Friday, 27 January, 2012 Lame Quick Takes

Quick Takes – Kind Of

1. For the first time in a couple years, I didn’t go to the March For Life (St. Blogustine’s has the best pictures I’ve seen.) In order for you to understand how disappointing this is, you must know that I a) live in DC and b) had permission to take the day off from work. I had a pressing project (from my mother) that needed software only available at work and was suffering some diffidence about the effectiveness of protesting. I guess it was just as well, because my plan was to spend a chunk of Sunday night before the March at the vigil at the Shrine, only I ended up not even doing that because of feeling unwell with a topping of killer headache.

2. I did Quick Takes belatedly for last weekend – those who marched also had to brave what remained of the only snow we’ve gotten this year.

3. I guess there’s always next year. This was one of the years I really, really wanted to be back on the West Coast, though. West Coast Walk For Life coverage here. I love everything about the Walk For Life.

4. I can’t believe I’m writing this, but, I’m feeling the pull to join Twitter. Since I didn’t go to the March, I initially kept C-Span on in the background at work, so I could hear the rally (loved the Baptist (?) preacher at the end, could do without the endless political parade.) Once the rally’s over, you’re out of luck for news coverage, because almost all the media just ignores the March. (Although here’s  an article I found on the day from the Medill School of Journalism, putting the “professionals” to shame.) So I pulled up Twitter, found hashtags and kept a couple tabs open to follow the updates.

5. Consequently, I became obsessed, obsessed, with waiting to see if #marchforlife would trend on Twitter, wondering why/how #marchforlife wasn’t trending on Twitter (not even in DC!), googling to find out how topics trend, etc.

6. Because of the need to check local versus national trends, I do now in fact have a Twitter account. But I don’t really know if I would use it. Worse, I have an inkling that if I did use it, the last remaining 20% of my life not consumed by the internet would vanish. Anyone already on Twitter, feel free to tell me that isn’t true.

7. And that’s really it – nothing new or exciting happening here. I’ve been writing a bit on the side (which takes away from the blog) and haven’t really had enough energy to photos or gardening (bad, bad, need to check to the tulip bulbs languishing in the basement soon.) I don’t even have any controversy-stirring thoughts to share.

More Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.


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Tuesday, 24 January 2012 Snowy Takes

Middle of the week “takes” because I just didn’t get it together on Friday.

This past weekend it finally snowed here. After 6 weeks of yo-yo weather- cold and dry, warm and rainy, cold and rainy, by turns- we got a very little snow. Therefore, I had to rush around with the iToy and document it.

1.  At my house we neglected to do the final lawn mow before the snow.

Snowy grass

2. I took most of these pictures on Sunday, ‘though the snow/ice arrived Friday night.

Icicles on the azaleas

3. Snow on the blooming camellias

4. Too bad the camera on the iToy can’t zoom.

Snow on the dome of the Shrine

5. The iToy camera still impresses, even without zoom.

A better shot of the Shrine

Kudos to everyone who came out for the March for Life and stood out in this weather for hours!

6. Obligatory winter scene

7. On winter days, it is nice to admire the snow from inside.

The view from my window. Hoping those street signs are illegible.


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Friday, 13 January, 2012 Quick Takes Again, So Soon!?

Friday Quick Takes – Muddling Through

1.  It’s Friday and I’m tired, but goll darn it, I’m going to do Quick Takes.

2. Progress report:

The Christmas tree is still up in my house. This does not faze me at all, since in my ancestral home the Christmas tree is up until February. However, I suspect my housemates have different tolerances. Taking it down is a project for this long weekend. A project not without reward, though, as I have followed the long-standing family tradition of concealing a few candy canes deep in the branches to find while taking the tree down.

New Year’s Resolutions: Today I paid off the balance on my narsty, narsty credit card.  Not quite ready to close it yet, but my balance is $0!

The garden continues to be neglected. It’s cold. I’m tired. What can I say?

3. Art of the Day:

I think I like this Escher fellow.

