Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Mid-April Hodgepodge


 Not sure how this happened, but it's Wednesday again -- so it's time for the Hodgepodge with Joyce and friends at From This Side of the Pond.  (Can it really be a week since I've posted?)  Head on over, get the questions, and then answer them on your own blog (or in the comments if you don't have a blog).  Then go back over to Joyce's to link up!   Here are this week's questions:

1. Three things on your spring bucket list? If you don't have an actual list that's fine, pretend you do.

* A spring getaway with my hubby -- this actually happened at the end of last week
* Cleaning and decluttering several closets
* Take a picnic somewhere as soon as our weather cooperates
We ended up with the same room as last year.  Nice!
 2. Where do you find rest? What restores your soul? When was the last time you did whatever it was you answered here?

This question brings many thoughts to mind, but I'll try to keep the answer relatively brief.  I find rest in God's Word and in prayer.  I have a special Scripture journal that I turn to at times when I could be stressed or worried.  It never fails to bring me rest and peace as I pray through the many Scriptures concerning who God is and how He works in our lives.

I also find my soul restored by spending time in God's creation.  It gives me a much better perspective on my life and problems if I am somewhere where I can appreciate things like mountains, lakes and rivers, fall foliage, the moon and stars, and especially the ocean.  I have sat at the edge of a lake, listening to the water lapping the shore, and felt myself begin to heal as God eased the pain of grief and sorrow.  When I sit by the ocean and watch the waves ebb and flow, I am reminded that these tides have been going in and out since Creation according to God's timetable.  Everything is in His hands and under His control.

A verse that never fails to bless my heart is Psalm 90:2 -- "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hast formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God."

I spend time in God's Word daily and last turned to my Scripture journal a few days ago.  We spent time at the ocean last week, and it was so restorative.


3. April is National Celery Month. Who knew? Do you like celery? What's your favorite dish made with celery? On a veggie and dip platter which would you reach for first-carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumbers or cherry tomatoes? 

Yes, I do like celery.  I can't name a specific favorite dish made with celery, but I like it in soups, stews, stuffing, chicken or tuna salad ... lots of dishes.  On a veggie and dip platter I would probably reach for a cherry tomato or a cucumber spear or slice first.
View from the dining room
4. I read here eight things to do before 8 am to make your day less hectic-Start one load of laundry, drink water, empty the dishwasher, read your Bible, know what you're having for dinner, get dressed, brain dump (two lists-one what you're thankful for and one what's weighing on your mind), and after the brain dump make your to-list for the day.

How many of these are you currently doing? Which one do you think would help the most if you added it to your early morning routine?


I'm doing nearly all of these.  We don't have a dishwasher, but I do empty the dish drainer, so it amounts to the same thing.  The only thing I am not currently doing is the "brain dump" of what I'm thankful for.  That would certainly be an encouragement. 
From the dining room looking into area where the breakfast buffet was set up
5. Describe the view from your window.

It's not pretty.  (I'm writing this on Tuesday afternoon.)  Across the road I see snowbanks still, and there are dark wet trees there and also in our yard.    Rain is falling and the eaves are dripping steadily.  But last week we had a couple of really nice days at the ocean.  Only part of one day was sunny, but the temps were relatively warm and very nice.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I wish I had gotten a picture of this, but I wasn't quick enough, so a description will have to do.  One morning we left our room at the York Harbor Inn and headed for the car ... don't even remember why.  But the sun was shining and the birds were singing.  Near the parking area is a little white gazebo, so picture that in your mind.  I heard an unfamiliar bird song and looked around for the source.  A gorgeous, brilliant red cardinal was perched on the very top of the gazebo!  I reached for the camera, but he flew away.  A beautiful sight that I will file away in my memory bank!

So ends another Hodgepodge!  Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

April 11 Hodgepodge

This lovely, lovely graphic is by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings.

Where does the time go?  Wednesday again -- so it's time for the Hodgepodge with Joyce and friends at From This Side of the Pond.  No Hodgepodge last week, due to exciting happenings in Joyce's life, so it's been a couple of weeks.  Time has flown!  But head on over, get the questions, and then answer them on your own blog (or in the comments if you don't have a blog).  Then go back over to Joyce's to link up!   Here are this week's questions:

1. April is National Jazz Appreciation Month. Are you a fan? If so what's a favorite you'd recommend to someone new to jazz listening?

