7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 211)

March 15, 2013 | 58 comments

— 1 —

It’s been a busy week, what with me spending most of Wednesday crying in front of the television and all. All throughout the conclave and the leadup, I had been oddly unemotional. In part because I was happy for the wonderful Pope Benedict to get some much-needed rest, in part because I totally trusted his decision, and in larger part because we have so much going on right here right now, I hadn’t really paid that much attention to any of it. I thought this historic moment was going to pass me by. And then I turned on the television on Wednesday, and waited for the announcement with the rest of the world. When I saw the new Pope walk out, and it wasn’t anyone I expected, and my super-quick Google searches revealed that he’s a kind, humble person who puts God first in his life, and I saw him kneel down and ask for the world’s prayers…I lost it. I sat on my couch heaving big, loud, ugly-cry sobs, with an overwhelming sense of gratitude that I got to witness this moment.

— 2 —

I asked the resident Conversion Diary sommelier (a.k.a. Joe) for his top Argentinian wine recommendation for those who would like to celebrate the first Argentinian Pope the right way. He said that the Las Hormigas Malbec by Altos is the way to go. (He also recommended Concha Y Toro’s Carmenere, which was a thrilling chance for me to sound sophisticated since I actually know that Concha Y Toro is a Chilean vineyard and got to point that out. But if any South American wine from a country near the Andes will do, you might want to try that one as well.)

I was going to get more recommendations but it turned into a surprisingly complicated discussion about the finer points of new world grape growing, so here’s a picture of Yaya and me at the Norton winery in Argentina in 2002 instead:

— 3 —

It was a joyous moment when I got to tell the kids that we have a new Pope. As I mentioned, I had not been as mentally checked in to the process as a good Catholic mother might hope to be. Frankly, I’d been doing a terrible job of keeping the kids in the loop of everything that was going on in the Vatican. And so I was thrilled to see my six-year-old daughter’s eyes light up when I told her about the Cardinals all coming together in a secret meeting, being guided by the Holy Spirit in their decision, then sending up the white smoke to announce that we had a new Pope. She was on the edge of her seat, as engaged as if we were discussing the finer points of a Barbie fairy princess movie. She asked me one question after another about how the Cardinals could possibly do all of this, gasping with delight at my answers.

And then I realized: cardinals. She thought we were talking about red birds.

It, uhh, may be time for us to revisit the Religion component of our homeschooling curriculum.

— 4 —

I have to say, I think Joe and I both did a good job of finding very tiny sacrifices we could make for Lent that would have a big impact. There has been no shortage of opportunities for detachment from worldly pleasures in this house in 2013, so we knew that it would be setting ourselves up for failure to attempt too much. Not that we have to give up anything at all, but we wanted to. So I decided to stop listening to secular music, and Joe gave up drinking wine out of wine glasses.

I thought Joe’s idea was particularly good. It would be no big deal to those of us who usually choose our wines based on the picture on the box and could barely tell the difference between a 1950 Bordeaux and a grape wine cooler, but it’s a surprisingly significant penance for oenophiles. Evidently, for people who are into wine, sipping your favorite cab out of a worn, dishwasher-battered plastic Dora the Explorer cup is just not the same as having it from a smooth, wide-mouthed Riedel glass.

I think I’m going to collect more ideas like this to keep in my back pocket for other seasons like this one. Look out for my post in February of next year: “Really, Really Tiny Sacrifices for When Your Life is Already Lent.”

— 5 —

I sent Joe a few links from Glennon Melton’s wildly popular blog, Momastery, as part of some research I was doing about bloggers who’ve written memoirs. We discussed it back and forth by email a few times before it finally came up in person. And when I heard him pronounce the name of the site, I just about died laughing when I realized he’d misread it as Mo’ Mastery.

— 6 —

Talk to me about having filters put in your veins. Well, I guess I should be more specific. I don’t mean like, “AAAAAAH THAT SOUNDS HORRIBLE!” I’m thinking more of people who have had this done or know someone who has had it done. My hematologist has mentioned this as an option for freaks like me whose blood gets all crazy about clotting. I’m familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of having it done, and am still undecided. So I guess what I’m wondering now is: How hideously awful is the actual procedure of having it put in?

My hematologist said it’s “no big deal, ” then elaborated on that statement by talking about stabbing a little robot machine thing deep into my leg until it reaches a major vein and then snaking it all the way up, in the vein, behind my internal organs toward my lungs, ALL WHILE I’M STILL AWAKE. He said it’s an outpatient procedure as if that’s a good thing. Umm, no. If I’m going to have electronic snakes winding through my veins to implant things in them like something out of a bad Aliens sequel, I want to be knocked out for at least a week.

