Wednesday Hodgepodge

If you are visiting from the A to Z Challenge please scroll down below Wednesday Hodgepodge. Cheers!
From this Side of the Pond

1. Has spring sprung in your part of the world? How can you tell? Did March come in like a lion where you live? Going out like a lamb or something more ferocious?

March is definitely going out like a lion. I was in Southern California for the beginning of March and it was calm enough except for the escalating worries over COVID-19. Panic shopping and hoarding had begun. In our part of Northeastern Washington Spring comes slowly. We see some green poking up and there are buds forming on some bushes. Our best sign of Spring is our granddaughter who was born on the first day of Spring in 2017.

She’s busy with Spring clean-up!

2. The last thing that caused you to spring to your feet?

Springing to my feet might be a thing of the past but something that made me get up as fast as I could to my feet was our grandson. We have a room at our country bungalow that has been designated as the playroom. It is one of our guest rooms so it has a queen size bed and two nightstands and a dresser and bookshelf besides some toys. I was reading to our granddaughter (sitting properly on the floor as per her instruction) when I saw grandson had walked around the bed to the flimsy lightweight nightstand and the lamp was tottering. I shifted Addy off my lap and got up as fast as I could which is hard from a sitting on the floor position. I got to him in time and moved him away. I then put a sturdy chair in front of the nightstand to block his access to it. Tragedy averted. Next time we are playing in there I will be prepared by moving the chair to block that nightstand forthwith.

For those of you Hodgepodgers who don’t regularly follow my blog, this is our grandson who was born in April of 2019 which is one of the best things that happened during the Hodgepodge hiatus since September of 2018. His older sister just turned 3 and he will turn 1 on April 16th with no huge 1st birthday party because of the virus. He won’t care but it’s tough on the adults in his life.

3. Do you have a spring clean to-do list? What’s one chore on the list you’ve already managed to accomplish? What spring clean chore do you most dread?

I do not have a Spring clean to-do list. We go with the flow.

We managed a good head start on cleaning up our fall brush pile and getting the yard ready for Spring growth. Using my hedge trimmer to clean up leftover dead growth around the former pond and throwing everything on the burn pile was very satisfying.

This winter we had a huge amount of branches and pine cones fall from all of our trees in the front yard. We finished picking up those branches along with some of the cones and they went on the burn pile, too.

I’m not dreading any Spring cleaning chore because I don’t have a big list of things I only do in the Spring. Should I make a list? Maybe I should clean out my closets and drawers??

4. Tell us something you’ve learned about yourself or the wider world as a result of social distancing/the virus crisis.

I’ve learned that concentrating is harder these days. Even though I don’t feel like I’m anxious the uncertainty of where this is all going is unsettling. I’m a person who can get a lot accomplished if I have an incentive like a dinner party, or a trip coming up, or company coming to stay. There’s none of that kind of planning right now so one day just flows into another and my concentration has gone out the window. Hodgpodge helps and blogging helps and having my music on helps, and listening to sermons online helps, too. By the way y’all today is Wednesday just in case you were wondering. Anyone else having to ask, “what day is today?”

5. Something you love that’s the color pink?

My Lenten Rose (Hellebore) that I had to leave behind at our former home in Kenmore. It brought me such joy year after year when it would bloom during the season of Lent. Speaking of leaving things behind, here are my pink rhoddys that I hope are still thriving in Kenmore.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Some good quotes from trusted authors/pastors/Bible that I’ve read this week:

“Faith is not a power which you possess to create your own future. Faith is a God-given ability to trust the future that God has promised you.”~ John MacArthur

“Because of Christ, death is not final. It is a passage from one world to the next.” ~ R.C. Sproul

“Judas heard all Christ’s sermons.” ~ Thomas Goodwin

“Bene orasse est bene studuisse” To have prayed well is to have studied well. ~ Luther

Proverbs 3:25, 26(ESV) ~ Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.

Linking up with Joyce at From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge. I’ll add the direct link on Wednesday.

Hello and Shoo!

Last Friday we were mowing the lawns in the morning and were in a rush to finish up before the rains came. We put all the equipment away and later in the evening we noticed a deer in the yard. We have never had deer in the backyard because it is totally fenced off. We realized we had forgotten to close the gate in the back where we have started a compost pile on the other side of the fence.

The deer seemed quite delighted with all the new things in our yard that it could nibble on.

When the deer began to eat our clematis it was time to shoo it away.

My Dear had to go out and scare the unwelcome deer back to the gate and out of the yard.

We secured the gate again and the deer went off to wherever the deer go in the evening.

