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Wednesday, March 14, 2018


     Erin Go Bragh! Saturday is St. Patrick's Day so a shout out to all who are of Irish ancestry. May the wind be always at your back and may you be in Heaven a half hour before the Devil knows you're dead. 
     Another Wednesday Hodgepodge is upon us once again. May the Lord bless you in a tangible way today. Thank you Joyce for your return and for another fine set of questions. 

1. Best place you've been lately?
     SWMBO and I had occasion to go to a fine restaurant with some close friends and enjoy a wonderful meal and great conversation. The restaurant is called the "Copper Door." It is a somewhat upscale restaurant with great ambience and food. We had a great time.

2. What's something you should say yes to today? Or this week? Or even this year?
     I should say yes to snow shoveling. As I write this we are in the throes of another northeaster. Old Man Winter is just refusing to realize that his time is up and that he needs to move on. This is his second snow tantrum in as many weeks. Ten to eighteen inches of snow is expected. YUCK!

3. 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 don't usually celebrate St. Patrick's Day. We might go to McDonald's for a Shamrock Shake but that would be about it.
     The thing that comes to mind when I hear the word green is the grass at Fenway Park. When you first walk into the stands the grass is so green that it almost seems like a special effect. It is really striking. I imagine other major league ball parks are similarly beautiful and striking.

4. What's a product or service you love so much you'd happily be their spokesperson? Tell us what makes you such a fan.
     Anyone who has read my blog posts knows how committed I am to my faith in God. I am a kind of a spokesperson for God and His Gospel. All who have obeyed the Gospel are also spokespersons, #GreatCommission. Neither God nor His Gospel are products or services to be sold but I could see myself being a spokesperson for the Gospel. It is free to whosoever will.
     From a more earthly perspective, I do love Skippy's Chunky Peanut Butter. I think I could serve as a spokesman.
5. 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?
     My math skills are fair. The last time I used math was to figure out our finances. 
     I most certainly do love pie. I love those small Table Talk Pies you can get in the grocery store. My favorite pie is Pecan Pie with a dollop of whipped cream.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
     On Monday, news broke that someone was delivering bombs in the form of packages in Austin, Texas. To date three bombs have been delivered and detonated. 
    A task force of State, Local and Federal law enforcement has been formed to bring the serial bomber to justice. This will not be easy. You may recall that it took eighteen years to bring Ted Kascinski, the Unabomber, to justice. I pray God that this case doesn't take nearly that long.
     There is an undeniable fact. There are evil people running loose in the world today and these evil people do not obey laws that the rest of us do. It is not the implements that they use that is evil, it is they who are evil. May God protect us all from such people.
     Have a wonderful week and c'mon Spring!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


      Good morning to all my fellow Hodgepodgers and to all who read our scribblings every week. Thanks again to Joyce Daley from "This Side of the Pond" for these weekly writing prompts. 
     Spring is rapidly approaching and cannot come soon enough. We have been blessed with milder temperatures here in the Granite State and by milder I mean with highs in the 40's and 50's. 
     Another rite of Spring is navigating around the frost heaves and potholes in the roadways. Some of them can be quite impressive. 
     Well enough about the joys of Spring, here's the Hodgepodge.

1. Are you currently operating at 100% capacity? If not, what % are you? What's keeping you there?
     I have seldom operated at 100% capacity. Depending upon the day and the circumstances I generally operate from about 80% to 95% on a good day. I have no idea what is keeping me there.
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.
     No, I have not done our taxes, yet. I traditionally procrastinate on this particular chore. I have not planned or booked any summer holidays. I have "thought" about starting my Spring cleaning. One thing that needs to get done before Spring rolls around is I need to renew the car registration and get a safety inspection. 

