Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dittle My Finger

In the last group of Hodgepodge questions, I commented that "dittle" was my word for the day. Several people asked questions about the word in the comments, so I'm answering them here.

My daughter-in-law accidentally coined the word dittle when she meant to say ditto, and it came out wrong. Then she said that was her new word. It's an all-purpose word that can be used in any part if speech. It makes a great exclamation word:

"We went Christmas shopping today."
"Dittle! What'd you get me?"

It can also be used as a noun:

"If you're good you might get a dittle."

It's not technically a substitution for profanity, but feel free to use it that way if you must.

It can also be used as a verb:

"I really dittled my finger."

That last sentence was because of a mishap in the kitchen last week. My family, used to gourmet cooking as they are, requested hotdogs and canned chili for dinner one night. Being extremely competent with a can opener, I opened up the can of chili, bent the lid back out of the way and scrapped the contents into a pot.

Apparently that particular can was possessed because the lid suddenly developed a mind of its own. It bent forward and took a bite (a deep bite) out of my finger.

I don't usually have pictures, but I went all out for you here. Aren't you proud of me?

It's deeper and more painful than it looks. It's also my index finger (one of the most important, I would think) and it's on my left hand. I'm left-handed.

My family was relieved to know that I didn't get any blood in the chili.

I did get blood everywhere else. I knew it needed stitches, but I wasn't about to spend the next four hours sitting in an emergency room. No bandaid was up to the job, so we bandaged it with multiple paper towels folded down to size and taped around my finger.

I soaked through two of those makeshift bandages that evening. I finally stopped bleeding by morning, but anytime I bent my finger, the waterfall of gushing blood began again. That made it difficult to shower and dress for work, but I managed. I was quite proud of my ability to cope until it came time to put gel in my hair. Pressing the dispenser on the bottle started the bleeding up again. Since I didn't want streaks of blood in my hair, I was stuck.

This is where Indiana came to the rescue. I debated all other options, but finally I asked him if he would help me. I pumped gel into his hands, and he immediately assumed an expression of high-end stylist snobbery as he lightly worked his fingers through my hair.

His technique was so good it disturbed me.

Although he was a good sport about helping with my hair and even putting my earrings in, I knew better than to press my luck. By the next day I'd perfected my own finger-less strategies and was able to do without an assistant. 

A doctor friend took a look at my finger and agreed that yes, I should have had stitches, and no, it didn't look infected in spite of the swelling. She did point out that if I continued to bend my finger the wound would continue to break open. She suggested either using a splint or taping two fingers together so that it would stay straight and heal.

She did not tell me how to type or play the piano while in a splint. This could get interesting.

So there you have it. I dittled my finger and am going about my normal life, plus all my Christmas-related duties, with diminished capacity. My poor, swollen digit sticks straight up most of the time in a vain attempt to heal.

I guess I should be glad it's not my middle finger. Then I probably wouldn't need a dittle to express my opinion.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Reindeer, Humbug and Hodgepodge

For whatever reason, my computer does not like the Hodgepodge button today. So I don't have the picture, but you can still click here and see Joyce and her weekly Hodgepodge questions. And since you're there anyway, why not answer them? You know if you had something better to do you wouldn't be wandering around the internet anyway. That's why I'm here, after all.

1. Will you be hosting any house guests between now and the end of December? Does that thought make you happy or crazy? Do you do anything special for your guests to make them feel at home? How long should a house guest stay?
We have long hosted multiple Christmas parties at our house. This year, for a variety of reasons that I won't go into, our house was not a good idea for any parties. My husband agreed with me and promised me that we wouldn't have to host our Sunday School Christmas party at our house this year.

The party is on the 17th. It's at our house.

To answer the second part of the question, a guest should leave just a couple of minutes before the host thinks they should leave.

2. Walter Elias Disney was born this week (December 5) back in 1905 ...what's your all time favorite Disney movie? Here's a list in case you're struggling...and yes, you have to pick one.
I know there are tons, and I like many of them, but when I think of Disney, I think of the classic cartoons. And my favorite is Cinderella. Come on, the dress ... the shoes ... the prince ... the horse-drawn carriage (pumpkin) ... what's not to love?

