Friday, January 31, 2014

7QTF: What-Have-You and What-Not (for Lack of a Better Title)

I'm sitting down to start one of these posts.
And I'm not even sure yet if I have 7 things to talk about.  But I'm going to wing it here, and see what happens.

I just read talented author Katherine Grubb's 10 Minute Writer blog post for today, and it contained an interview with a woman who wrote a humorous novel about the homeschooling lifestyle.  The book in question is called The Homeschool Experiment, and it's by a busy homeschooling mom named Charity Hawkins.  I know a lot of Catholic mom bloggers and blog readers are also homeschoolers, so I thought you might be interested.  If you'd like to have a shot at winning a free copy of Hawkins' novel, head on over to 10 Minute Writer and leave a comment after the post.  (I can't believe I'm telling you about this; because the more people who comment, the less my chances of being the lucky winner.  So you're welcome.)

Speaking of Katherine Grubb, if you haven't read her delightful debut novel Falling For Your Madness yet, you really should get your hands on a copy ASAP.  I did a review of Grubb's wonderful and well-written romantic comedy here, if you'd like to get an idea of what it's all about.  (You've probably all heard of this popular book by now, but I just thought I'd give it a shout-out.  I'm just thinking about you, you know.  Again, you're welcome.)

It's true that you never know which random blog post might resonate with your readers.  Yesterday, I found a painting posted on another gal's blog, and I just loved it, so I was inspired to go on-line to try to find out who was responsible for it.  What I discovered was an 18th century Austrian artist named Ferdinand Georg Waldmuller, whose name I'd never heard before, and dozens and dozens of his other works.  And I just wanted to share what I'd found, so I posted some of my favorites by this gifted and prolific painter on my blog.  Apparently these lovely images of families and family life struck a chord with some readers, as they did with me.  If you'd like to see some works of art that display the beauty of family life--and are even, as my husband pointed out, very pro-life, because of the way they depict large, multi-generational families and the joy that is to be found in them--then head on over to scroll through the gallery I posted on here yesterday.

Oh, I'm half-way there!
Oh, oh...livin' on a prayer...

You gotta love Bon Jovi, right?  Or at least that song...I mean, tell me that when you're in the Notre Dame stadium for a football game and the band starts playing "Livin' on a Prayer," you don't scream those lyrics at the top of your lungs, like the rock star wannabe you are!  If you say you don't, I won't believe you.  And I'm not sure we could be friends.

That Take was mostly filler, but now I'm over the hump.  4 down, only 3 to go!
I found a great website in my cyber-travels recently.  I read too many blogs these days, so I can't remember exactly where the recommendation for this site came from.  But if you love Rosaries, you might want to stop by