It’s been nice having a relatively secured back area but today Dear took down 40 feet of our fence in the front because we are having a space prepared for his future shop to be built on. I might be chasing more unwelcome deer away from our clematis, soon.

If you look through the tree you’ll see the fence sections Dear has taken down already. Our backyard is free range now.

On Monday I got to enjoy both our grandchildren. Addy is getting more and more articulate and it’s fun to hear her full sentences. Jaymison is still having some digestive and elimination issues but he’s gaining weight and doing better. We’ve had some periods of heavy rain through the weekend. We are warming up and expected to go up 10 degrees tomorrow. I’m sure we’ll be putting our Heat Pump to good use. Hope you all have a good week.

Merry Month of May Mosaics

Our oldest flew in for the weekend to enjoy his niece and nephew while his wife was on an annual girls weekend away with her college roommates. Addy loves her uncle Josh and it’s fun to hear them interact and laugh.

Spring is greening and blooming at our country bungalow.

Some plants we recognize, others we have no clue. We aren’t even sure if they are a weed or flowers.

We have found at least 6 Peony plants on our acreage. I’m quite excited to see if the blooms are all alike or a variety.

We rescued this windmill from our kids property a couple years ago and moved it to our home in Kenmore and put it in our yard. When we packed up to move to our place in the country we dissassembled the windmill and moved it here. Dear reassembled it on Saturday and we set it in this spot.

We’ve had a couple days of rain and mowing was delayed. Tomorrow will be dry and I’ll try out our new grass catcher attachment on our riding mower. Hopefully using the catcher will help decrease the dandelion population.

Lots of times poop is the reason for prayer requests and this time it is literal. For my blogging friends who pray, could you please continue to pray for our little Jaymison, that he would be able to poop at least every 3 days. Thank you.

I’m linking up to Mosaic Monday with Angie from Letting Go of the Bay Leaf.

1st of Spring Favorites

The first of my early Spring favorites is our granddaughter Addy who turned 2 years old on the first day of Spring. We enjoyed a meal out this week with her and the people who love her most in Colville and Kettle Falls. Her birthday bash is on Sunday after the one’s who love her most and live on the other side of the Cascades fly in to celebrate.

Extra space that I’m enjoying with our new counter depth refrigerator is another favorite this week.

On Wednesday after working outside for several hours with Dear, breaking up ice, I came inside to wash some dishes . I heard Dear doing something on the deck and then he came inside and said, “would you like to join me on the terrace for drinks?”. He had brought a couple lawn chairs and side table out of winter hibernation and set them on the deck. It was so nice and refreshing to be in the fresh air enjoying our view. You can see the snow covered landscape in the reflection off the slider.

When we drove into Spokane last Friday we stopped at Sonnenberg’s Market and Deli, “the oldest meat market in town, since 1891”. We picked up some deli items, some house made sausages and one porterhouse steak. Dear and I cooked and split that steak on the first day of Spring and oh my goodness it was the best hunk of meat we’ve enjoyed in a long time. We used a new to us cooking method for it, too, which we’ll continue using when we are only making one steak for the two of us to enjoy. I lightly oiled the steak, seasoned it with Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and Pepper then put it in the oven at 220 degrees  with a meat thermometer probe in it until the meat reached 120 degrees. Took it out of the oven and out of the pan onto a plate and let it rest for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes I put a little oil in the pan and heated it to smoking and seared the steak on each side and then we enjoyed it. Delicious, melt in your mouth meat!

Even though it hasn’t happened yet another favorite is the fact that we will be driving to the Spokane airport this evening to pick up 3 of our kids flying in for the weekend. It’s been a while since we’ve been able to see them face to face and we are looking forward to lots of time with them this weekend. We have two birthday parties and a baby shower this weekend. One party for a 60 year old and one party for our 2 year old granddaughter and a baby shower for our grandson who will arrive in April.

I am thankful to God for His kindness and generosity to us because of what Jesus Christ sacrificed for us.  I’ve already pulled out my Easter décor anticipating my favorite holiday of the year.

The son of a friend of ours made a drawing about Easter and she shared it on Facebook. It had a cross on a hill and these words written on the bottom of the drawing, “Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins. 😦 It was a sad three days without him.” then on the bottom right corner of this drawing it says, flip the page. On the other side of the paper he drew the stone rolled away from the tomb and wrote these words,  “It’s the greatest day in history… Death has been beaten and Jesus rose from the grave.”

Out of the mouth of babes! Love this little one sharing the Good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Linking up with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story for Friday’s Fave Five.

