Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Hodgepodge: Love, Pain, and Head-banging

On the first day of February, my true love gave to me ... nothing.

But Joyce gave me (and a few hundred of my closest cyber friends) a new batch of Hodgepodge questions to ponder and answer.

1. It's that most wonderful time of the season! Do you complete your own returns or farm that job out to the professionals?

Well, I don't personally do them, but my hubby does. Doing taxes involves math, to which I'm allergic. But my pentagenarian man is really good with all things financial, and I trust him implicitly. (He's kind of my personal Dave Ramsey, sans facial hair and southern accent and maybe a few million bucks.) With regard to taxes, the only things I do are:
1) itemize the things that I put out for the charity trucks
2) file the tax-related mail that comes in this time of year
3) sign on the bottom line when he has done the hard part, and about six weeks later,
4) spend whatever I can get my grubby little hands on.

One of these years we might farm out the job of doing taxes, but it would be to our son the accountant, and he owes us a lifetime of pro bono work. Not that I'm keeping track or anything.

2. This next question comes from Kansas Bob...he posed it in his response to something I asked in an earlier Wednesday post and I asked him if I could add it to the Hodgepodge some day. Today's the day....

Which do you think has changed you more-love or pain?

Great question. Some of the world's best minds come from Kansas, or spent time there, did they not?

I'm glad we get these questions a day early so that I have time to ruminate, or I might I have to give a Miss America answer that always begins with, "I think that...."

Love has been most effectively shown to me when I'm being a pain! That is, the people who have loved me in spite of my egregious sin (Jesus, parents, husband, children, close friends) have proven that love lasts and is real. I've been changed by pain, certainly, but to a lesser degree than by love. (For example, I don't cry as much as I used to, and I think that's because I've grown callous as a way of blocking pain in certain relationships. I have become more understanding of people who suffer with chronic pain, loneliness, isolation, depression, fear, and longing for death as a result of some of the things I've suffered in my life. But I have also been more aware of the precious love and power of the Lord and His presence and the joys awaiting me in heaven when I change perspectives (usually with the help of others who get in the trenches and love me through the tumult and ugliness). Love goes deeper and wider and higher than any pain ever has.

Now I have this cheesy Andy Gibb song going through my head: "Love is higher than a mountain, love is thicker than water."

Moving right along...

3. Tangerine Tango has been named color of the year for 2012. Your thoughts? Would I find this color anywhere in your house? How about in your closet? If not, will you be adding this color to your life in some way in 2012? If you're not sure what tangerine tango looks like click here.

Okay, I have to admit to a midlife moment. When I read "Would I find this color anywhere in your house? How about in your closet?" I was thinking, "Umm, no, I didn't paint my closet that color."

That color is cool and fresh, and I have seen it liven up kitchens and bathrooms, but if I were to wear it, I'm fairly certain I'd resemble a tangerine on steroids, which has never been my best look.

My closet is beige, by the way .My wardrobe, on the other hand, is full of autumn colors, not fruity summer ones.

4. Are you a collector? What do you collect and does it get admired, used, and/or dusted regularly?

I have one main collection-- treasures from around the world. They don't get used or dusted regularly, nor admired except by me when I dust. Or maybe by first-time visitors, but only if those visitors initiate conversation about them. I don't pipe up and say, "Hey, wanna see my collection of treasures from around the world?"

( True story: When we were a young and poor married couple, we were invited into the home of a couple a smidge older who were making six figures and whose idea of hospitality was having folks over for dinner and then taking them on an unsolicited tour of their spacious home where they pointed out every luxury we could only dream about/covet. Oh, yes, nice...your jacuzzi in the basement, adjacent to your complete home gym, gun collection, theatre, ...and oh, what's this outside your waterfront property? A crab house with guest quarters sitting in front of your boat slip? I determined then and I there I never wanted to be a hostess-turned-tour-guide. It pretty much filled me with such envy I could hardly eat dinner, which of course was a six-course feast served on fine china. From China, not Goodwill.

