Wimpy Hodgepodge

“I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” ~ J. Wellington Wimpy 1932 from the Popeye series.

1. What makes you feel accomplished? Explain.

I’m a list maker and when I can check off everything on the list I feel accomplished. A freshly mowed lawn always gives me the feeling of accomplishment. I’m thankful that I can still accomplish it with a minimum of aches and pains.

2. If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be? Tell us why.

Queen Elizabeth: Being the longest reigning Monarch she must have some interesting tales to tell. Now how to get her to share those tales would be quite a feat.

Billy Graham: He’s always so engaging in his interviews and since we have the same Spirit within us it would be a rich time together. I could thank him in person for how his ministry played a huge roll in the life of our family.

P1040573Jamie Oliver: He’s a great chef and a fun person who is interesting and seems to love life.  The photo above is of Josh, Laura, Dear and me with Jamie Oliver in one of his restaurants in London. We were having breakfast and he walked in. We asked to take a photo with him and he obliged and we had a very nice conversation, too.

3. Do you have a great burger recipe? No

What’s in it?

For me it’s not what’s in it but what’s on it.

The patty should be seasoned well and then load on the onions either raw or caramelized or both (I like my onions on a burger), thick slice of tomato, Kosher pickle, mustard and ketchup.

Where is your favorite spot to order one out?

In-N-Out Burger. I’m still waiting for them to come as far north as Washington State.

Side note: In high school and early college years our church youth group would go to a restaurant in Alhambra, California called Twohey’s. They had the best hamburgers and Ice cream Sundaes. I’d always order the Stink-o-burger. It was loaded with onions and stinking wasn’t something I had anxiety about. 🙂 I just googled Twohey’s and they still have “The Original Stinko Burger on the menu. Just onions and pickles!

4. What’s the biggest anxiety producing thing you do on a regular basis?

I really don’t have a regular anxiety producing thing that I have to do. Irregular anxiety producing things in my life are going to the dentist and driving in horrible conditions like snow, ice, or downpours. One other anxiety producing thing in my life is speaking in front of a crowd. The collage above is of me speaking at a Mennonite Girls Can Cook event. I was shaking and sweating and so happy when my little segment was over.

5. This is the last Hodgepodge of May. Tell us about your summer plans.
Staying as cool as possible. Visiting our kids in Eastern Washington and seeing how our little Addy has grown. We will be having summertime house guests in July.

6. Insert your own random thought~I’ve been in California for a week and am flying home early Wednesday morning so I’ll be late in coming around. Also this Hodgepodge made me ask my sister to take me to get an In-N-Out burger on Tuesday afternoon after I typed up this post. There happens to be one close to her home.

Linking up with Joyce at From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge. She provides the questions and we provide some answers.

I Smell a Rat Hodgepodge

2016-07-27 Beatrix potter6

1. May 17th is National Pack Rat Day. Sidebar-should we be celebrating this? Hmmm…

Are you a pack rat?

Maybe I’m a pack mouse.

Seems like I’ve been hoarding receipts and paperwork over the last several years. I’ve been weeding out stuff around here and what a hoard of paper I’ve been shredding and recycling and refiling. I’ve been sighing a lot!

Even if you’re not a full fledged pack rat, most people have one thing or another they struggle to part with. Tell us what’s yours.

I like to hang on to keepsakes and things I’ve collected over the years. And then there are dishes and goblets and tea things and tablecloths and napkins and napkin rings, oh my.

2. What are two things you know you should know how to do, but you don’t?

Read instructions. Bake Pies.

3. Do you crave sugar?

I do enjoy sweets, doughnuts and sweet rolls. I can’t have them alone though. I usually need something savory, too, or a cup of black coffee with them.

Do you add sugar to your coffee and/or tea?

No.

Do you use artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes?

Never.

When dining out is dessert a given?

No, but if we do order dessert it is usually shared by 2, or 4, or more.

Are you someone who has slain the sugar dragon, and if so tell us how you did it.

No. Our oldest kids are working on it after watching documentaries on sugar. I did post a recipe for loaded Chocolate Chip Cookies on Mennonite Girls Can Cook with 1/2 cup less sugar today.

4. What’s a trend it took a while for you to come round to, but now you can’t imagine living without?

A smart phone.

5. What’s a song that reminds you of a specific incident in your life? Please elaborate.

Just as I am – without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
– O Lamb of God, I come!

