Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's been a couple of weeks since I've done the HP.  I was gone one week and last week was Spring Break for the HP.  So, it's good to be back answering a few questions.
1. This is the last Hodgepodge in April. Share something you learned this month. 

This is so silly but it's all that I can think of that I learned this month.  I have always thought the tops that exposed a part of a woman's shoulder and arm were so cute.  I decided that I wanted to get one and see if I liked it.  I went to the Nordstrom website and I had no idea what to put in the search box.  So, I finally came up with, "tops that expose a woman's shoulder."  Well, it worked!  It took me to what is known as "cold shoulder tops."  Who would have thought?  So, now I know and I can't say that I'm terribly fond of that name but at least I now know what to call them. 

2.  It's National Poetry Month, and we all know you can't escape an April Hodgepodge without a little poetry. Keeping the first line as is, change the rest of the wording in this familiar rhyme to make it your own - 'Hickory Dickory Dock...
Lea is always looking at the clock
~Pretty pitiful but it does rhyme~  

3. What were one or two rules in the home you grew up in? Growing up, did you feel your parents were strict? Looking back do you still see it that way? 
 We were to never slam the door, any door,  and that meant not letting the screen door slam behind us either.  If we did then we had to open it back up and softly close it.  And, to this day, I do not slam doors, nor can I stand for anyone else to slam doors. 
We had a lot of rules but I do not ever remember feeling like my parents were too strict, they were strict, but it was just a way of life for me because I never knew any other way.  I'm sure there were those observing that probably thought they were too strict, but, that was their issue, not mine.

4. Tell us about a kitchen or cooking disaster or mishap you've experienced. Do you have many from which to choose? 
Thankfully I have had very few, what I would call, kitchen disasters or mishaps.  I do remember about 10 years ago burning a pot of soup that I was preparing to serve to a group of ladies.  Thankfully, I did it early enough that I had time to start over and get it ready before they arrived.  I didn't just burn it, I charred it and thankfully I smelled it before it burnt the entire kitchen down.  The second problem was trying to get the burnt smell out of the house before the ladies arrived.  

5. Plant a kiss, plant doubt, plant a tree, plant yourself somewhere...which on the list have you most recently planted? 
Well, I haven't planted doubt, a tree or myself but I have planted a few kisses lately between Hubby and the Grans. ~chuckle~

6. What's your most worn item of clothing this time of year? Are you tired of it? 
Cuffed denim capris and no, I love them.  They are perfect this time of year.

7. I'm wrapping up the A-Z Blog Challenge this month and our Hodgepodge lands on letter W. What's one word beginning with W that describes you in some way? How about a word to describe your home, also beginning with W?
For myself - warm hearted.........I have a big heart for people and especially those less fortunate or  going through hard times.  I enjoy reaching out and loving on folks.
For my home - welcoming.......I have been told that my home has a most welcoming feel and there's not greater compliment (for a home)  as far as I'm concerned.  I have always worked hard to create that feel and it's most important to me.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Hubby and I are in route to Atlanta.  We decided to leave today and go 2-3 hours down the road.  This will enable us to get through Atlanta tomorrow before the heavy afternoon traffic starts.  We are NOT fans of heavy traffic, especially 6 lanes of it. ~grin~  Thankfully we have never lived where we had to deal with heavy traffic on a regular basis.  Sometimes the "main drag" of our small town will be extra busy and we find ourselves getting aggravated with that.  I guess it's all in what you get use to.  See ya when I return!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday's Musings

We have just enjoyed the most gorgeous weekend that anyone could ask for.  The weather was picture perfect, spring in all it's glory for sure!  
Since my brother was visiting I had the kids come over and join us Friday evening for dinner and some outside fun.  Having the big patio is wonderful, especially when the ground is still very saturated from all the recent rain.  Now, if the weather will just stay like this, our landscaper might be able to get the yard done.  
We have a new Granddog as of this past weekend.  Meet Wrangler!  Oh, my goodness, Wrangler will make the 3rd Corgi for our daughter and her family.  I'm assuming one must not be enough. ~laugh~ I guess if 1 is good, then 3 must be better.  But, thankfully, it's not my worry and they do breed and sell them and their male and female are getting older so Wrangler will step in when he gets older and I'm assuming they will likely be getting another female in the not so distant future. I'm just so glad it's them getting to enjoy all this fun and not me. ~chuckle~ But, I do have to admit, Wrangler is a cute, cute puppy, but puppies always grow up. ~what a shame~
I am a member of a study club and we meet monthly, September thru May.  It is a fun, fun group of ladies and each month we have a program.  This past week we met and our program was done by our local Pediatrician, whose wife just happens to be in our club.  His hobby is magic, so he did a program on magic.  He is  full of personality and so entertaining and the program was so interesting.
He involved the club members and his wife was his very able assistant.  He gave us some of the history behind magic and he also told and showed us how his tricks were done.  As he said, folks enjoy the "how" of magic as much as the actual magic, but I've never had a magician share the "how" so that was most enjoyable.
 We always end our meeting time with a delicious lunch and time of fellowship.  It's something that I look forward to every month.  Anytime a group of women get together, whatever the reason, there's generally a lot of laughter, talking and overall fun.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Pure Randomness...........

