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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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: How I became an “instigator” and brought Mary of Nazareth to Mims, Florida

— 1 —

Confessions Audiobook

Confessions Audiobook

My name is Monica. My patron saint is St. Monica, mother of St. Augustine. In the summer of 2012, I decided (for the 3rd time) to read Confessions, by Augustine of Hippo. Because reading the book had been a dismal failure twice before, I turned to Audible.com and chose the Confessions audiobook as my FREE book for signing up. I highly recommend this version narrated by Richard Ferrone. His voice will forever be the voice of St Augustine to me! 

— 2 —

Restless Heart: The Confessions of Augustine

Restless Heart: The Confessions of Augustine

I volunteer in the office of my local Catholic church as editor of the bulletin, website, Facebook and Twitter. I receive and review information about a variety of things and sometimes nuggets of gold are discovered. When I was still basking in the after-effects of listening to Confessions, I came across the movie trailer for Restless Heart: The Confessions of Augustine.

Non-Christians would say it was fate, but I know it to be the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. (I’ve got some experience with Him, but that’s several posts for the future.) Because I had loaned my Audible account link for Confessions to my pastor, he too was excited to explore the opportunity to see the film. So last year I spearheaded a sponsored screening of Restless Heart, the first full-length epic motion picture about a great saint and doctor of the Church, Augustine, Bishop of Hippo. With help from friends, we secured donations to cover the site license and equipment rental ($1,350) to show it on parish grounds. Admission was only $5 because our pastor didn’t want price to keep people from coming to see the movie. He’s great that way!

Restless Heart came to our little town of Mims, Florida, for a glorious night on a 16’x20′ outdoor screen in November of 2012.  Over 150 people sat on blankets and chairs on a grassy slope in the cool night air. Everyone loved it!

— 3 —

Mary of Nazareth

Mary of Nazareth

This summer I received an announcement of a new movie to be released for sponsored screenings on October 1, 2013. The movie is “Mary of Nazareth.”

MARY OF NAZARETH is an epic new motion picture on the life of Mary, mother of Christ, from her childhood through the Resurrection of Jesus.

I watched the movie trailer several times. Each time, my eyes watered and I could feel my heart swell with joy. Once again, it was the stirring of the Holy Spirit in my heart. It was lovely, just lovely, and I knew I had to bring this movie to our little town of Mims, Florida.

— 4 —

Mary by the sea

Mary by the sea

At every opportunity, I played the Mary of Nazareth trailer for co-workers, friends, family. My pastor. My screensaver features wallpaper from the movie. Everyone expressed a delight in the promise of this movie, but it was months from a release date, and no screenings were expected in our area, much less the state of Florida. Money is tight, and the site license for this movie is $200 more than the license for Restless Heart. I needed to raise $1,150, so I wrote letters and called people asking for donations. I continue to show the movie trailer to anyone who hangs around my desk for more than a minute. Mission accomplished–$1,150 was raised in two weeks! Ticket prices started at $10, but the pastor lowered them to $6 so people can afford to come see the movie.  

— 5 —

MON.Mary_.Jesus_-150x150Ignatius Press has been unlocking 1-minute film clips each week, and so I devour these nuggets in anticipation of watching the 155-minute film. That’s right. Two hours and 35 minutes. My favorite clip is “Tunic” — I feel the power of the future event in each viewing.

— 6 —

MON.pieta_-150x150Alissa Jung (pronounced Young) portrays Mary, and she’s incredible. And she’s German. But if you’ve read this far, you’re obviously interested, so I recommend you listen/watch the interview with Alissa Jung by Anthony Ryan, Marketing Director at Ignatius Press. It takes about 20 seconds to begin–be patient. The actress is delightful! If you have time, Alissa recorded another interview for Discerning Hearts blog. The woman interviewing her isn’t identified, but I like her interview better than the one with Anthony Ryan.

— 7 —

MON.mary_.temple-150x150Endorsements.  You must read the endorsements and watch the clip from the audience at the first screening in San Francisco. The last person’s comment brought tears to my eyes. The scene of Mary making bread and giving it to the children and to the Apostles, as she gave us the True Bread of Life, Jesus Christ.

