Wednesday Hodgepodge–November 12

Wednesday Hodgepodge – 12th November

1. We celebrate Veteran’s Day in the US of A on November 11th. When did you last interact with a member of the armed forces (either currently serving or retired)? Have you ever written a letter to a soldier, bought a meal or coffee for a soldier, said an unprompted thank you to a soldier you encountered out and about somewhere? If you’re not in the US, comment on a similar holiday in your own country.

The last time I interacted with a member of the armed forces was in June when my granddaughters’ father came to their high school graduation. He is a master sargeant in the Marines. He wore his uniform to the graduation ceremony because the girls asked him to. He has been in the Marines for nearly 20 years and we are very proud of him.

When he was serving in Afghanistan, the girls and I wrote him letters and sent him packages.

2. You can have fifty pounds of anything at all (except money)…what would you choose?

I would love to have 50 pounds of chocolate. Dark chocolate. 90% cacao. The darker, the better.

3. When did you last receive an invitation in the ‘real’ mail? What was it for and did you attend? When it comes to RSVP-ing, are you an ‘early responder’ or a ‘last minute, barely-under-the-wire’ kind of guest?

I received an invitation an anniversary party back in July. It was for a 50th anniversary party. It was out-of-state and I really couldn’t attend but I sent a gift. I’m an early responder.

4. What’s something you really don’t like to waste?

Time.

5. Cheers, Friends, MASH, Seinfeld…of the ones listed, your favourite long-running sitcom?

I loved both Seinfeld and MASH. My favorite of those was MASH.

6. What decision are you glad you made?

I’m glad of the decision I made to leave my job because of health reasons. My health was failing and I could no longer do my job. The stress of trying to keep up was just to much. The decision to stop fighting and to try to get well was the best decision I ever made. Now I am better and know my limitations and can do my volunteer work without stress.

7. In this month of ‘Thanksgiving’ what is one thing that’s different today than it was a year ago that you’re grateful for?

My daughter is going through a divorce and has been forced to sell her house. I’m grateful that she was able to sell it right away and that she has been able to find a condo right away. I’m grateful that she has been able to remain strong throughout this horrible ordeal and that it will soon be over.

8. Random thought:

We are having abnormally cold weather, as is the rest of the country, and I do not like it at all. Having to break out my heavy winter jacket in November feels like I am back in New York, not in San Antonio, Texas.

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Halloween Hodgepodge

Halloween

If you’ve answered the questions today, add your link at the end of Joyce’s post (click the badge to find her host site).  Then go say hi to the blogger who linked before you because everybody loves company.  Here we go-


1. My hubs spent last weekend pheasant hunting. Are there hunters in your family? If so, what do they hunt? Which of the following have you tasted-pheasant, rabbit, venison, duck, goose? Which of those would you most like to taste or be most willing to taste?

My father and grandfather and brother were all hunters. They hunted deer mostly and I have eaten venison, moose, and squirrel. I don’t care for any of them.
2. What high spot have you visited that gave you a wonderful ‘bird’s eye view’ of something below?

The now gone Twin Towers in New York provided a spectacular view of the city and New Jersey. Nothing could match it!

3. Do you have any birds in your home? These could be either real live pets or decorative, as in prints, fabrics, knickknacks, or pottery.

No, I have no birds, in my home. I looked. None. Absolutely none

4. Do you ever kill two birds with one stone?

Yes, I’m often doing something with the dogs and doing something else as well. I watch tv and answer my e-mail.

5  Your favourite song with a bird in its title?

I always liked the calypso tune “Yellow Bird.”

6. What most recently gave you goose bumps?

The advertisements for the film “Annabelle.” That is one film I will not be seeing.

7. Halloween is this Friday…any plans? Did you trick or treat as a child? Carve pumpkins? Share your most memorable costume.

My apartment complex doesn’t have trick or treaters. We trick or treated as children. My most memorable costume was a pilgrim woman costume that my mother made for Thanksgiving and I wore for Halloween. It was very authentic.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

The dogs got haircuts last week and look spectacular. Ralphy was wiggly and has very short ears but they look good anyway. Ernie was perfect as always.

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Wednesday Hodgepodge

 

Wednesday Hodgepodge

 

1. What news story are you following right now?

I’m following the NBC interview with Edward Snowden. The interview was fascinating. Snowden was mesmerizing. I have always believed he was justified in what he did and this interview confirmed it for me.

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

I’d like a new car but I’m not going to get it.

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 favourite place to go for a hamburger? And for all you non-meat eaters out there…when you’re invited to a cookout what is one side dish you hope is on the menu?

