Category Archives: from the heart

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Yesterday was our 32nd anniversary! It was a busy day for me and Honey was on the couch dealing with a broken toe/episode of gout, so needless to say we did not celebrate. Plus, it was a Thursday, and who celebrates on a weekday? I have no doubt we do something, sometime, but I did entertain thoughts about the day and our life together.

32 years sounds like a long time, but it’s really not! I was talking to a friend from BSF yesterday who said it was her anniversary too and they were planning a big trip for their milestone 50th next year! Now 50 sounds like a LONG time!!!

I have been with Honey for much longer that I was without him and I can’t imagine us not together! We are a pair, a team, peas and carrots, the cream in my tea, the ying to my yang, a package deal.

We are coming up on Honey’s retirement next year and our life feels full of possibilities. He has worked two whole lifetimes and I am excited to see what he decides to do with his FREE time!

Mostly I am thankful that the Lord, with His infinite skill at weaving all things things together for His good, brought the two of us together, despite our different backgrounds and countries!

Here’s to another 32 Honey, I “dee and doh”!!!

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Love youuuuuu!

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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.

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!!!

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!

Around Bellevue

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With the exception of our day trip to Seattle, we did not do much sightseeing. We did however eat at several places in and around Bellevue, all were pretty good and I had an especially yummy pear and cheese salad at Gilbert’s that I would like to duplicate!

One of the nice things we experienced was meeting the young men who live in the home where The Boy and The Dane are house parents. There were three when we arrived, but one had graduated in June and he moved out the week we were there. Honey wanted to make them dinner one night and he and The Boy decided on Coney dogs, homemade french fries and a fattoosh salad with banana splits for dessert. We also taught the guys and a friend how to play Peanuts and Golf, because eating and cards are a family thing. It was really nice to put names with faces and glean a little of their personalities, it makes it easier to pray for them!

Another fun thing we did was go to one of The Boy’s favorite bookstores! They were having a super duper deal of whatever you could pack into a bag for $20!!! You know, the kind of bag you buy at a grocery store for .99, with handles??!! He was in his glory and I enjoyed it very much! We kept saying that The Ab-Cat would have LOVED it there! The Boy filled up his bag and I set my books on top of his and that puppy was full up to the handles!!!! All for $20 American bucks!!!!! I realize now that I should have taken pictures of this event. And also documented that this was in the steepest neighborhood that I have EVER seen/walked!!!!!

We went for ice cream. As we do.

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Honey found this place online, saw the sandwiches, and sent the link on to The Boy saying we HAD to try this place! They loved it and The Boy said they would definitely be going back there! It was Goldman’s, or Goldfine’s, or Gottleib’s or something. It was in the mall where they had a Nordstrom Rack and T.J. Maxx, where I found a cute pair of shoes for fall. Good find!

Look at those sandwiches and massive onion rings!!!

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Last year I reconnected with a friend from 10th grade on the Facebook!!!! She somehow saw that the kids lived in Washington and said if we were ever out to look her up. It turns out she is very close and she picked me up and took me to lunch!!! We sat there so long that the place closed after lunch and were preparing for their dinner crowd!! So nice to get caught up on families, lives and old friends that we used to know!

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The Boy and The Dane introduced us to a funny tv show that was on Netflix called Life In Pieces. It was pretty funny and we finished the season after we arrived home. Tom Hanks son Colin was in it and OH MY WORD does he remind us of his Pop!!!!!

The week passed quickly and soon it was time for The Boy to take us back to the airport. We loved visiting with them, meeting our sweet little Moonpie, and seeing them at work, building into the lives of young men

For some reason I can’t recall, we flew home on Alaska Airlines in first class, Honey was overjoyed!!! We arrived early, went to the lounge and had breakfast, boarded the plane and marveled how comfy the seats were!!! They served hot cloths to wash your hands, breakfast again, cookies, warm nuts, beverages, an ipad with games and movies and probably other things I have already forgotten! It was fun!. And best of all it only took under 4 hours to get home, instead of what seemed like a whole day! Sent this on Snapchat to The Girls.

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It was all a nice distraction since we were leaving a little muggins behind.

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They are coming home this fall for a visit. so we will just be here, waiting patiently for another chance to smooch her up!

Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

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Hi Guys! Thanks for stopping by on the last Hodgepodge of August. If you feel like joining in, click on the button below to head over to Joyce’s and follow the instructions. Here we go!

From this Side of the Pond

1. Can you believe we’re rolling in to the Labor Day weekend? What’s a project you’ll labor over this fall?

This is hard, I have no immediate answer. We have no BIG agenda, just the usual, winterizing the outside, doing some purging/reorganizing in the basement. Certainly nothing exciting.
2. Tell us about the best perks you ever had in a job?

This is an easy one! I am a hairdresser by trade and one of the greatest perks of working in a salon is having people available to give you haircuts, color, perms, at your fingertips! Of course there could be scheduling conflicts because you have to wait until both parties have free time, or come in early or stay after work.

