Friday, June 17, 2011

Quick Takes Friday--June 17

Happy Friday!


We haven't chosen a name for our baby yet--and all of a sudden I'm not in a hurry.

Finding a name for our baby is one of my favorite parts of pregnancy. The anticipation of meeting him or her is at once heightened and relieved when I have an idea of what to call my newest darling. But the last three times it's been tough to form much of a commitment to any name. I made lists, and my husband would strike what he didn't like, but never really signed on as distinguishing any of them with particular favor. He'd venture suggestions, but they always had a question mark. We ended up choosing a name within a week (one on the very eve) before the baby was born, and usually from a direction we didn't expect.

My Italian grandmother once expressed understanding when I told her we hadn't picked a name for the baby we were then expecting. "How can you pick out a name if you don't know what he looks like yet?" she asked. "You have to see the baby and figure out if he looks like the name." Now, my husband and I have hit a bit of a wall--two pages of names without any favorites--and I'm thinking, "Maybe I'll just see what the baby looks like first..."


Summer is here, and if you have an ice cream maker you need this recipe for one of the most perfect summer desserts ever dreamed of:

Lime sherbet.

If yours is a dinky small ice cream maker like mine, you'll need to freeze it in two or even three batches. Just pour it into one of those big, circular ice cream tubs with the handle after you finish off the Old-Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream that came in it. (Buy the stuff just to have the tub, if you must. Make ice cream sandwiches with it, or top it with peaches, or something. Seriously, all kinds of possibilities there, too.)

Try it. You'll thank me.


My digital camera is fairly new. I kind of wish it wasn't, because then I wouldn't feel so guilty about how little I like it. It's a fine enough camera--an Olympus Stylus Tough, so it withstands a lot, which is good in my household. But it just seems as though the last couple of times I got a new camera, I lose some feature that helped me to take decent pictures when I attempted something a little more artistic than photographic evidence. I'm not very knowledgeable about photography, but I would figure out a couple of tricks with one camera, have to get another (they do break), newer, presumably better model, and my little tricks wouldn't work.

I think I figured it out. Pretty consistently, I have found that the Olympus cameras, while having lots of settings and other neat features, do not allow for manual adjustment of aperture. And aperture seems to be the #1 thing you want to have control over to create your shot. So now I'm thinking I'd like to buy a new camera--my husband would find a tough digital camera, like my present one, helpful at work--but I can't spend much on it. Do I graduate to a SLR, with its bigger price tag and an unknown learning curve? (I mean, I can read a manual, but practically speaking, playtime for experimenting is short and unfailingly interrupted.) Or do I pick a different brand point-and-shoot and trust that just having the option to choose my aperture will be an improvement?


On e-books and printed books: I definitely think that predicting the imminent demise of the printed book is overreaching. I love books. I would (generally) much rather buy a printed version than some e-book if given the choice. E-books are sometimes a bit awkward to manage, and they're so...intangible. Gone with a wrong touch or keystroke. (Elizabeth Scalia at The Anchoress has a far better word--changeable.) I resisted every time my husband suggested buying a Kindle or a Nook for me as a present; fortunately he had already given me an iPad, and the free Kindle app makes the e-reader redundant, so I could overcome his generous zeal by saying, "I basically already have one, honey."


On the other hand, I am glad to have books in electronic form. I first read several of Jane Austen's books on the Internet when we were pinching pennies and I couldn't wait for interlibrary loans. And there are so many classics available for free in Kindle format, or for that matter in other apps. And Brandon Vogt's post at The Thin Veil on building a library of Catholic ebooks on the cheap is just an awesome resource. Come on--the entire Summa Theologica for $0.99? How great is that!


My hands have been going numb when I sleep. I remember this happening in other pregnancies. But now it happens during waking hours, too. Especially my right hand. My writing hand. My mouse-and-keyboard hand. I think it's carpal tunnel syndrome. This, of course, would be the time that I have decided to learn finally how to crochet. I'm actually managing this okay so far, as long as I do these stretches periodically, but it certainly slows the process down.

Anybody know any really simple, one- or two-skein projects?


Some of my favorite parenting wisdom of late:
"I cannot make you holy. I cannot make you choose to be excellent. You have a will and you have to decide in your heart what kind of person you want to be...."
--Sally Clarkson

(H/T Elizabeth Foss, I think!)

Go see Jen for more Quick Takes.

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