My Blog List

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A MERRY CHRISTMAS HODGEPODGE!


     Next Monday is Christmas 2017. I sincerely hope and pray that all of you have a blessed Christmas and that the upcoming New Year gives you all the best of health and prosperity. In short, Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year.
     As it is another Wednesday, it is time for another Wednesday Hodgepodge. I do so appreciate this weekly distraction and time of thought and reflection on the issues on our Hodgepodge Mistress, Joyce Daley's, mind. Thank you Joyce and a special Merry Christmas to you and yours. 
     Now...the Hodgepodge!

1. Where have you found unexpected magic or delight this holiday season?
      All the magic and delight has been expected this holiday season. Therefore, the unexpected stuff is yet to be.
    
2. What's your favorite type of holiday gathering? Will you/have you gathered in your favorite way this month?
     I prefer the smaller type gatherings. The church has an adult Christmas Party that is outstanding. Unfortunately, SWMBO and I were unable to attend this year.

3. Time has named 'The Silence Breakers' (women who came forward with stories of harassment)  'person of the year' for 2017. Would you agree? If not, who do you think deserves the title?
     I do not agree with the Time selection. Then again, I have never been too impressed with the publication which selected the likes of Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev and Ayatollah Khomeini as their person of the year. 
     I believe that the person of the year should be President Donald Trump. Considering all that he had arrayed against him he was able to get a new Supreme Court Justice and 57 Federal Court Justices appointed and confirmed by the Senate. 
     He has withstood a hostile press and is doing what he promised the American people he would do. Ninety percent of his coverage has been negative our false.
     He had to respond to the aftermath of two hurricanes that caused extensive damage which will require years to recover from. 
     Therefore, I believe that President Trump is the person of the year.

4. How did you spend your time this year? Are you happy about that? Elaborate
      Most of this year was spent dealing with health issues, SWMBO's and mine. I am not happy about it at all. I am glad that we have good insurance and great support from family and friends. I would rather have spent my time in other pursuits.

5. Bid farewell to 2017 in ten words or less.
     So long! Farewell! What a trip its been!

6. Insert your own random thought here.
     Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I wish you godspeed if you're traveling over the holiday. I wish you the best of health and prosperity. 



Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A SNOWY NEW ENGLAND HODGEPODGE!


     Well, it is official! The house interior has been decorated for Christmas! The Christmas tree is up and decorated. The garland has been strategically strung. The army of snowmen and nutcrackers have been deployed for duty.  Christmas stockings have been lovingly hung from the fireplace mantel. We are ready for Santa Claus' visit.
     Being Wednesday it is time for another Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thank you Joyce Daley for another fine series of questions.  

1. 'Hurry less, worry less'...what's your strategy for making that happen this holiday season? How's it going so far?
     My strategy is to employ a philosophy I call "Constructive Apathy." I choose to not get amped up over minor issues that can take on monumental proportions during the holidays if you let them. It is kind of like that "Don't sweat the small stuff" cliche and remembering that it is all small stuff. 

2. Do you have a list of to-dos that need accomplishing in order to prepare your home and/or property for the winter season? What are some of the jobs on your list? Are you a do-it-yourselfer or do you hire someone to accomplish these tasks?
     There are a number of tasks that need to be done to prepare for the winter season. Just to name a few, turn off and insulate the outside water faucets. Order and then stack a pallet of wood pellets (seventy five 45-pound bags). Order our heating oil (500 gallons). Remove the window and door screens and install the glass panes. Clear off the rear deck and store the furniture for the winter. I do most of it myself.

3. According to dietitians surveyed, the most popular health foods for 2018 will be -turmeric, sprouted foods (bean sprouts, breads with sprouted grains, etc), veggies in place of grains, dairy free milk, and pulses (lentils, chickpeas, etc).  What's the first thought that ran through your head when you read this list? Of the foods listed which one might you add to your regular diet? Also, can milk really be dairy free? Is it still milk?
     The list sounds like fad diet stuff. I get the vegetables. I love vegetables both raw and cooked. I am not sure about the other things on the list.

4. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2018 is Ultra Violet. According to the Pantone site 'Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking pointing us to the future.' What say you? Do you like the color purple? Did you see the movie or read the book-ha!?  Is purple a color you wear often? Describe for us one purple item in your home without using the word purple.  If you were in charge of such things what color would you select for 2018?
     I am okay with the color purple. I have never seen the movie. I do not wear the color often. One of our artificial Christmas trees is the color that shall not be mentioned. Nobody in their right mind would ever put me in charge of selecting colors.

5. Favorite book read this year?
"From Angel to Man" by Barric Kent. It is the first book in a trilogy. I know the author and have spoken with him at length about his novel. It is a quick read.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
      What do you see when you look at your Christmas tree? When I look at our Christmas tree I see the history of our life. 
     We shared our first Christmas together as man and wife in 1972. We were in the U.S. Air Force, stationed in New Mexico. We were poor as church mice. We bought a paint by number wooden Christmas ornament kit. Those ornaments still adorn our tree. 
     We still have a crumpled brown construction paper deer that our son made in grammar school.
     We have a hand painted glass Christmas ornament that we obtained in the United Kingdom while we were stationed there. 
     Every ornament on our tree evokes a memory of the time when we obtained the ornament. Our Christmas tree is a nostalgic walk through history, our history. SWMBO and I have been lavishly blessed. Have a wonderful week. 



Wednesday, December 6, 2017

IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE...HODGEPODGE!



     Today is camel day. How do you like your camels...one hump or two? I hope that your hump day is going well so far. Being hump day it is also time for another Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thanks to our Hodgepodge Mistress, Joyce Daley, for another series of probing questions.
     I urge you to participate. You will not be sorry that you did. In any event, enjoy this weeks offering.

