Monthly Archives: November 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

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Hi Guys! Glad you stopped by! Click on the button below if you would like to join in.

From this Side of the Pond

1.  What’s something blogging has taught you about yourself?

When I started blogging in January of 2008 I had no idea what I was doing! I’m not even sure why my good friend Mrs. Schmenkman and I wanted to start on this endeavor, but we both began the same week. This was my very first post!

I just asked The Boy what I should say and he asked me “why would you want a blog if you don’t know what to say???” Thanks to The Girl for helping me get this up and running. That would be one thing my friends could tell you about me; I am computer illiterate. Surely I will get better as I go!

I’m not quite sure why I wanted to start this, but hopefully it will be a way for me to keep in better touch with those I want to be in better touch with, and be able to share what I am doing, making, bargains found and very random thoughts! Let the blogging begin! 

I did get better as I went!

I have never been one for keeping a diary or journal and I don’t really consider myself a writer, but I think what blogging has taught me about myself is I do enjoy coming here and writing down my stream of thought. The fact that I have done it faithfully for almost 9 years has shown me that I am committed to preserving these days of our life. When I go back and read a post from years gone by, I am always thankful to have this memory bank, this place of recollection. It’s priceless to me.

 2.  Leftovers…are you in the ‘reheat and eat’ camp or the ‘put them in the fridge until they spoil and then toss them’ camp? What’s your favorite thing to have leftover? What can you not abide as a leftover?

I usually like leftovers. I think soup is a great leftover and sometimes better the next day! Meat with no gravy is usually a pretty yucky leftover.
3. ‘Me time‘…your thoughts?

“Me time” sounds so self involved. That being said, I am certainly not opposed to being able to do something I want to do! I can remember being a young mom and longing for 30 minutes to myself to read or watch something I wanted on tv!

I guess the phrase “me time” sounds indulgent, expensive and selfish, but maybe others see it as something else.
4. When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?

Haircuts or covering their grey, getting the right BSF Bible study lesson if they are going to be gone, helping them remember some random song lyric or other fun fact. I am a fountain of useless information.
5. If your childhood had a smell what would it be? Tell us why.

Bubble gum, Sweet Tarts, Jolly Ranchers, Slow Poke suckers and chlorine. Because we loved nothing better than riding our bikes up to the corner store to buy candy and hanging out at my Aunt Nancy’s pool.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I was in Five Below yesterday and came across this. Who would put this on their Christmas tree?

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Seriously, who is the target customer for this merchandise?

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Thanks for stopping by, enjoy your week!

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The Weekend That Was

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We had a nice, relaxing holiday weekend. Honey was still recuperating from his Plague, so not much was done. He did have a small to do list, and as far as I know, he accomplished it.

Every year we like to watch a movie that has something to do with Christmas as our Introduction to the Christmas Season movie.. Sometimes it’s a full on Christmas movie, sometimes Christmas is just in it. Such as Die Hard, which takes place on Christmas Eve, or You’ve Got Mail, that has a couple holiday scenes. The Ab-Cat is still protesting that one, but we quite enjoyed it!

This year we decided on an oldie but a goodie, While You Were Sleeping from 1995. It takes place over Christmas and New Years, and is a sweet romantic comedy.

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When we were at a restaurant, googling prospective movie choices, two popped up that interested me. The first had a very high rating and was called Holiday Inn. I have to say that I have never heard of it!

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And Miracle on 43th Street, which I am sorry to say, I have never seen! I don’t know how I missed the original OR the remake, which was from our children’s generation, but alas, I have. Of course, I guess it’s not that unusual considering I never saw It’s a Wonderful Life until I was a full grown person!

I know Natalie Wood was the little girl here.

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And Mara Wilson, otherwise forever known in our family as Matilda, was the child in this one.

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We may catch them as well!

Mousey and I did watch White Christmas, which we have seen a couple of times before. I know it is much beloved, but have to say the corn level is HIGH. Some of those song and dance numbers? Sheesh! We were mesmerized by the thin sister and her arm-like, deer legs! Or horrified.

I did a small smackeral of decorating, it gets less and less every year. I am ok with that.

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The lighted garland is new and I am loving it!

