The Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. The Hodgepodge lands this year on National Secret Keeping Day…on a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being I’m a blabbermouth and 10 being-I’m a vault) how good are you at keeping secrets?

Interesting. I used to have loose lips, but when I entered my 60’s I realized that keeping my own council was a good thing. I’m not a 10, but I am far better than I used to be!

I read here nine jobs for people who can keep a secret-cybersecurity worker, executive assistant, housekeeper, lawyer, nuclear plant technician, physician, private investigator, psychologist, security guard.  Of the jobs listed, which one most interests you and why?

Psychologist. I would love that as I truly believe that talk therapy can make so much difference in people’s lives.

2. What’s the secret of life (or one of them anyway)?

Live, Laugh, and love. Be selfless and giving and you will lead a happy life.

3. Off the record, best-kept secret, a fly on the wall, top-secret, my lips are sealed, secret shopper, as quiet as a mouse, poker face, spill the beans, open secret, bite your tongue…which secret idiom can you best relate to right now? Explain.

Off the record. Arnie’s illness is causing everyone to be very nervous. I cannot seem to get people to speak to me on the record..yet..about Arnie’s illness. But the day will come.

4. Spill it, what’s the secret ingredient in one of your favorite recipes?

Parmesan cheese added to my meatball recipe gave it a really rich flavor!

5. My mama celebrates a big birthday tomorrow. Share a favorite quote, song lyric, saying, or verse of scripture that will add some sunshine to her day (ours too!)


6.  Insert your own random thought here. 

I know Arnie is feeling better. He is running around, barking at Lili and the day to day hum of doggy life is returning to normal. For all of this, I am very thankful!

Have a great mid-week everyone!

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Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Are you currently making plans of any kind? What kind? What emotions are associated with the planning process? Tell us about one plan you had to cancel due to the current situation which shall remain nameless. Ha!

Well, I have no plans. Right now I have two sick doggies, and they both need my love, affection, and attention. I have become nurse, pharmacist, and doggie chef. Anneliese seems to have turned the corner, but Arnie is still one very sick boy and he will be for a while.

It’s my hope that at some point I will be able to get away to see my grandchildren, but right now I simply cannot leave Arnie.

2. Last time you saw stars, either literally or figuratively?

Tuesday. I am not sure what happened. I am thinking it is stress. But just before lunch I was so dizzy I needed to lie down. Arnie and I took a two-hour nap and now I am feeling slightly better.

3. Blueberries yay or nay? Blueberry pie, blueberry muffins, blueberry yogurt, blueberries by the handful…what’s your pleasure?

I love Blueberries! Blueberry anything!!! So sweet and so very good!

4. Swim against the tide, swimming upstream, in the swim, sink or swim, makes your head swim…choose one of the ‘swim’ idioms listed and tell us how/why you relate?

Makes my head swim! Yes, right now with so much doggy illness and neediness around me, my head is swimming.

5. Sum up your June in a single sentence.

It was the best of times and the worst of times, with health and happiness and sickness all around.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

The healthy lifestyle change continues. I am doing great! Another week with a good loss, and now, I am a mere 28 pounds from my goal weight! I am happy and proud and thrilled all at the same time.

Food piramid

It’s the hardest thing I have ever done and yet, once I set my mind to it, I did it. Learning the correct way to eat was a really big thing for me. I also promised myself that this will be something I will carry through the rest of my life.

Maribeth Dackel

The Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. This time last year where were you?

Just back from my vacation and trying to get caught up with my life.

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I was also really getting into my birds.

2. In honor of National Pink Day (June 23rd) tell us your favorite pink food or beverage. Was it on the menu at your house yesterday? Do you like to wear the color pink? If we came to visit would we find this color in your home decor? Blush-Fuschia-salmon-raspberry-your favorite shade of pink?

I used to love pink and various shades of pink, but in recent years I have become a blue lady. I am not wearing any pink today.

3. Stop and smell the roses, looking through rose-colored glasses, a rose by any other name, not all moonlight and roses, no rose without a thorn…which rosy saying currently fits your life in some way? Explain.

Stop and smell the roses. I am trying each and every day to remember to look around me and find things that are beautiful and good and lovely. There is too much in the world that is bleak and bad. No, we should all, Stop and Smell the Roses!

4. Are you a ‘reader’? Do you tend to read lighter books in the summer months? Do you have a summer reading list? If so, give us a title or two.

I used to devour books. That was before all my eye surgeries. Now my eyes become very tired, very easily. I do like light reading when I do read. Romance, the simple family reads. I do not like horror or murder mysteries. I LOVE reading to Savannah and Quinn!

5. Share with us one rose and one thorn from your weekend.

My three roses.

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P6160025 copyArnie.


And my THORN!

