Monthly Archives: September 2017

Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

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Hi Guys, thanks for stopping by! If you would like to link up, click on the button below and head over to Joyce’s, she’ll tell you what to do! Here we go!

From this Side of the Pond

1. What pets did you have while growing up? Tell us a little something about them.

I pretty much had one pet growing up, a kitty named Muff. Muffietta King Kong George Elizabeth Grenada Halstead Hoover to be precise! My brother Beeve found her outside one day, brought her home, and she lived with our family for the next 19 years! She was very beloved.

Beeve brought her home when he was about 5 or 6. The story he told my folks was that he just “found” her. They said he should go ask around and see if anyone had lost her. He walked down to the corner, looked both ways, and came back and said, “Nope, no one lost a kitty”! My Mom said she was pretty young so it’s possible she had been born outside.

I think I was about 11 or 12 here.

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She may have slept with Beeve some but I think she slept with me the most. My recollection of this picture was that I was sick and my faithful feline was by my side. I also love that my favorite heart pillowcases are captured here <3<3

When I think about it, she was a very patient cat. We dressed her up in baby clothes and pushed her in the stroller!! She had a great bushy tail and fulfilled one of my earliest longings; to own a kitty-witty! There have not been too many months without a cat since 🙂

2. What is one thing you absolutely must accomplish today?
I have to set up a giant circle of 57 chairs for our BSF Bible study, in a room that does not really have the space for it! We are going to make as big a circle as we can, and put the rest of the chairs in a semi circle behind, like parenthesis, or dimples! It may not work, but we are giving it a shot! We have been meeting in the sanctuary where there is enough room, but it is swallowing up the voices. Wish us luck!

3. Where were you ten years ago? What were you doing there?

Hmmm, I was 45, our kids were 18, 16, and 13. Honey was 50. We were in the trenches with teens and all the angst that comes with it! I have been blogging for almost 9 years and have often wished I had started sooner so I could remember what I did back in the day!!!

Ten years ago there were school struggles, academic and friends, summer school for The Boy,  Mousey would have had swim team scheduling, Abby had just graduated from high school and had a major back surgery to remove and replace her first spinal fusion, and then a second surgery in the fall to reduce the contractures on her hips. Honey went to Japan three weeks for work, my Grandma Hoover passed away at 97 years old, and our nephew Little Goomba was born!!!!

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And now he’s going to be a big old palooka of 10!!!

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I guess there was a lot going on!

4. September 26th is National Dumpling Day. Did you celebrate? Apple dumpling, xiao long bao (steamed Chinese dumpling), chicken and dumplings, pirogi, matzoh balls, or gnocchi…which dumpling on this list would be your dumpling of choice? Have you ever made homemade dumplings of any kind?

None of these sound appealing to me, probably why I have never ventured into dumpling making territory.
5. ‘There are two kinds of adventurers: those who go truly hoping to find an adventure and those who go secretly hoping they don’t.’ William Trogdon
So which kind are you?

I don’t consider myself a super adventurous person, so probably the latter. I am open to trying new things, but they would have to be fairly low risk! There will be no jumping out of airplanes or scaling great heights for this gal. No desire to get lost in a big city or foreign country or eat grosse things. I guess I am a creature of comfort.
6. Insert your own random thought here.

Speaking of 10 years ago, lets go Way Back When! This is what I was driving then, and Honey sold the ABCAB last week.

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Can I tell you that I was SAD?! It was an end of an era for us, the family van. It had sat in our garage for the last several years because it seemed silly for me to be the lone traveler in that big old van, yet it seemed like we might need it again if we ever took a long trip and needed to travel in style and comfort. I told Honey that it was by far our comfiest vehicle! Cushy seats, lots of space, great radio and cd capabilities, TV, VCR and DVD player that kept the kids entertained during many a trip.

As I helped Honey clean it out, I was awash in sentimental memories. Little things in the pockets of the seats, hair ties, a Sunday School colored picture,  some movies left in the cupboard (The Kid and a lost Harry Potter movie!), about $7 dollars in state quarters from when we were saving them for the kid’s collections. Driving directions to fun places we had been and even an obituary from the viewing of a dear friend’s father, which reminded me he gave me the recipe for the best chocolate fondue, and I still have it on a scrap piece of paper, written in his own hand.

