Monday, February 27, 2017

Sunday Quiet Box

    Having five younger brothers, Sunday afternoons at our house used to be anything but quiet. After a week of working long hard days my parents both would have loved a nap, but even though we tried to be quiet the noise levels would gradually increase until Dad or Mom would stumble out of the bedroom asking us to be quiet.
    One Sunday afternoon before they went to take a nap they set a box on the table and told us we can enjoy the contents.
    It was a lot of fun digging through all the treasures inside. There were books, art supplies, puzzles, and some special toy animals and tractors. We weren't nearly done enjoying the things when they woke from a long peaceful nap and announced it was time to put everything back into the box.
      The Sunday quiet box became a fun tradition. Books were replaced once they had been read, and occasionally other new things were added which kept that box something to look forward to at nap time every Sunday for years.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Have you ever been fishing? Did you catch a fish? If so did you keep it or throw it back? If you haven't been fishing is that something you'd like to try?

I have been fishing. My earliest memories of fishing I was but a toddler. My parents would pack up a picnic basket and go to a local dam where we would meet up with my Aunt Mattie, and her husband. I had my own little fishing pole, and I loved reeling in the line. I don't recall ever catching anything with it, but I really enjoyed those evenings.

When we moved the next year we started going fishing at Grandpa's big pond. We'd all get into his rowboat where we'd eat our packed meal while we fished. That only lasted a few years until we moved again and then I didn't get to fish until after we got married. Life has become busier and it's been years since I have been fishing. I think I'd still enjoy it though.

Fish out of water, big fish in a small pond, living in a fishbowl, packed in like sardines, this is a fine kettle of fish, plenty of fish in the sea, fish or cut bait...which fishy phrase most recently applies to some area of your life?

Fish out of water. Being surrounded by people that I have basically nothing in common with tends to make me feel like a fish out of water.

2. What's something you're always fishing for in your purse, wallet, desk, or kitchen junk drawer?

A pen. I don't have a kitchen junk/catch all drawer, but I dig for pens every day. In my purse, at the desk, in my stand I keep next to my writing spot. I have plenty of pens, but somehow I still have to fish for them.

3. Your favorite fish tale or movie?

Finding Nemo .... it's all that came to mind though I would be fine never watching it again. I haven't seen many fish related movies, though as a second thought, does Andy Griffith count?

4. Are you sunrise, daylight, twilight or night? Explain why you chose your answer.

Sunrise ... I suppose. I love getting up in the morning with an entire day ahead of me filled with hopeful possibilities.

5. What's the oldest piece of clothing you own and still wear?

Stockings. They're all that remain of my Amish days. They were the ones I wore on my wedding day almost eighteen years ago and then on Sunday's after that. I still wear them to go to church. Not that anyone ever gets to see them though. They're beginning to show their age and will probably need to be replaced before too long.

6. We've got one more month of (officially) winter here in the Northern hemisphere. Are you feeling the need for a getaway? What's been the best and worst part of your winter so far?

I would love a getaway. Not to get away from winter though. The best part of winter so far has been the snow we had. The worst part is all the warm days, mud, and general yuck.

7.  The Wednesday Hodgepodge lands on National Margarita Day...will you be celebrating? Frozen or on the rocks? Are you a Jimmy Buffet fan? If so, what's your favorite JB tune?

I will not be celebrating. Alcoholic beverages aren't for me. Not a Jimmy Buffet fan either and as such I don't have a favorite tune from him.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

We were asked to share our family picture for a project LV's brother is doing. We realized it has been years since there has been a picture that included our entire family. On Saturday a friend was here and she was kind enough to take a few for us.

Here we are.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What do/did you call your grandparents? If it's something unusual tell us the story behind the name. If you're a grandparent what do your grands call you? Who chose your moniker?

Both sets of grandparents were called Dawdi and Mommie. There's really no story behind that, other than it's what Amish children call their grandparents.

2. Ever taken a road trip along the California Coast? If so what was the highlight of your trek? If not, any desire to do so? If you were to take a trip along the California Coast what's one attraction you'd have on your must-see list?

We have never taken a trip along the California Coast, but would love to someday. Seeing the Redwoods would be a must and I'd also want to visit Mendocino and Big Sur.

3. What are three things you don't know how to do?

There are a lot of things I don't know how to do. Three obvious ones are flying an airplane, performing surgery, and training killer whales.

Three things I would like to learn to do are ... speaking French and Spanish fluently, play several different musical instruments, and draw/paint photo realistic pictures.

4. Tom Peters is quoted as saying, 'Celebrate what you want to see more of.' If that's true what will you celebrate and more importantly, how will you celebrate?


This world seems to need a whole lot more of that.

5. Thursday (February 16) is National Almond Day. Do you like almonds? Which would you prefer-an Almond Joy or a macaron? What's something you make that calls for almonds?

I don't particularly enjoy almonds, so I won't be observing National Almond Day this year. I don't think we make anything that calls for almonds, though Rosie Mae does find ways to incorporate them into desserts and salads occasionally.

6. What does Saturday morning look like at your house?

Saturday mornings are still a lot like they used to be when we were Amish. It's the day to thoroughly clean the house in order to have it sparkling and shiny for Sunday. Mornings are spent cleaning and scrubbing. Not exactly in a frenzy, but in determination to get it all done before noon so the rest of the day can be spent with books, fun hobbies, and simply relaxing.

7. Share with us a favorite book you've read this winter.

The Waiting by Cathy LaGrow. It's a true story of a young mother having to give up her child for adoption and after many, many years of searching finally being reunited.

It's really good, and I would certainly recommend to anyone and everyone.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Yesterday, being Valentine's Day, the girls had planned a day filled with fun Valentine's related things. Yummy foods, games, gifts and more.

