Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Sofa, Squash, Family, and Friends~ ♥~♥~♥

I'm the eldest of 6 kids- (some of you know this :)
All my family, except for a brother in San Diego, lives here in NC.

One sister, Naomi, lives in a small town near the mountains...about 3 hours NW from where I live.

She bought a house this summer, it was built in 1894...yes- I said 1894, While it has been renovated and restored over the last 113 years, she's been adding her own touches to the place and I had not seen it. We all wanted to go, so 15 members of my family made their way from central NC to the foothills of NC on Thursday morning.

(This is not her house, but it's similar)

The sky threatened a storm, but no rain fell. However, about 15 cars ahead of us- a driver in a pick-up truck on I-40 dropped a big black sofa on the highway!

I was sending text messages to friends when T slammed on the breaks! I jerked my head up from gazing at my phone to see 14 or so pairs of tail-lights- all glaring red- and all getting closer with each passing fraction of a second as they were all slamming on their breaks too!
I hear the squash casseroles slide across the back of the 4Runner, as well as J's b-day cake...(her b-day was Nov 21)- but I'm more worried about whatever might be in the back seat of the car in front of me- seeing how we were all getting rather close to each other. a matter of seconds the crisis was over. We passed the sofa on the highway- and everyone else managed to miss it too. In a few minutes we saw the offending (and pulled over) pick-up truck and the matching love seat. T suggested to the driver (telepathically?) - to TIE the F'n furniture down next time they wanted to move something on I-40...but I think I'm the only one who heard him :)

We arrived at my sisters house with no further incidents.

Until she went to warm up the creamy, delicious, cheesy, squash casserole I had gotten up at 7 am to bake.

It warmed up nicely in the oven- unfortunately when she took it out she placed it on a hot burner- and the dish BLEW up into about 1,000 pieces. Not only was that dish ruined, but also the one next to it- because of all the crunchy bits of glass in it. No one was hurt- thankfully, but there was pretty much casserole in all 4 corners of her kitchen, as well as some flung into the dining room. Yikes...

My rolls however, were a big success. They were fine to eat right out of the bag and fully protected because of their plastic covering. Thank goodness :)

The casserole you see below is one I made today- because damn- it ...I wanted some! (without glass in it, of course.)

I didn't bake a turkey this Thanksgiving, and it's the first time in 18 years that I skipped that tradition. I did, however, make 3 squash casseroles (only 1 was eaten), a giant pot of beef stew, a breakfast casserole with sausage and 3 cheeses (below), and tomorrow I think I will make my first batch of fudge!

I also got a surprise in the mail from my friend Foamy on Friday! Yeahhh! (thank you! I've already used the "lavender"!!!) Hugs for you friend...and fudge too when it's ready to send!

We all arrived and returned safely. No one said anything they will ever regret saying. No one had too much to drink, not at least until we were all back in our own homes :) I did have a toast for Scary Monster...but that's an inside thing :)

My sisters house is wayyyy cool. Both my parents, in spite of the divorce, were there and arrived together. I got to hold my 4 month old nephew again- and he smiled at me :) So what if the casserole didn't make it to the table- we had more than enough food :) 19 of my closest family members were all together for this Thanksgiving holiday...

I'm not sure I could have asked for anything more ♥~♥~♥

(unless, of course, you are moving a sofa and love seat in a pick-up sure to tie the %$#@ things down- and tie them down good!!! lol! :)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

When Perfect is the Enemy of Good

In this context I'd like to consider the word "Perfect" as an absolute in comparison to the word "Good" which can vary in meaning and by degrees.

My backyard- Nov 6th

I read a quote this weekend which said emphatically, "Perfect is the enemy of good". The writer was speaking of food and cooking, but the quote hit me with such force that I re-read it several times- out loud (to the puzzlement of my husband) and found the words wedged into my brain like a doorstop.
I was having an "Ah-ha" moment. Perhaps I was also having an "Uh-oh- Ouch!" moment too~

Thoughts, images, feelings, and principals swirled around me, as if I were standing in the inverted pinnacle of a whirlpool or a tornado- I could SEE dozens of areas in my life floating past me where I definitely needed to apply this new idea, or suggestion, that "Perfect is the enemy of good".

In parenting, marriage, friendships, writing, weight loss, health, my hair (gasp :), time spent, events to be planned, the upcoming holidays, gift giving, religion (I have to think more on that one), exercise, cooking, cleaning (!!!), decorating, communicating...

Ahhh- it was dawning on me...crashing on me actually...of how often I strive for "perfection"- knowing full well that it is usually out of my grasp, and being disappointed with the "good" I achieve.

It is maddness.

Perfection is about CONTROL.

Good is about being at peace and exhibiting grace in less than perfect situations- which are the norm!

It's an amazing thing to see someone act or perform with "perfection"- or as close to it as can be imagined. I think of people like Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, or my grandmother's crocheted blankets. I think of Emeril's standing rib roast, poems by Robert Louis Stevenson, and paintings by Ande Cook ;)

Is there anything YOU do perfectly? I make a perfectly wonderful chocolate chip cookie, and sometimes I make the perfect pan of fudge. Some days I have great hair :) --and that's it for my list of perfections. :)

On the more important topics- like parenting and marriage- I tell you honestly I am far from perfect...but not far from Good. My kids, my husband, my home, and most of my friendships are---good.

There are things in my life, of course, that are bad; but "bad" is not the opposite of perfect. Much like the opposite of love is apathy- I think the opposite of perfection is insouciance, or detachment. To simply not care.

I know in some ways and in regards to some people I care too much- and I try too much... because I want to be perfect for them, or to be the perfect friend...or the perfect "meeter of needs". I am realizing (painfully) that in some things, and in some relationships, I must settle for "good"- because in truth- "Good is better than perfect". And, I realize that if "good" is not good enough (for certain people, or situations)- then I have to them let go.

I believe in there are areas in life when we need to perfect the natural skills we were born with- those skills which came to us with ease...those are things that each of us are meant to do- and do well. But those skills are on the short list.

Everything else we have to work for- and I have to stop beating myself up in the areas where I fall short.

I'm not perfect.

But I'm good- or at least trying to be :)

I'll be off line for a while except for a quick post here and there. I'm up to my ears in family stuff at the moment and this might continue through January. I'm not being distant- I promise- I'm simply in over my head for now- and I HAVE NOT RUN OFF WITH PHIL! :) But don't tempt me! :)

You are all special to me- I just had to say it :)