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Spooky soap, a Colin Powell memory, a Brie appetizer recipe, and more (7 Quick Takes)


I took some time off from work yesterday, but I had no plan for how I would spend the day. I decided to start with morning Mass, picked up a large iced coffee, and went grocery shopping. Life is full of so many simple pleasures, and one of them is grocery shopping on a weekday morning. The store was so empty, and I even found ghost-shaped bottles of soap.

Usually, when I take time off, it’s for a specific purpose, but it was nice just to let the day play out and see what happened. Then I met friends for an outdoor dinner, and we had the best time laughing and talking. We started heading home, and one of my friends and I were talking so much in the parking lot that we went back and sat by one of the heated lamps and talked for a while longer. I didn’t get home until 10:30. What a wild life I lead!


When I heard that Colin Powell had died, I thought right away of how he came to speak at Loyola University Maryland in 2013. I can’t believe that has been so long ago now.

I had the chance to meet him just for a moment for a photo.

I don’t remember much about what we said to each other, but I recall how friendly and gracious he was.

And he gave such an inspiring talk that evening.


Are shipping delays affecting you yet? We are having even more trouble getting our sons’ favorite chocolate soy milk. We are going to try pea milk for the first time this week. We’ll see how that goes.

I am not sure how I feel about drinking something called “pea milk.” I like peas, but pea milk feels a little desperate to me. How do you milk a pea?

Maybe it will be delicious. I’ll let you know.


My niece turned 7 on Wednesday, and my father turned 77 on Thursday. All those sevens sound like something out of a fairy tale. We gave my father a couple of die-cast cars and classic car coloring books that he could enjoy on his own or with his local grandchildren.

I had forgotten to buy him a birthday card, so I dug into my blank cards to see what might work with his gift. That’s when I found the Father’s Day card I forgot to give him, which also had a classic car on it. I crossed our “Father’s Day” and wrote in “Birthday,” and we were set.


Happy birthday to St. Ignatius of Loyola, who would have been 530 today! I thought it might be fun to bake him a cake, but it feels more like apple pie weather to me. I learned this week that his favorite color was red, but I don’t know what his favorite dessert was. I found this infographic of what foods St. Ignatius ate.

Of course, he’s not actually going to eat dessert with us, so maybe I’ll just make what we would like to enjoy in his honor.


When John and I got married 17 years ago, we honeymooned in Fenwick Island, Delaware, at my uncle and aunt’s condo. It was amazing. There was a restaurant, Nantucket’s, that was within walking distance, and we ate there a few times on our honeymoon—and we’ve been back several times since then.

They have an appetizer they make with Brie, grape tomatoes, and pesto, and I’ve been trying to duplicate it for years. I think I might finally be close—or at least close enough to satisfy us.

I take one of those lovely triangular pieces of Brie, slice it in half, and put it in a pie plate with the cheese pieces placed rind-side down. Then I put grape tomatoes on top and spoon about a ¼ cup of pre-made pesto sauce over it. I bake it uncovered for about 20 minutes at 425 degrees until it’s all melted and bubbly. Then I serve it with a sliced baguette.

You might rather have your Brie sweet rather than savory, which I would absolutely understand. I generally think you can’t go wrong with Brie.


We have a sixth grader and an eighth grader, and they’re in the same school for the first time in three years. I love that they travel to and from school together.

They both play the trumpet, and they have band on the same day. So, they take one trumpet case containing one trumpet with two mouthpieces. This was their idea—not mine. It makes it so much easier that two children can use one trumpet and take turns carrying it on and off the bus.

It’s a miracle that they haven’t forgotten it yet. But now that I’ve pointed out how well it works, we will probably forget it next week, of course.

Find more quick takes on Kelly’s blog, This Ain’t the Lyceum, and have a wonderful weekend.

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