The photo above is from the Los Angeles Billy Graham Crusade in 1963. My father took us to the crusade every night. My father started his life of following Christ at this crusade. My life as a follower of Christ started in 1963, too. The song, Just As I Am always reminds me of the Billy Graham Crusades and our time at the crusades and what this time meant for the future of myself and my family.

Part of my pop’s story was shared in a book that Billy Graham’s grandson’s published. You can read about it here.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

We are promised some sunshine the next few days! Woohoo! Today I’ll be having tea with our daughter for a belated Mother’s Day celebration. On Friday we are headed east again to see our Addy and her parents in person.

Thanks to Joyce From This Side of the Pond for asking the questions for us to answer. See how other people have responded here.

A Mother’s Hodgepodge

Here are the questions and the answers to Wednesday Hodgepodge this week!

1. Share a favorite memory of your mother or share a favorite something from your own life as a mother.

My mother was an immigrant from Russia who was learning how to be an American when she had me. Communication was difficult with her very limited English. Her love language was in her homemaking skills, sewing and cooking. I always had a new dress for Easter and Christmas and the first day of school. She cooked every meal for us and sent us to school with packed lunches. These memories are cherished memories.

If you’re a mother (or stepmom) tell us how your experience as a mom differs from your own mother’s experience.

One of the huge differences between my mother and me is the fact that I could drive a car. Till the day my mom died in 2013 she never drove. She was a real “stay at home” mom! My father did the grocery shopping and anything else that demanded a car. When my father’s work took him out of town, we kids would walk to a grocery store a mile up the road from us to pay the public utilities bills with cash. As a mom I drove my kids everywhere for their extra curricular activities. I was at every sport game they played in. I was at every school function they performed in. Even as a teenager I would drive my little brothers to their baseball games. My stay at home experience was very different from my mom.

2. In May we celebrate teachers (May 9) and nurses (May 6) both. Most every family has at least one in their midst, so tell us something (or a few things) you appreciate about the teacher or nurse on your family tree.

This photo has three teachers who I would say have the gift of teaching which I categorize as a higher expertise than just being a good teacher. I was an elementary school teacher before our first son was born but I don’t put myself in the gifted category. I got the job done and was good but not gifted. My sister Kathy with the red sweater standing next to me is a gifted teacher. She was trained to be an elementary school teacher and had her own classrooms and now in her late 60’s still substitute teaches. Her heart and mind are wrapped around her skill to inspire and teach. She turns everyday experiences into a learning experience for her grandchildren, too.  My mother-in-law, Verna, is another woman who had the gift of teaching. She’s on my left side in this photo. She taught in a one room schoolhouse in Kansas for her first teaching assignment in the 1940’s. Teaching came naturally to her and she was a lifelong learner. Our daughter Katie had the best one on one learning experiences with Verna in her early years while Verna lived with us and before Verna died in 1997. Katie was able to read at 3 years of age and read quite well at the age of 4. My sister-in-law Kelly on the left of Verna is another teacher extraordinaire. She home schooled her four sons and in that process started a home school academy in her community taking her students to national recognition several years in a row. Even when her four sons went off to college she continued the academy. She is now a nanny 3 days a week to her one granddaughter who is reaping the benefits of Kelly’s natural guidance with hands on everyday learning experiences.

3. Chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad…which would you go for if all three were on the menu? On bread or a bed of lettuce? If you answered bread, what kind of bread would make it the perfect sandwich?

A tuna melt, pretty please.

4. Do you have a desk?

We have more than one desk but this is the one where all the important stuff gets done. Dear was working from home for several months and he took it over for his work space.

Is it organized?

Yes, it is generally organized. This time of year it’s the most organized since we had to get things together for the tax man a few months ago.

If so, share your secret to keeping it that way.

I think the secret lies in the fact that the desk has space for everything. Smaller drawers for writing implements and all the office supplies you would need. A filing folder drawer where I have files for every monthly activity. A large pull out drawer with two large shelves to house current bills payable with check book, register, stamps, etc.  I even have a nice drawer for correspondence with room for cards, address book and stationary. It’s in a space where visitors rarely come to so if it’s a mess it really is no big deal.

We also have another small desk in a spare room where I used to sit to blog. Another large desk area in the basement where our old large desk computer sits with a fax machine/printer.

Where do you normally sit to blog?

These days I sit in our family room on the couch with my laptop in my lap to blog.

5. When I was nine years old….

I was nine years old in 1960.  In 1960 the major news stories include… US enters Vietnam War, the IRA starts it’s fight against the British, John F. Kennedy wins presidential Election , Chubby Checker and The Twist start a new dance craze, Soviet missile shoots down the US U2 spy plane, Aluminum Cans used for the first time, The US announces 3,500 American soldiers are going to be sent to Vietnam, Xerox introduces the first photocopier.

