7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 113)

January 21, 2011 | 70 comments

— 1 —

What a week! My talk for Legatus International on Tuesday went very well. It was such a pleasure to meet everyone there. I was very impressed by how warm, humble and welcoming all the members were.

The kids and I got back in town yesterday (Wednesday), and then I leave for San Francisco at the crack o’ dawn Friday morning, where I’ll meet with my literary agent, catch up with Hallie and do a whole lot of sitting around and reading. (In typical fashion, I haven’t given a single thought to packing, and I’m writing this late in the afternoon on Thursday.)

— 2 —

One great bonus for this trip is that I have a long layover in Phoenix, which means that I finally get to meet my blogging friend Leila in person! Very exciting. I just love her blog, Little Catholic Bubble, particularly for her willingness to dialogue with people who hold diametrically opposing viewpoints (see her welcome to atheists / liberals / secularists). Should be fun!

— 3 —

So I pored over every single comment to my request for nonfiction book recommendations, and my Amazon wish list is now officially out of control. There are so many I want to read RIGHT NOW, I was overwhelmed at the prospect of choosing just a few to order. Deciding somewhat randomly, I ended up with:

— 4 —

Look what my husband got me for Christmas:

Scorpion Magnet

He designed it on Cafe Press to include one of my favorite Bible verses, Ezekiel 2:6. I submit that there has never been a magnet with even half that much awesomeness.

— 5 —

My dad emailed us with a great question this week: If you could invite any eight people to dinner, who would it be? I didn’t have time to put a whole lot of thought into it (and these are the kids of questions that I can be really neurotic and overly analytical about), but here’s my answer off the top of my head:

  • Pope Benedict
  • Cicero
  • Caesar
  • St. Thomas More
  • St. Catherine of Siena
  • Alexander the Great
  • St. Juan Diego
  • Mother Teresa

(I decided not to count anyone from the Holy Family, figuring that it’s a given that we could always find some extra chairs if, say, Jesus asked if he and his Mother could join us.) Anyway, who would you invite?

— 6 —

I need this:

(If there’s anything you don’t understand about how it functions, please immediately view the video on their website.)ย I don’t mean I need it for my trip. I need it for my house! I could just explain to the kids that when you see only mommy’s nose sticking out of the special blanket, that means it’s time for mommy to have some quiet time. This thing is indispensible. I mean, we introverts could take it to parties and put it on when we’re feeling overstimulated. The possibilities are endless. Thanks to Rachel of Testosterhome for altering me to this amazing invention.

— 7 —

Off to pack for my trip! I’m hoping my leg pain doesn’t get too bad, but, as I was telling a friend, it’s fine either way — even while travelling, I’ll have more chances to sit and put my feet up than I do around here. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


Below is a linky list if youโ€™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.


  1. Leah @ Unequally Yoked

    Feel well on the trip, and I’m so glad you’re finally getting to read Wodehouse!

  2. Marie

    I love the “Bubble” and agree Leila is AWESOME! So much wisdom. Have fun at the blogger meet-up. Hmm….8 people…St. Therese of Lisieux, Elizabeth Leseur, Venerable Solanus Casey, St. Gianna Beretta Molla, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Peter, Pope John Paul II, and Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.

  3. Kim D.

    YES that is the very most awesomest magnet EVER.
    I am so with you on St. Catherine of Siena and St. Juan Diego–now I’ll be pondering the rest of my guest list all week! I think I’d have to add St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Augustine, for sure…why not go big and go for St. Paul? St. Thomas Aquinas? Padre Pio? But I’m not even including non-saints. I could go on and on w/this one, no doubt.
    Have a great trip!

  4. JoAnna

    I met Leila at the Bioethics Defense Fund dinner a few months ago. She is absolutely wonderful! I hope you have an uneventful trip.

  5. Leila

    Could I be more excited about meeting you tomorrow? No! I must hop in bed now so I can get my beauty sleep for the much-anticipated blogger meet-up photo that will be gracing my blog tomorrow afternoon! Yay!!

  6. Alison

    That snazzy napper sounds like the modern version of what Susannah Wesley did in her day – put her apron over her head for a bit of quiet time!

  7. Marie

    1. Any ancestor who as a teenager decided ti emmigrate to the usa.

    2. George Washington

    3. Jimmy Stewart

    4. St. Therese

    5. Susan B. Anthony

    6. St. Francis of Assisi

    7. John Paul the Great

    8. My husband

    • Dorian Speed

      I really like the idea of having an ancestor who immigrated to the USA as a dinner guest – wouldn’t have thought of that.

