The Final Wednesday Hodgepodge


The Questions and the Answers

  1. What has been the highlight of your summer so far? (It’s still summer people!)

I cannot think of a specific, singular highlight. There are several, such as putting the awfulness that was Corpus Christi behind us and moving forward, and Tiglet and the Soot Sprites coming to live with us.


  1. What do you wish you’d done more of this summer? Less of?

I wish I’d been able to stay home more and live on my own body’s schedule more. I wish I’d been pulled in forty different directions less.

  1. Something you’re looking forward to on your September calendar?

I look forward to making more videos for our new YouTube channel – From the Kitchen of McClendon Villa, and seeing where that takes us.

  1. Best/favorite book you’ve read this summer?

My favorite book this summer was a book on a not-favorite subject: Grief.  It’s OK That You’re Not OK by Megan Divine was a really good book for me to read, in that it showed me my feelings were not wrong, that it is perfectly normal to not be on the same timetable as other folks expect me to be. You can read my review here.

  1. Share something positive, encouraging, or uplifting here.

We can endure anything for a moment. And then the next one. And then the next one. We are not alone. He is here.

  1. Insert your own random thought here.

I sure hate to see the  Hodgepodge end. I haven’t been able to be as regular with it as I would like to have been, but I always enjoyed it.  Best wishes to you, Joyce, as you go further with your writing and loving on that beautiful grandson of yours. 🙂

Notice: This post contains an affiliate link. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Wednesday Hodgepodge


The Questions and the Answers

First things first, Happy Birthday to my wonderful, funny, beautiful husband. 🙂

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.

My 30s were full of babies, children, and the biggest move of my life.

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

Exercise is harder for me. Not because I don’t want to do it, necessarily, but because of breathing difficulties.

  1. 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-

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

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

We still have and use a VCR as well as a DVD player. Our house is loaded with books, therefore, well-used bookshelves. There are at least 3 desktop computers here still in use, as well as a paper shredder, a Rolodex, CD racks, and CD burners. We have a couple of printers, one still in use and that one includes fax capabilities. “They” still deliver printed phone books about every year to the end of our driveway. We also have an old 500 phone, though we no longer have a landline. There are several calculators around here that are used. I think there is an incandescent light bulb still in one of the closets.

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

At the rate I’m going, ME!

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

I have no clue what we did for my birthday last year and, yes, that is typical – the forgetting, that is.

  1. Insert your own random thought here.

I love the Moana movie! It is so inspirational. It awakened my heart to the call of my potter ancestors.

Have a blessed day, y’all!

Wednesday Hodgepodge


The Questions and the Answers

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

Right now, I would have to say breathing. Symptoms indicate that I have gone to the next stage of COPD. I deal with it as best I can. I do a lot of praying some days.

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

I’m sure I’ve read biographies, but at the moment, I can’t think of one that I’ve read or enjoyed reading. I don’t often read biographies (not that I’m opposed to it). I do, however, read memoirs and enjoy them very much. I love to hear other people’s stories in their own words.

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

Keeping a clean house is very important, but there are too many obstacles right now for this house to be perfectly clean. Yes, my life needs to be de-cluttered, but that’s not happening right now either.

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

“Cranky” would be my name if anyone called me a dwarf. I had to put up with being called “midget” for years. I am short, fluctuating between 4’10” and 5’, but I do not meet the qualifications for being a midget. Those mean kids (and adults), however, do meet the qualifications for being jerks!

David says my name would be “Psychic Dwarf”.

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

The thing that surprises me, over and over, is that someone like me could have such beautiful children. There are many other things, but that one stands out the most.

  1. Insert your own random thought here.

We have read the Bible through several times. Each time we learn something that maybe didn’t stand out before. This time has been no different for me. Last night, I read through 1 John. It said quite clearly who antichrist is:

1 John 2:22 “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.”

1 John 4:3 “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”

ALREADY in the world. We aren’t waiting for some future time for this creature. And, we know who it is, those that deny Heavenly Father and Jesus. That sounds pretty clear to me!

I don’t know how I ever missed this the first few times through the Bible, but I’m glad I caught onto it this time.

Have a blessed day, y’all!

Wednesday Hodgepodge



The Questions and the Answers


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

Boy, do I! When I was a little girl, I absolutely loved daffodils. I still do. One of our elderly neighbors had them planted at the base of the huge tree in front of her house. I believe her name was Mrs. Cromer. She was a sweet little lady, always on her porch with a smile. One day, I picked one of her daffodils. I was little and it was so pretty. I couldn’t resist it.

