Category Archives: from the heart

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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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!!

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!

Nurse Lauren Got Married!!!!

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At 8:30 a.m. on October 14 Honey, the Girls and I loaded into Johnny Cash, travelled an hour to get out of The Mitten, headed across Ohio and went about two inches into Pennsylvania, to attend the wedding put on by our Dear Friends, The Hostlers!  Armed with the necessary items to beautify ourselves, including, but not limited to, party clothing, shoes, makeup, jewelry and all of the other ingredients needed to look presentable! Because at 4:00, NURSE LAUREN WAS GETTING MARRIED!!!!!!

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Our hotel room about 5 seconds after arrival. Mousey makes her presence known.

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Oh yes she does.

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We did all the beautifying and loaded back into The Man in Black, which I have to say performed admirably and was most comfortable! It was a beautiful day, perfect for a much anticipated wedding!

We had a little time after arriving so Honey and I worked on our selfie taking, we are getting incrementally better.

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Mousey and I were armed with the program and our tissues.

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First down the aisle were Rae-Babe’s lovely parents, Pete and Dixie, looking grand in their finery!

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Then Rae Babe and Jon-a-fin. Parents of the bride, looking good and holding it together!

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Awesome Autumn, living up to her moniker!

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And there she is! Nurse Lauren and her Daddy-o, looking beautimous!

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Lauren and her William, only God could have arranged their love story! He’s from Minnesota, she’s from Michigan, they met through her vlog, and now they are getting hitched! One of their favorite hash tags was #iloveus, you can’t tell at all 🙂

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It was her dream to get married by the same pastor who married her parents in the same church, and she did!

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They wrote their own vows and I loved what they said.

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The way the pastor clasped their hands spoke to me.

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Almost finished!

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Oh yeah, first married kiss ❤

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Mr and Mrs Brown!

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This was one of my favorite pictures! Well done!

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While the wedding party took their pictures indoors, we took some of our own outdoors. You never want to miss an opportunity when folks are looking all fine and fancy! Love our Girlies!

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A proud Honey and his daughters.

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Then we welcomed the new married couple to the reception! Another fave!

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Awesome Autumn gave a wonderful maid of honor speech! Touching, funny, delightful. As did Jon-a-fin and the groom’s father.

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There they are, The DeHostwaeler Girls!!!

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There was popcorn, candy and pop in bottles!

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We rang the little bells to make them kiss, it worked well!

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They had a lot of sweet touches. You were supposed to take a Polaroid and tape it into a scrap book and write words of wisdom. We did that and then took another as a keepsake! They also had a Bible with lined margins that you could underline a favorite verse and write them a little note.

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They had a sparkler sendoff!

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On their way to Bahamas!

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It was a wonderful day and God was at the front and center. Our best wishes, much love and many happy years together for the newlyweds!

32

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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!

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!!!