Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's Wednesday Hodgepodge and Joyce always has thought provoking questions for us.  Sometimes I have to bend my brain a whole lot to come up with my answers but it's great exercise. ~smile~

1. What are two or three expectations you have of yourself?
1.To treat others as I want to be treated with respect and a measure of unconditional love.
2.To be a Christian witness in word and deed and have a heart for the lost.
3.To care for myself  spiritually, physically and mentally as best I can.
FYI: I fail in all of these expectations but I continue to plug along 

2. In what way does your outdoor space need sprucing up this spring?
Oh, my goodness!  You might say that pretty much all of outdoor space needs sprucing up since we are awaiting our landscaping.  We do have the grass down in the front of the house and Hubby and I have worked on the back porch and patio and it's taking shape.  But, the rest is awaiting the landscape crew to come and work their magic.  That will probably happen in April.  The recent floods put our landscaper a bit behind.

3. According to this site (Roadtrippers), six of North America's most wondrous waterfalls are-Webster's Falls in Ontario, Upper Whitewater Falls in North Carolina, Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon, Multnomah Falls in Oregon, The Lower Yellowstone Falls, and Niagara. Have you seen any on the list? Which one on the list would you most like to visit? Prettiest waterfall not on the list that you've seen in person?
Well, I have seen none of these but seeing any of them would be a treat.  One waterfall that I have seen is  Ruby Falls in Chattanooga, TN 

4. Looking back, what's something you wish you'd done as a teenager?
 I wish that I had applied myself more academically.  I was satisfied with average and I'm pretty sure I could have done much better.  I'm all about doing your best, if average is your best, so be it, but I don't think I did my best.

5. Ham...yes please or no thank you? If you said yes please which of the following do you like best-baked ham with all the trimmings, a ham and cheese sandwich, prosciutto with melon, a ham biscuit, a bowl of split pea and ham soup, or a slice of pizza topped with ham and pineapple?
I would not rate it as one of my favorite foods but I will take it with all the trimmings and smoked, please.

6. Are you typical of your generation? How so?
Well, kind of, sort of..............I still dress up for church and enjoy doing so and will even wear hose occasionally. ~the younger generation doesn't even know what hose are~ I enjoy being a lady, acting like one, dressing like one and behaving as one.  Hearing yes mam and no mam is "music to my ears."   I love the professional look and professional treatment of those I do business with. Need I go on?

7. April rolls in at the end of the week, and in keeping with that theme...'act the fool', 'nobody's fool', 'a fool's errand', 'could have fooled me'...which foolish idiom most recently applies to you? Explain.
On occasion I think "could have fooled me" might apply. At times people tell me things that are hard for me to believe and I have often responded with "you could have fooled me."

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I am a big fan of The Voice and think it is one of the best of its type show.  It was just announced that Miley Cyrus and Alisha Keys will be judges for the 2017 season.  I mean, are you kidding me???  Miley Cyrus, please.  It's been bad enough watching her coach the contestants this season much less knowing she will be one of the judges next season.  I will NOT be watching and I feel like the producers will definitely regret their decision.  It will be like when American Idol had  Nikki Manaja as a judge and she pretty much ruined the show.  I am very disappointed!!! 
~and I'm sure the producers really care~

Monday, March 28, 2016

Monday's Musings

Last week was pretty much all things Spring and Easter here at the Culp house.  The Princess stayed with me during the day.  She was on Spring Break but her Mom's break wasn't until this week.  I'm thinking that Louisiana needs desperately to declare Spring Break the same week state wide, for both public and private schools.  I mean really!  I know this is already the way it is in Oklahoma and Mississippi and probably a whole lot of other "smart" states.  Okay, enough on that subject and on to the issues at hand. ~grin~
Hanna Beth and I started off our week by getting our nails done.  She loves getting a manicure and having her nails painted and sits perfectly still for the technician.  And, she was very patient as it took me 3 times as long to have mine done as it did her.  
Pillsbury makes cookie decorating so easy these days.  I found these pre-cut bunny cookies and snatched them up.  I baked them and then Hanna Beth had a fun time decorating them and I mean she decorated every tiny inch of them.  
On Wednesday I took Hanna Beth and one of her friends out to breakfast and then on to see Zootopia.  They both love breakfast and one enjoyed chocolate chip waffles and the other strawberry waffles and of course, a side of bacon.  The movie was very cute and they both enjoyed it.  

