie and their car back to Jacksonville, North Carolina. I made a road trip map. Andrew got tentative word about his possible return dates. We packed the car. We set out on our SeaJack trip on Sunday April 27th. We arrived in Jacksonville on May 4th. We found an apartment. We carried their minimal possessions up 3 flights of stairs. We ordered a bed. We shopped at Wal-Mart and the Commissary and the Exchange. Katie made a Welcome Home sign. Everything was ready. I flew to Orlando to meet my Dear on Thursday May 15th. Andrew returned to Katie’s arms at 11:00 P.M. Saturday May 17th, Armed Forces Day. Happy Happy Joy Joy! We prayed again thanking God for His great gift to us!

I’ll be coming around to see your note cards soon. I’m flying this evening from Orlando to Seattle. Looking forward to being back in our home.

S is for Swans

Time for ABC Wednesday and the letter S.

Do some of you wonder why ABC Wednesday seems to start on Tuesday? There are so many countries represented that Wednesday comes earlier in those countries than the U.S.A. Does that make sense? Anyhoo Katie and I saw some beautiful swans and a little fluffy baby swan at Airlie Gardens in Wilmington, North Carolina that I thought would be perfect for the letter S. I’ll post our whole experience at the gardens in the future.

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And this is my Swan Song for my time on the East Coast of the U.S.A. I’m headed back to the West Coast and my own bed after 25 days away!

A Picture…

…is worth a thousand words!


 He’s home and back in the arms of our daughter Katie.

Andrew’s Battalion landed at Cherry Point last night (May 17th). Before being bused over to meet their families they had to check in all their gear. Agony in waiting knowing their loved ones were so close but joy when they could finally see their loved ones’ faces!

Thank you to all of you who have prayed for Andrew during his deployment in Afghanistan. We thank God for keeping him safe all these long months. We are overjoyed to see this photo and this reunion.

I just had to interrupt my usual Sunday Hymn posting for this gift from God to us. If you scroll down you will see my hymn for Sunday, too.