The Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Howdy Hodgepodge-ers. It’s kind of fun to be back, isn’t it?  The last time we met was September 2018. Tell me something big-important-happy-or sad that’s happened in your life since that date. Just one thing. We don’t know how long this current isolation situation is going to last and we might need to dole out our news bit by bit.

I took my granddaughter on a trip to my hometown on Cape Cod.


Just me and Savannah. We walked all around the village of Falmouth, Massachusetts, stayed in a nice hotel and went to the beach each day to play and swim. It was the best

2. Might as well get this out of the way early on…COVID-19. On a scale of 1-5, how serious are you about keeping your distance? Explain. FYI-I didn’t create the scale but have seen it several places online. Also, FYI-we won’t only have virus-related questions each week, but for this first one, it feels right.

1-Not at all, living normally
2-Cautious but still going out
3-Going out as needed, mostly home or working from home, still seeing friends/family
4-Extremely limited, only going out when unavoidable, minimal contact with people
5-Full lockdown, no one in or out

Okay, We are #4. My husband goes nowhere, and I go out perhaps once a week to quickly get fresh foods.


Other than that, we are in and that is it.

(Excuse my messy hair. It was a bad hair day for sure!)

3. Raise your hand if you think you might run out of steam in the cooking department before it’s all said and done? What’s something delicious you’ve cooked or eaten in your kitchen in the past week?

I love to cook and mostly we are stay-at-home types anyway. There are two things I’ve made that have been great! One is Cucumber Salad, made with a light oil & Vinegar marinade and Dill! It tastes great and lasts a long time in the fridge.


The other great thing was Chicken and Cabbage Soup with lots of vegetables. Perfect comfort food!

4. What’s a television show or movie you’ve seen recently (it could be an oldie) that you liked?

Well, I am a Homeland fan and since this is it’s last season I am watching every episode. I also love This Is Us and last night was the last episode of the season.


5. Share something funny you’ve seen or heard this week.

“It is going to snow a little but it won’t be too bad. Ha!”

20200324_0725356-8 inches of the heavy white stuff!

6. Insert your random thought here

I sure hope we get back to normal life soon. Now, I love my husband, but too much togetherness will drive a sane person mad! That being said, I am trying to stay calm and let the little things go. I think we are all on edge. Except for the dogs. They love having us around all the time!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. I feel most energized when ….

I am with my grandchildren. Playing, reading to them, Even watching Savannah or Quinn’s favorite movies, Frozen, Cars or Jumanji! Just being with them is the best!


2. Where were you ten years ago?

Right here, but in the middle of puppies. In that I was breeding Greta, getting ready to breed Anneliese, going to dog shows and really into all things Dackel!

3. July 17th is World Emoji Day. Do you use emojis? Which one’s your favorite? Your most used?

Yes, I do. I  love to emphasize my feelings with them. My most used Emoji’s are hearts and praying hands.

4. What song would you put on a wedding DO NOT PLAY list?

Love Will Tear Us Apart (by Joy Division), Another One Bites the Dust (by Queen), 50 Ways to Leave your Lover (by Paul Simon), Love Stinks (by J. Geils Band), D-I-V-O-R-C-E (by Tammy Wynette)

5. What deserves less of your attention? More of your attention?

The mindless crap in the world that seems to get non-stop coverage on the TV. The fact is, much of this stuff I have very little control over. It can only make me upset. So definitely less. More attention? Probably my husband. Lately I feel like I should be doing more.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

I got great news on Monday. A few months back I found a lump under my arm. No one could tell me what it was and I’m afraid I let the worst thoughts go through my mind. I finally got a complete workup done and the results came in on Monday. It is a small fluid-filled cyst! Eventually, it will be reabsorbed and life will be as it was. But all is right in my world once again! Pass the champagne! (And he did!)


Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What’s something in your house you’d like to get rid of but can’t?

Nothing really. If I didn’t like it, it wouldn’t be here. Perhaps I would rearrange things with some new furniture, but all in good time.

