7 Childhood Classics to Re-Read… and Why!

My toddler grandson is a book lover. His little book collection is mostly the “first book” card stock books with touch ‘n feel pictures; some look as if they’ve been run over by a truck a few times. The books with real paper pages are torn from the exuberance of “turning the page.” In other words, his books are well-loved and re-read several times daily, exasperating his mother when she tries to get some housework done.

“How many times a day can I read “Green Eggs and Ham?”

she texted me one day.

He’ll read soon, I’m sure. His mama started reading when she was three. So she’s got another year of reading, and longer, if he’ll let her!

When my daughter was in 4th or 5th grade, she was reprimanded in school for ‘reading too much.’ Yes, her father and I were actually called in for a parent-teacher conference because she would hide her books inside schoolbooks to read when the class assignments were complete. The teacher laughingly confessed that she wished her other students read half as much as our daughter did.

This post by Michelle reminds me of my daughter. She always has a book (or two or three) that she’s reading. She’s kept all her books over the years, and is now a new mom trying to decide where to place her 8 bookshelves crammed with books (in alphabetical order). The spare room that used to be the ‘library’ needs to be converted to a bedroom to accommodate a new addition to the family.  Perhaps she’ll de-clutter her collection, (there’s still books stored in boxes, too). I’ll have to ask her for her “Top 7” books.

Enjoy Michelle’s list of “7 Childhood Classics to Re-read… and Why”

7 Childhood Classics to Re-Read… and Why!.

 

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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?

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.

No flat surface left uncovered in this house…

Through the years, my husband would often complain that if there was a flat surface in our house, I would find something to put on it.  Well, I’ve tried to keep that quirk to a minimum (truly, I’ve tried) but 2013 has been a year of failure on this front.

I know where everything is (for the most part) but that actually doesn’t help. The only flat surface not currently obscured with clutter or “stuff” is the dining room table, and that’s only because I’m planning to wash the tablecloth.  In order to avoid IRONING the 102″ long tablecloth, I’ll need to wash, dry and immediately replace it on the table. So no clutter is allowed on it until that’s accomplished.  If I delay much longer, we’ll be celebrating the holidays and the dining room will be decorated!

Which brings me to the “question of the day” posted for November 5… What is the condition of the writing space where I blog… or something to that effect.  Gee. I have to go with cluttered and stacked. My wrists rest on my iPad mini (waiting to charge through iTunes), a pad of paper, a few Rolodex cards, 2 postcards (they need stamps affixed before I can mail them), a gasoline receipt, and a few loose notes (from the aforementioned pad of paper). This is only the stuff UNDER my wrists.

To my right is the telephone/answering machine–which I sometimes answer because I start thinking it might be someone other than a salesman, politician or a police/fire foundation who wants money because I was so generous five years ago (I gave them $10. If I’d know what a PITA this would become, I would NOT have donated $10).  I am always disappointed when I answer the house phone, but I grew up answering the phone. “It might be important!” Also to the right is an empty water bottle (and now I’m thirsty), a pen, TWO pairs of earrings, more receipts, a stack of blank index cards, the mouse and mousepad, and the Rolodex.

The Florida Catholic newspaper

The Florida Catholic newspaper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To my left is a miracle of balance and symmetry. In no particular order is a small cutting board and a paring knife (I think I had a wine and cheese party one night while reading email), a discarded bra (it was tight and I wanted to get comfortable), a suede photo album with nearly 100 4×6 prints of my grandson celebrating his ONE-YEAR-OLDness….

Peeking around the edges of this stack, I can see my Certificate of Insurance forms for 2013 and another for 2014. Perhaps an issue or two of the Florida Catholic newspaper, some accounting forms, attendance pages from my Jazzercise class (oh, that’s where the August pages are!) and stuff I can’t identify because I’d have to adjust the delicate balance of the stuff on top.  I do know that there’s nothing time-sensitive in that pile.  It’s on the LEFT side of the desk.  I’m RIGHT-HANDED.  Simple logic.

