Death and Taxes

— 1 —

I was deathly ill for 36 hours. I’m still confused about what happened, and why I’m still alive to write this 7QT post. We ate at a local franchise restaurant Wednesday evening that I will not name because despite my initial suspicion of food poisoning, ten hours later I was betting on influenza. Every bone in my body was under fire, and felt as if the bones were flaking apart inside my body as a dry desert wind would blow pain this way, then that way. I was unable to do anything more than sleep, dream, roll over, moan, and sleep, continuously for 30 hours. My husband brought me a cup of chicken broth sometime Thursday night, and I remember trying to take a few sips of water, but sleep is what ruled my world. Thursday, April 10, came and went without me. I woke Friday morning to the realization that I’d missed an important deadline… and it cost me $50. What the heck happened to me Wednesday night?  Was it food poisoning? Was it a 24-hour bug that decided to stay a few extra hours? A “viral syndrome” is what WebMD came up with after I listed my symptoms… in addition to several types of cancers and diseases. I’ll take curtain #1 for Viral Syndrome. It’s Friday night and the pain is nearly gone except for a twinge in my lower back. I wasn’t sleep deprived. I’ve gotten plenty of sleep this week. I was so sick I even prepared myself to die in bed. I prayed the “Act of Contrition” and was ready to leave my aching, pain-wracked body.  I’m still here, thank you, Jesus!  I’ll get to meet my 2nd grandson in two months, God-willing.

— 2 —

Near-death and taxes.  My husband would have been really mad at me if I’d died before getting our taxes done on Saturday.

— 3 —

Easter dinner. I’ve committed myself to having guests for Easter dinner. How much of the house REALLY needs to be clean?  Bathrooms, kitchen, dining room, living room.  Is it okay to keep bedroom doors closed to keep guests out?  Or is that just rude?  How much is expected of someone who knocked on death’s door a week before Easter?

— 4 —

My old XP computer was one of my favorite computers. I pulled the (Internet) plug on it today in an effort to keep it from being attacked by those nameless, faceless, evil hackers who make life hell for normal folks who just want to play a game of solitaire now and then between checking eBay and posting pictures of their food on Facebook.

— 5 —

My 19-month-old grandson’s new favorite movie (after a solid YEAR of watching “Cars” daily) is “Frozen.” At any time of the day you can say “Do you wanna build a SNOWman?” and he’ll smile and his eyes will light up with joy. It’s the darnedest thing to see! Here’s what he looks like while actually watching that scene…

— 6 —

Vice and Virtue. This was the title of one of the nightly presentations given by Fathers of Mercy missionary priest Father Wade Menezes last week at our church’s parish mission “Work Out Your Salvation.” I bring it up now because I still haven’t made a commitment on which to focus my prayer and energy. I’m sure procrastination is on the vice side, so the corresponding virtue would be… what? Punctuality?  After my mysterious illness, I’d better start getting my virtues in tip-top shape!

— 7 —

Look at the time! It’s 3:24 a.m. and I’m late for bed by anyone’s standards. I’ll need to start being punctual tomorrow. But who can blame me?  I slept for over 30 hours yesterday!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes: Sleep, Real Estate and Low Expectations

7 Quick Takes: Sleep, Real Estate and Low Expectations.

It’s been years since I was the mommy to little ones, but this gal just seems to “hit the spot” of what my mothering years were like… minus the twins, of course. And she also writes about things that I imagine my OWN daughter would blog about if she weren’t overwhelmed with being a mama of a toddler with another baby due in two months. Vicarious.  Now I all I need are more photos of what her house looks like on the inside.  Yeah, that DOES sound creepy, doesn’t it?

Not dead. Just busy.

How time flies when you’re busy!  I’m up against a deadline right now otherwise I’d sit and stay awhile.  I got distracted and decided to visit my blog page, as long as I’m here, why not say “hello?”  So here it is… “Hello!” May the peace of Christ be yours as you go from point A to point B today.  Back to work now!

If you’re busy too, what are you doing (or supposed to be doing)? (Other than checking blog posts?)

IMG_5956

7 Quick Takes — Pondering 2014.

— 1 —

Happy New Year!  I know I’m not alone when I wonder just how happy is 2014 going to be when it begins with sneezing, a runny nose, congestion, sore throat, the cough from hell, and cough drop breath?  Those of you who are well and healthy, keep on washing those hands. These germs are EVERYWHERE and they WILL find you and attack when you least expect it.  If you find a sale on NyQuil/DayQuil… buy them. And tissues.

— 2 —

FAMILY. Family is my theme for 2014. Call me crazy, but this is the year I put my family before business. God bless our families and all their little quirks! What theme can you plan to focus your attention in 2014?

— 3 —

Have you ever stopped yourself from doing something because there was a “learning curve” involved?  This year I’m going to scale an elusive learning curve — I’m going to seek advice and help from others in order to accomplish this goal. It’s just a computer program for Jazzercise franchisees, but it has kicked my butt for ten years. I’ve taken the first step and downloaded the program onto my laptop and now I’ve put it in writing… I will take my next baby step on Monday when I call a fellow franchisee to hire her for an hour of training. Now it’s your turn. Face a learning curve you’ve been avoiding. Conquer the curve!

— 4 —

Daily prayer in my life comes in bits and bytes during my typical day.  I have books, apps, Kindle books, alarms, sacramentals, CDs, DVDs–sometimes I use them, but mostly I pray constantly in my head and in my heart. Should I have a TIME and a PLACE each day to pray?