3. What's a favorite food from your part of the country?
     I have several favorite foods from my part of the country. I love sliced sharp cheddar cheese and sliced cortland apples. I love Boston Baked Beans and sometimes brown bread. This is the season when the sugar houses are gathering maple sap to boil down into maple syrup. I love maple syrup, maple butter, maple candy, etc. Finally, who could resist a slice of Boston Cream Pie.

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.
     I am looking before I leap. With recent life changes this year I must tread carefully before I exercise my options. 

5. As the month draws to a close list five fun and/or fabulous things (large or small) you noticed or experienced in February.
      (1) SWMBO's health continues to improve; (2) My daughter got over her fear and played her guitar on stage, in public, with some bandmates; (3) MLB Spring Training has begun; (4)  The USA Womens Ice Hockey Team took the gold medal in the Winter Olympics in South Korea; (5)  A man asks for 10 volunteers to shovel snow for seniors and over 100 people showed up.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
       There is a lot of discouraging news everywhere. It would seem that nothing good is happening. That is most certainly not true. There are many good deeds being done. For an uplift in your spirit, Google "Good News 2018" and you will be pleasantly surprised.            The fact of the matter is that most people are decent, kind, and compassionate. With all the bad news, it is easy to forget that fact. I urge you to look for the positive news, that news which portrays the better angels of our fellow travelers on this planet.
     May God bless you this week.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


     How is your week going so far? We are rapidly approaching the end of February. March Madness will soon be once again upon us and yet another death knell of Winter sounds. YAY!
     As usual, today being Wednesday, another Wednesday Hodgepodge is in the offing. I thank our Hodgepodge Mistress, Joyce Daley, for another set of thoughtful questions. 
     Here is this week's Hodgepodge.

1. Where do you go when you need some inspiration?
     The first place I go is to God. The second place I go to is to God's Word, the Bible. The next place I go to is to God's creation...nature. I believe that anyone who draws breath cannot go out into a forest or upon a mountain or to a crystal clear lake without being inspired. 
     Another place I go to for inspiration are to those fellow human beings who overcome tremendous barriers and achieve amazing things that most people would say are impossible.
     Inspiration can be found almost anywhere if you look hard enough.

2. What's under your bed?
     The floor! All kidding aside, we have a couple of bed quilts encased in plastic containers. We also have a few board games and a LOT of dust.
     We are taught that we are made from dust and that we will return to dust. Well, if you look under our bed, someone is either coming or going.

3. Thursday, February 22nd is National Chili Day, National Margarita Day, and National Cook a Sweet Potato Day. Of the three which would you most like to celebrate? Is that likely?
     I will opt for Chilli please. I also like the sweet potato idea. I am not a Margarita fan, with all due respect to Jimmy Buffet.

4. What are you 'snowed under' with right now?
     Interestingly enough, not much. Our snow has pretty much disappeared after a couple of days of unseasonably warm weather. It is quite amazing considering that we received about six inches of snow this past Sunday. 
     Other aspects of life are going fairly well. So we're okay, bearing in mind that that is subject to change without notice.

5. Tell us three to five things that make you feel balanced?
     Things that make me feel balanced is my relationship with God, reading God's Word, my beloved SWMBO, my church family, and music.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
     The State of Florida and many people across the country are still reeling from the shooting spree in the High School in Parkland, Florida. Of course, the usual suspects wasted no time in taking to the media and to the streets calling for more gun control. They are using/manipulating High School kids in their attempt to enact their agenda.
     Experience shows clearly that restrictive gun laws DO NOT WORK! Chicago, Los Angeles, Baltimore have some of the most stringent gun laws in the country. They also have some of the highest level of gun related crime in the country. 
     Also, murder is against the law. Theft is against the law. Selling illegal drugs is against the law. What effect has those laws had on reducing the incidents of those crimes? What makes anyone believe that gun laws will be more effective? That's all I have for now. More to follow in future postings later.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


     The manufactured holiday of Valentine's Day is once again upon us. It is a day where men everywhere get themselves into trouble for not remembering to honor the  day and their beloved. This happens because someone, somewhere many moons ago decided that cards, candy, flowers and jewelry must be bought to show how much you love your beloved on this 14th day of February. It's a scam I tell you ! It's a scam!
     One thing that's never a scam is the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Today being Wednesday our friend Joyce Daley, has come up with more questions. Joyce has a very inquisitive mind. So grab your favorite hot beverage, sit back and enjoy the Hodgepodge.

