Category Archives: 7 Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes Friday



1. Wow.  What a summer…

  • Icky weather.
  • Dad very sick.
  • No beach.
  • Pasty white skin.
  • No trips.
  • Pool only one time.
  • No barbequing
  • Pasty white skin – did I mention that?

BUT, what a fantastic summer it was anyhow!!!!  I immersed myself in learning more about my craft.  This summer was all about making myself a better artist.  Online classes are so incredible!  I absolutely love them.  I learned so much and I think I really improved and learned a TON!! I took several classes from my “idol” artists this summer.  “Paint Your Story” by Mindy Lacefield,“How to Paint Whimsical Animals” by Juliette Crane, & “HerStory” by Danielle Daniel and I’m also enrolled in a year-long course called “Serendipity” by Juliette Crane.  I also took an in-person class by the famous Donna Downey called “How to Paint Like an Artist.”  She came to a local scrap booking store called Altered Angel.   It was a blast!  My dream is to go to Donna’s studio and take a weekend long retreat/class.  Mindy Lacefield will be coming there to teach in 2014.  What a dream come true that would be!  I need to win the Lotto!

Here are some pics of what I created in those classes:

PhotoSheet 5x4 (Owl Fini,Serendip,C,9)

2.  Dad is doing so good!  He was diagnosed (finally) with a condition called “Polymyalgia Rheumatica” after 7 months of hell.  He’s taking Prednisone and it is controlling those terrible fevers and chills.  We are ever so grateful for all the prayers said on his behalf.  It just takes one determined doctor who decided to take ownership and not give up.  We are forever indebted to Dr. Stephen Szabo.  He’s our “Dr. House.”

3.  Join me and thousands of others in praying our latest Novena.  It will be to Saint Jude.  Saint Jude is the patron of Hopeless Causes and Desperate Situations.  Sign up here to get the daily prayers delivered to your email in box.  My father’s diagnosis came while praying the novena to St. Therese the Little Flower.  And we just finished the novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  What exactly is a Novena?  Click here to find out!

4.  There are only 67 days until Christmas.

5.  I’m thoroughly disgusted with our government.  All parties – don’t care who they are.  They are an embarrassment and a disgrace.  I will stop there.

6.  I am so excited!  I had someone reach out to me and ask me to give her and her granddaughter an art lesson.  I about cried.  This is part of my dream and it’s going to come true!  Very humbled and honored!

7.  Even after 2 years, I still miss my mom so much it hurts!  I think of her every day.  I talk to her.  I still cry for her.  And there are days that I still just can’t believe it.  I’ll see a picture of her and my heart will just plummet.  I have so many things I want to share with her.  I need so bad to hear her voice.


I lit a fire with the love you left behind
And it burned wild and crept up the mountain side
I followed your ashes into outer space
I can’t look out the window, I can’t look at this place.I can’t look at the stars
They make me wonder where you are
Stars, up on heaven’s boulevard
And if I know you at all, I know you’ve gone too far
So I, I can’t look at the stars.All those times we looked up at the sky
Looking out so far, it felt like we could fly
And now I’m all alone in the dark of night
And the moon is shining, but I can’t see the light.

And I can’t look at the stars
They make me wonder where you are
Stars, up on heaven’s boulevard
And if I know you at all, I know you’ve gone too far
So I, I can’t look at the stars.


Stars, they make me wonder where you are
Stars, up on heaven’s boulevard
And if I know you at all, I know you’ve gone too far
So I can’t look at the stars.


7 Quick Takes Friday (Volume 7)



I miss my mother every single day.  I can not go one day without crying.  She was such a huge part of my life.  My heart physically hurts.  Mom, I so wish I could turn back time.  I wish I could see your beautiful smiling face again.  I wish I could touch you and talk to you.  I love you forever!


My best friend is coming to see me next Wednesday!  I can’t begin to tell you how much I need this!  When her beloved mom died 5 years ago, I was ready to jump in the car and drive 10 hours to be at the funeral.  Mary asked me not to come then, but to come when it was all over.  She said she’d rather spend the time with me after the funeral, when everyone was gone and when she’d be able to remember I was even there.  I did just that.  When my mom died, Mary was ready to jump in the car and drive 10 hours to be at her funeral.  I asked her not to come and to think about what she asked me to do 5 yrs ago…come when I can spend time with her and remember she was even here.   So…Wednesday I will be blessed to have her here with me if only for a while!


