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Flag Day Hodgepodge

Is it my imagination, or did the Hodgepodge image disappear from Joyce’s blog?  I couldn’t find it, so I copied it from one of my previous posts.

Anyhoo, get distracted much?  Ha!

It is time for the Hodgepodge, so if you want to play, link up with Joyce after you answer your own questions.  Thanks for visiting!!

1.  The Hodgepodge lands on June 14th this week, Flag Day in the US of A. Do you fly your country’s flag at home? Sometimes, often, or every single day? Have you ever visited the city of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia)? Did you make a point of seeing The Betsy Ross House? Have you ever made a trip to Baltimore? If so, was Fort McHenry on your itinerary? (where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write The Star Spangled Banner)

I don’t have a flag flying but want to so badly!  I’ve asked the Mr. about getting something set up, but he’s leery of doing anything to our brick, so there’s that.  I’m thinking that I might get a garden flag.

I have never visited Philadelphia.  Chicky went on a trip there either last year or the year before.  She told me that it would be a place I’d love since I’m a history buff.  I’ve also never been to Baltimore.  There really needs to be a trip in my future.

2.  Red flag or white flag? Which have you encountered most recently? Explain.

I’ve recently had to throw up the white flag in regard to physical therapy and insurance.  I’m about to have a month-long break until my new PT visits get doled out.  I’m grateful for insurance, but it sure can wreak havoc with getting the help you need in a timely manner.

3.  Are you a stay in the car listen to the end of a song kind of person? What kind of person is that?

Yeah, I guess I’d say that I will stay in the car and listen to the end of a song if it’s something I haven’t heard in awhile or if it has special meaning to me.  I guess that might sound lame given our access to music these days, but oftentimes, God uses music to speak to my heart, and I’m not ready to turn it off just because I’ve reached my destination.

4.  What are some of the traits or qualities you think a good dad possesses? In other words, what makes a good dad? What’s an expression you associate with your father?

A good father possesses wisdom, consistency, and grace.  A good father is strong but willing to let his guard down to show vulnerability.  A good father is one who’d be happy to sit down for a tea party or put his work down to go out and throw a ball around.  A good father puts his wife first and treats her like a queen so that his children will see what it’s like to be a man who has his priorities straight.  Most importantly, a good father is one who knows the one and only Father, isn’t afraid to pray with his children, and models a life of serving God.

I didn’t have a father growing up who did these things.  My parents divorced when I was very young, and except for a couple of visits, I didn’t know my dad until I had children of my own.  We only got a few short years together, which wasn’t nearly enough to build a deep relationship.  I do know that my dad was quirky, loved nature, and wasn’t afraid to be silly in front of people.  I don’t really know what expression I could associate with him, though.

5.  What’s one rule you always disagreed with while growing up? Is that rule somehow still part of your adult life? Is that a good or bad thing?

The main rule I didn’t like was that I had to be home really early the morning after I’d slept over at a friend’s house.  I didn’t understand why I couldn’t lounge around with a friend’s family . . . leisurely enjoy breakfast with them.  I did not have that rule for my own children.  I felt like it was unfair and heavy handed.  I had enough rules that my children didn’t like.  I didn’t see a reason for adding yet another.

6.  My Random Thought

You know it’s summer when I allow myself to go out to eat with the Mr. looking like this . . .

The hair was freshly washed and dried, but it wasn’t straightened or fixed in any other way.  There’s barely makeup on my face, and I was very casually dressed in a t-shirt and comfy stretch pants.  I wasn’t even sporting any jewelry.  I usually like to fix up when we go places, but it was after 6pm, he was hungry, and I figured what the heck.

I love summer vacation!

Feeling Accomplished with the Hodgepodge

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Y’all, it’s the last Wednesday of the month!  Can you believe it?  I know that I can’t!  Let’s celebrate with another round of Hodgepodge questions.  Thanks, as always, to Joyce for being our fearless leader!