— 7 —

Don’t miss this wonderful video. Habemus Papam!


P.S. Next week we’ll do the linky list in reverse chronological order. Prepare yourself for the excitement!


  1. nancyo

    I embedded that same video on my Quick Takes too!

    One thing I did this Lent that has been surprisingly difficult is giving up wearing earrings, and pretty much jewelry of all kinds. I’m not really very vain, but I love wearing earrings even more than I thought. It’s kind of fun to pick out which ones I’m going to wear on Sunday – I have to make it count for another week of unadornment.

    • nancyo

      Oh, and speaking as a classic Eastern Time-centric person, is there any way you’d ever consider posting at midnight Eastern?

      • Jennifer Fulwiler

        Hah! I am usually finishing typing my posts at like 11:53 PM Central (seriously). Noooooo way could I have them done an hour earlier. πŸ˜‰

  2. Rebecca Fletcher

    I drink wine by the box, but I must say, I need to drink it out of a wine glass. If I had to drink it out of any other glass or cup or mug, well, I just wouldn’t feel pretty! It wouldn’t be right!

    I read somewhere (my ADD has been atrocious this week and I’ve been all over the place) about a Catholic school doing their own conclave in one of the classes so the kids could learn about it. I thought that was really amazing! What a wonderful way for the children to learn! Although, I must say, while it would be far more education, it would be far less hilarious than the kids thinking it was all determined by birds. Birds who only had 12 days to fly into Rome this go round.

  3. Terri

    From now on, when I picture a Conclave, an image similar to Disney’s Cinderella– with chirping red birds dressing the new Bishop of Rome for his first time in public–will come to mind!

  4. Jennifer Wolfe

    I am not someone who has had a filter placed, but I’m a nurse who has taken care of lots of people after having filters placed. I can tell you that they don’t usually complain too much and it really is a life-saving surgery. If I were in your situation and the doctor recommended it, I wouldn’t hesitate to have one placed. I’m so sorry for all of your struggles–bless you for keeping it all together. You are such an inspiration to me (and I only have 2 children!)

    • Christina

      It sounds like a catheterization – is it?

      If so I had a catheterization/ablation done when I was in high school. They stuck three tubes in me (one in each leg and one in my chest), snaked them up to my heart and fried an extra electrical node that was causing a fast heart rate. They put me under to do it (which may have been a mistake – most stay awake) and apart from waking with a sense of panic (happens every time) which caused me to sit up and start bleeding where they went in on my legs, it was fine. I went home that night.

  5. Catherine Post

    Your bright little daughter might enjoy knowing that those beautiful red birds ………. get their name, ‘Cardinal’, from our beloved men in the Catholic conclave… πŸ˜€

    • Catherine Post

      …..and not the other way around!! πŸ˜‰

  6. hannah

    I stayed up 4 hrs past bedtime to be the first poster and I still failed. Much relieved to know I can be a typical sloucher next week. Does your husband clearly indicate his Dora cup from the kids? Hopefully you will win the camppatton giveaway so his can be personalized…

  7. Adrian G

    I cried on Wednesday too. It’s wonder ANYONE saw it for crying. In fact, the video clip just condenses it to pack-a-punch and makes me want to cry again. Isn’t the secrecy, the drama and the joy such a great metaphor for our relationship with God? We don’t know what is around the corner, we speculate and maybe even worry, but in the end (the very end) it all turns into joy!!!
    Thanks again. And congratulations to all you people over in the Americas. We in Europe are so glad to see the papacy go to one of your own. How catholic is the Church!

  8. Rebekka

    Re: the filter thingy. I’m a nurse, not a patient, and have never had anything to do with the filters – that said, I’ve worked on a neurosurgical ward where some procedures involved going through a large blood vessel in the groin and then up into the brain to seal off aneurisms. I never heard anyone complain about the procedure itself. If I was in your position and my doctor recommended it I would definitely do it.

  9. mary

    Oh my gosh!!!! I love number four. So much. What a fantastic idea!!! I am pregnant with my third in three years, and I detest pregnancy more than most. I am constantly sick, totally tired, etc.. etc… etc… (to clarify, I LOVE the baby part, just hate the cookin’ part). Anyway, I have kind of been feeling like a schmuck, because I didn’t give anything, ‘up’ for Lent this year. Rather, I decided I would be intentional about not complaining and offering things up, you know, like no beer on St. Patrick’s day, rather than whining about it. I love your little ways for people who are living a Lent. And, inevitably when I am pregnant AGAIN at this time next year (just kidding, I think) I can put it into practice!