I had a hamburger last night. My favorite place for hamburgers is Fuddrucker’s. They have the best burgers.

4. How have your priorities changed over time?

My family has become my biggest priority. I’d do anything for my family. I love them so.

5. What’s a favourite memory with your grandparents?

I remember staying overnight with my grandmother and buying fruit from the fruit and vegetable cart. She let me shell the peas and eat cherries.

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

My multitasking used to be good but now is poor. About a 2. I have no example because I really don’t multitask. If I have to remember to do two things at once, i break it into two tasks. For example, If I have to bring dessert to a meeting, I leave it in the car so I don’t forget to take it with me.

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

I had a lovely Mother’s Day at a cook-out at my daughter’s. It was a great day in the sun with her in-laws. That was the high.

The lows were that I fell on the sidewalk outside my apartment and injured myself. I’m still recovering. And I’m having trouble contacting the foster mother of my CASA kids to set up a visit.

8. Random thought for today:

I got a new television set but it seems to have a glitch in it and I have to send it back. Bummer.

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Wednesday Hodgepodge

WEDNESDAY HODGEPODGE

 

1. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Are you blooming where you’re planted as we begin the month of May?

Well, I’m not growing anything except my bamboo plants and my geranium plant in my house. They are still going strong.

I guess I am blooming. I am working on my CASA cases and working on my tutoring. Those are my jobs and I think I am doing a good job.

2. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being no big deal, and 10 being full scale panic, rank your fear of spiders.

I guess I am about a 4 or a 5. I don’t like spider but I’m not totally freaked by them. I saw one yesterday actually and it got away and it didn’t bother me.

3. May is National Salad Month (who knew???)…besides lettuce, what are two must have ingredients in your favourite salad?

I love tomatoes and cucumbers. Those are my two must haves in a salad.

4. I mentioned on my blog last week that my Daughter1 will be moving to Washington State after she is married. Of the following sites in the Northwest, which would you most like to see in person-Crater Lake (Oregon), Seattle (Washington), Vancouver (British Columbia), San Juan Islands (Washington), Mt Rainier (Washington), Oregon Coast (Oregon), Mt St Helen’s ((Washington), or Olympic National Park (Washington)?

Can I pick two? I’d love to see Seattle and Vancouver. I’ve always wanted to see those two cities.

5. This coming weekend marks the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby…when did you last race (literally or figuratively) to cross a finish line?

Can’t remember. Honestly. I guess when I had to write my court report for CASA last month. Is that crossing a finish line?

6. What is something little you love?

Forget Me Nots

7. Would you say you are more of a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner?

I think I’m a visual learner. I always have been.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

The dogs got trims last month. They look great for the summer. They got puppy cuts and look like new dogs. They look so cool.

 

 

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Wednesday Hodgepodge–April 2, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge – 2nd April

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1. Since the questions posted on the first day of April it seemed only right to ask-when was the last time you did something foolish? If you can’t answer that one, try this one-when was the last time someone fooled you?

I honestly can’t remember when I did something foolish but I must have. Oh yes. I did something stupid when I tried to cook egg rolls in a microwave instead of frying them in a frying pan. That was stupid and foolish. Does that count? I think so.

 

2. What’s the last biography or non-fiction book you’ve read? Was it any good?

I read the Quran. I also read a book on John Adams, a biography. It was very good. He was a fascinating man.

3. Garlic-friend or foe? What’s your favourite dish made with garlic?

Garlic is most definitely a friend. My favorite dish is shrimp scampi. I love shrimp and the garlic is divine.

4. Several spring flower festivals happen in the US during the month of April. Of those listed which would you most like to see in person…The Skagit Tulip Festival in Skagit Washington, The Dogwood Arts Festival in Knoxville Tennessee, The North Carolina Azalea Festival in Wilmington North Carolina, or Daffodil Festival Weekend on Nantucket Island Massachusetts?

I would love to see the tulip festival in Washington. I love tulips.

5. How do you choose which blogs to read? What is something that will make you stop and read every time? Something that makes you say, ‘eh, think I’ll skip this and move on to the next’?

I have my favorite blogs and I always read them. I know they will have something to say and they are always “on.” I catch other as I can. Sometimes their titles catch me and I stop to read.

6. April is National Mathematics Education Month so tell us, when did you last use maths?

I use maths on my taxes and balancing my checkbook. And I used it to answer a trivia question this morning.

7. In honour of the A-Z challenge which kicked off on April 1…choose one word beginning with the letter A to describe your yesterday.