1. What title would you give this current chapter of your life?
      "We Keep Getting Back Up!" Sometimes in life you take some hits. Some of those hits ring your bell, others knock you off your feet, so to speak. A wise man once said that you never lose a fight if you keep getting back up.
     When the hits keep coming, you know, those financial set backs or a bad  report from your doctor, or the loss of a loved one, you keep getting back up.
     SWMBO and I keep getting back up !
  
2. December 6 is National Microwave Oven Day. Who knew? Besides popcorn and coffee reheats, what's the most common thing you microwave? Could you get along without a microwave?
     I suppose the most common thing that we reheat in the microwave oven are all sorts of leftovers. The "radar range" is very convenient but I think we could survive, that is, get along without one.

3. If you could insert yourself into any Christmas carol and experience the lyrics in real life, which Christmas carol lyric would you choose and why?
     My choice is "O Little Town of Bethlehem." I envision myself walking through its starlit streets until I came upon a manger on the outskirts of the tiny hamlet and witness the birth of the baby Jesus, Christ the Lord.  I would love to see that "new parent" look on the faces of Joseph and Mary as they held their new born Son for the first time. I imagine the sound of the heavenly hosts singing "Hallelujah, Glory to God in the Highest! Glory to the new born King!" I also can see in my minds eye the shepherds coming in from the fields to behold that which the Angel told them about, the Savior, a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger...with a look of awe upon their faces. What a wonderful experience that would be.

4. Describe the most beautiful drive you've ever taken.
     SWMBO and I are fortunate to live in NH. It is a beautiful and scenic state. The most beautiful drive we have ever taken was a sunny fall day through the White Mountains. We drove through Franconia Notch and the Kancamangus Highway, NH Route 112. The views of the surrounding terrain is awesome. It speaks volumes of the majesty of God.

5. What's something on your Christmas list this year? (an actual list or figuratively speaking, either one)
     I really don't have a Christmas Wish List. SWMBO and I started a tradition when we became empty nesters where we buy one gift for each other. This tradition avoids the whole "I spent more money on you than you spent on me" competition with the attendant bad feelings. 
     For example, one year we bought a new high definition television. Another year we bought new iPads. This seems to work for us.
   
6. Insert your own random thought here.
       One of the things that continues to amaze me at Christmas time is the thought that Almighty God, the Creator of all that has been created, left eternity and lived among us as a human, and a humble human at that.   He subjected Himself to all the laws of physics. He experienced things that are common to all of us. He got cold. He got hungry. He felt pain. He felt love. He laughed. He cried. He was like us in every way except one...He was still God. He was God in the flesh, but He was still God.
     Can you imagine how much love that God must have for all of us that He would do that? I cannot! So, during this Christmas season I urge all of you to consider the spiritual ramifications of the Christmas Holiday. I urge you all to truly keep Christ in Christmas.
     May God lavishly bless all of you!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A POST THANKSGIVING DAY HODGEPODGE!


     Good morning to all and to all a good morning. I hope that you all had a blessed and memorable Thanksgiving holiday. Are you sick and tired of turkey leftovers yet? SWMBO and I spent the dat with some dear friends who live close by. Thank you Doug and Linda for your hospitality and great food.
     Thank you Joyce Daley for your weekly series of questions. Thank you for your Wednesday Hodgepodge and for granting us fellow Hodgepodgers the privilege of participating. Here is this week's episode. I hope you enjoy you visit.

  
1.  What's something blogging has taught you about yourself?
     I have learned that I write better than I speak. I think the reason why is that with my writing I can revise and extend my remarks. I can think and evaluate more fully what I commit to paper. When I speak I only have one shot to get it right. Once it is spoken, it is out there, unpolished and often times flawed. Blogging has clearly taught me this truth.

2.  Leftovers...are you in the 'reheat and eat' camp or the 'put them in the fridge until they spoil and then toss them' camp? What's your favorite thing to have leftover? What can you not abide as a leftover?
     I am in the heat and reheat camp. I also sometimes eat leftovers such as Turkey or meat cold. Another thing that I like eating cold is my meat stuffing. It makes a wonderful tasting sandwich.
     That said, I have left things in the fridge so long that they turned into an awful, moldy, space alien like substance. EWWW! 
     My favorite leftover is chinese/shepherd's pie. I don't know about what I cannot abide as a leftover.

3. 'Me time'...your thoughts?

     I love being with people. I am also one of those people who are comfortable in their own company. Many years ago I was told that boredom is self inflicted. I believe that is true. We have all manner of things to stimulate us when we are flying solo. I like to read, play music, and watch TV to name a few. I also like to sit alone and just observe nature and get lost in my thoughts or spend time in prayer. Boredom is indeed self inflicted.

4. When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?
     The reasons why people come to me for help are as varied a the people. Sometimes it for advice for a personal problem. Some times it is a question about a teaching in Scripture or my opinion on something they heard or read about a teaching in Scripture. 
     I seldom get consulted on home repair or automotive issues due to my lack of skill in those disciplines.

5. If your childhood had a smell what would it be? Tell us why.
     My childhood would smell like onions frying in a cast iron pan. Our house often smelled of onions cooking. My grandmother, who did most of the cooking, almost always began by peeling, slicing and cooking onions.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
     I can hardly believe that the year 2017 is almost done, but a quick glance at the calendar confirms that it is. It is at this time of year that I look back and think about my year. I think about goals that I have achieved and the goals I have fallen short of achieving. I think about the New Year and what goals that I want to achieve. Some goals will be carry overs from this year. Other goals will be new.
     Being a seriously flawed individual I have a lot of room for improvement. I am not perfect and let me add as an aside that those of you who seem to be perfect who seem to have everything together are particularly annoying to those of us who aren't and don't.
     How about you? Have you achieved all of your goals for 2017? Are you thinking about your goals for 2018?  
     I urge you to set reasonable, achievable goals and to work towards them. Do not spend your life wandering through it aimlessly. Set at least one goal and take steps to achieve it and then set another goal.
    Have a great week!



Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A THANKSGIVING DAY GOBBLE! GOBBLE! HODGEPODGE!


     HAPPY THANKSGIVING to everyone! I sincerely hope that your holiday will be a blessed and memorable one. This is a special time of reflection and expressions of gratitude for the blessings all of us have received in life. I believe that everyone has been blessed to some extent so everyone has something for which to be thankful.
    Also, with the arrival of this holiday and the ensuing shopping orgy, the annual meeting of the Ebenezer Scrooge Admiration Society is called to order. BAH! HUMBUG! Come on, say it with me, BAH! HUMBUG! (See question #6 for more info on the Society)
     Thank you Joyce for another Wednesday Hodgepodge. So now, let us begin...
     
1. Tradition...how tightly do you cling to tradition when it comes to holiday gatherings and celebrations? For instance do you always do the cooking, never eat at home, always go to grandma's, never miss the parade, always watch football, never change the menu, always eat at 2 PM, etc.? Have you ever celebrated Christmas or Thanksgiving away from hearth, home, and family? How did that feel?
     It has been my experience that tradition, like life, is fraught with change. SWMBO and my holiday tradition(s) are different now that we are empty nesters than what they were when we had children growing up. Some things have not changed. We always have meat stuffing and turkey with all the trimmings. We watch the parades, football or binge watch a series of movies or a television show. We always find time for a nap, to name a few.
     We have celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas away from home at one time or another. It felt different, unusual and awkward. 

2. Help...is it easy for you to ask for help or are you a do-it-yourselfer? How is that a good/bad thing?
     It is not easy for me to ask for help. I have swallowed my pride from time to time and was forced to admit to myself that I was not capable to deal with the situation at hand and have asked for help. This usually involved a repair or other task where my skills were lacking. 
     I also tend to carry my own water on most personal issues. However, I have consulted with those more wise than me from time to time. 
    
3. Abundance...what is there an abundance of in your kitchen?
     The color red. SWMBO loves a dark shade of red and painted the kitchen counters and cabinets red a few years ago. 

4. Name...the smallest thing you're thankful for? the biggest?
     Here is the little thing that I am thankful for. A few years ago SWMBO gave me a flashlight on a lanyard. At the time I laughed and told her that I would never use it. I was wrong. This light has come in handy more times that I can mention. I am thankful for that little light. 
     The biggest thing that I am thankful for is my relationship with the God of the Bible and for my beloved SWMBO.

5. Key...What do you think is the key to living a more grateful life?
     The key to living a more grateful life is understanding that you have been the recipient of grace. There have been times when you did not receive what you deserved, but were given grace instead. 
     This is the essence of the Gospel. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The wages of sin is death. While we were sinners God sent his Son to die for us and pay our penalty for our sins. He died, was buried and was raised. Now, because He lives, we likewise live.
     My gratitude for this grace from God, and the grace that I have received from others compels me to live a grateful life.

6. State your own random thought here.
     Several years ago I founded the Ebenezer Scrooge Admiration Society. It is born of the attitude Ebenezer Scrooge had about Christmas. He clearly articulated his views in the classic story A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Scrooge said Christmas was a Humbug! He opined that it was a false and commercial holiday. A cursory look at the way Christmas is celebrated today would seem to confirm old Scrooge had a point.
     The so called Christmas shopping season seems to expand every year. All you see on from mid November to New Years Day are ads for all manner of material stuff. The true purpose of the holiday is often missed or ignored in all the commercial hubbub. 
     I urge all of us to return to and reflect on the real meaning of Christmas. Peace on Earth and Goodwill towards all. The gift of Immanuel, God with us and the salvation that He extends to whosoever will!
     Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

PRE-TURKEY DAY HODGEPODGE!



     Good morning to everyone out there in Wednesday Hodgepodge land. Summer has definitely gone bye-bye here in the Granite State. Temperatures have become more seasonable, that is, cold. I was compelled to start the pellet stove to heat the house thereby officially kicking off the 2017/2018 heating season. My beloved SWMBO was happy that the house was nice and toasty. I am happy that SWMBO was happy. Happy wife...happy life!
     Thank you Joyce Daley for another Wednesday Hodgepodge. I am thankful for these weekly essay questions. And now....the Hodgepodge.  

1. What takes you out of your comfort zone?
     Crowds! I do not like standing-room-only type crowds. That's why I do not like Christmas Shopping. I hate the rude people who bump into you, push you, cut in front of you and who are generally unpleasant. 

2. Your least favorite spice?
     My least favorite spice is Nutmeg. SWMBO loves a few sprinkles of Nutmeg in her eggnog. I do not.

3. What's a small change you'd like to make?
     There are so many changes I would like to make. I am a seriously flawed individual. Where do I begin? Perhaps one small change I would like to make is to complete one more blog per week in addition to the Wednesday Hodgepodge.

4. Do you enjoy visiting historic homes? If so, of the homes you've visited which one was your favorite? What historic home near you is open to visitors? Have you been? Southern Living rounded up eleven of the best in the southern part of the US and they're as follows-

Monticello (Jefferson's home in Virginia), Nathaniel Russel House (Charleston SC), Swan House (Atlanta), Ernest Hemingway's home (Key West), The Biltmore (Vanderbilt home in Asheville NC), Mount Vernon (Washington's home in Virgina), San Francisco Plantation (Garyville, Louisiana), Windsor Ruins (Port Gibson Mississippi), Longue Vue House and Gardens (New Orleans), Whitehall (Palm Beach FL), and Pebble Hill Plantation (Thomasville GA)
     I do enjoy visiting historic homes. I love history. We have a home called Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborogh, NH. It was built in the early 20th century by a wealthy industrialist with innovations way ahead of its time such as central vacuuming, ammonia brine refrigeration and intercom systems. Another historic home is the poet Robert Frost's Farm in Derry, NH.