  10. S

    A friend had a filter put in when he developed a decent clot while septic in the hospital, and he never had complaints about the procedure – the effects of the sepsis, discomfort from the clot and his limited mobility, and the antibiotics, yes. I don’t know if it’s normal for the filter to stay in permanently or if the location/permanence varies, but his is staying in forever. So it will probably suck a lot less than the acute embolisms themselves, or childbirth. πŸ™‚

    I’m sure they’ll be happy to give you some sedation, like a Valium or a halcion (shorter-acting)! Or if it’s like a lot of outpatient “awake” procedures, you’ll get an amnesia sedative that makes you not care during and not remember after. I apparently tried to chat with my gastroenterologist the whole time I had an endoscopy tube down my throat and don’t remember a thing, so no worse for the wear!

  11. Stacy

    My mom had the filter thing put in and says it was really no big deal!

  12. Pat J

    At first I pictured Joe tipping a box of wine up to his mouth. πŸ™‚ But yes, I DO understand about wine glasses vs. a juice glass.

    As a Catholic in the south, it is SO GREAT to be able to come online and know that so many of you shared my tears of Joy on Wednesday. So many of my Protestant friends are very, very quiet as I go on about, as they say, “that whole pope thing.” Here’s a link to our Holy Father’s first homily. Enjoy! http://en.radiovaticana.va/articolo.asp?c=673526

    Pat J

  13. Amelia

    I love your idea about little sacrifices. I gave up yelling for Lent..or more specifically..I’m making a really, special effort to not yell. I’ve already failed numerous times, but I keep trying. I’m already looking forward to that post about small sacrifices when your life is one, big Lent.

    Awesome video!

  14. Christine

    I want to do a QuickTake this week, but it would be nearly 11 tonight if I did it.

    Love the idea that your daughter thought it was birds. Last time around, my girls were almost 8 & almost 5, and we stuck by the TV. My younger daughter doesn’t remember much, but my older girl clearly remembers her crazy mommy making them kneel for the papal blessing. This time I missed Pope Francis on the Logia because I had to go to Adoration. Still haven’t seen the video! Maybe tonight.

    Oh, and Mo’ Mastery? Have you watched MegaMind yet?

  15. Kinga

    I am there with you on #1. The same reaction. Exactly.
    On that occasion, #2, do you think is it OK to have a glass of wine( I gave it up, for the Lent )?:) #4, the secular music… I am glad to have that thing in common with you. It has been my sacrifice since I remember.
    My “loving music while riding car” children, don’t appreciate it…:)

  16. Michelle

    Funny about your daughter and the cardinals. that brought a smile to my face at a time I don’t get many of them lately. My kids got to watch it at school, I was so excited! They told me all about it. .We are so blessed to have our Pope!

  17. Ashley @ Catholic Belle

    Wonderful post! Hope you are having a great weekend and a fun St. Patrick’s Day!

  18. JC

    I think I’m going to collect more ideas like this to keep in my back pocket for other seasons like this one. Look out for my post in February of next year: β€œReally, Really Tiny Sacrifices for When Your Life is Already Lent.”

    This sounds like a helpful idea. I’m convinced that my wife has (and therefore I have) given up sleeping for more than 3 hours at a time for Lent, but not necessarily because we chose that particular penance of parenting for ourselves

    • Rakhi

      HAHA! “I’m convinced that my wife has (and therefore I have) given up sleeping for more than 3 hours at a time for Lent, but not necessarily because we chose that particular penance of parenting for ourselves.”

      You could be speaking for my own husband here! πŸ™‚

      • JC

        The one night our baby decides to mostly sleep we get a thunderstorm, which my wife can’t stand to sleep through. And now that this is settled, our (and especially, her) sleep schedule is off, so it’s crashing around the apartment at 2 AM for us. Our downstairs neighbors love us.

  19. Brandon W

    Malbec is my favorite red wine, particularly for casual sipping. Carmenere pairs nicely with a steak (rare!). I’m a big fan of South American wines.

  20. Jenna@CaIllHerHappy

    Well, I know nothing about vein filters, but I can offer prayers. So, there you go.

    Also, new Pope? Purty dern exciting stuff!

  21. Valerie @ Momma in Progress

    I’m not sure which one I like better . . . cardinals or mo mastery. Awesome.

  22. Laura

    “Discussing the finer points of a Barbie Fairy Princess movie.” Love it!!

  23. Rakhi

    I love the idea of giving up little things to grow in discipline but not set yourself up for failure. I gave up my iDevice Apps after dinner and am mucking my way through with Chumbawumba (I fall down, I get up again). πŸ™‚

    Also love the idea of celebrating an Argentinian Pope with wine (and food, of course). I had the thought of an Argentinian Feast, but hadn’t thought about the wine. Malbec, we shall be new friends.