2. When is the last time you experienced a sense of nostalgia? Elaborate.

Today. I found out that a man that I had dated only once, but who had been a very good friend all through High School died suddenly. Our one date was on a summer night, on Cape Cod, when we walked all over our town, eventually ending up at the Town Band Concert. I remember sitting with him, on a bench near the Harbor listening to the music. On that one date, we talked and joked. It was sweet, and in the end, we remained good friends. I really liked this man and my heart is broken at his early passing. The strange thing is, he lived just down the road from me all this time, in New Hampshire. I never knew. Dear Friend, rest in peace…

3. You’re only allowed three apps on your smartphone or tablet…which three do you keep?

WAZE, Word With Friends, and Weight Watchers. WAZE is the best and it gets me where I want to go, plus tells me about traffic, speed traps and more. Words With Friends, as it’s the only game I play and I enjoy this! Lastly, Weight Watchers. I can scan in barcode, as well as track my food. Very handy!

4. July 11th is National Blueberry Muffin Day. Who knew? Do you like blueberry muffins? If you were going to have a muffin would blueberry be your choice? What’s the last thing you baked?

I love Blueberry Muffins. They are wonderful. But I don’t want to take the points hit. My favorite muffin is probably blueberry. Last week I made Chocolate Chip Muffins for the kids. I make little mini muffins for them and they love them!

5. What’s the biggest way you’ve changed since you were a child? In what way are you still the same?

I guess you could say that this answers both questions. It’s been a long time since I was a child! In the last few years, I have tried to become a better listener. I am too empathetic. By that I mean that someone will say “I have a terrible splinter” and I will say “I had the worst splinter ever when I was 15”, trying to let them know that I understand their pain. However, what they really wanted and needed was for me to listen and to say, “I’m so sorry. Did you get it out?” So this is what I am trying to do. Be empathetic, but not make it about me.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I’d hoped to wake and find Anneliese all better on Tuesday morning. This did not happen. Her eye still looks bad. If she is not a little better on Thursday, I will need to call the Vet. again.


Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Security or freedom? Can you have both? Explain.

I think we can have both. I grew up, Post Cold War, then when we were in Vietnam and supposedly fighting for freedom, and now post 9/11 where we are continuing to fight for freedom. America’s Freedom is why people are so desperate to come here. I still believe in our Country. Although right now, I feel we are a little lost in our challenge to remain free.

2. If you could visit any historical American site what would it be? Why?

When Jack and I had our motorcoach we spent a lot of time visiting American Civil War Battlefields. So much history there. So, I guess currently the 9/11 Monument and Museum in New York City.

I had an odd happening at the Twin Towers. A few years before the attack, Jack took me there to see the buildings and have a meal at the top. As I stood outside one of the Towers, I was overcome with a feeling of dread, and I felt like a million voices were screaming at me. I couldn’t even go in. Jack then took me to The Empire State Building, and I went up to the Top and was just fine. I have always felt like my reaction at the Twin Towers was a premonition.



Jack and I at the top of the Empire State Building that day.

3. Free as a bird, free reign, be free of, free enterprise, free trip, walk away scot-free, free for all…which ‘free’ phrase can best be applied to your life in recent days or weeks? Explain.

Be Free Of! I got some very positive test results back showing I am Free Of Breast Cancer! I found a lump just under my arm, and I have had so many tests run, but the last showed that no Lymph Node is involved and that the lump is likely a cyst. I have one more test to go, but my doctor is feeling very positive about the outcome.

4. Something in your frig that’s red? Something in your house that’s white? Something in your view that’s blue?

Red, Ketchup. White Plain Yogurt. And Blue A Blue Carton of Milk!

5. July 27th is National New Jersey Day. Have you ever visited The Garden State? If so where did you go? Are there diners where you live? Have you tried Taylor Pork Roll? Do you like to play Monopoly? Saltwater taffy-yay or nay? How do you feel about shopping at the mall? Springsteen, Sinatra, or Bon Jovi-you have to pick one.

Yes, I have visited New Jersey. I spent time in Glassboro, which is in Southern New Jersey.  My girlfriend Gail, who is visiting right now went to Rowan University there, and we made a few visits to her while she was in college! Yes, we have many Diners here in New Hampshire. Good old fashioned ones. I have never had Taylor Pork Roll. Not even sure what it is. I have played Monopoly, but not a big fan. I prefer word games. Salt Water Taffy? Oh my goodness, YES! Yum! I love to Shop everywhere! Sinatra. The man was an American Classic!

