Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hodgepodge to the Rescue!

Is there a blog priest who comes to read last rites over a dying blog? If so, I need his name. My blog is on life support, thanks to the valiant  efforts of Joyce, whose weekly Hodgepodge questions offer a type of CPR to this once-viable blog of mine. 
Thanks, Joyce. Did you ever think of yourself as a first responder in cyberspace?

1. Something on your October calendar that makes you smile?

Well, TODAY another Zubbie baby is being born (or has been born and we have not received the call or text or FB message yet). My nephew Danny and his wife went in this morning to deliver their third child, the gender of whom they did not want to know.  So we wait, and my October will include a visit to this new little breath of fresh air in our ever-expanding clan. 

2. Food for the soul or music for the soul...which camp are you in? Tell us why.

Great question!  I would have to say that music touches my soul more deeply than food does. Both have the power to take me back to childhood (can you say peanut butter and jelly sandwich and "Itsy Bitsy Spider"?)  and both have positive and negative associations.  Both have made me swoon,  but food has never made me cry (save for onions) and  never taken me to the heights and depths of emotion that music has. 

Maybe you didn't mean the question that way, but that's my take on it. 

3. What are two or three things you've learned recently as the result of an online search?

-the definition of "ligand" (although I still don't understand it because it's chemistry)

-this recipe for Jewish Apple Cake, which oddly enough does NOT call for orange juice, like most of them, is the BEST I have EVER had. Oh, my goodness.  
-this recipe for beef stew. Paula Deen's Old Time Beef Stew. 

If you are still holding a grudge against Paula Deen, please make this stew. It will redeem her in your eyes. Seriously, the broth is almost divine. It might even have touched my soul ! It's got Worcestershire and sugar (of course it does, it's Paula Deen's, says hubby).  I didn't photograph my stew. Stews don't always look so great in pictures, have you noticed ?  Sometimes  it looks like barf .  Anyhoo, try this beef stew if you are a stew kind of person. 

4. Share your favorite game day recipe. You can describe it, post the how-to, or add a link to the actual recipe. 

It's as easy as 1-2-3. Put on comfy clothes, crawl under the covers, and take a nap. 

5. What are your five essential steps for creating the perfect morning 

 Start the night before, because Genesis 1 says "and the evening and the morning were the first day".  By God's design, a day is sundown to sundown, so if I follow HIS model, things go better:

-make sure school uniforms are clean and ironed, and if not, ask the boy to  wash and iron  them (as a 13 year old, it's his responsibility)

-make sure clean bath towels are in the bathroom, or in  baskets upstairs, not in the basement.
-decide what to pack in my son's lunch

Then, in the morning...
-have coffee with creamer  because that first sweet sip is my absolute FAvORITE way to start the day
-sit in my quiet family room after hubby leaves and before the boy wakes up, and read my Bible and pray

6. What small thing have you taken note of today?

something clinging to my dog's whisker (which I then gently wiped off)

7. Sum up your September in seven words or less.

How about 7 Chinese words I learned from my ESL students' mom? (phonetically spelled here)

"ni hao" (hello),  "see-et, see-et neen" (thank you), "wah-on" (goodnight)

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I saw the movie "War Room" and thought it was very good. I was skeptical going in,  gotta say,  but it was girls' day out (our Bible study group went on a whim) . Why skeptical? Because a lot of the Christian films have just been cheesy with mediocre (or bad) acting, predictable plots, corny humor, and cliche' scripts.  "War Room," by contrast, had mostly quite good acting (except for Beth Moore--she should stick to writing and public speaking--and that guy who played the jerk of a boss at "Tony's" office).  I didn't think I'd cry, but I did; the message was powerful.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

9-Word Answer Hodgepodge with a TV Dinner

1. Last thing you did on the spur of the moment?

Wrote answers to this Hodgepodge . Usually I think first.

2. How well informed do you feel about the current Syrian refugee crisis?

Not well, but I'm against more Muslim infiltration here.

3. What have you changed your mind about? 

Dinner tonight.  It was steak; now it's crab cakes.

4. A medium sized non-poisonous snake found it's way into the pool trap this weekend. If you'd been sitting poolside would you have fished it out? Gone running? Called for help? Pretended not to know? Continued swimming?

You didn't list "pooped your suit" as a choice. 

5. September 10th is National TV Dinner Day...what's your idea of a great TV dinner? (Or at least a pretty good one!) 

Meatloaf, mashed potatoes with gravy, roll,  and green beans

6. Samuel Johnson is quoted as saying, "Courage is reckoned the greatest of all virtues; because, unless a man has that virtue, he has no security for preserving any other." Would you agree? Where have you seen that played out recently? What's the second greatest virtue?

Disagree. Love is the greatest virtue. Faith is second.

7. What are three words you have trouble remembering how to spell?

 Occurrence (two r's?),  onomatopoeia (ugh!),  and perseverance (try again).  

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I have meals planned for a month, finally! Woot!

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

A Tutor who Tooted a Hodgepodge

September has such a pretty ring to its name, doesn't it?  My son starts school the day after Labor Day, so he might disagree. 
At any rate, life moves on and so does the Hodgepodge!

Thanks, Joyce ,for pumping out the questions as often as I put gas in my car. 
And thanks for not charging me $2.24 a word for my answers! I'd have been poverty stricken after the second week.

1. What's on your September calendar? Anything fun? 

Funny you should ask. My September calendar has just filled up as of this past Saturday when I interviewed for a tutoring job; they hired me on the spot. 

