Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's Hodgepodge time again and it's what makes Wednesday's Wednesday's for me.  And, this is my first Hodgepodge being 62 years old.  Not sure that matters a bit.  But, sit back, enjoy and jump over to Joyce's and check out more Hodgepodge.  You won't be disappointed, I promise!
1. "Summer is like childhood. It's full of warm memories and gone too soon."~Kellie Elmore  Agree or disagree? Share something you loved about the summers of your childhood.
We always, always lived around 1000 miles from one side of our family.  For years it was my Mom's family we lived far from and then Dad was called to pastor a church in Virginia near my Mom's family and that meant we were now far away from Dad's family in Arkansas.  Every summer we loaded up the car and made the very, very long trip to see family.  I can still feel the excitement that I felt and we had to drive for two full days and stay in cheap hotels and did not have air-conditioning in our cars.  So amazing how times have changed but I have such fond, fond memories of going to see family.

2. Are you a fan of auto racing-NASCAR, Indy, Stock, Grand Prix, etc? Ever been to a race in person? Any desire to do this?  Do you know a lot about cars? Do you notice particular makes and models when you're out and about?
Now, listen closely, I cannot stand NASCAR!!!  I've never been to any of these type races and have literally no desire.  The noise is enough to send me over the edge and it just all seems so senseless.  I know a little about cars and unless it is a "show stopper" I really pay no attention to cars except the one I am driving. ~smile~

3. What's something you think is too serious to be joked about? Or do you think anything and everything is fair game?
The state of affairs of our country and our President.  It is so serious and there are so many jokes being made about all of it and it makes me very sad, because we are, after all, the USA and it just shouldn't be this way.

I do not think any and everything is fair game.

4. July 29th is National Lasagna Day. Are you a fan? Do you have a great recipe, and if so where did it come from? If given a choice would you choose a plate of lasagna or a plate of spaghetti?
Yes, indeed and I do have a great recipe that I have had for years and years that I got from my backdoor neighbor.  The best part of it is that you make it with raw lasagna and it turns out perfect everytime.  It's the only lasagna I make and I'd choose a plate of lasagna over spaghetti but I do like spaghetti as well.

5. What's a simple pleasure you'd miss if it were not a regular part of your life?
After dinner, Hubby and I retreat to our recliners for the remainder of the day (most of the time).  It is a time of the day that I literally look forward to.  We're together, not always conversing, but it's our time each day and when we are not home and unable to have our "chair time" I miss it terribly. 

6. If you could be the CEO of any company, which would you choose?
This will probably sound crazy but The Dollar Tree.  I think the entire concept is amazing and of all the $$$ stores, it is definitely my favorite.  And, our local Dollar Tree plays instrumental Christian music.  I'm not sure that is across the board, but it's what they do here and I love it.  And, I saw on the news Monday that they were buying up all the Family Dollar stores, so they will be an even bigger entity now. I try to make a monthly "cruise through."

7. August is just around the farewell to July in exactly seven words. Good-bye my dear birthday month! You rocked!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

My sweet friend, Gerri, cooked dinner for me last evening to celebrate my birthday.  I thought it was going to be just Hubby and myself.  But, in walked our son, DIL and the Princess to join in the celebration.  I was more than surprised and what a fun time we had.  Gerri outdid herself on the meal and the dessert and Hanna Beth was more than happy to help her CiCi blow out the candles on the cake.  It was such a lovely celebration!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

HELLO Monday

HELLO 62nd Birthday.......yep, that's right, tomorrow will make 62 years that the dear Lord has given me here on planet earth. Our two kiddos treated me to a wonderful birthday dinner this past Friday evening while our daughter was in town.
I had the "Rajun Cajun Shrimp" with a salad and can I just tell you that it was ragin' alright.  I seldom have anything that is too spicy hot for me but this almost topped all spiciness. But, oh, so good and as you can see from the above plate of both the shrimp and the "birthday cheesecake" that presentation is everything!!!  I mean, how do they make such beauty of sauces?  I love it and it was a lovely evening with our family.  What more could a gal desire!!

