Wednesday Hodgepodge

Hi Guys, thanks for stopping by! A big thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond for facilitating this get together.

1. The Hodgepodge falls on the last day of February this year, a leap year. How will you spend that extra day?

Not doing anything out of the ordinary. I remember my 7th grade locker partner, Marilyn Kay, had a birthday on leap year. It was like her little claim to fame. She is probably still pretty young! Happy Birthday, Marilyn.

2. What has recently required a leap of faith on your part?

Since last November I have been a tutor.

I know, I know, I can’t believe it either. I may write a post about it in the future, but I don’t feel like talking about it in detail yet. Mainly because I feel like an imposter.

I am not a teacher. I am a mathematical id-jit. I am not what you would call a kid person. I do not enjoy going to Detroit. I had many doubts. I was pretty sure I did not have what it took to tutor a child. Seeds of “what if….” sprouted and flourished in my mind.

I heard about the need for tutors at the inner city church that our church partners with. I talked to one of my clients, she said she was going to do it. I talked to the woman who sat next to me in the service, she had done it last year! Keelyody’s husband does it. It just kept coming up. I went to the informational meetings and sat in the back. I didn’t feel that academically I had anything to offer. What if the child I was assigned didn’t listen or even want to learn anything? What if they were already ahead of me in math??

I felt like God was encouraging me, I was supposed to do this. It had to be from God because it certainly wasn’t something I ever considered doing! I put aside my fears and took the leap of faith, holding on to His hand AND the railing.

The program is called ABC’s in the D. Our motto is “Flex and obey”. The kids don’t all show up every week. Some weeks it’s freezing cold, some weeks we are roasting. Some weeks we can only use the gym. Most weeks the bus is late and our time with the kids is limited.

Well, I have learned a lot from tutoring. I have learned that I can listen to a little girl read a story she has never heard before, and agree with her that it rates 5, no 10 stars! I can help her learn how to tell time. We can talk about place value, and add double digit numbers and learn how to carry, and I get to see the light of understanding flicker in her eyes. I get to play Candyland with her and hear her say that she just loves that game. I get to read her a Bible story and a memory verse, and even though she doesn’t always understand what I am talking about, I know that God’s Word does not return void. I get to hear about her week, and her extended family. My heart grows 3 sizes when she grabs my hand to hold, and gives me a big hug and says “Bye, Kelly”.

It’s a God Thing. I know that on my own, it’s not in me. I am not a teacher. Or a kid person. But I am Ja’Shayla’s tutor, and I love her.

3. We’re one week into the season of Lent…are you marking these 40 days in some way? Giving something up or adding something extra to normal life? How’s it going so far?

I have never participated in Lent. I remember kids at school giving up dessert or candy. One year my boss, Carol at the salon, gave up cake. But not birthday cake!

4. When was the last time you sat beside a fire?

This was taken in December of 2010, or January 2011, after Mrs, Schmenkman’s mother EEEK passed away. They had a commemorative bonfire in her honor, attended by all of her children and many of her grandchildren. They graciously let Honey and I horn in on the occasion. They are good to us like that.

I think it was the last time I sat beside a fire. See #7 below.

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Capri’s Deb, Laurie, Patt in front, with Kel and Lisa in back. BFG builds a good fire!

5. Surf and Turf is on the menu. Do you order as is or do you ask for just the surf (lobster), just the turf (steak), or a menu so you can select another option?

Strictly a turf kind of girl.

6. If you could have any television program back, not in reruns but in new episodes, what program would you choose?

Well, that’s an easy one! Friday Night Lights for sure. I miss those folks from Dillon Texas. Mousey and her friends, Chip and Dale, were immersed in seasons 3 and 4 during Winter Break last week. It caused me to haul up some random episodes on NetFlix. I was reminded of so many great lines. Like Rigs confessing to Becky that his mom never took him shopping for a pageant dress. I guess you had to be there.

Matt Saracen: You don’t have to worry about me, in a fight I just kinda stand in the back and just yell stuff.