I bet that title grabbed your attention and that's exactly what this post is, just a whole lot of randomness........

Last week. some of Dad's dear friends brought their Blue Tick Hound by to pay him a visit.  Dad's words to describe Molly were, "she's something else."  There's just nothing like a little pet therapy to do the heart good. Thanks Dottie!

Good grief, what is this world coming to?  Why on earth did Target, a favorite store of many, have to jump on the bandwagon of allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice. I know why, because Satan is alive and well and we as Christians had better take a stand, QUICK!

MY youngest brother is here for a visit from Iowa.  I usually refer to him as my "baby" brother but since he is 51 years old now, I think youngest probably sounds best.  He comes 2-3 times a year for a long weekend and spends a lot of time with our Dad, which is a special time for the both of them.

When we moved into our new house I bought myself a new mixer.  I debated about getting a Kitchen Aid and just could not get excited about it.  It weighs a ton!  I've always been a fan of Bosch products and ran across the Bosch Compact Mixer on the internet and decided it was just what I needed.  I did not get the many attachments that are available, all I wanted was for it to mix cakes and such.  I love it!!!  As you can see from the picture, it has a completely different shape than a conventional mixer.  I doubt it weighs 5 pounds and takes up a small amount of space.  So, if you are in the market for a new mixer, you might want to check it out.

I read this on a sign or elsewhere recently: "What if Christians had their Bible in their hand as much as they had their cell phones in their hands?" Ouch! I might need to ponder this a while and then I might need to act upon it.  ~I'm not joking~ How 'bout you?

Hubby and I are headed to Georgia the middle of next week to see one of his sister's  and her husband.  We always have alot fun with them and they are always such a great host and hostess.  And, they live in an area where there is never a lack of something fun to do.

 Oh, my goodness, I have read and heard about both of these stores but have never had the privilege of going to them until last week while I was in Williamsburg.  Oh, my goodness! I'm in love with both but regretfully, there are none even close to me. Bah!  I was as excited as I am in a ladies boutique when I went in Trader Joe's. ~ laugh~  It takes buying groceries to a whole new level!  And, HomeGoods, well, what can I say, they just have way too much gorgeous home decor and very good prices.

Until next time..................

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Monday's Musings

I spent a delightful time in Williamsburg and the surrounding areas of Virginia last week.  I went to see my cousins on my Mom's side of the family.  Mom and all of her siblings are now deceased so it is just their children left.  And, I saw one of my most favorite Aunts that was married to one of my Mom's brothers.

 My cousin, Micky and his sweet wife, Eileen (pictured above), were the most gracious host and hostess to me.  I used their home as my headquarters.  And, Mr. Carson (on the left) and Teddy (on the right) helped to make me feel welcome as well.  These cats are so pretty and it took them most of the week to figure out what this strange lady was doing in their territory. ~smile~
 I spent one day just hanging out with these two fun ladies.  This is my Aunt Mary and her daughter Lisa.  They are just too much fun and we hashed over a lot of sweet memories and made some new ones.

Two of my other cousins stopped by to visit and it was so good to catch up with them.  Phyllis, on the right with me, and I enjoyed a nice quiet dinner together.  I don't know the last time we had a visit like that.  She is such a sweetheart!

I spent a couple of the days just hanging out with my Aunt Wanda's boys and their wives.  She had 4 boys and I got to see and spend time with all but 1 of them.  Three of the boys live in the area and the other in Alabama.  Can I just say that my Aunt Wanda had a crown of double jewels awaiting her when she entered heaven's gates.  These four boys were a force to be reckoned with for sure! ~wink~ But, she was so proud of "her boys."

As we know, when the parents are both gone then it falls on the siblings and cousins to stay in touch.  It isn't always easy or convenient but if it's important enough to you, then you can generally "make it happen."  I'm so glad that I had this special time with these.
Talk about cuteness!  Here my girlies are all dressed to match.  Their Mom works hard to find matching outfits and accessories.  It's the Southern way and they make my heart smile for sure!

