Showing posts with label 7 Quick Takes Friday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 7 Quick Takes Friday. Show all posts

Friday, December 4, 2015

7 Quick Takes: Planning, Claw Machines, and a Master Illusionist #7QT

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So it's time for the Friday wrap up of my week.   Here's what has happened.

1.  I was at the fruit market last night and got my guinea pig some not so good celery.  The very center inside leaves were still good, and that is his favorite part.  There were three of them for less than the price of one good stalk of celery.  I gave him one last night and he devoured it.  I haven't seen him so happy in a long time.  He was especially bonded with my mother who passed away in February 2014, so it was nice to see him so happy.  I think for the moment he forgot about her and enjoyed his treat.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Are there 7 ways to say I'm Tired?

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It's time for 7 Quick Takes Friday.  You can visit to read more from other bloggers.

Are there seven ways to say I'm tired?  Maybe I'll just recount my week and then you can come up with the best way to describe it.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Seven Quick Takes: Falling while on the floor and more

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1.  My husband and I are in foster parent / adoption training.  We had three nights of classes this week totaling seven hours.  Because of the rural area we live in, we spent the same amount of time in the car traveling to the classes this week.  Fourteen hours in three days.  We had a two hour class on how to give medicine to children.  There were three hours on laws regarding foster parenting and adoption, and a two hour first aid class.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Seven Takes Friday April 24, 2015 #7QT #SQT

Most of my posts contain affiliate links where I get a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you when you purchase something through a link.  Thank you for starting your shopping here at Books, Bargains, Blessings.

Yesterday marked one month until I get married.  Here's a few quick takes of what has been going on around here.

1.  There was an eight hour manhunt in my small town of 1500 last week.  A man murdered someone and then was on the run.  I don't know what of the rumors were true or not, but my fiance and I holed up in an upstairs room, with the lights out, checking social media, and had a couple knife blocks with us.  The suspect was either captured or turned himself in the next morning.  

2.  I've been sick, and my fiance has been sick.   I was supposed to have my teeth cleaned this week, but had to reschedule.   I get to do that next week.  I also binge watched Bulloch Family Ranch on gMovies.  (I have a giveaway going on for a six month subscription to gMovies.  Open to the US and Canada and ends 4/26.)

3.  Yesterday was one month until the wedding.  Being sick for a week this close to the wedding?  Ain't nobody got time for that!  I've had a virus and then immediately developed a cold, barely over the viral infection.  

4.  Our premarital counseling was this week.  All I have to say is I hope the minister was wrong when he said that we'll always have things happen like last year and will never be done renovating the house.  (Last year 10 family, friends, and neighbors passed away, there was a breast cancer scare, diabetes diagnosis, false police report against me, blackmail that I didn't give into, burst water pipes, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.)   Renovating the house has been going on since November.  It's been an expensive process, lots of surprises (and none of them good), and even having to saw through a floor to get to the main water shut off.  Why it was put under a floor I don't know.  But I hope the minister actually meant small home repairs and not that we would always have projects like this going on:

5.  I was feeling so bad yesterday that one of my blogger programs announced they would be opening an amazing blogger opportunity later.  I read that, and fell asleep and dreamed they gave us ice cream and that it helped my throat from being sore.  (Needless to say when I woke up, I got some of the strawberry cheesecake ice cream that is in the freezer.)

6.  I registered to attend the National Sweepstakes convention in Boston.  I can't buy my plane tickets yet because I'm not sure if my name will officially be changed by then or not, but I'm excited.

7.   I found out that a roommate from college is flying in for my wedding.  I was on a Campus Crusade summer missions project in 1996, and three of my four roommates will be coming in even though they live in Montana, Kansas, and Tennessee.   It is very sad my parents wont' be at my wedding (they are both deceased) but these girls will help add so much joy to my wedding.  I can't begin to tell you what a blessing it is they will be there.  Yes, I'll miss my parents greatly, but there will still be so much love surrounding me.  I haven't seen them since 1998, 2005, and 2006, and we will Skype with the one girl who won't be here.  Its going to be amazing.

For more Seven Quick Takes, visit This Ain't The Lyceum

Friday, March 27, 2015

7QT: Wedding planning, Pepperoni Rolls, and Guinea pig Cake Toppers

Most of my posts contain affiliate links where I get a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you when you purchase something through a link.  Thank you for starting your shopping here at Books, Bargains, Blessings.

It's been a while since I did a Quick Take Friday.  But I decided today it was time to take a break from my currently busy life and write a blog post about wedding prep.

