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!

An Adoring Hodgepodge

1. Where have you found unexpected magic or delight this holiday season?

See collage above. We decided last Friday night to take a quick trip to northeastern Washington state to see our kids who can’t make the trip to be with us on Christmas day. It was worth the drive to enjoy the day and a half and to see all Addy’s new skills and expressions and to enjoy time and meals with her fabulous parents.

The other delight for me is sitting in view of the Christmas tree with it’s lights on and enjoying Christmas music. A song that makes me stop what I’m doing and worship Jesus with adoration and gratitude is “Adore” by Chris Tomlin.

Come let us adore
Oh come let us adore him
The Lord, worship Christ, the Lord
Let all that is within us

Another song on this cd that hits me every time I hear it is Noel, “come and see what God has done”.

Noel, Noel
Come and see what God has done
Noel, Noel
The story of amazing love!
The light of the world, given for us

2. What’s your favorite type of holiday gathering? Will you/have you gathered in your favorite way this month?

Gatherings that include good food and Christian fellowship are my favorite. Besides my immediate family gatherings on Christmas Eve and Christmas day my favorite is our annual Christmas gathering with the Mennonite Girls and our husbands. The only thing that would make it even better is if our Manitoba girls could fly in for the party.

3. Time has named ‘The Silence Breakers’ (women who came forward with stories of harassment)  ‘person of the year’ for 2017. Would you agree? If not, who do you think deserves the title?

I’ll consider the source for this yearly announcement and honor in giving my opinion. I don’t expect high standards from “Time” anymore. It really is the season of discontent and finding fault in our nation. I don’t discredit women who have suffered harassment. I hope women in the future will be able to speak up boldly as it happens and not hold onto the grief for years.

Who I think deserve the title this year are Firefighters and other First Responders who have come to the aid of so many during hurricanes and wild fires, sacrificing their own lives!

Then from a Christian perspective I’d have R.C. Sproul on the cover, the founder of Renewing Your Mind, who went to be with His Lord this past week. He was a faithful servant and teacher of God’s Truth.

Renewing Your Mind is an outreach of Ligonier Ministries, an international Christian discipleship organization founded in 1971 by Dr. R.C. Sproul. We know that God uses his Word to change lives. In Romans 12:2, Paul tells Christians to “be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” That is our aim. We’re committed to faithfully presenting the unvarnished truth of Scripture, helping you to know what you believe, why you believe, how to live it and how to share it.

4. How did you spend your time this year? Are you happy about that? Elaborate

Accepting and embracing changes that have come to us. Accepting the retirement stage and the reality of what comes with that. Accepting the fact that we will be making a major move across our state next year and preparing for that. Accepting the new aches and pains that come with our stage of life. Embracing our freedom of doing what we want each day without many time restrictions. Totally embracing our new family dynamic with the addition of sweet little Addy into our family. This has been fun from a grandparenting perspective but also amazing to watch our children in a parenting role and our other children in an auntie/uncle nurturing role.

Yes, I am content and happy about it.

5. Bid farewell to 2017 in ten words or less.

Thank you for introducing us to the world of grandparenting.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

As I’m typing this my tree is getting it’s last string of lights so I can start putting the ornaments on it. I’m okay with the delay since our 3 day travel diversion yielded some sweet memories of Addy’s new skills.

We finally figured out her little tongue was feeling a new upper tooth that was trying to pop out.

Yum, unsweetened canned pears from Baba’s and Gramps’ pear tree.

She’s standing a lot more without holding on and still only takes a couple of steps at a time. Walking isn’t far off.

I just want to clap my hands! She really is enjoying clapping.

Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond for asking the questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read my answers.

Yahoo! The tree is finally decorated so soon I’ll have my Mystery Tree post ready to go.

Purple Haze Hodgepodge

1. ‘Hurry less, worry less’…what’s your strategy for making that happen this holiday season? How’s it going so far?

Well, we threw in an overnight getaway to La Conner to celebrate our 43rd anniversary and that included lots of country roads less traveled instead of the interstates. It was good to take the time away from our renovations and decorations. Our leisurely walk along the waterway in La Conner was relaxing. So far so good.

2. Do you have a list of to-dos that need accomplishing in order to prepare your home and/or property for the winter season? What are some of the jobs on your list? Are you a do-it-yourselfer or do you hire someone to accomplish these tasks?

Winter is not that harsh in the Puget Sound area. Generally all we need to do is lock the windows so they are shut tight and disconnect the water hoses so they don’t freeze. Sometime after Christmas and before Spring we need to prune the apple and pear tree. We do all these things ourselves. I still need to cut back my lavender plants!

This is what the apple tree looks like before pruning and all the branches that are growing straight up need to be cut. After pruning it looks more like this with still a few more branches to cut. Ignore the evergreen in the background.

