Monday, November 03, 2014

Saints and Saints in the Making

Seven Not So Quick Takes:

1. On my mind today:

Tim meets Saint John Paul II.
Why were the saints, saints? Because they were cheerful when it was difficult to be cheerful; they were patient when it was difficult to be patient; they pushed on when they wanted to stand still; they kept silent when they wanted to talk; they were agreeable when they wanted to be disagreeable.
That was all.
It was quite simple and always will be.

- Hanging on the wall in FJ's mom's beach house

HT: Nicki

2. So a friend was asking about the Magnifikid, a weekly missal aimed at young readers. Short answer: We love it; we've subscribed for years and years; keeps kids engaged in the liturgy.

That is until you glance at the cover and are shocked to note that Jesus has an arrow through his head a la Steve Martin and one of the normally clean-shaven apostles has sprouted a goatee and Brother Goodventure, the amiable friar, has, ahem, gas issues.

And this is just horrible, I mean, horrible. And I plan to take really firm action just the minute I stop howling with laughter.

This past week found us driving home from Mass and me perusing a work book belonging to a certain nameless child of mine who may or may not be preparing for First Communion and the workbook may or may not have had fill in the blank thought bubbles that began, "Hi, I'm a Catholic" and ended with, well, much of the same, i.e. dialogue that's essentially Captain Underpants meets Shrek.

As for me, mother of nameless, and, for the record, a Montessori-trained catechist, well, once again I was doing that laughing soundlessly maneuver that involves clutching your middle and reaching for Kleenex to mop the tears pouring down your face all the while ensuring nameless doesn't have an inkling of what's so funny.

Because it's terrible, I tell you, terrible. And Maria Montessori would not approve, oh, no, she wouldn't. And we're putting a stop to it, but first would you please hand me another Kleenex?

3. So I know all my friends are praying for all the picky details surrounding our move and for the one not so picky, not so much of a detail -- namely That We Sell Our House! Sometimes I realize I live a quiet, simple existence. I am far, far removed from high finance. My days in the world of business are long behind me. And I'm surprised at how these transactions don't exactly intimidate me, no, but seem to consume me.

A friend had a bit of excellent advice: Don't spend too much time thinking about things you can do nothing about.

At the heart of it all: Do I trust God or do I not?

4. All Saints' Day is upon us, and I decided to go all out with Ainsley's costume. Sometimes I embark on these grandiose schemes only to quickly regret this course of action once I'm past the point of no return.

Not so this time.

I've been stitching and embellishing and adjusting and thinking all the while how good it is -- how very good it is -- to have a little girl who wants to dress up as Mary, who appreciates the lace trim on her costume, who wants her hair just so.

Costume making for little people is fun because, really, they are easy to please. The girls want to be beautiful; the boys want weapons; they both want accessories. It's all about the accessories. Note that the parents end up carrying the accessories, but for the first ten minutes -- okay, maybe five to seven minutes -- it's all about the accessories. Costume fabric comes cheap, and I get a chance to use all the embroidery stitches on my machine that have no real purpose whatsoever. But they're fun.

Risk free sewing. Love it.

5. Of course, all of the above ignores the fact that I very nearly dropped a pretty penny on these costumes, and I blame it all on Joanne Fabrics. Actually I blame all retailers who do the deep discount thing. You know, ten percent off of forty percent plus a door buster deal and save a little more if you open a credit card.

You can't just shop. No, no.

First you Goggle coupons which sounds easy, but in fact turns out to be time consuming. Then you had better have your loyalty card in hand. And then while you're actually in the store, you had better check and double check which rack your items came from. Was it the forty percent off rack or the sixty percent off rack? There's always the risk that some dingleberry moved the very items you plan to purchase. Ask me how I know this and I'll;regale you with the sad, sad tale of ten Buzz Lightyear costumes someone moved en masse to a rack labelled with the wrong price.

So I had a brief window while John was at catechism class, and I headed to Joanne's. I'm at the cutting table at Joanne's and suddenly find myself with this sinking feeling that these dirt cheap costumes won't prove to be quite so dirt cheap. I grab my specs and see $22 on the ticket and think, "Well, that's a little more than I planned to spend, but not so bad." And I move through the check out line, and I begin to think, "No, $22 is just one cut of fabric." And, sadly, I am right about this. I ask if fabric is returnable, zip out of the store, grab John from catechism class, and head to Walmart -- not my favorite place but a store that does Everyday Low Price rather than the whole deep discount plus the layered coupon thing. Fifteen minutes later I'm heading out of Walmart with $12 worth of fabric. I head back to Joanne's to return $37 worth of fabric .

And is it any wonder I had a migraine by the time I got home?

I don't want to think about coupons. I don't want your loyalty card. I don't want to scrounge up the sales circular to find out if the towels I'm buying will double in price when the clock strikes noon. I don't even want to shop at all. So make it easy for me, please.

6. One of the reasons I don't even want to shop is that the purge of a lifetime continues. Oh my, yes, it does. And when you're in the middle of the big, bad purge, you really are not in acquisition mode. I've already given the kids a heads up that Christmas will be: 1) lovely 2) cheap and 3) small. Think: cds and books.

But back to the purge. The easy, no-brainer purging appears to be over. Now we're making hard decisions. Our current house has lousy closets, awesome attics. Attics as in plural. The new house has awesome closets, virtually no attic. There's storage under the stairs. (I thought of Christine when John spotted "the cupboard under the stairs" and said, "It's Harry Potter's bedroom!") The best news? Our outdoor storage will about triple in size.

I want to haul everything of value and no junk. It's a process. As Christine shared, a cathartic
process, a good process, but also a long process.

7. Wanna buy a house?

Head over to Jen's and add your Quick Takes after you offer up a prayer to Saint Joseph, my main man, for the sale of our home.


Rachel said...

Oh Kelly you are the best. I just love you to bits.

Kelly Dolin said...

Love you too, Rach!

Anonymous said...

Oh my sincerest commiserations. How funny that you are also going to have a Harry Potter cupboard! Courage!