1.  I have the cake toppers but have no idea what we are doing about cake.

I wanted something different, something that screamed with my personality, and I found it thanks to My Custom Cake Topper on Etsy.  These have arrived, and I love them.  They are my guinea pigs Lucky and Archie. She created these from photos I provided. Aren't they adorable?  (No, I didn't receive anything by mentioning this Etsy store, I am just pleased with them and wanted to share.)  I do want a simple three tier cake to have a photo taken of us to look like my parents' wedding photo, but beyond that we aren't sure what we are doing about cake.  We are thinking of doing cakes that recently won in a contest for my fiance and that way we can do them ourselves.  We just aren't sure yet what we are going to do -- budget wedding but we also want things to be unique.  But I have the cake toppers.  

2. Candy Buffet

I thought a candy buffet would be a good idea.  Someone please tell me it will be.  Right now, I'm a bit frustrated at all the blue candy being blueberry or raspberry flavored.  We are currently planning on making some "hard tack" also known as "glass candy" and coloring it blue but flavoring it tangerine or some other yummy flavor.  I'm nearly ready to give up and make the candy buffet a rainbow.

3. Entertainment

I'm finally able to announce that master illusionist Scott Humston will be doing the entertainment for our reception.  He has even taken his show to the White House.  As both an entertainer and illusionist, it's going to be one wedding reception that no one in attendance will ever forget.

4. Pepperoni Rolls.

One of our food offerings at the reception will be pepperoni rolls.  If you aren't from West Virginia, you may never have heard of this delicacy.   They vary depending on what area of the state you are in, but we will be buying ones that are rolls with pepperoni and cheese baked inside them.  The grease soaks into the bread and they are one of the best treats you'll ever have.  Kind of like pizza rolls, but better.  They are a bit of heaven from the state of Almost Heaven.  Not even traditional, but nothing about this wedding is. 

5.  Flowerless Wedding.

I'm allergic to flowers.  I've had suggestions that I should go with silk flowers.  But the church we are getting married in is gorgeous.  It's an old time log cabin church with exposed beams.  I think flowers would take away from the beauty of the church.  And. . . . 

6.  A Bible instead of a Bouquet

I found my mother's bridal Bible -- the one she carried down the aisle when she married my dad.  The one my grandmother gave her.  Since my mother passed away last year and my father passed away 9 years ago, it seems appropriate I would carry her Bible.  Instead of a pillow, the ring bearer with be carrying Dad's Bible with ribbon around it.  What a wonderful way to make my parents part of the ceremony.

7.  I'm too busy.

I was telling my fiance last night I bit off more than I can chew at the moment.  I'm upgrading and renovating my blog.  I'm planning a budget wedding.  I am doing major renovations to the house.  And I'm tired.  I feel like I have too much on my plate right now, but there's no way I can back out of any of it.  Hopefully the major work with my blog will be done by next week and then I can just concentrate on content.  But the house renovations have revealed surprises in nearly every room so far and not good surprises.

For more 7 Quick Takes Friday posts, you can visit This Aint the Lyceum.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Holidays, Grief, and The Boar's Head

For more Seven Quick Takes head over to This Aint The Lyceum for the link up.

1.  This is the first holiday season without both my parents.  My fiance moved to the area last year at this time to help me take care of Mom as he realized it was getting too much for me to do myself, and he knew he wanted to move to this area before long anyway.  My family pretty much shattered thanks to someone who spread a number of lies about me.  Because of my fiance's work, he can't get away to spend time with his family, so it's just the two of us.  By this time next year we'll be married and we're starting to discuss new traditions.

2.  We have decided the tree will go up the first Sunday of Advent.  In future years, I'm hoping we make our personal gift exchange on St. Nicholas Day and reserve Christmas for celebration with extended family.  Since he is required to work a half shift on Thanksgiving, he offered to take a shift for up to two other people -- would make a 12 hour day for him, but since we aren't going anywhere, there is no reason he can't free up someone else's day and allow them to spend time with family.

3.  Even more than missing my parents at the holidays, I keep thinking how much I'm going to miss them at my wedding.  Mom always told me that she hoped to live long enough to see me married, but she passed away in February.  Our wedding is in May.  Fifteen months.  At least at this point, the thought of not having them at the wedding is overshadowing them missing at the holidays.  I am sure it will hit me at some point, even if it's next year.