“In light of the reality that the Virgin Mary is God’s created masterpiece and the pinnacle of the feminine mystery, there is no harder person to portray in a movie than her and, yet, Mary of Nazareth offers the best presentation of Our Lady I have ever seen. Mary of Nazareth is an absolute theological and Mariological masterpiece!  It will make you want to love her more than ever. Mary’s beauty is pure and ageless, her feminine mystery filled with wonder and virtue, and her divine motherhood is both tender and captivating.  Without a doubt, this is the most stunning portrayal of the Virgin Mary on film!”

Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC
 | Author, NO TURNING BACK: A Witness to Mercy

Movies like Restless Heart and Mary of Nazareth are not released to theaters. They’re not available to purchase on DVD through outlets like Amazon.com. These incredible movies are only available for sponsored screenings. The preferred venue is in a theater with the capability of playing Blu-ray or IMAX. We need to support Christian films of this caliber.

Are you the person to come forward and decide to make it happen in YOUR community? I’m nobody special. I don’t have connections or special skills. What I do have is faith in the Lord and a willingness to help people know Him better. A desire to share the love of Jesus Christ with all people who are ready to listen.  Volunteer to raise money, find a venue, market the film, (posters and tickets are provided with the site license) and sell tickets. Contact Ignatius Press for more information, the same as I did several months ago. YOU can bring Mary of Nazareth to your community in 2014!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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!  

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7 Quick Takes – Lazy Daze

— 1 —

One year old and flying high!

One year old and flying high!


Saturday at Fort Christmas Historical Park was the location of the photo session celebrating my grandson’s first birthday. It was a lovely day with kids running around and parents watching from a shady spot. The professional photo shoot was scheduled between G-man’s morning and afternoon naps because my daughter and son-in-law think of these things (and she probably saw the tip on a blog or on Pinterest). Kelly Verdek was the perfect photographer–he was patient and wanted to be sure he got all the shots the parents wanted. His camera was constantly clicking away and he made some great suggestions, too. The photos are fabulous. If you live in the Orlando area, you might want to schedule a photo session! My daughter especially loves a photo of me and her son. I love all of them because he’s wonderful! How does a Grammy choose a favorite photo out of nearly 100 photos?

Grammy love is "in your face" as often as possible.

Grammy love is “in your face” as often as possible.

— 2 —

This is the last weekend of the Art and Algorithms Digital Art Festival here in Titusville, Florida. Of Thursday evenings’ foreign short films, my favorite was the 5-minute film from Columbia titled “Czech Please” and my least favorite was a Canadian film titled “A Pretty Funny Story.” I’m planning to see the classic movie, “Singin’ in the Rain” starring Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor at midnight on Friday, and Saturday’s midnight film is “The Big Lebowski” which I’ve never seen.

Singin' in the Rain

Singin’ in the Rain

— 3 —

Something I never see any more are folks washing their cars in their driveways on the weekends. I haven’t washed my car in nearly 9 months… and it shows dreadfully. Especially the wheels. The brake dust and road grime is disgusting. Do people still wash their own cars, or do they go to automatic car washes? I’m too embarrassed to post a photo of my dirty car. Sad, huh?

— 4 —

For a baby who was born with Acid Reflux and spent the majority of his first six months crying, this baby is one of the happiest babies you’ll ever hear. When you stop to think about it, so much of life is funny when you have nothing to compare it to. Take any word, such as “Whoo!” and repeat it over and over to a baby. Perhaps it’s the way it rolls off your tongue, or the shape of your lips as you make the sound, or the expression on your face. Who knows? A baby’s laugh is balm to the spirit. Want to feel a bit better than you do right now? Click to play!

— 5 —

Our Lady of Fatima

Our Lady of Fatima


I’m praying a novena in preparation for Pope Francis’ consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary this Sunday. Today is Day 8. A great resource to remind you to pray AND they deliver the prayers to your Inbox is Pray More Novenas. If you’re able to donate money to help, this site has experienced an explosive growth this week, and it continues to grow exponentially as more people sign up. Here’s the link to become a “special member.”