My mama handled it the way these things should be handled. She had me go to Mrs. Cromer and confess what I had done, give her flower back to her, and apologize. She was very nice about it, but lesson learned. Never pick someone else’s flowers without asking!

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

One of our friends has a retail store that was hit very hard during the flooding after Hurricane Harvey. He did what he could to help his customers during that awful time (this town is still in recovery mode). Now, something he did because he thought it was the right thing to do under the circumstances has come back to bite him. As they say, no good deed goes unpunished. We are trying to help him navigate the legalities of the paperwork and acting as an interpreter/mediator for him. Please keep him in your prayers.

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 love salsa, especially the chunky variety. I don’t like it very soupy/watery. I like all of them, hot, medium, mild, but usually use medium. I’ve never made salsa, but want to at some point. I have enjoyed it as the Mexican restaurants, but Pace is what I have most often.

4. When I was twelve years old…

When I was 12 years old, I attended Oakwood Christian School. I had Choco-Mints sometimes during lunch at school. We ordered our lunch each day from Stewart and they brought it to the school. It didn’t operate a regular cafeteria program like the public schools.

It was the year that I “became a woman”. I was introduced to a rather old-fashioned way of dealing with “protection” and it involved belts. Those belts were no more smile-inducing than the kind that often found my backside after back-talking Mama.

It was the year that I discovered it was fun to chase boys – literally. I had no clue what I would do with them once – and if – I caught one of them, but the running was fun anyway.

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?

Ok, I’ll go with “don’t know the first thing about it”. In this case, it is Cosplay…grownups putting on costumes and going to conventions dressed up like TV/movie/comic book characters. But, I’m going to learn. This is something that our girls really enjoy and want to pursue as a business of some sort. So, we’re working on going for it. Sewing machines that haven’t seen the light of day in 13 years are being dusted off and brought back into service. This should be a fun adventure.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

One thought that keeps coming to mind is wondering if we’re going to have another floody May. It flooded here in May 2015 and May 2016. I don’t remember a May 2017 flood, but August/September (after Hurricane Harvey) more than had that covered. It was the worst flood in a 100 years for this town. It rained all day Tuesday, May 1 and so that is why it is on my mind again. I’m not worried, just wondering. Heavenly Father has been with our family and home through all of the floods here and our house has never flooded due to weather issues. Plumbing issues are another story entirely. 🙂

Have a blessed day, y’all!


Image source: Pixabay


Wednesday Hodgepodge


The Questions and the Answers

  1. Three things on your spring bucket list? If you don’t have an actual list that’s fine, pretend you do.

Ok, here are three things from my pretend bucket list:

Take the ultimate spring wildflower photograph for National Geographic and/or Texas Highways magazines. This would be just totally awesome, but is third in this list of priorities.

Move way out into the boonies and have a very prolific garden. This one would be the best for my health overall.

Find my maternal-maternal-maternal 2nd great-grandmother’s maiden name. She had three daughters that survived to adulthood. I’ve never seen the obituary for the middle girl, and the obituaries of the older and younger daughters have different maiden names listed for this grandmother. This has been on my list the longest.

  1. Where do you find rest? What restores your soul? When was the last time you did whatever it was you answered here?

There are two places that are usually restful for me, at least mentally. One is my bird watching spot between the carport and the patio. A cemetery is the other place.  The last time I sat in my bird watching spot was yesterday evening, though it wasn’t for as long as I would have liked. I can’t remember the last time I had a leisurely stroll through a cemetery. Connecting with the ancestors, feeling like I’m in a huge family hug, is very restful for me mentally and emotionally.

  1. April is National Celery Month. Who knew? Do you like celery? What’s your favorite dish made with celery? On a veggie and dip platter which would you reach for first-carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumbers or cherry tomatoes?

I like all of the veggies named. I think my granny’s dressing had celery in it, so I’ll pick that as my favorite dish made with celery. On the veggie platter, I would likely go for the tomatoes first.

  1. I read here eight things to do before 8 am to make your day less hectic-Start one load of laundry, drink water, empty the dishwasher, read your Bible, know what you’re having for dinner, get dressed, brain dump (two lists-one what you’re thankful for and one what’s weighing on your mind), and after the brain dump make your to-list for the day

How many of these are you currently doing? Which one do you think would help the most if you added it to your early morning routine?