And speaking of Chubby Checker, I won the twist contest at my elementary school in the 6th grade…don’t tell my mom and dad and especially my Russian Baptist relatives. Dancing was a no-no!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I’m a little late to the party today but just wanted to add that the sun has been shining three mornings in a row here in the Pacific Northwest.

Thank you Joyce From This Side of the Pond for the questions to answer!

First Hodgepodge of May

1. Can you tell I’m embracing a Cinco de Mayo theme here this week? Do you like Mexican food? What’s your favorite dish? How about on the side-black beans, pinto beans, refried beans, rice? What about heat-mild, medium, hot? Will you celebrate with Mexican food and drink on May 5th aka Cinco de Mayo?

We embrace Mexican food every week. Most Tuesdays you’ll find us at La Corona sitting at a table served by our favorite waitress, Liliana. When she sees us drive up she heads to the bar to make us our Cadillac Margaritas. We’ve become good friends sharing life experiences together with her. We enjoy medium hot. No plans so far for Cinco de Mayo as we already had our Tequila Tuesday this week. We enjoy Mexican food at home, too. Photo is from a couple years ago before I embraced a new hairdo and my grey. Growing up in Montebello, California in my elementary school days we would have special assemblies and dance the Mexican Hat Dance on Cinco de Mayo.

2. Ever been to Mexico? For work or holiday? Love it or no? If you haven’t been is this a place you’d like to visit? Can you speak Spanish?

Surprising that even though we grew up in Southern California Dear and I have only been to Mexico once to pick up Saltillo floor tiles (a type of terracotta tile) with my cousin and his wife who were building a home. It’s referred to as the perfectly imperfect tile. This was not a vacation in any stretch of the imagination. We are happy to have made it to Tecate and back alive to talk about it. Part of the story involves us getting a ride by the Tijuana police back to the border.

3. What’s one thing you may accomplish this month?

I know that this month I’ll be getting a large part of my quota in of visiting family. We will head east to visit Addy and her folks again and then I will fly south to see my dear old pop for his 94th birthday and see as many siblings and nieces and nephews that I can fit in and who have the time to visit with me.

4. If you were mayor of your village, city, or town, what’s one thing you’d like to see changed, done away with, revamped, or accomplished? Is serving in public office something you’ve ever seriously considered?

If I was mayor of my village I’d space out city projects so that every major street in town wasn’t torn up at the same time. No interest whatsoever in serving in public office, thank you.

5. What’s something that may be popular, but that you just don’t get?

Green “healthy” smoothies.

6. Can’t let this week slip by without mentioning Thursday May 4th is Star Wars Day. As in ‘May the 4th be with you’ ahem. Are you a fan of the Star Wars series? Exactly how much of a fan are you? On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being ‘I’ve seen every film, own the action figures, might have dressed as Darth Vader for Halloween one year’, and 1 being, ‘what’s a Vader?’ -where do you land?

Well we embraced the series back in the day.  Our middle son always had little figurines of Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker in his pocket. I still have those in one of my china cabinets to give back to him.  On the scale, I’ll say 3. And…just to name drop, we were in a small group with George Lucas’ sister in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

7. Scroll back through your blog posts and in three sentences or less tell us the general theme of your fourth blog post. Does it still ring true today? Is it a topic you re-visit on your blog from time to time?

My blog is about all the things I enjoy and wonder about. What I see in the world around me and who I see it with. It’s always been heavy with photos because I’m visual. My fourth post dated March 5, 2007 was a devotional about Trusting and Obeying. Yes, it still rings true and I post devotionals occasionally and Sunday Hymns every week. Jesus will always be a part of my blog since He has saved me and leads me on in my life.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Today Dear and I enjoyed some time at Roozengaarde Gardens in Mt. Vernon enjoying the end of Tulip season there. My photo at the top of the post and this one above was taken at the gardens. I’ll be publishing a few posts of all the beautiful tulips we enjoyed soon.

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

Rain, Rain, Go Away Hodgepodge

1. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Has your April been filled with showers? Do you carry an umbrella, wear a slicker, or make a run for it? Besides rain, what else has filled your April?
We are breaking rainfall records here in the Pacific Northwest. Oye. No, I do not bother with an umbrella. I do have a good waterproof jacket. Mostly, I run for it!
Our 5 week old granddaughter has filled our April with lots of love, cuddles and smiles. This is one of the latest photos we’ve gotten via text. Oh how I love this little gift from above.
2. What’s something you could give a 30-minute presentation on at a moment’s notice and with zero preparation?
How to wing it making a meal with whatever you find in your fridge and cupboards.

