7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 70)

February 19, 2010 | 38 comments

— 1 —

Every mom should watch this (men may want to skip to take #2):

It’s a talk by author Katrina Kenison, reading from her book The Gift of an Ordinary Day. Not only did I like the talk, but I think it’s a very well done trailer. It definitely made me want to read the book.

— 2 —

As much as I enjoyed Mrs. Kenison’s video, I couldn’t help but ask: “Where’s the banana suit?”

— 3 —

By the way: I deserve an Academy Award for that one. On the surface my little 25-second talk might not seem impressive, but when you consider that I was delivering it WHILE LOOKING DIRECTLY AT SOMEONE WEARING A BANANA SUIT, it gets pretty amazing. And, yes, we do own it. When my husband said he thought it would be cool to have one, I asked, “But where would you wear it?!” He replied, “Where wouldn’t I wear it?”

— 4 —

I assure you that there is a lot — LOT — more that I could say on this topic (for example, the fact that people who commented to suggest that I make it a running theme endeared themselves to me forever; some might say that a stunt like that could get old, but the truly wise among us understand that the goodness of the banana suit knows no bounds). But since it’s Lent I’m trying to have no more than three banana-suit-related takes per post.

— 5 —

I finally watched the Oprah episode with the Dominican Sisters of Mary. I thought they did a fantastic job. Also, I realized that these sisters are from the same order as the nuns I met the day I was mysteriously locked out of the Adoration chapel (they have an Austin house). If you missed the show, you can watch clips here.

— 6 —

Someone asked me if any of the sisters I met were on the show. I hemmed and hawed, trying to avoid saying that I probably wouldn’t know because I am really bad with faces. Really, really bad. And especially that the sisters’ hair isn’t visible, I’m just toast.

It’s so bad that I had a guy confront me about it one time. I introduced myself to him, and when I extended my hand for a handshake, he recoiled and said, “Dude! This is the THIRD time we’ve met!” It also makes me an annoying person to watch movies with, because I’m always asking stuff like, “Wait…is that the guy who the heroine is in love with…or is that her brother?” Please tell me I’m not the only one with this problem.

— 7 —

I think I’ve looked through this Flickr photo stream about a thousand times. It’s pictures from a family of three who live in a 382-square-foot house. I love all the little notes on each photo that explain how they make it work (e.g. putting cushions on top of the coffee table so that it can double as seating).

This picture is my favorite. It’s a shot of the plastic folding table they use for dining space. The caption reads: “When we moved here, we made the commitment to entertain and bless others…despite the small space. Hospitality is FUN!” They live in a tiny space and are committed to hospitality? Show me your ways, sensei. (Thanks to Owlhaven for the link.)

UPDATE: Serena informed me that they’re now a family of four living in an RV, and blogging about it here.

Below is a Mr. Linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own 7 Quick Takes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.

I look forward to reading your posts!

1. Angie @ Many Little Blessings
2. It Feels Like Chaos
3. Heather Cady
4. violingirl
5. Disastrous Housewife
6. Elizabeth Mahlou
7. DebbieQ @ stop her she’s knitting
8. Erin @ Seven Little Australians Plus One
9. Jen @ What Really Matters
10. Mary @ Hope Echoes
11. Anne Bender
12. michiel@ Landscapes and Portraits
13. Jaime @ Under the Fig Tree
14. Scarlett
15. Carol’s Corner
16. Rose @ Adventures In Savings
17. Mrs. Bubbles
18. Sarah @ This Heavenly Life
19. Tami @ The Next Step
20. Kathleen@so much to say, so little time
21. MommyMonkey
22. NCSue
23. Christine the Soccer Mom
24. Julie at Elisharose
25. Nadja@ Patch O’ Dirt Farm
26. Chelsea @ Roots & Rings
27. Trena @ The THird Prayer
28. Kirsten
29. becomewhatyouare
30. Genny @ MyCup2Yours
31. Tracy@The Secret of Living
32. Holly @ Hollison Journey
33. Sarah @ SoJo & Co
34. Patty @ St. Monica’s Tears
35. Jennifer
36. Sarah @ Simple Pleasures
37. Laura @ Life, Faith, Home, School
38. Kim @talklesssaymore
39. Sarah @ Passing for Normal
40. Nichole
41. Barbara C.@ Box of Chocolates
42. Nicole
43. Rachel
44. Lisa @ Dear Mary
45. Ute @ FlowersRoundTheCross
46. Just a Minute
47. Papua Girl in Dallas
48. Julie
49. Emily @ Addlebook Rambles
50. Christina@Mrs. Broccoli Guy
51. Kim @ Love Letter to my Kids
52. Janet in Toronto
53. Lynsey @ Sassy&Southern
54. Rachel @ Young Catholic Mom
55. Curious Notions
56. Jenny @ Conscientious Confusion
57. Erika @effulgence
58. Julia@ Blessed Obscurity
59. Salome Ellen
60. Elena @MyDomestic Church
61. Judy @ A Thankful Woman’s Book of Blessings
62. Phyllis @ Life on Windy Ridge
63. rachieannie @ Montana Missionary
64. Jen @ The Short Years
65. Ms. Michalek
66. KC
67. Nili
68. Jenny@Home is where
69. Lindsey @ Love is Triune
70. Jordana @ Curmudgeonry
71. Catherine @ Adventures in Domesticity
72. Sarah Reinhard
73. Bonnie the newlywed
74. Gillian – Life of a Photographer
75. Jill @ Old Skool
76. Sherry of Chocolate for Your Brain!

Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.


  1. Angie @ Many Little Blessings

    The banana suit was pure gold! Loved it. I agree — it should be a running theme. That way, I can laugh about it every time it comes up. 😉

    I was really happy with how Oprah's piece on the Sisters went. My godmother's daughter is a Sister there, so I was extra excited to see it. I was so glad that the Sisters were really able to show how happy they are. It was just beautiful. Of course, Oprah was a bit much at times. But, I suppose that's why I don't watch Oprah. (On a funny note, my godmother's daughter is actually in Texas now. So we were told not to try to watch for her on Oprah.)

  2. Catholic Bibliophagist

    Omigosh! on #6. I too have a really hard time recognizing people. If they would just always wear the same clothes, my life would be so much easier! (I can remember the colors and fabrics.) It's so stressful when someone speaks to me after church, for instance, and the whole time I'm wondering if I've met this person before, and if so, where or when.

  3. Heather

    Thanks for hosting even during Lent 🙂

  4. Pharmgirl

    #6: I have the same trouble with names. I went to school with the same people for four years, and by the end I was still calling everyone "dude" because I couldn't remember their names!

  5. Michiel

    There were tears in my eyes as I watched the video. Thanks for sharing it. Then I jumped over to the banana suit and couldn't stop laughing. Thanks again!

  6. Linda Wightman (SursumCorda)

    Re #6: You certainly are not alone, and I for one was happy to hear from someone else with the problem. (Sorry, I know I shouldn't be happy about someone else's misfortune.) It takes at least three introductions for me to connect a name with a face, and your experience with movies mirrors my own. Perhaps it's related to being so extreme on the introvert scale…but if it's genetic, it's recessive: my daughter can watch a movie and recognize an actor she saw once in another movie 10 years ago.

    Tell me why I spent so much time volunteering in situations (church, school) that required me to learn a new group of children every year. It was a long time before I realized there were jobs that fit better with my own gifts.

  7. Scarlett

    Re: #6: Do you think you could have face blindness? I'm not particularly familiar with it, but I remember hearing it described by a woman I used to know online. The wikipedia page is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Face_blindness

  8. Amy

    Wow. Way to make a girl cry on a Friday morning with that video! When I first became a mother, I read Kenison's book, Mitten Strings for God: Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry and absolutely loved it, reading it several times over. I highly recommend it.

    I love her message of cherishing each moment right now. And I love that my 13 year old son doesn't walk two steps behind me yet, still holds my hand and tells me he loves me right in front of his friends.

    And thanks for the link to the Oprah clips–I don't watch Oprah but hubby and I were flipping one evening and came across that episode. She had just started talking to the nuns when my mom called so I missed most of it, but thought it was interesting and would have liked to have seen the parts I missed. I have to say I was amazed at how clueless Oprah seemed about stuff (maybe one of the reasons I don't watch her…)

    I truly love our home, but I also dream of living in a tiny house–so much less to clean! Although that extra half-bath does come in handy when you really have to go and someone's in the other one!