1. When's the last time you had a heart to heart talk with someone? A change of heart? Experienced figurative 'heart failure?'
     This morning. My beloved SWMBO and I went out to breakfast at a local Friendly's. We always love having a meal together. It is a great time to just be together. Today we discussed recent life changes and what adjustments these changes necessitate us making. The consensus reached that whatever happens we will face it head on, together, and will kick it's butt. 

2. Champagne, chocolates, flowers...what's your Valentine pleasure? Any special plans for the day?
     SWMBO usually receives a thoughtful greeting card, some candy and sometimes, not always, a bouquet of flowers. Carnations are her favorite.
     We have no special plans for the day. 

3. Are you a hopeless romantic or do you fall more in the category of practical and pragmatic? What's a gesture you find romantic?
     I think I fall well within the practical/pragmatic camp. A gesture I find romantic is when I am unexpectedly served one of my favorite meals.

4. Do you ask a lot of questions in life or are you pretty content with what you already know?
     I certainly do! I am keenly aware that no matter how much I know, there is so much more to learn, and sadly, sometimes to re-learn.

5. Your favorite power ballad?
     There are a few favorites..."I Can't Fight The Feeling Anymore" by REO Speedwagon; "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad" by Meatloaf; "Heaven" by Brian Adams. There are more but I'll go with these three.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
      There have been a number of news stories that have grabbed my attention and not in a good way.
     One story is the kabuki theater going on in our Nation's capitol. It appears that the Democrats were the ones to collude with the Russians to affect our elections, not the president. It appears that the warrant that was submitted to the FISA Court was knowingly false but was submitted anyways. The warrant that was issued allowed the government to spy on American citizens. This, and many other things that have come to light, is chilling from a civil liberties standpoint. It also calls into question whether we are truly a nation governed by laws.

     Here is another story that struck me where I live. This past week six police officers were murdered in the line of duty from around the country. In Ohio, two police officers responded to a domestic disturbance and were both shot and killed upon their arrival. It was reported that afterward the police station received a number of calls expressing happiness that the officers were killed and cheering for the killer.
     Have we sunk so low as a people?

     Please join me in prayer for our National Soul. We are in the process of losing it. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


      Greetings from my top secret bunker located far beneath the surface of the earth. I have relocated to my bunker to protect my beloved SWMBO and I from rampaging Philadelphia Eagles fans. All kidding aside, congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles for their first ever Super Bowl win. Likewise, kudos to my acquaintances who are Eagles fans. Enjoy the win Eagles Nation. You earned it with your long-suffering devotion to your team.
     Another Wednesday is upon us. Old Man Winter is dying, and not too soon. Another Wednesday Hodgepodge is upon us. Thank you Joyce Daley for another set of writing prompts. I look forward to this weekly writing exercise. 
     So, Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Hodgepodge!

1. February can be a little bit tricky given the weather and the winter and the whatnot. I read a list (here) of things you can do to make your February brighter which included-start planning your next trip, take more baths, make your own chocolate covered strawberries, and exercise in preparation for swimsuit season. Anything on the list you might try? Which suggestion on the list appeals to you most? Tell us something not on the list that helps make your February brighter. 
     February is one of the harshest months of the year. We have to contend with bitter cold and incessant snowfall and the Winter blahs. 
     I might select exercising more simply because I can do with more exercise. The good ship "How I Look in a Bathing Suit" has long sailed and is lost at sea. Also I'm not a "bath" person. I much prefer a hot shower.
     A couple of things that I might suggest is (1) Walk through a mall, and (2) Go outside on a crisp, cold day and get some color in your cheeks.
     It is good that February is a short month.

