A List For Your Viewing Pleasure

Hi Guys! How about a little list before I go offline for a little staycation? That’s the plan anyway.

Honey is off for the next 4 days, WOO to the HOOTY HOO!!!!!!! He surely could use the break! He has been working 7 days for a sweet forever and 10 to 12 hours for the majority of them.

That dang 2015 Ford Mustang just won’t launch itself.

Because we were supposed to go to Chicago to visit the kids, we are not supposed to be home. Therefore we will not be doing chore/maintenance type things, because we are not supposed to be here.

Did you follow that?

I am going to twist Honey’s tail if he gets off track too. Twist it right good.

Honey might be able to a little chore/maintenance type things today though because the kids do not arrive until tonight, so free day!

The Boy and The Dane arrive tonight from Chicago, on the train. This is a new mode of transportation for them.

They will be just like Laura Ingalls and Mary and Carrie and Ma, going across the country to meet up with Pa.

Kind of, but not really at all.

They are getting frisky with their transportation options.

For the past two years, they arrived on the Megabus, a straight shot from Chicago. The last few times, due to cheaper tickets, they travelled on Greyhound, which they said they liked better! More comfortable and with a single stop in Kalamazoo.

We shall see what they think of train travel, it could be the best option of all!

Or the worst, or the second best. Has to be one of the three.

Anyway, back to the staycation. We are discussing food options, dessert options and activity options. I will let you know how it all goes down.

In other news, I have been on Pinterest a lot.

Really, a LOT.

I have had the thing for about a year but always forgot to go on for some reason.

Before I had my own, my friend CMB used to sign into her account on my computer when she was over getting her hairs cut. It would remain signed in as her for a long time and I would occasionally look around on her pins.

Mainly for blog related purposes.

I feel I need to tell you that she was completely aware of this.

So now I have my own and she no longer needs to share her Pinterest with me.

Oh.My.Goodness is Pinterest a time sucker!!!!!!!

You are not even aware of the passage, it’s just G.O.N.E.

Keelyody sent me this. True dat.

this is true!!!

I am especially interested in the recipes, organization things, and the things to make.

Because i like the idea of cooking, being organized and creative. We will see if any of this translates to actual usage.

I find Capri Deb’s pin boards to be stimulating, like catnip. She is an arty one!

CMB has a lot of good recipes and ideas as well.

The Heifer is just all around time consuming.

I am still getting around to seeing what others have pinned.

Let me know if you participate so I can stalk/follow your boards too!

Because I evidently have nothing but time!

I know my heavy Words With Friends schedule has suffered.

No one but my Aunt Phyllis has probably even noticed.

Phyl would notice because we have about 12 games going.

In other news, the backyard coleus are growing big and loverly!

This is my favorite.


No, maybe these fine specimens.


Or perhaps this big boy.


Or maybe these guys. They are all my friends.


Gratuitous picture of Mousey at Gun Lake, 2000.



Ok, that’s it for today. I will be back for The Weekly Sy tomorrow because they have already sent the grandcat pictures and we wouldn’t want to waste those!

Have a great weekend!



Did I mention that BSF is over two weeks earlier than usual? It is! Headquarters reworked the studies to stop at 30 weeks instead of 32. I think it’s a good thing because as I recall, those last couple of weeks were hard when you had elementary school kids. I know it was for me. Things got very busy with end of year festivities and field trips and parties and such.

Because of the earlier end time, I contacted Mrs. Schmenkman to see if she would be available to move our Memorial Day Hootenanny Extravaganza up a couple weeks. She said she could!

I will leave barely spring Michigan on May 13th and arrive in full on spring Virginia, ready to shop and eat and visit until the 19th!

Another reason for scootching up the Extravaganza, my cousin Mike is getting married on the 31st. When I first learned that tidbit I mistakenly thought that was Memorial Weekend, then I realized it was the weekend before. But all’s well that ends well, as Ma and Pa Ingalls always said, and we are just Hootenanny-ing a couple weeks early.

As I switched my closet over from winter to summer, it was apparent that I do not need to buy a single thing. I will try very hard to remember this as we commence with all the shopping. Thrift shopping is always the thrill of the hunt anyway.

I wonder if Schmenky will have any new critters for me to meet? Last year she had a baby squirrel in her sun room. I think she has a new rooster.

Mousey has completed her second year of college. She is taking a summer class that starts next week in her quest to finish college as soon as possible. Have I mentioned that she is sick of the schooling?

She has now added swim lessons to her lifeguarding duties at our neighborhood pool.

Mousey usually smells like a pool. Eu du Chlorine.

I should git, there is a dentist appointment to keep.

What is on your agenda today?

An After Easter List=Ea-st

Happy post Resurrection Day!

We had a very nice weekend! Honey was off since Thursday evening, returning to Ford Motor Company last night. We had a nice relaxing weekend.

Honey did have to replace the sump pump. That was unexpected.

