Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I had the Katie #4 post half done, and Blogger ate it! Grrrrr! Sigh. I guess I need to get into the habit of working in Word and doing copy/paste, although I always have to re-format when I do. But it's coming, it's coming.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Ten to One Meme -- The Finale

List THREE pieces of your furniture you'd like to replace.

1. Our sofas. They match, so I’m going to count them as one. They are beyond beat-up and dog-chewed, and even the “new” slipcovers are getting tattered, but I refuse to buy new until know what our post-buyout house will be like.

2. My bedside table. It’s a used-to-be-painted particleboard thing that once belonged to a friend of mine when I was single. I haven’t replaced it because I’ve never seen anything I liked/could afford that would fit in the narrow spot available in our current house.

3. Our porch chairs. They’re fake Adirondack chairs made of molded plastic, and half of them are cracked, so that you can’t sit with your head back.

Name TWO skills and/or personality traits which you are still developing.

1. Seeing from the other person’s point of view.

2. Doing the right thing when it takes effort.

Find (or recite if you're just that good) ONE quotation that expresses something you find profoundly true.

This is more “profoundly beautiful” than profoundly true, but it’s my favorite quote of all time. It's from Chapter 4 ("The Field of Cormallen") of the last "book" of The Lord of the Rings, and if you've never read the whole thing, getting to this quote is a good reason to take a stab at it.

“And all the host laughed and wept, and in the midst of their merriment and tears the clear voice of the minstrel rose like silver and gold, and all men were hushed. And he sang to them, now in the Elven-tongue, now in the speech of the West, until their hearts, wounded with sweet words, overflowed, and their joy was like swords, and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness.”

I take that back. It’s ALSO profoundly true.

THE END! I won't tag anyone, but do the meme yourself if you feel like it, in whole or in part, on your own blog or in the comments section here. I'd love to read your responses.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ten to One Meme -- Days 6 & 7

Wow, have I messed up! I never got here yesterday -- I was cooking all day for this great weekend with Arwen and Rosie and their families -- and it appears that I titled two posts "Day 4". (I'm going to fix that after I post this. So here are two for the price of one..

List FIVE movies you have seen at least FIVE times and/or would be willing to watch at least FIVE times in the future.
1. Sabrina (the newer one with Harrison Ford) (swoon)
2. You've Got Mail With my daughters, I have most of #’s 1 and 2 memorized.

3. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe We are a Lewis and Tolkien family.

4. Curly Top (or anything else Shirley Temple) These were on TV every Sunday afternoon when I was growing up

5. White Christmas I can’t believe Arwen missed this one. The most awesome time was when a local theater showed it on the big screen.

Name FOUR features of your own body that you like.
1. Blue eyes
2. Long fingers
3. Eyebrows Some of my kids got their dad’s family uni-brow, poor things.
4. Ankles

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ten to One Meme -- Day 5

Name SIX of your own acquired skills or personality traits of which you are proud. (Brag on yourself, dude! Own it!)

1. My prodigious vocabulary. I play Free Rice in the mid-50's.

2. The ability to cook without a recipe and alter and invent recipes for things that taste good.

3. The ability to read quickly, and remember a lot of it. ("Garbage-can memory")

4. Being able to sew things without the precise pattern I need. I’m not as good as those old-fashioned seamstresses who could measure you and cut all your clothes to fit, but I can get whatever sleeves/neckline/skirt I want.

5. My musical memory. I'm not a great musician, but if I've heard it, I probably remember it.

6. My test-taking knack

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ten to One Meme -- Day 4

New grandbaby is due in early July. Last time Daniel came almost five weeks early; this time Rosie'll probably go three weeks over and drive herself and us crazy.

List SEVEN tasks you'd be happy never to have to do again.

1. De-crudding the shower walls. I clean bathrooms regularly, and I don’t mind wiping them down, but they really need to invent shower walls that repel soap scum.

2. Recaulking the bathroom, or cleaning the caulk.. Once they get the soap repellent down, they should figure out how to make bathrooms all in one piece. The cracks are what make the cleaning hard.

3.. Cleaning the oven with that smelly stuff. One of the first things I bought after I got the money I inherited from my parents was a new flat-top stove with a self-cleaning oven. No regrets.

4. Clean up after the dog in the yard. I wasn’t the one who wanted the dog. (To be fair, the kids are supposed to do it, but it’s never all cleaned up, because somehow some of it is always invisible to non-mature eyes.)

5. Make phone calls to strangers for any organization. I will cook a full meal from scratch for 125 people before I will make five phone calls asking for donations.

6. Deal with head lice. (Knock on wood!) The time we had our visit from those nasty critters, I was clinically anxious but undiagnosed, which made it 500 times harder, but it’s a lot of work no matter how you slice it.

7. Clean out the basement after a sewer backup. This was 6 weeks before Arwen’s wedding. Ugh!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ten to One Meme -- Day 3

It looks like it's Little Women in yesterday's list, although I'd certainly like to find one of those combined volumes Jen mentioned. Now on to today . . . . .

Name EIGHT moments in your life that you're proud or happy to remember.

In chronological order, because Arwen's fussy like that:

Please note – there are no academic items on this list, not because I don’t have any good memories, but because there was never any doubt in anybody’s mind, least of all mine, that I would do academic stuff, and do it pretty well. I might as well be proud of breathing.

