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Wednesday Hodgepodge

Hi Guys! Welcome to the last Wednesday Hodgepodge in February! There is plenty of room over at Joyce’s if you want to join in!

1.  When were you last facing an ocean? Using just ONE word, describe how you felt as you faced that ocean.

I last faced the ocean, or rather the Gulf of Mexico, last November. I had the same thought that I always have when staring into that wide expanse of water, there is someone, very far away, standing at the other shore! And then I end up thinking about all the stuff in the water between here and there. I just noticed Joyce said ONE WORD, ok, SMALL.
2. What are three sounds you hate to hear?

Well, I hate whining. Then there is that pesky WHINING. And then I also hate W.H.I.N.I.N.G!
3. This question comes to you courtesy of some real life friends. Hi real life friends! When you shop for yourself, do you try everything on in the store before buying or do you buy, try on at home, and then return what you don’t like or what doesn’t fit?

I usually try things on in the store to save myself the bother of returning.The exceptions being if I am pressed for time, or I am trying to match something already at home. I rarely buy anything for my hindquarters without in-store trying on. Length can be a problem.
4. February 26th is National Pistachio Day…are you a fan of the little green nut? Do you use them in cooking and baking or prefer to eat them right out of the shell?

I am a fan of the little green nut! We mostly we eat them right out of the bag, where someone has already handily taken them out of their shells.
5. When did you last have to compromise with someone?  Were you happy to reach the compromise or slightly irritated it was necessary?

The last time I compromised with someone was over a month ago and I was highly irritated about it. My concession was immediate, but I am still waiting for that person to hold up their end of the bargain. I looked up the word to make sure I was understanding it correctly;

An agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions.

Yes, I understood it correctly, but I guess the person I compromised with did not.
6.  Have you ever written a letter to an elected official? Did you get a response?

I have not.
7. We ‘March’ into a new month at the end of this week…what’s something on your March calendar guaranteed to make you smile?

V.A.C.A.T.I.O.N.!!!!!
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

On our way to The Ab-Cat’s birthday dinner at Longhorn (which was SCRUMTRULESCENT!!!) on Monday night, Honey, Ab, Mousey and I were having a weather related conversation. Honey has mentioned to his Girls that in all weather conditions, and most especially winter weather conditions, he would prefer the gas tanks in their cars to not go below a quarter of a tank.

The weather people in the Detroit area were already whipping themselves into a frenzy about the coming storm predicted on Tuesday night. As they do. Since we were travelling in Abby’s van, he could see for himself how much gas she had. My tank was almost full. He then asked Mouselina how much gas she had. She answered “a quarter and a half”. This totally confounded Honey. He wanted to know how much was that? Did she mean 3/8th of a tank? We Girls just looked at each other, confounded by Honey’s confusion! Mousey explained, “a quarter plus half of a quarter tank”. We totally got that.

3/8th of a tank?? What do you think we are?  Mathematicians?

Have a good week. Or a math-FREE week. Same thing.

Twenty Four

Today is The Ab-Cat’s twenty fourth birthday!!! She arrived at 1:56 a.m. and has been a night owl ever since.

Honey and I can’t believe that our precious, first baby girl is 24. I know, we say that every year.

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Just before I went to the hospital to make The Boy come out, we took our very last picture of us as a family of three.

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My Mom always said she had the cutest legs!

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Always her Daddy’s Girl.

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First day of kindergarten. She was SO proud!

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Field trip with The Boy. It was about trains, he was so proud.

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And then there were three. She was a loving Big Wister.

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On the Therapy-Go-Round with Honey and her beloved therapist, Gretchen, down at Detroit Institute For Children.

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Gretchen always said she was the best little walker she has ever had!

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With Aunt Schmenky and Indi.

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Happy Birthday in 2000!

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The year of the hats, evidently.

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At Charity Night opening the Detroit Auto Show with her date. She and some other children were chosen from The Detroit Institute For Children to cut the ribbon opening the auto show with the mayor of Detroit, Dennis Archer, and governor of Michigan, John Engler.

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Back to fifth grade! Science Fair!

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Loving on Indi.

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Move over Indi, there’s a new pet in town. Sorry about Katie’s devil eyes. Katie was such a good friend until the end.

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Abby and her cousin Burkie.

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I love this picture of our birthday girl laughing!

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She gets ALL sorts of grief,

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especially from these two.

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But she is our Girl and we adore her.

She has made many changes in the last couple of years. She is actively pursuing life, friends, plans and her faith. We are so proud of this Girl!!

Happy Birthday Ab-Cat, we hope this is your best year yet!

Potent Quotable

If God sends you on stony paths, He will provide you with strong shoes. unknown

Pillow Talk

It’s Friday again!

