Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Farkle Hodgepodge

1. Ever played the game Farkle? Are you a risk taker? In games only or also in life?
Yes, we have played the game Farkle.  I think there's a few versions of it too...one called Spicy Farkle.  Our family is very into board games.  I am not a gaming risk taker, per se.  If I get to the point where I recognize I can't win I will work to make it more difficult for the leading player though.  I'm not a risk taker in life, either.  I like the saying "I love spontaneous activities, provided they are carefully planned."  
2. What's your favorite thing about your yard or whatever outdoor space you may have?
I miss the screened porch we had at our old house.  I enjoy the little porch seating area on our front porch here...especially when we have the flag hung because it makes a shaded, secret place to read.  
3. Tell us about the most interesting building you've seen or been in.
When I travelled to Scotland with my grandparents I saw some old castles that were very interesting.  My cousin and I were especially intrigued with the "bathrooms"....holes in the walls that went straight down to the moat.  Never really had the same images of castles in my mind after that...hahaha.
4. In this current season of social distancing, what's something you've come to realize you take for granted in more ordinary times? Do you think you'll make a conscious effort to appreciate whatever that 'it' is once normal life resumes?
I took for granted hugging people.  In fact, I had to work at remembering who wasn't "a hugger" in my social circle.  I feel sad to think I may not be able to just grab and hug those I love again as I greet them and bring them into my home.  "New Normal" is a term I'm not enjoying.
5. Share a favorite song with a springtime flower in the lyrics somewhere.
6. Insert your own random thought here.
One of my dear friends met her Savior yesterday, face to face.  She was a MAF pilot in Papua.  She was a bright light for Jesus and our family will be missing her very much.  This is one of the last pictures she sent to us.  She was so full of joy to be there after years of training and language school.  

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Super Hodgepodge!

1. Expect the unexpected on From This Side of the Pond. Here's my x-ray question...when was the last time you felt like Superman? What's your superpower? Explain.  
Sometimes after I exercise I feel very strong and super.  Sometimes after I bake bread or make laundry detergent I feel very industrious and that's as close to super as I get, I think.
2. Are you a fan of the 'superhero' type movies? If so what's your favorite? 
I am not a fan.  I do watch them with my husband sometimes.  I find them very intense/stressful and have to watch something happy afterwards or I can't rest.  I like The Incredibles.  I know that's animated but it should count. 
3. Have you postponed or cancelled a trip to the dentist in recent weeks, and if so when do you think you'll feel comfortable going back? How about other routine medical procedures? 
I had just seen the dentist before all of this so I'm good for a while.  I'll try to not eat sugary things or open things with my teeth.  I am having an allergic reaction and am attempting another virtual meeting next week with an allergist.  I am hoping for a blood draw order since they can't do the scratch test.  
4. What's something that makes you feel youthful? Something that makes you feel 'not so youthful'? Tell us why. 
When I exercise I feel healthy and youthful.  When I learn new technology or use it like a pro I feel youthful.  I spend a lot of time mentoring college students...when I realized that many of this years seniors were born the year I graduated from high school I did not feel so youthful.  When I need help/instruction with technology I feel not so youthful.  My face, currently in a state of allergic reaction rash, is not making me feel so youthful either.
5. I feel compelled to include some sort of corona related question in the HP these days. What's the strangest thing you've seen in relation to the virus? Something that really struck you as odd, made you stop and think, 'Dorothy we're not in Kansas anymore?'
I dread the grocery store.  How people, even with masks and socially distanced, won't make friendly eye contact or greet one another.  You can feel the fear.  The X marks the spot all over the floors.  All the masked faces.  
6. Insert your own random thought here. 
I am finishing up a baby quilt binding this week.  I am also finishing up rewrites for my counseling exams.  I also finished a book for one of the groups I'm leading...and I think I started 3 to take it's place.  I am on a bland diet in an effort to calm this allergy. I went from prednisone last week (zipping around like an espresso fiend) to benedryl this week (sloth like efficiency).  