  8. B.

    Are you in San Francisco for the Walk for Life? You know, it is on Saturday in San Fran. Hoo-ray for being called an “anti-choicer!”

  9. Maia

    I’m afraid that mention of the snazzynapper completely overwhelmed my ability to put together a dinner list.
    A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is on my reading list, too.

  10. Liesl

    … in case Jesus decided to bring his mother along… love that. haha.

    I also want one of those blankets… it’s like the snuggie, except you can rob banks in this.

  11. Elisa | blissfulE

    “when you see only mommyโ€™s nose sticking out of the special blanket, that means itโ€™s time for mommy to have some quiet time.” LOL! I could use one of those…

    Have a great trip!

  12. Kathleen@so much to say

    #4 is hilarious! And as for #6, if only it had a filter to block out whining! LOL

  13. Martianne

    Oo. Thank you for mentioning the Little Catholic Bubble. I will have to check it out. A friend of mine who has a growing ministry about Adoration Reconciliation and Mass posted a question on her FB the other day asking why Catholics fall away from the church. Wow! What responses she got. I will have to direct her to your friend’s blog…

  14. Pam

    I agree, as an introvert, #6 would be great sometimes… a little embarrassing, though…

    Enjoy your trip! And I’m going to check out Little Catholic Bubble. I like that idea of welcoming people of diverse opinions. I struggle with that.

  15. Karen

    As a fellow introvert, I found #6 hilarious. I want one, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time

    Safe travels! I’d give you my list, but it would be a lot more mundane (and a bunch more superficial) than those you’ve invited. For instance, I know Julia Child would be there, as would the Apostle Peter. I love his fire and passion and he’d have a first-hand account of the start of the Acts 2 church.

  17. Theresa

    I would add Saint Therese and Saint Francis to the list.

    LOVE the “Introvert Blanket”!!!

  18. Michelle

    I am sorry I didn’t quite grasp the “Quick Takes” feel free delete. I’m #27. Love your blog!! God bless!

  19. Jamie Shover

    That magnet is priceless! I wish you happy travels. Stay safe, healthy, and yes, enjoy propping your feet up!

  20. Donna

    This is my first time posting a *7 Quick Takes for Friday*! I hope I did ok!!

    I wonder who the 8 people I’d have to dinner are … I have a few givens … my father, my patron saint Elizabeth Ann Seton … hm … who else.

  21. Megan

    Oh my goodness, I love that you get to meet Leila! I hope I get to someday too!

    I love the magnet! What a creative husband you have! ๐Ÿ™‚

    My 8 people… St. Monica, St. Therese of Lisieux, John Paul II, Anne Frank, Pope Benedict… this is a very difficult! I still have 3 more spots, and I have no idea…

  22. Brandon Vogt

    “A Million Miles In A Thousand Years” has probably altered my life more than any book I’ve read in the past ten years. It isn’t my favorite book, –I think Sheed’s “To Know Christ Jesus” wins that honor–but I think Don’s book has most shaped my daily life.

    Now, any time I’m faced with discernment, I find myself asking “how can I live a better story?” If Irenaeus was right that “the glory of God is man fully alive”, then the glory of the Storyteller must be to see good stories unfold among his characters.

    Using the elements of story that Don unfolds–a character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it–I’ve done some things I never would’ve done outside of that paradigm. Through small sacrifices, our family has been able to build a house for a family in the Dominican Republic, I’ve relentlessly chased down meetings with heroes of mine, and we’re currently trying to set up a bank of computers for a school in Africa. I wouldn’t have felt compelled to do any of that stuff unless my imagination was stimulated to wonder, “now how can God spin this into a good tale?”

    You can check out my review of the book here.

  23. Jesse

    First, I love your dinner guest list! Second, I’ve never heard of any of the books you listed. Third, the face blanket is super freaky looking. Fourth, I love the magnet and am going to promptly have one made for my husband for his upcoming birthday! So thanks!

  24. Sharon

    Have a safe trip, and enjoy the Walk for Life! Can’t wait to hear all about it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Tracy

    May the Scorpion on the magnet be the only one you see in your house ever again. though then we don’t get to hear Scorpion stories, so, maybe… hmmm.

    laughing at the napping blanket thing – too funny!

  26. Michelle @ Don't Eat That Cookie

    Thanks for introducing me to the Bubble! I’ll have to check out more once Jace goes back to sleep. ๐Ÿ˜€

  27. priest's wife

    As an introvert as well- I could use that whatever it is ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Katie

    #6 is awesome! Enjoy your trip!