All Soul’s Day is November 2nd.  Each year our church asks a family who has lost a loved one to process the Memorial Book up at the beginning of the evening All Souls Day Mass. Our family was asked to do this.  What an incredible honor!


I recently scanned in all of my parent’s wedding pictures and a bunch of old pictures of my mother.  Here are some of my favorites:


I have been asked to be a “guest” blogger for the company I buy my electronic cigarettes from!  What a huge honor!  Check it out!

V4L Official Blog


In looking for a book on the Saints for my Uncle Steve, I happened upon my Peter Kreeft book “Every Thing You Ever Wanted To Know About Heaven But Never Dreamed Of Asking.”  Guess what I’ll be reading next?


As the leaves in Georgia continue to change and the weather gets colder I am reminded that change is constant.  Change is the only thing you can really count on.  And, in my life more change is on the horizon.  Buckle up Michelle.  It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

7 Quick Takes Friday (Volume 6)


I love quotes.  I draw so much inspiration and solace in them.  I haven’t done a Quick Takes Friday in a while so thought I’d share some of my most favorite quotes with you today.  Quotes that make me think, try to be a better person and find peace.  Do you have any favorites?  Share them with me in the comments section!  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!


“There are not more than 100 people in the world who truly hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they perceive to be the Catholic Church.  …As a matter of fact, if we Catholics believed all of the untruths and lies which were said against the Church, we probably would hate the Church a thousand times more than they do.” -Archbishop Fulton Sheen


“The apostles were dodos, dummies. But all the smart people in the world at the time wouldn’t take chances. That is the same problem we have today. The world is looking for intellectuals and the Lord is looking for dummies. That’s why I’m here.”  -Mother Angelica


“Let nothing disturb you, Nothing frighten you.
All things are passing. God never changes.
Patient endurance attains all things.
Whoever possesses God lacks nothing.
God alone is sufficient.” –St. Teresa of Avila


“It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.” -Mother Teresa

Bonus: “When you look at the crucifix, you understand how much Jesus loved you then. When you look at the Sacred Host, you understand how much Jesus loves you now.” -Mother Teresa


“On the one hand, we all want to be happy. On the other hand, we all know the things that make us happy. But we don’t do those things. Why? Simple. We are too busy. Too busy doing what? Too busy trying to be happy. This is the paradox of happiness that has bewitched our age.” – Matthew Kelly


“I strongly suspect that if we saw all the difference even the tiniest of our prayers to God make, and all the people those little prayers were destined to affect, and all the consequences of those effects down through the centuries, we would be so paralyzed with awe at the power of prayer that we would be unable to get up off our knees for the rest of our lives.” -Peter Kreeft


And of course, I just couldn’t pick only one from John Paul II…

The Pope’s last audible words, on hearing tens of thousands of young people singing in St. Peter’s Square as he lay in his deathbed, Friday, April 1, 2005: “I sought you out and now you come to me. Thank you.”

“Stupidity is also a gift from God, but one mustn’t misuse it.”

“To celebrate the Eucharist “to eat his flesh and drink his blood”, means to accept the wisdom of the Cross and the path of service. It means that we signal our willingness to sacrifice ourselves for others, as Christ has done. Our society desperately needs this sign, and young people need it even more so, tempted as they often are by the illusion of an easy and comfortable life, by drugs and pleasure-seeking, only to find themselves in a spiral of despair, meaninglessness and violence. It is urgent to change direction and to turn to Christ. This is the way of justice, solidarity and commitment to building a society and a future worthy of the human person.”

“As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.”

7 Quick Takes Friday (Volume 5)


Its been a while since I’ve posted anything…Lots going on these days.  Spring is in the air!  Its great to be alive!  So, let’s get started!


It cracks me up when I look at the stats on my blog and how people “land here” – there is a view of the “search engine” terms used every day that are directed to my blog and the most recent search was for “CATHOLIC OLD PEOPLE.” What???!!!   And the search engine sent them here?  LOL!  Too funny.  Some other interesting search engine terms have been:

catholic nuns receinving money in a restaurant

old catholic girl

how to begin my mission as catholic

catholic shampoo (guess they wanted to read that joke!)

matt packer all my lovin

saint patrick slot machine

world biggest god

broken arm infant jesus statue

catholic mary fish under her feet

girl taking dog shot

i forgot what is said in confession

And, the all time highest search engine term has been OUR LADY OF LOURDES.