I know a picture is worth a thousand words. That may be so, but my iPhoto app on my iMac computer is still INOPERABLE.  If it were paper, it would be located on the RIGHT-HAND side of my desk, which is where things get taken care of sooner (rather than later).  

English: Apple iMac aluminium

English: Apple iMac aluminium (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And now that this description is posted, I will endeavor to CLEAN MY DESK at the first opportunity. Then I’ll find some way to take and post a picture. I suppose I can E-MAIL it to myself since neither my iPhone nor my iPad mini are able to upload photos to my iMac.

7 Quick Takes — Mid-Life Rebellion

— 1 —

Instead of sleeping Thursday night, I watched a few things online from links in e-mails and blogs. First up was the link to the Explore God Q&A Forum with Jennifer Fulwiler and two pastors.  Next up was a documentary that caught my eye on the YouTube side menu when Explore God ended.  (I wasn’t tired yet.)  I highly recommend it to Catholics, because we generally don’t know much about modern saints and this featured the lives of TWO saints and ONE blessed (soon to be saint). Can you guess their names? Check out the one+ hour documentary, Ocean of Mercy.

By the time the documentary ended, I admit to feeling a bit tired, but another video caught my eye and so what-the-heck… I clicked with the intention of just watching for a few minutes.  Before I knew it, I’m watching the All In the Family episode when Edith Bunker discovers she’s going through “the change.” It was still funny. I watched the entire episode. In for a pound, I then followed it up with the 2-part episode featuring the birth of Gloria’s baby.  Was it a boy or a girl?  I couldn’t remember.  Now I know, and I’m not telling… you’ll need to google it or watch the episode yourself.

— 2 —

Household chaos. This week’s household chores can be counted on one hand. Washed dishes twice. Washed two loads of laundry. Hmm.  I have a finger leftover. Should’ve cleaned the bathroom or vacuum the living room.  Ah, I picked up the toys off the living room floor. I draw the line at stepping on little Hot Wheels cars.

— 3 —

My 1998 Honda Accord dashboard information warning lights have been on so long I rarely take note, but now they’re down from four lights to three, thanks to my hubby helping me get a new bulb for my taillight. Now it’s just ABS, Maintenance, and Engine.  We’ll open the hood this weekend to take a peek at the serpentine belt and check the oil, water and battery.  Anyone else out there drive around with dashboard warning lights ON? Which is the most annoying light you ignore because nothing turns it off? I hate spending money for EACH light to determine the codes. Mainly because I like spending that money for groceries….

— 4 —

Our church’s Fall Festival was last Friday night. As expected, I was only able to sit down for 3 minutes to eat a quick bite, but that’s par for the course for the folks in charge. No time to sit when you’re zipping from one activity to the next playing “hostess.”  This year’s fall festival included a Chili Cook-off, Square Dance, Kids’ Costume Parade, and a Photo Booth featuring the decorated Pumpkins folks contributed for ambience. Ann, my co-conspirator, supervised the campfire outside for the kids to roast marshmallows; her hubby supervised the old-fashioned hayride.  The pot-luck chili cook-off was lots of fun, and the square dance was enjoyed by young and old.  I’d like to try square dance lessons, but I enjoy the Monday night bible study classes too much to trade.

The next activity I’m organizing at church is called “Screen on the Green.”  We’re sponsoring one screening of the new epic movie, MARY OF NAZARETH. We rent a 16’x20′ outdoor screen & surround sound audio to watch great movies on the grassy slope next to our rectory. Check online to see if “Mary of Nazareth” is playing near you (it probably isn’t, so you may need to spearhead a screening in your area.) Watch the trailer, read the reviews of this amazing movie of the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. If it’s not playing near you and you’re up to a trip, the movie will be playing at our church on Saturday, November 16 at 7pm in Mims, Florida at Holy Spirit Catholic Church (on the space coast of Florida).  Advance tickets are $10 each or $15 the night of the event.

— 5 —

Clothes. I need clean clothes. See #2 above.

