Thursday, May 17, 2007

Definition for Meme: Me Me Me . . . and the latest from that guy in Italy

I've been tagged! In fact, I was tagged twice for the "Eight Things About Me" meme, first by Gentle Reader and then by MizB. And, after I finished, Melissa tagged me! I love being tagged because it makes me feel loved, so thanks to all three of you. It's much more difficult than I realized to come up with eight things that seem to be worth mentioning. You can tell me if they're the slightest bit interesting.

Here are the rules:

1: Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
2: People who are tagged, write a blog post about their own 8 random things, and post these rules.
3: At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and include their names.
4: Don't forget to leave them a comment and tell them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

It's going to be very, very difficult to find 8 people who haven't been tagged, near as I can tell. I'll get to that later, though . . . here goes:

Eight Things About Me

1. I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma. To receive a television signal, we had a 100-foot metal tower adjacent to our home. On pleasant days (and whenever I heard sirens, if the weather was clear), I used to climb the tower and hop up onto the roof. My family and the neighbors thought I was completely nuts, but I liked the view.

2. I had a grade-school sweetheart. We met in first grade and exchanged gushy valentines throughout elementary school, but never did anything beyond hand-holding. During junior high, we went to separate schools and he walked to my house every year to give me his school photo, always with a nice sentence or two about how much I meant to him scrawled on the back. I think I still have his photos and Valentine's cards, somewhere. I hope not.

3. The first photograph I ever took was a photo of one of my dad's roses. I snapped it with a black-and-white Poloroid camera when I was seven years old, and it was quite clear (no visible camera shake). Everyone was stunned. No amount of begging could convince my cheapskate parents to buy me a 35mm camera, so I didn't get a 35mm till I was in my 20's.

4. I met my husband the second week of my freshman year at Oklahoma State University and was 19 when I walked down the aisle. If anyone at all had said, "You don't have to go through with this," I would have backed out.

5. This is how my mother describes me: "Nancy is not very . . . domestic." No kidding. I am not cut out to be a housewife. Staying home was meant to be a temporary thing. I won't go into why that didn't turn out as planned because I'll start whining.

6.My grandmother (really, the only grandparent I knew) was an artist who taught at university level. I have a beautiful little watercolor painting of hers on my living room wall and I had to do a lot of finagling to talk my mother into letting me have it. My grandmother painted it when she was 10 years old.

7. I park as far away from a store as possible because I love to walk. I'm not good at sitting still.

8. Some of my ancestors on my father's side of the family entered the United States via New Orleans in the 17th Century and traveled up the Mississippi River. They settled in Missouri and farmed; and, during the Civil War, one of my ancestral families had a set of brothers who fought on opposite sides.

I'm tagging, kookiejar, Heather, booklogged, Heidijane, Lotus, malady, and coversgirl. But, don't feel obligated if you don't have the time or inclination.

Latest in the Italian saga: Hubby called, today. The good news is that he thinks he's got it all figured out how we can have an enjoyable holiday in Tuscany, some time in the future. The annoying news is that he prattled on about his latest wonderful experience. And, some of you guys will just drool at the thought of what he did. He took an all-day cooking class. This is how it went:
They pick you up and take you to the villa.
There's a basement kitchen with huge sinks and 15-20 foot counters.
They turn on some music and pour some wine.
The students follow the chef outside, where they cut fresh herbs.
They go inside and learn how to cook something.
They drink a little wine.
They cook a little more.
They drink a little wine.
They cook a little more.
I interjected, at this point: "You burn your sleeve and continue drinking wine . . . "
Suffice it to say, he had a blast and now knows what to do with that monstrous bush of fresh sage we've got growing in our herb garden.

Youngster had tryouts for band at 5:45 and wanted to go early to practice, so I took the camera and walked around the marshy area, twice. It was very difficult to get close enough to shoot photos of the birds, but I did my best. Here's my favorite of the red-winged blackbird photos I took:
I'll try again, another day. I worked a good-sized blister onto the top of one foot. Remind me to wear running shoes, next time.

Here are some other things I saw:

I got a little hot and smelly, so I'm off to take a bath. Chris has tagged me for another meme, so I'll try to do that one, tomorrow. I'm reading far too slowly, so I haven't finished any books, just yet.

Wishing you many beautiful sights.



  1. LOL I don't drink any wine so not sure how I would do in that cooking class. LOL

    Those are some great photos. I need to upload some of the ones I have of my son T so I can take some more. LOL

  2. :) I'm not very...domestic, either! I love reading all of these details.

    Your photographs are just remarkable; I especially love your birds.

  3. Beautiful pics and oh so fun facts about the bookfool! They all fit very well with your personality :) Especially the photo at age 7! I'd like to see that one.

    Wow! A cooking class in Italy with fresh herbs and wine. Nice! Yeah, he owes you a holiday in Tuscany :p

  4. I am enjoying reading the Eight Things About Me memes. I'm learning a lot about my blogging buddies. :-) I'll be posting mine this weekend. Maybe tomorrow. I'm not sure yet.

