Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Time for another Wednesday Hodgepodge.  We have a few questions about summer.  I hate summer.  But then, where I live, on the surface of the sun...summer's not so fun.  But I'll play goes...

1. Summer officially rolls in with the Hodgepodge this week, for those of us in the Northern hemisphere anyway. What song says summer 2012 to you?

I don't listen to enough radio to be up on what's new this summer.  What I can say is that anytime I hear the Beach Boys it makes me think the kind of summer I wish I had.  The theme song to my Arizona summer would have to be...Walking On The Sun by Smash Mouth.

2. What's your favorite quintessential summer food?

Ice cream.  I love it at any time of the year...but so much more satisfying on a hot summer day.

3. I've spent a lot of time traipsing up and down the NJ Turnpike in recent weeks. Did you know the rest areas on the turnpike are named after people who lived or worked in NJ? Clara BartonWalt WhitmanJames Fenimore CooperMolly PitcherJoyce KilmerThomas Edison, and Gover Clevland just to name a few. Of those I listed, who would you most like to have known and why?

Molly Pitcher, hands down.  I am quite obsessed with the American Revolution.  In my younger days I used to fantasize about living in that time.  Now that I'm older, I realize that I would not survive a day in the 1770's.  I would crumble and cry like a baby for my mommy.  I am too used to plumbing, running water, air conditioning, mousse and a blow dryer and tampons...ok, that last one was probably a bit too much, but you know you've all thought about that.  Yes, you have.  But, if I could talk to Molly Pitcher she would tell me what it was like to be there and live through those scary, awesome times.  I admire a woman who will go to war for what she believes in, whether on a real battlefield or a figurative one.

4. At what age did you move out of your parent's house and what prompted the move?

I was 18 and I had to get out of the small town I was living in and back to the big can read why here.

5. What's more satisfying to you-saving time or saving money?

Neither.  I don't have anyone to answer to but myself (well, my husband thinks I answer to him, but, what he doesn't know won't hurt him ;) so time is really not an issue for me.  I quit trying to save money a long time ago.  Every time I'd get some saved up, something would happen and I'd have to spend I just quit trying.

6. Name something you think brings out the good in people.

A smile.  Don't you feel better when someone smiles at you?  I do.  It's such a small gesture but it makes a big impact.  It's hard for people to be grumpy when you're smiling at them.

7. Will you be taking a vacation or a staycation this summer? If so where will you go? If a staycation is on the calendar have you made any special plans to fill the time?

I think mine is a vacation, but I'm not leaving the state, just going to another maybe it's a staycation...but the city is 200 miles away soooo...I don't know.  My husband and I are going to my favorite place in Arizona...Flagstaff!  We are going in it August yet?  I'm so excited to get away for a week.  We are planning on taking a trip on the Grand Canyon Railway...something I've never done despite living here my entire life.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I am not a fan of summer.  I do not like the heat.  If you've read my blog for any length of time you know this already...but I think it bears repeating.  I hate the heat.  People wonder why I'm not used to it after living here my whole life.  I don't know why...I hated it when I was a kid, and I continue to hate it well into my 50's.  The only reason I suffer through the summers here (which by the way, last from early April to mid October) is that I don't have to deal with any of the other weather related atrocities such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes...and snow.  I mean, I think I would like snow...until I had to shovel it or drive in it.  Then, not so much.  Winter here makes living with the heat somewhat bearable.  I rarely wear a sweater or coat of any kind in the winter...I just want to soak in that wonderful weather for as long as it lasts.  I cherish every day from November through March.  And during the summer...I just go from one air conditioned space to another as fast as I can!

Thanks Joyce, for all the great questions.  Please go visit her blog to get the links for all those participating in the summer fun...and join in!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day or Why I'm the Luckiest Girl in the World

Happy Father's Day to all the great dads out there!!

I am a lucky girl.  I have many wonderful fathers in my life.  I have brothers, cousins, brothers-in-law, nephews and one very special uncle, who all personify what it means to be a great father.  I am so lucky to be surrounded by these men, and to be a witness to how much they love their families.

