Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Adulting through Life and the Hodgepodge

Here we are back on Wednesday. Sadly, there's no winter weather this time other than cold and the predicted wet snow that will fall with the rain today while our friends further north within the state will get some of that lovely winter white wonder called snow. I am so grateful we did see some this year but that won't stop me from wanting more. I'm selfish like that. Oh, all you lovely folks way up north or in the great midwest- yeah, that's TOO much and while I appreciate your willingness to share I think I'll pass on 250 feet of snow and ice and subzero temps. But, thanks!

Let's get on with the reason we're all here- the Hodgepodge!

From this Side of the Pond


1. What keeps you blogging? My enjoyment of it, my determination to write, the itch to express my voice, and the interaction with other blogging friends. 

2. Some people like to travel in the winter months. Do you enjoy the beach in winter? YES! So much better than any other time of year. According to Southern Living the best U.S. beach towns to visit this winter are-

St Simons Island (Georgia), Hilton Head (South Carolina), Bald Head Island (North Carolina), Seaside (Florida), Bay St. Louis (Mississippi), Cape San Blas (Florida), South Padre Island (Texas), Folly Beach (South Carolina), Chincoteague (Virginia), Duck Key (Florida), Nags Head (North Carolina), and Fairhope (Alabama)

Have you been to any of the towns listed (in any season)? Yes- St Simons, Hilton Head, Bald Head, Folly, and Nags Head. Which on the list appeals to you most this winter? None because I live so close to the beach why bother traveling? I'll just head over to Sullivan's Island which is a mere 3.1 miles from my front door. I would walk over but I'm still not back into my walking habit. Why not Folly? It's not the same Folly it was way back in the day and the traffic getting over there is RIDICULOUS.  

3. What's a song you're embarrassed to know all the lyrics to? I can't think of any. Are you really embarrassed or do just think you should be? Neither. If I like a song, I like it and do not care whether anyone else does or not. That being said, there are songs I know but cannot stand getting stuck in my head. They aren't embarrassing as much as they are annoying. And I never think of those until someone starts humming or singing one and it gets stuck in my head. Then I remember it. Ha!

4. When you were a kid what's something you thought would be fantastic as an adult, but now that you're an adult you realize it's not all that fantastic? Making my own decisions and doing whatever I want to do. Ha! The decisions are not easy and we never get to do everything we want. Adulting. is. a. trap. 



 

5. Share a quote you hope will inspire you in 2018. 


But seriously--



6. Insert your own random thought here. My 2018 calendar finally arrived. It's late because I ordered it late not because it took forever to get here. Can't blame this one on the USPS. My mother used to buy me a new calendar as part of my Christmas every year and I always loved the folk art ones. One year Mother couldn't find a folk art calendar so she got me a different one and it was very nice and about as close to folk art as one can get without it actually being folk art so it was fine except I looked at that thing every time I went into the kitchen and lamented over it not being a folk art calendar. That was one hell of a year. Why? Because I am super picky about my calendars. Super. Picky. So I started buying my own calendars every year in order to avoid the horror of the non-folk art calendar year ever happening again. I think I might be a bit too picky but when you find one the meets all you calendar criteria, you stick with it.  


Here's the cover of last year's calendar. It was perfect. 

Here's the sleeve this year's calendar came in because the
calendar is already hanging in the kitchen and I didn't want to
walk the 100 steps in there to take a picture of January. Ha! 


Please visit my Etsy shop, CoasterDoodles

and feel free to FAVORITE the shop
or buy something! 😁💓

Here's a sampling of the newest creations:




Monday, January 15, 2018

Winter Decor at Grandma's House

Do Y'all ever watch HGTV or peruse blogs written by people who show their beautifully decorated homes? What about Pinterest where there are more decorating ideas than grains of sand on one tiny beach? So many ideas. So much pretty. But, Y'all probably remember I do not have a Pinterest house (and please don't get me started on 'Pinterest teachers' because I have TONS to say about them and the parents who fall for the falsehood that decorated classrooms means great teachers are inside. Dang tangents, I can never escape them.)

Everything looks so neat and clean and tidy and organized and all those good things I wish my house looked like and I do covet some of the designs and displays at least until I realized something but . These talented, creative people do not have children or grandchildren. No, they don't and I will argue this point to the death because if you have children or grandchildren you can't have gorgeous, seasonal displays and you certainly do not have the time to create these lovely things unless you have someone else raising those children for you or you never let your grandchildren in your house.