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While I was out looking for the pre-lit garland, I took the opportunity to gather a few little things, Christmas gifts for my BSF Admin gals. The last class day, December 14, will be here in a wink, and I don’t want to be caught unawares!

We spent the rest of the time getting up to date with our Bible study lessons and catching up on some lost sleep. Oh, and Honey and I tried out a new show on Netflix called Longmire. We are only 2 episodes in, so too soon to tell if it will be a keeper.

And that was the weekend that was.

Thanksgiving 2017

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We celebrated Thanksgiving at our Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis’ house this year, it was grand! The last several years they have been in Florida and were sorely missed! We also were excited to see their new condo. I had seen it last summer, but they are more fully moved in now. I love the kitchen, especially the island. I have island envy. Can the island ever be too big? I think not.

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Phyllis says they love the new place, so that is high praise! Still getting used to the new and improved Uncle Bob since he had his cataracts removed and now only wears cheaters on top of his head. It’s taking a while, since he has worn glasses ever since I have known him!

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We were very thankful to have Honey in attendance. His cold/flu/cough symptoms have made him very socially unacceptable this week. He kindly refused all handshakes and offered the fist bump instead. Still trying to perfect our selfie, still only marginal.

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The Grandpa and I gave it a whirl too! I am thankful for this guy! He is going to be visiting his kids in Florida for Christmas and I am already feeling sad.

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The featured presentation of the day was this little angel baby, BaileyBean! She is having her first birthday this week and has already gotten walking down pat!

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Here she is with her Parental Units, Rob B. and Girl Cousin Lindsay, also known internationally as Team Levine!

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We had a fine day of eating, visiting, and relaxing.

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AND watching Miss BaileyBean have her very first birthday cupcake EVER!!!! She was very ladylike and tentative at first. My favorite part of this picture is her sibling dog Ava, patiently waiting for a drop!

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Her Mama helped her out a little.

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Oh yeah, she got the hang of it!!!!

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Her after cupcake attire. Nothing cuter than a baby in a diaper 🙂

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Her Grammy Toni was loads of fun! Gitting her!

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She likey.

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Our Girlies and their newest cousin.

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All children like to ride on The Ab-Cab, this little peanut was no exception.

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This was taken after she had an unfortunate run in with a chair leg. Birthday Bop. She recovered quickly and continued cruising around, her new found skill.

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Matching jammies!!!!!

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We chatted, played cards, ate again, desserted again, cleaned up again, and then everything was done except for more visiting.He is telling some kind of story, I can tell. He was intentionally not looking at me either.

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Still not cooperating, but I don’t care, IT’S GOING ON THE BLOB!!!!!

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The Girls did look at me but gave me their “I don’t want my picture taken” face. Ah, I know it well.

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We headed on home in Johnny Cash, our new Explorer, where Honey commandeered the radio. Sly and the Family Stone on the way up. Cat Stevens on the way home. It was as good as you are imagining.

It was a fine day!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

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Happy Thanksgiving week to you all! Here we go!

From this Side of the Pond

1. Traditionhow tightly do you cling to tradition when it comes to holiday gatherings and celebrations? For instance do you always do the cooking, never eat at home, always go to grandma’s, never miss the parade, always watch football, never change the menu, always eat at 2 PM, etc.? Have you ever celebrated Christmas or Thanksgiving away from hearth, home, and family? How did that feel?

I don’t think we have a ton of traditions over here. We have always rotated hosting, parades and football are hit or miss, and we always say we are shooting to eat at a certain time, but no one is going to prison if we miss. We do usually have a similar menu because when you only have a meal once a year, the heart wants what the heart wants!

The only time I can recall that we ever missed a holiday was one unfortunate Thanksgiving when the kids were around 5, 8, and 10, or 7, 10, and 12, or something. The Ab-Cat came down with a vicious stomach bug and was very socially unacceptable. Considering I had spent the previous day with her and had unfortunately drank after her using the same straw, it was highly likely that I would be following down the same path. We were supposed to travel to our Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis’ house, and it was a hard phone call explaining that we could not make it. Because we were planning to have a delicious Thanksgiving meal elsewhere, we did not have much yummy stuff at our house. The best we could manage was dinner from Boston Market, and I have to tell you that our children STILL recall that it was our WORST HOLIDAY MEAL EVER. Seriously, they still bring it up. And as far as I know,  no one has ever ate at Boston Market again.

