7 Quick Takes (v. 75)

1.  Bailey (9) has been in school for five days now.  Even though she acts like school is no big deal, I think she is really enjoying it.  I don’t think that she is enjoying the schoolwork, but I think she is enjoying the busy-ness of school.  She has no time to be bored, and she comes home physically and mentally exhausted.  I’m sure I’ll be writing a lot of blog posts in the future that address our abrupt transition from homeschooling her.

2.  I’ve been getting a lot better about avoiding political discussions on Facebook, which was especially difficult after last night’s vice presidential debate.  I just don’t have the time or energy to deal with that stress.  I think I’ve also learned a little humilty; I don’t need to educate everyone about everything.  And sometimes quiet evangelization is better than loud evangelization.

3.  I recently discovered Relevant Radio.  Now I put it on in the car whenever I am out and about.  I love the discussions of the faith and how there are prayer breaks.  I find it much more relaxing than listening to secular music, especially most modern secular music.  Yes, I’m getting old and crotchety like that.

4.  A few weeks ago I was taught how to make rosaries.  I bought a beginner’s kit that includes all of the materials to make 50 rosaries.  I have my kit hidden in my closet, so the kids won’t get into it or pester me to help (especially since it is full of choking hazards for the little ones).  But sometimes when I take up a load of laundry to put away I take few minutes to string together a decade.

I think what I like best about it is the feeling that I will be contributing something positive to the world outside of my house.  So much of my life revolves around my family and my home.  While I know that’s the way it should be, the fact is that you don’t find out just how well you did as a parent until your kids are grown.  And housework is never-ending; there are always laundry and dishes to be washed.  It’s like living inside an infinity symbol.  But each rosary I make has a beginning and an end and will leave my house and go out into the world relatively quickly.

5.  Sometimes I am just in awe of social media.  For instance, it allows people to wait with baited breath when a “friend” announces the start of labor for pictures of the newborn baby.  You can suffer and triumph along with all of the people all over the world who have shaped your life in some way:  childhood classmates,  current friends, and even celebrities.

And in the past two weeks I’ve learned of the deaths of two different people within hours of their passing.  Each was the parent of a former classmate and member of my parish back in Kentucky; while I knew neither very well, I remember their faces as threads of my childhood memories.  Despite all of the things that seem so wrong with our era, it also has some very amazing and positive things, too.

6.  I recently discovered the author Kate Morton.  I saw her book The House at Riverton recommended for fans of Downton Abbey.  I’m now on my third books of hers.  The books usually flip around to different time periods from the early 1900’s to the 2000’s and follow the story of a family and a secret about that family.  It’s kind of like a mystery to be solved, and there’s always a twist or two.  I would rate them PG-13 due to adult themes (fornication, adultery, murder), but there is nothing nasty in the books at all (at least the ones that I’ve read so far).   My mother-in-law has become a fan, too, so I pass on each book to her as soon as I’m finished.  I really can’t recommend the stories enough.

7.  Well, I need to go finish my grocery list.  With the added expense of private school (and all of the little hidden costs of school), I’m trying to reign in our food budget by getting back in the habit of cooking dinner at home every night.  This requires a lot more planning.  But since Bailey started going to school I can tell a big increase in my “free time” and energy levels.  For the first time since Cassidy was born 10 weeks ago, I don’t feel quite so over-whelmed.  I think that we made the right decision for Bailey, for me, and for our entire family at this time in our lives.

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