There’s a Hole in My Bucket Hodgepodge

1. Three things on your spring bucket list? If you don’t have an actual list that’s fine, pretend you do.

  1. Sell our home 2. Buy a new home 3. Be moved into our new home by the time Spring is over. This is my reality bucket list. Any other time in life it would be filled with things like travel here and travel there…

2. Where do you find rest? What restores your soul? When was the last time you did whatever it was you answered here?

Going to church on Sunday restores my soul, especially communion Sundays. I also need a day in between very busy days to have no agenda. All this moving crunch has messed with my soul restoration time but…it is well with my soul nevertheless.

3. April is National Celery Month. Who knew? Do you like celery? What’s your favorite dish made with celery? On a veggie and dip platter which would you reach for first-carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumbers or cherry tomatoes?

Celery is okay especially with peanut butter spread on it. A Bloody Mary with a celery stalk in it is good, too. My first go to on a veggie tray would be cucumbers. Mirepoix (celery, carrots and onions) is a great base for lots of dishes.

4. I read here eight things to do before 8 am to make your day less hectic-Start one load of laundry, drink water, empty the dishwasher, read your Bible, know what you’re having for dinner, get dressed, brain dump (two lists-one what you’re thankful for and one what’s weighing on your mind), and after the brain dump make your to-list for the day

How many of these are you currently doing? Which one do you think would help the most if you added it to your early morning routine?

I like this list of things to do but for a retired person this doesn’t have to be done by 8. I think if I do this list by 9 or 10 am it would be sweet! And because we are retired some of the things on the list aren’t critical like starting a load of laundry.

5. Describe the view from your window.

This is the view from my laptop spot on my family room couch.

Patio covers up and my patio furniture all set out with my privacy fence in the background. Leaves beginning to appear on the huge maple that looms above my patio covers. Sweet bleeding hearts blooming in a container just outside our “french doors” that exit to our deck.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I’m apologizing ahead of time for not visiting other hodgepodge posts in a timely fashion. Today is our outdoor work day to get the house ready for open houses before we hightail it out of here to Eastern Washington on Thursday. I mow, Dear weed wacks. So far we only have one house to look at in Colville on this trip. We are hoping for more houses to come on the market that we look forward to seeing. Time will tell. What’s great is that we get to see and enjoy our eastern Washington kids including dear little Addy May while we are in Colville. It’s been a while…

Spring is finally blooming here in our yard and in western Washington in general. How’s Spring doing in your corner?

Linking up to Hodgepodge Wednesday with Jo at From This Side of the Pond. She asks the questions and we answer them.

Centered Hodgepodge

1. What’s a word that describes your life? A word you wish described your life?

Centered is a word that describes my life and only because my center is Jesus. This doesn’t mean that life is not chaotic at times or sad or underwhelming but I’ve known since junior high who holds my life together.

Right now I’m waiting for my life to be more settled.

2. Back in my day we___________________________________?

There is so much I could say here, but… Back in my day we didn’t have hand held hairdryers, computers, cell phones, facebook, instagram, blogs.

3. When it comes to takeout are you more likely to opt for Italian, Mexican, or Chinese food? Does a typical week at your house include takeout?

Most regularly if we think about takeout it’s Chinese food. Delivery food is pizza. Typically we go out at least once a week for Mexican.

4. Think about the people you most respect. What is it about them that earned your respect?

Consistency and integrity. Living the life they proclaim. I appreciate loyalty, too.

5. What’s something your friends might see and say is ‘so you’?

Being straightforward and honest. Some might call it blunt. I think they could say I’m more apt to encourage instead of discourage.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

We just spent 4 days in Colville celebrating our 1 year old granddaughter. This is our goodbye shot, but soon we will be living in the same city with fewer goodbyes. Crazy and good!

Not so random but the next couple months are going to be filled with staging, selling, buying, packing, goodbyes, unpacking and wondering what where and how it will all come together. I do know that soon I’ll be sitting and seeing new views and meeting new people and moving forward centered in Jesus now and forever.

I’ll be linking up to Wednesday Hodgepodge From This Side of the Pond.

Spring Hodgepodge

The Cherry Blossom Quad at the University of Washington. Katie, Laura and I enjoyed a couple hours at the University with lunch on the “Ave” on Monday.

1. On this first official day of spring tell us something (besides the weather) you’re looking forward to in this season of the year.

Well that’s a great question. This Saturday we are celebrating Addy’s first birthday with family and friends. She was born on the first day of Spring last year and she turned 1 on the first day of Spring this year. She’s our very special Spring gift. We are also looking forward to finding our new home somewhere close to our kids in Colville.

2. When it comes to spring cleaning would you rather wash windows or wash baseboards? Clean out closets or clean out the garage? Dust ceiling fans or dust bookcases? Wipe down the patio furniture outside or wipe down the light fixtures inside? Any of these tasks recently completed?

I’d rather wash baseboards.

I’d rather clean out the garage because Dear will do that and not me.

Dust ceiling fans since I only have one but I have a ton of bookcases.

Wipe down the patio furniture outside because that means the sun is shining.

I’m trying to pack a box a day so my closets are getting cleaned in a manner of speaking.