I never did get sick but poor little Abby had a miserable day 😦  And we all missed our People and all the good food.
2. Help...is it easy for you to ask for help or are you a do-it-yourselfer? How is that a good/bad thing?

I will usually give things a whirl if I think there is a possibility of doing it myself, but I have ZERO problem asking for help. I am comfortable with everyone being aware that I do not know how to do everything. I think it’s a good thing. Tenacious is one thing, pig headed is another altogether.
3. Abundance…what is there an abundance of in your kitchen?

Tupperware. I think it’s multiplying, like Tribbles.
4. Namethe smallest thing you’re thankful for? the biggest?

Grace and GRACE. Our lessons in Romans this year have been hammering it home. God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense. Unmerited favor. Everyday grace can be small, but being forgiven a debt that I can’t repay? Huge. Biggest. Best. Priceless.

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I am eternally thankful.
5. Key…What do you think is the key to living a more grateful life?

A dear friend of mine lost her mother recently. She is struggling mightily with the loss, her grief, and just plain missing her beloved friend, mentor, Mother. I had the good fortune to know her Mom, and she was a treasure. She was a woman who had great sorrows in life, yet lived with joy, laughter, a grateful and positive attitude, and a high view of God. She knew who had saved her and where she was going.

One of the thoughts I’ve heard my friend attribute to her mom several times was something to this effect “you don’t have to look very far in this world to find someone who has it worse than you”. She was right. Self pity is debilitating. Perspective is everything. Gratitude needs to be acknowledged. It shifts your thoughts to what you DO have instead of what you don’t. Suddenly you see the things you are thankful to have and the things you are thankful to have been spared.

I wear a bracelet that has the saying “there is always something to be grateful for” on it. It’s true. Things can always be worse. Look for the good, God’s provision to you.

6. State your own random thought here.

Here’s another small thing I’m thankful for!! MoonPie is almost 4 1/2 months now and getting very animated!IMG-6096

Kicky, pensive, drooly, chatty, more purposeful about getting things from her hand to her mouth!

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Noises are her favorite.

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Hi sweet girl!

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Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!

A List of Things

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Hi Guys. It has taken about 3 weeks to get over The Plague. I did most things that people suggested in an effort to reduce my misery including but not limited to; Emergent-C, a T of honey and a T of apple cider vinegar, TRULY HEINOUS!!!! Folks kept telling me I needed a Hot Toddy, and they had old family recipes, certain liquors and other ingredients they thought worked best. It said online that whiskey was the best thing to help you sleep, so SIGN ME UP.

Honey graciously brought me this. Maybe as an homage to his Canadian roots. Fun Fact: when we lived in Windsor, Ontario, we regularly passed by the place that made this! All I have to say is I will never be an alcoholic. I had to drink that Hot Toddy holding my nose. I did sleep a wee bit better that night. The next night I decided to not prolong my misery of drinking an entire mug of nasty, I just drank the 2 ounces as a shot. The Ab-Cat said she had to see this and proceeded to laugh when I held my nose and threw it back, because I was gagging!

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I just put the bottle in the cupboard above the fridge and called the experiment a dismal failure. But in other news, Honey has contracted some other kind of plague and he had his own Toddy this morning. There was no unpleasant gagging I’m happy to report.

In other news!

THIS is happening!!!! We have lived in our home about 18 years and there has always been an empty field behind us. Our builder told us that a church owned the property, but other than a once a month appointment with a giant machine to cut the grass/weeds, there was never any activity back there. The only time I ever went back there was to stealthily scatter leaves, weeds and other garden debris that caused the bush hog guy no trouble, So basically the point behind our house was a compost area.

We started hearing rumors that the church wanted to sell the property. This caused us mild concern, only because we did not fancy a gas station or something like that back there. We soon heard that another church bought the land, and I actually knew some people who went to that church! My good friend CMB’s parents are in attendance as is the mother of my old friend Suzanne Suzanna Danna, along with others from the church where we all grew up.