3. Share with us a favorite food memory from childhood.

Pishky! Russian Fry Bread. 

4. What’s a song you thought you knew the lyrics to, but later discovered you were wrong?

When I learned lyrics to a song I listened to them over and over and over again to get them right. In junior high we would listen to Leslie Gore songs on a record player pulling up the arm of the record player and setting down the needle carefully again and again until we knew the words by heart. I was in choirs and Christian singing groups and enjoyed music enough to get the words right. When our minds went blank and we forgot words in the middle of a concert we kept our mouths moving and never missed a beat.

The thing I get wrong very often are well known sayings…

5. According to one travel website, the most overrated tourist attractions in America are-
Niagara Falls (NY), Hollywood Walk of Fame (California), Times Square (NYC), Epcot (FL), Seattle Space Needle (WA), and Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market (Boston). How many of these have you seen in person? Did you feel like a tourist? Did you care? Tell us about a place (not on the list) you’ve visited that might be considered a tourist trap, but you love it anyway.

I’ve been to Niagara Falls (both sides), Times Square, Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the Seattle Space Needle. Pike Place Market in Seattle is a tourist trap that I enjoy taking people to.

6. Your signature clothing item?

Blue jeans in public. My pink chenille robe in the privacy of my home! Sometimes you might see me in the yard early in the morning with my robe on. My Dear cringes when I head outside in my robe.

7. What’s an experience you’ve had you think everyone should experience at least once? Why?

Being the one in need of help. This is when you learn that it’s better to give than to receive. It’s hard to be the one who needs help. It’s a lot easier to be able to give…

8. Insert your own random thought here.

A little sunshine in a song from my teen years…

I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day
When it’s cold outside I’ve got the month of May
I guess you’d say
What can make me feel this way?
My girl (my girl, my girl)
Talkin’ ’bout my girl (my girl)

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

I drove to Canada and back on Tuesday and spent some time with my Mennonite Girls and will be sharing about our time soon. I am happy to report I had very little rain on my windshield going and coming back home, woohoo! Hope to get around and meet some new Hodgepodge friends.

Almighty Hodgepodge

It’s time to ponder Joyce’s questions and find the answers. This Cafe is on the main drag that runs along Lake Washington through Bothell, Kenmore, Lake Forest Park, and Lake City. This is the 522 bus route that goes to downtown Seattle. We haven’t tried the cafe yet but Dear has read many a book on that 522 route to Seattle and back.

1. April is Lawn and Garden Month. On a scale of 1-10 what’s the current state of your lawn and/or garden. (10=a showpiece, 1=send in the professionals). Tell us about any lawn or garden plans you have for this month.

Haha! As I was mowing on Monday of this week the thought came to my mind that we really could use some professionals to come in and totally redo our lawn. We have more moss and weeds then actual grass. I had the thought that it would be great to meet that guy at the big box store who would come up to me and say “can we come and do a yard project for you?” So I’m saying 1!

We have made some improvements on the walkway and planters since this photo was taken but the lawn remains a mess! This next photo is what things look like since 2016.

2. “Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there.”~Thomas Fuller  What does this quote mean to you?

I’ll take it literally and say I never sowed those weeds but there they are.

3. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about God?

Almighty

THE APOSTLES CREED
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit; Born of the Virgin
Mary; Suffered under Pontius Pilate; Was crucified, dead and buried; He descended into Hell; The third
day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven; And sitteth on the right hand of God the
Father Almighty; From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit; The Holy Christian Church, the Communion of Saints; The Forgiveness of
sins; The Resurrection of the body; And the life everlasting. Amen.
4. If we were chatting in person, how would I know if you were nervous?

If I was talking too much.

5. Do you like the color yellow? Would I find any in your home or wardrobe? Daffodils, tulips, roses, sunflowers, day lily, black eyed susan…which yellow bloom on this list is your favorite?

Not much yellow in my home or wardrobe. I do like lemons. Daffodils are my favorite yellow bloom.

6. Flip flops or bare feet?

Bare feet. Flip flops don’t agree with my feet.