Screenshot_20200623-065115_WW MobileI am not happy with this week’s weight loss. I am sure in the grand scheme of things there is some cosmic reason for the crappy weight loss, but it really ticks me off! I do not eat the way I once did and you would think it would show more than -.4! I know the grand total is good, but I really like it when I lose more than a pound a week. Errrrr!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Since the numbers on the scale were not kind to me this week, I will double down and try even harder. Hopefully, I will do better next week!

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The Wednesday Hodgepodge June 17th

1. Saturday marks the first official day of summer! Whoohoo! Your favorite thing about the season?

Sunshine! Blue skies! Leaves on trees! Flowers! Fresh produce! And long days!

2. Love it! a labor of love, not for love or money, no love lost, love handles, love does, love-hate relationship, misery loves company, tough love, love will find a way…pick one and tell us how it applies to your life right now.

Love it! I’m really enjoying the WW Program! I’m embracing the new way of eating and I feel good about the weight loss! 42.6 lbs! Slow and steady!

3. What’s one thing currently causing you to seethe? One thing currently making you smile?

Well, I am not allowing anything to make me seethe so I pass on that. So much is making me smile. I choose not to allow things to bring me down. I choose to look at the bright side, the Sunnyside parts of life!

4. Of the following to-dos found on a summer checklist which three (I picked 4) would definitely make your personal list of summer want-to-dos?

  • watch the sunset from a beach, Not this year. I try to get down to my home town each year and sit not at the beach and watch the sunset. But Covid-19 is still making things crazy. Does a Lake count?
  • catch fireflies, As soon as I see my first one!
  • stargaze, Every night!
  • make a summer road trip, I would love too!

Do you make an actual list? Of things to do in the summer? Not really unless it involves a trip!

5. Thursday is National Splurge Day. What might you splurge on in order to celebrate?

Time to go and get more bird suet. I also would like to get a birdbath for them.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

On Tuesday my girls from the back row at WW met at a local park. We had not seen each other since March 11th.

Our meeting has not opened, and honestly, we do not think it will. WW is cutting down the number of meetings they will have. Rural areas like mine, that meet in a Community Center, don’t fit the profile anymore. The closest meeting area will likely be 45 miles away.

In any case, we decided that we all missed each other. We’ve been together since 2008! So we brought our folding lawn chairs and met at the park. We’ll be inviting others as we go forward.

I have to say, it was a wonderful gathering. You see, WW isn’t just the program, it’s the people who attend the meeting too!

Will someone please explain this to Oprah!


The Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What’s something you could do today to feel more peaceful?

Well, let’s see. My plan is to try to stay doing the things I do every day. Somehow the routine things, cooking meals, making the bed, vacuuming, all keep me steady and balanced.

2. June 2nd is National Rotisserie Chicken Day. Who knew? Are you a fan of rotisserie chicken? You’ve purchased one at your local market for tonite’s dinner. Will you serve as is or make something else using the chicken?

It’s what’s for dinner tonight, Joyce! I have a rotisserie oven, which I love. I bought a Perdue roaster and will make that in the rotisserie oven for our dinner. That rotisserie oven was the best purchase I made for our kitchen 20 years ago!

3. I read a list recently (go here to read more) of 20 of the most beautiful places in America. How many of these have you seen up close and in person? Of the sites on this list that you haven’t seen, which would you most like to see?

Kenai Fjords Alaska, Not the Kenai, but I have been to Alaska. I think the Fjord we toured was called Tracy Arm. Amazingly Beautiful!

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The White Mountains New Hampshire, This is where I live. It is full of wonder and beauty. I guess it’s why we call the mountains of New Hampshire home!

IMG_7008 (2)We have Mountains and fields of wildflowers and landscapes galore.


As well as Lupines everywhere. The Lupines are a bright purple flower. I feel blessed to live in this State.

The Berkshires Massachusetts, Funny this. I have spent a little time there. As a teen, I went skiing with a Youth Group because I was crazy about a boy. Don’t we do crazy things when we are 13 and love-struck! We went to Butternut Basin to ski and after one lesson I decided I wanted to impress this guy. Let’s just say, it didn’t work out, and I was on crutches for a bit!  

Acadia National Park Maine, I’ve been there and it’s lovely.

Central Park New York City, Niagara Falls New York. I have been to both places and they are nice. Niagra Falls more so than the City.

Oddly enough, my wanderlust is not what it once was. Perhaps this is due to the Pandemic.

4. What’s one pretty spot you’d add to the list in question #3? Are there travel plans of any kind on your calendar right now? Does that make you happy, anxious, excited, or relieved?

I love Cape Cod. It’s my home. I will return when it is safe to do so. I have no travel plans at all. I do not feel safe or comfortable traveling.

