In the Good Ole Summertime Hodgepodge

It’s Wednesday so time to answer the Hodgepodge questions of the week. Thank you to Jo From This Side of the Pond for the questions and the link!

1. Something you learned from your father? 

That following Jesus is worth the cost. When my Father was called by God and he repented of his sins and started following Jesus and obeying what the Bible teaches he realized what was missing in his religious life. When he was saved he was immediately aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit within him. All his religious efforts never gave him this presence and peace within. When he made the decision to be baptized in obedience his parents would not speak to him, his friends didn’t want to associate with him. He was treated like pariah. We were ostracized from the church we grew up in. This was a blessing in disguise. We ended up in the same church as my maternal grandmother. Over time my parents re-established the relationships that were severed because of his decision without compromising their Faith in Jesus.

2. Do you like onions? Raw or cooked? How about onion rings? What’s something you love to eat that calls for onions? 
Yes, yes, and yes. I really enjoy onions and the flavor they add to many dishes. Give me a nice huge slice on my burger, please. I like caramelized onions on steak or a burger, also. Salsa and pica de gallo are a couple favorites that call for onions. I could go on and on. In my teen years I would order the Stinko-burger at Twoheys in South Pasadena.

3. It’s officially summer (in the Northern hemisphere)…your favorite and least favorite things about the season?

Favorite: A freed up schedule

Least Favorite: Heat above 82 degrees with any humidity added to it.

4. When you think about the summers of your childhood what are two or three things that come to mind? 

Getting sunburned at Newport Beach, California. Collecting soda bottles while there and turning them into the store to get the deposit on them so we could buy a candy or a popsicle. When the sunburns were really bad our mom would soak old rags with vinegar and lay the rags on our sunburned bodies to ease the pain/heat.

Camping in a tent at Big Bear, California with cousins.

5.  A hot mess, the heat of the moment, beat the heat, if you can’t stand the heat, catch heat, in a dead heat…choose a ‘hot ‘phrase and tell us how it applies to your life right now.

At this stage of life you’ll find me beating the heat in any way I can. I look for shade. Stay in the shade. I prefer to eat inside at restaurants not out in the sun. Walk early before it gets too hot. Work in the yard early in the day. You get the picture…

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Celebrating the fact that school’s out for the summer. They had a very successful first year of homeschooling!! Our daughter-in-law is an amazing mom and teacher to our grands. Happy summertime to you!

Sons and Daughters Hodgepodge

Jo From This Side of the Pond is taking time out of her busy schedule to come up with questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thank you Jo!

1. “A daughter’s a daughter all her life, but a son’s a son til he takes a wife.” What say you? Elaborate.

Thankfully we have daughters in law who aren’t threatened by our sons continuing a good relationship with us. We are thankful for our sons who protect their wives and give them the stability and love that makes for a strong enough relationship so they don’t have to be threatened. As parents we can give them the space to grow in their relationships and not demand undue attention from them.

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

We are also so thankful for our son-in-law who loves our daughter and cares for her well.

We are thankful for each one of our children in their uniqueness and for each of our children-in-law/love who compliment each other well.

2. Something you’ve seen recently that was ‘cuter than a June bug’

Love the photos via texts we get of our kids and grandkids having fun and being cuter than a June bug…

3. ‘You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy ice cream and that’s pretty much the same thing.’ Agree or disagree?

I have lots of happy memories of ice cream growing up. Our Pop would stop at 31 Flavors when we were all in the car after church or somewhere else and he’d treat us to a 2 scoop cone. I would choose chocolate chip and orange sherbet. This always made me happy. One of my brothers always ordered vanilla.

Later in life I’d enjoy a good scoopage of chocolate ice cream in a glass add milk and enjoy it to the last drop.

And then there was the delicious concept of cooking up vanilla pudding and while it was hot pouring a good amount of pudding over a bowl of Chocolate Ice Cream. Don’t knock it till you try it. 🙂

Last time you had a serving of happiness ice cream?  Dish-cone-milkshake-sundae…which one do you choose? 

Sadly Ice cream doesn’t sit well with my digestive system these days. If I could, I’d pick a dish of Jamoca Almond Fudge, Vanilla Swiss Almond, or just plain old chocolate.

4. What is one way/area in which you’re currently ‘swimming against the tide‘? 

Hate to bring it up but I’m in the process of losing the same 10 pounds I’ve been losing and gaining these last several years. Hopefully this time around I’ll go beyond the 10 and lose another 10. The good news is that I’m just shy of the first 10 pounds and things are fitting better already.

