7 Quick Takes about my surprise 2015 patron saint, mourning a great loss, and your new favorite drink recipe

January 23, 2015 | 17 comments

— 1 —

It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to check in here on the blog, which means it’s past time for a 7 Quick Takes post!

— 2 —

As you may already know if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, my wonderful grandfather passed away earlier this month. He was 100 years old.


As blessed as we were to have him for as many years as we did, his passing was still hard to process. I was his only grandchild, so we were certainly very close.

I frequently posted here on the blog about the amazing meals he’d make for our family and for our priests, even well into his 90s. Born in 1914, he was an engineer who lived most of his adult life in Mexico and South America, back in the 1950s and 60s. He was full of fascinating stories — though you had to ask him to hear them, since he always spent more time listening to other people than he did talking about himself.

His viewing was on my birthday, and the funeral the day after — which seemed oddly appropriate since he had such a big impact on my life. Please say a prayer for the repose of his soul.

— 3 —

I finally drew my own patron saint for 2015, and I was floored by who the Saint’s Name Generator gave me. Of the hundreds of saints in the database, it pulled up:

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 2.05.34 PM


My cousin is a Benedictine monk at Mt. Angel Abbey, Joe and I have been discerning becoming Benedictine oblates, and his feast day is the day of the Edel Gathering! (And no, we did not intentionally choose to host Edel on that day because of the Benedictine connection — that just happened to be the only hotel date available).

I chose my saint live on my radio show, and I actually had trouble continuing to speak because I was so floored by who I got.

(Check out the comments here if you want to read other cool Saint’s Name Generator stories!)

— 4 —

I have a special gift to start your weekend: a fabulous drink recipe!


Last year one of Joe’s clients gave him one of these bottles of ginger syrup. We had no idea what to do with it but hated to throw it away, so I began Googling around for flavors that would go well with it. What resulted was one of our new favorite drinks. We call it the 2014 in honor of the year we invented it, which was so awesome compared to our snakes-on-a-plane year, 2013.

THE 2014

– 3 to 4 tbs ginger syrup
– 3 tbs lemon juice
– 3/4 cup club soda
– vodka (optional)

Mix all ingredients and serve over ice!

Also, this is a recipe that works well as a non-alcoholic drink. Especially with the ginger flavor, I could see it being a perfect pregnancy drink!

— 5 —

I’ve been having so much fun with the radio show. In fact, on the week of February 2nd I’ll be doing a show every day, from 2 – 4 PM ET! If you have SiriusXM you’ll have to tune in to Channel 129 and tell me how it goes. Also, I’ll be posting on Facebook about ways you can get involved even if you’re not a SiriusXM subscriber!

— 6 —

You know what Joe and the kids have been doing to pass the time this winter? SWIMMING.

Our neighborhood pool is now heated, and they think it’s fun to head over there on nights when the outside temperatures are in the 30s and 40s and go for a little swim.


Sometimes it’s hard to believe I’m related to these people.

— 7 —

I miss hosting the 7 Quick Takes blogger linkup every week, but Kelly Mantoan is showing herself to be a fabulous host. If you’d like to read more posts in this style, head over to Kelly’s place and check out the list at the bottom of her post! It’s a great way to discover new bloggers.

Have a great weekend!


  1. Rachel

    Sorry about your grandfather. Mine passed away the same weekend, so I know how ya feel!

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Very sorry to hear it! Your grandfather will be in my prayers as well.

  2. Caroline M

    I just did the patron saint generator, and before I hit the button I thought “God, please help me with a saint that will kick me in the butt and teach me to be responsible and hard working.” Then I thought “Or whatever You want to teach me, I guess that’ll work too.” I got Margaret of Castello, who was born blind and hunchbacked, unwanted, imprisoned in a chapel for years as a child and then abandoned outside a shrine when she wasn’t miraculously healed. The priest didn’t want to give her a burial, but the townspeople insisted. In light of abortion and the Right to Life march, this seems especially prescient. Here’s more about her: http://saints.sqpn.com/blessed-margaret-of-castello/

  3. Eva

    I’m was sorry to hear about your Grandad. I always loved hearing about him. He sounded like a beautiful man.