— 6 —

These 7 QT aren’t too pretty. No pictures.  Am I the only person capable of personally destroying their iPhoto app on their Apple computer?  Each time I tried to “repair” my database, all I did was worsen the problem. Nothing’s worked, and now the app won’t open and I can’t access my photos.  Grrr.

— 7 —

No photos this week, but I have terrific news. Last Saturday I picked up my one-year-old grandson. When he’d finished hugging, I pulled away to see what special shirt he was wearing. The previous 3 days he’d been sporting costume shirts:  Spiderman, Batman, Superman (included a cape), so my curiosity was piqued.  The shirt said Only Child (crossed out) and under that it said “Big Brother.”  My daughter got my scream on video… another grandchild will be joining our family next July.  Wahoo!  

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Which Way?

What’s the positive side of spinning ones’ wheels? I feel a Fall malaise that has some serious consequences if I can’t get a handle on it soon. I’m not just talking laundry, dishes, housekeeping, yard work, car maintenance, personal hygiene, and poor nutrition. The mere action of reading e-mail, responding, deleting, reading articles, has consumed my evening and my designated sleep time. I am more behind than I can ever hope to catch up with, as if I’m sliding downhill while trying to climb a sand dune. The only solution is to DELETE ALL, throw piles on my desk into the garbage, and start fresh. Oh, but for the important papers in there, I’d do it in a heartbeat!

I’ve come to the conclusion that the Internet is not our friend… at least it’s not MY FRIEND this week. It’s beginning to feel like an instrument of the devil. Life has not gotten easier, it’s gotten crowded, rushed and relegated to a 2nd class existence. My grandparents must have had a simpler life, (yes, a hard life, but at least they were not interrupted every 2-3 days with knowledge of a major world catastrophe or mass shooting or terror attack, of which they were powerless to stop, change, or alter the outcome.)

Opinions were allowed time to percolate with introspection, reason, common sense, research and/or conversation among friends and neighbors. They could change their mind and it wasn’t held against them forever because it was posted on Facebook or Twitter. The heat of the moment these days can flare into a wildfire in the blink of an eye in 2013. I’m sure my grandparents got more sleep each night than I’ll ever manage to get no matter how hard I try.

I admit that I’m not up to the challenge of life with unlimited Internet access. I’m tired. I’ll wash my face, brush my teeth and salvage the remaining six hours sleep left to me to survive Tuesday’s onslaught of information overload. Things will look different tomorrow. Worse is still “different” in my universe… but at least I’ll have some sleep under my belt to deal with it… or delete it.

I’d post a photo, but the iPhotos app on my iMac computer disappeared Sunday evening. So that little computer chore of fixing the problem is one of the things weighing on my mind. Which is just as well, because the total embarrassment of posting a photo of my desk would seriously damage my ability to ignore it. Dear Lord, please allow me to have peace-filled sleep tonight! Amen.

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Wading pool fun

Wading pool bliss


One of the good things in life is chillin’ in cool water on a hot day. My grandson had his first experience in a wading pool on Labor Day. He laughed and splashed to his hearts’ content and made some interesting faces, too. He was a bit confused at first… he probably thought he was getting a bath outside!

— 2 —

Mother and son -- we always found something to smile about in life!

Mother and son — we always found something to smile about in life!

Twenty-three years ago the mayors of Fremont and Newark, California, declared September 7 “Christopher Benninghoff Day.” The communities were very helpful in our search for a bone marrow donor, unfortunately, none were found for my son (he died six months later). At the time, at least one donor was found for another leukemia patient. Join the National Donor Marrow Registry. You could be a match for someone to save their life!

— 3 —

Breaking Bad - Season 1, Episode 1

Breaking Bad – Season 1, Episode 1

I’ve had Breaking Bad in my Netflix queue for about a year and decided to watch episode 1 tonight while doing paperwork. That was seven hours ago. I’m hooked. So not good. I don’t have time to watch a TV show! I’ve got a Bible study class starting next Monday and a second one two weeks later.