3. What was the last thing you purchased that you realized was a mistake after the fact?
Pick a craft book. Any craft book. I know I can't do them. I know I'll never tackle most ideas in the book, let alone actually complete them. And the ones that are completed I would never show anyone. Yet still, occasionally, I can't help myself. I call it my Compulsion To Be Martha Stewart syndrome. It's under control at the moment, but the medication has some interesting side effects.

4. What percentage of your Christmas shopping is done online?
Really, Joyce? A math question? 30%? 50%? X=5? To the nth power?

5. Amaryllis-snowdrop-poinsettia...your favorite winter blossom?
Poinsettias say Christmas. Well, not really. At least, they shouldn't. My flowers don't talk to me. Mostly because I refuse to water them and bring them to the brink of death repeatedly before shoving them over the precipice. But still, the fake ones look like Christmas.

6. What is one thing on your personal Christmas wish list? I think we all want peace on earth so let's make this answer an actual item.
An ipad, of course. And a clean house. But I doubt I'm getting either of them.

7. If you could only use one word today what would it be?
Dittle. My daughter-in-law came up with that word the other day and now she uses it in almost every situation. It makes us laugh.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I was stunned when one of my children said recently that they knew I always asked for a clean house because we didn't have any money for anything else. Seriously? They thought that was the reason?

Obviously I'm not communicating very well.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Thankful Hodgepodge

Oh, thank goodness! It's the Hodgepodge! After reading my answers and leaving a comment (kind of like kissing the cook), head on over to Joyce's where you can see what everyone else is offering up. Take a sampling from here and there and soon you'll find yourself stuffed with laughter, memories and good times. Come on, you didn't really want to start your Thanksgiving cooking yet anyway, did you? I didn't think so!

1. Let's start with something controversial...dressing or stuffing? What's it called at your house and what's included in your recipe...cornbread? oysters? sausage? chestnuts?
It's called Stovetop at our house!

2. Who do you sometimes compare yourself to?
Anybody who seems to be doing just a little worse than I am. 

3. When were you last inside an airport?
In March I traveled to Huntsville to visit a friend who's like a sister. At the last minute, I upgraded to business class for an extra $50. I may never fly again because I don't think I could ever go back to coach. I can't. I won't.

4. What is one side dish that absolutely must be included in a turkey dinner?
I think the only side dish I would actually want in the turkey would be stuffing. It may all go to the same place, but I don't want the turkey eating my mashed potatoes before I do.

5. What Christmas song do you dread hearing?
Christmas Shoes. It's not really about Christmas, it's not happy or joyful, and the lyrics seem deliberately designed to try and drive listeners to tears. I very much prefer something like, I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas.

6. If someone approaches you and asks for money do you give it to them? Do you drop money 'in a tin cup' that belongs to a person on the street? Do you have a specific charity you support during the holiday season and/or year round?
I've tried saying "no" when asked for money, but somehow my kids get it out of me anyway.

7. Share a favorite Thanksgiving memory. If you live in a country that doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving share a favorite memory associated with food.
When we lived in Uganda, we had to travel a long way and pay a lot of money to get a very small turkey for Thanksgiving. It was worth it. We had as traditional a dinner as I could make, and then we watched a recorded version of the Super Bowl from the previous year. We'd never seen that particular game, and it was a great one. It didn't matter how old it was. It helped make it more Thanksgiving-y.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I've never yet seen a Black Friday deal so fantastic that I thought it was worth getting out of bed in the wee hours of the morning, or standing outside in line all of Thanksgiving night. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pie to the Power of Pumpkin

There's something very wrong about referring to a Thanksgiving dessert in math terms, but since I've spent so much time lately helping one child with algebra II and another child with pre-algebra, and a third child with algebra I ... well, you can see why I've started speaking math phrases.

Thankfully, though, (did you like that segue there?), this post is not about math. It's about pie. We're not really pie people in our family. Probably because I'm not much of a pie chef. If I'm going to bake, I'd rather be doing cookies or cakes.

There is one time of year, however, when pies are an absolute necessity. And that would be at Thanksgiving. We always have pumpkin pie and chocolate pie as part of our Thanksgiving Day dessert. I usually also make some third choice because having the same thing every year can get monotonous. (This year my daughter-in-law is bringing that third choice. Yea!) Even when I branch out, though, I get complaints if the requisite pumpkin and chocolate pie choices aren't part of the equation.