We had our family Easter celebration on Friday.  It started with an egg hunt for the girlies.  It was so cute to watch Andi Kate take off in pursuit of some eggs.  She is only 13 months old but she caught on very quickly and even found a couple of the prize eggs.  It was a gorgeous afternoon to be outside and we all enjoyed the fun.  Later we enjoyed a meal of grilled pork tenders, potato casserole, mixed beans, congealed salad and rolls.
 We had birthday cake for dessert as it was Tommy's birthday yesterday.  He thinks his birthday has fallen on Easter Sunday only about twice in his lifetime.  So, we just doubled up on our Easter celebration and celebrated him as well.  Of course, the girls are always looking for a reason to have birthday cake.
My Dad joined in on the fun and had such a good time.  He stayed for a little over 3 hours and that's pretty much a record for him.  Notice that vest he has on.  It is probably 40 years old and he wouldn't part with it for anything in this world.  It is dingy, permanently stained and very tattered, but he loves it and when you are 86 years old you can pretty much wear what you want to and no one had better say a word.  God love him!!!  He's doing very well and still so full of Godly wisdom and I feel so blessed to still have him. 

Yesterday we enjoyed a wonderful worship service and a delicious lunch  with friends.  Then it was home for a rather quiet afternoon.  We did a little work on preparing plants for the back porch and patio and Tommy enjoyed some fishing.  

Have yourself a wonderful week!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's Wednesday and that means that Joyce has a list of questions and hopefully I have a list of answers without a whole lot of effort. ~smile~

1. Has spring sprung in your little corner of the world? Other than the calendar how would I know? What's your favorite thing about spring?
Well, think I'd say it is in the process.  The daffodils are in bloom and even a few azalea's  are showing their faces.  The mornings can still be quite cool but by late morning the temps have warmed up nicely.  I love every thing about spring, it's like a breathe of fresh air to me
 2. Besides the weather, what's put a spring in your step recently?
Hummm.....well, the Princess is out on Spring Break this week but her Momma is not, so she's staying with me.  And, that little girl definitely puts a spring in my step.  We are making a lot of fun memories for sure! 

3. How does Easter impact you?
It causes me to reflect on the cross more than I normally do. And once again be reminded of just how much God loved me to allow His son to die on that cruel cross.

  4. I saw this somewhere on Facebook and thought it would make a fun Hodgepodge question. Which of the following would you find most disappointing...
a just stuffed taco shell breaking open and spilling out before you take the first bite? dropping a just-purchased Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts coffee? opening the peanut butter jar and finding it empty? upending onto the sidewalk a just-purchased ice cream cone? a burnt bagel popping up in your toaster when you're rushing breakfast? or cutting into an avocado and finding out it's rotten? 
Well, I'm not a huge fan of any of the listed items so really none would be all that disappointing to me.  Now, I do like ice cream, just not in a cone, so guess if I dropped a cup of ice cream it would be disappointing to me. 

5. What's something held together with tape at your house? Or a paper clip? Or a wing and a prayer?
Now, I can't think of anything held together by tape or paper clip but I could probably say that I'm held together by a wing and a prayer some days. ~big smile~
6. Do you feel underappreciated? In what way?
No, I really don't.  I am affirmed with words of appreciation often by my husband, other family members and even my friends. 