3. Your favorite thing to make/eat that calls for cream cheese? Sour cream? Whipped cream?

Cream Cheese = Cheesecake

Sour cream = Beef Stroganoff

Whipped Cream = Parfaits

4. I read here a list of commonly mispronounced words. What is a word that gives you trouble when it comes to pronunciation?

Arborvitae

5. What’s a song you love with the word ‘rain’ in the title or lyrics?

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

We are headed east again for a very special birthday celebration and to look at some more houses that are for sale. Tuesday I clocked more than 20,000 steps…a first for me this year. We did some major yard work. Hello Spring and so it begins, weeds and the grass growing before our eyes. That’s a spring cleaning job that I don’t mind, mowing the lawn. Crazy but true. Happy Spring dear bloggy friends. Hope you find renewed energy and new things every day to thank God for.

Hop over to From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thank you Joyce!

My Birthday Hodgpodge

It’s just about time for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Joyce From This Side of the Pond asks the questions and we answer them. Here are the questions for Volume 344!

1. Best place you’ve been lately?

The best place I’ve been lately is under the same roof with our little grand watching all her new skills and quirks and expressions. We just returned home after spending four days with her and her dear parents.

2. What’s something you should say yes to today? Or this week? Or even this year?

Yes to letting things go and not regretting that I let them go.

3. Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in any way, shape, or form? If so tell us how. In Western cultures the color green is typically associated with jealousy, nature, good luck, and growth. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word ‘green’?

Some years I do set a St. Patrick’s Day table and most years we enjoy some corned beef and cabbage.

The first thing that came to my mind on the subject of green was my kitchen. Our home has many shades of green in it and on it’s exterior, too. We happen to live in the Evergreen state and Seattle is the Emerald city we are happily surrounded by all kinds of green year round.

4. What’s a product or service you love so much you’d happily be their spokesperson? Tell us what makes you such a fan.

I can highly recommend Grace to You and their daily broadcasts and sermon archives. The faithfulness of John MacArthur in teaching the truth of the Bible verse by verse makes me a fan. Dependable, consistent, accurate handling of the Word of God is the best resource to have for life.

While we were at Dan and Jamie’s they pulled out their super duper butter mill to spread on hamburger buns before grilling the buns. We were really impressed with the ease of spreading butter using one of these mills. Here’s what they look like. If you use real butter I would highly recommend one of these gadgets.

5. March 14th is Pi Day. How are your math skills? What’s the last thing you did that required math of any kind? And most importantly do you like pie? What’s your favorite kind? With ice cream, whipped cream, or please hold the cream?

March 14th happens to be my birthday and this year I’m turning 67. How did that happen? I do have some math skills and I had to use those skills to figure out how old I was turning this year.

Berry pies are my favorite kind of pie or fresh strawberry and fresh peach.  Al a mode or as my pop would say “pie alamo” is good for the berry pies and the fresh pies require nothing on top for me.

I do NOT like Cherry pie. The texture of the cherries in cherry pie do not appeal to my palate. When I was young one of my aunts served cherry pie and I took a bite and did not like it. She made me eat the whole piece anyway even though it made me gag. Ever since then I’ve turned my nose up and refuse to eat cherry pie. For that reason and many others I did not like this aunt. Just typing this makes me realize I need to talk to God about my ill feelings toward her and forgive her in my heart since she died several years ago.

Boysenberry pie was probably the first kind of pie I had growing up from Knott’s Berry Farm in Southern California. My mother did not bake pies when I was young or even into my teen years.

This is a photo that I love of my parents from Knott’s Berry Farm taken sometime in the 1950’s.  Knott’s Berry Farm was one of the very few places we ever ate out as a family. We enjoyed their popular fried chicken dinner with their famous boysenberry pie for dessert. A very special treat for all of us.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Thanking God for another year in the books and for what this new year holds for our family. Lots of changes are coming and I pray that things will move along smoothly.  Asking God to provide the right home and the strength to make this big move. Also asking God to lead and guide our youngest and her hubby as he completes his degree in June and he looks for a job somewhere in these United States which will mean a move and a new place to live for them, too. Moving is the theme for the majority of our immediate family in 2018.

An update on my dear old pop. He is spending more of his day in bed these days. His eyesight has deteriorated enough that he can no longer read his Bible or do his jigsaw puzzles. He has got to be so bored! Hopefully he will have his major heavenly move this year, Lord willing.

The Best of February Hodgepodge

1. Are you currently operating at 100% capacity? If not, what % are you? What’s keeping you there?

At this stage of life I have spurts of working at different capacities. I’ve been working on one project at 100% which means my other daily operations are working at a lower capacity. I am learning more and more to appreciate the days and hours that my output is 100%.

2. Have you done your taxes? Planned/booked a summer holiday? Thought about or started your ‘spring cleaning’? Besides what’s listed here, tell us one task that needs doing before spring rolls around.

We have an appointment with a bookkeeper to do our taxes on Thursday. Spring cleaning is definitely on the schedule as we are putting our home on the market in May. Spring cleaning will probably start in April, with the most daunting project being the cleaning of our mini blinds. No Summer holiday this year as we will be using all our energy to move and adapt into our new environs. We do have a fall road trip planned in October to attend my 50 year high school reunion in Montebello, California.

