7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 139)

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 139)

— 1 —

WE’RE ALMOST THERE!!! By “there” I mean that my husband is almost done with the last of the CPA exams, and by “almost” I mean we have 12 days left. He started taking classes for it about four years ago. Then he started taking the series of four notoriously difficult exams over a year ago. Since that time, he’s needed to spend almost every Saturday studying, so we’ve had six-day work weeks around here. I cannot tell you how excited I am for this process to be over. Also, once he’s done, we’re going to make a big push for me to finish my book. I think I’m equally eager for that process to be over as well.

— 2 —

Leila at the blog Like Mother, Like Daughter asked an interesting question recently: How do others see your home? It seemed innocuous enough, but when I walked through my house imagining how someone with actual attention to detail would see it, the results were horrifying. Unfortunately I haven’t had the time or energy to deal with said horrifying results, but they’re very much on my mind. So my commentary when I have people over is now something like:

“Hi, welcome! Come on in! And don’t worry, that scorpion is dead.”

“Sorry about the wall there. Someone spilled hot chocolate on it and I haven’t had a chance to get to it.” [Praying they don't consider how long it's been since we've had hot chocolate weather.]

“Yeah, just go ahead and step over that, uhh, thing on the carpet. It won’t hurt you, it’s dry.”

“Isn’t it amazing the way white couches show stains? Heh-heh! I assure you that the decision to buy a couch of that color was made before we had kids.”

“Oh, I see you noticing the manger scene behind the stack of papers on the mantle. We prefer to reflect on the Lord’s incarnation for at least ten months out of the year.”

Maybe I need to stop having visitors.

— 3 —

On a related note, a friend who is as organized as she is kind came over with her children the other day. The poor kids seemed confused by the Fulwiler way of doing things. They circled around the toy pit in the corner of the living room, unsure how to go about finding something to play with. Inquiring about the nuances of this system, one of the children stared in bewilderment at the heap and asked how we’re able to keep track of all the parts of toys that come in a set. I let out a maniacle laugh in response. They finally chose some fun-looking items and prepared to let the good times begin, but their merrymaking efforts were thwarted because none of the toys had functioning batteries. One that was supposed to play joyous clown music made only a slow wheezing sound. Another just kind of hissed.

My friend’s lovely daughter then offered to organize the toy corner for me. I took her up on her generous offer, but, predictably, the whole thing was brought to an abrupt halt when she unearthed a scorpion and almost got stung. The usual chaos ensued. I grabbed a book to drop on it (not that that ever works), but the toy corner was so cluttered that there was no surface area clear enough that I could get the book flat on the floor. Long story short, the scorpion climbed onto a teddy bear, I got out the Raid, the Raid did not work as well as I might have hoped it would, and the scorpion just frolicked around like a scene in the arachnid version of Singing in the Rain while I hosed it down with pesticide. Finally it went into a clutter-free spot on the floor, and I threw the book on it. The kids seemed to need a moment to take in everything that just happened, realizing that not only had they almost been attacked by a scorpion, but now there was really nothing to do because all the toys were dripping with Raid.

After they left I imagined them arriving back at their house, dropping to their knees, and kissing the carpet, begging their mother never to take them back to that awful place again.

— 4 —

The best part about the whole thing was that my friend’s son had brought their new camera to play with, and had it handy for all this. He happened to have it on one of the artsy settings when everything went down, and thus we ended up with this sepia-tone classic:

7qt 139 bear 1024x649 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 139)

"Scorpion on Bear Chin" by Jeremy C.

— 5 —

Remember the aspiring nun that I mentioned in #4 here? Check out this great update on her story over at the Austin Statesman. And for a really cool bonus, I’m meeting her for coffee tomorrow! Thank you so very much for your support. The Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist are doing amazing things, and I am thrilled to see another young woman joining them.

— 6 —

Anna Mitchell and I did another segment in our Kids’ Book Club series, this time covering the Velveteen Rabbit. You can listen here:

And that awesome Chelsea Zimmerman article I referenced is here: Refusing to Suffer is Refusing to Live.

— 7 —

Don’t forget to vote in the Catholic New Media Awards for your favorite blogs and podcasts. I want to put in a special plug for the National Catholic Register, which is nominated for Best Group Blog and Best Overall Catholic Website. They’re doing great work, in spite of having me blog for them.

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Enter the Conversation...

77 Responses to “7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 139)”
  1. Your scorpion stories never cease to strike fear in my heart.

