Another Garden Walk

The Peanuts Champ  invited me on another garden walk. It was put on by The Trailwood Garden Club, the group my Mom belonged to for many years. She also invited her Back Door Neighbor. The three of us set out!

The first house had much going on! It had mostly been converted to a garden, not too much grass. There was a rock walkway around the entire yard, so you could see it from all angles. This was taken from the back side.

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My knowledge of flower identification is sketchy. A combination of hearing my Mother talk flower talk, and my own limited experience. Since I run with a garden-y crowd, I’m sure one of them will jump in and correct me if I’m mistaken!

This astilbe was most loverly. Feathery, pinkish, delightfulness.

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I had bee balm once. I love bee balm. They have a LOT of bee balm. I want their bee balm.

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My Mom once gave me some lamb’s ear, also known as nature’s toilet paper. Our children learned that on a field trip hike at The Howell Nature Center. It’s quite possible they remember nothing else. I think I would like to have some more lambs ear, it’s so soft to touch. Then our children will know the name of one thing in the garden!

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This hosta was DELICIOUS! I want one just like it. Do you have one I can score Schmenk?

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This house had very nice pots. The Peanuts Champ even asked the owners where they got there pots. They said where ever they happened upon them. The Peanuts Champ was lusting after all those pots. Or coveting. Take your pick, but she had her eye on them.

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From the front.

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The Back Door Neighbor and I were taking many pictures. Mostly of the same things! Great minds think alike.

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A lambs ear path in a crack!

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A view from the patio. There’s the delicious hosta in the pot.

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This was my other view all day. Howdy, Ladies!

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Since I forgot to get a new picture, I totally cheated by lifting this picture from last years garden walk excursion! They are still recognizable. The Back Door Neighbor told me a funny story. She said she wanted to make sure she didn’t wear the same thing she wore last year, so she checked last years post on my blob!!!! LOVE IT!!!

There they are, my co-walkers, The Peanuts Champ and the differently attired this year, Back Door Neighbor.

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Here we are at the second house. This house had been on the walk in a previous year. They called it The Fairy House, because there had been fairys hidden everywhere. The owner must have changed things up because I saw no fairys this time.

Loved this window box. Stuffed full of sweet potato vines.

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Color pops everywhere.

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Mmmm.

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To be continued. I had to stop somewhere!

Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

Many thanks to Joyce for inviting us to her Fourth of July Suarez!

1. What makes you stand to your feet and cheer?

When Mousey was winning her event in swimming, when an underdog is pulling ahead, when someone does something really well, when they have the veterans stand up to be honored. Probably when we see our hoopty yard  finished!!!!!!!

2. What’s your favorite patriotic song?

How about God Bless America? And man, does our country need some guidance.

3. Do you believe that opposites attract? If you have a significant other are you opposites?

For whatever reason, I think they do. But there needs to be some common ground in there somewhere or else I don’t see how it can work.

When Honey and I met, we were very much opposites. He was more organized and methodical, I was not. He’s a planner, and I am not. He was on time, and I was not. He was a very hard worker, and I was not. He was more of a worrier, and I was not so much.

I was more flexible. That’s it. It’s all I brought to the table.

But we did share common ground. Our faith, and commitment to our marriage and our family. We learned how to pull together, not apart. I loosened him up, and he tightened me. We both needed it. We still approach things very differently, but we have accepted that the way the other operates is not necessarily wrong.

I like to compare us to two jagged stones that were thrown together in a bag. Over the years we have banged together, been grinded down, nipped here and there and have smoothed each other’s rough edges. There are still pokey things sometimes, but for the most part, our stones fit together nicely, like a mosaic.

4. You’re going to get a behind the scenes look someplace…where would you like that someplace to be?

I can’t think of one darn answer here. I am going to have to see what you all said.

5. How far would you have to travel to ride a carousel (merry-go-round)?

I heard the Livonia Spree was around, maybe there? Cedar Pointe in Sandusky, Ohio is about 3 hours from here.  Other than that, I have no idea.