Sorry. Slipped a little math back in.

At any rate, I'm not all about the pie crust. I've made them from scratch before--I've made pretty good crusts from scratch, if I do say so myself. But when I eat pie, I'm not admiring the flaky crust. I want the filling. And the whipped topping. That's the reason for pie as far as I'm concerned. I've done enough "from scratch" that I don't feel the need to prove my abilities every year. So most years I go with a ready-made pie crust.

I've also made the pie fillings from scratch. In fact, one year I actually cut up and canned a pumpkin, and then used that to make my pumpkin pie. I mean, you can't get anymore homemade than that! But since the kitchen is not my favorite room in the house, most years I settle for Libby's canned pumpkin pie filling. My family likes it too, so why mess with what works?

As for chocolate, jello pie/pudding mix works for me. And my family actually prefers the taste to a homemade chocolate pie. (maybe they just prefer the taste to my homemade chocolate pie, but that's another blog post.) The important thing is, I'm pleasing my family and getting off easy at the same time.

It just makes no sense to me to spend all that time on homemade efforts that aren't worth the trouble, at least as far as my family's tastebuds are concerned. I've got to spend all my effort on the stuffing and mashed potatoes (both from scratch, thank you very much). Plus the dozen other sides that go with a traditional Boyd Thanksgiving Dinner.

Now Christmas dessert? That's a whole 'nother story. We're probably having Cheesecake Factory cheesecake.

Hey, we don't mess with tradition.

P.S. What about you? Does the dessert make the meal, and will the family forgive you if you don't slave over every aspect of it yourself?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Paraprosdokian Anyone?

No, it's not a seasoning--even though it sounds like one. Paraprosdokian is defined as "figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently used in a humorous situation." "Where there's a will, I want to be in it," is an example of paraprosdokian. I think a couple of these listed here would go well on a t-shirt. What do you think?

Learn from the mistakes of others. You will not live long enough to make all of them yourself.

Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

War does not determine who is right---only who is left.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening,' and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

I thought I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted paychecks.

Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says, 'In case of emergency, notify:' I put 'DOCTOR.'

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.

 I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.

You're never too old to learn something stupid.

To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

Going to church doesn't make you Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The One Year Hodgepodge

Come on; you can't miss the anniversary of the Hodgepodge! Fifty-Two weeks of fun, laughing, deep thinking--and that's just when Joyce comes up with the questions! Wait'll you see what happens when people start answering. Well, what are you waiting for?
1. Of all the tools and gadgets you own which do you most enjoy using?
I love my iphone. But if someone were to give me an ipad, I promise I would love that more.

2. When (if ever) is impatience a virtue?
I find it hard to believe that impatience could be a virtue. Although it can be a means of inspiration. For instance, if you're losing patience with our politicians, it might inspire you to do something about it. 

3. What temperature do you keep your thermostat set to in winter? Do you have another way to heat your house besides a furnace of some type?
I keep it at 71 degrees, but Indiana likes it at 73. We refer to these times as the thermostat wars. We have no other means of heating our home, but he would love it if we had a wood-burning stove. Not that it's more efficient. I think he just likes fire.

4. Do/did you have a close relationship with any of your grandparents?
This picture shows my Grammy on the left, along with my mom, me and my daughter. Grammy had red hair and freckles, and she loved to write, and I love that I got that passion from her.

5. When did you last have a family portrait taken?
We had pictures of the kids made a couple of weeks ago, and we're going to surprise my husband with some framed portraits for Christmas. Shhh! Don't tell!

6. What does the word patriotism mean to you?
Patriotism means loving your country enough to do something for it. It also means standing up against anyone who doesn't love your country or tries to hurt it. And that goes for either terrorists or politicians.

7. Do you like to play cards and if so, what's your favorite card game?
I like Rook, but it's no fun to play unless everyone playing understands both the rules and the strategies. I absolutely love Dutch Blitz. No strategies, just lots of fun and fast movement and winning. At least there's winning when I play.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
There are only forty-five shopping days left until Christmas. In case you were wondering.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Fifty-First Hodgepodge

Come on and answer the Hodgepodge questions this week! Answer them on your blog or on facebook, and then link up with Joyce and see what everyone else had to say. You know you've been wanting to, so this is the week to actually do it. Well? What are you waiting for?