4. Jen asks (it’s her birthday and our gracious hostess gives us one Quick Take for free! Sweet!) : “If you are younger than 35, tell me about what you want your life to be like when you’re my age.”

Boy, this blogging thing means telling all. I am younger than 35, but not by a whole lot, therefore I think it’s unrealistic to expect any drastic changes.

There are the big things: I would like to be in a different job. I would like to be married. I would like these major developments, but the likelihood of either occurring in the time remaining is close to nil.

More realistically, I would like to be in good health, have a good relationship with God and have a very nice garden.

5. #4 wasn’t much of an answer but, I find it helpful to keep my expectations low.

6. While we have yet to get much in the way of snow here in DC, it is winter and I’m craving color, so here:

Genuine California poppies in summer

7.  Just an off the cuff about feeling rich vs. poor:  I’ve worked in two completely different fields over the last ten years, but for about four of those years my income has been very nearly exactly same. However, I feel poorer (mostly because I’ve had to struggle to pay basic expenses) living in DC than I did living in CA. As I was calculating whether throwing the larger portion of my paycheck at my credit card was really a prudent move this morning, I realized that while my salary is nearly exactly what it was in CA, I actually take home $250 less per month than I did there.  Hark, residents of the Golden State: there is somewhere with a higher cost of living even that the Bay Area.

Aaaand, I’m done. Go to Conversion Diary for more (and better) Quick Takes!

*Image source

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Monday, 9 January, 2012 Late Quick Takes

Illustrated* Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Quick Takes


*(Favorite Christmas ornaments)

Wooden star - Czech Republic

1. Well, here I am sneaking in just under the wire. Held up by needing to upload photos*, these Quick Takes are late, late, late. Merry and Blessed last day of Christmas Baptism of the Lord to one and all!  I’m a bit wiped out in the wake of The Christmas Season and the descent of the siblings, but am back at the helm of the blog now.  In fact, life-in-general continues to whomp me (lately with added Feast-Day Power®!) I look forward to the lack of holidays between now and Lent.

Christmas cracker ornament

2. This blog is meant to be a positive space, and I intend to keep it so. But, well, what with life, whomping, etc, I could use some prayers. If you read this, would you say a little prayer for me? Thanks!


Blue bulb from the drugstore

3. My mother gave a me a Kindle for Christmas.  I’m not ungrateful, but am not used to being this gadget-ridden. I really don’t know what to do with it. Thus far I have a) regarded it with deep suspicion and b) turned it on.

Straw star - Czech Republic

4. For whatever reason I’ve  never really done much in the way of New Year’s Resolutions. I can’t find or remember any from last year, so I’m thinking I didn’t make any. This year I have, but most are not for public consumption. However, I will share my newly-minted method for making resolutions, ’cause I’m proud of it.

Just as I was about to write down “get up earlier than 7:00 am every day during 2012,”  it occurred to me that this right here is what people mean when they say “setting yourself up for failure.” Getting up before 7:00 am everyday (for me) is contingent on having a normal energy level. Normal energy (for me) is contingent on not having some lingering health troubles that have dragged me down for the past year. Health troubles that are beyond my control. Or anyone’s.

I backtracked right there and decided that the first rule of resolutions is that they are actually accomplishable, by me, in this world (not a perfect world.) I ended up making resolutions by thinking of areas of my life that could use a little improvement or oomph and picking one, reasonably-sized, doable thing to do/habit to acquire for each area.

Gift from a teacher friend

5. Since I’m not sharing my resolutions, I’ll share the areas of life they pertain to: prayer, work/job, use of time, and  finances (ok, I’ll share this one- it’s an easy one, anyway: pay off  my nasty high-interest credit card and close it.)

Candy cane painted by a friend

6. Nothing further on my garden list has gotten done. The garden is so. neglected.




7. Picture du jour:

When you decorate the tree on Christmas Eve this is how fast you have to go:

Christmas tree whirl

Neighborhood pride

More – and better!! – Quick Takes at Conversion Diary!