HELLO BFF...... 50 years ago Lynette and I met in the 8th grade right after I  moved to town.  It was a new place, a new school and new friends for me.  Something must have "clicked" because that friendship has remained and though many miles separate us now, we can always pick right back up where we left off.  This past weekend I was by her side as she laid her precious Mother to rest.  Lynette lives in Orlando but is from here and her parents were both from here.  Seven year ago Lynette's Mom made a move to Orlando because of her declining health.  But,Lynette brought her Mom back here for her burial.  You've heard of "destination weddings" well, this was a destination funeral and no easy feat.  Thankfully, Lynette is a "gal with a plan" and she had taken care of as much as possible before her Mom's death and I was able to be her "go to" person on this end.  Everything came off without a hitch and now Lynette will begin the adjustment of finding her "new normal."  Those of us who are and have been caregivers understand. We did try to find a few hours for just a little fun while she was here.  We got our daughters and my DIL and had a little "retail therapy" fun one afternoon.  That sort of lightened up the heaviness of the days.

HELLO Gran love...........I'm thinking this picture says it all.  These little guys can just wear this CiCi plum out with all their energy and they make me so thankful that they are "just" my Grans.  I'm not sure I could hold up to such energy 24/7. ~big laugh~  And, I have no doubt that's why it was likely the Lord's intention that we be parents in our younger years.  But, oh, the joy these little ones can bring to our lives!  We are beyond blessed for sure!

HELLO new house progress........And, they have FINISHED the slab!!!  Yep, today marks 6 weeks into construction and all we have is a slab, but can I just tell you that it is one fine slab.  Hubby worked about 7 hours ~in the heat of the day~  after the concrete finishers finished their work keeping the slab wet to lessen the chances of cracks.  And, at last look yesterday there is only ONE hairline crack.  And, yes, ultimately it will all be covered up but Hubby is just that way, wants it as right as he can get it.  Gotta love a man like that and I do!
And, folks, I have made my granite choices!!  Yes siree, it is "signed and sealed" and to be delivered in a few months.  The Sienna Bordeaux (on the left and the one I'm standing in front of) is for our kitchen and the Top Star (on the right) is for our Master Bath.  I am soooo very pleased with both choices and had some really good direction from my designer. Things are moving along! Will likely begin looking more like a house being built soon.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Fragments

Half-Past Kissin' Time
Certainly did not think I would have time to be blogging today but since blogging is some of the best therapy for me, I made some time for it. ~smile~  Always fun to link up with Mrs.4444 and share fragments of my week. And, what a week it has been! I definitely needed this time of therapy.

Hubby and I picked this little guy up last Sunday and had him until Wednesday all to ourselves.  On Wednesday our daughter came and they will be here until Sat. afternoon.  It was our first time to have him here by himself and it was a special time.  He's such a little sweetheart and especially when his parents aren't around. ~funny how that works~
I had both our little Princess and our little Cowboy some of the time without either of the parents and that was just extra special.  I even took them with me to run errands and of course, the best part of that was all the folks that stopped to tell me just how cute they are. ~music to my ears~

I was about to mix up a cake one evening and Clancy saw what I was doing and had to get in on the fun.  He could hardly wait for me to finish so he could lick the beaters and the bowl.  And, yes, I know "they" say to never eat cake batter because it has raw eggs in it.  Well, I licked batter and my kiddos licked batter all their lives and we are all still alive to tell about it, so, as you can see, I let him indulge himself.  Talk about a happy boy!  And, might I add, the Blueberry Pound Cake was delicious!
Our #1 daughter arrived on Wed. and every time she's here it seems as though she has never left and she's been gone for a very long time.  But, we talk, we laugh and act a fool and just have the best time.  Sometimes we are almost more than Hubby can take. ~big laugh~  But, it's sweet, sweet times for sure~
We had a photo shoot one afternoon and I grabbed this cowgirl hat for the Princess to put on.  And, could she possibly be any cuter? I mean, she has got the posing down pat. ~go ahead, say awe all together~
And, last, but certainly not least, my Dad has hurt his back again and he is in misery and pretty much making everyone around him miserable. ~bless his heart~ It happened about 2 weeks ago and has gotten progressively worse.  It has been insane trying to see after him and wear all the other hats that I've been trying to wear this week. But, somehow I have managed with the help of my dear Hubby and step Mom to "make it happen."  He is scheduled for an MRI this morning as the Dr. is fairly certain that he has another hairline fracture in his spine.  Meanwhile, he is on muscle relaxers and pain meds trying to keep it tolerable for himHe has done so well the past 3 months and I had hoped that it would last until his time on earth was up, but I guess it will always be one thing after another.  I'm especially concerned about the pain meds as we had just weaned him off all pain meds back in March and that has made his entire life better.  But, what do you do?  You give him pain meds. The Dr. is trying hard to keep him off narcotics but Dad says they just take the edge off but do not take the pain away.  And, once again, we will fight this bear and hopefully come through to the other side. ~God being our helper~

