Random Dozen 10.27.09

random dozen

It’s that time again! Lidna over at 2nd Cup of Coffee has come up with 12 more questions. I just love her memes. They make me think!

1. Tell me something about your favorite teacher.
My Grandmother was my favorite teacher — and she was a teacher. She taught in a one room school house and changed the children and the community in which she lived. I was amazed and awed by all the people who came forward when Gram died and said that she had made a major difference in their lives.

2. Tell me about one pivotal moment in your life.
Fourteen years I struggled to keep myself sane and our family together while helping my husband, M., deal with his alcoholism. Finally I could not take any more. His mother and I hired an interventionist to come in and talk to him. As the destruction of his life was presented to him, M. remained unmoved. Finally he stood up and said, “Wait. You people keep talking about my drinking problem. The thing is, I don’t have a problem with my drinking. If there’s a problem here, it’s yours.” And that was my epiphany. I know my mouth dropped open and I stared at him in shock for several moments, and then I said, “My problem? Your drinking is my problem?” I laughed. “If it’s my problem, I know exactly how to solve it!” Then I crossed the living room, opened the front door and said, “Get out!” Of course it wasn’t exactly that easy, but the rest was a cakewalk compared to what life had been.

3. About favorite colors–a lot of people will ask you what it is, but I want to know why it is. What feeling or memory does it evoke?
Green — grass green is my favorite color and it brings peace to my soul.

4. What’s a sure sign that you’re getting older?
Aside from these brown spots all over my body, the gray hair and the creeky knees? Loud parties and dancing appeals to me less than quiet dinners with good friends.

5. Please don’t sermonize, but Halloween–is it a yes or no for you?
It is a no for me, but only because of the dangers these days. If it were still safe it would definitely be a yes.

6. What’s your favorite musical?
I can’t decide between Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Guys & Dolls, and White Christmas.

7. Are you more of a city mouse or country mouse?
Country! Though I have spent the last several years living in the city — but soon I am moving rural! Yay!

8. Did you know that it is possible, for a small fee, to name a real star after someone? (It’s true! Google it!) If someone were to name a star for you, would you appreciate it for its whimsy and romance, or would you say, “Are you kidding me? For $19.95 we could have gone to the movie and actually bought popcorn.”
I would appreciate it for the whimsy, definitely.

This question comes from Paula at His Ways Are Not Our Ways:
9. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever been doing and texted during it? I only thought of this b/c I was about to try to text during my walking video but I didn’t.

I don’t text. Sorry. (I guess THAT should have been my answer to #4.)

10. “It’s not a party unless _______.”
I’m really uncomfortable at it and wish I could go home.

11. When you’re stuck in traffic or a waiting room, what do you do to pass the time? PS: There are no magazines available.
Yo — cell phone video games! And what do you mean no magazines? There’s always a magazine, book or notebook in my purse. I go prepared to entertain myself!

12. If you weren’t yourself, would you be friends with you?
Yes. That wasn’t always true, but these days, I like me.


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Random Dozen 10.20.09

1. Candy corn: Your thoughts?
Very colorful and tasty wax.

2. Briefly, what was the first conversation you ever had with your spouse? (or best friend, if you’re not married.) (Or someone significant, like your librarian.)
Amoeba and I met online. He defended a stance I took on public education, then emailed me an apology for stepping on my toes; at the same time I emailed him a thank you letter for supporting me so eloquently.

3. Could you ever become a vegetarian?
Highly unlikely.  If I have to go too long without beef, I chase cows in the field and try to bite them.

4. Have you ever dressed up your pet in a costume?
The cat, when I was a kid. I enjoyed it more than Stripes seemed to.

5. Name something about childhood that you miss (like Clark Bars, Teaberry Gum, Malibu Barbie, cracking fake eggs on people’s heads with your fist and “It’s the Great Pumpkin” airing only once a year).
Dewy-soft skin, naturally blond hair, and knees that don’t creak!

6. Have you ever won a trophy? If not, what do you deserve a trophy for?
Yes, one year I received a  Most Improved trophy — which means I was still a loser. However, in the 8th grade I wrote the school song for our brand new school and they still sing it today, 37 years later.

7. When do you think is the appropriate time to begin playing Christmas music each year?
I’d just as soon every one wait for at least a couple days after Thanksgiving.

