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Wednesday, July 29, 2015


     This is the second consecutive hot and steamy day here in New Hampshire. One more like it and it is an official heat wave. As the Wicked Witch of the West so eloquently said "I'm melting! Help me, I'm melting! Ohhhhhh!"
     I hope it's cooler where you are. Today is Wednesday and time for another Wednesday Hodgepodge. I hope that you enjoy reading the following answers.

1.  I recently read here about four secrets to happiness from around the world. They were-

Overcome your fears by facing them head on, allow yourself to relax and reset, work to live versus living to work, and find the good in life. Not sure if these are the actual secret to happiness, but which of the four do you struggle with most? Which one comes most easily to you?
     The one I struggle with most is overcoming fear by facing them head on. I don't particularly enjoy confrontations. The one that comes most easily is to me is finding the good in life. There is a lot of good in beloved SWMBO, our granddaughters, our fur babies, our church family.

2. How would you spend a found $20 bill today?
     I'd take SWMBO to Dairy Queen for her favorite Blizzard.

3. Ego trip, power trip, guilt trip, round trip, trip the light fantastic, or trip over your own two feet...which 'trip' have you experienced or dealt with most recently? Explain.
     I'll go with round trip. I drive SWMBO and the fur babies in to her workplace. I then return home until it's time to pick them up after the workday is done. I make two round trips each Monday, Tuesday and Friday.
     A close second is trip over my own two feet. I tend to be clumsy and tripping over my feet is not unusual.

4. If you could master any physical skill in the world what would it be, and how would you use that skill?
     If I could master any physical skill I would master the art of healing. What would I do with such a skill? Why I'd heal, that's what!

5. As July draws to a close, let's take inventory of our summer fun. Since the official first day of (North American) summer (June 20th) have you...been swimming? enjoyed an ice cream cone? seen a summer blockbuster? camped? eaten corn on the cob? gardened? deliberately unplugged? watched a ballgame? picked fruit off the vine? taken a road trip? read a book?  Are any of these activities on your must-do-before-summer-ends list?
     So far this summer I have enjoyed a number of ice cream cones. I've watched and scored a ballgame on TV. I've unplugged a couple of times and gone fishing.  I don't have a must-do-before-summer-ends list. I'm making this up as I go along.

6. The Republican Presidential candidates will debate on August 6th. What's your question?
     How do we know that you're not going to campaign one way and govern another way if you get elected like the vast majority of other candidates who have asked for out vote and let us down?

7. What's your most listened to song so far this summer?
     I've been listening to a fair amount of Kansas music this summer. I haven't been listening to one song over and over again. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     I believe that Americans are, by and large, a noble people. You see stories that support this thesis on a daily basis. You see stories about a police officer buying a meal for a homeless person and sitting beside them and eating with them. 
     There is a story about a woman, a single mother, who was dying from brain cancer. She asked her best friend to adopt her four daughters should anything happen to her. Her friend said without hesitation that she would and when the time came, she kept her promise. 
     You hear stories about American servicemen stationed overseas who go beyond the strict call of duty to bring a little joy to a child in a war torn country.
     Another recent example is American patriots arming themselves and standing watch over military recruiting stations to protect the servicemen inside who are not allowed to protect themselves.
     I am certain that you too can cite examples of what I'm talking about.
     Like I said, Americans are a noble people. God bless America!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


     Today is Wednesday and it should come as no surprise that there is another Wednesday Hodgepodge by our friend Joyce Daley from "From This Side of the Pond." Join in on the fun by visiting her blog and following a few simple directions to link up with this fine community of bloggers. It really is fun meeting and getting to know new people. Come on in the water is fine!