1.  What makes you feel accomplished? Explain.

Loaded question, Joyce!  Until I started teaching, I was a product-oriented person.  I love seeing projects through to the end, whether it’s getting my college degree (I went back in 2006 and finished in 2008), knitting up a big blanket or a pair of socks, or whipping up a delicious, vegan dessert.  Here’s a picture of the Vegan Flourless Black Bean Brownies I made a couple of weeks ago.  They are incredible!  A friend at school, my taste tester, concurred when I took a few in to her.

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I love to challenge myself in whatever I do.  That makes me feel accomplished.

2.  If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be? Tell us why.

It’s kind of funny, but in a roundabout way, Rebecca and I have talked about doing our own Dancing With the Stars recap show.  We really, really need our own podcast.

Ok, so back to the question.  If I had my own talk show, I think I’d first invite Rebecca Jo because we share so many things in common.  Y’all, we would have the BEST time breaking down all things about “Survivor,” “Dancing With the Stars,” Disney, working out woes, healthy eating, fur babies, and other random topics.  Heck, I think I’d have to have a segment just for her each day.  Seriously, though.

Guest #2 would definitely have to be an author.  I think I’d invite Neal Shusterman, because I am a total fan girl.  I love everything he writes.  He’s wickedly creative; his books hit my heart in a number of ways and are oh so popular with my students.  I’d like to pick his brain to see what makes him tick (I think I’d be a little scared . . . that’s how deliciously inventive he is).  You should check out his newest book, Scythe.  Oh my gosh.  I think I read this in under 24 hours.

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Guest #3 would be someone musical.  Rebecca, since you’d be a regular segment, you’ll love this one . . . Steven Curtis Chapman.

Now, I’ve always been a fan, but I recently started following his Instagram account.  That’s how I learned about the video he recently produced for his song, “We Remember.”  Y’all, it made me cry.  The video with pictures was posted on Facebook.  The one below doesn’t have the pictures, but you can still listen to the song.  What a beautiful way to honor those who died while serving our country.

3.  Do you have a great burger recipe? What’s in it? What do you like on a hamburger and where is your favorite spot to order one out?

I have been cooking a lot of dishes from Megan Gilmore’s book, Everyday Detox.  There’s a black bean burger recipe in this book that is super easy to make and rivals any you’d find in a restaurant.  When we go out, I’ve found it difficult to find many places that offer a veggie burger that doesn’t have an egg as the binder.  Chili’s does a decent job though.  My favorite place, though, was at The Cove, in San Antonio, Texas.  We found this place when we went to Rooster’s basic training graduation.

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They definitely catered to alternative diets . . .

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I got the Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger.  It.  Was.  Divine.

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4.  What’s the biggest anxiety producing thing you do on a regular basis?

Hmmm . . . tough question.  As a control freak, I don’t always adapt well when monkey wrenches get thrown into my plans.  Adjusting on the fly often does lead to anxiety.  I’m learning, as a teacher, that I have to anticipate changes in the schedule or even changes in the middle of a class when things happen.  I’ve seen that fighting against the necessary adjustments only makes my life (and others’) miserable.  Learning to go with the flow is a constant lesson.

5.  This is the last Hodgepodge of May. Tell us about your summer plans.

Our last day with students is this Friday.  Hallelujah!  I love the kids I teach, but this profession is exhausting, so it won’t surprise you when I say that my plans will include sleeping . . . a lot.

This year has been especially challenging given my personal life of late . . . broken ankle and sick husband.  I need to rest.

I will also continue rehabbing my ankle.  I’ll also be working out at home, as I’ve been doing the past couple of months.  I’m going to try to walk either daily or every other day.

I need to keep my ankle up as much as I can too, so that will be a happening thing between my bouts of exercise and physical therapy.

I plan on reading.  I’ve got a stack of books from my classroom already sitting on my dining room table.

I have a couple of knitting projects I’d like to finish up . . . one with a deadline that needs to be met.

I’m also planning on bing-watching this past season of Arrow.