2. Tell us about something you've seen or done recently that you'd say was 'super'?
     On Sunday evening our church small group met for a devotional. Afterwards we settled in to watch our beloved Patriots win their sixth Super Bowl. Of course, we were profoundly disappointed at the outcome of the game. However, there was plant of fellowship, good food and loud yelling. It was a super evening. 

3. Best thing you ate in a 'bowl' last week?
     My wife made a hamburger chili that was wonderful. Fortunately she made a lot and there was some leftover. That is what I had.

4. Something you're 'cheering' for right now?
     I am cheering for the Red Sox Equipment Truck that departed from Fenway Park on Monday enroute to Florida. That means Winter's demise is at hand.

5. The Winter Olympics begin Friday, February 9th in Pyeong Chang, South Korea. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being all in and 1 being no interest whatsoever) how interested are you in the games? Which event do you most want to see (you'll find a list here).
     My interest level in the Winter Olympics is around a 5 or 6. The event that I am most interested in is Ice Hockey. I will switch to the coverage from time to time while watching other things, but I will not be watching all the coverage.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
      I have two things I want to share with all who care to read them.
      First, I congratulate the Philadelphia Eagles for their Super Bowl win. They played an superb game and earned the win. I further congratulate them for a most excellent season. Having a back up quarterback step up and perform as well as Nick Foles did after the number one guy went down to injury was exciting to watch. Therefore, I thank the Eagles for making this season a memorable one. I look forward to a rematch next year.

    Second, there are a number of events that signal the coming death of Winter. The first such death knell is the Super Bowl. The next one is the equipment truck leaving Fenway Park and driving to Florida. The next after that is pitchers and catchers report for Major League Baseball Spring Training. Then, all the players report for Spring Training. DIE WINTER! DIE!

     Have a blessed week everyone!     

Wednesday, January 31, 2018


      I hope that you are all well on this Wednesday morning. Are you looking forward to the upcoming Super Bowl?  We citizens of Patriots Nation most certainly are. I am equally certain that the citizens of Eagles Nation are likewise looking forward to the game. I hope that it is a good game where the best of each team is put on display. I hope that no one gets injured. I hope that the officiating is fair and accurate and that it does not affect the outcome of the game. It bodes to be a great game.
     Another Wednesday Hodgepodge is once again upon us. I thank our Hodgepodge Mistress for her constant efforts to come up with challenging questions each week. Thank you Joyce Daley.
     Now onto the Hodgepodge....

1. Speaking of 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.  
     I would have to go with "no end in sight." My beloved SWMBO's health is a constant, never ending challenge. She is now contending with a sinus infection, swollen lymph nodes and possibly strep throat. So, she now has to take a course of medication to address the infections above and beyond what she is already taking for her cancer. She continues to fight valiantly with perseverance and an indomitable spirit. 
     By the way, thank you, and you know who you are, for your continued prayers and words of encouragement. They do help so much.

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.
     At the risk of dating myself, what comes to my mind is a clock radio. I did have one. I would listen to it while doing homework. They often broadcast the Red Sox games on the radio. I would also listen to a talk radio show out of Boston's WBZ, 1030 AM on your radio dial. The radio also had a sleep setting where it would turn off after an hour or two so I could fall asleep while listening to the radio.

3. Something that made you smile yesterday?
     The thing that made me smile yesterday is the same thing that makes me smile beloved SWMBO. Another thing that has been making me smile lately are GIF's that I have been watching on Pinterest. Some of them are just too funny. 

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?
     Who comes up with these National Days? Yes, I do like croissants. I like chicken salad on croissants. I'm okay with chicken salad on a wrap, a roll, or bread. Not too keen on the bagel idea, though. 