4. The house I inherited is sturdy but was also built in the late 1800s. It was renovated in the 1920s, and some things were updated in the 1960s but not much since then.  My fiance and I decided that aside from Tinkertoys for his five year old brother we aren't purchasing any gifts this year.  I've been entering blog giveaways like a mad woman because gift giving was a huge part of Christmas for my family.  So I'm trying to see what I can come up with from blog winnings.  I'm also really focusing a lot of time to my eBay store because, well, there is a wedding and home repairs that need paid for!

5.  Last year I purchased the book The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas so that my fiance and I could start a tradition of a Jesse Tree.  I bought ornaments for us to paint, the whole nine yards.  A year later and the ornaments aren't made.  We'll go ahead and use the devotional again this year, but I'm considering having a craft table at the wedding reception and writing the verse on one side of the ornaments and allowing the children (or adults who want to) to create our Jesse tree ornaments for us.

6.  Just 31 minutes ago, a friend of mine posted a photo of her holding her new daughter.  She and her husband have a heart for special needs orphans, and this is their 4th daughter.  In the next few days they will be united with their 3rd son.  What a wonderful holiday gift.  (This doesn't fit with the theme of my post today, but it makes me want to cry for them, so maybe ending this on a happier note is a good thing.)  These toddlers are close in age and my friend has joked they have been expecting twins.

7.  I doubt I'll be listening to much Christmas music this year.  I do love the song O Come, O Come Emmanuel.  The haunting longing tune is why I love it.  My least favorite carol?  The Boar's Head!  And generously leave you with that this week!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Wedding Planning Two weeks In: 7 Quick Takes Friday

1.  No we don't have a date set.

This is the question I am getting most.  We need to talk to our priest, and schedule the ceremony around some other people's schedules if at all possible  (My father is deceased and I want a close friend to walk me down the aisle.)  In addition, I want to join the Church prior to the wedding.

2.  No, I won't answer your question about when I'll have a baby.  

Really?  In what universe is it okay to ask a woman in her 40s when she is going to have a child?  You don't know what issues there might be that might be able to prevent that.  A few people I graduated with are now grandparents.  I don't even have a wedding date set yet, and I'm getting this question.  This is an area that if I want you to know about it, I will discuss it with you, and if not, please don't bring it up.

3.  I miss the weddings from the 1970s and 1980s.

Maybe it was just where I grew up, but I loved how back in the 1970s and 1980s if someone was getting married and you knew them, you would show up.  There would be a ceremony, and everyone would go to the church basement, give them a small gift, usually very small, and everyone would eat mints and children would spill red punch on their best clothes.  We are hoping for something more along the lines of this, so we're wanting to do a very low budget wedding so we can invite everyone.

4.  I wish I had more talented friends who are willing to help. 

Having a low budget wedding means I would gladly take some services as a wedding gift.  I've done this in the past with friends having low budget weddings.  I had taken every photography class my college offered and I had a nice camera and filters, etc.  I did photography for friends who couldn't afford a photographer otherwise.  Made a great gift, and saved them money.

5.   I am considering taking a cake decorating class.

Cake decorating classes are offered around here for about $50.  I am thinking if I can make a cake look better than average I might bake my own.  I particularly would like one that looks kind of like the one Mom and Dad had (and as you can see in the photo it was nothing special.)   I'd like it for a photo op because both my parents are deceased and it would be neat to be able to hang both photos side by side.  Of course on my cake I want to make guinea pig bride and groom cake toppers.

6.  I'm more than willing do do reviews on my blog for wedding stuff.

Yes, this is a bit of an announcement.  I would love to review anything wedding related.  We're trying to keep costs at a minimum.  If I can't review it, win it, borrow it, we have to buy it.  And we don't want to buy much.   Did I mention we are on a tight budget?

7.   I've been focusing on the planning in this post, but the most important this is. . .

The most important thing when planning a wedding is the sacrament.  The vows before God.  Then family and friends.  That's why I am not obsessing about finding the "perfect" wedding gown.  What is going to be perfect is when family and friends are able to share in this sacrament with us.   And the fact that there will be no punch.  I hate punch.  (Meaning that we are able to make this as unique as we are, and the only people we have to please is ourselves at the reception!)

You can read more Seven Quick Takes over at

Friday, May 23, 2014

Seven Quick Takes Friday: RCIA, a BBQ, and guest book

Since I started a new Thursday series, Weekly Geocaching Round up, I won't be adding geocaching adventures to my Quick Takes Friday any more.  So that cuts out a lot of my news I'd been relaying here as that is our biggest out of the house hobby.

