7 Quick Takes: Feverish rambling edition

January 24, 2014 | 46 comments

— 1 —

There are quite a few new readers here this week, so welcome! If you’re wondering what kind of crazy post this Quick Takes thing is, it’s a weekly roundup where I and other bloggers write seven little mini-posts, wrapped into one. It’s a chance to write up any stories that you’d like to share that don’t warrant entire posts to themselves. If you have a blog, join us!

— 2 —

My 7 Quick Takes posts are never examples of erudite prose, but this one is going to be even more incoherent because I’m sick. Totally, completely, ridiculously sick. I had the great misfortune to get both a stomach flu and a terrible sinus infection at the same time, and I pretty much feel like I spent yesterday drinking a bottle of tequila, running a marathon, snorting chili pepper, then hitting myself in the face repeatedly with a hammer. (The exact moment I got sick is actually documented in yesterday’s post: notice that I was replying to a lot of comments, then my replies suddenly stop. I think I was half way through a response to a comment about the picture of my blonde hair when I felt a rumbling in my stomach that made me realize that my night was about to take a turn for the macabre.)

Anyway, you would think that this would mean that there would be no 7 Quick Takes post from me today, but nay, I have crawled out from the covers and am holding my eyes open, typing through blurred vision and feverish delusions that occasionally make me wonder why all the letters are doing those dances on the screen.

Why am I doing this? Because I am up for Best Linkup Host in the Sheenazing Blog Awards, and I cannot be expected to crush my foes if I let being sick to the point of incoherence stop me from writing things on the internet. Hallie, Cari, Leila: I’m comin’ for you.

— 3 —

Okay, it’s not all about ruling linkup categories in blog awards. There’s another reason I’m doing the post as well, and it’s a perfect illustration of what Hallie was talking about today when she pointed out that adding stuff to your to-do list can sometimes give you energy, if you choose the right activities:ย writing makes me feel better. It’s really fun for me. When I don’t get a chance to do it, I don’t feel relieved; I feel bummed, like I missed out on something cool. It’s a treat that adds a bright spot to an otherwise dismal day.

I think that I have found the official litmus test for whether or not you have the charism of writing (a charism being a gift from God that fills you with energy when you use it): when you find yourself huddled under covers, in horrible pain, chilled with fever, and you find yourself saying, “I just…want…to blog!”

— 4 —

One nice thing is that being sick has given me a chance to use my new Kindle more.ย My parents got me a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas, and I LOVE it. I used to read ebooks on a tablet, but the Kindle has a much better reading experience.

First of all, there are no distractions. I can’t tell you how many times I’d sit down to read a book on my tablet and somehow find myself Googling to find out whatever happened to the Backstreet Boys ten minutes later. For those of us who for whom being near an internet connection is like a monkey being near a shiny object, it’s best that we don’t have the option of tweeting about what we’re reading instead of actually reading it.

But the main thing is this: you can turn the back light all the way off, so that the screen is not lit any more than a piece of paper would be. Notice in this picture how the screen is dark where the book light isn’t hitting it:


I realized that my tablet was making it hard for me to go to sleep, which I guess makes sense since shooting bright light directly into your eyeballs is not the best way to signal to your body that it’s nighttime. I can drift off much more easily now that I’m reading on the Kindle, since it’s pretty much identical to paper.

— 5 —

Speaking of cool new things, I ordered some mini business cards from Moo.com.ย Cute, huh? I wasn’t asked to promote this — I actually found the company from doing research about good business card companies — but they sent me a little code with my order where friends can get 10% off if you find yourself in need of some cute cards.


It was slightly surreal to be able to attribute the word Author to myself.

— 6 —

When I showed Joe my new Author! business cards, I said that it’s a symbol that we’re finally done with the book, which elicited a long round of dark laughter from both of us. Being “done with the book” has become a running joke in our family, since there have been so, so, so many times in this crazy processย that we thought I was pretty much finished, only to realize that we weren’t even close.

The other day I found an old email I sent Joe in 2010 where I seemed to perceive that the process was pretty much over. You can see his reaction when I forwarded it to him below (with some bonus thoughts on his feelings toward 2013):


— 7 —

It is sleeting outside, which is a very rare weather condition for Austin. I think I’m going to go brew myself a cup of hot tea, down some NyQuil, crawl back under the covers, and bask in thankfulness for my warm bed as I listen to the icy rain droplets blow against the window. Sounds like a pretty good plan, right?



  1. Maia

    Ugh! Feel better! And, for Pete’s sake! Get that book done! (code for: I wanna read it!)

  2. Casey @ My Love Is Too Little

    Those business cards are very cute! I love how eye-catching they are.

    Dallas is very cold tonight, but fortunately, no sleet/ice/snow for us this time. For which I am more happy than I can say.

    Get better soon!

  3. Hevel

    I’ve been loving my Kindle Paperwhite. As someone, who has hard enough time concentrating on only one thing, reading on a tablet (even a Kindle Fire) is hard, because thre are so many distractions at my fingertip. But with an e-book reader the temptations are minimized and I can go on reading. The only thing I miss in Kindle that my old Icarus reader had is the ability to play music while I read. Now I need two different gadgets in my bag for that.

