Answer Me This #11

It’s time for Answer Me This, courtesy of Catholic All Year!
1. Have you ever walked out of a movie?
No, but I BEGGED John to walk out of Spaceballs, which I thought was incredibly stupid.  He wouldn’t.
2. What do you most often use for blogs and blogging: desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone?
My laptop, which might as well be a desktop since that’s where I leave it unless we are going out of town.  I also have a Chromebook, which I have used once or twice while out and that I hope to use more.
3. Have you ever had anything stolen from you?
Sadly, yes.  My first experience was the most traumatizing.  We had a desktop computer stolen from a storage space at the apartments where we lived when Teddy was a newborn.  Served us right, I guess, for having such a thing in plain view protected only with a padlock; but what was worse by far was the other thing they stole:  a picnic basket my sisters had given me as a wedding present.  It had no resale value and the thought of the criminal giving it to his mother or girlfriend was disturbing to me.
Our Victorian house was broken into twice, with a laptop being the only loss both times.  And we also had a stroller stolen right out of the front yard there.
Finally, a couple of days after our house burned down, some truly despicable people STOLE THE TIRES off the two singed cars sitting in our driveway, along with some computers that were in one of the cars.  They were broken, though. 🙂
tire-less durango Lincoln on blocks
4. Do you identify as a member of a particular ethnic group?
I don’t guess Southern qualifies as an ethnic group, does it?  I’ve been encouraged to identify as Irish most of my life, but my recent genealogical research informs me that I’ve got healthy doses of German and English.  I haven’t worked out the percentages yet.
My ggggrandfather Confederate General James D. Hagan, who was born in Ireland.
My ggggrandfather Confederate General James D. Hagan, who was born in Ireland.
5. Do you abstain from meat on Fridays?
Only during Lent.
6. Seen anything weird lately?
I have five children.  I see weird things on a daily basis.
And a postscript:  I’m hosting a giveaway and all you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post.  Let’s just say that at the moment your chances of winning are VERY good.  The post is about regret, and the book is about letting go of regret.  Please check it out!
And post-postscript:  check out the other links at Catholic All Year!


Answer Me This #10

Once again, I’m linking up with Kendra at Catholic All Year for Answer Me This!
1. How often do you take public transportation?
That’s easy.  Never.  In Knoxville, all we have are buses, and out this way the routes are extremely limited.  Now, when we lived in an urban neighborhood close to downtown, I did take the bus a few times.  And of course when I lived in D.C. I took the Metro frequently.
2. How many cousins do you have?
Well, there’s no way to know that, is there?  Unless we are talking about specific levels of cousins.  That I can do.  So, I have eight first cousins.  And I have 12 first cousins once removed (the children of my first cousins).  I guess I also have first cousins once removed in the opposite direction (my mother’s and father’s first cousins) but I wouldn’t have a clue how many.  And I have five precious first cousins twice removed (the granddaughters of my cousin Joey).  Let’s not even get into second and third cousins, even though I am in contact with a few.

Me, my sisters, and three first cousins, circa 1979
Me, my sisters, and three first cousins, circa 1979

3. Have you ever fired a gun?
No, and I don’t expect I ever will.
4. Do you ride roller coasters?
Well, last summer I rode the log ride and the Blazing Fury at Dollywood, but I didn’t ride any of the really scary coasters.  Once upon a time I loved them, though.  I vividly remember my disappointment when, at the age of four, I was too short to ride the Great American Scream Machine at Six Flags over Georgia.  I even rode those rickety ones at the TVA&! Fair.  I’m not prepared to say I will never ride again, but the older I get the more scared of them I feel, and the more I wonder why people want to scare themselves when life is terrifying enough already.
5. What’s your favorite flower?
Daffodils.  I love the color, I love the way they smell . . . you should see the way I carry on the first time I spot any each Spring.  At our first house, I planted an enormous plot of them that I added to every year.  Once of my favorite sights in D.C. are the daffodils blooming near the Lincoln Memorial  I can say Wordsworth’s daffodil poem by heart, and if you were here in person, I’d make you listen. 🙂
Daffodils growing by the side of the Pellissippi Parkway earlier this year
Daffodils growing by the side of the Pellissippi Parkway earlier this year

6. Are you allergic to anything?
Grass–when I mow the yard I get a headache.  Presumably pollen as well–in fact, I just got put on medicine for that, and I have spent the whole day in a groggy fog so I think I’m just going to have to suffer the allergy.
That’s all, folks!  If you want to play along, share in the comments.  And visit the other folks in the linkup right here.

