Heart Felt Hodgepodge

1. When’s the last time you had a heart to heart talk with someone? A change of heart? Experienced figurative ‘heart failure?’

We’ve had lots of heart to heart talks recently around our Pop’s failing health.

A change of heart: I’ve had a change of heart by praying for some folks in my life that I’ve wanted to give a piece of my mind to or punch. Praying for them gives me a different perspective.

Heart Failure: Watching the Olympics and seeing some crashes or falls or amazing spins in the air. Yikes!

2. Champagne, chocolates, flowers…what’s your Valentine pleasure? Any special plans for the day?

A confession about the heart shaped box of chocolates above. I had never in my life received a heart shaped fancy box of candy on Valentine’s day and a few years ago I decided to treat myself to one. I’ve received flowers or chocolates (not in a heart shaped box) or a nice card but that evasive heart shaped box of chocolates was haunting me. It haunts no more! See’s Candy’s are favorites in these parts.

I like all three of those things but I don’t need them on Valentine’s Day. Tonight we are having our weekly small group gathering at our house. No one had plans so they all opted to continue on. I did a little decorating for the day.

3. Are you a hopeless romantic or do you fall more in the category of practical and pragmatic? What’s a gesture you find romantic?

Absolutely more practical or pragmatic. I find kindness, encouragement and service on Dear’s part to be romantic.

4. Do you ask a lot of questions in life or are you pretty content with what you already know?

I wonder a lot and that’s why I named my blog The Happy Wonderer. My wondering leads me to research and find out, to travel and see, and sometimes that involves verbal questions.

5. Your favorite power ballad?

First off, I had to google Power Ballad to see what it was. I’ll have to go with Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers. I went to our Junior/Senior prom at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in 1967 and my date made reservations for dinner at the famous Cocoanut Grove where the Righteous Brothers sang. Pretty amazing. Then in 1968 I was watching television when presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was shot at the Ambassador Hotel. Talk about a heart failure moment. If I hadn’t packed away my scrapbook from those years I would have taken a photo of some memorabilia from that time. Here’s what I wore for the prom and the Righteous Brothers. My dear mom sewed this dress for me.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Bottoms up! Still basking in the hours I got to spend with this little one who has learned so many new tricks. Our kids will all be together this coming weekend and that makes me smile. It’s been a long time since uncles and aunties have seen Addy face to face. Dear and I will be heading to eastern Washington the end of February.

Speaking of love…

These two are the last of the Bagdanov siblings left who fled Russia walking to Persia and later immigrating to the U.S.A. My Aunt Anna came to visit my pop last week and she walked into the room with her walker and took a few steps on her own to hug him, give him a kiss and then she asked him not to leave her alone on this earth. She said, “Don’t leave me”. The doctors told Anna she had a month to live several years ago. That comment from the doctor made her consider her future and she told our pop that she was ready to listen to him about the gospel of Jesus Christ and was ready to be born again. Such a sweet moment for our pop and mom and all of us a few years ago. My pop and mom witnessed to all of their siblings over the years from 1963 on when my pop was born again.

Linking up for Wednesday Hodgepodge where Joyce asks the questions From This Side of the Pond and we answer.

We’ve had a lovely string of days without rain and with lots of sunshine. It’s good for the soul. It’s been quite cold but the sun warms things nicely.

A Bright Hodgepodge

1. February can be a little bit tricky given the weather and the winter and the whatnot. I read a list (here) of things you can do to make your February brighter which included-start planning your next trip, take more baths, make your own chocolate covered strawberries, and exercise in preparation for swimsuit season. Anything on the list you might try? Which suggestion on the list appeals to you most? Tell us something not on the list that helps make your February brighter.

The suggestion that appeals to me most is to plan a trip!

I just flew to Southern California and enjoyed lots of extended family time along with sweet Addy time and sunshine, so February is having a good bright start.

While Addy’s mommy ran in the Surf City Half Marathon in Huntington Beach with our niece Debbee, and her daddy rode a bike along the route with our nephew-in-law, Baba watched and mostly sat with Addy asleep and cuddled on her with Great Aunt Vera preparing brunch for the marathoners in the background. Addy slept for 3-1/2 hours and woke up just in time for mommy and daddy to arrive for brunch.

