Friday, January 18, 2008
Missing Puzzle Pieces
The questions seem to have stopped trickling in, so I'll answer a few, and check back to see if anyone else decides to play over the next few days. Some are serious, advice-type questions and they'll take a bit more thinking, so I'll post on those separately. Others are light fun, and I can toss several of those together I think. I won't do them in order - rather, just dive in!

Let's start with easy since I actually have bills to pay today, filing to do, a dozen shirts to iron (I like to iron, not that you asked...) and then the basement monster still calling my name.

PAM at Without Fear, asked: 'You just taught yourself to knit. What else is on your top five list of things you still want to learn / do

My daughter, Sarah (In the Midst of It) actually taught me to knit. I've taken one class since, gone to 'open knitting' at the yarn store, and bought about 14 books, but she got me started. I'd call myself an advanced beginner. My goal is to eventually be able to knit one of those gorgeous fisherman cable sweaters, and that's going to take years to get good enough

I have an insatiable appetite for learning - I've taught myself many things, and there's no telling what else I'll decide to pick up. But definites on my list:

#1 - Golf - with my husband, who used to play, when we retire. We're moving to a neighborhood that is on a lake, and they've built an 18 hole golf course in the neighborhood, so we think we should take it up. I've only played once in my life and was pitiful. Our past 'hobbies' have been camping, yardwork, or working on the house, but since it's retirement we're talking about we'd like to find a hobby to pursue together that's just for fun's sake. It'll also be easier on the knees!

#2 - Ballroom dancing - I wouldn't say I'm an awful dancer, rather that I just don't know how. Again, Don and I plan to take classes together. We'd like to dance some when we retire.

#3 - Bridge - I played when I was a young girl, and would love to play again. Don hates games so this will likely be a solo activity for me. I think when I'm a little old lady I'd enjoy it.

#4 - Piano - Don and I both plan to take lessons when we retire. I took them when I was a little girl and again about 8 years ago, and we'd both like to learn to play poorly. I think it will be fun / funny to have both of us practicing scales and beginner piano pieces daily. Anyone walking by our house will likely think we have elementary school kids!

#5 - Self-education. I've taken a few math and art classes at the jr. college level, but would like to study history, government, philosophy, religions of the world, geography, whatever else would be considered the basics of a degree. You'll notice math isn't on the list. I've studied a lot of personal finance, but anything algebra or higher I'm pretty terrible at, and that's okay. There was a time when I considered going to college, but we had three kids who needed degrees, and it didn't make sense financially. I didn't really want a career - just the education, so I've gone the self-taught route. Because I didn't go to college, seeing that all three of our kids got a degree was a big life goal for me personally. My husband, who has two degrees under his belt, saw it more from a financial standpoint. Watching the last kid walk across the stage and get his diploma felt better than if I'd gotten my own. Don thought making the last tuition payment felt pretty wonderful too.

I've been asked 'why' about this one many times, why bother, why do you want to learn about such things, especially if you don't want a career? I'm not completely sure of the answer - I think God just made me with a desire to know, to learn. Part of it is a feeling that God intends us to keep growing, to be the best we can be, that it's somehow part of 'loving God with all my mind', and that whatever I learn can be used by Him, for Him, in this world. It's all part of truly appreciating His creation, the world He made, how it functions, even understanding our government structure and comparing it to that of other countries is part of appreciating and playing my part as a child of God in this world. How much more would I appreciate the beauty and complexity of the planets, stars, phases of the moon if I studied them a bit, rather than just glancing up and thinking, "Good job God!" So it's not so much about obtaining a degree, but being the best I can be, to be used by Him as He sees fit.

#6 - Writing - I'd like to take some writing classes when we move to Texas. I think there's some raw basic ability, but would like to improve.

#7 - Bible - I'll always be involved in teaching or leading a Bible study, there's not only the head knowledge to gain, but then the really tough part - applying it to my life! So that will be a lifelong pursuit of mine.

Sorry Pam, that was more than five.

SUSANNE at Living to Tell the Story, asked, "What's your favorite TV series of all time and why?"

Growing up I have such fond memories of when we had one TV in the living room and nobody had a family room. It had rabbit ears with aluminum foil on them, Dad got to choose what we watched, so the Ed Sullivan show (and I remember Elvis and the Beatles performing), then Mission Impossible and Gunsmoke and Bonanza. Can you see that a male chose the program? My Dad told me recently that he watches Gunsmoke everyday on some channel that has reruns and I was tickled to hear that.

When our kids were growing up we didn't watch much TV. We were too busy raising kids, doing homework, going to ball games. I didn't watch much TV for a good 20 years. We were pretty restrictive of what our kids were allowed to watch. Sarah recently told Lisa Whelchel she wasn't allowed to watch her show growing up! Anything resembling The Simpsons wasn't allowed at our house. I was probably too strict, but we nixed a lot of popular TV back then.

When the last kid went away to college we got a dish, then Tivo, and it revolutionized our evenings! I remember telling the kids, in the middle of planning Leslie's wedding, that I was going to find a show to watch to relax at night, and every single one of them told me I'd never watch it. That show was Survivor, the second season (I've still never seen the first one) and I fell in love with not only the show, but the whole tradition of eating dinner together on TV trays while watching a show (this will probably horrify some of you). My husband loves TV and it's become a nice tradition for us - put on pjs, he gets out the trays, I set out dinner, and we spend the evening together in front of the TV. After supper, I grab my knitting or whatever else I'm working on, and sometime during the night we take an ice cream break. We almost always watch TV that has been Tivo'd to skip the commercials. (We do belong to a gym and work out regularly, to counter our couch potato evenings!)

So my favorite shows now: Survivor, American Idol, Biggest Loser. Don loves CSI, House, Bones and Cold Case, and that's generally bubble bath time for me! I suffer through '24' and Prison Break with him, but could live without both - I'm not crazy about graphic violence.

Favorite show as a kid: (believe it or not....) Gilligan's Island
Favorite show with my family growing up: Mission Impossible
Favorite show with my husband: American Idol

I also really dislike Donald Trump's Apprentice and The Bachelor. He's a jerk, and the Bachelor is just pointless, not to mention trashy. What woman would kiss someone who was kissing everyone else? Just not my cup of tea I guess.


  posted at 7:50 AM

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    Girl Raised in the South

    I have a deep, abiding love for full octane coffee, sewing, knitting, quilting, reading, cooking, gardening, God and my family - not in that order.

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