Awesome.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

It’s time for me to make another run down to the little shop in the Mexican market where I buy my postcards. I buy 200 postcards at one time to send out to my postcard club. So today I will go down to the market and sort through the postcards and pick out my 200 postcards that I will stock up on to have at my disposal for the next few months to send out. That’s my errand for today.

 

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Wednesday Hodgepodge–February 26, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge – 26th February 2014

 

1.What is something you’ll never forget about the age you are right now?

I like having older grandchildren with whom I can be friends. I like giving back to my community. I like having perspective. I quite like being 64.

2. What’s a household chore you’ve never done? How have you managed that???

I don’t do windows. I just leave them the way them are. I leave the blinds closed with a space for the dogs to look out at the bottom. There, I’ve said it.

3. Does nature shape our personalities more than nurture? Explain.

I think it’s a combination of nature and nurture. We are born a certain way but the way we are raised influences much of what we do.

4. Friday (February 28th) is ‘Something on a Stick Day’…funny because Zoanna at A Penchant for Pens recently sent me a question for the Hodgepodge relating to this topic.  What’s your favourite food eaten on a stick?

It has to be the corn dog. I love to go to the rodeo or the fair and eat a nice corn dog.

5. Which of your five senses do you treasure most, and why?

I would hate to lose my sight most of all. I am a very visual person and treasure the images of my family and dogs. Next, I would miss my hearing.

6. What’s the best music, theatre, or sporting venue you’ve been to? What made it great?

The theater in New York City where the American Ballet Theater performs and the Metropolitan Opera is held. The venue is just superb. The acoustics are perfect and the sight lines are wonderful.

7. It’s the last week of the month…in five words or less bid adieu to your February.

Glad the cold is leaving.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I’m picking up a new CASA case and hoping that I do justice to it. There are two little children and I pray that I can affect their lives positively.

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Wednesday Hodgepodge–January 22, 2014W


1. It was decided on Sunday the Denver Broncos will meet the Seattle Seahawks in this year’s Superbowl.  So, when was the last time you bowled?  Not where you thought this question was going is it? Do you like to bowl? Are you any good?

I last bowled when my daughter was in grammar school. Her class went bowling and I chaperoned. I like to bowl but I am a terrible bowler.

2. Should sports stars be role models?

They shouldn’t be role models. They are who they are, both good and bad. But young people will emulate them no matter what they do. It’s hard to explain to kids why they shouldn’t be role models and no amount of effort will make them into role models. It’s a sad situation.

3. January is National Oatmeal month…are you a fan?  How do you like your oats?

I am a fan. I love oatmeal warm with milk. I like the flavored kind, with maple and brown sugar the best.

4. What is one book on your reading list for 2014?

Anything by Elizabeth George. I’m also going the be reading The Aviator’s Wife for a book group. It’s about Charles Lindbergh’s wife. That should be interesting.

5. What would you like your future self to say to your present self?

Don’t hold grudges and appreciate each day.

6. When scrolling through the TV guide, what is one movie title that makes you want to stop, grab the popcorn, and watch for a while?

Any Woody Allen movie. I love Woody Allen and his movies. They are the best.

7. What are two style trends you hope never come back into fashion?

The color blocks that were popular in the sixties and the granny dresses. They were horrible.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I’m currently bracing for a winter storm here in south Texas. We are expecting icy roads and snow flurries. This is a big deal for us since we aren’t used to driving in ice and sleet. My book group for tomorrow was cancelled because of the storm warnings. So I plan to stay in and stay warm.

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Book Challenge Update–159

I have finished the 159th book for the book challenge. It was Murder Imperfect: A Libby Sarjeant Murder Mystery by Lesley Cookman.

MurderImperfectLibby is preparing for the village pantomine and besides being the director, she must also be the fairy.

Harry calls her and asks her to look into the anonymous letters his friend Cy in the next village has been receiving. She agrees but before she can start, Cy is attacked. Cy is gay and they assume that this is a case of gay-bashing. That same night, another gay man, Patrick, is killed.

Libby starts to investigate by looking into the matter of anonymous letters. That leads her to poison pen letters written in the village many years ago by Maud Burton to Amy Taylor who killed herself. Amy had a baby out of wedlock. Maud had written several poison pen letters to people in the village and had even blackmailed people. Then she had disappeared. The police under Ian O’Neil are reopening their cold case files on Maud Burton. They believe Maud was murdered.

Libby also investigates Cy’s background. She learns that Cy was born to Josephine, a fostered child. Her mother was a murderer named Norma Cherry and her father was a farmer named Feltman who had a young son who was sent to Australia and also a daughter. The woman who gave Josephine to the Robinsons to foster her was Maud Burton.