We watched The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty and Philomena, both very good in very different ways. Both included bravery.

I think I forgot to mention that last weekend we went to the big movies and saw Noah and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

There was much discussion on the former about a variety of inconsistencies.  I am thinking that perhaps the makers of the movie have not actually read the Bible. Just an observation.

The thing that the film makers did get right was how evil man had become.

Yikes, those pre flood folks were SCARY!!!!!!!

Our observation about Captain America was mainly shallow and involved how nice looking Chris Evans was. We liked it!

There has been a LOT of eating and desserting going on the last few days.

So much for Honey’s diet.

We had a delicious Easter dinner up at my Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis’ house.

Speaking of diets, more than half the conversation revolved around the diet subject.

My aunt and uncle have been on a low carb diet since returning from Florida a couple weeks ago. They have both lost some lbs and are doing well.

Seriously spell check? You don’t recognize carb as a real word???

Their son is getting married the end of next month and his bride to be is starting her pre wedding diet today.

Our family friend Kari was also in attendance, and she is also dieting. Low carb and sugar free. Maybe no gluten either.

And of course Honey will be re-upping today, and I will be joining him because I feel like I did a good job of insulating myself against the winter cold with a layer of blubber, like an Eskimo.

There was discussion about 2 books, Wheat Belly and Grain Brain.

I don’t remember ever reading about Laura Ingalls Wilder, or anyone in her books, ever needing to go on a diet. Maybe we should farm.

Is farming the answer?

I heard once again that turmeric is very good for inflammation. I will be looking into that today for both Honey and I.

Good news!!! The 2014 walking season with Keelyody starts tomorrow morning!!! We have a very full agenda with all of the solving the world problems, not to mention personal stuff.

Our bikes are down from above the garage. Now we have to look into some new tires and new bike seats.

Bike seats for middle aged folks. With a wider seating area and gel cushion involvement.

In other words, seats for big-butted Americano’s.

I am getting very close to switching out the winter clothes.

You know how after a certain point, no matter how un-springy it is outside, you just can’t go back to wearing the winter clothing?

We are almost at that tipping point.

Capri Patt came home from her winter residence in Florida yesterday!!!!

It will be good to see her soon and hug her neck!

Both Patt and Capri Deb are grandmas now. Their attention is riveted on precious little pumpkins. It is fun to see!

Ok, time to greet the day, have a swell Monday!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Hello everyone from The Arctic Mitten! It is only –10 today, up from –23 yesterday! Everything is called off for a second day in a row. Thanks to Joyce for giving us a fun winter activity to while away our hours, I’m sure the Ingalls Family would have welcomed the diversion during their long, cold winter!!!

1. It’s  been said that one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day. Do you think that’s true? Do you find that an easy exercise most mornings? What’s something positive you told yourself today? If you missed that boat, what’s something positive you could tell yourself tomorrow?

I don’t know that it can change your whole day, but it can certainly help you go forward and do life, one day at a time. Sometimes, morning after morning, your circumstances don’t change, and that can be very disheartening. Focusing on your disappointments and trials is not really helpful in the long run. They are there and you have to deal with them, but wallowing is not productive.

This is where I think the positive thought comes in, and it can change the way you operate. Make the decision to see things in a different light, sometimes that head tilt is all you need. Think of one good thing that happened the day before, some slight sign of progress or one thing you are grateful for, instead of directing all of your laser like attention on the things that didn’t go the way you planned. Be thankful for the things that did go right, no matter how small. No one is 100% joofered, 100% of the time, and if you are that glass almost empty kind of person, you should be directing your energy to solving that problem.

I speak from experience here, I have spent time in the dumps. You will never get to the point in life where everything goes perfectly smooth, that is what heaven is for. Perspective is very valuable. If I can honestly say I did the best I could (and you have to be truthful about that), then I am willing to acknowledge today is a new day and go from there.

All the self talk in the world cannot really solve the actual problem, that is God’s work. But looking for the positive? Finding it can be like kisses on the cheek from God.  Lately my positive thoughts have been a bit repetitive, but helpful nonetheless.

Nothing is too hard for God and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Pretty positive stuff there.

2. There will be karaoke at the next party you attend…are you in? Or will you be faking a sore throat?

I have done karaoke with others, but not myself. That would make me throw up in terror!
3. January 29th is National Puzzle Day…what’s something you’ve found puzzling recently?

I find that listening to the media talk about Obamacare is puzzling. Many of them are just sure that the majority of the country’s resistance is ignorance or selfishness, preventing us from understanding how great this is for everyone. That the millions complaining about being suddenly uninsured or being handed higher costs with doubled or tripled co-pays for the same or less coverage are just bellyaching and out of touch with the needs of “the People”. As Honey would say, we are being presented with an attractively displayed, sewage filled twinkie, and told it’s the best thing for everyone! Puzzling
4.  Jigsaw, crossword, acrostic, logic, sudoku, word search…what’s your favorite kind of puzzle, and when did you last work one?