Last week was our last class of RCIA.   We learned all about the end times.  While that's not something that is stressed much in Catholicism, it's a huge focus in evangelical churches, so our priest thought it was important to cover.  I did not join the Catholic Church, and I talk about that in a previous post.

Our priest is moving.  This upset me greatly (and I even cried because of how much I like him.)  It is very difficult for me to trust clergy, and this man has both my respect and trust.

We invited the RCIA class over for a BBQ on Monday evening.  It feels like forever ago we started the class.  That was in September.  My life has been turned upside down since then.  I'll  never forget the night I got the phone call while in class.  The phone call that changed my life forever.  I'll never forget me walking back in the room with a friend who came into the hall to check on me, and I said, "We have to go.  I think they lost her."  I'll never forget what a good friend that boy was through the next few days.  He called our priest who came after class to to a prayer of committal of Mom's spirit to God.  I feel like this group of people have helped me through the roughest time of my life and I'll be forever thankful for them.

On a lighter note, a friend of mine bought a guest book for their home when he and his wife were married.  I always thought that was the coolest idea.  So since I have my own place, I bought a guest book.   I loved it when my friend who I got this guest book idea from pulled it out a couple years ago when I visited with someone he had never met.  I was able to look back 15 years and see when I had first visited him and his wife!  I hope for this to become a treasured possession for us!  We have nearly a dozen signatures in it since March.

I set the date of my annual party in the park.  I was debating if I wanted to have it this year or not, because Mom died.  Jewish tradition says no parties for a year after the death of a parent.  I'm not Jewish, but I have better days and worse days, but the better days seem to be a little better  as well as more frequent and the worse days not quite as bad.  So I booked  a place in the park in September.  That still gives me a few months to heal as well.

Don't forget about the U.S. Cellular iPhone 5s Giveaway   that is currently going on here on my blog!

Visit for more Quick Takes Friday.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Geocaching: Seven Quick Takes Friday

If you aren't aware what Geocaching is, it's using GPS to find "treasure" hidden in the woods.  If you don't have a GPS you can find many caches by downloading the app to your phone.  (And a shameless plug, if you don't have an iPhone, I am giving one away that is good only on the U.S. Cellular network.  Just click here to visit the giveaway.)

And back to geocaching. . .

Here are some notable finds of mine in the last week.  Because I don't want to give away TOO much information just in case you are a geocacher near me, I will just describe some of the locations.


My favorite find of the week was on Tuesday.  My boyfriend and I were in a town about 10 miles from here an we saw one located near a cemetery.  I suggested we find it, and we went up the side of  a mountain that reminded me slightly of those pictures I've seen of the mountain paths in China.  Okay, so I'm exagerating, but it was quite the road.  What I didn't realize when we started out that it was at the cemetery where my great-great-grandfather and his wife are buried.  If I had known, I would have brought flowers.  I never had been to where they were buried before.   He was a Union Soldier in the Civil War, born in 1845. 


One we are still talking about is one someone planted right outside their house.  As we pulled up, someone asked if we were geocaching, and told us we were about 30 feet too far away.  The person who hid the cache was home and waved to us.  And since we were being watched, wouldn't you know it took us a good five minutes to find what should have been seen in seconds.    


I think one of the most interesting things in my area is a rocket.   I can't help but wonder why, but it's there, as is a geocache.


There is an overlook near where I live with a cross.  I have always thought, "How high!  I'd never be able to climb that!"  But I did!  


This one was sad to find in the condition we found it in.  We think some non-geocachers got into it and left it like this.  But not the way to leave a geocache for others.  I thought it was cool because some school kids left it for others to find.  There is also a neat bush near the geocache, and my boyfriend posed by it.


A more unusual container I ran across this week was a mailbox.   It was on the side of a building and they received their mail at the road so there is no confusion.


There was nothing too notable about this one. . . unless you count the beauty of nature.  

For more Quick Takes Friday, visit and learn more about Jenifer Fulwiler's book  Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found Itthat was recently published.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Seven Quick Takes Friday in Rhyme


Thoughts were escaping me,
A fun blog post what could it be?
My boyfriend suggested I should do a hip-hop rap,
He can be a pretty clever chap.
So here it is, all in verse,
Trust me, my prose can be even worse.


Last night was an annual book sale,
I go every year without fail.
This year bought 50 from Childhood of Famous Americans set,
Read half of them in my childhood I bet.
I was quite the reader even back then,
I can't wait to read them once again.


