wow… 8 years

February 27, 2015 § Leave a comment

WordPress was just kind enough to let me know that it has been 8 years since I started this blog.  Crazy how fast time goes.

Maybe this is a spark…

February 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

This blog sometimes pulls me back.   I have more or less not blogged since my grandmother died about five years ago.  First I was busy with the weight of that, then Lizzy was born and everyday seemed slightly too complicated and harried to take time to write.  But I miss it.   There is something therapeutic about writing and something wonderful about setting your thoughts out “there”.    Writing makes me a better me.

Yesterday I was talking to a fellow Catholic-Homeschool-Mom-who-happens-to-blog.   Where my side of the conversation went something like “this crazy thing happened with my old blog that is really dusty and I hardly touch. And I am rather put-out by it but I feel sort of stupid for being so”  and her side was “That’s crazy, the internet is full of crazy, maybe this will be the spark that gets you blogging again.”

And I started thinking about sparks and embers and Lent.  Lent is a wonderful time of reaching into yourself and see where things are good and where good things that have died down.   So much of what my energy used to draw from has died down to the point that it is barely an ember.   I feel like the proverbial camel — there are about 3 straws too many, the back is broken and we are still somewhere in the middle of the desert longing to make it home.   So I need Lent, I need to drop the load, just let it go and to embrace the penitential.  Forced now to look at I see that I have tried to much for too long.  I have allowed myself to become burdened by things that should build me up.  I have taken too much to heart,  I have been drowning in the noise of everything and not allowed myself just to exist as the person God intends me to be.    So maybe this is the spark, the breath of air on the ember.

40 Bags — Where to Give

February 24, 2015 § Leave a comment


If you are going to get rid of 40 bags in 40 days one of your first questions is bound to be, “Where can I get rid of these bags?”

Never fear – there are many, many options out there.
First is always your local community.  Could someone in your family use those baby clothes or that fondue pot?  What about your parish or church community?  The old woman across the street might want a warm winter coat or those pickled onions.   There are options like Criagslist and freecycle that allow you to post your unneeded goods for sale or give away.  But if none of these options work for you there are organizations in your community that will gladly take your lightly use items.  No charity wants stained, worn, broken or dirty items.  Remember that volunteers must sort through your gift-aways – so have mercy on them and don’t give them trash.   I have put together the list below as a resource.  You will note that it is very Portland, Oregon heavy, but it can still be useful to you.  Many of the organizations are national and others may spur a little bit of creativity in looking for charities in your own area.

 A few notes on this list. 

To the best of my knowledge the charities on this list will take used items.

I have not researched the charities on the list in any ways except for what is on their home-page. If you know something problematic about a charity on this list please contact me with the name of the charity and supporting information and I will remove it or at least note the problem.

If I know the charity is affiliated with a religious organization or other charity I have noted it. If I missed one please let me know.

Sites that help you find places to donate:

In Portland, Oregon


Large Charities that take a variety of items:

 Charities that Take Specific items:

Clothing and Household Items

Art Supplies:

Baby and Children’s Items:

Bikes and Bike Parts:


Bridal Gowns:

Clothing, Baby supplies, Food:

Computers, monitors, printers and peripherals

Construction Materials and Appliances


Formal Clothing

Food, household items, personal hygiene items

School Supplies


Sporting goods

Women’s business clothing and accessories:

Charities with lists of items they are looking for:

And what to do with those recyclable things that no one will take?


St Simon and St Jude

October 28, 2014 § Leave a comment

Feast Day October 28th:

St Simon and St Jude

Saint Simon and St Jude



The daily decalogue of Pope John XXIII

September 27, 2014 § Leave a comment


1) Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.

2) Only for today, I will take the greatest care of my appearance: I will dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be courteous in my behavior; I will not criticize anyone; I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself.

3) Only for today, I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to be happy, not only in the other world but also in this one.

4) Only for today, I will adapt to circumstances, without requiring all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes.

5) Only for today, I will devote 10 minutes of my time to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul.

6) Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.

7) Only for today, I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; and if my feelings are hurt, I will make sure that no one notices.

8) Only for today, I will make a plan for myself: I may not follow it to the letter, but I will make it. And I will be on guard against two evils: hastiness and indecision.

9) Only for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearances, that the good Providence of God cares for me as no one else who exists in this world.

10) Only for today, I will have no fears. In particular, I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness. Indeed, for 12 hours I can certainly do what might cause me consternation were I to believe I had to do it all my life.

To conclude: here is an all-embracing resolution: “I want to be kind, today and always, to everyone”. In this way, we can put Pope John’s hope for every Christian into practice: “Every believer in this world must be a spark of light, a core of love, life-giving leaven in the mass: and the more he is so, the more he will live, in his innermost depths, in communion with God”.

Digital Books and a Shocking Confession

September 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

I never would have imagined saying this, but I think a may prefer digital books now.   I have been reading the Dresden Files and some of these books we have in digital format and others we have in traditional paper book format.  The format I group up with,  with the smell and the texture and the dog-eared goodness that is a book.  But last night I realized that I missed having the table version of the book I am currently reading.    This may make me a heretic or something and I am sure my husband will be shocked and my mother might actually pass out if I admit it out loud.

Christopher’s Confirmation

September 10, 2014 § Leave a comment


It seems really hard to believe that he is that he is old enough, but here he is – suit and all, looking every bit the young man.   Of course yesterday was one of those days where we were all running around in seven different directions culminating in being at the parish at 6:30 pm.   One of those moments where God has a sense of humor.   I was sure I was praying for peace — I think He thought I was praying for patience because Lizzy was bound and determined to test mine all through the mass. 



christopher and the Bishop

The archbishop was gracious and warm — but somehow my camera just made them look fuzzy.  The homily was one of those where you are left with a total conviction of the faith.  The archbishop spoke so earnestly about how he could trace his ordination back to the 15th century where the church records were lost, but that he knew that the line went back to the Apostles.  He described how terrified the Apostles were after the Ascension, hiding in a room, fearing for  their very lives until the Holy Spirit descended on them. This transformed them instantly and permanently and led them all save one to martyrs deaths. This spirit was sacramentally passed down from those first Apostles to our Archbishop and to the young people last night.   It was one of those homilies where you want to jump up and say “lead on”,  a reminder that we need fear nothing ever for our God holds the universe in His hands.

It was a beautiful night.



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