Chirping the Hodgepodge

1. My hubs spent last weekend pheasant hunting. Are there hunters in your family? If so, what do they hunt? Which of the following have you tasted-pheasant, rabbit, venison, duck, goose? Which of those would you most like to taste, or be most willing to taste?
Vegetarians keep calm and Hodgepodge on.
No hunters here. I remember Daddy hunting once or twice, but that's it. I've only tried venison, and I didn't know I was tasting it, but it was good. I've never had any of the others, and don't really care to...unless I don't know what I'm eating!

2. What high spot have you visited that gave you a wonderful 'bird's eye view' of something below?
Over Memorial Day Weekend, we camped at Mile High Campground. The views were amazing. I wrote about it here on our camping blog.
I took this picture as I was sitting in my chair on our campsite:

3.  Do you have any birds in your home? These could be either real live pets or decorative, as in bird prints, knickknacks, fabric or pottery.
No birds. I'm not a "bird person".

4. Tell about a time you 'killed two birds with one stone'?
I pretty much have to do that a lot in my profession. Work smarter, not harder.

5. Your favorite song with a bird in it's title?
I'm Like a Bird by Nelly Furtado.

6. What most recently gave you goose bumps?
I said I wasn't a bird person, but I'm a bit obsessed with Cardinals. I relayed a happening to someone the other day, and we both ended up with goosebumps: Right at the end of a wedding ceremony (my nephew's), a cardinal started chirping. (For those who haven't ever heard this, it's said that when you see a cardinal, someone who has passed is thinking of you.)

7. Halloween is this Friday...any plans? Did you trick or treat as a child? Carve pumpkins? Share your most memorable costume.
I think it's very sad that kids can't enjoy Halloween like we did growing up. Trick or Treating, carving was great fun going from house to house...whether we knew the people or not. I never was big on dressing up, though...I'm just not very creative.
We live on a busy road; last year we got 0, nada, nil trick or treaters. I'm looking forward to a nice relaxing Halloween night.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
The jumbotron was used for the first time last Friday. I haven't been to a game all year, but I had to go by and see what it looks like. My concern was that it was going to take over the stadium, but it didn't look that out of place.

Long Overdue Weekend Wrap-Up: Sisters' Weekend

Yes, I realize that I went on my Sisters' Weekend almost 2 months ago. Yikes! Where does the time go?
As always, it was a really good weekend. It was different without Mama being there, and there were times when we all had tears in our eyes, but it wasn't a big "cry-fest". One of my sisters made sure there was plenty of  tissue in the house, but we didn't need it. It was more of a happy time...a time for us to talk about memories with Mama. I think I had a couple of conversations that I wouldn't have had if Mama had been there, but they were good conversations.
First, the cabin. We went to a resort that is not far from a sister's house.
 The outside:
And some of the inside:
It was quite nice: 4 bedrooms (3 upstairs & 1 downstairs), 3.5 baths.
As usual, when we got there on Friday, we picked bedrooms, unpacked, and then sat on the porch with a beverage of choice. Two of my SIL & myself fixed dinner & dessert. We went with easy: taco bar with pie for dessert.
For breakfast on Saturday, everybody brought an ingredient (their restrictions!) and we set it out on the counter. We all threw out ideas on what to do with everything. One of my sisters brought Daddy's leftover birthday cake from that Thursday night and had that in the mix. So...we had ham with birthday cake glaze (it turned out to be blue), eggs with sausage & mushroom sauce, bagels, bread with tomatoes, and fruit.
A closeup of the ham:

After breakfast, it was time for the Spa!
We had our choice of what we wanted to do. I think most of us chose pedis & a massage. The nail room was gorgeous. It was like sitting in a tree! So calming. (I didn't take a picture of it...I didn't want to be too weird!) This massage was only my 2nd one, and my 1st one by a male. We ended up talking the whole time after we realized we had quite a bit in common.
After/during our Spa time, the UT football game was on, so we watched the game.
Before supper, we had a little visitor:
My niece was taking care of a co-worker's baby pig for the weekend. It was the sweetest little thing! Apparently the owner thought she was getting one of the little pigs, but this is a real pig! He's going to be a whopper when he's full grown!
For supper that night, we each brought something to grill (steak or chicken). One of my sisters made tomato pie that was to die for. We also had green beans from another sisters' garden, deviled eggs, and bread.

One of my sisters found some "Ski" Soda, and brought one for my SILs.
(My maiden name ends in "ski", so if you didn't already know that, the "Ski soda" will make sense now!)
The Texas A&M game (Gig 'Em!) took  forever to get started. I was trying to skype or google hangout with my sister who is working toward her Ph.D. at A&M, but she was in the stadium and couldn't get reception. We were able to text and send pictures back & forth, though. This is a picture she sent of her with 3 of our cousins:

Sunday morning came way too quickly. We packed up, cleaned up, and headed to The Apple Barn. We usually take a group picture at the cabin, but we forgot this time. One of my SILs wasn't feeling well that morning, so my brother drove up and picked her up, so we couldn't take one at the restaurant. We did get a picture of the rest of us:
Before we went in, one of my SILs spied this:
Pigeon Forge has a lot of car shows; in fact, it seems like there's one just about every weekend in the fall! My speech blog is called "Old School Speech", so I had to get a picture of the bus! 
All in all, a wonderful weekend. Mama's passing was still pretty fresh, but we needed that weekend for us
I mentioned Daddy's birthday...the night before we went on our weekend, the family gathered at my house for cake & ice cream to celebrate Daddy's 89th birthday. 

