Friday, April 20, 2018

Friday Foto Friends #127

Friday Foto Freinds

It's been a while since I participated. I think maybe, because winter is a difficult time to get excited about any photos.

Taken last week. I like the little bunch of snow in the middle of the river.
 My privilege from last week to see him.
 On the river yesterday. I slammed on my brakes and quickly turned around. There were many more birds, but I made them nervous. They walked away before I even got out of the car.
 I don't know if this pair is a pair of Trumpeter Swans, or Snow Geese.
 And, finally just because it was a beautiful day, and this is so pretty.

Hodgepodging the Day

From this Side of the Pond

1. Three things on your spring bucket list? If you don't have an actual list that's fine, pretend you do.
I don't have a bucket list. I do however, have a TO Do list. Remember months ago I mentioned I was going to start doing the Fly Lady system of housecleaning? With illness, and what not I have not started. Until today. So a good thorough house cleaning is happening. I am also going to enlarge my "patio". It is simply a matter of purchasing another large outdoor rug. I am going to enlarge the fairy garden this year. I love all of the tiny little things, and I have out grown the one I have had the last few years. And, finally...this doesn't really happen in spring, but early summer I am going with my son to see James Taylor. That is happening in June. I am also going to purchase a 3 wheel tricycle so I can go out riding. My balance is so poor a 2-wheeler is not a viable option.
2. Where do you find rest? What restores your soul? When was the last time you did whatever it was you answered here?
Unfortunately, I only find rest/relaxation when I am away from home. Things here are so very stressful that I am always on edge, waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop. So to rest and regroup I go to my best friends house in Minneapolis or to my cousins who lives about 3 hours west from me. To restore my soul I read Scripture. I like daily devotionals also. I have them for morning and at bedtime. I always feel replenished with God's words. The last time I got away was in February. I went to visit  my cousin for 3 days. We always have such a good time.
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? 
Cream of celery soup is one of my favorites. Not just for cooking but, I like it as a soup. I add celery to just about everything I cook. Especially hot dishes ( I'm from Minnesota and here they are hot dishes...not casseroles), and soups. Even egg dishes benefit from celery. 
I would reach for the cucumbers first. I eat a lot of them all year long. Plain, with mayo and onions, with sour cream,  and on crackers. Anyway I can.
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 do them all. Except for the brain dump. My schedule looks like this...wake up, get dressed, do hygiene , feed/water litties,  read devotional/Scriptures for the day, while coffee is making empty dishwasher. After first cup of coffee figure out what's for dinner (I need at least one before I can think clearly), put a load of laundry in, have second cup of coffee while checking email. I drink water all day long after the 2 cups of coffee that's just a given. I usually drink about 60 ounces a day. 
I might have to try brain dumping. I have been promoting, but have never tried it myself. I think putting on a bit of make up would help me. I think this because I know for me I feel better when I know/think I look good. I am energized.

5. Describe the view from your window.
Are you sure you want to read this? We got 10 inches of snow over the weekend. So, out my window is brilliant sunshine bouncing of the pure white of the snow. Snow blindness comes to mind. The driveway is still pure in it's whiteness. We haven't been plowed out yet. Nothing has disrupted the pristine snow . There may be a few animal tracks, but that isn't really disrupting.
Update: The snow is gone. Replaced with MUD.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
When I first mentioned Fly Lady those many months ago I said I would update as I went along. I am planning on doing that. The updates will be once a week on Friday. If you care to check in and see what, if any progress I have made. I will be brutally honest.

And this just wouldn't be me if I didn't include a photo or 2.

 The ice is out. Mostly. At least from the river. However, most of the Minnesota lakes are still ice covered. I love how there is just this little clump of snow on the rock.
Between photographing the river and our wildlife I think this guy here is my favorite. He's hard to come by. I always feel privileged when I am able to get a shot at him.
 Here is our newest little girl. Remember I brought her home in November? We named her LuLu. She is a scamp. Into everything. I think in this photo she is telling me that this was her mail, not mine. When I brought her home she was 3 months old. In this photo she is 8 months old. Still growing, and I think she is going to be a BIG girl.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

An inspiring Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond

1. Where do you go when you need some inspiration?
I start by reading a daily devotional, and then the Bible. I take the words with me in my heart, and look to nature. 
2. What's under your bed?
Lots of card stock. Notebooks. Stickers. I make journals. I decorate them with what is traditionally thought of as scrap booking supplies. Plus, I believe there are about 100 kitty toys. LuLu has them stashed all over the house.
But, how can I care when she gives me looks like this one?

