7QT: SOTG, leftover leftovers, ants, sandbox fun, thrifty finds, letting go and knitting

— 1 —

Amazon.com wirelessly delivered Jennifer Fulwiler’s new book, “Something Other Than God,” to my Kindle Fire on Tuesday. By Thursday morning, I’d finished the book. Then I realized I’d forgotten to take a picture of myself reading it in an amazing place! I’ll be re-reading it SOON, so I have time to plan an fun photo in hopes of winning one of Jennifer’s contests.

It was definitely an unusual experience to read a memoir/conversion story of someone I feel I know through her blog writing. To learn intimate details of her life before blogging, especially before she blogged about ‘scorpion infestations,’ kinda threw me off kilter. Jennifer is an amazing woman. Grab her book (hardback or Kindle edition). It’s a great read!

Here’s me posing with my Kindle Fire and my blog post rough draft late at night. Think it’s goofy enough to win a prize?

Au natural

Au natural

— 2 —

This past week was the worst cooking week of my entire married life, I’m sure. How many times can a person eat leftover leftover chicken? Or leftover leftover Sausage, Sauerkraut and Dumplings? And now, leftover leftover Tacos. How can this be? (That’s right… leftover TWICE. I may instigate a new kitchen rule. After ONE leftover opportunity, the food goes in the trash or I schlep it over to my mom’s house. (She’s been schlepping her leftovers to ME–thank you Mom!–for a decade.) Is anyone else experiencing a cooking slump?

— 3 —

There are only two things guaranteed to make me swear. One is when my knitting goes horribly bad, and the other is ANTS in my kitchen. I haven’t knitted for a month, so this pretty much means that I gear up for war upon entering my kitchen. It’s been a week since the damn little piss-ants have been drunkenly carousing all over my counter, back splash and sink, and I’m sick of it. I half-drained a can of RAID around my windowsill (inside AND outside), even sprayed the countertop, and those damn ants just keep marching on, and on, driving me INSANE. Me, a grown woman, will stand at the counter for five or ten minutes staring at the wall, the counter, the windowsill, trying my damnedest to find their starting point. They just APPEAR! How can ants do that??? I think I saw some come out from behind a receptacle cover. Are they inside my WALLS??? Augh! Now I have to scrub and sterilize my sink and counters or risk poisoning my family in my quest to be rid of this scourge. Does anyone have a remedy for/against these teeny tiny itty bitty ants?

— 4 —

My husband is pretty handy and capable with DIY projects. He built a sandbox for our grandson two weeks ago. (He proudly tells me it’s all notch construction–no screws or nails!) It’s huge by anyone’s “sandbox standards.” Our daughter’s first reaction when she brought her son to us for a day of playtime was “Hey! The sandbox you made for Chris and me wasn’t that big!”

Boys and their Toys

Boys and their Toys


Our response: “He’s our Grandson… he deserves a Grand Sandbox!” It’s so big, we need another load of sand to fill it up. The sand is clean Florida sand from a local nursery named “Growing Crazy.” The sand has no rocks, but it does contain clay. It holds moisture really well and is easy to mold and make tunnels that don’t collapse. Now I need to find a laundry detergent capable of removing stains similar to those incurred when a baseball player slides into 2nd base. Any suggestions?

— 5 —

I had a strong urge to visit thrift stores last week. I found great deals on several good quality, gently used, children’s toys and books. For a fraction of retail, I scored some like-new wooden puzzles and some blocks that look like huge Lego’s (no, not Duplo). So far, G-man has ignored the puzzles, but he went nuts for the blocks. Of course, I’d built a castle and he was all about KNOCKING IT DOWN. (He’s not even two years old yet.)

The mother lode of thrift store gems was discovered at Goodwill … a wooden childrens’ easel (chalkboard on one side, wipe-off board on the other) for only $10. An Aurora Hobby Horse (retails for $34) for only $1.99, but the best of the whole lot was the Little Tikes Vacuum Cleaner for only $1.49. For those not in-the-know, G-man is very enamored of my Simplicity upright vacuum, especially the wand with the floor attachment. I taught him to “push and pull” months ago. He’ll use bats, sticks, wooden spoons, etc. as a vacuum at home, at the park, at friends’ homes… so when I found this child-size play vacuum I KNEW it would be a hit. It was and is, despite his obvious distraction by the song “Let It Go” in the movie, FROZEN. (Note: you may want to click this link… it’s the Disney link with lyrics and a bouncing snowflake to follow along. It’s pretty cool.)

Distracted by "Let It Go" song in FROZEN movie.

Distracted by “Let It Go” song in FROZEN movie.

Okay, I forgot to leave room for this gem I found on GodTube, but it’ll fit (for obvious reasons you’ll realize after watching five grown men act out a Bible story as told (literally) by 5 kids. Enjoy!

On a serious note, I respectfully request Little Tikes or the Dustbuster folks get real about making children’s vacuums REAL. G-man play-vacuumed my entire living room, hallway, his bedroom, and half the kitchen. It really stinks that I have to do it AGAIN with the REAL vacuum this weekend.

— 6 —

There’s only 52 weeks in the year, so I suppose it’s inevitable that the week my daughter’s second baby is due is also the week I’m scheduled to teach ten Jazzercise classes because my associate will be enjoying a well-deserved vacation. I’m not worried about teaching ten classes in six days, but the two 5:45 a.m. classes will be a challenge! I trust in God to get me through difficult times as well as little things in life. A Jazzercise instructor for 20 years, I am blessed to have fun and flexibility built in to my daily life and am enthusiastic to share the joy of dance & fitness with others!