I was blessed with the most wonderful father, who sadly is no longer with me.  I miss him everyday, but especially on this day.  He gave me many gifts in life and I appreciate every one of them.  Please go to this post to read more about My Father's Gift.
My father - Art.  I love you Daddy, and I miss you everyday!

My children are very fortunate to have a wonderful father of their own.  My husband has also given them many gifts.  He has never been much of a lecturer or preacher but he is a teacher by example.  He has lived a life filled with service to others, hard work, honesty and faith in God.  My children have followed his example. They are all compassionate, caring, giving adults.  They are hard working and honest.  They live the example set by their father.  I hope they realize just how lucky they are...I think they do.

Thank you, Dan, for being a great father to our children.  I love you with all my heart.

He has also taught them who to root for!  Love my family!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

I know I promised you an Arizona Almanac for last Friday and then never delivered.  After I life kind of derailed and the post never got done...I'm still trying to catch up.  Posting Hodgepodge Wednesday so you know I didn't completely fall of the face of the earth.  Plus, they were fun here goes...

1. In what way are you your own worst enemy?

Can I say every way?  I feel like I do at least two things a day that cause me to say later..."Why did I do that?".  If I picked just one would be my tendency to worry just a tad too much.  And by a tad...I mean A LOT.  The worrying only makes things worse and it never solves anything, but I've yet to figure out how to stop it.  I'm better...but not cured. 

2. Jacques Cousteau's birthday was Monday, June 11th...ever been scuba diving? Is that something you'd like to try? What's your favorite 'under the sea' creature?

I've never been scuba diving and I'm not sure how I feel about it.  I love the water but, to be honest, scuba diving kind of scares me.  I am fascinated by whales.  I don't know why.  I just love them.  One of my dreams is to go on a whale watching cruise.

3. On a scale of 1-10, how comfortable are you in and around the water? (1=not at all, 10=very) Do you know how to swim and if so how and when did you learn?

10.  I love the water and I'm a good swimmer.  I'm not really sure who taught me to swim.  I know I didn't have any formal lessons.  I do remember my uncle throwing me in the water and telling me to swim so maybe that was it...but that was long ago and far, far memory is fuzzy.  But, thanks Uncle Ted...for throwing me in and making me swim....for whatever reason :)

4. What's something you do to motivate yourself to tick an item off your to-do list?

The satisfaction of a job well done.  That and knowing if I don't do it, it will just be waiting for me another day.

5. What makes a good neighbor? Are you a good neighbor?

I think a good neighbor minds their own business unless asked to help out with something and then does so with a joyful heart.  Good neighbors watch out for each others well being. 

I don't know if I'm considered a good neighbor or not.  I really like to keep to myself, but I will help out if asked.  I think my husband is the epitome of a great neighbor.  He talks to everyone.  He helps everyone with anything they ask.  Everyone loves him.  Except for the crazy lady next door.  I live in a wonderful neighborhood with great neighbors...except for the one who happens to live next door to me.  She is crazy and I pray everyday that she finds a reason to move. Good neighbors do not call the city on you for parking your vehicle in front of your own home and then report it as an abandoned vehicle.  Good neighbors do not yell like a banshee at your children when they are minding their own business.  Good neighbors do not make enemies over a stupid trash can.  Sorry...but it did feel good to vent :)  Thanks for that!

6. Who loads the dishwasher at your house? Is there a right way and a wrong way?

My son loads the dishwasher most of the time.  He is still living at home and this is one of his chores as set down by our agreement for him living at home.  I like the dishwasher loaded a certain way...but I don't force anyone else to do it my's not worth the fight and as long as the dishes get clean...that's all I care about.

7. You know it's summer when_________________________.

Everyone says this over and over and over...."But it's a dry heat"

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Some days it doesn't pay to get out of bed....I've had a few too many of those days recently.  Here's to better days ahead!

Hope you all enjoyed the Hodgepodge.  Hop on over to Joyce's blog and find out how you can participate and find links to other blogs that are joining in the fun.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Quotation Tuesday - The Evening Edition

So here it is Tuesday evening and I'm just now getting to the quotation post.  I needed some levity today so I'm giving you a few lighthearted quotes.  Nothing heavy to think about...just something to make you smile.  Enjoy!