3. Thursday, February 22nd is National Chili Day, National Margarita Day, and National Cook a Sweet Potato Day. Of the three which would you most like to celebrate? Is that likely?
I have chili on the menu for the week. Thursday seems as good as day as any to make it. I might even have a margarita to go with the chili.

4. What are you 'snowed under' with right now?
You mean other than the new 4 inches of snow, right? It would be clutter. I have been pitching and sorting for a year now. I started last Lent with the 40 bags in 40 days. I did 62 bags. I have taken more bags out of this house than I have counted. However, it doesn't look like it. I have practically emptied my closet, but still have too many clothes. Got rid of shoes and purses. Donated 47 cookbooks, 78 DVDs, 208 books, tons of yarn and pattern books. I finally parted with unused kitchen gadgets, plus parts of my mom's collections. When will my house start to show the efforts of pitching and sorting? Maybe I should just bring in a bulldozer, doze everything under, and start all over with total emptiness.

5. Tell us three to five things that make you feel balanced?
My family would tell you nothing, because I am unbalanced. It's true. I am. But, in a good way. To be balanced I make a good meal for us. One I have taken extra effort with. It is pleasing to provide that. Another way I feel balance is to edit photos I have taken. For me the editing is just as important as the taking for them. I get a thrill when I see what the final photo looks like. And, what's even better is when a photo shows up that doesn't need any editing. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.
 More children have lost their lives,  and now we have finger pointers. Personally, I don't care where or when or by whom the mistakes were made the outcome is the same. Why can't the people who made some of the decisions that led up to this take responsibility for the stupidity that was displayed? When will elected people learn the lesson that We the People do not need to form a militia, that that is what the organized military is for. When will people figure out that the NRA is not the organization they think it is? When will We the People stop electing men and women who take money from lobbyists that only care about their own special interests. When will it become illegal for members of the government to be bought off from groups like the NRA? Because, that is what it is. People are being bought off with hundreds of thousands and in some cases millions of dollar to turn a blind eye to the ramifications of their inaction and their greed? None of these things will change until We the People stop electing those legislators. It won't change until We the People start to demand changes. And, nothing will happen until We the People realize that some of the guilt of these tragedies belong with us, because of our complacency.

                                             I will end this with a shot of God's love for us.  

Friday, February 16, 2018

February Friday Foto Friends 2/16/2018

Yes, it is Friday in the middle of February. How did that happen? I guess it crept on me, because in January I was busy, and for most of February I have been in the middle of the flu-fog. I am all better now, and am ready to share a few fotos.

I haven't anywhere for most of the winter. Our house faces East, but we live in the woods. It is hard to get sunrise photos in the woods. The trees get in the way, and they will NOT move.
A few weeks ago I went to the city to visit a few days with my BF. I left my house at O'Dark:30 AM. And, yes I stopped along the highway to get these photos. Traffic be darned! 

 God certainly graced my travel that morning!
Remember just before Christmas I shared the new little girl in our lives? This is her 2 months later. My has she grown!

I woke her from her nap, and she is none too happy with me.

How do they manage to pose that just steals your heart? Her personality is just so much fun, and she is a tease! Unlike most kitties she likes hugs and kisses. When I pick her up she puts one leg around my neck so that her head can be right next to mine. How adorable can you get, I ask?

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Lovin' the Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond
And, as the year moves forward it is time for a Valentine's Hodgepodge

1. When's the last time you had a heart to heart talk with someone? A change of heart? Experienced figurative 'heart failure?'
Hmmm. I try to avoid heart to heart talks. What I should say is I don't instigate them. Some people try to have them with me, but I don't know they somehow make me uncomfortable. All that raw emotion I guess.  A change of heart to me is also the softening of my heart. I felt the Lord rapping on my head not too long ago, and am trying to listen and follow his words.
Ezekiel 36:26, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." (NIV)

