Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Pop on over hodgepodge

I'm joining up with Joyce at From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge! 

1. Something you've labored over recently? I'm laboring right now over whether we can start back meeting every week with the young professionals. We've hosted them for years in our home. I cook dinner for them. I have a group of friends that rotates baking/making desserts. We do a study together, etc. We met last night for the first time since the week before we left for Europe . . .house fire . . .emergency surgery. It was so good to be together. I just can't decide if I am emotionally/spiritually stable enough yet.

They were playing "Get to know you" Bingo!

Poppyseed chicken, rice, green beans,
a big salad, rolls, and cookies

On a less serious note, I'm laboring over writing the posts from our Italy/Germany/Austria trip. It was wonderful so I don't know why I'm struggling.

2. How will you rest on Labor Day? I probably won't rest BUT I will enjoy being at home.

3. Margaret Mead is quoted as saying, "I learned the value of hard work by working hard." Would you agree? Where and how did you learn the value of hard work? My daddy taught us the value of hard work. I definitely agree that you learn the value of hard work by working hard.

4. It's National Eat Outside Day (August 31st). Will you? Do you enjoy dining 'al fresco' or prefer indoor seating? I will probably NOT eat outside. The temp is in the 90's and the humidity is high. This is Alabama.

5. Somehow it's the end of August. What was the best day of the month for you and tell us what made it so? Let's see -- I don't think I have ONE day that was just wonderful but I had several good things! I had lunch with 3 friends on August 5 and that was a good day! We try to go to lunch together on the first Friday of every month. I went to the neighborhood picnic on Saturday, the 13th and that was fun. I even won a great door prize! 

This one sounds silly but I worked the popcorn booth at our church carnival and had a great time!! 

We have so many young families in our church.
What a great night!

I worked with our friends Laura
and Allen and thoroughly enjoyed

Mark and I gathered with our supper club on Friday, the 19th. We've been together since 2004. Last Saturday, I met 2 friends for lunch. We grew up together and were actually roommates at one point in time when we were young adults. We were in each other's weddings, etc. On Monday night of this week, we went to dinner at the home of a neighbor and really enjoyed it.

6. Insert your own random thought here. I mentioned above that we went to a neighbor's house for dinner on Monday night. I've learned quite a few things as we've navigated having to move out of our home due to the fire and while recovering from surgery. Several friends and neighbors have invited us over to dinner - low key - just the couple and us . . . and it has been wonderful. The next time a friend is going through a crisis, I want to remember this: Fix a simple, regular weeknight meal and share it with the person. It is a good thing to invite someone to sit at your kitchen table and eat quiche and salad or flank steak and green beans or chicken with yummy fig compote on top or street tacos from Costco or pork tenderloin grilled to perfection.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Sunday Stealing

 Bev shares the questions each week and we answer and link up! Join us!

1. Your favorite sport. I live in the south so it has to be SEC football. War Eagle!
2. A quote to live by. You can’t live a positive life with negative thoughts. I just heard that on Saturday morning and I like it a lot!
3. A city in the US you would like to move to. I don’t have a specific city but if we ever moved, I would love to live on the beach. I don’t want to live NEAR the beach. I would want to live ON the beach.
4. 3 beautiful little things in your life. 1. Granddaughter #1 2. Granddaughter #2 3. The generosity of friends
5. What made you laugh today? I’m writing this on Saturday and I attend a WW meeting each week (Weight Watchers). There is an older man in our group whose name is Kurt. This morning, he imitated Richard Simmons and it sounded JUST LIKE him!
6. A good deed you did today – I haven’t done anything much today but I did smile at some folks.
7. Activities you like to do when you are bored. I love to read and I like to ride my recumbent stationary bike. I would love to craft but haven’t had time lately . . . and now we are in the apartment and I don’t have my craft supplies with me. I’ve bought a few new ones.
8. Are you a procrastinator? Sometimes. I prefer NOT to procrastinate but I do sometimes.
9. Your thoughts about dying – we are all going to die at some point.
10. What super power would like to have? I think it would be cool to be able to fly!
11. Top 3 Netflix series – we don’t watch Netflix but some series we have loved are Bosch, Chuck, and right now we are watching The Americans and Body of Proof.
12.  Things you want to do before you die – I definitely want to travel more!
13. Your biggest fears – I don’t even want to type any of my worst ones. It makes it too real.
14. What makes you angry? Rude people make me angry. Also, people who think their opinion is the only right opinion and are not willing to even listen to another. Just FYI – this goes for people on both sides of the political spectrum.
15. Do you listen to podcasts? I don’t listen often enough. One of my favorites is an episode on This American Life and it is called Act V. I like it so much that I’m sharing the link. 

