Traditional Hodgepodge

1. Tradition…how tightly do you cling to tradition when it comes to holiday gatherings and celebrations? For instance do you always do the cooking, never eat at home, always go to grandma’s, never miss the parade, always watch football, never change the menu, always eat at 2 PM, etc.?

No set time, no set home, sometimes I cook it all, sometimes I take a dish to someone’s home, but never change the main menu. You have to have the turkey, the stuffing, the gravy, the yams with marshmallows on top. Even though I don’t have room for pie please keep the pumpkin and the pecan in the round up!  Feel free to add interesting appetizers and drinks. Those don’t have to stay the same. I always miss the parade and never watch football on Thanksgiving but I’m okay if you have to.

Have you ever celebrated Christmas or Thanksgiving away from hearth, home, and family? How did that feel?

Our first married Thanksgiving everyone we knew and were related to were out of town so Dear and I found a restaurant in Huntington Beach/Fountain Valley that was serving Thanksgiving with all the trimmings. It was so weird. I think this motivated me to learn to cook a turkey and all the fixins so we would never have to do that again.

We have celebrated Christmas away from home in the past. We do enjoy Christmas mornings at home with all our kids emerging from the guest rooms for our stockings and then Swedish Pancakes and then opening the other presents under the tree.

2. Help…is it easy for you to ask for help or are you a do-it-yourselfer? How is that a good/bad thing?

I am such a do-it-yourselfer because I don’t like to impose on others or so I like to say. The reality of this is that this is more of a personal flaw of mine having to deal with pride more than anything else. I’m practicing in giving things up and letting others help more in my life.

3. Abundance…what is there an abundance of in your kitchen?

Oh my, I have an abundance of pots and pans and serving bowls and plates and cups and goblets, and platters, etc. etc.

4. Name…the smallest thing you’re thankful for? the biggest?

The smallest is food and drink. The biggest is family and relational harmony.

5. Key...What do you think is the key to living a more grateful life?

Knowing what a miracle it is that Jesus died for my sins so I can have peace with God. And after this knowledge, praying for others before I pray for myself.

6. State your own random thought here.

On this Thanksgiving week and for this Thanksgiving Hodgepodge I am so thankful for all my blogging friendships. You mean so much to me and I’ve enjoyed growing close through your posts and life experiences that have touched my life and enriched my life. Thank you for keeping on and continuing to post about the everyday and the beautiful things in your life!

Choosing joy despite the fact that I do not have a sink or a stove top in my kitchen for the next several days. Our counter tops were due to be installed by Wednesday but the company we are dealing with is having major issues with their machine that cuts the tops so we might not be kitchen functional until Monday of next week. So we are choosing not to rant but to enjoy this little glitch in our everyday adventures at this old house. So grateful to be invited to our dear friends for Thanksgiving again this year!

Thank you to Joyce from This Side of the Pond for asking the questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends and family in the U.S.A.

Historical Hodgepodge

1. What takes you out of your comfort zone?

A very manicured home or a completely cluttered home. I like something in the middle with comfortable places to sit.  Driving on snow and ice throws me over the edge. Lying in a dentist’s chair makes my blood pressure go up. Right now because my master bathroom is totally gutted (see photo above) I’m way out of my comfort zone.

2. Your least favorite spice?

This is a tough one for me. I like a variety of spices but not used in an overpowering way. I’ll say my least favorite is curry.

3. What’s a small change you’d like to make?

Flossing so I can use up the 500 free floss containers the dental hygienist has gifted me over the years. BTW: she wouldn’t think this is a small change.

4. Do you enjoy visiting historic homes?  What historic home near you is open to visitors? Have you been?

Yes, and yes. The closest historical buildings I’ve been to are located at Bothell Landing. Yes I’ve been to the landing but I’ve only seen the outside of the buildings.

Southern Living rounded up eleven of the best in the southern part of the US and they’re as follows-

Monticello (Jefferson’s home in Virginia), Nathaniel Russel House (Charleston SC), Swan House (Atlanta), Ernest Hemingway’s home (Key West), The Biltmore (Vanderbilt home in Asheville NC), Mount Vernon (Washington’s home in Virgina), San Francisco Plantation (Garyville, Louisiana), Windsor Ruins (Port Gibson Mississippi), Longue Vue House and Gardens (New Orleans), Whitehall (Palm Beach FL), and Pebble Hill Plantation (Thomasville GA)

Have you been to any on the list?

img317In the early 1970’s my best friend and I made a trip east from Southern California and one of the places we visited was Mount Vernon. I have a post about my first plane ride and all we saw and experienced here.

Biltmore 004

Biltmore 002Our daughter and I were at The Biltmore in Asheville in May of 2014 on a cross country trip we made. I have several posts of the gardens and grounds. One of the posts and photos is here.

If so, of the homes you’ve visited which one was your favorite?