Have you been to any on the list? Of the homes listed which would you most like to visit?
     I have not visited any of the listed historic homes. I would love to check out Monticello. I am a huge fan of Thomas Jefferson. I also would love to visit Mount Vernon, the home of our first President.

5. What's something you think will be obsolete in ten years? Does that make you sad or glad?
      There are a couple of things that I think will be obsolete in ten years. One would be incandescent light bulbs. It seems to me that LED lights will replace them for better or worse. Another thing that quite possibly will be gone is cable TV. A lot of people are cutting the cable and turning to online streaming services where they can choose what they want and only pay for what they want. These streaming services such as HULU, Netflix, etc, will become more popular as greater bandwidth becomes more available. 
     I am not sad or glad about either prospect.
    
6.  Insert your own random thought here.
     With Thanksgiving Day being just over a week away I thought that I would share a few things that I am thankful for. First and foremost I am thankful for the God of the Bible who has lavishly blessed me in my life. My salvation is dear to me and will be throughout all eternity. 
     Next, is my beloved SWMBO. She is my next greatest blessing. She has been my friend, my partner and my greatest joy for over 45 years. 
     I have been blessed with two wonderful children who have grown up to be wonderful adults and parents. I have been blessed with four wonderful grandkids. 
     I have a nice home. I love where I live here in NH, notwithstanding the harsh cold winters.
     I have a wonderful church family of devoted christians who excel at showing love to each other and the world around us.
     Last, and by no means least, I am blessed to live in the greatest country on the planet. Despite our faults, and there are many, we are at our core a noble people. Many foreigners leave their native land to come to this country, often at great risk to themselves, to enjoy the blessings of liberty and to build a better life for themselves and their families. 
     This list is not complete by any means. As I have mentioned many times, I am lavishly blessed and the foregoing are just a few examples.



Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A HEARTBROKEN HODGEPODGE!



     Good day to everyone on this beautiful Fall Wednesday. Last night I started our pellet stove for the first time since the Spring. The 2017/2018 heating  season has officially begun. My beloved SWMBO was very happy to wake up to a nice and toasty warm house. 
     Our Hodgepodge Mistress has once again supplied us with a series of probing questions. Thank you Joyce for the Wednesday Hodgepodge. 
     If you have not participated in the Wednesday Hodgepodge, I urge you to do so. Here is this week's edition...

1.  In a rut, in a jam, in the groove, out of synch, off balance, out of touch...which saying best fits some area of your life currently (or recently)? Explain.
     All of these apply to some aspect of my life. I suspect that I am not alone in this regard. Furthermore, from day to day aspects of my life may change from one status to another status on the list. 

2. What is it about somebody else's style of work (coworker/employee/shared volunteer project/household chore) that makes you crazy? Why?
     My beloved SWMBO and I cannot work together on most tasks. I absolutely love my wife without qualification or exception. That being said, my wife is Type "A" and I, to be kind, am less organized. Also, she has a way of doing things and I have different ways of doing those same things. Our ways of doing them often conflict with each other and lead to, shall we say, less than loving interactions.  Therefore we divide tasks according to our particular strengths. 

3. What's a tradition that always makes you feel at home?
     When I make the first batch of my meat stuffing is a tradition that SWMBO and I look forward to every November. It is my maternal grandmother's recipe and it is delicious.

4. A favorite song with a girl's name in the title or lyrics? Any reason why this is a particular favorite?
     There are two songs from my youth..."And Along Comes Mary" by the Association and "Help Me Rhonda" by the Beach Boys. These songs evoke some very pleasant memories.
    
5. Share a favorite quote, verse, or saying relating to gratitude or thanksgiving.
     "Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for." Epicurus

6. Insert your own random thought here.
     This has been another week of heart break. A church filled with God fearing people in worship were mercilessly mowed down by gun fire. Twenty six people are dead. Many more are injured. Once again the killer, in a final act of cowardice, took his own life.
     Is nothing sacred anymore? Have we come to the point when we can no longer worship God in peace and safety? Do churches now need to have armed personnel on site to protect the congregation? 
     I find it curious that these cowards don't commit their outrageous acts at a meeting of outlaw bikers or organized crime. No, these cowards prey on the weak and defenseless. 
     As a christian I am conflicted! As a man I am outraged and angry! I pray for the members of that little church in Texas. I pray for the families of those who were killed. I pray for the injured and the families of the injured. I pray for all who were traumatized by this heinous and cowardly act. I pray for America! 


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A SPOOKY HALLOWEEN HODGEPODGE!


     Happy Halloween to all you fellow Wednesday Hodgepodgers. We are an eclectic and interesting group of people. Happy Halloween to all you visitors as well. You too can become a part of our eclectic and interesting group. I promise you you will be glad that you did. Simply, start a blog and link it to Joyce's blog. Just like that you have become eclectic and interesting.
   The weather here in the Granite State continues to experience some wild mood swings. The rain and wind on Sunday and Monday did some major damage to  the state. A couple hundred thousand people are without power as I write this. Some roads have been damaged or washed away. Flash flooding was the order of the day. 
     So, by way of distraction and without further ado...here's the Hodgepodge!
     
1. What does/did Halloween look like at your house this year? Did you decorate? Pick pumpkins? Carve pumpkins? Expect trick or treaters? Wear a costume to a party or event? Make a costume? Feel glad you didn't have to come up with a costume? Cook a Halloween themed treat? Eat all the leftover candy?
     This year we did not decorate, we generally do not decorate. We don't get any Trick or Treaters here because the road we live on makes it unsafe. 
     Our two Chinese Cresteds dressed up in Scottish kilts that SWMBO made for them. We made Trick or Treat bags of candy for our grand girls and SWMBO's co-workers.  
     No pumpkins at all. No costumes for us. A little leftover candy to munch on. Our church did have a Trunk or Treat at the church parking lot.