— 6 —

Okay, I live in Florida, so I should be used to bugs. I’m not. The other night I came home after a nice Girls Night Out. Got out of my car in the driveway. Walked through a dark garage. I thought I felt something on the back of my neck but didn’t think much of it… I was carrying my purse and a tote bag, my shirt had a wide loose neckline and drooped either right or left all day. I walked into the kitchen and as usual, dumped my bags on the nearest kitchen chair. As I straightened my arm, I saw it. A cockroach on my sleeve. “EEEEEK!” I screamed and violently shook my arm. Yeah, I did the bug dance, too. I thought the bug flew off, so I looked everywhere around me. No bug. My cat looked at me like I was crazy. It dawned on me the bug might still be on me, that’s when I felt it on the back of my neck, near my hair. This time it wasn’t an “EEEEEK!” but an “AUGH! GET IT OFF, GET IT OFF!” at twice the volume followed by some screaming for my husband to come quick! This time I managed to smack the bug off me and watched it run and hide under the antique mahogany cabinet my great-great-great grandfather built centuries ago. My hubby made it into the kitchen just as the bug disappeared. Nothing to be done except pat me on the back and ask if he needs to move the cabinet (we both know he doesn’t mean it… that cabinet isn’t going anywhere… it weighs a ton). “I’ve got some bug spray… I’ll get it,” I tell him bravely. He goes back to his WoW game, and I pull out the empty can of Raid from under the kitchen sink. I’m one of those gals who won’t throw away the empty bug spray can until I have a replacement, you know what I mean? Fumes are better than nothing. There were just enough fumes left to fill the space under the cabinet. I know this because 15 minutes later the cat is sitting near her water dish with a strange posture… kinda quizzical. A dead roach is floating in her water bowl. Ew. I didn’t like picking up that bowl, and I gotta say, if that bug had moved one iota, that bowl would’ve been airborne and I’d be screaming again. It went down in the first flush and the cat’s water bowl got thrown in the sink for sanitizing. Ant and Roach Killer — one of the good things in my life!

— 7 —

Sleep. Still one of those elusive “good things in life” that I wish I could enjoy more often. Perhaps if I went to bed instead of checking my computer it would be easier to nod off. Last night was a record ten hours of sleep. I’ve never been able to sleep that well 2 nights in a row. My sleep clock has a few springs loose, I guess. I did use the special baby lotion last night, and it worked like a charm!
baby bedtime lotion

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7 Quick Takes – Grandparents Day 2013

— 1 —

Giro Infant Safety Helmet saves the day!

Giro Infant Safety Helmet saves the day!


Grandparents Day started great but ended up 50 miles away at a pediatric trauma center. Our 11-month-old grandson is fine, but the grandparents are still a bit shaky about riding a bike with him (after the bikes are repaired and a new bike safety helmet can be ordered for him). Summary of the bike accident HERE.

— 2 —

It’s been a while since I regularly strolled the aisles of the toy departments of local stores. A visit earlier this week freaked me out when I was minding my own business and a stupid Furby toy started TALKING to me as I walked past. I thought those things were GONE for good. After reading Jennifer’s post on 7QT, I would recommend putting the Furby in the trash and gently explaining to her daughter that the little guy left on a pilgrimage…. It would be an act of kindness any priest would absolve.

— 3 —

I am feeling relieved and a bit proud of my accomplishments this month, as they involved three very different learning curves. (Getting our church’s new website organized with menus, content, links, widgets, setting up and organizing our parish’s new Flocknote network for text/email communication with parishioners, and setting up the new email system for the parish staff.)

Of course the rest of my life was put on “hold” until I had time to cook dinner, wash clothes, sleep, (but I don’t do that much anyway), and clean my house. I did maintain the litter box… anyone who’s got cats knows you don’t let the litter box mess pile up, or they find somewhere else to pee and poop in your home!

House Cat #2

House Cat #2


If my daughter reads this post this week, clean out your litter box. I’m sure it needs it. Learn from my mistakes.

— 4 —

New baby in the house

New baby in the house


Parenting styles are not lost on children. I recently showed this picture to my adult daughter of herself when she was about two years old. We had recently brought her newborn brother home from the hospital and no one was getting much sleep in the house. She fell asleep at the table while eating lunch.