    I love "7 Quick Takes" but the few times I've done it it has taken me longer than a week to check out everyone else's and make an effort to leave comments, and I would feel wrong posting if I weren't going to read everyone else's (I'd love to hear how you manage it with all you have on your plate… maybe you could tell us in next week's 7?). So I'm just going to choose a few at random this week! So glad you didn't give this up for Lent.

  9. Christine the Soccer Mom

    I finally tried to watch your video, and it seems I'm among a bazillion people doing just that. I'll give it another shot later. 🙂

    Blessed Lent, Jen. See you next week.

  10. Robyn

    I loved seeing the Dominican Sisters on a show like Oprah. The web page for the episode had some amazing comments, like the person who said she is now considering returning to church after 50 years of anger due to abusive nuns. I wrote about it (with an awesome quote from one of the sisters) on my blog.

    I'm bad with faces too. I have to see most people many times before I am confident of who they are. It goes the other way too; my mental image of a person's face is usually wrong the first few times I see them. I remember, for instance, not recognizing my OB the second time I met her.

    I'm also really bad with names. This makes teaching formation challenging. Facebook and assigned seating help a little.

    Face blindness is an extreme and pathological case. A person with face blindness finds people no easier to tell apart than rocks. (Literally—I saw a poignant but funny web page by a person who suffers from it, talking about an imaginary social encounter, but using photos of rocks to illustrate. If you learn to recognize a rock, but then see it in a group of other rocks or in different light or turned another way, would you still recognize it?)

  11. Kat L

    My 3-year-old saw me looking at your blog this morning and said, "I want to see the banana!" Also, you gave Amazon.com some good business from me. I ordered two things you recommended at one time: the Flip camera and He Leadeth Me.

  12. Amber

    I'm another one who is really bad at faces. It is horrible for movies and a royal pain in life. And then with people who wear the full habit – oh man, it is about hopeless. I am very dependent on context too. If I see someone from church at the grocery store, I will probably not recognize them – generally they recognize me and I'm completely surprised to see them, even if they were right next to me. Granted, I'm usually rather distracted because I'm there with my kids, but even if they weren't there I probably wouldn't be doing much better!

  13. Tracy

    #6 – I am horrid at recognizing people – or remembering names. I have resorted to introducing myself by saying, Hi, I'm Tracy, I'm horrid with names and faces, so please don't be offended if I don't remember you."
    It's not that I don't try to remember people, but it takes at least 5 or 6 or 7 times to get it into the memory banks…

  14. Dawn Farias

    I'm just crying at that video!!

  15. Patty

    Thanks for hosting this, I enjoy your posts and those from Mr. Linky.

    I'm I heard you on the Sonrise Morning Show the other day…that was nice.

    I wish you a holy and grace filled Lent.

    God bless

  16. Enbrethiliel


    On #6: DUDE, I have the same problem!!! =P

  17. Christina

    RE #6 – I have the worst time remembering faces and typically do so by major features (hair/skin color, major bone features, etc). One thing I've noticed is that I can't describe people afterwards (uh, he's tall with dark hair…and umm…has the major features in the right places). I'm terrible with actors and picking who goes with what role.

    My friend notices eyes, I don't unless they're particularly stunning. I do, however, can remember that I've met people by personality and stature.

    I saw Scarlett's post and thought that I may not be just inconsiderate and perhaps really couldn't pick out faces, but nope. There is a test you can take online for this (http://www.faceblind.org/facetests/index.php) and I did very well, better than average actually. So much for finding an excuse for my poor memory.

  18. beyondhomemaking

    Thank you for sharing the small apartment pics. Her organizational skills are amazing!

  19. Laura

    Awesome plan for Lent! I admire your media and blogging fasting plans! I also really enjoyed the link you shared about the family living in a small space. Have you checked out the new videos from the Population Research Institute? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZVOU5bfHrM&feature=related – tries, in a humorous, and I think, effective way – to flush out the lies about 'overpopulation'. I had kind of an intense and unexpected facebook discussion with a friend about it this week. I think links like the one you shared let us see how it is possible to live in a smaller space, so others can have a little space of their own. We're a family of 6 living in a 900 sq ft. house, so we're pretty close to your example.
    God bless your Lent –

  20. Nichole

    I'm so jealous of the banana suit!