I’d like to work in my front flower beds.  They are weed-laden.  Ugh.  Not being able to do much because of my ankle has set me behind in so many ways.

I’d also like to clean out the garage.

Oh, and I need to get a new screen door for my patio.  I took the old one down last summer and thought I’d be able to install a new one; however, finding one I liked from one of our local hardware stores has proven difficult.  I’ve decided to hire a company to come in and do the task.

Hmmm . . . I also need to get a couple of blinds replaced in my house.  The dogs have done a number on them.  We are that house with torn up binds . . . in the front no less.  Sigh.  This is my life, y’all.

In between all of those tasks, I plan on visiting the beach as often as possible.  This girl needs some Vitamin Sea therapy!

Oh, and then the Mr. will be having a BIG surgery the end of June, so there is that.  I’ll be spending the second half of the summer helping him recoup.

I’m tired just typing that.  Can I please have an extra two months after summer to recoup from the summer?  Ha!

6.  My Random Thought

Can I take a second to brag on this lovely Pashmina scarf that Rooster and his gal sent me for Mother’s Day?

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Rooster bought it in Thailand.  I’d been waiting for just the right time to wear it, so I paired it with a short, black dress the Mr. bought me a few months ago.  I googled how to wear it around my waist and voila!

It’s 100% cashmere . . . so soft, and the colors are VIBRANT!

Can’t Live Without the Hodgepodge

It’s Wednesday, so that means it’s time for another batch of questions that reveal more of my dark secrets.  Just kidding.  Ha!  Link up with Joyce when you’ve answered in your little corner of the world.  Thanks for visiting!

1.  May 17th is National Pack Rat Day. Sidebar-should we be celebrating this? Hmmm…

Are you a pack rat? Even if you’re not a full fledged pack rat, most people have one thing or another they struggle to part with. Tell us what’s yours.

I don’t really think I’m a pack rat; the Mr. would disagree.  I mean, of course there are things I’ve saved over the years, but I’ve tried to set aside only those things that my children might want to pass along to their own children one day.  One thing I will not part with is my yarn stash.  I haven’t been knitting as often as I’d like, but I need to be able to dig into my stash for projects that come up.

2.  What are two things you know you should know how to do, but you don’t?

I should know how to grill and how to do taxes.  Neither interests me much, but I think they are important!

3.  Do you crave sugar? Do you add sugar to your coffee and/or tea? Do you use artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes? When dining out is dessert a given? Are you someone who has slain the sugar dragon, and if so tell us how you did it.

I sometimes crave sugar, but I can’t say that I eat a lot of it.  I mean, sure, I make vegan desserts, but I know I can go without the sugar.  I’ve given it up before, which was hard, but I lost the craving after a few days.  I went cold turkey.  I don’t like for things to control me . . . especially food.

I do not use artificial sweeteners.  They are horrible for your body.  I never let my kids use it when they were growing up either.  I refuse to even buy regular toothpaste because it is sweetened artificially.  I don’t use sugar substitutes either.  When I dine out, I never get dessert.  The only time I did was the week the Mr. and I spent at Disney a few years ago.  Most of the restaurants had vegan desserts.  The local places we frequent do not.  I’m usually too full to indulge anyhow.

4.  What’s a trend it took a while for you to come round to, but now you can’t imagine living without?

I have been wearing skinny jeans for a couple of years now after being petrified to try them on.  They are my favorite type of pants to wear now!  Of course, it helps, mentally, that I lost weight around the time I started wearing them.  That did my confidence a world of good.

5.  What’s a song that reminds you of a specific incident in your life? Please elaborate.

With high school graduations around the corner, I can’t help but think of the song, “Here I Go Again.”  It was my class song when I was a senior, and every time I hear it, I get chills.  I mentally check off every student in my class.  It’s easy to remember the names because there were only eighteen of us.  I use this song in the slideshows I create for my classes each year.

6.  My Random Thought

A couple of Saturdays ago, I attended a wedding shower.  As I was leaving, the bride-to-be handed me this . . .