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Sunday! Sunday! Must be Sunday Stealing!


Today is Sunday so we must be writing Sunday Stealing. Bev steals the questions and we answer them and link up together. I love reading other's answers and I love when people comment!!

This week's questions were stolen from Friday Fill-in

1.   I am currently obsessed with . . . We’ve been obsessed with finding diet Canada Dry Ginger Ale in the cans and my son hit the mother lode last night. He bought enough for us to share!  
2.  Today I am happy because Mark is home from his fishing trip and we get to hang out with friends this weekend.
3.  The age I am is 64 and the age I feel depends on the day – some days I feel 35 and some days I feel every moment of my 64.   
4.  My favorite place is with my people . . .but Orange Beach, AL is one of my happy places.
5.  Something I have been procrastinating is . . .I do not have a good answer for this one!
6.  The last thing I purchased was a few groceries on Thursday night . . .and when I say a “few,” it really was not a lot of groceries . . . yet they cost $177.00.
7.  The thing I love most about my home is . . .well, I’m not in my real home right now but I’m going to go with “home is where my heart is.” Since Mark and I are together in this little apartment, I guess this is where my heart is.
8.  My most prized possessions would be . . .I guess my diamond necklace and earrings. I was sad when I thought they were lost in all of the craziness. I was happy when we found them!
9.  If I could be one age for the rest of my life, I would want to be maybe 50 ish. I know that sounds old but by the time I was 50, I knew who I was and could stand my own. I still felt young and was able to do a lot at 50. To be honest, 64 isn't bad. I'm happy to be alive and kicking and going about life at 64.
10.  My outlook on life is usually very positive.
11.  If you want to annoy me, don’t do things correctly (correctly means the way I want them done :-) ) or do them halfway.
12.  I am completely defenseless when it comes to roaches and spiders. I can kill them when I’m home alone but I don’t like to do so. I can't wait to read answers for this one - everyone else always has much better answers than mine!!
13. The bravest thing I’ve ever done was give birth to twins? Stand outside and watch my house burn?
14. Something that keeps me awake at night is not sleeping hahahaha! I have even tried Melatonin lately and I hate taking any kinds of pills much less supplements. We bought a new Nectar mattress. I’m hoping it helps. The rental mattress was not very good.
15. My favorite meal in the entire world is probably turkey and dressing and gravy and all of the trimmings – basically, the family Thanksgiving meal.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022


Joining up with Joyce at From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge! Please feel free to copy and paste the questions and link up or answer the questions in the comments section!!

1. August is National Back To School does that make you feel? Share a back-to-school memory. 

I've always loved back to school - the supplies, the new lunch boxes, the new shoes . . .all of it. I just went downstairs to the pharmacy to pick up some Amazon packages and he had a display of colored pencils and crayons -- made my heart happy!! Speaking of "back to school," my class starts tomorrow and this time I registered as a "senior adult" so I only had to pay $123. This will be my 3rd class since I started back to school. I worked really hard to finish this last semester . . .I even struggled through taking my final exam with an eye patch.

2. Something you've learned in 'the school of life'? 

I hope I've learned a lot of things!! I've recently learned that our material possessions are just that -- material possessions. I've also learned that there are still a lot of reallly good people in this world.

3. Three words to describe your current mood.

Ready for Mark (that sounds weird but he is in Alaska on a big fishing trip and will be home on Thursday and I am ready for him to be home. Harvey and I have missed him -- Harvey is our cat).

4. A summer food you've eaten too much of/are tired of? A summer food you haven't had enough of? 

Due to our whole month of July being weird (fire, surgery, 16 days in a hotel, move to an apartment with an empty refrigerator), I don't feel like I've eaten too much of any summer food this year! I would love some more good watermelon and I need to eat some fresh peas!!

