Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Daybook


Outside my window...Dark and Cold.  I guess it's going to be a chilly All Hallows Eve!  Maybe I'll stay in while the kids collect candy.

I am thinking...Not.  No time for deep thoughts.  Just trying to keep all the balls in the air!

I am thankful...For the opportunity to see my college boys this past weekend.  It wasn't an ideal weekend for Pete, but I was glad to see him.

From the learning rooms...It was a very "light" week last week, in terms of book learning.  Between my "mental health" day and subsequent illnesses, not much got done.  I expect today and tomorrow will be fairly light, as well.  Today, we'll definitely be focussing on religion and the 2 important feasts this week.  All Saints and All Souls, not halloween!   :-)
I think I'll have to find some supplemental reading for them, so they can be learning while I'm busy.

In the kitchen...Dinner for tonight will be a simple egg dish.  Simple, because everyone is busy getting costumes on.  High protein, because they need a solid foundation to put all that candy on top of.

Last night we made candy corn cupcakes using up the box of coconut cake mix.  Very simple.  We put a dollop of the white batter in the cups first, then dyed it yellow and added that to the cupcakes.  Finally, we dyed the rest of the batter orange and finished off the cupcakes.  They're not perfect because the orange batter is heavier and sinks down into the center, but cute.  We frosted them with orange-flavored, orange buttercream.  Everyone loved this dessert!

I am wearing...Workout clothes.  Ever hopeful.

I am creating...more to-do lists.

I am run lots of errands to get things I need and things that we need for the All Saints party tomorrow.

I am wondering...Why the dog didn't eat his breakfast this morning.  He ate about half.  And this boy is usually pacing the floor for a good half-hour before mealtime!

I am reading....  Very slowly, though.  Enough to know that 1 cupcake last night was one too many, however!  Everyone I talk to who is reading it is appalled and gives up wheat almost immediately!  I think he needs a second book, though, on corn.  Corn is a similar product:  so genetically modified that it wouldn't exist in its current form without human assistance.

I am hoping...that Pete is not allergic to the new puppy.  He played with Gus most of the day on Friday, and by Friday night had some itchy bumps.  Saturday, he was literally covered in hives!  Gus is the only thing new in the house, so I don't know what it could be.

I am looking forward to...the weekend.  Already.

Okay, maybe it's not quite that bad!  I am looking forward to the All Saints Day party being over.  I know I should be looking forward to the party itself, and I'm sure it'll be fun, but it will be a long day of prep and then cleanup afterward.

The thing that I really like about our homeschooling group....and maybe this is true of homeschoolers in general, or Catholics, in general....but lots of people who are not assigned cleanup duty will stay to help, so it usually gets done pretty quickly.

I am hearing...Dh outside, scraping the ice off his car.  It's time for the annual garage cleaning that will allow him to park inside!

Around the house...Trying to keep the house neat for my ongoing mental health.  I was so frustrated about something Saturday (oh, yes, the HIVES!) that I really tried to declutter and simplify in some areas because sometimes all I can control is my house.  Do you do that?  Go through a purging, decluttering cycle when you feel like life is out of control?

One of my favorite things...Curling up with my husband at the end of the day under the down comforter.  I love my bed.

A few plans for the rest of the week...Halloween, All Saints day Mass and party, All Souls Day Mass, AHG board meeting, cleanup in an old cemetery on Friday.

Hosted by The Simple Woman's Daybook

Friday, October 28, 2011

--- 1 ---
Yesterday was almost another Mental Health Day because Meg got sick and I didn't do any schoolwork with Pippo.  I had things on my busy Thursday schedule that couldn't be changed, so I wasn't home with her for half the day, though she was fine without me.  She was just on the sofa sleeping or watching movies with a sore throat and low-grade fever.  Several other little girls from AHG (who were all at the same birthday party on Sunday!) were sick, too, and I decided that I needed to be home with her instead of going to the meeting.  The troop managed to survive without its 2 main leaders last night!

