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Wednesday, October 29, 2014


1. My hubs spent last weekend pheasant hunting. Are there hunters in your family? If so, what do they hunt? Which of the following have you tasted-pheasant, rabbit, venison, duck, goose? Which of those would you most like to taste, or be most willing to taste?
Vegetarians keep calm and Hodgepodge on.
      My dad was a pheasant hunter. He sometimes used me as his "bird dog." I never flushed any birds during our outings but enjoyed spending the time with Dad in the outdoors. 
     As an adult I have hunted deer for many years. I am a great hunter, however, I am a lousy finder. I have only harvested three deer in the 30 years or so that I have hunted. My hunting partner has been more successful and has shared his bounty with me and SWMBO.

2. What high spot have you visited that gave you a wonderful 'bird's eye view' of something below?
     SWMBO and I recently visited the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. One gets a spectacular view of Bar Harbor form the summit. Many years ago we visited the top of Sandia Mountain in Albuquerque, N.M., and had a meal in the restaurant that is located there. You get a wonderful view of the City of Albuquerque from the restaurant as you enjoy your meal and dinner conversation. It is well worth the trip.

3.  Do you have any birds in your home? These could be either real live pets or decorative, as in bird prints, knickknacks, fabric or pottery.
     I have a framed needle point of an eagle in my home office. 

4. Tell about a time you 'killed two birds with one stone'?
     I got nothing! I know there have been times when I got the iconic two-fer but nothing comes to mind as I write this.

5. Your favorite song with a bird in it's title?
     A few songs come to mind..."Fly Like an Eagle" by the Steve Miller Band; "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd; and finally, "Mockingbird" by Carly Simon and James Taylor.

6. What most recently gave you goose bumps?
     I generally do not get goosebumps. I am thrilled to sit and watch TV with SWMBO while holding hands. Yes, SWMBO and I still hold hands. 
     I love spending time with my granddaughters. Today my eldest granddaughter beat me playing "Simon Says." I am so proud!

7. Halloween is this Friday...any plans? Did you trick or treat as a child? Carve pumpkins? Share your most memorable costume.
     Halloween is not one of those holidays to which I look forward. As a child I did go "Trick or Treating" well into the night, often past nine o'clock. 
     I am not a pumpkin mutilator. However, I have carved a few pumpkins over the years as the kids were growing up. 
     My most memorable costume is one year I dressed in one of my mother's dresses. My sister attached a couple of pigtails to my hair and applied some make-up. I must have looked good too because before my night ended I was asked twice to go out on a date. I HAVE NOT dressed in drag since then. Just saying!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     I am sorry to report that I have grown more cynical with the current state of politics today. It seems to me that both parties have lost sight of what elections are all about. I think that both parties approach elections like professional sports teams approach a big game. The political parties don't care for us, the voters. They just want to win the game. They have more loyalty to their respective party than they do to their constituents, We the People!
     The two major parties and their affiliated PACs broadcast political ads that are patently false. They deliberately lie about, or misrepresent, a position of the opposition. They take words out of context and falsely accuse each other of the all sorts of malfeasance, nonfeasance and misfeasance.
     Here is my recommendation for this election cycle. DON'T RE-ELECT ANYBODY! That's right, vote out all the incumbents. The longer they have been in office the more they should not be re-elected. THROW ALL THE BUMS OUT!...and please understand that they are all bums! Other than that I don't have any strong thoughts on the subject. 
     Please let your voice be heard...get out and vote...and vote out the incumbents!  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


     Today is October 22nd. The Zombie Apocalypse, AKA Halloween, is almost upon us. Hard to believe that this year is going by so fast. Today being a Wednesday you know our friend Joyce at "From This Side of the Pond" has another series of Hodgepodge questions. I hope you enjoy this week's edition. Better yet, why not join in? Visit Joyce's blog to see how easy it is to join the fun.

1. Elizabeth Lawrence is quoted as saying, 'Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn." So have you done just that? And what did you leave undone in order to do so?
     I have no problem leaving things undone to take time to enjoy life. I learned long ago that we have a tendency of getting so wrapped up in the so called obligations of life, most of which are not obligations at all, that we forget, or worse yet, neglect to pause and enjoy life. I suspect that no one ever said on their death bed that they really regret not getting _______ done!  I do leave things undone quite often. What I leave undone are too numerous to mention so I won't.

2. Since we're talking turning...what's one thing you feel you're doing 'every time you turn around'?
     "Putting out fires" comes to mind. Not the incendiary, property damaging kind, but rather the "Pain in the butt got to get it done now!" kind of fires. I have been rather busy dealing with various issues in my life, all segments of my life. A wise man once told me "Of such are the vicissitudes of life...HE WAS RIGHT!

