{SQT} Shamrocks, More Hildegard and a #7QT How To

seven quick takes friday 2

1. A few months back the Muscular Dstyrophy Association contacted me and said they wanted to use a photo of Fulton, taken at summer camp, for their Shamrock campaign. I was like, sure, no problem, not fully realizing he was one of only six kids picked from across the country to be featured during the MDA’s nationwide campaign.

You can purchase a Shamrock at Burger King, Walgreens, Applebees, Pizza Hut and many other vendors. If you’re out and about and see this smiling face, purchase a Shamrock and snap a picture. Share it on social media with the hashtag #wheresfulton so we can follow his grin across the country.

MDA has helped our family personally by allowing Fulton the opportunity to go to camp for free (which also equals a free week of respite for Tony and I). Additionally, we’ve received free medical equipment from their used equipment closet. And when faced with insurance problems, they covered visits to our preferred doctor at Johns Hopkins. It’s easy to see why we’re happy to let Fulton be their poster child.

2. I managed to not bore you with another whole post devoted to my Hildegard experiment, but you’re going to have to deal with a few takes. First, my reads this Lent are ‘Hildegard of Bingen: On Natural Philosophy and Medicine”, her book on the spiritual and physical makeup of men and women, how we’re to care of our body and souls given our temperaments, and how to treat various ailments. It’s fascinating, especially how candidly Hildegard writes about human sexuality. There’s no pretense; she just lays it all out there, much more so than I think one would expect from a 12th century nun. I’ve also checked out ‘Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen’ from the library. It features many illustrations of Hildegard’s visions along with some of her writing, plus commentary. I haven’t read it too closely so I don’t know how I feel about it yet, but the illuminations are beautiful and provide good illustration for Hildegard’s concepts of man and the universe.

3. So what does the Hildegard diet look like on a daily basis?

Breakfast: lousy organic herbal tea, oatmeal with dates, almonds, cinnamon, and honey

Lunch: vegetarian soup with bread

Supper: a slab of meat, vegetable, bread, cheese, and wine

To be honest, I’m already tired of oatmeal for breakfast so I’ve also been eating toast with homemade jelly or the occasional egg. And I hate drinking herbal tea. I miss coffee so much, not just for the caffeine, but for the experience of sitting down and starting my day with a warm and delicious drink. It messes with my whole morning routine to not sit and peacefully enjoy a cup of coffee. I can’t sit and enjoy tea because the taste is so bad. Tony attempted making spelt coffee in various ways and we’ve concluded it is in no way a suitable substitute for the real deal.

For the soups, I’ve relied on ‘Twelve Months of Monastery Soups’. I make a large batch once or twice a week and it lasts Tony and I several days. I’ve made a white bean, a chickpea, split pea and next up is french onion soup.

Tony’s taken charge of baking spelt bread a couple of times a week with Bob’s Red Mill Spelt Flour and his newest recipe is really good. We might be spelt converts from here on out.

4. Since we can’t eat pork or turkey, and lamb is expensive, I’ve been cooking a lot of chicken and cuts of beef. I’m also trying to prepare seasonal vegetables when possible. Without potatoes, corn or carrots I’ve tried a ton of new vegetables; parsnips, turnips, and fennel (which Hildegard especially liked), plus new variations of old “favorites” like cabbage and cauliflower. I’ve learned to cook unfamiliar cuts of meat with mixed results.

I’m saving most of the winning recipes on my bloated Pinterest ‘Food’ board if you want ideas.

5. The hardest part by far was giving up coffee due to the caffeine and the lack of a substitute. A close second is dealing with the kitchen being an even bigger mess than usual because I’m caramelizing, broiling, marinating, sautéing and all sorts of stuff that requires using every pot and pan in sight.

6. A friend mentioned wanting to join 7 Quick Takes after an absence and needed a refresher on linking up. I thought it couldn’t hurt to post the Quick Takes template again along with some basic instructions for any new readers who might want to join. I’ll include these instructions on my Resources page so they’re easier to find in the future.

