7 Quick Takes — Miscellaneous

7 Quick Takes

I was thinking about themes for this week and decided to just go with miscellaneous things on my mind from the last few days.

— 1 —

For those who homeschool, may I *HIGHLY* recommend Postcrossing.Com as a way of supplementing geography instruction? The premise is simple. You sign up for an account and put in it as much personal information that you want to reveal, any preferences you have for postcards, and then you click on “send a postcard”. It gives you the name of someone in the world who has also signed up and you send them a postcard. Once that person gets the postcard, they register it and your name is given to someone else for them to send you a postcard. As an example, my profile is here. I even have one set up for Daniel if you want to see what a child’s account could look like. It’s been amazing to be part of this and I’m putting the ones for Daniel in an album for him to have when he’s older. I’ve also sent quite a few postcards to people who register their account for their family (i.e. “The Johnson Family” instead of “Bob Johnson”).

— 2 —

We’ve been getting our first rain of the fall this week. Despite the fact that the pressure changes can be migraine triggers for me, I’m loving this. I just kind of wish that the rain was beating on the windows instead of dripping from the carport. This weekend is supposed to be “good” weather though. I’m hoping for no temperatures above 75. This is October, for crying out loud.

— 3 —

Is anybody else irritated with seeing Christmas stuff in shops? OK… granted it was Michael’s and crafters have to get a leg up on Christmas but I’m going to be very stern and flustered if I see it anywhere else. Oh yeah… I also had to switch the CD playing machine off of Christmas music at Bed, Bath, and Beyond last Saturday.

— 4 —

“Hart of Dixie” is proving to be a pretty good series. The last CW series I liked or even really watched (because CW wasn’t part of cable or satellite when I lived in Minnesota and Montana) was “7th Heaven”. I can identify with Zoe feeling like a fish out of water and wanting to know what to do to fit into the town. I’ve had that everywhere I’ve lived and one of the things I learned to do was to do what the people do. I crafted with the women in the area every Tuesday morning in Montana until I got my job at UPS-SCS and I went to basketball games at the high school in Minnesota.

— 5 —

I ended up making the best pizza on the planet last Friday night. My parents and evil twin were joining us for dinner and there wasn’t going to be time for everyone’s pizza to cook on the pizza stone on the barbecue so Mom and I just baked ours in the oven. Tomatoes can incite IBS in me (it’s a 50/50 shot) so I eschewed tomato sauce in favor of homemade pesto, mozzarella cheese, feta, and black olives. The crust was the bulk mix from WinCo and it ended up being some of the best pizza I’ve ever had. And for the record, there is no such thing as too much pesto. Just wanted to make that last thing clear.

— 6 —

According to CNN, Bank of America is defending their “right to make a profit”. This is true — they have a right to make a profit. I also have a right not to bank with them. 🙂 My own bank (Wells Fargo) is trying out new fees on accounts as well. There are a number of banks doing this because new regulations cut into their profit margins. An alternative is to bank with a credit union.

— 7 —

I’m still standing with those protesting on Wall Street. I’m aware that protesters are being arrested and some of the arrests are due to them doing things like blocking off the Brooklyn Bridge or jumping over barriers. There are some unwarranted arrests and police officers using unnecessary force but it would be wrong of me to say that it was all the police’s fault and that the protesters are completely blameless.

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at ConversionDiary.Com.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: October 3, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY October 3, 2011

Outside my window… kind of grey. We’re supposed to get some rain which is making me quite happy.

I am thinking… about plans for next week when Jon is out of town.

I am thankful… for the zoo trip with Mom and Dad on Friday and then the dinner afterwards with my parents, Jon, Daniel, and my evil twin brother Sean. Also thankful for Sean and his fiancée Jeanette giving us their old TV when ours died yesterday. (It was 28 years old — it was time.)

