Friday, February 27, 2015

Then She Went Shopping...


... because the snow encapsulating Arthur-on-the-deck was forecasted to get deeper for the rest of the week. This was the 'pick day'  to do fun stuff away from the house.

thrift shop blouses at $2.99 each

After delightful visits with friends that morning, I drove over to a brand new thrift shop in my former stomping grounds to check out the merchandise. 

I am not ashamed to say that many of my favorite clothes come from thrift stores. I think that has something to do with me not being a fashion maven, I know what I like and what I don't like, and I cannot be persuaded to change.  Or maybe it's because a fashion has to be nearly out of style before I'll warm up to it??  

Anyway, I am expecting to be in need of warm-weather clothing (winter will end eventually) and so I looked to see what this shop had in short sleeves that go with both white and blue denim capri pants, jeans, and skirts (wardrobe staples I already have in good supply in my closet). 

For those who might cringe at the idea buying used clothing, let me clue you into some of the standards I set for myself.  

- buy nothing in outrageously bold colors, prints, or fashion designs that would mark me like a red corvette to policemen -- unless it's beach or vacation wear, and then I make exceptions.

- buy nothing that is so extreme and easily recognizable  that the lady who donated it will recognize it on me.

- always check the underarms in particular as well as the entire garment for stains (that probably won't come out, which is why the garment was donated)

- are there sewing repairs that need to be made, and if so, am I willing or capable to do them?

- I never buy anything at a thrift store of a truly personal nature: no slacks, jeans, pajamas, swimsuits, underwear, etcetera. You get the idea. Even with laundering, this is just a standard I have for myself.

- That leaves shirts, blouses, sweaters, skirts, dresses, scarves, purses, tote bags and the like.

- I ask myself: do I have clothing that this item will work with? Guessing at the colors is a gamble. I buy clothes that I know will contrast nicely because matchey-matchey is dicey-dicey. If I don't have both items with me to compare, I seldom buy it. On the other hand, since these thrift store finds are usually so low-cost, sometimes the gamble is worth it.  

my newest kitchen finds at $1.99 each
Putting all the paragraphs about thrift store clothing aside, my real reason for checking out this shop was to see if they had any "low bowls" in pretty colors. My current infatuation with raw vegan dinner salads at least 4 or 5 nights a week is made even more interesting with a collection of colorful bowls to show off the succulent greens. 

I learned from looking around at Dillards that these are called "low bowls," which means they are pretty shallow and wide, suitable for pasta, salad, or whatever.  But I don't like to pay $4 or $5 per bowl!

Just as an aside, a few weeks ago Beloved and I found these low bowls in a rusty orange at IKEA for $2 each:

IKEA bowls
I usually buy 4 - 6 bowls, just in case somebody wants to visit our home on dinner salad night.  As you can see, I already have the basic white ones by Corelle. The dollar stores are also good places to look for dishes, and I have bought some of them in the past.

Anyway, I'm thinking that the new yellow bowls will frame some pretty salads this spring and the color should perk us up in March through April, traditionally known as the dreariest snowiest months of the year in Colorado. (While the rest of the nation is getting the April showers that bring May flowers, as the song goes, we are still shoveling and, that late in the season, getting cranky about it.)

My only complaint as I left this thrift shop was that the checker was out of packing paper, so he wrapped my bowls in my new shirts. Hmm. 

a good place to shop

My next destination was a Christian book store. I needed a  'congratulations on your wedding' card for an extended family member, and I also wanted to find some light fiction reading to balance out the heavier stuff I finished earlier in the week. (see my previous post, Take the Risk

I was looking for one of the many novels about Amish life when I came across a table with $1 reads! I don't think any Amish are in this story, but the introduction of the $1 book intrigued me, so that's what I got. It should be fun to read this with a bowl of popcorn beside the fire when the snow starts back up again.

heading west with the Rocky Mountains in easy view
Shopping in Colorado is such a joy on a sunshiny day. Those mountains we love are just over there for all to see! I love this! That's Mount Evans in the very center, where Beloved and I had our first date as teenagers.

the back of a fire engine 
Just for fun, I snapped a picture of the back of a fire engine I saw. I am a fan of Popeye since he loves his spinach and I enjoy dark leafy greens every single day!

black metal bike

My last stop of the afternoon was at Ross, where I was just sort of wandering around until time to meet Beloved for an early dinner. To my great delight, I found something I've been wanting for months but thus far the price had not been right. It's a decorative black metal bike (a tricycle, actually) to place on top of my kitchen cabinets. I wanted something simple and striking to coordinate with the black cabinetry and to stand out well against the backdrop of the Sherwin Williams "Macadamia" paint on the wall.

