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Posts Tagged ‘quick takes’

Be sure to check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary!

~1~

My sister got married! She is a beautiful, wonderful woman and she married a pretty great guy. They are adorable together and that makes me very happy. Her wedding was beautiful.  We danced a lot. People held my baby so I could party. Philomena was an unstoppable force, getting down with particular zest during Gangam Style.  I love weddings.

~2~

I’ve lived in the deep South for a while now, and it has thinned my blood. The aforementioned wedding was during the weekend following the March for Life. Cold. Cold. Cold.  It snowed a lot.  I don’t own nearly enough sweaters. Also, standing outside in nineteen degree weather in a strapless dress is not fun.

~3~

Don’t get the norovirus, or, as it is known by the fraternity of those who have had it, the East Coast Martian Stomach Plague. Especially when you are traveling with small children. It makes you violently ill, forcing you to stay the night at a North Carolinian motel and makes an eleven hour road trip last thirty six hours.

~4~

If you foolishly succumb to the East Coast Martian Stomach Plague, you will lose the equivalent of a pug dog in weight. There are better ways to do this. You will also not be able to eat anything harder to digest than chicken broth for days, have a bizarre craving for cornbread and no matter how much Gatorade or water you drink, you will always be thirsty.

~5~

Also, if you succumb, make sure your spouse does not get the East Coast Martian Stomach Plague at the same time. This will result in untold misery your whole family can enjoy.

~6~

The high fevers induced by the plague will make you have bizarre dreams and your least favorite song stuck on a loop in your brain. I had something by Kings of Leon on repeat for twenty four hours. Think about that. Twenty four hours. Kings of Leon. Also, I had been reading my dear friend Colleen Swaim’s new book, Radiate: More Stories of Daring Teen Saints shortly before I became ill and was certain that St. Gabriel Possenti was in the motel room with me. Maybe he was. I definitely needed the prayers.

~7~

Colleen got the plague, too.  She was a great comfort to us when she called to let us know that she had lived, and we, in all probability, would to likewise. Many thanks to her and her family for their hospitality in Maryland.

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It’s been a great, big, long week here at Nouveau Chez Cubbedge. We’ve been painting, fixing electrical things about which I know nothing, and generally going completely mad. When one thing was repaired, another thing broke. When I needed quiet, I was assailed with to-do lists (not from my husband-he knows better). When I wanted to check out a little March for Life coverage I was reminded that there are still people who think eugenics is a great idea (seriously). When I sat down to dinner tonight I realized that, apart from mass on Sunday night, and a hardware store run or two, I haven’t been out of the new place since we moved in. Blogging has been on the back burner for so long, though I had to do something. And so, in honor of my dwindling sanity, I give you this week’s Quick Takes.

~1~

As I mentioned in my last post, our last place was tiny. It was also downtown. Downtown Savannah is a truly excellent place to live. It’s beautiful, vibrant, and there is always something to do. The problem wasn’t so much the city-dwelling aspect as it was the lack of space or anything green to look at on a hot day. For some reason our street was the only one without purposeful shade. It gets incredibly hot here and last summer I discovered that, even if Philomena wanted to walk to our beautiful park to play in the splash pad (which may or may not be turned on), it was a ten minute stagger through the desert, but with the sensation of drowning in a warm sponge. We spent a great deal of time on our tiny front porch with bowls and buckets of water. Charming and fun,  but not something I want to do again. This brings me to…

~2~

…our new house! We moved to a suburban neighborhood that is still very much in the city limits. We’re now homeowners via the charity of relatives. It’s a 1950s ranch style house with three bedrooms and a sunroom. It’s got lots of nifty 1950s details (including chrome cabinet handles), everything in the house works and the unfortunate paint job is now going away. But, the best part of all, better even than the increase in living space, is the back yard.

~3~

The yard is big, and fenced, with lots of flowering trees. It’s got room for a vegetable garden, the flower beds are in place and are crying out to be weeded and loved. The other day a friend brought her three year old over and for the first time I was able to tell the children to go outside and play. This summer I’ll be able to watch Philomena in her paddling pool and in the sprinklers.