  5. I enjoyed reading this post. Wow, you were young to get married! I know that you mention that you are reading slowly but I'm dying to hear what you thought of Laughter in the Dark . I've described the plot and various details to many people before but none have read it also. Although not my favourite Nabokov (Lolita and Pnin fight it out for top place) it was a very unusual and disturbing read. Do you know anything about it? The title, even now, strikes me as sinister.

  6. Anonymous7:15 AM

    Thanks for tagging me - it makes me feel very special! Interesting to hear all that random stuff about you.

    I'll get on to it in the near future.....

  7. Krista,

    I don't drink wine, either. My husband prefaced that part with, "Well, you don't drink wine so you won't appreciate this part, but . . ."

    Thank you. Yes, you do need to upload some more photos. :)


    I'm so glad to hear I'm not alone in being undomestic (spell-check says that's not a word . . . they don't know me, apparently).

    Thank you. I have so much fun hunting down birds to photograph. The herons have gone over my car many times, but this is the first time one has flown over me when I had a camera in hand and there was no chance I'd run into a tree looking at him. LOL He was pretty far away, but it was still exciting. I actually gasped.


    Thanks. That's actually my kindergarten photo. It was the only photo I could find from the days before I acquired my own camera (a Kodak Instamatic that I used until college, when I snitched the boyfriend's camera - he had slightly more generous parents).

    Doesn't that cooking class sound fabulous? Even I thought, "I'd enjoy that." And, I'm a fork and zapping kind of cook. :)


    Isn't this a fun meme? I can't wait to read yours!


    Yes, I was just a kid. I didn't actually want to get married, but I was not very self-confident; I was afraid nobody else would ask. I'm glad to say that a lot of people have laughed when I told them that, over the years. :)

    I got about 1/3 into Laughter in the Dark, last year, and then lost it for months. It's on my challenge list because I want to finish the book, but I haven't reopened it, yet. Yes, I found it bizarre and disturbing. And, yet, somehow compelling. I do hope to get to it soon, but I've got so many books screaming for me to get to them. The title does seem kind of sinister. I'm really fond of Nabokov's short stories, myself.


    You're welcome! I know the feeling. And, no hurry. :)

  8. A cooking class in Italy.. sounds amazing!

  9. Thanks for the tag, my response is up now.

    They always say that teenage marriages never last but I was married when I was eighteen, looks like we beat the odds, huh?

    You are right, I'm jealous that your hubby got to take a cooking class in Italy. I don't drink wine, but I LOVE to cook and I doubly LOVE Italian food. He'd better make you something really good when he gets back.

  10. Angela,

    He said it was a "very authentic" experience. :)


    I'll bounce over to read your meme!

    Oh, yes, I think we waaaay beat the odds on teenage marriage. Personally, I think age doesn't matter, what matters is commitment. We're not the same people at all, but we've sort of adapted. David's almost afraid to tell people at work how long we've been married because some of them are so proud that they've made it 5-10 years in their 2nd or 3rd marriages. LOL

    I don't love cooking, but I love Italian food and I would have joined him for the experience. I'd probably even taste the wine (and pucker up, and gulp, and then not do that, anymore).

  11. Anonymous8:44 AM

    I am not very domestic either! The laundry piles up, I don't cook, but hey I get a lot of reading done :)

    Good luck to the youngster on his band tryouts!

  12. Thanks for your list - I love reading these! Your husband's cooking class sounds amazing, what a fantasy for me. I would definitely take him up on that trip to Tuscany.

  13. Iliana,

    Isn't it nice to know you're not alone? LOL I build laundry mountains. Really, the only time I turn on the TV is when I have a backlog of laundry to fold - then I turn a movie on and fold for an hour or so. :)

    Youngster seemed happy, so I guess he did okay on the tryouts. Thanks!


    If he offers a trip to Tuscany, I'll go. But, he does tend to lose his excitement so I'm not holding my breath. It sounds like that cooking class was quite an experience, doesn't it?

  14. Nancy! That picture of the bird in flight is gorgeous! Great job catching that one. The bamboo is lovely too. There is something so peaceful about a field of bamboo.

    Too cute about the grade school sweetheart. I married mine. Known him since...I think...second grade. Adored him since third.

    My grandmother was an artist too. Unfortunately she was also not a very nice person. I don't know if anyone has any of her artwork any more.

    That is too cool about your ancestry! I traced some of mine back pretty far. We mostly came from Ireland, Scotland, and England. One branch did come down through Morocco though!

    And I am SO TOTALLY jealous of your hubby. That has to be one of the coolest things ever!

  15. Hi Heather!

    Thanks. I had such fun walking around, taking photos of the wildlife while the kiddo was doing his thing. :)

    Too cool that you married your grade-school sweetheart! I went out with mine in high school once, just once. By then, we'd been friends for so long that we were more like good buddies - no spark at all. It was like that scene in Back to the Future, where Lorraine tells Marty, "When I kiss you it's like . . . I'm kissing my brother."