There were a lot of sweet memories of our Yorkie, Katie, who loved to be included in a car ride of any length! We kept opened water bottles in the console that we fondly called “dog water”, in case we needed to give her an unexpected drink. She accompanied me every day as I drove the kids to and from school, standing on my hip with her paws just under the window, because she was never happier than when she was traveling with her pack.

Honey had wanted to sell it a couple years ago, but I wasn’t ready to part with it. I kept thinking we would need it again and would be glad to have it, but nothing came up that seemed worth putting new plates and insurance back on.

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Honey sold her on Craigslist and we left her in a church parking lot with her new owner Ed, who planned on using her to take his grandkids on vacations up north. Our garage seems SO empty. I know I will be fine, just needed to take the time to fondly remember a passing era in the life of our family. Goodbye ABCAB.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Making Jam

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I wanted to make some sugar free jam last summer. The only sugar substitute my natural path doctor gives her seal of approval to is Truvia, so I looked online to find a recipe and found this one. I made raspberry and strawberry and it was SCRUMTRULESCENT!

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Both flavors were good but I decided to make primarily raspberry, because it has always been my favorite!

I waited until raspberries were a dollar a pkg, then I set up shop. Got the jars out of the box in our coat closet and washed them up. Honey had used some to make pickles last year so some pickley lids needed to be swapped out!

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The hardest thing this year was finding the pink box of  no sugar Sure Jell! Meijer did not have it every time I looked and I finally checked Kroger and  there it was! Bought several.

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The girls requested we try some blackberry jam. We squashed those puppies with the potato masher.

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Then the raspberries.

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Stirred the Sure Jell, Truvia and water until boiling.

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Added it to the fruit, poured it into the jars,

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and WA-LAH!!!

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Hopefully that lasts us until next summer when raspberries go back on sale 5 for $5!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

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Hi Guys! Special thanks to Joyce for hosting us all! If you would like to join us, click the button below to head on over to her place and link up,

From this Side of the Pond

1. Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.

There are a lot of worthy pictures, but a thousand words can give you a much clearer picture of all the circumstances! I have a lot of pictures that I adore, but have forgotten the occasion or situation. But I can read a blog post from 8 years ago and all the memories and feels come flooding back. OR, we could have both!!!
2. Have you ever driven any part of the Pacific Coast Highway? If so what was your favorite stop? If not, is this sort of trip on your bucket list?

Not that I am aware of. I lived in California with my parents for the first years of my life and it’s possible they did some traveling. I looked it up online to see the stops and it looks like a nice, long trip! Honey and I have talked about a trip out west, but I don’t know that this was on it. Never say never!

3. How do the changing seasons affect you? As the seasons change do you find yourself looking more forward or backward? Which season-season transition bothers you most? Why do you suppose that is?

I have lived in Michigan for the majority of my life, and most Michiganders embrace the change. I look forward to the next season mostly, because they all have their charm.

I think fall is my favorite, I love the cooler weather, beautiful trees, fall clothes, and soup! The worst thing about fall is when the temperatures dip and the snow begins to fly, and you know what you are in for the next few months! Winter is usually endured with the knowledge that it never lasts forever.

I know some people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), so winter is difficult for a lot. I just go about my business and stay in when its inhospitable. There is also the usual added bonus of a trip down south in February or March 🙂 to make it more bearable.  The other upsides to winter are cocooning at home, many cups of tea, snuggly blankets, a break from my walking season, and the holidays!!!!!
4. It’s your birthday and you get to pick the dinner menu. What are we having? Do you ever lie about your age?

It IS almost my birthday! I like a good medium steak and baked potato with a fresh salad and, of course, dessert! Our birthday club is going to Longhorn’s tomorrow night, sounds perfect!

I never lie about my age, what’s the point of that? I am nothing but thankful for each year, they are a gift not afforded to many!
5. What’s a life lesson you’ve learned recently?

How about RElearned? And it was twofold! I like conversation, all kinds. But I felt like the Lord reminded me earlier this week that there are some topics to be avoided. Over the years I have been convicted when conversation has crossed into unwise territory. Not everything I think or know needs to be said.