3. How hard is it for you to 'turn the other cheek?'
     It is a lot less hard now then it was a few years ago. I have never been one to easily get angry or lash out but if someone pushed a certain button then they were in for an extremely unpleasant reaction. I now try to imitate Jesus as described in 1 Peter 2:21-24. 

4. When did you last turn a drawer, your car, a room, or your entire house upside down looking for something? Did you find it?
     About a month ago I could not locate my keys. I searched everywhere to no avail. My beloved SWMBO joined the search and could not locate them either. We searched the house high and low without any luck finding them. We searched through the inside of the car. Nope...not there either! 
     I thought long and hard trying to retrace my steps, trying to remember where I had been or when when was the last time I used my keys. Nothing clicked! 
     SWMBO asked me to drive her somewhere, I forget where. I obviously had to use SWMBO's car keys. Anyway, after I had driven a mile down the road I suddenly remembered where my keys might be. I pulled over and stopped the car. I got out and found my keys still inserted in the lock of our hatchback. In the iconic words of Homer Simpson "DOH!" 

5. 'One good turn deserves another'...were you most recently on the giving or receiving end of that sentiment?
     I was recently on the receiving end. A couple of weeks ago I ordered a pallet of wood pellets with our usual supplier. Due to the demand our ton and a half of pellets won't be delivered until sometime between November 10th and November 30th. Last Sunday the temperature was suppose to drop below freezing. When I arrived home Sunday afternoon a "Pellet Fairy" had deposited five plus 40-pound bags of wood pellets by our garage door. SWMBO awoke to a nice, toasty warm house the following morning. Needless to say, she was well pleased. 

6. Red, yellow, and orange are the colors of fall. Also the colors of fruit. If you were permitted only one color of fruit in your diet, which would you choose? This question isn't as easy as it sounds, at least not for me.
     I think I would have to go with the color "red." I love apples. Cortland Apples are my favorite. I like red seeded or seedless grapes. I also love tomatoes.  (Yes, the tomato is a fruit!) So, red is the color for me!

7. The Hunt for Red October, October Sky, Halloween...which 'October' film is your favorite?
     Being a devoted Tom Clancy fan it has to be The Hunt for Red October. It was the only movie that was faithful to the novel from which it is adapted.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
      Last weekend the 24th annual Pumpkin Festival took place in Keene, NH, not too far from Keene State College. Some distance away a group of people were having a party at a private residence. Across the street at another private residence was another party. At some point thrown bottles and rocks were exchanged between the two party goers. The Keene poise responded and tried to disperse the partiers. The situation escalated to the point where thousands of people began throwing rocks and bottles at police, overturning cars and setting bonfires in the middle of the street. 
     The Keene police were vastly outnumbered so they sent out a call for mutual aid. Reinforcements from the State Police, the County Sheriff and the surrounding towns responded. Tactical Teams (AKA SWAT Teams) responded from State Police, Nashua and Manchester to assist in restoring order. The riot went on well into the evening. 
     The responding police conducted themselves as true law enforcement professionals. There were 84 arrests that day. More are expected as the investigation unfolds. 
     To their credit many of the Keene State College student body went to store owners, property owners and elsewhere to assist with the clean up operations the next day. They apologized for the behavior of the rioters and the damages that the rioters caused. 
     I say Kudos to the police for their restraint under trying circumstances and to the students for their stepping up to help with cleaning up someone else's mess.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


1. What's your favorite time of day? Why?
     My favorite time of the day is early evening to late evening. I am most energized during those times. I suppose it comes from working 2nd and 3rd shifts a significant portion of my adult life.

2. Waffle iron, toaster, coffee maker, mixer, blender...which small appliance would you say most needs replacing in your house?
     In my house none of these need replacing. One small appliance that does need to be replaced is the electric can opener. It is on it's last legs. We have only used it for fifteen years or so.

3. It's National Grouch Day (October 15)...what's something that makes you feel grouchy?
     Whenever she's within arms reach I extend my arm and touch her. I love to feel her warmth. People sometimes ask me if I ever wake up grouchy? I say "No! Sometimes I let her sleep." An alternate answer is "No! She gets up before I do!" (Insert cymbal crash here!)

