Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hodgepodge or Bust

According to Joyce, this is Hodgepodge Volume 86. Wow! I can think of plenty of things I would like to "86" at the moment, but the Hodgepodge is certainly not one of them. It's a keeper! 

I hope you're liking your front-row seat today as you experience the most entertaining and most valuable use of time you've spent all week: reading my Hodgepodge post.  Ahem.

1. The Summer Olympics officially begin this Friday night...will you be watching? If you could see just one event in person which one would you pick?
          Yes, I'll be watching,  but unfortunately I think I'll miss the opening ceremony because I have this little thing called a j-o-b I go to on many a Friday evening. Not that I'm heartbroken; I really don't see how anything could top the performance of the Beijing opening ceremony four years ago. That may well have been THE most spectacular show I've ever witnessed.  
          Let's see, if I had to pick just one Olympic event to see live, in person, I think it would be hurdles.  Why? Because 1) it doesn't involve heights which makes my palms sweat  2) it's fast  and 3) it would be like the metaphor of the Christian life being dramatized. A great cloud of witnesses from the heavenly stands, cheering us on as we run our race, overcoming obstacles, sometimes tripping, sometimes falling,  but getting back up and keeping our eyes on on the finish line, eager with hope and the thrill of victory, ready to receive the rewards which God has promised to every believer, not just the top three contenders!
        Metaphor aside, and if I could choose a second event,  I think I'd like to be there when Michael Phelps mines for gold in the swimming pool. He is, after all, a hometown boy from this great state of Maryland.

2.Do lazy days make you feel rested or unproductive?
          Usually unproductive. I like Sundays because it's specifically a day of rest, so I don't feel guilty at the lack of productivity; I celebrate it with a nap after church, almost religiously.

3. July 25th is 'officially' Threading the Needle Day...can you sew? On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being not at all and 10 being Betsy Ross-like, how would you rate your skill with a needle and thread?
            Yes, I can sew, but I only enjoy sewing for the home--curtains and pillows.  Not clothes at all. When I was in seventh grade, I had to take Home Ec.  The year was  1877   1977, and for those who remember, there was a dress style called the jumper (not sure why) that was all the rage. Someone must've thought it cute for every female from age 12-43 to look pregnant, because it was a maternity looking style on everyone. 
            In that year, I was attending a Christian school whose dress code required that girls wear only skirts or dresses to the knee (in the age when Marsha Brady wore them just past her hiney, remember?).  I bought bright, canary yellow corduroy to commit my sewing crime  make into a jumper.  The pattern called for gathering the bodice where the bust (or in my case, no bust) meets the waist (or in my case, no waist).  If you've ever had the privilege of gathering, you know the thrill of hearing threads break when you're six inches into your seam. And then again that familiar snap of threads when you're 11 inches in, and 18.... Long story short, my mom (who vowed against helping her children cheat  earn good grades the easy way) took pity on me and finished the gathering.  I had done the rest--from kinda/sorta matching notches, cutting out the pattern, sewing the straps, and so forth. And I had to do the final hemming and ironing myself.  I got a C on the project.  A real low blow to someone accustomed to getting A's. My teacher shook her head at the stitches and mumbled something about hoping I'd never choose plastic surgery as a career.The one compliment she gave it was, "Nice gathering, though."
            Ever the gal to repurpose something, I cut up the jumper after the teacher graded it and then I promptly  made book covers out of it. No one else in the whole school had bright canary-yellow corduroy book covers. I'm sure they envied mine.
4. 'Threading the Needle' can also mean to walk a fine line between two things or issues (think awkward social situation). When was the last time you had to 'thread the needle', figuratively speaking?
               There have been less significant ones, but the larger-looming time (no pun intended, honestly!) when I had to "thread the needle" was during our son's wedding rehearsal dinner back in March.  Living out of state and communicating almost exclusively by email with the restaurant owner, the menu I thought we'd be getting (and the quantity) was not the same as that presented when we arrived. Imagine threading a needle in a semi-dark English pub in New Jersey with 40 people filing in,  (33 of whom were the bride's guests) while one of your threading hands is stuffed with  big bucks for all the food and drinks, and the other is stuffed with printed emails the owner grabbed when we mentioned the discrepancy.  Can you say awk.ward?  I am one of those people who gets uptight when all eyes are on me and there are great expectations and lots of money changing hands.
               My husband, the one adept at clearheaded peace-making in business situations, talked the owner into a reasonable solution whilst simultaneously talking me down from the ledge. (I wasn't  th only one threading the needle, was I?)  The result? The food we ended up with (can you say "welsh rarebit"?) was even better than what we'd ordered by email,  and there was plenty of everything left over for local guests to take home or out-of-towners back to their hotels, so I  had worried without cause about the food running short.  In the end, it was like the wedding at Cana--the best was served first, and as long as you do what "the master" (in this case, my husband) says, all will go well for servers and guests alike. 