I like the ideas Carol at The Red Painted Cottage has for winter displays 
but there is no way I could use any of her ideas with the grands around. 
Everything in that basket is a ball waiting to be thrown by a child 
and chased by Tucker. 
My house looks like I have grandchildren and it looked like I had children when the lovelies were growing up. It's not a dirty house because this mama/grandma doesn't do dirty but it looks like the people who live here actually live here. You can tell we are a family of readers and are fostering future readers. You can tell the adults care more about interacting with children than worrying about cleaning up every second of the day. Our home is lived in. It is cozy. It is kid friendly. And there's a pup here who has free reign of the house.

Brett and Kelly at North Country Nest made this lovely entry display
in their home. So many breakables for the grands to knock over. 

Yes, I do enjoy looking at all the pretty decorating ideas people post or put on HGTV but I do not see how it's feasible when there are little kids around. Seriously, do they have one room in which they put these displays and not show the sign on the door to the room that reads: NO CHILDREN ALLOWED? Do they put it up just long enough to snap the picture? No, I think they simply do not have children living in or visiting their homes.

Love the filled galvenized buckets and the crate and the
Mason jars set up by Taryn at Taryn Whiteaker!
However, with the grands those pine cones are balls, the logs
would be bammed on every piece of furniture and person, the jars
knocked over and the tins dragged all over the house and filled with
whatever Bug considers a treasure on any given day. Anyway, who knew
old wash tubs would be trendy one day? I am looking for some to hold
the bazillion toys in my house. 
I had just begun to be curious about setting up a few decorative displays when the upcoming birth of Bug was announced on Thanksgiving Day, 2016. That curiosity was halted PDQ because I don't believe it's a good idea to have decorative displays when there will be children around. I want Bug and Baby R to feel comfortable at my house.

Hahahaha. NO. First, I'll be the one to break the glass under those
sweater sleeve covers because Y'all know it's going to slip right
off those containers. And WTH is the fascination with antlers?
No. Antlers belong on animals who grow antlers not in my house
as winter decor not to mention the destruction to self, others, and
home a toddler would cause with those things. The little pumpkins
are cute, though.
In the interest of full disclosure I have to admit that I have just enough of the lazy trait to not be bothered by not putting out seasonal decor. I mean, you do have to put that stuff away and take out the new stuff and set it up. That just seems like a bit too much effort for things that are going to be thrown around and broken. Can Y'all imagine saying telling a toddler not to touch something about 7 gazillion times/day? We use redirection here and it's EX. HAUST. ING. so there is no way I'm going to decorated with something that increases the number of times I have to redirect Bug. Plus, she climbs.

Again, looks great but they have zero children Did I mention
Bug likes to climb? Just use your imagination. 
Meanwhile, I hope the creative, talented types will continue to post their decorative display ideas. The kids won't be little forever and if I'm not totally exhausted I may just display something besides books and toys in my cozy little house one day.

Or maybe not.

Do Y'all have beautiful winter decor in your homes?



Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Happily Indulging in the Hodgepodge

Here we are on Wednesday marking the end of our snow/ice days here in the low-country of SC. The snow is gone and the ice went with it. The kiddos were supposed to go back to school last Wednesday but have just returned today. The snow came and as it melted turned to ice and cabin fever set in even with me who is the one person living down here who LOVES snow and ice but not too much of the latter because it sure can cause a lot of problems. We had to concern ourselves with frozen pipes which we avoided in our house and icy roads/bridges which I avoided because I'm not stupid. I enjoyed every minute of it and I won't be disappointed if it happens again this winter. Y'all, it was so pretty coming down. But, all good things must come to an end, and it did. 

Luckily, the Hodgepodge hasn't come to an end and still comes to us with fun, often thought-provoking questions and a lovely way to make new friends and visit old ones. Not that anyone around here is old. 





From this Side of the Pond

1. January is National Mentoring Month. Have you ever had a mentor? I don't think so. Been a mentor? Not officially. How would you rate the experience? Ok, to clarify this one, I do whole-heartedly believe that teachers have the ability to serve as mentors so, when considering teachers as mentors, I have had several and I have been a teacher/mentor. I found my teacher/mentors to be inspirational and motivational at the least and still remember each of the ones about whom I felt this way. As a teacher/mentor, I loved it! It is one of the most rewarding, positive, enriching experiences I've ever had. 

2. What current trend makes no sense to you? Ok so, a while back I would have said, the cloud. I get the cloud now but I don't get it, get it? I understand what the cloud is but I do not understand why it is necessary and I do not understand how people say it's safe. And then there's 'free-range' parenting. Wasn't that called childhood when we were growing up? That's what I called it when the lovelies were coming along. Seriously, most of the trending parenting that goes on is simply childhood and none of it is new at least not to me. What in the world? 

