Monday, March 23, 2009

Hi There

I am plodding along at the interview. I have about two pages in Word just for the first question, and I'm only about 1/3 of the way through with that question! My family says I have a tendency to put in all the irrelevant details, and I guess they're right. But when I finally finish this tome, y'all will know a lot about me!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Seven Quick Takes -- Apology Edition

Although I have been working diligently on an extended blog post, I just looked at the date on that last one and went "Oops! I feel like I'm working, but they can't see it." So here you go:

1) The post I am working on is a set of interview questions asked by Lindsay. Let's just say it's turning out to be a whopper, and I've actually already decided to post each of the six questions separately. So something to anticipate.

2) One reason I haven't given the interview more time is that I'm a member of Tommy's HS Band Boosters. His school is hosting a state band event next weekend, and the boosters are responsible for feeding 80 to 100 judges and other officials. And I get to do it :-o!! I have done this for the last few years, but this year we decided not to use the school cafeteria kitchen for financial reasons. Therefore I am cooking at home, and serving up two hot casseroles and a vegetable in borrowed turkey roasters. (Also salad and rolls and butter.) Should be interesting!

3) Speaking of turkey roasters -- when Rosie and Anthony got married in Idaho, I fell in love with the kitchen in the church hall where the reception was held. It had all the usual kitchen amenities, plus three rows of double-sided counters with an electric receptacle every three feet. Bring your crock pot, bring your turkey roaster, everything at the potluck can stay hot. And I'm willing to bet that no breakers will blow.

4) The kitchen at my church, on the other hand, was designed by a man. (I can give you his name....) It works OK for the KofC fish fries that he had in mind, but the school lunch moms and the funeral lunch ladies could say a few things to him wish he had talked to them first. And it only works for the fish fries because the Knights have a storage room elsewhere.

5) I'm sure you all can see the incongruity, but all-you-can-eat fish fries in Lent drive me crazy. Especially when you can smell the oil heating as you come out of the Good Friday liturgy.

6) Spring officially arrives today! But, um, this is Michigan. Monday was spring, all right, but today is not, nor was yesterday. I like all four seasons, but the back-and-forth at the changes sometimes gets to me. Nevertheless, the sky is blue and the maple tree outside my window is budding. I guess I'll take what I can get.

7) I have made it through the Wimsey books to Gaudy Night. That and Busman's Honeymoon are my favorites, so I predict a quick finish. And there's a question about books in the interview, so stay tuned.

More Quick Takes are here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Small House??

This is another post inspired by Jen at Conversion Diary. I hate typing in comments’ boxes, so I answered her questions here.

Questions for families with small houses

1. How big is your house/apartment? How many square feet, bedrooms and baths?

Our current house has 1600 square feet, currently 4 bedrooms and two full baths. One of the bedrooms was a playroom when the kids were small.

2. How many people are in your family?
We raised six children here (four girls, two boys); right now the youngest are 16 (boy) and 18(girl).

3. What are the rooming arrangements? Who shares bedrooms with whom?
The youngest two now each have their own room. The most packed we’ve ever been was when all four girls were in one room before we refitted the playroom. Bunk beds in all rooms.

4. If you could add just 150 sq. ft. of space to your house, what would you use it for?
Actually, we feel like we have! We added a 12 by 20 deck on the front two years ago, and “live” there in the summer. But since this is Michigan, it averages out to 150 sq. feet year round. :-D

5. To what extent (if any) does the size of your home impact your decision about whether or not to have more children?
Not in any way. We wanted 8 children, had to be satisfied with the 6 (living ones) God sent, and would have welcomed any more that came. This may have been influenced by the fact that I grew up with one brother in about 800 square feet, and my husband is one of seven children raised in about 1700.

