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Wednesday Hodgepodge

Tell us about a time you found yourself 'in the middle of nowhere'. Was this deliberate?

Rick and I were just talking about this the other day. If you can call going "the road less taken" to get to a destination in Bermuda, then YES! First of all, Bermuda is! We went there by cruise, which I highly recommend. After getting used to the public bus system, that has bus stops literally right on the side of the road, on curves, up hills, in the most dangerous places imaginable, we decided to go to the lighthouse. We got off at a stop near the lighthouse and could see it from there, looming up above us. We weren't yet familiar with all of the stops and didn't want to end up way past it. There were two roads that appeared to go to the lighthouse. One was uphill, very curvy, and had no safe place to walk. So we decided to take the other road that looked much safer. And it was. But we walked and walked and walked and walked. It felt like we had wound all the way around and through that island. I think we walked for better part of an hour. But we saw the most beautiful sights! It was exquisite! We had the absolute best time! Finally we rounded a bend and there was the lighthouse. After touring it and taking in the breathtaking views from the top, we decided to take the bus (yes, there was a stop right by the lighthouse). It drove down the road we decided not to take and it was about a block to the stop where we started. We just laughed and laughed. We still laugh about that. But had we taken that road straight to the lighthouse we would not have ended up 'in the middle of nowhere' which turned out to be somewhere spectacular!

What's something you're 'in the middle of' today or this week?

I am 'in the middle of' a break from homeschooling, and it's fabulous! Yesterday I didn't even get out of my pajamas! It was rainy and cold all day so I snuggled up and read a whole book (Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. I give it a raving *****!) Today I am up and around early and have plans to actually do a few things other than read, although I will be reading, as well. We have all tried to be as lazy as possible. And it's been awesome! We start back to school in June so are soaking up every possible minute of this break until then.

At what age do you think 'middle age' begins? What does it mean to be 'middle aged'?

I am definitely 'middle age', turning 45 this summer. I would say it happens to different people at different times because some of it really is a state of mind. But, generally, once you hit age 40 you are middle age. Your mind may not think so but I bet your body is beginning to agree. This is when little ailments start popping up, when you start taking preventative care more seriously, when you realize that you just can't quite do that (whatever that is to you) as well as you used to be able to do it. Weight doesn't come off as easily, joints ache a little more, and what the heck is happening to your skin and hair? But I think the real meaning of 'middle age' means that you just accept and, maybe even welcome, those changes as a part of life. Middle agers, typically, have children who are leaving the nest and starting their own adults lives. The things that you used to enjoy seem to have shifted to other things, things a little more sedentary and settled. All of those things you have strived for in your 20's and 30's and thought were so stinking important and would make you so happy, fade away. You really start to realize what is important. A big fancy house ain't it. A nice car with a high car payment ain't it. The best of everything ain't it. The hustle and bustle and go go go ain't it. You realize that a quiet night at home eating dinner with your family and watching a movie really is it. You downsize and simplify and purge and then sit quietly amongst your most important treasures instead of seeking to add more shiny ones. You start to appreciate things more! You feel the need to draw things close instead of seek more. I don't know, maybe this is just me. This is what my 'middle age' looks like.

Ravioli, stuffed peppers, samosas, deviled eggs, steamed dumplings, pierogis, or a jelly donut .. your favorite food (from this list!) with something yummy in the middle. Your favorite not on the list?
Oh ravioli! I love ravioli, even if it's from a can. But my favorite is the Ravioli de Portobello from Olive Garden. I could drink the smoked cheese sauce. Yum!! Something that is not on the list? My Stuffed Mushrooms. They are an adaptation of The Pioneer Woman's recipe.

Albert Einstein is quoted as saying "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Would you agree? Have you found this to be true in your own life? Feel free to elaborate.

Definitely true. It's the whole "when God closes one door He opens another" idea. God allows us to be in a difficult situation so that we will draw closer to Him and then move on to the place He has in mind for us! "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine ... " ~ Ephesians 3:20. I have found in my life that God allows things to get so difficult at times that it's even EASY to walk away and not look back. During difficult times we should actually thank God for the opportunity to change! Most times we don't, but we should.

What's a song you remember loving from your middle school years? Do you love it still?

IMMEDIATELY the song Karma Chameleon by Culture Club came to mind. I would have been in the 6th and 7th grade when it was popular. I had a poster of them on my wall and, I swear, Boy George's eyes followed me wherever I went. Good times! I'll be singing it all day today now, I am sure.

May 18th is National Visit Your Relatives Day. Will you celebrate? Which relative would you visit if time, distance, and expense were not considered.

We won't celebrate this day. In fact, I doubt I will see any relatives today unless my mom just pops by for some reason. If I could visit any relative, it would be my Grandma Alice. She passed away a year and a half ago and I miss her. I wish we could just sit and talk. I have so many things I wish I would have asked her when she was alive.

Insert your own random thought here.

I dropped the dogs off at the groomer this morning, and I feel like I just dropped the kids off at grandma's for the weekend! I love those dogs so much, but man, they are high maintenance! I will be enjoying this day of peace! No barking, no whining, no running in and out to go potty. Quiet. Ahhhh....


  1. So much fun reading your answers. I homeschooled my kids, too--and both have now graduated from our little school. It was a busy time, but also a blessed time. And, I know what you mean about your dogs. We feel the same way about ours :)

  2. Oh those stuffed mushrooms look to die for!!! Do you have a year-round homeschool schedule? We do - it seems to work best for us. Finishing up 10th grade over the summer, starting 11th in September! Exciting!


    1. Yes, we do school year round. We always take off the months of May, August, and about 6 weeks over Christmas with some little breaks dabbled in. It definitely works best for us!

  3. Yesterday was a pajama day for me. I needed one. Some of our most fun walks were unplanned or off the path we thought we'd take. I have never been to Bermuda, but my sister loves it a lot. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  4. Nicole, your blog is so pretty! I loved reading your story about the two roads to the lighthouse. And of course I loved your inclusion of the Ephesians reference. God will give us joy amidst the pain and suffering in this world. BTW, I homeschooled for 21 years. That was a while back. We did the traditional school year so that it would coincide with the public school calendar, but now there are SO many homeschoolers, groups of homeschoolers, etc. and if I were doing it now, I think I'd go with your calendar. May, August, and Christmas sound like good break times!


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