3. I saw a cartoon on Facebook highlighting a few 'weird' things that make you happy as an adult. The list included-writing with a nice pen, having plans cancelled, freshly cleaned sheets, eating the corner brownie, cleaning the dryer lint screen, and sipping coffee in that brief time before anyone else wakes up. (Credit for the cartoon goes here) Of the 'weird' things listed which one makes you happiest? I am a fan of all those things! Who knew I wasn't alone in these happy boats? I'll go with having plans cancelled as my #1. What is one more 'weird' thing you'd add to the list? Being alone! I LOVE my alone time and am happiest when I am by myself. Unless, of course, these two are around but they do not fall under 'weird' they fall under adorable/cuteness overload:



They are always holding hands. Is that cute or what?!

4. What's the last good thing you ate? I made some vegetable beef soup on Sunday that was delicious and healthy! 

5. Describe life in your 20's in one sentence. Good enough to go back but make a couple better decisions. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. Well, that's it for college football.  Did Y'all, the 2 others of you who watched, notice Bama boys playing dirty Monday night? And I mean BLATANTLY dirty. I didn't like that. Here's to the UGA players who played good football in a sportsmanlike manner! Kudos, boys! Anyway, we're almost finished with pro ball, too which means I'll sit and sit and sit and wait for August so I can do it all over again. Or perhaps spending time with these two will make the time go by quickly. 

Bug always has a kiss for her cousin and he loves it!

Oh, and these two went to the Rose Bowl to cheer on the Dawgs to a win and had a blast! Sadly, even though they wore the exact same thing including socks and underwear, they were not successful in helping the Dawgs to victory in the championship game...did we already discuss that game? Ha! Chin up! There's always next year!



DrummerBoy and NashvilleDaughter at the Rose Bowl!



Monday, January 8, 2018

How Old is OLD?

Some days I feel my old is old but in the scheme of things, it really isn't. Still, there are those days...the ones where we take the inventory before putting a foot outside the covers, where we think if we have to get up one more time to use the bathroom we might very well scream, where the aches remind us relentlessly we are not spring chickens, where we realize we cannot tolerate extreme heat or cold, where we look around and wonder how our friends got to the age where they look like our parents, where you are no longer sure everything is related to fibromyalgia (or some other chronic illness) because maybe age is factoring in now and intensifying everything for you because apparently, things didn't affect you bad enough already... Yep, those days.

What's all this about? I had a birthday Saturday and it was not one I looked forward to having though I do realize it's better than the alternative thanks, Dad. And then there's this:


I feel like I should say something akin to if you believe that I have a parcel of land for sale...Anyway. 

The age is here. I've hit it. I'm not happy about it. And I don't feel like what I think someone my age should feel. Maybe 60 isn't the same 60 my grandparents and parents hit or maybe I am guilty of some faulty thinking. 

I did get my coveted snow for my birthday. Ok, so it came on the 3rd but it was still here on my birthday, shoot it's still here today. Why? Because our temps have been in the teens and 20s except for mid-afternoons which have been rising to a sweltering 37ish which melted the snow just enough to have plenty freeze overnight and make the roads downright trecherous which is why this older person has stayed herself inside the house for 7 days. Hey, I'm aging but I'm not stupid. 

Yep, those are our deck Christmas lights which are still there because they're frozen to the deck. They'll come down once everything melts. You can see part of the backyard, too. And these were taken yesterday afternoon.


You can tell it's trying to melt.


 Some of you might recall when AthleticTrainer Daughter went to Texas for grad school, she taught herself to quilt and made me this Christmas quilt which I LOVE.


The back is red and green because Christmas and polka dots because I love polka dots.


My birthday gift this year was a spring quilt. I had an idea I would love a spring quilt that reminded me of my grandmother and AthleticTrainer Daughter did this:


All those flowers? My grandmother loved flowers in the yard and her yard was filled with many varieties. One thing Grandmother did was always carry a hankie in her purse which was alway with her. My sweet girl took a couple of those hankies that belonged to my grandmother and incorporated them into the quilt.


Each of the four corners has a piece of a hankie in them.


Here's the underside.


My grandmother would love this quilt! I'm just like her about flowers- I love them outside but cannot stand bringing them inside just to watch them die. Another thing about my grandmother? She fought the whole aging thing tooth and nail. When she was in her 80s she took food to church for the seniors on their dinner night. She was a trip!

All this snow/ice and cold has not been setting well with my pup who will be 9 in April. He's taken over one of the warmest blankets in the house and is spending a great deal of time on it.


