Saturday, November 21, 2009

7 Quick Takes, Volume 3--What I've Been Doing Instead of Blogging

1. Traveling and Celebrating. Last Friday we hopped in the car for the 9-hour trip South for our niece's baptism. She is the first female grandchild for my husband's parents, and on Saturday she was officially brought into the family of God. Another nine-hour trip on Sunday (during which time I did quite a lot of reading--more on that in Quick Take #4) brought us safely home from a wonderful, whirlwind weekend. Is it just me, or are "whirlwind trips" often the ones you have the fondest memories of?

2. Substitute Teaching. Actually, this isn't much of an excuse for neglecting my blog, since I've only substituted three days in the last two weeks. I'm happy to be earning a little income again, while keeping enough free time to still feel like a stay-at-home mother. The best part is I'm in school with my kids, getting to know their friends and the other families at the school.

3. Watching and Listening to Sarah Palin. I haven't read her book yet, only because it came in the mail two days after it was released, and I had already started another book that morning. I watched the Oprah interview, as well as the ones on Fox News with Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly. I recorded last night's "20/20," where she was to be interviewed by Barbara Walters, and I'm hoping to watch that this weekend.

On a side note, I am somewhat jealous of two cousins of mine (specifically, my first cousin's wife and her daughter-in-law--but I don't bother with technicalities; cousins they are, and therefore family) who attended her book signing yesterday in Cincinnati and had the privilege of meeting her. I hope they'll post pictures on Facebook--hear that girls?

4. Reading Books. So, what am I reading now instead of Going Rogue? This one:

I began following Elizabeth's blog recently, and it's fascinating and inspiring. Of course when I saw that she had written a book about her conversion from atheism to Catholicism, I went over to Amazon and ordered it (along with Sarah's book; Elizabeth's happened to arrive first). The other day while at the auto dealership waiting on some car repairs, I had a chance to read a significant chunk of it. Elizabeth has an incredible story, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the book.

Two other books I have read recently--most of it in the car last weekend-- are St. Louis DeMontfort's True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin (more on this in Quick Take #7) and Trial by Ordeal by Craig Parshall. If you enjoy John Grisham, I would recommend checking out Craig's books. He's a Christian attorney whose wife Janet, is a fairly well-known Christian radio host. Although he isn't Catholic, his books have Chritian themes (no sex or profanity, also a plus), and are as exciting and suspenseful as any national bestsellers.

5. Watching "V" and "Flash Forward," with a bit of reluctance. Truthfully I don't know how many more episodes of "V" I can endure. As much as I enjoy looking at Scott Wolf (Is he the reason I began watching? Maybe. Hubby remembers the show from the '80s, and that's why he was interested) the acting from him and almost all of the other players on the show is mediocre at best. Or maybe it's poor script writing. I'm also a little perplexed about the portrayal of one character, Father Jack, who is a Catholic priest but doesn't seem very priest-like. He has a strange friendship with a leading female character (played by Elizabeth Mitchell from "Lost"), and when the two met, he didn't tell her he was a priest. Now she calls him "Jack." Huh? Not Father Jack? It's not offensive, really; just strange, as if the writers don't quite know what the role of a Catholic priest really is. Plus the concept of aliens suddenly bearing down on the world and expecting everyone to kowtow to them seems a little icky.

As for "Flash Forward," at this point I have a kind of love-hate relationship with that show. In the first episode, everyone on earth blacked out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds, and during that time saw a vision of their own future. Or was it REALLY a vision of the future? Those that survived (after all, if you're driving a bus and you black out, you're going to crash and people will die) must decide whether to try to prevent their flash forwards from coming true, or live their lives in order to bring them to fruition. A number of things on the show have made me cringe, though, especially one episode that portrayed two women in a same-sex relationship. That part didn't bother me all that much; it was more the flippant and in-your-face way their relationship was portrayed. Particularly offensive was a conversation they had where lewd comments were made about two prominent American women (I won't say who--I have too much respect for both of them and their positions in our country today) that were in very bad taste and completely unnecessary. I've stuck with the show, though, and I will say that the most recent episode raised some interesting--and dare I say--even pro-life questions. The subject of a future blog? Maybe.

6. Washing Dishes By Hand, since our dishwasher went on the fritz this week. I've also been trying to catch up on some much-needed housework.

7. Praying More--but just a little. My women's Bible study group recently discussed "True Devotion to Mary," and Father L. has been talking to the group about making the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. I bought the book as well as the booklet that contains the meditations and prayers for the 33-day preparation, but I am not proud to admit that I have not been consistent with keeping up with the prayers. I have tried to say the Rosary almost every day, and followed the consecration preparations for several days, but slacked off; for a few days this week I tried to play catch-up, but sadly have let it slide once more. I missed most of Father L's talks because of sick kids and school activities, and I haven't attended any of the seminars offered by our church as well as a nearby parish. I haven't decided NOT to make the consecration, but I don't know if I will be prepared enough by December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Admittedly, I haven't even talked to my family about it, either (Why? I'm not sure--but I guess I should now that I've put it on my blog); but it's something I have been drawn to consider doing, if not this time, possibly in the near future.

I wish I could list one more: Getting More Exercise. Sadly I can't because it's not true. I hope I will be able to include it in my next edition of "Seven Quick Takes!"

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