I like many kinds of puzzles! Jigsaw, crossword, anything involving words and letters. NOT NUMBERS! Does Words With Friends count as a puzzle? Because I do that on a daily basis!
5. Recently a writer by the name of Amy Glass ruffled feathers with a post she wrote saying she looks down on young women with husbands and kids and she’s not sorry. Among other things, she says women will be equal with men when we stop saying house work and real work are equally important. You can read the whole piece by clicking here.
What say you? Do you think men and women are equal in the 21st century? Why or why not?

Oh.My.Goodness. She really stepped in it there. Some of the responses to her were very good too. What a sad, misguided person Amy Glass is. Any intelligent person would agree that someone has to raise children! They don’t raise themselves to be productive members of society! I guess my question to her would be why does it have to be an either or deal?

I don’t consider myself a feminist, but I am not in the militant, stay at home mom camp either. Contrary to what my children might say, I have worked at home their entire lives. Taking care of the household, raising them and keeping the hair of others cut, permed, straightened, colored and styled. I think they would acknowledge the first two, but for some reason they do not think being my a hairdresser constitutes a job!

I can respect a woman’s decision to work and not have children, to work outside the home, as my mother did, AND have children, or stay home, with ALL that entails, and raise children. Why can’t she see the value of the choices of others?  And I’m sorry, but backpacking across Asia? That is what some people do on vacation, it hardly equals raising PEOPLE!

Most work is valuable and necessary. Not everyone can do the same things and not everyone wants to. Why can’t we just be grateful for those who do the jobs we don’t do? I think that men and women will never be equal because of this attitude. Heck, the writer of that article was a woman and she didn’t even think women were equal to each other!

As long as we look down on certain jobs considered beneath us, people will not feel equal. All work has value, just like all the many parts of the body make up the church. Yes, doctors make difficult decisions, but nurses and tech’s get things done, usually kindly and efficiently. The business person owns the restaurant, but the employees make it run well. Have you ever eaten at a nice place that had a dirty rest room? I’m not going back there!!!!!  We can’t all be heads or eyes, gainfully employed is good. For men and for women. ALL people should be proud of a job well done.
6. What’s a product you’ve noticed in the grocery store that you’d like to try, but haven’t yet?

I bought this yesterday, but I haven’t tried them yet. I was mostly curious about the dark chocolate with chili, which sounds like something I might have heard about on Top Chef. The package also includes intense orange, 70% cocoa, and touch of sea salt. I can probably work with them all 😉


7. The author, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) was born this week in 1832 (January 27th).  Which character from his celebrated novel, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, would you most like to meet, and why? Here’s a link to a character list if you need help on this one.

I am not strong in this category. This was one of the lesser Disney movies for our kids, and I have never read the book. I think I will pass.
8. Insert your own random thought here.

Just a couple more pictures of the new addition to our family!

Welcome Seymour, our new Grandcat!

Abby is missing him horribly since he left for Chicago. Theirs was a true love.


Mousey too.


i find myself looking at his pictures, missing his sweet little self!


Thanks for stopping by, don’t get caught out in The Polar Vortex!

The Giant List of Doings

Ya’ll, we are socked in up here in The Mitten! They even cancelled school yesterday, which hardly ever happens.

Here are Honey and Mousey’s buried cars. Sorry it’s through the laundry room window screen. I love you dearly, but not enough to go traipsing through the snow to get a blog pho-toe.


I have a bunch of stuff to dump on you today if I ever plan to get past all the wedding, and visiting, and Christmas stuff. A list it is! Not in strict order though, that is too taxing.

I just heard the snow plow go by. The only other sound I have heard this morning was a strange skittering across the hard wood. Before you conjure up something truly heinous, let me say I discovered it was the three fat cats playing with a half of a peanut. Endless fascination for the recreationally challenged.

The temperatures have dropped from a high of 29 yesterday to a brisk 7 this morning, with dire predictions of many degrees below zero temps and wind chill to come. Honey stayed home from work last night and that is saying A LOT! I saw on the internet news that it is colder in Winnipeg, Canada than it is on MARS. Now that is a claim to fame! It is snowing to beat the band out there right now!

To beat the band

very briskly; very fast. He’s selling computers to beat the band since he started advertising. She worked to beat the band to get ready for this.

For the idiom impaired. You are welcome.

Back to Christmas Eve, spent with our dear friends, The Hostlers! Nurse Lauren, Rae Babe, Jona-fin (he’s the best!) and Awesome Autumn!


We had dinner at Ruby Tubeys and then returned to visit, have Sanders hot fudge sundaes, and play a very fun game called Loaded Questions that caused much laughter and snorting. I did not take a picture with my regular camera because we all posted it to our instagram, as we are all hip and such. Wait, I just had an idea and I don’t want to waste it.