--- 2 ---
DH went to pick up our college boys last night so they could be home for Fall Break.  We still don't have everyone together because Katie is going to Athens to see her friends.   It will be an interesting weekend with that college freshmen who is feeling his independence a little too keenly, and finds being at home stifling!

--- 3 ---
Our family routine for, lo, these many years is to pray a single decade of the rosary before bed.  We pray that, and then we renew our consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  We follow that up by asking for the intercession of our patron saints, but the twist is that we choose new patrons every year (though we obviously keep our namesakes as patrons!) on the first Sunday of Advent, the Church's New Year.  The other night, a couple of us simultaneously realized that it's time to choose again!  I'm pretty sure I'm going to go back to St. Monica.  Seems like I choose her every time one of my children goes off to college.....sigh.

--- 4 ---
You know what, though?  Telling you about our prayer habit and the fact that our home is enthroned to the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart reminds me that I can't control everything my children do.  I've done my very best to raise them....just ask my husband!...and consecrating them to the Lord and His Mother is probably the single most important thing I've done in their whole lives.

--- 5 ---
Brendan, brilliant college-man that he is, made an astute comment last night:  People just don't realize how hard Catholics have it at Halloween/All Saints because we have to come up with TWO costumes!

I think Tom has the day off school Monday for teacher workdays, so the only schooling we'll get done is studying the origins of Halloween and All Saints Day.  Meg was begging for weeks to talk about it again, and I was hedging, but then when she asked me when All Saints Day is (!!!!), I realized we need a bit of a refresher....'Cuz if you don't know that Halloween is simply the vigil of All Saints, then you need another lesson.

--- 6 ---
Anxious to go see The Way before it leaves theaters.  Have you seen it yet?

--- 7 ---
Looks like 6 takes is about all we're going to get today.  Time to make some plans for the day---besides the plans which are already made for me.  Do some schoolwork.  :-(

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Save our Sanity!

round button chicken

I'm joining in LMLD's {pretty, happy, funny, real} for the first time, today, because it's something I've wanted to do for a long time, though I don't use my camera enough.  Someone(s) has been using it quite a bit in the past week or two, so I though I would post some of their pictures.


I'm not artistic when it comes to serving meals.  Though I like to cook and serve good food, it doesn't always look very pretty.  Probably because of that, a couple of my kids get their kicks out of photographing their artistry!  This is my Pippo's sandwich from the other day.  Pretty sandwich AND pretty photograph!


Meg and her good friend from down the street.  They were having a good time photographing themselves doing glamorous poses.  Of course, the best picture is where they're just happy and laughing, not glamorous!


Poor Gus, all dressed up in the Build-a-bear clothes.  He didn't like it much, but was very patient for a while.  Then he started trying to chew them off.


The dog has a crate with a nice, comfy mattress in it, and a doggie bed that's also very cozy.  But, naturally, he chooses to sleep รก la Princess and the Pea in the basket full of blankets that we use on cold mornings.

Also in the category of "real" is my sanity, or lack thereof.  We can't photograph that unless someone wants to waste a shot on my grumpy face with lots of frown lines.  Too much going on outside of home and family.  I try to keep my commitments manageable, but I signed the kids up for our homeschool co-op this fall, and that always takes a lot of time.  Not only that, but it's Drama this semester and I'm in charge of all the costumes for A Christmas Carol.

In isolation, it's kind of a fun job (which is why I signed up) and I usually enjoy the creative aspect of it.  I also signed up to help with the All Saints Party on Nov. 1, and I'm in charge of the games there.

So, if you think about that for a moment, here's the rundown:
~American Heritage Girls activities
~picking up Tom from school in the afternoons
~Boy Scouts
~piano lessons

(all that's pretty normal and do-able, and now I'm in the midst of:)

~planning/designing Victorian costumes for 30 kids
~Halloween costumes
~All Saints Costumes, which I had forgotten about
~Organizing 10 games for the All Saints party

I took a day off, yesterday, from schoolwork.  Meg, Pip, and I spent the day taking the dog to the vet, and going to quite a few stores to buy necessary items for the play, Halloween, and All Saints (party and costumes).  We were all over town, but we had fun together, and got quite a bit accomplished.  I feel better about life today, but it seems we're still going to take it a little easy since Meg has a fever and Pippo doesn't feel well.  

