Friday, October 3, 2014

Seven Quick Takes... #3?

I hardly ever do any Quick Takes anymore...I think this is maybe the 3rd time I've done it on this blog. Anyway, I have a lot to tell, so Quick Takes seemed like a good idea!

Number One
At the moment, I am in the middle of three different painting projects. Typical ADD here. Go from one project onto another without finishing the first one you started with. I'm painting the kitchen wall (which are Brady Bunch bricks), the bathroom, and the basement steps. They're not even half-way done.  Yes, it looks terrible.
Can you see a little white on the right? Right above the paint can.
The blue is the new color. Still need to paint the edges.

One step painted. The very top one.

Part of the reason why I have so many unfinished painting projects is because I get sick from the fumes. I'm not talking about feeling a little nauseated sick, I'm talking actually getting sick and then getting weak where I have to lay down sick. It hit me the other day that this is probably not normal. To be honest, I thought it was.

And I know that doesn't explain why I have so many projects going on at the same time, but I guess I was thinking that painting the brick wouldn't take that long (which it does), so I will just quickly paint the steps, but that takes a long time too. The bathroom is small, so I thought it would be a day project. But like I said, sick so many times makes for very long painting projects.

Number Two!
Max went to his first school dance ever. The best part is that I did not force him into going. I really try not to do that, though I do sometimes try to talk him into things that I think will be good for him to do. But I was glad that he wanted to go. Yes, he basically just went for the food, ("I'm not here to dance, I'm just here for the food.") But he did end up dancing anyway. His teacher who was a chaperone  showed me some pictures of him and his friends on her phone. Honestly, the cutest pictures of him ever! I know he's getting too old to be called "cute" anymore, but they really were cute.
This is not the cute picture I was talking about, but it will have to do.

Number Three
I had something to talk about here but decided for the sake of charity to not say anything. Yes, it was a complaint about someone, even though I was going to say it the nicest way ever. But sometimes it just best not to say anything at all.
Number Four!
I did something super frivolous the other day, and I do not feel guilty about it either! :-)  Since I don't have a job, my only way to help out with money is to try not to spend it on myself unless absolutely necessary. But this was my own money, though I admit, it could have gone to much more practical things.
Are you ready?
I bought a silk pillow case.
Ever since I woke up with bangs (they use to be long) ten years ago, I have been wanting a silk or satin pillow case. I asked my hair stylist what would cause such drastic breakage during the night. She said that our hair tends to get pulled as we toss and turn during the night, and depending how fragile our hair is, it can cause breakage. She suggested getting a silk or satin pillow case which at the time I laughed at. I couldn't imagine such frivolousness.
And yet, as breakage continued throughout the years, I couldn't get it out of my head.
And when I saw it on Amazon for only $30 (which I thought would be much more), I decided to try it.
Best frivolous purchase ever!!
I don't know if it will help the breakage, but honestly, it has helped my sleep. I have really sensitive skin, and even the rough cotton fabric against my cheek would make me wake up sometimes during the night. The silk makes you feel like your constantly just gliding so that if you wake up, it puts you right back to sleep. Nice and cool too, it doesn't get hot.
I feel like such a pampered princess, but I don't regret my frivolous purchase one bit.
Number five
My poor neighbors lost their house to a fire yesterday.
Normally I would never take pictures of someone's tragedy, but notice I didn't take a picture of the house, just the chaos down the street. In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have take the picture at all, but what can I say, I'm human and am easily drawn into drama like everyone else.

That said, the family have lost their home. That really hit me after all the drama was done, the fire trucks were gone, and the people left. There was nothing but a shell of a house with yellow police tape around it.

It was a propane explosion that started on the deck, took out their kitchen and swept through the house. Thankfully no one was hurt. It happened early morning (like maybe around 5), so everyone was probably still in their bedrooms sleeping. Thank you God, that it didn't happen any later, when the family would have been making breakfast. They have 3 small children, preschool age and younger.

It does put things into perspective how quickly life can change. In just a matter of minutes, they lost everything. I have seen a little of the inside of the house (the door was broken open by the firemen and the windows were take out) and there is nothing but black char everywhere. Nothing survived; no pictures, no memories, nothing. My heart just hurts for them.

I wanted to get them some gift cards but the family is gone and most likely won't be back. Whatever they did have was in the garage, and they spent the day toting it up. I wanted to give them some time before heading over there but now I wish I had. I feel terrible. Just doesn't feel right to watch someone lose their house and not do anything for them.

Number six

Boy, it's hard to bounce from that subject onto another one, but here we go.

Tomorrow is the Rediscover Catholicism conference. I'm looking forward to going, it will be nice to get out of the house with Dennis for a day. Thank you, Grandma, for watching the kids for a day!

There are supposed to be some great speakers there. Scott Haun is the only one I can think of off the top of my head.

I love going to that conference; everyone there wants to be Catholic at the same time. I know that's a strange thing to say, and maybe you're thinking that Mass should be the place where we all want to be Catholic at the same time. But unfortunately, it seems that Mass is just the place where people show up. Are they there because they really believe? I don't know. You can't judge and I try really hard not to, but where I've been, it's really hard not to feel the apathy in the room.