From the learning rooms… Daniel was a pill for his Child Development person this morning. He refused to use his sign language or talk to her. Gotta love two year olds! (His Child Development person made him work nevertheless.)

In the kitchen… baked potatoes made with Yukon Gold potatoes.

I am wearing… green v-neck shirt and Jon’s Left Behind shorts.

I am creating… this entry and some super-secret family crocheting.

I am going… out as soon as Daniel has a nap and the Fed Ex people get here.

I am wondering… when Fed Ex will show up.

I am reading… two murder mysteries from the library. My copy of Scones and Bones by Laura Childs arrived (I was on the waiting list for it) and I saw a copy of the newest Leslie Meier book, The English Tea Murder, when I walked in. I think the library staff are still laughing over the sight of me clutching it to my chest while saying, “Mine! Mine!”

I am hoping… Daniel participates well in his therapies for the rest of the week.

I am looking forward to… my massage on Friday.

I am hearing… “Winnie the Pooh” on DVD and Daniel ripping apart a diaper box with his teeth.

Around the house… laundry really needs to be sorted and folded.

I am pondering… a lot of things that I can’t put words to. I function internally so I usually have a bunch of things ruminating in my mind.

One of my favorite things… the pizza with pesto, mozarella cheese, feta, and olives that I ended up making for myself on Friday night.

A few plans for the rest of the week… speech and physical therapy for Daniel tomorrow, Ladies’ Night out on Wednesday, and my massage on Friday.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing… Daniel and the Sumatran tiger at the Sacramento Zoo. I should add that the tiger has an amazing exhibit with lots of enrichment opportunities and places to nap… and it preferred to hang out in the window of its exhibit and people-watch.

Daniel and the Sumatran tiger at the Sacramento Zoo

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7 Quick Takes — Whine and Maybe Some Cheese

7 Quick Takes

Hopefully, I’m at the Sacramento Zoo as most of you are reading this and we haven’t had to cancel again due to weather. The Sacramento Zoo trip is on!


I got my flu shot on Wednesday. (I also keep being tempted to add an “e” to flu.) It was my annual exam and they were already doing unpleasant things to me so I figured that one more wasn’t going to make the occasion any less wonderful. At least mine is out of the way now and I can focus on making sure that Jon and Daniel (especially Mr. No-Immune-System-To-Speak-Of) get theirs.


I probably could have avoided going in for my annual exam. One of the FNP’s at the practice (which is huge — 12 providers) had called in a year of refills on my birth control pills. (We’ve been through this.) The only reason I’m so good about going in for my annual exam is so that said doctor will refill my birth control. After all, I believe that I should be monitored by a doctor if I’m going to be on a medication like that. It was so tempting though to cancel the appointment because the refills were called in anyway… (Can you tell how much I hate my annual exam?)


I hate Lion Brand Homespun yarn. If the super-secret project(s) I’m working on didn’t call for it, it would still be in its bin at Michael’s. The only benefit is that it crochets up relatively fast. (I’d post pictures except that people close to the recipients read my blog and I don’t want the secret to get out.) My doctor did also criticize my mad crocheting skillz.


Crocheting with fibromyalgia is an adventure. I have a prayer team dedicated to praying for my joints as I work on these projects. So far, I’ve been amazingly lucky and the arthritis in my right thumb isn’t messing with things too much. I have to be aware of what I’m doing as far as my wrists, fingers, and elbows but my thumb has behaved.


I still haven’t caught an episode of The Biggest Loser this season. Tuesday has become NCIS night for me and I’m too addicted to switch. I’ve been meaning to catch The Biggest Loser online but haven’t yet. Uff da!


I have a strange craving for Brie on crackers. (I needed some cheese with my whine, right?) Seriously, I do crave Brie right now. I could theoretically pick some up at Trader Joe’s (along with some crackers) but I haven’t because I don’t usually think of it while I’m there. There’s also the lactose-intolerance issue and the fact that it would probably cause some major IBS issues.


