Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Last Hodgepodge of 2020

The last Hodgepodge in the year that has been 2020.

The logo is the link.

From this Side of the Pond
1. Tell us about your favorite moment or share one of the bright spots from the year we're leaving behind. 
        The only time I have seen my two sons this entire year was one night each on our trip moving.  I know that's not much, but seeing their faces and hugging them was a bright spot for me.

2. What do you wish you'd known at the start of 2020? Elaborate. 
        Well, I wish I had known how long it was going to take to sell our house.  We might have made some different decisions.

3. Best book you read this year? If you did not read any books this year, what's the best thing you ate all year? We've all eaten, right? 
        Best book?  Ummm, can we choose best book in different genre?  Or the best book for each month?  Obviously I read a whole lotta books in 2020.  I REread Hidden Art by Edith Schaeffer which has always been a favorite of mine.  I read ALL the stories of Brother Cadfael which are set in early thirteenth century England and Wales.  I read a whole bunch of Agatha Christie mysteries.  Today, I finished reading Hidden Christmas by Timothy Keller.  I could go on and on and on...

4. The Pantone Colors of the year for 2021 are ultimate gray and illuminating yellow (a bright shade)...are you a fan? Would we find either of these colors in your home or wardrobe? 
        Gray, yes.  Yellow, no.  However, to be truthful, I have a yellow, gray and cream afghan on the back of my sofa right now.  I recently finished knitting it and haven't given it away yet.
        And you might find gray in my wardrobe, but NO yellow.

5. If you were/are making a list of 21 things to do/accomplish in 2021 what is one thing that would be on it? 
        Easy answer!  I would return to England for a month-long visit!

6. Insert your own random thought here.
        HAPPY NEW YEAR!  2021!  Like that cute meme says, "On January 1st, hindsight will truly be 2020."

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Merry Merry Christmas!

 It may be Christmas Eve, but I still want to write out my weekly thankfulness.  Friday Fave Fives don't stop just because it's Christmas.  In fact, I am MORE thankful!   Every week I join Susanne and other thankful people to write our FRIDAY FAVE FIVES.

1.  First and most importantly, we celebrate Christmas because God became man and dwelt among us. Emmanuel.  God with us!

2.  There were a few warmish and dry days, so obviously, we took advantage of them and walked more of the local trails.  One day, we actually walked in the morning just the two of us, and then in the afternoon, got both grandsons, both dogs and Older Daughter out on the trail along the river.

3.  Younger daughter is working full time, being a mom, and taking nursing school classes online.  So far, she is doing great in those classes.  This week, she was a bit nervous about one final, so The Professor spent a couple of hours being her study buddy.  Result?  98% on that final!

4.  This fave is dedicated to my grandchildren.  We will be having a White Christmas!

5.  I know many people who will be alone this year during Christmas.  I know how that is because other years we have been just with each other and maybe one or two family members.  This year, for the first time in several years we will be celebrating AT HOME with more than half of our family!  Two daughters and three grandchildren!


Friday, December 18, 2020

December Thankfulness #3

Happy Friday!  How was your week?  Sunshine or rain?  Family and friends?  I am sharing my Friday Fave Fives this Friday evening to remind myself of the blessings and best parts of this week.  I link  each week to Susanne's blog because she is our host.  FRIDAY FAVE FIVES

1.  The weather outside is frightful!  But it is beautiful.  I am choosing to appreciate the good.

2.  On Saturday, the weather was 'ok'.  So we decided to take a hike.  Daughters and grandkids came, too.  We chose the local arboretum and walked down to the pond and back.  Little Warrior showed us where the name of the arboretum is planted in topiary!  We didn't know about it.  Pretty amazing!  Although the photos can't show all of the letters, you can see the magnitude of the topiary words.

3.  Christmas song sing along.  Sunday night, we joined many families in our (socially distanced) church to sing Christmas songs.  It was so much fun!  All of our local family joined us, so it was extra special.

4.  We enjoyed a lunch with Younger Daughter during her lunch break at a new to us Mexican restaurant.  Good conversation and good food!

5.  Would you start a group skype call at 10pm?  You would if you were the only person in your time zone and the others were the rest of my Art Group friends.  The late night was totally worth it..

What are your best blessings from this week?

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Hodgepodge -Volume 399

From this Side of the Pond
Welcome!  If you want to join Joyce and the rest of us to celebrate Wednesday, just click on the title above the logo, and that will take you to Joyce's blog.

1. What's something about Christmas that most people like, but you don't? Elaborate. 
        I'm not a big Santa Clause fan.

