I'm hoping to be consistent in participating with Jen's 7 Quick Takes linkup since it helps me to keep from sinking under the waves of indolence. I hope that you find something useful as you rummage through my random thoughts.
 Sometimes I wish God would just keep me in my cage, because it seems like every time He lets me out I manage to set back His kingdom a few notches. I don't understand why I can be delighted to see some people and gracious toward them, and annoyed and lacking grace for others, all within a single minute. The description of the tongue in the book of James comes to mind, especially the image of a spring yielding both salt and sweet water. But I don't even have to say anything to communicate a lack of grace. Thank God that He never despairs of me, and never runs out of grace for me!
 In the same vein, I am so fed up with getting nowhere on my own steam in learning to show my husband respect in all things that I got desperate and asked him to help me to recognize when I'm disrespecting him (he's go gracious that he doesn't mention it otherwise). Maybe that will help - I sure hope so because I've been working on this particular lack of virtue for 45 years now and it's still a problem.
 Looking in the other direction, I've been reflecting recently on how the Catholic Church is like the ocean. If you're not already swimming in it, the waves can look like insurmountable obstacles, but once you've decided to take the plunge and get past the waves, the ocean is bigger than you ever imagined. And the farther out you go the deeper and broader it gets, and at some point you realize that you can't go any farther on your own energy and you drown in the love of God.
 Talking about drowning, what does everyone do with the ZILLIONS of photos that you take? I've been sorting and culling as I go along, but there are still many, many photos that I will probably never use in my blog and will otherwise have no reason to ever look at again. I'm not one for looking through old photos as an exercise in personal and family history. In fact, I never took pictures until I started a blog. Should I just be ruthless and delete anything that's over a month old?
 The Pirate's sister Lisa and her husband John left yesterday after spending a week with us. They are seriously considering moving to Mexico, so we did our best to help them see what the challenges and rewards are. Here's one of the rewards - an afternoon at the beach nearest to us, which, as usual, was empty of people.
As we drove away I got a beautiful photo of the mountain that is nearest our town - the one that provides the town with water from an artesian spring.
 While John and Lisa were here we ate out a LOT - not because I didn't want to cook (I love cooking for people) but because the Pirate loves to act as a tour guide and he believes that visitors need a varied restaurant experience to enjoy a place. As a result, I became aware that most of the time I'm not actually hungry when I eat a meal with someone (real hunger is a rare occurrence for me), but since eating a meal is more a matter of socializing than making sure my body doesn't starve, I eat anyway. After a number of days of this I feel like Monte Python's Mr. Creosote - so blimped out I can hardly move. I'm still trying to figure out how to have enough self-discipline to order the smallest thing on a menu, rather than opting for the most interesting thing.
 I just figured out that the Liturgy of the Hours has special readings for saints' feast days. What's specially neat about that is that you can get to know and learn from the saints as their stories are incorporated into your daily prayers. Yesterday was St. James' feast day, and meditating on the special readings helped me to see his life and his witness in a fresh way. I also found this website that has a meditation to go along with the daily missal readings that can help in getting to know the saint of the day more intimately.
For many more quick takes, mosey on over to Conversion Diary and look through the linkups there.