I’m craving stinky cheese in general. If I had my druthers and could eat anything in the world without gaining a pound or adding to my liver damage, I’d be noshing on some Pub Cheese and vegetable chips from Trader Joe’s. *sighs*

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at ConversionDiary.Com.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: September 26, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY September 26, 2011

Outside my window… dark. I blanked on doing this until 11:45 p.m.

I am thinking… that I hate Lion Brand Homespun. Just sayin’.

I am thankful… that Daniel decided not to scream until 11 tonight.

From the learning rooms… Daniel is working on walking, fine motor skills, and some signing.

In the kitchen… kitchen? What kitchen? Oh yes, I got my copy of the book of breakfast food from Peggy and there are some recipes I’m dying to make from it.

I am wearing… charcoal shirt and boxers.

I am creating… this entry and some emergency crocheting.

I am going… to shut down the TV once Pauley Perette is done on Leno.

I am wondering… if there was a baby yarn that would have worked better for what I’m doing than Lion Brand Homespun.

I am reading… the Lumby books. What can I say? I’m not feeling A.J. Jacobs at the moment.

I am hoping… my joints hold up until my crocheting project(s) are done.

I am looking forward to… the zoo trip that got rescheduled to Friday.

I am hearing… Leno and the cats being nocturnal.

Around the house… next question.

One of my favorite things… mango-pineapple smoothies from McDonalds. (Hello breakfast for tomorrow!)

A few plans for the rest of the week… the insane Tuesday gamut of speech and physical therapy, occupational therapy on Thursday, and assorted errands.

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The Simple Woman’s Daybook: September 19, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY September 19, 2011

Outside my window… sunny and in the 90’s. I’m seriously jonesing for four distinct seasons here — 97 F in September is unacceptable.

I am thinking… that I hope “the Buffet plan” passes and the millionaires and billionaires start paying their fair share.

I am thankful… for our “Winnie the Pooh” DVD. It kept Daniel quiet last week and it’s allowing me to get some web work done.

In the kitchen… nothing exceptional. Lunch for me was a baked Yukon gold potato. (I prefer them because they’re smaller and they have a better flavor than the russet ones.)

I am wearing… black Arabic shirt and black shorts (my “around the house” clothes).

I am creating… details for my NaNo piece.

I am going… to Walgreens today if my doctor’s office calls in my prescriptions.

I am wondering… where my regular cookbooks are and when I’m actually going to feel like cooking from scratch again.

I am reading… Stealing Lumby by Gail Fraser. The A.J. Jacobs book isn’t keeping my attention and I have the Lumby books until October so I’m re-reading them now that I’ve read the first one.

I am hoping… that I’m over Daniel’s bug though I haven’t had the issues that he has — in my case, it’s just a fever.

I am looking forward to… the fall season priemieres on CBS this week.

I am hearing… the refrigerator humming and “Winnie the Pooh” on the DVD player.

Around the house… echoing Dawn on this: don’t ask.

I am pondering… how people can call themselves Christians and yet support Tea Party politics. I’m not trying to start a fight here — the Tea Party rhetoric goes against EVERYTHING in the Bible about taking care of each other in both the Old and New Testaments. They truthfully disgust me.

One of my favorite things… the quiet time I get after Daniel goes to bed.

A few plans for the rest of the week… Daniel’s various therapies on Tuesday and Thursday and the Sacramento Zoo on Friday with my parents.

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7 Quick Takes — Things to Do Instead of Watching Endless Hours of TV on 9/11

7 Quick Takes

Sunday is the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and that fact hasn’t escaped me. I’m sure there will be televised memorials and lots of footage of the towers falling. Thing is… we know it happened. I have memories of that day and of the prayer meeting that happened when the entire seminary crowded into Schenk Chapel at noon as well as the prayer meetings in the coming days. I also memories of sheer terror when it came to board a plane to fly home at Christmas and having to take some Xanax to even make it through security. I’m not going to deny that all of us were changed by it in some way; but I have a problem with those in the media and elsewhere who want us to stay mad about it instead moving on with our collective lives.

