Wednesday, May 15, 2013

There's No Place Like the Hodgepodge

It's Wednesday again, and that means time for the Hodgepodge. Our gracious hostess, Joyce, prepares an interesting set of questions, and we do our best to come up with some answers. No pressure, just a nice way to meet and greet friends on the world wide web. So sit back, relax, and enjoy my answers, then click on the button to visit Joyce and the others. Be sure to leave a comment or two along the way.

1. May is National Blood Pressure Month...what sends yours soaring, either literally or figuratively? What calms you down? When did you last have your bp checked?
I am usually pretty calm. In fact, in her Caring Bridge post yesterday, Ruthann characterized me as one who 'carries calm around in all her pockets.' Doesn't she have a way with words? I love her ability to share from the heart, even when facing a storm. So many of us praying for her and following her updates on CB are blessed and uplifted by the words of wisdom, funny stories, and journey of faith she shares with us through her writing. I keep telling her that she's a blogger. :) And beautiful. And one of the bravest people I know.
As for what sends my blood pressure soaring? A visit to the doctor to check my blood pressure (or anything else for that matter). When was it last checked? Sometime in the last year (or so).

2. You just found $1-what do you spend it on? How about 10$ 100?
Hmmm.... not sure, although at this stage of my life I have less of a 'finders keepers' attitude and more of a 'finders sharers' one. I think I would try to find a way to give it to someone in need.

3. Mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GE) food has been proposed, but not enacted in the US. How much attention do you give food labels before you buy? Are you in favor of labeling if it means an increase in food prices? Is this an issue you've been following and feel strongly about, or is this the first you've heard of the controversy?
Interestingly, as I was working on this post, a news story came on about just this topic. They interviewed a farmer and a university professor, who explained the advantage of GM seed for disease resistance and better yield. On the flip side, a family shared about health issues that had been improved by eating non-GMO food. A legislator spoke about the expense of mandatory labeling. The reporter did offer an easy way to check foods for yourself: there's an app for that.

4. May 15th marks the birthdate of Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz. At this point in time, are you more in need of brains, courage, heart, or a trip back home? Explain.
There is a quote attributed to Mark Twain that reads: "Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most." It's fair to say at this point (50 something), my brain doesn't function like it used to. I forget things. Oh, not big things (yet), but everyday things like why I went to the laundry room, where I laid my phone, or that I was supposed to stop at the store on my way home. So I am with the Scarecrow, in need of a brain.
And although I can't ever find my glasses when I need them, I can manage to find a vintage Wizard of Oz photo for your enjoyment. One of my favorites.

5. "There's no place like home" is an oft repeated line from Baum's book. When was the last time you felt the truth of that statement?
In November, I made my fourth trip to Haiti. Our 'dorm', shown below, was home to twelve women for the week.
Inside, we had wood floors, metal bunk beds, and, occasionally, electricity. :)
I am always overwhelmed by the hospitality shown to us by our Haitian friends who have so little. It is an emotional week for me, arriving, leaving, and finding the words to share about my experience each day. Some evenings, we are asked to share one word about our day. I can usually manage that. :) At the end of the week, when I arrive back at my own house, I am especially thankful. And blessed. By a hot shower, clean sheets, screens on my windows, clean water, ice cubes, and my bathroom. There's no place like home.

6.  Steak...yes please or no thank you? What cut do you prefer and how do you like yours cooked? Sauce or no sauce? Besides your own kitchen, where's a place you like to go to get a great steak? 
Yes please, of course. Our farm includes an Angus cattle herd, so at our house beef is what's for dinner.
These beauties look pretty in the pasture, and even better on your plate.
The best steaks do come from our kitchen, and we are spoiled by the quality and convenience of the beef in our freezer. If I go out for a great steak, I like St. Elmo's, in Indianapolis. Small filet, medium, no sauce, please.

7. When was the last time you were in a genuine hurry?
We were in a hurry coming home from our spring break trip. Shortly after taking off, the pilot let us know about a mechanical issue which occurred on our climb out of Grand Cayman, preventing us from landing where there was ice. Our flight was scheduled through Philadelphia, where there was, indeed, ice, so we were diverted to Charlotte. That meant attempting to rebook 13 of us on alternate flights home that night. Easier said than done. By the time we got everyone booked, on 3 different flights, and got through the slowest security checkpoint ever, we had to run hurry to the gate. I hate that. Thankfully, we made it, and I even got to sit by my favorite grandson for the flight home.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Earlier this week, I took Jennifer and Bryan out for dinner at a rather trendy, upscale restaurant near their home. We ate outside, and shortly after we were seated, a young mom and her little boy (about 5) were seated next to us. I thought it was an interesting restaurant choice for the two of them, but we smiled at them, and noticed that they shared edamame (new to me), and the little boy ate pizza while his mom enjoyed sushi. He was happy and well behaved, and spent time sitting on his mom's lap, then walking outside the fence to sit on a bench while his mom finished her meal. 
We ordered dessert to share, which caught his attention when it was served to us. His eyes lit up, and he hurried to his mom to ask if he could have chocolate cake too.
This is what I'm talking about:
The brownie was warm. And huge. And more than even the three of us needed to eat. Since we had been engaged in friendly conversation with his mom, we even invited him to bring his fork over and share a few bites. (Is that a creepy thing to do with complete strangers?) Anyway, he got a big grin on his face and said he wanted his very own ultimate fudge brownie. And his mom's answer, and the point of this long story, was YES. She didn't say it's too big, it's too late, too much sugar, too expensive, or too anything else. She just. Said. Yes. And I thought it was awesome. So many times, our first instinct is to say no. And sometimes we need to say no. I probably said no to our kids too much, but I hope they remember me sometimes saying yes. Wouldn't it be great if 'yes' could be our first instinct? Because most times, there's no danger, no harm, and no reason not to just say yes.

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