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Answer Me This #6

Once again, linking up with Kendra's Catholic All Year. 1. Do you have a smart phone? Yes. Oh, yes.  I resisted for a long time.  I said my flip phone was all I needed.  But when I became John's official assistant, I also got the assistant iPhone.  I have become . . ....

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Answer Me This #5

Back with another episode of Answer Me This!  (Please visit Catholic All Year, the sponsor of this fun Q-and-A linkup!) 1. Beach or Mountains? Where would you rather be? Right this minute, the beach, because it's the beginning of summer.  And I do like to visit the...

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Answer Me This, #4

Here's this week's Answer Me This, courtesy of Kendra at  Catholic All Year. 1. What's the scariest thing that's ever been in your yard? That's hard.  Can I do more than one?  (Yes, I can, because this is my blog and I do whatever I want here!) Yard #1  This was our...

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He's Baaaaack

There is another laundry basket in the hallway. I have to check the waistbands of all the jeans and boxer shorts for sizes before I put them away. Another car is jockeying for position in front of the house. I am cooking more meat than usual. We needed a second pew on...

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Answer Me This #3

Linking up again with Catholic All Year for Answer Me This!   1. What's for dinner? God only knows.  Seriously, y'all, after almost 25 years I am tired of making dinner. In the beginning, it was fun.  Like playing house.  The second and third years I got...

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A Work in Progress

Every morning, when I get home from driving William to school, I get out of my car, start, walking toward the house, and then stop and stand staring like an idiot at my garden.  My neighbors probably think I'm crazy (actually, they already have plenty of other reasons...

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Obamacare Update 2

As promised, I will continue to update you on our family's journey out of the ranks of the uninsured thanks to the Affordable Care Act.  Here's where we are now:  John, Emily, Jake, and I are fully insured through BCBST.  Lorelei and William remain on TennCare which...

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Answer Me This Again!

Trying to get caught up with the Catholic All Year link up!   1. Are you becoming your mother?   If I am, no one has said so yet!  I'm sure she doesn't think so.  I am far more likely to be accused of becoming my grandmother.   2. Coffee or tea?  ...

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Answer Me This

In my constant quest to provide exciting and FREQUENT content on this blog, I am going to participate in more blog-hops and link ups.  The questions below come from Catholic All Year.   1. Do you hate happy clappy church music?   Clapping I can do without,...

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These Shoes Were Made for Walking

Lorelei is off to camp with her classmates this morning.  They will be spending three days at Camp Wesley Woods, about an hour from home. This of course necessitated a lot of shopping.  And with one thing and another, I put off this shopping until yesterday....

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Obamacare Update

I promised several people to continue to share my family's experiences with being insured at long last via the Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare.  We are coming up on two months of being insured and so far it is an unqualified success. There was a little sticker...

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Graveyards and Country Roads

Graveyards and Country Roads

I had so much fun looking at graveyards last weekend, that I've decided to try to visit some every Saturday.  Jake likes graveyards too, so I asked him to come along.  Turns out he had one he wanted to show me! It's often referred to as Copper Ridge Cemetery online,...

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Walking in Knoxville

Walking in Knoxville

Before I started this blog, I had planned to write a very different one, which I was going to call Walking in Knoxville.  The main focus of it was going to be walks I liked to go on (hence the name!) but I was going to use that as a jumping off point to discuss other...

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Cuttin' Footloose

When I was a teenager, the poster below (or one very like it) hung on the back of my bedroom door. It wasn't because I had a huge crush on Kevin Bacon, although I did think he was cute.   What I loved was the movie--Footloose. As I checked my phone before bed last...

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Spring Break!

My Facebook feed is filling up with pictures of beach views, because both Knox County public and Catholic schools are on break this week.  Were I to post a picture of my view, it would be the same one everyone has seen before:  my back yard.  I'm not complaining,...

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Online or Hardback?