    Thanks a lot for your post earlier this week on being willing to let go of old beliefs. I found it jarring and thought provoking and ended up writing a response linked below.
    Leah @ Unequally Yoked recently posted..Checking my biases

  2. You know, stains show up just fine on blue couches too . . . I feel your pain!
    Jessica Snell recently posted..Links! culture, SAHMS, fashion, and more!

  3. Carrie says:

    Jennifer. You make me LAUGH until I cry. Oh. my. (wipes tears of mirth from the corner of her eyes…)
    Carrie recently posted..In the Here and Now

  4. You should do the entry-way thing! I think so many of us did that exercise for the first time in a long time. It’s a powerful one!
    A Year in Skirts recently posted..Day 21- Seven Observations

  5. syd says:

    Laughed out loud at the whole messy house thing. My house exactly. Today, it was driving me so crazy, I just started stuffing things into garbage bags in order to see the floor. *sigh*

  6. deltaflute says:

    Oh, it’s so terrible of me to laugh at another’s pain, but I assume that you intended it to be humorous. It’s so funny that I’m still laughing. You brightened my otherwise, miserable day where I made an attempt to register with a Catholic parish and was told that they only register people once a month. Have you heard of anything so dumb? They wouldn’t even so much as give me a form. Ah, well. Thanks for the laugh. I needed it.

  7. Kerri says:

    I laugh at your scorpion stories, but hope y’all would sign up for quarterly extermination. The first time I was stung that was IT! Plus, we started having tarantulas show up- I bet there are tarantulas in Austin! :^/

  8. Leila says:

    Um, that teddy photo is horrifying. Are you sure that’s not part of a trailer for a horror movie?
    Leila recently posted..7 Things This Blog is Not

  9. Jennifer, nothing really phases me a whole lot…some would say that I’m something of a “tough guy” when it comes to vermin of all sort, but my visiting your blog has made me realize how incredibly terrified I really am of scorpions. In fact, just a couple weeks ago I found the very first scorpion in my own house that I’ve ever seen–and I’ve lived here since I was 11! So forgive me for this, as I can find no other way, but I fully blame your stories for this. These creatures are evil beyond all reckoning.

  10. ramona says:

    I keep telling my daughter to thank God that it’s just benign spiders we shoo quickly away before company notices, LOL! I swear I do not know how you take the scorpians so calmly!

    What I’ll be mulling for a long time to come: “We see suffering, more than evil, as the worst thing there is, so much so that we will commit evil acts in an attempt to avoid it, often under the pretext of mercy and compassion.”

    Thanks for sharing Chelsea’s article.
    ramona recently posted..7QTF: Points of View

  11. Anne Bender says:

    Scorpions and tarantulas-man! I’ve gotta say I’m grateful to live in Wisconsin-although we’ve got our fair share of nasty critters as well. I can’t help but wonder-why in the world did God ever feel it necessary to create such things?
    Anne Bender recently posted..Seven Quick Takes of Gratitude

  12. I can identify with #1! I finished college in the normal time, but juggling other commitments, my DW took 17 years (several degrees, but still…). It was a family affair.

    My entry this week… People who understand their obligation to the poor taking action at the local market. The miracle of life. A great campus ministry promo. Another take on the corrected translation of the liturgy. Editing God. MSM bias is not just against the Church and conservatives. Surprise, you are getting married in an hour or so!
    George @ Convert Journal recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday (set #38)

  13. Emily says:

    oy, scorpions are scary. I’m glad that I don’t have to deal with them in Ohio :P
    Emily recently posted..7 Quick Takes (16)

  14. What a scene with the scorpion! It’s nice to know others feel humbled on a regular basis.
    Tami Boesiger recently posted..7 Quick Takes (Volume 147)

  15. You have me laughing out loud before the household is even awake! Thank you for starting my day with a good laugh and a smile on my face.

    :)
    Connecticut Catholic Corner recently posted..New Common English Bible a disappointment

  16. Dana Lynne says:

    We recently moved to Ga from Fl and ALSO have scorpions in the house. HATE THEM! and never seen anything like it in this world
    Dana Lynne recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday (Ed. 9 – The last edition from this address)

  17. I love laughing at your scorpion stories…from a distance! (note to self: NEVER live in TX!)

    I’ve been gnashing my teeth about the state of my house lately, too.

  18. Smoochagator says:

    Oh! I love your Velveteen Rabbit podcast. That’s been my favorite children’s story for years – in fact, it’s often the book I give to brand-new parents to start their child’s library.

