Sunday, September 30, 2012


I went "jengamajonging" with my friend Julia the other day. She's my good friend from across the street who moved to Wisconsin this past summer and I had not visited her yet. It seemed like a good idea for a beautiful fall day so I drove up to see her and the new house. Just to jengamajong.

No, I'm not crazy, although you may be reading this thinking I am. Jengamajonging is not a real word as far as I know and before you assume it's a dirty word, I am sure that it's not. My older sister and her best friend (who go to church and don't smoke. ANYTHING.) made it up years and years ago so I know it is not a word that refers to smoking  pot or having sex, or something else you'd find in the Urban Dictionary. I sometimes feel like I have to worry about that if I use a funny word. So I usually call my son and clear it with him first. He lives in the city, thinks he is street smart (says he has heard it all) and he just laughed at me and said "No, Mom. I don't think I've heard it on the street." Okay, just making sure. I could not find the term or definition of "jengamajong" anywhere,  and no one I know has ever heard of it so I assume my sister and Carol made it up themselves. Maybe it's a foreign word. Maybe it's a combination of the names for the Jenga and Mahjong games slung together. Let me know if you've heard it before and I will give credit where credit is due. But please don't tell me it is a drug or sex term, puh-leeze. That would ruin it for me. The Urban Dictionary has ruined too many good words by giving them "other" meanings.
Anyway, it all got started when I would call my oldest sister and ask her what she did over the weekend and she'd say "Oh, Carol and I just went jengamajonging after church." Whaaaat?? No, it's not skinny dipping because they do it in winter too, wearing coats; it's not a board game because they couldn't read the pieces (they think they're too young to wear their glasses so they don't - they're NOT); not anything like geocaching because they are just too old for that (and, besides, they would only get confused); and it has nothing to do with quilting. But Julia and I jengamajonged for a few hours last week and we were able to incorporate quilts into it and I'll bet you do this all of the time too. It's very simple.

First, you have to get an early start. You pick up a friend, get into your car and you go get some breakfast. Then you look out the window and say "Hey, there's a Costco, let's stop." You stop at Costco and right down the street is a CVS and you suddenly remember you have to fill a prescription, so you do that. Then you drive around a little more until you see a garage sale. Pretty soon it's time for lunch and so you eat a little something to get re-energized. Back in the car. Want to see a movie? Need a new pair of shoes? How's your sister? Kids doing okay? Can you believe the price of gas? How about taking a look at that new store in the mall? Feel like coffee? The Farmers Market? Whatever strikes your fancy, just do it. Talking and laughing, confiding and sharing, all the way, all the day. What could be more fun? My daughter has become a fantastic jengamajonger. She had to - my sisters and I are pros; it's programmed into her genes.
We all get busy sometimes and it's so nice not to have an agenda, just be with a friend and enjoy the day, doing a whole lot of nothing, just spending time together, jengamajonging. I hadn't done it in awhile.  I was almost positive we'd run into Jerry and George, Elaine and Kramer. If you can find a quilter to go along, even better. They tend to like to stop for chocolate. My good friend Ingrid and I have jengamajonged for years. Like kids. "What do you want to do? I don't know, what do YOU want to do?" Pretty lame, but it sure is a lot of fun just to get together and when she reads this it's probably going to be the first time she's heard it called that, LOL. She's a psychiatric nurse so maybe she'll try to have me committed.
Most men I know rarely do this, by the way. My husband gets annoyed when I try it with him. He needs a PLAN, cannot see the point of jengamajonging. Need something from the hardware store? Go, get it, and come back. Sheesh, I'm surprised we're still married, LOL.
So, Julia and I drove around Wisconsin, catching up, looking at the sights until we were hungry and stopped for lunch. Quilt shops were too far away and we thought we'd save them for another day. I had to get back home to take care of the dogs anyway. I'd seen a sign for an antiques mall on the drive up and so, yes, we stopped, and jengamajonged around there a bit.