  7. What's something you'd build if you knew how?
Well, I don't think you actually build a flower arrangement but I so wish I knew how to arrange flowers.  I can do okay with small tablescapes but I'd love to know the mechanics of creating/building any size arrangement for any occasion.
 8. Insert your own random thought here. 
As I mentioned earlier, the Princess is staying with me this week.  I am taking her and one of her friends to breakfast this morning and then to see Zootopia.  We could have just gone by ourselves but, I knew that it would likely be even more fun for Hanna Beth if she took a friend.  Hopefully it will be a memory she will recall for a very long time.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Monday's Musings

Just so you know......exactly 7 years ago today I began blogging.  That comes to 836 entries and a whole lot of enjoyment
Well, I hope you missed me while I was away because I sure missed you. ~grin~  Hubby and I took a fairly quick trip to Oklahoma to love on our Grandsons.  Our daughter was on Spring Break last week and we enjoyed some special time with her as well.
The Flood of 2016 
Meanwhile, back at home, the recovery from the flood continues and likely will for many a month.
Many, many lives have been turned upside down and some may never fully recover.  There are several wonderful organizations in the area offering aid and helping to get folks the necessities of life and in temporary housing.  It all still seems surreal.

The above pictures show what it's like at this time.  Folks, that can get to their homes, are busily cleaning out, throwing out and trying to make sense of it all.  It's just impossible to imagine what they are feeling, such a sense of loss.  Tommy and I went riding this past Sat. evening and were astounded at the sights.  It's just mind boggling!  And, the economic effect it will haveon our area is another story. Such sadness! 
 Oklahoma Fun
We got to squeeze on this little butterball last week.  He is a mighty precious little fella and when he went to the Doctor this past Friday he weighed in at 15 lbs. 10 oz.  As I said, little butterball. No one would ever guess that he was 7 weeks premature for sure.
It's amazing all the gadgets they make to keep babies happy these days.  Coleman is absolutely in love with his swing.  He's been in it since birth and while most babies grow out of it in short order, Coleman still really enjoys his.  And, of course the Exersaucer. My goodness, there's so much to entertain a little one on those things.  It generally keeps him busy while his Momma is getting ready of a morning.  
 And, can I just tell you that shopping with a baby is NOT for the faint of heart.  There's stopping to feed, then of course, the inevitable diaper change.  Here we were in a dressing room and decided to make good use of it.  CiCi found out, once again, why the Lord allows us to have our children when we are young and tireless. ~smile~
And, 7 year old little boys love to act silly when their picture is being taken.  Clancy has always been the most photogenic child, but now he thinks picture taking time is for making silly grins.  So, you just go with it and hope that he will outgrow it real soon.
Easter Fun
And, my friends, this is how you hunt Easter eggs!  Plans had to be altered due to the flooding and the school gym was the choice.  I went to Hanna Beth's party and egg hunt this past Friday and it was interesting to watch these kiddos.  The rule was that you had to crawl to find the eggs and that's exactly what they did.  There were enough eggs for each child to have a dozen and every once in a while they would stop and take inventory of how many they had.  It was so funny to watch.  It wasn't about who could get the most but just about getting twelve eggs in your bucket, basket, crate or whatever you might be carrying for your eggs.  ~you never know these days~ 
And, this my friends, is what you call, too much cuteness!!!! This was my girlies yesterday morning before they left for church.  They make my heart smile really BIG!!!!

May you have an awesome week as we prepare to celebrate the great gift of our risen Savior!

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Flood of 2016

Well, I imagine that all of my family and friends that do not live in our area have heard of the devastating flooding that we are enduring.  I have seen some flooding in my life and thought that what I've seen was bad.  But, folks, I've never seen anything like what NE Louisiana is experiencing right now.
 There are sandbagging sites where folks have worked tirelessly to protect their homes and most went under anyway.  Most of the homes are in areas that one would not ever expect to flood.  We are at a little over 20" rainfall in the last 48 hours and it isn't over. 

This is a funeral home in a neighboring town and in an area that they probably never thought they would see this type of flooding.

There are many, many impassable highways, roads and even a large portion of Interstate 20 was closed yesterday and may still be.  Some folks have ventured into the high water on the roads and have been swept away.  Many men have gotten their aluminum boats to go in and help rescue families that needed to evacuate but could not get out.
This is a huge culvert that is right at the driveway of our old house.  My husband has been telling the Police Jury for 2 years that it needed replacing and it finally collapsed  Wed.  night and now cars cannot get in or out of that part of the subdivision. Update: it has been temporarily repaired now.

