Wednesday, January 24, 2018

positively hodgepodge

Blog today has been on my "to do" list all week and it hasn't happened but today is HodgePodge day and I'm going to do this before I go to bed!! Each week, Joyce asks the questions and we copy and paste into our own blogs and answer away . . .then link up . . .then visit each other. Come join us and link up here.
1. January 24th is National Compliment Day. Is it easy or not so easy for you to accept a compliment? Share a recent compliment you've given or received. I love to give compliments but I often find it hard to accept them. I have a hard time trusting people so I'm always assuming that they are giving me a compliment because they want something. Over the last 14 months, I've lost about 68 pounds so lately people have complimented me on my weight loss.

2. Ten little things you are loving right now.
Pirate's Booty snack bags, Canada Dry diet Ginger Ale, hoodies, leggings, booties, Tuesday nights with our young professionals, our sweet grandbaby (whom I haven't seen in over a week - eek!), watching Frasier on Amazon Prime, fuzzy socks, tunic tops, my Tom's slippers!!

She loves to put stickers on us -
all on top of each other

3. Would people describe you as a positive person? Do you see yourself that way? I read here  a list/description of eight things positive people do differently-

Positive people find something to look forward to every day, they celebrate the small stuff, they're kind, they stay busy, accept responsibility for their actions, forgive themselves, know when to move on, and resist comparisons

Which action on the list would you say you do regularly? Which action could you add to your life to give you a more positive outlook? If you're a positive person, what's something you do regularly that's not on the list?
Have you ever taken the Strengths Finder? Positivity is one of my top five strengths so I hope people would describe me as a positive person!! I do see myself that way and I try to monitor myself and if I ever feel negativity creeping in, I try to squash it quickly. I love to celebrate ALL the stuff and I'm almost always busy. The hardest on the list is to forgive myself and know when to move on!

4. Homemade chicken soup, beef stew, or a bowl of chili...what's your pleasure on a cold winter's day?
I love soups and stews and chili! I don't want to pick just one. Please may I just enjoy all three?

5. The best part of my day is....changing out of my work clothes at the end of a long day?? crawling in the warm bed on a cold day? curling up in front of the fire? seeing my grandbaby (just don't get to see her everyday!!), realizing that something I said or did actually helped someone else . . .or made them laugh. Speaking of laughter - I have no idea how to load a video on here but I'm going to try posting a link and I hope it works. If it doesn't google "Why is Jesus Ziplining" and watch it on youtube!! I'm embarrassed to tell you how many times I've watched it . . .and I'm still laughing about crusty toed Jesus!

6.  Insert your own random thought here. Speaking of Jesus, I leave for Israel on Tuesday of next week! This will be my second time to travel to Israel. I wish I could snap my fingers and be there and not have to travel for 24 hours (12 in the US - 12 from Newark to Tel Aviv). I must pack! I must pack lighter than all of the stuff I have dragged out.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

cold temps warm thoughts hodgepodge

Thanks to Joyce for thinking up these questions every week!  Copy and paste the questions on your blog and answer. Link up at From This Side of the Pond.

1. What keeps you blogging?
I have a couple of reasons.
a. Sometimes there are words in my head and heart that almost burst forth and I feel like my fingers are itching to type those words down. This happens rarely but when it does happen, I feel like those are my best blog posts. I always hope that it is the Holy Spirit guiding me and that those words will help one person.
b. Some of my blog posts have no real meaning at all except I think that someday my memory might be shot and I can reread the blog posts and enjoy looking at the pictures. I hope my family will enjoy reading the posts many years from now.