It worked! I am not even going to tell you what I did because you will laugh at me for my ignorance.


They took a picture of all of us, which makes 2 for us this year, thanks to the wedding!


After their departure, we opened gifts! Mousey, aka Why Do I Live In Michigan? received an automatic start for her car. She has mentioned, a time or a thousand, that she hates the cold and she wants to move to Tennessee, and why did we settle in this God forsaken state? All she has to do is remember to click it on and she will have a toasty warm car to traverse to school and work in!!!


The Ab-Cat received an iPhone! Mousey had mentioned that she was thinking of getting one and Abby chimed in that she was too! This solved the gift giving dilemma concerning Abby.  Unfortunately for Mousey, Abby can actually afford to pay for a plan on an iPhone, unlike Poor Mousey. Literally and figuratively.


And moving on to Christmas Day. Beeve and Stacey hosted about 17 for dinner. We again played Loaded Questions, as The Hostler’s graciously had left it for us!

I think this is funny. The Grandpa asked for a new tape measurer. I thought that was an odd request because who doesn’t have umpteen tape measurers kicking around the house? He then explained that he wanted one with BIG NUMBERS. Oh, I totally get that Grandpa!!!!


Goomba asked for this movie, which I have not had the pleasure of viewing yet. He also received some Imaginext toys. He may single handedly keep that company afloat! The cats gave him a super hero calendar. He had a funny little comment after opening each gift, something like “I got everything I asked for!!!!” May that always be the case Little Dude!


Ok, now I need to backtrack a bit. Driving home from Chicago after the wedding I got a text from my Aunt Phyllis. She said they had heard that their town had been hit by an ice storm and they had no power. We offered them room and board but she said they were going to a hotel that night. The next night she said they couldn’t get a room and was the offer still open? We said SURE! They arrived Christmas Eve, armed and ready to BAKE!! Aunt Phyllis is the family pie maker and she had not had power to bake, so she took her pie show on the road.

They ended up staying until the 26th, which was great fun! I felt like Laura Ingalls Wilder in Little House in the Big Woods when her cousins came for Christmas!

The day after Christmas their daughter and son-in-law, Girl Cousin Lindsay and Rob B., also known nationally as Team Levine, came to play our family game of Peanuts. We hadn’t played on Christmas Day and Rob B. was….. unsettled.


Uncle Bob provided lunch, a yummy Arabic feast that tasted completely different from the traditional holiday fare!


Their fur child Ava made herself at home in a cat bed. Those three characters didn’t mind. They were in our bed and couldn’t have been blasted out of there without a stick of dynamite!


Skip ahead a couple of days, change the sheets, and we have new company! The Boy, The Dane and her parents and younger brother came to visit, and eat, and SHOP!!! This is where I completely fell off the picture taking bandwagon! I have about 6 pictures of the whole time! I am considering emailing The Dane’s mother, also known as Jeanette, to ask if she could send me some of hers. She was doing a VERY good job. Put me to shame.

The Dane received a shower curtain that she picked out along with a bathroom rug and hand towels for their new bathroom. Very practical, I know.

The Boy got a Michigan mitten cutting board and a Ped Egg. A Ped Egg you might ask? If you saw his feet you would not ask. He always uses mine when he is home and it just seemed more, I don’t know, sanitary, that he have his own. The Dane was happy, she knows the damage his heels can cause.


They also got some cash for their honeymoon to Lover’s Key down in Florida.The Boy went about thanking his Dad in his usual way.


It got worse.


We had a fondue on New Years Eve. Right in the middle is Danish Brother Fred, and to his right are the Parental Danes. We had SUCH a good time with them!! The Dane kept saying they were concerned about their English and I have no idea why! They were totally fine! They were nice AND funny, a win/win in our book!


They grow them BIG in Denmark! Fred is only 15 but is already 6 something. He and Mousey compared paws, she was totally not Danish! She has the size of Honey’s Mother’s people from Italy!


I felt very bad for The Danes, they had to pack up and drive back to Chicago to catch their plane home in a very bad snowstorm on New Years Day. They made it but saw lots of cars off the road and an overturned truck. That could not have been a calm drive. We prayed them home as best we could and they sent an email when they arrived home. That was a relief!

On the third, Honey and I drove The Boy and The Dane to the airport to catch their flight to Fort Myers in Florida for their honeymoon. I imagine they are not crying bitter tears to be away from Chicago this week, The Windy City is getting slammed too!!

The Boy has called and they both have texted and and sent pictures of their food via the green bubble message thingy on the iPad. This was from The Dane’s instagram. Not too shabby!


It sounds like they have had some rain, but still a better deal than the north right now. The rumor is they will be in the 80s soon. They are hoping to catch up with Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis’ who left for The Sunshine State just before New Years.