It was a homemade body scrub . . .

I used a little bit a few days later and oh my word, the mint was so relaxing!  I’m determined to learn how to make my own.  A friend of mine sells essential oils, so I’m going to see if she’ll give me personal class on her products.  I know I’d come out cheaper making my own, and it would probably have even more benefits than the store-bought kind.

I hope you guys have a great week!  As of this morning, we have twelve more days of school, but who’s counting?

Memory Lane May Hodgepodge

Well, the list is shorter, but that doesn’t mean that the fun has diminished.  I am thankful that Joyce opted for fewer questions in lieu of scrapping the entire Hodgepodge thing.  Thanks, Joyce!  Now, let’s get on to the questions!

1.  Share a favorite memory of your mother or share a favorite something from your own life as a mother. If you’re a mother (or stepmom) tell us how your experience as a mom differs from your own mother’s experience.

Oh gosh, but I can’t pick one favorite thing from my life as a mom.  I have so enjoyed just being a mom.  Watching my children grow up into God-loving, responsible adults has been an incredible honor.  When your kids are younger, you often doubt yourself and wonder if what you’re doing is right.  Then, BAM.  They become adults, handle the adulting thing extremely well, and you praise God for working through the mistakes you made.

My experience differs vastly from my own mother’s experience.  I was able to stay home with my kids for eight years, and after that, I only worked part time until Chicky left for college.  My mom worked all the time, even when she didn’t have to financially.  She always seemed preoccupied with other things and hardly ever attended school functions.  I didn’t want to miss anything, so I scheduled my life around my children because, after all, they’d only be young for a short time.  I think that made a huge difference in my ability to impact their lives because I was more present for them.  I made a conscious decision when I had my children to be a better mom than what I’d had.  I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I believe that our relationship is indeed closer and much more positive.

2.  In May we celebrate teachers (May 9) and nurses (May 6) both. Most every family has at least one in their midst, so tell us something (or a few things) you appreciate about the teacher or nurse on your family tree.

Well, I am the teacher in my family.  Chicky followed in my footsteps, and Super Sis is also a teacher.  I appreciate how much time we give to our students . . . the extra love we pour into their lives . . . the way we fret over them.  I like that we can let down our hair and be silly with them, no matter the age we teach (I teach high school, Chicky teaches elementary, and Super Sis teaches pre-school).  I appreciate that we spread the love of Jesus without necessarily talking about Him (although Super Sis can since she works in a Christian pre-school) through our actions.

3.  Chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad…which would you go for if all three were on the menu? On bread or a bed of lettuce? If you answered bread, what kind of bread would make it the perfect sandwich?

I would not go for any of these because I am a vegan.  I have seen recipes for mock tuna salad.  If memory serves correctly, I think the recipes typically call for cashews or almonds.

I really don’t eat bread . . . the calories and all . . .

4.  Do you have a desk? Is it organized? If so, share your secret to keeping it that way. If you don’t have a desk, where in your home do you take care of family paperwork and business? Where do you normally sit to blog?

I have a desk at home and at school.  My desk at home is pretty organized but dusty.  My desk at school has an organizational pattern to it.  Everything has a place, but it sometimes looks messy.  I usually sit down to blog in front of my recliner with my laptop on a small card table, although I’m sitting at the bar in my kitchen typing the Hodgepodge.

5.  When I was nine years old….

When I was nine years old, I moved from Colorado to a small town in Alabama.  It was a bit of a culture shock, and it took some adjusting when fall and winter rolled around and there wasn’t any snow on the ground.  I loved growing up in the country, though, although making friends was really hard.  Everyone else had been BFFs since the womb.  Still, I remember that age because it was such a pivotal time in my life.