Spring may be here, I really hope so,
Although the forcast says we may get snow.
We went geocaching earlier this week,
Coudn't find one that was located by a creek,
But this was behind a Wal-Mart store,
Beautiful scenery enjoyed before we cached more.


Spring cleaning, chores, not so much fun,
The dryer vent is being cleaned while there is still sun,
Vacuum filter needs washed, stuff priced for a garage sale,
This stuff will get done, we cannot fail.
eBay mailings taken to the post office each day,
We ship as soon as our buyers make time to pay.


Two scares from the doctor in the last week,
More testing I am going to have to seek,
Hope all comes back from that okay,
And hope $800 is all I have to pay
For more tests to make sure that all is fine,
Gotta keep healthy, this body of mine.


We had company twice as of late,
Hospitality is an enjoyable trait,
We bought a guest book for everyone to sign in,
Memory of their visit permanent with a pen.
For us to look back on years down the road,
No matter where we may abode.


Trying to eat more healthily,
I am now drinking some black tea,
And I  hate chocolate -- really I do!
Dark chocolate is supposedly good for you.
Been eating a square once every day,
Still doesn't make the bad taste of it go away.

There you have it, a few minutes of my time,
And my Seven Quick Takes Friday all in rhyme!

For more Quick Takes Friday (which aren't in rhyme) Visit

Friday, March 14, 2014

100 oz of Diet Pepsi and Six other Quick Takes


My current guilty pleasure is 100 ounces of Diet Pepsi.   Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) my closest Sheetz Store doesn't have the Fizz City where I can add vanilla or lemon to my Diet Pepsi, but I take a few of the True Lemon packets and fill it up.  First time I took this to RCIA, I asked the lady beside me if she could see the priest around the mug.  The smaller mug is only 52 ounces.  To fill up the larger one, it costs between 94 cents and $1.16 depending on where you go.  My boyfriend bought me this mug at Christmas for $9.99 (first fill free) in Alabama.  They aren't sold in my area and people are always commenting on my huge mug when I fill it up.


I was in Wal-Mart looking at a shirt that said "Lucky" on Saturday.  Not only is that the name of my guinea pig, but I enjoy entering contests and giveaways and have won several times.  It seemed like a good  "uniform" for next time I go to the national sweepstakes convention.  As I was looking at it, a lady came up to my boyfriend and me and offered to give us the shirt we were looking at.  It was only $5, and she didn't want to bother returning it!  How cool is that?

I am gathering supplies to start on a cross stitch project of Micah 6:8.  It only says "Do Justice.  Love Mercy.  Walk Humbly."  But it's beautiful.  I figured I needed something to keep me busy after losing my mother.  Things have been crazy.  I wonder if life will ever get back to normal, and I learned there were a lot of lies told about me to my mother.  I wish I could talk to my mother one more time.  


Twice this week my boyfriend have eaten dinner at the Catholic Church 10 miles away.  The churches in that town rotate a free meal for anyone who wants to come every week.  It ensures that everyone in the community has a hot meal once a week.  There is a donation basket if you want to help with expenses and aren't needy, so it's a social time.  Tonight we went and had their annual Lenten Fish dinner.  For $8 we got a huge piece of fish on a sub roll, fries, stewed tomatoes, cole slaw, punch, and dessert.  Well worth the $8.  Plus it is even served to you -- no cafeteria style line, very much like a restaurant.  And I saw my high school youth group choir leader there.  


We had to buy a new stove/oven.  The glass cooktop on ours broke.  My mother won it in a contest a few years back.  It had been overheating since it broke and I didn't feel it was safe.  The delivery man was a distant cousin.  I pulled out the copies of photos I made for my mother's funeral and in one of them was my mom with his dad when they were about 10 years old.  I gave it to him as a tip since it was a copy and I had the original.


My boyfriend has taken to calling one of my fingernails "your gouger".   I tell him it's a useful tool.  He is threatening me with fingernail clippers.  I told him it's only a matter of time until it tears.

Life has been extremely hard for my boyfriend and me since my mom passed.  Please keep us in prayer.  And since life has been hard, I don't have a lot to write about at the moment, so I'll leave you with asking you to stop by my blog giveaway where I'm giving away to two winners -- each winner receives 2 coupons for Dial Deep Cleansing Hand Soap.  (USA only).  Just click HERE.

For More Quick Take Fridays, please visit 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Seven Quick Takes Friday: Boyfriend Edition

I told my boyfriend that in addition to this being Valentine's Day, he has the added pressure of makint this day special because it's the one year anniversary us sending our first message online.

Our first photo in June 2013 at Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia.

