Today’s 7 Quick Takes is hosted, once again, by Jen at Conversion Diary.

There are three inside doors that latch properly in my house. Given the morning I’ve had (and it’s 6:47 as I type this), I’m going to go barricade myself behind one of them. I’m pretty sure the kids will survive.

For those of you with iPods, I’m curious: how do you manage listening to them? I haven’t had anyone to ask in my “real life,” so I’ve sort of muddled a plan for myself. I arrange them all in a playlist (with certain special ones bumping to the top when they download) and then work my way through. That makes it sound like I’m efficient, doesn’t it? But here’s the wrinkle: about a month ago, my iPod stopped playing the next one in the line. That’s fine for the longer podcasts, but when my hands are immersed in soapy water and the 8 minute Dean Koontz podcast (or Nutrition Diva, for that matter) is done, it’s a pain to click the arrow key for the next one in the line-up. I haven’t researched it online. I’m taking the easy road here, in the event that one of you dear readers will just know. Call me lazy. It’s true.

In case you were wondering, discernment sucks.

There, I’ve said it.

I feel much better.

Two weeks ago, I was researching Our Lady of Fatima. Then I printed information about Our Lady of Akita and it links in with Fatima in an extraordinary way. This week I’ve been reading and writing about Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, whose feast day is the same as Our Lady of Fatima (May 13).

The significance of that? No idea. Just thought I’d share it because, well, seven feels like a lot this morning and this took care of one of my quick takes. 🙂

I have been a reluctant Facebook user for some time now. It hovers before me, a potential time sink of enormous proportions, and so I guard myself against it, check in sparingly, ignore 99.9% of the “stuff” about it. But there is one thing I can’t ignore, and it has become the sort of thing that will make me never log in to Facebook again: the pop-up chat screen. I spent one fruitless morning of online time (so it was only a window of about 15 minutes) trying to figure out how to disable that, and I failed. Last night, I logged in and almost slammed my laptop (but it’s not my laptop’s fault, I had to remind myself) when that pop-up screen came up. I closed the window. My apologies to that person (I’m not even sure I saw who it was).

So if you don’t see me ever on Facebook, well. Now you know. And if you ever pop the chat window on me and notice me disappear, well, think of it as someone who has to walk a tightrope with time and obligations and can’t carry anything else. Not even a quickie conversation with you (much as I may love you). If you have my phone number, call me. Phone calls work in so much easier than chats. Really.

I ordered one of these books last night after I listened to Catholic Moments and heard the interview with the author (and his sidekick). I’m giving it as a First Communion gift. Doesn’t it look, well, great?

And that brings up the question: what’s your favorite non-rosary, non-cross, non-usual stuff gift to give for First Communion, whether you’re gifting it to a Catholic or not?

Do you know what a smencil is? I thought it was a made-up word, except that the 8-year-old using it, in a heated exchange with her mother about how a girl at school sucked on the eraser of hers and how she couldn’t get another one until summertime when a friend’s church would have them for sale again. It sounded like something that would fit in well with Mr. Oompa Gloompa, but my friend assured me that smencils were not only a real thing, but the coolest thing ever. She googled and showed me. I oohed and ahhed and ordered some. (You never know when you’ll need a smencil, after all.) I’ll share my discovery with you. Call it the benefit of wading through this post. Go to and see if you don’t smile, laugh, and shake your head.