  4. Amelia @ One Catholic Mama

    I love, love, love our Kindle. And, I do especially love that it is basically the same as looking as paper.

    Feel better soon! And eat lots of raw garlic. Raw garlic is a panacea for all sinus infections, colds, influenza etc.

    ANd, if it doesn’t cure you, it will at least keep vampires and everyone else away, so you can recover in peace.

  5. Laura

    Really hope you feel better soon! I know you’re not up to responding to comments now, but . . . I’m curious why there are a lot of new readers today?

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      I’m finally able to respond to a few more comments! Hopefully I’m on the mend. Anyway, to answer your question, my post from Wednesday (the 22 things I learned about parenting) has been getting a lot of traffic.

  6. Julie

    Having had both a stomach bug and a sinus thing recently but NOT at the same time, I just can’t imagine having them together. I can’t… I don’t want to… Shudder. Goodness, I hope you’re over it soon! Feel better!

  7. Joan @ Everything is Yours

    I can definitely relate with your number 3 post – whenever I’m not feeling the best and sit down to blog, I get an instant burst of “I feel better now!” Hope you start to feel better ASAP!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Megan at SortaCrunchy

    Jen. JEN@ You’re commitment to 7QT is AMAZING!!! I stand in awe.

    You’re business cards are totally fab and YES! AUTHOR!!!!

    That’s probably enough exclamation marks for now. Feel better, mama. I’ll remember you to the Lord today.

  9. Kathleen Basi

    I hope you feel better soon. We had about eight weeks where we were trading viruses nonstop in our house. Most of them were just colds, but we got that nasty stomach virus too. :/

  10. Kelly

    sorry you are sick! feel better!

  11. Marisa

    I’m so sorry to hear about your illness(es)! Get lots of rest (I know, rarely possible with small children), and feel better soon!

  12. Rachel S

    Glad your book is maybe finally done! I’m totally curious about Joe’s conversion story, though. You should definitely get him to guest post in honor of your book. I worked as a runner for an attorney’s office in downtown Austin in 2006-2007, so your whole conversion is made more interesting due to the fact that I was in the same geographical location when you were doing your investigations ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      I actually go into a lot of detail about his conversion in my memoir, so you might find that interesting!

  13. Jenna@CallHerHappy

    Ugh Jen. So sorry about yer sickness. We had food poisoning yesterday. All of us. It was amazing. I feel so cleansed. NOT AT ALL.

    Anyway, praying for your speedy recovery. And Kindle Paperwhite? Right? So good.

  14. dweej

    Those business cards are incredible. Love. Makes me want to get business cards for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Well, my kids could probably find a way to use them as weapons, so that’s something…

  15. Chris

    Thank you so much for hosting, Jen!!

  16. Little Wife

    Oh no. I’m sorry you’re sick- but you do have a great way of describing exactly how you’re feeling… hitting yourself in the face with a hammer… hilarious.

    Feel better!

    No QT today for me, but a post about how much I lurve the Catholic church, even though I’m not Catholic.

    • Little Wife

      Okay it wasn’t up before but NOW it is.

  17. Peg

    Hope you feel better soon!. I just “happened” (no coincidences with God, I hear) to tune in to Relevant Radio the other day and realized I was listening to the end of your interview and wished I had heard more. Prayers for good health!

  18. Nichole

    Double sickness? Booo! Take care of yourself, lady! Spend lots of time with your feet up, reading that new Paperwhite. I love mine, especially during accidental car-naps for the kids. The only bummer is cookbook reading. It’s just not as fun without color illustrations. Maybe I’m to only weirdo that finds reading cookbooks a relaxing activity.

  19. Mary

    You write better while feverish and sick than I do at full steam. Amazing, lady. Also, I wrote a little about St. Francis de Sales today (his feast day), and found a little article of yours from 3 years ago to link up to. Saint Name Generator for the WIN. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • the other Becky

      BUT! you didn’t include a link. Want to add it? I have long loved St. Francis de Sales, ever since I discovered his “Introduction to the Devout Life” and I would like to read more about him.

  20. the other Becky

    Based on what you say about discerning the gift of writing: I clearly have the gift of drinking coffee.

  21. Colleen Duggan

    I hope you feel better soon. It’s so hard to be sick, take care of children, and do all the other stuff we have to do. It must get us at least some time out of purgatory. Or that’s what I’m banking on anyway.

    Stay warm too.

  22. Julia

    Hi Jennifer!

    I feel as if I know you as I’ve been following you for a couple of years.

    • Julia

      O.k., obviously I am a first time “commenter” as I couldn’t even do that correctly. I was “hitting-enter-trigger-happy”. Anyway, I force my husband to listen to me reading your blog out loud because I laugh so hard at your family’s antics! My sister (who has 7 kids) and I (who has 3 kids) started our own blog a few months ago. We are Catholic, homeschoolers, and strive to be a hilariously witty as you ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway, hope some of your readers check us out!


