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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

SWEATING MY "DONKEY" OFF HODGEPODGE!



     The "Hot & Muggies" are the order of the day this week in the beautiful Granite State. High heat and humidity have moved in for awhile. That's okay though, SWMBO loves it and is very comfortable. She has become very good at walking around the puddles of sweat that used to be me and should she miss one, thankfully she is a very good swimmer. (I know, EWWW! Right?)
     Well, hot and humid or not, today is Wednesday and our friend Joyce Daley has seen fit to publish another Wednesday Hodgepodge. Here we go...

1. Growing up, were you close to your grandparents? Tell us one or two specific things you remember about them.
     Growing up, I never knew my paternal grandparents. They passed away before I was born. I did however live with my maternal grandparents. I was very close to both of them. My grandmother was French Canadian an didn't speak much English so I grew up speaking French. My grandfather was a devoted Red Sox fan and he slept in the front, downstairs room of our house. I often snuck downstairs after bedtime and watched a Red Sox game with him. That was kind of our special thing. 

2. What's an item you were attached to as a child? What happened to it?
      As a child I was attached to my tonsils. Then one day, at the promise of endless ice cream and ginger ale, they were ripped out of my throat. It was a cruel hoax to play on a child. Who could eat or drink when your throat was in such pain? It was pure evil!

3. When you look out your window, do you see the forest or the trees (literally and figuratively)? Explain.
     My beloved SWMBO and I are blessed to live in the idyllic setting of the foothills of the Uncanoonuc Mountains. They are a pair of mountains. Not as grand as the Grand Tetons out west but their name means the same in the language of the indigenous peoples who lived in this area hundred of years ago. Indigenous men seemed to be fixated on women's breasts because there are so many mountains named after them. But I digress...There are plenty of trees on, and around, our not so palatial estate. It makes for some real fine country living.

4. Do you like sour candies? Which of the 'sour' foods listed below would you say is your favorite?
grapefruit, Greek yogurt, tart cherries, lemons, limes, sauerkraut, buttermilk, or kumquats 
Have you ever eaten a kumquat? What's your favorite dish containing one of the sour foods on the list?
     I am not a fan of sour candies. I would say that lime is my favorite of the listed foods. I like key lime pie and I'll occasionally drink lime in an ice cold lager beer on a very hot day on rare occasions. In place of beer I'll drink club soda with a lime wedge instead.
     I have never eaten a kumquat to my knowledge and I would not know a kumquat if I was hit by one.

5. July 1st marked the mid point of 2017. In fifteen words or less, tell us how it's going so far.
     July 1st also marked the 45th trip around the Sun as man and wife for my beloved SWMBO and me. 
     So far this has been a difficult year. SWMBO's recovery from the stem cell transplant is ongoing but at a snails pace. SWMBO, being a type A+ person tries to do more than her body will allow and she pays the price for it and needs a day or two to recover. 
     On a good note, we have been cleared by SWMBO's oncologist to attend church again as long as we avoid people who have colds and other ailments. It does us both a lot of good to be with our church family again.
     So in summary, we are doing okay and making the best of life and handling what comes our way as we always have,...together and in faithful trust in the loving providence of God!

6. Insert your own random thought here.
     This weekend the dreaded Evil Empire (Yankees) visited Fenway Park for a four-game series with my beloved Red Sox. The Yankees have a rookie right fielder named Aaron Judge. He stands 6'7" tall and weighs 270 lbs. He looks like a NFL linebacker! He's a big boy! He has some real skills and he seems to be a good man. His only negative from what I saw this weekend is that he is a Yankee. 
     The series was split at two games each. One of the games is under protest and may have to be played again but it was a good weekend all the same.



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

GRANITE STATE SUMMER HODGEPODGE


     Summer is well on it's way here in the Granite State. We have been having a greater number of thunder storms this summer some of which have been quite violent. Last year we were in drought conditions. This year we are not. Lightning is Nature's fireworks display and is stunning in appearance. We have been blessed with a number of awesome displays.
     The Wednesday Hodgepodge is also stunning but in a different way. It's Americana on display. Voices from all over the country giving opinions and recounting their life experiences on display. Thank you Joyce for your continued efforts in providing this weekly pause from the rigors of life. And now, the Hodgepodge...

1. When was the last time you chatted with a neighbor? About what? (sharing that last bit is optional)
     It''s been awhile since I have chatted with a neighbor. We often exchange pleasantries in passing but the opportunity to engage in extended conversation just hasn't presented itself. When we do speak it is usually concerning work/retirement, family and current events.

2. River, lake, ocean, or waterfall...which one are you most like and why?
     I think that I am most like a river. I am always moving forward. Sometimes I am smooth and placid, other times I am rough and choppy but I am always flowing on. Sometimes I am overflowing and affect those around me. Sometimes I am low, revealing things that were usually hidden. Yeah, I think that I am a river.