I don’t know about you, but this was a fast week for me. Capri Patt has been visiting from her winter home on Captiva Island, which has been FUN! But, unfortunately for her, it has been colder than a well diggers bum up here. ALL WEEK! Seriously cold, and blustery, and snowy. I am sure she would say it was worth it to spend a week with her precious granddaughter, but sheesh Old Man Winter, how about a break? It is snowing again as I type.

Our BSF class is heading down to Cincinnati next weekend for a big, grand Poobah gathering of ALL BSF leaders in our section of the United States called Leaders Retreat. I think retreat is an inaccurate word for this gathering. I would call it a conference. Retreat implies rest and relaxation. I have been to Retreat twice before and rest and relaxation are not on the menu. What IS on the menu is a LOT of walking between hotels and convention centers, a lot of sitting in sessions, listening to speakers, and rooming with those whom you are not accustomed to sleeping with.

Fortunately, I am rooming with Jip the Farm Dog, whom I have slept with on other occasions. We are good roommates because neither of us are high maintenance poodles, therefore neither are bathroom hogs. At the last retreat I attended, I also roomed with Jip. Unfortunately, because she did not check the correct box, we had to share a king sized bed. I have never let her forget this. I suppose I should, SIX YEARS LATER, let her off the hook about it. After all, I was the retreat chairman that year, as I have been every year since I have been in leadership, and I should have just checked the dang box for her.

Sharing the king sized been did have one major plus for me. One night, as we were trying to go to sleep, we were talking. As you do. Or as we do. It must have been our exhausted state, but she accidently let slip a HUGE secret. The secret was that our teaching leader at the time was retiring. Immediately after she said it, she said “I just told you something I wasn’t supposed to tell”. I helpfully said “Yes, you did”. I wonder if I will learn any news this year?

It turned out to not be such a great thing because then I had to keep the secret with her for about another 2 months. I did tell Honey, it was really BIG news.

Here is my advice, beware of Jip’s pillow talk.

Have a nice, warm, only good secrets kind of weekend.

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Downton Abby

Downton Abbey

Trifle! have to make this when we have a DOWNTON ABBY marathon!  Of course I will have to get a Trifle Bowl first.

Downton Abbey

Downton Abby

Downton Abby

Downton Abbey

Can I have an "amen!"?

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Hello People, glad you stopped by! If you would like to join us Hodgepodgers, head over to Joyce’s and link up!

1. When were you last ‘on a mountaintop’?  You may answer in the literal or figurative sense.

Maybe at Mrs. Schmenkman’s house in Virginia? Schmenky lives facing the Blue Ridge mountains, you can see Skyline Drive in the distance from her front porch. We drove up there shortly after she and Mr. C moved there, maybe 13-14 years ago. To be perfectly honest, I don’t know if we went to the top. It sure was purty though! I do remember singing One Week by Barenaked Ladies loudly on the drive though. I goggled it and that song came out in 1998, so 15 years ago. Pretty close!
2.  Do you establish and maintain a strict budget in your household?  What is one piece of financial advice you would offer someone just starting out on their own?

Can you hear Honey laughing? At various times in the last 27 years he has tried to get me to adhere to some sort of budget, mainly in the earlier years. It always seemed so complicated with jars or envelopes and this and that. He would say that I am not trainable. On the other hand, I don’t think I am a spendthrift, I would never purchase a big ticket item without his input and I am not high maintenance. That has to count for something, right?

Honey manages all of the ins and outs of our financial world. He asks what I think sometimes, but I am not very financially savvy. He is a very responsible fellow, not that I’m not, but money stuff is math and I believe I have mentioned that I don’t do math.

I don’t have any serious financial advice, nor would you want any from me, but in the last few years I have changed my habits somewhat. Maybe it is my age, but I don’t seem to feel the need to acquire as much stuff. I ask myself two questions before I buy things. Do I really need it? Does it have a purpose? And surprisingly, it has deterred me many times.
3.  Cherries-yay or nay?  Cherry pie, cherry cola, black forest cake, or a scoop of Ben and Jerry’s Cherries Garcia…pick one.

Only ONE? Come ON Joyce! A big, fat yay for me! How about I pick the one I could do without? Cherry cola.
4.  Should you ever discuss religion or politics with people you don’t know?

It would not be my usual habit, but if the circumstances were right, I would. Not so much with politics, but it has sometimes happened with religion. Well, I will change religion to faith.  Because of our circumstances, many have asked about our faith. I can say with certainty that God used our car accident and The Boy’s chronic illness for His good. We had the opportunity to talk to a lot of doctors, nurses, patients, parents and people from all walks of our life, known and unknown, and let me tell you, faith came UP.
5.  When you take a road trip do you prefer to be the driver or the passenger?  Where were you headed on your last road trip?

I can be either. I guess when I am with Honey I prefer to be a passenger, but I have been the driver lots of times. I would say the last road trip I took was last summer for our annual Ladies CareGroup Getaway to South Haven, Michigan, and I was the driver.
6. If we peeked inside your closet, what color would we say is most prevalent?