Today is Valentine's Day.  One year ago yesterday I went to an Ash Wednesday service and started seriously considering becoming Catholic.  You can read about that here.  (I posted it after giving the service some thought.)  I figured that I would have to wait until I made up my mind before meeting someone.  The very next day I messaged my boyfriend on a dating site and told him I saw he was a Christian.  


He told me he grew up Catholic but was currently attending an Anglican church.  We started chatting, neither of us thinking it would lead to anything.  We lived 3 1/2 hours apart.  There's a bit of an age difference.  But we kept chatting because there was nothing better to do.  We realized we were starting to care about each other.


By the time I went to Fat Camp  Faith and Fitness Week, I was referring to him as my "kinda-sorta-boyfriend".  Kinda-Sorta because we still hadn't met.  His car had been totaled right before we met online by someone texting and driving and he hadn't found a replacement for us to be able to meet up.  I had a rough week at the weight loss camp, and everyone thought it was so neat how I'd pick up my phone after a workout and there would sometimes be a text waiting on me saying how proud he was of me.  One woman said she wished her husband was that sweet.  I knew I had a winner.


He came to visit and I met him June 19, 2013.  We met at a Burger King parking lot.  Actually getting a hug was so wonderful.   I will never forget the nerves from that night.  I'd already decided I loved this man.  You only meet a man you love like this once in your life, and this was the night I was going to actually be with him in person, so I was full of jitters.  Over the next few days we visited some tourist attractions in my area, ate at Annie's Country Kitchen Restaurant and started forming our inside jokes.  (If you ever meet us, and we say something about a cheese factory, that means you are rambling with your story.)  We decided at that time we were dating but didn't want to make it "Facebook official" until I met his family.


In July, he visited for my birthday, and again in August.  On August 26, I called him and could barely say, "I need you" as my mother was in the hospital and given a 10% chance of living.  I was told I would need to make the decision to take her off life support in 48 hours.  We talked about how and when for him to come for what seemed inevitable, and he came in on August 28.  As he pulled into the driveway, I received the call from the hospital and the doctor said, "There's nothing more we can do."  My heart dropped.  Thankfully the doctor continued, "We're transfering her to Pittsburgh."  I ran out the door, left a house key at the business next door so someone could take care of my guinea pig, and told him we were leaving in 15 minutes for Pittsburgh and didn't know when we'd be back.  We spent the next 8 days in a hotel in the Pittsburgh area.  I don't know how I would have made it through that time without him.  I'd look at my mother and think I was losing the most precious person on earth.  My life was turned upside down in a moment (my mother was doing well 48 hours prior to her being given 10% chance of living.)  He was a trooper.  He held me as I cried, found St. Ferdinand's near our hotel for us to attend to try to make life as normal as possible for me, and tried to hold me together.  My mother thankfully got better, and it was during this time I realized that this was no ordinary man, this man was someone very special since we had only met in person 2 months before.


I didn't know when I would be able to visit him and his family in Virginia, but because my mother needed to be in a rehab facility, I was able to get away sooner than I had expected.  My priority, of course, was to be around for my mother, but since I didn't need to take her to dialysis three times a week for a while, I was able to get away.  He had planned on coming in one weekend, but said he had a wedding to go to.  I asked him if he wanted a date and that weekend was the first I met his family.  I met his extended family at Christmas as my mother encouraged me to go to Alabama.  Thankfully they liked me, and I had a fantastic time with them.  We even had a The Settlers of Catan marathon until three in the morning so we could finish our game before his cousin had to leave to where he is stationed in the Navy.  (And yes, we made our relationship "Facebook Official" in September.)


I couldn't be happier.  He moved to this area at the end of November.  This is the first Valentine's Day of my life I'm not alone.  (I'm 40, and that's been a long time of waiting for the right man!)  He goes to RCIA with me every week, he loves to cook, clean, and I am so impressed with how much he cares for my mother.  I am not quite strong enough physically to help her without straining a muscle now and then, and him moving to this area was such a help because he has been able to do so much for my mother.  He is usually the one who takes her to dialysis and he shovels for us and it's not a worry about how we are going to get the driveway clear to get her to dialysis.   He's learning to list on eBay -- you can check out our items here. (You can also follow us so some of our items will show regularly on your eBay homepage!)   He has gotten into the shopping part of eBay with me, and we were planning on going to some second hand stores today, but the weather is too bad and I'm not feeling the best.  What a wonderful Valentine date, though!  He's extremely supportive of my eBay selling, entering contests, and blogging.  I met someone online before him who even though I had made more than this man, I was told that I needed a "real job".  I am thankful I am appreciated for who I am, what I do, and I appreciate the same about him!  It is hard to fathom that I only met him a year ago.  It's such a neat thing to be part of a couple on Valentine's Day.  I heard so many times over the years to quit looking and love will come to you when you least expect it, but I don't agree with that.  If you are single, hang in there.  I was 39 before I met my boyfriend.  This Valentine's Day feels so different -- I'm just very thankful there's my boyfriend!  :)

