Friday, May 31, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 29)

Ok, these really are going to be "quick" because it's Thursday night and my husband is going to come upstairs any minute and yell at me for "wasting time on the computer" ;-)

A cousin offered to teach me how to quilt.  I've been wanting to learn for a long time, but I have trouble learning crafts out of books, so have been hoping for someone to teach me in person.  But she warned me that it's a very expensive hobby, and I might be better off not even getting into it.  Any thoughts?

The pediatrician told me we should start cleaning Stella's two teeth that she currently has.  Ugh, I know.  And I should also be helping Sly to brush his twice a day.  But I find it impossible to remember!  We really need to make it part of the routine somehow.  Also, I find brushing children's teeth to be very frustrating.  When they're really little, they just munch on the brush the whole time.  And then they get older, and make you lift them up to the sink every ten seconds to spit! (our bathroom is literally too small to fit a stool)

A friend posted this article: Dressing Down a Culture for Refusing to Dress Up.  The author teaches a course called "A Nation of Slobs" - ha!  I would definitely be interested in that.  I'm sure it would confirm my observations about people being much too informal these days.

Tom just came in and said, "Ugh!  You're working on your blog?!" but didn't ask me to stop.  He's busy downstairs again sanding and staining a (solid wood!) dresser my dad trash-picked for us.  Obviously, I am also doing very important and productive things upstairs.


When my dad's mother died, she left behind a type-written memoir.  It's fairly short, but a treasure trove of special memories and family stories.  She hadn't told anyone she was writing it.  It was found in a desk drawer when her kids were cleaning things out after her death.  Recently, I took it upon myself to type up the whole thing on the computer, so an electronic version would exist, and it could be shared with the whole family.  People have really been excited to read it, and many people have said how happy they are that she took the time to record these things.  I fully agree.   

 Re-reading it has been such a pleasure.  It's helped me to "know" my grandmother and grandfather better, and to love them even more (both died when I was a child).  I just love how their personalities come out in some of the passages.  Here's Gram talking about an incident just a few weeks after they'd met, as co-workers:

     When we left, he grabbed another cab and we took Pat home to Oakland and then went to my house.  On the way, he grabbed me and kissed me and said, “I had a great time and I want you to do me a favor.  I want you to promise to go steady with me from now on because I love you and intend to marry you.”  I said, “Man you must be drunker than you look or else you are the biggest wolf I know.”
     He insisted he was serious so I told him to go home and sleep it off and he would feel better in the morning.  I got out of the cab and went right in the house without saying goodnight.  He apologized the next morning for scaring me but said he meant every word he said.

A couple years later...

It's made me think, though, about what kind of records will be left of my life when I die.  Between the ages of eight and twenty-four, I kept a number of diaries.  I still have them all in a drawer of the filing cabinet.  It's been a while since I've read them, but I know that a lot of the stuff in there is personal, embarrassing, and simply...not stuff I would actually want my kids reading some day.  It's not that I intend to leave anyone with a false impression of me.  But I'm not sure that it's a good thing to share all the details of my particular sins and temptations.  Hmm...I don't know...just something I've been thinking about.

My Catholic Moms group has regular bookgroup meetings.  We just finished our latest book (Maria Von Trapp's Yesterday, Today, and Forever - a great read!) and need suggestions for the next one.  Any ideas? 

Quick Takes is hosted at Conversion Diary


  1. What a fun list today! I loved hearing the story about your grandparents (it's very similar to my husbands and I's engagement :). I hope you all have a great weekend!


  2. I've heard wonderful things about My Sisters the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir by Colleen Carroll Campbell but haven't been able to get it in our library system yet (it's on amazon but, you know). I know some libraries carry it.

    Quilting is expensive. There is some start up cost like a rotary cutter, mat, ruler, and some kind of frame. I prefer the table frames which are more expensive but a small one shouldn't be that bad or you could probably borrow a table frame from a quilter on hiatus. Other than that I probably spend about $80 on a large baby quilt. I buy the cute expensive matched fabric bundles though because I'm lazy and a sucker for that kind of thing. I'm sure it could be much cheaper.

    1. I actually do have the rotary cutters and the mat already (I asked for them a few years ago as a birthday gift, thinking I would get into quilting at some point). I'll have to look into the frames. But yikes! $80 just for a baby quilt? I hear the batting is pretty pricey. I'm wondering if I could cut costs on the fabric. I've seen those bundles at the store, and they are very nice, but surely not cheap. Can you substitute anything else as quilting fabric? What if, say, I found a set of nice sheets at the thrift store??

    2. I think you can use just about anything. A set of sheets would get you started; at the very least you could use it for the backing and the binding. And I have used old blankets for the batting with nice results. But what really makes a quilt stand out is the sheer variety of fabric. I don't have a great scrap collection built up yet but I think this is what most quilters use. Come to think of it, attempting to make use of the scraps probably invented quilting in the first place. My mother in law uses a lot of old denim from holey jeans. To be honest, I'm not crazy about the end result, but I know denim is easy to come by for free and there is probably a way to be creative with it.

  3. I agree, My Sisters the Saints is FANTASTIC. Personally, for me, because the author went through 4 years of infertility, but in general, too (my mom really liked it!) It really challenged me to make more time for daily Mass and prayer time, and to really get to know the saints and their writings (a deeper devotion).

    #6... this blog? ;)

    1. Ha - I never even thought about the blog. I guess I don't have a lot of faith in the endurance of electronic media. At least something that only exists on the internet, and isn't saved to my hard-drive somewhere :-)

  4. I admittedly know nothing about quilting specifically, but since originally it was a craft that was supposed to be functional as well as aesthetic, and use up scrap/rag fabric, I would think you should have a lot of flexibility in the fabrics you choose. In theory I would think any even-weave cotton fabric would work fine, and maybe some other weaves and fibers as well. Pioneers on the prairie didn't have pre-mixed fabric bundles, right?

  5. I have read Erin Cobb's blog for years. She talks in this post about how she makes books from her blog once a year. She often says she blogs to keep track of memories for her family and her kids. I always thought it was a nice idea and something I would like to try when we have kids. It seems like the site she uses makes importing the stories easy. I've used it to make photo books before.

  6. Yes, little people munch their brush but it is still a form of brushing ;0)Pat brushes his teeth with them in the morning and at night and the demonstration seems to help.

    I am constantly amazed at how people dress for Mass and to go out to dinner (or the symphony) but, truthfully, I am probably one of the people you would look down on the rest of the time. (although I don't think I've every knowingly worn my pjs out of my home!).

    The other day I was out running and I really needed to pray at the Tabernacle so that's where I went. I was sweaty and in shorts but I knew if I went home and changed, I would have never made it back out of the house. I would never go to Mass like that (I've seen it done) but I really needed to be there at that moment.

    1. Back in my days of getting actual exercise, I did the same thing a few times!

  7. Love the story of your grandparents. I'm longing to gather family memories and stories.

  8. Quilting doesn't have to be an expensive hobby {quilts were invented to use up scrap fabric} but just like knitting, it certainly has the potential to be. It seems like as you get more and more into quilting, the more you get into fabric and it gets harder to resist purchasing something you love! I think you would definitely enjoy it though!