Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The Wednesday Hodgepodge







And, here we are, the 2nd Wednesday of the new year and before we turn around, it will be the last one.  Time certainly does fly and not just when you are having fun. ~smile~ 


1. When were you last a guest at an event or in someone's home? Tell us about it. Do you enjoy having guests in your own home? 

Our last time to be guests in someone's home was last September when we went to see Tommy's sisters in the Atlanta area.  We have been other places since then but we stayed in a hotel.  Tommy's sister and brother in law are the most gracious of host and hostesses.  They have lovely guest accomodations and it's a delight to be in their home.

This is the wall art that our guests see as they enter our guest suite.  Adding this private guest suite to our house plan was such a great decision and is enjoyed by our family and friends.  We do enjoy having guests and hope that they always feel welcome and enjoy their time here.

2. What has you 'tied up in knots' currently or recently? Are you any good at tying actual knots? 


I think a lot of our country is "tied up in knots" over our country's unrest. I don't even know what to say but, I know that we as Christians had better be on our knees calling upon the Lord.

As to me tying a good knot...........well, my husband is a pro at tying all kinds of knots and I usually leave the knot tying to him.

3. What's something you've been wanting to do and have decided 2021 will be the year you 'take the plunge'? 

Hummmm...........I can't think of a thing but, I have a love affair when it comes to 


One would think that I could not possibly do any more organizing in our home but I seem to always be able to find something else that could be better organized.  This has been especially true since Covid hit last March.  Organizing and cleaning out have become my past time these past months. 


4. Something in your home that's old? Something new? Something borrowed? Something blue? 

 

I am pretty sure these are the oldest items in our home.  This was my paternal Grandfather's pipe bowl and 3 of his pipes.  This bowl set on a small table beside his rocking chair for as long as I can remember.  I loved the smell of pipe smoke and can still smell it when I look at this.  It is setting out on some built in shelves we have and I see it everyday.  It is well over 100 years old.  And, I hope it is something that my kids will choose to keep when I am gone from this world.


I LOVE handmade pottery and I love birds.  These pieces are brand new.  I found both of them from artisans off of Etsy.  The workmanship is perfection.

I can't think of a thing that is borrowed but the blue would be the two dishes above.  I do have other decor that is blue as well.  I'm a fan of grey blue.


5. Share a favorite quote, a verse of scripture, and/or a bit of wisdom for couples getting married in this challenging and seemingly unpredictable season we're currently/still experiencing. 


This is just the greatest verse for all mankind, not just married couples.  Now, if we could just get folks to live by this, especially "love is kind.."  But, I think we first have to LOVE and therein lies a lot of our country's issues.

6. Insert your own random thought here.


We had our first snow in 3-4 years this past Sunday night and folks almost went crazy.  I "heard" that the grocery stores were maddening Sunday afternoon.  I suppose folks thought we might be housebound for days and days.  Well, that was certainly not the case.  We got between 3-4 inches, enough for folks to get out and enjoy for a few hours Monday morning.  It was melting fast by 11:00AM  I snapped the above picture just before we went to bed Sunday night.  We wrapped the trunk of this Red Maple in clear lights back in Dec. and they were especially beautiful with the backdrop of the snow.  This is the view out of our bedroom windows.  The snow was a lovely diversion.


Tuesday, January 5, 2021

December Prime Purchases



AND, here we are, the first Tuesday of 2021.  How did that happen?  I would have to say that since Covid entered our lives last March that Amazon's sales have skyrocketed.  I mean, most of my peeps are staying closer to home and further away from crowds, so that makes Amazon an even bigger temptation.  I mean, we gals have got to have our "retail therapy" during times such as this.  So, here's some of my "finds" for December.