7. Tell us about any Easter plans, celebrations, or traditions you’ll carry out this month.

This Easter will be different because we are headed east to spend time with our kids and our granddaughter Addy. We will celebrate but not in the usual way. We love Easter and we generally have a baking day before Easter to make Russian Easter Bread, Kulich/Paska and our yummy sweet cheese spread for the bread called Seernaya Paska. Lamb is the protein of choice for our Easter meals. We are going to have a post Easter celebration when we are back on this side of the mountains and we will celebrate our son-in-law’s birthday, too.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I owe everything that I am and everything I will ever be to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for my robe of righteousness afforded to me because Jesus took on my sins and the sins of the world. I am washed clean by the blood of the Lamb.

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

I’m recuperating today from 2 days of hard labor. Monday was yard day and yesterday after a nice walk with Katie, Dear recruited me to help him finish a shed project at our son and dil’s  that took us till 7:30 last night. They are very happy with their spiffy new shed and we were happy to put it together. I’m a bit behind this morning. Hope to catch up with everyone shortly. Happy Wednesday!

Far from Perfect Hodgepodge…

From this Side of the Pond 1. What is one area of your life where you’re a perfectionist? Is that a good thing?

Cleaning. Now, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea with this answer. My house is NOT that house that is always spic and span and where you can see vacuum trails and everything sparkles and you can smell cleaning solutions and you are afraid to sit down for fear of messing something up. But…when I do finally decide to clean an area of my home I go for every corner and nook and cranny and behind and under. That’s when I can announce that it’s clean! This is a photo of me getting ready to wash the floors on my hands and knees. Perfection??

Knee pads. Three pocket apron where I like to keep glass cleaning rags in one side and on the opposite side non glass cleaning rags. Never mix chlorine and ammonia as in bleach cleaners and window cleaners! Middle pocket I use for trash and other things I pick up along the way.

The hard side of what I define as clean is when we rent a place to stay and someone says it’s clean and I can see dust bunnies and all other kinds of things that are not clean. I get miffed especially when they add in a $200 cleaning deposit!

Last but not least I want to say I enjoy a cozy home, it does not have to be perfectly cleaned, unless I’m paying for it to be clean.

2. What’s something you find perfectly ridiculous?

Older women in leggings without their bum covered with a long top.

3. What’s a skill you’ve developed by way of that old fashioned saying, ‘practice makes perfect?

Being able to put a meal together that’s edible in a flash or over the course of a day with whatever is in the pantry or refrigerator or with all the special ingredients shopped for ahead of time. In other words, we can eat like common folk or like kings and queens at this old house because of much trial and error and success in the kitchen. There’s very little fear in my kitchen today except for my latest conquests that involve waiting for yeast to rise!

Growing up and into my adulthood before I was married my mother made every meal including school lunches for her 8 children. Her love language was putting food in front of us. Kids in our Russian culture stayed home until they got married. I did not cook or bake or do anything (maybe I made cookies) in my mother’s kitchen growing up. When I got married is when it was all on me. This wasn’t as bad as it sounds because I did learn from watching my mother that many great things are possible in the kitchen with limited resources. I should mention my major in college was Home Economics and I learned a lot in those school years.

4. What’s your idea of a perfect breakfast?

Something savory with a little something sweet, too.

5. What’s a trip, holiday, vacation, or day outing you’ve taken that you’d rate a perfect 10? Tell us why.

Any trip we’ve taken to Great Britain ranks a perfect 10 in my book. Why? The history, the architecture, the pubs, the Full English Breakfasts, the scenery, the museums, the cathedrals, the Bed and Breakfast establishments, the villages, cobblestones, castles,  Austen,  Tolkien, Sayers, Lewis. Should I go on? Long live the Queen!

6. What quote or saying perfectly sums up your life right now? If you can’t do perfect, how about one that comes close?

“Practically Perfect in Every Way” I think this quote can cover most anything because of the practically part! I don’t expect perfection on this earth. I’m looking forward to perfection when I see Jesus face to face.

Philippians 3:12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

7. How would you spend $300 today?

On baby equipment that a granny/baba would find useful to have in her home. If you have any suggestions let me know. What have you found useful? I’m thinking of looking at garage sales for some of this kind of stuff.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

March is an exciting month for our family. Our little Addy will be making her debut before the month is over. Our son and daughter-in-law will be a daddy and mommy for the first time. Our daughter and son-in-law celebrate 6 years of marriage. I’ll be a year older very soon and I intend to celebrate all month long. Spring arrives in March! Can I hear an amen!? Spring flowers will be popping up all over.

Thank you Joyce From This Side of the Pond for asking the questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Click over to join in the fun.