Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Break

I'm off on Christmas break now. This is the best part of working for a university.

Enjoy time with family and friends. See you all in 2016!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Merry Christmas all the way to hodgepodge land!

Last Hodgepodge for me in 2015. 

1. What's your biggest 'first world' problem?
When the network connection goes down at work and I can't get to my files. I'll just be sitting around doing nothing without those files.

2. Each year Time Magazine names a 'Person of the Year', someone who has 'for better or worse...done the most to influence the events of the year.' It was recently announced they've named Angela Merkel Person of the Year for 2015. You can read more about this year's selection here. Your thoughts? If you were in charge, who would you declare Person of the Year?

I think its a fine choice. She really is a powerful woman (women power!). It could have been George Lucas for creating the Star Wars saga. After all the hoopla the last few months with the new movie coming out.

3. Do you have a nativity set in your home? If so share it's history and how you display the pieces.

I don't have a nativity set and I keep looking for one because I really want one. But they all seem too big or too small or too childlike.

4. Do you make an extra effort to give back in some way during the holiday season? How do you encourage those who need encouragement this time of year?

We adopt a couple of foster kids to buy gifts for. Our county had over 800 children in foster care. Can you imagine that?

5. Who is your favorite person to shop for? Why?

Easy question...Whitney. She is so easy to buy for, I really could go crazy.

6. What's the last delicious thing you ate?

Risotto I made on Sunday night. Probably the best batch I've ever made.

7. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is________________.

Being kind and generous with your time.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

December Hodgepodge

Look at this. I'm actually scheduling a blog post! Joyce is so good in putting out questions, I should be good and answer them!

1. Did you watch The Charlie Brown Christmas special Monday night? Who's your favorite Peanuts character and why?

We watched both the anniversary show and the annual Charlie Brown Christmas special. It's an annual tradition for us. I've always said I'm a Lucy but Snoopy is my favorite.

"Most psychiatrists agree that sitting in a pumpkin patch is excellent therapy for a troubled mind."~Linus

Would you agree?

I think a pumpkin patch sounds kind of cold so I wouldn't suggest this as a relief for a troubled mind.

2. Describe a sound from your childhood. What does this sound bring to mind?

I really don't have any sounds I associate with childhood.

3. You've won a trip to a winter wonderland...would that excite you? Which one of the following would you most want to experience (or which one would you dislike the least)-see the Aurora Borealis in Norway, stay in Sweden's Ice Hotel, go dogsledding in Lapland Finland, take a winter wildlife safari in Yellowstone or celebrate Winter Carnival in Quebec?

While I would love dogsledding, I would choose the Aurora Borealis simply because you can't get it just anywhere and it is spectacular.

4. Who or what keeps you humble?

Belief in God as a higher power and knowing that I am unable to control things.

5. What part of preparing for Christmas do you like the most? Explain.

Enjoying Christmas lights. There is something serene about sitting in a dark room with just Christmas lights on.

6. Gingerbread-yay or nay? Is making a gingerbread house part of your family holiday tradition?

I'm not a huge gingerbread fan. I think we made one or two houses but only from a kit.

7. What's one thing you want to start, do, or complete before the calendar rolls into a new year?

I'd like to get plans for my first three trips of 2016 sorted out.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I finished my third 5K of 2015 on Thanksgiving morning. It was a rainy day but thankfully 60 degrees. The next day was rainy and 33. I doubt I would have done it that day.

After the race was finished. Just a tad bit wet!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What I've Been Up To!

Best way to jump back in is to list the things I've been up to while away from blogging.

1. I turned 50!!!!!!!

August was birthday month here and I turned 50. Here's three generations getting together to celebrate. The funny story was the restaurant knew it was for someone's 50th birthday. My mom and I got there first and they kept telling her happy birthday. She had a great time with that! And so did I!

2. I've traveled many places

In June I went to Washington DC for a quick trip and stopped in at the Smithsonian.

In October I went on two trips.

First up was Miami with a small cruise to Nassau, Bahamas.

The cruise was just a weekend one. I partaked in a martini tasting and Hoda Kotb was on the cruise for the first of her party crasher series. It was just on the Today show last week.

Then just a week later I went to Las Vegas for a conference. It was at the Paris so I ended up with a great view from my room.

The Bellagio was right across the street so I watched quite a few of the fountain shows (which I could see partially from my room too!)

And I ate one of the best meals at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill. We went for brunch and it was outstanding. I highly recommend it.