1. Is your home air conditioned? If it's not air conditioned, is that by choice? Did you grow up with air conditioning? If not how did you cope with the heat? Share about a time or place you remember as being too hot-the temperature kind of hot, lest anyone be confused.
     My beloved SWMBO does not have the consideration to even sweat when the temperature is in the 90's and the humidity is above 65%. We have two window AC units. One is in the bedroom for the fur babies and that order. The other is in her home office...for me. We have fans scattered elsewhere around the house. 
     The hottest I have ever been was when I was stationed in Albuquerque, N.M, in the mid 1970's. I played a round of golf one day that turned out to be 110 degrees Fahrenheit. I drank gallons of water and a few pints of beer to keep hydrated...but man, was it ever hot. I didn't learn about how hot it was until after I got home and saw the weather report on TV. The fact that it was a "dry" heat did not matter.

2. What's something in your life right now that falls under the heading 'up in the air'?
     SWMBO's illness. Thankfully she is in remission still, but her disease could flare up without warning at any time. That is the elephant in the room!

3. Your favorite light and airy dessert?
     I love a nice ambrosia!

4. When did you last feel like you were 'floating on air'?
     SWMBO and I watch our granddaughters on Tuesdays. Part of their ritual is to gang up on their Pepere and climb all over me covering me with their blankets and just having a good old time with the old man! That's when!

5. Airport, airmail, airtight, airhead...which have you most recently encountered? Explain.
     Airport...I am an aero-phile, I love planes, airports, etc. I like to go to our local regional airport and watch planes land and take off and listen to the radio traffic on my scanner which is set to the local airport frequencies. It's a great time to read, pray or just think while enjoying the day.

6.  Have you ever been to the Alps? If so where did you go? If not, is this a destination on your must-see list? If you were headed that direction this summer, which of the following would be your preferred activity...a gentle walk, a serious walk, a bike ride, a boat ride around one of the lakes, or summer snow skiing?
      I have never been to the Alps although I would love to go someday. My preference would be a leisurely boat ride on one of the lakes. My second choice would be a bicycle ride.

7. What is one saying or phrase that was considered 'cool' when you were growing up?
     "Peace! Love! Dope!" and "Keep the faith, baby!"

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     The weather up here in the Granite State has been hot and humid. My beloved Red Sox are not playing up to expectation given the high priced talent that they have on staff. I have bought a fishing license for the first time in many, many years. So far I have caught several trees. I had to throw them back though...too small. I caught a few bushes and had to throw them back for the same reason. I unwillingly donated one of my fishing lures to the ecology at the bottom of the lake and I caught a small Yellow Perch. 
     I am in a hopeful mood nonetheless! I hope that the humidity breaks real soon. I hope that the Red Sox turn things around and begin winning a few games. I hope that I catch more fish, bigger fish! Hope springs eternal!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


     This week Major League Baseball is having their annual break in games for the All Star Game. Every year the best of baseball's American and National Leagues  gather together to play a game. The League that wins gets home field advantage in the World Series. 
     Today is Wednesday and therefore time for another Wednesday Hodgepodge. I hope that you are having a good week and that you enjoy this issue of the Wednesday Hodgepodge!

1.July 15th is National Give Something Away Day.  What can you give away? Will you?
     I can give away my love and yes, I will give it away.

2. Do you have a mantra? Please share with the class if you feel comfortable doing so.
     I have a mantra from Lamentations 3:23, ff..."The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him." This is my go to verse in all kinds of situations.

3. Who does the grocery shopping in your house? How many times a week do you shop? Do you make a list or pray for inspiration in the produce aisle?
     I generally do the grocery shopping. SWMBO and I have a "Shopping List" App on our cell phones. When she adds something to the list on her phone it is automatically added to the list on my phone. As I shop and cross off items on my phone, they are crossed off the list on her phone as well. I usually shop once or twice a week.