Answer Me This #9

It’s time for Answer Me This!  Thanks to Catholic All Year for this fun weekly linkup.

1. When’s the last time you got a new bathing suit?
It’s been a long time.  I’m pretty sure it was 2008.  It’s basically non-functional now and if I plan to get wet this summer I am going to have to take the plunge (see what I did there?) and buy a new one.  I dread this.
2. Who made the last incoming call on your phone?
Can’t tell you the name because it was a client.  My work phone and my cell phone are one and the same.  Thank goodness for caller ID so I know what to say when I answer–most of the time.
3. If you receive communion, do you receive it in the hands or on the tongue?
In the hands unless I am carrying small children.  (And I wish there was a rule that made this mandatory.  I cannot tell you how it bothered me today to see several women hold their free hand for the Host and then bite it out of their palms like it was a snack or something,) And I never, ever chew the Host, and even though they now tell children to chew it I forbade all my children from doing so.  It’s bad enough I have to watch people chewing gum at Mass without watching them all chomping on Jesus as they walk back to their seats.  There’s a passage in The Great Santini that these folks really should read.
Jake on this First Communion day
Jake on this First Communion day
4. Do you have a tattoo?
Not now, not ever.
5. How many dinner plates are in your house?
When our house burned down, people generously responded with lots and lots of dishes.  And while we continue to manage to break them with reckless abandon, for whatever reason I think we still have all the dinner plates.  So there is one set of eight that we use normally, then another set of eight that we move into if those all get dirty at once, then another set of eight that usually only come out when we have a lot of people here.  We also have probably about 20 fine china plates that rarely see use at this point.  And I think we have at least one whole set of dishes that we packed away in the garage for whoever moves out first to take with them.
I DON’T have these any more, and I miss them:
palais royal china
6. Do you have an accent?
I do indeed, although it is mild be local standards.  It was a shock to me to go away to college and be teased about my Southern accent after spending my whole life in the South being asked where I was from because I didn’t sound like everyone else!  One particular feature of my dialect that I didn’t even realize until I went away to school is the drawl.  I definitely have that.  And of course I say y’all and might could and other wonderful Southern Mountain English words.
Do you want to play, or read what others had to say?  It’s a great way to discover new blogs!  Head over here to read more links!

Answer Me This #8

Back again with another Answer Me This linkup from Catholic All Year!
1. What’s something you intended to do today, but didn’t?
Today has just begun, so who knows?  But I can answer this for yesterday:  I wanted to get my newest plants into the ground.  I have a bad habit of buying plants and then waiting too long to plant them and then they die.  We went downtown on Wednesday to the Farmer’s Market and I got three additions for my herb garden.  Also I have another butterfly bush, and Jake has already dug a nice hole for that.  So maybe today!

