The Simple Woman

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7-Quick Takes

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1.
Sometimes I like to look and see what people bought via my Amazon links. Sometimes those purchases are so precious they just warm my heart.

Someone purchased ballet slippers  and a leotard and a little skirt along with the lovely little book, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. I just picture a little girl excited to go to her dancing class in her new shoes and outfit and then snuggling after class to read that beautiful book with her mama. It makes me grateful and proud to be a tiny little part of that.

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2.
Rosie's Little House/Hogwarts mash-up story assignment:

    The Hogwarts Express was going leave soon and Laura had to go. She hugged Ma, Pa, Grace, and Carrie. “Remember your manners Laura,” said Ma with a bit of sadness. Pa's eyes twinkled at her. Laura got on the train with her luggage and her new robes with an inner calico lining that Ma had made.
     She was trying to find a cart, when she saw a chubby melancholy boy. She walked in and said, “Hi, may I sit here. My name is Laura.” The chubby boy answered, “Hi, you can sit. My name is Neville by the way.” She thanked him and sat down. The trolley witch came with many goods. Neville bought a lot. He offered Laura some. She thanked him and took a very good chocolate cauldron. They talked the entire way.
     When they arrived at Hogwarts they heard. “All first years come with me. Also, my name is Hagrid,” shouted the very tall and hairy man with big brown eyes that reminded Laura of the beautiful Morgan horses back home.  They started down a dark path that lead to boats where they went across the Black Lake. Laura was very nervous on the boats. What if she got in the wrong house? What if she fell off the boats? What if she never made good friends?
      Laura entered the great hall. She never ever saw so much delicious food. It sure wasn't like the long winter she once spent in Minnesota when her family literally starved. She sat down. Everything was a blur until she heard her named called. They put the sorting hat on her. Without out hesitation, the Sorting Hat shouted, “Gryffindor!.” A roar came from the Gryffindor table. She sat near Neville, who didn’t think he should be a Gryffindor, but Laura encouraged him that he would be great in the house. After the sorting she finally got her appetite back; she ate so much.
     After the long day, she went to her dorm and slept. The next day went by easily. She was excited for potions and quickly discovered that she was good at. Making potions reminded her of making recipes at home with Ma. But Professor Snape was very rude to Neville which made Laura so angry she felt as if she almost exploded with rage. Everyday Professor Snape was even more cruel to Neville. One day, they were making polyjuice potions. Neville’s potion was not right even though he was trying his hardest.It came out bright red instead of emerald green. Snape shouted, “Neville! Can you do anything right.  I swear even the easiest potion you couldn’t create. 30 points from Gryffindor!” Neville turned red. Laura couldn’t take it. She stood up and retorted, ”He came here to learn! Maybe if you were a better teacher he would learn quicker!” Snape looked furious. “Miss Ingalls since you’re so confident, try to fix Neville’s potion. Oh, and 40 points from Gryffindor and another if you cannot fix his potion.”


    Laura began to fix the potion. Neville looked like he was about to faint. Snape had an evil grin. Laura’s hands were shaking but she was not nervous. First she added powdered basilisk skin which turned muddy yellow. She added fluxweed and the lacewing flies stewed for 21 days. It turned a vibrant emerald green, the best in the class. Neville looked jubilant while Snape looked like he was fuming. Laura hugged Neville. Everyone except the Slytherins and Snape erupted in cheering. Snape no longer to tormented Neville, but he would give very fiery glances.        



3.
And the accompanying illustration.
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4.
A few months ago, Mr. Pete took my flute to work and re-padded parts of it because I was having a difficult time playing at the very low end of the register. When I got it back, it played beautifully in the low end - but was tight and airy up high. He kept telling me that it was because of the cold, the dry air, and allowing time for the pads to set.

"But it's not fun to play! It's a lot of work and it doesn't sound beautiful," I whined.

"Think of how much better you've become with practice though! It's like walking with ankle weights! it's flute boot camp!"  said Mr. Pete.

I wasn't buying his excuses. I knew something was still wrong with that flute.  It turns out, I was right. Two of the pads were split and not making a proper seal - so I really was doing twice the work for half the result. He has it in his shop right now and hopefully, it will play beautifully when I get it back tonight.

5.
When I was a little girl, my grandfather would talk to me about welding and fixing farm equipment and car engines. I learned to put an interested look on my face and stand there politely as my mind checked out and went somewhere else.

This is a skill I am getting to use over again as my son Noah starts to talk to me about Philosophy. The kid is passionate about his courses and about the things he is learning and he is excited to share them all with me - his mother. I sit there and take it though because I know this time is fleeting and I want him to be able to come to me and talk anytime he wants to. But I think I might have to pick up a "Philosophy for Dummies" book to understand most of what he is talking about.

6.
The last time Mr. Pete and I did anything for our marriage was probably our Pre-Cana day back in 1979. We never went to Marriage Encounter or took any marriage retreats. For the past 15 years, we have given a Pre-Cana talk at church but that was doing something for the new marriages of others - not to nurture our union.

That changes tomorrow. We are going to a Passion and Purpose tomorrow morning.


What are the key ingredients to a happy, healthy marriage? Whether you're dating, engaged, or happily married, this event will open your eyes to new and practical ways you can strengthen and enrich your relationship.

About 12 years ago or so, Mr. Pete went with our eldest son to the Franciscan University Youth Retreat. He came back so chastened and humbled and full of the Holy Spirit that I made sure he went as a chaperone a couple of more times. I am anxious to see if he feels the same after this event. I'm also hoping to glean inspiration and wisdom for myself as a wife.  Either way, it will be a nice long date and I'm looking forward to spending some time together.

7.  Friday Freebie - Homeschooling Through a Financial Storm- Free ebook. 

The very month we started homeschooling, my husband quit his job, my baby boy was hospitalized, and we were sued by my husband's former employer. To say that we were living in a Financial Storm would be an understatement.  It was hell. In addition to all of that, there was the stress that comes with fighting a lawsuit, and collection calls from the hospital. So I have lived most of what is in this book. I hope many of you are blessed by it.






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