The hunt for the perfect dog has ended.  We decided to take the plunge!  I am pleased to announce Jackson!  He’s a Zuchon…A Shi-Tzu Bichon mix.  He’s a doll!  He was born on November 9, 2010.  He’s not perfect just yet because he’s still very much a baby, but each day gets better and better!  He’s brought a lot of joy back into the house and he keeps us laughing and running!

Hi, My name is Jackson! I am a good boy!


I had posted a quote on my Facebook that sparked a bit of anger from one of my brothers.  The quote was:

“Even suffering is part of the truth of our life. Thus, trying to shield the youngest from every difficulty and experience of suffering, we risk creating, despite our good intentions, fragile persons of little generosity: The capacity to love, in fact, corresponds to the capacity to suffer, and to suffer together.”

— Pope Benedict XVI

While I still love the quote and would post it again, I totally understand why it angered my brother.  I posted it the day after the Philadelphia scandal broke…the day after they suspended 21 priests.  Bad timing on my part?  Possibly.  The quote was inspiring to me because of Lent.  The quote was taken from a letter from the Pope to Romans on education.  But honestly it didn’t even register with me that the quote could be read in a negative context.  My character and my heart would never allow me to post that quote if I had read it that way.  Just so you know, my brother has the most tender heart.  He’s one of my best friends.  He’s a good man.  He stands up for injustice and he was deeply bothered by the Phili news.  For the record, he asked me “Is that his excuse for the abuse?” and “Where is your blog on this?”  (Angrily)  Well, here it is.  I am disgusted, saddened and sickened by what is happening in Phili and everywhere for that matter.  I am still a sold out Catholic.  The Church I love is imperfect.  It is a hospital for sinners.  Priests are sinners.  I am a sinner.  I do not love the Catholic Church because of it’s priests.  Nor do I love it because of it’s awesome music or preaching.  I love the Catholic Church because of the Eucharist.  Because of Jesus.  Because of truth.  Let us pray for the end of the abuse and the exposure and punishment of all who are guilty.  Let us pray for justice and healing for the victims.  Let us pray for those who have covered it up.


A Pet’s 10 Commandments:

1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.

2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.

3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.

4. Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.

5. Talk to me. Even if I don’t understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.

6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.

7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.

8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.

9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.

10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can’t bare to watch. Don’t make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so.  ALWAYS! ~Take a moment today to thank God for your pets. Enjoy and take good care of them. Life would be a much duller, less joyful experience without God’s critters!  ~We do not have to wait for Heaven, to be surrounded by hope, love, and joyfulness. It is here on earth and has four legs!  –Author Unknown


Your Catholic Funny for today:
Sister Mary Ann, who worked for a home health agency, was out making her rounds visiting homebound patients when she ran out of gas.
As luck would have it, a Texaco Gasoline station was just a block away.
She walked to the station to borrow a gas can and buy some gas. The attendant told her that the only gas can he owned had been loaned out, but she could wait until it was returned. Since Sister Mary Ann was on the way to see a patient, she decided not to wait and walked back to her car.
She looked for something in her car that she could fill with gas and spotted the bedpan she was taking to the patient. Always resourceful, Sister Mary Ann carried the bedpan to the station, filled it with gasoline, and carried the full bedpan back to her car.
As she was pouring the gas into her tank, two Baptists watched from across the street…One of them turned to the other and said,
‘If it starts, I’m turning Catholic.’!!


So, how’s your Lent going?  Mine could be going better.  I have such great intentions.  I downloaded three things to my Kindle in preparation for Lent.  I’m reading Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper by Brant Pitre.  I also downloaded Praying the Rosary, with the Mysteries and Rosary Novenas To Our Lady: Including The Mysteries Of Light but there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day.  I know I’m not the only one who’s struggling.  I vow to get better about this.  My intention is to say the rosary every day.


I think my most favorite thing about the Lenten Season is the knowledge that those who’ve been studying to become Catholic and attending RCIA are almost “home!”  I have sponsored several people into the church and this is the most exciting, reflective and deep time in their journey.  Being a sponsor to someone who seeks to come into full communion with our church is probably one of the biggest blessings in my life.  Please keep the nearly 2,000 people coming into the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Atlanta and all over the world in your special prayers.  I know one personally, her name is Pam and she’s a very close friend of our family.  My Aunt Leigh is her sponsor.  Praying for you Pam!  I am so excited for you!

