Friday, July 29, 2011

Quick Takes (13)

- 1-
Ding dong the mulch is gone, the mulch is gone! Ding dong the wicked mulch is gone!
It took over two months to do, but we finally finished mulching the gardens.  Yeah!  Just in time to weed and deadhead.  It never ends, does it?

- 2 -
You know why it's gone?  We're having company, of course.  We definitely weren't motivated to get it done just for ourselves.  Strange.

- 3 -
We're having a big family picnic.  I am so looking forward to it.  There's a couple of people we haven't seen in a year or two and I can't wait to catch up with them.  Time goes by way too quickly. 

- 4 -
Speaking of time going by quickly, I can't believe August is knocking on the door.  Yelling actually.  I'm enjoying summer and hate to see it go by so fast.  It needs to slow down.  Take time to smell the roses.

- 5 -
We picked our first two tomatoes from the garden this week.  Yum!  That is the taste of summer to me. 

- 6 -
Truth in advertising?

- 7 -
“When we step into the family, by the act of being born, we do step into a world which is incalculable, into a world which has its own strange laws, into a world which could do without us, into a world we have not made. In other words, when we step into the family we step into a fairy-tale.”
Heretics by GK Chesterton

Don't forget to check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Did God Say 'No' to Barney and Bluebell

DH and I were feeding the bluebirds meal worms on the patio the other night.  They’re picky eaters.  They only like the meal worms that are alive and squirming.  I was still kind of mad at God for letting something eat their baby birds, when we had this conversation:

DH: “What if God said no?”
Me: “Huh?”
DH: “What if God said no them?  They can’t have babies.”
Me: “Oh.  I’m still mad.”
DH: “I’m sure you’ll find something insightful about this.”

And, as DH usually is, he was right.  My guess it just isn't what he thought I'd come up with.

It struck me weird that I was “mourning” the loss of these baby bluebirds, because they became food for something else, when at the same time I was getting live meal worms out to feed the parents.  There’s this whole cycle of nature and I determined/decided that the bluebirds were worthy of living and the meal worms were not.  Apparently something else decided that the bluebirds made a good meal.  And we tend to think cows and chicken and pigs and fish make good eatin'.

I'm really hoping nothing thinks I'd taste good!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday Weigh In - Week 3

I'm skipping this week.  AF has wreaked havoc with me in all sorts of ways.  I've slept poorly with really weird, strange dreams that are all too vivid.  I've had migraines for several days.  And I have been exhausted, so, so tired that  I sometimes feel like I can't function at all.  I gave in Monday and had a cup of coffee, something I haven't done in many months. 

So, in short, the scale is something I just do not want to face at the moment.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Quick Takes (12)

- 1-
We went to see the latest, and last, Harry Potter movie last night.  They did a tremendous job with it.  Walking out of the theater it felt like we had said goodbye to some friends.  It's been a treat, each year, to be able to look forward to the latest installment of their lives.  We saw it in 3D, a first for me.  I can't say it was worth whatever extra money they may have charged for it.

JKR did a brilliant job writing those books.  Whether intended or not, there are so many parallels to the passion and resurrection of Christ.  Harry had to die so others might live.  There is a scene that reminded me of Christ praying at Gethsemane.  Also, there is life after death, eluding to the resurrection.

- 2 -
Last Sunday we went to a local art show.  As it is every year that we have gone, it was a scorcher of a day.  But the collection of artists they had didn't disappoint.  Far from it.  There were so many beautiful things that, if money were no object, we would have some home with far more than we needed.  We did bring home this lovely little hand-turned wooden vase.  Now we have no excuses for having fresh flowers in the house.  It only takes a few to make a simple and beautiful arrangement.

- 3 -
I have been reading reading Searching For the King by David C Downing.  If you are a fan of CS Lewis, Tolkien, or Arthurian legend, this is the book for you.  I have been having a hard time putting it down.  It's a great story with interesting characters and compelling discussions on Christianity and faith.  I really want to get it done before the GKC conference as I think it'll probably end up often as a topic of discussion.

- 4 -
Speaking of the GKC conference, is anybody going?  The more I learn about the speakers, the more excited I get about going.

- 5 -
A website I regularly check out is American Thinker.  All the writers are great, but one of the regulars, Robin of Berkeley, often has some very insightful articles.  Her latest is definitely worth reading. 