4. Is there a TV show you're embarrassed to say you watch? You're going to tell us what it is, right?
       I am certain that there is one, but I can't think of one. SWMBO and I used to watch Dancing with the Stars together. Does that count?
5. A recent article listed fifteen words we should eliminate from our (written) vocabulary in order to sound smarter-

that, went, honestly, absolutely, very, really, amazing, always, never, literally, just, maybe, stuff, things, and irregardless

Of the fifteen, which word is your most overused?
     I think I use the word "that" a fair amount. I do not see why we should eliminate any words from our writing vocabulary with the possible exception of "irregardless." All the other words that are mentioned seem to me to be perfectly acceptable words to use. 

6. So apparently dying your hair gray (in your youth!) is a thing right now. It's called 'The Granny Hair' trend. Your thoughts? 
     For once, I am ahead of a fashion trend! I generally don't go in for fads and such but I have had gray hair for a while now.

7. A while back Buzz Feed asked members to share the most beautiful sentence they've read in a piece of literature. A hard thing to narrow down, at least for me, but let's try. What's one of the most beautiful sentences you've ever read in a piece of literature?
     Some of the most beautiful sentences are those spoken by the pseudo law judge in the "Merchant of Venice" where she is expounding upon the quality of mercy in a failed attempt to persuade Shylock from collecting on his bond.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     Our society is losing it's collective mind. It seems that some are trying to redefine reality. The caucasian woman who was the chapter president of the Seattle chapter of the NAACP who self identified as being black. You cannot wake up some morning and decide that you are now of a different race.
     Bruce Jenner decided after many years that he is now a woman, notwithstanding the fact that he was born male. Again, you cannot wake up some morning and decide that you are not what you were born as but are a different gender altogether. Unfortunately medical science has advanced to the stage where they can make physical alterations to physically change a male into a female, to wit, Caitlyn Jenner.
     A person who enters a country in contravention of that country's laws is an "Illegal Alien." To call them anything else is to lose touch with reality.
     These are just three examples of what I mean. "Reality" and "Truth" are not up for debate and majority does not rule. What is real and what is true today will be real and true tomorrow. If they are not so, then they were not real and true in the first place. GOD HELP US!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


     "Who is this God that I should listen to him?"

     In the fifth chapter of the book of Exodus we read an account of Moses' first meeting with Pharaoh where he told Pharaoh that God commands that he let His people go. In response Pharaoh asks the question highlighted above. Unfortunately for Pharaoh he received his answer in the form of ten plagues and the destruction of Egypt.

     In America these days our nation is asking the same question. It started with removing prayer from our public schools. It continued with the sexual revolution where all forms of moral depravity became the order of the day. Shortly after that, our nation began slaughtering our unborn in Planned Parenthood clinics nationwide. Marriage took a severe hit with the so called "No Fault Divorce." American families from coast to coast were destroyed in the process. Now, by court fiat, marriage has been redefined further eroding the definition of a "traditional family." 

     As a nation we have tried to remove God from the public square and relegate Him to the confines of the church building. We began to label as "intolerant" anyone who would dare to advocate for God's clear teaching on a myriad of topics in our society.

     As a nation we would do well to answer the question posed by the Egyptian Pharaoh thousands of years ago. We would do well to remember the consequences of answering that question incorrectly, exemplified by Egypt's experience so long ago.

    The God who we read about in the book of Exodus is the same God who we worship in our churches today. I pray for my beloved Nation! I solicit all of you to pray for our beloved Nation! I fear that if we fail to repent as a nation and return to honoring God as we ought to, WE TOO WILL LIKEWISE PERISH! 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


      Here it is, another Wednesday already and time for another Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thanks again to out Hodgepodge Mistress, Joyce Daly, for another series of interesting questions. I hope you enjoy reading this weeks edition of the Hodgepodge. Better yet, join in on the fun, it is real easy. Visit Joyce's blog page for precise instructions on how to participate. It is a lot of fun and you get to interact with a wide variety of bloggers, good people all.

1. When did you last 'swim against the tide'? Explain.
     I cannot remember when I last swam against the tide. I am sure I have because I have a larger than most "resistance to change" factor. I am not generally swayed by majority opinion.

