Wednesday Hodgepodge

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Last week, I discovered a fun little meme called Wednesday Hodgepodge.  Each week, hostess Joyce asks seven thought-provoking questions and then provides an opportunity to share some random thoughts as well.   Here is the week's hodgepodge.

1.  Thursday (September 22) is the first official day of autumn in this part of the world.  How will you welcome the season?  I know some of you have been celebrating way too early, but it's official now, so permission granted.  House Beautiful recently listed ten ways to make your home smell like fall.  What's a scent you love this time of year and how will you add it to your home?

For me, autumn starts September 1st (I wrote about that here), so I have had my home arrayed in fall glory for three weeks now.  After living for two decades in Florida---where I didn't get to experience seasonal changes---I now love having seasons, and fall is my absolute fave.  For that reason, I do rush things and choose to observe the meteorological beginning of autumn on September 1st rather than the astronomical beginning of September 21st or 22nd.  

The aromas of cinnamon, clove, and apple are my  favorites of the season.  I use a variety of Scentsy melts to fragrance my home with those luscious scents.  Sometimes, the sugary, spicy aroma spilling forth from my Scentsy pot brings my husband to the kitchen with the words, "What yummy thing did you bake?" on his lips.  When he realizes it's just the tart warmer, his disappointment is so great I often feel prompted to bake something---anything---to make it up to him.

2.  Apple pie or pumpkin pie?  Apple cake or pumpkin bread?  Warm apple cider or a pumpkin spice latte?

When it comes to apple or pumpkin pie, pumpkin is the hands-down winner---and not just in the fall.  Though I really love many kinds of pie, my absolute fave is pumpkin, and I want to eat it year-round---piled high with whipped cream, of course (not Cool Whip).  

I'm going to go with both apple cake and pumpkin bread, though I think apple cake might have the edge a bit.  My maternal grandmother used to make a really yummy apple cake, and I have fond memories of sitting at her kitchen table with a huge whipped cream-topped chunk and an icy glass of milk in front of me.

Warm apple cider, for sure.  While I like my coffee with plenty of cream, I definitely don't like it sweet.  Those pumpkin spice lattes everyone raves about are just way too over-the-top sweet for me.  

3.  Do you suffer from what is sometimes referred to as an afternoon slump?  What helps ward it off before it hits and/or tell us what helps you shake it off once it's here?

Occasionally, Sunday afternoons will find me slumped and in need of a nap, but for the most part, the afternoon is the most alert part of my day and when I find myself getting the most done.  In years past, I was pretty committed to a regular afternoon tea break.  There's nothing quite like a hot cup of Earl Grey and a good book to refresh and restore.

4.  Ladies---how have your friendships with women inspired you or made you a better person?  For the men here today---how have your friendships with men inspired you or made you a better person?

Last October, my daughter got married, and much as I adore my son-in-law, the months leading up to the wedding were excruciatingly difficult for me.  I wanted to let go graciously, but doing so was agonizing for me.  Were it not for the love, compassion, understanding, encouragement, and prayer support of a few dear friends, I'm not sure I would have made it through that time.

I also would not have made it through nearly two decades of fertility issues and a failed adoption were it not for the care and support of my precious daughter---who is also one of my dearest girlfriends in the world.  Truly, her love carried me through those heartbreaking years.

5.  Are you a people pleaser?  If so, do you think that's a good or bad thing?  If no, do you wish you were more of a people pleaser?

For most of my life, I've been a people pleaser to the hundredth power, always doing and saying whatever would bring about people's acceptance/approval.   Like a chameleon, I was forever changing who I was, in order to please the person I was with at the time.  I've learned, though, that you can't please all the people all the time.  What one person wants you to do isn't always what another person wants, so you just have to be true to yourself and do/say what God has put upon your heart. 

6.  The seasons are a changin'...share a favorite song relating in some way to change (not necessarily seasonal. It could be change of any kind.)

The biggest change in my life occurred last October, when my daughter got married.  Her father/daughter dance was to Krystal Keith's "Daddy, Dance with Me."

7.  What do you wish would never change?

For many years, my fondest wish was that my nest would never be an empty one, that I could have little kids around me forever.  Alas, my two children grew up, and fertility issues and a failed adoption prevented me from having more children, so that wish was not to be.  I've discovered, though, that even though my kids are grown and gone, life is still very beautiful.  Both of them live nearby, and I see them regularly.  May that always be the case.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

When I first began blogging back in 2006, words-only blogs were pretty much the norm.  Through the years, though, blogging has become more and more about photography, with words somewhat secondary in many cases.  I have oftentimes tried to keep up with that, but I've realized that, for me, writing is where my creative abilities lie.  I need to be me and not feel like I have to do what everyone else is doing.

There you have it, my friends---this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge.  To join up yourself, drop by From This Side of the Pond.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope your visit has been enjoyable and that you will return again soon. Blessings upon you, my friends,

Time for a Silly Supper

Monday, September 12, 2016

What happens when Napoleon Bonaparte meets the electric chair?  You get French fries!  Or when the 41st state is a mess, you have a sloppy Joe.  (Montana is the 41st state, and there is a former NFL quarterback whose name is Joe Montana, so when Joe is a mess you've got a sloppy Joe.)  These are just two of the riddles I made up for the silly supper our family enjoyed a few months back.