Psalm 51:10, "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." (NIV)
I thought I had forgiven certain hurts. After much prayer, God revealed the truth to me. Now I have a new path . 
And now heart failure! Oh my word! I am a transplanted city girl. However, over the last 20 some years I've forgotten how to drive there. Those people are nuts! They either drive 45 or 90. No regard for a speed limit, either 45 or 90. A brown light  (red light + green light) means GO NOW! Last time I went to the city I was smoking 2 cigarettes at a time in hopes to stay calm. Finally, I pulled to the shoulder and called my BF. "Come get me", I said, "I can not drive another mile." The she laughed at me!! ME! Her BF of 45 years, she laughed at! As I sat crying, on the shoulder of a heavily congested freeway. Well, she talked me off the shoulder,  talked to me in soothing tones all the way to her house (just 5 more miles), and had a strong cup of tea waiting for me. But, really those people drive like they are crazy.
2. Champagne, chocolates, flowers...what's your Valentine pleasure? Any special plans for the day?
I do love champagne, and chocolates, and flowers, but around here we don't do Valentines Day. Shortly after we were married we had a huge V-Day misunderstanding. HUGE. He was sleeping on the couch, I didn't turn any lights before leaving for work, and missed all of his V-Day preparations. I was disappointed, but not angry. Just a bit sad he wasn't more romantic. I had scheduled a hair appointment for right after work (probably in hopes of dinner out afterwards), as we finished with my hair she asked if I would like to go out for a drink. With no plans in place that I knew of I agreed. After the 3rd drink I decided I better call home. Oh dear. Talk about ice filled reception . When I did get home I saw the missed things and understood the ice. Nothing was ever said, but the next V-day the card I received only said one thing all over it in bright bold letters, "I HATE VALENTINES DAY!"    End of story.

3. Are you a hopeless romantic or do you fall more in the category of practical and pragmatic? What's a gesture you find romantic?
In a book or movie I know how it absolutely MUST  end. If doesn't end that way I feel really cheated. In real life I am not sure (see above answer) . A private joke that brings a smile to each of your faces is romantic. We used to have a look we shared (we'd  squint our eyes at each other and blink) to say, "I love you".  That's romantic.  Today, I think romance for me is tenderness, patience, a kind word.
4. Do you ask a lot of questions in life or are you pretty content with what you already know?
I had a writing teacher who drummed into his students to never, ever stop, asking questions. I never have.
5. Your favorite power ballad?
There are a few. Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers,  Color My World by Chicago,  I Wanna Know What Love Is by Foreigner,  I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston  but my all time favorite  it is this one... Chris DeBurgh Lady in Red.;+encrypted-media%22+allowfullscreen%3E%3C/iframe%3E&eurl=
6. Insert your own random thought here..
Four hours later I am finally on this question. Do you ever go somewhere online and fall into a rabbit trail? I do. I did. Today. While looking for a You Tube link for Lady in Red. I followed all of the music from that song on toward no end. Music does that does to me. I have it in my heart . In my soul. Alas, I have no talent. I do know though that any effort I make is a "joyful noise", and it I sing for the joy of it, and God in His house is at peace.
Have you been looking for an update to my de-cluttering and cleaning? The day after I posted this I went down for the count. Sick? Oh yeah. I hacked up a lung. And the colors? WOW! Who knew those colors could live in my lungs and sinuses. TMI? Sorry. Needless to say I have not started on my new journey. It takes me 2 hours to fill the dishwasher! And that is without doing any real cooking. 
I am better now, but still a long way from good. Baby steps every time I get sick. it is a long uphill climb, but so far I always make my way back. I am certain that this time I will also. Then when I do I will clean, clean , clean.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

End of January 2018 Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond

. Speaking of your wit's end, at loose ends, a dead end, burn the candle at both ends, all's well that end's well, or no end in sight...which 'end' phrase might best be applied to your life lately? Explain.  
Most of the time I would have to say at my wit's end and no end in sight. I have previously mentioned my husband's mental health issues. They are progressivly getting worse which put me at my wit's end. To the point I have a GO bag packed. No end in sight means only that this progression will continue to increase until...I am not sure what will happen.

2. What was a must have accessory when you were growing up? Did you own one? If so tell us what you remember about it.
An accessory as a teenager in the late 60's and 70's it would have to be an over the shoulder carpet bag. A great big huge bag to hold all manner of things. Necessities. Blue eye shadow, white lipstick, and black eyeliner just to mention a few.  A fringed suede jacket, yes I had one of those. Another accessory later in the 70's would be a pukka shell necklace, and yes I did have one. Oh, and wait I also had a mood ring! Remember those? They changed colors according to your moods? Really? I suppose I must have believed it at the time. I still have my original one.

3. Something that made you smile yesterday?
I smiled almost all the way through the weekend. I was in Minneapolis at my BF  R's house. I love her grandchildren as if they were my own. To them I am "Grandma Trudy". It makes me smile to hear them say that. Yesterday, as I was giving hugs and kisses good-bye little L said to me, "Bye Grandma Trudy I will miss you." Also, when I got home I smiled. I was barely in the door, but was talking with my husband when little LuLu came running from somewhere in the house talking to me. She grabbed hold of my leg, climbed up to my arms, and purred so contentedly. I think she missed me.