This is a picture of our old house on Wednesday evening.  Water did not get in the house and we are more than grateful.  It did get in the shop but it was basically empty, has a concrete floor and it is okay.  We are blessed in that the water in that area is moving water and any break in the rain allows it to go down very quickly.  Many are in areas where the water is not moving and it just keeps getting higher and higher with each bit of rain.  It rains quicker than it can drain off.

This is a picture of the road at the bottom of the hill where we now live.  You can see the tail lights on a truck slowly making his way out.  There is water as far as the eye can see.  These are crops and the devastation this causes our local farmers is far reaching. Hubby has been able to get out in his truck by driving very slowly but I have not dared to venture out by myself and won't.

Hubby has been an agent with State Farm for 42 years and has never experienced anything like this type of flooding before.  We have had devastating hail storms and some flooding in his career but nothing like this.  And, what is so sad that lots and lots of the folks affected by this flooding do not have flood insurance.  This means their losses will be their total financial responsibility.  Some think that flooding is an extension of their homeowners and it is not, it is a total separate policy.  So, Tommy and his staff have been dealing with a lot of overwhelmed individuals.  It is so heart breaking to watch.  Yes, it is mainly material losses but I don't think there is anyone that would not find that tough to deal with.  The recovery will be slow at best and some may never recover.  

My heart is so sad as so many that I know and love are in such a bad way and their losses are overwhelming.  I pray that the Lord will sustain and comfort each of them as they face the difficult days of recovery.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's good to be with the Hodgepodge today.  I think it's been about a month since I bent my mind and it needed bending today with Joyce's awesome questions.

1. March is National Women's History Month. In that vein, who are three women who've been influential in your life? How so? 

My Mom would indeed be #1!  She was so Godly, so humble and such a lady, gave and gave until she could give no more as a pastor's wife.  My Mom's oldest sister, my Aunt Wanda, would be #2.  What a dear and also Godly woman.   She was the Mother of 4 boys and I'm not sure I ever saw the woman rattled.  She was always doing for others and  so hospitable.  There was no "fluff" to her, just as genuine as genuine could be. (The above pictures are the last ones taken of them before their death.)  For my 3rd it would have to be all the older women that have mentored me along life's way.  There have been several and I can only hope and pray that I might be, and perhaps have been, that "older wise women" in younger ladies lives.

2. In what ways do you think women have it easier than men? 
Generally speaking, and notice I said generally, they are the head of their family. ~ If they aren't then they should be~  That is a heavy responsibility and not one to be taken lightly.  Hopefully they are married to women who pray for and encourage them in this role.  

3. What do you need most right now: faith, love, hope, or peace? 
Hum, as I said, Joyce bends my mind and this question certainly does.  I'm not sure that I ever have enough of any of these but I'm feeling fairly good in all of these areas at the moment. ~moment is the key word here~ If I'm struggling with anything it would definitely be hope for our Presidential election.

4. Do you have a collection? If so, what do you collect and why? 
I have collected more things that the law allows over the years, but I brought that to a halt about 15 years ago except for my Willow Tree.  I sold most of my other collections, such as Santa's and angels.  I still have my beautiful Demitasse cup collection and have it in a display cabinet along with my Willow Tree.  I will leave these two collections to be dispersed after my death. ~smile~ I continue to collect Willow Tree because it is so family oriented and my children enjoy giving it to me and it is so reasonably priced.

5. Plaids, checks, polka dots, stripes...your favorite?
 Definitely checks!  And, black and white check would be my all time favorite.

6. In what ways are you the same as your childhood self? 
I still have the same outgoing personality.  It was a very good thing that I was an outgoing child and never met a stranger.  We moved so much and, as a result, I changed schools frequently but never struggled when it came to making new friends.  It served me well and I have such fond memories of every place we ever lived.