    And I had to LOL at the expression “toy pit.” That’s what my living room is right now. As for what others must think when they come to my house, it’s probably something along the lines of, “Oh look! Dried cat vomit in the corner. And several half-empty baby bottles on the couch, complete with the smell of spoiled milk. And are those the same three baskets of laundry that were on the kitchen table LAST time we were here?”

  19. Tammy says:

    This post will have me chuckling all day. Thanks for keeping it real Jennifer.

  20. Lisa Schmidt says:

    Hi Jen – I heard you on SonRise the other day. In addition to writing well, you speak very well, too. Good job!

    Re: scorpians, is the whole state of Texas plagued with these creatures? We support the FOCUS missonary who is beginning the new FOCUS chapter at U Texas – Austin this semester. He’s a good kid from Iowa, a scorpion-free state. Must we prepare him?

    We linked in at #12 above. Our blog was also nominated for a handful of Catholic New Media Awards; today our 7 Quick Takes highlights why you should NOT vote for us! :)

  21. Judy says:

    Truly, you are the Erma Bombeck of the new millennium!
    It’s such a great feeling to know that whenever I need a smile, all I have to do is click the ConversionDiary.com button my blog and VOILA! I SMILE.
    Judy recently posted..Aug 19, WIN FREEBIES!

  22. Karen LH says:

    On #2, it’s actually been my experience that I notice the flaws in my house much more than anyone else. Your house probably looks great to visitors.

    I love your scorpion stories.

  23. Danielle G says:

    I have to think about how my house looks when my mom comes over. I don’t like having to do that… she is sort of a clean freak. That scorpion! Um, looks larger than the ones I’ve been killing at my house. I had the honor of being stung this year (on the toe) and hope to never have that happen again. (Yes, I also find them hiding in the kids toys)

  24. Kathleen says:

    I still have a manger set up. It’s true that it’s primarily there because I have nowhere else to put it, but it’s also true that there’s no wrong time to celebrate the Incarnation, which is what I tell people when they ask!
    Kathleen recently posted..Runs in the Family

  25. Jennifer says:

    My first attempt at a “7 Quick Takes” – wanted to blog for some time, but finally started one to document our adoption journey. Is the Time Out couch for sale? I am in awe of its newfound powers. . .

  26. Nicole says:

    I’m 33 up there–my lucky number. I’ll leave a better comment after I get to read more.
    Nicole recently posted..Quick Takes Friday–Links

  27. This part: “and the scorpion just frolicked around like a scene in the arachnid version of Singing in the Rain while I hosed it down with pesticide.” almost made me choke on my breakfast I was laughing so hard!!

    I’ve only seen one scorpion in my life and it was in Georgia in the bathtub. After the initial surprise freak out, I was actually surprised at how small they are. I guess I’d been watching too many sci-fi movies…
    Karianna@Caffeinated Catholic Mama recently posted..Seven Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 8): Name that Tune

  28. I am SO HAPPY for the future sister Meris….I predict that the new orders of religious sisters (those that have returned to the habit) are going to be inspiring and producing fabulous individuals who are going to lead their confused, narcissistic, spiritualy starving country men and women with the same greatness of our countries founding fathers (and mothers)

  29. I’ve learned so much about scorpions since I began reading your blog.

    I’m not sure if that’s a good, bad, or neutral thing, but there it is.

    Congrats to your husband and I hope these last 12 days go by quickly and easily.
    Steph @ Moving to MD recently posted..Why I Don’t Run in the Summer

  30. Congratulations to yur husband, I know that has got to be a relief to get that all behind him.

    That scorpian story and picture on classics, speaking of books, that would be a great one.

  31. Patty says:

    I have nothing original to say except that #3 made me laugh until I cried and my 19mo looked at me like I was crazy while my 3 and 5 yo just laughed along. So thank you, Jennifer.

  32. Jenny says:

    Oh I can relate to #2. We are friends with a family with five children but the youngest is five and they run a household like a dream. Clean house, behaved children, home-cooked meals, crafts, you name it and they do it well. So they come over to visit one day and the seven year old daughter is walking through my house saying, “Wow it is really messy in here…look at all the stuff.” And her twelve year old sister is trying to hush her up saying, “No it’s okay…it’s just a little cluttered…they still have small babies…they can’t clean up the way we can.” I appreciated the attempt to mitigate, but I know the 12 year old was slightly horrified by my house. :) Of course, I’m slightly horrified by my house.

  33. e says:

    Get a blacklight flashlight. Scorpions will glow under blacklight at night. Search and destroy.