3. July 13 is National Delaware Day. Ever been to Delaware? Delaware is called 'the first state' because it was the first to declare independence from the British. What's your state's nickname and does that moniker make sense to you? If you were in charge, what nickname would you give your home state?
     I have driven through Delaware but I have never visited there. My state is called the Granite State and the name makes great sense to me. There is granite everywhere. It also fits the character of the people who live here. We are a hearty and independent minded people. Our state motto is "Live Free or Die." Our state constitution explicitly gives us the right to revolt and overthrow our government should the government ever come to oppress the population. You gotta love a state like that.

4. What dish did you contribute to the last pot luck meal you attended? Do you have a go-to recipe for pot luck suppers?
     The last dish that we brought to a pot luck was a fruit salad consisting of watermelon, strawberries and blueberries. I do not have a go-to meal, it's generally pot luck.

5. What is your number one tip for a brand new parent?
     Think "Tag Team." It took two of you to create this new life and it will most certainly take the two of you to raise and care for the little bugger. Sometimes your partner needs to tag out and get some relief . There will be times when you need to tag out for the same reason. There are no "Your Job/My Job" tasks. Both of you are responsible to get the jobs done. Love each other, support each other and take time for each other.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
     Lately things have been difficult for New York law enforcement. A NYPD officer, a 12 year veteran and mother to three children, was assassinated while sitting in her department vehicle. 
     Two days ago a New York State Trooper was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance. 
     Men and women willingly answer the call to serve by laying their lives on the line to make their communities safer and a better place to live. They, more than anyone else, understand that they may be required to make the ultimate sacrifice and do so without hesitation. 
     God bless the men and women who serve in law enforcement. May God watch over them and protect them and bless their families. Please say a prayer for your police officers and their families this week. 
     Enjoy the rest of your week.



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

THE WASHINGTON KABUKI THEATER HODGEPODGE!


     A belated happy Independence Day to all of you out there in Hodgepodge Land and elsewhere. America celebrated its 241st birthday yesterday. Upon reflecting upon the Declaration of Independence I come away with a few thoughts. First, the Declaration is an amazing document. It is, in my humble opinion, one of the finest documents ever written by man. Next, the men who signed the Declaration, by signing it, committed the capital offense of treason against the British Crown. Knowing this, they signed it anyway. Third, the men who signed the Declaration pledged their lives, their property and their sacred honor. 
     When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to participate in another Wednesday Hodgepodge, we do...

1. When and where were the best fireworks you've ever seen? Speaking of fireworks...do you know your hot buttons? The things people can say and/or do to set you off? When was the last time someone pushed one of your hot buttons?
     I have seen a fair amount of firework displays in my life but none of them stand out as exceptional. I've witnessed a few lightning storms that were remarkable.
     As far as hot buttons go, I am pretty laid back and am not easily angered. One thing that is sure to evoke a reaction from me is any perceived threat to my beloved SWMBO or other family member. It's been a very long time since anyone was dumb enough to push that button.
  
2. Have you hosted any outdoor summer parties this year? Attended any? What makes for a great outdoor party?
     I have not hosted or attended any outdoor summer parties. I have attended one or two outings where it was just SWMBO and me and another couple. I think a great outdoor party has three ingredients; (1) Great Food, (2) Great Music, and (3) Wonderful People.

3. What does freedom mean to you?
     Freedom means the ability to worship God as I choose, when I choose and how often I choose. Freedom means the ability to go where I choose, when I choose, for as long as I choose.  Freedom means the ability for me to say what I want, how I want and about anything that I want. Freedom means that I can associate with whoever I want and I can choose to not associate with anyone I choose. 
     Freedom means doing all the aforementioned things without fear of reprisal from any level of government.  

4. July is National Cell Phone Courtesy month...what annoys you most about people's cell phone habits?
     There are two cell phone habits that annoy me. First, are people who persist in using their cellphones while driving, in clear defiance of the law. Second, are people who are conducting business at a counter or other place and who don't have the courtesy to suspend or end their call while conducting their business. 

5. What's your current summer anthem?
     "Turn the Page" by Bob Seeger.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
     The "Swamp" continues to flourish in our Nation's Capitol. I seem to remember that part and parcel of the campaign promises of most of those running for office during the last election cycle was to "drain the swamp!" It seems to me that the swamp level is rising. 
     The attempt to replace Obamacare, which is imploding, is a HUGE disappointment. The Republicans, you remember them, they're the party in power, cannot get it's act together. The Democrats are predictably conducting themselves as obstructionists. 
     In short, it is the same old Kabuki Theater that the American people voted against during the last election cycle. God help us!