Raise your hand if you know why these add-on questions are appropriate on National NJ Day.

Yes, my dear! All have to do with the fact that they are New Jersey Delights!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

After scrubbing and cleaning, my friend arrived from Delaware (she is formerly of Salem, MA, and Glassboro, NJ). Gail and I met at a Christian Camp when we were 13. We were pen-pals all these years and now with the advent of cell phones, we text or talk almost every day. But it has been six years since we have seen each other. Last night was our reunion and now the week ahead, just being together will be awesome! And this time, I get to introduce her to Savannah and Quinn!

1. Summer is upon us this week in the Northern hemisphere. Tell us three things on your summer bucket list.

  • Go to the Beach with my grandchildren.
  • Go to Canobie Lake Park with my grandchildren.
  • Spend as much time as I can with Greta.

2. Something fun you used to do as a kid in the summertime?

  • Well, I grew up on Cape Cod, so going to the beach was my favorite fun thing. Mom would pack a basket with food and drinks, she would spread a big old blanket on the sand and get her beach chair all set, and while she read her books (that woman loved to read!) we played and swam and had a blast!


My childhood beach. Surf Drive Beach.

  •  Riding my bike. I rode that bike all over town. Once I even rode the bike to the Bourne Bridge with my cousin, Janet. Why do you ask? Because it was there!

3. Rooftop or backyard? Why?

  • Backyard. I loved and still do love, the green, green, grass, and the trees all around. Somehow, summer isn’t summer, unless you spend a lot of time outside. Since I live in New Hampshire, we spend a lot of time inside during the winter months.

4. Do you read food labels? Place importance on them? Make an effort to find out/care about where your food comes from?

  • I am reading every label there are these days, as my Weight Watcher lifestyle really demands it.
  • Every label tells a story of Fats, Sugars, Fiber, and Calories.
  • It is so important to know the numbers.

5. A song you’ll have on repeat this summer?

  • You’re My Number One by Pilot. An oldie but a goodie. It makes me want to dance.
  • Hot Fun in the Summertime, by Sly & the Family Stone. Been one of my favorites for years

6. Insert your own random thought here.

  • I guess the biggest item on my to-do list is a bit of deep cleaning in the guest room and my utility closet. Both places have been ignored for some time, so I need to break out the dust mops, vacuums and rug shampooer, and get myself working. I think I will do that Thursday and Friday and Saturday. Today is another big test in Nashua, NH and so after Weight Watchers, I am off to have that done.


Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Describe your 30’s in one sentence. If you’re not yet 30 tell us one thing you hope to accomplish once you hit that particular decade.

It was a decade of learning, living and trying to find balance, as I traveled the world and saw places I’d only dreamed about.


Me standing on top of the Wall in Berlin, Germany, shortly after it “came down” and Germany was reunified.

2. Is it harder for you to exercise or eat healthy?

Both. It always has been, but last week I returned to Weight Watchers and I actually love their new plan. I’m eating well, feeling satisfied, and starting to move better as well.

3. June 7th is National VCR Day. Huh? Anyway this reminded me of something I saw on Facebook listing household items we no longer have and the VCR was on it. I couldn’t put my hands on that list, but found another list here of 21 items we all had ten years ago, but which are now obsolete-

Still have my VCR, Joyce. I am so retro! LOL!

bookshelves (WHAT!!???)
drip coffee makers,
Yes. And used every single day.
alarm clocks,
file cabinets,
desktop computers,
printed phone books,
answering machines,
fax machines,
paper shredders,
a Rolodex,
CD racks,
CD burners,
china cabinets,
home phones,
entertainment consoles,
Sort of.
DVD players,
takeout menus,
incandescent light bulbs,
and cable TV


Your thoughts? How many on the list do you still have? Still, use?

I still have almost all of them, (see list above) and I still use them all.

