I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Hardboiled Eggs Can Explode = A few things I learned in 2012


 By Patricia Bradley

New Years Eve I curled up on the couch and reflected about the past year. It was a great year for me with exciting events and some not so exciting events. And as always, it was those not so exciting events that I learn the most from. 
Like:
  • If you put eggs on to boil and go back to your office to write, the eggs will eventually explode. Honest.
  • Don’t try to put a scared cat into a pet cage by yourself…even if you’re trying to get him out of the house because you’re afraid his lungs are going to be damaged by the smoke from the burned beans.
  •  Never ask a woman when her baby is due, even if she looks 8 months pregnant. Ever
  •  If you drop an open-faced, peanut butter sandwich, it’ll always hit the floor peanut butter side down. That goes for a jelly sandwich, too.
  • When someone says they want to hear the truth, they’re usually not telling the truth.
  • Consider your answer carefully when a friend asks if you like her new hairstyle. (See previous bullet)
  •  When a friend asks you to critique her granddaughter’s essay, RUN.


I’d like to say I didn’t actually do any of these things. That they are all figments of my imagination. I’d like to say that. I will say that each of the events happened only once. Hence the title, A Few Things I Learned in 2012.

There is a positive side to my lapses of common sense. Thank goodness. They make entertaining stories. And since I’m a writer, at some point, in some story, my hero or heroine will forget the eggs or do one of the other dumb things I’ve done, not just last year, but during my lifetime—today’s list is way short.

And guess what? My foibles will strike a chord in readers, endearing my protagonist to them, even if they’ve never exploded an egg. Because they have done something similar. They can identify. And that’s what it’s all about for me. Creating characters readers can identify with and care about.

So, would you care to share something you learned in 2012? It doesn’t have to be something crazy like my list. Just something you’ve learned.

Pat Trainum writing as Patricia Bradley
www.ptbradley.com
http://mbtponderers.blogspot.com/

@PTBradley1

Shadows of the Past from Revell February 2014

30 comments:

  1. Something I learned in 2012:
    Saying yes when I should be saying no may make someone else happy for a little while -- but its gonna make me miserable for a whole lot longer.

    Looking forward to meeting your real life characters s-o-o-n, Pat!!!

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  2. Oh, Beth, how many times I've done that very thing--saying yes when I should've prayed about it first. That's what I try to do now.

    And I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of your new real life characters!!

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  3. In 2012, my husband adopted my three youngest children, and I witnessed a whole new level of love. As I wrote in a novel several years ago, my hero loves the heroine's children like his own. I'm so blessed to see this play out in my life.

    A lesson I learned several years ago: If you mistakenly substitute baking soda for baking powder, brownie mix will explode in your oven. Since you have to wait until the oven cools before you can clean it, the brownies get baked on. It's a real mess to clean up!

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    1. Roxanne, your husband is a jewel! As I watch your real-life romance story, I am always blessed. Eww. Baked-on brownie mix...lots of hard scrubbing there.

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  4. Pat, I made the mistake of mentioning someone's past pregnancy, only to learn the woman wasn't pregnant at the time. Even thinking of it now, I cringe at my sudden bout of foot-in-mouth.

    Something I learned in 2012--God's blessings go way beyond our expectations. He is working at the foundation when we may see only the tip. He allows doors marked No to close so doors marked Yes may open. Seeing how He worked in blessing my husband with his current job strengthened my faith. And the way He's blessing my writing career...brings tears of joy to my eyes. :)

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    1. Foot-in-mouth disease--I'm the poster child.
      And God's blessings--Ephesians 3:20 says it better than I can: "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us..." I love the way He has blessed you.

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  5. Thanks Pat. If only all repercussions were simple--as the following one is. I reheated a peeled hard-boiled egg in my microwave for then 6-yr.-old grandson--it exploded--all over microwave. So I carefully reheated the next one in microwave for a shorter time while watching. All looked fine until Rocco tried to bite into it and THEN it exploded. I said, "Don't worry, Grandma will fix you a new one." He looked up sadly and said, "That's okay, I'm not hungry any more." It's become a family joke and Grandkids frequently ask for hard-boiled eggs made in the microwave.

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    1. So funny, Dee. Remind me to not ask for hard-boiled eggs when I come.

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  6. Stumbling more for words these days...don't know why...but it can be a bit embarrassing when you're in front of a group of adult literacy tutors trying to convey word pronunciations.

    I have learned this year, though, that each of us is only one breath away from eternity. God truly IS the Breath of Life.

    Liked this post, Pat. Hey, I think I might have been around on a couple of those blunder experiences.

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    1. Yes, indeed, Cheryl. You were with me on a couple of them. lol.

      Yes, we are only one breath away from eternity and in the presences of Jesus!

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  7. I thought it would be a good idea to boil little candle jars -- you know, to get the wax out of the bottom. It wasn't a good idea at all.

    Loved how you related your lessons to your characters, Pat. And love the new look of the MBT blog.

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    1. "MBT Ponderers, blog," that is!

