– 1 –

Wasp wars resume in the Reinhard house. I was thinking of doing a whole series of Quick Takes on wasps, and how they entertain me, but then I realized that my tales of woe just can’t compare to Jen’s scorpion stories. It’s not a contest, of course, but at least I can hold out hope that the weather will get cold and freeze their stinging little butts into oblivion (or at least hibernation). That, and my husband assures me that there are some measures he can take when he schedules a day off to do some homestead work. I trust him. (I have to. Otherwise I will slowly lose my mind.)

I’d be remiss, though, not to capture this story, which has had a couple of people laughing (whether at me or with me, I don’t care to clarify).

The other night, I was working late (as in after dinner but before bedtime) in my office. Though I try not to make a habit of this, there was stuff that needed done and we had been out of the house and away from the computer most of the day, blah blah blah.

I felt this little feeling inside my shirt, and I scratched. It didn’t go away, but kept tingling a bit.

As it turns out, I had A WASP IN MY SHIRT.

Yes, that’s right. A WASP WAS IN MY SHIRT.

OF COURSE I screamed. And danced around. And shook my shirt. Did I mention that I was screaming, a mere one room over from my children, who were happily engaged in some animated entertainment? Those two children were COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS to my shouts and cries and interesting near-obscenities. (I think there was something like “DIE YOU SCURVY DOG MEET YOUR MAKER I SHALL KILL ALL OF YOUR KIND” in there somewhere.)

(In my husband’s defense, he wasn’t home yet. He is innocent of Ignoring Wife’s Frantic Wasp-Related Screams.)

I got the wasp out of my shirt, sat back down at my chair, pulled myself up cozy to my laptop, Twittered (quite a few times), and then felt a strange tickling on the back of my neck. ANOTHER WASP? OR THE SAME ONE?

Does it matter? I finally fed its dead body (and those of its comrades who showed up shortly after) to the kittens and decided I was taking my laptop to the other room.

– 2 –

Here’s something interesting in the movie world: There Be Dragons. It’s based on the life of Saint Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei, whose writings have touched me immensely.

Roland Joffe, the director who brought us the highly acclaimed and deeply spiritual film The Mission has returned to his roots with the epic movie There Be Dragons, a powerful story of war, tragedy, love and redemption. Featured in the New York Times, the $35 million Dragons is rated PG-13 and planned for release in theaters worldwide in Spring, 2011. Set during the turmoil of the Spanish Civil War (early 1900s), Dragons tells the story of two childhood friends who become separated during the political conflict to find themselves on opposite sides as war erupts. One chooses the path of peace and becomes a priest while the other chooses the life of a soldier driven by jealousy and revenge. Each will struggle to find the power of forgiveness over the forces that tore their lives and friendship apart.

The trailer is pretty powerful…but then, that’s what trailers are supposed to be, right? I’m as interested in it because it looks like the kind of professionally done film that Therese was a few years back. We went, in fact, two or three times to see Therese in the theater (which is saying something, because we generally avoid theaters altogether).

Marcel at Aggie Catholics had an interesting review too. Hmm. Makes me want a review copy, actually, and I’m veryVERY-V-E-R-Y slow to EVER request movies for review.

– 3 –

My three-year-old daughter is exploring her inner self. Or that’s how I think of her constantly changing identity. Every day, she has a different imaginary friend AND she often has a new persona. Yesterday, for example, she was a flying pony named Wysteria. The day before, she was riding a blue horse for most of the afternoon. She’s also often a dog (usually a girl, though she doesn’t limit herself to gender), though I’ve spent some good time teaching her that PRETEND dogs do NOT eat REAL dog food (only PRETEND dog food). This point is a little easier now that the puppies have moved outside, though we do still have kittens in the house…she has had no interest in being a kitten…yet.

Anyone else have fun preschooler pretend stories? I love watching her imagination explode…and I don’t remember my older daughter (now five) being quite this expressive about pretending in this way.

– 4 –

This week, I did something unprecedented. In fact, I think that I managed to shock my dear husband.