  34. Brianna says:

    I have followed your blog for some time now, and I really do love it. But today’s post had me quite literally laughing out loud. OH my goodness, the “toy pit”, the hissing clown toy, the SCORPION, LOVE.IT. Will you move to Denver? Pretty please? No scorpions, and I think we would be fine friends!
    Brianna recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday {#27}

  35. Kimberlie says:

    Re: #2, we recently had our friend and former parish priest over for dinner. I tried so hard to make the house look really good. But, as soon as he arrived I started noticing things like the top of the range vent that I forgot to clean, the chips in the paint on the cabinets, the clutter in the hallway closet, and the list goes on. I was mortified with each discovery. However, here’s what I think the truth is: I don’t think he noticed them. People come into our homes to visit with us. I don’t really believe they go around looking for all the imperfections. I think that as long as my house isn’t disgustingly dirty (which mine is not, and I am sure yours never is in reality), my attitude is “hey, there is a husband and four children 10 and under living here, our house is lived in.” I am really, realy, trying to embrace this attitude because honestly, I can’t deal with the stress of trying to anticipate what others are going to think.

  36. Look out, Ansel Adams … here comes “Scorpion on Bear Chin”!
    Anthony S. Layne recently posted..Seven Quick Takes Friday! (Vol. 11)

  37. Tracy says:

    I am never ever moving where you live.

    shudder.

    and that question (how do others see your home?) is going to be a hard question for me to think about. And a challenge.

  38. Nayhee says:

    #3 is a riot! I am pretty sure I feel that way because I wasn’t there…

  39. Jen, I never fail to laugh at the scorpion stories, because I know them ALL. TOO. WELL.

    As far as how others see our home, I had to get it in order for a home appraisal a few weeks ago, and I was SHOCKED by how much I had to do to get my home in “real” order. I found that, scary as it was, it helped me to take photos from various angles. Like, from once you walk in the front door and look straight in. Or look into the playroom/guest room (ack!). Or at the dining room or kitchen. Etc. Then, I downloaded my pics and looked at them one space at a time and went and picked up everything that looked TERRIBLE. I repeated the process again, and fine-tuned things (wow– those lampshades are REALLY dusty and it sure shows up on camera!). Things have reverted a bit, but not as bad as it had been… when I hadn’t even noticed how much I’d let things slide!

    The bonus is that I can take pics of the kids anywhere in the house, without strategically posing them to block out messes. And I can see scorpions more clearly…
    Lisa @ Cheerfully Chaotic recently posted..7 Quick Takes (Vol. 13), Slowly-Emerging-from-Hiding Edition

  40. Denise says:

    #1: Congratulations!
    #2-#4: I have the same feelings about my house, and we only have three kids! OK, we recently added a puppy to the mix, but still. And I am a person that does not deal well with chaos for more than couple of days, before my mood starts to break down.

    But this is not ME (well sometimes it is, but not usually), but the season of life in which I’m currently living. It is for you, too. One day the whole passel of kids will be out living on their own, and hopefully what they take with them in their hearts is a family living in joy and full of a love of life.

    It helps not to compare yourself to others, too, even when they keep a clean house while homeschooling 10 kids and making gourmet meals every night. God gives us all different gifts and you generously and kindly share yours! I’m not exactly saying “embrace the messiness”, because I loved your post about how housework is part of helping God battle chaos. But there are more important things than cleaning house. Like having beautiful babies. :) And finishing your husband’s CPA exams.

    It’ll get better as the kids get older, and are able to help more at home. Mine do well (10/8/6) IF I make sure to keep on top of setting aside times to do chores. When we are off-schedule, though, like in summer when the weather is great, the house descends into “no visitors” mode pretty rapidly.

    After that, keep in mind how good you can make all your visitors feel about their own houses! :)

    Hang in there!

  41. Rachel says:

    My first time joining 7 Quick Takes. Thanks for hosting. LOVE the stories!

  42. Krista says:

    Wow… the comments on that article about Meris are horrible. People are really uncharitable sometimes.

    The scorpions really gross me out.
    Krista recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 4)

  43. Wow! That sounds like it was a very memorable playdate for all involved-and now there’s even photographic evidence of what a wild and crazy time can be had at the Fulwiler abode. I just know that one day your kids are going to love reading over all these stories of their well-documented youth and all of youi will be laughing hysterically. May now, especially where scorpions are involved, not so much, but some day.