Coach Eric Taylor: Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

“Tami: What is the Scarlet Letter about Tim?
Tim: It’s about a gal named Scarlet, obviously…”

Tyra Collette: Just wish I could build a time machine and go back and shoot who ever it is that invented Algebra, that’s for sure.
Landry Clarke: Well, see, that’s kind of a Catch-22, though, because in order to invent that time machine you may need to use Algebra.

Tami Taylor: “You and I have the exact amount of experience being parents.”

Tyra Collette: “What’s the big deal?”
Tami Taylor: “The big deal is it’s part of my job, to make sure that you don’t grow up stupid. It’s bad for the world.

Eric Taylor: [about Julie] At least she’s not interested in some serial killer… or one of the Riggins’.

Tim: Good friends liven large in Texas. Texas forever,

Go Panthers. And Lions.
7. They say an elephant never forgets. These days would you say your memory is more like an elephant or a gnat?

My long term memory used to be pretty good, but not so much any more. My short term memory is atrocious. Now I just pray that God will help me to remember what I need to. It works surprisingly well, certainly better than left to my own devices.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

The last February Photo Challenge prompt is something you are listening to. Not much. So far this morning I have heard a far away, lonely train, the tea kettle whistling, the cats running through the house and Mousey telling me she didn’t feel well and could she stay home. And the grandfather clock. Every 15 minutes.

February Photo Challenge-Money

Only 1 more day of The February Photo Challenge and you know what that means, LISTS galore!!!!! I have enjoyed most of the challenge, there were a couple that seemed forced, but all in all, we made it work.

Money. That is a big subject. It can be most helpful, a way to right wrongs, a gateway to fun, the root of all evil, and quite literally, the means to hold off homelessness and starvation.

I once commented to Honey that I didn’t think money was that important to me. He said that was because I have always had it. He is right. I have always been well taken care of, I have no idea what it is like to live without a safety net. When I was younger and said I was poor, it meant I had no disposable cash for what I wanted. I could always scrape together enough change out of the car ash tray for Taco Bell, or I could go home and eat. I was never in danger of going without.

I have learned much about generosity and giving from Honey. He is a compassionate soul with experience in life without a net. He sees needs when I see nothing at all.

Because I can be dense, this year God has brought to my attention, multiple times in multiple ways, that there is work to be done. And money can be of assistance in this work. 

At BSF, we study the Bible as our only textbook. God has plenty to say about our resources. Money, time and otherwise. Giving, in love, is required. From the notes and lecture over the last couple of weeks I have heard:

“Of all things believers do, only love will endure the grave”

“Let us not pray for easier lives but for greater power to bring blessing out of every pressure and trial”

“Every act prompted by faith will be empowered by God”

“Judgement proves that who we are and what we do matters”

“When you know the truth, the right response is required”

and just this week:

2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (NIV)

6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Our small group has been studying Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Just under the preface there are these words.

To just read the Bible, attend church, and avoid “big sins”- is this passionate, wholehearted love for God?

-Francois Fenelon, The Seeking Heart

What do I do when I see a need? Do I recognize an opportunity God placed directly in my path, or do I trip over it trying to get out of the way?

Do I do what God asks of me? In love? With an open hand? Knowing He can do more with our resources than I ever could?

I want to be faithful. I want to be generous. I want to be intentional. Not just give leftovers to the God who saved me. I need to do some more pondering.

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All that said, this is what I have spent money on the last couple of weeks. With our gaggle of Value World, 50% off coopins! Graciously given to me, or shared with me, by Honey, Capri Deb, The Saint and Jip.

Twinkies for The Ab-Cat. The Girls beg me to stop with the sleep pants. They have no more room for the sleep pants. But I just can’t. So they choose what they need and the overflow goes into the give away bag. To bless others. THAT’S IT! A sleep pant ministry!!!!!

Red Gilligan and O’Malley, .80 cents. Darling flowered sleep pants $1.05. Bath & Body Works tote bag, $1.05.