Well, it’s looking like a frozen tundra out there. Temps are down to 4 just since I started typing. I began reading The Long Winter by my girl Laura yesterday. I should go and get my wig on straight because Goomba should be arriving soon. He got a snow day but his mom and dad didn’t. We have stuff to make little pizzas, a big breakfast, soup and I have a full pint of cream and enough rolls of toilet paper. We should be good for a day or two! Stay warm Guys!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Hi Guys! Welcome to another Wednesday Hodgepodge, hosted by our friend Joyce From This Side of the Pond. Click on the button to visit her blog and join us.

1. When it comes to good manners, what two top your list of most important?

I don’t know that I think this is most important, but it came to mind.

I always find it rude when you speak to someone and they don’t answer. I know some will say they are shy or young or whatever, but my Mama always said to answer when spoken too. I guess I inherited her pet peeve.

I give you an example. Keelyody and I walk the same path between our neighborhoods three times a week. We pass a couple bus stops and at one stop there is a mother and her very young daughter. THREE TIMES A WEEK. Keelyody and I always say hello or good morning to them both. The daughter always just looks at us. The mother can barely give a hello. It seems like her mouth makes some sort of movement, but I have never heard her. She may be shy but come on,  we are hardly scary and she could try and be brave as an example for her daughter. She gets the opportunity THREE TIMES A WEEK! She seems so rude. There is a grandma at the same stop who speaks broken English, she always says hello! She is probably glad to see us and not be presented with the back of Un-Chatty Cathy!
2. Let’s open a proverbial can of worms…Common Core.  Are you familiar with the term (talking education reform in the USA)?  If so, care to share your thoughts? In your opinion, what is one of the biggest issues schools (in your home country) face today?

I have never heard of Common Core so I can’t say what I think about it.
3. Name a celebrity whose fashion sense you admire and share why.

I don’t like a real foofy. overdone look. I think that Sandra Bullock usually looks nice. Likewise Reese Witherspoon. Kate Middleton looks very loverly.
4. How are you affected by the changing seasons?

Not by allergies, thank the Lord. I usually feel like I am more tired in the fall and winter months because it gets dark so early. I suppose I feel a little nesty in the fall because I know we will spend the majority of the next 6 months in our home. Not like the Ingalls family who had to prepare for The Long Winter or DIE of STARVATION, but make sure things are presentable and comfy for the duration of a Mitten winter.  I like all of the seasons and it’s a darn good thing, Michigan is very seasonal!
5. Scariest book you’ve ever read?
I read Stephen King’s It about 26 years ago and I remember snapping it shut at night and deciding to read it during the day! Stephen King comes up with some scary stuff! I haven’t read him in a long time.

6. What time of day are you most hungry? What’s your go-to snack?

Somewhere between lunch and dinner. I usually grab a handful of nuts. Or potato chips. 🙂
7. Do you lean more towards being too needy or too independent? Which do you find harder to deal with in others?
I lean independent by nature. Everyone has moments or seasons of needy, myself included, and that is ok. Friends and family can be very good to help you through rough and shifting times. The Lord is our firm foundation.

I find those who live in a perpetually needy state to be draining and I am sorry to say, distasteful. You can’t expect others to always be filling you up because you are a complete wreck. That needs to be the Lord’s work. Some people can’t seem to manage a regular life without teetering on the brink of hysteria. It’s drama and I am not a fan. I find I don’t deal with them much, I avoid them. That probably sounds harsh, but I have found that needy people are usually kind of fine being needy. They seem to run in packs too. I don’t get them.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

We had a nice visit with The Boy and The Dane. They bussed back to Chicago last night and had to jump back into school with both feet today. It sounds like they have a hectic semester. I did not take any pictures because The Dane was struggling with a cold most of the weekend, and it seemed mean to make her pose with kleenex and her poor little red nose!

Have a good week!

Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

Hey Guys, the Hodgepodge is back! It sounds like Joyce had a nice break and has jumped back into the Hodgepodge with both feet! Head on over to her place to join us.

1. Summertime is a season of reunions, weddings, and other family celebrations and gatherings…are any of the above on your calendar in the next two months?

We do have a wedding in July. The Oreo Mom and Kentucky Jim’s oldest son is taking the plunge. There will be other small gatherings as well, family, care group, girls!

2. June is National Iced Tea Month…are you an iced tea drinker? If so, how do you like yours (sweet, flavored, etc)?

I do like iced tea, but I have a pretty early cut off time for caffeine, so it’s a lunch only deal. I like it with Splenda, and if I am feeling sassy, a little lemon.

3. When were you last nervous?  Looking back, was the ‘event’ actually nerve-worthy?

I do not like public speaking, so that would certainly put a crimp in my tail. I can’t think of anything recent though.

Oh, wait, I have a memory. I guess it made me so nervous that I forgot.