6. When was the last time you saw fireworks? What was the occasion? Do you enjoy fireworks?

Probably last year out at my Dad’s. They have them every year for Fourth of July out on the lake where he lives. We all pile onto his boat and head on out. As a matter of fact, we are going out to see them this Saturday. I really do like fireworks, I remember going to Bell Creek as a kid and thinking they were magical. Oohhing and Ahhhing is part of the fun!

7. Of all the ‘beauty products’ you own, what item do you consider to be the most overpriced?

I guess I would say the Arbonne. It’s the most expensive product I use. I am fairly low maintenance.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

For many summers, we camped with our dear friends, The Hostlers. Various campgrounds in Michigan and Indiana, and for a few summers we rented lake houses. This one was on Black Lake in Onaway, Michigan. Way up the Mitten, close to Mackinac.

It was SO MUCH FUN!

There is The Boy, Med Tech Autumn, Nurse Lauren, Mousey-Lou (diggin’ the Telly Tubby pjs, HA!), and Ab-Cat in 1998.

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This cottage was very log-ish. I remember thinking when we came home that I was glad to look at white walls.

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We stayed at this cottage twice.

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The Kids played, rolled down the big hill to the lake, swam, made crafts, ate smores, played games…

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The owners sold it, so we had to find a new place. There’s Rae Babe and her honey, Jonafin (he’s the best!).

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At night, the sky was so dark and clear. I have never seen stars like that in my life. Ever.

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The Kids played in this boat for hours. They were GREAT players! Very elaborate situations. Someone was always in peril, in need of a rescue, imaginations ran wild. I think sharks were involved.

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We buried them all in the sand, mostly for the photo op. They were all complaining because they had to hold their heads up for so long.

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Freedom at last!

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I found this in Mousey’s closet. One of the crafts The Kids made. On the back it had her name and Black Lake, and more angel buttons.

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Memories of those trips will always be so sweet, remembered so fondly.

Long live Dehostwaeler Camp!

LAX Banquet

Several weeks ago we went to Mousey’s Lacrosse Banquet.  I believe I may have mentioned that Honey and I are not well versed in Parental Sport Requirements, but there is one thing I can tell you. Organized sports like their banquets. Oh yes they do.

This was my third banquet, Honey’s second. He didn’t go to her first swimming banquet. We couldn’t even remember why. Maybe he had to work. Maybe we were unaware of what a big deal the Sports Banquets are.

We have both been attendance since. To support our Muggins.

Here she is with her buddy Kindork. Can I just tell you that name was THEIR idea? Evidently, it is a private joke, which they find endlessly amusing. They have been friends for years and last year Kindork was on the swim team as a diver while Mousey swam.

Maybe it was Kindork who suggested that Mouse join LAX, since she had joined swim. Neither was on the swim team this year. I ran into a swim mom at a grad party this weekend. She said it was probably a good thing they weren’t, as the swim coach has gone off the deep end, and is full of his bad self.

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They sat at the table right next to us. Perfect for photo opportunities! Except when it was time for Mouselina to go up and get her letter, my camera told me it was time to change the batteries. I am not kidding you.

I got pictures of Kindork accepting her MVP award. As Mousey says, she is beast at LAX. She leads the team in goals. And fouls.

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I got pictures of Button accepting her award too, except I can’t remember what it was called. Basically, it said that she is a wonderful girl and everyone should watch her because her future is so bright we need to wear shades! As The Boy said, she cleaned up in the awards department. Have I mentioned she is in the newspaper all the time? Cause she totally is. I think Button was also a big encouragement for Mousey to join LAX.

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Button even got to give a little speech. She said the Lord is her strength.

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This was after the mock awards. Kindork’s was something about bro and spiderman, or something, I can’t read it. Probably another inside joke. Mousey’s says The Juice. Her jersey number was the same as O.J.’s.

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I can’t read Button’s either. Forgive me on these, the banquet was almost a month ago, and you know my memory is like a screen door.