2. Tell us about one cherished tradition from your childhood and if you'll make it happen this year? 
        I always loved my grandma's Christmas sugar cookies.  Every year, I helped roll out the dough and cut out the shapes.  I still have some of Grandma's metal cutters.  Yes, I am going to make some, probably tomorrow.

3. In 1941 FDR declared December 15th Bill of Rights Day. Citizens were encouraged to fly the flag and gather for prayers and other ceremonies as appropriate. Did you know this? Will you fly a flag? Can you name all the rights and protections guaranteed in the first ten amendments of the US Constitution? Of the ten, which two do you value most? If you need a list you'll find one here. 
        I did not know about FDR's declaration in 1941 (just five days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor).
        How can you choose just one from the Bill of Rights?  The First basically sets the broad tone--freedom to live and express yourself as you want.  The last two both limit and protect the laws we live under.  Living in another country as I did has given me a great appreciation for the liberties I had always taken for granted.

4. Do you know someone named Bill? Tell us something about him? Is there a famous 'Bill' you'd like to meet? 
        I was in college with a guy named Bill.  We sang together in a small ensemble group.  He has gone on do a lot for chorale music in the Phoenix, Arizona area.
        As for a 'famous' Bill, I can't think of one.

5. A step in the right direction, on the right track, bragging rights, be in the right place at the right time, get off on the right foot, right as rain, right side up, give your right arm for, have one's heart in the right place...choose a 'right' that applies to your life in some way in recent days and tell us how it's so.
        How about RIGHT direction?  The Professor and I emptied five of the last ten boxes from our move and organized more things in our new home.  Two book boxes, two picture boxes and one electronics box left to unpack.  We are definitely headed in the right direction for settling in here.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
        Does anyone else plan their local trips to various shops based on right turns?  That might happen here at Willow's Cottage.
        AND, a second last minute thought:  I am left-handed.  The world is set for right-handed people.  Remember those school desks with the writing area extending out on the right side in front of the seat?  I think I am permanently crippled from the odd positions I had to squirm around in to be able to write.  Right-handed scissors press uncomfortably into the base of my thumb.  If you are left-handed, you understand.  If you are right-handed, be thankful!

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Friday, December 11, 2020

December Thankfulness #2

 Friday Fave Fives! (Follow the link HERE to join in.)  I'm late posting, but here I am.  My whole week has been behind.  I blame it on #1.

1.  This week I had a "procedure".  I am very thankful to say that results are 'all clear' according to the doctor.  That is truly a Fave!

2.  My daughter and I have been trying to track down a couple of Christmas gifts for The Professor.  Finally, after hours of scouring the internet, we scored them and hopefully, they'll arrive before Christmas Day.

3.  Skype and Zoom!  I think I am thankful every week for these options to 'hang out' with my art group friends.  Even though I am in a time zone three hours later, we can still get online and chat.  Right now, we are doing an Advent study with the book Hidden Christmas by Timothy Keller.

4.  The weather really warmed up the end of this week.  You know what that means!  A wonderful long walk on the trail!  Our goal is to walk all of the county bike trails and we are doing it two to three miles at a time.

5.  The Christmas cards and letters are arriving!  Yay!  I love receiving them!  And I love sending them.  Ours are in process.  About half of them will be mailed out tomorrow!

Happy Weekend to everyone!  Are you in the Christmas spirit yet?

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Wednesday Hodgepodge

 1. What do you think it means to have the holiday spirit? 

Holiday spirit.  Hmmm.  I guess I think that means enthusiastic and excited.

2. What's one thing you've baked this month? Have you eaten the finished product? How much baking do you do around the holidays? What baked sweet something does your family insist is on the menu during this season of the year? 

I haven't baked anything this month of December yet.  Probably I will back some of the family famous Grandma's sugar cookies.  The family really doesn't have any traditional sweet things unless it's those sugar cookies.   Like these:

3. Your most recent 'half-baked' idea?

Ha!  This is a good one!  I have been looking at properties (vacant land) with my daughter, just for fun.  (Didn't I just move two months ago??)

4. Where were you the last time you 'baked' in the sun? The top ten sunniest destinations in the world (most sun from January-December according to this site) are Dubai, Bali Indonesia, Los Angeles CA, Miami FL, Barbados, Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, Mauritius, Antiqua, and the Canary Islands Spain. Have you been to any of the cities listed? Which one on the list appeals to you the most? If the world were not upside down crazy and you could lie on a beach anywhere right now where would you go? 