When our BSF class went to Cincinnati last March for our Leaders Retreat, our Class Administrator Area Team Advisor, a lovely woman named Barb, asked if I would work the second shift in the registration room. There would be volunteers at tables organized alphabetically, one side of the room for registration and packets and the other side for room keys. She said I would have a clip board with all of the answers to any questions that might come up, you know, the pertinent information. She instructed me to head over to the ballroom at a certain time and find the gal I was supposed to replace to get The Clipboard, and she would fill me in. Easy Peasy.

I was as nervous as a CAT. I try hard not to be in charge of anything. I am an Indian, not a Chief. I have LOTS of friends who want to be the Boss and I am OK with that! When Barb asked if I would do it, I thought it would be ungracious if I said “I don’t want to, I might throw up”. I worried about it for quite a while, then prayed about it and asked God to please help a girlfriend out or else we were going to have a problem. Then I put it out of my mind, because I can be all Scarlett O’Hara like that and convince myself that I will think about it another day.

Back to the ballroom. I found the gal and she told me that it had been a breeze, hardly anyone had any questions and she had not used the clip board even once! A PIECE OF CAKE she said, in her perky southern accent!

I hadn’t been standing there with my clip board for about 5 minutes when I was slammed. I guess the reason the other clip board lady had no problems was because hundreds of ladies waited to register on the second shift. I had little groups of people, in varying stages of mood, all over the place, and do you know what was not on my handy dandy clipboard? THE ANSWER TO ANY QUESTION ANYONE ASKED. After listening to each party’s circumstance, and telling them I would find the answer for them, and thanking them profusely for their patience, I realized that the only person who could solve any of the problems was our hotel liaison, my new best friend, Bob. But Bob kept disappearing, trying to solve the problems, leaving me and the other clip board lady to soothe the ruffled feathers. With useless clip boards.

As Ma Ingalls always said, “Alls well that ends well”. As far as I know, by the end of the night everyone had a room and a key. At least I saw no woman sleeping on a couch in the lobby.

Was the event actually nerve worthy? Yes, yes it was, but God had my back. And I do remember thinking, if I was still around, I should offer my services to Barb for the next retreat, because at least I would know what to expect and save some other poor gal from the nightmare of the dreaded second shift in the Registration Ballroom!!!

4. The bristle toothbrush was invented in China on June 26, 1498...not sure how that date was pinned down so precisely but, on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being sick to your stomach and 1 being not at all, how nervous do you feel when you’re headed to the dentist?  Do you see your dentist twice a year?

I guess it was a momentous occasion to be remembered!  I do go twice a year, but I am a dental weenie. Our dentist is a lovely man and his staff are all wonderful people, but my teeth are sensitive and I just don’t like it. For cleaning, about a 4-5, for work, about a 8 or 9. I am always waiting for the zinging pain.

5. What’s making news in your town this week?

I rarely know what is going on in our town, Honey or Keelyody usually tell me if there is anything to mention, there is usually not. The  tv news is always about Detroit and it’s usually all sad, all the time down there. What I caught a glimpse of today was that Detroit Emergency Manager Orr denied City Council President Charles Pugh’s 4 week medical leave. I have not followed this story closely, and I do not know Mr. Pugh’s particular situation, but I do know that the City Council are widely regarded as a bunch of incompetent yahoos, so I am willing to give Mr. Orr the benefit of the doubt.

6. Curtains, drapes, blinds…your window treatment of choice? Are there any bare windows in your house? Is that by choice or because you haven’t gotten around to covering them?

We have a variety. The only curtains we have are in our bedroom. Honey works at night and sleeps in the day so they are room darkening for his benefit. I have valances (made by the impressive Capri Deb!) in the family room and on the kitchen door wall. Some windows have mini blinds that we never close, but protect the furniture, some have nothing, and The Ab-Cat has verticals on her door wall, which are coming down because they are kicking the bucket. All to say, we are equal opportunity window treatment folk.

7. Summertime is officially here (in the Northern hemisphere anyway)…what one song is a must-have on your summer playlist?

I have no summer play list, but one summery song I like is by Kenny Chesney, something about a Yoohoo bottle rolling on the floorboard.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Since I showed you the picture of the super ugly, 70s polyester quilt my Grandma Georgia made yesterday, I offer you something pretty to offset all the….poly.


The quilter herself. One of the most important people in my life. Ever. She was the real deal and I miss her.

Have a wonderful week. And if someone offers you a clip board, don’t take it!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Hi Guys, a good Wednesday to you all! Many thanks to Joyce for gathering us and giving us something to talk about. Head on over to her place if you would like to link up and join us.

1. Have you learned more from success or failure? Explain.
Oh failure, for sure. I don’t revisit and ponder success like I do failure. We take success and keep right on going, all smiles and high fives. Failure breaks us a little and stops us in our tracks. We sometimes park there while we gather the shards of disappointment, hurt and unhappiness. I seldom spend much time thinking about why I have succeeded, but I have spent a great deal of time pondering why I have failed. 
2.  What did you call your grandparents when you were growing up? If you have children, what do they call your parents? If you have grandchildren, what do they call you?

