Thursday, January 23, 2014


I've won a few things in my life. When I was in college I won a $300 drawing. I've won turkeys, hams, and quilts at bingo. I was a finalist in the Father of the Year Essay contest in High School.  I don't say "I never win anything" because I recognize it simply isn't true.

On Tuesday evening my sister and I went to mass then to the boys basketball game at the High School.  At the end of mass I was thinking about what I would buy from the concession stand and I decided then that I would buy some raffle tickets as well.  I don't usually buy any, so I'm not sure why I decided to that night. At every game there is a "Half and Half" Raffle. Half the money taken in goes out to the winner at half-time.

I bought my 20 tickets for $5 and found my spot on the bleachers.  When it came time for the drawing, I pulled out my stubs, and the number called was not in my string of tickets.  What are the odds anyway, right? The number was 987882.

My sister and I met our friend Arlene at the game.  She had immediately commented on my long string of tickets; I promptly ripped one off and handed it to her saying if she won she had to give me half.  We joked throughout the first half of the game at how funny it would be if she won and how few people were at the game, so if she did win we would both end up with about enough to buy a bottle of soda.

She went on about how she never wins anything, it was a waste to give her a ticket, she never gets drawn...
When we pulled out our tickets at half-time, I looked at my numbers for the first time. The last digits on the end tickets on my strip were 63 and 81.  I didn't even know which end I had taken hers from, so I asked:" what did I give you, 62 or 82?" Her reply: "82."

 I had a feeling it was going to be a winning night.  I definitely won. Not only did 'we' win (after collecting her $42 prize, Arlene promptly gave it all to me, and I gave her back $10), we had a fabulous moment of shock and a great laugh.  We have a good story to tell, and of course, those who know Arlene know that it couldn't have happened with a more perfectly suited friend for this sort of thing.

Be careful what you tell yourself will never happen. Don't miss an opportunity just because you think you "never win." Every day is a W!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Thankful for Mistakes

Whenever I see someone rushing through something and not really caring about how it's done, I think of a quote from the grandmother of some of my dearest friends: "Have you no pride?" This same woman told me, in German, that a lazy girl uses a long thread. Short cuts are just that. Cuts.

Details are very important. Not every detail, but I think some make or break a special event.

As the Confirmation coordinator/teacher of four rural Catholic parishes, anything Confirmation related goes through me and is my responsibility.  We shared the ceremony with another group of churches, 58 candidates in all. I saw 20 of my students Confirmed on Sunday.  And I could feel the Holy Spirit fill the Cathedral. I volunteered to make the program.

I volunteer for jobs most people don't want--all the time. I worked on the 2-page, 11x17 document for hours trying to make it perfect.  Or at least adequately perfect... not perfectly adequate, there is a difference.

I went over it and over it. The choir director and I spent 20 minutes on the phone reading song lyrics to each other. I looked through the past programs to make sure I had all the parts in the right places. I went over the student name list about 9 times. The phone book and Google are my dear companions. But, I know God, and God knows me.  I knew he wouldn't let me create something without flaw.
I printed a proof. One of the server's names should have two Ts.
I printed the first 100. A student's name was the wrong font size.
I printed the next 100. A comma was incorrectly spaced.
I printed the next 150. I hadn't put a space in the name of the city, St.Cloud.
The morning of the service I printed 30 more just to be sure we would have enough. At least those 30 would be correct. But, I prayed as I printed.  "God, just please let whatever is wrong not be terribly obvious to everyone." I knew I would find the error(s) eventually.

A student came to ask if we had more programs about 2 minutes before we were to begin.  I had enough to make sure all four priests and bishop had them, and I found one for myself after the students processed in. I had made a great guess on the number.

The students were Confirmed.  The presentation, anointing, and Liturgy of the Word had gone on relatively hitchless.

We came to the Holy Holy Holy.  From the back I scoped the crowd to see who was religiously (ha) following along in the program and who had put them down and participated from memory.
I had left an entire line of text that had been a note to myself so I wouldn't forget anything.  I prayed again "There it is, God.  I knew you'd come through, like you always do."

I know people noticed because it was blatantly incorrect. He could have left something a bit less serious like a misspelling or punctuation mistake.

Life is an endless lesson in humility.  I know God will not ever let me, a simple human, do anything perfectly. He cares and wants me to care for others and accept their mistakes. I'll do better next time... maybe.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The year of the Knit!

I haven't blogged yet in 2012... how unreliable am I?

Life just takes over and I'm left in a tale-spin.  That's a good way to put it... I go through the motions, work, volunteering, family activities, theatre rehearsals, and at the end of each thing, am left spinning.

I'm taking back a bit of my life in a sense this year.
Last fall when I started saying this was going to be the Year of the Knit, I was only partially serious... mostly kidding actually.  But, it has turned out to be largely true.  I've done almost no quilting or sewing, minimal paper crafting, no embroidering, and my book stack is growing, because when I have free minutes, or days, I'm knitting.  Well, knitting and doing laundry, scrubbing the shower, sorting mail-you get the idea.

It turns out I like knitting even more than I thought.  And, my skills are improving.  The whole practice makes perfect thing... we all want to pretend it's not true.  We know it probably is, and it's apparent in the lives of others, but we never really want to accept it for ourselves.

In my knitting, and just about every other aspect of life, as I grow-up, I realize just how much practice is takes to be any good at all.