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Seven Quick Takes Friday -- RCIA Edition


For those who don't know, I'm going through the RCIA class though my local Catholic Church.  If  you who have never been through one, I encourage you to do so.  You don't need to join the Catholic church afterwards, but most do.   It's a great study of what Catholics believe and we have a few people in our class who have been Catholic their whole lives.  Granted, two of the three of them are sponsors for those joining the church.  Unlike in larger parishes, our priest teaches the classes himself, and I believe this adds a lot to our class.  The first few weeks we were all silent and said nothing, and now our priest can't get us to settle down.  I was talking to a friend this week and she asked who all was in my class (there's less than 10 of us).  When I told her, she commented, "That sounds like a really fun class!"  It is. . . That said,  on with Seven Quick Takes about RCIA this week.


We were discussing Commandments 2 & 8 -- Truth and Honesty.  I want to write a whole blog post about this but our priest mentioned hypocrisy and what it is and isn't.   It isn't being imperfect and fallible.   Everyone is going to make mistakes.  Yes, people will sometimes cuss, or do things they shouldn't.  That doesn't make someone a hypocrite, but what does make them a hypocrite is "Professing beliefs, feelings or virtues that one does not possess."  So an extreme example would be someone who professes in church to believe in God but is an atheist.    I always thought hypocrites were people who go to church and don't live up to a certain standard.


I'd never heard the words before but two things I thought I'd mention are "calumny" and "detraction".  Calumny is saying something about another person that is not true and harms his/her reputation.  Detraction is saying something which is true and harms another's reputation without good reason for doing so (such as in a court of law.)


Next we were told that anything overheard in Confession is never to be revealed.  Someone stated that at times years ago there would be little old ladies hanging out near the Confessional to eavesdrop.  Can you imagine?   This got us into a lively discussion about Confession.  Since our priest is our teacher for the class we were able to get a priest's perspective on it.

It was asked something about the most interesting Confession, and of course our priest couldn't say that, but he did say that he's heard about everything as he has done work in a prison.  He was talking about the confidentiality that surrounds the Sacrament of Reconcilliation and said that at times in a group setting it might be required to stop a prisoner from talking about what he did if he had not yet been to trial.  He said that most in a specific prison had murdered at least one person if not more.  The lady beside me piped up, "Have you ever said, "You've only murdered one person?  Good for you."   This got laughs from most of us, our priest sighed and tried to go on to his next point.  Someone commented on how if there wasn't face to face confession the priest would still recognize voices, and amazingly, he said that many times he can't unless someone has a very unique voice.  I thought that was interesting.


I said I had heard on a podcast I listen to that priests often have a special grace to forget what is said to them, and I asked if that was true.  He said it wasn't that so much with him as most people confess the same sins.   The girl across the table from me said something about Mouth in the Goonies giving confession (I never realized that was what he was doing since I grew up Protestant -- in fact when I went to see the movie it was my best friend's birthday and her father had been a Methodist minister and he nearly whisked us out of the movie theater over the statue scene! But I digress.  .  .)  The lady across the table asked, "Has anyone ever confessed they are a cannibal?"  The room exploded with laughter and she said it was a Silence of the Lambs reference, but we all started joking with her about it.  I commented "I'm never coming to your house for dinner."  She looked at me and stated she can't cook, let alone cook people.  Again there was another general round of laughter.


Once we got settled down, another thing that was stated about truth and honesty was we are not to tell others things they don't need to know about others.  I can't say how many times I've heard gossip spread as prayer requests.  Even the prayer requests where you say "I can't give you details but pray for _____" makes you think all sorts of things about that person, so don't make prayer requests an announcement.  (I once heard a pastor say never to make a prayer request about something you haven't spent a lot of time in prayer for yourself.  I think that's a great rule of thumb because I think it will make you more sensitive to how you ask others to pray about something!)