1. Click on this link.

2. Highlight everything and copy it.

3. Paste it into the HTML editor on your blogging platform. (To get to the HTML editor in Blogger or WordPress, click on the tab at the top of the new post screen that says HTML.)

That’s it! If you’d like to download the text file to your computer for future reference,  just right-click on the link and choose “Save Link As…”

Remember, it’s SEVEN quick takes; seven items that happened in the last week that were noteworthy but didn’t require their own blog post. You can also do a list of SEVEN related items like your favorite toothbrushes, pieces of advice to give to a naked man in an airport, whatever! Don’t stress too much about content; just have fun and link up. It helps to visit other blogs participating in the link up and comment. That’s how you meet people and seem less like an internet stalker and more like a socially awkward acquaintance. It also helps when you remember to include a link back to this post. Your readers can find new favorite blogs and you don’t look like someone who just randomly joined a link up to try to drive traffic to your site.

7. Are you going to Stations of the Cross tonight with your whole family?! I know for many years, Tony and I would alternate going rather than take everyone and subject the quiet sanctuary to the cries and questions of our younger kids. Where was Michelle’s book ‘I Walk With Jesus- A Simple Way of the Cross’ then??? Where was Michele’s book when we tried to read the stations of the cross at home and only made it to the 4th station before tears interrupted and ruined everything?? Now, I can’t be sure ‘I Walk With Jesus’ would have made things 100 percent better but it couldn’t have made things worse. I mean, it’s so light it wouldn’t even make a good projectile or weapon. Bang it on the pew and it will hardly make a sound. We’re going to stations tonight as a family and I’ve already got ‘I Walk With Jesus’ packed in Teddy’s backpack should things get out of hand. Would you like to win your own e-book copy ?? Enter below and it could be in your possession before next Friday. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

How was your week? Write it down then link it up below. Be sure to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Quick Takes. I look forward to reading your posts!



  1. I have yet to brave Stations with my kids… unfortunately, it falls at bedtime round here, and getting them all to behave for half an hour after 7pm is unlikely to happe any time soon!

  2. I’m taking my almost five-year-old, three-year-old, and 18mo toddler to stations. This will be trip #3, and so far, we’re doing good by the grace of God and the strong lift-the-baby-put-the-baby-down-lift-the-baby arms of my dedicated husband.

  3. I will be looking for Fulton! Maybe this is the year we will go to Stations as a family. I would really like to try to do that this Lent.

  4. Stations of the Cross is definitely one of the most fruitful spiritual practices during Lent, and I always look forward to going to them at different churches each year! I’ve noticed that my husband and I are by far the youngest people in attendance at our parish, but here’s to turning the tide and spreading the prayerful Lenten spiritual practices to our friends 🙂

  5. That’s so cool that Fulton’s picture is sweeping across the nation!!! Your Lenten meal adventures sound really exciting. I would also be more than sick of oatmeal at this point, and I hope you’re able to make it through the rest of Lent! And as much as I love herbal tea, being “forbidden” to drink coffee and only being able to drink herbal tea would probably make me a little crazy.

    Sadly, we can’t make it to Stations tonight-our parish starts it at 6, and my husband usually doesn’t get home with the car until 6 and we live 15ish minutes away from church. We went last week though, and really enjoyed it! I thought it was pretty funny, actually-last week, we were just a couple minutes late and they were on the 3rd Station already! I guess our parish likes to rollick through St. Alphonsus’ Stations and not do the “Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be” after each one (which isn’t a bad thing necessarily, when there are young kids and hungry people present). Afterwards, they offer a “simple supper” by donation, which was pretty cool and a neat way to start off the weekend. I’m hoping that we can get back there soon!

  6. My older ones occasionally serve mass, stations, and benediction on Fridays. Last week I took my littles and they did amazingly well. By the grace of God I think! I would love to win this!

  7. I haven’t worked up the nerve to take all the kids to Stations yet this year. The baby just discovered a couple of weeks ago that when she yells in church, it echoes. She really likes that….her parents, not so much!

