Okay, y'all, usually I like my 7 Quick Takes to have an overall theme or at the very least segue nicely from one to the next. It appeals to my sense of universal orderliness (and to my OCD-ness) but this week, I’m shaking it up. Welcome to the random! I’ll be over here alphabetizing my Hubs’ screen-printed t-shirts by logo to balance out my existence.
Photo credit: Austin360
My dad sent me a really fantastic story on a new bar being opened up in downtown ATX. No, I’m not that fanatical about craft beers (though, pass me a pint!) This was not exciting to me because of what it is, so much as where it is. The new venue is called The Chicago House and it is located in a building that used to house a grocery store on its floor level in the 1920’s when Austin was barely a quarter century past finishing the capitol building. And it so happens that this particular grocery store belonged to my grandmother’s parents and their family lived on the floor above. So, my grandmother grew up in that very spot. I can’t wait to go explore the place and raise a finely crafted brew to her memory!
Artwork from the ceremony program
We started the week with a day trip north to celebrate a Rite of Betrothal for our engaged friends, John and Miriel. After the Latin Mass, there was a short ceremony, and I was fascinated. I had never heard of such a thing in the Church before, and despite spending a year in a phenomenal RCIA class as a candidate and a couple of more years teaching in the same program after coming into the Church, I thought perhaps the gap in my knowledge was simply a result of being a convert. My intellectual pride was saved somewhat when I began asking around. Only one other person (cradle Catholic or convert) had ever seen such a thing done! So, I felt quite honored to be able to celebrate in such a unique way with our friends! I know all of the southern folks appreciated being able to celebrate with the sweet couple just in case they weren't able to travel, since the wedding is going to be up in the Far Snowy North (which to Texans is anything above Dallas). It was truly wonderful to see how happy our friends are together! We couldn’t stay long because the baby made it known about halfway through the road trip there that she has firm feelings about long rides in the car... and all of them are negative. We have learned the hard way that her emotions are compounded by nightfall, so we were VERY motivated to make it back to our hometown before it got dark!
Photo credit: Tumblr
I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of my newest kitchen toy! It’s called a spiralizer. I KNOW! It just sounds fun! You put a vegetable into it and then turn the crank and it puts out fantastically long, curly ribbons of sliced veggie! This is going to make one of my all time favorite dishes so much easier! The dish requires a bed of long, thin peelings of zucchini and carrots tossed with tamari sauce on which to place large, succulent sea scallops. (Oh my golly, I can SMELL it now, y’all!) In the past, I’ve spent aaaaaaaages using a peeler on a pile of zucchini and carrots. It’s so worth it, but I don’t make it frequently because it is such a job of work. Now, I’m anticipating frequency and fun. As an added bonus, preparing veggies this way and lightly sauteing them is supposedly a really delicious and healthy substitute for pasta. I can hardly wait to try it out!
Don't judge. I'm excited.
I suppose that it must be my return to the martial arts world (coupled with a kind loan from a friend), but I’ve decided to start a martial arts film classics marathon! It’s definitely a deviation from my normal classics fare (my absolute favorite movie of all time being The Philadelphia Story; Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart all in the same film? Yes, please!) Back on topic! I whet my palate by re-watching Kurosawa's Seven Samurai and then moved on to Yojimbo. Sanjuro and then The Hidden Fortress are up next on my list. We'll see from there, though I am fairly certain I will finish up by re-watching Seven Swordsmen which is basically a Mandarin version of Downton Abbey. Ok not exactly, but it's pretty epic for the equivalent of a martial arts telenovela! Anyone else indulge in rather off the beaten path film genres? Just me? Okay, I’ll be over here on the couch, reading subtitles, and hugging my stuffed samurai sword then.
This past week was Catholic Schools Week. There were a lot of events and open houses around us, and this year I was more than usually interested. More to come on that, but for now if you would keep our family in your prayers it would be much appreciated!
Sunflowers from my sweetie
The most exciting thing that happened this week? I got asked on a DATE by the handsomest man in the whole world! Now that the baby is 9 months old and holding her own with finger food and milk cup action, and has also decided that she likes someone besides me (that would be my mom) outside of my presence no less, my Hubs set up a night out for us in about two weeks time! (No, not on Valentine’s day. I am a firm believer in never stepping foot inside an over-crowded, over-priced restaurant on that day, preferring to bunker down as if attempting to survive armageddon... but with a romantic, home-cooked meal and better candles). We’ve only been out alone twice since Li’l Bear was born: Once for my birthday and once to go stand up paddleboarding, both in early summer last year. Both times, the baby was so tiny that I managed to feed her and dash out the door after putting her down to sleep. The second time she woke up about an hour later and cried uncontrollably despite my mom and grandma's best efforts until we returned. So... that’s why I haven’t left her again. Time for another attempt! We are going to check out a new (to us) restaurant that I’ve heard nothing but phenomenal things about AND there is sushi involved. Can you tell by my run on sentences and overuse of commas and caps lock that I’m a little beside myself with glee? Yup. Two weeks: Me, handsomest man alive, no children. Insert squee here!
Screen shot of the 1000 Gifts app
And to close, I just have to celebrate a bit: I've made it through the first month of Ann Voskamp's Joy Dare! Inspired by her book, One Thousand Gifts, I started counting gifts in the final few months of last year, but I was so excited to start from the very beginning and commit to a full year of giving thanks. For each and every day, Ann has provided a prompt, a little nudge, to remember with gratitude at least three things with which I've been blessed over the previous 24 hours. It's almost like building up a bank of little happinesses to look back on when I'm having a hard day. Usually I am such a pen and ink girl, but I'm starting to enjoy the app for iPad, which allows you to attach a picture to each written gift. It also connects with social media so that you can share your progress. I highly recommend the book and even more so the Joy Dare! It's never too late to start a habit of gratitude!
Head on over to Jen's for more (possibly less random) 7 Quick Takes fun!