Friday, July 29, 2016

Over at Aleteia Today

I have a piece on NFP celebrating NFP week.  Come visit, share and leave a comment if you like.
Tips to Make Natural Family Planning Work For You,  (Or what I wish I'd learned and maybe they talked about before I got married but I had bride eyes so I didn't quite hear it).

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Small Success Thursday

It's Thursday so come join us over at and share your small successes from the past week!

Our other success for this week?  Check this out!

 All home grown!  Also all my husband's doing, so lots of successes.  All his. I'm just going to follow him around for a time.  Seems like a really great idea.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Found Stuff

Sometimes, humor comes when I'm trying to do something other than write humor.

Yesterday, I read a piece and gave a critique, and this was the result.
1) Don't confuse a query letter with an elevator pitch as done in movies for movies. It's a letter, and a business one at that, designed to make your first impression.  

2) Books should not be referential to other books. (It's Harry Potter meets Star Wars and the Bible and 50 Shades of Grey)....kind of stuff. The goal of a query letter is to let the agent know you're serious and make your work stand out as unique. Just as a comedian should never follow a funnier comedian, so an author should not reference giants in literature or classics or even commercially successful authors to themselves, the result will be that the unknown person looks punier and smaller still.   

3) When pitching your book, know your genre.  If you tell someone your book is is a thriller, action, horror, sci-fi, mystery, and a romance, the agent thinks, tuna casserole. No one eats tuna casserole. No one looks up how to make tuna casserole, and why would anyone take a chance on ordering an unknown's tuna casserole.

So what do you write?  Queries are business and sale pitch. Here's something of a template:  

Dear so and so....

My name is such and such and I'm writing to you about my book. (insert title) Title of book is this genre (one the agent represents) and suitable for readers age blah to blah. or whathave you. This is your intro paragraph. Who you are, what you do, why it matters to the person you are addressing.

Young blahdyblah longs for blahdyblah. He meets whatever it is, and begins to discover whatever it is, and must also persevere when whoever it is follows him to whereever it is. In addition to saving whatever for whoever, he uncovers the truth about something that changes everything. (This is your middle paragraph about your book). Maybe include a slice of a scene if it's funny or clever but it has to be brief and tight). 

The Title of Book stresses Themes a and b and c,  Throw in some questions maybe that will be answered but don't be coy.  Only River Song gets to say "Spoilers." and none of us are River Song.   Also, make sure you tell the agent or publishing company your book clocks at how many chapters and so many words. You should know ahead of time, how many words are generally found in a novel, novella, short story, children's book, etc, so you don't overrun or underwrite what you are selling.

And that's the real point of any query letter. You are selling three things: Yourself (I am a competent writer and know the business).  Your book--I wrote it, it's cool and you should read it and all of your friends will want to read it so you should sign me on and publish my book.  Your future relationship with this editor/publishing company. (Go back to the I am a professional who can take editing, criticism, questions and the like and not go to pieces in the process). All three in a three to four paragraph little letter.  And you thought writing the book was the hard part! 

Thank you for considering my work, and I hope to hear from you soon. 

My soon to be famous name
and contact information.
No emoticons or PS notes.   You are pretending to be a professional. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Faith Under Fire: Dramatic Stories of Christian Courage --A Review

When Matt Archbold announced he'd written a book called Faith Under Fire: Dramatic Stories of Christian Courage, I pre-ordered a copy.  
When the book arrived, I started it and wept after the first chapter.

These days, when the news gives us a near constant stream of how humanity fails to live out the beauty of God's plan for each of us, this profile of eighteen heroic men and women of all walks of life, is like a tall deeply iced glass of your favorite beverage on a summer evening. They are reminders that even in the midst of suffering, sin and death, God wants to reveal His mercy, His healing, His love, His generosity, His goodness through our lives.

All it took from them, was their fiat, their "yes" to God's will.

Owing to life, I put the book down and when I went back to my dresser, I couldn't find it.  After cleaning up my own room (and yes, my kids enjoyed me having to be more organized, they got in their digs), I found it and thought I would reward myself by reading the next chapter.  I'd thought I'd read some of it each night for a few days, but found myself racing through the chapters, enjoying each story like a chocolate truffle.  For me, good books, like good chocolates, can't be paced. That plan never happens (for chocolates or books).  I found I stayed up late and got up early to enjoy more of the stories.

