Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge: A recipe for contentment

From this Side of the Pond

1. When you think about your future what do you fear most? Hope for the most?

"He that is down needs fear no fall,
He that is low no pride;
He that is humble ever shall
Have God to be his guide.

I am content with what I have,
Little be it or much;
And, Lord, contentment still I crave,
Because thou savest such.

Fulness to such a burden is
That go on pilgrimage:
Here little, and hereafter bliss,
Is best from age to age."

~~ John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress (Part II)

2. September is National Chicken Month. How often is chicken on the menu at your house? What's a favorite dish made with chicken? What's something you're a 'chicken' about doing or trying?

We used to have chicken quite often, but lately it's been expensive. Sometimes Mr. Fixit buys a whole small chicken and we do it in the slow cooker, with a little seasoning or maybe barbecue sauce. Lydia had a friend here for dinner on the weekend and I made Ten Napkins Sticky Chicken, something we hadn't had for a long time but that everybody likes.

You could say I am a chicken when it comes to climbing high things or going too close to the edge. Like on apartment balconies, ahem. I prefer to admire the view from inside.

3. What are three things you don't own but wish you did?

That's an interesting question. Here's Mr. Fixit's list:

"A garage with a hoist, and a 1969 Nikko amplifier."

Here's my list:

My Samsung tablet is going to need replacing soon, so that's on my wish list.

If I ever take another more-than-overnight trip, I would like to have one of the newer-style bags with a handle and wheels.

But honestly...there isn't much else. When I went to Toronto last week, I had half an hour to stroll through the big-name stores we don't have here, before heading to the subway station under the mall. When I was younger, going to that mall with my parents was a rare and special treat. Even when I lived in the city as a student, I enjoyed browsing through the shops full of things I couldn't afford.  This time, I left there thinking, "I'm glad I already like my own things." (And that wasn't just because I was heading to the Tiny Wardrobe Tour.)

4. Would you rather be a jack of all trades or a master of one? Elaborate.  If you answered one, which one?

Mr. Fixit says "Master of electronics." Which I think he is already, but he's also handy at other things.

Me...I'm not sure how to answer that. Definitely not all trades, maybe good at a couple.

5. Ketchup or mustard? On what?

Ketchup: mixed with brown sugar, baked under Leanne Ely's Upside-Down Meatloaf.

Mustard: on Oktoberfest sausage on a bun.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

I just finished re-reading Little Women, the first part. (Like The Pilgrim's Progress, there's a lot of argument over whether you include the second part in the general title.) It wasn't a book I loved when I was growing up, although I think I did plow dutifully through it once, along with Eight Cousins and Jack and Jill. I was more of an Anne fan. This time through, I was looking for different things; and I was surprised at a few details that don't usually make it into filmed versions. The long serious conversations, mostly. The mailbox in their back yard--Alcott seemed to love that kind of detail, and there was a similar setup in Jack and Jill, where they sent "things" (we are not given all the details) in a basket across a clothesline. I also liked the picnic with their British counterparts, where every character contributes the next part of an ad-libbed story. It was a clever way for her to reinforce each one's traits and point of view.  Again, it's the sort of scene that comes up in Jack and Jill (a lengthy play-by-play of their debating society meeting and then a dramatic performance), and in An Old-Fashioned Girl (a detailed description of the conversations at a young working women's lunch). Conversations and long descriptions of what games they played or who did what on stage are the sort of thing abridgers like to axe...too long, don't move the plot...but I think they sometimes show the author at her most relaxed, and they give us some unintended but genuine "peeps" into what people of the time did and thought--when they weren't trying to be too high-minded.

Linked from The Wednesday Hodgepodge at From This Side of the Pond.


Anonymous said...

I find I don't want a ton of things these days either. I still like shopping but I don't have a long list of wants.

Joyce said...

I should re-read Little Women too. I think I'd enjoy it more now, but like you I have always loved Anne (with an e!)