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7 Quick Takes Friday – the literary edition

It’s been a while since I had time to do this, but the teething baby is quiet and my to-do list is temporarily under control, so here’s my version of the Quick Takes via Conversion Diary.

This week is a list of the books on my shelf waiting for me to read…lately I have really been into swapping websites, like and  For free or a small fee (, you can exchange books and DVD’s with other members, you pay the shipping.  It’s based on demand- so some of the obscure Catholic books I want I may never get from there, but it’s a nice option when the library doesn’t have what I want.  I highly recommend book swapping, especially if you are a frugal bibliophile like me!

1 –15 Days of Prayer with St. Elizabeth Ann Seton by Betty Ann McNeil. I hear that a lot of people pick a special book or books for reading during Lent, so this year I saved this one.  Haven’t started it yet, of course…but there are 3 weeks left, right?  🙂  Mother Seton is the patron saint I chose when I went through RCIA 2 years ago.

2 – Riding Rockets by Mike Mullane. This is supposed to be an astronaut’s version of a tell-all biography.  I got interested in it after reading some quotes from Mike Mullane when I read Packing for Mars by Mary Roach.  If you like science and sarcasm, check out her books!

3 – Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon. I recently got really, really into Gabaldon’s books when Amazon had the first book in her Outlander series free for the Kindle (*shakes fist at Amazon*).  Thought I would read this offshoot series while waiting for the next one in the FIRST series I got hooked on…this might not be good for my spare time.

4 – Simple Wishes by Lisa Dale. I discovered this author in my college alumni magazine – we have the same alma mater, obviously.  Can’t wait to read it and support my fellow McDaniel alum!

5 – The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. This one is for my book club.  Recommended by a friend who read it for her book club.  Hopefully it’s not one of those “all the book clubs are reading this but it’s really a bad book, but wildly popular because book clubs just keep following each other like sheep” book.

6 – Black Elk Speaks by Nicholas Black Elk. Read this in college, seem to remember liking it (as a kid I was fascinated by Native American culture), and heard recently that he converted to Catholicism at some point…so I thought it was worth a re-read out of curiosity.

7 – Star Trek: Deep Space Nice Section 31: Abyss by David Weddle and Jeffrey Lang. This is my (not so secret, anymore) weakness- Star Trek and Star Wars novels.  I devour them like candy.  Have been waiting a long time to get my hands on this one!   🙂


10 Facts About Me and My Better Half

Inspired by Betty Beguiles!

1 – We met online and I almost didn’t return his interest because he looked so *angry* in his profile photo.  Later, he said, “I thought I looked great! That was my sexy face.”

2 – We got engaged after dating for only 11 months, but we were “older” (31) so there was no time to waste!  🙂

3 – He is the reason I am Catholic now. And all he did was say, “Would you like to go to Mass with me?”

4 – We like almost all the same foods.  And he (claims to) love everything I cook.

5 – We both enjoy making fun of silly movies, mostly from the 80’s of course.  (a recent example: Red Dawn.  Patrick Swayze + Jennifer Grey, communists, guerrilla warfare, high school kids.  Strange and mesmerizing, and really cheesy to boot!)

6 -We got engaged while we were Christmas tree shopping.

7 -We had a honeymoon baby, or close enough anyway.  😀  She arrived a mere 10 months after our wedding and has been the best thing we’ve ever done.

8 -On our second date, we discovered that we both want to live on a farm someday. (I grew up on one, and he grew up near his grandpa’s.)

9 -He watches the baby in the mornings on those days when I *really* need it, without being asked.  And I get to sleep in.  Bliss.

10 – Our song is “We’ve Only Just Begun” by the Carpenters.  Love it!

7 Quick Takes Friday: Thankfulness

Here I am again…yes, it’s been two weeks since I had time to write, but I have a good reason!  For a week, we were stuck in a hotel (no internet access, save for our Droids, and I did not have the patience to do a blog post on my phone, Swype or no).  Stuck in a hotel because our house had a gas leak that needed to be repaired, then inspected no fewer than 2 times before we were allowed to have gas and therefore heat and hot water.  We survived (barely), but are so thankful to be back in our humble abode, that I decided to theme this week’s offering:  things I am thankful for!

1 – Our house.  Yes, it’s a rental, yes, it’s falling apart in places and needs a major upgrade.  But it’s got plenty of space, it’s reasonably priced, in a safe neighborhood convenient to hubby’s work and my activities, and in a place we love to live- and it now has working heat and hot water.  Can’t beat that!

2 – Late crawlers.  Babies, that is.  Several people have expressed surprise that the Bean is not crawling at nearly 9.5 months.  To that I say, woohoo!  We have not babyproofed a thing in the house and I am enjoying being able to sit her in one spot and there being a 95% chance that she will be in the same position when I return 1 minute later.  She is on the way to crawling, though- she does a little butt scooting, and will lean forward into a sort of 3-point stance, which guarantees that when placed on a bed or couch, there is a 100% chance that she will try and take a nose dive onto the floor- made the hotel stay that much more interesting.

3 – Snow!  We live in an area that allegedly does not get much snow.  Sure.  Last winter, we had 2 snowstorms with double-digit accumulations.  And right after Christmas last year, we got a good 6 inches.  But none since then, until today!  I missed the white stuff, and this snow was perfect- a few inches on the ground but hardly any on the road.