7. You're a contestant on the TV game show Jeopardy. What category will you ace?  
 I would come closer to acing the topic of organization than any other for sure. It's something I love doing and am very passionate about.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I am a big fan of The Voice and this season is starting off to be one of the best.  There are  such talented contestants, and Adam and Blake's bantering back and forth add such humor, and I think Pharrell is such a nice guy.  I much prefer Gwen over Christina but overall, the judges are great and they have the ability to be critical of the contestants in such a kind way.  I think I've already told you that Blake's niece is in our daughter's 3rd grade class this year.  Her Mom is Blake's sister and she is such a great support to Bridget.  Anyway, think that's kind of neat.

NOTE: As I mentioned in Monday's post we will be leaving for Oklahoma on Friday. So, will be away from "blogland" for a few days.  But, will have lots to share when I return.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Monday Musings

These two folks pictured with my Dad are such dears.  I had them over one afternoon this past week to enjoy coffee and conversation with Daddy, Hubby and me.  Dottie and Eddie came to know my Dad  while he was the interim pastor of their church some years ago.  They have never forgotten him and still stay in close contact with him.  And, I might add, they have the cutest Bluetick Hound named Molly that you have ever seen.  I'm really thinking that a children's book should be written about her. Don't you just love their cute shirts!
My goodness, this little chunk is just too precious all wrapped up in his bath towel.  Those rosey cheeks and fat rolls are almost more than I can stand.  I'm so excited that we will be headed their way this Friday to share some fun with them during our daughter's Spring Break. I can hardly wait to squeeze this little fella.

The grass in the front of the house has been laid and the final landscape plans have been decided upon and in the next month we will begin to see our yard come together.  The mulch and extra dirt (pictured above) has been delivered to build the flower beds and other stuff will be arriving.  When the landscaper and his crew get here  they can go to work.  A yard is like "the icing on the cake" to me.  Hubby and I look forward to seeing it all come together.

Yesterday afternoon our son and family came over for a little picnic and some fishing in the pond.  It was a gorgeous day and we stayed outside and ate on the back porch.  The girlies loved it.  They got to run and romp and Hanna Beth fished a little with her Poppa.  Even though it is just a pond, we love living this close to water, it's pretty much right outside our back door.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Friday Favorites

I never seem to lack for favorites and I love to know other folks favorites and I enjoy sharing my favorites with others.  So, off to share a few of mine with you today.

Wellness Mats - these are also referred to an Anti-Fatigue mats.  When we moved into our new house I got two of these for the kitchen.  I have one in front of the sink and one in front of the stove.  They can be pretty pricey but I got mine at Wayfair  for a fairly good price.  Mine have pretty embossing on the top and I have received countless compliments on them.  They are much more attractive than just the smooth surfaced ones and even though they are for comfort, I like that they are attractive as well. ~sort of like shoes~  Mine are 2'X3' but they also come in 2'X6' and they sure do help with the lower back if you have to stand for very long in one place.
AFR is my all time favorite radio station and has been for probably 10 years.  If you have never listened to AFR then I highly recommend that you give it a try.  They have great contemporary Christian music, fantastic talk shows on the political issues, financial issues, current affairs, family issues and great preaching.  I have really been enjoying their informative talk shows on the current Presidential race.  They do not endorse anyone  but give you the "raw" facts and urge us as Christians to think seriously about the upcoming election.  If you do not know the station channel of AFR in your area, just Google it and find out.
Okay, these are just the greatest for anyone that needs to take medication or vitamins with them.  I found these several years ago and I bet I've used a thousand of them.  I take a handful of vitamins everyday and generally I take them with my dinner.  If Hubby and I eat out then I just pop them in one of these cute little bags.  And, they can easily be reused several times before discarded.  And,if  you are on medication that needs to go with you, they are awesome.  They can be found at most any store in the pharmaceutical section. I've given them as a "happie" many times. ~I mean who wouldn't want pill pouches~   And, they work super for men to carry their meds or vitamins in their pockets.  I am never without them! And, they have an area on them where you can write on them.  They are like a very thick, miniature ziploc bag.