My Quick Takes this week are all about things to do instead of dwelling on what happened ten years ago.


Go to church. The Gospel lesson that day according to the Revised Common Lectionary is Matthew 18:21-35 which is about forgiveness. The alternate Old Testament lesson? Joseph forgiving his brothers. I think that the message here is that we’re preaching forgiveness and moving on this Sunday.


Do a service project. This is actually what President Obama has called for us to do. Why not re-author the meaning of the day by making it a day of service to others? Collect food for a food pantry. (They’re getting more clients and getting desperate.) Clear some nature trails. Hold a blood drive. Plant a tree. Put together care packages for soldiers. Do SOMETHING to help someone else.


Go to the movies. I’m the last person in the world to know what’s playing this weekend but there’s probably something good? I went on Yahoo Movies and it looks like The Help is kicking butt and taking names. (I couldn’t get into the book but I’ve heard good things about the movie.) On the coming soon page, it says that Contagion and Warrior are coming out. If you’re into thrillers and mixed martial arts, go see those.


Have a picnic. Even if you live in a concrete jungle, there has to be someplace you can go and picnic. Trader Joe’s has some good recipes. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s nearby, check out Whole Foods. If you don’t have either one, go to your local grocery store deli and get sandwiches or something.


Go to IKEA. This sounds cheesy but it’s kind of a fun experience. They have great food and if nothing else, you can walk through a bunch of showrooms and explore.


Read a book. I’m almost all the way through the Lumby books. I also recommend anything by Jan Karon, Charlene Ann Baumbich, Phillip Gulley, or Joan Medlicott. All of them write about small town USA and the ideals that a lot of people have about what the heart of America is.


Go to the zoo. If you have a zoo nearby, go on Sunday. If you happen to go to the Bronx Zoo, M.I.A. the Bronx Zoo’s escaping cobra is claiming that you can get in half price if you bring a glass cutter.

Again, I’m not advocating the idea of forgetting what happened. I just feel that it’s more productive to do things other than giving into our sensationalized media.

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at ConversionDiary.Com.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: July 25, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY July 25, 2011

Outside my window… sunny and warm. According to Weatherbug, it’s in the 80’s.

I am thinking… about cookie baking for Metanoia’s booth at the Farmer’s Market in a few weeks.

I am thankful… for Daniel’s various therapists.

From the learning rooms… the sign for “more”, body parts, and walking while only holding on to one finger.

In the kitchen… pasta salad made from a Trader Joe’s recipe.

I am wearing… olive-colored t-shirt and sweats.

I am creating… entries for Michelle and a podcast episode.

I am going… to be with my parents this weekend.

I am wondering… how Daniel’s child development person and especially his physical therapist have so much energy. His physical therapist is amazing in that regard.

I am reading… the Dearest Dorothy books by Charlene Ann Baumbich and wishing that she would write more in that series! A.J. Jacobs will have my attention again soon.

I am hoping… Daniel goes down for a good nap after therapy today.

I am looking forward to… the weekend with my parents.

I am hearing… Daniel’s child development person working with him. (Thank God for Easter Seals and that they make home visits.)

Around the house… testing out the Mint floor cleaner that my mother-in-law gave us.

I am pondering… a number of things.

One of my favorite things… Daniel lying on my tummy with his head on his arms staring at me and smiling.

A few plans for the rest of the week… Speech and PT for Daniel tomorrow, nutritionist appointment on Wednesday, and road trip to San Jose (all 2 hours of it) on Friday.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing… Daniel asleep on the hardwood floor after his physical therapist tired him out last week. Being the wonderful mother I am, I took a picture before I took his sandals off and stuck him on a blanket.

Daniel asleep on the hardwood floor

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