Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Measure of a Friend

Around March I attended a Pampered Chef party hosted by my friend Elizabeth. It seemed that after every item the demonstrator displayed, I would comment "I have that; but I never use it." This brought back memories of the very first Pampered Chef party I ever attended - about 15 years ago.

A co-worker invited me to attend the party with her. And after every demonstration of pie-related paraphernalia, Karen would say, "I have that." and "I bought that." etc, etc, etc. After about eight "I-have-that's", Karen turned to me and said "Of course I never bake pies."

A month after the party, Karen came in to work with a picture of a beautiful 2-crust apple pie that she had baked. She took a picture and had it developed (remember this was the pre-digital age) as proof to her friends that she had actually baked a pie (using all her pie utensils, of course).

Flash forward to March, 2007. At Elizabeth's Pampered Chef party, they demonstrated a utensil I did not have and had never seen before. It was a really cool adjustable measuring spoon. I had to have one and I figured Karen could use one as well, so I ordered two. When I received the order, I put Karen's spoon to the side, waiting for the chance to mail it to her at her Texas home. Before that could happen, though, Dora found it and chewed it to bits.

Because I really wanted Karen to have one, I reordered another. For various reasons, the order did not come in until last week. Elizabeth gave it to me at church on Sunday and I carried it in my purse until Thursday, when I realized it might get broken. So I put it on the dining room table with the intention of mailing it on Saturday. I even found a nice little box in which to mail it. However, when I came home from work last evening, I found spoon #2 in chewed up pieces on the living room floor.

I think I'm just going to send my own measuring spoon to Karen. I really think she'll like it and besides...I don't really use mine.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Twist on Tennyson

Tennyson once wrote "Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." Is this true? Or more to my own experience, is it "better to have loved and lost than never to have been loved at all"?

I know I've been loved - by my family, my friends and even, as much as they are able, my dogs. But obviously, these are not the love relationships to which I am referring.

I've known people who've been in: good relationships, bad relationships, good relationships turned bad, good relationships that turned bad that turned good, bad breakups, and all the other possible combinations. I don't know if relationships are worth the agony they can bestow. I have no personal experience, and so my mind and heart are overwhelmed with questions, the loudest of which is - is it better to have loved and lost than never to have been loved at all? I've been told by people (who I assume are trying to make me feel better) that this is God's protection. I think it's just sad and lonely.

If anybody has any wisdom to impart, I'm open.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Age Spots

I've noticed in recent years that the veins in my hands are more prominent. In an article I recently read, a dermatologist explained that this is a sign of aging. Apparently, the hands are one area that actually lose fat as one gets older.

Many of the aging signs mentioned in the aforementioned article have been concerns for me - neck-creep, frown lines, the lines from my nose to my mouth... to the extent that I have thought that if I had the disposable income and could stomach the idea of needles in my face, I might seriously consider Botox. In fact, I have read enough on the subject that I actually know that those lines from my nose to the corners of my mouth are called naso-labial folds.

However, despite their age-related cause, I actually like the prominent veins and tendons in my hands. I've found myself flexing my hands in such a way as to make them appear. It wasn't until a few days ago that I understood why I liked them so much. As I was hugging one of the Barblings, I realized my mother's hands were like this. This is how her hands looked when she hugged me, held my hand, stroked my head. I remember those tendons and veins popping out as she mixed meatloaf and stuffing (with her hands, of course), as she turned pages in the books she read, as she sewed buttons on my blouses.

I'm not much like my mother in her temperament - she was much calmer than I, better organized, a better listener, a better housekeeper. But if all I've gotten from her are her hands, I show them off proudly.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I participated in my first ever bike race on Saturday, along with the Barblings 3, in the Highmark Quad Competition. I finished 341 out of 369 competitors; the majority of the 28 people I "beat" were under the age of 12 and I highly suspect that the adult contingent of those 28 were parents of the under 12 set, who faithfully stayed with their children. I, on the other hand, left my Barbling #2 behind - but I'll save that story for another day. The point is that all of us finished and did better than we ever expected.

BTW - Dad Lane finished in a blazing 40:28 (and thought he should have done better) and then turned around and rode with Barbling #3 to the finish; then turned around again to find Barbling #2 and ride her to the finish. Mom Lane, the wisest of the group, was team photographer.

Finally, another member of Faith Reformed, Elder Swanson (by virtue of his office, not his age) also competed and blew us all off the road at 37:13.

Next year, I think we should have a Faith Reformed team. Anyone else care to sign up?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Quote for the Day

"Humility is like underwear; essential, but indecent if it shows." -Helen Nielson