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There were starts and delays, rumors of trouble with the city and the county, a sign was posted and then one day there was a fence around the entire property! Then the heavy equipment moved in and now we have a HUGE hole on the other side of our hedge! Since we are getting the retention pond back there, we can only assume that has something to do with the digging.They have been struggling with a lot of rain, so work has been in fits and starts

I don’t know that you can tell, but it’s about a 15 foot hole back there! Honey has been using the noise machine when he sleeps because they are Johnny on the spot at 7 in the morning and don’t knock off until 6. They have holes to dig and dirt to move and as of one day last week, cables to cut!!!!

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We noticed our internet was out, but it is not unheard of to have occasional interruptions over here. When it continued and we did a little investigation, we discovered we had no TV or landline. That seemed fishy. After a conversation with Wowway, it was determined that we, and our neighbor to the south, had no service. They did not call to report it because they conveniently do not live there anymore. The nice Wow guy came out and ran a temporary line until they could bury a line and we were happy to welcome the distraction of cable back into our lives.

This is probably around the time the line was cut, they are mighty close to our box.

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One whole day without internet, tv and phone and I have to say this is how we felt. Thanks Oklahoma Tammy, very timely I must say!!!!!

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Because of Thanksgiving, our BSF class moved to Monday, with an abbreviated leaders meeting earlier than usual and then class right after. It’s a full day, but it works for us. I have been participating in the 7 day, black and white challenge on Instagram, no words, no people and no explanation. This was one of my offerings. As BSFfers, we are known for our ability to make very nice circles. I’m pretty sure it might say that in the Bible. “They were known for their love, and ability to make a great circle”. Or something like that. 😉 Miss May’s circle in the sanctuary.IMG-6079

When the weather turns, this young catten gets very cuddly and needy. He just needs to be touching you. We don’t mind. It’s just a good thing he is so sweet, because he is about 50% trouble. Some days 75.

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Because of the holiday, schedules are all joophered up, in a good way! Plus we are not hosting Thanksgiving, we’re OFF!!!! Therefore, I have a little more time to blob!!!! Planning to be back tomorrow with The Hodgepodge.

MoonPie’s First Trip to The Mitten!

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Y’All, it’s been a while, but it’s been a heck of a month so far.

On Wednesday November 1, The Boy and The Dane flew in with the grandgirl for a week! It was very nice to see them! Honey and I picked them up from the airport that evening and took turns smooching the baby the rest of the evening!

On Thursday morning at BSF I started to feel…unwell. I KNOW!!!!! Could I have picked a worse time to get sick??!! Sore throat and hacking cough, Halls cough drops were my lifeline. I remained socially unacceptable for the duration, keeping my distance and coughing unproductively into my shirt. I could not possibly have imagined that I would only get to hold sweet MoonPie one time during the entire visit. I did enjoy watching her and all her new sprouts of personality!

On Friday night we served one of The Boy’s favorite meals, Thanksgiving dinner! The Grandpa and Mrs. H were present, as were Beeve, Stacey. I have to say someone manned the camera, but alas, it was not me. The pictures were sparse and there was no evidence that The Grandpa even held the little lady, BOO!

MoonPie was very good about being passed around like a football. Looks like Uncle Beeve enjoyed holding a beebee again!

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Imparting wisdom, I’m sure.

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I totally lifted this from Stacey’s Instagram. Nothing like holding a sleeping baby.

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Evidence that Mrs. H. did indeed hold the nugget!

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Goomba was unfortunately at camp when we had this gathering, so he came over upon return to get his cousin fix!

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It’s not often that he isn’t the youngest human at family gatherings!

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They lovin’.

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I think he liked her 🙂

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I spent a lot of time watching the Little Peanut, who spends most of her time looking to put things into her mouth, smiling, and just all around looking cute.

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She has gotten a lot more kicky, chatty and intentional with her hands since we last saw her in August.

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She is a regular Sphinx on her tummy!

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I really enjoyed watching her interact with her Papa! All his once familiar noises and expressions were on full recall! I think he was her favorite ❤

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They had a conference call from Washington one day and asked if it would be ok if they left her upstairs with us, Honey gamely said sure! When we visited the kids last August, Honey was happy to hold the new Little Miss, but when she fussed he said “Mamaaaaa”, and gave her to me. He could not do it this visit with me having The Plague, so it was The Papa Show until their call was finished!