  44. Congratulations to your husband — that’s a lot of time and effort he’s put in. May his client list grow ever longer. :)

    I have a big crew of people I host for Thanksgiving every year, and last year I received the best compliment EVAH. The gentleman said, “Every time I come here, I feel like I’m entering the Weasley home.” I figure if chaotic and colorful and joy-filled is the impression my guests are left with, then I’m doing something right. Perfection is not my goal, although we do try to make sure we clean the boogers off the wall before company comes.

    • Denise says:

      >>The gentleman said, “Every time I come here, I feel like I’m entering the Weasley home.”

      Oh, that IS the best compliment!

  45. Karyn says:

    I already have my own phobia with spiders, thanks to the movie Arachnaphobia. Caused a few stirs in choir jumping away from spiders–on the floor, on my choir stall, and once on my veil! How do they know? I am so glad I do not live in scorpion country! A proof that some of God’s graces are protecting you from things by never letting them happen to you!

  46. Karyn says:

    I already have my own phobia with spiders, thanks to the movie Arachnaphobia. Caused a few stirs in choir jumping away from spiders–on the floor, on my choir stall, and once on my veil! How do they know? I am so glad I do not live in scorpion country! A proof that some of God’s graces are protecting you from things by never letting them happen to you!

  47. Oh my word…

    The scorpion and the books and the Raid and the toys and that poor bear and you, the poor mother of a newborn!

    Wow. You earned at least 65 Purgatory Points with that kill, truly.
    dweej @ HouseUnseen recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday: The one with the embarrassing video

  48. Valerie says:

    Dear Jennifer – some laugh-out-loud moments in your post, bless you! [I'm glad there are no scorpions here in New Zealand] Love from Valerie.

  49. I can so relate to the house today. My house is not ready for company either, and our front walkway is an obstacle course. I thought things would get better when school started but I was deluded.

  50. Catherine says:

    Jennifer, if we quit having people over because we don’t like how our house looks, we’d all be hermits! Yes, it’s good to keep the house hygienic, but friends don’t really care about our houses. And, while organization is a good thing, there’s something to be said about kids putting Legos, Knex, Tinkertoys, and a few action figures together to act out a scene. My kids are 13 and 16 and it has taken migraine headaches every few days to get me to relax about things like how my house looks. What’s important and what will last is how much we love our kids and make sure they know it!
    Catherine recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday–August 19, 2011

  51. Carrie says:

    We have a lot of scorpions, too. I hesitate to share this, in light of the unfortunate drowning of your home in Raid, but if you take an Aim-n-Flame and put the flame to the scorpion’s back, it will sting itself to death. This is possibly cruel, but definitely satisfying. Be glad you have white couches, scorpions hide on our brown ones!

  52. Ann-Marie says:

    Love, love, love the comments when you have people over. I tried out a few on my husband for our home, he was less than impressed and implied I should just clean up!
    Ann-Marie recently posted..Seven Quick Takes (Vol 12)

  53. “stand outside your house and see it as others see it. Walk in and see what they see.

    There’s a certain kind of person, self-absorbed, abstract, prone to be found reading novels, for whom this idea is revolutionary!”

    Oh goodness, I believe she’s talking about me. OUCH.
    Jess @ MakingHome recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday – #25

  54. Blossom says:

    This is my first time here… is it always so exciting at your house? :)

    Thanks for a nice break from the week :)
    Blossom recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday

  55. Tricia says:

    This is my first time linking up! Kept seeing Dwija’s posts on House Unseen and decided to hop over. Can’t wait to catch up and read some more. Have a great weekend.

  56. Contra says:

    Thanks for hosting again this week.
    Contra recently posted..7 Quick Takes 19AUG

  57. Jennifer Jo says:

    The way you write about that scorpion, you make me almost jealous we don’t have one!

    And “the toy pit”—hands down, that’s the BEST way to describe it.

  58. Andi says:

    I have noticed that my neighbors who started having kids in their 30s already had big immaculate homes…and they have been a little crazy about cleaning them so you can barely tell a baby lives there. On the other hand I started having kids at 21, as I was trying to figure out how to be a wife and live on my own for the first time in my life. Eep! My downstairs is usually a mess of toys and somedays those tiny little doll hairbrushes smash into my feet, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My desk is a mess, we are behind on 6+ months of files, and I haven’t made my bed in months…but as I see it at the end of each day “I managed to keep two little ones dressed, fed, diapered and using the potty, and I kept the new baby inside for another day.” Now those are some accomplishments!!

    Do you think that even after our kids are gone we will continue to find those tiny toy pieces that were always missing when our kids wanted the toy??