This bike (and they had only one) greeted me as I entered the store with a price tag of only $14.99.  I claimed it and Beloved put it in place later that evening. (those who know me well are aware that I don't personally decorate on top of my cabinets any more, but Beloved is more than happy to do it for me)

Well, the sun did eventually set, we met for dinner and then headed for home. The snow has resumed falling and we get on with winter. I sure did enjoy the  respite from clouds and bitter cold for one day.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Take the Risk by Dr. Ben Carson

Take the Risk, by Ben Carson
After listening to Dr. Ben Carson on a Focus on the Family radio broadcast, and hearing my friends Peggy and Sue talk about the wisdom of this man, I decided to borrow one of his books from the public library. He has written several books and I didn't particularly care which one I read first, but this one, Take the Risk was the only one available the day I looked, so it's the one I brought home.

Take the Risk - Learning to Identify, Choose and Live with Acceptable Risk was a book that I could not put down easily. His writing style is comfortable, rather surprising when one realizes Dr. Carson is a world-renown neurosurgeon.  

The reason for writing this book was to talk about what it means to take a risk (in anything) and how to think through ahead of time if the chance is worth taking. He came up with a 4-point formula he uses to analyze a risk before he makes a commitment to it or backs away.  

The first chapter relates one of his most famous medical cases where he was called upon to assist with the surgical separation of conjoined twin girls, aged 29, joined at the back of their heads. He lead us through the experience (I won't tell you how it turned out) and how he reached the conclusion that he should participate in such risky procedures while knowing much of the world would be watching over his shoulder and the possible outcomes that could affect his career and reputation.

Then before he tells us more breath-holding stories from his scalpel, he takes us back to his upbringing, which is an amazing story all by itself. He and his brother were raised by their very young mother who learned when the boys were in grade school that her husband (their father) was a most unholy man with a clandestine life about which she had known nothing. 

This very brave black woman went on to raise her sons by herself in Detroit and Boston during the 1950s and 60s with all the racial strife just outside the door of their home. The story of how this most humble and uneducated woman succeeded in raising a son to be a brain surgeon at Johns Hopkins is a fascinating read.

But what perhaps intrigued me the most was the humble telling by Dr. Carson of his experiences both inside and outside of hospital walls that served to shape him into a deep-thinking, very reflective man. Within the framework of his Christianity and faith in God, he shared life lessons and wisdom about human character.  

Before I completed the first hundred pages, I found that I could not read without stopping to take notes; his insights were so profound to me. Here are some of them:

Page 132 One of the challenges for people of faith who fervently believe in a creator God is not to come off as totally closed-minded and unreasonable when dealing with those who don't believe ... a holier-than-thou demeanor and a refusal to respect or even listen to someone else's point of view actually presents a risk to both sides.

Page 134 ... the real instruction Jesus gave his followers was to attract others ... not to repel them.

There was a time in Dr. Carson's elementary school years that both he and his brother were failing terribly.  At a loss as to what more she could do, his mother prayed, asking God for the help they all so desperately needed.  The solution was surprisingly easy, although obedience and discipline were required. But in a short time it paid off and the lives of these brothers turned around for the good. 

If you want to read a modern-day story of adventure and courage with good character modeling, I highly recommend this book for teens and older.  

I enjoyed learning from Dr. Ben Carson's experiences and hope I can spare myself some grief as I put into practice lessons he shared in this book, Take the Risk.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Pondering the Inequities of Life

We have a slow-moving snow storm here along the Front Range of the Rockies this weekend.... enough snow that our church services were cancelled and we watched church on TV in our jammies.

Even though we have shoveled it out, the snow keeps coming.

I usually clean off the deck by pushing the snow across the deck and then gently shoving it underneath the bottom of the railing so that it falls to the ground below (no more than 3 feet). But the snow is so deep that Beloved said he would do the deck this time. He said it would be necessary to heave the snow over the top of the railing and I can't do that very well. What-a-guy!!

Instead, he assigned me to clear the front porch. Then when he was done with the deck, he fired up the snow blower on the driveway and got started on that. I stayed outside with him so he would have company.

He asked me to shovel alongside the edge of the driveway and the sidewalks so he would know where the edge of the concrete was and would hopefully not send the decorative rocks flying, or dig into the grass with the snowblower blades. That cooperative effort worked out just fine.