I have already hinted to my husband that if there was ever a birthday or a Mother's Day where he was stumped as far as a gift is concerned, he could always go on this site and personally design a Rosary for me.  I would love anything he picked, I assured him.  "But there's just one thing I want to choose," I started to say, because I wanted to make sure he picked a Miraculous Medal for the center medal; and he and the son who was there--let's call them "those two stinkers"--started to laugh at me.  (Do any of you ladies ever come home with a sweater from TJ Maxx a few weeks before Christmas and say to your husband, "This can be my present from you,"--or is it just me?)  Really, though, the rest is totally up to him.  Except no black beads, please.  Any other color but black.  Hmmm...and I think that's it.  Now go on there and design away, my patient husband! 
But truly, these one-of-a-kind Rosaries would make lovely gifts for anyone on your list.
I often write about how tough it is--sniff! sniff!--to have your children go and grow up on you and leave the nest.  It's been an adjustment for me, to be sure.  But being an empty-nester can be fun, too, if you like spending time with your man.  And I do.  When he's not away doing his airline pilot thing, we spend pretty much every minute together during the day.  We grocery shop and run errands together.  We go to matinees sometimes.  We even arrange little lunch dates, where we'll fix our plates and eat on trays while we watch a taped episode of "Psych" or "Sherlock."  It's pretty sweet, really, and one of the perks of being an empty-nester. 
Besides, my kids may be mostly gone now, but their stuff is not.  We haven't had the heart to make them clear out all of their trunks and boxes filled with old clothes, books, boyhood toys, stamp and football card collections, scrapbooks and memorabilia, sports posters, etc. etc. etc., because most of them are still in a state of flux as far as figuring out where they'll settle.  Until they own homes and it looks like they're definitely putting down roots, my husband and I are willing to let our attic be their storage unit.
So I may not have all my boys about me.  But their stuff fills the attic and probably helps with the insulation up there.  So their stuff is keeping me warm at night!
Full disclosure: the stuff is not all theirs.  My husband and I have our fair share of stuff, too.  And it was starting to look like an episode of "Hoarders" up there, so I just finished an attic reorganization project.  I'll say this: plastic bins are my best friends.
I love attics--does that make me strange?  Especially attics in really old houses.  Ours is still too "new" to be very interesting...but someday it might be a fun place for our grandchildren to nose around.
Well, it's time to get moving and check some items off my to-do list.  Today is a sewing day: I have to make new sashes for two flower girl dresses that are going to be worn by my twin granddaughters in three weeks, when son #4 gets married.  (Oh my gosh--that is happening in three weeks!)  The sashes were navy blue when the girls wore them for son #3's wedding on December 7; this time, they're going to be champagne-colored.  I'm sure I'll be posting photos of them sometime soon.
As long as I'm going to be sewing, I'll leave you with another darling painting by Waldmuller, one that shows what I'm going to look like today...well, that is, what I'd look like if I had four adorable children at my feet while I was working, which I will not have.  Or if I was wearing a turban-like contraption on my head, which I will not be.

Have a great weekend.  But before you do, head on over to see what's going on at Conversion Diary.


  1. Imoressive looking attic you have there. And I can't believe it's only three weeks away!!! Can't wait.

  2. re3 - loved the pics. check out Margaret Tarrant's pics, she has some beautiful religious pics

    5 - I have:) I always want books and he thinks books a boring present, likes to surprise me which is sweet but I want books. This year he gave me a dollar amount and told me to go shopping online:):):) one year I bought myself a book for Christmas and wrote "to mum, love mum" the kids thought it hilarious and talk about it nearly a decade later.

    6- we too have children's belongings, and siblings. and have started book collections for future grandchildren. attics aren't the things here in Aust though, many have sheds. though I have a shipping container

    7- can't believe it is his wedding so soon!! it really has been the year/s of the wedding for you.

  3. Your attic is perfect, I am so jealous! I wish my attic was 1/2 this organized!

  4. I love attics! Our first home was a 100 year old farm house that had a cool attic.

  5. Hi Laura,
    I linked over from Katharine Grubb's blog because I saw you had a blog and was so pleasantly surprised to see you sharing about the book! (I also LOVE that artwork you posted--those faces!) I saw that you didn't win the giveaway, but I'd love to send you a copy of the book to read and to share with your daughter (or daughter-in-law?) so please email me at and I'll either mail you a copy or get you a Kindle one. Thanks and hope you enjoy! :) Your thinking of others and being unselfish paid off! :)

    1. I'd LOVE a copy! Our oldest son and his wife are kicking around the idea of homeschooling their kids (they have three little daughters so far) in the future. After I read it, I'll pass it on to them! Thank you!

  6. And also, in case I forget later, might I suggest a way to leave a comment either anonymously or not have to login to something OR have your email address easily available on the blog? I really wanted to contact you but it took me a while to figure out which thing I could use to login (I ended up using Google) and I couldn't find your email! If you're marketing a book, an easy way to contact you would be helpful! :) Just a thought. :)

    1. Oh, I thought that "Email Me" gadget on the sidebar was all I needed. I'll have to look into fixing the problem and making it easier to do. Thanks for the advice!