Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Look Up from the Hodgepodge

It's Wednesday again, and I want to get this posted before two little girls come to spend the morning with Granny. Because as you'll see in my random thought #8, I need to remember that looking in their eyes is way better than looking at my iPhone.
Thanks to Joyce for hosting, and be sure to click over to pay her a visit.

1. Share something you appreciate (or something you appreciated as you were growing up) about your mother.

My mother is clever and creative. Question #2 below asks about the quote "Necessity is the mother of invention", and this was surely true for her. Whether sewing or sawing, when I was a child, I believed there was nothing she couldn't do. A puppet theater, a playhouse, bed canopies, costumes, a treehouse, birthday cakes, birthday parties, poetry, and everything in between. And she still wields a mean magic marker. 'Tis true. :) I once called her a 'genuine genius.' And she is.

2.  A quote most commonly ascribed to Plato reads "Necessity is the mother of invention." When did this last play out in your own experience?

Most recently, it happened when I needed to figure out a way to use the Belle doll for the centerpiece for Ella's birthday. After unsuccessfully trying to sit her on a wine glass, I managed to make it work by stuffing her legs into a vase. She was able to stay upright for the entire party.
In a slightly more complicated example, I recently decided to revamp two lamps that we moved out of Jim's parents' house. Granted, I could have purchased two lamps, but these lamps are well made, in working order, and available, and after reading a couple of tutorials here and here, I decided to try it myself.
I wanted the look of silver mercury glass instead of the antique brass, so I purchased some Krylon Looking Glass Paint and got ready to spray. I covered and taped the parts of the lamps that I didn't want to spray, and moved outside to do the painting.
I started with a coat of paint,
then sprayed on a vinegar and water mixture. It beads up and cuts through the paint, which creates the mercury glass look.
I repeated the process a couple of times, spraying paint, then vinegar and water. When I was satisfied with the coverage, I patted the lamps dry.
You can see the droplet finish of the lamp in this photo. Since the lamps are brass, and not glass, it doesn't look exactly like mercury glass, but I was pleased with the results.
A new shade from Home Goods, and it looks like a brand new lamp!

3. Share one of the earliest memories you have from childhood.

When I was four, my mom opened a nursery school in our home. She cleverly converted the garage into a school room, with two long tables, 20 little chairs, a playhouse, a record player, toy shelves, coat hooks, and cookies and kool-aid. I met my friend Ann there, and we've been friends ever since.
Most of the kids in this picture graduated from my high school, though some were a year behind me. That's me in the center back in the white shirt, and Ann beside me in the jumper. My little brother Ted is in the front row on the right in the overalls. He came to school even though he was technically too young, since he lived there. :) When my brother Michael came along, he started attending at 1 year old, and enjoyed 5 years of preschool! My mom gave hundreds of kids their start in school for over 30 years.

4. When did you last 'hit the mother lode'? What was it?

As I mentioned in #2 above, we have recently cleaned out Jim's parents' house, after his dad moved into an assisted living facility. Since I have a little lot of trouble getting rid of things, we ended up with quite a lot of stuff to bring to our house. Jim says that his parents moved all those things out 30 years ago, and now we're moving it all back. :) (We live in the house where Jim grew up.)

5. What is/was your favorite dish mom made? Do you make that dish for your family/friends now that you're all grown up?

My mom would be the first to admit that cooking is not her favorite. It's not mine either. More important than the actual cooking, though is the practice of hospitality. I am sure I have told this story before, but when I was newly married, a pastor gave a sermon on hospitality, that has stuck with me for all these years. He shared that when he and his wife were newlyweds, they would serve spaghetti the first time a guest visited, pancakes the second time, and the third time a guest came to their home, they would have the choice of spaghetti OR pancakes. It's like that around here, too. By your third meal with us, you have pretty much tasted my entire repertoire. :)

That being said, my mom taught me lots about the practice of hospitality. The actual meal isn't the main thing. Opening your home to welcome a friend is.

6. Mother May I? was at one time a popular children's game. It required no equipment or parts to play. What was your favorite childhood game where you could just turn up and play-no gear needed?

We used to play games of hide and seek just after dark with all the neighbors. It was great fun, and I loved the challenge of finding a perfect hiding spot and holding my breath when 'IT' came near so as not to be found. Do kids still play hide and seek?

7. Which TV mom (past or present) is your favorite, and why?

I thought about many famous TV moms before choosing Debra Barone. I had to. Raymond is one of my favorite shows. You see, I like a show that make me laugh. I know, there are hundreds of good dramas out there filled with suspense and conflict and smart detectives. But I don't want to sit down at the end of the day and see a dead body that appears after the ominous music 10 seconds into the opening scene. I just don't. I want to laugh. Debra makes me laugh.

She is strong, outspoken, frazzled, frustrated, over-worked and under-appreciated. She's just doing her best (albeit sitcom style) to love her husband, children, and crazy in-laws. She's not perfect, but she's real (well, TV real, at least). And she makes me laugh. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

This has been making the rounds on Facebook, and I want to share it here to remind us all to look up.


Joyce said...

I have a sneaking suspicion you are a lot like your mother : ) Happy Mother's Day to you!

Terri D. said...

The lamp is beautiful!! Excellent remake on that project! Wow. I always love reading everyone's Hodgepodge answers. I've seen that video on FB. Everyone should take a look!

Carol B. said...
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Carol B. said...

The lamp is beautiful. You are very creative. I love the story about the spaghetti and pancakes. Your mother was definitely a patient woman if she had that many kids in her pre-school. Not everyone can do that.
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