After I realized that I had done it again, I asked the Lord for forgiveness. Throughout the day I kept having a guilty, nagging feeling about it. I finally remembered something else I relearned this summer, if I have confessed my sin, the Lord has forgiven me. And that guilty, nagging feeling? It’s not from Him.

1 John 1:9   If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Once I recognized that it was the enemy and mentioned to the Lord that I knew it was not Him, I never had the feelings again. A very good life lesson to relearn.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

I am thankful that all of our Florida family is unharmed and accounted for after Hurricane Irma!!!! From Cooper City to Port Charlotte, to Tampa to Spring Hill to Pensacola, all safe and sound! Thank you LORD!!!

First List of Fall

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It’s been a bit nippy walking in the mornings, 50 and up this week, and some 40s last week. It’s coming!

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Despite reading on Facebook yesterday that they a predicting a warmer than usual fall. It’s shaping up to be a purty one!

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Honey had the pool closed last week so that means I’m about done watering down there. This was my favorite this season.

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I was not as happy with my stuff this year as in years past. And I even had my plants in early this year because of hosting the end of year BSF luncheon the second week of May! They just hemmed and hawed and didn’t do much until almost July.

My zinnias were one of the biggest disappointments. I somehow got 3 different varieties, and one bunch was ALL yellow. I prefer a riot of color, not a riot of all yellow pom poms. I’m sorry to be a snob, but I think of this kind as a lesser zinnia, the short squatty one.

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I quite like these, and these are the usual kind I get. Even they were not riotously colorful this year

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I don’t think I have ever had these super tall, leggy babes before!

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Plenty colorful up next to the always reliable Black Eyed Susans.

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But unfortunately you cannot tell which kind you have when they are all a couple inches tall and my half circle of zinnias looked mighty stoopid sporting all of the different heights!!!!! Not to mention the tall ones completely obscured the half circle of day lilys and wasted them.

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Try as I might to separate the colors, I was not very successful, which also contributed to my dissatisfaction.

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This side was a little better, but they did not grow like they usually do.

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The front looked ok but I still have complaints. Not enough color in the side pots,

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and too many petunias!! There were so many other pretty things in that pot when purchased, but those petunias HOGGED the whole pot!!!

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Big sigh, oh well, there’s always next year.

I was happy with the things in this little bastion of visual interest! I copied the idea from my sweet friend Sarah, who had a similar one from the South Haven farmers market on her front porch. I plopped some of my heart shaped shells and rocks, collected on Florida trips, along with words that inspire. Heart it!

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Oklahoma Tammy asked about a product I had mentioned last week, this is what it looks like. I buy it at Gordon’s, but I saw this at the regular grocery. It is good for breading and batters, looks like flour. I dredge my sliced chicken breasts in it and fry in peanut oil, YUM!

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Was certainly praying this for all of our loved ones in the wake of Hurricane Irma. So far everyone is fine but haven’t heard about all the damage to the homes. It could have been SO.MUCH.WORSE! Thank you Lord!!!!!!!

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And finally a sweet picture of our little Moonpie! Who is getting chunky, smiley and chatty!! Hi Bay-Be!

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Have a pleasant Tuesday.

Labor Day at Gun Lake 2017

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Hi Y’All! We had a fun time up at Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis’ cottage over Labor Day weekend! Gun Lake is one of our favorite summer destinations and this year was full of all of the things we love best; laughing, visiting, eating, relaxing and cards!

Mousey had to work this year and we were all sad 😦 Aunt Phyllis even wrote her a note lamenting her absence.

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We arrived on Friday night and the visiting began.

A couple of weeks ago The Grandpa got himself a new FANCY phone!! He asked for a little help in setting up some things like texting, adding phone numbers, choosing notification sounds. Unfortunately he asked these yahoos! They had the best time “customizing” Grandpa’s phone!!!! Adding a photo so he could see who was calling, sparkling beauties I’m sure.

This actually is a video, but here it is just a picture, so you can get a small smackeral of the pretty faces they were saving.

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It kept them entertained for some time.

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They were laughing so hard there were wheezes and tears.

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These three are cut from the same cloth.

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Stacey thought Beeve might need a time out!

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They got into the cake the very first night. The evening up began in earnest. That baby was G.O.N.E. by Sunday morning.

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Goomba had the time of his life playing with the neighbor boys next door, but was around to play monkey in the middle with Honey and the monkey, Ummel Bob!

