Friday, October 22, 2010

Eight Questions

Here's a new one for me . . . My friend and First Mate on the TOS Crew, Shannon, "tagged" me. At first, I wasn't sure what that meant, but apparently there's a get-to-know-you blogging trend out there in which people are tagged to answer a series of 8 questions, and then they tag 8 other people with 8 more questions of their own. Since I haven't got much else to post about right now, and I like Shannon ;),  here are my answers to her questions:

1. Toddlers or Teens? Which are harder and why?

I actually laughed when I read that one. I'm in the throes of both, and it ain't always pretty.

Both ages are hard, as far as I'm concerned, and for a lot of the same reasons. Toddlers can drain the life out of you because they are so demanding of attention and time and energy; but then again, it's the same with teens (just in different ways). Toddlers manifest what might be interpreted as rebellious attitudes as they discover their own personhood; teens are wont to chafe at the bit in ways that we might label rebellious as they, too, strive to figure out who they are in this world. (I'm learning, though, that "rebellious" is often an inaccurate descriptor. It's sometimes more about an inability to communicate needs in an appropriate way -- not an outright rejection of how they've been raised.) Toddlers need to be repeatedly directed with grace and love so that they can learn how to conduct themselves in a variety of social settings; teens, too, need a constant out-pouring of grace and love as they wend their way independently through the treacherous waters of the adolescent social scene. In many ways, the difficulties we encounter with toddlers and teens are related to the same issue -- their quest for independence. I think both also want die-hard proof that we really do love them, "no matter what." Enabling them to come into their own is often nerve-wracking, draining, and heart-wrenching -- but that's why they say parenting is the hardest job in the world, I guess!

2. What is your favourite Christmas tradition?
That question is much easier to answer! For years now, we have been enjoying an advent tradition that revolves around a series of books: Jotham's Journey, Tabitha's Travels, and Bartholomew's Passage. The stories of these books are interwoven, so the characters appear in each to different degrees, and they are full of action and suspense. (I wish I could spell the anticipatory sound with which DH concludes the reading of each chapter. Each one is a cliff-hanger that makes us all want to hear the next chapter as well!) I'm going to save the other details about the series for a future post about our family's Christmas traditions. But our readings are accompanied by the lighting of advent candles, and each child goes to bed with a personal candle in a votive cup by which they may go to sleep if they wish. (Usually they prefer the fun of blowing it out!) On Sunday nights during advent, our readings are accompanied by a chocolate fondue! Woo hoo! Is it any wonder that it's one of my favourite Christmas traditions?

3. What do you do (if anything) for regular, physical exercise?
Ya -- lately, not so much -- unless you count climbing the stairs multiple times per day, lugging laundry, and doing housework. I used to run; now I don't. I'd like to get back into walking, and then maybe running again, but time is the factor. It's hard to get out for personal fitness during the school year. That might sound like an excuse -- but that's just the way it is.

4. Country/Traditional/Eclectic or Modern – which is YOUR home decorating style?
 We're pretty eclectic, I'd say. We used to be drawn to all things Victorian, but not anymore. We decorate with whatever we like without worrying about whether or not it fits a particular style. Sometimes it's a country washboard and tin watering can on an old wooden box; sometimes it's sleek, silver candlesticks on black, glittery fabric; sometimes it's crystal dishes and bone china. Often it's themed for the season:

Sometimes it's just plain, old clutter:

5. Baths or Showers? Which do you prefer and why?
Baths -- for sure. I usually shower because it's faster, but I grew up with baths in a clawfoot tub. When I was practice teaching in university, my SIL introduced me to bubble baths by candlelight and soft music. That is the ultimate in relaxation!
6. Have you ever lived abroad? Where and for how long?
Sounds lovely -- but I never have.

7. What is your favourite season and why?
Well, I pretty much like every season except winter. Christmas (yes, a white one) is the only thing that redeems winter for me. I love spring because I like seeing nature come to life again -- and it means summer vacation is around the corner. I love summer because it means the freedom of school being out, though I no longer experience those "lazy, hazy days" I remember from my youth. I love fall because of the crisp weather and beautiful colours, as well as our local fair and Thanksgiving.
8. Are your parents still alive? If not, what do you miss most about them -- and if yes, have you told them today that you love them?
My dad died when I was in fourth year university. He was only in my life for the first 8 or 9 years of my life, so there's not much that I miss about him. If I mourn anything, it's what might have been rather than what was. Since his death, I have become much closer to my sisters, and I'm grateful for that because they're pretty awesome people! (We have two brothers, too, but they're not really around.)

My mom is still very much alive, and lives not too far away, though we don't see each other as often as we'd like. I try to tell her I love her every time I talk to her :) You can get a glimpse of how I feel about her by reading my altered journal post.

I don't think I know enough bloggers personally to feel comfortable tagging them, but if there's anyone out there that wants to answer my questions, leave a link to your blog in my comments and I'll post a direct link to your answers here so people can visit you at your blog :) Sound like a plan? (That way, more than 8 of you can play, if you want -- or should I say, " if you dare"! ;)
1. If you had a whole day to spend as you wished, what would you do?
2. If you could change the way you did something in your life, what would it be, and how would you make it different?
3. What features or qualities of the Creator do you see in yourself?
4. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be, and why?
5. What items are on your desk, and why are they significant?
6. Identify one unspoken priority in your life and explain how those around you know it's a priority.
7. What does the phrase, "Take care of yourself" mean to you?
8. Describe something beautiful in your life.

OK -- sorry -- that sounds like an assignment for English class doesn't it?!?!? Well, some things are hard to eradicate from one's way of thinking ;) Aren't you glad I didn't ask you personally to play? ;) I do hope some of you will rise to the challenge:)


  1. I love it!! You went above and beyond the call of duty on that one... another gold star for my CrewSister! :o)

  2. Aw, shucks! I'm a Wemmick, though, so the stars won't stick ;)

    No really -- I DO appreciate the love, Shannon :)


Sincere responses . . .

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