Seven Quick Takes Friday Vol. 10

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I.

Well since the last SQT installment here, the “law is inside out/the world is upside down!” For Catholics, anyway. I’ve written quite a bit about the papal abdication this week (scroll down to see it), and I’m sure I will continue doing so, as we roll into his last weeks and the conclave, which is slated to begin at the start of March. There will be a Pope by Easter; conclaves don’t take that long, at least not in the Modern Era.

II.

I, along with some church friends, are going to Nashville for a retreat with the Dominicans of St. Cecilia, at their lovely motherhouse. I love retreats in general, but one that takes place in such a breathtaking environment, with wonderful Dominican sisters, sounds heavenly. We will pray for the success of the conclave, for sure, since it will probably start the week following the retreat.

III.

Reading this week: The Beginner’s Goodbye, by Anne Tyler, is all I’ve finished. But it’s a long weekend so I plan on finishing Life of Christ, for sure, and starting St. Catherine of Siena’s Dialogue. We’ll see how far I get in my grandiose reading plans!

IV.

Lent is upon us: so far, my horarium is working well. I’ve tweaked it a few ways, mostly in the evening schedule. The plan for waking up early is being divided by weeks: 10 minutes earlier each week. So hopefully I’ll be at a good starting point by the time we hit Holy Week.

V.

Since it is a long weekend, I’m planning on doing some baking–Irish Soda Bread and Caramel Brownies, both from Ina Garten, as well as playing around with Nigella Lawson’s newest cookbook.   No, I didn’t give up chocolate for Lent. A long time ago I realized that chocolate, like the Borg, is futile to resist.

VI.

I’m deep into decluttering my house (that will THRILL my mother) and preparing for spring cleaning. We never really “spring cleaned” in my house, growing up–mom kept the place very tidy at all times, no small feat when you’ve got young kids. Our rooms and the basement were another story.

So far, this has consisted of: a paring of the bookshelves, with some sacks to go to the secondhand book store and being sold; the use of bookends atop my shelves to hold Big Tomes I Want To Keep (like my college Norton Anthology of British Literature–I cannot get rid of it, ever); moving around some furniture; buying new boxes for photo and CD storage (my Christmas CDs had been sitting at the bottom of a bag, unloved–now they have a nice space; and I’m nutty about photo storage), and utilizing the second closet in the Book Room that does not hold clothes, but rather, ephemera (suitcases, wrapping paper roles, files…).

VII.

A book I definitely have to recommend hereThe Aviator’s Wife, by Melanie Benjamin. It’s an exquisite novel about Anne and Charles Lindberg, told (obviously) from Anne’s point of view. I knew very little about either of them before I read this, other than the obvious, and I read Anne’s lovely A Gift from the Sea during Christmas break. But this book is exquisitely done. Please read it.

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