1. Who taught you how to cook?
Don't hold this against her, but my mother did. At least, she tried. It just didn't stick. Although my rice usually does ...

2. Have you been told you think too much? Are too much of a perfectionist? Are too sensitive? Were they right?
I think my problem is usually not thinking enough rather than thinking too much. And I'm only a perfectionist when it comes to someone else's work. 

3. As a child did you have a favorite blanket or toy? Tell about it.
I had a doll with red hair, and her name was Cinnamon. (I know that sounds like a stripper name, but I didn't make it up--the doll came with that name.) You could turn a button on her stomach, and her hair would get shorter. Than if you wanted to make it longer again, you grabbed the ponytail that was coming out of her head and pulled it to full length again. We were high-tech, I tell you!

4. What 'institution' do you have the most faith in?
The mental institution I call home. You don't have to be crazy to live here, but it helps.

5. Chrysanthemums-pansies-burning bush-ornamental cabbage...your favorite in an autumn garden?
Since any autumn garden I would be in would clearly not be my own--what with my black thumb and all--I don't think I can afford to be choosy. I'll take whatever I can get.

6. What superpower do the kids in your neighborhood seem to posses?
I'm not sure if it was a teenager or an adult, but someone had the ability to disappear after running into the side of my car, which was parked on the street for the night.

7. Are you a fan of the cranberry?
I've tried to be. Really I have. But I've finally decided that cranberries were not added to the Thanksgiving meal for taste, but rather for the color they add to the table. And I'm okay with that.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Today I helped my son calculate logarithms. I did it all by myself, following the instructions he was given and not using the score key for help. For a gal who's always believed that x = 5, I think that's pretty good. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Injecting Incentives

Some of you may (or may not) remember that last year about this time I started commenting occasionally about losing weight. Losing some weight had been a necessity for some time, both due to appearances and health, but I had a really good incentive to get serious about it (because serious health problems are not enough of a reason) when my son decided decided to get married.

Obviously I wanted to look my best for the wedding since, as the mother of the groom, I was completely unimportant the most important person there. Clearly, the way I looked was the most important part of the day for these two.

Seriously. Don't let the picture fool you.

At any rate, I was quite pleased as I chiseled melted the pounds away. You may even recall that I boasted about losing almost seventy pounds. I still have more to lose (I say that with shame), but I've been really proud of what I've accomplished so far.

Until now.
I've enjoyed getting new clothes and tailoring others down to fit me again. I know I look better than I have in a long time. But just recently I discovered something that sucked a lot of the joy out of my new look. I've discovered that I'm just as bad at math as I ever was.
You might wonder what that has to do with anything. It had a lot to do with everything when I realized that I had not subtracted properly and I'd actually lost sixty pounds instead of seventy. And please don't comment that it's still an accomplishment. Yes, I know it is, but would you be happy if you learned that you'd lost ten less pounds than you thought you had? I didn't think so.

In addition to that disturbing news, my weight loss has dramatically slowed for the last few months. My doctor ran more blood tests and discovered that my sugar levels are still too high and, in his words, my body was still struggling toward diabetes. On the heels of that distressing revelation, the doctor assured me that I wouldn't be getting diabetes on his watch. I was more than ready to cheer on his determination and his efforts (since I had none of my own) until he told me what he wanted to do to get my sugar under control.

It seems there's a new medicine on the market that helps control sugar levels. A new, injectible medicine. I must say, he had my attention when he started talking about injections. I started shaking my head just that fast. I couldn't imagine trying to stick myself with a needle every day.

The doctor assured me that it wasn't that big a deal, and that the medicine was a great incentive. I'd say so. I was already plotting what promises I would make about getting my diet back on track if he'd hold off on the injections for a while. Unfortunately, he wasn't convinced. And he said that as long as my sugar levels were off, trying to lose weight was an exercise in futility.

At least I'd be getting some exercise.

After showing me the injection pen and the tiny needles, I finally agreed to give it a try. I must admit, though, that my motives weren't strictly for my own health. Indiana Jones has a huge fear of needles and the thought of his face when I told him I'd have to give myself injections was enough to make me say yes.

