Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday Morning Quick Takes


It seems lately that all of my blog posts have been either "7 Quick Takes" or my "Get Thee To the Woods" series, when I celebrate the joy that God's creation brings and our love for the outdoors. Why? Probably because a. these two memes are my favorite ones to write (and I get to post lots of pictures, which I love), b. they're *sometimes* the fastest kind to put together and c. I'm so busy between Monday and Friday, the traditional days for these posts, that I don't seem to have time for any others. (It doesn't help that I've started another blog, either; I'm excited about it nonetheless. Check it out here.)


Speaking of my other blog, Cooking Nick's Books: a Sparks Fan's Food Blog, I posted a quick "take" of sorts there yesterday; it's so quick, in fact, I can repost it below:

I was tempted... (that's the title of the post, don't ya know) buy this last night when I stopped in at Border's.

Nick's new book, Safe Haven, just came out last week. I hope I have the willpower to wait until it comes out in paperback, or at least until the price for the hardcover comes down a little. I wonder what we'll be cooking for this one? We still have quite a number of books to get through first.

At our house, fried chicken a' la The Notebook is on the menu this weekend; stay tuned! (I think we'll be watching the Dear John movie, too. I'll let you know what I think. Chances are I'll like it.)


We finally got Netflix streaming on our Wii, and since that's in our basement rec room, I'm planning to mainly use it for when I'm working out on my elliptical. (We also got our Fios box fixed in that room, too; now I have absolutely no excuse not to use the elliptical since there is ALWAYS something on the TV to keep me entertained.) Right now I'm watching the series, The Pillars of the Earth that aired on Starz recently and is based on the book by Ken Follett. I am enjoying it immensely, even though--as with all films based on books--they've changed and left out some details from the book. It wasn't until I started the third episode that I realized that it's produced by Ridley AND Tony Scott, who are famous for those films like Gladiator and Troy (or, what I like to call, "Manly Men Weilding Swords" movies). This one stars Matthew McFayden (I've nicknamed him "Dreamboat Darcy" because I first saw him in the most recent Pride and Prejudice film, and even though Colin Firth is the One True Darcy, Matthew sure gives Colin a run for his money in his version) as Philip, the prior of a Benedictine monastery; Donald Sutherland--I LOVE him--plays a nobleman and the father of the cheif romantic female character. I've finished the first three episodes, and still have five more to go. (I'd better hurry up and make these takes quick so I'll have time to work out on top of all the chores, errands, flag football games, etc...)


Meet my new best friend:

I took this photo last January when we went to Sunday Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. (read my post about that trip here.) I'm not sure why I decided to take the picture of the St. Anthony statue; I've always been quite skeptical of Anthony's reputation for finding lost things. I'd heard many stories of people who had lost something important to them, prayed for St. Anthony's intercession, and then found what they had been looking for. Being an unorganized person by nature, I have lost things from time to time; occasionally I have prayed, "OK, St. Anthony, can you help me with this one?" only to never find what I'm looking for. (One possible exception was when my brothers then-fiancee' had bought her wedding dress on her trip home last Christmas, had it shipped to her apartment in Northern Virginia, and the shipping company lost track of the package. I asked St. Anthony for help--practically dared him, really--and the package finally showed up. I told myself that this probably would have happened with or without Anthony's intercession, but my prayer certainly didn't hurt.)

So last week (I guess it's been almost two weeks by now) I needed to write someone a check for something or other and my checkbook wasn't in my purse. I had use another one I happened to have and write the check with that, but I was quite concerned not knowing what had happened to the one I was supposed to be using. I racked my brain and looked around for a day or so before finally breaking the news to my husband; we checked and fortunately no one had used any of the checks. Yet. Meanwhile, I prayed, "St. Anthony, if you're ever going to help me, now would be a good time." As an afterthought, I added almost childishly, "Please? I'll be your best friend!" The last place I remembered having it was the allergist's office, where I had taken Moe for his annual test. I called and they hadn't found it. I called the SubWay where I had stopped for lunch that day, and they hadn't found it either. I went to the bank, ready to stop payment on the lost checks, and was standing in line when I remembered I had also gone to the grocery store that day as well. I went out to my car, called the store on my cell phone, and Praise God, they had it. It must have fallen out of my purse when I was trying to figure out the dang self-checkout machine.

Thank you, Jesus, and thank you, too, Anthony, for your help! I've got a couple of other things in mind I'd like you to help me with, if you would...


This one is for all you blogging pros out there: My number of blog followers seems to be diminishing, although I do gain new Twitter followers almost daily, so I think this space might get more traffic than I realize. I've set it up with Networked Blogs so it will automatically post to my Facebook and Twitter pages; I get comments on my blogs from my dear friends on Facebook, so I know some of those (fabulous) people are reading them. I try not to be discouraged when I see other blogs with hundreds of followers, and mine with only 45, and I'm NOT jealous (really, I'm not!!) but truthfully I would love to have more. So my question to you bloggers who have a plethora of followers--what's your secret?

Oh, and one more it rude to unfollow blogs and un-friend people? I have blogs on my reader that I ALWAYS read, some I read from time to time, and some that I never read. The other day I dropped a few friends from my Facebook page, not because I don't like them or they made me mad or anything like that; it's just hard to keep up with everyone, and frankly, I didn't think I knew those people well enough to be all that interested in what they were up to. I hope this doesn't make me a bad person. Does it?


Today I have so many things to do I'm going to have to leave this post without all 7 takes. There is more I want to talk about: like the Great Adventure Quick Journey through the Bilbe study our parish mom's group is starting; and how I'm thinking about my priorities in life, and how I'm hopefully managing my time--what I need to devote more time and energy to and what needs to be cut, and where blogging fits in. These deserve blog posts of their own, and right now I don't have time to write them. Maybe later this week? We'll see!


  1. In response to Take 5: I have two blogs: One for my personal music/speaking ministry and one for my band

    I don't have much traffic on The Jacob's Well Experience blog but get more traffic on my Justin Combs blog, but still not many. I too would love to have more followers. I find that I get many surges when I post a blog and Tweet about it and post it on Facebook.

    I figure if you put content that connects with people, is quality and draws people to Christ you will get the followers. Of course I don't have a ton of followers but it helps that I have a famous name: Justin Combs is the name of one of Puff Daddy's sons.

    As for unfollowing people I wouldn't worry about it. I do the same thing. On Twitter if I find someone that Tweets a ton and none of it is relevant or moving to me I unfollow them. Others do the same to me. I got bummed when I lost followers but now I take it as a challenge to post more relevant and quality material.

  2. St. Anthony of Padua is the saint of lost causes, and is the patron saint of my youngest daughter. Two years ago Mother's Day, one of my husband's Brother Knight gave me a St. Anthony medal with the beautiful prayer attached. At that time, our youngest daughter lived with us, however she was no officially our daughter. The birth parents had refused to sign the adoption paperwork, and I felt that the adoption was a lost cause. I say the St. Anthony prayer everyday until the adoption was finalized 11 months later.

  3. Thanks, Justin! I think I need to figure out what material that I post is most relevant. I got a number of comments when I posted my conversion story (soon I hope to figure out how to put a link in the sidebar so people can find it easily), and I think you're right; it should draw people to Christ. (Having a music ministry like yours probably doesn't hurt! ;)

    Mary, what an amazing story! I knew St. Jude was the patron of hopeless cases, but I didn't know about Anthony and lost causes. That's fantastic.


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