That's why I like these conferences. It's a tool that meets you halfway and drags you the rest of the way back to the Church. People who are half-asleep in their faith need something with dynamics, big personality, and mostly a fervent love for their faith. They get caught on fire. It's great for Protestants thinking of becoming Catholic who are used to "testimonies", for people thinking of leaving the Faith, for those who have wandered but want to come back, and for the rest of us, who are trying hard to live our faith but need a little pep-talk to bring us back up.

I think these conferences are important and I will drag anyone with me that wants to be dragged. We have to get back to our Faith and we have to set each other on fire.

Number Seven!

I have been keeping a secret from you.

I have been writing a children's book. I didn't want to say anything too soon because I wasn't sure it was even going to happen, but I just recently finished and I just feel it in my gut--this is going to happen!

I never, ever, thought I would write a book. Especially a children's book. I couldn't think of anything more boring. All those grammar, punctuation and spelling rules...and then on top of it, you have to make it interesting and colorful.

The book will be called "Little Lessons for Little Souls, lessons from St.Therese".

I have the autobiography of St.Therese, Story of a Soul. If you haven't read it yet, you must! It is full of so much wisdom that she has been declared as a Doctor of the Church. There are 32 (or maybe 33, I may have miscounted) Doctors of the Church, and St.Therese is the only one that speaks in language that I can understand. Her book is full of this simple wisdom. Seriously, please read it if you haven't.

I have read the book maybe 10 times since I was sixteen. I am now on my second copy, because the first one literally fell apart as I was reading it since I have used it so often.

Lately, as I have read and re-read through her book, I have been thinking how much children would benefit from St.Therese's simple lessons in her book. She uses a lot of analogies that make difficult things easy to understand. I used her most popular analogy of a little flower as my first lesson from St.Therese. Depending on how things go, I would like to use many more of her lessons and turn them into stories.

The story is done and as of right now, my niece, who is young but a very talented artist, is illustrating it for me. My brother Jerry, who is a "real" writer, unlike me, has helped me through the process of all this, having me write and re-write the story a few times until it finally came out right. He now is helping me create a "dummy book" (a "practice book" to decide how you want everything placed) and soon it will uploaded onto Kindle for people to buy. It will also be out on hardcover, so when that happens, I will promote it on the blog. :-)  After that, I have no idea what I will do with it. :-)

That's it for my Quick Takes, but before I go, here is an excerpt from St.Therese's book. This is the passage that inspired me to change it into a children's story:

"...When reading the lives of the saints, I was puzzled at seeing how Our Lord was pleased to caress certain ones from the cradle to the grave, allowing no obstacle in their way when coming to Him, helping them with such favors that they were unable to soil the immaculate beauty of their baptismal robe. I wondered why poor savages died in great numbers without even having heard the name of God pronounced.

Jesus deigned to teach me this mystery. He set before me the book of nature; I understood how all the flowers He has created are beautiful; how the splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not take away the perfume of the little violet or the delightful simplicity of the daisy. I understood that if all flowers wanted to be roses, nature would lose her springtime beauty, and the fields would no longer be decked out with little wild flowers.

So it is in the world of souls, Jesus' garden. He willed to create great souls comparable to lilies and roses, but he has created smaller ones and these must be content to be daisies or violets destined to give joy to God's glances when He looks down at His feet. Perfections consists in doing His will, in being what He wills us to be."

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen!


  1. I think it's awesome that you are writing a book!!! How cool is that? (VERY)

    I love your brick in the kitchen!! You are doing so much to your home, it will be so good when it's all finished and your hard work will be paid off!!

    I have several little projects...well, it's like you, it seems little, it should be little, but with so many kids, they're just not little and I never seem to find the time to get to them. I keep saying how much money we'll save if I do it and we don't pay someone before we move...but paying someone is looking better and better all the time, especially today, for that dang front porch, it's FREEZING out there, I just don't think I'm going to get to painting the porch this fall.

    SO sad about that family losing their home. In our old house, up the street, a family also lost their home. After a while, they will be back, when they get their footings in so to speak, where they will stay can ask then, even a meal or some pumpkin bread or whatever is helpful. I helped her wash clothes, because everything had to be washed with Arm and Hammer laundry soap...(weird, huh?) That was like 9 years ago and still, to this day, I've seen her then teenage son, (who was really into black dark make up and clothes and chains) a few times, he always has time for me and makes a point to come up and talk to me and updates me on how his mom is doing.

    That conference sounds awesome!! There are several families going from up here...I did not even hear about til a week ago. OH, well..we are going to Fargo tomorrow!

    Love to you. Slow down. Just decide on one project and finish it. You will feel better about yourself if you do!

  2. I am SO excited about the book, YaY Becky!! It's funny, earlier today, my friend Glen asked me if I've read "Story of a Soul". Now it looks like I have too! Anyhow, nice to catch up with you, as always. <3 God bless you girlie. -Cari

  3. You have to read it, you won't be sorry. :-)