— 4 —

Praying while driving is easy because the radio stays off in my car. My go-to prayer for distraction-free driving is the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I use a great free iPhone app (Chaplet of Divine Mercy) designed and developed by the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. I just discovered tonight that it has an audio option! This is great because I have a mental block remembering the opening and closing prayers.

— 5 —

My big sister flies in next week to attend her 40th high school reunion and to visit family. It’s always a challenge making sure that everyone has an opportunity to visit and get quality time with her. IMG_6076She’s older than me, so of course she has more grandchildren than I do. Please keep travelers in your prayers on September 11. She got a really good price on her airline ticket.

— 6 —

Pope Francis has asked all Catholics, Christians, and people of goodwill to fast and pray for peace in Syria on Saturday, September 7. Recommendations are praying the Rosary, reading Scripture, Eucharistic Adoration, and fasting. New York time between 1pm and 5pm is recommended to be in unity with Rome.

— 7 —

I used to use a great system for keeping my house clean and orderly. Anyone ever read and follow the Sidetracked Home Executives? I used it religiously at one house, but was never able to duplicate the motivation in subsequent places I’ve lived. Why is that? What fickle finger of fate determines motivation in one house over another. Anyone else have this problem? I’ve got a collection of “how to clean and organize” books … that I probably should take to a thrift store ’cause they’re certainly not doing much good on the bookshelf! I’m my own worst enemy.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Two days. That’s how long I was able to get to bed early and sleep for a good 8-9 hours.  I meant to go to bed at 9:30pm… but that was nearly six hours ago and I’m STILL at the computer. Haven’t even gotten to my email yet.  Don’t wanna.  Why?  Because it’s got a 2-day backlog of messages!

— 2 —

Pulled weeds in my front entry IN THE DARK surrounded by angry mosquitoes one night this week.  (I got home late, obviously.) My helpful hubby provided two citronella candles and a halogen workshop light draped over the hedge. (The alternative was him using the weed-whacker indiscriminately to clear the jungle away from our entry.)

The halogen light sure helped me see the swarm of mosquitoes intent on draining my body of every drop of blood.  Thank you, God, for mosquito repellent.  It worked.  And the shower afterwards gave me the most glorious and clean feeling in the world. The weeds have been eradicated for another few months. My plants are named Adam, Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephraim, Frankincense, Gideon, and Herbert.  With the exception of “Herbert,” can you “name that movie” from which the names are taken?

— 3 —

No cat drama this week. Always good.

— 4 —

Another day closer to my drivers license expiration date.  I have my certified marriage license and my certified birth certificate ready, now I just need to review the drivers handbook to prepare for the test.   I’d rather be pulling weeds.  In the dark.  With or without mosquito repellent.

— 5 —

I’m nearing the point of needing to learn about video compression.  If given a choice, I would probably prefer to pull weeds–in the dark–with mosquitoes. I know enough to know that if I learn about lossless compression, I will FOREVER be on the other side of geekness.  Friends’ eyes will glass over when I speak. I know this because it bores me senseless.  Here’s another movie reference…

I don’t want to know WHERE the water comes from!  I just want to be able to turn the faucet on and get water!

— 6 —

Prayer success of the week!  I prayed a Rosary for a friend who is experiencing spiritual attacks on every level. (Thanks for saying a quick prayer for Linda. God will know which Linda needs prayer!)  I should pray the Rosary more often, I know. I think about it often. Are there some families who actually pray the Rosary every night?  God bless you!

— 7 —

New crib

Just driving by when I spotted this crib.  It was a gorgeous day to spend $40!

I bought a crib this afternoon for my grandson to take naps when he visits us on Sundays. The ladies at the thrift store were so excited that it was new in the box… but it has a drop-down side (and every mother and grandmother knows no one is supposed to sell that style any more) … thanks to government over-regulation.  It’s a great crib made by Simmons (at a great price–$40) and it’s better than the port-a-crib hand-me-down we’re using now.  I love that it’s never been drooled on. The teething rails are pristine. No teeth marks. Yet.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!