I don’t have a dishwasher, so I can strike that one off the list. I put drinking water off as long as possible, so strike that one, too. The last few days I’ve gotten my Bible read before 6am and the same for a load of laundry. I know what we’re having for dinner, and I’m as dressed as I plan to be for the day.

So, I guess that leaves a thankful list, weighing on my mind list, and to-do list (which generally becomes a didn’t get done list!).  Add the daily thankful list would probably be the most beneficial.

    1. Describe the view from your window.

I see the patio, with food & water platforms and feeders for the birds. The squirrels enjoy the bounty, too.

  1. Insert your own random thought here.

Twenty-five years ago started the worst three months of my life. My precious grandma passed away, alone in a nursing home, 18 April 1993. I was supposed to visit with her that morning, but had stayed up all night doing laundry and chatting with a neighbor. I was too tired to go visit Grandma, 45 miles away. I remember my aunt’s phone call like it was yesterday. I was in the kitchen stirring spaghetti.  Three months and three days later, our baby Dorian went to Heaven to be with Grandma. Those three months seem forever ago, a lifetime ago, but like yesterday. Folks say time heals all wounds. I think those folks have never lost a loved one. But, I know that I will see them and hold them again someday. They are safe and no hurt can ever touch them again. Who could I possibly ever choose as a better babysitter than Jesus and Grandma?

Have a blessed day, y’all!

Wednesday Hodgepodge


The Questions and the Answers

  1. What’s a word that describes your life? A word you wish described your life?

Hectic and scary describe my life right now. “Peaceful” is a word that I wish described my life.

  1. Back in my day we ________________________________?

Back in my day, we went outside to play and the phone stayed at home hooked into the wall. We didn’t stay tied to a screen of any sort all day long. We rode our bikes. We played hide-and-seek, kickball, and softball. We ran in and out, letting the screen door slam behind us in either direction, much to Mama’s agitation. We visited our grandparents. And we ALWAYS had Thanksgiving dinner with Granny. Always.

  1. When it comes to takeout are you more likely to opt for Italian, Mexican, or Chinese food? Does a typical week at your house include takeout?

I’m more inclined to get BK or KFC if we are out. We don’t usually get takeout every week or even every month.

  1. Think about the people you most respect. What is it about them that earned your respect?

First and foremost are my grandparents. All four of them loved me unconditionally.

The fact that they held to their convictions and didn’t back down, no matter who was trying to force them to, earned my respect.  Mrs. Pennington, Miss Elrod, Mrs. Johnson, those are the folks that first come to my mind.

Miss Elrod was my 8th grade English and homeroom teacher. She also taught my mama way back when. She gave me my first caliber speech.

Mrs. Johnson was my 11th grade homeroom and Typing II teacher. Heavenly Father had already been kicked out of public schools by then, but she read a morning devotion to our homeroom class every morning, without fail, anyway.

Mrs. Pennington was my 11th grade US History teacher. She was a tough cookie. She didn’t take anything from anybody. AND she was a sweetheart. She genuinely cared about her students and didn’t put up with foolishness. Most of my time at that particular school district was h-e-double-toothpicks, but these three women gave me reason to carry on and not buckle under. They believed in me and did what they could to help me believe that I had great potential.

Oh yeah, and Mr. Stokes. He won me the morning he said to me, “Great things come in small packages.” He knew that I was tormented for my short stature and it was his way of telling me that my height (or lack thereof!) wasn’t a fault. I was someone with potential in spite of it.

Everyone needs a few teachers like this in their lives. It only takes a few to make a difference. There are more than enough hurtful ones to go around. When you find the good ones, like I did, the blessings and effects last forever.

  1. What’s something your friends might see and say is ‘so you’?

I know it will sound weird, especially to those of you that haven’t known me for very long, but a cemetery! I am a family history researcher and cemeteries are a part of the package. I love walking through old cemeteries as much as, if not more than, walking through Hobby Lobby. I get my life from those old resting places.

  1.  Insert your own random thought here.

I found this great quote about respect just now:

Show respect to all people, but grovel to none. Tecumseh

It makes me think of my Granny Gunter. This past Sunday was her 8th anniversary in Heaven. She endured a lot in her lifetime.  She was blunt. Some thought she was rude and rough. Inside she was a big ol’ loveable teddy bear. One thing she wasn’t, though, was a groveler. She wasn’t going to beg anybody for the love that she needed and wanted. If they didn’t want to be around her, she had the attitude “to heck with you”…well, “heck” isn’t exactly the right word, but you get the point. If they didn’t want her, she didn’t need them. My granny was a great teacher.