I wanted this little blue chair but -  $185. Crazy. Imagining my mother's voice saying "That much and you can't even sit on it??"

Lots of antique quilts. Don't see very many good ones where I live. None were affordable though. Wished I'd had an extra few thousand in my pocket to splurge.

Julia loves "Cheddah." She's a real Wisconsinite now so I'm not surprised, cheese curds and all everywhere you go.  
Hmmm, cheddar. I've never been a fan, but there's something about this one . . . . I  needed another look. Too bad I gave all my cheddar to Kathie . . . . Good excuse to buy more now.
A table made from wooden rulers, log-cabin style. Only $400. 
A cute doll quilt, but on closer inspection it seems to have been cut off from a larger quilt. I can make this. Cuter even.
Back in the car with Julia, driving around, looking at the countryside, stopping at the scenic overlook for some great views. "Look, there's the house we almost bought and the condo my mom might move to" she says. Then, back to the house to take photos of  her sewing room before I had to go. It's hard to do much  jengamajonging together when you live in different states. But it sure was nice to be able to do even a little bit of it.
I'll show you Julia's Wall of Small Quilts next time. 


Me and My Stitches said...

Love it! There is nothing better than hanging out with a good friend. And hanging out without a plan, aka jengamajonging, even better! I really love that table made out of yardsticks. Hmmm...I think I better start collecting!

Petal49 said...

I have never heard of your word but I think it perfectly describes your day out. It's a wonderful word and sounds like so much fun. Can we adopt it here in Aus, I think it suits our culture very well!

Phyllis in Minnesota said...

Jenga is a fun game of rectangle blocks of wood stacked quite tall and you need to remove 1 rectangle of wood at a time without the whole unit falling down. Mahjong is an Asia (I think) game where you match different tiles. They are both fun games. If you google Mahjong I think it will take you to the game. Enjoy your word!!

Ingrid said...

Wisconsin sure is a good place for jengamajonging! Now you've got me in the mood for spending a day like that, starting with breakfast at a cozy restaurant, and then meandering from shop to shop.Too bad a lot of the nice little shops in this area have closed.

Beth said...

Great word. I have days like that with my sister and we always laugh a ton. Now I know what to call that random, unstructured activity.

LONA said...

When we take the "scenic route" somewhere, we call it scooterputtin"-- I think that compares nicely to jengamajonging! Nice not to have an agenda sometimes:)

Michelle Ridgway said...

What a great word. Thank you for letting me tag along. I have to admit to loving the ruler table and seeing all the quilts.

zigomar said...

You're never too old for geocaching ! I do, and I'm over 60 ... (but I'm French - is it an explanation ???)

Anonymous said...

Chuckled as I read your blog today. Too fun!
Thanks for sharing with us.


Cindy P said...

Awwwww, my mom was the best at jengamajonging. She and her friends woudl start out early, just like you, and sometimes not get home till late at night! And this was when she was in her late 60's, early 70's.

Me not so much. I pretty much need a plan. I'm gonna start practicing though.

Val said...

It sounds like you had tons of Fun Kathy. I have a little chair like the one you saw...its in my living room with a doll and a little quilt on it. Loved the cheddar too..

Linda in NC said...

What a bunch of great quilts you've showed us over the last couple of days. That cheddar is calling my name since I just bought yards of that very color with no plan in mind. The little nine patch on blue is pretty cute, too. And let's not even get started on those heirloom beauties from yesterday's post; tons of inspiration!

Jengamajonging is one fantastic word; it perfectly captures the feel of an unstructured girls-day-out with a dear friend.

Radka said...

It is good to go jengam.....whatever, now and then :-) Good for the soul.

The Civil War Quilter said...

What a great time! I've been doing that for years, but didn't know I was jengamajonging!!!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Looks like you had fun Jengamajonging. I love those kind of days!

Robin said...

What a delightful post. I enjoyed traveling with you.


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