Goings Ons

2010 2010_ () 2010 2010 I have been suffering from a painful combination of writer’s block/over-scrupulosity of late. In an effort to move past all that, I’m going to write like no one is reading (which is part of what a writer fears…). A writer writes ALWAYS. Even if no one is reading, or people are reading and not commenting or people are reading and commenting but the comments make you feel bad OR (best case scenario) people are reading AND commenting AND encouraging and let’s face it that’s what we like the best.

Item No. 1: Basketball season has started. My husband is a coach. He coaches our oldest son. They had their first game tonight and lost by four points. This is the first time in years that I’ve seen this have an effect on my Main Man. The last two years were more “building years” and losing by 20 is apparently way less painful than losing by four. Because with four, those free throws you missed? They would have won the game.

Item No. 2: I finally have a new desk, to replace the old antique number I sold to an antique store two months ago. In the meantime I had been using our old TV stand (the little wicker number we bought for our first TV that was the size of my laptop). The desk I had been using was made back before people used them thar things that compute stuff fer ya (ah hear tell they’re called ‘computers’). Yes, the old desk was three feet deep and between wires and a small screen I had to lean forward, half-way across the desk so I could see. So we sold that and it took us forever to find something more suitable for the modern workspace. Today I found the perfect table that is not too big but not too small. Ahhh, this is better.

Item No. 3: Still haven’t settled on the new computer. So I’m working on my laptop which is okay but man oh man I can’t wait to have a big computer again (be it PC or MAC and here is where my husband’s evil plot is working because I seriously DO NOT CARE just let’s get the new computer already. What’s that? It’s the Yugo of home computers? SOLD.).

Item No. 4: Today I was in the antiques store looking for my desk/table and at one point I was about to approach one section when I heard a very loud undeniable TOOOOOT (I would say F-A-R-T but we don’t use language around here). So I hear that noise, so very clear and I decide after that to linger where I am for obvious reasons. For one thing, gross. And for another, I don’t want that poor person to have to make eye contact with anyone for a good three to five minutes. I’m merciful that way.

So I wait.

After an acceptable amount of time, I move forward and the offending party has not moved. I know she didn’t think anyone was within earshot earlier, that simply must be the case. Otherwise, WHAT? Whoa!! So I gently move past the person (and yes it was totally a woman God bless her) and try to subtly look for my item.

Then the woman sees me stopping to eye a desk (the one I ultimately bought) and she starts to engage me in conversation. She asks if I’ve been to the shop up the street and what exactly was I looking for and the entire time I’m thinking about how she had just ripped one — a very loud and proud one — and how I was just out of sight taking it all in. It was awkward — but fortunately only for me, in my little mind’s eye. That lady was none the wiser.

Item No. 5: Are you crafty? I wonder if you aren’t too much because I feel like I probably don’t attract the overly-crafty at my blog. Leave a comment if you are — for one, it’s always nice to think I have a wide variety of readers, not just non-crafty types like myself. Also, I’m going to be doing a live TV show in a few weeks that features me and three of the boys doing crafts and Christmas baking, us doing those things for two hours. Can you even imagine? It’s either going to be the most fun ever or the biggest disaster in quite some time. SO: craft ideas are most welcome.

Item No. 6 (7, and 8): My friend Fr. Tim (he who is both accomplished and efficient) sent me an email yesterday asking about my three best take-away moments from the recent trip. I’m going to just throw something out there because I wonder what I will say if I don’t over-analyze.
1. Stepping out of the car to arrive at my book signing in Savannah. The signing was here, at Saints and Shamrocks and my gosh that shop is amazing. We ended up running about 8 minutes late, thanks to misunderstanding our GPS. We pulled onto the street and I spotted the shop. I was sitting in the back seat and Paul slowed down the Suburban and I climbed out, tripping over the boy seated next to me. A Gatorade bottle fell out of the car; I bent down to retrieve it as it rolled under the car. I stood up, smoothed out my clothes and headed into the shop that was already filled with people waiting to meet me. It was four equal parts of nerve-wracking, exhilarating, humbling and embarrassing.
2. Spending Sunday afternoon on a boat with my family and my dear friend Fr. John. He took us out on a boat that fit everyone perfectly and I think we all had aching cheeks that night from smiling so much. The beautiful thing about being out on a boat is it is mostly about just enjoying the moment. When you are gliding across the water, there is too much noise for lots of talking and it forces you to sit back and just BE. What a wonderful place that is, just being in the moment. Sometimes those moments are hard for me, though, because I’m afraid I can’t appreciate everything in front of me. In those hours, we soaked in the sun and the sky and the ocean breeze and I wanted it to last forever. It was that perfect.
3. The night before that, and just after the book signing, we headed to a beach house and had an amazing dinner with the owners of the book store. How fun! It was just so great to spend time with these fun, very real people. I could say a lot or a little so I’ll leave it at that — Hope and Joseph were just great (as were all the people I met at the signing, especially people like Kathryn, who works at the shop and spent the afternoon keeping my boys where they needed to be).