It's nice to be inside where it's warm and cozy. Beloved has just made a cup of hot apple cider and I'm thinking we'll be enjoying the fireplace this evening.

This is all delightful (as long as we don't have to drive in it), but I can't help wonder why our 10 grandchildren live in Florida on a day like this when they would love to play in the snow?!!!

Here is a video we sent to them today -- it's not exactly a thrilling action flick, and we still can't compete with Boston for snow totals  this year, but for those in our family who are not familiar with how one deals with the white stuff, I thought they would enjoy it...

Oh by the way, we have just turned on the 5pm local news on TV. They are saying our town (thus far) has 13 inches of snow.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Angels Watchin' Over Me

3 sheriff officers parked beside my car

Last week I came out of the grocery store to see these 3 very shiny and handsome motor cycles parked beside my Ford.  I assume the officers were somewhere nearby for lunch.  

It was a beautiful sight with their bikes all shiny and gleaming in the sun, their helmets poised on the handlebars, and one of them even had a pair of gloves tucked in beside the windshield. 

I thought how secure these men felt that they knew they could leave these things in plain sight and not worry much about anybody tampering with them. 

Police and firemen (and women) get my prayer support often. They do a job I wouldn't want for myself or for any of my family and yet we need them desperately.  The few times I have been personally acquainted with any of them, their behavior and character has deserved my respect.

Years ago someone dear to us felt threatened and talked about getting a restraining order. We knew a policeman in our church, so Beloved called him one night to ask what is involved with such an order, how to get one, asking how effective it is -- things like that.

This man of God was frank that sometimes these orders don't do much good but he offered to go to the offender's house and set him straight! He was more than willing to take care of the matter for us!

Beloved told him the problem was in another city and state far from here, but thanked him all the same.  The man endeared himself to us for offering his services.

The Lord got our dear one through that tough time with no incidents and the matter is now ancient history to all of us.  But I remember that and thank God for these enforcers of law and for the risks they take every day for the sake of peace and order.

I am reminded that our Lord is watching over us and directs His angels to protect us. They are all around us and I am comforted to know harm is not allowed to come near to me unless God has allowed it for a holy purpose that will one day meet with my approval even if now it troubles me. 

For he will command his angels 
concerning you to guard you in all your ways
Psalm 91:11

For more comfort, read all of Psalm 91 by clicking here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

February 18th's Wednesday Hodgepodge

our first crocus of 2015

Some call Wednesday "hump day" but on this blog it's "Hodgepodge."  Joyce, over at From This Side of the Pond comes up with questions for bloggers to answer and then on Wednesday we all link up at Joyce's blog to see how others have replied. 

1. When did you last have to interact, either by phone or in person, with someone in a government run agency? On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the experience? (10 being fabulous and 1 being pass the Tylenol.)

Tomorrow. Tomorrow I have a telephone appointment with Social Security to talk about Medicare. 

2. The current governor of Wisconsin is considering a run for President next time around. Walker attended Marquette University, but never graduated. In terms of any candidate running for the office of President (not asking here if you agree or disagree with Scott Walker's politics), would the lack of a college degree influence your vote or no? Would that be a factor in your support of any candidate running for public office, even a role less weighty than President?

Yes, this is an issue for me. While it is not a requirement to be a college graduate to hold public office, at the same time there is something to be said for completing a project that is nearly done. Mr. Walker quit his studies at Marquette University during the 2nd semester of his senior year. Since the life of our President tends to (and needs to) be an open book, I would like to know why this potential candidate quit his studies at that particular time in his college career.

3. When did you last visit a place or site named for George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, and what was that place or site?

We have family members living in Illinois, the "Land of Lincoln." In the home of one of them are some interesting reminders of Abraham Lincoln's service to our country.

4. February 16th was President's Day in the US, but did you know it was also National Almond Day? I didn't think so :) Do you like almonds? If so, what's a food/dish/recipe you enjoy that contains almonds?

Funny you should ask this! I've recently launched a new food blog that has a yummy recipe for gluten-free Almond Date Cookies. To see the recipe, click here: Kitchen Ambrosia (note: this is a WordPress blog, which is quite different in formatting from Blogger, so I'm still figuring out the bells 'n whistles of the template design. I hope to make it more "showy" as I understand how it works)

5. The television program Saturday Night Live celebrated it's 40th anniversary this past weekend. Were/are you a fan of the show? If so what has been your favorite, so one of  your favorite, skits, sayings, or characters that came out of the program?

