Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sunday Goings-On

Happy first Sunday of Advent, dear readers...that is, if there are any of you left out there; and if so, God bless you, because there hasn't been a whole lot going on here at the blog as of late.

It's not that I don't have anything to write about, either; quite the opposite, as a matter of fact.  But the problem is that I just don't seem to have the time.  Or perhaps I do, but when I prioritize all the things I want to do or should do each day, sitting down to write keeps ending up at the bottom of the list.  (Kind of like working out.  And my expanding waistline is proof of that!)

So much has been happening in our family, it's enough to make my head spin.  The triplets were baptized, for instance.
I made the boys' christening gowns and bonnets with fabrics that my
mother-in-law had collected; the wee lass wore an exquisite 
heirloom gown from my daughter-in-law's family.
And a brand new granddaughter--our 12th grandchild--recently joined our clan.
My third baby, with his third baby.  It's the circle of life!
We celebrated our first big family Thanksgiving in our new house in VA.
The "grown-ups table," set for 11.  (There were also 12 kids,
aged 6 down to newborn!)
The first anniversary of my father's death came around, a tough day, followed by what would have been his 83rd birthday; and I had hoped to write the story of his amazing and inspiring last week on earth (the story of the making of a saint, I believe) by now, but even with a whole year to get it done, I still haven't been able to do it.
Literally hours before death, here he is: raising his glass of
Tia Maria and smiling, after enjoying a Thanksgiving meal
with his family at the hospital.
My mom has had a slew of health issues this past year; she has quite literally been in and out of the hospital or the rehab center.  Because she is not ambulatory anymore without a great deal of help, she is no longer a candidate for the assisted living home into which she'd moved shortly after my dad's death.  So not too long ago, she moved in with my baby sister and her husband, who hired round-the-clock aides to help with her care.  But as I was writing this post, my sister texted to say that Mom is sick again, about to be admitted to the hospital for the umpteenth time since she lost her husband of 60 years.  Please keep her in your prayers, if you would!

As you can see, there's so much to write about--so much, in fact, that I am overwhelmed and suffer from almost crippling writer's block.  I miss writing, and one of my resolutions for 2018 is to do it more regularly. the spirit of getting back on the proverbial horse, I am going to force myself to post something here today.

I thought maybe I could tell you about the holiday craft fair at our new parish in VA this weekend, and about how I decided to rent a table to sell my books.

I had fun setting up my wares; but I started out feeling really shy, even though there weren't really too many shoppers after the anticipated Mass on Saturday evening.  But on Sunday, I started to come out of my shell a little bit and enjoyed meeting and talking to some of the parishioners after the Masses.

I made a few sales--six copies of Erin's Ring and two copies of Finding Grace.  And talk about stepping boldly outside my comfort zone: I even asked a couple of buyers if I could snap photos of them to include in this post.  They were very good sports, as you can see.

In the spirit of the holidays, I wore a Christmas-y red Talbot's knit sheath dress (purchased on clearance)--because as my sister-in-law who wears almost exclusively Talbot's clothing likes to say, when your outfit is attractive and well-made and you feel comfortable in it, you feel happy and therefore you can't help but spread happiness.  (I have talked about this Talbot's happiness-spreading quality before here at the blog, actually.)  I paired the dress with a black 3/4-sleeved ruffle-front jacket from Dress Barn.
Okay, well now this is turning into a My Sunday Best post, isn't it?  So you know what?  I'm going to link up with Rosie et. al., as long as I'm talking fashion.
I closed the front of my jacket with a special pin--it's actually a tiny picture frame.  I found it on Etsy and fell in love with it, thinking that if I slipped a tiny picture of one of my book covers inside it, it would make the perfect brooch to wear for book signings.  (Or for church holiday craft fairs like this one, where my books didn't exactly sell like hot cakes, but more like "tepid cakes," as my husband so humorously put it.)
A couple of tables down, there was a sweet gal selling hand-made Rosary bracelets, and I couldn't resist getting one for myself.  I am a sucker for a Rosary bracelet.  Or anything made of pearls.
Although I didn't sell many books, I feel like it was a successful outing for me.  I grew in confidence as time went by, and I met lots of nice folks.  I'm finding that almost everyone I meet down here is so friendly and exudes the hospitality for which the South is famous.  The longer we live here, the more comfortable I feel in our adopted hometown.  I will always have a soft spot for the Northeast, and a deep sense of nostalgia for the beloved home on a quiet wooded street in Dover, NH where we raised our five boys.  But northern VA is proving to be a very nice place to live.

And those five boys?  Four of them, and their wives and kids, live a stone's throw from us down here.

Life is good.  It is very good indeed.

Well, that's it for today.  But I'll be back.  Sooner rather than later, I hope!

(Now head on over to Rosie's for more Sunday Best fashion talk.  And remember that you can get a signed copy of Finding Grace for $10 here at the blog, from now til Dec. 10.  Email me for details, or use the "Buy Now" button to purchase your copy via PayPal.)


  1. Hi there! I popped over from Rosie's blog and I'm happy to find your lovely blog! Your dress was beautiful today, and I love the name of your book! My oldest daughter is Grace. I even ordered a copy! Happy Advent.

    1. Hi! I just emailed you, after getting your PayPal order, because I hadn’t seen this comment yet. I asked you how you heard about Finding Grace, but now I know. :) Thanks for your order! I hope you (and your Grace, when/if she’s old enough) enjoy the book! God bless you!

  2. Lol - "tepid cakes" - love it! I still love reading your blog whenever you get around to writing. :)
    A writer from our parish is very involved in a group called Catholic Teen Books (I think) and they seem to promote each other's books quite well - mostly via Facebook.

    1. My husband makes me laugh every day!

      I think the group is Books for Catholic Teens--they're on Facebook and Instagram. I did join them, but I just don't think I'm quite in their league as far as my books being widely read and successful. They have been nice enough to include me in their group, though, and even did a little promoting for me. I was very grateful. :)

  3. Love the little update and pictures of the grandbabes. Smile and smile every time I think of 12 grandchildren under 6!! Bet in your wildest dreams you never imagined that!!

    1. It has been quite a ride! And hopefully, we're just at the beginning. One of my daughters-in-law recently predicted that we would probably have at least 20 grandchildren before all is said and done. I used to tell our boys that I wanted at least 25. And we're almost halfway there already!

  4. What a full, fun Thanksgiving feast! I'm so sorry to hear about your mother's health :( And it's such a tough time to have the anniversary of your father's death fall! Mine died right after Thanksgiving four years ago and it definitely makes the holiday tough. Hopefully all those grandbabies distracted you a little!

    1. Yes, the grandchildren are a great distraction. We seem to be busier than ever! Back in NH, when my kids were all far away and we had to travel to see them, writing about them was my outlet, my way of keeping them close. Now they're all close...and I don't seem to get around to blogging as much, because life is so full here. It's a good problem to have, though. :)