Seven Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes

My Childhood Picture Book Favorites Edition

I write frequently about my current favorite books, including those I read to and with my children.  However, I don’t think I’ve ever listed MY favorite books from my own childhood – until now!

Unlike my current home, my childhood home didn’t hold a ton of books. I remember being read to from a very small stash and from the books I checked out of the school library. And, my mom was very indulgent with my requests from the Scholastic Book flyer. Continue reading

Seven Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes

Seven Most Recent Reads Edition

As if I didn’t blather enough about books already, right? Between An Open Book (here and at Catholic Mom), Sabbath Rest Book Talk with Erin McCole Cupp and Rebecca Willen, and my Relevant Fiction Reviews posts, you’d think I’d be covered on the book front. But, no, I’ve read such a strong string of books – fiction and nonfiction – that I thought they’d earned their own post. Here are the seven books I’m reading or have recently finished, in order from currently reading to already read. Continue reading

Seven Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes

Family Camping: The Sequel Edition

Last Labor Day weekend, we gave family camping another shot. After several years’ hiatus allowing our babies and toddlers to grow into preschoolers, the six of us tent camped for a weekend. You can read about our adventures with pit toilets and fish pedicures here, but all in all, it was well worth it.

This year, we chose better when it came to the facilities, more memories were made, more lessons learned.

–1–

The “Facilities”  and Site Location Make a Difference

We went from putrid pit toilets and no showers last year to pristine bathrooms and showers this year. What a difference it makes! My camping bathroom standards aren’t ridiculously high. We are in the outdoors after all, and I expect a certain number of moths, spiders, and other creepy crawlies to make their way inside. But these bathrooms had next to none! My only quibble is the fact that no paper towels were available, only weak hand driers. (But that also probably contributed to the cleanliness factor.)

While this site was another previously-unseen walk-in, its steep incline from parking spot to tent site amounted to a matter of yards. No excruciating, back-breaking treks up and down with gear or to the potty. Speaking of the potty . . .

mossy trail

The mossy trail behind our tent.

Continue reading

Seven Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Edition

–1–

The Elderly Couple

When we moved into our first (and current) home eighteen years ago, our neighbors were an elderly couple. She’d been widowed twice. Him, once. She baked pies from the cherries grown on their tree. He told stories of his Merchant Marine days in WWII. They spent evenings sitting in the shade of two giant maple trees. When it snowed, the previous owner of our home often came with his snow blower. When he didn’t, we shoveled out the shared mailbox area in front of our homes. Continue reading

Seven Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes

Blogging from A to Z Challenge Edition

Blogging from A to Z April 2017 Challenge

Last month, for the first time, I participated in the Blogging From A to Z April (2017) Challenge. For each of the days in April (minus Sundays) you blog about a topic beginning with the day’s assigned letter. You’re encouraged to blog according to a chosen theme. Mine was my April book release, Rightfully Ours. You then share your posts on blogs and social media. (You can find the links to each of my  posts in my Letter Z post.) In early April, I realized I’d clearly over-extended myself. My book released April 1 and the Facebook launch party and blog tour soon followed. I had volunteer commitments to attend to, and my kids’ springtime sports and activities were gearing up. I persevered, and here are seven ways in which it benefited me. Continue reading

Seven Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes

The Blessings Crowding My Brain Edition

The early part of this week left me feeling as if I were suffocating under a growing list of “to-dos.” Each task I accomplished added three to the list as I realized yet something else that needed to be done. From meals to chores to decluttering to blogging and writing – I felt the weight of the many little straws threatening to break this camel’s back. I’ve tried to re-frame my discouragement with gratitude in terms of the blessings in disguise.

pushing boulder

Photo by gentlegiant27153 (Pixabay)

–1–

Bills and Taxes

The bills never stop coming, do they? Online billing is supposed to simplify this process, but while I don’t have to use as many stamps as before, I find myself logging into and out of accounts, checking balances, scheduling payments, and discussing (via text message) with my husband where the money is going to come from. Top that off with the incomes taxes due, requiring multiple reports and paper shuffling, and I’m pretty tired of dealing with money issues. It’s my hope that the taxes will be filed before this blog posts, and I won’t have to worry about income taxes for another year.

Blessing: My husband has had uninterrupted employment. We have a roof over our heads and are able to afford all of the necessities and then some. Continue reading

Seven Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes

Farm Show Fracas Edition

While we live close to the state capital, where the Pennsylvania Farm Show is held each January, we’ve only been there several times, all more than a decade ago. It’s something like a local family tradition/institution, and I’ve been wanting to take the kids for years, but weather, basketball, or something else has interfered. Since my oldest daughter joined 4H, I decided this year we’d go. On Sunday, later in the morning than I’d anticipated, I took the three youngest children to the show. Here’s how it went down. Continue reading