She lives! The electric edition

Well, I’m no better at getting back to this blog now than I have been at any time in the past year. I’m sorry.

It’s been a year of change and upheaval for me. With the job search in August/September, I had heard about a postion in a nearby town from a friend. That didn’t pan out. Then we went to Mass in another nearby town and the priest mentioned a job opening at their parish school. That lead to a 1st & 2nd interview and a “shadow day”. And while that situation progressed, I learned about an opening with my son’s school. That was the lead that finally lead to the actual job. So as of October 1st, I am the assistant cook at my son’s Catholic school. It has been a hectic, wonderful learning experience for me. I love being there and helping our head cook create the delicious, healthy meals for these children. I have learned so much and when we get back from Christmas break, I’ll be learning even more. We are a good team and have great help from a number of volunteers who come in to help serve the food, assist the kids with condiments and wipe down tables. It has been an incredible blessing to be able to do the work I enjoy with people I enjoy spending time alongside.

Ditty went as far a sections with her swim team this year. She was hoping that she wouldn’t need to go as her shoulder has been bothering her. We have been working with our chiropractor and that brought some relief. Now that swim season is over, that has brought even more relief, so I just need to encourage her to keep doing the exercises so that she doesn’t re-injure it next year. She is also preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation. It’s hard to believe that she’s old enough to do this. And trying to get her behind the wheel time finished so that she can get her driver’s license. My little girl is becoming a very poised and practical young woman. We also purchased a new step-up flute for her. She has needed one for a long time (about the last 2 years), but we didn’t just snap one up. We took our time and had her play several different flutes to see which one she liked best. I’m pleased that she decided on an Azumi. Some people might get down on me for that since the Azumis are a Japanese flute, but seriously if you haven’t heard one-don’t judge me. The American school of flutes are very light and bright sounding. The Japanese school of flutes are darker and deeper in tone. Frankly, they just sound so amazingly full and rich. These aren’t words I can use with the American school of flutes, although they are pretty. While we were flute shopping, the flute specialist who was helping us also let Ditty try out a $13,000 model. If you think there is no difference except for the price tag, you would be very wrong. That flute sounded so amazingly rich and, dare I say it, delicious that if money was not an object, I would have entertained serious thoughts about getting that one. Maybe she’ll consider becoming a concert flautist so we can get that one.

BooBoo is still taking guitar. Why, I’m not sure since he hates to practice. Apparently, he just likes playing – but not an electric guitar. He chose a new accoustic guitar, made by Fender and shaped like their Stratocaster model with the cutaway body and the inline head. I seriously wanted to ask ” So, who is this girl that you’re trying to impress?”, but I didn’t. I know you’re probably amazed, so am I. He also wants to try out for track and field this spring. He had a lot of fun at the Track & Field day that the High School boys’ track team held through community ed last spring. Hopefully, he will find his sport. I’m sure there will be something out there for him to enjoy. BooBoo will also be participating in our school musical this year, but not backstage as he usually does. This year, he has chosen to be one of the actors and will be an Apostle in our school production of Godspell Jr. It should be an interesting show. I remember singing some of the music when I was in grade school at my Catholic school. Of course, we also sang some of the music from Jesus Christ Superstar. Very 1970’s indeed! 🙂

So, you may be wondering why this is “the electric edition”. Well, early this past Saturday morning, I experienced chest pains and DH brought me in to our local hospital emergency room. While I didn’t need defibrilation, they did hook up quite a few electrodes to me to monitor my heart. And because the enzyme that gets released if there is a problem with the heart takes 4-6 hours to occur in the bloodstream, they had me admitted to a hospital room for observation. In that room, they attached even more electrodes because their heart monitor uses different ones from the monitor in the E.R. I think I seriously had about a dozen of the little stickers on my chest & abdomen. If they had needed to defribrilate, I possibly would have lit up like a Christmas tree. Electro-Woman. Hmm, glad that didn’t happen. I’m 50, I don’t look good in spandex.


Short weeks

Short school weeks can be either a blessing or a curse.  A blessing since I get the kids home an extra day.  A curse because it means getting everything that needs to be done finished in less time because I’ve got the kids home an extra day.

Oh, they do their chores around the house.  I just don’t care to do mine when they are home.


Still trying to be good

Christmas eve was spent with just our immediate family.  We attended 4 pm Mass (out of duty as I was scheduled to sacristan & Ditty was scheduled as an altar server.  I would have preferred to attend the 10 am Christmas Day Mass.),  then headed home for supper and gift opening.  CB, Ditty, BooBoo & DH all enjoyed their gifts very much.  BooBoo had what will probably be referred to by our family as a “Very Lego Christmas”.  At least for the next few years.  DH asked BooBoo, after he had opened his last present, if he still felt the need to go to the Lego store and spend his birthday & Christmas money and BooBoo actually said “No”.  That’s a first.