I called both sets of grandparents grandma and grandpa. Inventive, I know. In conversation, we referred to my father’s parents as Grandma and Grandpa Hoover, and my Mom’s mother as Grandma Georgia.

Our children have been fortunate to have a plethora of grandparents. They did not know Honey’s parents well, his mother passed away while I was pregnant with Mousey and his father the year after, but they were called Nona and Papa. My Mom and Dad are called Grandma and Grandpa, my Father and his wife Marilyn are called Nana and Papa. Then they called my Grandma Georgia, Grammie, and my Grandma Hoover, Great Grandma Hoover. They actually spent a good amount of time with her, she died in 2007 at 97 years of age.

Honey has already declared that he would like to be called Paisano


Italian, usually said in reference to ‘buddy, friend, mate’.

I have not given it as much thought.

3.  You’re invited to a luau.  In keeping with that theme, what dish will you bring to share?
A fruit kebab including pineapple sounds doable.

4. Besides Jesus, what one person’s life story do you think everyone should know about?

Oh goodness Joyce, it’s early and you are making me think! I am going to say Laura Ingalls Wilder, for no other reason than she is a childhood favorite. I learned a lot about life reading all of her books. There is much to be said for living a simple, good, honest life. And Girlfriend saw the whole world change in her lifetime. I just love her.
5. "Don’t sweat the small stuff." Agree or Disagree? Why?
I don’t necessarily agree, all the small stuff builds the big stuff. Take parenting for example. Character and integrity, wisdom and kindness aren’t just pulled out of thin air. There are layers and layers of of guiding, teaching and instilling with layers of failure in between. To be consistent, you have to make sure the small stuff is being paid attention to.

On the other hand, making mountains out of every inconsequential mole hill is a type of drama that I do not participate in. As my good friend Jip the Farm dog says, you have to pick your hills to die on. Character issues? Dying hills. Little bumps in the road? Not so much.

6.  June is National Rivers Month. When were you last on a river? What’s the prettiest river you’ve ever seen? What’s a river you’d like to see?

I have no answer for any of the above questions. I don’t know any rivers personally.
7.  Speaking of rivers-paddling, fishing, swimming, or bird watching safely from the shore? Which activity would you choose? Yes-you have to choose.

I might go fishing with Honey sometime. Or rather, he would fish and I might…..read.
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Honey and I have been immersed in yard work this week. Weeding, trimming, hauling things out of the shed. I planted ALL DAY yesterday and I am still not finished. I am sure my indecisiveness has something to do with that. In addition, I bought quite a few cute new pots at the end of last season that require new dirt. Plus the loading of bigger pots on the dolly and wheeling them up the ramp. I will then require Capri Patt, my personal decorator and plant arranger, to come and do her magic. She has skillz, I do not. I have also discovered that I did not purchase enough zinnias, which are my favorites right now along with the coleus, and they must be represented. That will require another trip out to my favorite flower place to purchase more work.

I tried something new this year. One of my clematis died, leaving one side of the trellis nekked. Then I had a vision. I save the pods from the hyacinth bean vine, that I buy every year at the garden walk I attend with The Peanuts Champ and The Back Door Neighbor, and then do nothing with them. I decided to haul them out.

They look just like this. Except they were in a snack size baggie. All three of these pictures were taken from Google images. Just want to put that out there, they are not my images.


There was much Words With Friends chat going on between Mrs. Schmenkman and myself as to how to plant the seeds. Schmenky, also known as Master Gardner Schmenk, said to remove the seeds from their pods and soak them in water. This is EXACTLY what they looked like! Little mutant Moon Pies! I soaked and planted.

Here is my vision! I realize this is wishful thinking, but a girl can dream.

I just looked. There is no visible plant growth…..yet. I know, I know, more wishful thinking.

Have a good rest of the week!


Hey Y’All, anyone feeling the presence of Winter Storm Nemo? We have snow and school has been cancelled, but that doesn’t affect me anymore. Honey is home from work and Mousey left for work at 5:30 and the roads were not hellacious. Hmmmm, I am surprised that is a word. I always thought my good friend Laurie Staples made that one up!

Honey has already plowed once, but it looks like round 2 is gearing up. They are not predicting the snowpocolypse here that they are anticipating out east.

When I heard the news of the storm yesterday, I did a mental check of our important supplies. Cream; check. Butter: check. Toilet paper; check. Ok, bring it on.

Ready for a random list?

The Ab-Cat and I have been discussing cat names. We are not getting a cat, yet we still discuss. Who ever decided that discuss was a word? Cuss is a bad word, so what is discuss supposed to mean exactly? Discuss.

Back to the cat names. We have decided that we like old names for cats. Like Henry, Prudence, Penelope (or as Abby used to say, Penny-lope), Phillip, Jocelyn and my favorite at the moment, Gwendolyn. It would also appear that we favor girl cats, evidenced by the lack of boy cat names. Any suggestions for our list of old cat names for the cat we are not getting?

