Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Lotsa Good News in the Hodgepodge

It's the Hodgepodge Day, but it's also my hubby's birthday. Woot! Thanking God today for sparing his life. This year was monumental as we went through his heart surgery ordeal together. But he's on the mend more and more, doing and going a bit more all the time.

Let's see what our Hodgepodge hostess, Joyce, is asking us this week, shall we?

1. It's officially summer (in the northern hemisphere anyway). Which summer month is best and why?

August--because it's my birth month, of course! 

2. Can you swim? How did you learn? June 27th is National Sunglasses Day. How many pair do you own?

Yes, I can swim. My mom taught me the basics, and swimming lessons at the municipal pool improved upon that. I love to swim.  I have one pair of prescription sunglasses and a couple cheapo pairs.
3. What characteristic do you judge most harshly in yourself? How about in others?

A tendency to talk too much, which I've purposefully trained myself not to do as often, and listen more. 
The trait I hate in others is superiority which manifests in condescension. I hate being talked down to!  I hate hearing others talked down to.  Mama Bear comes out when people act that way to my kids, regardless their age!

 Case in point: Recently our second son, Steve, was with a hiring manager at his workplace (he does computer programming at a well-known investment firm). Steve's boss has been creating this position for him for a few months, knowing our son's skill, talent, and work ethic (after 3 years) even at the tender age of 24. Steve knew what the pay should be, based on research. Well, Mr HR starts in with, "You know you're only like 2 years out of college, so an offer of __________ is about the best we can do,"  yada yada.  Steve reminded him he's been with the company for 3 and 1/2 because he started out as a college intern and has been with this same team for as long. His boss saw his value and initiated a position. Steve stuck to his guns and got what he wanted and felt he deserves, but not without getting that irked feeling when you get as if dealing with a used car salesman.  

4. Robert Frost wrote the now well known poem entitled The Road Not Taken. What's a road (literal or figurative) you've always wanted to travel, and where do you hope it takes you? 

I've always wanted to travel the US without a destination in mind--just go here, there, and everywhere with someone else who truly wants the same thing.  One long road trip, seeing famous sites and landmarks, finding hidden scenic treasures, meeting people in quaint towns who've been there all their lives and love it.  

5. Popsicles-yay or nay? If you answered yay, what's your favorite flavor? 

Eh--they're okay. I seldom have a hankering for one, but when I do, please give me grape.

6. Brexit-on a scale of 1-10 how knowledgeable are you on what's involved here? (1=very knowledgeable and 10=what's Brexit) Is this news you'll follow or is it something you think won't impact your life in any way shape or form?

I wish I could say 10, but I'm afraid 5 is more like it.  Honestly, I think fear more than apathy is what keeps me from trying to know more. I'm becoming more of an ostrich as time passes and the world appears to be collapsing. Put my head in the proverbial sand and hope nothing bothers me. I'm deluded, I know.
7. Share a favorite song on your summer play list.

I'm easy to please as long as you give  me 80's love songs.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

This couple celebrated 3 years of marriage last Wednesday, bought and moved into their first house, and he started his new job all in the same week!  She was able to quit a job she doesn't like and can be Suzy Homemaker for a while, feathering her nest which she is really good at. I'm a happy mother and mother-in-law, gotta say!

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Caution: High Winds in the Hodgepodge

Thanks to our friendly, neighborhood hostess, Joyce. we have yet another batch of Hodgepodge questions. By "neighborhood" I mean the world, but it feels rather cozy in Cyberville much of the time.

Pardon my long-winded post, but I must share some really exciting news. Something that most of us don't get the privilege of having in a lifetime, but it happened to me last week.

Since September I've been tutoring two siblings (sister and brother)  who are originally from China. In addition to their academic subjects, I would occasionally add some Bible reading. I gave each one a Bible as a Christmas gift because they didn't have one. In fact, they didn't even know how to pronounce "Jesus."   L said "Jess-iss"--and they didn't know a thing about God, Jesus, the Bible, or anything related to Christianity.   But gradually, over the past nine months, I have been reading with them the story of Creation, Noah and the flood, the birth, ministry, miracles, and gospel of Jesus Christ.  Both kids have been sponges, asking great questions, wanting more stories, more answers.

This past Thursday ,I felt prompted by the Lord to ask the girl if she was ready to accept Christ, and she said, "Yes!"  But then immediately looked sad and said, "But, what if I sin right after I do that?"

Bless her tender heart. I told her I'm 50 years old and still sin many times a day. But the good news,  I said, is simply that if she confesses the sin to God,  repents and asks His forgiveness, He will forgive her because he loves her. She was satisfied with that answer, and then we prayed together for her salvation. We were so happy and I hugged her, welcoming her to the Family of God.

 I am floating on air!!

1. I read here a list of 13 things you should do in June. I'm paraphrasing a little but basically...

Go on a road trip with your best friend, pick fresh strawberries, host a garden party, take a morning run, treat yourself to a flower bouquet, spend a whole day hiking, discover a new coffee shop, try a new ice cream flavor, read at least one book, visit a Farmer's Market, make a swing for your home, and visit a new city. 

Which thing on the list do you most want to do? Of the activities mentioned, which one holds the least appeal? How many on the list will you attempt in June? What's one thing you'd add to the list?