    My grandmother was a sweetie pie. I wish I'd gotten to see more of her. After I married, I wrote to her regularly and sent her photos of my paintings. She enjoyed that. The cousins and aunts and uncles were like vultures when she died; there were a lot of her paintings lying around, but they all "walked off," if you know what I mean. I do have one other, a painting of tulips.

    I have similar ancestry: English, Irish, French, Prussian and German. I'm a Northern European mutt. :)

    I'm jealous of hubby, too. He asked to take my camera along and I said, "What would I do if you had my camera all week?" - which he did, in fact, understand. So, he checked out a camera from work. Good enough. I would have missed out on a lot of great photo ops, so I'm glad I was kind of mean about it. LOL

  16. First of all, I completed the meme.

    Second of all, my husband and I spent two weeks driving around Umbria and Tuscany last year for our honeymoon. We miss it so much and can't wait to go back. If your husband has good suggestions of places to go/stay, let me know!!!!

  17. Malady,

    Thanks! I'll come over and read yours.

    I've got the info on the place hubby stayed in Florence, right here. It's called Hotel Villa Azalee. It's a 3-star hotel. He didn't say much about it, other than how much he loved the little courtyard (I'm sure I'll hear plenty when I pick him up), but he said there was construction in front of the hotel and he couldn't hear it at all from the courtyard. I'm envious of your honeymoon. I don't even like to talk about mine. LOL We were young and broke!

  18. I think the best art is the stuff that's painted by people you know. It's wonderful that you have that kind of reminder of your grandmother. :)

  19. Melissa,

    I agree on both counts. Art by people you love is special and I'm very fortunate, especially given the fact that particular painting is my favorite - it hung on the living room wall in the house I grew up in for my entire childhood. I'll have to post an image, some time. It's astounding for art by a 10-year-old.

  20. You take amazing photos. I love the bird ones but my favorite, in this batch, is the close up of the reeds in the middle of the group of three. How cool.


  21. Thanks CJ. And, I forgot to say thanks to you for saying my sons are good-looking. The bamboo was stunningly backlit; I think I just happened to be there at the perfect time of day. :)

  22. I love your eight things! I can't believe you got married at! I'm not very domestic, either. Except I do like to bake. But that's mostly because I like to eat...

    Great photos, too!

  23. Nancy, what a wonderful meme, I so enjoyed getting to know you better! I loved the story of your grade-school sweetheart, it is the sweetest! And I laughed out loud at your mother's description of you..."Nancy's not very...domestic", lol, that could have been my mother talking about me! :)

    Always wanted to go on a cooking tour to some exotic place...lucky hubby!

    Finally, thank you for tagging me, as someone else said, it makes me feel very special. Will get to it sometime next week.

    Have a fabulous Saturday, Nancy!

  24. GR,

    I can't believe I got married that young, either, especially given the fact that my mother was chronically depressed and always said she married too young (at 19, also). LOL

    My husband is the primary cook for just that reason - he likes eating more than I do! I blame my mother's lousy cooking. I never learned to appreciate food enough to bother making it, although I think I'd cook more if I had a nicer kitchen. I'm strongly influenced by my surroundings and have cooked more in other homes.


    I'm glad you enjoyed reading about me. I felt kind of weird writing random things about myself! But, then, of course I came up without about ten things I thought were much, much better after I finished. Isn't that silly?

    You know, I really don't cook much but I enjoy it in the right surroundings. I know that's kind of bizarre. David says he's going to take me to that cooking class, one day (we'll see if that happens) and I do think I'd enjoy it. He had loads of fun; you should definitely go for it. I consider your homeland exotic, myself. :)

    I can't wait to read your meme!! Hope you have a terrific weekend, too!

  25. Ooh...I completely understand the (un)domestic thing! I had already decided to become a SAHM when the baby comes in Nov, but I absolutely abhore cleaning...and am pretty bad at it too! Fortunately I am blessed with a husband that helps around the house, and we share the crappy chores.

  26. Nyssaneala,

    You're lucky. I have a very chaotic husband - he doesn't even see the dirt and mess. We're really a bad combination, in that way, although we've apparently done something right or we wouldn't still be together. :)

    Glad you're going to be a SAHM. It's hard work, but I think raising happy, productive, well-mannered people is important and we have much more influence if we're home all day!

  27. oh - that would be a wonderful time - to take an all day cooking class, maybe I would actually cook something at home. haha!

  28. Kris,

    You cook, you silly girl. But, yes, I'm sure you'd be just as excited about trying things out back home as hubby was. He cooked all day on Saturday.

  29. Your photos are amazing. Every time I come blogging over, I can't wait to see the next one. Also, I loved the part about your grandmother and her painting.

  30. Thank you, Camille. :)

  31. Oh, boy, I'll dash right over!


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