4. January 30th is National Croissant Day. Do you like croissants? Sweet or savory? We're having chicken salad for lunch...would you rather have yours served on a croissant, a wrap, a bagel, bread, or a roll of some sort?
I do like a croissant. But, not as a bread for a sandwich. I like and almond or chocolate with morning coffee. Or a hot croissant slathered with butter with dinner. I'm a purist.
I'm not a fan of chicken salad as a sandwich. I do like chicken salad as a salad.
5. Sum up your January in fifteen words or less.
January has had sub-zero temps beginning, middle, and end...with lots of cold sunshine.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
Over the next few weeks I am going to be embarking on a new adventure. I am sure some of you, maybe most of you, have heard of Fly Lady. I am going to be or going to try to implement her system of cleaning and clutter control into my house. The clutter in my house is taking over. I can't do anything about my husband's hoarding, but I can corral in my clutter. Sometimes I am  so overwhelmed with all that needs to be done that I don 't know where to I don't. Each Friday I am going to try and post on my blog any progress I have made or not. I hope to include before and after photos. I'd love it if you could follow along with me. Just come to the blog to see and read highlights from the week.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Wednesday Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond

1. January 24th is National Compliment Day. Is it easy or not so easy for you to accept a compliment? Share a recent compliment you've given or received.
When I was young (too many years ago to count) I didn't like getting a compliment. I'm not sure why, because I have always had confidence in myself. As I became older aged I have gotten better at it and now enjoy it. If it is a sincere compliment.
With Christmas barely over I have to say the compliment that comes to mind is about this:

And, even though my family has questioned my sanity they loved the tree. And me in my flamingo dress, socks, shoes, and glasses.
And now I feel terrible. I can not remember the last time I gave someone a compliment. That's just awful. It must mean I don't do it often. I will remedy that this weekend.

2. Ten little things you are loving right now.
1)  The end of our sub-zero temps
2.)  Packing for a weekend trip to the city
3.)  Making plans for a trip to Arizona
4.)  The book I am reading. America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray is very good. I am not sure how much is fact or fiction, but I am thoroughly enjoying.
5.)  The new kitten. LuLu. She makes me laugh with her kitten antics. Her favorite thing to do is to run through the house. Through the porch, living room, kitchen, and down the hall. The she comes racing back. She skids through the kitchen on the tile; sometimes skidding into an appliance. Her new thing is to wrap her arms around my ankle and hanging on while I walk.
7.)  The progress I am making on the blanket I am making. It will be just like this one, but different colors.
8.)  Going to the city this weekend. I know, I know I have already listed it, but that was packing. This is going.
9.)  Making a shopping list for while I am in city. Can you tell I LOVE going to the city?
10.) The Puff Cheetoes I am eating.
3. Would people describe you as a positive person? Do you see yourself that way? I read here  a list/description of eight things positive people do differently-
I have been accused of being a Pollyanna. Sometimes of wearing rose colored glasses, and of having my head in the sand. I can find something positive out of any situation.

Positive people find something to look forward to every day, they celebrate the small stuff, they're kind, they stay busy, accept responsibility for their actions, forgive themselves, know when to move on, and resist comparisons

Which action on the list would you say you do regularly? Which action could you add to your life to give you a more positive outlook? If you're a positive person, what's something you do regularly that's not on the list?
I look forward to the start of my day. A new day is filled with so many possibilities. I am excited to see what the day may bring. I also stay busy. Even if I'm only watching TV. I am crocheting, or coloring or editing photos. Anything to stay busy. I CAN NOT sit and just do nothing.
What's not on the list and should be is pray. I pray all day everyday. Maybe it is more like having conversations with the Lord. I am sure that it is part of being positive.
4. Homemade chicken soup, beef stew, or a bowl of chili...what's your pleasure on a cold winter's day?
If I could have my mom's chicken soup I have that. She made the best ever! I would need a peanut butter sandwich to go with it. 
However, since her soup is an impossibility I'll have chili with cornbread. I make a great chili. Of course it is my mom's recipe. 

5. The best part of my day is....
My bedroom faces east. I love waking up, looking out the window, and seeing the beautiful sunrise. Yes, I get up that early. As I said in question 3 I look forward to the start of my day. And, what better way than seeing some of God's creation first thing. 

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
I am inserting an opinion here so please don't take offense if your opinion is different than mine. No opinion is wrong, because it is just an opinion and we are each entitled to one.
Those overpaid children in Washington DC make me crazy. Instead of getting down to the business they are being paid to do they resort to name calling and he said/she said games. Then promises are made that probably will never be fulfilled. Right now I am taking about both sides.  I'll save my real opinions about the person ( I can not call him a man, because  man does not act the way he does) in the White House for another day. And, what he intends to do to those children, now adults from other countries.