Take a look at this awesome story about the recent “Rite of Election” in North Georgia.

“The Rite of Election is the celebration of the impending growth of the Church and of the unity of all those who belong to Christ and are thus safe from the tricks of the one who works best alone, whether in garden or desert,” the archbishop said, referring to the day’s readings, which included the tempting of Eve in the Garden of Eden and the temptation of Jesus in the desert.

“Let us take great comfort in being sisters and brothers in Christ, who has victoriously banished the tempter from all those he calls his own,” Archbishop Gregory said.

The Archdiocese of Atlanta is so blessed!  Almost 2,000?  Praise the Lord!  My heart is just full of joy!  HOME SWEET HOME!

7 Quick Takes Friday (Volume 4)



I am finding myself on a lot lately.  I even went as far as contacting someone about a dog up for adoption.  I have been missing Simba a lot yesterday and today.  I am looking for a “lap” dog and I have found a few sweeties.   We’ll see…:)  I especially am in love with one named Trooper.  He’s a 3 year old tiny Chihuahua Mix, white in color and about 4 pounds.  Maybe we’ll get to meet him soon!  I also printed out a few others to look at, tiny poodles and Yorkies.  I am a sucker.  I know it.  I will ultimately break and we’ll have a new member of the household soon if all who live in this house are in agreement!  Its a big responsibility and it will more than likely all fall on me.


I am really trying hard to “get” Twitter.  I just can’t seem to.  It is weird for me and I’m feeling too much information overload is setting in.  Any Twitter people out there?  I do know that I end up having more people visit this blog when I Tweet.  I changed my name from my real name to “jstacatholicgrl” and all of a sudden more people are following me.  Even a soap star from Days of Our Lives out of the blue decided to follow me.  I was not following him.  Crazy.  I don’t know if I’ll keep my account or not.


I am so excited about a new company that has just formed!  As you know I used to work for Injoy founded by Dr. John C. Maxwell.  Well, John sold the company while I worked there and from that sale, it was sold once again.  Now, one of my most favorite people is part owner of the new John C. Maxwell Company and I could not be more thrilled!  John’s content back where it belongs…with John!  Check it out!

I pray abundant blessings on this new endeavor!  Make my heart happy!


Lent is almost upon us.  I love Lent!  Ash Wednesday is March 9…I’m trying to decide what my Lenten practices will look like this year.  I have been known to give up Facebook for the 40 days.  It was very tough.  Then last year I gave it up during Holy Week only.  I have also been known to give up going out to lunch.  That was a very painful sacrifice when I was working in an office.  We loved to go out to lunch back in those days.  During that same time in my life I worked right by my church.  I would go sit in front of the blessed sacrament at lunch time.  I miss those days.  I’ll share with you what I decide!  Any suggestions?  What are you going to do?  Comment and let me know!  Remember, you don’t always have to give something up!  You can add something too!  It’s all about giving God something from your heart or sacrificing to enter into closer union with Jesus’ sacrifice for us.


GO FISH FRIDAY – Do Catholics believe we’re saved by works alone?  No.  Take a look at this video by my favorite Catholic Apologist John Martignoni.


I just recently started reading Cale Clarke’s blog and following him on Twitter.  I loved his post on “Sacramental Healing.”  Check it out!  Click on his name above.


Catholic “funny” for today…SLOW DOWN OUT THERE!!  Enjoy your weekend!

I do not own the rights to this photo

7 Quick Takes Friday (Volume 2)


I can’t believe it’s Friday again, this week really went by fast for me!  Happy weekend everyone!  Enjoy it and have a great Superbowl Sunday…Go…???  Steelers?  Packers?  I am picking the Pittsburgh Steelers! Update, not rooting for the Steelers.  My dad says you can not be a true Cleveland Browns fan and root for Pittsburgh.  Guess that settles that.  Don’t want to be kicked out of the family!  And as always, thanks for reading my blog!  -Michelle


The other night I was getting something for my mom out of her nightstand and saw her stack of holy cards.  I pulled them out and saw one I’d never seen before.  On the front was a picture of Jesus, His hands raised so you could see his wounds. His Sacred Heart was exposed.  On the back was this beautiful prayer and thought I’d share it with you.  It has now become part of my nightly prayer routine.