Speaking of swimming our little 5 year old grand is learning to swim and has abandoned her life vest. Great job Addy!

5. Three things you’re looking forward to this summer?

Enjoying summer fruit like nectarines and peaches.

Spending as much time as possible with our kids and grands.

Entertaining visitors.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

It was wonderful to see all the celebrations for the Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee!

Three Cheers for the Red White and Blue!

It’s the last Wednesday in May and time for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thank you to Jo From This Side of the Pond for the questions and being the hostess with the mostess.

1. It’s National Wine Day (May 25)…do you like wine? Red or white? Dry or sweet? Do you have a favorite?

Yes, mostly red and mostly dry. We aren’t regular drinkers of wine but when we had it more often we enjoyed merlot from Chateau Ste Michelle Winery in Washington State. We moved to red blends more recently.

Have you ever been to California wine country? Or any other wine region?

We’ve been to California wine country North of Napa/Sonoma, Central Coast California and in the Santa Ynez area northwest of Santa Barbara. We also used to live close to Woodinville where Ste Michelle and other wineries are located. Chateau Ste Michelle was one of the favorite places to take our out of town visitors. The grounds are gorgeous and the free tours are fun.

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Our niece and her hubby in 2016 at Chateau Ste Michelle.

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What’s a dish you make that calls for wine? 

Sangria. LOL Seriously though a yummy mushroom sauce that calls for white wine and cream. Oh and this memory popped up when I searched sauces on my blog.

Sat. July 5-Chipping Campden 016This was my proper pie with all the trimmings.  The description from the menu: Chicken, Ham and asparagus short-crust pastry pie (with top and bottom), white wine sauce, new potatoes and peas. It was delicious. We had a fun conversation with our waitress on “proper pie”. She was appalled when she ordered pie at another establishment and it came to her with no upper or lower crust but just a round piece of pastry propped up along one side of the filling. It was cute when she exclaimed “how can they call that pie?!”

This was in Chipping Campden (Cotswolds, England) at the Eight Bells.

2. What’s something you’ve whined about lately? 

Oh boy. I’m trying to eliminate whining in my life. I’ll go with our internet connection and connectivity. It’s a Country hazard!

3. Last time you were ‘wined and dined’? Tell us about it. 

I’ll go with Mother’s day when we were visiting our kids on the West side of the mountains.

4. Three cheers for_____________________.

…the Red, White and Blue!

5. This will be the last Hodgepodge in the month of May. Somehow next Wednesday the calendar rolls into June. Before we go though, sum up your May in twelve words or less. 

A little bit of travel, sunshine, good eats, rain, and loved ones.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Hope you all have a good Memorial Day Weekend and that you can pause and remember those who died for our freedom and protection.

Memories Hodgepodge

 

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It’s Wednesday and that means Jo From This Side of the Pond is asking questions for us to answer. Thank you Joyce!

1. What’s something that makes you feel stressed? How do you cope? 

Confrontation makes me stressed. If I can I walk away, I do. One of my coping mechanisms is to avoid it altogether. That’s okay unless I’m the cause for the need of the confrontation. Asking for forgiveness is a good solution. There are other situations where being a peacemaker is the solution.

2. What’s a food you eat that evokes a memory? Explain. 

Borsch (Borscht) evokes lots of memories of growing up. I hated it when I was little. The cabbage was not a pleasant texture to my palate. Having to sit at the table until I finished my bowl is not a good memory. I sat there for what seems hours after everyone else left the table. My solution was rebellious and I suffered for it by the reprimanding from my mom. While I was alone in the kitchen I decided the solution to my problem was to pour my bowl back in the pot. This would have worked except for the fact that I had soaked lots of bread in the bowl of soup. It was clear to my mom that I dumped my bowl of soup back in the pot. Oye, was I in trouble!

I love borsch now! Here’s our mom’s recipe.

3. This week’s Hodgepodge lands on National Visit Your Relatives Day. Will you celebrate by visiting a relative? If so is travel involved? Geographically, who is your nearest relative (not counting those living in your own house)?

No, I will not be visiting a relative. Our nearest relatives live 8 miles away from us. They are enjoying sunshine elsewhere right now. I will travel to their property to water the garden and maybe check the chicken coop for eggs. Our other relatives (children, siblings, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins) live in Western Washington, California, Colorado, Texas, North Carolina, New York, Illinois, Florida and Israel. Dear and my parents, grandparents, uncles and all but one aunt are deceased.