Mailbox Herb Garden earlier this year
Mailbox Herb Garden earlier this year

2. What’s your favorite grilling recipe?
People have recipes for that?  I just put the usual spices on whatever it is and give it to John.  I don’t operate grills (and John doesn’t operate stoves).
3. What movie did you see most recently?
The last movie I saw in the theatre was Godzilla.  William is obsessed with Godzilla (I mean really obsessed–like he can reel off way more than you ever wanted to know on the subject, and he actually owns a bunch of the videos which we can either watch with subtitles or horribly dubbed).  He had been counting down the days for months.  It was entertaining, but the best part was sharing in his excitement.
4. Would you say your tendency is to over or under react to medical situations?
Honestly, I think I react correctly to them.  Most people would probably call that under-reacting but it all depends on perspective, doesn’t it?  Possibly because there were so many years that we had to pay out of pocket when we took the kids to the doctor, after once or twice of being told that “It’s a virus and there is nothing I can do; it has to run it’s course,” I developed a wait-and-see policy.  (Also, my kids are extraordinarily healthy–I am not exaggerating when I tell you that the last time Emily went to the doctor for illness she was TWO YEARS OLD.  And they’ve each had maybe one earache and no strep throat ever.)  I’m also pretty calm in general about medical things–like when William had his first (so far only) seizure, which is a pretty frightening thing to witness, I just said, “Wow, I think that’s a seizure.”  I didn’t freak out about it.  I recommend this book:
how to raise a healthy child
5. Do you squeeze the toothpaste tube or roll it?
I don’t think they will really roll any more, will they?  Not the way they used to when they were made of metal instead of plastic.  In any case, I was always a squeezer, although I used to squeeze around the middle as a child and probably wasted all kinds of toothpaste.
6. What are you doing for Father’s Day?
We all went to Mass together, including the one big kid who is currently a submarine Catholic who surfaces for special occasions.  Then we met my father, his wife, my sisters, and their families for brunch at a restaurant recommended by my sister, and that we had wanted to try.  It’s a pretty cool place with an interesting history.  It was originally a roadside place back when Kingston Pike was heavily traveled by vacationers.  Then the road was diverted, and the whole time I was growing up it was an upscale gift shop where you went to get really fancy wedding presents.  A few years ago it went out of business and was resurrected as a restaurant, albeit fancier than it was in its heyday.  I enjoyed my crabcakes on fried green tomatoes topped with poached eggs and hollandaise.  My little ones were not so thrilled as the french toast was made with blackberry bread and there were raisins in the cinnamon rolls.
And there you have it!  You can visit others who linked up here.

Answer Me This #7

It’s that time of the week again . . . time for Answer Me This, from Catholic All Year.
1. Do you have a land line?
Gracious, no.  Not in about two years.  I wanted to keep one, but we could never remember the number, and no one important ever called on it anyway.  So we got William a cell phone so he could call us if he was home alone, and we are now an all-cell family.
2. What is your least favorite food?
I love almost everything.  I mean, I eat rutabagas, and brussel sprouts, and cabbage, and other things most people think are yucky.  I can’t bring myself to eat liver or beets.  Beets taste like dirt to me, but I am still hoping to overcome that.
3. What’s on your summer reading list?
I don’t have a list, just a stack.  A very big stack that I add to faster than I subtract from it.  I went to McKay’s to get the kids movies today, and left with six or seven from the free bin.
4. Is there something that people consistently ask for your advice on? What is it?
A lot of people ask me for advice about a lot of things.  Top might be grammar, writing, and various other English related matters.
5. What’s the most physically demanding thing you’ve ever done?
Giving birth to my 13 lb. 5 oz. son, which was my first vaginal birth after three C-sections.
6. How do you feel about massages?
I’ve only ever had one, which was a gift from a friend when we did a spa weekend together.  It was fabulous.  If only they were free.
And there you have it!  Short and sweet.  Please visit the other posts in the linkup here, and add your own if you are so inclined!

Answer Me This #6

Once again, linking up with Kendra’s Catholic All Year.
1. Do you have a smart phone?
Yes. Oh, yes.  I resisted for a long time.  I said my flip phone was all I needed.  But when I became John’s official assistant, I also got the assistant iPhone.  I have become . . . quite attached to it.
2. Which is your favorite meal of the day?
Breakfast, especially if the coffee counts as part of that.  I wake up very hungry.  So eating then is especially satisfying.  It’s also very easy because I eat the same thing every day, and I’m alone and only feeding myself at that time.
3. Shower or bath?
What I usually do is shower, but I am fortunate to have a spa tub in my bathroom, which I love and use regularly.  With candles and bubbles . . . I read and take naps in there.  Seriously.