Mousey said she is going to name her cat Gravy Boat. A moment of silent prayer for the self esteem of her cat.

Even though I am a creature of comfort, and not in any way looking to lose our electricity, I have always wanted to, sort of, experience a blizzard. As you know, I am a devotee of the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and The Long Winter in particular. I am POSITIVE I would not have enjoyed the many months of deprivation, boredom, fear of starvation and freezing to death, but I would like to tough it out for a day or so. I think I could do that. Comfortably, of course.

Speaking of the Ingalls, don’t you find it odd that Pa and Ma had four daughters, only one of those daughters had a child and that child had NO child, and their family line ended there? I find that so odd. All of that hard work and resourcefulness died out.

These are the things I ponder.

I also wonder if my big toenails will ever be normal, and how can I have tennis elbow, despite never having played a game of tennis in my adult life.

Since I am sharing what is on my mind, here is something I think about on occasion.

Smells I hate (not in any kind of order or degree)

Black licorice

The tire department at Sam’s Club

The supply room at the church where we have BSF. I don’t even know what the smell is, but I hate it.

Refrigerated, cooked, chicken. It smells so good warm.

Old, cut, onions.

We are going to watch the season premiere of Touch tonight. Have you seen that? It’s the new Jack Bauer show. We do like it a lot. If you watch, won’t you join us in counting how many times Kiefer Sutherland growls the name Jake and says I promise? Please do!

Ok, that’s probably way more random than you ever needed or wanted, but I have given you multiple opportunities to weigh in on a diverse range of topics. Cat names, willingness to experience a blizzard, smells you hate, tv. Spill it.

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Hi Guys! Thanks for stopping by and many thanks to Joyce for putting on her thinking cap yet again to come up with some questions for us all to answer.

1.  Chinese New Year will be celebrated on February 10th, and 2013 is the year of the snake. When did you last see a snake?  Are you okay around snakes or do they give you the shivers?

I don’t like snakes even a teeny, tiny, little bit. And I can hear Mrs. Schmenkman over there protesting and telling me that not all snakes are bad and some are wonderful and helpful and necessary, but YUCK! Probably the last time I saw a live one was at her house in Virginia several years ago. She caught a black one and PICKED IT UP!!!!!!! There are not enough exclamation points for that statement!!! She put it in a plastic thing with a lid, loaded it in her car and relocated it to another home. Why did you do that Schmenk? I forget, why couldn’t he stay at your house? Not that I want it at your house!!

2. The color red in Chinese culture usually means good luck.  Do you believe in luck?

I looked luck up in the dictionary; a force that brings good fortune or adversity. I am going to say that I don’t believe in luck from an unknown force. I think what some would call luck, I would call a blessing from God. And I don’t think God delivers bad luck. He allows things, and there are consequences to our actions, but they are not random acts of an unknown force. That is what I believe, but I am not above using the word in everyday conversation in a joking sort of way.

3. sledding-ice skating-building a snowman…if given a choice, which activity would you choose?  Which of the three have you done most recently? 

I have made a lot of snowmen in my day, but none recently. I guess I will say that, but I have no plans to do it. Sledding and ice skating are no longer on the list of activities I enjoy. I fall a lot harder than I used to.

4.  Ralph Waldo Emerson is credited as saying, "The years teach much which the days never knew."  Where have you seen this quote played out in your own life?

The way I take this is that sometimes you don’t see the big picture daily but when you look back, in hindsight, you see a path. It’s cumulative. I have totally seen this played out in our life. Some years were spent simply trying to keep our heads above water, feeling like not much was getting accomplished. What I didn’t realize at the time was we were knitting ourselves a strong family and life. I think our children have seen a different sort of life than most, and I think God will use that for His good. They may not even be fully aware of all that the years have taught them. It will be something to watch their lives unfold!

5. When was the last time you ate a cupcake? 

Well, Abby made cupcakes sometime last year. Cherry chip, YUM! And last winter Jip the Farm Dog and I went to a fancy cupcake place in our town with our friend Marsha, who was moving across the state. They were super good!

6. What’s something you can’t say no to? 

Obviously the invitation to go and get a fancy cupcake?

7.  Are you a doodler? 

I am not. I used to be when I was in school, but not any more.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

I have been a lifelong fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family. There has been word around the web that the cause of her sister Mary’s blindness has been discovered. You can read about it here. While this is interesting to me and other die hard Little House folks, Mary’s blindness was not something that consumed me with curiosity, just flooded me with sadness. I simply assumed she had some sickness that was not curable or preventable at the time, and didn’t dwell on it. 

This is a picture of Carrie, Mary and Laura Ingalls. Here is my random thought. What kind of photographer has his subjects staring into completely different directions, and not a one looking in the direction of the camera? Were they afraid the flash would steal their souls????

Have a focused and directed day.

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