Friday, August 27, 2010
Seven Quick Takes Friday
1. Where'd my Extra Hands Go?
Today, my oldest two went to high school. The freshman started Monday, the senior started today. I drove them to the Metro and listening to them chat away, I was glad these two were such tight friends in addition to being brother and sister. It's going to be a fun time for them both, coming to and from school, having someone other than Mom to talk to about what is going on, and I'm also grateful because it will make the commuting time they spend much less lonely. That being said, my two babysitters just retired for the school year. Waaaaah. I got very spoiled this summer.
2. Favorite Children's Books
Other than for learning to read, after 17 years, no one is more tired of Dr. Seus than me. So here are the substituted books for when I get pre-readers and bed time story requests: Any of the Francis series, Bedtime, Bread and Jam or Bargains or Best Friends for Francis all by Hoban are funny and as timeless as George and Martha, those two awesome hippos who don't like split pea soup. I'm also a great lover of Kevin Henkes and snatch up every new book he writes, with the full knowledge that I have at least two Lillys in my home. I ususally introduce chapter books by reading aloud any three of the following: Black Beauty, Old Yeller, Little House in the Big Woods, Watership Down, A Little Princess, BFG, and of course, The Hobbit. I have to stop myself or this will turn into just a giant list of books I've loved and love introducing to my children but you get the idea.
Harry Potter, I've read aloud to one, the second grabbed it and read it on her own by herself, the third took longer to grapple with it the the fourth is more into spy stuff and the Percy Jackson series which I also love. So far, it has guaranteed a love of reading in the top five and the sixth and seventh in the cue following suit.
3. Ask and Ye Shall Receive
Yesterday, I had to go to the Open House Night at my daughter's high school. It had been a hard long day with lots of stop and start errands and I wasn't in the right place for going out. What I really wanted was to stay home. To get myself straightened out, I prayed the rosary. At the end, I realized I had two problems. I was hungry with no easy to grab gestational diabetic good for you food available and I was late. I issued a quick humours plea, "Saint Anthony, you'll have to find me a place to park and some food would be good too." I asked the blessed Mother to look after my baby and my children at home as I pulled onto the street to the Academy of the Holy Cross.
There were cars lining the entire road. I decided I'd pull all the way around, hoping someone had somewhere left and left enough space to allow a 12 passenger van to parallel park! Then, the men managing the parking waved me up and gave me honestly, the most perfect spot ever. They had run out of space and were now allowing people to park on the curb for the drop off. I was five feet from the front doors. Saint Anthony came through and I had to laugh. But it wasn't finished. I walked into the lobby and there in the main area was a table set with whole wheat grilled breads, cheese, raw vegetables and fresh cut fruit. If I could have room service ordered safe foods to eat, the menu would have been this. It was hard not to laugh out loud at the immediate perfection discovered.
Yesterday we had to get the Suburban serviced. It has over 100,000 miles and so it needed some TLC. When the mechanic called to tell me about how much the car's day at the spa would cost, he indicated we needed a fuel injection in addition to everything else, and that would cost 180 dollars. Listening to the litany of things our old car needed, I did the logical thing, stall.
"I'll have to talk with my husband." I said. Then I did call my husband and we discussed the needed repairs. "Bargain with him Sher." my husband counseled. "You always know how to get a good deal." he encouraged and reminded me that when we'd gone to get brakes done and he'd balked at the price for something, the mechanic had dropped the cost 10%. How I'd bought two of our cars and done a good job. I called the local Jiffy lube and asked for the service cost of identical services that were considered preventative maintenance. Calling back the place that had our car, I detailed what I wanted them to do. "You don't want the fuel induction?" he asked. "Well no, I can get it for 79 over at the Jiffy Lube." I explained. "We'll do it for free." he added quickly. So moral of the story, do your homework, knowledge is power and don't be afraid to walk away.
5. Today is the Day to Start the Big Push
It's a statement my dad would use whenever we kids faced a daunting task like exams, the start of school, auditions, a paper, whathaveyou. Today, I'm taking on organizing and cleaning the basement. If you don't hear from me come Sunday, send a search party.
6. Dry Spell
Well, I've been writing and writing and submitting, but August is almost over and I've yet to score a publication, so the streak of 7 months straight is about to be broken. I'll send another one out today, maybe we can squeak one in under the wire. I hope so, but I also am oddly not anxious about this in the way that I know it would have torn me up only a few months ago. Maybe I'm mellowing with middle age, maybe I've just got too much to stress about this, maybe I'm just learning that same lesson I'm trying to teach my children, that struggling is not the end of the world, that a bit of frustration in one's every day is good for the spirit, it teaches persistence, carefulness, thoughtfulness, grit and more. Just the same, I'm hoping I don't have to be an example of determination in the face of persistent futility for too long. :)
7. Why Sunday Posts have been Showing up on Monday or Saturday
Yes I know how to back or preschedule a post. What I haven't become accustomed to is my new Sunday habit of fasting from the computer --so I'm not yet prepared for when it rolls around. It was to help keep me from spending too much time sitting at my laptop. But I'll try to make sure I have a fresh batch of Chocolate for Your Brain ready before I turn off the machine for 24 hours.
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