2. What are you waiting for? Elaborate
     I am waiting and praying for a cure for Multiple Myeloma, SWMBO's cancer.  Fighting this disease is incessant. The battle ebbs and flows. There are good days and there are bad days. However, cancer does not last forever...it will come to an end. SWMBO and I long for that day for us and everyone else who are engaged in a similar battle.
     I am also waiting for the Lord's promised return. A sincere faith in God really helps me put things in perspective. Nothing I have in life, material goods, power, or wealth will last forever! All the stuff that drives the news coverage of the day will likewise not last forever. 
     However God's love is forever. Our promised home in Heaven with God is forever. We often sing a song at church that says "This world is not my home I'm just passing through," and "O Lord you know I have no friend like you," and " I can't feel at home in this world anymore." Jesus taught that our treasures should be stored up in heaven where they will last forever. That's what I'm waiting for.

3. Do you wish you were friendlier, braver, more creative, more athletic, or something else? Explain.
     I suppose, like most people, there is room for improvement in all the listed areas. I think I could particularly use some improvement in being more productive. That is, becoming more task oriented and more diligent at getting needed tasks done.

4. When it comes time to paint are you a do-it-yourselfer or do you hire someone? What was the last paint job completed at your house? What room most needs painting now? How do you feel about wallpaper?
    I suppose most rooms in our not so palatial estate could do with some sprucing up. We prefer paint rather than wall paper. 

5. What is one specific thing you felt gratitude for in the month of October?
     See my Random Thought.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
     From time to time up here in the Granite State we experience loss of electric power for various reasons. Most of the time it is weather related. Sometimes it is because a graduate of the Helen Keller School of Driving crashes into a utility pole. Some of these power outages can last for days, if not weeks. A lot of homeowners use gas powered emergency generators to power their homes during such times. SWMBO and I bought our generator years ago after an ice storm knocked out power for weeks.
     Recently, a friend upgraded his transfer switch from six to ten circuits so he gave me his old six circuit transfer switch. The transfer switch is directly connected to the breaker box to power the most essential circuits in the house.
     Another friend is a licensed electrician and was kind enough to install the transfer switch for us. 
     For us, our priority circuits are our well pump, our furnace, our pellet stove, our refrigerator and a few outlets to power our fish tank, freezer chest and a lamp or two.
     When power goes out, now all we have to do is start the generator and connect a power cable from the generator to the transfer switch to power those circuits. We simply flip six switches to go off the grid and onto the generator. So now we will have heat, water and hot water for the duration of any outage. It is quite the upgrade. Thank you Lord!
     As I have shared before, SWMBO and I are lavishly blessed of God. Enjoy your week.
     


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

NH WEATHER CRAZINESS HODGEPODGE!


     Welcome back Joyce and thank you for another Wednesday Hodgepodge. I had a nagging feeling that I was forgetting something today. That something was the Wednesday Hodgepodge.
     The weather up here in the Granite State has been erratic. Some days it has been cool and raw. Other days it has been humid and unseasonably warm. Still other days have been wet and humid as well as wet and raw. It is so true that if you do not like the weather around here, just wait awhile it will certainly change.
     Now onto the Hodgepodge...

1. What's surprised you most about your life or life in general? 
     I am surprised that I have survived to reach my present age. I have taken many foolish risks while growing up.
     I am surprised that I am such a God fearing man. People who knew me pre-conversion are also quite surprised.
     I am most surprised, AND very thankful, that my beloved SWMBO has chosen to remain with me all these years. We are still very much in love and are unwaveringly devoted to each other. We still yearn to be, and enjoy being, in each other's company. Ours is a love that songwriters and poets write about.
  
2.  Sweet potato fries, sweet potato casserole, a baked sweet potato, a bowl of butternut squash soup, a caramel apple or a slice of pumpkin pie...you have to order one thing on this list right now. Which one do you go for?
     I am going with the baked sweet potato. I do enjoy several of the other items on the list though.

3. What's a famous book set in your home state? Have you read it? On a scale of 1-5 (5 is fantastic) how many stars does it rate?
     The most famous book set in New Hampshire I suppose is "The Hotel New Hampshire, by John Irving. I have not read it so I cannot say where to rank it on the given scale. 

4. There are 60 days until Christmas...have you started your shopping? How do you stay organized for the holidays?
     No, I have not started my Christmas Shopping. How do I stay organized for the holidays...I don't!

5. October 26th is National Tennessee Day. Have you ever lived or spent any time in Tennessee? Is this a state you'd like to visit one day? The top rated tourist attractions in Tennessee are-

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park (Gatlinburg area), Elvis's Graceland (Memphis), Birth of the Music Biz (Memphis and Nashville), Dollywood (Pigeon Forge), Tennessee's Military Heritage (many battlefields), The Hermitage (Andrew Jackson's home), The Parthenon (Nashville), Oak Ridge American Museum of Science and Energy, Chattagnooa and the Tennessee Valley Railroad, Downtown Knoxville, Lookout Mountain, The Titanic Museum (Pigeon Forge), The Museum of Appalachia (Clinton), and The Lost Sea Adventure (Sweetwater)

How many on this list have you seen? Which one on the list would you most like to see?
     I have never been to the state of Tennessee. I would like to some day. There are a lot of attractions that I would find of interest to me. I think that I would most like to see Nashville, the home of Country Music.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
     My beloved Red Sox are out of contention for the World Series. The dreaded Evil Empire, A.K.A. the Yankees, are also out of contention, having been beaten by the Houston, Astros who also beat the Red Sox. I am hoping that the Astros go all the way and beat the L.A. Dodgers in the World Series. Houston could use the uplift after the hurricane disaster earlier this year.
     My beloved Patriots seem to be making progress towards playing good football. They performed very well against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night. I do not bear the Falcons any malice mind you. They are a good team with an excellent quarterback and other excellent key personnel. 
     It should also be noted that the teams that met in the Super Bowl were not the same teams that played Sunday night. There has been a number of personnel changes on both teams. GO PATS!
     Have a great week everyone!