6.  My Random Thought

So, a few weeks ago, I noticed one of my student’s fingernails.  They were painted a lovely color . . . one that looked great on her.  I tend to pay attention to these kinds of things, you see, because I’m a frilly kind of gal.  I complimented her a couple of times and finally asked about the polish.  She tried to tell me where to find it in the store, but I couldn’t locate it.  One day, she brought her bottle into class so I could see it.  I took a picture of it and went looking for it a few days later.  Walmart didn’t have it, but CVS did.

I am such a sucker for nail polish!  I must have all the pretty colors, so of course I didn’t buy just one bottle.

It’s not exactly a gel, I don’t think.  It’s like a gel, but you don’t need a light to set it.

I read a few reviews about it to make sure I was following instructions properly . . . giving it enough time to dry (same time as regular polish).

I had a hard time deciding which color to wear first . . .

After consulting my stylist (aka, M, from my previous post), I opted for the lighter color, “Stay Classy,” because I had a wedding shower to attend, and I’m all about being classy . . . Redneck classy, I mean.

So far so good.  I’ve washed dishes a couple of times, and it’s staying put.  If I can get a week out of the polish, I’ll be happy.

The Force, Cinco, and the Hodgepodge

Happy May!  How fast is this year flying by, y’all?!  Seriously, though.  What a great way to kick off a new month . . . Hodgepodge-style, of course!  Thanks, Joyce, for the fun questions you post each week.  Thanks to all of you for visiting my little corner of the blog world too!

1.  Can you tell I’m embracing a Cinco de Mayo theme here this week? Do you like Mexican food? What’s your favorite dish? How about on the side-black beans, pinto beans, refried beans, rice? What about heat-mild, medium, hot? Will you celebrate with Mexican food and drink on May 5th aka Cinco de Mayo?

Mexican food is my absolute favorite!  I could seriously eat it every single day.  Just ask the Mr.  I typically order bean burritos and refried beans as my side.  Yeah.  That’s a lot of beans.  Shall I sing the song for you?  heehee

I like things spicy, but really, if I’m getting Mexican, who cares?  Just give me the chips, salsa, and burrito.  I’m a happy camper!  I don’t know if I’ll be celebrating on Friday.  The Mr. will be coming home from another appointment at the Mayo Clinic, so depending on what time he gets back into town will determine if we go out for dinner.  I’d love a margarita though!

2.  Ever been to Mexico? For work or holiday? Love it or no? If you haven’t been is this a place you’d like to visit? Can you speak Spanish?

I believe I went to Mexico when I was a little girl.  It was my dad’s turn to get us for part of the summer (my parents were divorced), and I remember taking a long road trip.  I also remember him telling me not to drink the water.  He offered me beer instead, which I did not drink.  My dad was French.  Need I say more?  The only languages I speak are English and Redneck.  I understand a few Spanish words because I teach a lot of ESOL kids, but I could never carry on a conversation in this language.

3.  What’s one thing you may accomplish this month?

I may finish a knitting project I started a couple of months ago.  I find myself napping or watching TV in my down time lately.  I need to finish this project so I can move on to the next one!

4.  If you were mayor of your village, city, or town, what’s one thing you’d like to see changed, done away with, revamped, or accomplished? Is serving in public office something you’ve ever seriously considered?

I have never aspired to public office, but if I did serve as mayor, I think I’d find a way to get curbside recycling started.  When I lived in south Florida, I was able to recycle paper, plastic, and cans.  Up here, I have to take my stuff to recycling dumpsters across town.  It’s very frustrating, but it’s something I do because I believe in it.

5.  What’s something that may be popular, but that you just don’t get?

How about that new Starbucks drink . . . the Unicorn Frappuccino?  Here’s an article I just found about some other new things Starbucks has planned.

I actually posted a link for a recipe that Detoxinista, a gal who’s written a cookbook that I prepare from weekly, created as a healthier alternative.

Borrowed from Detoxinista’s website (I hope she doesn’t mind since I’m giving her credit here).

I think that the brouhaha surrounding it has actually been good.  I’d like to think that it’s making people aware of how unhealthy drinks such as this one are.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I like a Starbucks hot chocolate every once in a while, but ever since I re-started my fitness journey a year and a half ago and started monitoring what I’m eating, I’ve become leery of wasted calories and other things contained in such drinks.

