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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

First Hodgepodge of 2016

Hello, dear friends.  As the song goes... baby, it's cold outside.   I haven't left the house for two days.  Chowdah and Chili tell me it's time to don the puffer coat and do something because they need their space.  

If it's Wednesday, it's time for Hodgepodge.  

1.  Are you ready for new?  Is 2016 likely to be very different than 2015?  Do you want it to be?

All I care about is that my family is happy, healthy, and employed during 2016.  And I lose 25 lbs. And I develop a super fast metabolism.  

And my arms look like Kelly Ripa's.  

2.  January 6th is National Technology Day.  Currently, what is your single biggest struggle or frustration?

I am constantly frustrated by technology.  Nothing ever works for me.  I tried to order theater tickets on line this morning and ended up calling the box office because the computer would not allow me to buy more than one ticket.

I'm probably the only person you know who gets lost using a GPS.  The Mister put a tracker on my phone so he can see where I am when I call him when I get lost.

Twitter and Tumbler are mysteries to me, and I wouldn't even attempt to figure out Snap Chat. 

I am constantly in touch with my girls and the Mister my assistants for technical help.  They're always so happy to help.  I can hear them roll their eyes over the phone.  

3.  It's that time again... Lake Superior University to present a list of words (or phrases) they'd like to see banished (for over-use, misuse, and general uselessness) in 2016.  You can more about the decision-making process here, but this year's vote getters are -

So (at the start of every single sentence), conversation (as hotly debated topics where we're invited to 'join the conversation'), problematic, stakeholder, price point, secret sauce, break the Internet, walk it back, presser, manspreading (common in larger cities where some men take up the entire bus or train seat by sitting wide), vape, giving me life (refers to anything that may excite a person or make them laugh), and physicality.

Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why?  Is there a word not on the list you'd like to add?

I have a "friend" on Facebook who always starts every status update with the word "So."  She usually writes some meaningless diatribe about common, everyday frustrations.  It goes something like this...

So, I got up late, got the kids to school just in the nick of time, worked out for 3 hours, and I pull up to the cleaners, and there are like five cars ahead of me. Really?
So, I am behind this BMW and he decides to stop and take a left but forgets to use his blinker!!  I guess blue BMW's don't have blinkers!  

  You're probably thinking "So?"

As for the other words, I don't hear them very often.  Manspreading is a new one to me.  I asked the Mister since he takes the train and ferry on a regular basis.  He said that he's never heard the word. He's probably the biggest offender of all and is totally oblivious.

Women can fight back, though.

4.  Share one of your current health related goals.

5.  Let's talk fifty shades of gray.  As in the color.  Gray is currently a popular color in home decor, paint, wardrobes, hair, wedding party attire, and more.  Are you a fan?  Do you have the color or in some variation in your home or wardrobe?

If you looked into my closet, you would find a blur of  black and gray.

I do not have a lot of gray in my home.  But I will tell you that I did a post on my friend's house in Texas which is one of the prettiest homes that I have ever visited.  She and her husband built and designed it and the entire house is done in shades of gray.  It is positively stunning.

Gray hair, the old gray mare, gray matter, gray area... which gray idiom can you most relate to right now?

My hair grows so quickly that I need my roots done every couple of weeks. 

Thank you, Clairol, for inventing a product that gets me through 'til my next appointment.

6.  Certain foods are concerned "lucky" if eaten on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day.  Cooked greens to bring economic fortune, black-eyed peas or lentils also symbolize money, pork which symbolizes progress, fish for good luck, and if you're in Spain, 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight.  Did you eat any lucky foods on the first day of the year?  Is that a tradition in your home?  Of the foods listed, which most appeals to you.

I couldn't be convinced to eat any of the above-mentioned foods for good luck.  If someone is willing to take their life in their hands and wake me up at midnight, I would hope that they would be holding a quart of ice cream with a side of Fudge Everything! and skip the grapes.

7.  What is the single biggest time-waster in your life and what, if anything, will you do about it this year?

And I'm not going to do a darn thing about it.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Dear Geico:

You win the prize for the most obnoxious commercial of 2015.

Evidently, I am not the only one who feels this way.

Bring back the old guy and we can still be friends.

What words would you like to see banished from the English language?

Until next time...

