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Seven Quick Takes in which I out myself as a craft beer enthusiast

1. I am writing this on Thursday night, during the V.P. debates

My thoughts on politics:

Mmmm, this beer is delicious!

And that’s all I have to say about that.

2. Apropos of the beer

We actually did something today that my children believe we do every day while they are in school:  we went someplace fun!  We live a little over an hour from Troegs Brewery, and my husband heard that they were releasing a very small batch of super-special IPAs* so we decided to hop (heh heh) into the car and make an afternoon of it.

I am so glad we did!  Not only was the beer well worth the trip, the warehouse was a ton of fun.  They have all the brewing equipment set up to be observed and just walking around the perimeter was fascinating. The restaurant inside had some impressive items too;   it was hard to choose what to order.  (As it turned out, the star of our lunch was a crispy and fluffy homemade pretzel, sprinkled with pumpkin seeds and dipped into some frothy/creamy/buttery sauce that made my day!  We bought it for the toddler, but the poor thing did not get much of it.)

3. I liked it so much I asked my husband to take my picture there.

He was shocked, so I had to whisper very very quietly, “I want to put it on my new blog.”  I was terrified that someone might overhear me and my pretentiousness.  But I took the picture.

4. I keep finding myself actually watching the debate.

Blah.

5. Does #2 worry you?  Do you think we are alcoholics?

It’s okay, really!  We talk about beer, plan beer-related activities and proselytize about beer much more than we actually drink it.  Don’t get me wrong, I really love a nice stout or a big, hoppy IPA.  But we are kind of geeks, and we get geeky about the things we love.  We can’t help it.  But by “beer” please at least understand that I mean stuff that has actual taste and does not come in cans that change color by temperature, like my toddler’s Magic Bathtime Puppy.

6. The one heartbreak of the afternoon…

…was the moment, as we passed by Hershey Amusement Park, when my toddler saw the roller coaster and got really, really excited.  “I’m ready!” she shrieked.   I felt terrible.  Luckily, the gooey chocolate cookie she got with lunch seemed to make up for it.  She’s two, in case that doesn’t otherwise make sense.

7.  I feel like I should write something Catholic-y now, since I haven’t really done that yet.

So:  I signed up for the Read the Catechism in a Year thing, and I’m pretty pumped about it.  They email you a small portion of the Catechism every day and within a year you will have read the whole thing.  I think it’s a great idea, and it’s probably the only chance I’ll get, ever, to actually make it through the whole Catechism cover-to-cover.  So, way to go, people who set it up!  It’s a great idea and I think it’s a wonderful (read: easy) way to grow in our faith this year.

Now go read the rest of the Quick Takes at Jen’s!  I guarantee you more Catholicism and less beer.

*Fresh Hops Ale Scratch 78, for those in the know.  Made with elusive but wonderful Citra hops.
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This is me.

Image Yeah, okay, this is not technically me. This is a living statue my daughters and I encountered on our way to Baltimore’s National Aquarium, and she totally stopped us in our tracks.

“Hey!” said one of my kids, “That’s not a statue!”

And we all turned and watched the perfectly still figure, her face and hands thick with what I could have sworn was plaster.

“No,” I said. “I think it’s just a statue.”

Then something happened: a little boy dropped a dollar into the bucket beside the figure and she slowly turned her head, the tiniest smile warming her otherwise motionless face. We were enchanted.

I gave each of my kids a dollar to drop into the bucket, even my jaded middle-school-er. When they returned to me, we watched her some more.

“Listen,” I said after a moment, gathering my kids closer. “Lots of people would say this girl is wasting her time, doing something stupid when she could be working in a soup kitchen, or making regular money in a regular job. And they could be right, but remember this: whatever else gets done in the world today, this lady just gave us – us, right here, – a little bit of joy and a little bit of wonder.”

My girls all nodded earnestly at what I was saying. Even my jaded middle-school-er.

So this is me.  I might not have the talent to sound my barbaric yawp, or to create something mighty and sublime, but this I have:  I appreciate. I am moved by, and filled with wonder at things of beauty.  I bend down to my children and whisper, urgently: Do you see this? Stop and look at this little thing, there is something important hidden here.

It might be a book or a movie, a television show or a street performer. It might be a beer, or a fancy restaurant, or the perfect, buttery fish my husband cooks on a Friday night. These things all reflect, in some small way, the refracted light of God’s glory and I believe it is important, crucial, to take the moment to see  and say with Him, “This is good.”  This is my attempt to do just that, this is my way to serve him wittily, in the tangle of my mind.

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hey it’s a koala!

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