I steadfastly avoid 'baking in the sun' since I don't tan, just burn and burn again.  However, I have lived in many warm and sunny places, particularly various times in Los Angeles, CA.  I also lived in the county north of Los Angeles -- Ventura County, CA.  I have visited Bali, Indonesia and Miami, FL.   Of the ones on the list, I'd choose Ventura/Los Angeles as most appealing right now because I could visit friends and family there while enjoying the sunny warm weather.  However, if I could lie on a beach right now, it might be Baja California, or White Sands Beach (Pasir Putih) on the north coast of Papua, Indonesia (island of New Guinea) where we swam and played in the warm water every Saturday.

5. Today I wish I had more 🌞 sunshine 🌞.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

The Christmas cards and letters are starting to arrive!  Our letter is almost ready.  One thing I love about Christmas is the cards and letters we receive from friends and family.

Friday, December 04, 2020

December Thankfulness #1

 It's Friday and time for Friday Fave Fives.  Susanne at Living to Tell the Story hosts this every week.  HERE is the link.

1.  Not one but TWO fires in the fire pits.  One on Friday at our older daughter's home as a final fire before she handed the keys to the new owner.  And then our first fire at our house (burning the rest of the wood that remained from her (now sold) place.  Since it snowed the next day, we loved having had the opportunity to use the fire pit.  An added bonus was that two of the neighbors walked over to say hello and introduce themselves.

2.  Walks and hikes are always on my fave list.  On Saturday afternoon we walked about two miles on the local bike path with all three grandchildren.  The weather was fine and it was a part of the trail they had not walked on before.

3.  Even in the snow, we have walked.  One late afternoon/early evening, we decided to get our walk in by walking to the big HD outdoor store as The Professor needed to purchase a tool for a small project.  So we walked instead of driving the one plus miles each way.  It was through the neighborhoods and it was good to know we can easily get to the grocery store and other places by walking.

4.  Our Older Daughter's rental home has sold! (see #1).  That's a huge burden off her busy schedule.

5.  Several months have passed since her home and neighborhood flooded last March.  Today the flooring in the two bedrooms on the main floor is being installed!  We are so thankful that this part of the renovation project is DONE!

Bonus:  Some adult MKs (missionary kids) from Papua, Indonesia have created a Daily Advent Devotional to share with all of us who have lived and served in Papua through the years.  I am loving reading and meditating on their encouraging and thoughtful devotionals.   Happy First Week of Advent!

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

HOPE in the Hodgepodge

Here they come!  Wednesday Hodgepodges in December!

1. Here we are entering the last month of the year 2020. 2020!! Every year The Oxford English Dictionary publishing team chooses a word that captures the general mood of the year we're leaving behind, or the one word that will leave a lasting impact on the world at large. This year they needed sixteen words in order to cover the whole enchilada. 

While two of the other major dictionaries selected pandemic as their word of the year, Oxford came up with a long list including-bushfire, impeachment, acquittal, coronavirus, COVID-19, lockdown, social distancing, reopening, Black Lives Matter, Cancel Culture, BIPOC, mail-in, belarusian, moonshot, net zero (read more about each word here)

Of the words listed which ONE would you say should be in the number 1 spot? Which word/phrase on this list would you be happy to never hear again? 

Of those words, I would pick COVID-19.  And the word I don't want to hear ever again? Cancel Culture.

2. What one word from your own list of words describing this year sums up/best reflects your 2020? Tell us why. 

TRUST.  Every year, I choose a word for the year.  Last December, (not knowing anything about what was going to happen in 2020, I chose the word TRUST.  I remember that as I was contemplating whether TRUST was the word I should choose, a friend gave me a plastic drink cup with straw that had TRUST written on it.  Bingo!  Yes!  That has been my word for this year.

3. Do you like peppermint? Peppermint mocha, a candy cane, peppermint bark, peppermint tea, York Peppermint Pattie, peppermint ice cream...of the peppermint treats listed, which one is your favorite? Will you bake anything featuring peppermint this holiday season? 

Yes, I do like peppermint.  I'd have to go with York Mint Patties as one of my favorites.  I also love peppermint tea, especially chocolate mint tea that I have grown myself.  I won't be baking anything peppermint, but we did buy some Trader Joe's Peppermint Joe-Joes.

4. Besides Christmas, what do you associate the color red with? How about the color green?

I guess I associate red with heat.  Like sunburn.  My preferred color for Christmas decorating is green, not red.  You'll notice that there's not much red here.

5. Is your tree up? Real or artificial? Is your house decorated? Is your shopping done? Started? Wrapped? On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being Scrooge-like and 10 being Buddy the Elf, how's your Christmas spirit? 

For the first time ever, we have an artificial tree.  Put it down to age.  We decided that it is just easier to have the artificial tree now.  And yes, it is up and decorated.  My Christmas spirit is at about a 6 or 7.  I love Advent, too, and we got snow yesterday.


6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Happy First week of Advent!  HOPE!