I will see some of our California relatives and friends when I travel to Southern California for a Memorial Service in June.

4. What’s your most frequently used emoji?

Probably a heart or smiley face.

Do you make more phone calls, send more emails, or mainly text to communicate with friends and family? 

It used to be phone calls and emails but now it’s mainly text. Phone calls are few and far between because our country connections are dismal.

5. Tell us the story behind a favorite piece of furniture. 

We have an eclectic collection of furniture with lots of stories behind them but one of our newer purchases of an old piece is my current favorite. I wrote about it here.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

It’s Ice Cream weather for these two! Love seeing their faces via texts!

A Bright Hodgepodge

It’s time again for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thank you Jo From This Side of the Pond for asking the questions.

1. What do you never get tired of? 

A beautiful sunny and puffy cloud filled day.

2. My mother made the best ________________________________. 

So many things that she made were the best but I’ll choose her blintzes.

You can see our mom’s recipe and process that we learned and copied here.

3. What machine or appliance in your home aggravates you the most? Why? 

If my machines and appliances are working I’m happy for that!  That said, the oven we have in this home has a loud fan that is annoying. That is something new that we haven’t experienced with other ovens we’ve had in other homes.

4. What are three things that brighten up your day when they happen? 

An unexpected card or letter in the mail always brightens my day. A surprise visit from our kids. A photo messaged to us of our grandchildren.

5. Thursday (May 12) is National Limerick Day…write a limerick about relating to spring weather, spring blooms, or a spring event (five lines, the first two lines rhyme with the fifth line, the third and fourth lines rhyme together)

May brings with it much to discover
With growth and color to uncover
But do not neglect
and do not forget
To love and honor your Mother

and here’s another one that’s a life lesson and not just Spring related…

There is an old Book that is treasured
With worth and wisdom unmeasured
Stick to it’s truth
And value it’s worth
Or your life will be tragically severed

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

It was so good to catch up with family and friends on the Westside of the mountains over Mother’s Day weekend.

May, the Present and Past Hodgepodge

At the end of April and beginning of May in 2014 me and our daughter were on a journey from Seattle to Jacksonville North Carolina to set her up in an apartment before her husband returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. On May 3rd we were at the Biltmore Estate and Gardens in Asheville, North Carolina. Talk about beautiful May flowers!

Speaking of May flowers Jo From This Side of the Pond has some timely questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge.

1. May Day! May Day!…last time you shouted for help? Or maybe just asked? 

I was shouting for help the whole month of April and mostly from my spouse. There were others I called into service to help me but the best help by my side for huge functions is Dear. We can depend on each other for good consistent effective help in getting an event ready and done. If my sisters lived nearby I’d call on them. There’s a level of good help that comes instinctively. People who walk into a situation and know what needs to be done without asking a million questions. Someone who doesn’t have to ask but sees and gets the task done. When I can’t depend on that kind of help I’m learning to write out detailed instructions and steps to execute an event. I tape those instructions on the kitchen cabinets at church so all can follow along and get things done step by step.

2. What’s something you may do this month? 

I may schedule myself a massage.

3.  ‘April showers bring May flowers’...is this true where you live? What’s blooming? What’s your favorite springtime blossom?

The daffodils have bloomed and are waning with the Lily of the Valley starting to sprout. The Johnny Jump Ups are showing. The first harvest of rhubarb is just about ready. The peonies are sprouting but won’t flower for a bit yet. The most healthy blooms right now are the dandelions! By the end of May we will see lots of beautiful blooms.

Some of my favorite Springtime blossoms are lilacs, azaleas, peonies, and wisteria.

4. What’s something you learned at your mother’s knee?

That the Bible is the book to cherish.

5. Share a thought about motherhood. 

Motherhood is a privilege to cherish and not take for granted and grandparenthood is one of the rewards for enduring, the cherry on top!

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

More beautiful blooms from the Biltmore 8 years ago…

A very Happy Mother’s Day is wished for any mom who visits here!

And…

May the fourth be with you! 🙂

A Valuable Hodgepodge

It’s the last Wednesday in April and here’s a peek into how our backyard is shaping up. We see lots of green growth. I mowed the lawns on Monday and soon perennials will fill in much of the bare spots. We bought some solar lights that Dear installed around the shade structure. What’s fun about them is that we have a remote to turn them on and off.