Always end the name of your child with a vowel, so that when you yell the name will carry.
~Bill Cosby~

Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city. 
~George Burns~

I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.
~Lily Tomlin~

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Can't believe it's already time for Wednesday Hodgepodge again!  This is hosted by Joyce at From This Side of the Pond. Go to Joyce's blog for links to all the fun bloggers who participate. Go here for instructions if you wish to play along. Enjoy!

1. How many students were in your high school graduating class? Did you know most, if not all of them?

Wow, I have to go way back to answer this question!  At my first high school my graduating class would have been around 75.  It was a small Catholic high school and we knew most everyone.  Between my sophomore and junior years my father was transfered to a town where there was only one high school and it wasn't Catholic.  I had gone to Catholic school my entire was a HUGE culture shock for a sheltered 15 year old.  My actual graduating class had about 250 students.  I knew a lot of them, but certainly not all.

2. What was the last thing you photographed?

When my kids were little, I lived with a camera in my hand.  I took tons of pictures...this was way before digital.  But now, I don't really take many photos unless we go on vacation somewhere, which we don't do often.  I think the last thing I took a picture of was the afghan I'm working on.  Exciting huh?

3. Pickles-love 'em or loathe 'em? If its love what's something you eat that needs a pickle?

I love kosher dills.  I especially love the spicy ones.  And usually I have them with a burger or a pastrami sandwich....yum!  Now I'm hungry!

4. What's a stereotype you seem to perpetuate without meaning to?

Wow, this is a hard brain is tired...I can't think of anything.  I'm sure there is something, but right now I can't think of one.   I'm very interested in seeing what everyone else has to say...I hope it was as hard for them as it is for me.

5. Ever been horse back riding? If so is it something you enjoy? If not, do you have any interest? Did you watch the Kentucky Derby? Will you be watching the last leg of the Triple Crown this weekend?

I've always wanted to ride a horse, I think they are beautiful animals.  I've never ridden though.  I will probably watch this weekend...because it could be history...and I'm all about history :)

6. What's your favorite 'wedding' movie?

I adore 27 of my favorite movies ever.  I also have two favorite wedding scenes.  Braveheart and Sound of Music.  Two opposite ends of the spectrum to be sure, but both equally moving.  William Wallace marries his bride in secret, in the forest, so he doesn't have to "share" her with the fudal moving.  The wedding scene in the Sound of Music is just so majestic and I think it's every little girls dream of a princess wedding.

7. What is one 'tourist attraction' in the USA that you'd like to see in person?

Picking just one is hard.  But if I have to, I'd pick Independance Hall in Philadelphia.  I love the American Revolution and I'm fascinated by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution...I'd love to be in the place that first heard those historic words.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

It's getting too darn hot here.  You would think after 53 years I'd be used to it...somehow I don't think you ever get used to living inside an oven.

That's it, hope you enjoyed it.  Arizona Almanac will be back this Friday so stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Quotation Tuesday

Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.
~Abraham Lincoln~

Do you know people who are never happy?  People who seem to think the world is out to get them.  Nothing ever goes right in their life.  All they do is complain.  I know people like this.  It annoys me. 

Of course, you are not going to be happy 100 % of the time.  But I feel like I'm basically happy most of the time.  And it certainly isn't because I'm independently wealthy, have a gorgeous body, live in a mansion or have a chauffeur (all things that would make me REALLY happy ;).  It's just because, I wake up everyday, look in the mirror and make a decision to have a good day.  Again, it doesn't always happen, but I would say 90% of the time, I'm good. 

Happiness is really what you make it.  It's different for everyone.  This is my happy: I have a wonderful husband who loves me in spite of myself.  I have three fantastic kids I love more than life itself.  I have a large extended family (I mean LARGE) that I know I can call on whenever I need them.  I have a place to live, food to eat and a job.  I don't have much 401k (I'll be working forever), no investments, no summer home.  But none of that really matters, because I have MY happy.  And that is enough. 

What's your happy?