4 – Cloth diapers.  I switched to cloth about 1.5 months ago and love it.  Right now, however, the Bean is in disposables due to a nasty yeast rash and the accompanying creams.  Yes, I know I can get liners for the cloth ones.  But right around the time of the rash, I realized that I had detergent buildup and had to strip them (in the hotel laundry room, even!  Go me!).  I have to still treat them for yeast (I am going to try 4-5 drops of tea tree oil in the wash, I hear that works well) and we likely won’t go back to them until the wee yeasties are gone for sure- but having daily diaper blowouts made me realize how much I don’t miss disposables!

5 – A working kitchen.  We did have a kitchenette in the hotel, but no oven. I did not realize how much I had come to enjoy cooking and eating in most nights of the week, until we couldn’t.  I did the best I could with the kitchenette, but we still ate out a lot.  The first thing I made when we got back was Father Leo’s famous fusion fajitas (they beat Bobby Flay on Throwdown!).  YUM!

6 -The Sacrament of Reconciliation. Lately, the daily frustrations of being a SAHM with a busy husband and active baby have really been piling up (did I mention the hotel thing?  Oh, I did? Okay.).  I definitely could have handled it better, and I was relieved to complete a long-overdue confession last weekend.  I always leave feeling refreshed, even though I often still feel nervous before I go in- I think that’s a remnant from my conversion, honestly.  I was terrified of my first Reconciliation, but have never had a “bad experience”- so little by little, I have become accustomed to it, and even enjoy it (imagine that!).

7 – This one is frivolous, yes- Cable TV.  Love, love TV.  I have gotten a lot better lately and no longer leave it on all the time just because I have it, but man- I love me some cheesy cable shows.  Cake Boss and all the spinoffs, Dog Whisperer, House Hunters, Wild Justice even- that’s my new one- follows game wardens in California, busting poachers and illegal traders and pot growers- very interesting!  Anyway, I promised hubby I would give up cable for the sake of our budget when we move this summer.  So I am enjoying it while it lasts!

That’s it! Be sure to visit Jen’s original post to read some more great Quick Takes!

7 Quick Takes Friday: Back to Blogging

…Or, Why I Thought This Might Have Been A Good Idea At The Time.

I thought, to help inspire me to write, that I would use this 7QT to focus on several blogs that I *always* click on when my Google Reader tells me there is a new post.  By default, first on the list is Conversion Diary, where this gem of an idea came from (but I am still going to share 7 more, in no particular order, mind you- because there are so many great blogs out there)!

1- Ask Sister Mary Martha

Sister Mary Martha is a feisty nun who answers reader questions about Catholic teachings and tradition, with a sharp wit and great humor.  I always learn something, and I almost always have a smile on my face after reading (sometimes she does write about serious things, after all).

2- I Have to Sit Down

In one of the internet circles I frequent (Catholic mommy types, if you must know), I have gathered that Simcha Fisher is quite famous. She has a lot of devoted followers and is amazingly snarky, which is why I love her blog.  The post I linked to, however, is a recent thoughtful one that I really liked.

3- Momopoly

This is the blog of Kate Wicker, who has 3 charming little girls and always makes me think with her well-thought-out posts.  She’s a great writer and has many funny/heartwarming mothering anecdotes.

4- wil wheaton: in exile

Yes, I am a geek. I manage to hide it well, mostly (not that I am ashamed or anything, it’s just that I don’t know many fellow geeks anymore and am tired of having to explain that there were more than two Star Trek TV shows, and no, the two that you do know were by far not the best ones, thanks).  Ahem.  Anyway, when I was a teen, Star Trek: The Next Generation was on, and Wesley was on, and did I mention that I was a geeky teenage girl? Instant crush.  So, Wil Wheaton, who played Wesley, is all grown up too (imagine that!) and has a blog.  I don’t share all his interests, but he’s also very funny (I am seeing a trend with my favorite blogs, are you?) and I love his descriptions of and stories about being an actor, since that is something I am completely unfamiliar with.

5- TV Guide Breaking News

This is the online equivalent of a People Magazine subscription, really.  I have an unhealthy addiction to NCIS (from the year when I had strep throat 4 times and got my tonsils out) and Psych, and I will admit that while I scan the headlines looking just for mentions of my favorite shows, I occasionally learn something about what “everyone else” is up to these days- what the kids are watching, who’s in the Superbowl, there’s some new singer called Lady Gaga, etc.

6- The Cloth Diaper Whisperer

I am a recent convert to cloth diapers for my 8 month old.  We have been using them for about a month, and it’s awesome.  And addictive!  I love reading about what everyone else does and likes about cloth, and this is one of my favorites.

7- The Consumerist

This website is somehow related to Consumer Reports, which I love- but I’m not sure how. I think of it like CR’s snarky 2nd cousin- it’s main interest is informing consumers, but they will not pass up even the most bizarre story in the name of saving you from your own stupidity.  Also, funny!

Reflection on Motherhood

I don’t have time to comment on this thoroughly now, but…I just read this blog post ( on a blog that I have just recently started reading, and thought it was worth some reflection on my part. When I get around to it!


So, I am resurrecting the ol’ blog.  New pictures, too.  Let me know if the background is too busy. I’m not sure if I like it, I was just playing around with the theme options for the page.

Still divided on how “public” I want to be.  Part of the reason I gave up the blogging was because I wasn’t sure how much I could share without giving away too much personal information. I read enough blogs that tell me it can be done, but…perhaps I’ve been to too many of the military’s “the evils of social media” presentations lately.

I guess this is mostly a test post – nothing else springs to mind!