More Answers to Being Asked (Nearly) Anything, and WINNERS

I still owe questions from May! I started on the first half here, and below are the last but not least of the bunch:

3. From our fish-and-(baseball)game aficionado Dave E.: Since it's the season, what's your take on gardening/and or houseplants? Is it something you like to do, or is it more to be avoided? And if it is something you like to do, what would be your dream garden?

Contrary to the evidence surrounding me at present, I do like plants and gardening. It's just that plants don't last long indoors, thanks to a certain feline who believes it's her job to destroy them. The catnip plant I got at the school plant sale lasted about a week and a half before I came home to chewed-up sticks and dirt all over the living room rug. She once let a bamboo plant live for seven months before she decided it deserved to die. She must be related to Garfield or something.

My parents have always gardened, so as a kid I would help out sometimes, although probably most of my talents were used for picking tomatoes or cutting parsley. I wish I had learned more from them; I don't feel particularly skilled in gardening--although I'm sure that if I had questions they'd be more than happy to offer advice. While my parents have grown tomatoes pretty much every year, I remember there were years we tried corn and cucumbers--and who could forget the giant zucchini plants? One morning, my mom told us she'd had a crazy dream that the zucchini plants had overgrown everything and were coming for the house!

Some long-time readers might recall that the entire front of the building where I live was dug up in December for a waterproofing project, and I had yellow caution tape and piles of mud and trash for many, many months following that. They did replant some beautiful rosebushes under my dining room (office) window--the recent hot temperatures have been hard on them. I've got just a plain concrete patio right now, which I'm leaving empty in protest until I get the planters that management finally offered to give my patio some protection from the traffic and what-have-you. If I had my way, there would be some nice shrubs, and I wouldn't mind maintaining them myself if it meant I had more privacy. Anyway, once I start putting stuff on my patio and it's not 1,000 degrees outside, I'd like to bring back the pots of flowers I had (usually begonias) and the hanging basket and shepherd's hook. I used to work for a gardening decor manufacturer, so I have some fancy flowerpots. Somehow, I wound up on the mailing list for the Gardener's Supply Company catalog, and there's a lot of tempting stuff in there, for both veggies and flowers. . . so, I have dreams, and hopes for my own garden, eventually.


4. From my IRL buddy and grad school classmate, who never met a cup of coffee she didn't like, Pam: Did you ever have to read Beowulf in Old English? And can you quote the first 12 lines?

As to the first question, no. I do remember listening to an LP of the Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in Middle English, though. That was shocking. It sounded like gibberish crossed with English—the English spoken nowadays, I mean.

The second question I’m going to take to mean, can I quote them in Old English? Not a chance. I remember reading a translation in 11th grade English, but I don't remember what we did with it other than go over it and maybe answer some essay questions. Should I be able to? I mean, is that something everybody else has had to do, and I missed out? I'm curious!!!


5. From our eagle-eyed proofreader and knifty knitter CCR: Do you ever find yourself imagining how you'll blog about something as soon as it happens?

Oh, my gosh, YES. Is that really LAME??? I hope it's just my writer's mind in action, but yeah, it happens a lot. I mean, not all the time, but particularly when something really funny or ridiculous happens. Like the weekend I was helping my mom host the dinner for my great-aunt & great-uncle's 50th wedding anniversary. Mom was making a two-layer chocolate cake for dessert and was fretting about how it didn't look special enough for the occasion. First, she sent me out to the front porch to cut some little flowers. Then, because we needed a couple of other things for dinner, she sent me to the little market up the street. I like this market because most of the cashiers are teenagers from the community--the boys will give you the update on the score of the baseball game if you ask them if anything happened while you were shopping, for example. One cashier told me she remembered when I came to her high school to talk about the summer programs at the library the week before.

Mom had sent me with a short shopping list, but she also wanted something else, if I could find something in the little market, to decorate the cake. So I went to the baking aisle and saw there were number candles in colors that matched the flowers. (Hey, a pseudo-theme. Not bad.) So I picked up a 5 and a 0.

Well, you know they teach cashiers to engage in a bit of banter with the customer. My dear little teen cashier said, "I'm gonna take a wild guess and say it's somebody's 50th birthday."

When I told her it was a 50th wedding anniversary, her eyes got huge and she exclaimed, "Wow!" I'm sure if she thought 50 was an old age, it was even more incredible that a couple could be married still after 50 years. (And my great-aunt & great-uncle married "older" for the times, too!)

I walked out of there with my cute little story and my intended blog post title: "Wanna Know How to Blow a Teenager's Mind?"

And then I forgot to post it.




Once again, I'm sorry for the lateness of these responses, but that takes care of this edition of "Ask Kate P (Nearly) Anything." Thanks to Annie Coe, Amy G, Dave E, Pam, and CCR for playing. You are ALL WINNERS! I would like to send you a little something, so please drop me an e-mail with your address at your earliest convenience. (Pam, you have the option of being treated to some yummy coffee at our favorite little corporate chain, if you prefer. Tweet me a date!)

Things are starting to get back to normal--next, on with the Cinematherapy Oscars Project. I think I might take up a vote on which ones to watch for the '70s movies. Stay tuned!

Comments

Dave E. said…
My mom did some tomato plants in pots this year and I have no idea why, but they are easily three weeks ahead of those planted into the ground. I hadn't even thought of doing tomatoes in pots before, but why not?

I'm thinking I should probably pull the trigger on that last prize you sent me before I get another. Three times I've realized that I left it at home when I could have used it.
ccr in MA said…
Hey, I'm hardly unbiased, but I don't think it's lame to mentally pre-blog: I do, which is why I wondered if you do, too! Sometimes I think that my posts would be better if I took notes, since I'm sure I forget all the ideas and clever phrasing that first came to mind.
Kate P said…
Dave--yay, your mom is gardening! My sister is trying those topsy things. It's kinda weird, she said. Spend your prize! It works online, too.

CCR--hmmm. I was thinking I probably imagine I sound more brilliant to myself than I actually am to other readers!

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