  29. Emily D.

    I LOVE the magnet. What a funny husband!
    and yes, my amazon list is also out.of. control. I actually need to go through it and weed it out…Christmas did a good job of that, and my birthday is coming soon, so…

  30. Kara

    I love number 4, that’s hilarious.

    If you ever want to meet up, I’m in Phoenix too! Enjoy your layover!

    I’m glad your speech went well, and I hope your leg pain doesn’t get worse.

  31. Christy

    Hi Jen!

    I hope all is well with your leg! (My husband had DVT a few years ago and was put on all sorts of blood thinners after they discovered a clot in his leg. This was before we were married and it was so scary! But he’s doing well now, and I’m glad you are too!)

    I think you’ll really like “Million Miles,” I read it last year and enjoyed it immensely.

    I’m happy your speech went well! Have a great week!!

  32. C

    The magnet was the of awesomeness!

    Happy, safe and healthy comfortable travels to you!
    Looking forward to meeting you in person at the Behold Conference!

  33. Julie @ The Corner With A View

    I second the “I’m glad you’re reading Wodehouse!” sentiment.

    I would invite:
    -James Otis
    -Evelyn Waugh
    -President Coolidge
    -Graham Greene
    -Dorothy Sayers
    -Pope Benedict XVI
    – my grandmother, Jean

    Happy Friday!

  34. C

    I meant the “epitome” of awesomeness…

    Nursing baby kicked the keyboard ๐Ÿ˜‰

  35. kristina

    Praying for you on your trip!!! And that blanket is sooo funny! I like your plan to use it at home with the kids!!

  36. Nina

    Glad to be introduced to the Bubble Blog. Hope to see you tomorrow. I will be wearing a bright purple turtleneck sweater and am just under 6′ tall….and will have 8 or 9 + (depending on if we meet up with my oldest son and his college pals) kids and one husband with me. Ha. If you see me, come up and say HI!

  37. Amy

    I’m glad you are getting around to Wodehouse. I don’t remember if I posted suggestions but I really have to tell you that when I need to escape I read Barbara Pym.

  38. Christy

    Wasn’t it Jonathan Edwards’ wife Sarah who used to throw her apron over her head to signify to her children that they couldn’t interrupt her prayer time? And she had like 17 kids. This is just because women don’t wear big aprons anymore. ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. Monica

    That magnet is 100 kinds of awesome! What a clever, creative-thinking husband you have! Thank you for the link to Little Catholic Bubble: I look forward to looking through her site.

    And again, I hope you enjoy your trip to my beautiful City by the Bay. Welcome!

  40. Kristin

    Have a wonderful trip! I LOVE San Fran!

    I am going to be one of those people who have a funky dinner guest list. Sorry!
    1. Jesus – He has always been on my people to meet list!
    2. warren Buffett
    3. Mother Teresa
    4. George Clooney
    5. Oprah
    6. The guy who invented Caramel candy
    7. My grandma (as a girl, not as the woman she left this world as)
    8. Abe Lincoln – the man was no quitter… sure to be a great dinner guest!

  41. Trista

    LOVE the people you’d invite over for dinner! What a great question. I’m going to have to give some thought before I answer.

  42. Janet

    Oh, what a fun question from your dad…
    My eight: Pope Benedict, Father Higgins (my priest when I was growing up), Jane Austen, my grandmother Janet Atchison, Mozart, St. Therese the Little Flower, Robert Jordan, and Brother Thomas Esposito
    Thanks, that was fun.

  43. Kris, in New England

    Hope your leg cooperates so that you have a fantastic trip.

    The dinner question is great. Here are mine:

    St. Joan of Arc (my patron saint)
    St. Paul the Apostle
    My dad (he died in 1995)
    My paternal grandmother (she died in 1992)
    Neptunus Lex (blogger extraordinaire)
    Ronald Reagan

    I’m imagining the conversations that could be had.

  44. Kaitlin @ More Like Mary

    Give Leila a hug from me!!

    And I’d have to agree that it is the most amazing magnet to ever grace a fridge.

  45. Dorian Speed

    Have a wonderful trip! I hope the plane ride wasn’t too uncomfortable for you, and I’m looking forward to hearing about how you and Betty painted the town red! (Tastefully, and in a liturgically appropriate manner.)