See, and none of this includes a) all the time I got to spend with my sister, who drove me to Mobile and back; b) getting to pop in to see Fr. Tim en route to Savannah and all about how he generously bought us lunch even though we didn’t have time to eat and c) just spending time on the beach with my little family and how absolutely perfect that short time was.

(This was long. Sorry — like I said, I am silencing the critic by just going for broke. G’night, Gracie). 2010″>



  1. Yep, I'm crafty-ish. I'm a quilter, and a former cross-sticher. I'll be making felt Christmas ornaments in the next couple of weeks. None of these seem like good choices for your boys–boys can be great quilters, but it's not exactly exciting television. 🙂

  2. I'm crafty too. I'm a beginning quilter. I just like to try whatever interests me. My boys like polymer clay – making little animals or characters. They also like painting – you know, messy stuff. =) Paper snowflakes and glitter might be fun.
    Loved the antique shop story! Hilarious!

  3. Used to be crafty and now I force myself. Good luck with the boys and 2 hours of crafts! 🙂 I'd stick with popsicle sticks and a gallon of glue. That will keep them busy making warships or weapons.

  4. Totally crafty here too, though I'm especially fond of projects I can finish in a day or two. I'm in awe of quilters (hi ladies!) who can work on a project for more than a few days and then actually finish it.

    I've done this craft with boys and girls . . . using small light bulbs (for chandeliers, etc.), wrap some ribbon around the part that screws into socket to form a loop for hanging and then to cover the metal part. I use a glue gun for that part. Using fabric or glass paint, decorate the light bulb. Hand to dry. You can see the details here: http://talkingmyselfoutofthetree.blogspot.com/2008/11/light-bulb-ornaments.html

    I've also made the fabric ball ornaments with kids too, though it depends on the child as to how interested they are in that: http://talkingmyselfoutofthetree.blogspot.com/2008/11/fabric-ball-ornaments.html

    Enjoy and thanks for writing today even when you weren't sure about it!!!

  5. I'm reading and enjoying, even if you're feeling a little "blocked" lately! 😉

  6. kateschmate.com says

    What if you guys decorate your own wrapping paper? You can take the paper grocery bags from Publix or get a roll of paper from the teacher supply store and decorate it with stamps, stickers, quotes that you like, pictures of Chuck Norris, etc. Everyone gets their own wrapping paper to use for wrapping presents for mom and dad.

  7. I am NOT crafty. But here are things that have worked for me.

    Decorate food. As in, make gingerbread cookie dough and decorate it in whatever shape they like. If you want to be really Christmas-y, get some cut-out shapes for a Nativity scene and have them decorate that with multicolored tubes of frosting. Six to eight inch figures work well.

    Take the wrapping paper idea one step farther and use potato cut-outs to MAKE stamps to use. Simple shapes like stars and trees are really easy. Even I can do them.

    I suspect that if you do crafts for the not-crafty, you will be a smash hit! And your sons are so cute that you will be a smash hit anyway.

    You are going to tell us where we can find this show, right? As in, date/time/station so we distant fans can find it online.

    Good luck!

  8. I'm totally crafty and I love your blog!

  9. I'm a knitter. I've done pretty much every other craft out there as well.

    This more of a "baking" suggestion than a crafting suggestion, but one year when I was a kid, a neighbor (with kids in my age group) had a Christmas "candy" party. She warmed up chocolate in her crockpot, and we dipped pretzel rods, pretzels, and cookies in them, then decorated the chocolate pretzels with sprinkles. I think that might work out well. However, things deteriorated when the kids started eating the melted chocolate with spoons. It was really fun though. *L*

  10. I am not at all crafty, but I DO enjoy blogging. And it is a huge encouragement to hear that a seasoned writer such as yourself sometimes struggles with the same things I do.

    I don't comment often, but I always read (and enjoy) whatever it is you happen to share. 🙂

  11. Ecce Quam Bonam says

    Three good Christmas crafts are (1)baking dough angels and decorating them as ornaments and grandparent gifts, (2)baking cookie dough angels, decorating them and eating them, and (3)making felt star ornaments and pasting a kid's picture in the middle surrounded by glitter glue.
    (I have a great angel mold if you want it.)

    Also beyond easy are reindeer head ornaments out of popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners and stick-on eyes that wobble. Every pre-schooler should have at least two for life.

  12. Rachel, I really like you even though I've never met you, I always like your posts, and they always make me laugh because you are so much like me, except way cleaner. And that is so funny that you'll be on tv-?- with your kids doing crafts! That's not how I picture you, but hey. Whatever. Hope you have fun and I'm sure you'll be great!