- 6 -
It's been hot here.  I mean really hot.  Mid to upper 90s, high humidity, just standing in place sweating hot.  But it's summer.  It's supposed to be.  Too many people are complaining about it.  And in six months those same people will be complaining about the cold. 

- 7 -
“The only object of liberty is life.”
 – Irish Impressions  GK Chesterton
Don't forget to check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I don't get it

Recently, there’s a local serial murder case that has made the news.  The bodies of eleven women, mostly prostitutes and drug users, were found both in a man’s house and buried in his backyard.  He would lure them in with promises of drugs and/or money, then rape, murder and dismember their bodies.  Awfully gruesome stuff.

He, through his defense attorneys, had offered to plead guilty to all charges if the death penalty specification was dropped.  A number of the family members of the victims sent a letter to the county prosecutor asking that he accept this deal.  They wanted to be spared the emotional turmoil a prolonged trial would inflict upon them. 

The prosecutor declined.  He has made it clear he wants the death penalty.  Isn’t the point of our justice system that we punish the guilty not take revenge?  Since when is life in prison not punishment?  

The prosecutor is willing to put the family members through an extended period of anguish and pain, listening to what happened to their loved ones, for what purpose? 

What happens, if for some crazy reason, the jury finds him not guilty?  Don't say it can't happen.  Some people would tell you that it just did in Florida.

Not to be practical, but what about all the time and money spent on the trial?  Couldn't that be better used elsewhere? 

I don't understand the evil this man was able to inflict on so many people.  But what follows is just as confusing to me as well.

I just don't get it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer tunes

There's always some song each year that sounds like summer to me.  Last year it was Kid Rock's All Summer Long, for obvious reasons.  This year it's Zak Brown Band's Knee Deep.  It came on the radio yesterday as I was driving home so I just had to roll down the windows and blast it.  It's so catchy.  The video is a bit goofy though.  Check it out.

Wishing I was knee deep in the water somewhere
Got the blue sky breeze and it don't seem fair
Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair
Sunrise there's a fire in the sky
Never been so happy
Never felt so high
And I think I might have found me my own kind of paradise

Wednesday Weigh In - Week 2

Well, this week definitely went better than last.  I think I was a little more conscious of what I was eating, and though I have a long way to go, I did better.  I think one thing that helped was that on Sunday I made baked oatmeal so that I would have breakfasts at the ready before work, no temptation to stop at Micky D's for a quickie.

Drum roll, please. . . . .


So now I'm back to 0, which is going in the right direction. 

Yeah me!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday smiles - out of the mouths of babes

These kids certainly got it right.  What a delight!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Echinacea.  I just like saying it.  Sounds better than its common name Cone Flower.    Actually, it’s one of my favorite flowers and I have a bunch of them behind my house.  You know it.  It's the purple one that everyone has in their garden.  Except that now there's a lot more than just purple. 

I think Sunrise has to be my favorite.  The picture just doesn't do it justice.  It's a beautiful mix of pinks and oranges.  It's part of the Big Sky series -Sunrise, Sunset, Midnight, Harvest Moon, Summer Sky. 

The next one I had to buy just because of its name - Primadonna.  And it's really lovely too.


 I just love the vivid color of Tiki Torch.  Another great name.

Tiki Torch
 DH and I are big wine drinkers.  This one reminded me of some of our trips to both local and distant wineries.
Vintage Wine
I bought this at a nursery that is on the way home from Cedar Point last summer when I went out there with my dad.  I think he bought the same one then too.  Nice memories.
Double Delight

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wednesday Weigh In - Week 1

Or should I say Weak 1?  It wasn’t a good week at all.  I wanted to be able to put up some cute graphic with the -1 or -2 pounds that I lost.  Instead I need to report that I’m +2.  Uggh!  Not good. 

This week I thought a lot about why I eat vs. why I should eat.  I eat because:
               I’m bored
               It’s there
               I’m showing the dog that’s it’s good and he should eat it too (yes, really!)
               I have time to kill before an appointment
               It’ll go bad if I don’t eat it now
               The refrigerator needs to be cleaned out
               I’m frustrated with a work assignment
               I’m sad, angry, mad, etc.
               I need to relax

I should eat because:
               I’m hungry
               My body needs fuel

I tend to pick and snack and nibble a lot.  I need to be more conscious of what I put in my mouth.  Just because food is there doesn’t mean I have to eat it.
I really should take a look at what I eat as well.  I guess pizza, Chinese and homemade mac ‘n cheese aren’t diet foods!  Farmers’ Markets are opening up all over the place and there’s an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available.  DH and I are planning on heading to one of the better ones by us this Saturday.