The medicine is working, my weight loss is back on track and now I have lost almost seventy pounds. Plus, Indiana shudders and groans every time I mention something about the injections. I guess it's a win-win. Or maybe a loss-loss.

What would you call it?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Fiftieth Hodgepodge

Look whose fifty! Well certainly not me! I'm talking about the Hodgepodge, of course. By now you should know the drill--read, comment, click, repeat. You've got it. And by the way, you'd better leave a comment here after that fifty remark, or I'm going to be insulted.

1. What gives you goosebumps?
Extreme heights. My kids. My kids at extreme heights.

2. Halloween-are you a lover or a hater? Okay, that sounds harsh...Halloween-yay or nay?
Neigh. Or nay. Whichever you prefer. (Name that blogger). I did celebrate Halloween as a child at Awana. I dressed up as Miss America. It was a great costume, but the heels tended to interfere with the althletic portions of the evening.

3. Can you respect someone you do not trust, and can you trust someone you do not respect?
There are some people that I can trust to let me down so in those cases I would say I can trust them but not respect them. There are also times where I do not respect or trust the person, but I would respect the authority of their title or position. i.e. the President. Not that I'm trying to get political, or anything.

4. Apples or oranges? Yes, you have to choose.
I'm gonna go with apples because they've got that whole caramel thing going on right now.

5. What is something you wish was in your town? (shop, restaurant, attraction, etc)
Charming Charlie's is one of my new favorite stores. It's in Orlando, but not in my town, which is a suburb. I wish the store were in my town because I think I would live there. Imagine jewelry, purses, scarves, accessories, shoes, etc., in one huge store, all arranged according to color. Now don't you wish you had one in your town too?

6. What non-food item is in your refrigerator or freezer?
 We have occasional science experiments in there, both because I need to clean out the fridge and also because the boys sometimes attempt a few experiments of their own.

7. Are you at all superstitious?
The dictionary says that superstition is an irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, especially in connection with religion. Since that is the case, I am definitely not superstitious because I don't have a religion--I have a relationship with Jesus Christ. And although there are things that I don't know or understand, I know He's in control, and that's enough for me.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
In addition to science experiments, I also have my injectible medication in the refrigerator. What, I didn't mention the daily injections I now have to take? Hmmm, guess that'll be a blog post this week!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Female Hunting

From the title of this post, you might think that I am going to write about hunting females.

You would be wrong.
Earlier this month, this wonderful man that I've been married to for twenty-five and a half years left on a two-week hunting trip to Wyoming. This trip had been planned for over a year, and Indiana was very excited about it. He and the group he was going with planned on camping out up in the mountains, and Indiana filled many an hour with collecting and packing all the supplies he would need for this testosterone-filled adventure.

I have not gone hunting for wild game, but I've been married long enough to a hunter that I know the rules. Even if they have cell phone service (and they didn't in the mountains) they will not have the sound on because it could startle the deer. Indiana won't even turn his phone to vibrate, because the sudden movement could surprise him, and he could end up falling out of his tree stand. Or worse yet (in his mind) his sudden movement could scare away his prey.

So when Indiana took off on his epic journey, I knew that there would be limited contact for the next two weeks. And being seven or eight states away, there wasn't much he could help me with anyway.

I, the dutiful wife, stayed home with our six children. Yes, one of them is married and another one is an adult, but they will still always need their mother. During the two weeks he was gone, I went to work everyday and also homeschooled our four boys because I'm multi-talented that way.
 Stephanie and Luke painted the stairway, and the wall that looks so dingy behind Terry in the picture is now a glowing golden color that looks really good with my fall decorations. Steph and Luke also pressure-washed the outside of the house and the driveway, and we spent two days tracking and killing one of these spiders that was loose in my bedroom. By "we", I mean Luke tracked and killed it while Stephanie and I alternately issued orders, screamed in panic and cheered Luke on.

Note:  I slept in Steph's room until the spider was killed and removed from the house.

All of this was done without consulting Indiana. He knew nothing of any of these happenings until he returned from the wilds of Wyoming--with two antelope and two deer, by the way. (He would not be happy if I didn't point that out.)

The day after he returned, Stephanie and I made a trip to our old home in Alabama. We stayed with friends and engaged in a great deal of female hunting:  bargain shopping at a variety of places, including thrift stores and Catos. (I love that place!) I did have cell phone service the entire time we were gone, though, and Indiana took full advantage of that fact.