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These two are in Alabama this week at Student Life camp. I hope they are having the time of their life!

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Mousey’s third letter!!! And she is a charter member on the first girls lacrosse team at her school!!!  GO MOUSEY! And BUTTON, and KINDORK!!!!!!

I just have one other thing to mention. We didn’t know many parents on this team, and you never know who you will be sitting with. I had prayed before we arrived about the seating arrangements. I asked God to put us where He wanted us, that He would be with my words, you know, you don’t want to be offensive or seem awkward, and help us to have a pleasant evening talking with our table mates.

I got sidetracked talking to a mom I knew from our kid’s elementary school, then a mom I knew from BSF, so Honey actually picked our table. I sat down as the night was starting, relayed my previous conversations to Honey, and then felt like I should turn around and introduce myself to the mom sitting next to me.

We chatted about this and that, and after she had mentioned her church a couple of times, I asked her what church they attended. She said the church that we had attended before the church we attend presently. I said oh, we know a lot of people over there! I then asked her if she knew Rae Babe, she said she DID! I asked if she knew our neighbors across the street, she said they were in the same Caregroup and they led a high school girls small group together! I asked her if she knew another dear friend, she said she DID, and that friend’s daughter was in her small group! When I mentioned I attended BSF, she asked if I knew her neighbor, Jip the Farm Dog, I said I DID!! Only she didn’t call her Jip the Farm Dog, cause only I call her that.

So it seems like we have been orbiting each other for years and finally met that night! We are probably related somewhere along the line! It was SO funny!

The dessert was very yummy and the chicken was very yukky.

And that, my Friends, was the LAX Banquet of 2011.

What Doing This Weekend

Saturday was the best weather day of the whole week. No rain, nice breeze, moderate heat, and low humidity. A perfect day for Button and Keelyody’s twin boy’s graduation parties. AND work.

The Boy cut the grass and fertilized things.

Mousey and I weeded the hedge and various other areas. Large, picker-y, thistle-y, beasts from H-E double hockey sticks.

Honey rearranged the playhouse/shed.

We then all set our sites on the newest area consuming our time. The area known as “Where The Arborvitae Used To Be”.

The Boy hacked off the rest of the spirea, then he and Honey raked the decade of arborvitae leaves up and disposed of them. All so Mousey and I could begin removing the landscaping rocks. All things to be gone so we can get us some C-ment back there, by the C-ment pond!

We are back to being rock haulers. We have a union and everything.

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Since we are experienced rock haulers, I will tell you how we have found is the best way to haul.

The tools of the trade. 

Cat litter containers. A good weight to lift after scooping the rocks, not too heavy.

Old, mismatched, gloves work better than work gloves. They fit better to use your hand as a sweeper/shovel.

Dust pans, to receive the sweeped/shoveled rocks. Spell check is telling me sweeped is not a word. Why isn’t it? Oh, it’s swept, isn’t it?

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It is a great way to use up mismatched children’s gloves that have accumulated over the years. Of which Mousey has a plethora. Hi Power Puff Girls!

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Did you know it is a sure thing if you throw out a glove with no mate, you will find the mate exactly 1 week later? I have experienced this phenomenon on many occasions, hence the extensive 1 glove collection. I even found a matched pair while going through the collection!! That doesn’t happen every day, you know!

Little did I know how handy they would come in, 1-10 years later! Because, you know, they don’t last forever in the rock hauling business.

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We are adding to our existing pile.

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Our pile is growing.

Oh, our aching backs and legs.

I had better lose some weight doing this or I might WHINE.

Potent Quotable

Philippians 4:6-7

New International Version (NIV)

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The Boy and Mousey are off to Student Life camp in Alabama. Praying for safe travels and open ears to hear what God has for them. The theme is DEVOTED and the speaker is David Platt, author of Radical. I miss them already.