So yeah.  I don’t get it.

6.  Can’t let this week slip by without mentioning Thursday May 4th is Star Wars Day. As in ‘May the 4th be with you’ ahem. Are you a fan of the Star Wars series? Exactly how much of a fan are you? On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being ‘I’ve seen every film, own the action figures, might have dressed as Darth Vader for Halloween one year‘, and 1 being, ‘what’s a Vader?‘ -where do you land?

I love this movie franchise and would rate myself as a 10, given Joyce’s criteria.  I have seen every film, many times, I’m pretty sure we own some action figures, and I have dressed up as a character for Halloween before (when I was a child).  In fact, the first movies came out when I was little.  I remember going to the theater to see them.  I had a Star Wars themed birthday party one year.  Because I had one moment when I was cool.

I even used the Star Wars theme of passion and ill-fated lovers when I did my student teaching seven years ago.  The teacher I was working with was covering Romeo and Juliet.

I rest my case.

7.  Scroll back through your blog posts and in three sentences or less tell us the general theme of your fourth blog post. Does it still ring true today? Is it a topic you re-visit on your blog from time to time?

Oh my goodness . . . what a walk down memory lane!  I had to go all the way back to November 2007 for that fourth post!  Can you believe it’s been almost ten years?!  Here’s the link to it.

Not surprisingly, I wrote about knitting and a swap I’d participated in.

All of that yarn has been knit up since then.  In fact, that Big green yarn became a hat I became infamous for during high school soccer games.

Knitting has definitely been a theme in MANY of my blog posts.  When we traveled for soccer games, I always found yarn stores.  Las Vegas had, by far, the BEST ever!  Of course, I blogged about my splurge, much deserved because I’d just finished my coursework for my Bachelor’s degree.

It’s through knitting that I’ve met some of my best friends.  In fact, it’s because of knitting that I started writing a blog!  When I signed up for Ravelry, a website dedicated to fiber arts, there was a spot on my profile page for a blog URL.  I did some research and voila, a blog was born!  I mean, I had to have something to put in that blank, right?

8.  My Random Thought

I really want to use this space to vent a little . . . but I’m not.  I think I’m going to pray about what I want to vent about.

Instead, I’ll post these happy pictures, taken last Thursday.

Please admire my double chin.  I take enough selfies.  One would think that I’d remember to hold the phone up in the air, not down.  Sheesh.

Here’s a picture I took Thursday evening when I attended my nephew’s baseball game.

That’s super sis.  Hey girl!

Super Sis’s family lives a couple of hours away, but my nephew’s school was playing a high school next door to me (my school’s rival team), so it was very convenient to watch him.  I’d never seen him play before but knew he was an incredible athlete.  We have always said that he’s a female version of my Chicky.

He was first up at bat and by golly, he hit a home run!  It was his second ever!  He hit the first one a few games ago when Chicky was visiting.  We think it must be our side of the family that brings him uber good luck when we are in attendance.

His team beat the local team . . . which was ranked first in the state.  Whoop Whoop!

It was a fun way to break up the week and put a smile on my face going into Friday.

Hodgepodging in the Rain

Hey y’all!  I’m back after a two-week hiatus.  Joyce has some fun, Spring-y questions for us today, so I couldn’t resist joining in!  Thanks for visiting!  I’ll try to pay you back in kind when I get home after physical therapy.

1.  April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Has your April been filled with showers? Do you carry an umbrella, wear a slicker, or make a run for it? Besides rain, what else has filled your April? 

We have had a few showers around these parts.  I’ve always got an umbrella, or two, or three.  I might be a little obsessed…with not messing up my hair, that is.  Ha!  I need to cover up because I cannot make a run for it because my ankle hasn’t healed enough for that.  As it is, I have to walk extremely slowly when the ground is wet so I don’t slip and injure myself again.

