7 Quick Takes Friday

7 Quick Takes Friday


Jane Austen’s unfinished manuscript The Watsons sold at Sotheby’s yesterday for 1.6 million dollars–three to four times what it was predicted to bring.  This manuscript is a Big Deal:  none of Jane Austen’s other works survive, except for two draft chapters of Persuasion.  Scholars say The Watsons is Austen’s most autobiographical work:  it tells the story of Emma Watson, a young woman who returns home to her middle-class family after being raised by a wealthy aunt.  And in the Watson household, tenuous financial circumstances have the daughters on a desperate hunt for husbands.

It’s been suggested that the work was abandoned–it’s about 1/4 done–because the story line was hitting too close to home for Austen, who never married.  This is the closest we’ll ever get to an Austen autobiography, and I’m wondering:  if one-fourth of the drafted manuscript fetched 1.6 million, what would the world pay for a polished Austen memoir?  (I, for one, would pay a lot to read it!) 


Oh, how I love the yarnbombers:  Best. Street Art. Ever. Check out this yarnbombed bus in Mexico City (via Meaningful Squiggles).  This bus is the work of Knitta Please (tagline:  we knit graffiti).  I also love Knit the City (tagline:  your friendly neighborhood yarnstormers).  I only wish they were in my neighborhood!  Their blog is such fun:  make sure you don’t miss their Wooly Wills and Kate dolls!

Photograph: Bournemouth News/Rex Features



I’ve been fascinated with the concept of the gap year since Susan Wise Bauer blogged about it last year.  But now the Harvard Business Review is advocating a gap year for grown-ups.  The idea is that we can be more focused, productive and fulfilled if we approach our work after a period of thoughtful reflection (or, for the teenagers, after a year of developing maturity out in the “real world”).

Granting a sabbatical to the non-academics among us sounds like a good idea to me:  time away to refresh, re-examine, refocus will yield good things.  But I’m not sure where that leaves mothers.  Mothers struggle enough with stepping out of the workplace and taking time for themselves–and their families.  What does a gap year look like for moms?  (I don’t know the answer, but I can tell you this: it’s not a gap year.)


Will Will and Kate’s American visit cement the comeback of The Hat? Kate didn’t don many hats on her North American tour, but the Americans who came out to meet her did.  But for the Duchess herself, my favorite hat this trip was this one, hands down:

photo credit: Fame Pictures



Michelle Obama’s made the news for her Monday lunch stop at DC’s Shake Shack.  She ordered a hamburger, fries, a Diet Coke and a chocolate shake–and the blogosphere is up in arms about the “hypocrisy” of the first lady, who’s become a vocal advocate of healthy living–and eating.

I understand that the first lady’s fast food meal is a good jumping off point to discuss nutrition-related issues.  The first lady is a role model–and she should take that responsibility seriously.  But I think it’s unfair to take a woman to task for one lunch–out of the 1000+ meals she’ll eat this year.  (And I want to know–why are bloggers going nuts over the burger?  If I had to choose, I would have slammed the shake.)  As women, can we let Mrs. Obama eat her lunch in peace?


I adore key lime pie, but I don’t eat gluten anymore–no crusts for me.  So I was delighted to find this recipe for key lime pie ice cream.  (No, it’s not healthy.  But it’s so good–and no gluten!)

And it couldn’t be easier to make:  dump, stir, freeze. I have an ice cream maker, but it’s not hard to make it without one.  (I did substitute fresh lime juice for the bottled, which just takes a minute with a citrus juicer.  I also left out the graham crackers because of the gluten.)

This stuff is fabulous.  With the fresh lime juice, it was very tart.  If you love citrus–this is for you.  Otherwise, stick with the chocolate.


Have a great weekend!

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  1. Linda says:

    So happy to see your name listed on the 7 quick takes link up. Your blog was one of my new finds last week! I second your take on Michelle Obama. Poor lady can’t enjoy a burger?

  2. Joy says:

    Great list!
    Love the pictures and completely agree with you about Mrs. Obama ~ if you eat well the majority of the time then the occasionally treat be it a milk shake or key lime ice cream is just fine 🙂

  3. Maya says:

    Thanks for the link! Gotta love the yarnstorm – maybe you could start your own friendly neighbourhood group?!

    And I had no idea that there were so few Jane Austen manuscripts remaining! No wonder this one fetched such a high price. Stories like this are so interesting to me because I’m fascinated by the way different associations affect our perception of an object’s value.

  4. Lacey says:

    I totally agree with you about the Michelle Obama story. I think being healthy means indulging in a favorite once in a while. For heaven’s sake we have MUCH larger issues to worry about than whether the First Lady has a cheeseburger. Sheesh!

  5. Sarah says:

    Your blog is too cute.

    I Love Princess Kate! That’s such a cute photo. I’m not the biggest MO fan, but for goodness sake, leave her alone! She probably eats healthy 90% of the time; no one is perfect!

    As for the gap year, it’s a great idea, haha. No really, it is, I just think it would be terribly hard for any mom to get away for that long (and most wouldn’t want to!). Maybe some kind of gap year condensed retreat. I would sign up for it!

    I would also pay a lot of money to read an Austen memoir. Did you ever see that movie Being Jane Austen with Anne Hathaway? I don’t know how accurate that was, but man, I remember crying like a baby.

    Have a great weekend! And thanks for stopping by my blog last week.

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