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Abby is going back to work this summer, where she interned last summer. Thanks to Jaw Dog, husband of Jip the Farm Dog! She had expressed a desire to replace her old, tie dyed, draw string bag that she has had since junior high. She needs a bag to hold her lunch and her current book, and whatever else she might need for the day. She approved this daisy bag, because don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flower?  They are according to Kathleen Kelly from You’ve Got Mail.

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Honey likes this brand. I discovered this fact in Florida, where he looks for golf shirts at The Goodwill. I recognized the fish on the cuff, cause I am all observant and everything. Greg Norman long sleeved golf shirt (like NEW!), .80 cents. Stratford Signature (never heard of the brand, but it is soft as kittens) $1.30. Rust colored Merona hoodie for moi, $1.80. Little black leather purse $1.70. Like brand new!

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Now I realize that I don’t need this. BUT, when I broke the strap on my favorite black/brown shopping purse a couple of years ago, while vacationing in Boca Raton, I was seriously in a bind. I did have it repaired, but it could happen again! There is still the other non-replaced handle lurking out there. Ready to snap and cause me great consternation, yet again. So consider it a little insurance policy, for a mere $1.70. And considering that the darling green, Relic replacement purse that I had to buy in Florida, after the breaking of My Precious, is already in the give away bag because of it’s propensity to collect smudges and stains? I’d say it is a bargain.

As you know, I like to buy children books for our future grandchildren. Sometimes they are books our children have loved, and sometimes they are books that look clever or interesting. This is a mix of the two. I did have a coopin this trip. It was the trip with My Dad and Mousey a couple weeks ago. We went when my Dad came into town to recognize my Mother’s Home going. She would have approved, as she loved a good bargain herself. A homage, if you will.

I am a huge fan of the Little Golden Books. The old ones. Sweet stories and darling illustrations. Smokey The Bear pictures were drawn by our friend, Richard Scarry. 20 American cents. The Thomas ABC Book is one we own. It was one of The Boy’s most favorite books of all times. He would probably say The Bible now, but this was another time.  I did save this book for him, in the Huggies box of memorabilia stashed up in his closet, unfortunately, it might not survive the love of another child. Also .20 pennies.

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The hardcover Never Tease A Weasel just looks plain cute! “It’s more fun to please a weasel, and be friends with him instead!” .25 cents.

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Johnny Appleseed looks good, written and illustrated by Steven Kellogg. I like a picture with lots to look at and point to. .30 cents. Hardcover Big Al looks darling and Yoshi’s illustrations are perfect! Also .30, into the Grandchildren Box they go! They might get a preview with The Goomba as well, he is one to enjoy a good story. Mama Mia finds them most agreeable.

So there you have my expenditures for the last part of February. The next round of coopins don’t start until March 12, so there will be a slight reprieve. The Boy will be home to benefit from their bounty!!!!!!! That will be FUN!

Tomorrow is the last day of the February Photo Challenge, as well as The Wednesday Hodgepodge. The prompt is what I am listening to, which should be boring, as I don’t listen to music. I could change my habits though because Juanita has a radio that I can actually operate. But come for the questions, which are always good. Have a fiscally aware Tuesday.

February Photo Challenge-(Saturday) Night and What We Ate

I believe I may have mentioned in the past that Honey likes to watch The Food Network. As a result, we all watch a little Food Network. One of the shows he enjoys is Diners, Drive Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri. I find Guy to be a humorous fellow. He says things that I frequently feel the need to remember and repeat, and then I promptly forget.

One day, Guy came to The Motor City to get his eat on. We caught the episode, and Honey and The Ab-Cat decided they would like to go and experience this:

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Our children are fond of mac and cheese. So last Saturday, overworked Honey awoke from a dead sleep, and said “let’s go there for Ab-Cat’s birthday dinner”.  And off we went.

The Clarkson Union Bar and Kitchen is not exactly in our neck of the woods. We do have some experience in the area though. Our good friends Don and Shari lived in next door Waterford, and that is how we became acquainted with the town we affectionately referred to as Egypt, because it is far, and there is no good way to get there.