I love the touch that "real" plants bring to the inside of a house.  When I was first introduced to Lucky Bamboo I really liked it and wasn't long getting some.  It comes short, tall, in-between, curly,and straight.  The straight, as you can see in the above picture, is more bushy than the curly.  I have two of the curly and one straight.  They are so, so easy to care for that it almost seems unfair to the poor plants.  They are held in place with gravel or florist rocks and the roots grow out of the bottom of the plants.  All they need is a little water every 2-3 weeks and they are happy.  I like the interesting touch they add to decor and yes, you can get them off of Amazon. ~that's where I got mine~  And, they last for years.
Okay, there you have it, a few of my favorite things.  Now, go and have yourself a wonderful weekend.  Our little Princess is going to stay the night with us tonight, so ours will be off to a great start for sure.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A Mid-week Check-in

Here it is March 2nd and that means we are beginning the 3rd month of 2016.  How can that be?  It seems that time is going at break neck speed and I'm not sure that's my age or if it's just the way it is.  But, I'm hanging on for dear life and trying to enjoy each day more and more.
Speaking of enjoying...........I had such a wonderful time in Iowa this past weekend.  It got off to a shaky start but all worked out.  My flight, or so I thought, was at 5:55AM and arriving in DesMoines at 10:06AM.  So, I get to the airport, hand the gal my driver's license and she looks at me and says she has no record of my being on this flight. (She thought I was there for a 6:10AM flight to DesMoines.)  I looked at her sheepishly and dug out my receipt to show her where I was indeed suppose to be on the 5:55AM flight.  She looked at it and then said to me, "Mrs. Culp, you flight is this afternoon at 5:55PM."  WHAT!!!!! My heart sank to my feet and I felt like a fool.  She then looked at me and said, "I can get you on the 6:10 flight and you will arrive in DM at 12:20PM, would you like for me to do that?"  Well, of course I would.  It was a quick trip anyway and that would have cut off pretty much a whole day if I had had to wait until that evening to leave.  I'm not sure exactly what happened as I have bought many, many airline tickets online and this was my first mishap.  Oh, well, guess we are all entitled to a mishap once in a while. ~smile~ I'm just glad it had a happy ending.  Now on to the good time I had.............
 Meet Tater!  Tater is a Goldendoodle and I love him dearly.  Now, if you know me very well then you know that I am not really an animal lover.  But, when my brother and family got Tater, he won my heart in a snap. 
 He was so glad to see me last Thursday and I had more fun rubbing that soft, soft fur of his.  Tater really has no idea that he is a dog and is one more loved fella for sure.
On Friday, my SIL, my niece and I went out for a little retail therapy.  DesMoines does not lack for great places to shop for sure.  We enjoyed playing in makeup, shopping some big sales and just being together.
Friday was Suzy's birthday so we had to celebrate with a "doozie" from the Great American Cookie Company.  Calories do not count on your birthday. ~just so you know~
Early Saturday morning my brother, SIL and I headed out to Orange City to see Warren in the matinee performance of Godspell at Northwestern.  Orange City is a Dutch community and it is very evident throughout the little downtown area.  We stopped in the local favorite, The Dutch Bakery, and enjoyed a pastry before heading to the play.  It is a most quaint little town and Northwestern College is likely the only reason Orange City is even on the map.
Godspell is not like any play I have ever seen for sure.  If you have not seen it, it would be hard for me to describe it to you.  It is a musical that tells many Bible stories and ends with the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus.  Warren had the leading role of Jesus and as you can see in the above pictures that he looked somewhat like a mime/clown.  Not what one expect of someone playing the role of Jesus for sure.  But, let me tell you, the last 10 minutes of this play are so powerful and it left me pretty much in a tearful mess.  Warren did an absolutely fantastic job throughout the play but you could feel his heart in the ending.  I am so glad that I was able to attend and share in this time and I can hardly wait to see what doors the Lord is going to open in the years ahead for Warren.  And, you see that cute young lady with Warren in the picture above.  Well, that's Amanda and she was in the play too and can I just say that they are more than a little fond of each other. ~wink~
And, that's my Mid-Week Check-in...........