Here’s to a better second week!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

You just got to forward this

A lady I used to work with is a master at forwarding all sorts of e-mails.  You know the kind - things to inspire you, make you laugh, warn you of the latest scam, remind you to watch for a particular health issue, look at this pretty thing, and on and on and on.  I have a separate folder for all her e-mail, about 350 in the last four months. 

DH found this Weird Al Yankovic video that just made me crack up.  It's so true!

So after I watched it, I went and checked my e-mail from said co-worker.  I found this video which, actually, I thought was cute.  See if you can figure out what they're advertising before the end. 

Happy feet

A while back my sister and her husband gave me gift cards to a local spa.  Many, many months later I decided I had better use them before they expire.  I don't like wearing shoes, so lately I've been living in sandals when necessary and barefeet the rest of the time.  My feet have taken a beating, so what better spa treatment to indulge in than a pedicure!  

This was only the second time I've had one, and all I can say is "Ahhhh!".  It was wonderful.  And that is coming from a girl who used to hate having anyone touch her feet. 

There's still some money left on the gift card.  I may just have to do this again!

Saturday, July 9, 2011


How did I sleep through this?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Quick Takes (11)

- 1-
The veggie garden is doing well this year.  And as I write this, I realized I forgot to turn the hose on.  It won't be doing well for long if it doesn't get water!  It's not a big garden, but we have a nice variety of plants. 

romaine lettuce



- 2 -
I think I mentioned the Goodreads website once before.  On the explore tab, they have drawings for books.  I just won my 14th!  I certainly have a lot of reading to do.  I've won mostly fiction and am looking forward to checking out new authors.

- 3 -
A friend recently started his own blog.  I've know Michael for over twenty years and we've seen each other go through a lot of life changes.  He's a talented writer with a funny sense of humor.  If you're looking for something very different from the Catholic/infertility/faith blog scene, check him out. 

- 4 -
Who knows about your blogs?  Have you told family or friends about them?  Only DH and one friend, who also deals with IF, knows about it.  I struggle with wanting to share it and keeping it my thing.  How did you decide whom to tell?

- 5 -
I was looking for something in the basement a couple of weeks ago and came upon this lovely lady - my first baby doll.  I think she's so ugly she's cute.  Notice the missing hair.  Apparently I found the hair pretty tasty and often ate it as a baby.  Mom had proof positive that's what was happening when she changed my diaper! 

 - 6 -
The mulch still isn't done.  Will it ever be???  Where, oh where, are the mulch fairies?

- 7 -
“There are only two kinds of people, those who accept dogmas and know it, and those who accept dogmas and don’t know it.”
– GK Chesterton, The Mercy of Mr. Arnold Bennett, Fancies vs. Fads 

Don't forget to check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Jack of all trades, master of some . . .

. . .or, what I like to do for fun. 

I can never quite figure when people say they have no hobbies.  What do they do with all their time?  Okay, the moms I understand.  But others?  Those that don't want to retire because they wouldn't know what to do with their time?  Not me.  There's just not enough hours in the day.

I’m not the most athletic person, so not many of my activities fall in that area any more.  Although, I do have to say I’ve tried a few.  My sister and I took golf lessons a number of years back.  DH gave me his old set of clubs and bought me a new driver, bag and cart.  It was fun, but nine holes is about three too many for me.  My attention span just isn’t that long.  How do people play 18???

I used to run.  A lot.  I did many, many charity road races, mostly 5k, 5 miles, and 10k, and had the t-shirts to prove it.  I did do a half marathon once and trained for a whole marathon.  I did my 20 mile training run about six weeks before race day and then got bronchitis.  It’s hard to run when you can’t breathe!

So now I do more (mostly) sedate activities.  I love to garden.  And if you haven’t guessed, I really enjoy photography.  And reading, sewing, quilting, glass etching, fabric painting, counted cross stitch, jewelry making, cooking, bread baking.  I'm not sure, I may have missed a few. 

I'm not very musical, but I have had lessons in guitar, flute and french horn.  All those were back in grade school.  We borrowed the french horn from my music instructor.  It was over 100 years old and looked every bit of it.  It had bits of black electrical tape over a few holes.  I have a hammer dulcimer that I inherited from my mom.  Someday I really want to learn how to play it.