2. Some people like to travel in the winter months. Do you enjoy the beach in winter? According to Southern Living the best U.S. beach towns to visit this winter are-

St Simons Island (Georgia), Hilton Head (South Carolina), Bald Head Island (North Carolina), Seaside (Florida), Bay St. Louis (Mississippi), Cape San Blas (Florida), South Padre Island (Texas), Folly Beach (South Carolina), Chincoteague (Virginia), Duck Key (Florida), Nags Head (North Carolina), and Fairhope (Alabama)

Have you been to any of the towns listed (in any season)? Which on the list appeals to you most this winter? 
I enjoy the beach anytime of the year! I'm not sure that I've actually visited the beach in actual winter -- I've been at the end of October; I've been several times in March; and one time I went to Galveston in February so that is sort of winter. I've been to Fairhope several times. Duck Key sounds like it might be way down in Florida where it is really warm - take me there today!

Here are a few pictures from our beach trip back in September and we made a stop in Fairhope - these aren't on the actual beach but in town - it is a great place to visit!!!!

3. What's a song you're embarrassed to know all the lyrics to? Are you really embarrassed or do just think you should be?
I'm HORRIBLE at song lyrics. The one song that popped into my head was Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It!) by Beyonce. I don't know ALL of the lyrics but . . . this is the picture from Glee that pops into my head when I think of the song:

4. When you were a kid what's something you thought would be fantastic as an adult, but now that you're an adult you realize it's not all that fantastic?
I thought I would be a great singer but as you can see by my answer to number 3 - ain't gonna happen!

5. Share a quote you hope will inspire you in 2018.
If you can't fly, then run; if you can't run, then walk; if you can't walk, then crawl; but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I think my second one would be, "A friend loveth at all times." -- I want to be a better friend in 2018!
I've not done a great job for the first 17 days!!

6. Insert your own random thought here.
Everything shut down here in town yesterday due to the prospect of a repeat of Snowmageddon 2014. It was quite a disappointment - we had a few snow showers with a light dusting. What is totally bizarre is the snow blanketed everything south of us. Our daughter lives an hour and a half south of us and three inches of snow fell at her house.

Monday, January 15, 2018

I did it!

For several months, I've been wanting to go on a hike with my son but the timing has not been just right. He emailed me on Friday and said, "Interested in hiking to the waterfall today? Should be good waterfall with the latest rain." I quickly reviewed my "things I MUST get done today" list and figured out that I MAYBE could meet him. I was working from home on Friday and son gets off work at 1:00 so I knew he would want to go around 1:30.  At a few minutes after 1:00, I texted him that I did indeed want to go but he might have to wait just a few minutes on me.

The temperature dropped about 40 degrees from Friday morning until Friday afternoon - seriously. I don't have a lot of clothes that fit right now but I dug around and found an old pair of jeans but there was a tiny problem -- I needed a belt to hold them onto my body. I don't own any belts . . .well, I own ONE belt that is black patent leather and goes on a dress I wear to work.  Guess what? That belt totally worked! Who cares about the fashion sense, right? I was going to be in the woods with my son and three dogs!!

I layered up - shirt, scarf, warm thin jacket, big sweatshirt, leggings under the jeans, socks, tennis shoes. Good grief, that was a lot of clothes!

We struck out on the gray afternoon. The second we left the car, the dogs were off and running. They were so happy to be outside and they knew how to lead the way.

son is bundled up against the cold, too

We saw some GIANT rocks

As I mentioned earlier, the day was gray and dreary and it was so cool to come upon a patch of BRIGHT GREEN moss - it would be a beautiful pop of color at the base of a tree or on a big rock

We had to cross a stream - I couldn't do the pipe walk so we went across on the slippery rocks - got one foot a tad wet at that point.

I kept saying to son, "I can hear the falls." I'm not sure I could. An interesting fact is this nature preserve is right by our house. You feel as if you are deep in the woods and then you will hear something and realize it is a car on a main road not too far away . . .and then silence again. It was "spitting rain" and that rain felt icy!!

You can tell that I'm all layered up - I said, "take my picture - I DID IT! I made it to the falls." Can you tell that I was proud of myself?