Christmas Day was spent with DH’s side of the family.  The children draw names and swap presents among the small fry.  The adults purchase a gift and we do our exchange as a game.  This year with dice, gift swiping and a bit of “pot stirring” by a few of us.

Today was spent with my parents, due in part to the early Christmas eve Mass and also CB’s schedule.  She had to work until 1:30 on Christmas eve and then had a 3 1/2 hour drive to get home, so it just worked out better to do Christmas with my parents today.

Today’s muse:

“Anger is the feeling that makes your mouth work faster than your mind.”  Evan Esar (1899-1995)

Yeah, that’s why this post has the title it does, but nothing in it seems to apply.  Guess I should be glad that typing slows both mouth and fingers so the mind can catch up.

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas.  Wishing all of you a joyous & prosperous New Year!

How to tell . . .

That your children are growing up . . .


It’s now the bottom part of your tree that is sparsely decorated.

Maybe I shouldn’t let them decorate unsupervised.  Oh well, at least Ditty remembered to sing the O Antiphon on Saturday night.  I forgot (and they didn’t remind me) on Sunday.  Yes, that probably is their commentary on my singing voice, but since the psalm says make a joyful noise I still say God is okay with my singing and anyone else can just smile and don their earplugs.

How to tell that someone didn’t spend enough time praying the rosary . . .

Women “priests”.  The Star Tribune ran a column in their B section on Dec 11th front page titled, Female priests push Catholic boundaries.  If these women who claim to be ordained priests had spent more time on their knees praying the rosary, I think they would have realized that they were not being “called” to the priesthood but instead being led astray by both Satan and our society’s views about women.  One of the promises Mary makes to those who devoutly and regularly pray the rosary is to protect them from heresy.

And now for today’s muse or  How to tell when you and someone else are kindred spirits . . .

“I love being a writer.  What I can’t stand is the paperwork.”  Peter De Vries

I feel the same way about housework.

Have a great week.

More than the usual busyness

“Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities.”  Aldous Huxley

Wish someone would have bothered to tell me sooner.  But seriously, sorry for the two week absence.  Life did get overly busy and there simply wasn’t enought time for writing.  I did get quite a bit done, however.

1.  Moved the oldest (age 25) out of our house and into an apartment in another city (another college town but not her college town-thank God).  She seems to be adjusting well.  I’m glad.  I’m also glad to have my homelife back on an even keel.  Okay, we’re actually just trying to get the keel even again, but we’ll get there.

2.  Completed two more Virtus sessions.

3.  Finished BooBoo’s knit Matthias’ Oversized Monk’s Robe so BooBoo can be Matthias from the original Redwall book for Halloween.  Ditty has now decided that she does want to dress up and go trick or treating for Halloween.  She announced it at supper last night and even my husband said “What!  You’ve decided that now and there’s only a week to go!”.  Bless his heart.  She knows that I will not be making a new costume for her this year.  Not on that short notice.

4.  Shampooed the carpet in the bedroom formerly used by the oldest.  Almost wish I had taken a before picture along with the after picture, but you would have been seriously grossed out.  Suffice to say that I changed the water in the machine about 16 times.  It only has a small water tank, but that number even makes me gag.  The rest of the carpets will soon be seeing their opportunity with my still relatively new carpet cleaning machine.  I’m looking forward to really clean carpets this winter.  And keeping them that way!

5.  Began our rounds of knowledge bowl meets last Monday with a meet at St. John’s Prep.  The other 7th & 8th grade team from our school placed 3rd.  That was a nice start to the season.

6.  Certainly not the least important, just the most recent event.  We celebrated my in-laws’ 50th wedding anniversary this past weekend.  About 6 or 7 years ago, we could barely hope to make it this far.  My mother-in-law had been diagnosed with leukemia and had come out of remission twice, each time in half the time of the time before.  We hoped and prayed that we would be able to celebrate this milestone anniversary with them.  We are very grateful to still have both of them with us for however long God will allow.  A hotel stay on Friday night and the kids enjoying the waterpark along with Mass on Saturday night and dinner with their closest relatives and friends made for a beautiful weekend.