I’d really like to try my hand at spinning wool, then dying and weaving it.  I wouldn’t mind learning to knit.  I'm open to suggestions. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Critical mass

Sometimes the mirror lies to me.  Photos have been known to tell me sweet, little nothings.  Even my clothes do.  But more and more, the truth is coming out.  My pants are snug.  Some don’t fit at all.  I've burst a button or two on blouses.  A double chin has been making a more frequent appearance in pictures.  But the scale doesn’t lie.  And I really don't like what I see.  Even more, I don't like how I feel.  I get out of breath easily.  My back and knees often ache.  I'm tired and feel like a slug.

Truth be told, I really should lose about eighty-five pounds.  Ouch!  That’s the size of a whole other person – a teenager or even a small adult. 

I’ve been inspired by this sweet lady’s success.  I need to make changes, and since I need to start sometime, I've decided there's no time like the present.  I want to make myself accountable, so I'm starting Weigh in Wednesday.  I’m not going to tell you what I weigh, but I will account for what I’ve gained, or God willing, lost.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Major bummer

Something ate our baby bluebirds last night.  I am sad and disappointed.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Something to celebrate

This weekend our parish celebrated its 125th anniversary.  We've had different events throughout the year, but since Friday, July 1st was the feast of the Sacred Heart, we had our big Mass and party on Sunday.  The bishop was the main celebrant at Mass, assisted by four other priests, including our pastor, and our two deacons.  With the choir in full voice, it was a joyful celebration.

Our parish may be 125 year old, but it's a young, vibrant, growing church and the first time we went there we knew we were home.  We are blessed we an awesome pastor who is truly Catholic, in every sense of the word, and is not afraid to preach the Truth. 

May God continue to bless Sacred Heart of Jesus Church!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Four little mouths to feed

All hatched and looking for food!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Quick Takes (10)

- 1-
I think God has a funny sense of humor.  We had been planning on having a big family picnic this weekend but cancelled it due to some family health issues.  I thought I was going to have all this extra time to finish up weeding and mulching my gardens.  Ha!  The next day I found out I needed to provide some extra decorations for our parish’s 125th celebration this weekend.  So. . .I’ve been inside sewing most of the week. 

- 2 -
Our neighbors got a new puppy this past Christmas, a red coon hound, Lucy.  She’s everything I love but don’t miss about puppies – tons of energy, playful, curious, friendly, oh, and did I mention, tons of energy.  Jack is amused by her, DH calms her, and I just watch.

- 3 -
Our veggie garden is doing great this year.  I am so looking forward to fresh, real tomatoes, unlike those ones grown in hot houses.  Can’t wait to make BLTs with the bacon we got down in Amish country.

- 4 -
Speaking of food (we were, weren’t we?), I think I’m going to make some homemade breakfast sausage and bread this weekend.  I’m feeling domestic.  I started making our own sausage this year, even grinding the pork myself, since we really didn’t like the quality of anything we found in the grocery stores.  It’s so easy and so good.  And, if we’re having sausage, we should have French toast with it.  My favorite is made with the egg bread I make.  Sunday morning breakfast is going to be good!

- 5 -
I’ve been feeling a bit ADD lately.  Focus has been hard to find.  I’m not sure if the weather, PMS, too much to do, too little

- 6 -
I’ve been “talking” with my mom a lot lately, asking her for help, guidance and just a feeling of her presence.  When I was sewing last night I had my iTunes “bouncy” playlist blasting and Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline came on.   It reminded me of when we went to his concert many years ago.  My parents bought tickets for them, my sister and me as an anniversary gift to themselves.  It was in the summer, on a Friday evening, and the closer the concert got the less I wanted to go.  I guess I thought going out drinking with my friends would have been more fun.  But I went.  And the concert was awesome.  One of mom’s, and all of ours, favorites songs was “Sweet Caroline”, since her middle name was Caroline.  So, last night, while I was sewing on her machine, listening to her song, I felt her hug me.  Smile!

- 7 -
It is a good sign in a nation when things are done badly. It shows that all the people are doing them. And it is bad sign in a nation when such things are done very well, for it shows that only a few experts and eccentrics are doing them, and that the nation is merely looking on.”
– Patriotism and Sport, All Things Considered, GK Chesterton

Don't forget to check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.

Have a great Independence Day!