31460932_10156100783311183_6280346246750142464_nThis is Nobska Light House in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

5. Tell us one un-COVID related thing you’re looking forward to in the month of June.

More fresh vegetables coming in. I’ve become quite the veggie eater!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

This week I reached a major milestone. I have now lost over 40 pounds on the WW Program. I have lived this program for 22 weeks and had great success.

June 2 2020

Most of the time I do very well, but there were days that were very tough. I have more to go, and I know that my change in the way I prepare food, the portion sizes, and also the kinds of food.

I’m feeling happy and sort of proud of myself. This is something I have wanted for a very long time and it’s finally happening!

Maribeth Dackel

The Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. In a single sentence tell us something about your 40’s. If you haven’t reached that milestone yet tell us (in a single sentence) something about whatever decade you’re in now.

I moved back to my beloved State of New Hampshire and built a house.

2. Life begins at forty. Agree or disagree? Tell us why. And if not at forty, when?

I don’t know, I think for me, life began at 60! I absolutely love being in my 60’s! I feel I am a kinder, gentler version of my younger self.

3. Share a favorite book, song, or quote with a number featured in it somewhere. 

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.”…Mark Twain

4. A picture’s worth a thousand words, a stitch in time saves nine, back to square one, catch-22, on cloud nine, my two cents…pick a number phrase and tell us how it applies to your life currently.

Well, I guess mine would be, on cloud nine! Today Jack and I worked and installed the air conditioner in our bedroom window. I do not sleep well in a warm room and so the last few nights I have not slept well at all. Now the air conditioner is in, and I will be able to sleep!

5. Last time you drove more than 40 miles from home? More than 400 miles from home? Where were you going? Was it before or after this current season of social distancing?

The last time I drove more than 40 miles away from my home was when I went to the Glaucoma Specialist on March 13th. I saw her, saw my daughter, kissed and hugged her for the last time, and then drove home.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I sat down over the weekend and ordered gifts for Savannah’s birthday. This is the first birthday I have not been with my grand-girl and it is just breaking my heart! I know it won’t last forever, but right now it just feels like this blasted Virus has taken so much away from me. All the people and things that I love.

The Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Ever played the game Farkle? Are you a risk-taker? In games only or also in life?

I am not a risk-taker at all. I like slow and steady and safe. What the heck is Farkle?

2. What’s your favorite thing about your yard or whatever outdoor space you may have?

Oh, the views we have of the hills and the lakes. It’s beautiful!


3. Tell us about the most interesting building you’ve seen or been in.

I love castles and have been to so many in England and Germany. I cannot pick a favorite, but if you twisted my arm, I like the British Castles the best. The stone-work and usually lovely views.

4. In this current season of social distancing, what’s something you’ve come to realize you take for granted in more ordinary times? Do you think you’ll make a conscious effort to appreciate whatever that ‘it’ is once normal life resumes?

I think the ability to say, “Hey, I think I’ll jump in my car, go see my grandchildren and take everyone out to eat!”

Yes, when I can once again see my grandbabies (they are not really babies, but in my heart they are) I will never again take that for granted.

5. Share a favorite song with a springtime flower in the lyrics somewhere.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Although this self-isolation finds many people eating the wrong things, I decided that I would make this the “Weight Loss Isolation.” I am using the WW Green Plan and since our in-person meetings ended March 11th, I have had to do this using the online web-site and also the online WW Meetings. I plan, I plan and then I plan again. And it is working. Here is my Weekly Weigh-in.

Screenshot_20200512-071101_WW MobileI had begun to believe I could not do this. I am happy to say, that yes, it can be done!

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The Wednesday Hodgepodge

1.  Question day this week lands on Cinco de Mayo. Are/were tacos on your Tuesday night menu? Hardshell, soft shell or just gimme all the tacos? Are you even a fan of Mexican food? Do you like your salsa mild, spicy, or somewhere in between? Margaritas-Frozen, on the rocks, or no thank you? Have you ever been to Mexico

I love Mexican food, but right now, it has no place on my menu (for me). I plan to make Jack hardshell tacos, with refried beans, spicy salsa, and guacamole.
I have been to Mexico three times and have gotten sick all three times. So, it is no longer on my list of destinations.

2. What’s something you may do this month?

I hope I am able to buy some baby plants. Tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, and summer squash. I would love a little garden to tend during this Pandemic.

3. Tell us what’s happening in your state or town as far as restaurants, salons, parks, beaches, businesses opening up. How do you feel about it? Are you out and about or hunkered down? Do you wear a mask?

First, yes I always wear a mask. I also wear gloves and I change gloves often. Our State is opening very slowly. Hair salons can open with a long list of regulations. Our beaches are still closed, but that isn’t too bad because it is still cold up here.
I am still hunkered down. When I go out I still wear protective gear and wash, wash, wash my poor dried up hands. I think they’re moving too fast.
That being said, New Hampshire is very much a tourist destination. People from New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts have summer homes up here. As they return, our numbers are soaring.

