Friday, July 4, 2014

7 Quick Takes, Volume SIx

July 4th, 2014     Silly me.  I started this post 5-6 weeks ago....thinking that I could at least blog once a week.  I can see that is so not going to happen.  As the cheerful, Pollyanna-type, I will still keep believing that I might.  Perhaps if I aim for one-sentence Quick Takes I could possibly pull it off.  As if........I could stay that minimalist with my writing.  Oh, this goes......

The below was started in May.......and completed today.


Even though Willa has blogged since I started number one........I will keep the following thoughts anyway:

 Well, I am sure that Willa and I have some good explanation as to why the last time either of us published a blog post, it was 2/15 for me and 4/13 for Willa.  The last time that I wrote, I finished by saying that until I had written a memorial blog post for my friend Micki who had just passed away, I would hold off on writing any blog posts at all.  I was trying to make that memorial a priority.  It did not work very well.  Not only have I not written anything for the blog, but I have not written that memorial. Sigh.  I am not going to beat myself up……but I sure wish that I had accomplished all.

And now…….I believe that both of us have just hit that time when we just cannot get to writing here…..for whatever the reason.

For me personally, I have not been able to keep up enough in life, to spend time on a hobby: writing, for instance. Since I wrote my last post, I have been working full-time……recovering from my long work days……helping one daughter get herself accepted and choose her college……..figure out the financial aid of four college students……study for a required course for work…….visit family in Reno twice… 92 year old grandmother on the coast……..a week for spring break with my boys in San Francisco……..and the usual stuff…… like watching my boys play lots of sports (both boys were on championship basketball teams), chauffeuring, laundry and what have you.

I still have so much on my plate right now, I just do not seeing me doing lots of writing….maybe any writing….though as Willa knows….sometimes when I state that……I end up on a writing roll.  Still….probably not this time.  I may aim for doing these Seven QuickTakes……just as a minimum.  It will be one way of keeping up a journal of our present moments….more for my own sake than for the blog’s sake.

I currently have four of the six kids at home….the two little boys (ha! 12 and 17 now) and two of the college students.  My exchange student will be home from her 11 months abroad in about 5 weeks or so. That will make five home……and then another college student will come home for two weeks in July.  This very well could possibly be the last time all of them are under the same roof for a long while.  Christmas vacation could be a possibility.  Hey…maybe even Thanksgiving.


Well, this First Take is taking long enough……and is possibly worth three takes as it is…….  J


 I am so sorry that I have not kept up with The Short Story Club.  Really???  How hard could it be? I already know what stories I was using for most of the year.  I will try to pick that up, too as well…….if I remember.  ;)


And now, some literature talk, on our literature-based blog:

I finally finished a book that I started over a year ago. Or is it over two years??? Either way, it is an audiobook, from  I was alerted to purchase 20 free books one day….and I got all of them, even though I had read about half of them.  I figured it was better than listening to those Librivox versions with so many different readers.......which I still would prefer over nothing, but these free professionally-read books are a serious treat.  :)

So in my effort to tackle more Dickens, I decided to listen to David Copperfield.  Do you know how long that book is???? It is 34 hours of listening time! And because I only listened for 5-15 minutes only a few times a week, it did take over a year.  Anyway, it is done.  Finally and phew.

I needed something short, next.  Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton made the cut.  Interesting turn of events at the end, that novella.

And now I have already started listening to A Tale of Two Cities.......endorsed highly by my eldest daughter and Willa. I had avoided listening to Dickens all these years.....knowing that I would prefer it in hard copy......and I cannot help, but think that I was right.  I feel like I am missing out on seeing the lovely vocabulary and details in his words. Oh, well.  At least I will have the storyline.  :)

And.......I am still trying to read Our Mutual Friend on my iPhone.  Slower going than David Copperfield........

--- 4 ---

Today is the 4th of July.  The nation-over celebrates the birth of our country. As is appropriate.

But in my father's family.........we have a veil of sadness hanging over our festivities. 

My dad's family at his first wedding......left to right:
someone I cannot recognize with half a face, my grandmother and grandfather,
my great-grandfather with my cousin Claudia behind him,
my great-grandmother Charlotte, for whom I am named, my Aunt Nancy and lastly, Aunt Joanie.

In 1966, just a month before my sister was born, and I was a little over two years old, my Aunt Joanie, one of my dad's younger sisters was killed by a drunk driver on the 4th of July. She left behind her parents, an older and younger sister, a brother (my father) and her significant other and her 10 month old baby girl, my cousin Julie.  She was only 18 years old. :(

My Aunt Joanie
Aged 15

It was a strange turn of events that led her to be driving where she was........

Anyway, I have heard enough stories of my Aunt Joanie to feel like I knew her......and so I do miss her.  And my heart always broke for my cousin, losing her mama at such a young age.
And for my dad who loved his sister.

May the faithful departed rest in Peace,,,,,,,,

North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii
My soul is having muscle memory flashbacks:  one year ago tonight, after the fireworks, my youngest sister and I left for almost three weeks in Hawaii, visiting the middle sister.

My soul aches to return to my favorite places on Oahu.

Above is a photo that reflects one of the best days ever in my sister Teresa and I went kayaking here, a mile up a beautiful and peaceful river with green sea turtles.  Heavenly.

--- 6 ---

Only five days.......and Miss Maddelyn, who has been living in Slovakia for the last eleven months as a Rotary Exchange Student, will be home in our arms.  Tuesday night, just before midnight.
Blessed are we.

Saints Christopher and the Three Holy Kings,
Patron Saints of Travelers, Pray For Us!

--- 7 ---

Today is the 4th of July!
Since we all stayed up was a sleeping-in-till-nine kind of morning.
They listened to American Favorites music.......then 1776, the musical......and all have now scattered.  That is what happens when they get old enough to drive themselves......
One will go to Castle Lake with a friend.......after hanging out in downtown Mount Shasta around parade time.......three boys are watching the World Cup game this am at a friend's house (she has cable & Tivo) .......the youngest is with my best friend and her young family, doing the parade, hanging out and then to the lake. The oldest is relaxing........and might be talked into joining me.  :)
I am spending the morning writing this piece.....and then I will put together our annual 4th picnic food for dinner, take a nap if there is time (the 4th is always a late night here), go visit a close friend and her young family (where they have an ice cream cone waiting for me) and then head to the lake where I expect my kids will join me (because I have the food :) ) for that picnic dinner and fireworks over the lake.  Thinking about going to the lake early enough to walk the trail around it for my daily exercise.  It seems the day will have a nice breeze to counter the heat.


For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


Independence Day Blessings,



  1. Glad you kept all the thoughts when you posted. A memento! Looking forward to hearing that Maddelyn is back. We will probably be driving past you all at the end of July. Not sure the date yet. : )

  2. counting down till your girl is home!!:):)
    have ALL mine home this week too:):) hopping here, so much noise, so much food.

    Tale of Two Cities is my fav dickens, the only one I could read.


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