{pretty, happy, funny, real}: Things Around Me Edition

Capturing the Context of Contentment in Everyday Life ~
Every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter

round button chicken


I like to have reminders of my faith around me, like holy cards and holy statues. I like to be frequently reminded of the blessings all around me and the graces which can be mine for the asking. Of course, I need to be reminded, too, of my duties of prayer and virtue.

My sister made me this pretty Marian bracelet, which I like to bring out and wear during Marian feasts. (I totally forgot to wear it last February 11 -- feast of Our Lady of Lourdes -- though.) Its beauty is in its simplicity, and feeling it wrap my wrist is a reminder to imitate our Blessed Mother's virtues.       

Excuse my fat wrist.


The very first appliance that Husband and I bought as newlyweds was a sewing machine. Okay, that was because we rented a furnished university flat, but we could have bought a television, right?
The sewing machine is now two months short of 23 years, and it has never been serviced or repaired. That's right, and I am not writing an endorsement for Janome. I don't even think they still sell this model. 

Top view

Bobbin view

Short of giving the sewing machine a name, it has been a constant and silent companion over the years.  As a young mom with only one child, I sewed baby quilts, receiving blankets, and some pretty dresses with it. Later, I would sew late into the night to finish school costumes. I also managed to produce a couple of tablecloths and appliance covers. Nowadays sewing tends towards the utlitarian, which is a fancy name for mending clothes and recycling old towels into cleaning rags. Last weekend, I re-styled a t-shirt that looked "too masculine" by Second Daughter's standards.
There were years when she (I decided to attach a gender to a dear companion) was totally unused. And those years were ironically the childbearing years. I was too busy with everyday upkeep that sewing was totally out of the picture. With sorrow in my heart, I bought clothes and kitchen linen, which I knew I could have sewn better, if only because they would not be mass-produced.

In those years, she would be relegated to a corner and covered with fabric to keep dust away. I would occasionally give her a guilty glance and make hasty promises of reunion when events would allow it. Once, I thought I was returned a nod of patient understanding. 

So before we get weepy around here, yes, the reunion materialized. I don't even remember how, except that  lately she has been humming a lot. And contentedly, too.
We're quite happily lookin' forward to growing old together, she and I. 


Twenty three years of marriage and you'd think I can cook with my eyes closed. Well, no. Until now, I still cook with one hand holding on to a cookbook.
These are the two small shelves that house my cookbooks. I have culled the collection and acquired new books, and culled again, and acquired again.
Cookbooks and a couple of very good homemaking books 
What is funny (now, not then when I was a young bride) is that cookbooks do not seem to come with a troubleshooting section the way appliance manuals do. You know, those tabulated instructions that describe the problem in one column and the possible solutions in the next column. I would dearly love a similar section in cookbooks.
In fairness to the authors of the cookbooks that I have decided to keep over the years, though, the practice-makes-perfect attitude does work. Maybe one does earn her aces in cooking and baking with burnt scones, raw-in-the-middle banana bread, dry-with-the-juices-totally-sucked-out baked chicken, soggy fried chicken, and other outcomes that look like science experiments.  


You have to check out Hand-Maid with Love, especially the post on Lenten living. It is so rich in ideas on keeping your family in tune with Lent, its spirit, and its practices.
A quick project inspired by the post. Thanks, Valerie :-) 

That black object on the bottom part of the photo is our television. The sign speaks for itself. Youngest Daughter and I worked on the sign together this morning. I outlined the letters and she colored them.


Around here, gentle persuasion produces better results than nagging and lectures. Let's see how many real sacrifices and offerings this sign can inspire.
There's a similar sign posted on the CPU of the computer. Maybe there should be another one on the ref (that would be for me :-))

Read more prettys, happys, funnys, and reals here.



  1. Oh Marcia! I laughed out loud when I read your 'funny' section - I've had countless 'raw-in-the-center banana breads and all; and I, too, still use a cookbook after almost 23 yrs of marriage! whew, I'm not alone! Your 'happy' reading was so heart warming and cute - you should write books, you have a real talent there!
    I'm sure that coveting that beautiful Marian bracelet is a terrible sin...but it is gorgeous!! (btw- you have perfectly delicate wrist, really!)
    I was pleasantly shocked when I came to your 'real' post...Awww, that is so sweet. Thank you sincerely.
    Now I need to go make a sign like yours and plaster it across our tv!
    Have a most blessed Lenten season...

  2. Hey, c'mon, you and your blog have been a source of companionship and inspiration for me :-) "Hope we keep the connection! Have a good weekend!

  3. What a lovely bracelet (and your wrist is not fat!!) :)

  4. Thanks so much, dear! Have a good weekend :-)


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