5. Kidney, pinto, black, or navy...your favorite bean?
              My last memory of my grandfather was when we had navy bean soup together at a rest stop in Topeka, KS.  I don't remember what else we ate, but I had the distinct impression it would be our last meal together on this earth, even though he seemed to be in good health (except for his really red face which seemed more about poor circulation than a farmer's sunburn).  My husband and two young babies  and I were on our way to the airport back to Maryland, and stopped to have lunch with Grandpa.  I remember how he walked us out to the car and told us how good it was to see his great grandchildren for the first time.  He gave me a warm hug and then held on to my shoulders as he stepped back and looked at me tenderly with those warm brown eyes, his brow creased by years of squinting against the Kansas sun. A man of few words, he started his last words to me with, "Well," (more like "wail" in his midwestern drawl), and continued with something like "you certainly make this old man proud and happy."  I wish I could rememember exactly what he said, but that was the feeling I had, that of beign part of making him a proud, happy, old man.
             One month later he had a massive heart attack out in his field behind the cow barn.  I was able to fly back for his funeral, and although stunned by his death, I was grateful we'd had that last lunch together of navy bean soup together, and that last hug. 
6. Have you ever hosted a garage sale? Was it more success or bust?
           I've only hosted one successful garage sale, and that was a fundraiser for a mission trip to Russia when my daughter was a high school senior (2007).  My church care group rallied stuff--good stuff--from all over, and the sale was held at a great location.  We raised more than $850 in one day.  
           All other yard/garage sales I've hosted have been a bust.
           I don't usually use the word "bust" in my posts, and yet today I've used it three different ways. Fancy that.

7. What makes you roll your eyes?
           My youngest son's puns.  Every day, many times a day, he'll play on words and then look at me and ask, "Good one, huh? You know it is."

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Speaking of 2007, I found this picture from my 2007 blog entries.
Myrtle Beach, SC, with the four best children a mother could have.
Ah, glory days... I am having trouble this year wanting to vacation
without the whole family.  The oldest is married, the second has
planning meetings for school, the third has an internship without
vacation time, and the fourth gets lonely without his sibs. And guess
what? We have slated to take vacation next week. That's right.
No plans in sight. All I want is to go boating on a lake.   I think I could
enjoy that with just three of us.  (We always find great last-minute deals
on vacation rental homes, and I trust this year will be the same. It's my
frugal husband's way. While it appears he has no plan, he does.)



Debby@Just Breathe said...

Yes the Beijing ceremony was awesome. I did sewing back in the days of Home Economics but not much since. What a sweet photo from 2007.

Joyce said...

I liked the grandpa story.

Yes, vacationing sans all your brood in the same vehicle-house-or even state- is challenging. Once you're there you'll enjoy I'm sure. The anticipation of how it will feel is often harder for us moms than how it actually turns out.

Carrie B said...

I laughed out loud at the sewing story and teared up at the Grandpa story.

I hear you on the vacation thing. It's hard to adjust to the kids not automatically being with us for vacation. I think I'm still in denial. Ha.

Amy said...

Loved all your stories!! I cringe at all the wedding horror stories. My oldest is just turning 17 so all of these firsts for me are just right around the corner...YIKES. This vacation I am feeling it too. My son got invited to go with a friend and his family to Maine during our usual trip summer trip to Iowa to see family so this vacation will be one family member short...sigh.

Jocelyn said...

I was thinking that your daughter looks almost exactly like you!! She does! :) Hope you have fun during vacay! :) And being punny is the new funny, it seems...

Krista said...

Love you answer to #1, I can't imagine being in your shoes with the rehearsal dinner story... my husband would have taken over because I get a little cranky sometimes :)
Ah your Grandpa story is sweet & makes me miss mine. How lucky that you had that time with him!
Have a great vacation and too bad everyone can't go.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Aww, I feel your pain in getting stitches right. My home ec teacher made us tear out every stitch and dart that made her unhappy. Man, do you learn when you have to do that. She did not pass us until our garments were darn near perfect. Later, I would work at a garment factory which helped me be the speedy seamstress I am. I don't sew much beyond home deco these days.