~4~

Philomena has adapted beautifully. The first few days she couldn’t go into the backyard at all without getting nervous. All the open space was a little overwhelming. She clung to me and Will, and we’d gently show her the places where the flowers would be in the spring, and where the bird feeder was. Eventually she started running around playing tag with me. Today she dragged out her play food, a bucket and her daddy and stayed outside playing chef. She didn’t want to come in.

~5~

The paint job in the house was unfortunate. Stark white walls with battleship periwinkle woodwork in all the rooms, except where there was deep lavender trim. As of now, the living room is finished, the dining room is half finished and the hallway is next.

~6~

In spite of the great blessing of this house, there are still a number of worries in my little family.we’re still job hunting, still wondering about God’s will for us, still wondering when we’ll have the means to treat the IF problems. There is even the worry that assails me from time to time, what if this house wasn’t God’s will for us? What if, in the words of that fish headed admiral in Star Wars, it’s a trap? It still takes an effort of the will to know this is where God has placed me, and I’m in His hands. I reassure myself that my family has sought to do His will in everything in the last year especially, and this is what He has given us. I’m happy about it, and very grateful, but the anxiety comes and goes.

~7~

I have a few ideas floating around for posts. The HHS malarkey has had me reeling this past week, but there’s been no time to formulate thoughts. The most coherent ideas I’ve had are something along the lines of “Oh expletive,” and “They can’t do that! This is AMERICA!”  As you can see, my mind isn’t quite clear yet. Soon, my friends.Soon.

Be sure to head over to Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes.

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I’m a bit tired, and have next to no room for creativity today, so enjoy these nifty links.

~1~

Elizabeth Foss is a very impressive lady. This piece about the importance of humility and gentleness in the lives of zealous young Catholics is remarkable.

~2~

I recently discovered a blog dedicated to life as a mother and secondary infertility.  Second Chances gives the best description of the cross of secondary infertility I’ve yet seen.

~3~

Erika is The Philosopher Mom. I didn’t get to know her as well as I should have in college, but, thanks to the wonder of the internet, I’ve discovered what a smart, nifty lady she is. This post bravely deals with the difficulties of therapy and the truth that mere psychoanalysis isn’t enough to bring healing.

~4~

Seraphic Goes to Scotland is my latest fun read. Seraphic, who also blogs at Seraphic Singles, is a hoot, and very insightful.  I’m not a traditionalist, but I do attend the (kosher) TLM here every Sunday, and I’ve been through the ringer with traddies of all stripes. Anyway, her take on the ladies taking over the post-mass fun is great.

~5~

If you haven’t yet, check out Shirt of Flame. Heather King is an amazing writer. She has a deep, rich, Carmelite-infused spirituality that is nothing if not humbling. Her blog makes you think and wrestle through your opinions without using cheap, inflammatory statements.  It’s utterly infused with the love of Christ.

~6~

Better Than Doing Laundry is the fabulous blog of my fabulous friend, Erin Branham. She’s a highschool buddy who made good, and is now a real, honest-to-goodness radio personality at 95.1 SHINE FM in Baltimore.  Anyway, her blog, featuring faith, hilarity,  recipes, and beautiful photography will cure what ails you.

~7~

For a glimpse into the life of an Eastern Rite Catholic priest’s wife, head over to  Fear Not Little Flock. Priest’s Wife has remarkable insights into the day to day living out of an almost unknown role in the Church. A must read for Latin rite types who want to get to know our enormous Church.

Bonus Take!

Congratulations to Jen Fulwiler on her new baby, Pamela Scholastica! She normally hosts Quick Takes, but obviously has bigger fish to fry at the moment, between getting her wine basket back and caring for a beautiful newborn. Thank you,  Hallie, for hosting this week.

That’s all, folks. Happy Weekend!

 

 

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Once again, be sure to check Conversion Diary where Jen has more lovely Quick Takes!

~1~

Stuff my daughter says. Sometimes being awake with a flailing toddler at three in the morning is Heaven. Last night Philomena had a nightmare. It must have been a doozy, because she woke up screaming. Apparently, it really confused her because in it her adored Daddy was a bad guy. She ended up in our bed. She snuggled between me and Will before he took himself out to the couch. Sometime later (we were up from after midnight until three-thirty or four), she says “Mommy, I love Daddy in my holy heart. Daddy loves me in his holy heart. You love Daddy in your holy heart.”