The falls are beautiful - there is one more fall up even higher that spills into the middle one that spills into the bottom one. Son said there is another fall that is much smaller in the preserve and people hike to it and are disappointed - evidently, everyone doesn't know about this series of falls. It was so cold and those dogs kept getting in the water. Finley is the youngest GSP and her lips were quivering! I've never seen a dog do that before!!

Dakota is gorgeous - she stuck with me the whole time - 
I think it was one old lady hanging with
the other old lady!

On the way back, I got the other foot wet and I ALMOST slid in but I didn't - whew! Glenn caught me!! This was a good hike and I felt so healthy and good!! Now, I'm not going to lie . . .I was up five times during the night on Friday night with leg cramps (old!) but it was worth it! Our hike was one of the longest spans of time our son and I have spent together - just us - talking in a long time. I enjoyed the cold air. I felt alive. I marveled at God's creation. I laughed at the dogs. It was good!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

funerals and memories

I think I mentioned that this Christmas/New Year's season has been hard. There have been wonderful moments but there have been some extremely sad moments, too.  We've had a large number of deaths in our church family and I mentioned a post or two ago about the loss of another friend.  I was asked to be one of the speakers at the memorial service for Inez Lane yesterday. When I got up in front of everyone, I could not get the notes to pull up on my phone for some odd reason . . .so I had to wing it. This is what I originally planned to say . . .I covered most of this and I think I added some. On another day, I may share some memories of my friend, Gayle, that died last weekend.  I'm hoping that the act of writing down these memories will be a sweet balm to my spirit.

Karen and Inez

When Karen asked me to share a memory, my mind went into overdrive trying to remember every single thing I could about Inez. I even asked my sister for some of her memories of Inez.

As we've already heard today, Inez was indeed a generous person and I was one of the recipients of her generosity.
One of the first memories that popped into my head was how I always called Hub – “Hub” and I called Inez “Mrs. Lane.” One day we were sitting at her kitchen table at the house in paragon in Huffman and she looked at me and said, “why do you do that? Why do you call him Hub and me Mrs. Lane?” I said, "because you are Mrs. Lane!"  She said, "you can call me Inez." I said, “I don’t think so.” I can’t remember but I’m assuming that may be the day she became Mama Lane. 

I think the next memory that flooded my mind was of her teaching 3 year old Sunday school with my mom. For those of you who don’t know, my mom died when I was 15 and Inez/Mama Lane stepped in as my surrogate mother. She and Hub fulfilled that extra parental roll very well. Hub and Inez dragged me on just about every one of their family vacations – we spent time in the mountains and at the beach and even spent a week together on a cruise ship. They took me to Maplesville and Andalusia with them almost every time they went and I remember sitting on a big front porch (I had to verify with Karen that was Mamie Ruth's house) and shelling peas!

I can remember all the countless times I spent the night with them. I still remember the set of books that she purchased and “hid” from us about the facts of life. This was when they lived in that house in Roebuck that felt like it was way back in the woods. Karen and I thought we had found a treasure trove in the bottom of that linen cabinet in the bathroom and we kept it secret.  Fast forward many years and we were grown ups getting together for some reason or another and Karen and I were laughing about finding those books and Inez said, “you know I did that on purpose. I knew if y’all thought you weren’t supposed to look at those books you would sneak and read them!” She was a smart one!

When I think back over my life – especially those years from 3 – 30, Inez is woven into the tapestry of my life – into my very being – into who I am today. She was often the golden thread that kept me together. Mama Lane was so many things to me -- mother, friend, party hostess – she hosted several parties/meals/gatherings in my honor over the years, meal preparer – countless meals at their house and sandwiches on vacation – I even remember when our twins were born 31 years ago and she showed up to cook dinner for us one night and she brought peas – she remembered the smallest details -- those peas that we shelled all those years - my favorite thing from the garden -- she remembered that I LOVED peas from the garden and brought some from her very own freezer to cook for us.

Inez was a spiritual guide, GA leader, chaperone on every church trip, and a wonderful example of a Christian who lived her faith. She loaded us up into her car, along with a birthday cake, and drove us down to Spain Rehab at UAB to have monthly birthday parties for the patients.  She helped us memorize scripture. She was ALWAYS doing something for someone else.

