Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bloggy Break Giveaway

So, I am off enjoying my summer. I will be back to school soon. I finished a quilt with no baby attached to it.  I have even waited for the baby to appear.  There are no girl babies awaiting my quilts.  I can always make another.  Making little quilts is my hobby.  I call it serenity.

I have decided to give blogging a reboot on August 23rd, one month from today.  On that day I will draw one name from the comments on this post to receive this little aqua/pink quilt.  I have included my size nine flip flop in the bottom picture so that you can imagine the size. If there is some way to contact the winner, I will contact that person.  If there is no link, I will announce it here and the winner can get in touch with me.  If the prize is unclaimed by the end of September, I reserve the right to make other arrangements for it.

This giveaway is not sponsored by anyone.  There is no money involved.  I will send the quilt at my own expense to anywhere in the English speaking world. One entry per person.
The color of the dotted square is more pink and not orange as it appears in this picture. The colors are truer in the photo below.


The back is the patterned material like the edges.  It is hand pieced, sewn by machine and hand quilted.  The quilt should be machine washable.  I use cold water and delicate setting as I would for baby clothing.

So, pass this around to friends and neighbors.  Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win this quilt.  Comments close August 22nd and the winner will be selected at random on August 23rd.  If you are having trouble with the comments you can email me at hopeechoes(symbol for at)gmail.com
I will count the email as an entry.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Bloggy Break

Today I will begin a bloggy break.  I have been tired lately and I really can't think of anything to say that interests me much. I have several posts started, but not the interest to finish any of them.  Maybe tomorrow or the next day or next week I will feel more bloggy.  But, until that happens, this is me off living my life.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Seven Quick Takes

Jennifer Fulwiler usually hosts this carnival.

1. Saturday was the Magnificat Women's Breakfast at the Rigali Center.  I was a hostess and a pray-er afterwards.  Father Art was the witness.  I had heard him speak before.  He gives an upbeat message of encouragement.  He sings the call response singing which is fun.

2. Hubby and I went to see the movie Jersey Boys on Sunday afternoon.  I suspect if you have a chance to see the play, it is better.  But, despite all the bad reviews, we enjoyed the movie.  There is a great deal of bad language, but mostly vulgarity rather than cursing.  There were sexual situations, but based on the lives of musicians, that is not surprising.  Overall it felt like watching a play that was being made as a movie which was a little jarring, but it grew on me.

3.  The robin sitting on the nest outside my front door has been acting as though perhaps the robin chicks have hatched.  She was standing on the edge of the nest instead of sitting stoically on the nest as she has been.  I know that it doesn't take long for robin eggs to hatch and for the little birds to fly away.

4. Hobby Lobby is supposed to open near my house today!  I am looking forward to that.  I got on oil well check this week, the first one in several years.  It is for $6.13.  I may go blow it all at Hobby Lobby!

5.  We plan to celebrate our son's birthday with him and his girlfriend tonight.  This is only our second time meeting her.  I hope that we can play the cool, friendly parents and not embarrass ourselves or our son.

6. The good thing about working daily at  the public library is--I have completed my four books for the adult summer reading club.  I am ready to claim my prize!

7. I am planning to take a blogging break at this point.  I find that I have very little to say here and lots of things to consider elsewhere.  So, I am not sure whether I will be gone for a minute or a day or a week or a year, but I am giving myself a vacation from this little enterprise.  Maybe I will get to the bottom of the bag.


                


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thank You, Lord

Dear Lord,

Thank You for the challenges in my life.  Thank You for the loneliness.  Thank You for the possibilities and the problems.  Thank You for the hope I have in the next life.

And thank You for watermelon and fresh tomatoes.  Thank You for daily Mass and Adoration opportunities.  Thank You for all of this time that I am not using very well.  Thank You for the coming school year.

Your beloved daughter,

Mary

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Kindle Fire--A Review

I have a Kindle Paperwhite that I love.  It is really easy on these old eyes.  I should have stopped with that.  The Paperwhite doesn't operate like a tablet and for some reason I thought I might like a tablet.  So, I got a re-conditioned Kindle Fire with some credits I had.  I got it before the end of last year.