I’ll have to say that the Biltmore was my favorite of these homes.

Of the homes listed which would you most like to visit?

Since I’ve never been to New Orleans I’ll say Longue Vue House and Gardens.

5. What’s something you think will be obsolete in ten years? Does that make you sad or glad?

Dvd’s and dvd players. I’m pretty neutral about it.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

We are having an early family Thanksgiving this weekend. We are going over the mountains and through the woods to granddaughter’s house. She’ll be 8 months old on November 20th. We’re slowly accepting some big changes at this old house. We are finally saying that Dear is retired instead of unemployed. With that fact there are many new choices to consider.

Here we are halfway through November! How did that happen?

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

Out with the Sink Hodgepodge…

1. In a rut, in a jam, in the groove, out of sync, off balance, out of touch…which saying best fits some area of your life currently (or recently)? Explain.

I’m literally out of a sink. The only thing that is still standing in our master bath is the toilet. The photo at the top of this post is what this area in our master bedroom looked like on Monday. Demolition started after I took the photo. Because of this chaos I am out of sync and off balance right now.

We are extending the bathroom wall into the bedroom by a foot and the wall will go all the way on the right instead of having that useless desk area. A new double vanity should be delivered on Tuesday. The new toilet will be in a different spot. Instead of a tub/shower unit we installing a shower stall. New flooring and two new smaller windows in different spots which means the siding on the outside of the house will need to be re-done, too. Dear is doing all the work himself. He will get some advice from a plumber along the way.

2. What is it about somebody else’s style of work (coworker/employee/shared volunteer project/household chore) that makes you crazy? Why?

Oh dear, this question can get me in trouble. I get antsy around laid back, do it the last minute kind of people. I might start tapping my foot wondering when the job is going to get started. Now I’ve learned over the years that these types of workers still get the job done but I’d rather not be there to watch. I like to plan and plan and make a list and start things early and have everything ready on time. For unplanned last minute things I’m good with fly by the seat of your pants.

3. What’s a tradition that always makes you feel at home?

Having a meal with family and friends sitting together around a table holding hands while saying a prayer of thanksgiving to God before we eat.

4. A favorite song with a girl’s name in the title or lyrics? Any reason why this is a particular favorite?

Michelle by the Beatles. Beatlemania was alive and well in my junior high and high school years.

5. Share a favorite quote, verse, or saying relating to gratitude or thanksgiving.

Psalm 118: 28-29 ~

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
    you are my God; I will extol you.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

On Sunday I posted this for Bread for the Journey at Mennonite Girls Can Cook Blog.

More and more it seems the world around me is choosing to come against the truth of God’s Word. Some of these voices, strong and bold, can confuse me and sometimes because of the labels they attach to anyone who does not have their strong point of view I am silenced. What should I do? …read more at this link.

I’ll be linking up with Joyce From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge. She asks the questions and we answer them. Thank you for stopping by and reading my answers. I appreciate my fellow bloggers and others who stop by, too.

Interrupted Hodgepodge

1. What does/did Halloween look like at your house this year? Did you decorate? Pick pumpkins? Carve pumpkins? Expect trick or treaters? Wear a costume to a party or event? Make a costume? Feel glad you didn’t have to come up with a costume? Cook a Halloween themed treat? Eat all the leftover candy?

Minimal decorations on the front porch that I’ve collected over the years. Not much but enough for me. I’m working on this post in between the doorbell and knocks and shouts of “trick or treat”. So far we’ve had 35 costumed cuties.

We went to the pumpkin patch a couple Sundays ago with the newest member of our family and she was the cutest pumpkin in the patch.

This is the closest we came to costumes this year. We were at a favorite garden store today and they had these props to take photos with.

2. What are you waiting for? Elaborate

We are in the process of replacing counter tops, sink, cooktop, and back splash. All the old back splash has been removed so things are looking a bit untidy around here as we wait on the quartz guys to template and prepare and install the quartz for us. Then dear can get to work on the back splash. (Is that two words or one?)

We’ve now had 40 trick or treaters at the door.

3. Do you wish you were friendlier, braver, more creative, more athletic, or something else? Explain.

How about skinnier. I’ve put on a lot of weight since I hit 60 and I don’t like it much.

4. When it comes time to paint are you a do-it-yourselfer or do you hire someone? What was the last paint job completed at your house? What room most needs painting now? How do you feel about wallpaper?

Dear’s father had a house painting business and Dear was trained well. Dear does all the painting at this old house and any of the houses we’ve lived in. No room in this house is in desperate need of painting. After we gut our master bath that will be the next room that will get a fresh coat of paint. We haven’t wall papered anything in any house since our 2nd home in 1976. I can enjoy wallpaper but hate removing wallpaper.

44 trick or treaters so far and #44 really needs to go home and go to sleep, just a little cranky.

