Having actually gathered 7 (SEVEN!) things to talk about this week, I'm joining up with Jen and the other Quick Takers at Conversion Diary this week.
 I have come to the conclusion that I need daily periods of silence. If I go too long without it I start getting jittery and my mind starts buzzing. This is no doubt why I go out of my way to avoid large noisy crowds.
 Happily, knitting has been proven to calm the spirit. Knitters (and crocheters) find in their handwork the comfort they need in the face of anxiety, frustration, anger, and other negative feelings. I'm so glad I've been a knitter most of my life - I can't imagine how insufferable I'd be if I hadn't learned patience and received grace through knitting.
This is me, knitting a shrug that I'm currently working on.
 This past week I read what I thought was a well-written article about the apocalyptic prophecies in the book of Revelation. I emailed the link to my sons since I had recently had conversations with each of them about that particular book in the Bible. Needless to say they were not terribly excited about receiving a long article from their mom, and when one of them asked me to please not send him long articles to read, I remembered the countless times my mom sent me articles (which often were not about subjects that interested me).
After some reflection, I came to the conclusion that the reason I have sent articles to family members is that I subconsciously want to start a conversation about something (or continue it), and since we live far apart I was using things that other people had written as a proxy for a real conversation. That caused me to wonder if my mom had been doing the same thing, and perhaps I had missed the many opportunities that had presented themselves to reach out to her and really talk about things that obviously mattered to her.
 That bit of reflection led me to thinking about another form of communication: blogging. It's hard to know if anyone is connecting with what you're writing since the feedback mechanism is weak (no body language or verbal cues as there would be in person or even on the phone). The voice I contribute to the blog world (or anywhere for that matter) is one that focuses on finding the deeper meanings in the small things of life. This means that it matters to me to know that someone is being helped.. encouraged.. strengthened by what I share. I'm still trying to figure out how to make my posts meaningful to more people, and one thing I realized is how much I appreciate posts that provide links to fill in the background on something that's being talked about. Let's see if that observation can contribute to a stronger voice in the future.
 One voice that I have found to be exceptionally clear and elegant is that of Isabel Huggan. Her book, Belonging: Home Away From Home, is a joy to read and draws from the depths of human experience as well. It deals with the interaction between people and the places they live and the things they surround themselves with. What makes a home? What things are meaningful to us, and why? This is a jewel of a book.
 Today (Thursday) I was praying the rosary and when I got to the second mystery - the wedding at Cana - something jumped out at me that I had never considered before. The host of the party had NOT asked Mary to help him figure out what to do about the wine running out - she had seen the need and interceded with Jesus on her own. How wonderful to realize that she intercedes for us without our asking!
 When we unexpectedly had to stay an extra 2 days near the San Francisco airport due to the plane crash (my observations on it here) I found this blooming cactus at our hotel. It's a great image of how painful circumstances can produce beautiful results. Since for me images are more powerful than words in conveying deep things, I appreciate that God is so lavish in providing images to tell forth His glory.
Have a great weekend, everyone!