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He’s a good sport. And spry!

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There was GOOD eating ALL weekend!!! Marinated flank steal with yummy Pinterest potatoes (so you know they were cute!) and green and fruit salad, Beeve smoked a pork butt and there was pulled pork on a pretzel roll or on a loaded baked potato, Asian cabbage salad, corn on the cob. And the cake, coconut cookies and an entire pan of frosted brownies!

The guys had an adventure and went on a rescue mission!!! Goomba had been having a high time with the boys next door and Beeve and Stacey had been exchanging pictures with the other parents. They had invited Goomba to go with them to get ice cream across the lake on the boat. He was game for that!!! We were playing cards when Beeve got a call from an unknown number, but he recognized it from earlier in the day when exchanging the pictures. He answered and heard that the other family was having engine trouble and needed a tow home! So all the men folk loaded into Bob’s boat with rope, flashlights and blankets and headed out across the lake. Man, it was DARK! And COLD! They finally made it back just before it began to rain in earnest! A little adventure!

The card games of the weekend were Seven and 31. I had never played Seven before, it’s good to learn new things and keep the dendrites in the brain fluffed!!!!!

These two.

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They speak a similar language  ❤

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The gentleman’s club on the back porch.

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Tough hombres.

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Honey, Beeve and Goomba drowned some worms.

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A chilly boat ride.

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Goomba and his Mama.

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No one enjoys each others company more than these two.

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Stacey’s pretty sunset.

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I forgot the selfie stick so we had nothing to help take a picture until a neighbor gal happened to walk outside and we roped her into the job! She was very gracious!

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She quit just in time, it was getting dicey!

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The next day sent Goomba and The Ab-Cat back to school, and BSF workshops for Honey and I. And so it begins.

But it was a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

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Hi Guys, Happy September! If you would like to join in, click on the button below to head over to Joyce’s.

From this Side of the Pond

1. When you think about your future what do you fear most? Hope for the most?

Well, since I don’t know what my future will be it’s hard to predict what I will fear the most! I would definitely fear calamity in my family, losing my mind or ability to communicate, constant pain. That’s a short list, but I try and not focus on that too much because the Lord tells us not to fear. Ultimately He has overcome this world and it is only our temporary home.

Hope is a much nicer thing to focus on! Of course I would hope for a healthy, productive life, loving relationships with family and friends, the privilege of serving the Lord for all of my days, and the assurance that all of our family and loved ones have a personal relationship with Jesus. It is my greatest hope that I would finish this life strong in my faith, no matter what my physical circumstances are.

2. September is National Chicken Month. How often is chicken on the menu at your house? What’s a favorite dish made with chicken? What’s something you’re a ‘chicken’ about doing or trying?

We have quite a bit of chicken over here, at least once a week or more. We make something the kids called “flat chicken”, its just chicken breasts sliced thin, dredged in Drake’s and fried in peanut oil. Pretty tasty! Honey can whip up all sorts of yummy things with a little bit of chicken, garlic and a few spices!

I am probably chicken about a lot of things that I have no intention of doing or trying!!! I’m never going to willingly touch any kind of reptile, swim in shark infested waters, jump out of any airplane or skateboard down a half pipe!
3. What are three things you don’t own but wish you did?

A vacation home, my old, reliable, THIN body, and 10 wishes more- LOL!!!! Honey had a lot of things on his wish list! A new truck, a boat, a house on the lake and that 600 million lottery ticket someone recently won!!!
4. Would you rather be a jack of all trades or a master of one? Elaborate.  If you answered one, which one?

I think jack of all trades is probably the best option for me. I used to want to be excellent in a skill/talent, but being adequate in many things has been very helpful practically.
5. Ketchup or mustard? On what?

Mustard. On a sandwich, in the honey form on a salad or dipping sauce.
6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Sorry, I have two thoughts this week.

Walking yesterday with my buddy Keelyody, we saw quite a few families in the front yard taking those sweet first day of school pictures! It reminded me that this is the first year that Honey and I do not have ANY students!!!! And we are OK with that!!!!!

In other news, our sweet little grandgirl was two months old last week!!! Her Mama says she is 11pounds 7 ounces of smiling deliciousness!

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Hi Moonpie!

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You grow Girl!!!

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Thanks for stopping by!