  24. elizabethe

    oo oo, I have a tiny sacrifice. I made this one this Lent and it’s been just exactly what you describe, very tiny sacrifice with a big impact.

    To generalize, the sacrifice is: stop buying X, where X is some consumable you have plenty of in the house and that you use on a daily or almost daily basis but which you continually buy/stockpile to try new flavors or new smells or whatever.

    What makes it a mini-sacrifice is you don’t give up actually consuming X, just buying it.

    For me, X is tea. I didn’t stop drinking tea, I just stopped buying new kinds, forcing myself to actually use the tea I actually have. This turned into a profound daily mini-reflection on how I can’t always have everything my way and some people can’t afford to buy new tea just because the kind they “really” like is gone. And then another mini-reflection every-time I go to the store. To really be good, it should be something you use every single day.

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      I LOVE this idea! I’m adding it to the list!

  25. Kathleen Basi

    That video made me cry all over again!

  26. Nicole @ Saints in Progress

    Thank you, thank you for that video. I know lots are probably posting it but yours is the first place I watched it. I missed the white smoke moment, and got to have it now in a way.

    We did see the announcement of the new pope and see him for the first time. My six-year-old watching him said, “He’s super-nice!” Love kids.

  27. Micaela @ California to Korea

    #3: Dying laughing.
    #2: I love our new pope, and I love wine AND for 3 years post-college I lived in my grandmother’s house which we not-so-cheerfully deemed “la casa de las hormigas” because the place was riddled with ants. Come to think of it, we also drank a lot of wine there. Anyway, I’ll take the wine suggestion and hope the bottle is ant-free.

    I’m almost embarrassed to do this since I know how very very busy you are, but I tagged you for the 5 Things Thing (aptly named by Dwija). http://www.californiatokorea.com/2013/03/the-5-thing-thing-and-2-extra-things.html

  28. Rose G.

    Your “tiny sacrifices” Lent sounds like mine. I had abdominal surgery in the first week of Lent to (hopefully) fix all sorts of problems which have prevented my husband and I from conceiving so far. We normally give up all coffee and alcohol for Lent, but this year, with the crosses of infertility and surgery, I didn’t feel like I could handle ANYTHING else. In some ways I’ve felt like this Lent was a “failure” because I didn’t give up anything, but on the other hand I’ve tried to offer up the discouragement and pain for Pope Benedict, the cardinals, and now Pope Francis.
    Also, I’m a nurse and have taken care of many patients after filter and stent placements. I’ve hardly ever heard complaints about the procedure itself. They usually give you something to relax you, and a lot of people sleep through it. Sometimes people complain about having to lie still for a few hours afterwards, but that’s about it. As a nurse, I’m tempted to say “it’s no big deal”, but just having had surgery myself, I know that any medical procedure is a big deal when you’re the patient!

  29. Sarah Izhilzha

    I like your husband’s choice of Lenten fast very much! I, too, chose a small but meaningful fast this year, and I’ve been surprised at how much it has affected me. I’ll have to keep this in mind for the future.

  30. Deanna

    Can’t wait until next week with reverse order. I cannot understand how so many people post so early and I have no little ones waking me up all night. Oh maybe that’s how, you’all wake up and don’t go back to sleep you blog! Is that the secret?

    • JC

      I keep wondering this, too. The one night I was actually up at the right time with internet and a post ready-to-go was also the one time that these were posted at an odd time. Prediction: fewer midnight posts and slightly more “days late” posts this next time around.

  31. Christie @ Everything to Someone

    “When your life is already Lent.” I had one of those years two years ago, and yep–! Didn’t give up a darn thing. My thinking exactly.

    And #3!!!!

  32. Stephanie

    Oh, goodness. Cardinals in Rome! Singing sweetly and chirping back and forth. That is a mental image that will stick with me a long time πŸ™‚

  33. Patty

    I love that video too…I think I’ve seen it like 5 times already and each time I cry happy tears harder…what a great time to be Catholic!

  34. anne

    Apparently my 6 year old and your 6 year old have been talking. She came home from school about 2 weeks ago and asked my why the birds would be locked in a cave. After about 10 minutes of excitedly talking about it, and me getting more confused by the minute, she said…you know Momma, they will be locked in a cave, so they can make one of their own the new pope. Ooooh…..you were talking about CARDINALS and a CONCLAVE. Right.

  35. Dwija {House Unseen}

    Uh, yeah. My 5 year old was watching along and I was like “and those are the cardinals…” and he was all “Those are not cardinals. Those are people.”