SESAME  STICKS
I cannot tell you the last time I ate a Seseme Stick but I have always liked them.  These popped up while I was searching for something else and I ordered a bag.  They are wonderful!  I love crunchy snacks and I think I remember someone saying that they are good for you as well.  It's a win, win as far as I'm concerned.  One thing to remember, they are fairly calorie laden, so you have to use self control so as not to overdo it. ~smile~




ANTI-SNORE  CHIN  STRAP


What will they think of next?  I've never heard of this apparatus until a few months ago when someone told my Daddy that it would help him with his dry mouth.  I can't attest to the snoring part but Daddy said it helps him so much with his dry mouth at night.  He's already worn one out.  This will be his second one.  Perhaps you or someone you know needs this, either for dry mouth or the ever bothersome snoring.



FAUX  TURTLENECK DICKIES


I use to own some of these many years ago and had no idea if they were even made anymore.  Well, much to my surprise, they are!  These are so nice to have on hand when you need a turtleneck under a sweater but you don't need anything but the turtleneck part.  And, I love that this has the slouchy turtleneck look.




TEMPERED  GLASS  MIXING  BOWL


If you need a BIG glass bowl that is microwave safe then look no further.  It is a 6 quart capacity and is 11 1/4 inches in diameter.  I have plastic bowls this size but didn't have a glass one and on occasion I need one.  

AMAZON




HOT  AIR  BRUSH  DRYER



I've bought a couple of these type hot air brush dryer but this one is the best in my estimation.  It grabs the hair great and it has 3 different size brushes.  I think I'm going to enjoy it more for use between shampoos but not to use on wet/damp hair. The jury is still out on that.




FOUNDATION  MAKEUP  BRUSH


I've been seeing these lately and the temptation finally got the best of me and I ordered myself one.  I have used foundation brushes before but just did not care for them but this one is totally different from any I've ever used.  I've used the kind that had a long handle and long bristles.  This one covers a much larger area and the bristles are very short and smooth.  It truly puts a flawless finish on your face.  



KITCHEN  BRUSH  SET




Surely I'm not the only person that often needs brushes to clean an item and I often do NOT have the right size.  Well, NO more!  I'm pretty sure this set will fit any need that I have.  And, I think they would make a great gift as well.  I mean, I'm at a stage of life that I pretty much have all the "stuff" I need so a "needed item" is always welcome.  Just sayin'...........




PILOT  FRIXION PENS


Okay, let me confess right up front, I have a "love affair" with pens.  It's crazy but I love pens and if a new type comes out, I have to give it a try.  And, I'm a big fan of Pilot pens, so I figured I would like these as well.  The best part of this pen is there are different points available and these are erasable, retractable and refillable.  I mean, how much better can it get???  And, the eraser works amazing, no more white out mess for me. 




BUFFALO  CHECK  OUTDOOR  PILLOW  COVERS


These are such nice, nice pillow covers.  They are 20x20 and made of a heavy canvas/linen type fabric for outdoor use.  I love buffalo plaid and I put these out on the benches on our front porch when I took off the Christmas pillows last week.  I ordered the 20x20 inserts and it was simple to stuff the inserts into the covers.  These come in several colors and you can also find the solid colors on Amazon as well.  


And, there you have it, my Prime finds for last month.  And, we welcomed 2021 with blackeyed peas, cabbage and pork chops.  Hopefully 2021 is going to be nicer to us than 2020!  

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Christmas, 2021 and Sadness


Here it is the 2nd day of 2021 and not much has changed since the last day of 2020.  I look back on 2020 with mixed emotions, as I'm sure many of you do. But, I won't even "go there."  I'll just look forward to 2021 and all it's uncertainty. ~sigh~



One of my high lites of the Christmas season was spreading a little cheer at the assisted living facility where my Dad lives.  We have a Karaoke machine and I took it over and sang some Christmas songs for them and had them sing along on some carols.  It was so much fun and they were such an appreciative group. And, of course, just as any parent, Dad was as "proud as punch." 


Talk about a lapful! We have a 16 month old, 2 , 5 year olds, an 11 and 12 year old.  They have such a good time when they get to see each other.  They are a lively group for sure and our house was full of fun and noise.  It's a deafening quiet when they leave.  We made a lot of precious memories for sure.