I took it in the car and read while I waited for my daughter to come out from work, and read it all day in between tasks.  Finally, after dinner, I declared it was reading time and didn't stop until I ran through the final story.  I would recommend using these stories to buttress discussions in a catechism or prayer group, as the stories reveal courage, attentiveness to God's voice, obedience, forbearance, mercy and forgiveness.  

There are still six more weeks of summer, and this is a nice way to give yourself a little taste of luminous lives.  Matt's style of writing makes for an easy read without being simple in terms of content.  Every once in a while, Matthew gives you one of those gem moments in the telling of the story: "How could someone who calls themselves a Christian be more afraid of what other people think than what God thinks?" or "I've known  the Lord for thirty years," "I cannot deny the Lord." As a reader, you find yourself taking a deep breath, drawing back in awe as God's grace becomes tangible in the actions and words of these eighteen people. 

These men and women didn't set out to be steel, or to be heroes or to become martyrs or to become mothers. This is a book of luminous mysteries, lives made miraculous by the individuals recognizing, God called them to act, and their acting. These tangible examples from our own century, from our own lifetime refresh the spirit even as they reveal what Matthew said in his introduction, "The way of the cross is unavoidably uphill."  They also remind us, when we cooperate with God's will, we will become like gold, tested in fire.   All anyone will be able to see, is God's face.

Order, read and leave a review. These stories should be shared.    P.S. Thank you Matt.   Nice work!

Small Success Thursday

Come count your blessing with us today over at!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

There Isn't a Home

In the arena of America politics, there isn't a home where as a Catholic, I can feel comfortable.  I know good earnest noble intelligent caring people across the political spectrum. I know some who say, here is your home, because you oppose this...insert issue A. They are correct, I oppose issue A. It is insufficient reason. I know others who say come over here, it is obvious you don't belong over there. We have issue B and C.  It doesn't matter. If my faith is the determinative factor on voting and not ideology, then neither party deserves my support.  I cannot reject half of my values to affirm one, or ignore that one for the same reason.  I can't.  Not if I want to hold true to any of my faith.  Not one pinch of incense for either false god.

Neither candidate should hold power. Neither is a good decision, only a negative decision. Whether for Trump or Hillary, I can't give my assent without being tarred by the muck each candidate has chosen to embrace.  I cannot support either candidate if giving such support results in having to pretend corrupt isn't corrupt, evil isn't evil, incompetent isn't incompetent, and ignorant isn't ignorant. To support either is to somehow contort one's values and shoehorn them into the slipper for either R or D.  For me, neither shoe fits.

These candidates are real people with serious character flaws. I concede, one of these two damaged souls will win but not with my help. Today, I reject both parties and their proposed candidates.  I have never not voted, but I don't think in good faith I can assent to either ever. To me, they are both Barabbas. They are both something other than good, and the position of President is something that ought not to be given to one of these two least kind, least selfless, least ethical, least honest or generous candidates to enter the public arena in a long time.

To those who say, "No! You'll waste your vote."  No.  I am holding my vote.  It is not something someone is guaranteed because of their party.  It is something that must be earned.  No one has done anything to earn my trust, let alone my vote.

Why do I say there is no good choice?  It is not because I despair of good in this world or in people. I know I am not the only one who knows many on both sides of the political spectrum.   I know I am not the only one to be able to name names of people with R's and D's affiliated to their voting record that are to a person, decent, kind, thoughtful, diligent, people of good character.  I imagine most are trying to make the best of a situation they did not choose and do not want.

When I look at the fruits of pledging fealty to either side, both candidates demand too many compromises.   Anyone who doesn't fit one's political template is thus exiled to the political equivalent of Hell, for having thought otherwise.  Modern politics seems to thrive on this sort of instant US THEM, US GOOD, THEM EVIL sort of nonsense. This sort of rigid dismissal of all who think otherwise must be rejected.

Whatever that is, it's not American or Catholic, or even sensible. It's not healthy for anyone to presume to reading other people's hearts when we cannot even see each other's faces.     We are all more than politics, or we're supposed to be, and to be Catholic, we even have to see those we consider our enemies, as made in the likeness of God, and worthy of dignity, worthy of love.  It's too easy to give into snark, to vitriol, to declaring the other side willfully ignorant or deliberately evil.   It allows us to dismiss whole swaths of others and feel smug in doing so.

We are a diverse nation, with multiple reasons for our decisions, both pragmatic and ideological, social and personal, ethic based and steeped in history. By our very ordinary acts of everyday civility, and the peaceful transition of power from administration to administration, all of us prove, our great capacity for tolerance, our great capacity for diversity of thought, our ability to coexist despite what the political parties believe.