3. According to dietitians surveyed, the most popular health foods for 2018 will be -turmeric, sprouted foods (bean sprouts, breads with sprouted grains, etc), veggies in place of grains, dairy free milk, and pulses (lentils, chickpeas, etc).  What’s the first thought that ran through your head when you read this list? Of the foods listed which one might you add to your regular diet? Also, can milk really be dairy free? Is it still milk?

The first thought I had was healthy trends aren’t my thing. Maybe I’ll add more veggies.

4. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2018 is Ultra Violet. According to the Pantone site ‘Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking pointing us to the future.’ What say you? Do you like the color purple? Did you see the movie or read the book-ha!?  Is purple a color you wear often? Describe for us one purple item in your home without using the word purple.  If you were in charge of such things what color would you select for 2018?

I don’t mind the color purple. I did see the movie. We have three University of Washington alums in our family and we live in Husky country where slogans like “let purple reign again” are alive and well.

Purple evokes passionate pride. It’s the color that stands out as most quintessentially to our University and is therefore the dominant color in our communications. Gold symbolizes excellence. It’s a sophisticated hue that speaks to our extraordinary standards and immense quality. And when you combine the two? That’s the UW.

Sometimes I wear purple. The little girl with the W on her shirt is now an alumnus of Udub and her husband will soon be a graduate of the Udub, too. I helped put my Dear through the UW school of Pharmacy so I wear my purple with pride.

We do have some walls at this old house that remind me of lavender sprigs . Not the vibrant variety.

You can see that color in what used to be my master bathroom?

If I was in charge of such things the color of the year would be China Blue.

5. Favorite book read this year?

Glass Houses by Louise Penny

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Today I’ll be mailing our Christmas cards. We’ve received a few already and I always enjoy being brought up to date on what is happening with friends from far and wide. We still do not have our tree and that’s the last purchase we need to make for Christmas. Once the tree is up I’ll start thinking about wrapping the presents that will be going under it.

Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond for asking the questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thank you to whoever takes the time to read the answers.

Anniversary Hodgepodge

1. What title would you give this current chapter of your life?

Preparing for Change

Today is our 43rd wedding anniversary and we are preparing for another major change in our lives. We were married in 1974 and in 1975 we bought our first home moving to Huntington Beach from West Los Angeles. In 1976 we moved to our second home in Huntington Beach where our two sons were born. The photo above is from our first Christmas in that home. In 1984 we moved from Huntington Beach to Ventura, California with our two young sons (our hearts and minds are with the people of Ventura during the latest Thomas Fire). In 1988 we made the huge move from California to Washington State with our two sons and 3 year old daughter so Dear could go back to school (University of Washington) to become a Pharmacist. We settled into Washington State nicely but in 1996 we experienced a major landslide behind our dream home and after many setbacks and huge costs mounting on saving our home we walked away and gave the home and all our equity to the bank. We lived in 3 rentals. A month after moving into our 3rd rental home in 1998 the owners told us they needed to sell the home even though we had a 1 year lease. We could not face another move and offered to buy the house and were surprised that the bank would give us a loan since we had defaulted on our landslide home. We have been in this old house, the only house we didn’t really choose to buy for almost 20 years. I’ll need to add that because of a job change we moved to Camarillo, California for 4 years from 2006-2010. We did not sell this old house but left two of our adult children to live in it and to care for it while we were gone. Now we are making some extra improvements on this old house to get it ready to sell in Spring of 2018 and make a major move across the mountains to a small country town in northeast Washington. I have to say that change at this stage of life is a little more scary then when we were in our twenties, thirties, forties, or fifties!

But…the consolation is that we will be close to one of our sons, daughter-in-law and little miss Addy!

2. December 6 is National Microwave Oven Day. Who knew? Besides popcorn and coffee reheats, what’s the most common thing you microwave? Could you get along without a microwave?

Frozen entrees like lasagna or corn on the cob or artichokes. Yes, I’d be able to survive without a microwave.

3. If you could insert yourself into any Christmas carol and experience the lyrics in real life, which Christmas carol lyric would you choose and why?

Away in a Manger

4. Describe the most beautiful drive you’ve ever taken.

We’ve experienced so many beautiful drives that it’s very hard to choose one. I’ll choose drives in the Cotswolds on narrow lanes that were so scary but beautiful.

5. What’s something on your Christmas list this year? (an actual list or figuratively speaking, either one)

I went with actual. Gift cards to nice restaurants in Seattle. We are moving to a very small country town 6 hours from Seattle and I want to get my fill of the restaurants I’ll miss.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves.
Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance,
baptism without church discipline,
Communion without confession….
Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.
~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond for providing the questions and to all of you who take the time to read our answers.

This morning we see that there are multiple fires in Southern California fanned by Santa Ana Winds. A few freeways have been shut down. I’m sad to see the fires near the Getty Center, Santa Clarita, San Bernardino and of course Ventura. Prayers are up for the people in the paths of these fires and all those who have to evacuate. So frightening, thinking of all my family and friends down there. Go outside and water down your roofs! Be wise about evacuating!