Before the Don and Shari experience, the only contact I ever had with the town was attending concerts at the Pine Knob Music Theater. Which isn’t even Pine Knob anymore, but who cares? People know what you are talking about when you say Pine Knob, because that is a much more memorable name than DTE or whatever they are calling it these days. Good old Sashabaw Road, many good memories there.

So, back to Clarkston and their most macked mac and cheese. The restaurant is in a renovated church. Not very big and the seats are veryclosetogether. Charming though.

We waited about 20 minutes at 3 on a Saturday afternoon. That was probably a good sign.

The menu. No idea who those guys are.

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On the wall above the bar. We were at the right place.

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My view across the table, overworked, chronically tired Honey and his dining partner, Mousey.

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Our side, Capri Kel and birthday girl, Ab-Cat

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The kitchen. To the best of my knowledge, that was it. They didn’t even have fries on the menu because there was no fryer. Little bitty kitchen.

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Honey chose a burger and mashed potatoes and gravy, which were very yummy.

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I had steak pot pie with mashed potatoes and enough carrots to keep Katie happy for a week!

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The Girls both chose mac and cheese. No surprise there. Crispy Panko and cheese top.

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Oh so gooey and yummy inside.

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We all agreed it was very good, but an hour is a little far to go for supper. If we ever happened to be in those stomping grounds again, we would probably go back!

Here is humorous Guy and his visit, it’s right in the beginning.

Happy Birthday, again, Ab-Cat!

Potent Quotable

Do as much as possible, and talk of yourself as little as possible.
Sallust

February Photo Challenge-Green and Happy Birthday Ab-Cat!

Our Baby is 23 today. Am I going to be saying this (with a new number) every year, with every child, for the rest of my life? Because I just can’t believe it!

The green prompt threw me until I remembered that Miss Abra-Cadabra had a couple professional pictures taken in green. I am positive that this little dress was a gift from her Grandmama, because she was a fan of the pretty dress.

The date on the back says her full name with the date, 12-90, and her age, 22 months. When you have one child, this sort of thing comes easy. When The Boy arrived 6 months later, I did everything abbreviated.  By the time Mousey came around, there was no writing at all, we just hoped we would remember it was her and give our best guess how old she was.

On this fine December day, my Mom and I took Little Abby Dabby to K-Mart for these loverly shots with the obligatory Christmas tree poster in the back. I seem to recall that she was not crazy about the idea and there were some tears. There may or may not have been a tear on her cheek in the pose they selected for us.

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I believe there were times we thought we would have to come back another day. This surprised me because Girlfriend was generally amiable in all situations. She was bookish, even as a 22 month old, and pushing buttons was her hobby. This must have assured her that this place was not so bad.

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You know how, back in the day,  K-Mart have you 1,695 pictures to pass out to all of your close personal friends, including their selection of the the $9.99 deal pose, and including a giant 18 X 20 and little bitty 1 X 1 squares that you also did not get to select yourself? Then you had to additionally buy sheets of the pose that you really liked.

This was my VERY favorite pose. I could not select additional sheets of this pose because they only made this pose in the totally useless 1 X 1 squares that you need a magnifying glass to see. Now here we are, 21 years later, and through the wonder of technology, I can see my precious little girl bigger than a postage stamp! This picture has been stuck in my bedroom mirror for the majority of those 21 years. Perhaps I should have it reprinted at The K-Mart’s close personal friend and competitor, The Wal-Mart? Then I could finally, you know, FRAME it!

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A couple years later she was sporting another green dress, purchased at my friend Laurie’s garage sale. We benefitted greatly from those sales because it was Laurie’s great joy to dress her daughter Caitlin in a most beautiful fashion.

Such a sweet, precious little angel baby, that’s what she was.

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I found no more green pictures until she was either a sophomore or junior, guesstimated by the fact she is wearing her retainers. She wore those retainers for years until one of the cats stole them. We found them years later under her bed, wedged in her bed frame by the mattress. Her bottom teeth have shifted. She still blames the cats. I blame the dumb orthodontist who should have used expanders on her, but he was not so cutting edge.

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She is still a darling, darling girl, shifted bottom teeth and all.