Boy, that was a long description of someone else's collection, huh?

I have another, smaller collection, to which I've put a halt. That collection is white ceramic pitchers, and I choose from among them to use as a flower vase whenever I get a bouquet, so the answer to "used frequently?" would be "not frequently enough!"

5. February is National Heart Month...besides a green salad, what is one tasty heart healthy dish you like to prepare?

Baked Apple Oatmeal, a recipe from my friend Briana. It would be more heart healthy if I wouldn't graze on it all day when I make it. It's tasty enough to seem like a dessert.

6. When was the last time you had car trouble?

About six weeks ago the engine on the van (which has almost 120K miles on it) was being chuggy-sluggish, doing that jerky motion whenever I changed gears. It made me suspect the transmission. Come to find out, it was just water from all the rain getting in where it didn't belong. A few days of sunshine cleared it right up. For free. (My husband's mood cleared up as well when the engine improved, because he'd just had to shell out $800 for brakes and some sensor thingy that controls acceleration on his car.)

7. Have you been more demanding on yourself lately or less? Is that a good trend?

More, and yes.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

What's a mother to do with her class clown of a boy? After school today, we were driving to piano lessons and the youngest (9 years old) started with a confession.

Him: Mom, I got in trouble today.
Me: Oh, for what?
Him: For banging my head on the pew in chapel.
Me: During the message?!!
Him: No. During prayer.
Me: HONEY! You know better than that!! Why did you bang your head on the pew?
Him: To get people to laugh.
Me: Did they?
Him: Yeah, some of them. But not {the principal}. She took me to her office, made me write a letter to you and Dad about what I did--you have to sign it--and she made me apologize to
Pastor D and ask his forgiveness.
Me: Did he forgive you?
Him: Of course, Mom! He had to. He's the pastor!
Me: Well, what exactly did you say to him?
Him: I don't know exactly, but I can tell you pretty close to what I said.
Me: Okay.
Him: I said I was sorry for disturbing people during chapel by banging my head on the pew.
(Pauses, thinking.) But Mom, maybe I should have said "disrupting" instead of "disturbing."

Me: What's the difference?
Him: Disturbing is when people leave the door open when they go to the bathroom.


Briana Almengor said...

Love your thoughts on love and pain.
And, thanks for all the great suggestions over at my blog. I really appreciate you taking the time to write that all out.
Some of them I already do, some effortlessly like laughing at his jokes bc I think LA's bonafide funny. But, so many of the suggestions I can certainly be challenged by and are good to remember like not dumping the day on him before he's eaten and sometimes even after he's eaten. ;)

Joyce said...

ahh-little boys : ) I liked your answer to the love/pain question. I noticed you're going to participate in the A-Z. I'm planning to as well. Last year my posts practically wrote themselves. This year it really is a challenge!

ps-So far I've only displayed the measuring cups. Mostly because they're displayed and I forget to use them.

Susan said...

Loved your #8 and your son!!!!

Katie said...

Lol. Too cute. I had to chuckle at "disturbing"!

Jill said...

I really like your answers. Yes, children do owe us a great deal, don't they? And I remind mine of that all the time. : )

Sounds like your youngest would get along great with my boys. They'll do almost anything for a laugh!

DD said...

I love fun kid stories, those things that they say that make you try not to smile while they are talking about what they did wrong.

I have loved reading your answer to #2. Thanks for sharing.

The Henry Crew! said...

Ok - your midlife moment on the Tangerine Tango question made me crack up! What, you don't paint the inside of your closet orange? :-) And oh, our boys could SO be friends... sounds exactly like what my little guy would do! have a great day!

Brenda said...

OMGosh, yes that is disturbing!!!
I'm enjoying readying about the pain/love question. Everyone has a different perspective. Makes us all unique, doesn't it?

Becky said...

I love reading your blog your son sounds adorable! I love his confession. I once got a teenage confession from my daughter at Wendy's I ran in for food, she was working, I forgot the food. That's a blog for another day. I may be having a senior moment did I miss something about painting the closet???