This is my opinion on the Fire--Don't waste your money.  I wanted a tablet to use to check the internet when I was around the house or school.  My phone runs out of battery too quickly when I use it like that or I would just use the phone.  I liked what an iPad could do, but I have never been an Apple girl.  I wasn't sure that I would get used to the operating system.  But, I find similar concerns with the Fire.  I have trouble doing a web search and then checking Facebook or email.  Moving between things is slow and awkward in my opinion.  Sometimes it doesn't stay connected to our wireless service at home very well.

The thing the Fire does well is the thing I use it least for--it plays games and shows my Kindle books well.  I prefer to read the Paperwhite and I don't play games for the most part, so I don't find much use for the Kindle Fire.  Lately I tried downloading some free apps to see if I could make it do more things and maybe find uses for it.  The trouble is this--it now makes annoying dings even when it is supposed to be off.  The battery gets used up even when I haven't looked at it in days.  It seems to have a life of its own.

I still might like a tablet.  I am on the fence about that.  But, I won't be ordering it from Amazon again.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

It Was 34 Years Ago Today

Thirty four years ago in 1980, I know what I was doing then on this day.  This was the day my miracle happened.  I had my first and only living child.  On the blog I call him the Moose.  In real life I called him The Moose for many years, so it isn't hard to remember.

I hate to tell you this but he was beautiful and perfect, the most beautiful baby ever.  You may think that your child is lovely, but he or she would in no way measure up to my baby.  (Or does every mother feel that way?)

He was a breast fed baby, jaundiced at the beginning.  But he eventually turned normal colored.  He was beautiful (did I mention that?).  I was desperately afraid that someone would try to steal him because he was so perfect.  He taught me how to be a mom and a whole lot of other things.

Staying one step ahead was never possible with that boy.  He was too smart and so often it was one on one.  But getting the upper hand from a defensive position was something I learned.  I spent a lot of time thinking about how to achieve the results I wanted from that kid.  By that, I don't mean, that I would raise him to grow up to be a doctor or a lawyer or learn multiplication tables.  I mean how to stop him from making circles through the kitchen, dining room and family room while screaming and becoming more exhausted with each turn and to take a nap. (Placed the portable dishwasher in front of the opening to the kitchen and once he couldn't make the circuit, he settled down and took a nap.) (He might have screamed for a few minutes for me to the move the dishwasher, but who remembers details like that?)

He was a challenging kid.  He was hyperkinetic, meaning he moved a lot.  I eventually figured out how to channel that energy for good and had him vacuuming, washing dishes, and running errands for me so that by the time he left for college I wasn't sure how I could handle the house without him.

He trained to be a ceramic engineer, but eventually became worker in computers.  I think he likes his job.  He bought our house when we moved a few years ago. (It has sustained tornado damage twice since he bought it from us.) Probably his chief fault is his love of cats.  He has a girlfriend I call Mattie on the blog because that isn't her real name.

Anyway, I am happy that God provided this miracle in my life, this Moose.
I think that it is only fitting that since his first steps were running that he is training for a marathon in October of this year.




Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Memories--Times Change

Laws protecting individual rights in this country have come  along, long way just in my lifetime.  There was a time when African Americans could not have bought a house in the suburbs in many cities.  There was a time when an unmarried pregnant woman would be fired.  I remember being sexually harassed on the job until those laws came into play.

My 93 year old mother recently shared with me a story from before I was old enough to know what was what.  She shared that my dad was qualified to be a principal or school superintendent soon after they were married in 1949.  He did get a position as a principal in a very rural district in northern Illinois.  When Dad tried to move to a bigger district or a better paying position he was turned down because he was a Catholic. He was told that they didn't want a Catholic to lead their school or school system.

Many years later, Dad had the opportunity to apply in the area where he grew up as a school superintendent and he got that job.  Times had changed and the area where he grew up had many Catholics and no rural Catholic schools.  Dad finished out his career at that district.  Ultimately my family bought a little farm that was less than 2 miles from the farm my dad had lived on from the time he was 10 until he joined up to serve in World War II.  It always felt a little surreal that I had the same high school English teacher as my father had.