What's a silly supper, you ask?    Well, quite simply, it's a meal where all the menu items (including utensils) are in riddle-form, so you end up not knowing what you will be eating.  It's quite possible you may go a course with all utensils and no food or all food and zero utensils.  Our family used to enjoy these fun meals semi-regularly, but as the kids got older and finished up high school, having one just hasn't been much of a priority.   It's been a few years since we've done one---and our new son-in-law has never partaken---so awhile back, I decided a silly supper would be a fun treat for all of us.

After welcoming everyone to Patti's Place---where dining and laughter collide---I handed them each a menu for the 4-course dinner. (I did the menu in Word, printed it out, then attached to card stock, so it had a menu-like sturdiness.)  Everyone made their course choices, and after they handed their menus back to me, I got to work in the kitchen.  (For this meal, it works best if you have an assortment of easy to prepare foods.) The menu selections were as follows:

  1. good for the heart  (baked beans)
  2. tea brings me to life (spoon)
  3. Ah, there’s nothing like the green of August (Caesar salad)
  4. Cub scout’s girlfriend (brownie)
  5. orchard at 5:00 (fruit cocktail)
  6. sometimes I’m sweet, sometimes I’m not (pickles)
  7. no butter without me (knife)
  8. the 41st state is a mess (sloppy Joe)
  9. let’s go downtown (fork)
  10. olive’s friend (toothpick)
  11. these won’t break your bones (carrot sticks)
  12. Napoleon Bonaparte meets the electric chair (French fries)
  13. what a scream! (ice cream)
  14. helper Jack (lemonade)
  15. Hey, you! (straw)
  16. paradise smashed (applesauce)
 In course 1, Gabrielle was lucky enough to get a spoon to eat her applesauce, and Garrett lucked out with a fork for his beans and applesauce; however, Scott had to eat his salad and fruit cocktail with a toothpick, and Gary downed his beans with a knife.

In course 2, Gary had a spoon for the ice cream and fruit cocktail, and Scott had a knife to eat his beans; Gabrielle, though, received unneeded utensils for that course, and Garrett had to manage to eat his salad with a spoon.

In course 3, Gary received the coveted fork, but he really didn't need it, as pickles and French fries were his only food items that go-round.  Gabrielle and Scott also received forks for this course, which was most essential since one had received a salad, the other applesauce.  Garrett got a toothpick this time---perfect for lifting those itty bitty pieces of fruit cocktail to his mouth.

Course 4 was a tough one for Gabrielle.  She got zero utensils that time, with food items of ice cream, fruit cocktail, baked beans, and sloppy Joe.  After putting her creative hat on, she realized she could eat the sandwich open face, then use the top portion of the bun to scoop up the beans.  She picked up the little pieces of fruit with her fingers, but the ice cream definitely presented a problem.  Although she could have let it melt and then drink it down, she chose to ask for a bending of the rules in the form of a spoon.  Scott and Garrett both also received ice cream in this course---one was lucky enough to get a spoon, while the other ate his with a knife.  Gary, also, had trouble this course, as he had salad and applesauce to eat without utensils.  While he was able to use the brownie to scoop the applesauce, the salad was another story.  He ended up using his fingers.

What an enjoyable dinner this was.  Laughter abounded.  Fun was had.  Memories were made.  And, after all, when it comes to the family meal table, aren't those things just as important as nourishing our bodies? I think they are, so I am inspired to get back to doing theme dinners, as well as silly suppers, regularly once more.  I encourage you all to do the same.  Make mealtime a joyous occasion with a celebration-style dinner every once in awhile.  Your family will love it, I'm sure!

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope your visit has been enjoyable and that you will return again soon. Blessings upon you, my friends,

To the Vet Once More

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Just two weeks ago, I told y'all about how many times we've been to the veterinarian's office this year, mostly for our puppy, Gracie

but also for our almost 8-year old, Ginger.

I expressed the hope that canine health was finally upon us and that even though we love our vet, we wouldn't have to see him for awhile.

Perhaps I should have been more specific with that hope.  Not only do we not want to see our regular vet for awhile---we don't want to see any vets!

You see, last evening, we found ourselves in need of veterinary care for Gracie once again, and since our vet's office was closed for the day, we had to visit the 24-hour animal clinic in town.  Earlier in the day, our crazy girl had snagged a sock (no-show size) out of the hamper and then sucked it down like a piece of spaghetti.  Yes, I'm serious!  She did this once before, but she ended up purging that sock by throwing up; however, by 6:00 last evening, she still hadn't brought this one up.  

Although Gracie was behaving normally---including wanting to eat---Gary's fear was that the sock would begin its travels through the colon and get stuck.  Hence the reason for the vet visit.

It seemed like every dog in Boise must have had an emergency yesterday, because the wait to be seen by the tech was over two hours.  We waited another half hour for the doctor.  

She outlined a couple scenarios for us.  First and best case, they would administer something to induce vomiting, and hopefully, the sock would come up.  If that didn't work, they would need to anesthetize her and try to retrieve it with a scope.  If that didn't work, surgery would be necessary.  Of course, each scenario was substantially more money than the one before it.

Thankfully---a result of prayer, I truly believe---within a few minutes of being given the vomiting medicine, she did throw up...and up came the sock, along with all the other contents of her little tummy.  

We got out of there for $250, instead of the $1,200+ that we would have had to pay for surgery.

Two lessons here.  First---and done on the way home from the vet's last night---a covered hamper is essential in my house.  My sweet Gracie girl must never have access to socks, for she won't just chew them.  She will eat them!

Secondly, I must be clear---we don't want to see any vets for a very long while!!

What about y'all?  Have your dogs ever eaten any non-food items?  What did you do about it?

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope your visit has been enjoyable and that you will return again soon. Blessings upon you, my friends,

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