My favorite "pocket Rosary." Durable. Washable. And with a Franciscan touch!

Small Success: A Dental Breakdown

Thursdays at CatholicMom.com begin with a look at the past week’s Small Successes!

In a nutshell, this week’s success is surviving yesterday’s Dental Visit from Hell.

I noticed at the beginning of June that the crown that was replaced in the summer of 2012 was beginning to come loose. I did not wait. I called for an appointment right away. They wouldn’t deal with my crown when I went in the day before graduation, saying I had to see the hygienist first and maybe it would fall out during cleaning, which would be better than having them force it out. I waited 2 more weeks for that appointment, only to be told to hang in there until it fell out on its own. They did make an appointment for me for August 24, however.

At that point in June I was 4 weeks away from a professional conference, where the last thing you want is to look like a hockey player for photo opportunities with your boss. The office staff at the dentist’s office was unswayed. Fortunately, the tooth stayed put. Wiggly, but still in my mouth.

Authors of the CatholicMom's Prayer Companion at the Catholic Writers Guild, July 2016. @franciscanmom
Authors of the CatholicMom’s Prayer Companion at the Catholic Writers Guild, July 2016

I have been babying that stupid tooth all summer long. No corn on the cob for me this year. I would worry that it would fall out during the night and I’d swallow it. Finally, last Wednesday night, I sneezed, and that was it for the tooth. (“No, it didn’t shoot across the room,” I had to tell my kids, who were gleefully imagining that dramatic scenario. It would have at least made for a better story.)

The dentist’s office couldn’t or wouldn’t find a way to move my appointment up.

So yesterday I went in there, having looked like a hockey player (it’s a canine tooth) all week, with my tooth in a sandwich bag.

Then the torture began.

My favorite "pocket Rosary." Durable. Washable. And with a Franciscan touch!

 

I had my rosary in my pocket. I didn’t take it out, but my hand was right there by my pocket and I just counted off the Hail Marys. 7 decades’ worth. After that, I lost track. I couldn’t even concentrate on the words of the prayers. They worked on me for quite a while before deciding that Novocaine might be a good idea.

I was just sitting there with my eyes closed to keep out the giant light that was right in my face. Enduring. Opening my mouth and biting down, on command.

And then, while my eyes were shut, I was asked to “open” and in went an impression tray thick with goo. There was no warning. (I’m practically having a post-traumatic panic attack just typing this.)

I was still shaking, hours later. It took 3 Advil after I got home to dull the pain. I felt like I had to keep my hand over my mouth for over an hour, because it hurt so much, and for some reason my brain told me I needed to do that. And for what? A temporary crown for the next 15 days–so still, no corn on the cob. Nothing that requires me to bite. If I eat pizza, it’ll be with a knife and fork.

Some offering-up happened, and I hope that helped the people for whom I was suffering.

I’m still kind of sore, so if you can use a little suffering on your behalf, say the word. I’ll share a prayer and maybe hope that this pain can mean something to someone.

And when this is all over, when the new crown is in and the 2 cavities are filled, when TheKid’s molars have been sealed and I’ve paid the bills that were not in the budget, I’ll be going on the hunt for a new dentist. I’ve broken up with dentists over less than this.

Small Success dark blue outline 800x800

 

Share your Small Successes at CatholicMom.com by joining the linkup in the bottom of today’s post. No blog? List yours in the comments box!

Small Success: Sleep-Deprived Edition

Thursdays at CatholicMom.com begin with a look at the past week’s Small Successes!

I’ll say one thing right up front: it’s going to be a BIG success today if I manage to stay awake during my Adoration hour at noon. I’ve been up since about 3:30 AM, on diabetes duty. (Thank you, soccer tryouts that run from 5 to 7:30 and mess with blood sugars hours later. Hubs had 2 sleepless nights in a row, so last night was my turn. TheKid was in the safe zone by 4:15, but by then I was good and awake.) Sitting in a quiet place for an hour is going to be dangerous. I hope my guardian angel can keep me from snoozing in the chapel!

There’s been a lot of post-vacation catching up going on at work and at home. All the suitcases except one (containing miscellaneous snorkel gear, rain jackets and souvenirs) have been unpacked. I’m slowly getting my pile of books to review in order, and the clean laundry (8 loads on Monday!) is working its way back toward the drawers and closets.

I didn’t lose any weight on vacation, despite the fact that I basically doubled my daily walking mileage. But I didn’t gain any weight on vacation either, so that’s a victory right there.

Yesterday I took TheKid for his uniforms for high school. Because I hoarded saved hand-me-downs from the Big Kids, he’s all set for dress shirts (those things will never die!), golf shirts and sweaters. All I had to buy was pants and shorts, which were still way too expensive. He’d better not outgrow these anytime soon. Gym uniforms have to be purchased at school, so that’ll be tomorrow’s fun.

