Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What news story are you following right now?

Yesterday people were out searching for a small airplane that had crashed. Someone had seen it go down and called 911. The weather was terrible with torrential downpours, but that didn't keep the community from coming out and helping with the search.

They found what the person had seen, simply a bunch of birthday balloons that had been swept away in the wind.

I'm glad it wasn't a plane crash, I'm also glad I wasn't the person that called 911 to report it.

2. What's the last thing you wanted but didn't get?

A rack of ribs. I find most grocery runs I have to leave things there that I want, but don't really need.

3. May 28th is National Hamburger Day...when did you last have a hamburger? Other than your own kitchen or BBQ grill, where is your favorite place to go for a hamburger? And for all you non-meat eaters out there...when you're invited to a cookout what is the one side dish you hope is on the menu?

We have burgers several times a week. Last time I had one was on Monday. If I go out to eat I never order a hamburger. Beef is my least favorite meat, so if I have the option to have fish or some kind of seafood I'll take it, with chicken and pork being my number two and three choices.

4. How have your priorities changed over time?

I don't think they have changed. My children are still my top priority, the house doesn't have to be perfect, I will pass up on "opportunities" if they would hurt the most important part of my life, quality time with my family.

5. What's a favorite memory with your grandparents?

Oh my, there are so many of them. One of the things I treasure the most though was the year before my Grandpa passed away I would go to their house every evening with some kind of little treat I had cooked or baked. Grandpa was bedridden and hardly had an appetite, but he looked forward to seeing what I would bring, the next hour or two he would spend telling me memories of his childhood, teenaged years, and early married life.

6. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being fantastic!), how good are you at multitasking? Share an example.

When it comes to working in the kitchen, a ten. I don't have a problem cooking a big meal and having to multi task to make it all come together at the right time.

Out of the kitchen, maybe an 8 or 9. I usually have multiple things going at one time, even when I'm sewing it is common to have Buddy perched on a chair next to me with a book that I read to him.

7. How would you summarize your highs and lows for the month of May?

May was a very pleasant month filled with ordinary days. I can't think of any highs or lows.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

There are half a dozen tomato plants sitting on the porch waiting to be planted. With all the rain we have been having it looks like it will still be a couple of days before they get transplanted. I'm hoping they do well, we live in a hollow where wildlife roams freely. Deer and raccoons I'm fearing will be our biggest troublemakers.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Under what circumstances do you do your best thinking?

My best thinking occurs when everything is nice and quiet, somehow waking up at 2 AM seems to be the time when I can think the clearest of all.

2. Are you a risk taker? What's one big risk you've taken?

I am not a big risk taker as far as doing something just for the sake of doing it, especially if there is no chance of something being gained by taking the risk.

The latest risk we took was probably when we chose to move. It was a risk that was worth taking and we're glad we did.

3. Some of the most common phobias according to the National Institute for Mental Health are-fear of spiders (arachnaphobia), snakes (ophidiophobia), heights (acrophobia), fear of spaces from which escape is difficult (agoraphobia), fear of thunder and lightening (astrophobia), fear of dogs (cynophobia), injections (trypanophobia), social situations, flying (pteromerhanophobia) and fear of germs and dirt (mysophobia). True phobias affect only about 10% of adults, but of those listed which would you rate as your greatest fear?

Of those listed I can't decide between ophidiophobia and acrophobia as my greatest fear. I loathe, abhor, despise, and fear snakes. Even seeing a picture of a snake makes me shiver, shudder, and squeeze my eyes shut. Heights also paralyze me, I get dizzy and lock up unable to move which makes it even worse.

4. Are you settled or do you feel the need to move somewhere new?

I'm feeling very settled in the area we live in. I'm hoping to live here for the rest of my life.

5. What is something you find annoying when dining in a restaurant?

If I'm at a nice restaurant I find it annoying when a person at the next table has an obnoxiously loud cell phone conversation. I also find it very annoying when the waitress doesn't keep my water filled.

6. Daffodil yellow, sunset orange, spring green, or sky blue...your favorite color this time of year?

The spring green leaves of the maple tree right outside the window and the beautiful blue skies are my favorite colors of spring.