I deep cleaned the three major rooms of our downstairs. I couldn’t get into the office, because the cat litter’s in there, but I tackled the living room, playroom, and kitchen. For three nights this week, he came home to a new clean surprise.

Monday night, on my way home from our evening obligation, I saw his text: “Wow. I am impressed.” I tried to play it off like it was about the sloppy joes, but I knew that, though it was a good batch, it didn’t warrant that particular reaction.

Tuesday and Wednesday, he was equally impressed, and I was home to receive the praise first-hand.

Thursday, I didn’t clean.

No, I’m not nesting. Nesting, for me, involves building a nest-like area on the couch, complete with fuzzy blankets and a good read. This was long overdue cleaning that just needed done. I motivated myself by telling myself that, as much as I loathe and avoid cleaning, this was a gift to my husband, one that he would not expect to the scale and quality I was doing it.

– 5 –

I just heard about a new DVD about Saint Giana Beretta Molla. She’s a special saint to me, especially right now, as I sit here 34 weeks pregnant.

St. Gianna Beretta Molla: A Modern Day Hero of Divine Love is a new DVD about a saint who lived in our own time. The DVD is a visual delight, featuring photos and home movies of St. Gianna, who lived from 1922 to 1962. One gets to see her getting married and playing with her children and living out her career as a doctor. Viewers see her laughing and smiling and loving life. This is a real woman. She is someone like us.

Here we get to know a woman like so many of us who struggled to balance work and family. She was highly intelligent, excelling in her studies. She also loved music and art and being in the mountains. She loved her family above all else, but saw her career as a physician as a calling from God. Not only did she run her own practice, she was an active volunteer and sought to bring medical care to those who needed it, especially mothers and children. She would tell other doctors that “when you have finished your earthly profession, if you have done this well, you will enjoy divine life ‘because I was sick and you healed me.’”

St. Gianna was raised in a Christ-centered family and sought to raise her children the same way. Her life was one of service and was deeply rooted in prayer. She attended daily Mass as often as possible and prayed her rosary daily. She was always ready to encourage others in their relationship with God. She was a woman who viewed life as a gift from God and trusted in the power of prayer. Totally pro-life, her ultimate sacrifice was to give birth to her last child, even though she was advised against it and knew it might result in her own death. After giving birth, she bravely bore her final suffering with grace and prayer. She died on April 28, 1962 at the age of 39. Beatified in 1994 and canonized in 2004, Pope John Paul II held St. Gianna up as a role model for mothers, physicians, and the pro-life cause.

St. Gianna Beretta Molla: A Modern Day Hero of Divine Love was produced by Catholic Action for Faith and Family which includes the St. Gianna Physician’s Guild. The mission of the Guild is to unite and encourage Catholic physicians and health care professionals, to promote and defend Catholic principles in a public way by word and example, and to inspire sanctification in their lives.

– 6 –

New to the nightstand: (to borrow Julie’s phrase, and I see it’s on her nightstand too)
Full of Grace: Encountering Mary in Faith, Art, and Life
, by Judith Dupre

Somehow, I have a reputation with things Marian, so I chanced into this review copy. 🙂 After I finished a rather bleh YA novel the other night, I dug right in, forgetting all about the other long-suffering review titles that have been waiting their turn patiently for months.

Because this book is beautiful. And, after only the first chapter, it’s pretty good. It appeals to my Catholic side, but also to my human side. But I’m only one chapter in. I’m sure I’ll be blogging about it as I journey through it, because it seems to just be that sort of book.

– 7 –

So I realized, this week, that I need to get my Christmas gift act together. This involves a spreadsheet and budgeting and, horror of horrors, shopping. But with a baby due on December 4 and a long-standing goal of being done with my shopping before Advent (after last year’s success and peace of mind, I’m SOLD!), I’d better get cracking! I’m trying to think of it as a gift I give myself (and my family, who lives with me when I’m stressed), instead of as a huge project that needs tackled. Sort of like the cleaning. Punctuate these unsavory tasks with prayer and you have grace in action, right? 🙂

Go to Conversion Diary for the Quick Takes round-up, where Jen will delight you with her humor and inspire you with her insight (sometimes even in the same post).