 The blue icing on the cake turned everybody's tongues blue:
 Lips, too!
That takes care of Sisters' Weekend...and it only took me 2 months to take care of it!

Turning the Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Elizabeth Lawrence is quoted as saying, 'Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn." So have you done just that? And what did you leave undone in order to do so?
Actually, I sat on my Daddy's back porch a few weeks ago and just sat with him, literally watching the leaves turn. It was a nice time.

2. Since we're talking turning...what's one thing you feel you're doing 'every time you turn around'?
Changing the toilet paper roll, putting dishes in the dishwasher, figuring out what we're having for dinner...take your pick.

3. How hard is it for you to 'turn the other cheek?'
Hard. Harder than hard.

4. When did you last turn a drawer, your car, a room, or your entire house upside down looking for something? Did you find it?
A couple of months ago, I looked for my Bible. I usually keep it in a bag with some other religious things, but it wasn't there. I haven't found it yet.

5. 'One good turn deserves another'...were you most recently on the giving or receiving end of that sentiment?
I don't remember being on either side.

6. Red, yellow, and orange are the colors of fall. Also the colors of fruit. If you were permitted only one color of fruit in your diet, which would you choose? This question isn't as easy as it sounds, at least not for me.
Yellow. I love bananas, but unfortunately can't eat them very often.

7. The Hunt for Red OctoberOctober SkyHalloween...which 'October' film is your favorite?
I've never seen "October Sky", and "Halloween" scared the crap out of me, so I'll go with "Hunt for Red October". 

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Today in the paper, they ran a story of an 18 month old who crawled into one of those "claw machines" that have prizes in them. Grandmother said that he was playing with the door of the machine, then she got a text, looked away for a second, and he crawled in before she could grab him. She did, however, take a picture of him before the fire dept. freed him. According to the story, the fireman said it happens all the time. This was the first time I've heard of it...what about you?

Randomly Hodgepodging

1. What's your favorite time of day? Why?
Now that the boys are gone (or almost gone), I really enjoy the late afternoon. The time of day when I'm at the house by myself.
In the summer, I would say early morning. Especially this past summer, when I walked every morning at 6:00. (Yep, that's a.m.)

2. Waffle iron, toaster, coffee maker, mixer, blender...which small appliance would you say most needs replacing in your house? 
I noticed my blender has a crack in it, so I would say that. It doesn't get much use, though.

3. It's National Grouch Day (October 15)...what's something that makes you feel grouchy?
Not getting enough sleep.

4. Ever been to Canada? Is that a country you'd like to visit? According to Trip Advisor, the top ten best destinations in Canada are-Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Victoria, Calgary, Niagara on the Lake, Niagara Falls, Whistler, and Halifax. Which city would you most like to see?
I've never been, but want to go. Any of those places would be wonderful to go to, so I don't have a preference!

5. What was your favorite food (or one of your favorites) when you were a child? Is that still a favorite?
Chocolate. Yes, it still is!

6. Do you cry easily?
I used to when I was younger, but now...not so much. Unless it's some stupid commercial or something very sentimental. Then the waterworks come on.

7. Have you started your (gasp!) Christmas shopping? If so when, and how much? If not, when will you even begin thinking about it?
The only thing I've bought so far is a little something for my SIL. I suppose I'll start thinking about right around Thanksgiving.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
The bad thing about having a week off for Fall Break is getting back into the swing of things. To see what I did over Break, click here.

Fall Break Breakdown

Back to the ol' grind. At least we had a Professional Development Day yesterday, and "Parent Conferences" (if we have at least 6 hours of parent contact, we don't have to actually be at school) on Friday, so it's a short week! Here's the breakdown of last week:
(Don't forget to click on the pictures to make them larger!)
Books: 2
(I was actually half through with this book. I got it as a freebie. Pretty good book.)
Product Details
(I grabbed this off of my nightstand--where it had been for over 2 years--right before we left. I was glad I did! Excellent book!)
Product Details
Campgrounds: 2
 Mt. Pisgah (recommended to us by our neighbors in James Island):
You can read my review of James Island here.
Beaches: 3
Folly Beach:
 Isle of Palms:

Laika Playing in the Ocean:

Dinners made at the campsite: 5
Day 1: Brats (no picture!)
Shrimp & Sausage Gumbo & bread:
And steak (no picture)
County Parks Visited: 6
James Island:
 Mt. Pleasant:
Old Towne (This is actually a future park, but the county owns it):
Isle of Palms (see above)
Folly Beach (see above)
Kiawah Beachwalker Park (see above)
Selfies: 4
Angel Tree
 Folly Beach:
 Isle of Palms

Amazing nature:
Blue Ridge Parkway
Mt. Pisgah

Wildlife (a little too closely: 7+
1 squirrel who came within a couple of feet while I was reading at the campsite
1 raccoon that I caught out of the corner of my eye as he was walking through our campsite.
2 raccoons that walked around the edge of our neighbors' site
2 more raccoons that shimmied down a tree behind of our neighbor's back and peeked around the trunk before coming the rest of the way down
Many toads
1 tree frog that visited CH as he was inside reading
Water views:
Charlestonian Gates:

Charleston Houses:
Pure Charleston:
Lowcountry Houses:

Fall scenes:

It was a pretty awesome week!

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