Libby visits Patrick’s aunt Dolly and also his mother to learn more. She learns that Patrick’s mother also received poison pen letters and Libby suspects that Josephine received poison pen letters. Cy’s neighbor Sheila rescued him from the attack and she said that she too received a poison pen letter about her mother years ago.

Libby calls in her psychic friend Fran to help with the investigation. She visits Sheila. Fran says that Sheila is the daughter of Feltman the farmer. Margaret, Patrick’s mother, is the product of rape by Feltman. Amy Taylor’s baby was raised by her mother-in-law and his named was changed to Barkiss. His son tormented Cy and Patrick in school. Then this same Barkiss wrote graffiti on the wall at Cy’s work.

Cy is attack in his home and then his home is ransacked. He and his partner Colin go to stay at Steeple Farm for a while.

Libby continues her investigation. She is convinced that the grandson of the boy who went to Australia is here in England and is attacking gay people. Fran goes to see Sheila and get the impression that Sheila knows much more than she is willing to tell. Sheila orders her out of her house. Then Fran goes back to Libby’s house. Cy calls to say he saw a young man come out of Sheila’s house. Libby tells him to call the police. Then her door bell rings. It is the young man. He attacks Libby and Fran. They fight back and the phone line to Ian is open. The police arrive and take the man into custody. He is the grandson of the man who went to Australia. He killed Patrick and attacked Cy. He also attacked Sheila. Sheila wrote the poison pen letters to Cy and Patrick. She was jealous that their lives had turned out well and she felt her family’s lives did not.

This was an extremely confusing book. There were just too many connections between too many people and I couldn’t quite believe that all these people were related in this way. I just didn’t believe that all of this connected the way it did. It defied belief. Maybe another book I will believe. This was just too convoluted. I enjoyed the book but I gave me a headache.

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Book Challenge Update–158

I have read the 158th book for the book challenge. It was Helen Of Pasadena by Lian Dolan.

Helen of PasadenaHelen Fairchild became a widow on New Year’s Day when her husband Merritt’s volunteer scooter hit a Panda float in the Rose Parade as he was texting his mistress. The night before he had told Helen that he was leaving her for a television anchor woman. It was a bolt from the blue. And now he is dead.

Another bolt from the blue. Merritt has mismanaged their money and Helen is broke. She will have to sell their house and all their antiques and paintings and Merritt’s wine collection so that Helen can buy a cheaper home and maybe be able to afford her son’s school tuition. Her friends Candy and Tina give her moral support. But she feels stunned.

Helen needs a job. But she dropped out of her masters program in archaeology at Berkley years ago to marry Merritt and has been a stay at home mom ever since. True, she has been involved with much fund raising for her son’s school. But she really has no skills. But she has been a docent at the Huntington, a library and museum and so she goes there to beg for a position–any position. Fortunately, they have a research assistant position open for a Distinguished Scholar. Helen fits the bill. The DS is Dr. Patrick O’Neil, an archaeologist who studies ancient Troy and will be looking at some journals that refer to ancient Troy and its discovery.

Helen and Patrick get on well. They go off one day to the beach and have a long discussion about many things and Helen feels really alive. When they come back, Patrick kisses her and she loves it. But they go back to being just colleagues.

Patrick is asked to speak at Helen’s son’s school. Helen and Aiden help him spruce up his talk to make it appealing to the eighth graders and it is a smash hit. Then Patrick is asked to be the honoree at the charity event of the year. Patrick asks Helen to be his date for the event. Helen is thrilled. Patrick is talked into auctioning off a two weeks all expenses luxury vacation at his dig at Troy in Turkey. It will be the highlight of the charity event.

Aiden is trying to get into high school. His mother is trying to get him into his father’s alma mater, a Catholic high school, and Aiden messes up his interview. His grades are not stellar either. But his grandmother made a sizable donation and he was accepted. Then an acceptance envelope arrives from Los Angeles School of the Performing Arts. Aiden has applied there for acting on his own with Helen’s mother’s help and he has been accepted. That is where he really wants to go. Helen says that he can go.

Helen goes to the charity event with Patrick after she does production work for a television show that he is doing with Annabeth, another archaeologist. She has really impressed Annabeth and her partner Olympia, a famous British actress. Patrick auctions off his trip and a donor offers $250,000. The donor comes forward. It is Mitsy Fairchild, Helen’s mother-in-law. After the event, Patrick and Helen go back to his room and have a wonderful evening but Helen tells him that things wouldn’t work out between them. She leaves to look at a house and then goes to work to say good-bye to him, only to find him gone. He had to go to London to see his daughter on an emergency. Helen cries.