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

PRIDE GOETH BEFORE THE FALL HODGEPODGE!


      Good morning to everyone. The Hurricane relief and recovery efforts in the southeast and Puerto Rico continue in full vigor. The wildfires in the northwest and the Golden State continue almost unabated. This has been an awful year for natural disasters to torment our great nation. Please continue your prayers and, where you can, financial and other material assistance. Also, please pray that no further disasters strike our great land.
     The investigation into the shooting incident in Las Vegas continues as well. How much more suffering can we endure? 
     Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and pull up a seat and take a break and enjoy some positive diversion that is the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thank you Joyce for another series of questions.  

1. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your sense of direction? 1=can't find my way out of a paper bag and 10=if I've been somewhere once I can find it blindfolded ten years later.
     I am SWMBO's human GPS. I have been blessed with an innate sense of direction. At the risk of sounding immodest I would rate myself a 10. When was the last time you looked at/used a map you could hold in your hand? (phones don't count!) 
     I used a folded paper map a couple of years ago when I was in an area that had no cellular coverage. We were in Maine. I usually have one as a back up. back east, down south, out west, up north
Choose one of these directional expressions and tell us why you chose it.
     I choose "back east" and by back east I mean the northeast. I choose the northeast because in my humble opinion it is the best part of the country to live. We have no indigenous land dwelling creatures that are poisonous and can kill you. The ocean is a different story. 
     Winter is a challenge but I see it as the price we must pay for the privilege of enjoying the other three spectacular Seasons.

2. Did you do more talking or listening yesterday? Is that typical? Describe your yesterday in one word.
     I did more listening yesterday. Yes, it is typical. One word...SWMBO!

3. Time, money, water-power-resources, opportunity...which one on the list are you most guilty of wasting? What might you do to change that?
     I guess I'm most guilty of wasting time. What I might do to change that is to procrastinate less and focus more on being task oriented and more productive.

4. Did  your family take regular vacations when you were a kid? Tell us something you remember about a family roadtrip from your own childhood.
     My family would often take a road trip to Trois Rivieres, Quebec, Canada. My dad's brother, Uncle Blackie, lived there. We always had a great time. Uncle Blackie was always fun to be around. He was an avid Canadiens fan. I am an avid Bruins fan. We had many good natured arguments about this storied hockey rivalry. I usually lost those arguments because the Canadiens usually won.

5. If you could grow anything you wanted, what would you grow? Why?
     If I had the proverbial green thumb, I would grow the standard fare of tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, etc. In addition I would grow watermelon, pumpkins and corn.
     I love farm fresh vegetables. I also love fresh corn on the cob with butter and salt, watermelon and pumpkin seeds.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
      Video of the damage caused by the recent wildfires in northern California are heartbreaking to see. Video of the damage inflicted by the recent hurricanes is likewise heartbreaking. I cannot imagine how I would feel if I lost everything I owned in one fell swoop.  My heart goes out to those who have. 
     Once again the American spirit is on display. Many of those who did lose everything and consented to be interviewed have expressed thankfulness that their loved ones are alive and unhurt. They express further a great optimism and determination to rebuild their homes and recover from their losses, no matter how long it may take them.
     So I ask again what I asked in my opening paragraph, to be in prayer for these people who have been affected by the storms and the wildfires. Also, if you are able and so inclined, please help financially as well. After all, it is the American way...it is the Christian way. God bless you and protect you!  



Wednesday, October 4, 2017

PRAYERS FOR LAS VEGAS HODGEPODGE



     Once again evil has reared its ugly head.  This time it was in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our Nation now mourns for the families of those who were murdered .  Again we pray for the swift recovery of those who were wounded.  Once again the nobility of the American citizen was on full display. 
     Once again it is Wednesday which means that it is time for another Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thanks to Joyce Daley, the creator of the Wednesday Hodgepodge, for another set of interesting questions. So without further delay, I give you this week's Hodgepodge.

1.  Have you ever spent time on a farm? Tell us a little bit about it. Have you ever grown your own pumpkin? Been on a hayride? Driven a tractor? Milked a cow?
     I have visited farms from time totem but I never spent time on a farm. I have never grown my own pumpkin, either. There is a competition here in NH to see who can grow the biggest pumpkin. Competing gourds can grow as big a 2,000 pounds plus. Now that's an impressive pumpkin.
     I have been on a hayride several times. I came to appreciate mulled cider from my hayride experiences.
     I have never driven a tractor nor have I ever milked a cow. I'm a country boy but I'm not that country.

2. What's something younger you would like about you now? 
     I think my younger self would like my sense of empathy for others. I am certain that my younger self would like my sense of humor too.

3. What are three things you'd like to do more often? Three things you'd like to do less often?
     This question kind of question begs a couple of follow up questions "If you want to do them more often, then what's stopping you?" and "If you want to do them less often, then what's stopping you?"  
      There are things that I would like to do more often, go to a movie or a play with my beloved SWMBO. I would like to eat out more often, again with my beloved SWMBO. I would also like to get away somewhere that's quiet and secluded to read, pray, meditate and just enjoy the natural beauty around me.
     The things that I would like to do less often is eating those things that are bad for me. I would like to procrastinate less. Finally, I would like to overthink things less.
     I plead the fifth on the follow up questions above.

4. What's on your nachos?
     On my nacho's are the following: French fries, salsa, diced tomatoes, jalapeƱos, onions and of course melted cheese.