Today's Catholic Teacher fall 2016 cover
Today’s Catholic Teacher fall 2016 cover

The Fall 2016 issue of Today’s Catholic Teacher is out, containing my first-ever magazine article! For future issues, I’m working on the Bulletin Board feature, and I have another full-length article coming in the summer 2017 issue. I’m excited about that!

Small Success dark blue outline 800x800

Share your Small Successes at CatholicMom.com by joining the linkup in the bottom of today’s post. No blog? List yours in the comments box!

Small Success: It’s a Thursday

Thursdays at CatholicMom.com begin with a look at the past week’s Small Successes!

So usually I’m all perky and say, “celebrating the ways in which things have gone right!” But today, the little things haven’t. I’m really reaching for the Small Success today.

“It’s a Thursday,” I observed in the middle of this afternoon, as my daughter and I commiserated on all the little things that had gone wrong for both of us all day.

Thursdays were always my daughter’s tough day. Mondays had nothing on Thursdays for her. Thursdays were Murphy’s Law and Monday all rolled into one. My daughter’s trials and tribulations are not mine to share, but today I was having a Thursday too.

I didn’t get to Mass because my tire pressure light went on in the car after I dropped TheKid off at theatre camp. I drove around searching for a gas station with a working air pump. User error meant that I figured out which tire was low but couldn’t manage to fill it. Hubs was late for work because he had to deal with my panic and my tire (with the air compressor he has at home).

It snowballed from there. And then I picked up TheKid at 3, found out that he had to be back at camp at 5:30 for the show tonight, and then read through the new recipe I’d chosen for dinner.

Note to self: never choose a new recipe for dinner when it’s a show night.

This dish simmers for 2 hours after about 25 minutes of prep. It wasn’t looking good for the new recipe.

I jumped back into the car and zipped over to ShopRite for some chicken drumsticks so I could make Miss Jill’s Chicken, which is extra-appropriate since it’s a theatre recipe.

The chicken is in the oven and on track to be done at 4:45 so we can eat and get back to the theatre in time for him to put on his costume and me to help set up concessions for pre-show sales.

The meat for the Swiss steak will go into the freezer for another day, when I have 2 1/2 hours to be home to simmer it.

There are 2 real successes here. OK, 3.

  1. I didn’t completely lose my mind when the dinner plan fell apart.
  2. I hadn’t started cooking that Swiss steak before I noticed that it takes as long as it does to cook.
  3. I didn’t buy, let alone consume, a Milky Way at ShopRite when I ran over there for chicken legs. (All bets are off on this one if there’s good candy at the concession table tonight.)

Small Success dark blue outline 800x800

Share your Small Successes at CatholicMom.com by joining the linkup in the bottom of today’s post. No blog? List yours in the comments box!

Authors of the CatholicMom's Prayer Companion at the Catholic Writers Guild, July 2016. @franciscanmom

Small Success: Live and In Person

Thursdays at CatholicMom.com begin with a look at the past week’s Small Successes!

I’m pretty sure I know what book Sherry is reading, based on what she says in her post. I’m actually reading the same book: Little Sins Mean a Lot by Elizabeth Scalia. Really good stuff.

little sins mean a lot

Last weekend I was so fed up with all the politics on social media that when I saw the second or third reference to one of my Favorite Novels Ever in Scalia’s book, I bailed on all the rest and took refuge in that novel. It was practically a retreat. Highly recommended. And that was a huge success for me.

brede

Another huge success: getting to meet (live and in person) about 1/5 of the contributors to The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion (coming in August! Preorder yours now!)

CM Prayer Companion cover art

Here we all are! I’m in the back, with the Tall People™ for once!

CM prayer companion authors photo
Photo taken by CatholicMom.com contributor Rakhi McCormick on Lisa Hendey’s cell phone.Shared by Lisa Hendey on Facebook.

Small Success dark blue outline 800x800

 

Share your Small Successes at CatholicMom.com by joining the linkup in the bottom of today’s post. No blog? List yours in the comments box!

Book links in this post are Amazon affiliate links. Your purchase through these links supports this website. Thank you!

Small Success: The View from My Office(s)

Thursdays at CatholicMom.com begin with a look at the past week’s Small Successes!

My Fitness Streak is still going. Even on the day when I dared not leave the house because just as my alarm went off, TheKid’s continuous glucose monitor also alarmed with a low blood sugar reading, I got in a short workout on my Gazelle machine in the laundry room. (Hubs gets the overnights. Once I’m up in the morning, I’m on duty.)