Readers with kids:  Do yours have "online textbooks" and what do you think of them if so?Textbooks have grown much bigger and heavier since I was a little girl.  I'm not sure there's any reason for that since surely the deposit of knowledge can't increase that much in...

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What Dreams May Come

What Dreams May Come

Last night I dreamt that my family and I were standing outside our house (only, because this was a dream, it wasn't THIS house, but rather the one I lived in from age 11 until I got married).  We heard that scary cracking sound that lets you know that a big tree...

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Home Wreckonomics

There was a room in the "new" wing of my high school that was referred to as the "home ec" room.  There were sinks and a cooktop in there, but the days of anyone being taught the domestic arts as a part of the Knoxville Catholic High School curriculum were long gone...

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Good Morning, Rennbore!

If you have an iPhone, you'll be familiar with the little "weather" icon you can click when you want to know what's going on outside without having to look out the window.  This handy-dandy app allows you to pick several cities to keep track of so that at a glance I...

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Lent and a Birthday

Birthday parties and Ash Wednesday don't mix.  That's why we celebrated William's 13th birthday last Saturday, with a dinner party at the Lemongrass Restaurant (William loves Asian food of all types).  There were 14 of us in attendance.  We brought the cake (red...

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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog. Here's an excerpt: The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 18,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would...

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Uninsured No More

Since I've come out supporting the Affordable Care Act, with reservations, both here and on Facebook, and have publicly stated that my family would be applying for coverage, I thought I should let you know that as of February 1st I have joined the ranks of the insured...

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2013 in 13 Photos

Linking up today with House Unseen, Life Unscripted's awesome 2013 in 13 Photos! Photo 1:  January.  Immaculate Conception Church.  I take a picture every Sunday and sign in on FourSquare.  I'm the Mayor! Photo 2: February.  John's birthday cake.  My own secret...

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A Short Christmas Story

A Short Christmas Story

William, my big baby boy, is growing up, even though he doesn't want to.  He'll be 13 in March, he's almost as tall as I am, he weighs 140 lbs., and he started middle school this year. [edit: he's now an 18 year old high school senior, over 6 ft., and about 260 lbs.!]...

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Persecution and Perspective

Persecution and Perspective

It's that time of year again!  Yes, it's time for the annual "War on Christmas," when all we faithful Christians must endure the pain of being wished "Happy Holidays" and seeing retailers advertising "Holiday Sales" and let's not forget all those evil people taking...

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More Advent Fun

Come visit me for my third annual appearance at Living on Love, where I am writing on making your own Jesse Tree for the home.  Because clearly if you want to read something I've written, you aren't finding anything here, are you? (A temporary situation, I...

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O Come O Come Emmanuel . . .

O Come O Come Emmanuel . . .

I made my first Holy Communion during Advent 1974, and that was the processional song. It's the first time I remember hearing it--at any rate it's when I learned the words--and so hearing it this time of year has a little bit of extra significance for me! Besides...

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I Fell off the Wagon . . .

The NaBloPoMo wagon, that is.  But, y'all, this week has been brutal. First there was the all-nighter.  Jake got his paper done.  Emily bagged on us around 3 a.m.  I stayed up and up and up.  For those of you who have heard me rant about helicopter parenting, all I...

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All-Nighters

I may have mentioned a time or two that I was an English major.  So that meant I wrote lots and lots of papers in college.  And college being what it is, I rarely wrote any of them until the night before they were due. I write really fast, so usually that wasn't so...

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Me and My Noodles

When it starts to get chilly outside, before I leave the house you might hear my ask one of my kids to "bring me my noodle!"  And if you did hear that, you would probably think I was crazy.  So let me explain. I buy a lot of beauty products through the mail from Yves...

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Three Musketeers

We call Emily, Jake, and Teddy "the big kids," and William and Lorelei "the little people." because there's a a gap of six years between Teddy and William and there are times when it really does feel like we have two separate families. (And yes, a woman in the Kroger...