1. The time in college gym class where we were playing mixed basketball (two guys and three girls on a team) and the other team made a technical foul against my team. The guy who was captain of my team picked me to shoot it! You must understand that I am klutz personified – NOT an athlete in any way. But when I stepped up to the foul line and shot, the ball not only went in, it swished! (For you other non-athletes, that means it went straight through without touching the rim.) Never before or since, not that I’ve tried recently, but oh, what a moment!

2. The day I decided to move from home in Pennsylvania, where almost all my relatives still live, to Ohio. And by extension, when I moved from Ohio to Michigan. It took courage I didn’t know I had, and didn’t fully understand at the time, but that I’m glad I used.

3. My wedding. I can clearly remember looking down the aisle to where Roger was standing at the front of the church, and realizing that I was the reason for all that happiness on his face. Awe is a mild word.

4. Having my kids. This really needs subheads a). through f.). If I listed each child’s birth individually, I’d use up most of my eight moments, and though they’re all distinct and differently precious, they’re all the same KIND of moment.

5. Letting 15-year-old Arwen get into a car and drive away with her 16-year-old new driver friend. (Just to a soccer game.) I haven’t been the perfect mother, but this is one area I think I did mostly right – letting the kids go when it’s time. I’m glad I had practiced this a lot, because it’s the only way I was able to say a calm goodbye to George when he left for boot camp. With each kid it’s something different.

6. The day I got a thank-you note from my mother for the 50th anniversary celebration my brother and I had for my parents. It was all positive. This was probably the first unmixed praise I ever had from my mother. Looking back on it, I’m pretty sure she was in early Alzheimer’s, and had simply forgotten that “you’re NEVER supposed to tell your child that they did a good job.” My mother learned some real junk from my grandfather, and I now can feel sorry for all of us, instead of thinking that there was some innate problem with her, or with me.

7. When I realized that I had the mental tools and force of will to never have another panic attack . I had always been the anxious type, and had various run-ins with severe anxiety and panic attacks before I knew what they were, but the spring of Arwen’s junior year in high school I reached the point where I really couldn’t function. Fortunately, a friend recognized what was going on, and steered me to a great counselor. She recommended a particular workbook, and for me, knowledge truly is power, at least in this area. I learned that most of my symptoms were caused by bad emotional responses to normal physiological changes, and that I could learn to change my responses. [This is called Behavioral-Cognitive Therapy, and it worked wonders for me.] I still have to be careful to short-cut negative patterns, and I practice conscious relaxation once or twice a day, but I haven’t had even a heavily anxious 10 minutes in several years now.

8. More subheads – the births of grandkids Daniel and Camilla. Can’t wait to add letter c.) to this one this summer!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ten to One Meme -- Day 2

You may only own NINE books for the rest of your life. What are they?

1. Bible

2. A hymn book of some sort. I’m leaning toward the one I grew up with (called simply The Hymnal and published by a no-longer-existing denomination that merged itself into oblivion.) This is not the best hymnal out there, but it’s the most familiar to me. I’d also hope that I could have all the CD’s I wanted for the more modern stuff!

3. Unabridged dictionary

4. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien

5. The Chronicles of Narnia (one volume edition) by C.S. Lewis – I’d really rather have the Space Trilogy, but as far as I know it’s never been published in one volume.

6. The Complete Sherlock Holmes vol.1, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

7. ditto vol. 2 – I love mysteries, and although there are thousands I’d hope I could borrow, these are the ones that never lose their twist.

8. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte The best example of a romance-with-morals.

9. _________, by Louisa May Alcott. My top three choices (in no particular order) are Little Women, Rose in Bloom, and Jack and Jill. Pick one for me!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ten to One Meme -- Day 1

Arwen created this as a reaallly long meme, but since it has ten parts, I'm doing one a day for ten days. (And with any luck, getting back in the habit of blogging.)

Someone gives you TEN million dollars, but you have only TEN weeks to spend it or it's lost (and it can't be invested in any sort of accounts - you've got to spend it on services or material things). What TEN things do you do with it?

1. Buy out all the houses in my neighborhood. We have been sitting under the shadow of a major public-works project for six years now, and they just announced another delay. We all want OUT; I’d make that happen. The state could reimburse me or not, when it finally gets its act together.

2. Buy at least a nicer house for us. AWAY from the project zone. And furnish it lavishly.

3. Make big ol' charitable donations. Lots of them. This should really be number one, but I’m too lazy to move it.

4. Plan and fund a family reunion for my husband’s family. They live all over the country, and the cousins never are all in the same place. And add an extra week for my family!
5. Buy some really beautiful shoes and clothes. And some leather handbags that won’t wear out in one season. I’m picky, though, so I’d probably have these custom made. And maybe the shoes and clothes, too.
6. Buy a HUGH freezer, or maybe two, and load it up with top end meats and seafood. And stock my dream pantry.
7. Spend a lot of money on kitchen equipment, linens, drapes, wall hangings, and other domestic appointments.
8. Hire a cleaning service that does contracts, then pay ahead for as much time as they'll let me. (Thanks, Arwen. Who could mess with this one?!)
9. Replace all the aging technology in our household – computers, cars, stereo, third generation iPods. Also all the appliances.

10. Use the remainder of the money to buy some beautiful and very valuable jewelry, which I can sell off as I need more cash. I would use Arwen’s cheat here, but frankly my guess is that I’d be about broke by now.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Coming soon.....

To a blog near you (or one you've almost forgotten about) -- ten days of meme!

Courtesy of Arwen, except that I'm too lazy to do it all at once..... (but you knew that.)