Yesterday’s morning sky, even though cloudy, was stunning as I headed off for my walk.

Incline My Heart

In other news, it’s summer and I need to roll with that. TheKid is at theatre camp, so I’ve been praying at other churches and working at Dunkin’ Donuts and the library on some days, because they both have free WiFi and it beats driving 20 minutes each way to go back home and work from there. Still, I feel a bit at odds with the schedule changes.

My Dunkin' office. Hot coffee and a big table where I can spread out.
My Dunkin’ office. Hot coffee and a big table where I can spread out.

 

The library has some comfortable chairs, but no coffee (though I saw a kid walk in with a milkshake the other day.)
The library has some comfortable chairs, but no coffee (though I saw a kid walk in with a milkshake the other day.)

Small Success dark blue outline 800x800

Share your Small Successes at CatholicMom.com by joining the linkup in the bottom of today’s post. No blog? List yours in the comments box!

Small Success: Fitness Streak

Thursdays at CatholicMom.com begin with a look at the past week’s Small Successes!

Small Success dark blue outline 800x800

If you’ve hung around this blog long enough, you’ll remember that I spent several weeks in a boot last winter, trying to heal from tendinitis in my foot. Actually, I have it in both feet, but one was worse than the other.

I got out of the boot in January and was cleared to just do neighborhood walking soon afterward.

And, to be honest, I was afraid. I walked around the corner to the strip mall once or twice, but wouldn’t go farther than that, because I didn’t want to be too far from home if my foot began to hurt. I didn’t want to damage it even more–I’d been told by the doctor that foot surgery would be in my future at that point.

A few weeks ago I worked up the guts to walk around my block (0.9 miles)–and wound up with shin splints for my trouble. It’s enough of a slope, I guess, for that to be a factor, though nothing compared to the hills in the area where I grew up, which I used to walk around on all the time.

When it comes to exercise, I’m basically lazy. I don’t want to do it and will find easy excuses not to. The combination of laziness and fear was paralyzing.

And as spring came around, so many of my friends began sharing photos of their runs. I rejoiced with them at their progress–with more than a twinge of jealousy. No, I don’t run–and I never will again. I’m not allowed to run. I’m also not allowed on a treadmill, which is the one thing I enjoyed doing at the gym.

This week, though, I made myself get out there. I’ve done some exercise each morning for the past 7 days. 5 of those days were neighborhood walks, after I cleared it with my back-door neighbor that I could cut through her backyard to get to a flatter area for a walk. Twice, I went to the gym and rode the bike, which is the exercise my doctor recommended for me, but which I hate.

pickup notes

Today, I brought my Kindle to the gym and propped it up on the little shelf where the display screen is, and changed the font to a larger size. Instead of watching how many miles I’d pedaled, I read a novel. 25 minutes on the bike sped by. I’ll do that again. Anything to get guilt-free reading time! I can stomach the bike when there’s a good story to keep me distracted.

A few highlights from my week in fitness.
A few highlights from my week in fitness.

Share your Small Successes at CatholicMom.com by joining the linkup in the bottom of today’s post. No blog? List yours in the comments box!

Note: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Your purchase through these links supports Franciscanmom.com. Thank you!

Small Success: Savoring the Morning

Thursdays at CatholicMom.com begin with a look at the past week’s Small Successes!

This weekend we had a party for TheKid, who graduated 8th grade earlier this month. I cooked for 50 guests: sausage and peppers, homemade meatballs and sauce, penne alla vodka, baked beans, salad, vegetable tray and macaroni salad. Thanks to four spreadsheets, years of experience cooking for family parties and a marathon of “Good Bones” on HGTV on demand, all the food was done ahead of time and I was able to relax and enjoy our guests.

Early Sunday morning, I relaxed on the back porch with a cup of coffee and a novel I didn’t have to review.

The table on the porch was still piled high with (clean) serving bowls and utensils waiting to be put away. The cooler was still full of soda, juice boxes and ice. A box of potato chips sat on a nearby chair.

The morning was sunny, breezy and cool. The coffee was hot and the novel compelling. My Small Success was taking the time to savor it all.

Share your Small Successes at CatholicMom.com by joining the linkup in the bottom of today’s post. No blog? List yours in the comments box!

Small Success dark blue outline 800x800

Small Success: Summer of Life Skills

Thursdays at CatholicMom.com begin with a look at the past week’s Small Successes!

As of this morning, I’m happy to announce that my weight has finally dropped below a certain number that I hope never to see on the scale again. (Now to keep it that way!)

And in the Department of So Far, So Good, my Evil Plan™ seems to be working.