What else has filled the month?  Testing.  Lots of it.  Because I’m a teacher in this great U.S. of A., where those in ivory towers think we should test our kids to death.

I’ve also been rehabbing my ankle.  Every week.  I love that part of my month, though, because I am getting a little better…most weeks, anyway.

2.  What’s something you could you give a 30-minute presentation on at a moment’s notice and with zero preparation?

I could give a 30-minute presentation on how to foster a love of reading in teenagers.  It’s what I do very well, thanks to great mentors who taught me everything they know.  My students cannot wait for silent reading time.  They love the library I’ve built up over the years and the fact that I’ve read a lot of the books myself.  We have wonderful discussions.  I love sharing my passion and ideas with other teachers.

3.  Share with us a favorite food memory from childhood.

I remember lazy weekend afternoons when my step-dad would grill out.  I loved sitting on the porch, smelling that wonderful aroma that means summer is full-on.  We used to plate up the steaks with fresh tomatoes and baked potatoes.  Although I haven’t eaten meat since 2010, I still fondly remember those days.

4.  What’s a song you thought you knew the lyrics to, but later discovered you were wrong?

I am drawing a complete blank.  I don’t think I really messed up the lyrics of songs.  Now the actual tone…if I tried to sing…well, you know.  We can’t all be Carrie Underwood.

5.  According to one travel website, the most overrated tourist attractions in America are-
Niagara Falls (NY), Hollywood Walk of Fame (California), Times Square (NYC), Epcot (FL), Seattle Space Needle (WA), and Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market (Boston). How many of these have you seen in person? Did you feel like a tourist? Did you care? Tell us about a place (not on the list) you’ve visited that might be considered a tourist trap, but you love it anyway.

I have been to Niagara Falls (the Canadian side) and Epcot.  I did feel like a tourist at Niagara Falls.  I was a kid and don’t think I cared one bit that I was a visitor.  I have never felt like a tourist at Epcot.  I mean, I’ve lived in Florida for nearly my entire marriage.  Epcot feels like home.

Las Vegas is a total tourist trap from the moment you get off the plane.  We went there a number of years ago for one of Chicky’s tournaments.  In fact, it’s the first time that Rebecca commented on my blog.  Do you remember that, Rebecca?  A friendship was born!

I remember that she told me to just have fun.  I was mortified at how commercial it was.   I wouldn’t mind going back now that I’m an empty-nester.  I might enjoy it a little more since I wouldn’t have to worry about people shoving girlie cards into the hands of my sweet son (which is what happened the last time we went).

6.  Your signature clothing item?

I am a summer dress girl.  I love my sundresses, paired with cardigans to keep things professional, and live for the warm weather when I can wear them.  I love dressing up for school, and my students seem to appreciate the effort.  A few years ago, I wore dresses every day for over a month.  The day I finally wore a pair of pants, one of my students said, “Thank heavens!  You’re finally wearing something different!”  Ha!

7.  What’s an experience you’ve had you think everyone should experience at least once? Why?

Well, it’s certainly not breaking an ankle.  I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, even with the blessings that have been showered on me since it happened.

I think that an experience everyone should have is attending a basic training graduation.

You might remember that last Memorial Day, I got to attend my sweet Rooster’s graduation in San Antonio.

I got to hear over 700 new Airmen recite the Airman’s Creed, professing their loyalty to the United States.

It was awe-inspiring.

The entire weekend was incredible.  Seeing people stop my son at the mall…at Riverwalk…wherever we went…thanking him for his service and then watching him humbly offer thanks in return filled my heart with pride.

There has been so much negativity since the election.  I think people are starting to forget what a privilege it is to live in this country.  They’ve taken for granted the freedom that others fought to establish and continue to fight to protect.

You can’t walk away from a graduation without a renewed sense of patriotism.

Shout out to my sweet boy for what he does…what he sacrifices…because he wants to make a real difference.

8.  My Random Thought

We have five and a half weeks of school left.  But who’s counting.  Ahem.