People think I have a lot of time to knit, but I don't.  It's a sanity-saving measure.  Those few minutes here and there, or during a tedious activity, give me a feeling of accomplishment and allow me to use my creative energies instead of letting lie dormant as I did for so many years.

{Have a beautiful day!  Take time to smell the roses and save your sanity!}

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Yarn Along

 3 Books that are on my coffee table and getting picked up as much as I have time for:  2 Dog Whisperer books---Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems, and How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond
---and   Good Owners, Great Dogs
by Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson.

I haven't had a chance to pick up  The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation.  Maybe for next week.

My crocheting project, above, is the sleeping mat for a homeless person that I've been working on off and on all summer.  Mostly off while it was hot.  Now, we're back on.

Below, is the Infinity Cowl that I knitted up on my own.  It's made of the softest, most wonderful yarn, whose name I can't recall right now.  I think it's alpaca, though.  Nary an itch with this cowl!  It's not quite as infinite as I wanted, so I'm going to take out the stitching and the cast-off to use up the rest of the yarn.  
Thanks for stopping by!  Pop back in tomorrow and you can hear all about the Mental Health Day for Mom that I took today!

Friday, October 21, 2011

7 Quick Takes

--- 1 ---
The dog is having a negative impact on the workout program here.  I have to get dressed in the mornings to be able to take him out, which, yes, could be workout clothes, but then he has to be watched almost constantly to be sure he doesn't wander off to the bathroom dining room.

To be honest, I probably didn't need a dog to give me another excuse not to work out!

--- 2 ---
A good friend of mine is pregnant with baby #10!  I'm very excited for her, even though I laughed when she told me.  I like to think I was laughing with her, because a new baby is always a gift, and even though I don't "feel" old, I can't imagine having a baby at 47.  And the really beautiful, Catholic, part is that Baby will be younger than his nephew!

--- 3 ---
I think we're going to see The Mighty Macs tonight.  We haven't been to a family movie in a while, and I'd like to support anyone making Family Movies by attending on opening weekend.  Of course, there has been a lot of buzz about it on the internet, especially the Catholic bloggers.  It's been called a "Catholic Movie" by some, but I really don't think so.  Seems to me, a Catholic Movie would be about the faith, not just a basketball team at a Catholic university with nuns.  I'd expect The Way to be a Catholic movie as it's about a pilgrimmage and, I suppose, a change of heart.  In fact, (go watch the trailer) I can't wait to see that movie....and walk the camino.

--- 4 ---
Tomorrow is Make a Difference Day.  AHG encourages troops to get out and make a difference.  I thought it was just an AHG event, but it's national, evidently.
Make A Difference Day is celebrated each year on the 4th Saturday in October. Created by USA WEEKEND Magazine, it is the nation’s largest day of volunteering, thanks to the passion of millions of people like you. Together with long-standing partner HandsOn Network, the generosity of Newman’s Own and hundreds of carrier newspapers, USA WEEKEND rallies millions in a single day to help change the world.
If you don't already have a service project you're involved in, you can go to the website and find one in your area.  Our AHG troop will be doing yardwork for an organization that houses homeless women and children and teaches them the skills they need to get back on their feet.

--- 5 ---
One of my Boy Scouts is going camping this weekend, and, can I just say, that I'm glad AHG had their camping trip on a lovely weekend?  Not on a frigid weekend, for once.  But these boys are hardy, or they're going to get that way by camping year-round.  As my brother says, "There's no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing."