I’ve been holding TheKid’s internet access hostage until he has completed his chores, including Duties As Assigned, and read for 30 minutes.

He’s not getting just any old chores, either. In addition to the things he does every week, like dragging the trash cans to the curb and vacuuming his room and the family room, I’m giving him the kind of chores that I could complete in no time at all, but which he needs to learn to do on his road to becoming a self-sufficient young man. He’s also being assigned cleanup chores when he’s the one responsible for the mess.

So yesterday he had to Drano the bathroom sink to unclog the drain (I suspect the hair putty he uses, and he’s the only one who does his hair in that bathroom). This included remembering to come back in 30 minutes and run water for a minute to finish clearing the drain. It’s a life skill–and a consequence.

He also learned, yesterday, what happens when you vacuum before making sure the floor is clear of wires for electronics. Fortunately I was nearby to remind him to unplug both the electronic item and the vacuum before trying to disentangle the partially-vacuumed wire.

“This is hard work,” he commented. Well, yes. Yes, it is. And maybe he’s learned, without my needing to tell him, that it’s a good idea to patrol the area a bit before running the vacuum.

Today my resident microwave-popcorn-eater will learn how to clean that appliance inside and out. He’ll discover just how much gunk spews out of those popcorn bags as they spin around for two minutes.

One of my summer goals is to begin teaching him to cook simple meals, but I’ve put that on hold until my extra editorial job is complete.

Slowly but surely, he’ll get a handle on how to do some small but necessary household chores.

If only he’d start noticing that the trash can is full and empty it without being asked. A mom can dream…

Small Success dark blue outline 800x800
Share your Small Successes at CatholicMom.com by joining the linkup in the bottom of today’s post. No blog? List yours in the comments box!

Small Success: Double Time

Thursdays at CatholicMom.com begin with a look at the past week’s Small Successes!

Yesterday I was messaging with a coworker on Slack, and I said this:

Yeah, I have an article to write, deadline ASAP, so I’m cleaning the freezer…

That’s pretty much how things are going around here.

My freezer is very clean after yesterday’s defrosting binge. And I don’t have to buy any more meat for the next 2 months, except for what I’ll need for TheKid’s graduation party next Saturday.

(I’m cooking! Want to come over and help us eat all the food?)

That defrosting binge was definitely stress organizing. I’m doubling up on work this month; in addition to my regular job at CatholicMom.com, I’m doing editorial support for Today’s Catholic Teacher during the month of June.

THAT was a total fluke. I answered a call for articles on Twitter and wound up building a spreadsheet of articles, authors and word counts. I’m writing an article too, but there’s not really a learning curve as far as that goes.

So as I juggle my regular part-time job and learn a new (temporary) one, I found something I could totally control–my freezer. It’s full, but it’s organized and I have a LIST of what’s in it.

As for the rest of it, I’ll muddle through. I’m learning a lot, and working with some amazing (and patient) people. Once I finally find my groove, though, the job will end. That’s the nature of temp work. I should be used to it, after all the substitute-teaching I’ve done.

But in the back of my head, I’ve got one more list: things I can spend an hour organizing when I need to clear my head and take complete control of something.

I hope nothing happened on Twitter yesterday. There was no time to tweet (and that’s not simply a leisure activity for me. It’s networking.) I was doing work for 2 jobs, outlining an article, making a batch of cold-brew coffee, washing 5 loads of laundry, defrosting and organizing the freezer, making chicken stock and then dinner, attending folk group practice that ran late, then freezing 21 cups of chicken stock and doing all the dinner dishes that the people who ate dinner late left for me. (We’re going to have to have a talk about THAT.)

Share your Small Successes at CatholicMom.com by joining the linkup in the bottom of today’s post. No blog? List yours in the comments box!

Small Success: Mom’s New Office

Thursdays at CatholicMom.com begin with a look at the past week’s Small Successes!

I’ve been working a little bit at a time to clear out TheKid’s old bedroom. He vacated it when he took over his big brother’s room almost two years ago, and it’s just been sitting there collecting junk ever since.

Sure, it’s small (10×12 or even smaller) but it will work just fine for me to use as an office, and it will do for a guest room in a pinch as well.

I’ve gotten the office part under control, at least. There’s still a bunch of stuff on the bed that I need to clear away, plus the ironing board, but I’m at the point where I can bring my laptop into that room and work. I’ve been working there all week!

Office in progress

That’ll be great this summer when the Street Urchins are hanging around, playing Super Smash Brothers only a few feet from the living room.

Someday I’ll paint it, but right now it’s just nice to have a quiet place to work.

Share your Small Successes at CatholicMom.com by joining the linkup in the bottom of today’s post. No blog? List yours in the comments box!