2. Tell us about something you’ve seen or done recently that you’d say was ‘super’?

Umm, spending Super Sunday with my extended family in Southern California. Am I sounding like a broken record?

3. Best thing you ate in a ‘bowl’ last week?

Just one? We enjoyed some Ground Chicken Chili in a bowl last week. Recipe coming soon to the Mennonite Girls Can Cook Blog. Yesterday we had some fabulous guacamole in a bowl at Ola’s in Huntington Beach.

4. Something you’re ‘cheering’ for right now?

Cheering for my daughter-in-law and niece who completed a half marathon with flying colors in Huntington Beach on Sunday.

5. The Winter Olympics begin Friday, February 9th in Pyeong Chang, South Korea. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being all in and 1 being no interest whatsoever) how interested are you in the games? Which event do you most want to see (you’ll find a list here).

I’ll give it a 9! I enjoy watching many events and will never forget the Ice Hockey final in 1980 in Lake Placid. I’m pretty sure we were late or missed church that day. We could not tear ourselves from that “miracle on ice” moment for the USA.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Addy met my dear old pop on Monday. He was able to have enough breath to pray a blessing over her and over Dan and Jamie as they raise her. So grateful for this moment. Otherwise, he is ready to go be with his Savior, Jesus.

More about my time in Southern California coming soon.

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

January’s End Hodgepodge

 
1. Speaking of endings….at your wit’s end, at loose ends, a dead end, burn the candle at both ends, all’s well that end’s well, or no end in sight…which ‘end’ phrase might best be applied to your life lately? Explain.
I’m going with…no end in sight. Miles to go before we move. So many obstacles to work around. One of those obstacles is finding the best moving company option for our stuff. We were disappointed to find that no Pod companies deliver to the zip code we are moving to. We are now thinking seriously of getting rid of a lot more stuff instead of paying to have it moved. We are in “getting the house ready to sell” mode.
 2. What was a must have accessory when you were growing up? Did you own one? If so tell us what you remember about it.

I don’t know how my brain brought this one up to the forefront. In junior high I had to have the latest fad/trend going around in southern California, suspenders. I nagged my mother relentlessly to be able to buy them. My family never had extra money and I’m sure this request seemed ridiculous to my parents. For me it was a “need to have”.

3. Something that made you smile yesterday?

The sun, the sun! The sun broke through and the rain stopped long enough for me to finish pruning the pear tree! Woohoo! And then I spotted my sweet Lenten Rose blooming!

4. January 30th is National Croissant Day. Do you like croissants? Sweet or savory? We’re having chicken salad for lunch…would you rather have yours served on a croissant, a wrap, a bagel, bread, or a roll of some sort?

Yes and yes, sweet and savory. We just had my “not your mamas chicken salad” on croissants last week. And we also had that filling on Belgium Endive as an appetizer for Josh’s birthday dinner.

5. Sum up your January in fifteen words or less.

From the first to the last we enjoyed celebrations of birth and marriage with thanks.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Besides birthdays, rain was a constant theme for the month of January. It was so nice to have a spell without that blessing from the sky on Tuesday. I want to remember to stay up and gaze on that Blue moon tonight.

Our little Addy is walking like a champ and next week I’ll have fresh photos to share of her because I get to fly to California with her parents and her to spend a few days with my extended family. This Baba is excited to see her face to face after more then a month. She’ll be meeting her only great grandfather who is alive, my dear old Pop while we are there, too.

Linking up with Joyce From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge. She asks the questions and we answer them. Thank you for reading my answers.

Misty Moisty Hodgepodge

1. January 24th is National Compliment Day. Is it easy or not so easy for you to accept a compliment? Share a recent compliment you’ve given or received.

Verbal compliments are harder to accept then written ones. I complimented my husband on the fine job he did painting the ceiling of our kitchen.

