17 May 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

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.

Merriam-Webster says a pack rat is: “a person who collects or hoards especially unneeded items”. Who defines what a person needs? I think the person who is collecting or hoarding has to decide whether they need it or not. Maybe *you* wouldn’t understand why I need that one strand of Easter grass but I think that I need it because it marks the first Easter of our first born.

Sure, there are things around here that we don’t need and I am working my way through those things. But, the things that I hold onto and don’t want to toss, even if I am not using them, fill a need for me.

I collect angels. There are a million books and magazines around here. I have artwork and toys from the kids when they were little along with some of their baby clothes.  I have probably 9 zillion yards of cloth that I will never get to using and about the same in yarn that I do stand a chance of using. 

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

The number one answer to this question is “make gravy”. I am 51 years old, for goodness’ sake and I still can’t make it like my granny or mama or aunt could. I am queen of sliceable gravy.

With having had a daddy that was a mechanic and a father-in-law that owned a Western Auto store, changing the oil in my car is something that I should know how to do, but I don’t. And why don’t I? For one thing, neither of them ever taught me how to do it and another, it looked like it would be icky, messy business to do and I don’t like to get sticky. Besides, that’s what husbands are for, changing the oil, that is. They don’t need to be sticky either.

3. Do you crave sugar? Do you add sugar to your coffee and/or tea? Do you use artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes? When dining out is dessert a given? Are you someone who has slain the sugar dragon, and if so tell us how you did it.

I don’t know that I crave it, necessarily. I have moments when I need sweet stuff and moments when I need salty. If they meet up on the same snack item, even better. But, I don’t crave it.

When we have tea (iced, of course!), we used an artificial sweetener because David is a diabetic. However, my preferred iced tea is made with sugar and is of the high-test variety like my Granny Gunter used to make.

No, dessert isn’t a given if we eat out. It is a special treat on occasion. Usually if we eat out, I am doing good to finish the meal itself.

I slew the sugar dragon the summer that I almost died (2010). However, after the tumors were removed, a lot of unhealthy bad habits came back. Had the hospital actually fed me real food during my stay, that probably wouldn’t have happened. I was so hungry by the time I got back home that I ate everything I could get my hands on. Though I battled extremely high blood pressure that summer and was on blood pressure medication, all the hospital fed me was salt water. All it did was make me throw up and totally undid those months of doing without salt. The very last night I was there, I demanded real food. That is why it was my last night. They did feed me, but then sent me home because they didn’t want to have to do it again. That hospital is out of business now.

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

Instagram would probably be the closest to fitting this category. I *can* live without it, but I really would rather not. Seeing all of the beautiful flower and animal photos inspires me to keep trying, in spite of my bad vision and shaky hands.

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

“Endless Love” with Lionel Richie and Diana Ross reminds me of our first date. David and I went to see the movie on my 16th birthday. Looking back, it was not at all an appropriate first date movie, but the song became our song and always reminds me of that time in our lives.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I really, really need a home out in the boonies. I had the perfect cardi couple picture lined up and the neighbors pulled into their yard honking their car horn. The cardis flew off, shot lost. GRRR

I did get a few pictures of the wrens tending to the babies. If you visit my Instagram feed, you can see a video of the wren babies.

Carolina Wren ©17 May 2017 Suzanne G. McClendon

Have a blessed day, y'all!

"Pack Rat." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 17 May 2017.

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  1. Really enjoyed the questions and your answers! I am not a pack rat. Hubby is pack rat enough for both of us. But his habit has saved us in a pinch on many occasions. - I have never mastered sharpening a knife or cutting up a whole chicken. - I like all my drinks sweet. Food wise, I seldom get or eat a dessert.
    Faith: #TheWordonWords at Life & Faith in Caneyhead.

    1. Thanks, Barbara. I think it is good to save some things for the very reason that it might save one in a pinch. That has been the case for us on several occasions.

      I have trouble cutting up a chicken, too. David does our knife sharpening. It is easier for me to cook if I have all of my fingers. haha

      What is your favorite sweet drink?

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Have a blessed day!

  2. I'm 65 and I still can't make gravy! That is a lovely song. What a great photo you took!

    1. Thanks! I love trying to get pictures of the birds out there. The wrens approach their nest like the cops going after a bad guy, so they don't sit still for long. Sometimes I get lucky and one is clear enough to post, though none will ever be totally sharp from me, thanks to shaky hands.

      Why do you think it is that you can't make gravy either? Part of my problem is that I can never remember the proper order in which to do the whole process. The other part is, I think, that maybe I'm just not supposed to make gravy. haha

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Have a blessed day!

  3. I haven't joined Instagram.

    Good answers on #2. I don't know how to make gravy either and have never changed my oil

    1. Do you have a particular reason for not joining Instagram? I didn't join it at first because I was doing good just trying to keep up with everything else and didn't figure I'd have time for another one. In the end, I don't deal with Facebook anymore and don't spend all day on Instagram either. I like it because I get almost instant feedback on my pictures and I get ideas on other things to photograph. There are some absolutely amazing images there!

      So, now there's three of us that don't know how to make gravy. Do you buy the gravy in jars or just do without? We buy the jars of gravy, but also sometimes by the gravy mix packets. There is a 100% success rate with the jars of gravy. :) Most of the time, things go well with the packets, too, but not always, not with the brown gravy. I haven't had a failure with the country-style white gravy or the biscuit gravy from the packets.

      As long as there's a place like E-Z Lube, I don't foresee ever changing the oil myself. What about you?

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Have a blessed day!

  4. Do you make gravy with flour or cornstarch? I have found cornstarch keeps it smooth. Just bring pan drippings ( from turkey, chicken or beef) to a boil with a little water then mix a few T of cornstarch in 1 cup of cold water to dissolve and pour into the pot and boil for 1 minute.

    1. I've tried it with flour. I don't think that I've tried it with cornstarch. Does it taste different with cornstarch versus the flour? I might have to give your instructions a try. Thanks!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Have a blessed day! :)

  5. I hate to admit it but my hubby makes better gravy than I do and also knows how to change oil in the car
    come see our answers at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

    1. There's no shame in him making better gravy than you. I'm sure there are many things that you can do better than him. It's all teamwork. :)

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Have a blessed day. :)


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