4. Ever been to Canada? Is that a country you'd like to visit? According to Trip Advisor, the top ten best destinations in Canada are-Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Victoria, Calgary, Niagara on the Lake, Niagara Falls, Whistler, and Halifax. Which city would you most like to see?
     I have been to Canada many times, primarily the Province of Quebec. I had an uncle, my dad's older brother, who lived in the city of Trois Rivieres (Three Rivers). It's located on the St. Lawrence Seaway between Montreal and Quebec City. Our family would go visit him often.
     One year SWMBO, the kids and I drove to Quebec City for a couple of days. 

5. What was your favorite food (or one of your favorites) when you were a child? Is that still a favorite?
     My maternal grandmother made the best chinese pie (shepherds pie to some) on the planet. That was my favorite meal growing up.

6. Do you cry easily?
     Depends on the context. I have wept at the funeral of a friend. I got a lump in my throat when Old Yeller bought the farm. I feel emotion watching certain other movies. I have shed tears from laughing too hard at an amusing anecdote or joke. Like I said, it depends on the context.

7. Have you started your (gasp!) Christmas shopping? If so when, and how much? If not, when will you even begin thinking about it?
     ARE YOU NUTS? It's not even Halloween yet! No, dear lady, I have not started my Christmas shopping.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     Those of you who have been praying for SWMBO, please offer a prayer of thanksgiving. Our oncologist expected that SWMBO would need a stem cell transplant around the end of the year. Well, at our latest follow up visit the oncologist said her numbers that should be up are up. Her numbers that should be down are down. Her cancer is in remission therefore the transplant is off the table for the foreseeable future. Our next follow-up visit is in February 2015.
      At the risk of raining on my own parade it is important to understand that there is NO CURE for the type of cancer SWMBO has. We have won a decisive battle in a war that is still ongoing, but the war is still ongoing. So in addition to prayers of thanksgiving, I humbly ask your continued prayers for an ultimate victory in this war with Cancer. Thank you and I thank God for you!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


     It's good to be back participating in the Hodgepodge. SWMBO and I have been occupied and unable to answer Joyce's questions for the past couple of weeks. Hopefully things can get back to normal. Enjoy this week's Hodgepodge. 

1. Do you manage your own money or do you have a financial planner who helps in some way? Do those kinds of conversations stress you out? A lot or a little?
      I manage my own money. I don't have a financial planner. Managing finances is always stressful but not so stressful that it becomes harmful.

2. The second week of October is Pet Peeve Week. Off the top of your head, share TWO of your current pet peeves.
     One of my pet peeves is when I'm driving down the highway and the car in the left lane wants to exit. Instead of changing lanes behind you they speed up, cut you off by passing in front of you. 
     Another pet peeve is telemarketers who call after 8:30 p.m. That is so rude and annoying.

3. What is one thing you'd like to learn right now, this very week if you could?
     How to speak "female" but that would take much longer than a week!

4. How concerned are you about the recent health related news concerning Ebola? How about Enterovirus D68?
     I am not very concerned about either one. The chances of my getting exposed to either one is fairly remote.

5. Garfield, Nemo, or Tigger-your favorite orange cartoon character?
     I have got to go with the lasagna eating feline...Garfield!

6. I'm going to see Gone Girl with my neighborhood book club this week. So often books made into film are disappointing. What's a book turned film you thought was well done, in that the casting was 'like you pictured' when you read the book, and the film plot remained mostly true to the book plot?
     "The Hunt for Red October" by Tom Clancy was represented very well in the movie version. Alec Baldwin did a wonderful job portraying the main character "Jack Ryan."

7. What is one story your family always tells about you?
     When I was about 8 years old some friends and I were building a fort in a wooded area. I was holding a stake while an older boy tried banging it into the ground with a floor board. This boy missed the stake and hit my head, creasing my skull and causing significant amounts of blood to gush from the wound. I was taken to the emergency room where I received a number of stitches. I reportedly asked the doctor if I was going to go crazy as a result of the blow to the head. He said that I would not! He was wrong if some of my current friends and my beloved SWMBO are to be believed!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     SWMBO and I and our fur babies took a vacation. For five days we were in the State of Maine. We visited Acadia National Park. The weather was spectacular for four of the five days we were there. Of course, we picked the coldest day to trek up to the summit of Cadillac Mountain. Man! It was cold as a well diggers butt!
     We came home for a couple of days and then drove to Lebanon, NH, for a follow up medical appointment. After the appointment we drove to Shelburne, VT, and stayed a couple of nights there.
     We then drove to St. Johnsbury, VT, and visited DOG MOUNTAIN. It boasts the only pet chapel in the world. There is a map of the world with pins stuck in it that shows all the countries where visitors to DOG MOUNTAIN came from. Some came from as far away as Australia and New Zealand.
     All in all it was a wonderful vacation!