VII Quick Takes

1831 1831_ () 1831 1831 1. We are bracing for some major inclement weather. The South is supposed to get a significant Arctic blast so like any good Southerner I ran to the store for milk. Even though I already had plenty. It’s just what we do at any hint of snow. Milk and bread. And some chocolate donuts, just in case.

2. I’m finally getting my hands on the Christmas gift that Fr. Tim gave to Paul and me — to both of us. It’s my turn, and I have to admit I’m pretty excited. I have been listening to Paul laughing out loud for the past few weeks as he enjoys this book. Oh sure it’s not my usual fare, but I am open to change. I bet I’ll love it. I have read some of this writer’s other stuff and it is good.

3. I am at Week 30 and of the past three days, I’ve had one up and two downs. I don’t think it will continue in this on-again-off-again pattern for the duration, but this really is a hard little stretch.

I keep thinking about the race training I was doing this summer and how no matter how many miles I had run, that last mile or so was always the hardest. I told Paul the other night the day I ran ten miles, I got to mile nine and thought “it’s smooth sailing from here! This is just one-tenth of what I’ve put in!” Except, that somehow didn’t make it any easier, and that last mile took every ounce of my concentration and stamina even though it was only eight or nine minutes (or maybe ten?). It’s just a season of mind-over-matter, I suppose.

4. We have been doing some major rearranging and purging around here. It feels great. Last night Paul and I were up past midnight (which, maybe that explains why I’m feeling a little stretched today?). We got this vision for a better front-room setup and got to work. It is perfect! It’s always exciting to come up with a solution (that doesn’t cost a thing) to something that has been bothering you.

Basically, our problem had been that we have a lovely leather sectional that has been treated like monkey bars by our five sons. And it was in a “free-floating” position in the front room, meaning it didn’t back up to a wall on either side. So it was always coming apart and thus driving me nuts. We figured out where to put it to keep it snug and in one piece and I think we’ll all enjoy it more now that it’s not constantly getting separated.

5. I got my copy of Lisa Hendey’s The Handbook for Catholic Moms. I am so proud of my friend! Next week, I’m going to do a book review and also offer one copy for a giveaway. Lisa did a great job on this — it covers all kinds of topics and it really is a “handbook” you will love.

6. My family (me, Paul, mom and dad, some of my sibs and significant-others) went to see Garrison Keillor this past Monday. He is incredible! He started the evening singing a funny and sweet sonnet. After that, while we were all cheering, he said “It’s great to be in Augusta, Ga.” and my family did a collective sigh. It was just so amazing to be sitting there, listening to this grand storyteller LIVE. In our town!

Mr. Keillor told stories for two solid hours and at the end of the evening, as he closed with his famous line (“And that’s the news…”) I wished every single person I ever listened to was that interesting. Two hours of simple, down-home tales. As Paul said, I guess that’s why he gets paid the big bucks — he’s got a gift.

7. Ash Wednesday! Next week! Which means Lent! I have a variety of ideas, but I’ll admit none of them involve giving up chocolate. I’m not going to say it’s because I’m already suffering enough (that would be selfish and childish). But I’m suffering pretty good, so why make everyone else around me miserable too?

Truthfully, I think God not only allows me to act moderately in this season, but he requires it. That’s not to say I won’t have a penitent heart, but this Lent is absolutely not going to look like last year’s Lent, it of the non-pregnant variety.

Over at Faith&Family Danielle is challenging people to a 40 Bags for 40 Days exercise, and see, I’m not taking that on either. Because it wouldn’t be enough of a challenge. Right now I’m averaging 40 bags for 40 minutes. As a minimalist, my question is where am I finding all this stuff?

At this rate, I will have the energy and wherewithal to help any of you out there wanting a good purge in your home. Just sign up for Rachel’s Nesting De-Cluttering Service and we will be rocking and rolling in no time!

Go see what Jennifer’s musing at Conversion Diary! Today she admits she has not been counting down the days to Valentine’s — and actually didn’t even realize it was this weekend! Jen, seriously?! 1831″> ,



  1. Charlotte (Matilda) says

    Oh please, please, please sign me up for Rachel's Nesting De-Cluttering Service!!!

  2. Christine C. says

    My sister just told me it's snowing there, like several inches! How awesome – how fun! And take pictures!

  3. Hi, Rachel:
    Love the takes…saw your link over at Jen's site! I remember checking out your blog a couple years ago…your template was different then and seeing an article you wrote on food in F & F magazine…I can't even remember when that was. Anyway, I remember when you were pregnant with your last child and was excited to see you are expecting again.:) I, too, am on the home stretch. I'm at 37 weeks today and have had many ups and downs this week. I'm due at the end of the month, but I don't think we're going to make it that long. It's almost impossible to sleep, walk, sit, or stand for any length of time. I thought about the 40 bags in 40 days & decided to skip that one this year. Who knows? I'm so compulsive, I'll probably end up taking that on, too!;) Congrats!

  4. #1 for us includes toilet paper.

  5. Lisa M. Hendey says

    Hey Rachel sweetie! Thanks for your mention of OUR book! Don't forget to mention that you are my co-author…

    I don't know how you have time or energy to read, but I'm so humbled that you'd find time for my book. Have a great weekend.

  6. Dorian Speed says

    Rachel, seriously, you have no clutter. None. Or else you are a virtuoso in the art of "photocropping out the clutter."

    Do you at least have a lot of books? I tell myself those aren't clutter.

    My word verification this time is "stowess," which I interpret as a sign that I am a stowess-awayer of clutter. THANKS, COMBOX.

  7. Dorian,

    We do have a lot of books, and that's something I cannot bring myself to chuck.

    I think I might be good at hiding clutter — I was cleaning closets and cabinets and had all kinds of unnecessary junk hidden away.

    Thanks for the comment, Your Stowessness.

  8. I definitely need to follow the 40 bags, plus I should probably pick up the Sundays, too:)

    I can't begin to tell you how I laughed about the milk. Only another Southerner understands.

  9. Ecce Quam Bonam says

    I went out and got a quart of half and half for our coffee.

    Your snow threat priorities change somewhat when the offspring all go off to school.

  10. My husband would do far better at the 40 Bags for 40 Days exercise and it would go even better if he put me in the first bag on Day 1. Hee-hee.