7 Quick Takes – Take 1

Trying something new here today – that is, new to me, old hat to the real bloggers out there. I’m linking up with Jennifer at Conversion Diary for this supah-FUN thing they call 7 Quick Takes, to give you a little window into whatev’s going on this week. So…feel free to let me know what you think of the experiment.

#1. This:

So. I was browsing for a new book and thought Robert Hugh Benson sounded both familiar and trustworthy, and I love historical fiction, and the Kindle edition was to be all mine for the low low price of $0.00, so I thought awwww, heck, why not? But then it was a sloooow starter. I thought the beginning was cute and sweet, but I wasn’t really getting into it. I mentioned the cute sweet beginning to Alex and he got really excited that I was reading it. He said something to the effect of, “Oh! That’s a great book! What did you think of ________…” Fill in the blank with a Big Fat Spoiler. I was totally shocked and at first had NO intention of finishing but he talked me into it. Within about another chapter I encountered the Big Fat Spoiler for myself and was hooked on the book. Now I can barely put it down. ( I say barely because it MUST be put down for stuff like, oh, I dunno, WORK, otherwise I certainly would not. Put it down, that is.) Not only is it a really great book but it’s also a very beautiful one. It’s about the Catholic persecution under Queen Elizabeth, and let me tell you, when I walked boldly through the bright daylight to daily Mass yesterday without the smallest idea of my life being in danger because of it, I had a lot more gratitude than usual. Plus, the description of Mary Queen of Scots feels decidedly Chestertonian to me, and when I announced that to Alex he responded with the belief that they most likely knew each other. I therefore feel super validated in my opinion on that point. Y’all should read it, especially if you have a Kindle (or iPad with a Kindle app, like me). Like I said before, all yours for the low low price of $0.00. Just do it. I even put a link there. And here again. I’m serious. Just click it already. STAT.
P.S. I want to be Marjorie Manners when I grow up. Read the book, you’ll see why.
#2. I read a lot of LifeSiteNews articles because that’s Thee Best way to stay updated on the pro-life awesomeness people always expect me to know, as if I did it for a living or something. But this one was beyond incredible. I keep going back to it, I just love it. The Onufers are Beautiful People.
#3. I may not like Austin (I do not) but I do love me some Austen. Jane Austen, that is. And of all the Austen I love, I love Persuasion the most. Besides being Marjorie Manners (see #1) I want to be Anne Elliot when I grow up:
“When the evening was over, Anne could not but be amused at the idea of her coming to Lyme, to preach patience and resignation to a young man whom she had never seen before; nor could she help fearing, on more serious reflection, that, like many other great moralists and preachers, she had been eloquent on a point in which her own conduct would ill bear examination.” 
And the movies never do her justice. I have lost count of my re-readings of the book and I’m on either the 4th or 5th listen to my favorite version of the audiobook, the Audible Audio version done by Juliet Stevenson. Austen junkies: Juliet Stevenson plays Mrs. Elton in the Gwyneth Paltrow version of Emma and she is a BRILLIANT character actress, even if all you’re getting is her voice. She has done several Austen books for Audible and they are all more than completely delightful. 
#4. So we have the mobile crisis pregnancy center at work, or, as we call it, the big blue bus. Our bus driver, Leo, is pretty much the unsung hero of the whole operation. Since I only occasionally work on the bus, I don’t see him very often. I’ve been out there so much for 40 Days for Life though, we’ve had some quality time lately. He’s a hoot, y’all. A real hoot. He’s my Grandaddy’s age, a hard working man if ever there was one, and the absolute salt of the earth. Not only does he drive the 40-foot-long-bus back and forth every day, but today he parallel parked it. Seriously. Like a boss. I asked him later if it was a 3-point-parking job and he said with his gravelly, Tex-Mex voice: “3-point? What’s that?” I explained and he smirked. “Oh, yeah. I did that.” He also builds benches out of PVC pipe, splices wires between generators and buses, and built the drawbridge of the bus. (It’s really a ramp, but the little machine-y thing he built to raise and lower it makes me think of a drawbridge everysingletime sooo that’s what I call it.) Today after the parallel parking epic-ness I also saw him moving this tremendous water barrel. As in, he picked it up out of the bed of his big ol’ honkin’ diesel truck, carried it over to a pile of other water barrels and set it down. I asked him how heavy it was and he shrugged. 
Leo: “Oh, maybe 55 gallons.” 
Me: “Dang it, Leo! You should go to CrossFit, you’d put them to shame. ‘Oh, 55 gallons, no big deal.'”
Leo, chortling: “Yeah. No biggie.”
People like that, they keep the pro-life world going ’round.
#5. Moooovin’ right along – here’s your “Cultures of the World” class for today: I informed Alex once that the Texas flag was the best flag in the world, and my well-traveled sweetheart said slyly that he thought the Chilean flag must be equally good. Thanks to the extravagant amount of flag exposure I received at World Youth Day in Madrid, I was on to that nonsense like white on rice. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, let’s play that “Spot the 6 Differences” game, except, you only have to spot one:
If you’re Texan, and you don’t know which is ours, I….can’t even talk to you. 
Anyway, today he (Alex) brought me a gift that should give you a little hint about what YOU SHOULD ALREADY KNOW:
And the Texas/Chile jokes continue in the 
Hanson-pursues-Richardson courtship arena.
#6. This is brilliant: a liturgical year binder, which I am going to start putting together ASAP so it’s ready to go when I actually (God willing) have kids someday. I am super psyched about it. I found the idea when it was posted by a guest blogger on my favorite blog EVER, Carrots for Michaelmas. Speaking of which, I really, really love Carrots for Michaelmas – the Amazing Haley is sweet, smart, and wildly funny. Also awesome. Go check it out.
#7. In case you missed the second point of #6: go check out Carrots for Michaelmas so you can fall in love too. They’re putting out an eBook in November and I cannot WAIT to buy it because…it’s a recipe book that uses real food and seasonal eating to celebrate the liturgical year (!!!!) aaand it will be awesome. I just know.
So, there it is, my first stab at 7 Quick Takes. Let me know what you think, and if I’m not feeling too redheaded I’ll take it into consideration, *wink wink*.

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