Today’s Quick Takes is seven cheers for the first day of spring. Thanks to Jen for hosting the round-up over at Conversion Diary.


The weather has turned. Oh, it will turn back. (There’s a saying in Ohio about the weather: if you don’t like it, just wait five minutes.) But the buds on the trees and the taller-by-the-day daffodil and tulip shoots confirm what the calendar proclaims today. Spring is here!


There is just something about spring. Or maybe it’s just me. I am just bubbling over with about 1000 things. (And I have a fresh haircut.) The yardwork looks appealing, the de-cluttering projects seem like fun waiting to happen, and, thanks to my father-in-law, my clothesline is restored and has already hosted a load of towels. Ahhhh…spring!


So, now that the warm and fuzzy feelings are out of my system, I must observe that I am not a fan of the creepy-crawlies OR the sluggish black flies OR the wasps who seem to think that my home is a great hotel for their purposes. Yes, I said wasps. In the house. My kids haven’t been stung yet, and I was only stung once, back when my four-year-old was a wee thing, but still. Wasps, in the house! I know it’s a function of old house + remodeling that will happen in the years to come (thus blocking off the cracks and crevices the sneaky stinging devils are using to get in) + country life. I know that. But I still feel it necessary to restate the warning to the wasps and give notice to all the others.


Have you met the voices in my head? One of the ones that’s not included in that introductory post is my Writer Voice, who is slightly different than the Narrator. Writer Voice, who sounds a little like Jim Dale (yeah, there’s also a Drama Queen who directs things, and she does a smashing good job of keeping things interesting there in my head), has been silent quite a bit lately. I wasn’t worried, because, in all honesty, I hadn’t noticed. I’ve been battling some fatigue in the last few months, and one less voice was OK by me.

Well, Writer Voice woke up from hibernation or whatever it was. And he hasn’t shut up for about three days.

That either means I’ll be blogging like a maniac (I’m not sure when exactly, but oh, the notes, scribbles, and jots I’ve made!) or that there is some great plan in the works (which I don’t know about yet…) or something else.


I had heard Dave Ramsey referenced all over the Catholic blogosphere and in many of the podcasts I listen to, but I ignored it for quite a while. Then I got curious, so I listened to his podcast (which is an excerpt from his radio show). Then I read some of his work online. Recently, I got his book from the library. I’m not finished with it yet, but I am listening to a few of his other talks and I can see the change on the horizon. We’re working on our second month budget and I can see this changing our lives.

The thing is, I didn’t think we really had a big problem or anything that needed addressed. We’ve been working in the general direction he points for a few years now. He’s not teaching rocket science; it’s common sense, really.

He has given me words to describe some things I have battled with, on a financial basis, my whole life: that person in the mirror. Last night, he said something in a talk that made me laugh…and cringe. “If you were building a $400,000 house, you’d have a plan, wouldn’t you? You’d know where the money went, wouldn’t you? Yet most people, in ten years, have $400,000 go through their hands and they don’t know where it went!”


Today at Behold Your Mother, I share a quote from Marialis Cultus. What? You haven’t heard of Marialis Cultus? Well, let me just tell you: it’s an apostolic exhortation written by Paul VI about devotion to Mary. Don’t let the fact that it’s a Church document stop you from checking it out. If you want a little taste of it, see the excerpt I posted today or the one I posted a few months ago. Then make go read the source. You won’t be sorry!


I’ve been thinking about music a lot lately. I’ve also been listening to music a lot more in the last few months, and that’s led me to realize how important music is.

Ever had a song stuck in your mind, running around in an endless circle?

Yeah. Me too. All the time, lately.

How I approach my life can often be completely influenced by what kind of music I have running through my head.

What’s your experience with this? I’m curious if anyone else has noticed this…


There’s a little prayer I’ve been saying lately. This week, it’s been whenever I catch myself checking the time. I thought I’d share it here, because maybe you can use a little one-liner to point you back to God throughout your day.

Incline my heart according to Your will, O God.

I can’t remember where I found it, but it smacks of the saints, doesn’t it?