Over the months, Helen has a new job as executive producer for Annabeth’s archaeology television show. She keeps in touch with Patrick in Turkey and Greece. Now it is the summer and they need footage of Patrick for the show and Helen must go to Turkey to film him. Mitsy gives Helen and Aiden the trip she bid on. Helen decides to go. When Helen gets to Turkey, Patrick is wild to see her. Helen says she made a mistake to say that things wouldn’t work out. They plan to keep seeing each other whenever they can.

This was a sweet story. Helen was so beaten down from the misdeeds of her husband and then along comes this wonderful man. She just couldn’t believe that it was all real and happening to her. She didn’t think it could work out for her. But she just had to be open to the possibilities.

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Book Challenge Update–157

I have finished the 157th book for the book challenge. It was Goldberg Variations by Susan Isaacs.

goldberg variationsGloria Goldberg Garrison has called her three grandchildren to her Santa Fe, New Mexico home. She is offering to give the ownership and control of her beauty company Glory to one of them. She is estranged from all of them, not having seen them all for many years. Raquel’s father Travis was Gloria’s favorite son, but he dies tragically many years ago. Matt and Daisy’s father Bradley is not her favorite and she has not seen him for many years. But she is offering control of her company to one of the three and to the other two–nothing.

The three cousins arrive with misgivings but with open minds. The cousins and Gloria scope each other out and Gloria explains her motive in asking them to her home. The cousins take some time to think about Gloria’s offer. But each decides not to accept the offer and on Friday night, each cousin tells Gloria that they have decided not to accept her offer. Matt likes his job in PR at the New York Mets and is in love with his girlfriend Ashley who is studying to be a doctor in New York. He doesn’t want to leave New York and plans to start his own company. Daisy is a reader at a film company in New York and flies often to the West Coast. She likes her job and doesn’t want to leave it. Raquel is a lawyer at Legal Aid in New York and is living with Hayden who is at Goldman Sachs. She is close to her mother who is a social worker. She too doesn’t want to leave New York.

Gloria is shocked and at first wants to send the three back to New York right away. But she sort of likes them and decides to take them to dinner and them show them Glory and maybe they will change their minds. They have a good dinner and get to know each other a little better and actually like each other somewhat.

The next day the cousins and Gloria go to Glory and get a guided tour of the company. It is a company that is mobile and brings beauty to rural areas and small towns of America. It is a thriving company that Gloria built with two trucks that she took from her ex-husband Joe Goldberg when she divorced him. Raquel and Daisy get make-overs and Matt learns about the PR side of the business from Gloria’s PR people. The cousins are quite impressed with Gloria’s company. They all reconsider but eventually reach the same decision.

On Sunday morning, Daisy has a heart-to-heart talk with Gloria about reconciliation. She talks to Gloria about forgiveness. Gloria was going to give control of her company to her right-hand person Keith. But Keith rejected her when his partner Billy became ill with a stroke and Gloria refused to see him in the hospital. They have been on the outs ever since. Daisy explains the Jewish tradition of going to the person you have harmed three times to ask for forgiveness. Gloria is unsure about this. Raquel calls Hayden and breaks up with him over the phone from Santa Fe. She knows he has checked out of the relationship and it isn’t working. Matt decides to take the plunge and asks Ashley to marry him from Santa Fe.

When the cousins have gone back to New York, Gloria decides to work on reconciliation. She goes to Keith to ask forgiveness. He is very cold to her but she hopes in time he will forgive her. Then she goes to New York to ask forgiveness from Adrianna, Raquel’s mother. She breaks down in tears at her home and says she is so sorry for ignoring them after Travis’s death. She also goes to Bradley and asks his forgiveness. Then she meets with Raquel. She offers Raquel the company again. This time Raquel is willing to accept but she is worried about leaving her mother and cousins. But Gloria tells her she can come back to see them or her mother can come out to Santa Fe. Raquel decides to accept the offer. Gloria explains how she is working on Daisy’s method of reconciliation. She still has to go to Florida to ask Joe Goldberg’s forgiveness. Raquel and her grandmother are reconciled and will work together in the business.

This was a very interesting book. It is told from the perspective of each of the characters in turn. We hear first from Gloria, then from Matt, then Raquel, then Daisy, then Gloria again. It is interesting to see the change in attitudes of the various characters as they interact with each other and get to know each other better. They become more open to one another and more accepting of each other. All this happens over one weekend and the change is remarkable to see. I loved this book.

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