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Family Resemblances

Almost twenty-three years ago, Emily arrived looking pretty much exactly like John.  He brought his own newborn picture to the hospital and several people assumed it was hers.  Great, I thought, I did all the work and he gets all the credit.  And his black hair and...

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Scattered Pictures

Twenty-seven years ago (ACK!!), I moved into my first apartment at Georgetown with three classmates.  It was like playing house--walking to Safeway to buy groceries, making Quick Corn Light Bread from my mother's recipe, using the carpet sweeper, fighting over whose...

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Cute Cat Pictures

I had an awesome time tonight, and I can't wait to tell y'all all about it, but it's already after midnight.  But I have to post something for NaBloPoMo, so . . . When I got home a few minutes ago, I headed straight to the office to write this post.  The first thing I...

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In the Garden Part II

Mima loved to garden.  There were flowerbeds everywhere--at the road, next to the carport, around the tree, right in front of the front porch, by the back porch.  She did all her own gardening right up until she had her first stroke. As a child, I didn't think much...

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In the Garden

I'm tired and still have work to do this evening, so I'm going to begin a two-parter:  mostly pictures of my garden today, and then a post about gardening tomorrow.  I hadn't seriously gardened in a long time--years, really--but this year I have been trying to do more...

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Scorched Stew Saga

I have been thinking about beef stew for weeks, ever since it first began to get chilly.  There's something about this time of year that makes me want to cook.  I've been thinking a lot about chili and roasted root vegetables and pots of pinto beans too! But some of...

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Connections

In the fall of 1973, 21 children started first grade at St. Joseph School.  In May of 1985, 11 of them graduated from Knoxville Catholic High School.  Those 11 kids spent more time together than they probably will spend with anyone else, ever, other than the members...

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Just under the Wire

OK,y'all, I know this is lazy, but the thing is, it's a quarter till midnight, and I have to do something quick, and besides my daughter tagged me with this and I want to oblige her. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS Rule one: Always post the rules Rule two: Answer the questions...

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Not a Chip off THIS Block!

John and I were both well-behaved children, responsible, excelling in school without parental prompting, never giving our parents worry or trouble. That's why I think Karma is bullshit. No, seriously, my kids aren't that bad.   But they aren't carbon copies of me and...

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About Those Crocs . . .

Before the fire, my closet was overflowing, mostly with clothes I couldn't fit in anymore but couldn't bear to get rid of.  Seriously, I had the dress I wore when I graduated from college in there. Truth to tell, most of the things I actually wore lived in a laundry...

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They Come in Threes

They Come in Threes

Deaths, that is.  Maybe it's just the constant desire to look for patterns and meanings, but I've found it to be true. I remember one day last summer on which I attended a memorial Mass in the morning, took a meal to a bereaved family that afternoon, and went to a...

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A Busy Birthday

So my baby girl turned NINE today!  Lorelei wanted to have a party for some of her school friends, and she came up with the theme on her own:  a "fashion" party.  The main event was manicures and makeovers provided by her big sister, followed by a pinata, then gifts...

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Never Say Never

You know what happens when 1) You don't care what anybody thinks about you and 2) You've reached the age at which comfort is more important than fashion? This.  This happens. Don't say I didn't warn you.  

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I'm Tired

This is one of those nights when the ONLY reason I am writing a blog post is because of NaBloPoMo.  I am busy and sleepy and not feeling particularly inspired.  The space in my head normally devoted to dreaming up things to write about, refining them throughout the...

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When the Rest of the Story Is Bad

Surely you remember Paul Harvey with his "and now you know the rest of the story."  In his show, the rest of the story was always surprising, frequently meaningful, and sometimes moving. (And also, according to Snopes, possibly not really true!) As a child who read a...

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It's Not Just You

It's Not Just You

Over the past few days I've had several conversations with different people centering around how difficult things are for them.  "That's how my life is," said one friend.  "My life is just crazy right now," said another.  "Why is my life so hard?" asked a third. In...

