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Wednesday, February 17, 2016


      Today, we in the northeast are recovering from a multi-precipitation weather event. It started as snow, then went to sleet, then to freezing rain and now to just rain.  I wish Mother Nature would pick just one! Preferably not snow, sleet or freezing rain. 
     Today being Wednesday, it is time for another essay question test from our friend at This Side of the Pond, Joyce Daley. I urge you all to join in. You will meet many fine people who are regular Hodgepodgers. Enjoy this week's offering.

1. February 17th is National Random Acts of Kindness Day. It lands on the calendar one day after National Do Something for a Grouch Day (February 16) which somehow feels related. Perhaps the 16th inspired the 17th?

Tell about a time you performed a random act of kindness or were the recipient of one. Will you make an effort to perform a random act of kindness on the 17th? Share details if you're so inclined, and if you have something specific in mind.
     I always try to perform a random act of kindness every day.  It stems from my time as a boyscout, "Do a good turn daily." It is also part and parcel of the Christian life to show kindness daily. I open doors for women. I allow other drivers to merge into traffic in front of me. I say "Please, Thank You, and Excuse Me" when the situation calls for them. I look for opportunities to be helpful and kind. 

2.What's the most uplifting or encouraging thing you see happening in the world right now? You may have to dig deep for this one.
     SWMBO and I know a man who emigrated to the U.S. from Nigeria, leaving his four children behind in the care of his sister. He is trying to reunite his family by bringing his children over this summer. A Go-Fund-Me page was started in his name. His plight was further mentioned on a few Facebook pages. In less than a few weeks people stepped up and contributed over twice the amount that he said he needed.  It is encouraging to see people caring for their fellow man in a real and tangible way.

3. Black olives, black currants, black grapes, black beans, blackberries, Oreos...your favorite food the color of night? Your least favorite on the list?
     My favorite food on the list is Oreos followed by blackberries. My least favorite is black olives followed by black beans.

4. A while back I read (here) a list of twelve things you should do before you turn 50. They were-
travel when you have the chance, take care of your skin, learn a foreign language, make exercise a habit, leave a toxic situation, stop caring what others think about you, stop worrying, volunteer, spend time with your grandparents, pledge to work less, learn to cook an amazing dish, and seize an opportunity as it arises

What do you think of the list? What would you add or remove and why? If you're over 50, have you done all 12? If you're not yet 50, have you done any at all? What's on the list that you haven't done, but would like to do?
     I think all of the items on the list are worth doing regardless of age. I stopped caring about what others think about me a long time ago. I generally don't worry about much. I grew up with my maternal grandparents. I never knew my paternal grandparents. I have learned how to cook a few dishes from my grandmother. Depending on the circumstances, I do seize opportunities.  I have let some slip away. I don't fuss over my skin much. I could/should develop a more consistent habit of exercise.  I generally don't get involved in toxic situations.

5. Besides the classic Christmas flicks, what's your favorite film where winter plays a part in the setting?  
     One movie would be "Fargo."  On behalf of my granddaughters I submit "Frozen." Another film I like is "Chronicles of Narnia; The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe." I really like the writings of C.S. Lewis.

6.When did you last feel helpless, and what did you do about it?
     When you have a loved one who is ill with a chronic serious disease you feel helpless alot. Often, the only thing that you can do is pray. That is what I do when I feel helpless.

7. Share a favorite proverb. 
     "The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin." (Proverbs 13:3-4)

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     Last Saturday our country lost a great man. Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, died unexpectedly of a heart attack in the State of Texas. Justice Scalia was one of the greatest legal scholars and had one of the greatest legal minds in out nation's history.
     Justice Scalia was a devout Roman Catholic and tried to live what he believed. He loved debating points of law with people who disagreed with his positions. One of his best friends is Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Her views are mostly diametrically opposed to his and yet they enjoy a fondness and respect for each other.
     Justice Scalia believed that our Constitution was not a living document, but rather a legal document which means what it says. That belief drove many of his opinions.
     Justice Scalia will definitely be missed. I thank God for Justice Scalia's service to his country and to the law. May he rest in peace!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


     Well, the NH Primary, the first in the Nation primary is over! Every four years New Hampshire residents are bombarded with "We have just a four question survey" or "Please support (insert name here) he is the best qualified" type calls. It is interesting to watch. It is also annoying being bombarded by so many phone calls.
     Today we move on to the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Given that Valentine's day is this Sunday, the theme of the questions is "LOVE." Thank you Joyce for this week's edition.