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Hodgepodge Quietude

1. What's something you resolved to do this year? Have you done it?
I have resolved to keep more organized with reading and sewing.  I think I've done better than in past years.  I haven't met some goals because very obviously, life has changed.  I ended up making 50 plus masks and that certainly wasn't on my radar.  I also resolved to eat less carbs and exercise more consistently.  I have not consistently done this...but I'm back on track this week.
2. Where do you go to find quietude?
I have made my sewing room a place of quietude.  I hauled a rocking chair and all my devotional/reading stuff up there, and a place to set my drink.  I used to spend my morning in the study but my Loverbrains started working in that space so I couldn't concentrate and it was not quiet or peaceful.  But, the items in the sewing room, the fact that I can close the door, open the window and listen to the birds, listen to any music I want, and concentrate on reading, helps me find peace in the chaos.
3. A friend asked this question on her Facebook page and said I could borrow it for the Hodgepodge...you're only allowed to buy 5 things at the grocery store, and all must start with the first letter of your first name. Whatcha' buying?
1. Bubbles (for the kids to play with...you're never too old)
2. Beans (coffee)
3. Beans (pinto)
4. Beans (jelly)
5. Bengal Tea (my favorite tea, helps me with my quietude)
4. The television show Survivor, the Gloria Gaynor song 'I Will Survive', survival mode, survival of the fittest...pick one and discuss.
Survival mode.  I tend to have way impractical expectations.  Turns out even for quarantine.  I had to readjust this week...for the wellbeing and happiness of my marriage and family.  In many ways we are in survival mode for the rest of the school year, for meals, for what quality time looks like.  This means that screen time is longer than I'd generally prefer.  This means we need space from each other more than we need time together on some days.  We need to survive and there's no special formula for what this looks like right now.
5. Share a favorite quote or saying about strength.
"Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strengths." ~Charles Spurgeon

"Life's storms prove the strength of our Anchor."

"David didn't need to know Goliath's strength, because he already knew God's."
6. Insert your own random thought here.
I am pushing myself to work on my counseling exam rewrites.  They are due by June and I only find anxiety in procrastination.  I have decided to use the time my children are working on remote learning to focus on this.  I find it very tedious.  I have to cross through what I've written and rewrite in red which is boggling for my eyes and mind.  Ready for this part of certification to be over.  

Thursday, April 16, 2020

#AtoZ Challenge: Impossible, Just, Kind, Loneliness & Mighty

Challenge Accepted:  Letters I, J, K, L & M!  

I love this hymn.  It is so encouraging to my soul!


But Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26

‘Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you." Jeremiah 32:17

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why the unease within me? Put your hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:11

I am so thankful for these Truths.  On days when I feel so overwhelmed with how life has changed and I'm tempted to worry about the future ahead, I'm thankful for a firm foundation for my feet as I continually place my Hope in God.

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:24-27

This year I have been studying God's Attributes with a group of lovely college girls.  It is amazing and encouraging to repeatedly see how He is Perfect in each attribute, how they all go together and don't contradict each other.  It is hard to wrap our finite minds around but He is Infinite, Immutable, Just, Wise, All-Knowing, All-Powerful, Everywhere Present, Love, Good.  Praise Him!

I have been struck especially with God's incredible patience and kindness to me during this time. Oh, what a petulant child I can be...and He is ever the Perfect Parent.  He lovingly deals with my loneliness and confusion.  He reminds me of Himself through His Word.  He has given me a godly, loving husband to lead me and has provided for my every need.  He has surrounded me with Christian friends, the Church, who lift me up in prayer and hold me accountable to live out my faith and walk in the Way.  

Right now I am spending a lot of time in Psalm 34 and Psalm 91...  My God is so big, so strong and so Mighty...there's nothing my God cannot do.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1-2


I will bless the LORD at all times;

his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together!

I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 34:1-4

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. In Monday’s post I mentioned I would incorporate the word I was given for letter K into this week’s questions. That word was karaoke. On a scale of 1-10 how excited would you be to find out there was karaoke happening at your next gathering/outing with friends? 10=gimme that microphone!, and 1=I suddenly remembered there’s somewhere else I need to be. Have you ever actually done karaoke? If you had to perform karaoke what would be your ‘go-to’song?
I don't know that I'm a fan of karaoke but I've never examined why until now.  I guess, I feel that it's silly and because I actually sing at church, weddings and funerals, the comparison is too hard.  But, I haven't had many opportunities to try it so I don't want to knock it too hard.  I enjoy singing along and harmonizing to my favorite songs at home so I might like it, I suppose...but I think I'd tend toward taking it all too seriously.

2. How do you listen to music these days? Favorite app or do you listen the old fashioned way? Do you have music playing often in your home? Is there still a CD player in your car?
I listen to music primarily through Amazon Music.  I have created some playlists so I just tell Siri or Alexa to play My Exercise Jams and she does.  I have finally learned to take all my many CDs and make them MP3s...but I never seem to have the time to scan more than one or two.  And no, I don't have more time now.  I have a lovely new vehicle but when we got it I almost turned around and took it back because despite it's many bells and whistles it has no CD player.  This is what has pushed me to scan and embrace streaming...because my car can play those with ease.  I have to say when I get it all done it will be easy and fabulous. 