I sure do miss you, Granny. Please hug Daddy for me.

Have a blessed day, y’all!

Wednesday Hodgepodge


The Questions and the Answers

  1. Best place you’ve been lately?

The best place that I can think of is the First Presbyterian Church’s Wildflower Project field. It is loaded with bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, and assorted other wildflowers. It always has a beautiful display. The wildflowers are my favorite part of living in Texas.

Playing with angles. Bluebonnets at First Presbyterian Wildflower Project. 13 March 2018
  1. What’s something you should say yes to today? Or this week? Or even this year?

Something I should say yes to…”Something. Anything!”, I guess would be my answer. I am finding it hard to be motivated to do anything due to overwhelming floods of emotion. I need to just do SOMETHING anyway.

  1. Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in any way, shape, or form? If so tell us how. In Western cultures the color green is typically associated with jealousy, nature, good luck, and growth. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word ‘green’?

We celebrate by wearing green, most of the time. One year, I took goofy pics of the gang in St. Patrick’s Day holiday wear.  You can see one that I took of David here on my Instagram feed.

First thing to come to my mind when I hear the word green…nature, Ireland, money. Oh, yeah, and emeralds!

  1. What’s a product or service you love so much you’d happily be their spokesperson? Tell us what makes you such a fan.

I would happily be a spokesperson for, if I were a spokesperson kind of person. That probably entails public speaking of some sort, and that is not a Suz kind of thing. So, I write about them on my blog sometimes.  They won’t accept me as an affiliate because I use a free blog rather than a self-hosted one, but I like their service anyway. One of these days companies like this will realize that the little people outnumber the big people.

Anyway, I have found so much on their site about my family. I found my mother’s birth announcement, where she went to eat dinner at an aunt’s house, obituaries for quite a few ancestors, our wedding announcement, an article about me and Avon that I had totally forgotten about, articles about the baby charity we operated back in South Carolina, a snippet of a story where my great-great-grandma took the insurance company to court, a story about a fight at the wedding of David’s Great-Grandma and Grandpa Bushnell, and all sorts of neat things.

  1. March 14th is Pi Day. How are your math skills? What’s the last thing you did that required math of any kind? And most importantly do you like pie? What’s your favorite kind? With ice cream, whipped cream, or please hold the cream?

Math and I are mortal enemies. Haha The last thing that I can think of that involved math for me was calculating someone’s age for a particular year.

Yes, I like pie. Even better, I LOVE pie! I think apple pie is probably my favorite, with pecan pie a close second.  Ice cream or whipped cream or without it, doesn’t matter to me, so long as I get the pie. 🙂

  1.  Insert your own random thought here.

I was introduced to a term recently that I was unsure of, so I looked it up. The term was “dependa”. What I learned is something that I think is totally disgusting.  It is a derogatory word for military spouses. There are apparently people out there that seek out the social media pages of military spouses, hang out at the commissaries and other places on bases to take pictures of them to post online, and make insulting and hurtful comments to and/or about them. They bash them for depending on their spouse’s income, call them lazy, and a host of other mean things.

If these people bashing the service wives are actually pro-military, wouldn’t it be more supportive of the troops to be NICE to these spouses rather than distracting the soldier/sailor/warrior with worry about what’s happening to their wives and children while they are serving this country? Some of the people doing this are actually service people, or former service people, themselves.  Talk about one’s own family turning on them! How can you have a true “brotherhood” when you know people are calling your wife bad names and tormenting your children?

Have these alleged adults turned back into 13 year olds bullying on the schoolyard? Grow up already!

White flowers. First Presbyterian Wildflower Project. 13 March 2018

On a good note, what’s bloomin’ in your neck of the woods these days?

Have a blessed day, y’all!

Wednesday Hodgepodge


 The Questions and the Answers

1. Are you currently operating at 100% capacity? If not, what % are you? What’s keeping you there?

No, I am not operating anywhere near 100%. After the extended hospital/nursing home stay, I was very depleted. Now, with a major heart-ripper going on, I have absolutely nothing left, mentally, physically, nor emotionally.

2. Have you done your taxes? Planned/booked a summer holiday? Thought about or started your ‘spring cleaning’? Besides what’s listed here, tell us one task that needs doing before spring rolls around.