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He was using all the tricks he knew to keep her happy and content. I mainly helped by making distracting noises, which she is very susceptible to. Can I just say that I loved watching Honey grandparent the same way he fathered, sweet and FUN!

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He basically did a great job and this was how they found her when they came back upstairs, sleeping on her Papa’s shoulder. Double high fives Honey!!!!!

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The Girls both had her on social media.

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The Boy gave her a first lesson in Bothering.

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Her expression shows uncertainty. Possibly fear.

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Before we knew it the week was up and they went back to Washington state, which is very far away for this Grammy who did not get to do even a smidgen of Grandmothering.

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But I sure liked watching that Little MoonPie! ❤ ❤ ❤

Wednesday Hodgepodge

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Hi Guys! Welcome back to The Wednesday Hodgepodge, if you would like to join the crowd, click on the link below and head over to Joyce’s, she will take it from there.

From this Side of the Pond

1.  In a rut, in a jam, in the groove, out of synch, off balance, out of touch…which saying best fits some area of your life currently (or recently)? Explain.

I’m going to say out of synch. I came down with a sore throat last Thursday that morphed into a hacking cough. None of that would be noteworthy EXCEPT our grandbaby and her parents flew in for a visit last Wednesday and I have had to keep my mitts off her in hopes of not spreading the plague!!!!! I am hardly ever sick and this is the poorest timing of an illness that I can recall! Yes, Grammy is OUT OF SYNCH!!!!!!!
2. What is it about somebody else’s style of work (coworker/employee/shared volunteer project/household chore) that makes you crazy? Why?

I am not a micro manager of the work of others, just usually glad to see the job get done. HOWEVER, inefficiency is never appreciated. I never want to be intentionally inefficient, and some people are just plain inefficient. I totally get that sometimes you think of something after the fact, but sometimes people don’t use their time wisely, are either lazy or work carelessly, even rudely, not really concerned that they are just making messes that others have to clean up or redo. Don’t let the chaos of your life, or poor time management, overflow into how you do the task, thereby causing spillage into mine because you can’t be bothered to do a good job.
3. What’s a tradition that always makes you feel at home?

In our family we like to play cards and sit around and visit, so I’m glad that is a portable tradition that we can manage where ever we happen to be. Visiting is home-y ❤
4. A favorite song with a girl’s name in the title or lyrics? Any reason why this is a particular favorite?

Favorite would be a stretch, but the first one that came to mind was Valerie by The Monkee’s. The Monkee’s are a fond recollection from my little girl memories and I could never hear them on the radio enough. I mainly watched their tv show in the afternoon.
5. Share a favorite quote, verse, or saying relating to gratitude or thanksgiving.

I have found this to be true. Sometimes you need a change of perspective, but its there.

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6. Insert your own random thought here.

As I mentioned above, our grandgirl has been visiting this week with her parents. It has been hard to keep my socially unacceptable self away from her, but I am very thankful that I have contained the outbreak. Glad my incessant hand washing and coughing into my shirt has amounted to success in that arena.

It was a beautiful day in The Mitten yesterday, so The Dane and The Boy bundled Moonpie up and we went for a walk

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It flat wore her out.

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They are heading back to Seattle tonight. I won’t be able to hold her, as much as I would like to, I am continuing to hack up a lung. I’m glad I got to watch her and get to know her more.

Thanks for stopping by!

Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

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Hi Guys, long time no see! Glad to be back with The Hodgepodgers after a busy few weeks! If you would like to join in, click on the button below and head over to Joyce’s and follow the directions. Here we go!

From this Side of the Pond

1. What does/did Halloween look like at your house this year? Did you decorate? Pick pumpkins? Carve pumpkins? Expect trick or treaters? Wear a costume to a party or event? Make a costume? Feel glad you didn’t have to come up with a costume? Cook a Halloween themed treat? Eat all the leftover candy?

Halloween is a fairly low key event over here. We used to always have my folks and brother and SIL over for hot chocolate and cut out pumpkin cookies, and to see the kids all duded up in their Halloween finery, but the last few years we have mostly been on vacation on this date. We were home last year and had about 10-15 kids tops. Our subdivision connects with another sub that has more houses and they are closer together, hence a better cost to benefit ratio over there, or less walking for your candy, however you want to put it.