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

1. What does the word values mean to you personally?

Something worthy and true that will guide me on the right path.

Where did your values come from?

My values initially were instilled in me by my parents, shaped by God and then deepened by the Word of God.

What are some of the values that have guided you throughout your life? 

This verse I read at the end of Ecclesiastes sums it up:

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgement, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. 

2. Your favorite vanilla flavored something? 

Haagen Daz Vanilla Swiss Almond Ice Cream.

3. What’s something you’ve seen/done recently that you found to be very difficult, very confusing, very helpful, very interesting, or very special. Elaborate. 

I’ll pick very special.

On Easter day after church and lunch we traveled to the Kettle River for a very special baptism. You can read about it here.

4. Something you own and love that is violet in color? 

Love is a strong word for what I own that is violet. This is the one display in our home that has some ‘violet’ items on it and it’s above our master bathroom toilet. The photo of me and Dear from 1973 is something I love.

5. Do you have vacation plans on the calendar this summer? Tell us more. 

Nothing set in stone of any kind but we are toying with the idea of making it to England come September.

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

Speaking of the word value, I value good relationships that are tried and true. The kind that even when you haven’t seen each other for a long time you can step into easily and be in sync.

I value my role as a parent.

They are adults now and our relationship has changed as it should and it’s good to see them in loving relationships.

I value my role as a grandparent ‘baba’.

So thankful we only live 8 miles away from these two and that we have regular interaction with them.

I value my relationship with God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, three in one. The sacrifice Jesus made for mankind on the cross opened up the door of peace with God and through repentance and calling on the name of Jesus I was born again to a new life in Him. This is the most foundational and important relationship in my life. It’s value cannot be exceeded.

Well here we are in the last few days of April. Our April was filled to the brim with good things and some sad things, too. Looking forward to May flowers.

If Memory Serves Me Hodgpodge

Time for the Hodgepodge where Jo From This Side of the Pond asks the questions and we all answer.

1. What’s something you wish you had spent more time doing when you were younger? Explain. 

Memorizing portions of scripture in the Bible since the verses I did memorize when I was young are easier to call up now!

2. Who inspires you to be better. Tell us how. 

The obvious answer is Jesus because He was on earth as a man and lived perfectly. Looking to Him the Holy Spirit helps us to change. Many others at any moment inspire me when they shine in their love and responses. They inspire me to be better, too.

3. Share a money saving tip with us. 

Splitting a meal when you go out instead of taking half home.

4. It’s National Garlic Day…are you a fan? Your favorite dish that includes garlic? 

 

Yes, I am a fan of garlic. Many dishes call for garlic which I enjoy. My husband’s Tomato Rice Soup is a stand out that includes garlic. Hummus is a favorite, too.

5. Would you describe yourself as decisive or indecisive. Elaborate. 

Mostly decisive. If I’m indecisive I’ll do the research to make a decision.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Enjoying recalling all the glorious events over Easter Weekend.

This little guy turned 3 on Saturday and Fireman was the theme!

Our Easter/Birthday company are still with us today. They fly home this evening. I’m guessing my visits will be late.

Easter’s Coming Hodgepodge

It’s time to answer the questions of the week that Jo From This Side of the Pond has gathered for us.

1. Do you celebrate Easter? If so what are your plans this year? Did you have egg hunts as a kid? 

Yes, indeed, we celebrate Easter, our risen Savior and what His death, burial and resurrection means to all of us. We will be in church Sunday morning and then gather at our kids home to watch the littles hunt for eggs and have a meal together. All of our family and our daughter-in-law’s family will be together and this year dear friends will be with us, too.

My growing up family did not have egg hunts. We did enjoy hard boiled eggs and hitting them on top of our siblings heads to crack them before we peeled them.

When our kids were little we had hunts of m&m’s and other candy in cupcake paper sleeves around the house before we went to church.

One Easter when our kids were married and before grandkids we had a hunt in the yard with a golden Easter egg that had $50 in it!

2. What’s your favorite bread to find in a bread basket? 

Any bread that is fresh and soft. I have favorites that go with certain dishes. I love many kinds of bread, French, Italian, Rye, Farmers, Sourdough, Challah, Pita, Lavash, Flat Bread, Kulich, Paska, Pishky, Indian Fry Bread…

So thankful I’m gluten tolerant!

3. Your favorite chick flick? 

Pride and Prejudice, the original BBC version with Colin Firth.