5. What small stuff do you sweat that you know you shouldn't? 

I worry way too much about what other people think. Mark asked me to read a book while he was gone. He rarely reads but read this book while we were in the hotel and while we had no TV in the apartment. The author is Shannan Martin and the book is "the ministry of ordinary places." She reminds us throughout the book that things do NOT have to be perfect - invite friends over and serve popcorn or chips and salsa. Love people.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I have a lot of blog posts I want to write. I really thought I would write more while Mark has been out of town but I've read several books. I don't think I've turned the TV on a single time. I painted a few walls in the apartment and hung some pictures. I've worked every day. I've washed tons of clothes -- still trying to get things clean and smelling fresh.

I cut construction paper to the size of the
photos and measured and taped. It made it
so much easier to hang the tiles.

These are photos from our
Italy/Germany/Austria trip. 
I might not hang Mixtiles in my
normal dining room but we
are on an adventure and I need
a little color and a little happy
on the walls!

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Sunday Stealing - We are Family!

 Joining up with Bev and friends for Sunday Stealing. Bev stole this week’s questions from Pinterest.

Today's questions have lots to do with family!!

1.      What would you like people to know about your mother? She died when I was 15 so I don’t have a lot of memories of her. She was about 5’ 2” tall and about 100 pounds. She was kind. She read her Bible a lot. She evidently lived through some really hard stuff when she was growing up which makes me think that she had courage. She was very smart.

2.      What would you like people to know about your father? Even though he never graduated from high school (GED), he was one of the smartest men I ever knew. He was also a very hard worker. He could “cuss like a sailor” (maybe because he actually was a sailor in the Navy).

3.      What was your childhood bedroom like? I don’t remember how old I was but we went to the local furniture store (Miller’s Furniture) and bought a new bedroom suit. My description will not do it justice. It had a slight Asian flair (like a pagoda) – the headboard was curvy. It was painted red with an antique finish. There was a touch of green and a touch of yellow. We had twin beds and a dresser.

4.      What was your favorite activity as a child? I loved to ride my bike and we played a TON of kickball on our street. I also enjoyed playing with Barbies and I’ve always loved to read.

5.      What was high school like for you? I had a good high school experience. I was not in the MOST popular group (the A group) but I had lots of friends and lots of fun. My mom died when I was a sophomore and I did veer off the path . . .for quite a few years . . .but I still had a good experience.

6.      Write about your cousins. On my mom’s side, there was quite a bit of dysfunction so I’m sure there are cousins I never knew. Cindy and Cathy were my Uncle Henry and Aunt Faye’s kids and I do have some sweet memories of being at our Granny George’s house and at their house. On my dad’s side, Willard aka Woody was the oldest and he and I talked maybe once a year. I really enjoy being around him and his wife, Ruth Ann. Janice and Gene were next and Gene is dead and the last time I saw Janice was quite a few years ago. Janice and my oldest sister were good buddies for many years.

7.      What was your favorite food as a child? I loved my momma’s homemade vegetable beef soup served with her cornbread.

8.      What was your most memorable birthday? I’ve had 3 pretty amazing ones. A family at our church (where I grew up) hosted a surprise 16th birthday party for me and it was very special. When I turned 40, a friend who has since died of cancer, hosted a small surprise party for me and I have sweet memories of that night. When I turned 50, I had a blow it out bash because my mom died at 50 and I always said, “If I make it to 50, we are celebrating.” Celebrate we did. A church friend hosted at her house. They brought in someone from a local restaurant to make part of the food. She has one of those amazing stoves and he made sandwiches to order – seems like it was cheesesteak and some kind of fish. We invited our whole Sunday School class (which is big) plus some other friends plus some friends of our kids. It was a great night.

9.      What world events were significant to you as a child? I feel like I was sheltered from so many things. We didn’t have 24 hour news. I do remember that we had dog tags made at school and we thought it was cool. In hind sight, I guess it was actually for identification!! I was 5 when Kennedy was shot so I don’t have any remembrances of that.