So while I don't have any faith or trust in the candidates, I do still hold great hope in the promise and reality of the everyday R's and D's.  I'm thinking they would probably prefer to skip both conventions, go to a local watering hole and complain about the candidate they got stuck with for this go around.

We'll survive whoever wins, because we are bigger than any one candidate.  Politics would have us always believe this is the critical juncture, (regardless of the year) where utopia or doomsday is around the corner.   I reject the damning despair and false hope presented.  The universe will go on, as it should, and it will the results of all of our efforts in the every day that determine whether we become a better nation or not.

It's always Time for a Han Solo Moment

So in the past eight weeks we've had the car overheat, lice, strep, both ovens of the double oven die, signed student loans, dealt with an air conditioner deciding it wasn't going to start for the summer.  This list doesn't include the mental drama of having four teens at home, two with jobs that mean we're playing taxi shuttle at five in the morning and 11:30 at night.  

The kids have begun a campaign for a dog.   We need to repair the stoop, paint the upstairs, and redo the downstairs bathroom.   Strangle vine and Satan's lettuce is cropping up all over our flower gardens. Trump and Hillary are the two presumptive nominees.  Stinkbugs are eating our tomatoes.  I gained three pounds after starting daily use of a fitbit.   The computer is showing early signs of rebellion.   We only have six or seven weeks left of summer.

Job hunting has thus far yielded a need to get more documentation.

And this morning, I cracked a tooth...on milk chocolate.  I bit and wondered because I knew the bar didn't have nuts, but something crunched.  It was me.

My family has a forbidden saying.  It's prohibited because saying it invokes the world to test just how much one is willing to suffer.   It begins with..."If this is the worst it gets..."  and no one ever dares to finish the phrase, because we don't want the powers that be to see what might happen if worse than however worse it has become, happens.   Murphy's law is always in force and enforced.

So to the universe, first of all, the position of Job has already been filled.
Secondly, I do not in any way, want the job being Job.

Third, if this is the worst it gets...I just want the world to know...

Monday, July 18, 2016

Over at Aleteia Today

Please come read, comment and share. I am squaring off against Bon Jovi today.  Mental note, never post a blog from your i-phone, it will make you sound like a supreme moron. Bon jo I....seriously?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Made it Real

Damn.  I went and said it.

My uncle died July 12th.  Now I've written it and somehow it makes it more real.  It's never easy and I know the ache my cousins are holding.  It's sharp and dull at the same time.  It's real but it feels unreal.  It wasn't unexpected but it always is.

We will gather, pray, sing, eat, tell stories and laugh louder than perhaps we want, because we want to hold onto more than the humor, we want to steep in the memories we didn't know we collected over decades of time.

The only comfort I know in times of facing death, is the presence of others.  Each note on Facebook, each letter I received when my dad died, each condolence made the loss softer.  I remember everyone I saw at the Rosary.  I remember being overwhelmed by how many loved Dad, by how many came to the funeral.  I wish I'd had the mass videotaped so I could fully take in everyone who came.    They did more than they know.  It is such a sacred act, to comfort the mourning, to be present for those who grieve.   So to all who came then, thank you.

I hope Uncle Pat's funeral is brimming with people.

Brimming.  That's how I remember him; brimming with laughter, brimming with song, brimming with story, holding a beer that was also brimming with foam.  He brimmed with love for his children.  He brimmed with love for his whole family.  

I remember hearing the story about you and my dad and Uncle Tommy sharing a room.  Granddaddy apparently came up and declared the talking fest of your bedroom to be over. "I don't want to hear another peep out of this room!" he growled.   We all knew what happened next.  You said, "Peep!....Peep! Peep! Peep! Peep! Peep!" and your brothers followed suit.  It broke the tension, all the peeps cascading.

I also remember your eyes sparkling with delight as you handed Marc and me a bottle of Don Perignon at our rehearsal dinner.  We drank it at New Year's that first year.  I also have many memories of you at the beach, getting slightly annoyed with me for my umpteenth backlash.

The last time we got to visit, it was short.  I was at Aunt Mary Lou's funeral, and rode down with you in the elevator.  I wish I could remember the conversation.  I felt blunted then by your sister's death, so close upon my dad's.  I think you did too.   There weren't the funny stories because at that moment, we just both felt sad.  We both got extra desserts.  We both shouldn't have, but we both wanted life at that moment to somehow be sweeter, to taste better.