What should next year be?  The Year of the Yoke--I'll only eat eggs? I like alliteration.  I could call this year the Year of the Yarn.

I'll have to look through my stashes, yes, stashes, and see what supplies need to be used up.  Another Year of the Yarn would not hurt anyone in my house.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Apparently, today was National Coffee Month. I'm a little miffed at myself for not figuring it out. This morning on the radio there was a competition to call in and guess what holiday it was. The hint was that some store, was giving it away to customers and that you could probably get it at KrispieKreme. I knew donuts was too obvious. But, coffee? Of course!

Coffee is really an incredible thing. It seems as though people either love it, or hate it. I didn't exactly grow-up with coffee drinkers, my 70-year-old father still doesn't touch the stuff. But, I have developed a taste for it. As well as an appreciation for it's amazing powers. I'm not dependant, however, I have noticed that days with coffee are better. It hasn't failed me yet.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I am spending an entire day at home. This is a rare and wonderful treat. So, how should one use this valuable time: clean, organize, put laundry away, make invitations for her father's surprise birthday party, get a jump on work?

Yep, you guessed it... I'm putting pictures on Facebook. That is the #1 thing on my list, right before 'make cards.' Prioritizing is important.

While I wait for the photos to load, I thought I would blog. Not on the list, but I'm going to add it, just so I get to cross it off : )

I feel like we all spend a lot of time waiting. I wait for days when I get to do things at home, waiting is a valuable like skill. The top "wait" in life seems to be figuring out what to do with it. I'm waiting for God to show me my path... actually, I'm fairly certain I'm on that path, just waiting for what comes next.

I'm inspired by the people who use their wait time efficiently. I have become one of those people who always has a book with her, and I want to start carrying projects (i.e. dish cloth to knit, towel to embroider) so that I'm not wasting any time. But, the truth is, that those quiet times when not much is going on, are some of the best times. I need to get better at enjoying those times. I keep telling myself, I don't have to be doing something, I can just enjoy the company of whoever I'm with, and God's amazing creation.

Now, I'm waiting for the photos to load and wondering... is Facebook one of God's wonderful creations? I like to think so.

I should probably use the load time to do some of those other things on the list. Today is going to be a day of enjoyment on my way to task accomplishment... why wait?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Motivation, To-do lists, and laziness; oh my!

Here's my dilemma... As always, I have lots to do--An ever growing list, piles sitting right in front of me, and a little bit of outside pressure to get something done. But, here I sit. Blogging.

If you keep track of my blog you know that my posts are few and far between, which I really am trying to work on. So, if I am actually writing a blog post, I must really be putting off everything else I have to do.

The truth is, today is the kind of day I wait months for. In just a few minutes my brother will head to work and I will be left in the house, ALONE! Whenever that happens, it's like the clouds part, heaven opens up, and the angels sing beautiful alleluias. I don't work well with other people around me, just watching. Which is kind of a constant issue here. So, I wait for alone time to get things done. But then, the alone time is so great that I just want to basque in it. And not do anything, just listen to the quiet.

Overcoming this lazy urge is my goal for today... here's my current list of things I should do: some are fun, and some not as much.
put things away
put clean clothes away
embroider (I have dishtowel deadlines)
read (today is the finish date for the current book I'm reading)
find seeds (June 13 is a little late to be planting flowers)

If all of these things happen, I would consider this my most productive day in months. The 4th and 5th items on the list are, of course, the most appealing. I'll get to those two items for sure, the others are sort of up in the air.

So, I have to wonder... do all of my days have to be productive? Am I hurting anyone else by only doing things I enjoy. All the rest will still be there waiting for me tomorrow. Maybe the real pressure I feel is from myself. In the depths of my brain, I know that if I work harder at getting things clean and in order, life will be easier and I'll feel better. So, why can't I just do it?

That, my friends, is because of my number one skill--procrastination! Is it possible to be medicated for that, because it is a serious debilitating condition? I'll have to look into it. Maybe when I'm done reading and embroidering.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Here it is... the long awaited continuation of the blog.

My feeling of having nothing to say keeps me from writing. I look at the link and go I should really post something and quickly follow with I have nothing interesting to write about.

Today is no different, but I simply cannot put it off any longer.

Summer is here, perhaps not according to the calendar, but every kid who's done with school, that goes for substitute teachers too, knows that summer is in full swing.

The "summer" mode was especially apparent when I rolled out of bed, looked at the clock and it said 10:35. I kind of hate that I do this to myself. I feel like I should train myself to be productive, get up early, not waste precious daylight. But, alas, I am a naturally born night owl. And when one stays at a friend's bonfire until 1am, how could she possibly be expected to rise at a decent hour?

Summer not only brings a new sleep schedule, but a whole list of "to-dos." My lists, written on paper and somewhere in brain brain just behind my forehead, grow everyday. At the top--"get organized." I am finally at a place where getting rid of things, even if they may be useful, or I may want to make something out of them, or they might fit again, is okay. I need to decrease my quantity and focus more on quality. That's one of the few reasons I have been dreading summer. It's a daunting task!

I do look forward to warm weather, reading, hanging out with my friends at play rehearsal, and spending more time with all the people I seem to be too busy for otherwise. Efforts need to be made, and laziness must be overcome. How's that for a summer goal?