7 Quick Takes ...


Confession, I hear, is good for the soul. I have done a couple of these Quick Takes posts in the past, but it wasn't zinging for me, although of course I still read Jennifer's blog. But for an Amazon gift card? I'm ready to not-zing!


This week has been quiet on my blog because I spent four days at a retreat house in Santa Barbara. It was formerly run by Episcopal nuns and is now run by Episcopal monks. It's called Mt. Calvary Community at St. Mary's Retreat House and it's located right next to the Old Mission and the food is to die for. (Like roasted green chile crepes with creamy mushroom gravy and spaghetti with red clam sauce, and home made bread and soups. Heaven.) Anyway, pictures from the retreat will appear on Monday. I haven't quite finished downloading them yet.


Which brings me to another thought. I used to not like mushrooms. I mean the flavor was okay, but putting one in my mouth was the slimy equivalent of a dry kidney from a steak and kidney pie. Now, I can't get enough. Very odd. On the other hand, I've always loved Oysters Rockefeller (bacon! cheese!) But my husband's happy because he loves mushrooms and now he's actually getting them when I cook!


If you  haven't seen The Way with Martin Sheen, put it in your queue. It's a beautiful film, super-rich about pilgrimage, forming community, and healing. Have a hankie to hand.


The retreat was for associates of the Order of Holy Cross, which is kinda sorta like being an oblate, but only kinda sorta. Our little group gelled pretty well and I'm hoping not to get the retreat crud that was going around. The theme of the week was pilgrimage and aside from watching the film listed above, we all received Anglican prayer beads (just like a Catholic rosary, but shorter), and practiced the Jesus Prayer, and of course, talked about it. It was a lovely, relaxing, peace-filled weekend.

My beads are in my pocket right now.


I was so tired coming home on the train, that I couldn't read the book I'd brought along for the purpose (which so far is really good: it's Macrina Wiederkehr's "A Tree Full of Angels"), so after checking email, Facebook and starting on the gazillion blog posts in Google Reader,  I listened to all the music from the Smash TV series. Am looking forward to its second season.


Today, I start making passionfruit jam. I've never made jam before, so wish me luck! Today is the easy part, scooping out the pulp of the fruit and soaking the skins (which are loaded with pectin which is apparently a jam essential). And I should probably wash everything again too. Tomorrow is the actual jam making and then day three is making sure that the jam jars are sealed...


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