And, this big boy is getting closer and closer to figuring out how to crawl.  Look at the rolls on those chubby arms.  A bundle of love for sure! He has no idea what a miracle he is but one day we'll have the privilege of telling him.
And, I leave you with this........ 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Monday's Musings

Well, this morning was a VERY early one for me.  I had to arise at 3:00AM to catch a 5:55AM flight headed to Virginia.  My goodness, I'm an early riser but for goodness sake, 3:00AM is entirely too early.  But, one has to do what they have to do and I do like the fact that I will be arriving at my destination before noon.  Meanwhile, here's what's been happening...............

 I belong to a group of gals that play Bunco once a month.  What that means is 12 of us gather at one of our homes for a very mindless game and a whole lot of fun and fellowship.  I hosted the group last week and I had such fun preparing for it.  I found the zebra place mats at the Dollar Tree and thought they would be "pizazzy" and cute.  I had planned to just use disposable plates and while in the Dollar Tree I was on the aisle that has the dishes and such and happen to see these "real" black dishes.  Well, they were $1 a piece and I simply could not resist because 12 disposable ones would likely have been half of the cost of these.  So, they came home with me and I accented with the red napkins and red dessert plates.  Yes, the clean up was much more time consuming for sure but it was fun and I'm thinking I'll probably have another excuse to pull all this out and use it again for some other occasion.
It's Spring, my favorite time of the year.  Once I took the Easter decor down then I added just a few touches of spring.  I love this wrought iron piece that can serve as a candle holder or a container.  I've always just used it for a container and I love the lemon and limes for spring.  The added greenery and gerber daises make me smile every time I see them.
 Last Thursday evening was our annual Ladies Spring Event at our church.  This year's theme was "The Bride of Christ."  Our speaker did a drama presentation on we as women being the bride of Christ and how we can never do anything to separate us from His love and acceptance if we have accepted Him as our Savior.  A whole lot of work goes into this event each year.  There were 8 decorated tables and each one decorated as one for a bridal reception.  It's always such fun to see the different creations that ladies come up with.  It was another fun evening of great food, fellowship and inspiration. 
This precious lady is responsible for our church's Women Ministry.  It was probably 15-20 years ago that she took on the reigns of developing the ministry and she has remained a faithful mentor ever since that time.  She is my "idol."  She has been like a second Mom to me and many other women as she has taken us "under her wing" and offered such profound wisdom.  I pray that I can leave half the mark in others lives as she has. ~love her dearly~ 
I'll "see" you when I get back from my beautiful home state of Virginia.  Enjoy this new week and make every day count!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Pet Peeves

I'm always thinking of content for blog posts and thought that sharing some of my pet peeves might be a fun and interesting post.  I mean, we all have them, so why not just put them out there.  Hope you enjoy!
1. It is so aggravating to buy an item and the price sticker is attached like it was applied with super glue.  I mean, can't they apply all price stickers with easy removal adhesive.  And, I've even bought cloth place mats that had price stickers that made the biggest mess and practically ruined the place mat in the process of removing it.  Aggravation!
2. Now, if you are guilty of this, then I do apologize in advance.  But, I do not think Facebook is the appropriate place for an unspoken prayer request.  It is so interesting to me how folks will put on there that they have an IMMEDIATE prayer need but either won't or can't share what it is.  Well, to me, that is the type of prayer request that  needs to be shared with your closest of friends or perhaps no one.  I have had prayer concerns in my life that were never shared with anyone outside of the Lord.  All a post like that does is cause folks to wonder and imagine what in the world the need is and often they conjure up something entirely wrong.  Just my thoughts.........
3. And, speaking of Facebook, why on earth can't we change our profile picture without anyone knowing it and it not be published for everyone to see.  I like to change mine but I HATE that I cannot do it privately.  I think it can appear a bit self proclaiming.  Ugh!
4. I am big on having a ticket for any and all purchases that I make and that includes gas.  But, more times than not when I go to pump my gas the pump is out of paper and as a result I do not get a receipt.  In fact, it's gotten to where I am actually surprised when I do get a receipt.
5. I think there should be a law against automated customer service.  When I call a business, I WANT to talk to an English speaking individual.  I do not want to have to listen to choices and punch the appropriate number.  I applaud any business that still pays an individual to route their calls and on the other end is a helpful person.
6. I am not a speed demon by any stretch of the imagination.  I do go the speed limit most of the time and if I am not I certainly do not drive in the left hand lane.  It is more than aggravating when someone is driving leisurely along in the left hand lane blocking others from passing someone else.  It's their choice to drive under the speed limit for sure but they need to do it in the right hand lane.
7. And, last but not least..........if I am attending a function and it is suppose to start at a given time then I am more than appreciative that it does start at the stated time.  I have been to affairs that started as much as 15+ minutes late with no explanation, which left me thinking that they just weren't conscious of other folks time, nor did they care.    Most everyone's time is precious to them and just as valuable as anyone else's.  Some folks seem to think their time is all that matters.  Nope, that's wrong!

