Another Tuesday, another chat on Patrice's porch. Pull up a chair, get yourself a cuppa, and join our blether.
1. Melanie asks "What kinds of seafood have you tried and liked? What is the most unique seafood you've eaten?
Considering that I live right beside the sea - in fact, surrounded by sea - I ought to have eaten more seafood than I have. As it is, I've had prawns and lobster and scallops the most. I love these three.
We were blessed a few months ago with a gift of a bag of scallops.
When I say blessed, I really mean that.
And the Builder took this beauty home another night from work.
2.Anne says, "An unforgettable holiday moment is _____________________. (She's on the other side of that BIG pond. I believe a holiday is a vacation on this side. )
Ooh, that's me, Patrice! I probably asked this question because I have one of those 'unforgettable' moments stored in my memory: a moment that comes to the surface every now and again, and which we, as a family, re-tell from time to time.
In 2001, my mum and I spent a week in London, Ontario. Whilst there, we were able to see some of the beautiful sights that province has to offer. One of these was, of course, Niagara Falls.
Fast forward to 2007, and the Builder and I, along with our four kids, are going abroad for our first family holiday ever. We fly to Toronto, spend a couple of days with my relative in London, Ontario and then head to Niagara. Bear in mind that I have seen the Falls, but nobody else in the family has. I had done all the planning for this holiday - the Builder made it clear that he simply wanted to 'turn up' and enjoy it - and I'd booked a hotel suite which promised a wall-to-wall window looking right out onto the Falls.
When we came to the hotel, we came to the back of the building, having seen nothing of Niagara itself. (We had sauntered along back roads from London to Niagara, enjoying a relaxed drive through the countryside.) At this point, I was unsure what the view from the suite was going to be like. I knew what the hotel website told me it was going to be like, but one can never be sure ...
And so I allowed everyone else to go in ahead of me, head to the window while I waited with baited breath for a reaction. I was not disappointed! Their reaction said it all: the view was perfect - more than the photos online had shown, in fact!
This moment was only one of so many unforgettable moments on that unforgettable holiday. We all talk often of the moment we arrived at the home of our (Scottish) friends in Michigan, after a 12-hour drive from Virginia. That moment we all said, 'That's the house!', and saw our friends for the first time since they left their homeland to make their home across the Pond.
Would someone now pass the Kleenex? *Sniff*....
3. Arlene wants to know, "When was the last time you tried something new?"
Umm. Something new?
Erm .... new?
People do new things? When they have kids?
4. Becky asks, "Who or what inspires you?"
I'm tempted to ask, 'I'm inspired??'. Let me think about this for a moment ...
You know, a walk in our graveyard always inspires me.
I see the stone at my grandparents' grave, and I thank God for the family into which he brought me.
I look beyond their headstone, and see the stone of my great-uncle, whose Godliness and cheerfulness are in my memory as an inspiration of how to live, and how to endear others to our Saviour.
The beauty of this sea inspires me,
as does the combination of a machair full of summer flowers and a pair of chicken legs playing football.
This pair ...
and this pair
And finally, some scenes from the hand of the Master Artist,
whose creative beauty surrounds me,
in this place I call home.
Who could fail to be inspired by such wonders of God's creation?
5. Madonna wants to know," How did you chose the names of your children. Wendell adds,"If you don't have kids, how do you choose pet names?"
Oh, I can answer this quite easily, although - as y'all know with me - easy doesn't mean short.
We named him Donald Ross: Donald is after his paternal grandfather; Ross is for my dad - it's his middle name.
Catherine Petra - Both my mum and the Builder's mum were called Catherine. So she is named after her two grannies. Petra is named for a friend I had in college and who was killed in a car accident when we were only seventeen.
Katie was named after an elderly cousin of my mum's, who was like a great-aunt to me. I know it's unfortunate that Katie and Catherine are so alike, but to me, they suit their specific names. Katie is a Katie.
This was the only baby whose gender we knew before he was born. Do you remember me telling y'all about my Grampa? Well, his name was Calum, and I was really keen to have a child named after him. When our Wee Guy was born, the Builder suggested calling him Calum Stewart - the names of the Builder's two brothers. So the Wee Guy has the amazing privilege of being named after my Grampa, Big Brother and Baby Brother.
AKA Dog #1. Jackson was named after Mr Thomas Stonewall Jackson. Please don't judge me if you're a Northerner. You'd need to be Scottish to understand.... Thank you.
And you know I love you all. Y'all, and you all.
Have a great week, y'all. Oh, I'm heading to London next week.
Did you hear me? I said I was heading to London! And - wait for it - I'm going with the Builder.
I can hardly believe it myself.... More on this to follow, no doubt.