8. What’s your favorite board game?

9. How do you feel about surprises (receiving, not giving)?
Happy ones I like. Unhappy ones (like dead cars in the middle of the road) I could do without.

10. Is it easy for you to say, “I’m sorry?”
Yes. Saying “I’m sorry” is much less stressful then the guilt of pretending nothing is wrong.

11. What is your favorite candle scent?

12. October is traditionally “open house” time in public schools. If you had a literal open house in your home (like a reception) what light snacks would you serve visitors and what would you show them (as in art projects, graded papers) that would uniquely represent you?
No Trick Pumpkin Treats and my photography.

Random Dozen 10.13.09

It’s that time again! Lidna over at 2nd Cup of Coffee has come up with 12 more questions. I just love her memes. They make me think!

1. I’ve always wondered why we were taught both printing and cursive. Do you prefer to print or write cursive? (Keyboard is not a choice.)
Teacher here — the printing press is the reason we were taught to read and write in both print and cursive. Mass communication is done in print, not cursive. In fact, there are some today who say we should do away with cursive all together.

2. Are you a dreamer or a realist?
Both — I like to dream, but I know where dreams and reality meet, and which is which — most days.

3. Billy Joel or Elton John?
It really depends on my mood, but more often then not, Billy Joel.

4. What is the scariest movie you’ve ever seen? Not limited to horror flicks but also includes ones where the tension or suspense is killer, for example, Flightplan (2005): A bereaved woman and her daughter are flying home from Berlin to America. At 30,000 feet the child vanishes and nobody admits she was ever on that plan.
I don’t do scary movies. I see no reason to feed the nightmares. However, I think the most terrifying movie I ever watched was Helter Skelter — because it was true. I was so engrossed in the movie, I didn’t hear the neighbor come in the house. He’d knocked. I didn’t respond, so he opened the door and asked if I was all right. I think my terrified scream answered him — and then neither of us were all right!

5. Now what is the scariest real-life moment you’ve had?
My greatest terror was turned to joy in an instant by God. You can read about it here.

6. What word do you misspell without fail?
Separate. I always put an E where the first A belongs. Always. Even though I know it’s incorrect.

7. Name something you like to do but are not really talented or good at.
Sing! I love to sing. Other people aren’t quite as thrilled to hear me.

8. Do you get your emotional/mental batteries recharged by being around people or by having alone time?
Yes. 😉 I need a good balance of both.

9. Have you ever been on TV?
Yes, I was on a children’s show as a child, and I have been on the news as an adult.

10. Apple or pumpkin pie? (Don’t be greedy.)
Pumpkin for me. Apple for Amoeba.

11. How many magazine subscriptions do you have?
One. Photography. The subscription came free with my camera.

12. What lesson do you have to keep re-learning?
Don’t put off until the last minute what could have been done and over a week ago.

Random Dozen 09-30-09

It’s that time again!  Lidna over at 2nd Cup of Coffee has come up with 12 more questions. I just love her memes. They make me think!

1. Tell me the absolute best way to watch a movie.
Shades of Thom here, but … with my eyes.

2. Do you ever think about your own funeral? If so, do you have specific ideas about how you would like it to be?
Nope.  Whatever.  They can do without for all I care.  I’ll be with Jesus and won’t be worried about such things.

3. Are you more of a giver or a taker?
Giver, as a rule.  I love buying gifts for and surprising people with things I think they would like.

4. Vacations: planned activities and schedules, or play it by ear?
A little of both.  I’ll plan a couple of major things, but for the most part I prefer to see where the wind blows me.

5. What is one often overlooked item in your home that needs to be cleaned regularly?
The spare room.  Stuff just walks in there and starts accumulating …

6. Name a cause that means a lot to you.
Teaching the gospel to children.  Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6 [NIV]

7. Do you eat a regular old peanut butter jelly sandwich, or do you customize it? And by the way, jelly or no jelly?
Well, if it had no jelly, it wouldn’t be a PBJ.  Jelly – strawberry.  Peanut Butter – Jiff Chunky.  Soft white bread.  Yum!  But mostly I eat PB with celery.

8. If we were having a conversation in person, how would I know if you were nervous?
You’d hear my voice wobble and crack!

9. Do you have an elaborate bedtime routine, or just the basics of toothbrushing and jammies?
Jammies?  What are jammies?