      Easy Rules by Ems and Jules….

      Can’t wait for your book to come out AND I hope you feel better. Netflix was made for sick mothers…. good luck!


  23. Nina

    I’m so sorry, Jen. Take care of you. By the way, your post from yesterday is the exact kind of ministering to that we mothers need more of. And the fact that you produced it when your body was so compromised proves that you are truly superhuman and I am nowhere in your league. But grateful for you and thankful to God that he bestows his gifts so richly on some people! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  24. Jennifer Gregory Miller

    Praying for your recovery, Jen!

    I have been eyeing the Kindle Paperwhite for those exact reasons you mention. I have an iPad, but I get so distracted. I need an e-reader with nothing else but the books!

    The cards are really cool!

  25. kelmommma

    Just wanted to say sorry are sick. Offering unsolicited advice. Olive leaf extract will stop the stomach flu. We use it in our home and even if one kiddo gets it, the other don’t We use the tincture and just put it in juice. Highly recommend it. Love your blog, get better soon.

  26. Heidi

    Hope you feel better, Jen! ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Donna

    We were given a Kindle as a gift and weren’t sure we were going to like it, after all we were *book* people. Turns out we love it. There are so many books that are available free of charge including Chesterton, Belloc, and St. Augustine.

    Hope you’re feeling better soon!

  28. Rakhi @ The Pitter Patter Diaries

    Sorry you are sick again! Hope it’s a short spell. While y’all have sleet, we’ve got subzero temps. The kicker is that Texas at least cancels everything. ๐Ÿ˜‰ As for the charism – it is so very true. I wish I could trade my non-charism chores for writing, which is a charism even though I don’t do it faithfully or always well. Cleaning is not my charism. I think it’s a fair trade. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Congrats on the actual finish line for the book – can’t wait to read it! Do you still have a copy of that first manuscript, by the way? I think it would be fun to compare the first “draft” to the finished product… ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      I do still have that first draft I put together in 2008. I haven’t looked at it in years — it would be fun (and humbling) to get it out and look at it again. Thanks for the idea! ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Catherine

    I’m so sorry you’re sick! We just got over it, and it was no fun. At least it doesn’t usually last too long…hopefully! But I will say these are some great QTs for being so sick–you definitely have the charism. ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. J.R. Baldwin

    I’m sick too! And Grace is teething. The fun don’t stop and neither do the shows on Netflix. I am loving your business card! I have the kindle app and got a tablet for Christmas – excited to try it out!

  31. Ouiz

    I am so sorry that you are sick! Prayers for a quick recovery!! And I’m going to throw this out there since I first saw it on someone’s blogsite, and it has been a GODSEND for me and my family: If you are coughing at night and cannot sleep, put Vicks vaporub on the bottoms of your feet and then bundle up in a nice warm pair of socks. It works.

    Whoever put that out there in blog-land years ago, I wish I could thank you!

    And I second the olive leaf recommendation… I’m using it right now and it seems to be working on a rather long-standing condition I’ve had. Praise God.

  32. Rhonda Ortiz (@ The Naptime Novelist)

    Jen, I’m with you on the Paperwhite. I read more on the Kindle these first three months postpartum than I have in years, just because I could read at night without my eyeballs frizzling hot like Mt. Vesuvius.

  33. Meg

    I go to sleep reading my Kindle Paperwhite. At the lowest light setting, I can still read it in the dark (even though I have NO night vision at all) and I don’t have to put a bookmark in a paper book and put the book away when I get too sleepy — it ends up under my pillow most nights (I’m not sure if I put it there or the dog pushes it under when she snuggles on my shoulder, she’s quite clever about arranging the bed to her liking).

    I LOVE Moo. I’ve been using them since their beta launch, back in 2005 or 2006 when it was only mini cards, and I’m currently using the mini Luxe cards as my business cards. I order notecards with pictures I’ve taken of friends’ pets or children or gardens or artwork & give the set of cards as a present. I designed & made my mom’s business cards though Moo and really liked the way I could send her a proof of the design before ordering the cards.

    Feel better soon!

  34. lauren


    • lauren

      Oops posted to soon. meant to say I TOTALLY get you on number 4. I got a kindle as a gift a few years ago, and was very adamant that I wanted a regular kindle not a fire or a tablet or any such. I spend so much of my day “plugged in,” but when I sit down with a book I want to do exactly that – sit and read!

  35. Tee

    What a fun post to read! I, too, received a kindle for Christmas. It was an extremely unexpected gift from a friend of mine and it’s been put to good use! Praying the letters on your screen stop dancing soon!

  36. christine

    Oh, I had so many things to say as I read through your quick takes, but they all flew out of my head at your last line when you said you were going to take Nyquil. I had a cold last week some time and took some. It was not a pleasant experience. To make matters worse, I had to deal with a dead chicken. Nyquil and dead chickens should never, ever mix. I hope you are feeling much better by now.

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