So what’s your answer?

The time for Hodgepodge has come around again, and this time I’m ahead of the game!  I haven’t posted anything else on the blog in the last week, but I haven’t had much to say either.  So that being said, let’s go with the randomness!

1. Describe love using all five senses.
Oooh, this could be interesting.  Hmmmmm.
See: When your soul lightens upon seeing the one you love
Smell: That unique scent that no one else has
Taste: Just tastes better when shared with a love one
Hear: The one voice that after all this time can still make you melt
Touch: That ability to tell without even looking that the one you love has brushed up against you, but you still know who it is

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Avon Calling

Just kidding.

When I was growing up, there was a running joke about home sales ladies.  They sold makeup (Avon vs. Mary Kay) and Tupperware.  Women would kick the men out of the house for the night, have chicken salad in phyllo cups and some stale cookies, and apply frosted blue eyeshadow around the dining room table. There were a few rebels, like one of my best friends.  She’s sold BeautiControl for gosh, almost twenty years now.  But for the most part, this was it.

No, wait, there was also Amway.  Can’t forget them.

But now?  Now you have so much more.  Thirty-One.  Tastefully Simple.  ::ahem:: Adult-themed products.  Avon.  Mary Kay.  Spongewear.  Southern Living.  Lia Sophia.  Pampered Chef.  Origami Owl.  Scentsy.  Longaberger.  Seven hundred different scrapbooking companies.  A thousand different health food supplement companies.  Can’t count the number of personal grooming companies.  Books.  Baby supplies.  More adult toys.

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Book Review: Jesus Land: A Memoir

I finished this book over a week ago, and I cannot stop thinking about it.  It wasn’t an easy read, but it certainly was thought-provoking!  Written by Julia Scheeres, it was also published as Another Hour on a Sunday Morning in the UK.

Julia is the youngest of four children (one boy, three girls) in a very strict Calvinist family. When she was three, her family decided to adopt a boy. They were a bit taken aback when there were no white babies available and ended up with a black child, David.  Bigoted themselves, David’s new mom was afraid that his blackness would rub off on her whenever she touched him.  Julia, however, had an instant bond with him and loved him unreservedly, becoming best friends.  When David was a few years older, they decided he needed another brother ‘like him’, and adopted Jerome. These are the three children that move to small town Indiana in the early 1980s. Continue reading

Book Review: Killing Lincoln

I’m not a Bill O’Reilly fan.  In fact, if I had paid attention and realized that this was written by him, it might have influenced my decision to read the book.  Instead, I saw the book on a ‘best of 2013’ list and thought it was intriguing (plus I’m on a biography kick right now) so I added it to my library list. And I’m glad I wasn’t biased by the author’s name over the title.

To be fair, I don’t know how much was O’Reilly written and how much was the coauthor Dugard.  But from the first chapters of the book, written during the time when my native city of Richmond was being overtaken by Grant, forcing Lee on his way west toward Appomattox, I was intrigued at the way the story unfolded.  Lincoln’s involvement in the last days of the war, what Booth Continue reading

When I Give Voice to an Opinion, Part 2

Read Part 1 here.

So back to that Huffington Post article that I saw at work.  It was a link to a letter written by a man in a state that is debating the legal definition of marriage.  Currently, he happens to fall outside of that definition.  And he presented a very eloquent argument as to why the thought of 13 strangers debating his future without knowing anything about him, or anything about his life, or anything about his marriage was one of the more discriminatory actions he has faced.  You can go here and read the full letter–I encourage you to do so.  At a time when people debate this topic so forcefully yet I know several of my friends do not know a gay man or a lesbian woman, much less one in a committed relationship, it is a fantastic accounting of what a day in his life is like.  And it’s just that–a day.  A day when two people who are married to each other wake up in the morning and go through their day.  Go to work, eat meals, do laundry, watch a movie.  A day like the day you have, or the day like I have.

I don’t know why the letter resonated with me so strongly, but it did.  So I did something I think I’ve never done (unless it’s writing to my imagined BFF at USAToday, the Pop Culture Maven Whitney Mathison) and wrote to the guy that penned the original letter.

His name is Peter Monn.  And he wrote me back.  Continue reading

When I Give Voice to an Opinion, Part 1

So here’s a bit of back story.  A few days ago I was procrastinating at work and scrolling through my Facebook feed.  Lately I seem to be clicking on a lot of Huffington Post articles, and they had one that caught my interest so I center clicked on it and opened it up in a second tab.  And then forgot about it for the next few hours.  It caught my attention as many headlines do–because it was on an issue that I carry an opinion that I do not often discuss.

I made a promise to myself that I would change that.  That I would not hide my opinion any more.  I don’t feel that I was hiding it to begin with, but I certainly wasn’t speaking up.  Well, not any more than I normally do to friends.  But not loudly, and not often.

In my life, I have had the privilege of working in the theater, in the restaurant world, and in the corporate office of a men’s clothing company.  In each of these industries, I have had the opportunity to work with people who have a lifestyle that is quite different from the one that I live. Continue reading

On the Sidelines of History

Three days ago, on Thursday, a violent storm through my town knocked loose a branch from a tree in my back yard.  This limb fell on a wire that leads to my house, pulling it loose from the house.  The strain of that wire hanging in the air snapped one of the wires in the bundle.  That wire was my cable source.

I was gone all day Friday with my mother for her surgical procedure then babysitting my ‘nephews’ while their mother was at her schools’ graduations.  Saturday was my Father’s Day celebration out of town, so today, Sunday, is really the first chance I’ve been at home with nothing on TV to watch for the afternoon.

I realize this should be a blessing, and an opportunity to clean my house.  But after the week that I have had (working 40 hours in three days, volunteering for a golf tournament, and then the aforementioned Friday and Saturday activities), about all I was able to manage after church and a few hours at the playground with the same nephews was to veg out on the couch.  So I’m going through old items on the Tivo.

There are movies that I had recorded, some almost two years ago, and am now able to watch because the ‘new’ stuff is not recording.  One of the shows that I have been meaning to watch and never had the time was The Freedom Riders: An American Experience.

I was a triple major in college.  One of my majors was American History.  I even focused on the history of the South.  I was aware of Jim Crow laws.  I remember my elder family members speaking of them, though not often.  I remember my mother talking about desegregation of her schools, and how that was a huge upheaval here in Virginia.  I had heard of the Freedom Riders.

It’s oh so humbling to say, but here is the basic truth: I am ashamed.  I am ashamed that I would answer, when asked, that yes I knew about the Freedom Riders.  I knew that blacks and whites rode the bus together.

I am ashamed because I knew nothing. Continue reading