The photo for the obituary is how I remember Uncle Pat.  That's his true face.  Eyes laughing, easy smile, someone willing to sing or tell a story, whatever it took to help whoever was sitting with him, enjoy the moment.

Uncle Pat, I love you.

Your laughter, like salt, made whatever was happening in life, taste better.
It was never what you said that I remembered, but how I felt whenever I'd visited or watched you with other people. Your conversations were always, always, always punctuated by your laughter and that's what I remember the most, what I'll miss most.

Small Success Thursday!

And I posted a link to it on Thursday! I'd call that a small (albeit pathetic and sad) success.

Anyhoo...come join us over at Catholic mom and count your successes from the past week.

They can even be small ones like being sort of timely like me.  :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Horseradish Sauce

This weekend, I traveled to Buffalo to witness my Godson's wedding.  I ate well.  It was an odd experience, being sans children.  You would think having time without household chores or people to serve, I'd have written something but alas, I discovered, my time management skills are worse than I thought, for I am a sufficient reason to not get to the keyboard.

While at the hotel, the Taste of Buffalo filled the street outside the lobby.  I enjoyed wine ice cream and fried risotto and even took a turn at Karaoke.  Mercifully, the video my mom took is too long to upload so my teens won't have to suffer having their mom's warbling preserved forever in internet amber.    It's good to know it's there though, sort of like a plausible threat of mutually assured destruction.  They don't want it out. I don't want it out. They behave, I retain a hint of dignity online, if not in reality.  

During the course of the weekend, I spent a lot of time thinking about having ten kids, raising them, and the ups and downs of it all.   Someone at the reception asked if I'd wanted ten kids and if I'd considered how much work it would be before beginning this journey.   I admit, sometimes the bills, fights, messes, assignments, schedules and demands for regular meals can overwhelm.  

I finished the trip with a dinner at the Anchor Bar annex at the airport.  I ate wings and Beef on Weck, which if you don't know, is a Buffalo specialty.  It is thinly sliced roast beef au jus on a crusty roll studded with kosher salt and caraway seeds. A thin layer of horseradish sauce is considered a must.   One would never think, you know what I want?  Horseradish sauce. If one considers horseradish sauce alone, one would never consume it. It's bitter, it leaves a bite on your tongue.  Why would you agree to have horseradish sauce?  However the whole sandwich rocks and I'm only sorry it isn't something that's caught on anywhere else but Buffalo.

Considering only all the labor and trials and scourges of having ten kids is rather like eating horseradish sauce alone.   Who wants to go to the DMV 20 times in one's life?  Who wants to fold 100 socks a week?  Who wants to do dishes for 33 every day if you count all the meals?  Who wants to drive a 12 passenger van?  Who wants to read aloud the Harry Potter series 7 times thus far, and try to must all the energy you had at the first go around?  Who wants to hear 10 "Hey Mom, guess what I dreamed last night?" summaries at breakfast?  Or change diapers for 23 years?  Or solve fights seemingly to the death between a five year old and her older sister over an invisible cat?  Alone, it's untenable, there's just no way, it's too much work, too hard, too expensive, too protracted, too much too much too much.

Absent love, it's overwhelming and at times, it even has a bite.

However...when it is spread over the whole of life, these trials augment everything else.  The sufferings of parenting, they fade like labor pains, even the big ones like teens rebelling or toddlers potty training. The bite doesn't remain, only the flavor, and the whole family, is one I'd order again in a heartbeat, horseradish sauce and all.   They are a feast set for me.  

Bon Appetite.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Time to get to Work

The shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and of Philando Castile and of the five officers in Dallas?  All of these executions were obscene acts of evil.

I spent the day in transit to a wedding, but know social media exploded with respect to these acts, all of which bring to the public conscious the need to really look at ourselves and have an honest discussion about what we want as a nation, and what we don't.

Here's what I know.

There is a disproportionate level of incarceration, stops, arrests, charges and abuses of people of color by law enforcement, and we as a nation have to recognize that level of systemic abuse of power breeds nothing other than resentment.  

We also have to remember,  most cops don't make the news.  Most desire to protect and to serve, Most cops offer their lives on a daily basis, dealing with the hard reality that people do act badly, people do break the law, people do sometimes do those horrible things that make the news and need to be stopped.  It is not a disconnect to say black lives matter or to also say, blue lives matter.