7. If you were going to take a holiday all by yourself, where would you go?

I can't think of any place I would want to be all by myself. A holiday without LV wouldn't be much of a holiday to me.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

The bear population seems to keep growing and we see them much more often than we used to. LV almost hit one on his way to work a few days ago, and on Sunday some fresh tracks were discovered. To me they're a little too close for comfort!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. It's still May, right? When were you last in the middle of something that might be described as mayhem?

Only a few more rooms and I will officially be done with spring house cleaning. Yesterday we tackled the living room. It felt like a bit of a mayhem when everything was pulled apart.

A description I heard from a certain boy who apparently is tired of the whole housecleaning scene. "Housecleaning is the dumbest thing, you pull everything apart, make a huge mess, then put everything away and say it looks so much better now."

2. When did you last feel dismayed?

Nothing really serious, but I was a little dismayed when I went to pay some bills and discovered I was out of stamps.

3. What's a food combination you like, but other people may find strange?

Homemade bread slathered with butter and drowned in a heap of fresh peaches.

4. "It is never too late to be what you might have been." Do you think that's true? Why or why not?

I think it's both true and untrue. I think it's great to follow your dreams and live up to your potential even if you get a late start, but I do think there is a point in time when it is too late. This is why I like looking ahead and asking myself, "What will I consider to have been important once I'm eighty and looking back over my life?"

5. US News and World Report listed the best historic destinations in the US as follows-Washington D.C, Philadelphia PA, Williamsburg VA, Charleston SC, Boston MA, Richmond VA, Savannah, GA, Santa Fe NM, Yellowstone, San Antonio TX, San Francisco CA, New Orleans LA, and Charlottesville VA.

Of those listed how many have you seen in person? Which two sites on the list would you most like to see in person?

Been to:

Washington D.C.
Philadelphia PA
Charleston SC
Richmond VA
Charlottesville VA
Santa Fe NM

The two places I would like to see are:

Savannah GA

6. May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. If you had to participate in a single fitness activity for the next half hour, which activity would you choose?

Probably go for a walk.

7. What did you like best about the city, town, or neighborhood where you grew up?

The people, the fresh mountain air, actually it's hard  thinking of something I didn't like about the area I grew up.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

It's that time of year when hiking on nearby trails is a fun way to spend a few hours every once in a while.
LV has been dreaming of hiking the entire Appalachian Trail since before we were married. I don't think he ever will, but we are both enjoying following the details one of LV's friends is sharing about hiking the trail. He and his wife started in Georgia a little over a month ago, and are hoping to hike the entire distance of over 2,000 mile.

Hop over to their blog, Appalachian Journey,  to see their latest adventures.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hickory Nut Tea

Hickory nuts, though a pain and a half to try getting out of their shell, are some of my favorite nuts.

Apparently they were the favorite nuts for one of my aunts as well. She chose to serve hickory nut tea as a special treat for the bridal party at her wedding.

We used to have several hickory nut trees on our property while I was growing up. We would gather just enough of the nuts to make a batch of tea, and leave the rest for the squirrels to tuck away for winter.

Thanksgiving was made complete by enjoying a cup of steaming hickory nut tea at bedtime, a delectable treat, that never lasted long enough.

Hickory Nut Tea

1/2 cup finely chopped hickory nuts (toasted)
1 cup water

Simmer until water has been reduced to about 1/2 cup and it has a nice golden brown color.


2-3 cups milk
Brown sugar to desired sweetness

Heat until hot, but not simmering.


Personally I think it's better than hot chocolate, but maybe that's only because it takes more effort and it was a once a year treat.

Saturday, May 10, 2014


I'm happy to be able to announce the winner for the flexi-clip, and just in time for Mother's Day!

Without further ado the winner is ...........

Comment # 13

Jessica said ............

My hair is brown, although it's starting to grey a bit ;)

Congratulations! Please send me an email with your address and I will forward it to my friend, she will be sending the flexi-clip to you. 

I hope you like it as much as I do!


Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Share something you appreciate (or something you appreciated as you were growing up) about your mother.