They Liked My Purchases

I believe I mentioned yesterday that I was going to have a quick look-see at The Value World after I picked up my new glasses. I found some shirts for The Ab-Cat, a blouse for me, and a pair of sleep pants for Mousey-Ann. The shirts are solid colored, the wear a under hoodie types. So I decided to just show you the blouse and sleep pants.

Mama Mia and Halle Berry wanted to show you too. So much to check out. And sniff.

What is the fascination with the clothes on the floor? It can’t just be clothes on the floor, or else there are two rooms in our house that they would NEVER leave. Their initials begin with BOY and MOUSE. Plenty of floor clothing there.

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Ah, there they are. That could be a nice BSF/church blouse for $3.20 from Talbots. Blouse is a weird word. Who decided  a blouse was a blouse?

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I bought these $1.60 sleep pants for Mousey for one reason. She does not particularly need sleep pants, and is not particularly enamored of tie dye.

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Wait a minute, fat felines in the way.

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Move your tail….

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There is NOTHING underneath! Move it, Mama!

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There we go! She liked them. A lot!

A Diminutive Friday List

I feel I have been wordy enough this week.

1. Mosaiced over at Capri Deb’s again yesterday. I now have 3 things completed and ready to grout. I cannot show them to you because I again forgot my camera.

2. I am going to pick up my new glasses today at Sears. The Value World is right across the street. It would be wrong to be right there, and not go in. Borderline sinful, I’m pretty sure.

3. The Boy and Mousey will be leaving for Student Life Camp in Alabama this weekend. You know how I have mixed emotions about that.

4.  Honey has had a much more successful week around here! Thank you Lord!!!!

5. Stayed up far too late last night watching Terminator 3 with Mousey. She said she had never seen it. How can that be?

6. Ab-Cat says she has good movies to pick up at the library today! That is one of her jobs, to provide entertainment for her family.

7. The pool is OPEN!!!!!

Happy Friday to you all!

Timber

I believe I may have mentioned that we had some breakage last week. Many small things, and then this big thing.

We called someone to remove the other half of our Bradford pear tree. Honey could have taken the big boy down, that wasn’t the real problem. The problem was the foliage. And the woodage. It was all a bit much to scatter in the field behind us.

Besides, when we lost the little brother limb last year, it took a lot of cutting and scattering, and it was much smaller. We called us some Lumberjacks.

Poor Brad, we loved you so. He really was a handsome tree. My Mother often commented on his perfect shape.

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Honey called the head Lumberjack early Tuesday evening, after we discovered the breakage that afternoon. Head Lumberjack said he would be out later that evening. Honey was skeptical, because it has been our experience when you call people for an estimate, they do not show up when the say they will. Just throwing it out there. He also called another lumberjack, who said he would (or perhaps would not) be out to give an estimate on Thursday.

Honey and I were out in the pool area that evening, trying to decide which hoopty corner of our yard to focus on first, when we heard a hello coming around the side of the house. It was the Head Lumberjack. Honey and I looked at each other in amazement! He came when he said he would!!!!

I feel I must share a tidbit of back story here. We had been apprehensive about calling a lumberjack. When we lived in our last house, we needed to pull down a HUGE weeping willow. The price tag for that job was $1200. Around 17 years ago. That was not EVER going to happen, so Honey pulled it down himself. It’s a miracle he is still here to tell about it, because in hindsight? Doesn’t seem like a very safe endeavor. I can still remember our next door neighbor standing out in his back yard with a scared look on his face.

So back to present day. Head Lumberjack gave us a price of not very much money!!! While we had him out there, we asked how much to remove the arborvitae next to the pool?

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That was the area that Honey and I had been pondering before the Lumberjack showed up. You can see a portion of our pool cover above. Opening and closing the pool is just one more task on Honey’s very full plate. We have wished over the years that we had a hard pool cover that did not collect everything that Old Man Winter blows into its gaping maw. Leaves, plastic bags, small dead things, who KNOWS WHAT, all with the added bonus of becoming a stinky home for ducks and tadpoles in the early spring. You can imagine what a pleasant chore it is for Honey to open the pool.