4.Tax day is rapidly approaching in the US of A…what’s something you currently find ‘taxing’? 

There’s a thing I’m in charge of that is mostly out of my control. I just have to be there and make it work at the last minute. I’m in charge of other people who will show up and depend on me to tell them what to do for this out of my control event. That is not my comfort zone. I’m working hard to organize the un-organizable. I’m feeling taxed!

5. Have you ever ridden in a taxi? Do you have a funny-scary-crazy-interesting taxi story to share? Do you use any of the newer taxi-like services such as Uber? 

Yes, I have stories. Dear and I had an awful, harrowing ride from O’Hare airport to downtown Chicago for one of his conferences. You know how you have to stand in line and wait for the next available taxi? Well we got a real doozie. We should have refused his ride and waited for another after he opened the trunk and there was no room for our luggage because he had a molded plastic outdoor chair in the trunk. What? Then the taxi smelled of tobacco. Ugh. Then his driving skills were horrendous. We think he might have lived in his taxi. Oye. We praised the Lord when we made it to the hotel.

When we were in D.C. for another conference I ordered a taxi to take me to a Hillwood Estate a Russian treasures house in the outskirts of D.C. When the taxi driver saw where I wanted to go he wasn’t pleased because it would take too much of his time instead of getting quick easy money making rides from the conference attendees. Short hops from the hotels to the convention center where the conference was being held. He drove me to the convention center stopped and had me get out. I was a wee bit shocked at this treatment. At least I was a little closer to the estate where I desired to go. The attendant they had outside the convention center managing all the taxis found me a willing driver to take me to the estate. I tipped him well.

We have used Uber services.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Last year’s Easter egg hunt at Baba and Gramps’. This year JJ’s 3rd birthday lands on Easter weekend which makes for a very full fun filled weekend.

Apologizing ahead of time if my visits are scarce this week.

Taking Time for the Hodgepodge

This past weekend we celebrated Addy’s 5th birthday on Saturday and my belated birthday on Sunday since our whole family was together. Addy loaned me her birthday crown for my celebration. She’s wearing her queenly outfit that her Granny bought her for her birthday. Her favorite color right now is yellow.

Jo From This Side of the Pond has some timely questions for the Hodgpodge this week. Click over to join in the fun.

1. What’s something you never seem to have enough time for? 

Being retired, I have a lot of time to do a lot of things. It’s a lie that convinces me I don’t have time. It’s an excuse. Getting my heart behind something I need to do is the struggle. The thing that is the biggest struggle for me is consistency with exercise. I should be getting my heart rate up everyday with a 30 minute cardio workout. That ‘not enough time’ excuse is really time I wasted away doing something else that isn’t as important.

I’ve done a simple exercise in the past to show just how much I can accomplish in 15-20 minutes time. Set a timer for 15 or 20 minutes and get after a task you have been putting off. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish in that time. Do that once an hour for 8 hours in a day and you’ll really be impressed with your accomplishments.

2. If you could turn back time and relive just one day in your life, which day would you choose and why? 

Truthfully I wouldn’t want to relive any day just as it was. I’d want to go back with what I know now and improve on the day by being totally there, relaxed, aware of what was going on around me, engaged and content.

3. Something you enjoy making that takes a long time to prepare/cook? 

Blintzes or what some call crepes. First we make the blintzes and then we fill them, roll them with either savory or sweet fillings and bake them to enjoy, with a crowd.

You can see the process and recipe by clicking here.

4. A time recently where you needed/gave yourself a ‘time out’? How do you do that? 

I give myself a ‘time out’ at least once a week. I choose a day that is event free and stay in my robe for most of the morning. When there isn’t a scheduled event in a day it is a most relaxing day for me even if I end up doing a project or two or three with no time limits or deadlines.

5. Something you’ve done recently that you’d describe as a ‘good time’? 

This past weekend all of our kids were together and that’s always a good time. We ate together, partied together, went to church together, listened to each other commiserating with one another, laughed together, and prayed everyone back home safely.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Our dear granddaughter Addy turned 5 this past weekend and we celebrated her with a wonderful Tea Party that her mom put together.

Addy’s mommy made the cake and in the next photo you’ll see the teapot pinata she made with Addy getting the first blows in to try and break it open for all the treats that were inside!

Full Tea Party post is here.

Happy Hodgepodge everyone. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and scroll through my post. I appreciate it!