“TOTO, I HAVE A FEELING we’re not in Kansas anymore.” As a preschooler, my oldest daughter was absolutely entranced by The Wizard of Oz. She used to dress up as Dorothy, complete with glittery, red shoes, and even had a Dorothy Barbie doll (also complete with glittery, red shoes). If you pushed a button on her back, the doll spoke the introductory quote.
Olivia had watched the video so often that she knew it by heart and could sing an adorable rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” One day, while in the playroom of our old house, something sponataneously fell off a shelf as she was passing undearneath. Without missing a beat, she casually said, “Oops! There goes some of me again!” (One of the Scarecrow’s lines.) I am so glad I was within earshot to hear it. She had the line and timing down to perfection, but I would never had known had I not been “hovering.”
As it turns out, my mother is truly in Kansas this week (more on that later). It’s also the debut week of Fargo-Moorhead’s wonderful Trollwood Performing Art School’s brand-new digs (an outdoor theatre formerly located in North Fargo, now in South Moorhead). Their debut mainstage musical: The Wiz! If all goes as planned, the girls and I will have a chance to see it upon their return from the grandparents’ this weekend. I’m looking forward to that!
Stepping outside Fargo today, if I hadn’t had a calendar nearby I would not have guessed it’s mid-July. It’s unseasonably chilly. With the wind whipping around as it has been the last couple of days, it really does seem like a real storm might be a brewin’ (as Auntie Em would say). Fortunately for the cast at Trollwood, it’s not likely to be a real tornado. Not hot enough.
I mentioned last week that I had some exciting news to share. Well, I finally shared it, but in case you missed it, you can read about it here in my post, a window closes, a door opens. It has to do with a wonderful opportunity that has come my husband’s way. As is often the case with new beginnings, however, it is both a hello and a goodbye. That said, our predominant feeling is one of hope and excitement. I’m so proud of him!
GIRL TIME W/GRANDPARENTS (CONT.): The girls are complaining a bit because, despite being in a lake town this week, the weather has not cooperated like it did when their brothers were there several weeks back; therefore, they have not had as much time outside. Grandma is doing everything she can to make them happy. A couple days back, she took them on a girls’-day-out shopping spree, where, thanks to the “yellow dot sale,” they each got a couple new dresses. Part of the deal was that Grandma would get to snap a few pictures (without complaint from the peanut gallery), and they would oblige her with a “styleshow” for Grandpa upon their return. Here’s a peek, thanks, again, to Grandma and her snap-happy finger!
E-MAIL FROM MOM: I haven’t heard as much from my mother as usual this week. That’s because she’s in Kansas (as mentioned a bit ago). Every year, for the past five years, my mother has taken one of her grandkids on a trip. She rotates every year, visiting two of her dearest college friends; one year in Lynnwood, Washington, the other in Mission, Kansas. So this year, it’s my sister’s son’s turn, and he got Kansas (last year, my daughter went to Washington). He’s had a chance to hang out with some of his cousins, as well as the grandchildren of my mom’s friends; go fishing; visit a science center; feed baby goats from a bottle; and visit a traveling Legos museum, among other things, not to mention, fly in an airplane. I am so grateful my mom does this. As a family of seven, we’ll not likely be flying anywhere as a family for quite some time, if ever. Because of my mother, my sister’s and my children will have a chance to experience the wonders of a plane trip at a relatively young age. The side benefit is that they’ll have wonderful memories of their trip together for years to come.
MY FRIEND DONNA’S FORTHCOMING BOOK: I was so elated today when I visited my friend Donna’s blog, Embracing Motherhood, to find that her latest book about her friendship with Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta is nearly ready for print. Though she said this book cover is preliminary at this point, I am so thrilled for her. Donna has been increasingly successful as a writer and speaker each passing year, but now, with this latest title finally emerging, I really think her busyness is only going to increase as more of the world learns of her amazing journey walking with this beloved, modern-day saint. Here’s the “working” cover:
THE SIMPLE KISS: From Before I Go: Letters to Our Children about What Really Matters, by Peter Kreeft (Letter #68, p.111, letter title: “K.I.S.S.: Keep It Simple Stupid!”):
“Life is so complicated.”
No, it isn’t. We make it complicated. Cars and computers and codes are complicated. Birds and bees and beaches aren’t complicated. Life is wonderfully simple:
There is good, and there is evil. Love goodness.
There is truth, and there is falsehood. Love truth.
There is beauty, and there is ugliness. Love beauty.
There is life, and there is death. Love life.
There is love, and there is hate. Love love, and hate hate.
There is honesty, and there is dishonesty. Love honesty.
And then you will be deeply happy, and you will know that you have chosen rightly, and that life does not have to be complicated.
But you will know that only if you do it.
BLOG CHANGES. Maybe it’s because of my husband’s new job, or because I sense a lot of upcoming changes in my own life, but I recently decided to change the header description of my blog, from “Life in the familial garden” to “A garden blend of family, faith and following the muse.” This updated version seemed to better encapsulate what my blog has evolved into over the past year. I also re-coded my Peace Garden Mama I into a three-column format, and I really love the look. (Unfortunately, I can’t do the same with this mirror blog, Peace Garden Mama II, which is more limited.) In addition, I’ve recently added more to my sideline “blog list,” including quite a few writing-focused blogs, like Rants and Ramblings by literary agent Rachelle Gardner. I have learned so many great things from these blogs already that I wanted to pass the titles on to others who are interested in the writing journey.
One final blog change, for now, is that I want to include more questions at the end to invite and encourage more people to comment and foster more interaction. So, I’ll start with here.
If you have a blog, what is its name/url? If not, do you have a favorite blog you read? Or, if you could create a blog, what would its theme be?
Have a wonderful weekend, all, and for more Friday Quick Takes, head over to Jennifer’s host blog, Conversion Diary.