Inez Lane helped shape me into the wife, mother, friend, and follower of Jesus I am today. Thanks be to God for creating such a special woman.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Unstuck in 2018 hodgepodge

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 335 Welcome to the first Hodgepodge of a brand new year! Thanks so much to Joyce for thinking of these questions each week and for allowing us to connect with other bloggers!!

Here are the questions to this week's Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then connect back over on Joyce's blog.

1. It's that time of year again...time for Lake Superior University to present a list of words (or phrases) they'd like to see banished (for over-use, mis-use, or genera uselessness) in 2018. You can read more about the decision making process and word meaning here, but this year's top vote getters are- unpack, dish (as in dish out the latest rumor), pre-owned, onboarding/offboarding, nothingburger, let that sink in, let me ask you this, impactful, Cofefe, drill down, fake news, hot water heater (hot water doesn't need to be heated), and gig economy
Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you'd like to add?
I'm so very tired of fake news - I'm tired of hearing fake news and I'm tired of hearing about fake news.  I would love to live in a world where the news is reported accurately.

Sort of related - one of my favorite Halloween costumes this year was a teenager (boy) wearing a suit with news clippings all over the suit. I asked him what was his costume and he turned around and on the back of his suit there were giant letters, "F A K E  N E W S." Awesome costume!!

2. What's something you need to get rid of in the new year?
a.  20 more pounds. At the beginning of 2017, I decided to make a change in my health because of several reasons - one was that I couldn't buckle a pair of shoes when I was getting dressed (ticked me off that I couldn't bend over my giant belly!!) and another was the ability to play with our sweet grandbaby. I could get IN the floor to play with her and I could get UP from the floor BUT I felt like once I was there, I couldn't move around and I wanted to be able to fully enjoy spending time with her. I've been successful losing weight and getting in better health this year but would like to be in the ideal range for my height. I don't have to be thin at this age but I do want to be healthy.

b.  the mess in my office - I've thought about renting one of those giant dumpsters and having it located right under my office window and I could just open up the window (brrrr!) and clean out things!!

3. Where do you feel stuck? I'm not sure I have a separate answer to this question. It actually ties into my number two answers.

4. January is National Soup Month. When did you last have a bowl of soup? Was it made from scratch or from a can? Your favorite canned soup? Your favorite soup to make from scratch on a cold winter's day?
I love a good bowl of soup and make soup quite often and freeze it in individual serving size containers. It is cold this week here in the deep south and I ate a bowl of soup from the freezer for dinner last night. I have four soups that I really love:

taco soup made with 97% fat free ground turkey

chili, white bean chicken chili, taco soup, Butch's chicken noodle soup
I can make the first three very low fat, etc. and enjoy eating them often. Butch's chicken noodle soup is ANYTHING but low fat, low calories. It is scrumpdillyicious.

For canned soups, I still love a good bowl of Campbell's Tomato Rice soup or Campbell's Vegetable Beef soup.

5. Tell us one thing you're looking forward to in 2018.
just one thing???  how about two? I'm looking forward to my trip back to Israel on January 31 and I'm really looking forward to our daughter's wedding in May!!

6. Insert your own random thought here.
I've had so many things rattling around in my brain for the last week or so. I would love to sit down and blog some of my thoughts but can't seem to be able to pull them together for a good post. January is going to be a hectic month but I'm hoping for a slower February (after return from Israel) but who am I kidding?

One of our goals as a couple this year is to entertain more friends - maybe once a month. We enjoyed spending time with two couples on New Years Eve and we even made it to midnight for a champagne toast!!

we played multiple rounds of this game
and had so much fun. Mark is not a game
player but he and the guys were doing a 
bourbon tasting in between rounds so EVEN
Mark had a good time playing. Some of the cards are 
a little risqué so you might want to consider
with whom you are playing before
choosing this game