7.  And lastly, along with all of the miscellaneous busyness (knowledge bowl, scouts, etc.), I got to spend all day yesterday in my pajamas.  Doesn’t sound like much, but there are just days where you need to unwind, relax and not worry about how you’re dressed.  Generally DH complains when I do this.  He doesn’t understand why anyone would want to do this instead of getting up and seizing the day.  But he didn’t complain, the kids got dressed and I had a lovely day just reading and knitting.  I did make brunch and supper for them and didn’t skimp on the cooking.  Maybe that helped, or maybe it was the 15 years we’ve been married that has made him finally able to shrug his shoulders and let it go.  What ever it is, I’m happy.

Photos will be forthcoming on the costume and my next little knitting project as soon as I can carve out some more time and download them from the camera.

Enjoy the beautiful autumn weather.  I need apples . . . and pumpkins.  Time to get to the local orchard.

Girl Scout fundraising

“Reminds me of my safari in Africa.  Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water.”  W.C. Fields

I think I need a girl’s night out.  I can relate to Mr. Fields far too easily today.

The weekends have been crazy around here.  Last Friday & Saturday, we held a garage sale fundraiser for Ditty’s Girl Scout troop.  It would have been a bigger success if I would have had the time to put an advertisement in the paper.  As it was, no ad & not getting signs up until noon on Friday, we still made more money than we did on the garage sale fundraiser we did last spring that did have ads in the newspaper and on local radio and had houses all through my neighborhood participating (in the garage sale part, not our fundraising).  Bums me out though that we could have done better.  The remaining items have been donated to a local thrift store that benefits an organization called Love INC (Love in the name of Christ), so it isn’t so bad.  DH & my co-leader’s husband were both relieved that there wouldn’t be any storage of the remaining piles on the off chance of us doing this again sometime.  I think I would prefer bagging groceries as a fundraiser and apparently the girls in the troop would too based on their responses to the idea.  The one dissenter must have left the troop this past spring.  We required everyone to be on board with a fundraising idea before we would approve it for the troop because we wanted everyone to participate.

What are the girls trying to raise money for, you ask.  They wish to attend the Girl Scout National Convention in 2013, under our supervision of course.  It will probably cost about $700-800 per girl so I am glad that they are planning to do their fundraising early.  We really don’t want to hit up the parents for the cost if possible because our troop parents aren’t wealthy and it would cause a large financial burden for some of them which would equate to their girl being unable to attend.  My co-leader and I are very adamant that every girl who wants to attend should be able to attend.  Fundraising is the way to achieve that goal.

Our troop has been very self-sufficient in the past.  The girls sell cookies and that money has allowed us to forgo asking parents to pay the $12 annual membership fee to National (the troop pays it for every girl) and we have almost eliminated the need for troop dues (we ask for $1 per meeting, but do not strong arm anyone over the amount) to cover the cost of badges & patches.  Cookie sales alone, however, will not meet the cost of a trip to the convention and learning experience it offers the girls is too good to ignore.  We also, if it is possible, want to take the girls to Savannah to see the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of Girl Scouts.  That will be another trip that offers a great opportunity for learning since my co-leader’s sister works for a national television station and we could tour there and possibly stay with her as well.  Fundraising for that trip will need to wait until we can get this one under our belts.

In the meantime, we will continue to camp with the girls and do the badgework they have chosen.  Getting them rolling on their Silver Award projects is another goal for this year.  We have a good group of girls and the prospects of adding two more plus possibly others as well.  All this in a spirited and fun environment.  Whew!

I looked back at the title I gave this post before I started writing.  It was My Weekend.  I guess I should subtitle it:  or Who cares as long as there is Girl Scouting.  The post definitely took on a life of its own. 

The title has been changed.

Enjoy your week.


“The trouble with weather forecasting is that it is right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.”  Patrick Young

Too bad we have to live with it.

The weather was its usual self this weekend.  Meaning it was practically unpredictable.  A bad sign when you are hosting a large, three day event like our parish did.  I believe we were successful in spite of cold (Friday night), cloudy (the majority of Saturday) and rainy (here & there on Sunday). 

I dislike all of those forms of weather on a regular day.  I especially dislike them for a parish festival.  Let’s hope next year’s weather is much better.


Building Bridges

or how I spent the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

“The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn.”  David Russell

Some bridges lead to new opportunities, new friendships, new experiences.  Others seem to lead to hatred, distrust, or apathy.   Cross those bridges that lead to good things, burn the ones that contain nothing good. 

People continually ask others, on the anniversary of some event, where we you when. . . , or what do you remember about . . . especially if they are having trouble dealing with their own emotions about the event in question.

Personally, I will always remember 9/11/01 simply because my son was born in the wee hours of the day before.  I’m glad he wasn’t one of the babies born on 9/11/01.  It would be a shame for him to constantly be photographed and interviewed simply because his birthdate coinsided with a date that was linked to tragedy.  I’m glad that he will be able to do things without an entourage of paparazzi trying to make normal things seem extraordinary just because they are being done by “a child of 9/11”.