Since Flynn Ryder is their favorite Disney character, they decided to make a pin the nose on Flynn Ryder game. I thought it turned out nicely, and Steven especially thought it was a hoot trying to get the nose where it belongs.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Peculiar Precautions

     Somehow this winter hasn't been the friendliest to us, and we've already managed to all get sick more than once. After quite a few years of not even getting so much as the common cold, this seems particularly harsh.
     Not wanting to get sick again, I have been going back over all the files of many things we used to do to ward of germs during cold and flu season. There were a number of herbal remedies, some horrible enough to make that I would rather have a cold than think of subjecting myself to them again.
     And then there are the more peculiar ones.
     I had a great uncle who declared the best way to remain healthy is to stand on your head for a few minutes every day. He was a scrawny little man, and very pleased with himself to be able to keep up this daily routine. On one of his birthdays he called and left a message to take to Grandma saying. "I turned 86 today and still stood on my head."
    We delivered the message to Grandma and couldn't contain our laughter when her response was, "Humph! Maybe if he quit standing on his head everyday he would remember he turned 84 today, not 86!"
    Whether or not standing on your head has any health benefits, I don't know, and I won't be trying it in order to find out.
    Another precaution that was more on the peculiar side was something one of my dear aunts did every winter.
     She had her usual vitamins, garlic, and herbal remedies to try to keep sickness at bay. She also took it a step further. She wore a pair of cleaning gloves to fetch the mail every day. She would then proceed to spread the mail out on a cookie sheet and bake it for a while to kill any germs that might have attached themselves by being handled by other people.
     I won't be doing that either.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What's the last thing you did that someone else thought was super?

It's nice having a five year old. He thinks pretty much everything I do is super.
2. The last thing you ate that tasted superb? 

Home made chicken noodle soup. I know that sounds simple and not very impressive, but there is a reason that became the go to soup when someone is a bit under the weather.
3. Supersensitive, superstitious, superwoman, superambitious, supercilious, supervisor, superficial...pick a super word from the list and tell us how it relates to your life in some way recently or currently. 

Superambitious. I have too much on my plate right now, and no one to blame but myself. I signed up to teach a class every Friday. It's not that hard at all, but it does require prep work and planning. I'm trying to meet certain word goals every day. My daily to-do lists look interesting, but really, even with the whirlwind I find myself caught up in, I am enjoying life a lot.
4. Do you love easily? If you're comfortable doing so, explain why you think that is. 

I think I do. I'm more the type where I view strangers as friends I haven't met yet.
5. Valentine's Day lands on a Tuesday this year. Will you mark the day in some way? If you're celebrating with a dinner out somewhere will it be on Tuesday or will you celebrate over the weekend? 

The girls have planned a Valentine's Day celebration. I don't know exactly what all that entails, but I am looking forward to finding out.
6. What's something you are loving right now? 

My favorite pen and my idea book. It's a binder filled with pages of story plots, menus, lists, hopes, dreams, plans, and more. I keep it nearby at all times except when I leave the house. I carry a small notebook in my purse to use when inspiration strikes and then transfer the things into my idea book later.
7 Write a three word (or less) phrase you'd like to see on a Valentine candy heart.  

♥ Forever
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I've been keeping my eyes open for the annual sign up list for the April A-Z Challenge. It was announced earlier this week that the challenge will happen, but there won't be a sign up list. I was a little disappointed about that, but I'm still planning to participate. It's time I start thinking, planning, and prepping for it. If you have any suggestions for what you would enjoy reading, let me know.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Can you believe it's the end of January? What was the best day of January 2017 for you, and why?

I shouldn't be surprised by how fast time slips by, but somehow the end of the month always sneaks up on me before I'm ready.

January was a good month of mostly ordinary happy days. I became an aunt to a sweet baby boy. He is grandchild #15 for my parents, and grandson #10.

2. What sounds make up the background noise in your life?

At this time of year, there is always the background noise of the furnace in the basement.

I am looking forward to when we can exchange that noise to the prettier sound of birds singing in the trees here around the house, the waterfall, spring peepers, and all the lovely sounds of nature I enjoy so much.

3. I read on the Power of Positivity website a list of ten things to drop from your life right now. They are-
anger outbursts, people who put you down, regret, negative self talk, being a people pleaser, the notion you need to be perfect, the past (but keep the lessons learned!), gossip and judgment, comparing yourself to others, and the word hate (focus on what you love instead)
Which thing on the list do you most need to drop? Are you trying or will you try?

I'm a recovering people pleaser ... still working on it, but I'm getting better. Otherwise most of the things on the list don't apply, except for the occasional negative self talk, and yes, that is something I want to work on.

4. What is sacred to you?

My faith.

I don't like "Christian" comics and memes where they make jokes about things in the Bible, or heaven and the end of life. I don't find them funny, at all.

5. January is National Oatmeal month. Are you a fan, and if so how do you like it?

No, I am not a fan. Of all the foods I can think of, there is none worse than oatmeal. Makes my stomach churn just thinking about having to eat it.

Maybe I should clarify. Oatmeal as in breakfast cereal ... all hot and goopy. Can't eat it. I've tried because I know it's healthy, but my stomach doesn't want any part of it. The older I get the stronger my aversion to oatmeal becomes.

Oatmeal baked in cookies and other desserts is a different story and I can enjoy it then.

6. What feelings does twilight stir up in you?

I'm not outside very often when twilight arrives, so most days I don't notice it.
7. Something you're looking forward to next month?

More ordinary days. They're my favorite. I'm also looking forward to Valentine's Day. The girls are busy making plans for it. Their enthusiasm is contagious.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

My poor computer keyboard is showing its age. Its letters are getting worn off from being used so much. Some are completely missing, while others still have a wee bit left. I guess it's a good thing we're past the stage of search and poke when writing.