The reason we cannot have the wished for hard pool cover, is because it is essential to have concrete on both sides of the pool, to anchor the above mentioned hard pool cover. Once again, we have NO concrete. Just caving in brick pavers and shifting rocks. If we pulled out the arborvitae, redid that area and poured some concrete, Honey could take a heaping helping of grief OFF his plate, twice a year!!!

The price for removing the arbs was very good too!! We were on a roll!

Head Lumber jack then said the most stunning thing of all. “We can be here at 9 tomorrow morning”. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!!!!!!

Are you KIDDING me??? Well, yes, we would like that very prompt service you have offered us in our very own back yard!

They came at 8:45 and got right to work.

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Branches were falling.

 

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Being hauled to the front yard.

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Fed to the chipper.

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The tree was down before 9.

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It was a bittersweet moment.

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The other half of Brad was gone.

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The only dilemma with the arborvitae was they blocked our view of a busy road. What if we couldn’t stand the view or the noise from the road? Other than that, we had no affection for the arbs.

It was at this point that I told the Minor Lumberjacks that I was taking pictures for my blob. I was worried they might be thinking I was doing it to check up on their work. So I could tattle unfavorably. I am pretty sure they said they had been on blogs before, imagine that!!

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They cut the lower branches, then ally-ooped the whole thing over the fence.

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There was a lot of dragging going on.

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They trimmed the stumps as low as they could, they couldn’t grind them because of all the rocks in there. That maelstrom wouldn’t have been good.

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The chipper just chewed them up. Honey said he’d like to have a chipper.

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And there you have it, our new view of the road. And the 1/2 opened pool.

 

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When I paid Head Lumberjack, I told him what a God Thing this had been. To come when he said, and be able to do the work so quickly? I thanked him for being such a blessing for my weary husband, who has had a very discouraging week. To put it MILDLY. It was a very reasonable amount of money well spent. And you don’t get to say THAT very often!

We are still getting used to it, but we are not sorry we did it. I will be so happy to get the new pool cover for Honey, I can’t even express it in words!!! I’ll try, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY Honey!!!

Later that week, Honey and I were out on the driveway wrestling with the old pool cover, the Head Lumberjack drove by. Honey had noticed his trucks in the neighborhood all week. He stopped in the drive to talk a moment. Honey said he wanted to get a price on a boulder retaining wall in the back. Head Lumberjack said they had been working on our street all week, people see workers and they all flock to get a price for their needs. My walking buddy, Keelyody, even had him cut down a tree in her front yard, and Capri Deb called to get his number for her friend. Beeve wanted it too.

As Head Lumberjack said, “all because of a pear tree!”.

I say, THANK YOU LORD, for giving us one pear shaped slice of success in restoring the Hoopty House!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Hey Guys! Time for the Hodgepodge. Many thanks to Joyce from This Side of the Pond for gathering us together.

1. Summer’s here-whoohoo! What’s your favorite sight, sound, AND smell associated with summer?

My favorite sight would be purty flowers. Since I have become such an early riser, I hear all kinds of happy birds in the morning. I especially like the mourning doves because The Kids always liked them and called them Swing Set Birds. Barbeque smells yummy, so does my Japanese honeysuckle, it’s blooming right now as we read.

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2. Fireflies or lightning bugs…what are they called in your neck of the woods?

I think the term is used interchangeably here in The Mitten.

3. What is something from the past week that reminded you of your childhood?

The Boy and I went to Sears to get new glasses last week. They were having a handy dandy sale, 2 pair of glasses for $99. The salesgirl said you could choose from ones in a particular area, or ones with an orange tag. There was quite a large selection, but The Boy had a particular look he was going for. The particular look was not part of the handy dandy selection. Of course. They were part of the one pair for $189 selection.

I then felt the need to tell him how it was when I was a girl. The insurance said you had to choose a pair with a green dot. I chose a pair with a green dot. The End.