10. Have you ever regretted something you wrote on your blog?
THAT is what delete is for!

11. Has anyone ever told you that you look like a famous person or celebrity? Did you agree?
Nope.  Just as happy to be anonymous.

12. If you were going to dedicate a song to a loved one or friend, what would the song be and to whom would it be dedicated?

To Amoeba:


Random Dozen 9.09.09

Another Random Dozen questions from “Lid” at 2nd Cup of Coffee.  This is the second of her memes I have participated in.  I like her memes because they are thoughtful, relevant and interesting — an all too rare and novel meme feature these days.

1. What is something that you have changed your mind about either recently or over a number of years?
Wanting to live in Hawaii. I dreamed of it growing up — a fantasy I thought would never come true — and now here I am and the fantasy hasn’t come true. It is hot and humid. I have perpetual heat rash; I almost never get to the beach; the school system is atrocious; it is difficult to tell the highways and the parking lots apart, although as a rule the parking lots are better maintained; and my Amoeba is always under way too much stress. (Please note: this is why we are leaving Hawaii. I am not saying the place is ALL bad. Check my comment to Susan.)

2. Choose either subject, but does your a) church b) job feel more like a dental chair experience or an easy chair (recliner) experience? Ha! I have no job! My church is neither an easy chair nor a dental chair experience — although I have experienced elements of both there.

3. Kisses or hugs? I actually typed “huts,” which might have been a more interesting question.
Kisses and hugs. I am an affectionate, out going person.   Amoeba and I amuse the younger set — and some of the other folks, too — with our hand-holding. As to huts — here in Hawaii “the little grass shacks on the beach” image has forever been replaced in my mind by the blue tarp & cardboard huts of the homeless.

4. What do you think is the biggest threat to families today?
Communication — most families are too busy filling up their schedules with sports, activities and television to actually take time to connect with one another.

5. A day after you grocery shop, you open a perishable item that is horribly spoiled. Do you take your receipt back to the store to be reimbursed or just throw it away and forget about it? I suppose it depends on what the item is. I’ve returned spoiled milk — there is clearly a stamp on it stating it should be fresh. However, here in Hawaii I have twice bought moldy bread and just tossed it. It really isn’t the store’s fault. It is the heat and humidity. I have learned to buy from the local bakery. Not only do I support our local economy, I get bread I know was freshly baked.

6. What personality trait (feel free to address good or bad or both) do you notice yourself adopting from your parents?
Aye. Let’s start with the good: My dad loved to tease. So do I. I have my grandmother’s heart of service. I have been told I have my mother’s wit. I would have liked to have known her so I could judge for myself. And the bad: Like my father I like to day dream and I can lose track of time. My grandmother could have used more tact. Sometimes I find myself in short supply, too. I’m told my mother loved books and papers and reading and writing and kept stacks of such things around the house …..

7. How many slices of bread do you leave in the bottom of the bag when you throw it away? Two? Three? Just the heel? None? (I really want to know if you eat the heel.) Usually I only toss the crusts away (feed them to the ducks or birds) — except when the bread molds, which it does very quickly in this land of heat and humidity. I actually have a special bread keeper that helps keep it dry and fresh.

8. What mispronunciation or usage error really irritates you? ‘S! How can people not know the difference between a plural and a possessive? Do you have more than one or does it belong to you. How hard is that?

9. In honor of the uniqueness of today’s date, what does the numeral 9 mean to you? (Any special life moments attached to the 9th? Are you the 9th kid in your family? Can you count by 9s really fast? etc.) Yes, I can count by nines relatively quickly until I reach triple digits. I don’t know why that slows me down, it just does!

10. Does the general color palette in your closet match the colors you chose to decorate your home with? Yes. Not that you could tell it here since we’ve not decorated this home, but my sheets and towels are earth tones as is most of my wardrobe.

11. When you’re hanging out with friends in the kitchen, do you automatically ask to help, or do you sit there and chat until the host asks if you’d like to help? I’m not implying that the 2nd choice stems from rudeness or laziness, just not a first-response like it is for some people. Because of the way I was raised, my first response is to offer to help — unless I am with my family, then I just help, otherwise they might not feed me.

12. Let’s end on a pleasant note: What do you enjoy about September the most? Looking forward to cooler weather and the fact that the thermometer drops to the high 70s (F) each evening. I almost cool off ….