First new word of 2016:

Preppy Empty Nester
Preppy Empty Nester

I'm Katie. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am an empty nester meandering through my middle-aged years while entangled in the never-ending process of renovating an antique home on the South Shore of Massachusetts. I love to write about books, movies, TV, celebrities, decorating, and weekend adventures. My favorite writing material is derived from my family: the Mister, my girls, #1 and #2, and my two untrainable, rambunctious pups, Chowdah and Chili.


  1. I love the photos for #3. And dogspreading is now my favorite word. :-) I laughed about the GPS and phone tracker, but it's a great idea! Have a wonderful new year, Katie.Love the beautiful gray house!

  2. I pretty much would have answered all of the questions as you have! I especially agree with #1 and #7. I worry constantly about our family"s health and am hooked on the RHONY and Beverly Hills. The others, not too much. It is pure mental escape from worrying about #1. Sherri

  3. So (had to start that way!) for saying you are not tech savvy I marvel at ALL your photos included in your posts. I can't imagine the time it takes to find them, cut, and paste. I am also a BIG fan of Clairol Root Touch-up! I always keep a box or two under the sink for the mornings I wake up and look in the mirror and see that gray part line. EEEK!!!

  4. I like the darker wood floors with the gray. I think gray needs some warmer brown tones or it's too cold. Colonoscopy-whoohoo! Good for you! Dogs invented 'manscaping', although I still say the word sounds like something icky.

  5. I always enjoy reading your Hodgepodge. Thank you for being so much fun!

  6. I love reading your hodgepodge. I agree about the overuse of "So..." And along with that "Really?" at the end of a sentence. They get old really quick. Happy hump day!

  7. #3 Phrases I would like to see banished... if I may add to their list, 'open concept'.

  8. I always blame my gps issues on the satellite but really why does it seem to only happen to me!?

  9. Happy New Year! I agree with you that the only thing I want in 2016 is for my family to be happy and healthy and of course employed. As for the word I would most like to see disappear, "break the internet" because typically you only hear it refer to the Kardashians.

    I missed to post on your friends house, I am off to check that out now!

    Thanks for the morning laugh! Have a great day!

  10. And this post....is why I love you! Ben and Jerrys, pointless tv shows, losing 25 lbs, technical frustrations, it goes on...fun fun post!! Happy 2016 to you too:)

  11. I hate the use of "So" at the beginning of sentences so much I've started an article about it! So . . . I have to admit, I loved the Peter Pan commercial. The look on the woman's face cracked me up every time.
    So, not a fan of grey.
    Leslie Anne

  12. May I add "I mean" at the beginning of a sentence? They haven't said anything and are explaining themselves.


  13. "So" I need to watch that word...because maybe I use it too much! Sheila

  14. So funny Katie and I can relate to a lot here today ...... Technology IS so frustrating, the grays.., and that little voice (behind the GPS) is always re-routing me!!! Hope your New Year is off to a great start;)

  15. Words I'd like to see banished from the English language: I'm staring. What are you making for dinner, dear?

    I don't like gray anything - clothes, walls, furniture, carpet, etc. Not flattering on me and too cold in a home for me.

    I've never been lost using my GPS, because I use it as my back-up after I scope out the directions and map online with mapquest.com. That's how bad I am with directions.

    I need more time well-wasted in my life. I think the complete boxed set of Downton Abbey will address this deficiency.

  16. Kelly Ripa does have the BEST arms, doesn't she? I cannot pull myself away from any of the Real Housewives shows...Orange Co. and NJ are my favorites. Drama, drama, drama...love it!

  17. LOVE this post!!! Love all the Real Housewives (said in a tiny voice)! I would like to banish the overuse of "authentic" as in being your "authentic" self (grrrr) and "reaching out" as in to call or contact!!!

  18. Soooo, Katie I love your posts and they always make me laugh. I waste time and don't seem to even realize I am doing it until I see it is 3:00 and it feels like 10:am!! Or I am binge watching Netflix and it is suddenly 1 am! Love all shades of gray, in my wardrobe and in decor!! Happy New Year!!

    The Arts by Karena
    Life Lessons: So Honored

  19. My arms will never look like Kelly Ripa's. They never did! I am guilty of using "so" to start a sentence but I'm working on it. I have one more word to nominate, "journey." Everyone on a reality show seems to use that word in every sentence. When is the last time you said, "My life is a journey."