~2~

John Mulcaster Carrick, The Death of King Arthur, 1862.

Games my family plays. Philomena commits regicide at least once a week. She takes her Daddy by the hand and leads him away for a game of dress up. She drapes a blanket around his shoulders, places a tiara on his head and hands him her trusty Nerf sword. She wraps herself in a blanket, places a tiara on her own head and kneels down in front of the rocking chair, where King Daddy is distributing largesse to the stuffed animal populace. He decides to knight her. He dubs her Dame Philomena, and hands her the sword. Philomena says “Thank you, Majesty, ” and takes the sword, only to immediately spin around, yell “Sword!” and thrust her vorpal blade into the King Daddy’s armpit. He obligingly expires, and they start over again.

~3~

SPF 100 sunblock. It’s hot here! Unbelievably hot. It is also always sunny. I’m a bit of a puddle duck. I love rain. I do not love excessive heat. It makes me cranky, and, adding to the crankiness is the anxiety that pale Irish me will tan or burn. I don’t want to tan, beyond looking healthy. Tanning results in a shar-pei like old age. I refuse to spend my youth offering my body to Apollo when he will only laugh hollowly when I’m a pruned 65 year old. Ideally, I’d cover up in something billowy. Unfortuantely, it’s too darn hot to be covered up. The only things that are comfortable to wear are sundresses. The problem with sundresses is that they leave your shoulders and decollete’ exposed. Solution? SPF 100! No wimpy 75 for me! That, a sundress, and a big hat and sunglasses, will keep you skin cancer free and as cool as these heathen tropical climes allow.

~4~

Sean Connery in a red diaper Speedo. This may take some explanation. You see, Will and I are bad movie buffs. You can imagine how happy I was to see a frame from the post-apocalyptic cheez-fest, Zardoz, featured prominently by Simcha Fisher and The Jerk over at I Have to Sit Down.  I was so happy I called my sister to talk about it, and we began to plan a bad movie night. She has to somehow get from DC to Savannah, we have to get lots of wings and beer, or margaritas, Will has to get a copy of Zardoz, and we will all huddle together on the couch, and watch Sean Connery parade about in a film that desperately tries to mean something.  As a palate cleanser, I plan to have a selection of the cheez-tastic Twlight movies available. Totes Team Jacob.

~5~

Writing an actual proposal for something that might possibly get published in something. Yippee!

~6~

Eucharistic adoration. Catholicism means being able to mention Sean Connery in a Speedo and devotion to Jesus in the same post. My latest plan to take over our diocese for the New Evanglization is to try to plan a monthly night prayer and benediction at our Cathedral. It would be pretty low key, just sung night prayer, confessions and socializing afterwards.  A couple of other slightly disenfranchised younger Catholics are interested in helping, and Will is going to put the idea before the parish council, hopefully before they decide to do something “relevant” and embarrasing in the way of a youth mass.

~7~

New books.  I’m in need of reading matter. Any suggestions?

That’s all I’ve got! Have a grand weekend.

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I’m running on empty. Enjoy!

~1~

I am so tired this week, so tired I can’t think of a cohesive theme for Quick Takes. I caught myself wondering why I am so very, very tired. Is it a health issue? Thyroid? Not enough water or veggies? No. The reason I am tired is because of this :

Will and I have watched the whole series over the last week and a half. Doc Martin date nights have kept us up until 12:30 or so most evenings.  You MUST see this show. Those of you who know my husband will see certain similarities between the hero (?) and Will. Those of you who don’t know us, please don’t be alarmed. I assure you Will has a far better sense of humor and is infinitely more socially acceptable. He is also better looking.

~2~

I get a little tired of seeing shirtless dudes outside my front window.  There’s one out there right now, getting in his car. This guy doesn’t seem to approve of shirts for daily wear.  Oh, Mad Men, where are you when we need you?

~3~

Our diocese is ordaining two new priests tomorrow. Hurray!  Last night Will went to an appreciation dinner sponsored by the Serra Club and the Knights of Columbus. Apparently, it was packed, and everyone was very happy to meet the families of the soon-to-be priests. There’s not a lot going on in our diocese at present, but I can say this: the people here, good, bad and indifferent Catholics alike, deeply love their priests and seminarians.