Okay, there you have a few of my pet peeves.  I'm betting I might have hit upon one or two of yours as well.  
NOTE: I may or may not get another blog post done before I fly out to Virginia on Monday.  Just know I'll have all kinds of fodder when I return.

Happy Weekend!!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

I'm not sure how Joyce can manage the Hodgepodge, the A-Z Challenge and the building of a house all at the same time.  But, we all know she is super woman so it's likely not all that big of a deal to her.  So, off to this week's questions for my weekly brain exercise.

1. What does retirement mean to you? Are you planning for it, not thinking about it, looking forward to it, or dreading it?
Retirement is laying aside the day to day responsibility of reporting to a job. Hopefully it means enjoying some years of doing what you may not have had time to do.  It has been 39 years since I worked outside the home so I will not be retiring in that sense.  I do have some responsibility in the financial record keeping, bill paying department of Hubby's business and guess I won't retire from that until he decides to hang up his hat.

2. It's International Guitar you play? Does anyone in your family play? What's a song you especially like to hear played on the guitar or a favorite song featuring the guitar?

No, I do not play but my oldest brother does and he does it very, very well.  He started taking guitar lessons when he was in his early teens and he was a natural.  He and I began singing together shortly after he learned to play and sang for banquets and such for a couple of years.  That brings lots of sweet memories to mind for me.  One of my favorite songs that he played was "If You Could Read My Mind" by Gordon Lightfoot and he sang many others of his as well.  And, he sang many of John Denver's songs.  He still plays to this day and the last time I heard him was when our Daddy was so very sick.  Brian came to see him, brought his guitar and would sit at Daddy's bedside and sing to him. ~precious memories for sure~

3. What's your comfort food?

How funny, I'm not sure I have ever thought about this.  But, the first thing that came to my mind was vanilla ice cream covered in slivered almonds.  I love it!  I usually treat myself to one large scoop 2-3 times a week at night.  I honestly could eat 5 scoops every night with a cup of silvered almonds but I just cannot go there.  My Mom always taught me to, "eat to live and not live to eat."  Besides it takes  a lot of discipline to keep a "girlish" figure and that certainly would not help. ~smile~

4. What's one activity or area of your life where you absolutely never procrastinate?

Well, procrastination is just not something I have ever enjoyed.  I might not enjoy the task or the upcoming activity at hand either but I'd just as soon get it behind me than to have to think about it.

5. Who does the grocery shopping in your house? Does your local store bag the groceries for you or is it a do-it-yourself kind of place? Do you like someone packing your groceries?

Oh, that would be me!  Hubby will go pick up an item or two but I can't ever remember him actually buying a list of groceries.  Oh, no, Wal-Mart, where I buy the bulk of our groceries, is totally a do-it-yourself king of place.  I not only bag but I check myself out.  And, the register is constantly fussing at me about not bagging something, drives me insane.  It doesn't seen to understand that some items are too big to bag.  I would thoroughly enjoy someone checking me out and someone bagging my groceries as well, but I've made the adjustment and I do like my way of bagging. It's sort of like someone pumping my gas, guess those days are gone forever. Ugh!

6. What's the coolest thing you've seen in nature?

I cannot think of a thing.  Guess I'm not much of a nature buff and likely not all that observant.
~sorry for such a lame answer~

7. Share a favorite quote about home.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
This time next week I will be in Virginia enjoying some time with an Aunt and several of my cousins.  I have not been in about 3 years and I'm so excited.  These are relatives from my Mom's side of the family and my only Aunt left was the wife of my Mom's brother.  I will be staying with cousins in Williamsburg and then visiting others in the Newport News and Hampton areas.  I was born in Newport News so I'm going back to my birthplace.  I'll have lots to tell when I return.