I’ve been busy writing lesson plans through the rest of the school year, getting copies made, and straightening up my room one area at a time.

After the bad week I had (last week) with my ankle, I am eager to have the time off…time when I can put my foot up if it’s not doing well…try new recipes…read to my heart’s content…and rest from the hard year I’ve had.

Six Mondays, y’all.

I’m determined to finish strong before I hibernate for the summer.

A Green Thumb Hodgepodge

It’s a stormy day around these here parts, so school got canceled.  I cannot say that I am unhappy about that!  With the unexpected day to myself, I’m puttering around the house…hence the later-than-usual Hodgepodge post.  Join in with Joyce to play along!

1.  April is Lawn and Garden Month. On a scale of 1-10 what’s the current state of your lawn and/or garden. (10=a showpiece, 1=send in the professionals). Tell us about any lawn or garden plans you have for this month.

I’d say that my yard is probably at a 4 or a 5 right now.  Both of my lawn mowers are currently out of commission.  The Mr. ordered a self-propel cable so I can fix the push mower.  We are going to need to call someone about the riding mower.  I’m not comfortable testing out the battery on my own.  There are also weeds in my front flower beds, but I’m not able to squat down to pull them, and I refuse to call that physical therapy.  Ha!

2.  Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there.”~Thomas Fuller  What does this quote mean to you?

Oh wow.  This is kind of deep.  Let’s see.  I may be totally off base, but I’m thinking that maybe it means that our choices provide the foundation for the fruit we produce in our lives.  Hence, what we may originally intend to produce may not actually grow if we aren’t careful.  On the other hand, there may be unexpected beauty that develops because we are obedient to the Great Gardener himself.

3.  What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about God?

Provision.

I have been so humbled by the way that God has provided for me in recent months.  He is healing my body and that of my Mr.  Every time I’ve run up against something challenging, He has provided an answer.  God loves me, and He’s taking care of me.

4.  If we were chatting in person, how would I know if you were nervous?

This is tough for me to answer because I don’t know what it’s like to be the person talking to me.  I guess I probably play with my hair a little.  I have no idea!

5.  Do you like the color yellow? Would I find any in your home or wardrobe? Daffodils, tulips, roses, sunflowers, day lily, black eyed susan…which yellow bloom on this list is your favorite?

I like yellow, although I can only wear it in small doses…not an entire piece of clothing.  I don’t have it anywhere in my home either, although I wouldn’t be opposed to it showing up one day.  The thing that is favorite from Joyce’s list is definitely the sunflower.  The exude brightness and joy.

6.  Flip flops or bare feet?

I am a country girl.  I’ll go barefoot any day.  Just today, when I walked across the physical therapy room barefooted, I told my therapist how I remembered not being able to do this just a short time ago…another small sign of progress.

7.  Tell us about any Easter plans, celebrations, or traditions you’ll carry out this month.

I do not have any Easter plans, celebrations, or traditions I’ll carry out this month except to attend church that Sunday.  Because the Mr. and I attend most weeks, this doesn’t seem like a true “tradition.”  I sure do miss the days of dyeing eggs with my kiddos when they were little…watching them come downstairs to look at their baskets…taking them to Easter egg hunts at the church.

Sigh.

8.  My Random Thought

This was everything to me last night…

Did any of you watch Prison Break back in the day?

I remember how heartbroken I was when the series ended, and I’ve watched it a few times on Netflix since then.

My heart rejoiced when I saw that it would be returning.

During the premier, I tweeted and retweeted more than I think I ever have at one time!  I had so much fun!

I can’t put my finger on only one specific thing that I love about this show.

It has always pulled at my heartstrings.

Its themes of brotherly love…friendship…beating the odds…they just resonate with me.  I have also always loved Michael’s cleverness.  I’m a puzzle type of gal, and he’s all about that, with each part of his plan fitting perfectly together…until it didn’t.

So yeah.  I’m a pretty happy girl right now.

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