Happy, happy weekend! 
NOTE: Please forgive me for not visiting around this week as much as I generally do, but I will be back to connecting with you gals next week, I promise! 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Another Wednesday and that means another Hodgepodge.  I wasn't sure I would be participating this week but it worked out that I could and that always makes my mid-week go better.

When I look at the sky I feel
that this world is just a whole lot bigger than my mind can comprehend and that the sky forms this big huge tent over the entire universe.  And, it's such a shame that we cannot live like one big happy universe under that tent. ~sad~
2. If you had to run for political office, which one would you run for? Do you have any real desire to actually do this?
Oh, my goodness, I might as well set my sites high and run for President.  I'm just almost certain I could do a better job than the current administration, but then, that's not saying a lot.  I have absolutely NO desire to run for any political office or have anything to do with anything political.

3. What scent makes you think of home?
When I grew up there were no home fragrances as such but the one smell that reminds me of home is Chanel No.5.  It was the perfume my Mom wore for as long as I can remember and  while I rarely get a whiff of it now, if I do, it reminds me of home and my Momma.

4. How often do you take a step back to think about where you're headed in life? Do you need more or less self-reflection?
I spent quite a lot of time in self-reflection when I turned 60 two years ago the 29th of this month.  And, I spend way more time in self-reflection than I ever have and I think that often "goes with the turf" as we age.  I realize that I have less time than I have ever had to make my life count and to make memories and I want to make the best use of the time I have left, ever how little or how much it is.

  5. July is National Ice Cream Month...besides a cone, what's your favorite food item to top with ice cream?
I have never enjoyed topping anything with ice cream, cake, pie,etc.  I want my vanilla ice cream by itself and I want my piece of pie or cake by itself.  I know, weird, but it's just the way I am.  I don't like meringue on pie either and always take it off and eat the pie with it.  ~double weird~

6. What might your autobiography be called?
"Glimpses Into the Life of a Southern Gal" - exactly what I have on my blog header. ~smile~

7. Your least favorite mode of transportation? Why?
A train.  When Bridget was in the 6th grade she was a part of a choir that had the opportunity to sing for the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC.  There were 60+ kids in this choir so their director was looking for an affordable way to get that many kiddos and a bunch of parents to Washington, DC.  Amtrack was the most affordable, so Amtrack it was.  It was an experience for sure and not one I would ever care to repeat and cured me of any desire to ride a train anywhere.  But, I do know folks that have ridden Amtrack to their destinations and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It could have been that keeping up with 60 plus kids was just "too much sugar for a dime." ~sweet memories~

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

 This was the scene at our house yesterday afternoon.  Clancy and Hanna Beth were busy as bees building with their Legos.  I am so amazed at how their little 4 and 5 year old eyes and hands can build with them and they build such neat creations.  They are so sweet together and are a real joy to this CiCi.