I am thankful that I never had to face prejudice in jobs because I was a Catholic.  I am thankful for the rights that have be granted and the protections that have been put into place.  I hope that we aren't moving in another direction where the freedoms we have enjoyed for so long disappear in the name of political correctness or protecting the rights of people.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday Prayers

Lord, I give You praise and glory this day.  In the vastness of time and space and the smallness of my life, I glorify You, I honor You.  I thank You and I worship You.  For You are my God and there is no other. Amen

Saturday, June 21, 2014

What I have Learned About Going "Out" to Write/ Research

My sister and I have been working on a project.  It has grown into a trilogy for teens/tweens that touches the lives of our great grandparents.  The project has grown from a simple historical retelling to a trilogy involving some semi-fictional characters set in a real historical time frame.  There is much research to do to get these stories going because they are set in the late 1800s.  I am not sure whether the books will ever happen but at this point the research is still fun.

Since my sister is the writer and I am the researcher/librarian, I am doing some research.  Some of this has involved the trips we have made to Oklahoma and Kansas.  I want to go back to Kansas this year and maybe to northern Illinois.  But, for now, I am reading books and taking notes and praying and thinking.

I made an amazing discovery.  I don't get much done on this project at home.  There are too many distractions, things to clean or that should be cleaned.  Things to put away and sort.  There is the phone, the television, the cat, the doorbell and the computer.  Home distracts me.  I get very little done.

I have spent the last couple of weeks trying out places to write.  So far my favorite is the library.  The research room is quiet and nobody comes up to talk to me.  I tried a couple of fast food places and I found that chatty people were a big drawback to those places.  At first I thought is was fun to talk to folks, but after a few minutes and television program recommendations (I don't want to watch television that is only marginally related to the subject I am researching) I was ready for the person to move on and they didn't.  I tried a Bread Co. which is a coffee shop equivalent, and it was okay, but it was rather busy and a little dark and crowded.  There isn't really a Starbucks close by and although I can't remember why, I think I am boycotting them.  Since I don't drink coffee it is no sacrifice.

I resisted the library because I work in a library and it didn't seem "fun" to go to one.  I will admit, I can get distracted by all the books and people who are looking for things.  It is an occupational hazard.  But, after a couple of times, I have found it easier to focus on what I came to do and block the rest out.

Although I am miles from finishing this research, I feel that in just a couple of weeks I have made some headway.  It all doesn't seem so much like a hopeless pipedream as it did. Going "out" to work seems like a winner.

Friday, June 20, 2014

7 Quick Takes

Jennifer Fulwiler usually hosts this carnival. But this week again it is at Team Whitaker.

1. Saturday I went to a funeral and helped serve at the luncheon afterwards.  The deceased was a loving family man with 42 grandchildren.  He had 7 children, so I guess each child averaged 6 children.  That made for a large funeral luncheon.

2. Sunday was Father's Day.  We met our son at Mass and then went out to lunch.
The cat wasn't thrilled to be picked up so much.
 
3. Monday the heat wave began.  I went to morning Mass. In the evening I went to a wake for the husband of a friend.
 
4. The robins came back to the front tree and have quickly made a nest and started a family.  It seems very late in the year for all of this, but I expect to see some fledglings flying around here in a couple of weeks.
Unless the eggs boil in the heat.
 
 
5. When I got home after 8 am Mass on Wednesday several trucks from the sewer district were parked in front of my house.  This didn't bode well.  But after a while, they all left, so I am hoping for the best.  The heat wave continued.
 
I tried to take the weed eater, trimmer, edger whatever you call it, in to be fixed, but our lawn mower guy doesn't do that sort of thing.
 
6. Thursday I went to Mass and then did some cleaning and some writing. I am really tired of summer, especially the heat.
 
7. I have several prayer intentions. I thought I would put them out there, because the more prayer the better.  1). My friend "C" from my woman's group lost her first husband a few years ago.  About 18 months ago she remarried and 6 months after that was diagnosed with breast cancer.  So, pray for her.  But, I just got word that her new husband has also been diagnosed with cancer.  Her youngest daughter just graduated from high school this year. That family needs prayer. 2) My friend "T" also from my woman's group has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. 3) My niece has still not invited her parents to her wedding about 2 weeks away. and 4) My friend "S" is about halfway through breast cancer treatments.  For these we pray!!!  Lord, hear our prayer.