  21. Lisa

    On #6, you are so not the only one. After a couple of times I can recognize the face, but then I have no recollection of their name or where I met them. I'm also not very observant to personal detail. In my teens my friends would be saying, "OMG! I love his blue eyes! They were so beautiful!!!" And I was thinking, "Eye color? I mean he had two eyes, was I supposed to remember the color of them?"

  22. TRS

    You are not alone. I am terrible about recognizing people. I usually let people know when I meet them that I have to cycle them through about 5-6 times before I'll remember them. That gets me off the hook for next time.

    When I first moved to this city, I hung out with a fun group of folks. One guy was sort of cute, but he was always drinking – and I would always forget that I had met him before. (Probably mentally dismissing him because of the drinking). This went on for at least a year – when I asked him his name one more time and he said, "We've met a thousand times! I was at your birthday party. We all went on a camping weekend – I was there."
    He was pretty upset about it. Turns out he was interested in me and I never remembered him!! Poor guy!

  23. Me In Life

    Banana suit, awesome! So many good links in this one, where to go first??!!

  24. Emily

    The banana suit is genius. 🙂

    #6 – For me, it's not so much faces, as names. I can hear someone called by name again and again, yet it just won't stick. It's gotten so bad, I rarely call anyone by their name. I guess God knew what he was doing when he sent me my library job – everyone has to wear name tags!

  25. Jamie

    I am bad at faces too. I am good at names and numbers, so I'll remember a person's middle name or birthday for years but I might wish the wrong person a happy birthday because he bears a superficial resemblance to the original acquaintance.

    I think my brain tries to compensate by looking for similarities. I'll say, "Oh, don't you think Ed looks like Bill?" The person I'm talking to will say, "…Uh, no. Aside from having two eyes and a nose, not at all."

    Totally sympathize with the "we've met!" scenario. I have given a big smile and a warm handshake together with a sincere "Nice to meet you!" — only to be reminded that we're not meeting for the first time.

    Maybe when I am queen of the world, people will wear badges with their birthdays on them, and then I will never make that mistake again. 🙂

  26. Elena

    …sniff… that video is probably one that I didn't need to see today – my 20-year-old is moving out!

    it was very well done though!!

    though not as funny as the banana suit!

  27. msmichalek

    Love that flickr stream! I'm in the middle of looking through it now!!

  28. Bonnie

    "Where woulnd't I wear it?" – I laughed out loud. Too funny.

  29. Susan Thompson

    I have the same problem with faces and watching movies.

    And regarding the video, if the web development thing doesn't work out, you could always go into comedy! It was great.

  30. Jill

    Thank you for always hosting Quick Takes. I love it! 🙂

  31. Jason

    Hey, I promise you are not the only one who has a problem with faces. I had a girl get mad at me once after I introduced myself to her for the third time. And she was cute, too. I'm sure that each time I thought to myself, "Hey, that girl is cute! I should introduce myself."

  32. Jess

    I just got The Gift Of An Ordinary Day out of the library last week – very neat to see it mentioned here.

    I've been following Sara Jannsen's blog for a long time now – probably a couple years – Walk Slowly, Live Wildy, I think they are living on the road again now in an RV, her blog has more details. They are a really interesting family, good for inspiration on just what you really need in the way of material possessions to be happy. I love her decorating style. Check out her blog, it is a good read.

  33. Anonymous

    I am growing increasingly disenchanted with your blog. You used to write about faith. Now it seems to be all about yourself.I am so disappointed.

  34. Lucy

    Wow, I have a 21yr.old graduating from college in May and a 18yr.old graduating from High School in June.
    Needless to say, I cried!

  35. Stephanie

    Please tell me I'm not the only one with this problem.

    Lol!! I just had to read this one to my husband, because he is constantly having to remind me of who so-and-so is, and his excellent memory of faces never ceases to amaze me! I just don't know how he does it! I tend to recognize people by hairstyles and/or unique clothing more than faces.

    I once saw a 20/20 or something about a lady who had almost no ability to recognize faces, and she basically made it clear when she met new people that she may not recognize them by face and not to be surprised if she had to ask them their name, even after years of knowing them. It was fascinating!


    I concur that your blog has become increasingly self-referential. I used to tune in daily, but have found that your post have morphed into pablum about inane things. Where is the Catholic spirituality which was such a breath of fresh air? Please consider returning to the raison d'etre of your blog. Pax Christi.

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