One of our gifts from the children was a hammer.  We both got one.  One side of it said, "thank you for building your foundation on what truly matters."  The other side had all the Grans names engraved.  It was such a special gift and with such special meaning.  In case you are wondering, it came from Etsy.  Someone had a great idea!

The past month and past days have brought some extreme sadness to our hearts.


This is a picture of some of our dear friends, Charles and Gerri.  This past year Charles has been plagued with a host of health issues after being the picture of health  all of his life.  On November 24th they found out that Charles had a gigantic brain aneurysm and it was the cause of the issues he was facing.  They were able to connect with a renown brain surgeon out in Galveston, Texas and he had surgery 30 days ago today.  His journey has been tough and he has faced more obstacles, since his surgery, than one should have to face.  Charles and Gerri are such Godly folks and are the "real deal" and Gerri's faith throughout this has been such a testimony to all of us as she has sat  by Charles' bedside these past long days.  I ask for your prayers for Charles' healing. 


And, regardless of where you live in the US, if you watch the national news you likely heard about the untimely passing of our newly elected Congressman, Luke Letlow.  We have known Luke for about 30 years.  He went to school with our children and I knew when he just a kid that he was destined for great things. Luke would have been one of the best Congressmen for our state, no doubt about it!  I could go on and on about Luke but I'll just sum it up by saying he was a great, great guy with a heart of gold.  And, his precious wife, Julia, also went to school with our kids.  Together they were such a dynamic couple and have two adorable children under 3 years of age.  Luke, 41 years old, died from complications of Covid this past Tuesday.  This.is.not.suppose.to.happen!  My heart has been so sad for our loss and especially for Julia and the children.  A loss I just do not understand.  I ask your prayers for his family as well.  His service will be held this afternoon at our church and will be live streamed.  I'm so glad that I will be able to be a part of it.


And, praise God for this truth!  He has been enough for my friend Gerri as she takes this tough journey with her husband and He will be enough for Julia as she navigates her life in the years to come.  That doesn't lessen the difficulty of the journey but both of these ladies know and trust the Lord and that's where their strength comes from and He will see them through one step and one day at a time.

And, we go forth into 2021........







 

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

The 400th Hodgepodge



Yes, my friends, this is the 400th HP hosted by Joyce.  My goodness, that's a whole lot of questions. Hats off to you, Joyce, we appreciate you so much and your hosting us each Wednesday.  You are the BEST!

1. I feel like episode 400 cannot go without comment. That's a whole lot of Hodgepodging folks. 2000 questions if my math is right. So, what's something you feel like you do 400 times a week? 


Straighten things and wipe off kitchen counters.  My goodness, I'm so OCD that if I see some thing out of place, I must straighten it immediately.  And, I wiped kitchen counters a lot before Covid but , I'm forever wiping them off with Clorox wipes now.

2. Tell us where you were and something about what your life looked like in the year 2000? 


My sweet Dad and Mom made their big move from Virginia to Louisiana after Daddy retired from the ministry. We had not lived closer than a 1000 miles of each other since I had married. It was so nice to have them just "down the road."   Our children were in college and doing well for themselves and, as I remember it, life was indeed good.  And, that  seems like yesterday and here it is, 20 years later. The kids are married and we have 5 precious Grans.  I wonder what the next 20 years will bring or maybe I don't. 

3. Do you like cinnamon? What's something you make and enjoy that calls for cinnamon? Of the cinnamon 'foods' listed which is your favorite-red hot cinnamon candies, cinnamon toast, cinnamon rolls, cinnamon toast crunch cereal, apple cinnamon oatmeal, churros, an Indian curry?


I love cinnamon!  Several desserts I make this time of year call for cinnamon and that's what makes them all the more delicious.  I love cinnamon toast but I cannot tell you the last time I had some.  Just an added note..........I add a tad of cinnamon to my coffee every morning, along with a lot of powdered creamer and stevia.  