5. What is one specific thing you felt gratitude for in the month of October?

I am so grateful for our first annual family hunting trip at our son, DIL, and Addy’s home in northeastern Washington. All of our kids, spouses and our little grand were together under one roof for a few nights and we had a great time.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

We have so enjoyed the fall colors this year in our area. So thankful to God for all the seasons of the year and the beauty that we can find in each one.

Dear and I walked the river trail on Sunday afternoon and I have a lot of photos to share from that walk. The reflection of this tree in the river was beautiful.

Thank you to Joyce From Across the Pond for asking the questions for Hodgepodge Wednesday. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read my posts. I appreciate your visits!

Just when I thought cranky #44 was the last trick or treater we had another wave and we are up to 51! It’s after eight and all is quiet in the neighborhood so I think I’ll turn off the lights and call it a good night with 51!

Before I could turn out the lights 4 tall teenagers came by to grab a handful of candy so our final count was 55!

My Surprising Life Hodgepodge

1. What’s surprised you most about your life or life in general? 
Looking back the things that have surprised me most in life are the people God has put in my life, the places and adventures I have enjoyed and the protection from God that I benefited from on these adventures.
Here’s a short list of some surprises in my life:
That God brought Dear and I together during our time as part of a Christian Rock Band performing in the U.S. and Great Britain.
That we had three children.
That we moved to Washington State away from all our extended family for Dear to pursue a whole new career.
That our three children married helpmates who love God and we’ve enjoyed so many adventures with all of them.
That through my blogging experience God blessed me with the Mennonite Girls Can Cook. Who would have guessed I would be part of this group of women who love God, their families, are growing disciples of Jesus and who love to feed orphans and widows with our royalties? The adventures I’ve had with this group alone is mind boggling.
That we are now enjoying our first little grand.
That it looks like we’ll be moving away from the City to the Country. I’ve been a city mouse all my life…
That God is good to me and has surprised me my whole life long.
2.  Sweet potato fries, sweet potato casserole, a baked sweet potato, a bowl of butternut squash soup, a caramel apple or a slice of pumpkin pie…you have to order one thing on this list right now. Which one do you go for?
It’s a toss up between butternut squash soup and sweet potato fries.

3. What’s a famous book set in your home state? Have you read it? On a scale of 1-5 (5 is fantastic) how many stars does it rate?

I went to Goodreads and looked at their list of top 200 books from Washington State and I haven’t read even one. My daughter read all the Twilight series. The top votes went to Snow Falling on Cedars. The only book on the list that looks interesting to me is The Boys in the Boat.
4. There are 60 days until Christmas…have you started your shopping? How do you stay organized for the holidays?

No, I have not shopped at all yet. We have just had our family discussion on what Christmas will look like this year. The only thing that is organized for the holidays is the fact that I have everything in the attic in it’s proper containers. The holidays that I choose to gather decor for have their own bins, etc. I hope our kitchen and master bath renovations will be completed (kitchen) before Thanksgiving and (master bath) before Christmas.

5. October 26th is National Tennessee Day. Have you ever lived or spent any time in Tennessee? Is this a state you’d like to visit one day? The top rated tourist attractions in Tennessee are-

SeaJack #6 010The Great Smoky Mountain National Park (Gatlinburg area), Elvis’s Graceland (Memphis), Birth of the Music Biz (Memphis and Nashville), Dollywood (Pigeon Forge), Tennessee’s Military Heritage (many battlefields), The Hermitage (Andrew Jackson’s home), The Parthenon (Nashville), Oak Ridge American Museum of Science and Energy, Chattagnooa and the Tennessee Valley Railroad, Downtown Knoxville, Lookout Mountain, The Titanic Museum (Pigeon Forge), The Museum of Appalachia (Clinton), and The Lost Sea Adventure (Sweetwater)

How many on this list have you seen? Which one on the list would you most like to see?

SeaJack #6 025Back in May of 2014 our daughter and I drove from Seattle to Jacksonville, North Carolina to set her up in an apartment just before her Marine husband returned from a long tour of duty in Afghanistan. We drove through part of Tennessee to get to North Carolina. Our first stop was Hendersonville to spend the night at the home of one of Andrew’s Marine buddies who was in Afghanistan with him. The next day we drove through part of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and had a sandwich in Gatlinburg. We drove through Pigeon Forge to get to Gatlinburg. That is one weird town. Click here and you’ll see my post from our drive through Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.

I’ll have to pass on traveling to Tennessee again.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Mommy and Addy. We had 7 days enjoying her and watching her every move from October 12-19. She cut her first tooth upon turning 7 months old.

Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond who asks the questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge. And thank you to everyone who took the time to read my answers. I appreciate your time and comments.

 

Directional Hodgepodge

1. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your sense of direction? 1=can’t find my way out of a paper bag and 10=if I’ve been somewhere once I can find it blindfolded ten years later.