It's a Chinese family with two children (fifth grade girl and first grade boy) who have been in the States for a year and would like me to help the kids learn to read fluently so that they can gain admission to a certain prestigious private school near Washington, DC.  

I'll be keeping my other tutoring job with a darling kindergartner, so I'll be working four evenings a week and Saturday morning. Is that fun or work, you ask? Both. I absolutely love helping children learn to read well.  And to get to know foreigners and learn more about their culture makes me happy. Love it! So to get paid for doing what I love is nothing short of wonderful. 

2. You might be described as a natural born ____teacher_________________?

3. September is National Courtesy Month...what one act of courtesy would you most like to see more of in your home, town, or the world at large? 

What I'd like to see everywhere, from home to the world at large, is what the Bible calls "preferring others above oneself."  Can you imagine life in a world where everyone's mindset was, "Please, you go first"? Or where no one cuts off another driver on purpose, everyone asks before eating the last piece of dessert, no one pushes and shoves in line, everyone holds the door for the other person coming through? On and on it goes.

4. Eager beaver, chicken out, clam up, or let the cat out of the bag...of the phrases listed, which one have you related to most recently? 

Eager beaver about prepping for my new job!

5. What's your movie theatre snack protocol? Do you chow down on snacks during the previews or wait until the movie begins? Do you buy snacks or refuse to pay those kind of prices? What's the last movie you saw in a theatre? How many thumbs up would you give it?

Protocol? Well, I don't know if seeing one movie a year is sufficient to establish a movie snack protocol, but since it's such a rarity, I splurge --but only on popcorn and drinks. Or I split the cost with the friend I go with and we munch from a shared bucket of buttery goodness. 

I prefer to get all the snacks before the lights go down so I can see where I'm going and won't miss either a step OR a good part in the movie. 

The last movie I saw was  a pre-release of  the Christian film called "Do You Believe?"  My daughter got free tickets as she has a knack for doing. Two thumbs up.

6. Henry Ford is quoted as saying, "Nobody can think straight who does not work. Idleness warps the mind." Agree or disagree? Why?

I don't like the qualifier of "nobody" because I was immediately thinking of people who have no choice, by reason of physical or mental disabilities that are severe enough to make working impossible. However, if we're talking about the norm, I would agree that idleness warps the mind and the mind is easily straightened out with work because work involves thinking and processing (usually)--or at least the ability to keep pace. 

7. What's the last job you completed or task you performed where you had to 'work like a dog' until it was finished?

Actually I am in the midst of working like a dog --a retriever--at fetching resources and information curriculum, manipulatives (magnetic letters and board, flashcards) and supplies  to help me give the reading placement test for my first ESL students.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Cancer strikes again.   I think I mentioned baby Sophia, who was diagnosed  with brain cancer in early August at the tender age of six months. She is the first child of my young friend Lauren, and had surgery that reduced 70% of the tumor and is heroically undergoing chemotherapy for the rest. 

And another friend of mine just received the news that she has breast cancer.  I was shocked; she's younger than me and I am crying out to God for her healing. Come quickly, Lord Jesus! 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

It's my Birthday and I'll Hodgepodge if I Want To

And not just ANY birthday, folks. This is my 50th! Yup, the big Five-O.  

The big celebration was on Sunday with my family, but I have plans with my daughter today.
This is also the day she moves to Florida.
So I'll cry if I want to. 

1. It's hard to believe, but next week's Hodgepodge will find us in the month of September. What's one thing you want, need, or hope to do still before summer officially ends?

Order school uniforms for my son. He has grown a few inches and lost weight. I have no idea what his inseam is now.

2. When were you last at 'your wit's end'?

I can't remember. (I'm 50; there's a lot I can't remember.) There is a street nearby call Whitt Road and I've always thought it'd be funny to live at the end of it .

3. Describe a time you were figuratively thrown into 'the deep end'?

Currently I'm working through some "deep end" stuff by choice.  It's hard; I hate confrontation, but in order for me to get closure on certain issues, I need to have certain conversations.

4. Does the end always, ever, or never justify the means? Explain.

My kneejerk reaction would be "ever" and it would depend on the situation .If it's an ethical matter, then probably not. But there are occasions when "just get 'er done" (whatever works) to solve a problem is okay.  Sorry, my brain is in sleep mode so I can't substantiate this point with examples.
(I stayed up very late making a pillowcase for my daughter as a going-away present.)

5. What makes your hair stand on end?

Hearing a strange noise in the night

6. I read an article on the website Eat This! Health, that listed 11 foods we can eat to help end bad moods. Basically it's a feed your brain so you're less anxious, grouchy and lethargic. The foods are-mussels, swiss chard, blue potatoes, grass fed beef, dark chocolate, greek yogurt, asparagus, honey, cherry tomatoes, eggs, and coconut. Which of those do you think would most help end your own bad mood? Which do you fear, if forced to eat, would put you into a bad mood?

 Pass the dark chocolate, please, to end it.  Mussels aren't my thing, so being forced to eat them could put me into a bad mood.

7. What project around your home, office, or life in general feels like there is 'no end in sight'?

Cleaning out the garage.  It's where things go to die. Sometimes literally.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

For my birthday I bought what I've been saving up my earnings to buy for well over a year: a Janome MC 8200 QC sewing machine.  It's the "cat's meow" with its 11 inch bed (the distance from needle to the body), its purring quietness, its automatic thread cutter button, its monogramming capabilities, and sew much more.   I am in love with it.