4. What’s something you see disappearing in the next ten years?

Oh, I am not sure. I do know that my husband’s much love, 15+-year-old flip-phone will become obsolete as Verizon will no longer support the signal, as of January 1, 2019. He is not thrilled, even though I have gotten my old Galaxy S5 cleaned up and programmed just for him. He hates change of any kind though.

5. How did you celebrate your birthday this past year? Is that typical?

It was a very nice, quiet family dinner. That’s usually how we do it. Nothing big, but my daughter made a great meal and cake!


Quinn feeding Oma (me) my cake!

Later this year, (November) is my 60th Birthday and I hope there will be some sort of special celebration!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I saw the sun briefly on Tuesday morning before the clouds returned and also some rain. I’m hoping it clears up before later on this afternoon. I must drive over the mountain here, for my test, and would really enjoy the drive more if it was sunny.


Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. The last place you visited/patronized where you felt like you were given ‘the royal treatment’?

On Jack’s 80th Birthday we went to a new to us place called “The Bob House”. We’d heard the food was good and thought we would give it a try. I mentioned to the waitress that it was Jack’s 80th Birthday. Well, after that she talked with us a lot, made sure our food came in waves, so we could enjoy each course. It was terrific!

2. The last task you completed that was a ‘royal pain’?

Let’s see, sort of gross, but cleaning up the kitchen floor after one of the dackels threw up! It was at the end of my day. I’d gotten the dishes done and I was just about to sit down to watch the TV when I heard the tell-tale sound of the dog throwing up! Ugh!

3. How have your strengths helped you succeed? How have your faults hindered you?

Probably my greatest strength is not stopping and giving up. I may not like it, or enjoy doing something (see the above answer to question #2) but once I know I have to do something I will see it through.

How have my faults hindered me? Well, my biggest fault is procrastination. So if there is something I need to do that is not an emergency, and I can ignore it (see my office) then I will put it off!

4. If you found a remote that could rewind, fast forward, stop and start time, what would you do with it?

I might be tempted to rewind. But then, realistically, would I be able to go back in time, knowing what I know? Could I “change” events? No, I think I would place the remote in a very special place. Then when I was a very old woman, I might take day trips back to special days in my life for mini visits. Life is meant to be lived in the present!

5. Any special plans for the Memorial Day weekend?

It’s Savannah’s Birthday Party weekend. So we will be going down to visit the kids and share in Savi’s happy day. Six years old!

Will you in some way honor or recognize the meaning of this day (remembering people who died in service to their country)?

We have a flag pole in our front yard. We will fly our flag and remember. Many of Jack’s Army friends have died. We pray for them and honor them.

Have you ever been to Arlington National Cemetery?

Yes. It was where Jack hoped to be buried until they changed the rules for burial. Now he will be buried in the New Hampshire Veterans Cemetary.

Does your town do anything special to mark the day?

Yes, they have a parade and prayers.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

I have so many little housekeeping things to do today and no desire to do them. Except, I have to. Laundry needs to get done, I need to mix the regular and decaffeinated coffee beans, I’m cooking a small Prime Rib, and I need to dust. Now the dusting may get put off until Thursday, but everything else must be done today!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What would you say is your biggest day to day challenge?

Thinking up new and exciting recipes so we are not always eating the same meals over and over again.

2. May 16th is National Biographers Day. What’s a biography you really enjoyed reading? Is this a genre you read regularly?

I have always enjoyed biographies about different people. The last I read was about Princess Diana. A whole slew of them came out on the 20th anniversary of her death. Lovely lady and I feel badly she is not here to witness her sons, their wives, and her grandchildren.

3. How important is keeping a clean house? Do you need to de-clutter your life?

I wish I knew someone who was good at decluttering because I would hire them on the spot. I really need to do that this year. Go through the house and declutter!

4. You’re the 8th dwarf. What’s your name?

Cookie! I love to cook and bake and so I think they would nickname me that. At least I’d like them to!

5. What’s surprised you the most about your life or life in general?

Life is not what I expected at all. I believed that if you were a good person, led a good life, and didn’t go looking for trouble, you would be fine. You know, safe. It doesn’ work like that. Life is like the John Lennon Song, “Beautiful Boy”.  There is a phrase “Before you cross the treet, take my hand, life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”. And such has been my life. Full of moments that I never expected or planned. Both good and bad and Amazing!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

A Tornado touched down in my sister’s town. My sister’s driveway is full of snapped off trees. I am so grateful that both she and her husband are fine, and that their house was not touched!