Healing Prayer at Bedtime: “Lord Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, go back into my memory as I sleep.  Every hurt that has ever been done to me, heal that hurt.  Every hurt that I have ever caused another person, heal that hurt.  All the relationships that have been damaged in my whole life that I am not aware of, heal those relationships.  But, Lord, if there is anything that I need to do, if I need to go to a person because he or she is still suffering from my hand, bring to my awareness that person.  I choose to forgive, and I ask to be forgiven.  Remove whatever bitterness may be in my heart, Lord, and fill the empty spaces with your love.  AMEN!


When my mom was so very sick almost 2 years ago Easter time, she was in the hospital for 15 days.  During that trying and scary time a very special man came to visit her several times to give her Communion.  He prayed with us, comforted us and just listened.  On Saturday, he is being ordained to the Deaconate!  We are so excited for both Deacon Bill and Meg!  We can’t wait to celebrate with you and hear you preach your first sermon!   Bill, you are a man after God’s heart!

“Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.”  John 6:68.


I had pretty much put the Obama speech at the memorial service in Tucson to bed.  I really hadn’t thought about it recently – Prior to the speech I decided that I was going to have a spirit of open mindedness about him and not automatically dislike what he says or does based on how I feel about him and the wall I have up with regards to him.  I put on my Facebook status that night that I thought he did a good job on that speech.  The discussion on my status update was interesting and people had plenty to say…most thought that the speech was decent but the atmosphere was more of a pep rally.  People disliked the clapping and hooting and chanting.  It was not suitable for a memorial service.  I agreed.  It is no secret that I’m not an Obama fan.  I think he’s the most liberal president we’ve ever had.  I know you can tell by my blog that I am definitely not liberal.  I found myself being very closed minded about him and I wanted to change that.  Give him a chance…but something didn’t sit right with me about the speech, I was left feeling empty even though the words he said were great.  When you say things that really don’t match up to your character, it really confuses people.  They don’t know whether or not to believe you or just chalk it up to “saying what people want to hear.”  I read my daily email from Catholic News Agency last night and one of the articles was entitled:  “THE PRESIDENT’S SPEECH; WHY I WASN’T IMPRESSED” by Bishop Tobin.  I’m linking you to it here. It explains my feelings exactly.


I am a huge fan of Mother Angelica. I believe that she will be a great Saint one day.  I listen to her “Live with Mother Angelica” podcasts a lot and just love her wit, insight and honesty.  These podcasts are classics, she doesn’t have her show any longer but it’s so awesome we can listen to them from years ago!  I have never been to the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament before and now that I have a best friend living in Alabama I’m going to go and drag her to Hanceville with me!  Deva, be prepared for a road trip to the convent and shrine soon!  Check out their blog entitled Image and Likeness!  NUN BLOG


I’ve always been a lover of funny “NUN” pictures…like the one with the shotguns I used for this blog entry.  I’m not sure where this one came from but it is in my “gallery of pictures.”  Hope it makes you chuckle and brightens your day!  Absolutely cracks me up!  *This is a joke people.  Please don’t comment that I’m being disrespectful or sacrilegious.  🙂  Gotta have some fun don’t you?


My Pastor Rocks.  He REALLY does.  He’s the most awesome homily preacher I know.  Some people give him a bad wrap because he’s so passionate and his homilies don’t last the “acceptable” 10 minutes for our Catholic “old school” brethren.  He knows he preaches a long time but he just can’t help himself and he pretty much doesn’t care.  He has a lot to say and he lets the Holy Spirit speak through him.  I love that he knows he does this, but he doesn’t change what he’s doing.  That sounds strange but we need more than just a 10 minute “quickie.”  So many churches have boring homilies.  People complain about it all the time.  Some even leave the church because of it.  Ours are never boring.  They’re vibrant, emotional, there’s some yelling, some tears and I swear I’ve even seen Father close to levitating!  He delivers the goods every single Sunday.  Check him out HERE. Last Sunday after he was done, someone stood up and yelled “Thank you for preaching the truth Father Jack!”  Then the whole congregation erupted in applause.  That does not happen at my church.  Unfortunately that sermon has not been uploaded yet to the site.  But, be on the look out for Fr. Jack’s homily for Sunday January 30, 2011.  I’m sure it will be available soon!


GO FISH FRIDAY: Why do Catholics go to Confession?  Here is a 2 minute apologetics by John Martignoni, president of the Bible Christian Society.

“Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained” (John 20:22-23).