I appreciate that she never raised her voice at us. She included us in everything she did, and always made us feel as if we were the biggest blessings in her life. Her joyfulness was contagious, her zest for life and learning put us on a lifelong journey of always being eager and willing to learn new things, and look for ways to improve what we already know. She was a regular song bird, singing, singing, singing. Day in and out. She woke us in the morning by singing, and unless she was talking to us she spent her day singing as she worked.

2.  A quote most commonly ascribed to Plato reads "Necessity is the mother of invention." When did this last play out in your own experience?

Hmmmm ........ does changing a recipe to fit with the ingredients I had on hand count?

3. Share one of the earliest memories you have from childhood.

When we were still preschool children my brother John and I used to like perching on our extra high chairs beside the sewing machine while Mom sewed. She would let us take turns spinning the wheel to start the treadle going, and hold little pieces of cardboard against the wheel as she sewed. It made a delightful noise.

I'm amazed at the patience she had to allow us to do that. We thought we were helping by spinning the wheel for her every time she started a new seam, but in reality we were slowing her down.

4. When did you last 'hit the mother lode'? What was it?

Getting married to LV.......... I know this is a mother's day themed hodgepodge, but I truly feel I hit the mother lode when it comes to my husband. He's my knight in shining armor, my prince charming, everything I ever dreamed of and more!

5. What is/was your favorite dish mom made? Do you make that dish for your family/friends now that you're all grown up?

Fried chicken. Yes, I still make it.

6. Mother May I? was at one time a popular children's game. It required no equipment or parts to play. What was your favorite childhood game where you could just turn up and play-no gear needed?

Mother May I? is still a popular game for Amish school children as a rainy recess activity. My favorite childhood game that didn't require any equipment or parts, was probably hide and seek.

7. Which TV mom (past or present) is your favorite, and why?

Ma Ingalls on the Little House on the Prairie. I liked the way she seemed to be kind, generous, and loved her family.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Signs of spring are everywhere. The grass is green, spring flowers blooming, birds are singing, spring peepers are raising their annual joyful noise, and the frogs are beginning to sing up a storm at night. Last night they got so excited and loud it woke me up.

One of my favorite spring sounds is listening to the robins sing. They've been busy building their nests. This little robin egg somehow fell out of its nest. So pretty! Too bad it won't be hatching.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Dandelions, though often an unwelcome part of spring, were often put to good use by Amish families. The tender little leaves made an interesting salad, and the blossoms when battered and deep fried made tasty little treats for a springtime dinner.

In some communities dandelions were welcomed and put to use by making dandelion wine.

Wine of any type was forbidden in the community we lived in, but when looking at some Amish community recipe books I found the more conservative communities always have a section of homemade wine recipes.

Including this one:

Dandelion Wine

8 cups dandelion blossoms
1 gallon boiling water
1 Tbsp yeast
5 lb sugar
3 oranges, sliced
3 lemons, sliced

In a large bowl, preferably glass, or a crock, pour boiling water over dandelion blossoms. Let set for three days, stirring every day. Strain at the end of the third day. To the stained liquid add oranges, lemons, yeast, and sugar. Let set three more days, stirring every day. Strain, place in crock and let set at room temperature for four weeks. Bottle and cap.

I have never tried it, don't really have an interest to, but if anyone else does will you let me know how it is?

Saturday, May 3, 2014


One of the first blogs I ever read was singing the praises of the Lilla Rose flexi-clips. I admired them a lot, but it wasn't until only a week ago that I finally got one for myself.

I think I'm in love! So much prettier than what I had been using and very comfortable too.

My friend is now generously offering to give a flexi-clip to one of my readers. All you have to do to for a chance to win one is leave a comment telling me, oh lets see, since this has to do with hair, leave me a comment telling me what color hair you have. Mine is a plain dark brown.

For a second entry visit this website and come back, leave another comment telling me which design flexi-clip you think is the prettiest.

Placing a link to this giveaway on your Facebook or blog, and then coming back and leaving another comment telling me you did will earn you a third entry.

Winner will be chosen on Saturday May 10th using