When I drive somewhere I’ll never forget how to get there again. When I’m in the middle of a large city I need help knowing which way is what when looking at a map. I always depend on Dear or our daughter Katie to point me in the right direction. I’m not afraid to ask directions. So I’ll say 5!

I would be lost in the London Underground without these two getting me on the correct train!

When was the last time you looked at/used a map you could hold in your hand? (phones don’t count!) 

I love maps and look at them frequently, especially when planning a road trip. I looked at a map last week.

back east, down south, out west, up north

Choose one of these directional expressions and tell us why you chose it.

I’ll choose “Go West Young Man” even though it’s not on the list because I wrote a paper about Horace Greeley when I was in junior high school and he was credited with popularizing this phrase. He was a newspaper editor and author. Greeley favored westward expansion. (1811-1872)

2. Did you do more talking or listening yesterday? Is that typical?

Hmmm…I think it was 50-50. When I wake up in the morning Dear has been up for a few hours already and he is ready to have a listening ear and then I have to remind him I really can’t listen to a technical description of how the gears work in a starter and why the car didn’t start up this morning before I’ve had my morning coffee. When I’ve been up for a while I might take over on the talking.

Describe your yesterday in one word.

Staging: We have a realtor coming over Wednesday morning to check out our property and give us an assessment and suggestions on selling our home.

3. Time, money, water-power-resources, opportunity…which one on the list are you most guilty of wasting? What might you do to change that?

Oh boy, you are hitting us hard this week. I’ll say water-power-resources. I have a long way to go to be a conservationist.

4. Did  your family take regular vacations when you were a kid?

The simple answer is no. I was in college before I took my first plane trip with a friend.

Tell us something you remember about a family road trip from your own childhood.

We did take a few road trips and those were always north from Los Angeles to Central California, San Francisco and Oregon. The black and white above is from Crater Lake. We always visited friends or family and stayed in their homes when we traveled unless we were camping. We had a few camping trips to Big Bear and a camping trip to San Clemente State beach.

I remember getting up in the “rear package shelf” of the car to look up at the sky as we drove along. When in 6th grade my teacher noticed I had trouble seeing the black board and suggested to my parents to get my eyes checked. I was nearsighted. When I got my first pair of glasses I was amazed at how clear things were when driving in the car.

5. If you could grow anything you wanted, what would you grow? Why?

I would love to grow avocados (tree). I enjoy a variety of dishes that are great with avocado and a favorite treat is avocado on toast.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Speaking of road trips, we are tripping over to this little girls house soon.

Looking forward to some cuddle time and seeing all she’s learned since our last visit together.

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

Thank you for visiting here today and for your comments. I do appreciate each one.

Berry Pickin Hodgepodge

 
1.  Have you ever spent time on a farm?
Yes.
Tell us a little bit about it.
When I was young my family stayed with Russian farming friends in Central California. I did not enjoy the fresh milk from their cow. My family would also drive to different farms in southern California to pick fruit for my mom’s canning endeavors. The black and white above is of the whole family picking something, maybe berries of some kind. I can also remember picking sour cherries, about 40 pounds total when we were done. She would cook and can the cherries for a sweetener for tea. A favorite with my Russian relatives. As an adult when we were in England we enjoyed an afternoon on a farm picking raspberries, picture below.
This was in 1973 or 1974. In 2006 we stayed on a sheep farm in England (bed and breakfast) for a couple nights. We enjoyed the farm noises and the walks along the Derwent River that the farm was adjacent to.
Since being part of the Mennonite Girls Can Cook I’ve enjoyed times on a couple farms and at Farm markets in Abbotsford, B.C.
Have you ever grown your own pumpkin? Been on a hayride? Driven a tractor? Milked a cow?
no, yes, no, no…
I’m pretty sure I’ve been on a hayride somewhere but I can’t pull up the time and place.
2. What’s something younger you would like about you now?
 That I’m still smiling even though I don’t look like I did in that Berry picking photo with those cool shades.

3. What are three things you’d like to do more often? Three things you’d like to do less often?

Walk, read, and pray more often. Eat, b***h, jump to conclusions less often.

4. What’s on your nachos?

When I have them which isn’t very often, cheese, jalapenos, and diced Anaheim peppers.

5. What’s the most random thing in your purse or wallet? Does it need to stay there?

A tape measure might be the most random thing and it doesn’t need to stay there but it comes in handy when shopping for certain items that need to fit in defined or tight spaces.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Too cute not to share! She’s 6-1/2 months and this is her trusty furry friend Rayna.

Linking up to Hodgepodge Wednesday with Joyce From This Side of the Pond. She comes up with the questions and we answer them.

We are resuming our small group at our home on Wednesday night. It will be fun to see who shows up. Hope you all are having a good week.