While we were in one store, he called to ask me about ordering airline tickets online. He wanted me to talk him through the process screen-by-screen, but I am not tech support. I finally suggested that he leave it to me and I would order the tickets later that day when I had access to a computer.

When we were in the second store, Indiana called again to ask if I'd ordered the tickets yet. I reminded him that I wouldn't be at a computer until after supper. Then he said he'd figured it out, but he still ended up wanting me to talk him through some of the steps. He finally hit the point of agreeing that he should wait and let me do it.

I should mention that Indiana orders stuff online all the time. But never airline tickets. To the best of my knowledge, I've always arranged any travel details when flying is involved.

Through two more stores and the start of dinner at Olive Garden with friends, Indiana texted me with details of what he wanted for the airline tickets. I texted back that this was why I needed an ipad. Then I could have taken care of the tickets as soon as he called me. That comment stopped any further texts and calls, and I made the airline reservations as soon as I got to a computer.

The following day I was visiting with friends when Indiana called again. Apparently there was some discrepancy between the price he had seen online and the actual price I paid for the tickets. Multiple calls and texts later, I finally figured out that the airline had charged me for flight insurance that I had not asked for. Multiple calls and a long hold time later, the money was reimbursed to our account.

The next day, our last before traveling home, Stephanie and I were on our way to a meeting when Indiana texted me to ask if I could order pizza for them.
Yes, I was two states away.

Yes, he was serious.

Rather than argue the insanity of the request, I simply asked what they wanted, and then used the app on my phone to order it. Then I texted the price and pick up time back to him.

It was just easier that way.

I'm thinking that next time I go on a trip, I need to turn my phone off when I engage in female hunting. After all, the sound of the ringer could scare away the sales.

Or I could get startled and fall out of the checkout line. What do you think?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The World Series of Hodgepodges

Not really, but hey, it's still a hodgepodge, and it's still fun. Come on in; the water's fine!

1. How do you typically react in a sudden, extreme, pressure-filled crisis? Would we want you nearby in an emergency?
Hey, everyone would want me around in an emergency! I've had lots of experience with them--married to Indiana Jones and mother to five boys--and I know just what to do. 
First, squelch all instincts to scream in panic. Lower your voice and slow your speech. While in reality you are near hyperventilating, this move will cause those around you to believe you are in complete control. 
Second, call someone. Don't call 911 or some sort of medical personnel because that's too predictable. Instead call your spouse, call a friend--someone to whom you can describe the situation and get their input and opinion. This is a very important step because, if your response turns out to be wrong, you have someone else to blame. 
Third, speak in big words and convey meanings through dramatic speech patterns. For instance, if your child broke his arm, don't say he broke his arm. That will cause him to panic. Instead, discuss the break and the swelling by referring to the enlargement and displacement of the area.
And finally, when the crisis is past, find some place to be alone. Curl up in a fetal position and alternate between sobbing uncontrollably and eating chocolate. I must warn you, though, that this final step is often interrupted by another crisis. At least it is in my house.

2. Caramel apple-caramel sundae-caramel corn-caramel macchiato...of the four, which caramel treat would you choose?
Well I like caramel apples, but I don't like the stupid little circles of caramel that are never big enough to cover the apple. They also tear whenever you try to stretch them. I also don't like attempting to use little caramel squares that are melted so that you can dip your apples in them and coat them. In the first place, unwrapping all those little squares is way more work than it should be, and usually someone's eaten through half the caramels by the time I get around to making the apples, so I never have enough. Except I never realize that until I've already unwrapped all the ones that are left.
Obviously I have issues.

3. Is there such a thing as destiny? Explain.
Yes and no. Destiny is a Marvel Comics cartoon character, known as an adversary of the X-men. Real and yet, not so much.

4. What's your favorite piece of furniture? I'm referring to something currently in your possession as opposed to something on your wish list.
I like my kitchen table. When we bought it, the salesman explained that it was made of distressed wood. Knowing that, I didn't mind so much when our six children stressed it out for real.

5. Wednesday night marks the start of the 2011 Baseball World Series. Did you know? Do you care? Will you be watching? Ever been to a professional baseball game? If you're not an American do you find the title 'World Series' annoying or amusing?
This looks like way more than one question to me. At any rate, I was born and raised a Cubs fan. That means I have no interest in the World Series, and I'm not even sure what it is.