Spa Bath
Lorelei enjoying my bathtub

4. Think of a person you love. How many days have you been in love with that person?
If you begin from the day we started dating (and we were trading “I love yous” pretty soon thereafter) I’ve been in love with my husband for 9968 days.  Pretty impressive!
5. What’s the best church you’ve ever been inside?
If “best” means prettiest, the Basilica at Notre Dame has to be the one.
Basilica interior
Basilica interior

If “best” just means “best,” I’d say my own parish church every time.
6. Happy Feast of the Visitation! Has anyone ever come to help YOU?
Oh, goodness.  So many.  SO many.  My grandmother used to come and just spend days every time I had a baby.  My best friend from college came twice to help me–flying in from out of town to do so–once right after Teddy was born and once to help get the house ready before Lorelei arrived.  One more recent incident of note: when our house burned down we had friends who came in and organized the whole kitchen.  I had walking pneumonia and was exhausted so I just sat there and watched.
So there you have it!  Please visit the other posts in the link up, and it’s not too late to join in yourself, should you care to do so.

Answer Me This #5

Back with another episode of Answer Me This!  (Please visit Catholic All Year, the sponsor of this fun Q-and-A linkup!)
1. Beach or Mountains? Where would you rather be?
Right this minute, the beach, because it’s the beginning of summer.  And I do like to visit the beach once a year (generally we find time for a day at the shore when we are on our yearly Baltimore vacation).  But that’s really enough, and the people who want to spend their whole vacation at the beach every year baffle me.
John and I honeymooned in the mountains outside Gatlinburg.  If I could, I would build a cabin up there to retire in.  I love our mountains and realize that we are beyond lucky to live where we do.

Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains
Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains

2. Which is more fun: Christmas Eve, or Christmas morning?
I remember the magic of Christmas Eve when I was a child.  There was just nothing like lying in bed that night, not so much because of the anticipation over the gifts as the belief that Santa Claus was COMING TO MY HOUSE.  And I enjoy Christmas Eve very much–Mass, our annual dinner at the Olive Garden, opening and reading Christmas books.  Still, at this point it’s still a bit stressful, what with the need to get everyone to bed and the necessity of playing Santa and getting no sleep.  Plus there’s really nothing like watching your kids on Christmas morning, is there?  Remember when you were little and they told you that it was better to give than to receive? You didn’t believe it then but isn’t it amazing and wonderful when that actually comes true?
Christmas 1973
Me in 1973, believing in magic

3. What’s the most embarrassing childhood outfit you remember wearing?
Oh my.  My grandmother bought my clothes at Sears.  There was a lot of terry cloth and polyester.  I’m not really embarrassed by my childhood outfits but my friends made a lot of fun of the red hat I used to wear all the time.  I wish I had a picture.  I loved that hat and I saved it–I kept it with other keepsakes in my dresser drawer right up until the house burned down.
4. Your house is quiet, you don’t have to do work (housework included). What do you do?
BLOG.  And boy do I wish it happened more often. 🙁
5. What movie do you want to watch when you’re feeling under the weather?
It doesn’t occur to me to watch a movie when I’m under the weather.  However, strangely enough, I came down with the flu on Christmasnight, and my kids wanted to watch Moonstruck, which is actually my favorite movie ever, so that’s sort of an answer to the question.
 6. Did you have an American Girl doll when you were little? If so, which one?
Well, I’m dating myself here, but they had not been invented yet.  I would have loved loved loved to have one.  I loved old-fashioned things and was always drawing pictures of girls in 19th century garb.  If I COULD have had one, I would have picked Felicity.  I did have the joy of being able to give one to Emily for her 7th birthday (Samantha) and then there’s spoiled little Lorelei who has three of them! (I only bought one of them, I’ll have you know.)
So there you have it!  Click over to Kendra’s blog and answer the questions yourself, if you want to.