Happy Birthday Ab-Cat. You are still our first, adored, precious, wonderful, priceless, loved, Baby Girl. You made us a family.

Jeremiah 29:11

New International Version (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

February Photo Challenge-Inside Your Bathroom Cabinet

I thought this was a dumb one. I wasn’t even sure what they meant by bathroom cabinet, so I threw it it to you guys. Capri Laurie and JammyGal graciously gave me the only opinions I received, and I am now going against that advice! But, on the basis of Capri Laurie’s thought that the medicine cabinet is too personal, I would say that ours is not. It’s rather unexciting.  But like she also said, the linen closet is boring.

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I spared you the under the sink cabinet, or as The Boy calls it, The Tampon Storage Area. That’s it, nothing else there.

In other news, it is snowing to beat the band! Snow has been scarce around The Mitten this winter

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It is only 29 degrees out there and I already hear dripping, so I am guessing it will not linger.

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It’s purty though.

The February Photo Challenge has kept me from droning on about my usual blather, so how about a little list?

1. The Girls and I spent last weekend immersed in 1912 with the questionable folks of Downton Abbey. Some were good eggs, some were horrid and rotten.

We watched season one on Netflix and are waiting for season two from our library. We were number 15 on the waiting list last week. Hopefully people will stampede through those episodes like we did!

2. We despise Thomas and O’Brien.

3. I adore Matthew and his mother.

4. Mary and her sister Edith should not be allowed to reproduce. They are hateful girls.

5. Love Lady Sybil and her chauffer, Tom Branson.

6. Looking forward to watching Mr. Bates and Anna come to some sort of ….agreement.

7. Watching Maggie Smith as The Right Honourable Violet Crawley, Countess of Grantham is ….delicious. Even if she is insufferably bothersome.

8. I quite like every interaction The Right Honourable Violet Crawley, Countess of Grantham, has with Matthew’s mother, Mrs Isobel Crawley. Mrs. Cawley is just so good at twisting her tail! Right Honourably, of course.

9. The Cawley daughters have a very boring existence. No wonder they were so underhanded and catty. I do blame their mother for allowing all of the meanness, does she even know her daughters? Were they raised by wolves?

10. Those servants worked HARD. How dirty can one family be???

Have a very proper Friday.

February Photo Challenge-Your Shoes

My black Pr!vo’s, purchased in Key West at Ross Dress for Less for the bargain price of only $13.99! I have never owned this brand before, but I am pleased with how they look after 2 years.

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That is what I am wearing now, I wore black boots to BSF.

Tomorrows photo prompt is inside your bathroom cabinet. Riveting. Do you think they mean the medicine chest, or linen closet, or it could even be under the sink? Decisions, decisions!

What do you think?

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Hi Guys! Thanks for stopping by and thanks as always to Joyce for giving us the opportunity to get together!

1. February 22nd is National Be Humble Day…what makes you proud? What keeps you humble?

Funny you should ask! Our lesson this week had this to say.
2 Corinthians 3:4-6

New International Version (NIV)

4 Such confidence we have through Christ before God. 5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.

When you know this, it’s easier to be humble. Pride can be such an issue, especially for Christians, but when you already know you are not all that and a bag of chips? So much easier . Without the Lord it isn’t pretty. With Him, I am Sun Chips, garden salsa variety, and their slogan is “Live Brightly” Rather appropriate!

It makes me proud when our children make good decisions based on God’s Word. Sometimes they have not even correlated this, maybe they have listened to some of that talking and walking along the road. God’s Word does not return void.

Deut. 6:7

Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.

2. Where is the catch-all (aka dumping ground) in your house?

There are two. The left side of the island in the kitchen, and the back counter in the laundry room. Both are stuff magnets.

3. Do you make it a point to visit State/National Parks when you travel or even in your own hometown? What’s your favorite?

Nope. I think we have camped in state parks though.
4. How would you define honor?

My thesaurus says “a fine sense of, and a strict conformity to, what is considered morally right or due.” I think that is right. The moral part is important. You can’t be honorable if you are doing something wrong, or dishonest.

