Friday, February 15, 2013

"7 Quick Takes Friday" #5: This 'n That

--- 1 ---
I have just signed on to be a volunteer book reviewer for a website called Catholic Fiction.  I took this tentative step outside my comfort zone because I have a strong desire to see more good Catholic-themed (or at the very least, Catholic-friendly) novels on the shelves of bookstores and libraries--particularly on the shelves of school libraries, where they will find their way into the hands of impressionable young people who desperately need an antidote to the poisonous messages that abound in much of the "literature" they're reading these days.  Any small thing I can do to help the cause of promoting Catholic fiction seems like a good way to spend the extra time I have now that I've given up Facebook-surfing for Lent.

I have always been a voracious reader, and I have pretty strong opinions about the books I read.  I like to recommend books I've enjoyed to loved ones.  But I've never written up polished reviews meant to be read by the public.  Because of my lack of experience in this area, I was half-expecting Catholic Fiction to turn me down when I applied for the job.  Did I really want to give myself homework assignments?  Did I really want the pressure?

It turns out that yes, I think I did.

As a college English major way back when, I obviously had to write an awful lot of papers. And I thoroughly enjoyed writing papers--a concept which my husband could never quite understand.  He majored in engineering and used to say he would choose taking a test filled with math problems--the stuff of my nightmares!--over writing even a short paper any day of the week, and he wondered who in their right mind wouldn't. Once, an English professor I had gave our class a choice for the final: we could write a 20-page paper ahead of time and turn it in on test day; or we could come in and take a typical blue book essay test.  He warned that he would grade the paper harder than the test, since anyone who chose that option would have a lot more time to work on it.  I was the only student in that class who chose the paper--can you believe that?  I was absolutely giddy about being able to skip that test and was truly shocked that none of my classmates wanted to take advantage of a deal that, as far as I was concerned, amounted to being given a green light to play hooky for the final. (My husband was not shocked at all and saw my choice as proof that I wasn't in my right mind).

Long story short: I think I'm going to enjoy my Catholic Fiction "homework assignments."
--- 2 ---
I've gone without Facebook for two days now--two days going on three.  I am having serious withdrawals, people.  It's so difficult being Facebook-friendless!  The only good thing about it is that I realize I probably picked the right thing to give up for Lent.  Our sacrifices should be painful for us, right?  We're not supposed to "like" the sacrifices we choose, right?
--- 3 ---
My second-born son turned 28 last week, and this is the cake I made for him.
Does this look like a typical cake for a 28-year-old man?  Well, maybe not, but it's the perfect cake for this particular 28-year-old man.  He is a book-lover these days (which could not be said of him during his schoolboy days, when the only books he ever picked up were those that had been assigned and reading was the last thing he would ever do "for fun"!). He really likes the fantasy and historical fiction genres, and he reads a lot of Arthurian legend stories.  So I thought a cake shaped like a knight's shield would be the perfect way to say "Happy Birthday."  (My dragon came out a bit messy.  I think we can agree that Cake Boss's job is safe.)
--- 4 ---
My husband and I are so excited that we're about to welcome a new grandchild into the family.  In a little over a week, we will be flying out to CO to lend a helping hand with our twin granddaughters (20-months-old) during the home stretch before the new baby arrives. My son and his wife chose not to be told the sex of the child by the sonogram technician, and they have not revealed the boy and girl names they've had picked out since early in the pregnancy.  They were the same way with the twins, and you'd think they would have cracked somewhere along the way--but they didn't.  (Your secrets are safe with those two!) The whole world--the two of them included--got the happy surprise that their first children were girls on the day of their birth.

Either way, Pop and Grammy will be over the moon.  And I'm packing these two wall crosses in my suitcase, so we're prepared for anything.  (One of each?  Just kidding.  We know it's just one baby this time around.)
--- 5 --- are things going out there in the Facebook world?  Have I missed anything important?  Not that I'm having trouble steering clear of that little blue square with the F in the middle of it whenever I turn on my iPhone or anything.  I hardly even notice that silly icon anymore.  I'm doing fine, really.  I'm glad I gave Facebook up for Lent, as a matter of fact.