6. A sound that takes me back to my childhood is____________.
The sound of a dishwasher running. Call me crazy, but that blessed sound meant I didn't have to do dishes anymore. Except for everything that didn't fit in the dishwasher. Which, come to think of it, was quite a lot. Okay, now I'm nostalgic and bitter.

7. On average, once you've linked your hodgepodge post to mine how many other participant blogs do you visit? Do you ever come back to the Hodgepodge later in the day or even the day after to read posts?
I don't think I want to answer this question because this is the first time in a month that I've participated in the Hodgepodge and my lack of activity for the past four weeks is sure to skewer my averages. But let me assure you that I'm going to visit as many as possible tomorrow (today) and I will admire every jeweled word. Seriously. Every. Word. Feel better?

8. Insert your own random thought here.
What's the difference between male hunting and female hunting? Male hunting involves weapons and wildlife, sitting out in the elements without moving a muscle for hours at a time, peeing out of doors and not bathing regularly for several days in a row. Female hunting involves malls, credit cards, sales and bargains and lunch out with a couple of friends. Now seriously, which one would you want to participate in?

Me too.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I've Been Working on the Railroad

Well, I haven't really been working on the railroad, but I have been working on the blog. You will probably see occasional changes in the next few weeks as I try to decide what I like and what I don't. Feel free to weigh in with your own opinions and suggestions. After all, design is not my strong suit.

In the meantime, I hope to get back to regular blogging soon. I tried to wait until my life settled down, but obviously that's not happening so I might as well share life with you.

Let me know what you think of my new look!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Cliched Hodgepodge

Okay, someone has commented recently that all I ever post on is the Hodgepodge. So I searched through my archives and discovered--they're right! What can I say, I love the Hodgepodge! It's addictive and I find it kind of like a traffic accident--it's impossible to look away. So join the fun. Click on the link and dive into the world of Hodgepodge. But I'm warning you, it's addictive!

1. Do you like chili? Red or white? Beans or no beans? Spice or no spice? Toppings?
Yes, I do. But I don't necessarily like the thickness in the air after my boys eat chili.

2. Red~Orange~Gold...your favorite fall color?
Yes, as a matter of fact they are my favorites!

3. Who did you idolize when you were growing up?
No idols--I'm Baptist. : )

4. When was the last time you did something 'arts and craftsy'? Share please.
Obviously I don't attempt artsy-craftsy things often. And this is why:  recently I decided to make cupcakes to use as an object lesson in our Patch the Pirate Club with the kids at our church. The lesson called for the children to read different verses from the Bible that talked about benefits when we're saved. Things like a home in heaven and eternal life. I was going to put the Bible references on the cupcakes using decorator frosting. Then the kids were going to have to identify the truth in the verse before taking that cupcake. Only I got cookie decorator frosting instead of cake decorator frosting. It was really runny. And I tend to write big. There wasn't room on the cupcakes for an entire Bible reference. I was getting desperate, especially since we were already at the church and I was in the kitchen trying to decorate them while the kids were having game time in the other room. I finally ended up having to simply write one letter on each cupcake. F or forgiveness, H for heaven, etc. It turned out rather lame and the kids kept staring at me like, "this is it?"

The cupcakes were good.

5. What's a place that makes you really nervous?
The kitchen.

6. Horse back riding...yay or nay (neigh?)
I don't mind it, but I'm not sure the horse is too thrilled.

7. What is your favorite cliche?
In writing, cliches are definite no-no's. I've learned to avoid them like the plague. I'm so attuned to them that I can spot them a mile away. Truly, they stand out like a sore thumb. When I come across one that's worked its way into my writing, I drop it like a hot potato. In fact, once you get out of the habit of using cliches, it's as easy as pie to stop. Oh sure, some people have to make a last ditch effort, but you know it ain't over 'til the fat lady sings, and you can keep trying to weed cliches out of your vocabulary until the cows come home.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
It would be very easy to take the easy way out and wrap things up. But if you keep your fingers crossed and if hope springs eternal, then eventually we'll see the light at the end of the tunnel. I may be grasping at staws, but stick a fork in me 'cause I'm done!
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