3. The HP lands on US tax day this year. Or what used to be tax day before everything including filing your taxes was cancelled, delayed, postponed or extended. FYI- filing your taxes has not been cancelled, only delayed for a bit.
Besides staying away from anyone and everyone, what have you found taxing lately?
Being close to everyone in my home for a loooonnngg time has been taxing to me.  Please don't give me a lecture on how we're safe at home and there are opportunities for bonding.  I know there are and you're right but some days...'Calgon, take me away.'  I did come up with a way for my Loverbrains to indicate when he was available or not, since his work from home schedule seems so constant.  This little El Ed wifey gave him a red and green post-it to stick on his laptop.  Works wonderfully!  Most days the kids are doing well with the remote learning but occasionally we still have frustration and tears.  I have to say their teachers have been going the extra mile plus 5 to help them succeed. 


4. You’re without power so no oven, and you can’t open your frig or freezer in order to keep what’s in there from spoiling. And you don’t have access to take out. What will you make us for dinner?
PB & J?  Tuna from the can?  Dry cereal??  Boy, that's tough.  I mean, I'd open that freezer (really fast) and yank out the ice cream.  Hahahaha!

5.  I’ve seen this exercise going around Facebook and thought it would be a good one to include in the HP...what are five things everybody seems to love and go crazy for that you personally don’t care for?
*editory note:  I misread this question and had physical exercise in mind.  I'm just going to go with it.

1. I love jumping jacks.  I don't like burpees.  
2. I love Bodypump.  I don't like Barre (makes me feel like a hippo ballerina).
3. I love walking fast.  I don't like running (jogging, maybe...if it's a fast walk).
4. I love PiYo (both Pilates and Yoga).  I don't like Yoga without an instructor.
5. I love working up a sweat housecleaning.  I don't like that my Fitbit won't count that as exercise.


6.  Insert your own random thought here.
Our fridge broke Easter morning.  The whole day wasn't normal at all but it was good.  Our pastor was faithful to preach God's Word to us and it spoke right to everything we were dealing with that day.  The fridge probably won't be fixed until Friday at the earliest.  I am thankful for saved college mini fridges in the basement.  I am thankful for an upright freezer that was empty due to our delayed half cow delivery.  I am thankful for friends who let us drop off our condiments to store in their fridge until further notice.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

#AtoZ Challenge: H- Happy

#AtoZChallenge 2020 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter H

Things that make me happy:

...praying with my Loverbrains, while standing on the stairs so my head fits perfectly on his shoulder...

...hugs from my boy, who is almost a teenager but still hugs me tightly each morning when he comes downstairs...

...drawing with my girl, who finds her words when she is drawing, and shows her soul when she is playing her horn...

...snuggles with our old dog, whose snores and grunts make me smile, who seems to know when I am sad and comes to offer me her belly rubs for comfort...

...creativity in technology, that makes seeing some loved ones possible, that makes checking on my peeps a reality, and that gives some community amid isolation...

...correspondence, happy mail from friends, sharing the joy of sending joy with my kiddos, stationary, pens, pencils...

...Springtime, lovely birds chirping with a relentless push for happiness, flowers and green popping out all over, showing that Creator God is in control of my days...

...Sewing, hoarding went to being prepared, 35 masks done, some time for other sewing, and sharing this skill with others...

...Music, playlists of Church Jams that restore my soul with God's Word, soaring melodies, gifted lyrics, so true...

...Reading, that allows me to escape for a while into another world, or teaches me things I need to know to move forward...

...Coffee, the process of French Press, the sound of the grinding beans, the sound of water simmering, the swoosh of the stopper, the smell of heaven...


#AtoZ Challenge: G-Good Grief

#AtoZChallenge 2020 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter G



Pushing forward.  So, two things happened...

First, I became greatly overwhelmed by the master list associated with this challenge and I wasn't getting many comments back from those I commented on.  So, I needed to re-evalutate my expectations and why I was doing this challenge and if I wanted to continue.  So, I decided I will continue but I'm going to focus on exercising my writing muscles and using it for a personal outlet since I'm safely shut away from the rest of my community right now.

Second thing that happened was a combination of things I guess...I had been given God as my letter G and although I am abundantly open about my faith on this blog I just couldn't wrap my brain around a single post that wasn't going to be way too long.  I mapped it out as favorite OT and NT names of God but that led me into all sorts of Trinity/parts of the Godhead issues that I wanted to clarify and well, it just became too much.

So, I asked a friend that I was Zoom teaching to sew masks, for another G word.  She gave me Gargantuous which is good but all I could think of was Elephants or a really dark posts about our current situation which honestly I'm trying to spend less time thinking and writing about.

Then, I thought about writing on the prompt Grandma but that just made me super sad because both my Grandma's aren't doing very well right now and Covid is making it harder to care for them and it's a whole mess of memories that are not something I'm ready to write out for people to read just yet.

So, GOOD GRIEF...I'm done with G.