1. Create an acrostic using the word LOVE. If you're unsure what an acrostic is click here. 
    Love Only Validates Everything!

2. Does love really conquer all? Why or why not?
     Yes, I believe that it does. Insert 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13 here! Agape love, the highest form of love, the all encompassing kind of love is unconquerable in my humble opinion.

3. Tell us about a time recently, where you really put your heart into something.
     Nothing comes to mind!

4. What's your favorite fictional love story?
     Love Story? Really? I'd lose my "Man Card" for answering this question!

5. Do you generally wear your heart on your sleeve, or keep your cards close to the vest?
     I'm a keep your cards close to the vest kind of guy!

6. What food says love to you? Why?
     Peacan Pie or Boston Cream Pie! It means someone loves me when they give me a Peacan Pie or a small single serve Table Talk Boston Cream Pie.

7. When were you last 'tickled pink' over something? Explain.
     On Sunday our daughter and son in law celebrated our youngest granddaughter's birthday. When SWMBO arrived at their houseour oldest granddaughter yelled out "Pepere" and ran to me and gave me a big hug and a kiss on my cheek. I was tickled pink!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     The Super Bowl is the first deth knell of winter. I am glad that Peyton Manning was on the winning team. The equipment truck is leaving Fenway Park on Wednesday enroute to the Red Sox Spring training facility in Florida. The pitchers and catchers report for Spring training in a couple of weeks, the second death knell of winter. Take heart folks, winter is on the way out! COME ON SPRING! ! !

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


     Yesterday the prognosticating rodent from Pennsylvania made his prediction with respect to the remaining length of the 2015/2016 winter season. He predicts that there is going to be an early Spring. I don't believe him because rodents are inherently unreliable. What is reliable is Wednesday bringing us another Hodgepodge. And so, enjoy the Hodgepodge!

1. Describe love using all five senses.
     This is really a tough question! My answer to this question flows from my beloved SWMBO. I feel her gentle touch as we sit together in church. I smell the sweet fragrance of her perfume. I see how her face lights up when she see's me approaching. I taste the flavored lip balm on her lips and I hear her sweet voice calling my name to find something that she misplaced.
2. February is Canned Food Month. What's your favorite food that comes straight from a can?
     I like some of the Chef Boyardee stuff. I like some of the Progresso soups. I like canned vegetables. 

3. A principal in a UK school recently sent home a letter to parents requesting they (the parents!) dress appropriately when escorting their children to/from school (basically saying please don't wear your pajamas) You can read the letter here. It's gotten a lot of publicity, both positive and negative. Your thoughts? And do/did you ever make the school run (or hit Starbucks, Walmart, etc) in your pjs?
     I don't really care what people are wearing in the confines of their cars while dropping kids off at school so long as they're covered. As for me, I would never leave the house without being properly dressed...unless it's in an ambulance and in that case I really wouldn't have a choice because I'd most likely be unconscious.
4. Crew neck, V-neck, turtleneck, scoop neck...which is most prevalent in your wardrobe?
     I'm a crew neck guy! 

5. I read here recently a list of four things to avoid so you wake up happier. They were late night snacks, hitting the snooze button, social media just before bed/upon waking, checking emails. 

Are you guilty of any of these behaviors? Which on that list do you need to work harder at avoiding?
      I am guilty of all of them at one time or another. Night snacks is my Kryptonite.

6. Share something you remember about a house you lived in as a child? Of all the homes you lived in as a child, which did you love best? 
     The house I grew up in was built in the late 1800's. My siblings and I were convinced that the place was haunted, especially the cellar. We experienced a number of events that could only be described as paranormal and in some cases frightening. Ironically of the places I lived, that house is my favorite. 

7.Your favorite movie based on a true story? 
     I love historical movies. "Apollo 13" is one of my favorites. I also like "42" the story of Jackie Robinson.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     Another answer to Question #1 is God. God is love! 1 Corinthians 13 describes pure love and that too is God. I am able to love others because God first showed me how to love. May you all experience the true love of God in your lives.