Spring is Coming!

Spring here in Colville starts out as the season of mud from all the snow melting. Hopefully rain showers won’t compound the season of mud.

This is an exciting week with the start of Spring coinciding with our granddaughter’s 2nd birthday. Our little BBB (Baby Boy Bayles) is growing as he should and mommy is healthy. We never take this for granted and we are thankful.

We have a new fun game at our house that Dear and Addy enjoyed while we watched her one evening last week. It’s a mini kind of handball using small bouncy balls in the hall. It caused such joy and belly laughs!

On Saturday evening we enjoyed a meal with Addy and her parents of Corned Beef and Cabbage with Lemon Meringue Pie for dessert. More handball in the hall and the traditional things Addy enjoys when she visits Baba and Gramps were on the agenda, too. We are taking in and enjoying these days with young grandchildren.

We are looking forward to this week and next weekend in particular as all our kids will be here for 2 birthday celebrations and a baby shower for our soon to arrive grandson. Trips to the airport and nonstop fun are on the schedule. I’ll have to get my visiting to your blogs early in the week before all my attention is taken up with the face to face interactions I’ve been missing with our “Coast Kids”.

Joining Angie at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf for Mosaic Monday.

What’s Up?

In the Azalea world these Rosebud Azaleas are my very favorite. We have two mature bushes and two newer struggling bushes. The Azaleas are waning and other things are thriving. Spring is such a beautiful season in the Pacific Northwest.

Our patio covers are up, too.

We’ll bring out the patio furniture when Dear gets home from Chicago just in time for the next batch of rain showers, wink wink.

I’m in want of another dose of this little cutie pie.

While Dear has been in Chicago I’ve been able to sort through a few more boxes of papers we do not need to store. Lots of shredding, recycling and dumping going on. Amongst the sorting I found some jewels and some journal entries that were wise for me to dump, worthy of the dump. The middle to late 90’s were some years of suffering that brought out the worst and the best. There was darkness around us but I’m happy to say God’s light overcame the darkness of these years and He brought us through.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations: 3:22-23

I hope you are depending on the light of the world.

Barn Collective

Some barns look better from far away…

This view is from the drive that leads up to our son’s home. We arrived in Eastern Washington on the first day of Spring and our first grandchild arrived on that day, too.  In the above photo the area beyond the trees is all water now and that is not how it is normally. Here’s a zoom in shot from Saturday with the sun lighting up those trees to make them golden.

A month ago we were at our son and daughter-in-law’s and the next photo was taken of this same view covered in snow.

This area of Washington has had a lot of flooding due to their snow fall amounts and the melt along with rain and the ground not being able to absorb the water. There’s water in places we’ve never seen water before. On our way home from Eastern Washington on Saturday I took this next photo.

There’s a reflection on this day because of flooding. This field is not usually filled with water.

Linking to Tom’s Barn Collective.

Far from Perfect Hodgepodge…

From this Side of the Pond 1. What is one area of your life where you’re a perfectionist? Is that a good thing?

Cleaning. Now, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea with this answer. My house is NOT that house that is always spic and span and where you can see vacuum trails and everything sparkles and you can smell cleaning solutions and you are afraid to sit down for fear of messing something up. But…when I do finally decide to clean an area of my home I go for every corner and nook and cranny and behind and under. That’s when I can announce that it’s clean! This is a photo of me getting ready to wash the floors on my hands and knees. Perfection??

Knee pads. Three pocket apron where I like to keep glass cleaning rags in one side and on the opposite side non glass cleaning rags. Never mix chlorine and ammonia as in bleach cleaners and window cleaners! Middle pocket I use for trash and other things I pick up along the way.

The hard side of what I define as clean is when we rent a place to stay and someone says it’s clean and I can see dust bunnies and all other kinds of things that are not clean. I get miffed especially when they add in a $200 cleaning deposit!

Last but not least I want to say I enjoy a cozy home, it does not have to be perfectly cleaned, unless I’m paying for it to be clean.

2. What’s something you find perfectly ridiculous?

Older women in leggings without their bum covered with a long top.

3. What’s a skill you’ve developed by way of that old fashioned saying, ‘practice makes perfect?

Being able to put a meal together that’s edible in a flash or over the course of a day with whatever is in the pantry or refrigerator or with all the special ingredients shopped for ahead of time. In other words, we can eat like common folk or like kings and queens at this old house because of much trial and error and success in the kitchen. There’s very little fear in my kitchen today except for my latest conquests that involve waiting for yeast to rise!