6. Tell us your tips! What are some creative things you've done to fit everyone in and make it work?
For starters, buy an old house! The bedrooms are much larger. Current taste calls for big public rooms and small bedrooms (except the “master suite”.) Only now, with sons-in-law and grandchildren, is our living room too small for Christmas and such. “Needing” lots of space and separation is another form of materialism. Another thing that helped is not having a television. Eight people all curled up with books fit in less space than eight who all have to be able to "see
". And of course the old "A place for everything and everything in its place." doesn't hurt at all!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Seven Quick Takes Friday

(Seven Quick Takes Friday is hosted by Jen at Conversion Diary.)

I haven't tried this before, but a number of the blogs I read have, so here goes:

1) Spring Forward! PLEASE remember to set your clocks ahead one hour when you go to bed tomorrow night (or at 1 AM if you stay up that long.) -- This message brought to you as a public service announcement from somebody who is always blindsided by Daylight Saving Time shifts, especially if they make me lose an hour's sleep.

2) As I mentioned in this post, I gave up a variety of goodies for Lent. I am astounded at how much I seem to have been depending on some kind of sweets after dinner. I wander around the kitchen seeking something I may licitly devour. Guess I needed that!

3) In companion news, I also added a positive discipline. Our family has said Evening Prayer from The Liturgy of the Hours together for almost two decades now. This year I undertook to add Morning Prayer (which Roger has done since we started.) I do it alone -- we're on very different schedules -- sometime before 9 AM. Quite honestly, I thought this would be the harder discipline, since I've given up various foods before. But I'm finding that I like it; it anchors my day, makes it smoother somehow. This one's a post-Lent keeper!

4) Our neighbor is dying. He's had a brain tumor for years, undergone various treatments that helped for a while, but has been definitely failing recently. For the past few days the neighborhood has been full of lots of cars coming and going -- family and friends making sure they get to say goodbye. Please pray for Mark and his family.

5) Our grandson Blaise will be baptized this Sunday. We will be driving down to where Arwen and Bryan live in time for 11:15 mass, with the baptism to follow. Then Rosie and Anthony are hosting a party at their house. Lots of people coming, including the godparents and Maggie, who is on spring break. But I wish it wasn't on spring-forward Sunday!

6) I need a new desk chair. This one sinks and rises unpredictably, and the arms are rarely the same height, despite adjustments. But a new one is not in the budget. Oh, well.

7) Roger and I get an almost-like-being-newlyweds date night tonight. Tommy is playing at the district Band Festival and will be gone for five or six hours. Katie is babysitting for the band director and will be gone even longer. We will enjoy shrimp and brie with wine at home (all bargain purchases, just like when we were newlyweds!) and then go to Barnes and Noble to spend our Christmas gift cards, and probably take advantage of the discount on cheesecake with an espresso purchase. Ah, those were the good old days!

Be sure to click the link above to see other Quick Takes, and I'll see you next week sometime.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Lord Peter Redux

It is symptomatic of how my life has been recently that I am still only half-way through the Wimsey books. I returned the two Paton-Walsh books to the library unread, and will check them out again when I get to that point. Fortunately, I own (battered decrepit paperback) copies of all the remaining books, so I continue slogging through. I expect to finish Have His Carcase as soon as I finish this post.

It is also symptomatic of the way my life always is that I have managed to read several other books during this period of "only" reading Sayers. The best new-to-me book has been Thirteen Orphans by Jane Lindskold. She has also written a number of books in the "Wolf" series, which don't appeal to me, but this starts a new series and I enjoyed it. I don't want to give away too much, but just let me say that if you enjoy fantasy novels AND mah jongg, then this one is for you. And if you just like fantasy novels, give it a try.

The other fiction I have succumbed to are some very old favorites by Mary Stewart. I don't particularly like her Arthurian cycle, but The Moon-Spinners and This Rough Magic I've read too many times to count. I hadn't thought about them in years, but I got into a conversation with one of the ladies at the Wednesday noon service I attend, and she mentioned that she still loved Mary Stewart. So off to the library I went. . .

And now I'm going to go polish off
Have His Carcase and move on to Murder Must Advertise. Caveat emptor, and hope to be back here soon.