5. Sum up your January in fifteen words or less.
     Our January can be summed up in one word...Change. New medical insurance, etc.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
     I watched the State of the Union address last night. I think that President Trump did a respectable job. He is not a gifted public speaker, he never has been. However, a lot of what the president said resonated with me. I like to think that I am not alone.
     I was profoundly disappointed in the democrats reaction to much of what the president said. They just sat there, dour faced, as the president reported the reduction in unemployment, the growth of the stock market and other positive trends that are good for the country. It seemed as if the democrats were mourning the success of the president's policies.
     Our government is deeply divided. I do not think that there is much chance of that changing given what I witnessed last night. May God have mercy on these United States.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018


     A very pleasant good morning to one and all. How about dem Patriots, eh? They are in the habit of pulling their chestnuts out of the fire and winning during the last few minutes of the game. Whether you are a Patriot fan or a Patriot hater, it is equally nerve wracking until the end of the game. Then there is either joy and celebration or weeping and gnashing of teeth. My condolences to the weepers and gnashers. 
     Today being Wednesday we get to enjoy another edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thank you Joyce Daley for another series of writing prompts. Enjoy!

1. January 24th is National Compliment Day. Is it easy or not so easy for you to accept a compliment? Share a recent compliment you've given or received.
     We have a young man at church who recently immigrated from Nigeria with his three siblings to be reunited with their parents. He was just inducted into the National Honor Society. He is in oh so many ways a remarkable young man! I complemented him on his character and on this achievement.
2. Ten little things you are loving right now.
     The littles things that I am loving right now, in no particular order, are (1) that first cup of coffee in the morning, (2) music, (3) our two Chinese Crested dogs, (4) my iPhone, (5) cold, clean water, (6) my Mitchell acoustic guitar, (7) Electricity, (8) my Apple Watch, (9) banana nut muffin, (10) my computer. 
     There are a few things absent from my list simply because they are not "little." Among these are the God of the Bible, my beloved SWMBO, my children and grandchildren. There are more because I am lavishly blessed.

3. Would people describe you as a positive person? Do you see yourself that way? I read here  a list/description of eight things positive people do differently-

Positive people find something to look forward to every day, they celebrate the small stuff, they're kind, they stay busy, accept responsibility for their actions, forgive themselves, know when to move on, and resist comparisons

Which action on the list would you say you do regularly? Which action could you add to your life to give you a more positive outlook? If you're a positive person, what's something you do regularly that's not on the list?

     I am a positive person, depending on the context. I do some of the things on the list. I tend to be kind. I do take responsibility for my actions. I do move on. I do forgive myself, but that is not easy for me. I tend to be my harshest critic.  
     One thing I often do that is not on the list is I try to be encouraging to others. I believe that things can always get better. 

4. Homemade chicken soup, beef stew, or a bowl of chili...what's your pleasure on a cold winter's day?
     I'll take the bowl of chili with corn chips or corn bread. Although,a nice homemade beef stew is good as well.

5. The best part of my day is....
     ...waking up. Any day on this side of the grass is a good day.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
     I have a room in my house that has two desks in it, or so I'm told. I have begun an archaeological dig to uncover and rediscover them. You know how it is, you come home from a meeting late at night and you throw your stuff on top of your desk with the intention of putting it away later. You do this time and time again until the next thing you know your desk(s) disappear. I hope that this brief explanation gives you an idea about the title of this blog post.

    The government recently shut down for three days. Some are calling it the "Shumer Shut Down." Others are calling it the "Trump Shut Down." Once again the Kabuki Theater that is our government continues. 
      The distinguished Senate Minority Leader forgot that recorded video never forgets. Senator Shumer was recorded back in 2013 saying the exact opposite of what he was saying in 2018 regarding the use of a government shut down to advance a political agenda. He shows himself to be a hypocrite...once again.  
     The really sad part is that there are many other hypocrites in government on both sides of the aisle. May God help us!