Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge - May 17, 2017

1. May 17th is National Pack Rat Day. Sidebar-should we be celebrating this? Hmmm...

Are you a pack rat? Even if you're not a full fledged pack rat, most people have one thing or another they struggle to part with. Tell us what's yours.

Up until today, I never heard of National Pack Rat Day or anyone celebrating it. When I was growing up, my parents (who were born during the Great Depression) kept a lot of things on hand "just in case we need them someday."

There were plastic frosting containers - neatly washed and de-labeled - that they kept for freezing applesauce; drawers filled with fabric (for making clothes for us kids as well as doll clothes); and a box of rags (ragged clothes that were torn into smaller pieces that were used for dusting and cleaning the house).

As an adult and parent, I found myself having some of the same "collections" (e.g., plastic containers to store leftover food that we didn't eat and would use for another meal; fabric in bins; craft supplies). When Sophia and Olivia were younger, there were many toys and clothes...more so than they needed.

In 2012, I got rid of a lot of items that we no longer needed. A lot we donated or recycled; and there was - sadly - a lot of trash. Many of the items had served their purpose and we no longer needed them.

The things that I am struggling to part with now are items from my parents' home. I've been able to nicely integrate many of the items they had into our home after they died (in 2012 and 2015). However, I still am working on one room in the house (my office) that has a lot of items in the closet from them.

2. What are two things you know you should know how to do, but you don't?

How to fix the lawn tractor if it breaks down and how to knit.

3. Do you crave sugar?

Crave? No. Enjoy? Yes.

Do you add sugar to your coffee and/or tea?

I don't drink coffee or tea. I drink hot chocolate so I get some calcium each day. That, I'm sure, has more than enough sugar in it.

Do you use artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes?

No. I go for the real (unhealthy) thing.

When dining out is dessert a given?

It depends on where we go. We don't go out to eat very often. When we do, it is generally to grab a quick bite to eat at Subway or to celebrate a milestone in Sophia's and Olivia's lives.

Typically, the girls enjoy going to the Chinese buffet for a special occasion. There's a soft-serve ice cream machine there with chocolate sauce and these covered peanuts that are sweet. That's about the only time I eat dessert after a meal in a restaurant.

Are you someone who has slain the sugar dragon, and if so tell us how you did it.

Not even close on this one.

4. What's a trend it took a while for you to come round to, but now you can't imagine living without?

I think I'm out of the loop on this one. When I think of trends, I think of fashion. That's just not something that I follow too closely.

5. What's a song that reminds you of a specific incident in your life? Please elaborate.

Under Pressure by Queen is a song that I would listen to often on my way to take care of my Dad and Mom when they were in the end stage of their lives.

As much as I was honored to be able to provide the care they needed at home; and then visit my Dad when he was hospitalized and at the nursing home during the final three months of his life - it was a highly-stressful time and I constantly felt under extreme pressure.

My favorite part of the song is the instrumental introduction.

Here are the lyrics:

Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you, no man ask for
Under pressure that burns a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets

It's the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming, "Let me out!"
Tomorrow gets me higher
Pressure on people - people on streets

Chippin' around, kick my brains 'round the floor
These are the days - it never rains but it pours
People on streets - people on streets

It's the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming, "Let me out!"
Tomorrow gets me higher, higher, higher...
Pressure on people - people on streets

Turned away from it all like a blind man
Sat on a fence but it don't work
Keep coming up with love but it's so slashed and torn
Why, why, why?


Insanity laughs under pressure we're cracking
Can't we give ourselves one more chance?
Why can't we give love that one more chance?
Why can't we give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love?..

'Cause love's such an old-fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night
And love dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves
Under pressure
Under pressure

My Dad and Mom with Sophia and Olivia by Minnehaha Falls.
This is where they had their first date.
On June 11, 2011, I took them around Minneapolis to see places
that would remind them of their wedding day.
It was their last wedding anniversary together
before my Dad died in January 2012.
We enjoyed a special lunch together, went on a walk, and
stopped at Dairy Queen.
It was a bittersweet day filled with a lot of love and memories.

As I read the lyrics through, though today, I realized that the ending, too, is particularly relevant and meaningful to what I was going through. I never realized it at the time...but that whole last stanza just stopped me in my tracks as I read it. It brought a flood of memories back about my Dad who was struggling with Alzheimer's Disease, and my Mom who was deadline with diabetes, blindness, and a host of other health issues.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

About two years ago this week, we were working on the first barn quilt that Olivia designed and involved over 100 volunteers in during the two-year Barn Quilt Trail project. On this particular day, it was about 35 degrees...just so frigid! In contrast, this past weekend was in the upper 70s.

At any rate, we weren't able to do any painting, but we were able to do some woodworking and filling the holes where the screws attached the framing boards to the main barn quilt.

This past December, we were finally able to finish the building, painting, and installation of 18 barn quilts. There's still some work that we need to do on the website and with printed brochures. Otherwise, all the barn quilts are in place and can be seen now.


Anonymous said...

Being a bit younger that Queen son was relevant to me in hgh school (though it was old then). I used to listen to it whenever I was stressed about homework. LOL.

Trudy Mintun said...

It's always nice to read another blogger from Minnesota. The falls are an especially pretty area of Minneapolis.
The barn quilt is a lovely idea. Did you hang them throughout Minnesota?

Harvest Moon by Hand said...

Trudy - the barn quilts that my daughter designed and painted (or had volunteers help with some of them) are only in Washington County. There are other barn quilt trails in Minnesota. There are six different trails: . If you click on the county that is highlighted in yellow, it will bring you to a page with more information about that county's barn quilt trail. Ours is in Washington County.

Katie Clooney said...

I love that story about you taking your parents for a memory tour. They're lucky to have such a thoughtful daughter. Have a wonderful week.

Elizabeth Day said...

That was such a thoughtful thing to do for your parents while they were able to enjoy the shared memories. We never stop missing them though do we. Enjoyed my visit with you today.

Nonnie said...

I have never heard a song by Queen, I think being from the older generation of the 60's. Those lyrics are stressful. Your memory of your parents and their last anniversary together is sweet. It is a very heavy load sometimes to be caregiver. The quilt is pretty. Your girls are darling.

Cranberry Morning said...

The end of life issues with your parents sounds familiar. I wonder how many of us took care of/are taking care of our aging parents who suffer from Alzheimers or other debilitating issues. My parents were in a nursing home, but I visited 4 times a week, at least. It's a job to keep on top of things and to honor our parents by being a conscientious advocate for them in every possible way. The barn quilt trail is an interesting concept and catching on here as well.

Mrs.T said...

What a lovely memory of a special day with your parents. It was very thoughtful of you to think of that and carry it out as a gift to them.

Rita said...

That was a sweet anniversary memory of and for your folks.
I never knew the words to this song even though I have heard it several times because I can't understand half what they are saying--LOL! Very different feeling to it when you know the words. I can see where it was fitting at the time. Absolutely.

Lisa said...

I immediately had to google barn quilts - what a cool idea. I had never heard of a barn quilt. The day with your parents sounds like it was so special and I love the picture of them with your girls. Thanks for visiting my blog today!!

Empty Nester said...

Such an amazing project! I'd love to be able to see it! I haven't had to face the end of life thing with my parents yet, thankfully. I am not a caregiver and I have no idea how it's going to go. I have so much respect for those who can do it and have gone through it.