5. What's the most random thing in your purse or wallet? Does it need to stay there?
     I guess my Concealed Carry License. Yes, it definitely needs to stay there.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
     My heart is broken at the growing division in this country. The bodies were still laying in the concert venue when some politicians, news reporters and others tried to exploit this incident for their own agendas.
     A lawyer for CBS said that she had no sympathy for the victims because they were mostly conservative and presumably gun enthusiasts and therefore deserved what they got.
     Politicians and news talking heads wasted no time in calling for more gun control laws. Lost on these people is the fact that the perpetrator violated several "gun laws" in the execution of this heinous act. I would also like to point out that we have laws prohibiting murder and the possession of controlled drugs. You cannot read a newspaper without reading a story about someone being killed or arrested for drug possession, often with intent to sell. MORE LAWS ARE NOT THE ANSWER! RESTRICTING OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS IS NOT THE ANSWER!

     SWMBO UPDATE: SWMBO spent five days in the hospital. She is home now and doing so much better. Thank God for her doctors and especially her nurses who gave her excellent care. The doctors believe that the problem was caused by her electrolytes going way out of balance. I pray God that there is no repetition of this incident. Thank you all for your prayers and encouraging words.



Wednesday, September 27, 2017

THE FULL MOON AT THE ASYLUM!


     Good morning to all my Wednesday Hodgepodge Peeps. The past two weeks have been disastrous for so many people with Harvey, Irma and Maria passing through and wreaking havoc throughout the south Atlantic islands and southern United States.  We will be rebuilding for many months. Puerto Rico is completely offline. God help us!
     Today is Wednesday which means it's Hump Day and time for another Wednesday Hodgepodge. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage, make yourself comfortable and enjoy a few minutes of Hodgepodger introspection.

1. What pets did you have while growing up? Tell us a little something about them.
     I had a goldfish that didn't last two months. I had a little green turtle that suffered the same fate as the goldfish.  SWMBO  brought a cat into our marriage and we had other cats during the early part of out marriage. The most cats we had at one time were sixteen. That's right, sixteen, but that's a story for another time!

2. What is one thing you absolutely must accomplish today?
     I have to drop the Littles off at daycare in the morning and remember to pick them up from daycare in the afternoon.

3. Where were you ten years ago? What were you doing there?
     I was still living where I live tody. I was in the waning years of my law enforcement career. It is hard to believe that I retired six years ago.

4. September 26th is National Dumpling Day. Did you celebrate? Apple dumpling, xiao long bao (steamed Chinese dumpling), chicken and dumplings, pirogi, matzoh balls, or gnocchi...which dumpling on this list would be your dumpling of choice? Have you ever made homemade dumplings of any kind?
     I must confess that I missed that one. I do not have a dumpling of choice nor have I ever made a dumpling.

5. 'There are two kinds of adventurers: those who go truly hoping to find an adventure and those who go secretly hoping they don't.' William Trogdon

So which kind are you?
     I'm the kind of adventurer that prepares for every forseeable event and then strike out taking on whatever comes their way.  I am a "Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you" kind of adventurer.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
     For those of you who have been following SWMBO and me on our journey that is cancer there has been a recent bump in the road. 
     SWMBO has been dealing with frequent bouts of nausea and vomiting and other intestinal problems for the past few weeks. The doctors could could not figure out what was causing the problem. It all came to a head last Sunday.
     SWMBO was feeling fine until about mid afternoon. She began feeling nauseous and then began vomiting again. In addition, she developed vision problems. She had trouble moving her fingers and was feeling tingly in both hands and legs. We thought she was having a stroke or at minimum a TIA. So off to the emergency room we go. Enroute to the hospital the symptoms intensified. 
     At the hospital they ran a bunch of tests. Her electrolytes were found to be way out of balance, but there was something more going on.  She was admitted to the hospital and has been there since, while they try to figure it out.
     Good news is that her neurological symptons subsided by Sunday evening but the doctors still don't know what caused them, which means that they do not know how to treat my beloved and her symptoms can recur at any time.
     We would appreciate your continued prayers and I will keep you posted. Have a great week.



Wednesday, September 20, 2017

TRIGGER WARNING: B.W.A. HODGEPODGE!



     Have you been watching what is happening across our beloved Nation? One of our liberties, our freedom of speech, is under attack.  There are those who hold the notion that perceived offensive speech is equal to violence and that it is appropriate to meet such offensive speech with physical violence.  What has happened to the principle..."I may disagree with what you say but I will defend your right to the death to say it."  
     We have no such problems here at the Wednesday Hodgepodge.  It seems to me that opinions are expressed without reservation and are respected by all. Without further delay, here is this weeks hodgepodge.

1. What's something you'd rate a 10/10? Tell us why.
     One of the few things that I enjoy in the winter is on a clear night, looking up at the stars. I never fail to be in awe of the awesome sight of the billions of stars strewn across the black sky. That is something that I rate at a 10/10 in my humble opinion.

2. What job would you be terrible at? What makes you think so?
     I would be terrible at being a groundskeeper. I absolutely hate yard work and have to really motivate myself to get it done here at our (in our own mind) palatial estate.  I also don't have much talent for groundskeeping.
  
3. When did you last take a fall? What's something you're falling for (in a good way) these days?
     Last winter I was walking down our driveway to our mailbox and hit a snow covered icy patch and unceremoniously fell to the ground.  Not only my pride was hurt.  That was the last time that I took a fall.
       I do not have an answer to the second part of this question. We are in the "pumpkin everything" part of the year up here in the Granite State. I like pumpkin pie and perhaps a pumpkin spice coffee once in a while but not to the extent that it proliferates at this time of the year. Although, come to think of it, it is apple picking season. I love a nice juicy Cortland apple with a piece of sharp cheddar cheese. It is one of my favorite snacks at this time of the year.