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Along Came a Spider

Back in the summer, a writing spider took up residence in a bush in my garden, just outside my front door.  Now I'm the kind of person who runs screaming at the sight of even small spiders, and this one was big.  But William loves spiders, and so we left her alone....

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Heaven Is for Real

Heaven Is for Real

I do believe that, even though I'm not a fan of the book.  But I don't spend a lot of time thinking about it. There are those who spend their lives longing for Heaven, longing to escape this vale of tears.  At my Aunt Iva's funeral I remember the preacher talking...

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Joey

That's what I always called him, and how I will remember him, even though he was long since "Joe" to everyone, even his brother and sister.  But he was Joey to me, my big grown-up cousin, more than a decade older than me so seeming like an adult even in my earliest...

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A Perfect Day

Yesterday started out with some extremely crappy news from our (former) billing company.  [Good news in disguise, y'all.  Hindsight.] But the rest of the day, thankfully, was wonderful enough to tip the balance on my happiness scale. It's Fall Break for William, but...

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A Literary Survey

A Literary Survey

I love this kind of post.  (You know that, right?  Because I've totally done it before.  And also here.  And also here, and probably elsewhere!)  This time I stole it from my friend Maggie.  You can read her version here.  (And then read more of her blog because she...

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Evangelization

Evangelization

Marianne Worthington calls him "The Acts Man" in her beautiful poem.  (Stop.  Click the link.  Read the poem.  Come back.)  We called him the Bicycle Preacher.  I've recently been informed that his name was Mr. Wilson. Knoxville was his beat.  Some say they saw him on...

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Good Day Sunshine

I got an award, y'all! This comes courtesy of my friend Elizabeth Flora Ross, who writes at The Writer Revived AND is the founder of The Mom Pledge Blog.  She's an awesome writer and a wonderful mother to her darling four-year-old, and I admire her very much. So I was...

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"The School I Would Run"

"The School I Would Run"

The title is in quotes because I utter that phrase frequently, mostly when complaining about something that has happened in one of my kids' schools or when reading about the latest stupid educational fad.  (I also sometimes say "If I ran the world" but that is another...

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Feminism's Rotten Fruits

Feminism's Rotten Fruits

UPDATE:  I was inspired to repost this by discussion surrounding the Women's March on Washington and by what many referred to as vulgar signs and speeches they saw on the media.  While I understand that many women find such things empowering, I too question whether...

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Letting Go

Letting Go

"Is there anything to eat?" I think that's maybe what I'll miss the most--my hungry boy saying those words to me, in person or on the phone, usually multiple times on any given day.  I almost cried this weekend watching him fight his way through the mob in the...

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Pretty Pretty Princess

Pretty Pretty Princess

So it seems like everywhere I look lately I see articles about what not to say to your little girls.  Don't mention that you have issues with your weight.  Don't tell them they are pretty.  And for God's sake, don't call them Princess. (Disclaimer:  I am not...

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25 Reasons to Love Knoxville UPDATED

25 Reasons to Love Knoxville UPDATED

It's no secret to anyone who knows me that I love my hometown.  Five years away for college and my first year of marriage was enough for me and I don't ever want to live anywhere else. I could list dozens of reasons for my love of Knoxville.  But that's not the...

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Summertime and the Living Is Easy

Summertime and the Living Is Easy

Summer time and the living is easy . . . Right?  That’s what we are led to believe, anyway.  That’s the ideal. My childhood memories paint summer in almost unbelievably idyllic hues.  We slept late.  Swam every day.  Came home wet and starving into the frigid...

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Drained

It' no news to me that my stats for this thing are way, way down.  And it's no wonder, given the irregularity and infrequency of posts here lately. Now I knew I wouldn't be able to post much during the craziness that was most of April and all of May.   But I kind of...