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— 7 —

My Jazzercise associate will teach ten classes when I’m on vacation in Daytona Beach. I’ll enjoy quiet time while sitting poolside (or beachside). It’s only an hour from home, but a great way to get a vacation, ya know? I have BIG plans, one of which may include some swearing, if I’m honest. If you read post #3, you may have guessed that it will involve knitting. I’ve got to fix a knitting mistake before the weather cools down. I was doing GREAT with the new baby blanket for grandson #2 until I started a new skein in the MIDDLE OF A ROW near the end of the blanket. What was I thinking??? It’s best to end and begin skeins at the BEGINNING of a row, and weave in the ends. It’s not like I don’t have plenty of yarn! Let me show you what happened when I had a lapse in judgment… uh, I may have a MAJOR PROBLEM… where the hell did I put the new blanket??? All I wanted to do was take a picture to post, but the blanket is not where I thought it was. I haven’t seen the blanket for weeks! Excuse me while I have a minor panic attack…

Okay. That’s done. Now I’ll just say a prayer to St. Anthony…

Hi Saint Anthony! It’s me again. I’d be ever so grateful if you could point me in the right direction to help me find that darling blue baby blanket I’ve spent the last four or five months knitting. It has an adorable “baby block pattern.” I ask for your intercession with love and gratitude! Your sister in Christ, Monica. Amen.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock. FOUND IT! YEA!

Potentially catastrophic mid-row weaving mistake.

Potentially catastrophic mid-row weaving mistake.

Hi Saint Anthony! Me again. THANK YOU SO MUCH for planting the idea it could be in my bedroom. I also received the suggestion that I clean my room soon. De-cluttering is an excellent strategy for loss prevention. Your intercessions are never taken for granted, and I know and rejoice that all glory and honor belong to Jesus Christ, our Lord!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

How many irons can one person have in the fire at one time and still get the dishes done? The number of irons I’m hanging onto seems to be growing exponentially (and so is the pile in my kitchen sink). I’m starting to get worried that I won’t have time or energy to give each project justice. I love my projects and look forward to the sense of accomplishment I’ll feel with each one completed. To add insult to injury, I’ve got to deal with a stupid infestation of those teeny-tiny microscopic-sized ants. Where the heck did they come from and where in the blazes are they going? SMACK! is the sound of me slapping my arm as I realize a few have found their way to my computer desk. Okay. Clean the kitchen before working on projects. Got it. (Is there a saint for protection from ants indoors?)

— 2 —

I was approached at the gas station yesterday by a man claiming* that he forgot his wallet at home and asking for a few dollars to help him get some gas for his car. Anyone who knows me knows that I NEVER have cash. It was an automatic response for me to tell him “Sorry, I don’t have any money.” He moved off to another motorist asking for money, and it did cross my mind that I could offer to pay for his gas on a credit card, but then all these voices started a conversation in my head…

*Me: Is he scamming me? Is he “claiming” to have forgotten his wallet, or “telling” me he forgot his wallet. If this was my husband, wouldn’t I want someone to… Oh this would never happen to my husband.

Husband: You did what! We’re barely able to pay our bills and he’s probably scamming everyone!

Jesus: Whatever you do to the least of your brothers, you do unto Me.

Mother: Seriously? You didn’t even have $1 in your purse?

Me: Would he be insulted if I gave him all my change? (Checked my secret change container… 26 cents) … With gas at $3.44/gallon, he couldn’t get 5 drops for 26 cents. Pretty sure he’d bust a gut laughing at me.

So, in the event that this poor man actually DID forget his wallet and was counting on the kindness of strangers, if you’re reading this post, I apologize for letting you down. I did say a prayer for your needs.

— 3 —

When I come home, Jazzy, my cat, expresses her joy at seeing me by scratching on her scratching post. She’s so adorable doing it, and because I’d rather she use the scratching post than my great-great-grandmother’s sofa, I praise her and rub her until she walks away in embarrassment. I recently learned to place the scratching post near the front door (wish I’d known this little tidbit 4 cat cycles ago). Jazzy did not greet me when I walked in the door tonight at midnight. The cat goes to bed earlier than I do (and she sleeps all day)!

— 4 —

Maintaining relationships by texting and emails is exhausting. Why can’t younger people pick up a telephone and TALK? The only form of communication that comes to mind that is more time consuming than texting is smoke signals. Don’t tell my daughter… she may get ideas.

— 5 —

I have a great video library that provides me hours and hours of fun and enjoyment when I need to escape the pressures I create for myself. But half my library is on VHS tape and I no longer own a VHS player. There should be an exchange program for DVD or Blu-ray upgrades. Just sayin’ that would be a wonderful service the movie distributors could provide! Not every title is available to watch instantly on Netflix. Of course I haven’t checked every title. Who has time?

— 6 —

A little voice keeps suggesting that I pray a Scriptural Rosary (I even have the book “The New Rosary in Scripture” by Edward Sri.) Part of my brain says an automatic “yes,” but then the bigger part of my brain says “I’ll do it later.” Moments like this make me feel like a very bad Catholic. I need to give myself permission to just pray one decade a day and let it grow from there.

— 7 —

My mother reminded me that my birthday is coming up soon, and what would I like? This is momentous for several reasons. The most important reason being that she has so many birthdays to remember, she rarely remembers any of them before the actual birth date. One year, she didn’t remember my September birthday until December. I received several “guilt gifts” that Christmas! After a few moments of soul-searching and inner debate, I decided she could gift me with a new nightgown, just a plain soft cotton gown that will be comfortable to sleep in. Hey, when you’re 57 years old, sleeping comfortably is a BIG deal.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!