    Also – crazy that you posted about the Sisters of Mary. My sister in law joined them 6 years ago and it seems like EVERYONE now knows about them :) They are amazing.

  59. Crystal says:

    Love the scorpion stories – and the teddy garnished w/ the critter, priceless. Glad to hear I am not the only one trying to embrace and improve upon my ‘superior’ organizational skills w/ the toys. Seeming. Impossible. Some Days. Thanks for the good for for thought – and as always, the laughs.

  60. GADEL says:

    I don’t think I’ll honesty like to be a guess in your house any sooner Jennifer. Scorpion here, scorpion there, scorpion everywhere? And RAID insecticide could not help much too? Hmm. Interesting – I mean not-so-interesting. SCARY! If your house could scare an African guy living in Africa then I can only imagine others :)

    “Jesus is your friend. The Friend. With a human heart, like yours.
    With loving eyes that wept for Lazarus. And he loves you as much as he
    loved Lazarus.” Saint Josemaría Escrivá

    Twitter: @Apologetics

  61. Kerry Wolf says:

    Jen, where in Austin do you LIVE? I have lived here since 1978 and have never ONCE seen a scorpion. Ever. And I have lived in some ratty places in my time, lol!

    On the other hand, I have been hostess to those enormous flying tree roaches, parades of fire ants, hamper-dwelling silverfish that ate my clothes, and once, when we lived in a very old stone house with a badly damaged foundation, some lovely rats. The exterminator came out, took one look at the house, shook his head sadly and said there was nothing he could do, and off he went. The house was too old, foundation too cracked, etc. That very night–while sleeping–I had a VERY close encounter with a rat who was looking for somewhere soft to cuddle up and munch out on the candy mallowcreme halloween pumpkin he stole from the bedside table, and my long hair looked like just the ticket. This resulted in utter hysteria, and my poor husband chasing the varmint around our bedroom in his underpants with a broom while it leapt nimbly from windowsill to stereo to clothes closet. It never did leave the room–because I was watching the bedroom door like a hawk from my perch on the foot of the bed–and hubby finally announced he HAD to take a shower and get ready for work, despite my pleas and tears. I sat back down in the bed against my pillows and watched the door again. I never saw it leave so I KNEW it was still in there–with me–somewhere.

    When he returned from the shower, I announced my scientific determination that the rat was still in the room and insisted he do something. He looked under the bed once more, where it had last been seen. No rat. Then he said to me, “Stand up”. I said “Why?” and he said, calmly, “I just want to check something”. So, I stood up on the foot of the bed, and he took the broom handle and lifted up the pillow nest to mine–where I had been sitting for the past half hour in terror–and out ran the rat. He had been sitting there RIGHT NEXT TO ME, 2 inches away, under the adjacent pillow the whole time.

    We moved out the next week.

    But

    I have never seen a scorpion. So I want to know—where do they hang out in such droves here in Austin?

    Also==loved the Statesman piece on Meris–she is so sweet! But the comments–yuck! They just couldn’t wait to turn the whole thing into a commentary on the pedophile priests scandal of all the CRAZY things. I so hope it doesn’t upset her. She is a sweet darling girl

  62. elizabeth says:

    Jen, I’ve been reading your blog for 7 years. That toy pile is not serving your family well. Just get rid of it. I guarantee you will have more energy not having to look at it every day.

  63. lethargic says:

    “Maybe I need to stop having visitors.”

    Uh, no. Maybe what you need is a little inspiration a la Flylady http://www.flylady.net/index.asp to get rid of your CHAOS — Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome.

  64. Meris says:

    I stopped reading the comments after it had only been on the web a few hours. Very tempted to see whats developed since Friday but also very afraid. So… I pray other thicker-skinned defenders are posting eloquent, kind rebuttals in my honor. Peace!

  65. Kerry Wolf says:

    Fear not, Meris, I came to your immediate defense, as did several others.

  66. Ugh on the scorpion in the toy pit BUT that photo is great :) Congrats on making it through (or almost) the CPA process. We did something similar for Wookie’s professional qualifications – and am doing it again for his 3D printer project :sigh: I’d love to have a deadline on that.

  67. Thanks for the shout out, Jen! A friend told me he was listening to the show that day and ‘thought (he) heard a guest…name drop & quote Chelsea Zimmerman, “the popular Catholic Blogger.”‘ I checked the guest list for that episode and saw you on it and immediately knew who that guest probably was without even listening to it! Great interview and thanks again!
    Chelsea Zimmerman recently posted..Better Off Dead?

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