Not really a jazz fan.  I don't mind it as background music sometimes.  I haven't listened to enough of it to have any favorites.

2. Mandolin, ukulele, harp, accordion or banjo...which would you be most interested in learning to play? Or do you already play one of the instruments listed?

I don't play any instrument at all, period.  I enjoy listening to all of those instruments on the list, with my favorite probably being the harp, and truly admire people who can play them.  I doubt I could learn to play any of them, especially not the accordion.  Too much to think about.

3. Do you judge a book by its cover? Elaborate. You may answer in either/both the literal or figurative sense of the word.

I try not to judge a book by its cover, especially in the figurative sense of the word with regard to people.  And I hope they do the same with me.

With actual books, I might be more apt to judge a book by its cover. I do know that sometimes the cover design is not necessarily what the author has in mind, but often the author does have some input.  So if a cover is off-putting to me, I'm probably not going to buy the book, though if I'm in a bookstore or library I would pick the book up and leaf through it before making a decision.

4. According to a recent study the ten most nutritious foods are-almonds, cherimoya (supposed to taste like a cross between a pineapple/banana), ocean perch, flatfish (such as flounder and halibut), chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, swiss chard, pork fat (shocking! but I don't think they mean bacon), beet greens, and red snapper. Are any of these foods a regular part of your diet? Any you've never ever tasted? Which would you be most inclined to add to your diet?

Of all those, I think the only one that's a regular, nearly daily part of my diet is almonds.  I think the only one I've never at least tasted is cherimoya, which I've never even heard of.  I'd like to try that and maybe even add it to my diet if it wasn't too pricey, because it does sound like a nice flavor.  I've been trying to add more fish to our diet, which has been less expensive recently since it was on sale often during Lent.  I'd like to add more Swiss chard (I especially like the rainbow chard) and chia seeds to our diet.

(What do you think they are talking about when they say pork fat?  Lard?)

5. Besides a major holiday what is the most recent thing you've celebrated with your people? Tell us how.

My oldest daughter's birthday.  She and her hubby and four kiddos came for supper on Sunday night.  I served Chicken Chili Lasagna

along with guacamole, tortilla chips, and fruit salad.  The salad was just layers of [mostly] thawed frozen fruit including mango chunks, watermelon balls, and a mix of strawberries, pineapple and blackberries.  The kids loved it and only a few pieces of fruit were left in the large glass bowl at the end of the meal.  My daughter baked her own birthday cake, as she had planned a special coconut cake at Easter and they were all sick.  So she just baked it for her birthday instead!
They had an interesting time transporting the cake over here.  They live on a dirt road and it's a mess this time of year.  But the cake, on its cake stand and swathed in foil, survived unscathed and was incredibly delicious.  We provided ice cream: vanilla bean and maple walnut.

In between the main course and dessert, the birthday girl opened her gifts from us.  We also watched a slideshow of pictures from a family long weekend in 2012.  Something like this happens so seldom (since our youngest and her family live way out West) and the kids were tickled to relive the memories of that time in a lakeside cabin. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

So looking forward to a short getaway later this month.  We need it!

So ends another Hodgepodge.  Happy Wednesday, all!

Monday, April 02, 2018

April goals



Okay, April started yesterday, so it's time to set some goals for the month and report on how March went.  So, here are some goals for April:

* Finish up an informal study of Charles Swindoll's Come Before Winter for my quiet time
* Memorize at least 4 Bible verses and review some older ones.
* Add 4 to 8 pages to my "What Do I Know About My God?" Scripture notebook
* Continue study for Sunday School -- A Woman Who Reflects the Heart of Jesus
* Get to bed by 9 pm each night  
* Limit sugar and red meat.
* Drink enough water each day.
* Walk and/or exercise each day.
* Keep up with Flylady's homemaking zones of the week.
* Do something creative each day
* Post in my Christmas blog at least once or twice weekly
* Post in this blog most weekdays if possible
* Continue working on several UFO craft projects
* Continue planning for family birthday gifts and crafting any handmade ones
* Continue stocking my Etsy shop and continue selling vintage items
* Write at least 4 encouraging notes to friends and family
* Send lengthy email to a friend
* Call faraway friends to chat
* Learn more about cultured foods and begin making more of them
* Declutter and reorganize my closet
* Declutter and revamp computer room
* Help and encourage my local daughter as I'm able
* Continue to encourage and support my hubby as he works through a pastoral search for our church
* Clean church and set up for potluck meal
* Sort out and declutter my dad's house; work on estate
* Plan a getaway with my hubby
* Plan meals with a greater emphasis on healthy eating