Although the previews of the show often looked entertaining, those kinds of programs often have "blue humor" which does not appeal to us at all, so we have never watched it.

6. Anything purple within ten feet of you? What is it?

Just a few feet from me, on the fireplace mantel, is a Valentine from my mother with a purple flower.

7. Back in December I asked you to submit a question for a future HP as part of a giveaway I was hosting. I grabbed this one from those entries, submitted by Zoanna who blogs over at Penchant for Pens. 

She asked, "How often do you make your bed, and how do you like to make it - pull the covers all the way up over the pillows, tuck the covers in around the pillows, or place all the pillows on top of the covers?"

I have the most wonderful husband! After my accident 6 years ago, my shoulder replacement made it a real chore for me to make the bed by myself. Ever since then it has been our habit to make the bed together immediately after we get out of bed -- we always get up at the same time. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Years ago television actor George Peppard used to clamp his teeth down on a cigar and say, "I love it when a plan comes together!" (The A-Team in the 1980s)

Some of my longtime readers may remember that when Beloved and I moved into our current house almost 2 years ago, I did much of the packing. I followed an idea originated by Emilie Barnes where she numbered every box she packed and then made an index card for each box, listing on that card all the contents of the box.

I modernized that idea by dispensing with the index cards and created a Microsoft Excel document with the box numbers and contents listed. There is a search feature in this program so that when I want to find something, it's very easy.

Yesterday Beloved needed some information from his university diplomas, so he asked me to find and bring them to him. It was pure delight to be able to find exactly what he needed in box 103.

I love it when a plan comes together!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook for February 17th, 2015

It's been over 2 months since I last did a Simple Woman's Daybook link-up.  Most of the gals wrote their entries on February 9th, but here I am, a week later. My daughter gave us a new grandchild that day!  And with that said, I'm writing this entry on Sunday February 15th but scheduling it to appear on this blog on Tuesday February 17th.  Go figure. You can click here to see how other bloggers have responded to these questions.

So, I begin with the writing prompts.

 February 17th 15th

Outside my window...

Arthur, who stands in a corner on our uncovered deck tells me the predicted snow for this afternoon has begun to fall. We may get 5 inches. Thankfully we don't live on the East Coast, where their snow totals are much more impressive right now. However, we do get our fair share of the white stuff. If you're going to live in Colorado, you need to like snow.

I am thinking ... about the book I am reading these days, from the public library (NF 302.12 CAR), Take the Risk by Ben Carson, M.D. (Learning to Identify, Choose, and Live with Acceptable Risk). From page 118, "If your priority is to look good in front of people, your life will take a different direction than if your priority is to use the talents God has given you to make a positive difference in the world. Such values will influence what risks you choose to take."

I am thankful (and in gratitude)... for my husband who loves to spend time with me, listen to me, and eats my [sometimes strange] cooking.

I am wearing... blue jeans, a black long-sleeved crew-neck T from Kohl's topped with a black knitted vest from a thrift store, black tie shoes and warm knee socks. Gold ball earrings and my glasses. Gotta have the glasses to write a blog post!

I am creating... actually, I have recently completed 3 projects in my sewing room: 

a Snowman panel for our laundry/mud room
The pattern is from this book:

And another project:

And the last project I'm sharing today:

I Spy quilt for Fire House Quilts of Colorado

I am going... to meet with someone from Social Security this week to get the initial set-up with Medicare... I'm not really that old. It just says I soon will be on my driver's license!!

I am wondering... just what goes on in the mind of my little granddoggie who was very attentive to my daughter during her recent hours of labor and is now the constant companion to our new little granddaughter. I marvel at the devotion of dogs to the people they love.

I am hoping praying... all goes well for my children this week. They are all wonderful, capable adults (and, thankfully, have been for a long time) but I still pray for them because everybody needs prayer and God's hand of mercy in their lives.

I am learning... that to restrain my impulsive nature is often a very good thing.

I am pondering ... what pattern to use for the quilt for our grandson due to be born in May. (!!!)

In my kitchen...

I am eating a banana. Beloved came in to serve himself more of the Lemon Bars I made for his Valentine gift. I can't eat them because they are from a boxed mix that was not gluten-free, hence, the monkey food for me.