Growing up and into my adulthood before I was married my mother made every meal including school lunches for her 8 children. Her love language was putting food in front of us. Kids in our Russian culture stayed home until they got married. I did not cook or bake or do anything (maybe I made cookies) in my mother’s kitchen growing up. When I got married is when it was all on me. This wasn’t as bad as it sounds because I did learn from watching my mother that many great things are possible in the kitchen with limited resources. I should mention my major in college was Home Economics and I learned a lot in those school years.

4. What’s your idea of a perfect breakfast?

Something savory with a little something sweet, too.

5. What’s a trip, holiday, vacation, or day outing you’ve taken that you’d rate a perfect 10? Tell us why.

Any trip we’ve taken to Great Britain ranks a perfect 10 in my book. Why? The history, the architecture, the pubs, the Full English Breakfasts, the scenery, the museums, the cathedrals, the Bed and Breakfast establishments, the villages, cobblestones, castles,  Austen,  Tolkien, Sayers, Lewis. Should I go on? Long live the Queen!

6. What quote or saying perfectly sums up your life right now? If you can’t do perfect, how about one that comes close?

“Practically Perfect in Every Way” I think this quote can cover most anything because of the practically part! I don’t expect perfection on this earth. I’m looking forward to perfection when I see Jesus face to face.

Philippians 3:12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

7. How would you spend $300 today?

On baby equipment that a granny/baba would find useful to have in her home. If you have any suggestions let me know. What have you found useful? I’m thinking of looking at garage sales for some of this kind of stuff.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

March is an exciting month for our family. Our little Addy will be making her debut before the month is over. Our son and daughter-in-law will be a daddy and mommy for the first time. Our daughter and son-in-law celebrate 6 years of marriage. I’ll be a year older very soon and I intend to celebrate all month long. Spring arrives in March! Can I hear an amen!? Spring flowers will be popping up all over.

Thank you Joyce From This Side of the Pond for asking the questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Click over to join in the fun.

 

How Good it is To Thank the Lord ~ Hymn

 How Good It Is to Thank The Lord

How good it is to thank the Lord,
And praise to Thee, Most High, accord,
To show Thy love with morning light,
And tell Thy faithfulness each night;
Yea, good it is Thy praise to sing,
And all our sweetest music bring.

O Lord, with joy my heart expands,
Before the wonders of Thy hands;
Great works, Jehovah, Thou hast wrought,
Exceeding deep Thine every thought;
A foolish man knows not their worth,
Nor he whose mind is of the earth.

When as the grass the wicked grow,
When sinners flourish here below,
Then is there endless ruin nigh,
But Thou, O Lord, art throned on high;
Thy foes shall fall before Thy might,
The wicked shall be put to flight.

Thou, Lord, hast high exalted me
With royal strength and dignity;
With Thine anointing I am blest,
Thy grace and favor on me rest;
I thus exult o’er all my foes,
O’er all that would my cause oppose.

The righteous man shall flourish well,
And in the house of God shall dwell;
He shall be like a goodly tree,
And all his life shall fruitful be;
For righteous is the Lord and just,
He is my Rock, in Him I trust.

Words: The Psalter 1912, Music: St. Petersburg ~ Dimitri S. Bortniansky

Reflecting…

Reflecting on my many blessings this past week and thanking God.

This was taken out one of the windows at the Bellevue Art Museum in Bellevue, Washington.

1. A super filled Saturday where I re-connected with dear friends from my church growing up, my high school, and with my family and dear old Pop. It was good to see so many people I love in only 12 hours!

2. Beautiful Spring blooms are everywhere here in the Pacific Northwest and it makes me smile to look out my own kitchen window and see these Dogwood blooms.

3. A successful shopping trip where our daughter found her dress for a wedding she is in and I found a comfortable pair of shoes for our son’s wedding. Little blessings that will make for a more comfortable day of celebrating!

4. A Low Key weekend ahead. The last three weekends have been filled to the brim and it’s nice to know this weekend we’ll be able to catch our breath.

At the Art Museum…

5. Besides shopping on Tuesday Katie and I hopped across the street from the mall to the Bellevue Art Museum and enjoyed Madeleine Albright’s collection of pins together. No photos allowed of the pins but we found some other things to photograph!

Katie took this one looking up. Always remember to look up!

Do you have some blessings to reflect on this week? Here’s something more to consider…

I’m linking up with the lovely Susanne at Living to Tell the Story for Friday’s Fave Five and with Weekend Reflections.

Have a wonderful last weekend of April everyone!