2. What's the last self-help or self-improvement book you read?
     Being perfect, what need would I have for a self improvement book? However, SWMBO wants me to read "Correcting Self Delusion for Dummy's." SWMBO's helpful that way!

3. "Tolerance is a tremendous virtue, but the immediate neighbors of tolerance are apathy and weakness." (Sir James Goldsmith) 

Agree or disagree? Discuss. With civility please, because I think we have a good thing going in our very diverse (in geography, age, religion, political persuasion, ethnicity, marital status, upbringing, and cooking abilities) neighborhood here on This Side of the Pond.
     I think that I disagree to some extent. I don't think that tolerating the abuse of yourself,  a loved one, or someone else is a virtue. On the other hand tolerating a different opinion or belief or culture is a virtue. 
     I think that Mr. Goldsmith has a point about apathy and weakness being neighbors.  Our founding fathers chose not to tolerate the abuses of His Majesty's government. Had they been apathetic or weak we would still be singing "God Save the Queen" as our national anthem. Fortunately they were neither and that legacy has been passed down through the generations. It is not a prevalent today but it is still here.

4. What is one of your most vivid memories of the kitchen from your childhood?
     I can still see my grandmother wearing her favorite apron sitting in her rocking chair softly singing to herself in her native French Canadian language while peeling potatoes in a bowl that was sitting on her lap. The aroma of cooking onions was often in the air. My grandmother would agree with my answer to Question #2...just sayin'! I was her favorite! 

5. How did/do your own children's summers compare with your summers as a child? If you're not a parent, answer as it relates to what you've observed about the current generation of children vs. your own childhood.
     When I was a boy, children were much more left to their own devices to entertain themselves. We were "free range" kids. I lived near the Merrimack River. There were many times that I'd grab my fishing tackle and spend the day fishing, swimming or just having an adventure with my friends. We did have to let someone know where we were going and/or what we were doing but we did not have to check in periodically. We just had to be home by supper time or if it was after supper, before the street lights came on.
     Today, too many kids, it seems to me, don't have the freedom to do what they want like we did. Their days seemed to be over-scheduled with Day Camp, Summer Programs, Summer School,  Family Vacations, etc. This limits their creativity and imagination and this leads to the phenomena that when there is "down time" they turn to some sort of an electronic device to amuse themselves.  
6. Tell us what body of water you would most like to be on or near today, and why?
     I would love to be rafting down the Merced River in Yosemite National Park. The water is the coldest I have ever experienced and to raft trip is so relaxing. Yeah, that would be my choice. 

7.  Share a favorite song about water, or a favorite song with the word water in it's title, or a favorite song to listen to as you sit beside the water.
     Back in 1979, The Little River Band released a song called "Cool Change." One of the lyrics is "If there's one thing in my life that's missing, it's the time that I spend alone, staring at the cool and bright clear water." It really is a great song!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     SWMBO and I began the process of looking for another dog to bring in to our home. We wanted something small because it would be easier to take care of. Our beloved Becke, a yellow Labrador Retriever, is over 15 years old and we don't know how many more days she's going to be with us. She has some health issues, mostly arthritis type stuff making it hard for her to move around without help. We wanted a third dog so that when the inevitable does happen August Rush, a Chinese Crested Puff (Hairy), won't be alone.
    As luck would have it, SWMBO saw on Facebook where a woman was driving to NH from Tennessee to visit her father in Manchester, NH, and she had a 9 month old Chinese Crested female she was looking to re-home. One thing led to another and we brought our newest family member home on Thursday, July 2nd. The dog is what I call an oxymoron Chinese Crested. Her proper designation is a hairy hairless Chinese Crested. We, and by "we" I mean SWMBO, named her "Divinity Tuppence Lillie." 
     Lillie is still adjusting to Becke and to August Rush. She is also adjusting to the sights and sounds of our home. She barks at E V E R Y blasted sound she hears. She also barks at us if we leave the room and return a few minutes later. Needless to say we have not been sleeping very well due to Divine's intermittent barking, hence the title of this Hodgepodge post. I'll try to post a picture or two at a later time. Enjoy the rest of your week!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