My cousin wrote of her mother (my Methodist aunt) reading her Bible each evening in the kitchen while her children watched TV in the living room when they were young.  Several questions popped into my head in no particular order of importance… “Did she read the Bible with her children at a different time of day?”  “Did they learn to read the Bible by her example?”  “I never had a prayer life that my children could think back and say ‘mom read her Bible each night while we watched TV.’”  My maternal grandmother was Catholic and prayed a Rosary each night in bed before going to sleep. I only know this because I lay down with her one night while visiting one summer–I was maybe 18 years old. She gave me that green plastic rosary and I use it over my other fancier Rosaries to this day. 

Gaga's Rosary

Gaga’s Rosary

 

— 5 —

This is the year I will finish painting the second bathroom. At the very least I hope to screw the light fixtures in place. It’s amazing how a project can languish after hitting a snag.  The snag in this case was the paint. It sort of “weeps and bleeds” when the room gets steamy during a shower. Total bummer. Perhaps I shouldn’t have mixed paint colors from two different types of paint?

Light fixture hanging in BR2

Light fixture hanging in BR2

There is no hope of covering the shoddy workmanship of the original owners when they used unskilled labor to hang the sheetrock and finish the walls. Some things just have to be acknowledged and accepted.  Why the wall texturing stopped four inches short of the edge of the wall is a mystery never to be solved.  Weird paint on top of crappy sheetrock finishing is barely noticeable, believe me.

Why does the texture stop 4" from the edge?

Why does the texture stop 4″ from the edge?

— 6 —

My goal of getting to bed at a decent hour each night has been squashed, and it’s only Day 3 of  2014. Did I really expect to get to bed by 11pm? My goal as I finish my 7QT is 2am. If you find errors in this post, please understand my rush to hit the sheets!

— 7 —

May the Lord bless you with faith, hope, and above all, LOVE, in 2014! 
I am joyful to have a wonderful grandson now and another grandchild in June. 

Grammy, G-man, and Grandfather

Grammy, G-man, and Grandfather

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Knitting in Florida

Stockinette stitch (knitting)

Stockinette stitch (knitting) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Knitting simple projects and finishing one in time for Christmas gift-giving is giving me incredible stress. Mostly because I delay for one reason or another.

  1. It’s too hot to knit in Florida in [ December ] or any other calendar month, for that matter.
  2. It’s too hot to knit because I’m experiencing another hot flash.
  3. My iced tea glass will drip condensation on the yarn (because it’s too hot in Florida).
  4. Yardage was not calculated before beginning project. Ran out of a discontinued color. Oops! I was in a hurry to leave the yarn shop because it was hot that day!
  5. It’s been so long since I’ve knitted, I have to relearn my knitting technique.

A male friend recently commented “it would be cheaper to buy it already made” whereas I replied, “but handmade shows you care and were thinking of the recipient.” I win.

Fear of Success

How do most bloggers feel as they sit at their computers posting blog entries? I write as if I’m invisible with no expectation of my blog posts being shared beyond family. (Even that thought can be daunting!)

The first time one of my posts was shared by total strangers, I felt fear, surprise, embarrassment, and a small bit of dread. “What had I done?” was a mantra in my head, and I seriously considered deleting the post.

It was a post I’d written in the wee hours of the morning, and I remember editing it for clarity and spelling errors ’til my eyes were crossing. I finally just clicked POST COMMENT and went to bed.  When it was shared and re-posted by others (4-5?), I thought of the guy who had recently posted a blog about marriage before boarding a plane. When he landed and checked his email, he learned his post had gone viral to the tune of 24 million people.

If this ever happens to me, I will surely need to be hospitalized with an acute anxiety attack. I love being anonymous, and cannot imagine the horrors of a “15 minutes of fame” invasion by press, talk-show hosts, etc.

 

5 tips for traveling with a toddler

On the road.Traveling with a baby is a grand adventure, and these tips are for traveling with ONE child. These tips will probably not work with more than one child in the car… of any age.

  1. Place car seat in the back seat facing the rear of the car. An adult should be seated next to the baby. This way, you can see each other and will most likely have the most upper body space for movement by the adult.
  2. Remove toddler’s socks and shoes when the toddler is in the seat. They will get the message that this is a relaxing time, no walking will be involved for awhile.  Plus, they sleep better without socks and shoes. Each time you stop for gas or food, socks and shoes are put on the toddler, and he is allowed to walk and run while holding the adults’ hand.
  3. Have a bag of toys nearby. Give the toddler ONE toy at a time, preferably a toy they haven’t seen in a while, or a new toy. Allow them to become fully bored with one toy before changing to another toy. Switch out with picture books for toddlers. If the toddler isn’t complaining about being bored or restless, leave the toddler alone.
  4. Sleeping while travelingBaby blanket should be nearby at all times. In addition to being a security blanket, an entire hour can be spent playing “peek-a-boo” in a variety of ways. Over the blanket, under the blanket, from each side, or play tent. The adult who plays with the toddler gets special treatment whenever you stop the car. In the evening, a Margarita is a great reward.
  5. Have the toddler’s bottle and/or sippy cup ready before you start the vehicle. Hydration should be encouraged, and be sure to change the diaper when you stop for gas or food.

2013 November 17

On Sunday, November 17, I went to bed ‘early’ (11:33 p.m.) and slept 7 1/2 hours.  Quite the record!  (The nights since have been 2+ hours per night) This is what my sleep looks like using the  DreamZ app on my iPhone:

IMG_7272The night’s sleep doesn’t look too restful to me!  Here’s what it says:  I went to bed at 11:33 p.m. and woke at 7:05 a.m. My longest dream was 31 minutes but my total dream time was 1 hour and 23 minutes. Something woke me tag 3:57 a.m. but I dropped back down into deep sleep.