  46. Jamie Jo

    I tried it again, thanks so much for doing this, it’s so fun!
    Mine are not so quick though…

  47. Nicole C

    Looks like you & Leila had a blast! I’m definitely in blogland envy!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  48. David Marciniak

    First one in a long time…thanks for hosting! Took on your who’s coming to dinner challenge.

  49. Serena

    I need that face-covering blanket, too. It’s like something from my dreams. And the scorpion magnet? Amazing. Wish I could have the privilege of meeting you in San Francisco this weekend!

  50. mrs.marcus

    #6 is hilarious. I honestly don’t know what I’d think if I got on the bus and someone had that on.

  51. starrball

    Love the magnet… who knew that was a real quote in the bible… (besides you of course?!) lol.

  52. Judy

    TOTALLY awesome magnet!

    Hope you enjoy your travels, meetings, and special visits!

    My 8 dinner guests:

    1) My hubby
    2) Pope Benedict XVI
    3) Pope John XXIII
    4) An atheist/Scientist
    5) Elizabeth Ann Seton
    6) My brother, Ray
    7) Mary Magdalene
    8) Jennifer Fulwiler!

  53. Stephanie

    That is, in fact, the most awesome magnet ever.

  54. Nancy (n.o.e.)

    Love your dinner guest question, and I always enjoy your book talk. Have a lovely trip and let us know how it goes!

  55. Incomplete

    I cannot resist the dinner question.

    1) My husband
    2) My daughter
    3) My Mom (she passed away five years ago, and I miss her enormously)
    4) My priest (he’s an unbelievable font of knowledge)
    5) Pope Benedict
    6) St. Teresa of Avila
    7) My atheist nephew, because I’m saving the honored guest for last:
    8) Jesus of Nazareth

  56. John O.

    The Japanese are
    re-translating the Bible
    to haiku verses.

    John 3:16

    God so loved the world
    he gave only Son so we
    have eternal life.

    John 19:28

    Afterward Jesus,
    knowing all things were finished,
    says only, “I thirst”

    1 Kings 19:11-12

    On the mountaintop;
    Powerful wind, earthquake, fire;
    a gentle whisper.

    Ezekiel 2:6

    Do not be afraid…
    even though you are living
    among scorpions.

  57. Kris

    a long time reader, Jen. This is the first time I link up. Thanks for a great Friday tradition!

  58. Mary

    1. Love your picture with Leila!
    2. The magnet and the blanket thing looks awesome. As an introvert, I too want one of those!
    3. Dinner guests would be…St. Therese of Liseaux, St. John Vianney, St. Padre Pio, St. Francis of Assisi, Fr. Walter Czisek, C.S. Lewis, JRR Tolkien, Blessed Mother Theresa.

  59. Bender


    I suppose both Popes Benedict and John Paul would be great to have. Augustine and Bernadette too (maybe both the young Augustine and the older one). Reagan would be interesting, and someone from the Revolutionary days too, Thomas Paine perhaps? Ludwig van maybe. A storyteller would be good, but who?

    I find your pick of Caesar interesting — which one though?
    Sid? Augustus? Caligula? The chimpanzee played by Roddy McDowell who led the ape revolt?

  60. Vicki

    Um, yeah, that Snazzy Napper vid is by far the funniest thing I’ve laughed at in awhile – classic!

  61. Doris

    the cool magnet would be a really cool bumper sticker..

  62. Judy

    OH MY…I just HAD to come back and update my 8 dinner guests-list!!!
    (Of course, I, like you, left out the Holy Family as they are a given)…but last night…as I was going to bed, I thought: “YA YA”!!!!! “I MUST have YA YA at my dinner party!!!!!!!!!!” And, so…please BEG your Dad for me…to have NINE guests, hee hee…can’t have a dinner party without YA YA!

  63. Wsquared

    I’m so very glad that your talk went well!

    …it’s too bad that you didn’t put St. Augustine on your dinner list. Given that he’s one of the Holy Father’s favorites, a conversation between the two of them would be really cool. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  64. Kimberlie

    I love that sleep cover up thing. Maybe someone mentioned this already. It reminds me of a story my mother once told me about Susanna Wesley (John Wesley’s mother)and how to get quiet time from her 10 surviving children (19 were born to her), she would throw her apron over her face and the children knew not to bother her for that one hour each day. Woohoo! Wish I could get my kiddos trained like that. Of course, we don’t live in a one room house and I can escape to the bedroom if necessary. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  65. Blair

    Hope you are having a fabulous time in CA!
    LOVE the magnet!

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