4. According to the Travel Channel here are some of America's best fall festivals-

National Apple Harvest Festival (near Arendtsville PA, close to Gettysburg), Harvest on the Harbor (Portland Maine), German Village Festival (Columbus Ohio), Wellfleet Oyster Fest (Cape Cod), and Wine and Chile Fiesta (Santa Fe NM)

Have you ever been to any of the festivals listed? Which one appeals to you most? Does your hometown have any sort of fall celebration, and if so will you make it a point to attend?
     I have not ever been to any of the harvest festivals listed above. I'm not really a harvest festival kind of person. I am not opposed to going but they hold little appeal to me.

5. What is your goodbye message to summer?
     Well Summer, until next year. Thank you for enough water to keep our wells full. Thank you for moderate warmth for the most part. SWMBO thanks you for the days of the hot and muggies. I thank you that they were not excessive this year. All in all you have been good to us this year. If you happen to run in to Old Man Winter, please ask him to be kind to us this year and to go easy on the snow fall and to keep the freezing rain to himself. Take care Summer, I look forward to your return.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
     TRIGGER WARNING: B.W.A...Blogger With Attitude! The Bill of Rights gives us the unfettered right to say whatever we want to say.  It especially protects that speech which is deemed to be vile, obscene or offensive.  There is a significant body of  U.S. Supreme Court decisions affirming our right to free expression, particularly unpopular speech.
     On many college campi if you want to express an opinion in public you must do so in a designated "free speech" zone and only in a free speech zone. If a speaker is invited to speak at some colleges at the invitation of a college group and that person happens to hold "offensive" views, demonstrations breaks out and to avoid an unpleasant incident such as violence or outright riots, the speaker gets disinvited.
     These are just two examples of what is transpiring at colleges across the country. Both of these things are an affront to and a violation of our constitutional rights. These things must not be allowed to stand.
     To make matters worse, if a person is going to speak and their views may cause some angst to their hearers, trigger warnings are given and a safe space is provided where students can go to avoid the trauma of hearing challenging views.  This is outrageous!
     Therefore, I for one will continue to be a B.W.A. and I will continue to be as offensive as I want to be. God help us!



Thursday, September 14, 2017

ENOUGH WITH THE HURRICANES ALREADY!


     Good morning to all. I hope your Wednesday is going well. Hurricane Irma is finally dying and becoming less of a threat to life and property. She has done incredible amounts of damage and so far ten people have lost their lives. Now the recovery begins in earnest. An army of electrical workers has descended upon the state of Florida to rebuild and restore their electricity infrastructure. May God bless the people of Florida as they begin to recover and rebuild.
     Not even the fury of a hurricane can stop the Wednesday Hodgepodge. So say a prayer for Florida and don't forget Texas and those impacted by hurricane Harvey. Grab a cup of coffee, tea or other relaxing beverage. Take a comfortable seat and enjoy the Hodgepodge.

1. Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.
     I think that this cliche is mostly hyperbole. Pictures are valuable to spark a memory, to freeze time for a moment or to record an event. Like a lot of things pictures can be manipulated via photoshop and other editing software thereby presenting a false narrative. A case on point is the movie "Jurassic Park" where dinosaurs walked the earth and interacted with human actors. 
     However, a single photograph can spark a stream of memories that would easily take a thousand words to adequately describe. 

2. Have you ever driven any part of the Pacific Coast Highway? If so what was your favorite stop? If not, is this sort of trip on your bucket list?
     I cannot say that I have. I did drive along the coast from San Diego to an area located just north of La Jolla. I would like to drive the entire PCH someday. What little I did see was beautiful.

3. How do the changing seasons affect you? As the seasons change do you find yourself looking more forward or backward? Which season-season transition bothers you most? Why do you suppose that is?
     As Summer becomes Fall the cooler temperatures serve as a warning that much colder temperatures and, dare I say it, snow are not too far off. It's time to begin to batten down the hatches and to winterize the house and the cars.
     The season transition that bothers me the most is Fall into Winter. I think it's because Winter is so challenging to navigate, especially as I get older. Winter seems to be the longest season of the year and the cold aggravates the arthritic joints in my knees and hands and makes it painful to move. 

4. It's your birthday and you get to pick the dinner menu. What are we having? Do you ever lie about your age?
     My birthday menu would be a nice Prime Rib cooked medium well done, with gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, steamed mixed vegetables and bread rolls with butter. For dessert we would have Pecan Pie with whipped crime followed by "two fingers" of a nice Scotch Whiskey as we engage in conversation as we digest our meal. 
     I do sometimes misrepresent my age. "Lie" is such an ugly word, accurate... but ugly.

5. What's a life lesson you've learned recently?
     No matter how badly you hurt, you must still move. Pain is Mother Nature's way of telling you that you are still alive. Somedays I am really alive. It also makes you better appreciate God's promise that in Heaven there will be no pain. In my youth when I was essentially pain free, this promise rang hollow, a kind of "that's nice" attitude. Today, by the grace of God, I am a wiser man.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
     In previous blog postings I extolled the character of the people of Texas for their response to the devastation left by hurricane Harvey. I suspected at the time that Texans were not unique in this regard. The people in Florida have begun to prove that I was right,  in the wake of hurricane Irma.
     Despite our problems as a nation, Americans continue to prove themselves to be a noble and compassionate people.  I am confident that the people of Florida will recover from this disaster because it is in their DNA to pick themselves up and press on. It will not easy or quick but it will get done.
     Please continue to pray for the people who have been affected by the two hurricanes. If you are able, please make a financial contributions from time to time to a relief/recovery agency throughout what is sure to be a lengthy recovery. It's the American way. 
     Thank you in advance! God bless you and God bless America. Also, ENOUGH WITH THE HURRICANES ALREADY!