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Going Home Part II

Going Home Part II

We had a big morning planned (two lectures and a tour) but we kind of forgot about it and slept in instead.  We had to take a cab to make it to Georgetown in time for the Family Picnic (which we would totally have bagged too except we had already paid for it).  The...

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Going Home

Going Home

So this is where I am today! Twenty-five years ago (yes, that does constitute an actual lifetime!) John graduated from Georgetown University, and we are here for his Reunion.  (He's older than me.  We just won't discuss when my 25-year Reunion will be.  Until I blog...

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Dear Mom in the Pew

Dear Mom in the Pew

Dear Mom in the Pew in Front of Me, the One with the Rowdy Kids: No, I am not going to write about how much your kids disturb me during Mass.  I'm not going to suggest that you take them to the nursery (we don't have one anyway!) or sit with them in the cry room or...

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Ending Child Abuse

My sweet friend Maggie is a wonderful writer and she has a big heart as well.  She's blogging today on her fundraising efforts for child abuse prevention via Childhelp.  Will you take a minute to visit her site and consider making a donation?  And while you are there,...

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An Embarrassment of Riches?

Most of the time five kids doesn't seem like a lot to me, it just seems normal.  I can blithely respond to that ubiquitous comment, "I don't know how you do it!" with "Oh, after three it's not any harder, just louder," and mostly mean it. But there are times when I...

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I'm Lovin' It

Here's a new way to find me, folks!  And it's a great and easy way to follow other blogs you like.  Check it out.  Bloglovin' is very simple to set up. <a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/5419853/?claim=jqb64exnej5">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a> I'm...

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Prejudice Hurts

I know how I lucky I am to live in a country where my freedom to worship however I wish is guaranteed.  I take that for granted and I find it hard to realize that people are still persecuted to the point of death for their beliefs in other parts of the world even...

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It's a Great Time to Be Catholic!

It's a Great Time to Be Catholic!

So, I'm thinking now's a good time to be getting all Catholic on the blog because HABEMUS PAPAM, y'all!  This doesn't happen every day--I mean, this is only the fourth time it's happened in my whole life (which is edging ever closer toward the--gasp--half-century...

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48 Questions (and the answers too!)

Last week I was too busy LIVING my life to write about it!  And this week I'm playing catch up from last week.  So here's a self-indulgent, quickie post, inspired by my friend Elizabeth, to get me back to blogging.   1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?Yes.  My first...

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Sanctuary Redux

I promised a while back I would post pictures of my new bedroom furniture once it was in place but then Christmas came and you know how that goes.  Anyway, the lighting in my room is not the best but you can get a decent idea in the pictures below: There's a cedar...

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Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning

Winter cleaning doesn't sound right, and actually it was fall when we did it, but we (mostly me) thoroughly cleaned out our garage a couple of weekends ago in preparation for the arrival of the contents of Grandma's house. [Update:  And I will be doing it again this...

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Some Things Don't Make Sense

Some Things Don't Make Sense

Terrible things evoke many responses:  tears; prayers; the urge to hide, to sleep, not to read or look or hear any more, or even to obsessively read and watch and learn everything about what happened; and, for writers, to write.  You wonder if maybe you shouldn't....

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Embracing Change

I don't like change.  I never have liked change, and anyone who knows me well knows this about me.  Now I would assume that it would be hard on ANYONE to lose every single personal possession to fire, to have to move into a new house with all new things in it, but...

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The Best Laid Plans . . .

So the past few days have been an exercise in stress (not that I needed any more exercise in that area), endurance, and the necessity of flexibility.  I guess it all started around midnight on Thursday . . . Many of you will remember that John's grandmother died last...

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More Advent Memories . . .

. . . but not here!  I'm guest posting today at Living on Love, as part of Lacy's marvelous series on Advent.  Please go check out my post, and once you're there look around the rest of the blog.  Lacy's a young mother who writes thoughtfully about motherhood,...

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