I'm daughter to Lissie, sister to Jess, wife to Brien, mom to Hannah, Lily and Eleanor. I am a stay at home mom to my girls, and my free time is dedicated to gardening (I confess I'm still a novice and look to Lissie and Jess for advice), baking and cooking, and card making. I'm doing my part to make the earth a bit greener, trying hard to avoid processed foods and HFCS, and find the "slow food" movement intriguing and inspiring. I love visits to my local farmers' market, fresh produce, reading, getting out in nature, and spending time with my family.


Catholic, homeschooler, lover of books and great wine and an amateur gardening addict.


I'm Melissa aka "Lissie", mother of Rachael and Jessica, and grandmother to a passel of the sweetest children on the planet. I'm a semi-retired public educator and professor who works from home for a small publisher. I am a lover of all things beautiful ... flowers, the mountains, nature scenes, the innocent faces of children, and my rock and fossil collection, to name a few. I enjoy shopping at the farmers' market for fresh foods and then experimenting with new recipes. Good food and good wine delight me. I love to travel so my suitcase is always packed. Like my daughters, I take pleasure in simple things ... clothes drying on the line, tomatoes so fresh they are still hot from the sun, good books, and interesting movies. I'd like to know everything before I die.
7 Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes is hosted by Jennifer Fulwiler over at Conversion Diary.  I've been reading her Quick Takes and some of the other bloggers that join the weekly meme for a couple years now but this is the first time I've ever participated.

1.  I recently bought some clothes online from a few different companies.  I really love a particular pair of walking shorts that came in one of those orders and I was wearing them the other day when I had to go to the mall to get a replacement for my iPhone.  I decided while I was there that I liked the shorts well enough that I would pop into the brick and mortar store that I ordered them from and get another pair or two in other colors.  The saleswoman began to help me and we combed through the store and even checked the online site for a match.  Finally she said, "Let me check the tag inside your pants."   I know you already know what I am going to write.  The shorts I was wearing were not from that particular store.  I definitely felt like an idiot!

2. I've removed 75% of the apps on my iPhone and I am much happier.  It was cluttered before and they were taking up too much space.  It is too bad you can't Craigslist or Goodwill old apps that were mistake purchases that you no longer want. 

3. Ella and I took a knitting lesson a few days ago.  She learned to finger crochet and we now have chains of crocheted yarn all over our house.   It looks like a pink yarn explosion around here. 

4. I have always said my favorite color is yellow and I think it still may be.  But I do not like most yellow flowering plants.  Isn't that weird?  I'm continuing with my love affair of coral and I found Watermelon Treat zinnias and Flame Coral phlox in the last week and think both are gorgeous.  

5.  I've been reading The Creed In Slow Motion by Ronald Knox and it is amazing.  Really amazing.  It is solid Catholic theology but written in a very accessible way.  During WWII in England, he unexpectedly became the chaplain for a group of teen girls who had been displaced from London due to the air raids.  This book is a series of sermons he gave during Mass to these girls.  It has been an excellent read for me as a still newish convert but it is the perfect book for teens.  It is smart and sensible and doesn't condescend as it teaches the reader.  

6.  I've been enjoying reading Wildflowers and Marbles, a Catholic/Charlotte Mason based homeschooling blog.  This mother is dedicated and organized.  I am a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal but when it comes to homeschooling (because I do not want to screw it up!) I plan and plan and plan way ahead of time.  I can only dream of becoming as organized and neat as she is, though.   There are some super ideas on this blog, including forms you can download and her "Morning Basket" approach that gets their day off on a calm, uplifting start.  

7.  Ella's birthday is next Thursday and we having a low key family day this year.   We are thinking some of her favorite foods, an ice cream cake and the pool.   I asked her yesterday what she thought I was going to give her for her big day and she groaned, "You always give me books."  HA!  She's right - she's getting books from me.  She's getting each "Meet" book for the historical American Girls and she's getting the entire boxed Anne of Green Gables set.  She's getting some other things as well but she knows to always expect at least a few books from her mama.  



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