     This week we celebrate the 239th birthday of America. We are still young as nations go. We apparently still have some growing up to do. We are a decent and noble people despite our flaws. We are often the first on the scene to bring relief to victims of natural disasters. We give of our means to help those who are less fortunate. So I say Happy Birthday America...your best days lie ahead of you! Enjoy this week's Hodgepodge!

1. On Saturday July 4th America celebrates her Independence. (If you're not American,  feel free to answer in terms of a national holiday in your own country) What is your favorite thing about the day? Your favorite food on the 4th? Do you fly a flag at your house? Fireworks-yay or nay? Any special plans this year?

     My favorite thing about Independence Day is remembering the words penned by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. These truths are self evident...All men are created equal....Endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights. Mr. Jefferson had some amazing rhetorical skills. My favorite food is the traditional BBQ fare. Sadly, we do not fly the flag...I'm not sure why. Fireworks is a big Yay! We have no special plans this year.

2. What's something you recently got for free?

     I recently got a free iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts. I participate in the Perks program where we earned various rewards for being participants.

3.  The Statue of Liberty, The Liberty Bell, The Washington Monument, or Mount many on the list have you seen? What is your favorite historical American monument, and why? 

     I have seen the Statue of Liberty and the Washington Monument. I would like to visit the other two someday. I am a real fan of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. I am a real fan of Thomas Jefferson. His passion for defending liberty has always appealed to me as does his intellect and writings. He wasn't a perfect man! I think that he was a good man! 

4. When it comes to the news are you more ostrich (stick my head in the sand) or hog (they have room to take a whole lot in)? How much attention have you given the recent news reports regarding ISIS and the acts of terror they've perpetrated against those who do not share their beliefs or support their cause?

     I listen/watch news programming often. I try to keep up on current events. I am amazed at how history tends to repeat itself. I have been keeping abreast of ISIS and our government's lack of response to the existential threat that they pose to us here and abroad. I am troubles by our president's lack of recognition of the threat that ISIS poses not only to America but the rest of the world as well. ISIS is evil out of the very pit of hell and ought to soundly defeated and removed from the planet. I believe that we will live to regret not confronting this evil sooner.

5. We're talking plain ice cream...vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry? Choose one.

     Give me vanilla! If we're out of vanilla, then strawberry! If we're out of vanilla and strawberry, I'll have a piece of apple pie!

6. Share a song you love containing the word 'stars' in the lyrics or title?

     I am going with "Good Morning Star Shine" by Oliver! It's a happy song that always lifts my spirits, especially when I sing along at the top of my lungs!

7. Describe and/or say goodbye to June with an acrostic.
     Before you go, and go you must!
     You melted us, you chilled us, and rained all over us...
     Enjoy your time away until we meet again next year...wait! 
           What's that sound...are those fireworks I hear?

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     Today, my beloved SWMBO and I celebrate the completion of our 43rd trip around the Sun as man & wife! I am a real fan of marriage as many of you already know. I have been married to a really remarkable woman who has enriched my life every day of our time together. How anyone could live with me for 43 years without shooting me in the head, given the fact that she is trained and quite capable AND has had sufficient provocation to get away with it, is beyond me! I am really grateful for each day that we get to spend time together. 
     Marriage is a special and beautiful covenantal relationship created and blessed by God when done God's way. . .SWMBO and I are living proof! Also we are not unique in this regard. There are many other couples who honor God's design of marriage and have endured together as long as we have, and even longer in some cases. Again, when marriage is done God's way it works and is a blessing.
     So, my Immortal Beloved, I love you with every fiber of my being and I thank you for 43 extraordinary years and here's to many, many more!