Several Takes of Indeterminate Length Announcements, clarifications, retractions, and whatnot

“I gotta put up something new to replace the My Car Wash Is Like Tron post,” I said. “People might stop by.”

But, of course, I didn’t put up something new – until now, I guess.  Everyone’s out shopping for cranberries so I’ll just throw caution to the wind and toss up a new post.

Announcement One: It’s my distinct privilege to join the board of Dappled Things as their new Web Editor. The last couple of weeks were pretty busy as I was redesigning their website (because I just have to make everything everywhere WordPress.) Please stop by, SUBSCRIBE TO THE PRINT EDITION oh was that shouting I just meant please join us in what shall become the online literary salon for the Catholic literati.

We’re going to roll out some more interactive elements, starting with the ability to comment on our news updates and on past content. You can also browse the archives by genre – poetry, fiction, essays, art and photography. The process of bringing over everything from the archives will take…a little while, so please be patient. Dappled Things also welcomes a new managing editor, Janice Walker. Like all of the other members of the editorial board, she is at least ten years younger than I. BUT I’M TOTALLY FINE WITH THAT.

Announcement Two: In a coincidence both fortuitous and, erm, non-fortuitous, last week also marked the launch of the newly redesigned  I met Lisa Mladinich this spring at the Faith and Family Mom’s Day Away and we talked about the possibility of making her site more interactive, and I think we are both pleased with the result. The new website makes it easy to see the most recent columns from the panel of contributors, and after registering you can also submit your own ideas to be featured in our “Reader Suggestions” department. Lisa has graciously invited me to come on board as a columnist so my “Catechist Chat” series will now be posted both here and on

Kinda crazy.

Anyway, so that is why my children have been subsisting on Cheerios and water for several weeks, and why the family room looks like the scene of a murder…of crows, who brought back lots of shiny objects and cracker packages to decorate their nest.

Housekeeping Is Hazardous: Because my mom flew into town on Saturday, I decided to address the rampant un-vacuuming spree of the past few weeks. I was going to reinvent myself. Reinvent myself as the Queen of Clean Carpet. I changed the HEPA filter, replaced the bag, armed myself with Folex and set to. I’d made three passes at the dining room floor and decided that one more time might do the trick.

And then I tripped a circuit.

Here’s something fun: Our whole downstairs, except for the kitchen, is apparently on one circuit.

Know what’s on that circuit? That’s right: the Internet. The router’s on that circuit, and so we had no Internet, and I was supposed to do…so many things, but alas, it was not to be.

Turns out it was a “sticky breaker” and the electrician didn’t actually need to make a house call, but that’s okay because he did assess several other non-dangerous but annoying aspects of our wiring. “Address,” meaning “tell us a funny number about how much it would cost to fix.”

Japanese maples are purtyTemporarily Repatriated: The kids and I are in Georgia now, courtesy of my mom, who flew out for the purpose of driving from Texas with me. I have a good mom. We spent the day at the botanical gardens and will be “hibernating” the rest of the time, since it’s a very short visit. I always feel weird coming back into town and not trying to get together with my friends. Like, should I tell people I’m here? What, I think I’m some big shot, like they care? Like they’re going to be mad if they find out I was here and didn’t call? Who do I think I am? What’s with all these “announcements” around here?

As Long As This Post Is All Braggy: We went to School Days at the Texas Renaissance Festival again this year, and really enjoyed it. This is our third year in a row and it’s a tradition we really look forward to. They run a variety of contests in conjunction with School Days, and this year my older son and my daughter each placed in the Art Contest! I was so excited! Also, huge free pass in the homeschooling department, amirite?

"Arthur's Sword," Mary Margaret Speed, Third Place

"Traveling King," Christopher Speed, First Place

"Traveling King," Christopher Speed, First Place

Happy Thanksgiving!

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  1. says

    Next time you come to GA and you’re in the announcing-it-in-advance mode, give me a shout and we’ll see if we can meet up for a coffee or something. I’m AT LEAST 10 years older than you, and it will average out all those youngsters with whom you’re starting to hang out. Congrats on all of the developments – truly lots of grounds for bragging!

  2. says

    OK, I just clicked over to that editorial board and saw that no one, including you, graduated until about 10 years AFTER I DID. So don’t worry, you’re still a young whippersnapper to me :)

    Love the kids’ art!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. says

    Thank you for the update! I was on the verge of e-mailing you to make sure you hadn’t lost a limb or something. Though the vacuuming incident was about what I was imagining.

  4. says

    I bought a fancy vacuum this past year and did a deep vacuum-y clean on the whole house… And now the pretty machine gathers dust like everything else. I do sweep every once in a while, so that’s something.

  5. scotch meg says

    Happy Thanksgiving! I am grateful for: having my daughters home together for a day; Skype, so I can see my oldest son when I talk to him; SIX MEASLY MONTHS ’til he’s out of the Marines; Son #2 playing the horn so beautifully; Son #3 being the awesomeness of eleven-year-old cute today – he “tried” his older brother for attempted theft of chocolates and had us all in stitches (and got a guilty verdict, too). And a wonderful husband who makes it all more fun.

    Hope you had a great holiday, too.

    • says

      Thanks, Scotch Meg! I am glad to hear that you and your family are doing well and that you got to spend some time with your daughters over the holiday.