After class, we often visit and joke around a little.  One week I had mentioned that a guinea pig I know online had a lady across the hall who would get after him with Holy Water.   (I'm planning on writing a blog post just about that discussion, too, so stay tuned.)  I announced as we were filing out of the classroom, "Good news.  The lady across the hall from that guinea pig showed up to preform an exorcism on the guinea pig but instead baptized him with Holy Oil."  My priest questioned a baptism with holy oil forgetting that we were discussing a guinea pig, who of course cannot be baptized.   (I have wanted to take my guinea pig to a blessing of the animals service on the Feast of St. Francis.  I had one guinea pig in particular who would have loved it with the exception of dogs.  And speaking of dogs, the Episcopal priest in the next town once had to go to the hospital and get stitches after a dog bit him during a blessing of the animals service, but again I digress. . .)  As our priest was still contemplating baptism with holy oil,  someone asked about exorcism.  I mentioned I had read the book The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist and asked if that was real, and I was told it was.  The youngest member of the class said he had seen that movie.  I asked why when I mention a book everyone talks about a movie that is made from the book.  (And disclaimer -- neither I nor my priest have seen the movie, so I don't know how much it followed the book.) 

So there you have it, at RCIA this week we discussed truth, honesty, hypocrisy, cannibalism, a guinea pig, and exorcism.  A pretty jam packed hour and a half if I do say so myself!

Friday, January 31, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday -- Snowed In edition

I decided to switch things up and join a different link up this Friday.  This is my first time at 7 Quick Takes Friday so if you are linking in from there, please be nice.  (Although I'm sure you would be!)

We actually had more snow than this, but I found this photo from a couple years ago. of our back porch.  It looked the same this time, except a bit more of it.

Because I have been sick for a while it has been 11 days since I have been out of the house due to a combo of sickness and such, this is what the last 11 days have consisted of since it has all morphed together into one week in my mind.

1.  Mom is in the hospital.
 A week ago today Mom was admitted to the hospital.  She has pneumonia and I started getting sick almost immediately.  I started on antibiotics last weekend and am feeling better myself.  Mom is still in the hospital and likely to remain there until Monday at the earliest.  Because of her being in the hospital is one reason I have been able to hibernate like I have.  She is on dialysis three times a week and while my boyfriend often takes her these days, I sometimes tag along.

2.  RCIA was cancelled.  As was life.

With a huge snowfall last week and -11 tempertures this week, RCIA got cancelled.  As was school.  And pretty much anything else that happens around here.  Except for people making mad dashes to the grocery store for French Toast ingredients (milk, bread, eggs). 

3.  We cleaned the pantry at meals.

You know how there are often boxes that linger in the pantry.  "Oh look, there's two waffles in this box.  This will be my breakfast."  or  "You know, this might be a good night for that Chef-Boy-Ar-Dee pizza in the back that has been there a while."  Just seemed a good time to do this because my mother is on a very restricted diet, and this is something that has needed done at times.

4.  I made my boyfriend suffer through some old home movies, putting together a puzzle, and we cleaned.

I used to always have a video camera on my shoulder.  I pulled out some old home videos from years past.  My dad passed in 2006, and my boyfriend never met him, but we were laughing at Dad's antics on the videos.  I just wish my dad could have met my boyfriend. 


I love to read and when I was growing up our school got rid of the reading books they had used for ten years.  I adored this series and we each were given a book at the end of the last school year we used them.  I have collected the entire series over the years at garage sales, and I started sharing them with my boyfriend.  (Yeah, I'm a nerd, what can I say?)  I also read blogs, two books, and various cereal boxes.

6.  eBay 

I sell on eBay.  You know you want to check out my junk -- I mean, treasures --  that I have for sale.  I did a lot of eBay listing, and my boyfriend even helped clean the eBay room where we found some interesting stuff that I had bought at garage sales and tucked in there and had promptly forgotten about it!  I always used to wonder why all the good guys were always taken, and after waiting so long to meet my boyfriend, I have a feeling that there are single women out there wishing they had a boyfriend like this, but sorry, ladies, he's taken.

7.  Contests and Giveaways

I love entering contests and giveaways.  I really win, too.  Here's my post on the basics of winning sweepstakes because every time I mention it, I get questions, so I'll just post the link now.  Because Mom has been in and out of the hospital since August, I had gotten behind, and I have a big announcement -- I am now caught up!   Plus I won a couple instant wins this week, the biggest of which was a $25 pre-paid Visa.  Yeah!  I always love winning those, because I make so many dreams of what I might spend it on -- a new book or some subs from my favorite sub shop.  But somehow it always ends up being groceries.

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