3. Had a major review at work

We had a HUGE review of our major project in August (right before my birthday). It took months of planning and preparing but we received an outstanding rating and a continuation of our $75 million in funding. Yeah for us!

4. Whitney is still looking for a job

No one would have thought it would take so long to find a job after she graduated. She finally got a part-time job at HomeGoods for seasonal work and so she can save some money. She's been so close too many times but we have faith in God that he will open a door for her soon and she can get on her way to adult life. We've enjoyed having her live at home because we know this time will soon come to a close.

5. Planning 2016 vacations

Travel is a big part of our lives. I've already got three trips lines up for the first three months of 2016. January we will be going to New Orleans. February will be New York City. March will be Washington, DC. All for work and I'll be adding in extra fun time for all three! I know in October I will be going to San Antonio for another work trip and there will be at least one more work trip in the fall. I'm very blessed with a job that sends me out on trips.

So there you go. Six months in a nutshell. Hopefully it won't be six months before I post again.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hodgepodge - This Means I'm Still Kicking!

So it's been six months since I last wrote. I'm still alive and kicking. More later about what has happened during this time.

1. What's surprised you most about your life, or about life in general?

That I'm still in Oklahoma. I came her to go to college more than 30 years ago and I've never moved. Since I moved so much while a child I never imagined I would live in one place my whole adult life.

2. Among others, these ten words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary this year...awesomesauce, beer o'clock, brain fart, buttdial, cat cafe (apparently this is a real thing), fatberg (gross-read the definition here), fat shame, hangry,Mx (gender neutral), and skippable.

Your thoughts? In looking over the list, which word do you find most ridiculous? Which word would you never in a million years say out loud? Which word would you be most likely to use in conversation?

Well I've been known to use awesomesauce, buttdial and brain fart before. Ridiculous would be fatberg.

3. Do you like gravy? Is there a food you'd rather not eat unless it comes with gravy? Do you make your own or buy the canned or store-made variety? Turkey and gravy, sausage gravy, mashed potatoes and gravy, country ham and red eye gravy, biscuits and chocolate gravy, pot roast and gravy...which one on the list is your favorite?

I love gravy on mashed potatoes. We always make from scratch for Thanksgiving (that's Dan's job).

4. Do you have a plan? Do you need a plan? Have you ever had a plan fall into a trillion pieces? Explain.

I think you always need a plan but need to be flexible on it. Many a planned vacation can come apart if you aren't flexible.

5. November 19 is National Play Monopoly Day. Do you own the original or some version of the game? Do you enjoy playing Monopoly? How likely is it you'll play a game of Monopoly on November 19th? Ever been to Atlantic City? Ever taken a ride on a railroad? Is parking in your town free? Last thing you took a chance on?

Monopoly is not a favorite game of mine. Which is funny since I work with money. I've always found that if you don't compromise on trading properties you can never get ahead in that one so I don't like playing. We have the original game. I've never been to Atlantic City. Only railroad I've been on was the one in Alaska.

6. A song you like that has the word (or some form of the word) thanks in the title, lyrics, or meaning?

I'm terrible on lyrics and titles so nothing comes to mind.

7. In keeping with this month's theme of gratitude....what is something you're taking for granted that when you stop and think about it, you're grateful for?

My health.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

So six months and so much to write about. I hope that I can do a big wrap up and catch people up. Please know that I do read all your blogs still. I have problems when I make comments because I get lots of returned email but I love reading them.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The First Time I ...

So this weekend was a first for me. I mowed the yard. I'm not joking that I've never done it before. Outside + heat = sweating...just isn't going to happen. But Dan's neck still isn't better and there was no way he could mow. He said let's just get the neighbor kid to do it but I was insistent that I could. Plus after 23 inches of rain it needed it badly.

Yes I'm smiling. It was a moment. Thank goodness for self-propelling mowers. For a first time mower I did a pretty good job. I'm smart enough to know though that the trimmer and I were not going to be friends so we still have some pretty tall grass around the house. Its the back yard so nobody but us sees it so I'm not sweating it.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday Fragments

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Join me and others along with our hostess Mrs. 4444 in emptying minds of little tidbits in another edition of Friday Fragments.

Field experiment team left today for Kansas. If you see a caravan of radar trucks and vehicles with weird stuff on know you've seen my group.

While waiting outside with the vehicles I noticed our resident geese hanging out and munching on grass. Guess they were the bon voyage party.

All the rain has brought my lilies back to life. I planted these in my mailbox two years ago. Last year they came back but really didn't produce flowers. This year they will be beautiful.