This question reminds me of this nursery rhyme…

One misty moisty morning,
When cloudy was the weather,
I chanced to meet an old man,
Clothed all in leather.
He began to compliment
And I began to grin.
How do you do? And how do you do?
And how do you do again?

 

2. Ten little things you are loving right now.

Right now while I’m typing this or right now as in these days I’m living in? Here are some of both…

1. Soup on a cold rainy day. 2. Listening to sermons by John MacArthur from Grace to You. 3. Being home with my feet up from a rainy shopping trip to Fred Meyer and Costco. 4. Watching videos of little Addy May. 5. Having my own personal bartender. 6. Our weekly date to La Corona for lunch on Tuesdays. 7. Planning a belated birthday dinner for our son, Josh, on Saturday. 8. Coffee every morning made by my personal bartender. 9. The bread I picked up from a Persian bakery close enough to our home. 10. Comfy lounge wear.

3. Would people describe you as a positive person? Do you see yourself that way? I read here  a list/description of eight things positive people do differently

Positive people find something to look forward to every day, they celebrate the small stuff, they’re kind, they stay busy, accept responsibility for their actions, forgive themselves, know when to move on, and resist comparisons

Yes, I think I could be described as a positive person.

Which action on the list would you say you do regularly? Which action could you add to your life to give you a more positive outlook? If you’re a positive person, what’s something you do regularly that’s not on the list?

I like to celebrate the big and the small stuff. Something that is not on the list is asking God to help me forgive others quicker. I think praying and giving thanks to God should be on the list.

4. Homemade chicken soup, beef stew, or a bowl of chili…what’s your pleasure on a cold winter’s day?

I like all three of those even on a hot summer’s day. Here’s what I made just before I sat down to type up the hodgepodge.

Mexican Chicken Corn Soup. Recipe for this soup can be found here.

5. The best part of my day is….

Makes me think of the jingle, “the best part of waking up is Folgers in my cup”.

The best part of my day is knowing I’ve accomplished something or finished everything on my list and I’ll now feel free to just relax and fritter away an hour or two.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Many random and not so random thoughts settle on this little one who is growing so fast it makes me a little sad. This latest photo shows her self feeding skills. Hopefully some of the food ended up in her mouth, too. That bib got a work out! Our dear daughter in law has made a lot of her own food for Addy and she’s careful to introduce things gradually or one at a time.

Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond for coming up with the Wednesday Hodgepodge Questions and to all of you who visit and take the time to read my answers.

Still Blogging Hodgepodge

Crystal Cove Beach, California, January 2017 with my sister Vera.

It’s time to answer the Wednesday Hodgepodge questions…

1. What keeps you blogging?

I’ve thought about laying it aside and then I bump into someone who says they are reading my blog and enjoying it. I’ve been able to go back and read things I’ve forgotten over the years. If I look at it as a journal I’m content to keep going. From the beginning I’ve wanted my blog to honor and encourage and I hope that it has brought some glory to God and encouragement to others. I’m also interested in what’s going on in the lives of fellow bloggers.