  4. Becky

    So sorry as well to hear of your Grandfather. Was that you as a baby that he’s holding in the picture? It’s beautiful.

  5. Aileen

    So sorry for your loss, Jennifer. I loved reading whenever you wrote about him. He was a special person. Prayers for the repose of his soul.

  6. Bob Lindberg

    ahem… vodka is not necessarily optional… may your granddad rest in the Lord’s peace!

  7. Matt W.

    If you want to make it healthier and cut the sugar, take some ginger root (a 1-2 inch long piece), chop it up small. Bring some water to a boil, add the ginger, cover and remove from heat. After 15 min, strain out the ginger. The “ginger tea” combines well with sparkling water and lemon. Adding some whiskey improves it further.

  8. The other Becky

    You can make a great discovery for yourself, even if countless people have made it before you! It is still your own discovery! So I don’t want to dampen your enthusiasm for discovery if I tell you that ginger syrup plus club soda is also known as ginger ale. So really anything you have ever heard of that goes with ginger ale will go with your ginger syrup plu club soda. I love ginger in many forms, so I can give you lots more ideas if you want them.

  9. Jamie

    Prayers for your grandpa. <3 How amazing about St Benedict! I went to a Benedictine college (not the good one). The saint i course was awesome for me but I didn't think to screen shot it. :/


  10. Marie

    I really enjoyed hearing about your grandfather’s helpfulness in cooking for so many people. May God rest his soul.

  11. Sarah

    Sorry about your grandfather. Looks like he lived a long, full life 🙂 And thanks for the drink recipe!! I love ginger and lemon, and I didn’t even know they made ginger SYRUP. I am definitely going to hunt some down.

    My friend Mariel told me about your Saint generator a few weeks ago. I thought well that’s a nice way to get people motivated for emulating a new Saint. But, she was worrying about the implications of the Saint she got because he was the patron of illnesses. I told her not to use it as a crystal ball. Then, I said: “Besides, I doubt God is really going to work through some random generator.” So I went to the generator because, of course, I had to try it. I said a prayer, “God, if you really can work through these types of things, please help to get a significant Saint to help me through this difficult year ahead.” I clicked the button, and I got Saint Anselm, a Saint whom I know nothing about, except that his feast day happens to be on my birthday, April 21. So I giggled and told God sorry for trying to say something was outside of His providence. Needless to say, I will be reading much more about this Saint, as I have been meaning to for years. So thanks for the great generator; you must know some powerful people upstairs! 😉

  12. De Maria

    Awesome Saint!

    Sorry to hear about your Grandpa though.

    Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May the soul of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

  13. Lorette

    I am very sorry for your family’s loss. Whether they are 10 or 100, they leave a void in our lives when they pass. You will be in my prayers.

    And Agnes of Rome is my patron saint for the year. Cool-my confirmation name is Agnes, and my mom’s name was Agnes.

  14. Samantha

    Hi, Jennifer.
    I just wanted to express how sorry I am to read about your loss. May you and your family find peace and comfort during this time.

    I was amazed by the Saint I got. I got St. Raymond Nonnatus, patron of pregnant women, midwives, babies,and such. I just went to Walk for Life West Coast and felt called to help with the pro-life movement. I just wrote about my experience in my blog. When I hit, “find a new saint,” it gave me the same exact one! Weird! Uncanny, rather.

  15. Amanda

    I remember posts you shared about your grandpa. I’m so sorry for your loss and will keep your family in my prayers. That drink sounds yummy. I’m still a little sad about not being able to go to Edel but so happy for everyone that is going! Y’all are such a gift to so many women! I drew St. Lawrence of Brindisi which I’m so excited about I just wish his words were accessible. He was known for his language ability, homilies, outreach, and so much more but his words are yet to be published in book form. I’m still on the hunt though to see if I can find something that can help me get to know him better. Oh, and a heated pool. So jealous. I may have to mention that at our next neighborhood meeting!

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