The last few pumpkins I purchased went uncarved and I finally took them to the field out back as a treat for the critters that live there. Honey and I have not gone to a Halloween party in YEARS, but we have collaborated on many a costume for the kids over the years. This year The Ab-Cat was the only one partying and she went as a hippie. As is often the case, we used a lot of what we had and I made a peace sign out of cardboard and aluminum foil for a necklace. She looked adorable!

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For many years I baked the afore mentioned pumpkin cut out cookies, but not lately. Mostly because having a whole bunch of cookies present assures that we will eat way too many of them! We may save that recipe for Christmas and make them again with our nephew, Medium Goomba.

I always poll the family about what we would like to give out for Halloween because having so few Trick or Treaters guarantees that we will have leftovers. The last few years they have requested the variety bags of chips and we always have Snickers because they are our favorites and this is the only time I buy them. They were purchased on Monday, so let the festivities begin!!!

2. What are you waiting for? Elaborate

Hmmm, I can think of several things, but mainly I’m waiting for this little peanut and her folks to fly in tonight from Seattle for a visit!!!!! She will be 4 months old on Thursday, a whole 3 months older than she was when we last saw her!

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It seems like she changes every week!

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It sounds like she is getting quite smiley and chatty, and we can’t wait to get to know her better!

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Hurry up and get here Moonpie, Grammie and Papa can’t wait to smooch you!

3. Do you wish you were friendlier, braver, more creative, more athletic, or something else? Explain.

I will say more creative. I run with a very talented, creative pack, and while I can copy like a BOSS, I do not have the eye, creative spark, or whatever inspiration you need to actually create something out of nothing. But I sure admire those who have the gene!
4. When it comes time to paint are you a do-it-yourselfer or do you hire someone? What was the last paint job completed at your house? What room most needs painting now? How do you feel about wallpaper?

I am a do-it-yourselfer painter and I find it a very satisfying venture! Nothing gives you more bang for your buck than painting a room. My dear friend Capri P helped me paint the entire main floor of our house about 15 years ago. I had never really done more than some cutting for Honey before, and I have now successfully repainted a few rooms on my own. Funny this question should come up because Capri P and I have been discussing paint colors lately. I really need to repaint and I am looking a little towards a more neutral resale color. I still like the color we have, but realize that it may be gold-er than trend dictates. We are in the market for something a little more greige, it will blend my warmer tones without going to the grey side. I have nothing against grey for others, but I have been there, done that, and I’m not going back. I think the last room we painted was The Ab-Cat’s bedroom, about 4 years ago.

The great room, kitchen, foyer and hallways are next up for a coat of paint. It will be a big job but I can do it! Except for the stairwell to the basement. I am going to have to get Honey on board for that,it’s tricky.

I like some wallpaper, but not all over . Our dining room is the only wallpapered room in our house and it’s one of my favorite rooms. We also have a border in our kitchen that is coming down the next time we paint. It’s served its purpose.
5. What is one specific thing you felt gratitude for in the month of October?

I am grateful for the blessing of old, good, friends! My good friend Mrs. Schmenkman came to town for her niece and nephew’s baby shower and we had a Capri reunion! The Capri’s are a group of gals, related by blood and marriage, and they graciously invited me to join them many years ago in spite of the fact that I have my own blood and marriage. From the left we have Capri D, Capri A, Capri P, Capri L, and me, Capri K

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Love you girlies!!

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Here is our favorite little trick or treater!! Moonpie was a sweet little kitty cat!

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And for the Way Back When-sday part of the post we head back to 1970! My brother Beeve and I on one of our favorite nights of the year!!! I was an 8 year old hippie with plastic flowers sewn on my skirt and my Mom’s groovy necklace, but for me it was all about getting makeup on! Pretty bold eyebrow statement there Mom! Little Beeve was a 4 year old Frankenstein monster, complete with scars and a dashing moustache and goatee!

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The very first thing we did when we returned home was DUMP our bags and the trading began! Good memories!

Thanks for stopping by!