Friday, October 12, 2007

Some Things Don't Go As Planned


Our garden was a flop this year. The severe lack of rain killed almost every plant we had. Carter and Jackson have been checking the garden for the past few weeks. They've picked some cherry tomatoes, jalapenos, banana peppers, and this little guy. It's an eggplant. The boys thought it was supposed to be the size of an egg, so they picked it. It's barely larger than a chestnut and it quite resembles one.


A zippered pouch. I sewed this the other night. I am still using my old manual sewing machine (don't ask about my replacement sewing machine). It's awful. I really don't know how I ever learned to sew on that thing. Having to figure out tension (over and over and over and over again) and rethreading the needle and bobbin about every 3 minutes can make a girl nuts. Seriously. As I was sewing the last few stitches, it occurred to me that the zipper might open backwards. And it does. It opens from right to left. Not left to right. (Is there a difference? How do you install zippers?) After all the machine struggles, it's not right. I wasn't very happy.

We have decided as a family to serve our neighbors more. I want our children to learn to serve others and I think I've found the perfect solution for our family. Every week we are going to take a meal-size portion of dinner to one of our widowed neighbors. We have three. Two men who lost their wives and a lady who lost her husband. I think we're going to also do this for Aunt Lettie and my grandmother. It has made us sad to think that our elderly friends and family aren't getting a decent, nutritious meal as often as they should. In the past, we've made food for the two men, but we've decided to try it weekly and include a few others.

One (generous) portion of a meal is not harder to prepare. Nor does it take any more effort than packing it up and delivering it. My kids are very thrilled about. We are calling it Operation Service.

This past Wednesday was our first try. Roasted chicken, glazed carrots, buttered noodles and cheesecake. The only thing that didn't go as planned is that the chickens took longer to bake than I would have liked and my digital meat thermometer decided to die (not good when you're cooking poultry). I realize that most older people like to eat dinner early, so we need to correct that for next week. It didn't go exactly as I had hoped, but at least we did it. (And, Ruth, our first recipient said she would save it for the following night.)

So, while some things don't go as planned, there's always next time and always room for improvement.

13 comments:

Karyn said...

I LOVE the idea of Operation Service!!! I'm sure your meals will be greatly appreciated by the recipients!

Also, I think your pouch looks amazing! I don't think there is a zipper rule.

Diane said...

I think thats a wonderful lesson to teach your children! We have a widowed neighbor who lives a couple of doors down from us. She's 84, lives alone with no car but still hangs her laundry out, mowes her own grass, plants beautiful flowers and walks her little dog every evening. My husband fixes things when they break around her house and we always buy the parts but pretend we had them laying around the garage from a past project so she doesn't feel bad. Every so often I'll surprise her with a handmade gift for no reason at all and she is always so thrilled. I also try to make things for the kids on the street like halloween bags, book bags, etc. It is a good feeling knowing you have made someone's day a little brighter and my two sons have learned this too. Sometimes I have to talk to them about maybe throttling back just a teeny bit. My 16 year old will give away his last dime and not always for the best cause, in my opinion. But at least they've learned that its important to help others. I think that is one of the most valuable lessons we can teach our kids. You and your family are doing a wonderful thing!!! Also, I think your zipper pouch looks awesome! I think the zipper can go either way, can't it?

emcdonald said...

That is a great idea. I know in our family we used to do a pie of the month club. Each month my children would help me make a couple of pies to hand out to older couples in the neighborhood. A different type of pie each month! We did it for a year. It was a lot of fun. Good luck with your endeavor.

laeroport said...

What a fantastic, generous, thoughtful idea. And leadership by example is always the best teaching method, I think. I hope operation service is a hit with you, your kids and those you are helping.

And as a lefty, I wouldn't mind a zipper opening the "wrong" way.

Mary Sarah said...

Operation Service is a great idea. I think your kids will enjoy it and learn a lot and your friends will feel very special. Win, Win for everyone! Your zippered pouch looks great. So you hold it backwards to open it. No problem! Enjoy your weekend!

nikko said...

What a great idea. We need to find more ways to teach our children to serve.

That eggplant is so cute!

FinnyKnits said...

That is so thoughtful of you - and really, you're teaching your children things that I doubt most parents bother about anymore. They will be kind citizens and good neighbors.

Also, the patchwork on that pouch is really cute - love the little bird. Maybe a leftie would appreciate the pouch due to its southpaw zipping style?

Don't worry about the garden. While it's sad having your garden produce less than you'd hoped, there's *always next year*. At least that's what my mom kept having to tell me after my garden took a major dump last year. I was basically crying about it all the time. Meanwhile this year's garden has been booming, so - it comes and goes.

Next season, Lera - next season!

kirsten said...

cool with the service. that's quite an undertaking!
i must be old at heart, i've always liked eating early. even at college, we'd head to the cafeteria at 4:30!

capello said...

you have that fabric! !!! !!! !!! !!! i want that fabric! !!! !!! !!!

operation service sounds AWESOME. and NICE. just like you!

Heidijayhawk said...

the pouch looks awesome and you will appreciate your machine sooooo much more after tackling a zipper on a manual!

vintagechica said...

Love your little zipper pouch, I was thinking of making one similar for my the emergency makeup I keep in the car...just perfect for mascara and lip stick.

And what a wonderful, wonderful thing to teach your children...values in action...awesome!!!

Chara Michele said...

That is such a nice, sweet, kind thing to do for your neighbors! I hope it goes well:)

Is there a zipper rule on which way it should open on a pouch? Oh my...

amandajean said...

I always install my zippers the way you did...when it opens right to left...but then again, I am a lefty, so that makes sense. I never even considered that before.

I love the idea of operation service. what a great thing to pass on to your children.