But really, how are things out in the Facebook world?
--- 6 ---
A week or so ago, I decided to cash in a JC Penney coupon that had come in the mail, so I headed over to the mall in search of some item that, after deducting the $10, I couldn't afford NOT to buy.  I thought about buying a pretty new dress, or an adorable pair of flowered denim capris; I tried on both of these items, but to my dismay my body--after months of not working out on a regular basis (but eating chocolate and buttered bread on quite a regular basis)--has become...shapes.  (Full disclosure: I am quoting a joke by Dane Cook, a comedian I do NOT recommend, because his humor is so often off-color and inappropriate; but he did do this bit on TV about a guy who wasn't exactly fat, but was "shapes," and now this is my husband's and my favorite way of describing our fifty-something, aging silhouettes.)  Anyway, since my body has become shapes but my feet--God bless them!--loyally remain the same size and shape no matter how much chocolate or bread I eat, I decided to look for a cute pair of flats.

I think I can say "mission accomplished," don't you?  If these aren't cute, I don't know what is.  (They're "fun"!  They're "female"!  It even says so on the box!)
And with the coupon, they were a mere $27.  I couldn't afford not to buy them, you see. And actually, because the shoes were so inexpensive, I couldn't resist a car-length red winter coat that was marked all the way down to $24...

Those are the two clothing items I enjoy buying most these days: shoes, for the feet that never let me down by going and changing shape on me; and coats, under which I can hide my shapes.
--- 7 ---
And on that rather ridiculous note, I think I better end this post and redirect you over to Jen Fulwiler's Conversion Diary, where you can check out a whole lot of awesome blogs.  Have a great weekend! 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. Wonderful news re your new grandbabe:):)

    Ohh I can so understand your excitement with Catholic Fiction (and your choice at Uni) sounds like my 'cup of tea'! I wonder if they want anyone from Australia!

    shoes and coats hey, I can see the attraction. gorgeous shoes btw.

    best of luck with fb, I've only just reactivated my account and only have one friend (my 19yr old daughter) the reason for reactivation. as she never posts I'm safe thus far.

    1. Thanks! Yes, we are so excited about having a new little one to love. My husband's parents had 32 grandchildren. We sure wouldn't mind that! :)

      It's good to hear from you. (And good to know I'm not the only crazy person who would rather write a 20-page paper than take an exam!)

  2. Hi!
    #2: I gave up FB for lent too but only our personal one. I still log into The Veil FB page. Cheating? Maybe. But I think I did target the right...addiction.
    #4: I LOVE the fact that they are keeping it a surprise! Congratulations to your whole family and enjoy those Grandbabies!
    #6 LOL (ha) Shapes. Those ever faithful feet. :)

    1. Hi! Thanks for stopping by.

      As far FB, I did decide I better log onto it for a few minutes every Sunday, just to make sure I'm not missing any important messages. (There are some people who use FB as their main way to contact me.) That may be cheating--but as you said, the point is to try to control the addiction. :)

  3. Yay for becoming a Catholic Fiction reviewer! That's super exciting. Love the shoes, btw.

    1. I thought they were so cute, and I really like flats now because with all the traveling we're doing, they're so comfortable for walking.

  4. Facebook world misses you. Can't wait for you to be back.

    1. are a sweetie. I'll check in on Sunday for a little bit.

  5. #2: Enjoy the time off Fb! I remember when I first gave it up for Lent a few years ago... I was painfully addicted to it and SO needed the fast from it that Lent provided. Now, 4 years later, I don't do Fb at all (in fact, it was teasingly suggested that I actually check Fb as my Lenten penance this year). I find I don't miss it, though, and rather enjoy more time spent away from the computer.

    #4: Praying for the baby and family! My parents always chose to be surprised too :) Six children later, we still enjoy surprising them!

    God bless!

    1. That would be great if I could actually stop being a FB addict. I've given up Diet soda for Lent several times, and I always think I'm going to be able to give it up forever...but then I go back to drinking it after Easter. So we'll see...

      Thanks for the prayers! And yes, being surprised is fun. We were surprised the first four times, but then in a weak moment during the sonogram for #5 we let them tell us that it was a boy. We felt sure, by that point, that we were having another boy anyway. We had four already, and it just seemed like we were meant to have our own little basketball team. :)