She had the exact same thoughts as I did when I found the photo… “Dad made my lunch… because he served it to me on a paper towel.” That’s right daughter! Mommy always served (and still serves) lunch on a plate, whether it’s plastic, paper, or china.

We’ve been married 36 years, and he STILL will make and eat a sandwich lunch on a paper towel. I still complain about the cost of paper napkins.

— 5 —

Chile Verde Pork Tostada

Chile Verde Pork Tostada

.

I assume that most folks have a favorite menu item that they order EVERY SINGLE TIME they go to their favorite restaurant. Am I right? The Chile Verde Pork Tostada is only available on the lunch menu. I no longer have a desire to go to dinner there because this lunch item isn’t available on the dinner menu. That’s nuts, isn’t it? Do you ever order something that’s not on a menu? Do you get it?

— 6 —

Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Sangre de Cristo Mountains


My brother is in the midst of a monsoon currently drenching parts of New Mexico. I pray for his and others’ safety as they brave the storm. On the positive side, the creek he uses for water shouldn’t run dry this winter/spring like it did earlier this year!

— 7 —

My sister recommended a movie for me to watch soon… Fargo. If you’ve seen it, what did you think? It’s rated “L” (limited adult audiences by the Catholic News Service. I don’t have a problem with dark humor. (I recently discovered I love to watch “Breaking Bad.”)

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Bike Safety Pays Off

G-man sports the Giro infant bicycle safety helmet

G-man sports the Giro infant bicycle safety helmet


A bicycle helmet is one of the best things in life you should focus on for anyone in your family who rides on a bike. Even if it’s just a bike ride down the street.

A fluke accident happened in the blink of an eye this afternoon while on a bike ride with our 11-month old grandson, (who still looks like his photo from last month)….

Long story short: Babysitting, 3-mile bike ride with infant, narrow sidewalk, tree, riderless bike, bike & infant fall, broken helmet, broken bikes, hot day, prayers to Jesus and Mary, 9-1-1, call G-man’s parents, Life Flight helicopter, pediatric trauma center 50 miles away, Divine Mercy Chaplet, x-rays, CT-scan, pediatric cervical collar around the neck, pediatric blood pressure cuff on the left arm, IV and IV board on the right arm, and oh by the way, no water or formula for three hours in the pediatric ER. Another 3 hours ’til the attending physician released infant with ‘all clear’ after observation. The only thing that kept this child calm was two full-length viewings of Pixar’s “CARS” movie on an iPad. Grandparents sustained minor injuries; parents lost 5 years off their original lifespan. Baby sleeping comfortably. Rosary.

One-Year Birthday plans may proceed, thank God, and all the angels and saints, too. If he hadn’t been wearing a helmet, I don’t even want to think about the head injury that could have resulted. Thank God the bike and baby fell in sand. Not the sidewalk, not the road (which was within 3 feet).

So, make sure you and your child wear a bike safety helmet when on your bikes.

Here’s how we established bike helmet safety: When we first got the bike helmet, G-man fought to get the strange contraption off his head. He wriggled. He cried. He pulled. We did not give in to his complaints. We led by example. Grandfather would put his bike helmet on saying “Hats on!” with a smile. Grammy would put her bike helmet on saying “Hats on!” with a smile. And finally we would both put his helmet on saying “Hats on!” with a smile. When we got to our destination, his would come off first with a big “Hats off!” and a smile. Right on down the line. He learned to accept the bike helmet as a matter of course after that!

In the event his parents allow him to get on a bike again (after repairs), we’ll need to invest in a new helmet. Not sure when this will be. This accident happened so fast, I can’t even remember seeing it happen, and it happened right in front of me! One second they were THERE, the next second they were DOWN. I didn’t even have time to apply my brakes. I hit the brick wall and dropped my feet from the pedals. The sprocket from the chain dug into the back of my ankle, but I don’t feel anything wrong yet.

Don’t worry about “bike helmet hair.” If it bothers you that much, find a different sport that doesn’t require head safety.

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!

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!