    1. Susie.. I so agree about "journey." Seems like the people who use that word use it constantly. Ugh. Have a great week.

  20. I have about the same grey roots!
    I could add catsqpreading to the list as well. Sometimes they can have more room on the couch than I do!

  21. My grey roots have hairspreaded to my whole head! If no one ever "curated" anything outside a museum, it would make me happy.

    I'm currently involved in the techno hell of cord cutting.

    1. Hope that you are released from that hell soon so you can enjoy your weekend.

  22. As a teacher, the list of words to banish is long...I won't bore you. I can't wait for a snow day so that I can catch up on th RHO Anywhere. I am up for the fudge anything. Have a great week!

  23. YES- Peter Pan is obnoxious! Bring back the lizard.
    I do love the dog spreading- mine would always jump up in their chair and want me to sit, but there was no room!
    Fudge, chocolate, Blue Bell ice cream are my top 3 meals for any day. :)

  24. Yes, don't really like the Peter Pan commercial either. I'm tech-challenged also, but trying to keep up with at least the basics. Don't use a lot of gray, but think it can work in wardrobes and home decor. Hate gray hair on myself, and keep a cover stick on hand at all times for touch ups (which seem to be required more and more). By the way, that looks very much like Cher (perhaps without makeup) in that photo of the lady with the gray roots.

    1. I have used the powder to cover the gray but haven't heard of the cover stick. I'm going to google it right now. Thanks for the tip.

  25. Yes, "curated" has to go...Anne

  26. Transvaginal mesh or bladder sling. Thankfully, I have not seen that commercial in awhile.

  27. Right there with YOU MAMA!
    I tried to BUY something off your sidebar......NO WORK FOR ME!
    Kids rolling eyes.......YEP.
    Arms and pounds..........that will NEVER Be.
    As for words..........YOU KNOW.Right up there with SO!
    Gray rooms..........GOT ONE!With FUSHIA TRIM!!!!IT's the old SONS room...........guess I needed a SHOT of GIRL in my HOUSE!
    YOU ROCK..............OH, the GPS I don't have one don't want ONE!!!

  28. Oh yes, also hate that Peter Plan commercial! Always behind on technology and have to have my 14 year old help me! :) Have a great week!

  29. I tried to take advantage of the Boxing Day 10% off coupon at my Zumba place but do you think I could do it online? NOPE. Would NOT work. I also want to see While You Were Sleeping again - the Sandra Bullock gem - and have asked my two to please show me how to download it without getting 57 virus warnings. No, it's not on Canadian Netflix and yes, I do know it's on American Netflix. How delightful that my techies have returned to college across the country and I am still without my WYWS fix ...

  30. Grrrrrr...to that annoying Peter Pan commercial! And about gray: I have tons of it in my wardrobe and love to wear it, but in decorating? It's very trendy. So, tee hee)nope. Uh-uh, never. It's the MOST non-color of all non-colors...the most depressing (to me) because it's the color of overcast, cloudy, gray days. I know there's a place for every color, but that place will always be in somebody else's lovely house, not mine! Haha! Thanks for the great post.

  31. The word "blessed" and, of course, the word "like" used too many times in a sentence and not just be teenagers. It seems the whole world is blessed by something these days.

    Love gray, never watched The Real Housewives (rank them right up there with the Kardashians in that I can't bear to hear them talk, watch them eat etc), am such a technie dinosaur that I still have a flip phone, do not text and am proud of both of those things, had a colonoscopy last year and it really is not that bad since you sleep through the whole thing and removes some worry stress about what might be when it is all over. Just stay in a room alone and near the bathroom (very near) while doing the prep the night before...that is truly the worst part! And just a note--I did the Whole 30 cleanse in the month of October and lost 27 pounds in 6 weeks so that might get you started on that 25 pound weight loss! Happy 2016.

  32. I get nit-picky over 'source' and 'sourcing'. As in, "you can source the product here." What happened to good old shopping.

  33. WHEEL HOUSE has got to go!!!!


  34. I have used an Iphone for the last four years, but i dont really liked cuz there aren't a lot of useful applications that I prefare to use. For example this tracking app http://copy9.com/phone-tracker/. But anyway thanks for this article, it was very interesting to read.


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