  8. I haven’t gone to the “official” stations that my church does, but because our stations are outdoors I take my kids before lunch time and we do our own walk around “the pictures”. I’ve been using these prayers with my 3 year old, but I would love another resource! Let’s see how lucky I/we are without the FB entries in the rafflecopter (no FB for lent #thestruggleISreal ) 😉

  9. We do the stations at our church and my boys usually hold the candles or crucifix for it but today we are doing it at home with a candle for each station and an item for them to hold that represents that station. BTW: I don’t drink coffee but love tea and get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs. They have incredible tea options esp herbal. I highly recommend Dawn Chorus for the AM and evening repose for the PM. You can also try loose raspberry leaf and mix it with some spearmint, lavender or other herb that you like. Raspberry leaf tastes almost like black tea and is very beneficial for your health. Loose leaf tea is much much stronger than tea bags, is a higher quality and tastes so much better!

    1. Jenny, I appreciate hearing that as a fellow tea-lover! (I love both coffee and tea) I have used tea bags my whole life, but I just made the jump and bought a tea infuser-thing, so as soon as I use up my current tea bag collection, I’m going to start buying loose leaf!

      1. AnneMarie, may favorite black tea from MRH is the EarlGrey. I add a vanilla bean (which you can reuse over and over again) and a touch of lavender. It’s called a Morning fog I think. I add a bit of coconut oil, cream and honey. Super strong though….took me a while to build up to the taste of the Earl Grey, obv bc I’m super tough 😉

        1. Oooh, that sounds delicious! Earl Grey is one of my favorite teas, and the last time I visited a local tea house (it’s a great place…like a coffee shop, but for tea) I had lavender earl grey. I bet it’s really awesome with the vanilla bean, too!

  10. Tagging on to what Jennyann1126 said – I also *never* liked tea until my father in law taught me how to make it. I was not using hot enough water (“It needs to be fresh off the boil”) and I was leaving the tea bag in for too long. Once I fixed those 2 things tea became my preferred option over coffee (shh! Don’t tell Starbucks). Of course, those are just the rules for black tea… but I’m sure there are similar ones for herbals.

    1. Yes Sarah, there are brewing rules depending on the type of herb for it to come out right. Some herbs can steep for 3 to 15 minutes and if you are using the roots of an herb you actually have to decoct it and simmer it in water to get the flavor out. As much as I love the taste and benefits I get from tea I really love the ritual of making it too.

  11. I’m newly Catholic and in a mixed marriage with 3 children; I have yet to attend a stations of the cross!!! Would love the ebook to prep myself and my kids, hahaha! Fulton seems like such a ham! I’ll be looking out for his handsome smile while out and about!

  12. Glad I read this before doing my weekly Friday-night-partay-at-the-grocery-store!* Got my shamrock to add to the wall of Fulton at our Fareway in Nebraska. I think there was one other kid’s picture, but all the rest are Fulton. 🙂
    *I am probably the worst nightmare of the younguns working there: You too may grow up to spend Friday night at the grocery store, all alone while husband stays with the kids who are all home in bed – and LIKE it that way! Friday night could not get more exciting, amirite?

  13. Yes! My 6 year old, now that he reads well, is able to really join in and participate, and my 4 year old is able to mostly follow along. It’s just active enough that my almost 2 year old participates fairly well without having to be held.

  14. I can’t wait to look for Fulton! 🙂 Bet we will be the only ones from Arkansas…
    We go to stations some. Our church has some kid friendly ones. Our favorite is when the teenagers put on a live stations, acting out the stations. It’s very well done. But the first time we went, and they “stripped Jesus of his garments”, my son yells, “Hey! You can’t be naked in church!” (he wasn’t really naked,,,just, uh, more underdressed than you might see at mass, lol)

  15. “Hey, naked man in airport! At least put on pants or they will taze you!” That is my advice. (I have 2 English degrees. Nothing slips past me.)

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