The reality is always both and.   Neither should be ignored.  Both should be addressed.  Both must be if we want something other than what we have.

But being a ring side observer to the actual incidents, it's only human that we want to do something.  The temptation is to either rage or cry or to pray, but the reality is, we have to do more than feel, more than symbolically gesture.  We must somehow stand and speak and help make things happen so that these sort of things stop happening.  

So now you're wondering, what?  What do I do.

Blessed Mother Teresa was asked, "How can I change the world?"  She answered, "The best thing you can do is go home and love your family."  and she meant it.   I view our whole world as our family, and we've done a poor job of loving many of them.

Today, the best thing any of us can do is to go and be kind to every person we encounter and then, to keep doing it tomorrow, and every day after, until the violence of this week becomes something unthinkable for everyone, always.

Pray for peace, work for peace by being a source of peace to all you encounter.  We've watched, but the sideline times are over if we want a less angry world.   Time to get to work.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Brotherly Love

I understand from my own experience growing up, brothers and sisters have a dog cat relationship. There may be siblings out there who regard each other with mutual respect, but most of my own life, children see the pecking order, and if they're lower down, they want higher up. If they're higher up, they want to keep everyone else lower down.

Son A wants eggs. Son B owns a skillet.  He refuses to share. I agree, his skillet, his rules.  He (Skillet boy), then offers to help Son A, but only if he's allowed to cook.  Son A refuses.  Son B in an odd show of charity, gets out the ingredients, the butter and as he calls it, the older carton of eggs.  His brother should ONLY use the older carton. He explains to me that I really shouldn't let Son A cook.  I ignore.  He suggest Son A will get hurt.  I ignore again.  Son A gets out the other skillet and cuts some butter. I sense a trap.  The four eggs in the carton are hard Skillet Boy's heart.  I consider switching the eggs to pull one over on Son B but opt to get out the proper eggs instead and tell Son B, if he complains about his brother again, he's going to lose out on all the not hard boiled eggs.  

When the sole goal is to make sure you look good or at least better than your brother or sister, even virtue becomes a battlefield.   "I did the dishes."  Sister says.

"Oh yeah?"  Brother turns, scheming, how to come out smelling better, "Well, I agreed to clean the basement."  That works the first time it's tried, but after that, everyone knows it's put up or shut up, promises don't count.  

So you get minute by minute up to the second updates of how kid A is doing so much more work than  Kid B that really, you should just pack Kid B up for someone else's home, or you should send Kid A out to a hammock, bring him a fifteen foot meatball sub and a soda and make Kid B work sun up to sundown until the age of sixty-five.

Corrective measures, even well meant at the start, become fighting grounds for proving one's greatness as versus the other.  "Pick up the markers..." one child barked.  "They're not mine." the other countered and continued making an illustration on a dry erase board.  "They're under your chair." He pointed.

"So? I'm drawing."  She explained they weren't dry erase markers so it wasn't her problem.  He picked them up but not before erasing the head off her drawing.   Having to calm a daughter's irritation at his willful desecration of her artwork, I did fire off a warning to both.

"See the task, be the task." and "It's no virtue to destroy someone's emotional mood because they don't do what you say."   "But Mom, the markers would have dried out."

"So you wouldn't pick them up to prevent that from happening?"
Cue silence.  

No one it seems, is more interested in protecting the actual markers than proving they're the more virtuous person of good intentions.

So when my daughter opted to make cup cakes and said brother wanted to help decorate, I had reservations.   Since he doesn't eat frosting, why would he want to put frosting on the cupcakes?

So the man boy could custom make the desserts and let us all know his true feelings for his sister. Each of the cupcakes had a frowny face  like this:  :(     Alternatively, they had a tongue sticking out like this:   :p   and lastly, in case we somehow missed the point of his efforts, one cupcake had "X's" for the eyes, indicating the face was dead.

But I've promised parity.  His sister will get to frost the cupcakes for his birthday which is coming up.  I foresee a lot of pink glitter and sparkles in his future.  Should be a memorable party.

Monday, July 4, 2016

The Vocation of a Nation

Travel always reminds me, this country still holds within it, the promise, the hope of greatness, of nobility and opportunity (politics not withstanding).  As a nation, regardless of where you are in this land, we remain, a good, hopeful and eager to be something better type of people. Our neighbors matter, our cities matter, it's when we decide whatever it is, isn't our problem, rather than recognizing each of us have a stake in making this place better, that we fall into trouble.