~4~

I’ve rediscovered the joy that is going to the library. While I don’t get to browse  as freely as I’d like, I make sure to drag the unwilling child through grownup people fiction before we hit the children’s room.  My latest acquisition is an omnibus of Dorothy L. Sayers short stories, featuring Lord Peter Wimsey and Montague Egg. Happiness is eating a sandwich while curled up with a good murder or jewel heist.

~5~

Bathing suit time is here. i know, you’re all so excited, aren’t you? I know I am. My darling and beautiful sister, knowing how much I love parading about in not much, sent me some lovely links to lovely bathing suits. They’re modest, and don’t look like snapshots of Coney Island circa 1910.  Check it out.

~6~

I like praise and worship music. Leaving aside the issues of appropriateness for mass, I just find it funny how very wrong many traditionally minded Catholics get this “issue” of P&W music. They all seem to think it’s a calculated, almost Macchiavellian method of luring the young whippersnappers into Church It’s not, actually. Ask most P&W musicians and you’ll find they write songs to praise God because they know how to write popular sounding music to praise God. They’re more fun to sing while doing the dishes than chant. They do that whole “popular music with religious lyrics” thing that folks have been using for non-liturgical exercises in popular piety since the middle ages.  Probably not good for mass. But for paraliturgical use? Go for it. Rant complete.

~7~

I’m going to visit my family this August!  I am taking a few days of my time there to go on a walking pilgrimage with my sisters and a bunch of Polish people and the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal to the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa. Camping, hiking, bizarre pilgrimage food, here I come.

That’s all I have. Be sure to head over to Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes.

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Our sixth wedding anniversary was this past Saturday. I really can’t believe it’s been that long. Six years of bliss and other stuff. I’m happy to report that we are happier now than we’ve ever been in spite of our  best efforts at being right rather than happy, genuine material hardship and the ever-present lack of sleep.  Be sure to toddle over to Conversion Diary for more quick takes.

~1~

We got engaged in South Carolina underneath an enormous live oak tree. We got our  picture taken under that tree the day after the proposal.  A few weeks ago, a friend of ours took another picture of the us under the same tree. There’s another person in this on now.

~2~

On May 21, 2005, in a solemn high mass that started late and ended with the schola singing Ubi Caritas because our organist had another wedding to play at another church, I married Will. It was a beautiful mass, celebrated by Msgr. Charles Pope, who gave the best wedding homily I’ve ever heard. His theme was “Trust God.”  Trust that He knew we were going to be married before human beings were created. That He knew every single one of our struggles and heartaches, and every one of our joys. I still remember it, and go back to it frequently when I need a vocational boost. So, cheers to Msgr. Pope, the most Baptist Catholic preacher I’ve ever known.

~3~

We had no dancing at our reception because our location was, shall we say, last minute. Our original venue was outdoors with plenty of room for dancing, but they withdrew their acceptance. Two months before the wedding. During Wedding Season. In DC. No, I’m not bitter. Instead, we had a dinner reception at  a lovely French restaurant in the country. Excellent food, excellent drinks (at least, that’s what I hear-I didn’t really get to imbibe as much as I should have) and beautiful decor. It was great, but I would have liked to have bust out some sweet moves.

~4~

We’ve had our share of nasty arguments and imbecilic behavior. We’ve also asked for help when we needed it and came away humbler for the help. God is good, and peeling our layers of selfishness back fast enough for it to be deeply uncomfortable, but always with an anasthaetic of consolation.

~5~

I married a man who is absolutely determined to make sure I get to be fully myself. When I second guess myself, he’s the one to tell me to trust my instincts. Last year, I went on retreat for the first time in years to the Sisters of Life. This meant i had to grab a chna town bus for New York at nasty o’clock in themorning and spend the afternoon in New York on my own until I could get myself to Connecticut. It was a life-changing retreat during Valentine’s Day weekend. The Sisters kept saying I married a St. Joseph, because they knew so many women whose husbands would not have let their wives go away for a weekend, let alone THAT weekend. My guy is not yet st. Joseph, but he’s working on it! If I need time away from family life to recharge, he’s the one to make sure I don’t  feel guilty. He encourages me to do what I need to do to be happy in our life together. That, my friends, is pure gold.