--- 6 ---
Speaking of my brother, not even one month ago, I posted about how well my brother has recovered from his epic brain surgery to remove his meningioma , and now we've learned that the tumor has started to grow again.  They were able to remove most, but not all, of it, so that it was just the size of a lima bean on the brain stem, but it's attached to a really good blood supply, and they always expected that it would grow again.  It seems so unfair that it's right when he's done most of his recovery; I hoped we would have years and years to wait.  They plan to attack it very quickly with radiation, but there's a very real risk that he'll experience all the facial nerve damage again.  Prayers greatly appreciated!

--- 7 ---
Lots of little knitting projects in the works.  In fact, I started a little drawstring bag from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts (love this book!) for an upcoming birthday.  It's from the 2-4 hour section, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to be beyond 4 hours.

Slow knitter.  What can I say?  Oh, right, I can say that I get more hours of pleasure out of one skein of yarn.  So, I'm definitely getting my money's worth!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Behold, The Happiest Skirt in the World which the Fashionista picked up at a thrift store this summer.  It was much tighter in the waist than she expected, and she wanted me to fix it.

It sat, and sat, and sat, and sat, for a long time while I decided what to do with it.  It seemed way beyond my skills...until I read that I could just cut the zipper, instead of replacing it!  I was very leery of doing too much to it since the fabric is crepe with a lining.  Very slippery to work with.

So, I simply cut off the waistband, and another inch, down to where the skirt would fit around her waist.  Then it sat, and sat, and sat, and sat, for a couple months more....until I realized I could just buy bias tape to finish the waistband!

It was pretty simple after all.  And....excellent blogger that I am....I have absolutely no pictures of her wearing it to work/school, which she did just yesterday.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Transform Your Life!

I’m doing something a little (okay, a LOT) different today!  Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint, has a brand new book out called The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation.

 It’s a practical, action-oriented guide for how to eat, exercise and live Primally – a step-by-step, “cut to the chase” resource to make a smooth and quick transition into a Primal lifestyle. In it he tells you exactly what to do every day for 21 days to take control of your health for the rest of your life. Mark explains what this new book is all about, what’s in it and who it’s for  here.
I have his first book,The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy (Primal Blueprint Series) and I love it.  It's a great explanation on how and why to eat primally in our modern world.  And, let me tell you, I feel great when I follow his principles for daily living!  I've been reading his blog for several years, and I wouldn't bother helping him promote this if I didn't feel very strongly about what he teaches.  And, just so you know, though Mark has lots of stuff to sell, you don't need to buy anything to do his program.  Absolutely everything he preaches is available for free on his website:  The book(s) just give the essentials and the tools you need to get started today.  There are hundreds of informative posts on his site.

Mark is looking to get his new book on the New York Times best-seller list to gain exposure for the Primal Blueprint message, so he’s put together a loaded special offer. Basically, you order 1 or more copies between October 18 and 24, email your receipt to a special email address and Mark kicks you back a bunch of freebies. It’s a win-win. You get a great book for less than 15 bucks, and a bunch of free gifts, and you and Mark both get to help take the Primal movement mainstream. Check out the details of Mark’s special offer below and pick up a copy of the book today.

What Do I Win for Helping Put This Book on the NYT Best-Seller List?

Order 1 Copy and You Get:

MDA Advice 3D cover
1. Access to the exclusive, password-protected ebook – “Primal Living in the REAL World”: In this 130-page eBook, hundreds of Primal enthusiasts share their challenges, solutions and practical tips for how they get – and stay – Primal. It’s like having the advice of 300 coaches. In it you’ll read hundreds of answers to these and numerous other questions: What is the first thing a person should do to kick start their Primal life? What do you think is the most important thing one should understand as they attempt to go Primal? What was the biggest hurdle you experienced when going Primal and how did you overcome it? And of course, the most important one, What do you usually eat for breakfast?
podcast grok 2
2. Access to the exclusive, password-protected audio interview – “21-Day Total Body Transformation”: Download a 60 minute, free-wheeling Q&A podcast in which Mark discusses the 8 Key Concepts that everyone needs to know to go Primal. Among many other topics covered, Mark discusses why your body prefers burning fat over carbohydrates and how you can use this knowledge to become a fat-burning beast instead of a sugar burner. Also, listen to Mark riff on why grains are totally unnecessary and why 80 percent of your body composition is determined by how you eat.
Grok 10 dollar bill
3. $10 Gift Certificate to Spend it like cash and order whatever you want, perhaps a cookbook to go with the 21-Day Transformation book? This means for a net 5 bucks you can grab a copy of Mark’s new book today. (The coupon code is good for any single product at and expires on 11/30/11.)