4. Does Christmas 2020 (or Hanukkah) look much like it has in years past, or is this year vastly different for you and your family? How so? How are you feeling about it all? 

Well, the Christmas season has been very different with little to no gatherings taking place.  I've missed that so much as it is usually so much a part of our Christmas season.  As far as our family Christmas, so far it's looking very similiar to past years.  One of Tommy's sisters and her husband will arrive this afternoon and Bridget and her family will arrive Christmas afternoon.  We'll have our family celebration on Saturday.  We've all been being extra careful and doing our best to stay well so nothing will change these plans.  With that being said, my Daddy has always come for part of our celebration and, of course, that will not happen this year.  I just hate it but am so thankful that not one resident at his assisted living facility has gotten Covid.  I think that's amazing.  His facility will be getting the vaccine real soon.


5. What's one thing you need or want to do before this year ends? 


I don't know if it will happen, but I would like to get our home office all ready for 2021.  That means cleaning out the 2020 files and keeping the ones that are necessary and shredding the rest of them.  And, there's my closet that I want to go through as well.  So, if not by the end of this year, it will definitely be my first of the year projects.  

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I "think" I am as ready as I can be for the celebration to begin here at our house.  I worked on my menus last week, made my grocery list, and bought the groceries.  I've even done some of the preparation.  Meals are by far the biggest job for holiday company.  I do all that I can ahead to cut down on my time in the kitchen, but it always seems like you finish one meal and immediately start thinking about the next one.  ~smile~  All the gifts are wrapped and ready, the house in order and the welcome mat rolled out.  All that's left to do is make memories and we'll start on that this afternoon when our first of the family arrives.




Monday, December 14, 2020

A Recap of Past Days


And, life just keep right on rockin' along, although very different, it keeps on rockin'.


We had a lovely Thanksgiving with my brother and his wife and our niece and her boy friend.  Did I tell you that my brother and his wife have recently moved to Tyler, Texas?  Well, we are so excited!  They have always lived a very long ways away and now they are a mere 3 hours up the road.  Now, Ashley and John flew in from Iowa, so we were all a little concerned that all the "Covid Cooties" that might be floating around here in our house.  But, thankfully, we have all stayed well thus far.


Isn't this the cutest pictures of these two redheads!  This was taken on Thanksgiving Day and it looked like the perfect fall picture to me.  This is our daughter in law and our youngest granddaughter, Andi Kate.


Coleman, Clancy and their Daddy went to their other Grandparents hunting a couple of weeks ago.  Clancy ended up snagging himself a nice buck.  Clancy will stick with it and do what is necessary to have a chance to kill something.  Coleman, well, not so much!  Bless his little heart, he will want to go but doesn't usually last very long.  But, he's only 5, so he's got plenty of time to develop what it takes to be a good hunter.

My "tree fairy" came on the 3rd and worked her magic on our tree.  It really is pretty and is just about the only decoration we have this year.  I have kept it fairly simple this year. I did decorate the front porch, so we have a nice warm and welcoming Christmas look out there.  And, Hubby and I did wrap clear lights around the trunks of a couple of our Crepe Myrtles in the back yard.  We thoroughly enjoy looking at them thru the back windows each evening.  And, I have several strands of the little fairy lights entwined on the mantle and arrangements throughout the house.  They give off such a lovely glow and make me very happy.  


Hubby and I are being extra cautious and careful right now as we don't want to jeopardize our family Christmas.  But, I did host our office staff last Thursday for our annual Christmas lunch.  They should feel very special as they are the only group that we will be hosting this Christmas season. ~smile~

They are indeed a special group that do a good job of caring for the insureds and we are so fortunate that none of them have contracted Covid up to this time.  And, we hope and pray it stays that way.