3. What’s a favorite food from your part of the country?

Fish and shellfish stand out as the favorites for the Greater Seattle area. A favorite cooked in a variety of ways or smoked is Salmon. I did not grow up with much fish and it is not my favorite thing. A good barbecued Salmon is something I like. I also enjoy Penn Cove Mussels in a great sauce on occasion with a thick slice of bread that I can dip in the sauce. This next weekend the Penn Cove Musselfest in Coupeville is happening on Whidbey Island. I have to mention Dungeness Crab, too. We have Dungeness Bay, Spit and Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge in Washington State.

I’m amazed with myself that I’ve grown to enjoy a good oyster in a great sauce which would have made me gag years ago. A good piece of halibut, swordfish, or some good ole fish and chips cooked to perfection are dishes that I enjoy once in a while.

4. This isn’t a leap year, but let’s run with it anyway…look before you leap, a leap of faith, grow by leaps and bounds, leap to conclusions, leap at the opportunity…which phrase might best be applied to your life currently (or recently)? Explain.

We will be leaping at the opportunity to sell our home in a very hot market in the Seattle area and move to an area of Washington that is more affordable.

Special Side note about Leap Year: My sister Vera was born on leap year and only has her real birthday once every 4 years! We celebrate her on the 28th the other three years. Happy Birthday Vera! You are a dear sister and I appreciate you!

5. As the month draws to a close list five fun and/or fabulous things (large or small) you noticed or experienced in February.

  • The most fabulous/large experience I had in February happened at the very beginning of the month when I was able to fly down to Southern California with our son’s family and introduce our granddaughter to some of her Great Uncles, Great Aunts, her cousins once and twice removed. Most special was introducing her to her Great Grandfather (Dzeda).
  • We had some unexpected snow that only lasts a short time which is great, the short part.
  • Our kids, all of them, spent a weekend together which warms a mom’s heart. (Top Photo)
  • My dear old pop is feeling better in his health decline and he sounds better which is good to hear.
  • We are making progress on this old house, getting it ready to sell.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I’m looking forward to March. Our little granddaughter is turning one year old! Wow how fast the year has gone. She is just marching forward to her milestone! Walking, signing, lots of new teeth, eating some solids, standing up from a sitting position, climbing and learning some consequences from over reaching her limits and safety boundaries. Her Baba (me) will be enjoying a birthday in the month of March, too.

Thank you Jo, for the questions you ask for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thank you, too, for those of you who swing by and read the answers. I appreciate you.

Inspiration Hodgepodge

1. Where do you go when you need some inspiration?

It all depends…

For Life: It’s man’s chief end to glorify God… for the inspiration I need for living a life that does that, I go to a good Bible Gospel preaching church and I listen to good teachers and read books from authors who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, God’s truth.

For Cooking: I glean from the other gals from the MGCC Blog. When I have to post a new recipe I look to magazines and cooking shows for inspiration.

For decorating: Fixer Upper, magazines, Instagram and blogs.

2. What’s under your bed?

I went and looked and at this time there is nothing under my bed except for most likely dust. The guestroom beds are another story. The guestrooms have those bins that fit under beds. A ribbon bin, a gift bag and tissue bin for packaging gifts, a Christmas bin with bags etc., linens in those space saver bags, and Katie and Andrew’s collection of swords. (I also found a stack of Chinese take-out boxes) I use those to send home leftovers with our kids and company when I cook too much food.

3. Thursday, February 22nd is National Chili Day, National Margarita Day, and National Cook a Sweet Potato Day. Of the three which would you most like to celebrate? Is that likely?

Hmm…who comes up with these days? Most likely we would be celebrating having a good pot of chili. It’s really cold this week in the Seattle area and chili is always a good choice in freezing weather. What kind of chili to enjoy? We enjoy chicken, turkey or beef. Our Margarita day is Tuesday…every Tuesday. In fact, our favorite waitress at the local Mexican restaurant sees us drive up and she heads to the bar to make our Margaritas. It’s telling on my state of healthy that I’m ignoring the sweet potato.

4. What are you ‘snowed under’ with right now?

I’m snowed under with stuff. Stuff, stuff and more stuff. Many years of accumulated stuff. We’ve been in this old house since 1998 and we moved a lot of stuff to this old house. Because we are moving and contemplating the wisdom of paying too much to move all that stuff we need to serious about what we can live without.

5. Tell us three to five things that make you feel balanced?

  1. Trust in God.
  2. Being at peace in my relationship with Dear, my husband.
  3. A good blend between learning and playing.
  4. Getting away from the day to day with a road trip now and again with my camera.
  5. A clean kitchen.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Speaking of snow or snowed under here are some photos of our kids in the snow from President’s weekend.

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

Twenty seven-ish more days until Spring and little Miss Addy’s first birthday. She’s the sweet gift of Spring to our family!

Update: I woke up to hear that Billy Graham has been ushered into heaven today. I’ll be posting a tribute to him later this week. Finally this great evangelist is in the arms of Jesus.

 

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.