A favorite quote for today... "If we set as our priority the removal of all risk, we'll soon have sterile, stagnant, and unstimulating learning environments." (another thought from Ben Carson's book, mentioned in an earlier question, above)

My Paper Cut Journal... I don't have a paper cut journal, but Peggy, the originator of The Simple Woman's Daybook, has one and I'm thinking it looks like fun. It's sort of like the hands-on-hard-copy of today's Pinterest boards. 

She's taken a blank store-bought journal and pasted onto it's pages magazine pictures that she likes. They are in there, scrapbook style, overlapping, some straight, some crooked, just an artful-sorta-messy-in-a-good-way collection of things she likes.  Then when she feels blue, she can flip through it and be cheered.  Or one could put it on a plate rack for display.  While some might think it's a waste of time, I'm thinking it might be good therapy for those of us who are 'gifted' with a bit of the melancholy in our personalities.  

Come to think of it, I used to do something just like that when I was a teenager, clipping and glueing pictures from magazines of clothes, hairstyles, decorating elements, travel ideas, and china and silverware patterns... 

A peek into one of my days...

This is where I am right now... sitting at the breakfast table while blogging, and watching a snowstorm approach over the mountain that is directing north of my house. Look closely and you can see the cloud of snow partially obscuring the top of that mountain.

One of my favorite things... is to write blog posts.

From the board room (Pinterest)... Soooo, even though I don't have pages from a Paper Cut Journal to share with you today, I'll show you a photo from one of my Pinterest boards:

This is "Vegan Caesar Salad" from The goldie-yellow things are roasted chickpeas (canned) that come across as croutons in this vegan version of a Caesar salad. Even Beloved  (the carnivore) enjoyed this with me!

Until next time! G'bye!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Celebrating with My Valentine

almost all of See's Candies are gluten free!

To our dismay, recently Beloved and I realized there are a fair number of people our age who scoff at the idea of celebrating Valentines Day with their spouse. "To each their own," I suppose, but we like to use any excuse to run and play and do fun things together. 

Every married couple needs to play, do shared experiences, and to put the cares of the world behind them for a time to enjoy each other. People who don't make deliberate efforts to "date" their spouse tend to be cynical, critical, and frankly, aren't much fun to be with.

Our Valentines Day began with cards and candy at the breakfast table. Since we are "dog people" (although we don't have a dog right now), it was not really a surprise that we each chose a puppy card to give to the other.

Valentines Day was beautiful with a high temperature predicted for the mid-sixties.  

We like the phrase used by the gal in the Toyota TV commercials, "Let's go places!" And so we did by driving some 50 miles south to Old Colorado City for a light lunch and just walking around.

Old Colorado City is one of the historical parts of Colorado Springs, where we have lived twice in the past when Beloved's job transferred him to that beautiful place.

We have fun memories of 24th Street, the main thoroughfare that is lined with charming old houses and buildings, businesses, and colorful people.  Our three children enjoyed their annual high school homecoming parades on this street, which ended at the park where the musicians would whoop it up at the band shell with the Pep Squad.

The merchants lining the street are varied of varied interests, including this one that is perhaps one of the more famous, the Michael Garman studio and gift shop. 

"and there I was" by Michael Garman

Figurines of cowboys, aviators, and people from all walks of life displayed artfully draw in many, like us, to just look, and some to buy. About 24 years ago we bought an aviator for one of our sons who was embarking on a flying career. 

There always seems to be something of special interest going on when we visit these quaint historical Colorado towns. On this day crowds were gathered around to watch an ice-sculpting contest in progress.

There were several art galleries, some Christmas shops, needlework and card-making businesses,  and places to buy herbal concoctions.

We parked on the street, not far from one of at least two large pottery businesses that made for wonderful eye candy.

Eventually we headed back home to rest and then dress for dinner.  Beloved had made reservations for us at Duke's Steak House.

Salads with Top Sirloin and Grilled Salmon
Dinner was delicious and the dining room was perfect for this special occasion.  

I hope that my readers make the effort and perhaps some advance planning to keep the love alive in marriage.  Over the years we've taken the fancy trips, danced and dined with tuxedo and corsage, screamed our heads off at the amusement parks,  and similar adventures, but often it's the quiet few hours spent as just the two of us walking hand-in-hand and talking about our lives that keep the attraction strong.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Valentine's Weekend 2015

Beloved and me in 1972;
words to "our song" (made famous by the Everly Brothers)

I have found the one my heart loves
Song of Solomon 3:4

Today is another opportunity to remember and to reflect on the love I've enjoyed with my husband.  We met in our late teens, married at age 20, and now we are applying for Medicare together!