I just had to share this easy, easy praline recipe with you.  Perhaps you have seen it before but if you haven't, you need it in your file.  I had never made pralines until I saw this recipe a couple of years ago.  They were too time consuming and you never knew if they would turn out right.  Well, these are awesome and it takes a mere 10 minutes in the microwave and then work quickly in dropping them out.  I will tell you that you need a rather large glass bowl because the mixture gets very bubbly after about 6 minutes and if the bowl is not big enough it will bubble right on out of the bowl.  Take my word for it!  And, never forget that pralines make a wonderful sweet to share.  You can thank me for the recipe later. ~laugh~

Santa made a stop by the country club yesterday while we were eating lunch.  I decided that I needed to have a little chat with him so I stopped by his station.   


And, I leave you with these.......are they not the cutest!!!!!  The lady that keeps Case snapped  these last week and I could hardly stand it.  This little guy and his family will be coming in on Christmas Day and we'll have our family Christmas on the 26th.  It's just what you do when your family is spread out, you have it when you can.  And, it works and it is just fine.  Added note, Case absolutely will NOT keep socks or shoes on his feet! 

It is such a different holiday season this year.  Covid is rampant in our area and we know so many folks that have either had it or currently have it.  It has put such a damper on holiday gatherings and my social self misses that terribly.  


Christmas cards didn't make the cut this year, so please consider this as our wish to you.  And, isn't it a comfort knowing that HE is the hope of our world!

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

A Holiday Spirit Kind of Hodgepodge



I've missed being a part of the HP the past couple of weeks but sometimes there doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day.  Life happens! ~smile~  But, it's sure good to be back answering Joyce's questions today. 


1. What do you think it means to have the holiday spirit? 


Enjoying Christmas music
Shopping for gifts
Wrapping gifts
Enjoying family
Worshipping together
All of these mean the holiday spirit to me.

2. What's one thing you've baked this month? Have you eaten the finished product? How much baking do you do around the holidays? What baked sweet something does your family insist is on the menu during this season of the year?  

I LOVE to bake and bake a lot throughout the year.  I think it's theraputic for me.  I enjoy giving my baked items away as well and like to package them "cutesy."  I know, I know, crazy! I don't really know of any one baked item my family insists on during this season.  But, they are ALWAYS ready for a piece of my Almond Pound Cake.  It's an all time favorite!  My big thing for the holidays is making fudge.  I have made around 35 pounds this year and will be packaging and delivering it in the coming days to the "lucky" folks.  And, it's not something that my family is all that crazy about, including me.  But, I so enjoy making it and sharing it and have been doing it for 20+ years.

3. Your most recent 'half-baked' idea?

Hummm...........this one stumped me.  I can't think of a thing.

4. Where were you the last time you 'baked' in the sun? The top ten sunniest destinations in the world (most sun from January-December according to this site) are Dubai, Bali Indonesia, Los Angeles CA, Miami FL, Barbados, Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, Mauritius, Antiqua, and the Canary Islands Spain. Have you been to any of the cities listed? Which one on the list appeals to you the most? If the world were not upside down crazy and you could lie on a beach anywhere right now where would you go? 

I cannot remember the last time I baked in the sun, I learned the ill effects of that and  have been very careful ever since.  I have never been to any of the cities mentioned above and if I could go to any beach right now, it would be Seaside Beach in Florida.  Seaside is such a quaint and beautiful city with gorgeous turquoise beaches.


5. Today I wish I had more holiday gatherings to attend.  I am so bummed that many of our usual holiday gatherings are not happening this year.  This whole Covid mess has put a damper on my social self for sure. ~Boo - Hiss~


6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Our family is making plans for our Christmas celebration and praying that ALL of us can stay well and nothing will change our being together.  I'm sure that many of you are doing the same thing.  Hubby and I are being extra cautious right now and the kids are being as cautious as they can be.  But, our daughter and DIL are school teachers and 4 of our 5 Grans are in school.  So, it is what it is and we will deal with it accordingly, happily or unhappily.