Friday, December 6, 2013

Let's Liebster it Up!

Lisa and The Meaning of Me was oh, so generous and encouraging to nominate me for a Liebster award. In case you don't know, liebster means "boyfriend, sweetheart, darling, or beloved." Not sure which Lisa meant for me. Boyfriend, probably.

I actually had an inkling as to what liebster meant because my high school history teacher and Academic Decathlon coach had a dog named Liebchen. The Academic Decathlon team met at her house in the evenings, and this award conjures up memories of cookies and the Camp David Accords.

But this assignment has been a challenge for me. Which eleven facts and answers reveal just enough about me? What are my most interesting traits? Not sure I nailed it, but I tried. "'Course you always try."

So, first of all, eleven facts:

1. My favorite people in the world are members of my family. I have good friends, but not one I'd choose to spend time with over a parent, sibling, nephew/niece, aunt, uncle, or cousin. Sorry, friends.

2. Speaking of family, I am distantly related to both Buffalo Bill Cody and a poor, young soldier in the Alamo who traveled from TN with Davy Crockett. Rebellion runs in my veins. Though, in me, it is a quiet rebellion.

3. One of my favorite family traditions is with the Italian side of my family. Aunts, uncles, and cousins all participate in ravioli (rav) making. Some make dough, some roll dough, some make balls of filling (the filling is made in advance), some place the balls within the pasta, and some seal the edges. The lowliest worker stabs each completed rav with a needle.

4. I would choose to be cold rather than wear a coat. I hate layers. I only give in when it's really cold or if I'll have to be outside for awhile.

5. I have moderate scoliosis. I wore a pink back brace at night that bent my spine the opposite directions of its curves when I was a teenager. The scoliosis never gave me any pain until I got pregnant.

6. I gave birth to both my babies at home in my bed (on purpose with a midwife). No meds, no nothing. I'm fortunate to have inherited short labor genes (six and four hours) from my mama and to have had relatively small babies.

7. My brother, sister, and I once invented a card game somewhere in Italy. It is named Boechlin, for reasons to complicated to explain, and several game plays are named after characters from our childhoods.

8. I can quote quite a few poems from memory, most from A Child's Garden of Verses. When I was a teenager (sleeping in my back brace), my father would wake me up in the mornings by choosing one of the poems from the Little Golden Book on my bedside table and reading (or reciting--I got this memorization thing from him) all of the poem but the last line or couplet. I couldn't stand to leave it unfinished so I would murmur out the final line(s) into my pillow. It doesn't get any cooler than that for a teenager.

9. I once used the bathroom with Lucinda Williams, who is also one of my favorite musicians. I still think "Car Wheels" is her best album, though the Dude disagrees.

10. I have truly unattractive feet. I managed to inherit the worst traits of my parents' feet. My toenails curve up to grow perpendicular from my feet (mother), and I have large bunions (father). At one point in my life, I toyed with the idea that since they were so ugly, I shouldn't wear sandals. No go, though. I don't much care for shoes, and I go barefoot whenever I can possibly get away with it (and maybe when I shouldn't).

A pedicure would help.

I read a book this fall in which the narrator described another character's toenails as "too friendly" because they pointed up. I like that. I have excessively friendly toenails.

11. Laura Ingalls, Anne Shirley, and Jo March were hugely important in my childhood. Then in high school I came across Elizabeth Bennett. It wasn't until many, many years later that I realized what feminists those ladies were. They all chafed under the restrictions placed on their gender in their times and pushed the boundaries when they could. Considering #8 below, which I actually answered before writing this, I'd say they had a profound effect on my personality.

And, secondly, Lisa's questions:

1. If you had to choose, would you rather give up your sense of sight or your sense of hearing?


Get it?

But, yes, I would give up my hearing. My sight as always been excellent, and my hearing is already going at the ripe old age of 37, so I might as well stick with the trend.

2. What is your favorite time of day? Why?

Whatever time I crawl into my bed and to fall asleep. No explanation necessary.

3. What is your favorite article of clothing?

I love to dress up for short periods of time. A dress, heels, the whole shebang. But I think my favorite clothes are my pajamas. They vary during the year and are either warm and cozy or light and cool. They are never constricting. Plus, if I'm wearing my pajamas, bedtime is surely near.