When we stop being our brothers' keeper, when we think, "I pay taxes," therefore I've done my part, we become less than we're called to be as members of this nation.  

I still believe this country can do what is good, true and beautiful, because I know the people who live here, still want what is good, true and beautiful in their lives.   We dream big, we play hard, and we like to think that somehow, despite all our faults, deep down, we will find the courage to be people who when things get hard, do the right thing.  Even fifty years of living hasn't convinced me otherwise.  

So celebrate today with your family and friends. Eat, read the Declaration of Independence at the dinner table and be present to each other. Count your blessings which I hope are more numerous than the fireworks.   Enjoy the day.  

Then consider, what can you do to make wherever it is that you live in this country, better?  What can you do in this year of Mercy, to be kinder, more just, a better steward, a better caretaker of the rights and liberties, the freedoms this country holds dear?

What can you do to become more informed, and more of a voice to help take some of the acridity of politics away?  

What can you do to change the tone of the current discussion from constant name calling and petty insults, to something deeper and more in keeping with what we aspire to be, on a local, state and national level?

I recognize, the current way of things can make one want to just wash your hands and say, "A pox on both your houses," to the available offerings, or to just refuse to engage.  I know because it remains a temptation, to seek somehow to be neutral.  But lukewarm is never satisfying as a way of life, nor is it a solution to any problem.

The Catholic response to life, to struggle, to suffering, to injustice, to argument, to disagreement, to violence and to evil, is not to withdraw, but to heal, to help, to educate, to minister, to examine, to ponder, to repair, to apply grace to whatever endeavor or situation one experiences.

 If everyone who viewed the fireworks were to go and seek to put their talents toward the care taking of this nation and its people, the explosion of goodness would be bigger and longer lasting than any display we might watch this week, and more meaningful than any slogans or campaigns being offered this election cycle.   We'd move the nation and lead the leaders.  

Saint Catherine of Sienna said, if we would be who "God wants us to be, we would set the world on fire."     That's a calling to go out and act, and the purpose of every life. Imagine the world that would be.  

It isn't easy but the reality of that quote promises a life and world more luminous and beautiful.  It would also leave an impression more lasting than all the fireworks.  

Happy 4th of July!

Friday, July 1, 2016

When Can I Move?

There's a universal nature to being a beach person.  It isn't whether you surf or fish or build sand castles, it's whether you get what it means to be at the beach, and how to beach.

The waitress at the seafood restaurant who couldn't tell me what the zip code was for the town where we were so we could get the five day forecast from a weather app, she is a beach people.

I also met a leather tanned woman at the pier, she could string tackle with ease and used her teeth to cut the lines.

The man who brought his dog Bailey with him to fish, who argued it wasn't true a bad day fishing beats a good day working if you don't work, and who took the fish off the hook for my daughter and used them for cut bait. (He asked), also a beach person.  He also got mad at his dog for trying to eat the head.

So how do you know if you're a beach people?

How many times today have you been swimming?  How many times today have you changed clothes.  If the first number is greater than the second number, you might be a beach people person.

When your husband suggests that while ice cream twice a day might be indulgent, perhaps it is reasonable today and you're already en route to the store before the discussion concludes...

Napping is considered part of the day, and taken seriously.

You start to know how to navigate based on the signs for the various tackle shops.

The TV, computer, phones and ipads are put aside for the pool towel, beach shovel, card deck and again, napping.

You start thinking, I could live here.
There's a storm.  You still think it.
There's a report of a shark attack and you've been watching shark week all week in the evening.
You still think, why not?

and you go back to the waitress at the restaurant, who turned to a fellow waitress to ask if she knew the zip code and she didn't know either.   "We don't get much mail here." she explained.  

When can I move?

Catholicmom Two-Fer

Back right after Easter, it hit me that as part of this Year of Mercy, there should be a series at about mercy, and Lisa Hendey agreed.  With the help of Barb Grady Szyszkiewicz, editor extraordinaire, we've been running a series, Ordinary Time, Extraordinary Mercy or #OTEM if you know how to find stuff using twitter.  

Here's my first contribution to this body of work, Forgiveness is Mercy.

So yesterday was Thursday and I did have a Small Success Thursday post as well.  Between vacation, and the ordinary stuff of maintaining this family in the summer, writing time has taken it on the chin.

Here's your SST fix.  

However, I am enjoying this time with my husband, kids and Mom.  

Go over to my facebook page if you want to see the video of the one that got away.  My arms still hurt from that thing.  

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!