Friday, March 30, 2012

Tag! To Much Information Coming Now.

Bonnie at Living Life tagged me last week to answer some questions - a sort of getting to know you better project.

I am off work for a couple of days while Mitchell and I are spending a long weekend in Ocean City, Maryland, where he is being voted out of office, so I have a bit of time to lounge around and play tag with her.  So, let's see what she wants to know ...

1.  What is your passion?  Do you have more than one?  Well, let's start with something easy...  I've always admired people who have a strong passion and act on it, and have always wanted one myself, but am not sure there has ever been anything that rose to that level.  I  hope when I retire that I will find something that allows me to help others in some way; something to which I can volunteer my time.  I have a couple of civil justice issues in mind, and a nearby botanical garden, but have not yet started giving real time to them.  So, no, Bonnie.  I really don't have a passion ... not yet.

2.  If a movie were to be made about your life, who would be cast to play you?  Sally Field.  Hope she's available.

3. You've won a vacation sweepstakes, do you choose a mountain resort or a beachside cottage? Where in the world would we find you? Look in France and Italy. A few days in Tuscany, then a few in Rome and then finish up with a few days in Florence. Then zip over to spend a day or two with Sara Louise in La Petite Village (I'll bring a pound of Starbucks), call Tish Jett and ask her to meet me in Paris for lunch and a brocante weekend with Sande. We've spent a lot of beach vacations on and under the water, so it's definitely off to the the Continent for me. Thanks for the tickets!

4.  Describe what makes a great book.  Is it  prefect writing, a great story, good character development, a popular author, or just a great escape?  Or, all of the above?  Gee, Bonnie, you are dead set on exposing what a shallow person I am.  I love mysteries, legal thrillers, action adventure, biographies, and the occasional erotica.  A good plot is necessary, good sentence structure and grammar required, and the occasional hot sex.  (You did ask!)  Just discovered Alafair Burke who can spin a good, technical, legal who-dunnit with lots of twists and turns, so I am trying to read all of her books right now.  I will try almost anything ... once.

5.  When you need to leave stress behind, how do you decompress?  You know the answer to this one - in the garden or on the tennis court.  Am a lousy tennis player and have trouble keeping partners (they all improve and move up to better competition!) but I love an hour of hitting that little yellow ball around.  The garden is always good for de-stressing.  Even a few minutes of deadheading perennials, or weeding the cutting patch, or just feeding the fish in the pond will calm me down.  The next six months will be heaven because I can carry a glass of wine outside and just absorb the calm - nightly.

6.  What is your style.. classic, sporty, bohemian, or trendy?  What one item can you not live without? Definitely classic.   I long to be bohemian, but just cannot pull it off.  Have learned a ton over the last few weeks from the very helpful Vivienne about mixing it up and making my very basic wardrobe expand to do double duty, so I am now a much more hip classic.  Can't live without a sweater or jacket close at hand.  Always chilly!  Always.

7.  Tell me about the teacher who had the most profound influence on the person you are today.  Not all teachers are in the classroom.  Lucille Lee - high school math teacher extraordinaire.  Mrs. Lee taught me that girls can be good in math and science and be proud of it. Before the feminist revolution girls did home ec and English - not math.  She encouraged me to look outside of stereotypical careers.  She was tough, but she was wonderful.

8.  What was your favorite book as a child or teenager?  How did it affect what you read today?  Is it still a favorite? Interesting question and I love the answer.  I read every Nancy Drew mystery there was, and today I love .... well, see #4.  I also loved my Dad's Hardy Boys mysteries.  Seems I was patterned and didn't know it until today.  They tell me I started reading at 5 and have not yet stopped.
9.  Here in the south there is the old rule of not wearing linen before Easter.  We have about two weeks before Easter.  Are you a traditionalist or do you throw the rules out the window? Clearly Bonnie lives farther south than I, because we don't wear linen until the first of May!  The thing about tradition is that it makes things easy.  You don't have to think or to make your own decisions, you just do what "we have always done".  

That's ok for clothing, but not so good in life.  I tend to push the envelope; to ask why and why not?; to be a crusader rabbit for things that I think are not just or fair.  Heck, I'm pussyfooting around the truth ... I'm a flaming liberal and I push everyone's buttons!

10.  You are hosting a small dinner party.  Do you allow your guest in the kitchen and make preparation part of the party, or is it all your show?  How about the clean up? For me it's all about keeping it simple and the focus on the people.  We have a great room  floor plan so everyone is close to the kitchen, but I normally have everything just about ready so we don't have to spend much last minute time putting it together.  I'd rather enjoy my guests than produce a big show, but I do let folks help bring it to the table.  Mitchell is great on clean up!

11.  Why did you begin your blog?  Has it turned out as you had hoped?  Have you discovered anything about yourself?  First, the only blog I had even read was Drawing In, in which I had a personal interest.  I didn't have a clue what it was all about.  I had this fantasy of writing erudite essays, but it didn't work out that way.  

Four years and more than 300 posts later, I still struggle for a point of view or a voice or just some focus for my blog.  I admire Small But Charming, Living a Dream and 66 Square Feet [plus many others], who manage to say something interesting in very few words, and 400 Wake-Ups that told a real and meaningful story, and Sam who shares her soul while giving new meaning to the term "wine blog".  I want to do something more than chronicle my life - that seems awfully self centered - but that's what tends to happen.  

I have learned that I do better with more structure.  If someone would just give me writing assignments, I would be happy as a bug, but deciding what to write about is way more difficult than the writing itself.   In the future, I would like to settle into a pattern of some sort (Wednesday Workdays is a first step).  In a couple of years my life is going to take a major turn.  I hope that will be a catalyst for change here on the garden bench, too. 

But most important of all, I have met a wonderful group of new friends.  People about whom I care; people I look forward to communicating with via comments; people who enrich my life; people I can count on when I need a bit of help.  You know who you are.  And, I hope you know I cherish our time together.  And, I never expected that!

 Now, if I played the game by the rules (see #9) I would call on a handful of you to answer some questions of mine.  But I haven't thought of the questions yet, so I will make that another post. 

Happy weekend.