I would hope that people are moving forward from the tragedy of that day.  Our world is still turning, there are people being born, living and dying without much notice being given them.  Yet these people might be the ones who figure out how we can all live better lives.  Lives that show we care about all people and that we refuse to give in to hatred and bitterness.

I spent 9/11 this year camping with my husband, our son, our daughter and some very good friends.  We laughed, joked and had a great time just being people of the here and now.  And now it is time to get back to the reality of Monday and the work to be done.

Not ready to say goodbye

“Summer afternoon . . . summer afternoon . . . the two most beautiful words in the English language.”  Henry James

The long weekend has yielded a bounty of errands & chores completed.  The fire pit area is now complete with its timber surround and plenty of crushed rock between the actual fire pit and the timbers.  Just in time for BooBoo’s birthday party this week.

Invitations were printed and mailed.  Shoes & pants purchased for school.  Laundry done.  Last minute shopping for the party completed.  And today yields a trip to the MN Renaissance Festival.  It’s been several years since we last went to the Ren Fest.  BooBoo was still riding in a stroller then, about 2 years old at the time.  I remember him eating the turkey leg DH had bought and pretty well scarfing the whole thing down.  DH had to go buy another for himself.  We’ll see if the boy can pull that off again.

School will start in earnest tomorrow.  But at least for now, summer lingers.  Enjoy the beauty.

The General Disaster

“One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.”  A. A. Milne

Yeah like the discovery that you haven’t entered two months worth of utility bills in the check register.  Good thing I buried some money in there so I wouldn’t have to deal with even the possibility of an overdraft fee.

But seriously, the disorganization has got to stop.  My brand new bookcases (three of them) have helped somewhat.  I still need two more to get all of our books and my cookbooks housed but that will need to wait until those cases go on sale again. 

Thankfully they should do that just about the time our bank balance is back up again.  I have to pay for the kids school this Wednesday.  That plus our trip to the state fair, renaissance festival, a plethora of camping trips this month and one more in September will put that balance lower than it has been in a long time.  Glad to be working!

Ditty, BooBoo & I are at the State Fair today.  I bought my ticket ahead of time to save $3 on my admission fee, picked today because it’s Kid’s Day and I could then save another $3 each on their admission fees by purchasing their tickets at the gate, scoped out the closest park free-ride free lots so that we could save another $12 on the parking fee (technically, I could have bought 2 advance adult admission tickets and used one for parking thereby making the parking fee $9, but this is my first time going to the fair and I wasn’t aware that parking on-site was so expensive).  I wanted a close lot so that if need be, we could walk there from the grounds-although I don’t really want to hoof it 2.34 miles back to the vehicle after tramping around all day at the fair.  Oh, I also bought a state fair coupon book for $4 instead of waiting and having to buy one for $5 saving another dollar.  Redeeming just 2 or 3 coupons will more than pay for the cost of the book and the rest of the coupons are just icing on the cake, the strawberry shortcake!  Yes, there’s a coupon for that 🙂  And I think I saw a cheesecake coupon too.

DH has been to the fair and decided he’d rather go to work.  He dislikes crowds, and heat, and crowds, and expensive prices for cheap food, and of course, crowds.  I, on the other hand, have never been to the fair.  No, really, never!  I know it’s hard to believe, but my dad didn’t like driving in the Cities, my mom didn’t drive and up until now, I either had the time but didn’t have the money or had the money but didn’t have the time.  Or the kids were too young for any of us to enjoy the fair.  I really don’t see the point in bringing really young kids to the fair.  You’re either pushing them in a stroller or trying to coax them to walk just those last 200 feet back to your bus stop so you can get home before you kill them for whining most of the day.  I would rather hire a baby sitter and go enjoy the day myself.  But Ditty and BooBoo are old enough not to whine and young enough to really get the magic and wonder of a fair.  So we three are going to be in the midst of it all and soak it all in while trying several different foods.  My strategy being to bring some extra plastic forks & spoons and maybe, one plastic knife and dividing every food item we buy into thirds so we can all eat some without gorging on one particular thing.  And I’m going to try to keep them off the carnival rides so that hopefully, they won’t get sick and need to go home early.

Wishing for that beginner’s luck today!

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"If you are what you should be you will set the whole world on fire."
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I finally understand

"Among those around you, apostolic soul, you are the stone fallen into the lake. With your word and your example, you produce a first circle, and it another, and another, and another, wider each time. Now do you understand the greatness of your mission?" St. Josemarie Escriva: The Way