Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Grateful, But Not Dead

Well, my much-admired buddy from down under, Matthew at Abode One Three has seen fit to grace me with the “Honest Scrap” award! I’m totally blushing, and wondering if this is how President Obama felt when he heard from the Nobel Committee.

Which reminds me, shouldn’t the guy who invented the door knocker have been the one to win the No-bell Peace Prize? I’m just saying…

Anyway, a thousand thanks to you, Matthew, whose writing consistently blows me away. I (and your legion of followers) can only hope you are working on some tome of fiction or memoir for us to glom onto in the near future.

In accordance with the rules of the award, I am now required to tell you ten things you don’t know about me.

1. If I had been born a boy, I would have been named Samuel David, for my mom’s brother who died at age 14 of meningitis. He was her only sibling, five years older than she, and his death forever changed their mother and father. There are no photos of my grandmother smiling after he died. (She died long before I was born, so I have only these scraps of evidence.)

2. If I had been born a girl, --oh, wait, never mind. So I got the middle name ‘Sue’ as a proxy for the Samuel. My gender was only the first of innumerable disappointments I provided for my parents. Oh well… Bygones, I suppose.

3. The only pet we ever had growing up was a parakeet named Bingo. He was one of those beautiful blue guys, who sang like a, well—a bird, but to my mother’s never-ending chagrin, he didn’t speak a word. She even played a record on the hi-fi (remember—I am old!) meant to teach parakeets to speak, but Bingo did not enroll in that class. I think it really bugged her because her aunt’s parakeet said so many phrases. “Morning, Bessie!” when she uncovered his cage in the morning.

4. I’m a big Scrabble fan, and love to play with my kids when they are around. My husband won’t play with me, isn’t a big fan of games at all, but we discovered Scrabble Slam, a card (per)version of the game that we played last week in Sacramento, and he had a ball, too! Hooray—a breakthrough!

5. Speaking of games, I play bunco once a month with a terrific group of friends. My daughter asks me about the game, and I explain that it’s not the game, it’s the people. This is a corollary to “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” Anyway, it’s an absurdly simple game played with dice (not gambling, though) and it’s a wonderful chance to gather with people who you otherwise might not get time to see. We laugh and joke and carry on, and there are snacks involved. (Where women gather…) And we finish the night off with dessert! I promised the gang last night that I’m going to blog about bunco soon, so stay tuned!

6. I live on a cul-de-sac we like to call Divorce Court. Four out of the five families here are in second marriages, or at least into serious relationships that followed a divorce. We let the other couple (the ones who’ve been married since time began) stay as tokens, though, just because we are an equal opportunity cul-de-sac.

7. I am apparently a squirrel magnet. I’ve had squirrels in my attic in my previous house, ditto in this house. They may look cute, clambering up a tree, but believe me these guys can do serious damage. We’re talking big bucks to get them removed from the premises, and more bucks to repair the holes they chew in the siding, soffit, etc. Why do they love me so? Actually, “Squirrels in My Attic” sounds like a good name for my autobiography…

8. I’m an inveterate seamstress (I only use that word because ‘sewer’ as in ‘one who sews’ looks like the word ‘sewer’, as in ‘waste disposal’. I love all things fabric, and once upon a time I used to make most of my own clothes. In fact, I just returned from a trip to one of my favorite fabric stores (Raspberry Patch Quilt Shop—hi, Donna and Lyna!) where I picked up a few pieces to add to my stash. You know what they say, she who dies with the most fabric wins. I need more time to sew and quilt… If only I could learn to function on four hours of sleep a night…

9. The specter of Alzheimer’s looms large, and so to ward it off, I not only do crossword puzzles, Sudoku and kakuro puzzles, I have taken to memorizing more epic poetry as time goes on. Some of you may recall from an earlier post my recounting of memorizing “The Cremation of Sam McGhee”. Well, after that I took on “Dangerous Dan McGrew”, “The Day is Done” and “The Raven”. I live in hope that these mental exercises will protect me from the disease that destroyed my mom in her 60s, and eventually killed her.

10. I DO in fact know the meaning of TMI, so I’m done. Now to post this before THIS day is done!

I pass the award on to the following worthy recipients: (This is so difficult because there are so many wonderful blogs out there-- and some of them already have this award, but hey, here goes anyway...) Thanks to all of you for the witty, poignant, insightful, heartwarming or wacky (as the case may be) reading!

Kathy at The Junk Drawer
Debbie at Suburb Sanity
Lora at Fever
GG and SG at Gay Guy – Straight Guy
Beth at So the Fish Said
Whispering Writer at Airing My Dirty Laundry—one sock at a time


  1. Congrats on your award!!! Yay!!! I love the divorce court cul - de - sac. So funny. I also had parakeets growing up. They were named Sunny, Misery, and Aladdin. :o)

  2. Congrats on the award! It is well deserved.

  3. Leah,

    Thanks for the shout out! Straight Guy and I appreciate it. We've been enjoying your comments, so keep them coming.

    On the warding off Alz disease, I only seem to have/make time for crosswords when I am on the plane or away on vacation. Never got the hang of Sudoku.

  4. Congrats Leah! Well deserved and so glad to know you play Scrabble.. I LOVE Scrabble and am waiting for my toddler to grow up, so we can play together.. maybe.. hopefully:-)

  5. Congrats on your award! And thank you for passing it on to me.

    I also love Scrabble :)

  6. Congrats on the award! Well deserved.

  7. congratulations and thank you!

    i think your blog rocks too. I look forward to your posts because they always make my giggle for reals.
    Not like the fake LOLs people talk about, but you have this way of invading my brain for the rest of the day, making me smile while I'm walking down the street.

    For that, I thank you.

  8. I'd like to call you "A Boy Named Sue" now. Hope you don't mind. Oh, and I'd also like you to teach me to play this dice game. I LOVE games. Especially card games. 500 is my favorite. But not Rummy 500.

  9. Congrats on your award! Well deserved.

    And Divorce Court cracked me up. I hope I am never your neighbor. :)

  10. Great list and congrats on your award!

    I'm in the Squirrel Witness Protection Program. They are out to get me...I have proof.

  11. congrats on the award! and i LOVE bunko!! it really is the people!

  12. New follower.
    Found you through Lora @ Fever.
    I like Funny!

  13. Wow. We are honored... and agree wholeheartedly with the whole premise here. Hold on to funny!

    Straight Guy

  14. Hey - I knew your parents, and I think it is safe to say you did not disappoint them (except that first husband, but that's a whole different thing).