Monday, July 21, 2014

HELLO Monday

This Monday finds the pitter patter of a little 5 year old boy's feet at our house.  We picked Clancy up yesterday and he's sharing some special time with his CiCi and Poppa for a few days before his Momma comes to reclaim him.  I can assure you that he will give us a "run for our money" and we'll be in "recovering mode" once he is gone. ~oh, the energy of a 5 year old~ But, there is absolutely nothing like a little warm body joining you in bed about 5:30 AM for a little snuggling before beginning the day. ~sweet, sweet~  Now for a HELLO or two......
Hello fun, fun gathering................
Last Thursday afternoon my sweet friend, Nancy, had all of our Sunday School class over to her lovely home for dessert and coffee.  Nancy moved into her new home about a year and a half ago from the home she had and her family had lived in for more than 25 years.  Sadly,Nancy, became a widow about 5 years ago and has faced some life changing adjustments since her husband's death. Nancy has handled these adjustments with such style and grace and been a real testimony to God's unfailing faithfulness in the tough seasons of life.  
Nancy's home is so warm and welcoming and rates at the top of my list of "favorite houses."  She carefully thought through each detail and it is obvious.  It is perfect retreat for her.
Georgia, Phyllis, Kathy and Kathy
Nancy pulled out her china and silver to serve us on.
Fay and Beth
She and another of our class members made a delicious lemon dessert and a wonderful pineapple/coconut dessert.
Pat, Nancy and Mary Lynn
We are a close knit group of ladies and always enjoy a time of being together and visiting
Melissa and Gerri
We have been by each other's side through the birthing of our babies, and the raising of our children. We've shared  times of rejoicing and times of great grief. 
Nancy, Velma and "yours truly"
There's just nothing like a great group of "church ladies" that are like sisters and stick closer than a brother.

And, that's my HELLO Monday for today!

NOTE: I'll likely be "hit or miss" this week while I'm busy making
 some precious memories with my family.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Fragments

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Joining up with Mrs. 4444 for some Friday fragments......

I am a big fan of American Family Radio (AFR) and listen to it daily.  One of my favorite features is "JJ and Ron in the Morning" (from 6:00 - 9:00AM).  Five years ago yesterday JJ and his wife Melanie's 5 year old son, Cooper, was killed while he and JJ were riding on a dune buggy.  It was very tragic and JJ and Melanie have written the above book to share their story of grief in the hopes of ministering to others.  I have not read the book yet but I have seen the documentary, Flame On, that they did 2 years ago where much of the book is talked about.  I cannot recommend it enough!  If you or someone you know is grieving a loss, especially of a child, you might want to get this book and give it to them as a gift. You can order it here from AFR.

Just a quick update on the house construction.  It was a busy week but you might not can tell that by the above photos.  The footings were dug (middle photo) and filled  for the regular foundation  and hopefully the regular foundation will be poured the first of the coming week.  It's needs a good rain on it first and it appears that the good Lord is going to do just that today.  Many of you have questioned me about the "block foundation" and I think the best way to tell you is just to say that by having a block foundation it allows us to have steps leading up to the front door.  A regular foundation does not allow that, the front door is ground level.  Our house will be raised about 3 feet.  Maybe that helps you to understand a little better.  And, might I add, it takes much, much longer to build a block foundation, thus, we're in our 5th week of construction and nary a stud has gone up yet.  But, it won't be long now and then you will really be able to see progress. I can't wait!

We are going to pick up this little fella on Sunday and he'll be with us about 3 days and then his Momma will come for a few days before they head home.  This will be our first time ever to have him by himself but they now live close enough that this is possible.  He's about to start Kindergartner and life will never be the same but it's all a part of life.  We look forward to spending this special time with him.

Okay, thought you might be interested in this new chicken dish I did last night for our dinner.  I say new because it's new to me.  My DIL told me about it and it sounded good so I gave it a whirl.  Spray Pam on the bottom of a dish (to fit how many breasts you may be doing), then put strips of raw bacon on the bottom of the pan. Then season the breasts to your liking and then wrap them with raw bacon.  Cut up potatoes, carrots and onions and sprinkle throughout the breasts and sprinkle with salt and pepper and add about 3/4 cup of chicken broth for some liquid. Cover tightly with foil or cook in lidded container.  Cook at 350 degrees for up to an hour and a half.  Ovens vary, but I would imagine it would take at least an hour in any oven.  I baked mine an hour and a half.  It's very tasty and we liked the potato, carrot and onion mixture with the chicken.  Easy peasy!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

So glad for another Wednesday and another Hodgepodge.  These questions provoked a good bit of thought on my part and that's a good thing.  It's called "exercising the brain."  Enjoy!