I wonder how many answering this question had to get up and take a look in their closet? I did! Several years ago I participated in a clothing thing over at Big Mama’s and I asked Mousey what color she would say represented my wardrobe. She said brown, and that sounded less than exciting, but she was probably right. When I went and looked now, I am happy to report that there was not just one color represented! It was a veritable riot of color in there! Well, riot is probably too strong a word, but certainly more color than there used to be. I was a black and brown kind of girl, and black might still be the most prevalent color represented.
7. Who’s your favorite senior citizen and why are they special?

My favorite senior citizens no longer live on this side of Heaven. My Mom, my Grandmother’s Georgia and Esther, and my Great Aunt Adalene come quickly to mind. Of those living on our side, I will have to choose, as a group, the lovely women in our leaders circle at BSF. Past AND present. I don’t think of them as senior citizens, though they surely are. They are special because I see them living out their faith in the later years of their lives, the years that I have not arrived at yet. Involved with their families, serving in their churches, caring for each other, volunteering in many worthwhile ways, in addition to faithfully shepherding the women in their BSF groups. They live with perseverance, challenges and mostly, good humor. They are showing me how it’s done. They inspire me to finish strong.

I am also pretty fond of my Dad, for obvious reasons!  🙂
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

There comes a point every winter when I wonder why, for the love of all that is good and decent, do we live up here in Michigan? That day was yesterday.

Have a good week.

Words In Passing

Today there are two things I am excited for.

One, Capri Patt is visiting from her winter home in Florida!! She came to get her Grandma fix with her grandbaby Lia, and we are squeezing some Capri time in. She also came very far to get her hair cut and colored!

Which brings me to my second exciting thing. I am going to cover up my own skunk stripe. I have a couple functions at the beginning of March that did not fall neatly within my hair coloring time table. It was therefore necessary to delay coloring for a couple of weeks and MAN, Mama looks a little haggish! I’m gonna wash that grey right out of my hair.

I have nothing more for you but an observation. A big lead in, but a profound observation. Sometimes things you say in passing can have an effect.

I saw my friend CMB yesterday. She is someone that I have known forever because we grew up at the same church, Temple Baptist. It has since changed it’s name and doesn’t really bear any resemblance to the church of our youth. Even though neither one of us has attended there in many years, there is still a tie that binds former Temple folk. I call the tie tentacles, in a positive way. They had a sense of community not commonly found. They still maintain connections with each other, 40, 50, 60, years later. They have done life and grown old together, though long separated by location and house of worship.

Our parents were part of a Sunday school class called Harvesters. To this day they still have reunions and some meet monthly to catch up. Unfortunately, they now gather with increasing regularity for funerals as they move into their 70s and beyond.

My Mother was always my main source of information concerning the news of former Temple-ites. She remained in contact with many of these dear friends, some known since her school days. Since her passing, my Dad has been my supplier. But, he is a man, so he generally sticks to illness and death.

This is where CMB comes in. She and I both graduated from Temple Christian School, in addition to attending church there. That is a whole other set of tentacles, but very closely entwined. She is in much closer contact with former members and classmates than I am. She is also very faithful in attending funerals, as again, I am not. Added to that, her Mother is still living, so she is always a fountain of information.

While I cut her hair, I asked about a former Temple woman that my Dad had mentioned was on life support. She gave me the sad news that she had indeed passed away, and about the plans for her memorial service. Since then, I have been thinking about this kind woman.

Her name was Liz and she was a faithful servant of the Lord. She seemed to always be at the church whenever the doors were open. She knew everyone and she knew ALL the news! She was a good friend of my friend Suzanne Suzanna Danna’s mother, so I had fairly regular contact with her in my years at Temple, though for the past 30 years or so, I mainly saw her at funerals.

I am not sure of the timeline on this, but I was grown, and she did not know how to drive. I thought this was shocking and inconceivable that for her entire life she had needed a ride! I can remember telling her in passing conversation, many times, that she could learn. If I could learn, she could learn, and wouldn’t it be great to be able to go somewhere whenever you wanted? I am sure everyone told her the same thing, in fact, I am sure that whoever I was with chimed in with the same thoughts. I’m not sure if she did it before or after her husband died, but Liz learned how to drive! Oh yes she did! I think she even went out and got herself a job!

In later years, without fail, every time I saw her she mentioned how I had encouraged her to learn how to drive. She always said I was one of her biggest champions. I was shocked that I had even made an impression on her. Sure, I remembered casually telling her she could do it, but I had no idea that she had taken it to heart. I am glad she told me.

Sometimes things you say in passing can have an effect.

I am glad it was a good effect.

What’s On Your Nightstand?

An eclectic bunch to be sure.

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What have you been reading?

Potent Quotable

Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I wouldn’t pass it around. I wouldn’t be doing anyone a favor. Trouble creates a capacity to handle it . . . . Meet it as a friend, for you’ll see a lot of it and you had better be on speaking terms with it.”

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