  36. Jane

    oh my goodness videos like that make me so happy I cry. Good thing it’s only the kids who see me during the day

  37. Gabby

    I’m an rn and would not hesitate if I were you. Even if it was a bigger deal, which its not, the stakes are that high! What you have survived is a miracle! Most folks aren’t so lucky. I know people who have died from pes with no clotting disorder and folks who have lived with an Vic filter with no problems. I even know folks who have had them removed–no biggie either!

  38. Peony Moss

    Get the filter. They’ll probably give you something nice (maybe Versed) so you won’t care what’s happening.

  39. Gina

    I’m very happy for my Catholic friends. Pope Francis seems to be all one could wish for in a pope! πŸ™‚

  40. Jen/Rabbit/JentoInfinity

    Jen, I know you get a zillion comments, and I’m not sure if you’ll read this one, but my husband has a filter and it was no big deal. He was like, “you’re done???”

    Re: your daughter and red birds (LOL btw), growing up with JPII (I was in my mid20s when he passed), I knew about conclaves but didn’t have first hand knowledge or experience. When I was a kid, my mom told me about what a conclave was (in brief terms) and talked about the smoke colors. She neglected to say anything about HOW the smoke changes color. For the longest time, I believed that it was nothing to do with ballots or counting votes–that the Holy Spirit decided when the fire would go up in the chimney and what the color would be. How that picked a man, I’m still not sure. πŸ™‚

  41. Jamie

    I am awaiting “Really really tiny sacrifices…” with GREAT anticipation. In fact, I have a lengthy list of my own if you’d like to collaborate on that post next year πŸ™‚

  42. Kimberly

    I got a good laugh from number three. The visual was wonderful. Thank you for sharing that.

  43. Eva

    Can I ask, doesn’t doing it reverse order just meant that everyone will wait for everyone else to post and there fore no one will post? I can see it becoming this huge game of ‘wait and see’ where no one will post anything!

    Also, I’m not bothered by when people pop up in the order. I read the titles for an interesting one. I’m clearly a deep thinker who is unswayed by popular movements πŸ˜‰

  44. Susan

    So, in the realm of”my life is Lent,” for the past five years, there has never been a Lent that one of our children did not have a major life crisis, so that was always our Lent. This year was no different, except that we still decided to give up eating out. Then we found out that, for rather complicated reasons, the Church did not recognize our marriage, so guess what we needed to give up? When we left out meeting with out priest, my husband looked at me, laughed and said, “Let’s go out for breakfast.”

  45. Sarah

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who cried! I felt like such a weirdo after the fact. Most of my adulthood Catholic education was under the influence of Franciscans (college) & Jesuits (post college). So even though I knew nothing about this Pope before hand I’m pretty excited. I think I’m still in shock really.

  46. Angela

    As an OB gyn married to an MFM I say get the filter ASAP . It is a miracle you have done as well as you have ( meaning, not dying). We are all waiting on your first book to be published and more thereafter so if not for yourself and your family think of your readers! … But really, get the filter.

  47. Laura

    I work with patients with clotting disorders, I think a temporary filter is reasonable. Ideally this would not be permanent as patients with clotting disorders are at risk over the long term of forming clot in the filter.

  48. Lauren S

    Hi Jen, I had a vena cava filter put in last year after I developed clots post-partum (while still on Lovenox like you). They took it out 4-6 weeks later once I was less at risk of clotting and because there can be complications with it. The doctors told me post-partum is actually the worst risk for clotting, so I would definitely recommend it. When they put it in they gave me sedatives and I would say it’s more weird than painful since you can still feel them pushing it through your veins. When they took it out they did not give me the sedatives (not sure why) and that was uncomfortable but I didn’t really care because it was also the last procedure I had to have after having lots of clot-lysing procedures and tubes through my veins! Good luck and God bless!

  49. Rachel Schindler

    I was in my car when I heard the announcement about our new Pope, and I started crying and I thought, what is wrong with me, but I couldn’t help myself,the strangest emotion came over me, I’m thinking it was the Holy Spirit, because up until then, I was pretty detached from the whole thing.
    I think it’s beautiful that he is so humble, what an example for all of us.

  50. Arkanabar

    it’s going to be an endovascular procedure, which means it will be done with catheters. Basically, they’ll put a needle in your leg, run a wire through the needle, maneuver the wire to where they want the filter, then put a sleeve over the wire, remove the wire, and manipulate the filter through the sleeve. Then they pull the sleeve out and suture the hole where they put it in. It’s typically done with moderate sedation, rather than general anesthesia. It’s minimally invasive and relatively low-risk, with the use of the Seldinger technique.

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