Seven Quick Takes: Volume 10

A Day Late!

-- 1 --

I forced myself, though ill, to take Scoot out trick-or-treating on Wednesday.  It was worth the fatigue and backache to see him, first fascinated with the glowing jack-o-lanterns, then wandering onto people's porches and trying to open the front doors, and at last getting the idea and holding his pumpkin bucket out for candy, even grabbing himself an extra piece when offered.

(Sorry this is the only picture I have available right now.  It's awful, but I know even bad baby pictures are better at luring readers than no baby pictures.)


Of course, everybody thought he was a girl.  He's so pretty!

-- 2 --

Halloween is also the anniversary of Martin Luther's 95 Theses.

History somehow makes out like he was bravely defying the status quo and seldom mentions that he posted them--not on the door of a church--but on something like a community flyer board, and that he was posting them as talking points for discussion.  Later, when everyone ignored him, he got angry, and started to attack the teachings of the Church, rather than just the corrupt practices (which he was totally justified in critiquing, let me be the first to say).

Then he went AWOL and started to throw out whole books of the Bible (Hebrews, James, Revelations . . .) and even tried to edit some of the biggies.

He also added the single most troublesome word in all of biblical-Christian history: the word "alone" in the "man is justified by faith alone" passage (Romans 3:28), thus beginning the single greatest schism in Christendom since Pentecost.  There's now something like 20,000 verifiable Protestant denominations claiming to be the Biblical authority.

Now, I'm writing all this from memory, no matter how well-informed that memory may be.  So please, if I've made an factual errors, correct me.

I ought to do some solid research to reference these little-known facts and write a more extensive post on them later.  Does anyone know a good scholarly book or article on the subject?

-- 3 --

My short story submission for the Tuscany Prize in Catholic Fiction has made it to the final round.

Five hundred dollars would be nice, but more than that, I need a sign from God to lift my spirits.  That's the real reason I have the gall to ask for prayers that my story would win.

-- 4 --


-- 5 --

Most recent soup concoction: roasted carrot and parsnip.  I.  Am.  In.  Love.

Just cut up some carrots, parsnips, and onions; roast in salt, pepper, and olive oil; then puree in a blender and stir in a big pot.  I cannot tell you how good it is.  And quite easy.  Here's the recipe.

-- 6 --

As Thanksgiving approaches, here's something for my "fellow" women:

homage to my hips  
by Lucille Clifton 
these hips are big hips
they need space to
move around in.
they don't fit into little
petty places.  these hips
are free hips.
they don't like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
i have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top!

-- 7 --

So I really want a spinning wheel.

And no, this isn't like the time I wanted a pipe, just to carry around and suck on sans-tobacco every now and then because somewhere, somehow, deep down inside, no matter how much anyone reasoned with me, I thought it would be super-cool and fun to be like Gandalf.

"By the Spinning Wheel," Joseph-Athanase Aufray
This is a for-serious-I-must-own-one-someday.  Especially as I found out that my friend Josh owns two, and a recent picture that showed up on my friend Jenna's blog reveals what suspiciously looks to be the wheel part of a spinning wheel.

Oh, and have you noticed, my fairy tale blog is spinning-themed?  Just sayin'.

I've actually contacted the local spinning guild by e-mail twice this past summer.  No response.  I suppose I should, you know, focus on finishing to crochet the baby blanket I started to make while I was pregnant before I even think about making my own yarn.

Sigh.  Toddlers do not lend themselves well to keeping balls of yarn un-tangled.

Though, let's be honest here, I view even an unused spinning wheel as the opposite of a frivolous buy.



  1. Your carrot soup was delicious by the way.More please! Also, I so enjoyed trick or treating with Scoot, even though he was called a "she" two times. He was so much fun and too cute!

  2. I am excited to try that soup recipe! Good luck in the contest--you have my prayers! I am a spinner with a spinning wheel and I definitely think you should get one. Us crafty people have plenty of unfinished projects lying around, and it never stops us from starting new ones :)

    Of course, I also vote for the pipe, too. ;)

    1. Maybe Santa will bring me a pipe in my stocking! And thanks so much for your prayers.

      I would love to see a picture of your spinning wheel and talk more in depth with you about spinning some time.

    2. Absolutely! I love to talk about spinning. I will post a picture of my wheel and some yarn I've spun soon and let you know.

      I meant to say that I loved the poem as well.

  3. I know this sounds funny, but check Craig's List, Salvation Army and Goodwill for a spinning wheel. A friend said she saw one at the Salvation Army for $50, in great shape.

    1. Wow! I do frequent the thrift shops around here, but maybe I'm not looking at the _right_ thrift shops. Thanks for the suggestion, Jenny.

  4. Re #2--The verse Luther inserted "alone" into is Romans 3:28, which reads (RSV CE translation) "For we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law." The "law" St. Paul is referring to is, of course, the Jewish Law of the Old Testament, which Christ replaced with the new Covenant. By making the verse read "man is justified by faith alone", Luther directly contradicted James 2:24--which helps explain why Luther wanted to get rid of the Book of James.

    (You did ask for correction if needed.)

    P.S. I have a spinning wheel, and I know how to use it. Once you get the hang of spinning, it's fun and relaxing.

    1. Thank you, ma'am. I have corrected it accordingly.

      Using a spinning wheel sound rhythmic, instinctive, relaxing. Where did you get yours?

  5. I got my spinning wheel 15 or 20 years ago, chosen from advertisements in spinning magazines. It's a Country Craftsman brand.

    Just now I googled it (didn't have Internet back then!) and I see it is unfortunately no longer manufactured, but they do turn up for sale on e-bay and such. They are very good wheels, and although I haven't had time for it in the last few years, I've always been very happy with it.


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