Order 3 (Or More) Copies and You Get:

1. All the aforementioned benefits – the $10 Gift Certificate, the exclusive eBook and podcast, plus…
final audiobook web left mp3 2
2. Audio recording of the original Primal Blueprint(released in 2009) - Listen to The Primal Blueprint on your phone or MP3 player with this abridged, digital (MP3) audio book voiced by Mark Sisson. The audio book is four hours long, and covers all 10 of the Primal Blueprint Laws and then some. This is the book that started it all and retails for $26.99. Grab 3 or more copies of the the 21-Day Total Body Transformation and you’ll get it for free.
3. Plus an additional $10 Gift Certificate, bringing the total to $20.Maybe this is the perfect opportunity to try a PEK,Primal Fuel or Master Formula on for size!(The coupon code is good for any single product at and expires on 11/30/11.)

Order 8 (Or More) Copies and Help Change The World!

Buy 8 or more books through mainstream channels and Mark will send you one book for every two books you buy! Buy eight and he’ll send you four more. Buy 80 and he’ll send you 40 for free – seriously…and he’ll autograph each one of these promo books! And, of course, you’ll get all the aforementioned freebies.
Do your holiday shopping early. One common frustration from Primal enthusiasts is how to get friends and loved ones on board. This book is the perfect calling card to introduce someone to the Primal Blueprint. Why not reduce the hassle of holiday shopping and give each of your deserving friends and loved ones the gift of life transformation?
100 copies – Personal Touch: A 30-minute private phone consultation wherein you and Mark discuss anything you want. (Well, almost anything.) Mark doesn’t one-on-one coaching anymore so this is a rare opportunity. Yes, you also get the 50 free signed books and all the aforementioned freebies!
1,000 copies – Executive Decision: Could you co-workers use some guidance and motivation to get in shape? Mark will fly out to your location, present his Primal Transformation seminar and spend the day helping get your co-workers/employees Primal!

How Do I Win?

1. Order your book(s) online or at your local bookstore before midnight Monday, Oct 24. Here are some online ordering options:
2. Email your receipt to the appropriate email address:
  • If you purchase 1-2 copies email your receipt to
  • If you purchase 3-7 copies email your receipt to
  • If you purchase 8 or more copies email the confirmation that your order has shipped
To reiterate, for 8 or more books, please email Mark the confirmation that your order has shipped (not your initial email receipt) to the appropriate email address above. Also, please include your shipping address so Mark knows where to ship your free books. Please allow 30 days for processing and shipping of your free books. Mark’s going to have a lot of books to sign!
Low-techies can fax receipt copy to 310-317-4424.
3. You will receive your e-gift certificate, eBook download instructions, podcast download instructions, and all other freebies by reply email. (Please be patient. The Worker Bees will be reviewing receipts and sending you instructions on how to access all of your freebies within 24 hours.)
If you have any questions about ordering, or this promotion, please call 888-774-6259 (or 310-317-4414).
Fine Print:
  • Unfortunately, Kindle and other digital books don’t count toward the NY Times best-seller list, nor this promotion.
  • Books purchased in physical locations (e.g. a brick-and-mortar Barnes & Noble) count, too. Just scan and email your receipt to the appropriate email address above, or fax it to 310-317-4424.
  • This offer only applies to book orders placed in the United States.


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