I'm a person who has a lot to say, and I hope this blog will be one more way for me to share my ideas with others. I like to brag about my kids, discuss my faith and life issues, and even talk about books, movies, and places I've visited. Thanks for taking the time to listen to the things I have to say. Enjoy!
Friday, June 22, 2012
7 Quickish Takes, Volume 47
We spent a wonderful Father's Day at my in-laws' in
Williamsburg. Did you know that my
mother-in-law is the gardening queen?
When Joe was growing up they ate fresh vegetables from their garden
every summer. (This is why he won't
touch beets today. He had too many of
them when he was a kid). When Joe and I
met, Queen MIL (aka "Grandma B") had a pretty extensive herb garden,
which is somewhat scaled back these days.
But her flowers--wow. Recently
her housing development hosted its own Garden Week tours, and hers was one of
the featured gardens. Here's why:
And we played several rounds of Cornhole, (Otherwise known as Beanbag Toss. Did you know there is an official Cornhole Association, and that they have an annual tournament in Nashville?) and I ended up beating the pants off everybody most of the time. I declared myself the Cornhole Queen. Hmm, I haven't been to Nashville in a long time...
I'm still figuring out how to use my new DROID 4 phone, and
a few of things I discovered this past week about the camera feature are 1.
There is a forward-facing option. Sweet! I did not know this when I bought it. 2. There are different settings on it, like for taking
black-and white photos and giving them a negative effect (I haven't tried these
yet). 3. I had my flash turned off for
the first two weeks that I had my new phone.
DOH!! Had I known, well, THIS...
...could have been an AWESOME picture of Gavin DeGraw. SIGH... Ah, well. Next time, Gavin... next time.
Not long ago I made Gavin DeGraw's song "Chariot"
my phone's ringtone (for my old phone AND my new one), and I even set it to be
my alarm when I wake up in the morning.
Well, after seeing Gavin in concert I had such a case of Gavin Fever
that I even put up a photo of his Sweeter
album cover as my wallpaper.
On a recent morning when I went to check my messages and
such, I heard myself say, "Good morning, Gavin." That was when I decided it was time for new
wallpaper. Now I have this:
And guess what? I
like it better. I think I'm slowly
returning to normal. (I still have my "Chariot"
ringtone. I think I'll keep that one for
(YouTube must randomly pick stills from videos when you embed them in your post. This shot of Gavin is even worse than my too-dark one from Take #2.)
In an earlier post, I posted this photo of a mama bird
sitting on her nest, right above our front door.
Last week, here's what we found:
I haven't seen any activity since I climbed up on a
stepladder to take that photo; I hope I didn't scare the mother away from her
babies. Other critters I've seen
recently in my yard:
(This cat was trying real hard to get me to like it.)
(I know some of you don't like spiders; I think they're fascinating, as long as they're OUTSIDE.)
Today is the feast day of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, and that
means...Let the Fortnight for Freedom Begin!!
Hooray for the United States bishops for speaking out for religious
liberty. I honestly don't think many people
realize that our rights as Americans to practice our faith in our daily lives
is threatened, and that if we don't do something about it, it's only going to
get worse. When President Obama and
Secretary Sebelius stuck their fingers in our faces and told us that EVERYONE would
have to pay for other people's birth control pills and morning-after pills
because THEY SAID SO, to hell with your Church's teaching, that woke a lot of people up, I think. Now Catholic institutions are in danger of
either providing something that violates Church teaching or be forced to shut
down (or only hire and serve practicing Catholics--which ALSO goes against
Church principles). The government
thinks it knows right for us better than we do.
If people want to use contraceptives, fine, but don't make us pay for
them. Next they will be forcing Catholic
institutions to recognize and endorse same-sex marriage, or to provide and pay for
abortions (we're already paying for them anyway, as long as we keep throwing
money at Planned Parenthood). Who is to
say America won't go the way of China and enforce a one- or two-child
policy? Freedom of religion means the
freedom to follow the teachings of our religion. This is what we must fight for.
Last night our parish kicked off Fortnight for Freedom with
a holy hour and prayed the Liturgy of the Hours. There was a Mass at the Basilica of the
Assumption in Baltimore (which I forgot to record, dang it), and at the
National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC, there will be a
concluding Mass on July 4. (I want to go
to this. Joe wants to go to the
Nationals game. Or we might just stay home and relax with friends and family like we usually do on the Fourth of July. I'll let you know where
we end up.) Our parish will pray a
novena for religious liberty starting next week. As for me I'm going to try to attend at least
some daily Masses (missed it today), pray the Rosary and read scripture every day; and I hope to
check out lots of resources online about life issues and religious freedom and
Church teaching, and maybe share some of them with you and with my Facebook
friends and Twitter followers. I want to
try and be more Christ-like, to look for opportunities to serve others and to
love my neighbor. This is a good
opportunity for us to fast and pray for our country and for each other, and to
give ourselves for the good of others.
If you want to know how your parish and your diocese is
participating in the Fortnight for Freedom, and for lots of prayer and study
resources, click here.
You know I have another blog, right? It's called Cooking Nick's Books. Hardly
anyone reads it. That's all right,
because I have a lot of fun preparing dishes from Nicholas Sparks' bestselling
novels; plus it gives me an excuse to read his books over and over. I've posted some fabulous recipes there: most recently, a DELICIOUS molasses oatmeal bread that Joe's mom used to make for
him, and when we married it was REQUIRED that I learned to make it; plus a
yummy custard-style ice cream that I've never tried before but turned out
amazing. Inspired by Nicholas' book The Lucky One; I'm sure you've heard of
it since it's a movie and all...you know, the one with Zac Efron... Head on over and check it out, you won't regret it. *SMILE*
Oh, and last week, I published a "7 Quick Takes"
there that involves mussels, ribs, and Dancing
With the Stars. (Yes, Gavin too, but
only slightly; AND, a certain race car
driver who can dance the quickstep like nobody's business.) You can take a peek at that one too, if you
Because I seem to have a knack for remembering dates,
especially birthdays (Gavin's is February 4, in case you were wondering...You
weren't? Oh.), I can't leave without
mentioning that the racing legend Dan Wheldon would have turned thirty-four
today. Dan will forever be thirty-three;
he was tragically killed in a horrible racing accident in Las Vegas last
October 16 (John Mayer's birthday; and ironically, the day I published this silly birthday post, and the day we cooked these shrimp kebobs). I can't imagine what his family must be
feeling right now; instead of celebrating his birthday, they're mourning his
death. I posted some photos and thoughts
and memories about racing and about Dan the night after he died; you can find
that post here.
Dan smiled at me once...sort of.
We miss you, Dan. Happy Birthday.
Have a wonderful weekend, and be sure to visit Jen's Conversion Diary blog for more Quick Takes!