Friday, July 22, 2011

7 Quick Takes: Fluff, Fruit, Fraud and a Good Samaritan (Vol. 3)

It's beginning to look like I only post 7-quick-takes, and that maybe that's all my blog will ever do. Really, it's a vicious cycle because, when you don't post, there's lots of things to say about a lot of different things, and sometimes the easiest way to get it all in (self-editing, what?) is to lump it all together in a quick takes, but then you don't want your blog to only be about quick-takes, so you don't post, but then there's even more stuff to write about. Vicious cycle, I tell you.
1. And now I feel like a preteen who just apologized to her diary, inanimate object that it is, for it having been so long since she wrote in it. I once came across an old journal of mine that pretty much only had entries in this vein. Anne Frank I am not. Truth/inflammatory statement: I once read her diary. I liked her less afterwards. Reflection: maybe there are those who feel that way about me.

2. This summer I was introduced to a product that revolutionized my life. I am pretty much inept when it comes to hair. The only braiding I can do is of bookmark tassels, and my goal for styling my hair most days is to make it looked like I washed it. (You all are really impressed with me now, arent'cha?) But now, no more same ol' pony tale every day. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the spin pin:
They come in brown, for brunettes, too.
You twist these little numbers (sold in pairs) into your hair after you've twisted it into the shape of a bun. You don't need an elastic, or extra bobby pins, and the result is an effortless bun with no hairspray. Sheer Genius. Goody is marketing them under their Simple Styles collection. They could be blunt about it, and call it their "Hairstyles for Dummies" collection, and I wouldn't be offended. (And no, they aren't paying me to tell you this).

2. Mark recently got addicted to became an avid fan of the show "Hoarders" which definitely isn't for the weak-stomached. Originally, I thought this show would be like a TLC show where, "Surprise! We're getting rid of all your clutter, and giving you a new house with the garage sale proceeds!" Nope, nothing like that. People struggling with depression and crippling mental illness struggle to give up their prized possessions, be they never so vile (the possessions that is) and (sometimes) narrowly escape having their children taken away, losing their jobs, having loved ones leave them, dying, the list goes on. So yeah, not really uplifting and sometimes you gag when watching the stuff these people were keeping in their homes. One example: a year's supply of adult diapers. Used. It's a heartbreaking show to watch.
So all this self-inflicted depression on our part has had the happy consequence of us deciding to clean up our own act. No we aren't hoarders. But we did both have tubs of paper that we hadn't gone through since college, and clothes we haven't worn in years, and generally things we didn't use any more, so we went on a cleaning purge. A purge I tell you! We gave so much stuff away and it was so liberating. I know what is in all of my drawers now, kitchen and bedroom. Even our closets are organized. It's been wonderful.

Not our kitchen table!
3. Having a clean apartment (and a clean dining table) also means that we actually have dinner at the table now. Frown upon us as the savages we are, but for the longest time, we would eat dinner on the couch in front of the TV (I hope my mother isn't reading this, because if she is, she is dying of shame). It's true. That's what we did. Note: We did not watch "Hoarders" while eating and I strongly recommend that you don't either. But now, we have rediscovered the wonders of civilized eating. It's not that we didn't talk before, but we talk more and about deeper things like books we've read etc., not just commentary on the show we're watching. Eating at the table also means that I cook more than one dish. Most meals at our house are rice with some type of protein on top. But now I cook vegetables, who knew? Also, I don't know if it's the clean house, or the dinner table conversations, or maybe even the vegetables, but we laugh more too. And we were happy before!

Not the pie I made either.
4. I've also been taking advantage of summer produce. I never much cared for fruit desserts before, but what was I thinking??? In the past few weeks I have made a Dutch Apple Pie (with a real butter pie crust that I made all by myself!), Raspberry Crisp and Peach Cobbler. The pie was so good, I'm going to make another, maybe right now.

5. In other news, someone got a hold of our debit card info, and purchased a pair of shoes and ESPN Insider online. Whoever they were, they thought they were so clever, because Mark absolutely would have assumed I bought the shoes, and I wouldn't have raised an eye-brow at ESPN. But I was having a budgetary "My lord! We couldn't have spent that much money on shopping this month!" moment and was searching our listed transactions, and saw these. Luckily our bank took care of everything and our little nest egg is safe and sound.
6. They couldn't have been that smart though, because they forgot to change the shipping address for their online order, and now we have a pair of size 5 Keds that we have to figure out what to do with. If you're going to enjoy the spoils of a life of poor choices, cast your net wider, and set your sights higher than canvas shoes. At least that's what I would do.

I hope you read this far, because this really is the best part!
7. But the world isn't all filled with scoundrels and cads. Today, I was in a minor fender bender at a stop light. Totally my fault. In the small world that is the Catholic circles of Houston, the other driver and I had met before, his son went to school with my husband, and we had both just left the funeral of the same person, a pillar of Catholic education in Houston. Neither car was in too much disrepair, but he was driving a Lexus, and it was scratched. Needless to say, I wasn't much looking forward to the price estimate. But this very dear man just called me, and told me that since he knew Mark and I were both working at Catholic schools, he didn't want us to pay for it. He added that he was so thrilled that we were using our talents for this very worthy cause. He said for us to keep on doing what we are doing, and that he'd take care of whatever costs and repairs there were! I am touched and honored by his kindness and gracious generosity. Any thoughts as to how we can show our gratitude? I have some ideas, but wanted to see what you all think!

That's all folks! 


  1. I'm trying to think of something noble to say about your more serious takes....but really, I want to know about the spin pin! Soooo interested! I'm going to google it now....

  2. Honest, we read Anne's diary so much in middle school that I kind of resented her for writing it. Now of course as an adult, I'm glad. But 3 years of reading the same book just gets to be a bit much.
    This spin pin of which you sounds magical! I can totally relate to how you style your hair. I'll have to look into these when mine grows back out.

  3. oh I LOVE the spin I lost mine a few months ago but must get another set....thanks for the reminder!

  4. Anne, I love your writing! Glad you are well and eating at the table!

  5. I think a pie is an excellent show of gratitude to the sweet Lexus owner! Also, I really enjoy your "diary" entries, and completely relate to the downward spiral of "oh, I'll write a post about that later..." We should definitely get together sometime after the Smith trip to Buffalo (the 26 - the 4).

  6. Well, Clare and I are both wearing size 5 shoes these days, if they're white, Clare could use them for school...
    Spiritual boguets are always a great gift, it shows though of the person on so many levels! Mums the word on eating at the couch... We have been known to still do that with our judging, right?!

  7. This is a good common sense Blog. Very helpful to one who is just finding the resources about this part. It will certainly help educate me.