4. What household chore would you rather not do ever again?

What I really want to write here is pumping gas, but I'm not sure it fits as a household chore. For the record, though, I detest doing so, mainly because it always interferes with my plan. I don't like my plan interfered with.

If pumping gas doesn't work, my least favorite task involves shlepping something outside like trash, recycling, or compost. I hate those trips out of the house that always seem to happen in the dark or wet or when I really need to be doing something else (hmmm...trend?). Fortunately, my husband does these tasks 99.9% of the time, so I am getting my wish.

5. Who is your hero? Why?

Golly, this is a hard one. I have to have only one? I'll do a collective: my female ancestors.

From what I know of their lives (I know at least basic details four-five generations back), they faced amazing adversity and still most managed to lead long, happy lives. Some stayed put most, but many moved far from their families of origin, as pioneers, immigrants, or for another reason. They suffered through civil war, economic depression, harsh winters, ill health, in-laws, and difficult moves. Not all, but most were well-educated. Even one of my great-grandmothers had a college degree and every one has had at least one college degree since. Their strength, intelligence, and love are traits I hope to pass on to my daughter. To keep their memories close, I wear their names (three generations back) as talismans around my neck.

6. How do you like your steak cooked?

Medium rare. Bloody to feed my blood, the way Cher would cook it.

7. Describe the worst/weirdest haircut you've ever had.

I don't think I've had many bad haircuts. I do look back to ones in elementary school and the big bangs of high school with a bit of a shiver, but I was stylish (or attempting to be) at the time.

There was  a period of time in middle school, though, when I took to trimming my own bangs. I would get them to the right length, but they'd be just a little uneven so I'd trim the long side. Then, they'd be a little too short on that side, so I'd trim the other...

I had really short bangs for awhile.

8. What would you like to be known for?

Geez. A person who was herself and no one else. Manners but no pretense.

9. Dog person or cat person?

OK, I'm about to horrify some people. The answer is 'neither.' I don't like animals; honestly, I can't understand what appeal they hold that makes up for their mess and smell and all the extra work that comes along with them. I like people, though. At a distance.

10. Which is better - the book or the movie?

Always, always, always, the book. Always. I'm a snob that way.

One exception, sort of: Horseman, Pass By and HUD. The movie is very different from the book. It's distinct enough that I think of them as different stories...with the same characters and similar plot. If you haven't read and see them, do so; you'll enjoy the and see what I mean, Plus, Patricia Neal is magnificent in HUD.

11. Hmmm...Lisa only published ten questions.

This Liebster award has been making the rounds in the blog circles I read so I'm afraid I'm hard-pressed to come up with eleven awardees who also have fewer than 200 followers. I've decided to just let the thing die here. If you really want to participate, though, let me know, and I'll send you eleven questions.


  1. I like your feet. The card game was first invented on a car trip (to Iowa I think), and then perfected on our trip to Europe in the summer of 1995--or 96? The night we stayed up late playing it was actually in Austria, not Italy, at the Goldene Lowe. With the creepy baby buggy. Course you always try.

    1. Thanks for the reminders. The time I remember was with the creepy baby buggy and playing in the park below the statue of Franz Ferdinand. I had forgotten the baby buggy was in Austria.

  2. Meant to get over here earlier. It being the end of the semester, I definitely don't have as much blogging time as I'd like. Not a dog or cat person? the girl who let's her cat sleep on her head. But then again, I used to beg my parents for a kitten when I was teeny, tiny.
    Your overly friendly toenails are awesome and yes, the book is ALWAYS better than the movie. Haha. :)

    1. I risked alienating people with dog/cat answer. It sounds so hard-hearted.

  3. I love this! #1 cracked up my Hub because that's like his favorite joke.

    I did that bang-trimming thing to myself more than once in junior high - both times right before yearbook pictures so my efforts are immortalized there forever. Awesome.

    And I definitely do the no-coat thing - learned it from my mother. I always toss one in the car, though, just in case of emergency. I would hate to have to walk somewhere with no coat in dire circumstances.

  4. Why do men love that joke so much. My brother uses it all the time, and my husband does, too. It's been beaten into my brain.


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