Monday, February 2, 2009

The ToadMama Interview

Last week, I enjoyed reading Meghan's interview at Swiss Family Mac. And I thought it might be fun to continue this meme-like line of questioning here at ToadMama's Web Abode. Meghan got to make up the questions, and I had to answer them. It's simple as that...

1. What was the most challenging part of building your home in WV? If you could change one thing about the process and/or the design, what would you change? The most challenging aspect of the project by far was working so closely with Hubby over extended periods without killing each other. He was the guy with the plan, the tools and the know-how. As Hubby's friend put it, I was just the unskilled laborer. So, just about every hour of every weekend for a LONG time, Hubby and I worked side-by-side. Once Hubby realized I wasn't a mind-reader and didn't like being talked to like an unskilled laborer, the process went much smoother. Of course, once I learned to speak-up when he was acting like Mr. Foreman (i.e., moody asshole), it went along much better, too. Not that Hubby's a bad guy, he was just used to doing most projects by himself. He'd never taken on something of that magnitude. He needed me. It was a bit bumpy at first, but we adjusted. We also lived in an old, 28-foot travel trailer, which added its own dimension to the challenge. We couldn't move without running into each other and couldn't make a sound without the other person hearing the noise. We actually came out of it for the better and are much closer now than we were when we started. We learned to laugh at our mistakes and our squabbles.

There are two things about the design I would change. First, I'd insist on a second bathroom. Second, we would not try installing our own concrete countertop (huge disaster).

As rocky as the process was, I wouldn't change it. Like I said, it actually made us closer. So now, I'm far less likely to kill Hubby when we're in MD, too.

2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? A cabin in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. It is just amazingly beautiful there. Alaska's Kenai Peninsula would be my first choice. I hate the heat. The mountains of the Kenai Peninsula are absolutely gorgeous. And the area is teeming with wildlife. The waters surrounding the peninsula are full of whales -- orcas and humpbacks -- and there are seals and sea otters, on land there are moose, and bears there, too. LOTS of them. You see eagles there almost as often as you see crows here in MD. The light is amazing there, too. I'm an outdoorsy girl. When we're in WV, as comfortable as our little house is, I much prefer being outside, meandering around the property exploring the woods, taking pictures, looking for signs of wildlife. Being outdoors here in the MD suburbs just doesn't compare.

Seward, Alaska, like many towns on the Kenai, is a fishing village. So you get the awesome mix of mountains and water that would just feed my soul. And it's a temperate rain forest. The interior of Alaska can get bitterly cold, but temps in Seward average from the low 20s in January to the 60s in August. I don't think I'd ever break a sweat again.

3. What's your favorite part of being a grandmother and why? Having cute little kids around is quite entertaining. They're all great kids. Such little individuals. But at the same time, it can be exhausting. It's great being able to just enjoy the kids without all the stresses of caring for them 24-7, 365 days a year. We can play and do fun stuff without all the mundane, day-to-day stresses that are such a part of parenting. I get to take tons of pictures of them, too.

And there's being able to see first-hand how all your hard work as parents paid off, and watching your child use the same general techniques to parent others. Amy is such a good little Mom. And there's also something indescribably gratifying when I see one of my grandkids and they get that huge smile and say "G!" all excited-like. They're actually happy to see me. There's also the happiness I see in Hubby's face when he's with the grand kids, too.

4. What do you do to unwind and/or recharge when you need it? I have a variety of ways to de-stress. My favorite way is to get out into nature, camera in hand, and just pay attention to all the little things that make life on Earth so great. That's what my solo trip to Maine last Fall was all about! And it was fabulous.

Riding my motorcycle is another way to unwind, in warm weather, of course. I enjoy the ride, but I also enjoy not having to think about anything except what's in front of/behind me, negotiating turns without crashing, and how to avoid the cars/trucks that share the road with me. That takes a LOT of concentration. Because you can't think too hard about anything else, I observe a lot while I'm riding...the way the sun falls through the trees, the different colors in the fields, old barns, the character of the small towns we pass through.

I read a lot, too. I am never without a book to read. Hubby and I spend far more time reading together than going out or watching TV.

Hanging out with friends is a great way to unwind, too. Whether it's Hubby and I spending time with mutual friends or me hanging out with my girlfriends, it is all very satisfying. We are lucky to have some very good friends in our lives.

I also like to write, and I'm trying to do more of that in 2009.

5. If you had to choose a flavor of ice cream that most fits your personality, what kind do you think you would you be? Feel free to make one up if necessary. Green Mint Gooey Nutty Surf and Turf. Green mint 'cause what you see is what you get. (White mint ice cream is sort of sneaky.) Chocolate chips shaped like fish and cows (like Ben and Jerry's Phish Food Surf and Turf edition) 'cause it's just more fun than plain old chips, I like critters, and I like to be creative and have fun with life. The chocolate-covered nuts and ribbons of caramel represent the surprise and variety that is me. I'm not a very complex person (no hidden agendas here), but my interests, tastes and talents are quite a mixed bag.


Now it might be your turn! If you are interested in being interviewed, here are the rules:
1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. Be sure you link back to the original post.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

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