4. Mother nature, everybody and their mother, mom jeans, like mother like daughter, soccer mom, mother hen, mother lode, necessity is the mother of invention, stay-at-home mom…pick one and tell us how it applies to your life right now.

It’s getting pretty around here, so I will pick Mother Nature. Once we get through “Mud-Season” New Hampshire is quite lovely. In another two weeks, our fruit trees should be blossoming.

5. April showers bring May flowers…what’s blooming in your yard or garden today?



But there are tiny buds on our Apple, Peach, and pear trees. Soon…

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I’m tired. I’m really tired.


Not just physically tired, but some days I am just weary. In the last few days, I have felt this quite a bit. It’s an effort just to keep everything going.

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The Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Expect the unexpected on From This Side of the Pond. Here’s my x-ray question…when was the last time you felt like Superman? What’s your superpower? Explain.

This morning when I stepped on the scale and realized in 4 short months I have now lost 35.2 pounds! My superpower isn’t losing the weight, but by planning, cooking, and tracking the healthful foods that are making me work toward my goal of being healthy and slender!

2. Are you a fan of the ‘superhero’ type movies? If so what’s your favorite?

Not really, but since my grandson, Quinn wants to be Spiderman,


 I will say the Spiderman series.

3. Have you postponed or canceled a trip to the dentist in recent weeks, and if so when do you think you’ll feel comfortable going back? How about other routine medical procedures?

I just had my teeth cleaned in February. Whew! I do need to schedule a mammogram and my colonoscopy. Both were canceled due to the Epidemic.

4. What’s something that makes you feel youthful? Something that makes you feel ‘not so youthful’? Tell us why.

Ha! After all this time without seeing my hair-stylist, the very gray roots on my head probably are what makes me feel older. As far as youthful, well it’s all in my mind. In my mind, I think young, but in a wiser kind of way. Oh, if only I knew then what I know now.

5. I feel compelled to include some sort of corona related question in the HP these days. What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen in relation to the virus? Something that really struck you as odd, made you stop and think, ‘Dorothy we’re not in Kansas anymore?’

Several. One was shocking! A young mother had her perhaps six-month-old baby in the grocery carriage and the baby was chewing on the handle! Ewe! Disturbing. The other was seeing a big, burly, motorcyclist, get off his Harley in leather boots, jean shorts, that had been torn to the knees, a t-shirt, with a puffy camo vest, a bandana on his face and another one on his head. Oh, and I almost forgot, his 8-inch beard was sticking out every which way! I smiled and stifled a giggle behind my own mask!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I guess my biggest thoughts right now revolve around the Covid-19 Virus and how long I’ve been away from my family and friends. I miss them all so much and I hope and pray that this will all begin to abate soon so that we can get together again.


The Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What’s something you resolved to do this year? Have you done it?

Actually, yes I have. Sitting in my chair just after Christmas, looking at pictures of myself, I really felt bad. I was so unhappy with what I saw and how I felt.


So on New Year’s Eve, I went to the WW App and started their “Green Program” diet. I was worried I would fail, but each day I became more and more steadfast and determined. As of today, I have now lost 34 pounds!

2. Where do you go to find quietude?

I’m not sure that I actually have one place. I certainly have places that I escape to. I love to go to my hometown on Cape Cod, and just sit at Surf Drive Beach.

66009326_10157416039441499_915070128469573632_nMe a few years ago at Surf Drive Beach.

April and October are my favorite times there because the tourists are not around.

3. A friend asked this question on her Facebook page and said I could borrow it for the Hodgepodge…you’re only allowed to buy 5 things at the grocery store, and all must start with the first letter of your first name. Whatcha’ buying?

  1. Marinated chicken
  2. Macoun Apples
  3. Moussaka
  4. Meat
  5. Mandarin oranges

4. The television show Survivor, the Gloria Gaynor song ‘I Will Survive’, survival mode, the survival of the fittest…pick one and discuss.

I guess I have felt like I’ve been in “Survival Mode”. Making lists to be sure I have food to eat, bills paid. I’ve had all three dogs to the Vets, as they all chose this time to have one thing after another go wrong. All are on the mend, but I could have gotten along much better if they’d all remained healthy.

5. Share a favorite quote or saying about strength.

“She Stood In The Storm, & When The Wind Did Not Blow Her Way, She Adjusted Her Sails” -Elizabeth Edwards

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I’ve learned a lot during the quarantining of our country. I miss my family. I miss smiling at people. I miss waking up in the morning at my daughter’s home and having my two precious grandchildren climb into bed and cuddle with me.

I miss cook-outs and pool swims and playing with legos and coloring books.

There is so much in our day to day lives that we take for granted. I won’t take these blessings for granted ever again.

What’s the most important thing in life? Love, family, friends, being together.

When this is all over, we will be together again.