5. Angel’s food or Devil’s food-which cake do you prefer?

Neither kind sounds particularly tempting. I used to like angel food with strawberries and whipped cream, but it seems sort of Styrofoam-y now.

6. What’s the most recent road trip you’ve taken? Where did you go and how many hours did you spend in the car? Do you like to zoom to your destination without stopping or leisurely wind your way there with stops along the way? What is your car snack of choice?

I guess it was to Chicago to drop The Boy off at Moody for college. I think it was about a 4 hour trip and we did stop for lunch and a bathroom break.We don’t typically stop and smell the roses while traveling. We smell them when we get there! I am not a huge car snacker. Honey likes licorice though.

7. Recent headlines told how a preschool child in NC had their packed lunch from home taken away and a school lunch substituted by a school inspector who deemed the homemade lunch unhealthy. Reportedly the parent was then billed for the school lunch (chicken nugget meal) although an update to the story says the parent was not billed. The inspector was conducting a routine inspection of the classroom-he/she was not there solely to peek in the lunchboxes. The packed lunch contained a turkey and cheese sandwich, an apple juice box, a bag of chips, and a banana. You can read the story here. Your thoughts?

I actually heard about this! That did not sound too unhealthy to me. I’m sure our children have not always chosen to eat the balanced meals I have packed for them. I certainly would not like anyone deciding what our kids ought to eat based on their idea of good nutrition. I don’t agree with the food pyramid, or plate, or whatever they are calling it these days. I am not an advocate of a low fat and dairy, high whole grain diet. Get the processed foods, the unhealthy fats, the sugary junk out of there before you come digging through the lunch boxes.

Thankfully, our kids rarely bought lunch at school. The Ab-Cat and I were laughing about this the other day. She would only buy lunch on days when they offered BBQ riblet. What the heck is that??? We have no idea! Mousey only bought when they had salad bar and Domino’s pizza. I’m sure The Boy was less discerning, but he probably mainly bought the pizza. It had to be the Domino’s too, or later, the Little Caesars. They didn’t like the school brand, too soggy, they said. By high school they all said the line was too long.

I don’t know what the solution to this is. I am sure there are many parents out there vigilantly packing well balanced, healthful lunches, and I am equally as sure that there are parents who are not. I would certainly hope that this was a mistake on someone’s part, because seriously, there are a lot worse lunches to be found. But don’t even try and suggest that chicken nuggets, battered and fried in who knows what, is a better, healthier, alternative.

8. Insert your own random thought here

The February Photo Challenge is asking to see a picture of where we work.

This is where I work, and it sorely needs a makeover. I talk about doing something with it, but then it never gets done. It is functional, if not particularly attractive. Much hair is cut down here, grey removed, and color imparted.

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Have a pleasant Wednesday.

February Photo Challenge-A Favorite Photo of You

The date on the back of this picture says September 7, 1967. It was the first day of kindergarten in and I was almost 5 years old. My teacher was Mrs. Hart and she smelled like pepper. My favorite activities were art and playing with the big cardboard blocks.

Sporting my fashionable pixie haircut and sweet smocked dress.

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I sure looked happy to be going to school. Little did I know I would spend the next 13 years waiting to get out!

I wish I could rock that haircut now!

February Photo Challenge-Handwriting

When I was around 6 or 7 I wrote my name in every book I owned. With a trusty purple marker. My writing has changed since those days. As has my last name.

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This was my Mother’s writing. My cursive used to look a great deal like hers, when I actually wrote in cursive. She would always have me write my own excused note to school, and sign it. She always said it looked pretty good!

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My Mother’s writing was very similar to her Mother’s writing. Grandma Georgia’s h’s were different. My Grandma was big on using the full name, and the Miss. That Lady and the Tramp book was one of my favorites.

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I don’t write true cursive anymore. It is more of a print/handwriting hybrid. This recipe for the last week mentioned pumpkin cookies, looks to be all printed.

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The only regular writing I do anymore is my BSF lesson. Always done in pencil, with things added from leaders meeting in pen. 90% hybrid.

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Have a neatly written Monday.

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