And under it. I'm not sure if that's a sign of an aging dog or a smart dog. I think I'll go with smart. I've been under a blanket, too. I do love cold weather but I like to be cozy in the house and it's not cozy inside my house. It's COLD inside. The infrared heaters are fine but only if you sit right in front of them. With a blanket. And socks. And layers of clothing. At least you don't have to dress to go outside because you're all set to go!


This one pretty much sums up how Tucker feels about the snow/ice/cold and football. I could relate to him on the football games. The Panthers sucked it up which I knew they would and now I have to spend the rest of the season pulling against Atlanta but for no one. The good news? The Panthers played the day AFTER my birthday instead of ON it.


So, how old is too old? I'm not sure that's an actual thing. I think as long as you feel like you can do something, do it. If you don't feel like it, don't. But don't use age as an excuse because then we probably could fall into a trap of believing age is a deterrent to living.

Any January birthdays in your neck of the woods?

Friday, January 5, 2018

Just One Day But It Was Glorious

They told us we'd have sleet turning to snow on Wednesday. It wasn't there when I woke up Wednesday morning but I wasn't expecting it until later in the AM so I sat and waited near the French doors so I could see it the minute it started just like I used to when I was a kid. And a teenager. And a young adult. And... Ok, the secret is out- this gal loves getting snow!

I worried a bit too, though. About the birds and squirrels and other backyard wildlife just like I do about the wildlife in the northern part of our country every winter and the wildlife in the hotter than hot areas and in places experiencing wildfires. Do I worry more about wildlife than people? In a way, yes because people can prepare or get out for the most part but the animals? Let's just say if we hadn't invaded and destroyed their natural habitats, the animals wouldn't be in some of this mess so I guess I do worry more about them. Wow, tangent much? Anyway...

I fed my backyard critters and tried to give them water even though it kept freezing. Where was my Tucker during all this? Right here:



Around 9:30, the police started shutting down the bridges which meant my excitement nearly sent me into heart failure. How silly, I thought, to be so excited about winter weather but Y'all, I LOVE winter. Autumn is my favorite and winter comes in at a close second. Now that our autumn doesn't bring cooler temperatures, winter may very well take over first place. It's not like we get beautiful fall colors either so...



By 10:00 I was hearing about accidents on the roads. Are you kidding me? People can do some stupid things, friends. Some very stupid things. We're not used to ice on the roads around here which is why businesses, schools, etc, shut down and yet, idiots go on outside, get in their cars, drive around and cause accidents. None of the accidents involved people who had to go to or from work except for one as far as I know which means they involved people who were out for no good reason. Good grief. If they were endangering only themselves, fine. But they involved other people and that is. not. cool.



We had a good bit of sleet and freezing rain and I wondered if we would actually see that snow in the forecast. The local channels went bat-crap crazy as they usually do when some sort of inclement weather hits our area.

Finally, around 1:00, it happened! SNOW! Glorious snow! And it kept coming and coming and STICKING! Snow everywhere I looked! It was beautiful!



I went out on the deck and just stood there listening with my eyes closed. When you don't get snow often (or all the time) you tend to forget the soft poofy sound snow makes. I love that sound. It's so peaceful and I don't even think about the cold until I come back inside. Tucker kept looking out the office window and letting out a little huff of disgust as he laid his head back down. He isn't a fan.


By 2:00, it was still snowing and that dreaded thought of it coming to an end entered the back of my mind. I did not want it to end so I put myself down in front of a window to watch and listen to some Louvin Brothers because sometimes you have to channel your inner granddaddy and I must have dozed off because age and all that and I startled awake thinking it was over but it was STILL SNOWING and that was 3:33.



Still soft. Still flowing. Still beautiful.



By 4:00 it was still falling in a heavy but slower, more peaceful way and by 5:30 the snow stopped falling,



Yes, it was just for one day but I loved it and I enjoyed it and I'm still enjoying it because yesterday it never got warm enough to melt much of the white loveliness and today, the same thing will happen. We'll be enjoying this for at least another day.

Tucker finally went outside Wednesday evening but he was not a happy camper.


Once he came back inside, there was snow from his belly down and that was fun to clean up. Yesterday, he went out and leaped through the snow like a deer. It was so funny except when he came inside and had to be cleaned up. We got a total of 5 inches and Tucker is not much taller than that.

I had to go out and clear a space for the birds to eat. The deck wasn't too bad at first but...


it ended up being covered so out I went with a cookie sheet to scrape off areas for the birds to enjoy their breakfast.


One thing you learn quite quickly when it snows and the temperatures stay in the teens and 20s for days on end is you do not have the proper clothing for this. All these fat layers were just no help at all. :)

It has been a wonderful snowmageddon here in the low-country of SC. I can't wait for the next one. In 10-20 years. Sigh.

Did Y'all get any snow this week?
 
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