APRIL'S HEALTHY HABITS:  Drink enough water/exercise/eat healthfully
WORD FOR 2018: Settled
 ðŸŒ· 🍃 🌷 🌸 🍃 🌸  🌷 🍃 🌷 🌸 🍃 🌸  🌷 🍃 🌷
And here is how March went:
* Work on the Rachel Wojo study Everything Beautiful for my quiet time -- done!
* Memorize at least 4 Bible verses and review some older ones -- done!
* Add 4 to 8 pages to my "What Do I Know About My God?" Scripture notebook -- not done (the study I was working on included Scripture journaling)
* Continue study for Sunday School -- A Woman Who Reflects the Heart of Jesus -- done!
* Get to bed by 9 pm each night -- not done, though we managed it by 9:30 most nights
* Limit sugar and red meat -- did okay with this
* Drink enough water each day -- need to keep working on this
* Walk and/or exercise each day -- not done, and yet, in a way, it was (I'll explain below)
* Keep up with Flylady's homemaking zones of the week -- not done
* Do something creative each day -- done!
* Post in my Christmas blog at least once or twice weekly -- not done
* Post in this blog most weekdays if possible -- not done (I managed only 5 posts in March)
* Continue working on several UFO craft projects -- done! (that is, the projects are not done, but I did work on them, on one in particular)
* Continue planning for family birthday gifts and crafting any handmade ones -- done!
* Continue stocking my Etsy shop and continue selling vintage items -- done!
* Write at least 4 encouraging notes to friends and family -- done!
* Send lengthy email to a friend -- I wrote a long snail mail letter instead, so I'm counting this done!
* Call faraway friends to chat -- done!
* Learn more about cultured foods and begin making more of them -- not done
* Declutter and reorganize my closet -- not done
* Declutter and revamp computer room -- not done
 * Help and encourage my local daughter as I'm able -- not done; it was more like her helping and encouraging me!
* Clean church and set up for potluck meal -- partially done
* Sort out and declutter my dad's house; work on estate -- worked on that a bit
* Possibly plan a getaway with my hubby -- not done
* Plan meals with a greater emphasis on healthy eating -- done!

MARCH'S HEALTHY HABITS:  Drink enough water/exercise/eat healthfully
WORD FOR 2018: Settled

🍀As many readers know, a fall on the ice the first Sunday in March pretty much derailed my month.  Most of my energy went into recuperation.  I'm happy to report that I'm feeling much better and probably back to 90-95%.  I can say that I did walk or exercise each day because, even when I felt absolutely horrible, I got up (from the recliner, where I was most comfortable) a couple of times every hour and either walked around the house, went out and walked on the screened porch, or went up and downstairs a few times.  I knew it was important to move as much as possible, and I'm convinced that it (and the fresh air) did help.  Many, many things did not get done, but I did spend time on a cross-stitch UFO nearly every day, and only have some back stitching to complete.  I also found that the Rachel Wojo study I was doing, Everything Beautiful, was absolutely perfect for this particular season in my life.  It was very simple, and yet it forced me into God's Word every day and made me focus on God and not my circumstances. 🍀

I'm certainly hoping and praying for April to be more productive than March was.  Still, my times are in God's hand, and He allowed things to slow to a crawl for me in March.  He had a purpose in that -- a good purpose! -- and I am trusting Him for April as well.

Do you have any goals for April?

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Wishing you a blessed Easter!


Today, Mr. T and I would like to wish all of our friends a blessed and meaning-filled  day of celebrating Christ's resurrection.  "He is risen, as He said"!  (Matthew 28:7)

Our Resurrection Day celebration began with a meaningful outdoor service which was a real blessing.  Although the field where we have often met for this service was snow-covered, we were able to stand on dry gravel in the church driveway adjoining the field.  The temperature was in the 40s and quite moderate compared to some years when it has been very cold on Easter.

 We then adjourned to the fellowship hall to enjoy a bountiful breakfast (including an omelet station and waffle station!) with our church family.  An inspiring DVD took the place of Sunday School, and we then enjoyed a lovely Easter worship service, ending our time together with communion.  We hope that all of you will have as lovely a day and that you will spend time pondering on what Christ's resurrection means for you personally.

Happy Easter!