Well, I  did a lot of those things in one road trip to Kentucky at the end of May. Lexington was my "new city" to visit, which really meant seeing it from the road when we got a little lost. 

From the list, I'd most want to check out the newest coffee shop in town. The owner is a 17 year old girl, Jade, who bought the shop from her previous boss, with $6000 inheritance money from her grandmother, and her dad's help.  She had always dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur, and now here she is, fresh out of high school, the owner of The Jaded Bean.  Local musicians play live on the weekends, and the reviews are outstanding. Will it happen in June? Quite possibly.

Which thing would I like least? Running. I haven't enjoyed running since I was 9 years old.
What would I add?  Meeting a blogging friend for the first time in person.

2. What's something you could do today to feel more peaceful? 

Pray.  I'm having trouble forgiving someone and I'm dealing with a difficult parenting situation.

3. June 7th is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day. Are you a fan? Swiss mocha, rocky road, chocolate chocolate chip, peanut butter and chocolate, or a dish of plain chocolate...what's your pleasure? 

My favorite chocolate flavor is Jamocha Almond Fudge from Baskin Robbins. It's been my favorite since I waas little. My Granny owned a BR store and we got to try all kinds, of course.   The best was Jamocha Almond Fudge on a sugar cone.  But , as I said earlier, I've given up dairy and sugar because both have been my worst health enemies.

4. If you came with a warning what would it say?

I asked my  8th grade son if my warning would be "CAUTION: EXTREMELY HOT !" He gagged. "Not hardly, Mom. Just the opposite."   

Hmm, 30 years ago  I might have answered, "CAUTION: CURVES,"  but now it's more like "CAUTION: FALLING ROCKS."  

A friend was going to buy me a T-shirt that says, "I'm the Grammarian About Whom Your  Mother Warned" because I do notice poor grammar, spelling, and punctuation everywhere, ad nauseum.

  5.What's the most interesting website you've visited in the last week? .   I'm quite inspired by those quilts.

6. Spring, summer, autumn, winter...which season are you? Why? 

Do you mean which is my favorite?  Autumn.  
Do you mean which "colors" do I wear? Spring.
Do you mean my age and outlook on life? I'd say summer. I'm no spring chicken, but at 50, I think I'm relaxed and kicked back, but am planning for "colder weather," shall we say?

7. "You lose sight of things...and when you travel, everything balances out." ~Daranna Gidel

Would you agree with that sentiment? Explain why or why not.  

Yes ,I would agree indeed. Traveling makes you remember this world is big and you are not. Traveling helps you notice the grandeur of nature, the diversity of cultures. It changes your pace and rhythm a bit.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

Last night my new little convert/sister in Christ said, "Guess what, Miss Zoanna? I have decided that I'm going to read the whole Bible this summer!"  

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Hello, Again.

Remember me? Your friendly, neighborhood blogger? I'm still here.  And there's been plenty going on in my corner.

How about a list for old time's sake?

In no particular order:

1. My baby sister is expecting her second baby in just two months. Four days after my birthday, and I really wouldn't mind sharing a birthday. Unless the new one starts getting better toys than mine.

2.  Our second son and his wife just bought a house. Their settlement is the middle of the month and then they plan to paint (he hates it, but I'm sure he'll "recruit" family members to help). They will move, Lord willing, on the 25th.  The new house is only about 15 minutes from their current home, or 25 from us. It's a cute, little, 1950's (60's?) Cape Cod on a darling cul-de-sac with a good sized back yard, brand new everything (the seller flipped it) .

3. Best part is that that our son emailed us to say he is getting a bunch of people from their small group at church to help them moving.  "You and Dad don't have to worry about helping this time." Good thing, because as soon as they move out (of the rental we own), we are going to prep it for sale. That'll keep us busier than we want to be!

4.  Hubby remodeled the upstairs bathroom of the rental. Not too shabby for a guy who just had open heart surgery in January. I'll post pictures when I can.  I love how it turned out.

5.  I took our daughter to her summer internship in Kentucky in May. Had a glorious trip down there, if by glorious you can include steep mountain passages without a shoulder , and no cell reception. The scenery was majestic, so who needs anything else, right?

6.  School is out for my son in 7 days. This coming week is crunch time with finals and projects. Then he will be officially a high schooler.  Is that impossible or what???

7.  I think we can finally say that summer weather is upon us here in Maryland. Or late spring. Or actually early spring because the flowers are blooming. I mean everywhere. Our cold snap and monsoon that lasted for weeks kind of put the kibosh on a "real" spring.

8.  I'm almost finished my current quilt which I will donate to Project Linus in my county. There's a hospital five minutes from us; some dear child would like a quilt in his room, I'm sure, to give him comfort during a long stay.

9.  While in Kentucky, we stayed with my sister in her log cabin. Had a relaxing, do-nothing kind of stay, which was perfect for all of us. Down time. Just the three of us.

10.  My daughter is loving her 4 new housemates in Louisville. She'll be there all summer ministering alongside 22 other interns.  Her first request from home was coffee. Lots of it. All the girls drink it. And she had stocked up but left most of it here. I'm mailing 8 bags tomorrow.

That's about it in the proverbial nutshell.

Happy Monday!