A much easier thing to have done regularly was something we called “bouffing”. That was when an available stylist would fluff, tease, restyle, or just freshen your hairdo. As this was the 80s, it usually involved copious amounts of Paul Mitchell Sculpting Spray or Freeze and Shine. Ah, those were the days! Bouf me!!!

3. August 31st is National South Carolina Day. Have you ever been to SC? Any desire to go? According to Southern Living, these are the top ten things to do in South Carolina…
Explore Charleston, bike, golf or relax on Hilton Head Island, see the beach and the boardwalk at Myrtle Beach, visit the state museum in the capital city Columbia, observe the wildlife and natural beauty of the Ace Basin, take a walk or hop on a trolley and check out Greenville’s charming main street, visit Fort Sumter where the Civil War began, stroll through Pearl Fryar’s Topiary Garden in Bishopville leaving time to check out The Button Museum, also in Bishopville, see Morgan Island (also known as Monkey Island)-home to nearly 4000 Rhesus monkeys.

Which is most appealing to you today? If you’re a SC native, resident, or frequent visitor what would you add to the list?

Honey and I visited South Carolina last September to see if it could be somewhere we might like to retire to. I wrote about our trip here.  Honey has a great desire to live on a lake so he can fish all the live long day. We saw many beautiful homes, plus my most favorite house of all time. I wish I could plop that house down wherever we do land, it was perfect for us! ❤

I would be more than happy to return and do some sightseeing, which is something we did not do last year. One fun thing I did do there was meet our hostess with the mostest Joyce for lunch! I have never met a bloggy friend before and we had a lovely lunch and she even gave Honey and I a tour of her almost completed new home! IMG_3901 (1)

4. Beef, pork, country-style, barbecued, baby back, spare or short…your favorite kind of rib? What’s a dish you enjoy that really ‘sticks to your ribs‘?

I am not really a rib person,but I do love the ribs at Bricktops in Naples, Florida! Their fries and coleslaw are also YUMMY!

Chicken pot pie really sticks to my ribs. Comfort food plus all that crust=sticking to ribs!!!
5. What’s one important skill you think every person should have? Why?

I think everyone needs to know how to have a civil conversation. Conversing seems to be a lost or dying art. Texting and social media also seem to be contributing to this lack of social skills. We seem to have lost the ability to listen politely, ask intelligent questions, and be thoughtful in our answers, all part of good civil conversations.

So much interrupting, shouting down and mindless, repetitive, screaming hissy fits. My Grandma and Mom called it “spouting off”, and it seems that is all a great majority of people are capable of, and we see it at all levels of society. You convince NO ONE of your cause when you cannot have an honest, respectful conversation.   

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TRUTH.
6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Here is some Way Back When-sday!

It was Miss Mousey Ann’s 23rd birthday last weekend!!

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Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

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Thanks for stopping by!

The Visit to Bellevue, Washington

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The working title of this post was Moon 1. You didn’t need to know that, but I found it amusing 🙂  I suspect there will be many more Moon posts!

On August 11 we left The Mitten to visit with a new little family!

We flew Frontier Airlines (hardest seats I have ever experienced, but we were in the emergency row so YAY for extra leg room!!!!!) to Denver International Airport in Colorado, where we had a 2 hour layover that enabled us time to take a selfie, eat a quick bite and get Honey a coffee. because he was running out of gas after working the night before.

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We then flew into SeaTac in Washington state, where The Boy picked us up! It all took a sweet forever when we were anxiously awaiting our introduction to this little nugget!

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It’s really something to meet your Baby’s baby!

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They are lovely and patient parents, clearly over the moon with their new baby girl!

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This is a sight I had not imagined in any configuration, but he is a PRO!

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This made me laugh, six weeks old and a plethora of hair accessories.

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We just came to visit so life went on as usual all around us. Eating. Sleeping. Bathing.

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Just love that sweet little head.

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Nothing like a clean baby!

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She was pensive, chatty, snuggly, smiley,

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and hangry, at all different intervals!!! I know I posted this before but it’s one of my very favorites! Angry Anderson!

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She is getting very good at holding her own head, but sometimes a little help is appreciated.

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Clearly besotted.

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As was this one. Until she fussed, then she was all mine.

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I think she liked her Papa 🙂

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It was nice to see him with a babe in arms again.

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It has been almost 10 years since Goomba was born, and with the exception of babysitting Elyk’s daughter a few times last month, I have not done much caring for an infant, but I discovered it’s like riding a bike. It all comes back to you.

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The rocking, the swaying, the jiggling,

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the talking, peeking a boo, the kissing.

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The looking for clues of their personality, the familiar resemblances, the figuring out what they enjoy and dislike.

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All the things that make her known,

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and make us remember who we were, a long time ago.

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Such a precious time. Nice to meet you Moonpie ❤