10.   What did a typical day look like as a child? During the school year, we got up and ate breakfast and walked to school. I loved learning then just like now. We played on the playground. We did homework when we got home and then played for a while. We got to watch a small amount of TV before bath and bed. In the summer, we roamed our neighborhood going from house to house. We did all of those things I mentioned above plus we swang and sang! We would get in the swings and swing as high as we could and sing all of the songs – I remember belting out “This land is your land. This land is my land . . .”

11.   Write about your grandparents. I never knew my mother’s father. He committed suicide. Her mother was Granny George and she lived “out in the woods.” Back then, it took quite a while to drive to her house. Now that there are interstates, her house is actually quite close to where I live. She was poor and I remember my daddy giving her some money when we would go to visit. He did it discreetly but I somehow knew. She lived in a little house and my oldest sister remembers stuffing newspapers into the wall to help insulate it. She didn’t have indoor plumbing and we had to tinkle in a “pot.” I think there may have been an outhouse in the woods behind her house. I actually have fond memories of being there and sitting on her front steps eating saltine crackers. That was literally what she had to give us as a snack. I remember that she sent flour sacks to my mom and I had quite a few dresses and shorts and tops made from those flour sacks. She also sent me a bobble head dog one time and I loved that dog!! My daddy’s parents lived in the same town with us. My grandpa ALWAYS had a big garden. We spent the night with Granny and Grandpa several times. My Granny always had little bottles of Pepsi in her fridge and I think my love of Diet Pepsi came from her house. She could make AMAZING biscuits without a recipe. Instead of bacon, they served “fatback” or “white meat” – something like that. I didn’t like it. She made great chicken and dressing and always had a closet full of home canned goodies from the garden. She loved to watch a soap opera – I think it was “As the World Turns” maybe and you had to be quiet when she was watching that. She quilted and she was a Methodist. My Grandpa was a Primitive Baptist and they went to separate churches!! They played a big part in raising my cousin, Willard. His mom was divorced (which was unheard of back then).

12.   Did you move as a child? I lived in the same house my whole life. My daddy built it.

13.   Who taught you to drive? My daddy and Coach Seale both taught me to drive.

14.   Which job has been your favorite? I love my job right now!

15.   What was the best part of your 30s? Our kids were in elementary school – I guess when I was around 34, they started kindergarten. I have fond memories of going on field trips with them and eating lunch at the school with them. 

    I don't have access to my photos so I can't share. Just FYI, I think all of my photos were saved in the fire - - or at least a large number of them. My scrapbooks were all in plastic tubs in a room upstairs so hopefully, no water damage. They might smell a tad smokey. I may have lost some photos from a closet that was in one of the hardest hit rooms BUT my baby book and my children's baby books and our wedding pictures were in there . . .and they weren't even damp. A friend packed those up on the day after the fire and got them out. They will probably smell smokey but they are safe!

Friday, August 5, 2022

Day Two - Italy/Germany Austria

You can read all about Day One of our trip here. 

Let's talk about Day Two!

Breakfast was provided at the hotel everyday so we started out grabbing a bite to eat. We boarded our bus with Helen, our tour guide, and headed to the Vatican for our Papal Audience. We are a part of the United Methodist Church . . .we are not Catholic . . .but it was still a great experience. Pope Francis is loved by the people because he has a heart for the poor, the immigrant. He is evidently a good Pope. It was SO HOT and we, along with many others, sat out in the blazing sun. We were told that we had to wear a dress that covered our knees and shoulders and even the men's shorts were to be longer out of respect. It was amazing to me to see what some people were wearing! Many places had a sort of thin hospital gown (disposable fabric) and if you showed up wearing inappropriate clothing, you had to wear that on top of your clothes.

After the Pope finished speaking, we walked around town and went to the Vatican gift shop where I actually bought some souvenirs (which are at a neighbor's house . . .I had all of the souvenirs sorted out on our dining room table on the night of the fire and as soon as we could get into the house, my neighbor saw them and packed them all up and took them to her house).

We walked down the street and some folks grabbed a gelato. The gelato shop had a door into another space where a woman was selling cigarettes and the packages have graphic details showing lung cancer, etc. (picture below)

We made a poor choice for lunch. The restaurant was a "lunch line/cafeteria style" and we had to wait a really long time in line and then the food was just not good. 