The longer we are married, the more I marvel at the miracle that two people can be faithful to each other for so long, still desiring each other's companionship.  The world boldly pushes so many distractions and temptations at everybody, and most especially at those who want to live for Jesus.

Jesus. That is the reason we are still together. We are just ordinary, puny people with  fickle tendencies like everybody else.  But having Jesus Christ as the Lord of our lives has made all the difference from what happens to those without Him. 

Yes, with my husband I have found the one my heart loves, but it is Jesus Christ in our lives that has made this possible.  

He is the one our hearts love.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Changing of the Guard (so to speak)

Me 'n my friends
Although Punxsutawney Phil has predicted another 6 weeks of winter and the heaviest of Colorado's snow normally comes in early spring, it is time for my Snow People to pack it up and disappear into the basement. 

In late November as the Pilgrim People were traipsing down the stairs, the Snow People, the Elves, the Shepherds, the 3 Wise Men and the Snow People paraded up those same steps. At the end of the Christmas season, most of that crowd departed, but the rule is to allow the Snow People to remain until Valentine's Day so the house is not totally bereft of holiday cheer after Christmas. 

This is my whimsical way of marking the changing seasons, which puts a quiet little smile on Beloved's face to see me playing with my toys.  

Times are so desperately serious (this week being no exception if you keep up with the international news) and we need to be aware of what is happening in our world.  But at the same time, a little whimsey is good for the mind, and most especially while the wind is blowing the snow outside.

A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Heartfelt Hodgepodge

Hearts hanging from our breakfast room chandelier
It's Hodgepodge Wednesday, Volume 208. Bloggers are given a set of questions by our hostess, Joyce at From This Side of the Pond. We give our answers on our blogs and then we visit one another to see how they responded.

1. Have you ever written a love letter? Have you written one recently? Had one written to you? Did you keep it?

Yes,  I've written many love letters over the years. Most recently I wrote 9 of them, one for each of my grandchildren. My Valentine for the children is their own letter via snail mail with a special message just for them with a positive observation about them or something they've accomplished. 

2. What's a movie that ends in a way you especially love?

Sense and Sensibility

How many times have I seen it? How many times has Beloved been good enough to watch it with me? 

Why is it that every time it rains in the British Isles during the Victorian Era, somebody has to go out in it without proper rain gear and they nearly die of pneumonia? 

I have to smile at their idea of a cottage -- looks like a mansion to me! 

And how do the men get work of any value done when they wear tight breeches and ruffles clear up to their chins? 

At least there tended to be a strong sense of decorum and manners -- both most assuredly in short supply in 2015.

As for how Sense and Sensibility ends -- the right men propose to the right ladies under the best of circumstances and the closing double wedding scene is beautiful!

3. Something that makes your heart sing? And for those of you who are parents, I mean something besides your children that makes your heart sing?

Hymns played on the piano. This sounds simple, but I love it because not only do piano hymns cause my heart to sing but they also bring tears of relief to my eyes. Traditional church music is getting harder to find.

4. What's the last event you had to attend, phone call you had to make, routine task you needed to complete, or meal you had to prepare, that you did do, but only half-heartedly?

This happens to me, from time to time, but it's not something I want to share with my public. (wink!)

5. Tuna fish salad - yay or belch? If you said yay, how do you like your tuna salad prepared? Hey, this is the Hodgepodge, right?

"Back in the day," I enjoyed an occasional tuna sandwich and tuna casserole (as long as the cook was generous with the salty crushed potato chips on top). But now my meat is limited mostly to salmon about once a week,  some occasional chicken or turkey and a lot of vegan foods (with a heavy emphasis on raw, dark, leafy greens). As a result I am surprisingly more healthy, energetic, and resistant to most germs that try to bring me down. 

6. What's something you 'know by heart'?

The Pledge of Allegiance, some Bible verses, the birth dates of all of my blood relatives, the words to a lot of songs... need I go on?

7. In the spirit of Valentine's Day, what two or three word phrase would you write on a conversation heart for someone you love? that someone could be a spouse, child, parent, cousin, bestie ... anyone at all whom you love.

Spouse: Love you
Child: Proud of you
Parent: Thank you
Bestie: Lunch?

8. Insert your own random thought here:

A granddaughter was born to us on Monday, just in time for breakfast. We are still luxuriating in the joy of her arrival. Truly, the conception, growth in the womb, and birth of a baby is a miracle!