Luckily for him, the salesgirl said she could offer us the bonus of giving him the 2 for $99 deal and we would only have to pay the difference of his higher priced, particular frames, so he got another pair for free. Sort of, like.

Then it was my turn. I chose the ones with the orange tags. It’s too late to change me now.

Sears called today to tell me they are in. I’ll show you when I get them!

4. Define ‘the good life’.

I thought about this question a lot last night. I asked Honey what he thought. He sent me to Ecclesiastes. Then I asked The Boy. He just said Jesus. Then grace, then some big words that I don’t use. I knew the Lord was the key ingredient to “the good life”, but I felt I should have a verse to back it up.

I know many people see “the good life” as a sort of trouble free existence, no hard responsibilities, full of blessings, material gifts like wealth, homes, cars, and possessions, robust health, the ability to travel and do as you please. All those things can certainly be a part of the good life, but they are not the defining things. Can you really even appreciate all that bounty unless you have never had, or been stripped of it?

In James 1 it says

2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

That verse is completely opposite of what the world says is “the good life”  It talks about trials, perseverance, developing your faith. Hard things, not a life of leisure and comfort. I especially like this part:

“4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

It says you have to go through the hard stuff before you can get the good stuff. Being mature, complete, not lacking in anything? THAT would be the good life for me!

I also like this verse, because I always like to know what is required of me.

Micah 6:8  He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

I’m not there yet. It’s a goal. Following Jesus IS the good life.

5. Tell us what we’d see if you took a snapshot of your desk/work space?

Well, here’s where the magic happens! All the necessary things computer, camera and cord, kleenex, idiom book, Bible, some pictures for Way Back When-sday. Plus, there is a ceiling fan that you can’t see. I like for everywhere I go these days to have a ceiling fan.

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6. Peaches or watermelon…yes, you have to choose.

A good peach is dreamy, but sometimes it’s hard to get a good one. And a mealy, bad, peach is yukky.

7. Ever been skinny dippin’? Is that too much for the Wednesday Hodgepodge? Rest assured we won’t need details…unless of course you feel you must but remember, this is a family friendly blog so keep it G rated.

No, I have never been that brave! It doesn’t sound appealing anyway.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Yesterday was The Boy’s birthday. The night before, he received a special treat from Button. She works at our friendly, neighborhood, Carvel’s and made it for him! It was SCRUMTRULESCENT!!!!! We all got a piece, then we watched episodes of Castle from the library, because we are all pretty wild around here.

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Thanks Button, for being so sweet to The Boy! And for the cake, WE LIKE CAKE!!!

Thanks again, Joyce!

The Boy is Twenty!

Our baby boy is 20 years old today. We can not believe it. 20 first days of summer ago. 14 days past his due date. Even then he didn’t want to leave his Mama.

Look at that chubby Boy!

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He was a solid chunk of a Buddy Bear.

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At 2, he was all about Barney and Baby Bop.

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At 3, I was all about insisting he use the potty.

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At 5 he was all boy. 

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At 9, in his beloved dump hat from Mackinac Island and Godzilla t-shirt. He loves his family.

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Always a goof, ESPECIALLY with his Daddy.

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With our very unadventurous kitty, Indiana Jones. Shortened to Indi, so he wouldn’t bring shame to the Adventurous One. The Boy loves our cats. I think always having a cat has made him gentle. Always a good quality in a man.

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With his Great Grandma Hoover. He was gentle with her too. She lived to be 97.

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He is good to his sisters. He has no choice, he is outnumbered, and for most of his life, Abby could take him.

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He is a good nephew and Grandson. He cares about his People.

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With his “spry” Uncle Bob.

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Classic Boy.

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Loves to fish, and is darn good at it.

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He is a self proclaimed, A #1, Mama’s Boy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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I can’t even tell you how much joy he has brought to our lives. Happy Birthday to our one and only, precious, FUNNY Boy.

We are so proud of you and you are very much loved!

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