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    2. Sounds perfectly logical to me, Johnnie. I mean, how else would you get the candle out of the bottom?

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  8. Love the new look and the article is awesome!! Never talk to a potty training toddler while they are uhmm...busy...unless you like to clean bathroom floors. LOL!

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    1. Oh, Michelle, great advice. Thanks for your comment!

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  9. Oh, Pat I laughed at the exploding egg incident. Years ago I put eggs on to boil, then laid down with my then 1 year old trying to get him to take a nap. Needless to say...I fell asleep. I awoke to the smell of rotten eggs and bits and pieces of those eggs adorning the walls, cabinets, and ceiling of my kitchen.

    What have I learned in 2012??? Never tell my husband how to cook something. Since our move to Nevada, he has taken over the preparation of meals. I've learned to stay out of his way when he's in the kitchen! LOL

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    1. That your husband cooks is awesome, Jennie. And yes, you certainly know what happens when you forget the eggs you're cooking.

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  10. Pat, these were delightful, probably even more so because I know you well enough to imagine your response to each of them. And Dee's comment about the exploding microwaved egg made me laugh out loud. That poor child!

    I've learned that a some six-year-old boys are actually more compassionate toward spiders than eight-year-old girls are. I've also discovered that certain eight-year-old girls think that the sound of a giant spider crunching is humorous. I've also discovered that some children can run faster than adults...as can some spiders.

    This year I also learned that on this writing journey you can get mired so deeply in the mud of discouragement that it seems like giving up, letting the dream die, and moving on with life would be the best thing for everyone. I've also learned that the Lord is nearest in the muck, and this is the time when you need to muster up your last bit of resolve and push through. Not an easy task, but essential.

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  11. Renee,
    Don't.You.Dare.Give.Up. You are much too good of a writer!
    And yes, Dee's hard boiled egg story actually beat mine.;-)

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  12. Pat,
    Loved your story. The boiled egg one, that could so be me! We make jokes at my house, don't tell Mom anything unless she's looking at you. Seriously. Four kids, a business and a husband = insanity when they are all vying for my attention at the same time. Hence, Mom won't remember anything unless you have her complete attention not an "ah huh" while driving or sitting in the same room.

    Blessings!

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    1. Four kids, a business, a husband, going to back to school...I don't know how you have a sane thought. lol I so admire you, Alena!

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  13. Pat, what a fun post. :) I learned many lessons in 2012 but not so humorous as yours. ;) Two lessons I learned is that God knows the perfect way to encourage me--and showed me last fall when He allowed me to final in two writing contests. I had wondered why I thought I could write.

    The second, bigger lesson I learned is that sometimes, my kids need my compassion instead of my correction. Those moments of compassion lead to deeper intimacy with my kiddos.

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    1. Jeanne, I love this: sometimes, my kids need my compassion instead of my correction.

      I emailed you...

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    2. Jeanne, great insight! Your children are fortunate to have such a wise mom.

      And I love the way God encourages us just when we need it! Congratulations on finaling!

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  14. Pat~

    We have 4 behemoth cats, so I totally feel your pain (literally!) in trying to get one in a carrier. For an animal that likes cozy spots (our cats LOVE to sit in cardboard boxes and/or laundry baskets) most cats LOATHE those carriers!

    In my 20 years as a hair stylist, I learned the hard way not to ask people about anything, but to let them bring up topics. I had the not-pregnant-just-chubby client (I've been on the other side of this one as well) but worse, I've asked about a pregnany that, unbeknownst to me had ended in miscarriage, and even worse, asked a man how his wife was, only to have him tell me she'd passed away. I will never forget the look on his face...it was almost unbearable!

    This past year I've learned that God has surrounded me with an amazing number of cheerleaders. I've also learned that little boys grow into big men seemingly overnight. And more recently, I learned I could survive Christmas without my parents (44 consecutive Christmases together, as I'm an only child, and this year my parents were in Phoenix for the winter.) Thank you for encouraging us to look back at the good, the bad, and the ugly of 2012 for life lessons!

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    1. Heidi, so glad you stopped by! 20 years as a hair stylist. I bet you've gotten a lot of good stories over those years. And I've done the asking about a spouse who was deceased. Very uncomfortable. Thank you for the encouragement.

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  15. A wise and humorous blog!!

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    1. Thank you, Bryan for stopping by. I appreciate your comment.

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  16. Sorry I'm commenting a day late, but this is hilarious, Pat. Something I learned in 2012: Take God at his word when he says he can do more than you ask or imagine. I sometimes think I have this crazy huge imagination, and how could God ever go beyond it. But he does. Every time.

    Another lesson: No matter how resilient plants have been in the past, some days, they just die. And there's nothing you can do. And feeding them Diet Coke does not spark a resurrection.

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  17. You're so right, Melissa. God can outdo us every time! And have you been feeding my Peace Lily? Honestly, that thing's been trying to die for 16 years. Hey, maybe if I gave it a little Diet Coke...

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