After lunch, we headed to the Colosseum and the Forum, etc. It was SO HOT in Rome. Yes, I know I said that earlier but I'm really glad we are from Alabama where the humidity is always high and summer temps are hot.

in line for our Papal audience

it was a gorgeous day!

The next day I found out we weren't
supposed to take pictures of the Swiss
guard. Just in case you don't know (I
didn't) -- The Swiss Guard or "pontifical Guard,"
makes up the smallest army in the world, comprised
of 135 men who act as the private body guards of the
Pope, and together with the "gendarmerie" (Vatican
Police), protect all entrance and exit points of the

See the tiny "tent" way up front? The Pope
sat under the tent.

There were so many people of all nationalities
there to see the Pope.

Selfie of the two of us . . . sweating!

I know my tennis shoes aren't a good
look with my dresses but some days
I just had to wear them.

If you can, zoom in and look at the
cigarette packages!!

I LOVED touring the coloseum. This semester,
my online class was Theatre appreciation
and we had talked about all of the events
that happened in the coloseum. Did you
know that they flooded the coloseum and
had naval battles inside? Really!!

Bottles of water were our constant
companion. I drank more water out
of bathroom sinks and crazy fountains
on this trip.

Here is our wonderful group of folks!

Here is one of the fountains --
there were fountains all over Italy/
Germany/Austria - you just filled up
and prayed for the best! Our tour
guide told us to put our wrists under the
water first -- it truly did help cool
the body! It was COLD spring water.

This is the Arch of Titus and is from
the first century and is located justed south east
of the Roman forum. It was constructed
in 81 AD by the Emperor Domitian. The
arch is in celebration of the fall of

One of our travelers found out there was
a bar on the rooftop. You could find large
numbers of us up there. We learned to
love Limoncello on the rooftop and brought
some home with us!!

One of the bartenders is front and center!

The view was lovely from the

We walked a LOT of miles on this day. I know why we didn't see many overweight people -- you walk everywhere and even though you eat and drink . . we didn't eat a lot of processed food.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022


I always enjoy connecting up with friends over at From This Side of the Pond on Wednesdays for the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Joyce comes up with the questions. We answer them and then read everyone else's answers! Feel free to join us or to answer in the comments!

1. Do you have a sister? Tell us something about her. If you don't have a sister, tell us about a friend who has been like a sister. Or tell us about a sister-in-law if you have one who is extra special.

I have two sisters - I'm the baby. My oldest sister was married and out of the house by the time I was four or five. Her oldest granddaughter is only a few months older than my children. She lives about an hour away. I got to see her recently and it was so good to see her. She has had some major health concerns so I was glad to lay eyes on her. My other sister is between us in age. She and I lived at home together after our mom died many many years ago. She has a son that is 8 weeks younger than our kids so we raised our children together -- even though she lives far away. I also have a friend who is a sister by choice. I have 3 sisters-in-laws who are all amazing in their own ways!

middle sister - Becky

3 sister-in-laws - Alice, Rebecca, Susie

oldest sister - Glenine

2. Resister, assister, insister, persister . . .choose one of the words listed and explain how it relates to you and your life lately.

I'm not even sure! I guess it would be persister since we are moving forward after the fire and my emergency surgery.

3. Share a favorite song, book, movie, or television program that features sisters. 

When I was a kid, I loved to watch Petticoat Junction - the sisters were Betty Jo, Billie Jo, and Bobbie Jo. 

4. August 3rd is national watermelon day . . .are you a fan? Do you like watermelon flavored candy? Besides eating the melon as is, do you have a good recipe made with watermelon?

I LOVE watermelon!! I don't eat candy but it seems like a remember a watermelon flavored Jolly Rancher that was tasty! My friend has an excellent watermelon margarita recipe - yum!!

5. Tis August . . .what are three things you are looking forward to this month?

a. We have lots of family birthdays this month so those are fun!

b. Mark is going to Alaska on a fishing trip and I'm looking forward to some fresh fish.

c. Maybe I'll have a watermelon margarita this month!

6. Insert your own random thought.

We are moved into the apartment. We think the air conditioner is fixed. My double vision is almost gone and I drove for the first time today! I'm going by the grocery store on the way home . . .all by myself! A contractor is going to start an estimate on Thursday. I see my surgeon today for my second post op! All of these are good things!! Yay! Yay! Yay!