1. The month of July was named for Roman Emperor Julius Caesar. He's quoted as saying, 'Experience is the teacher of all things." So what has experience taught you lately?

That the best things in life really are FREE, such as time with family making memories, enjoying peace and quiet and being still. Society has us thinking if we are not busy, busy then something is wrong and also gives us the feeling that money does buy happiness.  

2. Where did you last 'roam'?

Humm....I guess we roamed to our daughter's in Mt. Pleasant, Texas two weeks ago.  It was our first visit and we weren't exactly sure where we were going, so guess we roamed until we found their home.  Yes, we did use our navigation but believe it or not it does not pick up where they live due to some road construction in their area. Road construction tends to play havoc with GPS systems.

3. Speaking of 'Rome', pasta, can only pick one, which would you choose?

Well, if I can only choose one then it would have to be pizza and I'd hope it was brick oven style.  Although, homemade pizza is one of my specialities (if I have a speciality) and I seldom eat any that is any better. ~no brag, just fact~ 
4. 'Rome wasn't built in a day', 'All roads lead to Rome', 'When in Rome...' which 'Roman' idiom have you most recently encountered? Explain.

I suppose since we are in the process of building a new house that I will have to remind myself often that "Rome wasn't built in a day" and neither will our house.  But, thankfully, we are in no rush and it doesn't really matter how long it takes.

5. What's a movie you've seen or a book you've read, that makes you want to book a trip to Italy?

"Room With A View" was filmed in Florence and I watched it a few months ago and the scenery was awesome.  And, I have several friends that have been to Italy and they have all given "rave reviews" of their time there.  But, I'm not much into overseas travel so it's doubtful that I'll ever go.  I'll just enjoy hearing about it.

6.  Walt's original Disneyland opened almost sixty years ago, on July 17, 1955  Have you ever been to the California park? How about any of the other Disney parks around the world? What's your favorite amusement park ride or attraction?

Yes, I have been to Disneyland and  have been to Disney World in Orlando several times.  I love the "It's A Small, Small World" attraction in The Magic Kingdom.  The music is so, so cute and all the animation of the different people around the world is amazing.

7. It's that time of year...when were you last bitten or stung?

Here in our neck of the woods we are overrun with mosquitoes and
and most anytime we are outside in the evening I feel the little "fella" gnawing on my ankles.  I think my last bite was probably this past Saturday but thankfully they do not cause me a lot of issues. Now, my little Princess, when she gets a bite, it is awful!

  8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
 As most of you know I've had shoulder/neck issues for the past several months.  I first saw a shoulder specialist and after two visits, he informed me that he thought that my shoulder issues were likely neck issues.  I saw a highly regarded  Neurologist in Shreveport a couple of weeks ago and he surmised from my MRI that I had a bone spur pinching a nerve.  He referred me to a Pain Clinic in Monroe for Cervical Epidural injections.  I had the first one today (under conscious sedation) and so far, I'm not really feeling any relief.  But, the Dr. did say that it could take 48 hours, so I'm hopeful.  Thankfully my discomfort is not unbearable and is more just aggravating than anything.  My main issue is sleeping and laying on my left side and that is generally not possible and I LOVE sleeping on my left side.  Time will tell. *Added note: I wrote the above part last night and it is this morning and I was able to sleep on my left side last night without any discomfort at all.  So, perhaps we are making progress and I'm sure encouraged.

Monday, July 14, 2014

HELLO Monday.........

It's Monday and that means it's time for some HELLO's............

 Hello clean doggies.......
This past weekend was "bath time" for Roscoe and Rhett.  Roscoe loves a bath, Rhett, not so much.  Hubby is very faithful to pretty much assume the full time care of these two.  I love like them but I don't really care to get involved in the day to day care of them.~shame on me~   And, might you know, they both love me dearly.  I know, I should feel awful, but I don't.  They are great dogs but I'm just not a huge animal lover.  I will definitely miss them when they are gone because they are always the first ones to greet me when I come in and will come to the back glass door and look at me with those endearing eyes.  

Hello Funfetti fun......