David handles the taxes and is very efficient so, yes, they are done. No summer holiday in the plans. Decluttering will continue. I had started “spring cleaning” before we left for the hospital in December. I don’t have anything that needs to be done specifically before spring gets here. It just needs to get done!

3. What’s a favorite food from your part of the country?

Shrimp! But, that would be a favorite of mine no matter what part of the country I was in!

4. This isn’t a leap year, but let’s run with it anyway…look before you leap, a leap of faith, grow by leaps and bounds, leap to conclusions, leap at the opportunity…which phrase might best be applied to your life currently (or recently)? Explain.

“A leap of faith” comes the closest of all of the choice and that is because we need to hold desperately to our faith right now that everything is going to be okay. Right now, everything is not okay, and is the farthest it has ever been from okay. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I know Who holds tomorrow. I have to keep holding on to that.

5. As the month draws to a close list five fun and/or fabulous things (large or small) you noticed or experienced in February.

After the heartbreaking things that have gone on this month, this is going to be a very difficult one for me to answer. I am going to try…

1. Funny – I just looked at the calendar behind my computer and noticed that it is still on January.
2. Fabulous – The waiting and watching for the wildflowers is on!
3. Fun – My Twitter feed is getting more attention. I don’t know what has perked it up, but whatever it is, I hope it keeps it up.
4. Fabulous – David’s foot is looking better and better.
5. Better than fabulous! – While going through some boxes that have been packed up since we lived in South Carolina, I finally found my Glamour Shots pictures from way back when I was 31 years old (February 1997). This gives me hope that I might soon recover our photo album that I haven’t seen since we left South Carolina. See, I had little unpackers that kept going behind me undoing things as I was packing for the move out here to Texas, so nothing is/was in the boxes where I initially packed them. Each box is a surprise.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
Frank Herbert


The second line of this quote stands out to me because I know it to be true. Right now, my mind feels dead and totally useless to me. So much has happened over this last month that I just can’t fathom and I don’t know how to deal with it. Heavenly Father will get us through it, but recovering my mind? I don’t know if that will ever happen. They say we only use 10% of our brain. What happens when something really big and scary comes and takes away even that 10%?

Quote source: The Positivity Blog

Image source: By Edvard Munch – WebMuseum at ibiblioPage:
Public Domain,

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Speaking of endings….at your wit’s end, at loose ends, a dead end, burn the candle at both ends, all’s well that end’s well, or no end in sight…which ‘end’ phrase might best be applied to your life lately? Explain.

“At my wit’s end” would probably be the best choice here. No matter what, it seems I’m beating my head against a wall. I plan to get this or that done, and something comes along to make sure it doesn’t get done.

2. What was a must have accessory when you were growing up? Did you own one? If so tell us what you remember about it.

The first thing to come to mind was a Izod jacket. Remember the little gator/crocodile logo? Those were all the rage. I do not remember owning one myself, but there were plenty being worn around our school.

3. Something that made you smile yesterday?

It gave me a great many smiles trying to capture the moon with our oldest daughter last night and then this morning. Supposedly, we weren’t going to be able to see the eclipse here on the Texas Gulf Coast, but we did see it through totality. It was awesome. I’m sure I gave our neighbors a good laugh, too, being out there in my cardinal nightgown, sandals and socks, at 40-something degrees between 6 and 7am. 🙂

4. January 30th is National Croissant Day. Do you like croissants? Sweet or savory? We’re having chicken salad for lunch…would you rather have yours served on a croissant, a wrap, a bagel, bread, or a roll of some sort?

I love bread in most any form that I can get it. I think croissants are great. I prefer savory croissants. I think chicken salad in a wrap or a croissant is yummy, but it is great on other breads, too. I just don’t particularly care for bagels. I think they are icky.

5. Sum up your January in fifteen words or less.

I am glad to be home. Hospitals and nursing homes are emotionally and physically exhausting.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I read some especially interesting verses during my devotion time this morning. I don’t generally get involved in political talk because, even with voting, I don’t really feel that I can change anything. These verses stood out to me because of the anti-president talk we’re faced with every day, no matter who the president is:

Romans 13:1-2, King James Version

“1. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.”

No matter who ends up in office, they are there because Heavenly Father allowed them to be, to somehow work to His glory and good. Shouldn’t we, rather than griping about them, pray for them instead? We can pray for them and for our country while continuing to work to make things the way we think they should be.

If for no other reason, do it for them…


Image source: Pixabay