2. Some people like to travel in the winter months. Do you enjoy the beach in winter? According to Southern Living the best U.S. beach towns to visit this winter are-
 St Simons Island (Georgia), Hilton Head (South Carolina), Bald Head Island (North Carolina), Seaside (Florida), Bay St. Louis (Mississippi), Cape San Blas (Florida), South Padre Island (Texas), Folly Beach (South Carolina), Chincoteague (Virginia), Duck Key (Florida), Nags Head (North Carolina), and Fairhope (Alabama)
Well leave it to Southern Living to list Southeast beaches as the best in the U.S., LOL. I’m of the mind that any beach is great to visit in the Winter!
I love the beach in winter and most of the beaches I’ve visited in winter are West Coast beaches. From San Diego to Central California for me winter at the beach is best. Last January I spent time at Port Hueneme, Huntington Beach and Crystal Cove.
Port Hueneme with extended family staying at a VRBO to attend a family wedding north of Santa Barbara.
The Orchid Farm in Goleta, California at our nephew Joe’s wedding in January of 2017.
Huntington Beach pier in January 2017.
 Have you been to any of the towns listed (in any season)? Which on the list appeals to you most this winter?
I have not been to any of the towns listed and they are not on my bucket list. When our son-in-law completed his Marine Corps grueling basic training, my daughter and I flew east and drove to Parris Island for his graduation. We stayed in Beaufort. Later when he was stationed in Jacksonville, N.C. at Camp Lejeune we helped our daughter set up their home on base just before Andrew returned from Afghanistan. While there we took a day trip to Emerald Isle.
Emerald Isle, North Carolina December of 2011.
3. What’s a song you’re embarrassed to know all the lyrics to? Are you really embarrassed or do just think you should be?
I’m not embarrassed about any song I know all the lyrics to and am quite excited if my memory serves me that well.
4. When you were a kid what’s something you thought would be fantastic as an adult, but now that you’re an adult you realize it’s not all that fantastic?
I’m kind of sad to admit this but I thought that being a teacher would be fantastic but when I finally made it into a classroom the federal requirements and paper work wore me down and it was a discouraging endeavor for me. I was happy to retire when our first child was born. My first classroom was on the stage of the cafeteria because the school was over crowded. Yikes. My second classroom was a portable which I got locked in once. My third classroom was a regular classroom with nice windows. Our school was in a low income area and was federally funded, keeping up with the federal paper work made it hard to teach and have good one on one time with the students. I loved the kids but didn’t like the federal meddling.
5. Share a quote you hope will inspire you in 2018.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
6. Insert your own random thought here.

It’s a big birthday week at this old house. Monday was our daughter-in-law Jamie’s birthday. Tuesday was our son Dan’s birthday and Friday is our son Josh’s birthday. We aren’t seeing any of them on their day since Dan and Jamie are in northeastern Washington and Josh and Laura are celebrating in Hawaii.

Miss seeing our little Addy, too. It’s been almost a month. I’m always a little worried she’ll forget us but she has a sharp fresh mind so I should just let those thoughts go…

Joyce From This Side of the Pond asks the questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thank you Joyce and thank you to those of you who took the time to read this post. I appreciate your visits!

Look Up Hodgepodge

January at our house is national birthday month! Both our sons were born in January and our daughter-in-law, Jamie was also born in January. Our boys are 2 years apart. Our daughter’s due date was in January but she decided to come early and claim December as her birthday month! She shares December with our daughter-in-law, Laura. Addy shares March with me, her Baba. Dear stands alone in September so far and Andrew is our April son-in-law. Time will tell if we add more members of our family to the calendar and where they will land.

1. January is National Mentoring Month. Have you ever had a mentor? Been a mentor? How would you rate the experience?

Yes. When I was a Junior in high school a Senior took me under her wing to encourage me in following Jesus. When my husband and I were freshly married and attending a church in Huntington Beach the assistant pastor mentored us in a discipleship class which was very helpful. I’d rate both those experiences as a 10. I did some mentoring of a young lady in the alternative education system and I can’t say if it made a difference. My other mentoring experiences were in a group setting, not one on one. I’m never really comfortable in these roles.

2. What current trend makes no sense to you?

Tattooing your whole body. Oh, and ear gauges and body piercing.

3. I saw a cartoon on facebook highlighting a few ‘weird’ things that make you happy as an adult. The list included-writing with a nice pen, having plans cancelled, freshly cleaned sheets, eating the corner brownie, cleaning the dryer lint screen, and sipping coffee in that brief time before anyone else wakes up. Of the ‘weird’ things listed which one makes you happiest? What is one more ‘weird’ thing you’d add to the list?

I do enjoy freshly cleaned sheets. Now if someone would wash them and put them back on the bed for me I’d even enjoy them more. Thanks for the inspiration as I got up after typing this and my sheets are in the wash. I’m sure I was happy when I laid down on Tuesday night.

The one more weird thing I’d add to the list is mowing the lawn, a fresh mowed lawn makes me happy.