 Pillsbury has definitely worked their magic on their line of Funfetti baking items.  I saw this new item at the grocery the other day and knew that it was something Hanna Beth and I were going to have to do.  It was Vanilla Glazed lil Donut Kit.  It instructed you to form the balls out of the dough and I just added the candy sticks to them for the fun of it and they worked like a charm.  I baked them in the balls so that they would stand a better chance of staying in the dough.  HB especially enjoyed dipping them in the glaze and sprinkles after they had baked.  She could hardly wait to taste them and when she did, she spit it right back out.  She said, "CiCi, I do NOT like these."  It was so funny!  So, I decided I would give them a try and found them to be very, very good.  They tasted exactly like a cake donut.  But, HB is a glazed donut girl and these just did not appeal to her.  But, it didn't lessen the fun she had making them. 

Hello "Bread and Wine" book....
 I am quite sure that you have most likely heard of this book by Shauna Niequist.  It came out just a few months ago and I've read about it on several blogs and just haven't stopped to order it until last week.  Shauna refers to it as "a love letter to life around the table with recipes."  And, that is exactly what it is. Shauna refers to the family times and relationships that are enriched around the table during a meal.  It has caused me to look at meals shared with others in a whole new light and I highly recommend the book.  And, no one is paying me or ask me to promote Shauna's book, but it is such a good book that I wanted to share my "two cents" worth with you. ~aren't you glad~

Hello house progress.....
 NOT!  That's right, there's nothing to report this week.  We needed rain to settle the dirt inside the block foundation and ended up having to make our own rain by sitting up a sprinkler.  It ran for 48 hours and did the trick.  And, then Mother Nature decided it needed some more water and it came a downpour a day after that.  That prevented the men from working because the dirt was then too wet.  So, they will be back in the morning and hopefully can get the footings dug, the block foundation closed in and then pour the concrete.  That will likely take this whole week.  But, we are not under any time constraints, so it's all good.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday Letters

I felt the need for a little letter writing today.  It's always fun to share and get a few things off my chest ............
Dear Vera Bradley....I am very surprised that your retailers do not get quite "miffed" at you for the fantastic sales you are always running on your website.  I have NEVER paid full price for one piece of you and I have a lot of you and have given "bookoodles" of you as gifts.  My last swoop through your website was for a whopping 75% off. I don't see how your retailers can even compete with you.

Dear Moms of Teenage daughters....I am constantly amazed at how some of you post pictures of your teenage daughters clad in skimpy bikinis all over Facebook.  I mean, really!?!? Is not anything sacred anymore........~sorry if I offended someone~
Dear HGTV....since we have been in "house building mode" I enjoy watching you more than ever.  The ideas are endless, now for me to just be able to decide which ones I can and can't use. Makes me wish we had a "money tree" growing in the front yard. ~big smile~

Dear's enough to put up with all the endless rules and regulations we now have to deal with, but now most of your tickets are skyhighI'm going to be getting tickets for Hubby and I to go to Las Vegas the end of September and I am shocked at how much these "puppies" are going to cost. 
   Dear there ANYTHING that you do not sell????

Dear Gals....I was reading yesterday that hair is going from flat back to poofy.  Oh, my, just about the time we all jump on board with the latest styles, they change.  Wonder just how poofy they are talking about.  Guess time will tell.

Dearest once said to me, "once you are a Momma, you are always a Momma."  Well, that is so, so true!  Even with my children being way past grown, I still fret and stew over their well-being each and every day.  Not necessarily in a worrisome way, it's just they are never far from my thoughts.  And, add their spouses and the Grans, and it's alot of thinking going on in this head of mine every day. ~love them more than they know~

Dearest Daddy....I'm still rejoicing over how well you have done these past 4 months.  Just unbelievable and it makes me so happy.  God is so, so good!!!

Dear Hubby....I so appreciate your attention to details.  I have no doubt our new house will be all the better because of the way you have pondered and thought through each and every detail and now are overseeing the construction with a very keen eye.  

Dear Fellow Bloggers....I'm doing my best to come up with a plan for a big "pajama party" for us.  No joke, would that not be so much fun.  I feel like some of you are such dear friends, yet I've never even laid an eye on you.  Surely there's something we can do about that. ~what fun~