There’s a driveway under all that.


Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What are your ingredients for a perfect Saturday?

Sunny, warm weather, either a trail to walk, or a beach to visit, or perhaps if the day is not great weather wise, watching old, much-loved movies! Saturdays tend to be my catch up day. I tend to really chill out on Sundays.

2. What skill do you wish more people took the time to learn?

I think the skill of manners. In this crazy world, I am amazed how many people lack manners and common courtesy.

3. What’s something you ate as a child you can’t stand now as an adult?

Trust me, there isn’t much. This is why I struggle with my weight. There are a few things I am not fond of. Kale is one of them.  The Easter treat called PEEPS. My sister loves them, but I am just not a fan. The others I can’t think of right now. But I know there are a few.

4. Something parenting has taught you? If you’re not a parent tell us one important lesson you learned from your own parents.

Oh, now there is a great question. It took me many years to learn. I think that it is so important to live in the moment with your children. Enjoy each and every day. Play with them, laugh with them, and make memories. Time goes by so quickly. My daughter recently went to Disney with Matt and their two children. They spent the time just being with their kids, playing with them, loving them and laughing with them. What a great thing! Those memories will last a lifetime.

5. Share a favorite quote or saying about mothers or motherhood.

This is not a quote or a saying, but rather a way to honor one of the best mother’s I know. Being a mother and watching my daughter in her life, and seeing what a wonderful mother she is, fills me with such joy. Mandy is a self-made woman. She forged her own path in life and is not only an amazing person but one of the best mothers I know.


Motherhood isn’t easy, but My daughter makes it look like it is. Happy Mother’s Day Sweetheart!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

This weekend is Savannah’s Dance Recital. I’ll be driving down to go to it. I try not to miss any of the children’s events. Watching them grow and learn new things and gain confidence is a very wonderful thing. Savannah is very secure up on the stage. It’s fun to watch her and she really loves her dancing.

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Is there a flower you associate with a particular memory? Explain.

Growing up on Clipper Lane, in Falmouth, my mother had a hedge along the fence of lilacs. I would crawl under the bushes and sit and inhale the scent of her lilacs! When I smell lilacs now, it brings me right back to my mother’s lilacs. I miss them, and I miss her too!

2. Last time you helped someone? Tell us how.

I was in the grocery store today and a very small, elderly woman was trying to get a can off one of the top shelves. She almost had it, but I could see it was going to fall right on her head, and I ran over and grabbed the can and steadied her. She was quite distressed and tried to apologize for bothering me, but I smiled and I told her that I was the tallest person in my family of “circus people” and I am used to getting things off of the top shelves! This made her laugh.

3. It’s National Salsa Month (the food, not the dance) so tell us, do you like salsa? Hot, medium, or mild? Homemade, store-bought, or from your favorite restaurant only?`

I do like salsa, sometimes! But mostly, I’m not a fan, unless there are nice warm tortilla chips! Then that is just fine.

4. When I was twelve years old…

I rode my bike everywhere, still went to parks to swing on swings, and went to the beach every day in the summer. I babysat for the very first time, for a baby boy, who was born prematurely. He was so tiny! But he was a really good baby.

5. It’s the first of May so let’s run with it-first things first, don’t know the first thing about it, first dibs on something, first impression, first rate, first cousin, first string, first come first served, at first light-which phrase can best be applied to something in your life currently or even recently?

First Rate. My weekend mini vacation on Cape Cod was First Rate! We went to three new restaurants, spent time watching the Ospreys and stayed in our favorite hotel, and had a First Rate room! All in all, it was a First Rate weekend!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I had to go to the dentist today to have some minor dental work done. It required Novocain and I could feel my heart race for a good 5 minutes. I guess I will need to mention this to my dentist before any further work. I wonder if there is a Novocain like medication, without the stuff that makes one’s heart race? The numb feeling lasted nearly 5 hours! Tonight my mouth is just a little sore, but nothing too bad!