~6~

When you’re engaged to a guy and you suggest sweetly that he sits down and watches the six hour Pride and Prejudice, and he squirms only a little, and later on says he liked it and you realize he was sincere but not sappy, you know you’re on to something good. When you’re engaged to a guy and he sweetly suggests that you have a bad movie marathon and he introduces you to the horror that is Battlefield Earth and you actually enjoy yourself while watching Scientology and codpieces on parade, you know you could end up having a lot of fun over the course of a lifetime.

~7~

Each anniversary is different. Our first we bit off more than we could chew-without going into detail, it was not the fun we hoped it would be. The best anniversaries seem to be the ones that involve Mexican food and margaritas. This year was the best so far. Tex-mex, margaritas, compline with the most beautiful Anglican choir and a little sermon that brought us both to tears, topped off with beer at the “most haunted pub” in town. And the Red Sox were playing.  Clearly, God was smiling.

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I’ve had a lot of exposure to southern culture in the last little while. While some aspects are just simply not okay with me, like redneck jokes, nascar and the proliferation of flatironed blondes, there are quite a few things I really like. Here is a sampling. Be sure to head over to Jen Fulwiler’s for more Quick Takes.

~1~

The mountains in Tennessee. I don’t mean Gatlinburg and the touristy stuff. I mean the green, clear, waterfall festooned ones you can see while driving along a road full of hair-pin turns and wild turkeys. We all know the scary stereotypes about Appalachia, and, frankly, I’ve seen many of those stereotypes turn out to be true, but not ever in Tennessee. We’re definitely going back to make a stay at some point.

~2~

Mountain top family cemetaries. My husband and I are those people. We both like old cemeteries and reading headstones. For him, it’s the history. For me, it’s the gothic sense of adventure, and the fact that I’m mildly superstitious. For both of us, we like praying for the souls. On our road trip we saw a little, steep road going to the top of a mountain with a sign that said “Phillips Family Cemetery”.  So we went and looked. It was at least two hundred years old, meticulous, and full of wildflowers. It was also still in use. These were people who settled in the middle of nowhere in 1800 and stayed. It was isolated, beautiful, and very peaceful. We said some prayers for the dead and then realized we may very well have been the only people ever to do so.

~3~

Bluegrass music. Try as I might, I really can’t get into country music in general. Johnny Cash, sure. Josh Turner has a voice made of pure velvet. But otherwise, I really don’t like it. Bluegrass music, though, is plain old brilliant. It’s complex, dramatic and utterly human. Good stuff.

~4~

The unspoken pressure  to keep your nails looking decent. Being a slightly crunchy, birkenstock wearing type, my nails tend to suffer.  Or at least, they  used to. Then I moved to Georgia and realized I couldn’t be seen with bad nails. It’s a a requirement  for ladyhood down here. You can wear your gardening clogs, or your t shirt and jeans, or your sweats, but by golly,  your nails must look good.  I appreciate the pressure because of my tendency toward self-neglect. It keeps me on my toes, so to speak.

~5~

Grits. Specifically, cheese grits. Even more specifically, shrimp and cheese grits.  I never thought I’d love shrimp and grits, but it is one of the glories of gastronomy. You can make it very fancy, but honestly, basic cheddar, brown shrimp gravy and alive-that-morning shrimp are all you need.

~6~

Going into any gas station in the southeast and being greeted with a smile. For those of us who grew up in the blessed north, we are not perhaps used to  genuinely friendly customer service. We’re more used to being ignored or snapped at. Or, in certain placed in Connecticut, cursed for daring to interrupt a very important private, personal conversation that just CANNOT be interrupted for a mere customer.  We must face facts: the South is better at basic courtesy.

~7~

The presence of pastels on men. There. I said it. Yes, it’s WASPY, yes, it’s preppy, but pastels are  neat and clean looking  and my husband looks good in them. Now, the presence of embroidered marlins or palmettos on pants, I am not so crazy about. Also the omnipresent sportsman’s sunglasses. They just look stupid.

And those are some of the Southern things this Yankee likes.

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