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Latest

It's another Monday and it's the first one of April.  Oh, my, the year is flying by and before we know it, it will be October.  But, for now, let's just enjoy today.  I find I can get way to up in arms when I start looking too far down the road.  So, today, the latest is.............
Hubby and I have been busy getting the back porch and patio all fixed up for spring and summer.  What so nice about our back porch is that we can see it entirely from inside the house and it's almost like another room.  We always have sword ferns.  They are our very favorite ferns.  They grow upward and do not shed.  We also have petunias, begonia's, and mandevilla's.  The patio and porch are the extent of my outdoor work.  I am NOT a fan of yard work but I do love playing in the dirt and readying the porch and patio for spring and summer.  Now, we anxiously await  our landscaper to show up and work his magic over the yard.
After Hubby and I had worked on the porch and patio he went out to enjoy a little fishing.  This pond is what lured us to this piece of property.  This pond is about 60 feet from our back door and it is full of brim and bass.  In the early morning and late evening it is perfectly gorgeous and so, so peaceful.  I think the old barn on the land behind our property gives it such a nostalgic look.  We hope to have a small dock and pier built  one day.
Easter weekend I attended the wedding of a young lady that I have known her entire life.  Ever since she has been born she has liked all things vintage. ~just like her Mom~  Well, her wedding was "all things vintage" and it was lovely, lovely.  Her Mom is so talented when it comes to creativity and she put her best foot forward for her daughter's wedding.  The old doors made the perfect backdrop for the ceremony and then the reception area was over the top with vintage decor.  The bride and her Mom had embellished the initial, that sat on top of the cake, with old jewelry.  It was gorgeous!  And, I find it so interesting how so many brides are having their bridesmaid wear shorter dresses with boots.  Who would have ever dreamed?  But, it was all so fitting for Chelsea and Lee's wedding day.
The above picture was taken yesterday.  Daddy came to church for the first time in months and it is always such a joy to share our time of worship with each other.  He donned his Sunday best and it reminded me of the 50+ years he served the Lord behind the pulpit as pastor.  Many of you reading this know the tough, tough journey that my Dad has been on since my Mom died in 2008 and especially since his illness in 2011.  He was so very low at a point that my youngest brother and I planned out his funeral.  He was stricken with GBS (you can read about it here) and at 80 years of age the Doctors made us no promises that he would survive and if he did, what condition he would be in.  Well, he is a miracle for sure and watching how the Lord has restored him has been one of the major hi-lites of my spiritual life.  And, to hear his robust voice singing Victory in Jesus yesterday morning was almost more than my heart could stand.  If the Lord is willing Daddy will celebrate his 87th birthday this next November.

May it be an extra special beginning to a new week for you!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Lea's Favorites

I have a few favorites to share with you today..........
These two items have been life savers for me since moving into our new house.  We moved out of a house with 8' ceilings and I rarely, if ever, needed any kind of step up.  Our new house has 11' and 12' ceilings and I need one or both of these on a daily basis.  The 3-step ladder is from Frontgate and it is the "cat's meow" as they say.  It only weighs 10 pounds, folds quickly and takes up about 2" of space when folded.  The top step is extra wide for safety.  I started out with only 1 of these but found myself chasing it down all the time.  So, we now own 3 of them and they are always where I need them.  And, the other is a rolling step stool and sometimes called a "kick stool."  I use this daily to reach items on the higher shelves in our kitchen.  I don't have to bend over and pick it up, I just "kick" it along gently to wherever I need it to be.  I have two of these and they can be found on Amazon and they do come in various colors but I preferred the stainless look.  And, I'm sure you figured out that once you step up on it that the rolling mechanism is disengaged. ~such a nifty item~
I did not even know what a pot filler was until just a very few years ago.  And, when it came time for Hubby and I to pick out the all the plumbing items for the new house I told him that I didn't need one of these.  I had lived without it and I could live longer without it.  Well, he didn't listen to me, thankfully, and he went ahead and ordered one.  Can I just tell you that I love it!  I use it all the time.  I no longer have to fill my pots at the sink and carry them over to the stove.  It is just a neat, neat gadget for sure and I highly endorse them.

Have you heard of or seen what is called "bullet jewelry?"  To me, the name sounds most unappealing but when I saw it I found it most attractive and had to get me a couple of pieces of it.  What I got was so reasonably priced and looks much more expensive than it actually cost.  You wonder who on earth designs such.  I love the embellishment of the crystals on the pieces I bought but they do have pieces that are a bit more rugged looking.  So, suit yourself and it is all over Amazon in case you want to check it out. ~what's not on Amazon~
Just in the past few weeks I heard about The Rainbow Bagel.  Oh, my goodness, are they not the happiest looking bagel you ever did see.  I know they would be a favorite of mine if I could just get my hands on one. They were created by The Bagel Store in Brooklyn, NY and  right now they are so far behind on internet orders that they aren't taking any new orders until they get the current orders filled.  What a nice problem to have.  I have no idea how much they cost but as soon as they open their internet business back up I'm going to find out.  If they are not crazy expensive then I am going to order a few and have some of my friends over for coffee and a rainbow bagel.  Some folks are just so creative and this one gets a creative award for sure!