4. What’s the last good thing you ate?

Leftover Costco Rotisserie Chicken on top of roasted vegetables (bell pepper, zucchini, onion, broccoli, beets, asparagus). I roasted the leftover veggies from our daughter’s Raclette party then with ten minutes left I threw on the leftover chicken to heat up on top of the roasted veggies. It was delicious.

I have a different kind of salsa posted today over at the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog. Click over to see it.

5. Describe life in your 20’s in one sentence.

A whirlwind of life changing experiences with traveling and singing in the midst of becoming a college graduate, teacher, wife, homeowner and mother.

Photos in the collage are from left to right: Cornwall coast; college graduation; Russian Youth Choir; Best friend and me at the White House; Our firstborn and me; My first car that required a loan; Dear and me engaged; Our wedding day; my first class; roadtrip stop in Chicago in 1976; Our second born with Dear; Our Christian Rock band performing in England. (I’m in the checked long dress beside Dear)

6. Insert your own random thought here.

My twenties were in the seventies and they were shaped and influenced by the Jesus Movement in Southern California. Calvary Chapel, the little country church on the edge of town, and the Maranatha Singers made quite a statement in the seventies. This was also when the New American Standard Bible was first published and I bought my first copy which was hard bound. It eventually replaced my King James New Scofield Reference edition. I’ve added a few more Bibles to my library including an ESV and a New King James Version. Here’s a worship song from the Maranatha Singers from the seventies. It was hard to pick just one. I listened to several on YouTube and it “took me back” but that’s another song by another artist. Okay, I’ll share a verse from Andrae Crouch’s song, Take Me Back, too. Andrae Crouch died on January 8, 2015.

Take me back, take me back dear Lord
To the place where I first received you.
Take me back, take me back dear Lord where I
First believed.

 

A sincere thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond for supplying the questions each week for Wednesday Hodgepodge.

If Only I Knew Hodgepodge

Happy New Year from Seattle! The Space Needle is getting a face lift/renovation. They are saying there will be a glass see through observation floor. too. Here are this weeks questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge.

1. It’s that time of year again…time for Lake Superior University to present a list of words (or phrases) they’d like to see banished (for over-use, mis-use, or genera uselessness) in 2018. You can read more about the decision making process and word meaning here, but this year’s top vote getters are-

unpack, dish (as in dish out the latest rumor), pre-owned, onboarding/offboarding, nothingburger, let that sink in, let me ask you this, impactful, Cofefe, drill down, fake news, hot water heater (hot water doesn’t need to be heated), and gig economy

Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you’d like to add
?

I’ve not heard some of these words or phrases. I’m not tired of any of these…yet. I’ve not been following a lot of news these days. I had to look up some of them to see what they mean.

2. What’s something you need to get rid of in the new year?

Stuff…lots of stuff. But what stuff? What stuff will I miss when I move if I get rid of it? What stuff will just be a bother to move? What stuff is junk and what stuff is keepsake worthy?

3. Where do you feel stuck?

See question #2.

4. January is National Soup Month. When did you last have a bowl of soup? Was it made from scratch or from a can? Your favorite canned soup? Your favorite soup to make from scratch on a cold winter’s day?

I had a delicious bowl of Dear’s Tomato Rice Soup on Christmas Eve, made from scratch. Dear makes that soup. The soup I like to make from scratch is Borsch (Borscht) or Spinach Borsch or Lopsha (all soups from my Russian Heritage). The photo above is of my Borsch. My favorite canned soup is Cream of Mushroom to use it as an addition in other recipes.

When someone has a sore throat or a cold at this old house we like to get Hot and Sour Soup from a local Chinese take-out. It a nice spicy burn going down and clears the sinuses!

5. Tell us one thing you’re looking forward to in 2018.

Knowing what property we will be moving into would be very helpful to my dilemma in question #2.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

My favorite word for 2017 is Grandmother/Baba. This little one awarded me that title by being formed by God and born to our son and daughter-in-law. Thank you God and Father for this sweet gift.

I’ll be linking up to Wednesday Hodgepodge with Joyce From This Side of the Pond. She asks the questions and we provide the answers.

Hope 2018 is starting off well for you!