7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 149)
I got this crazy idea at Mass the other day. I was praying about how to get the time to finish this book without having everything else totally fall apart, and the idea of making a “6 for 6″ commitment came to mind: I should commit to getting up at 6 AM, six days a week, for six months, assuming that I’ve had at least six hours of sleep the night before (e.g. I’d sleep later if I’d been up with the baby). This is a huge commitment for me since I’m the consummate night owl (remember back when I asked morning people if they really existed?), and with homeschooling I don’t normally need to get up anywhere near that early. Anyway, I did it every day this week, and the results were great. Book progress aside, I’ve felt much more on top of things when I have some time to prepare before the day starts.
We’re doing a New York/Connecticut trip in a few weeks! My husband’s college fraternity is having a big reunion during the weekend of the Harvard/Yale game, so we’ll be going to New Haven by way of NYC. We had assumed we wouldn’t go, but at the last minute we felt like it would be a good thing to do.
Events like this always remind me of how different our backgrounds are. He was voted Most Likely to Succeed in his high school class and went on to be a frat boy at Yale. I did not win any awards in high school, though I would have had Worst Attitude or Most Goth in the bag if the yearbook committee had offered those. As an introvert nerd with a nose ring and a penchant for black lipstick, I went ahead and skipped rush week when I got to Texas A&M. So when I go to these things with my husband, I always feel like I’m getting a glimpse into a different universe.
I wish everyone would write a memoir. The genre is much-maligned because it’s associated with self importance, but I really think that everyone has at least one great story to tell. After all the research I’ve done, I’ve come to believe that excellent writing can turn even the most humble real-life tale into a compelling read; whereas the most thrilling events in the world can be made boring with bad writing and lazy storytelling. If you’ve ever thought of writing a memoir, I encourage you to do it! Read Story Engineering so you get a feel for the movements of a powerful story, then think back through your life to find a time period that has at least some of those elements. You might be amazed at just what a great tale you have to tell.
I finally found an activity that the kids and I can all get into! For a while there I was beginning to despair that I was a hopeless case when it came to entertaining young children, but I think I may have found something here. My son got a digital voice recorder for his seventh birthday, and I’ve been showing him and the other kids how to make radio shows, complete with sound effects. For a tale that began on a dark and stormy night, we crumpled tinfoil for rain and shook a piece of poster board for rolling thunder — it was amazing how real it sounded when we played it back! I’ve loved trying to find other creative ways to make sound effects, as well as hearing the little stories they come up with. And there’s no cleanup! I think I may have found the perfect activity for our family.
Anyone have other ideas for homemade sound effects?
Some folks asked what kind of recipes I cook when I’m in Bare Minimum Mode. Here’s one that I got from Veronica Mitchell a few years ago when I was asking about quick and easy meals. It’s so easy that I can make it on even the most hectic days, but so delicious that we have it even for special occasions:
Simple Oven-Roasted Chicken Breasts:
- Take frozen chicken breasts and place them on a greased baking dish
- Add whatever roasting veggies you like (I use onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers)
- Drizzle with olive oil, add whatever spices you like, and bake uncovered at 425° F (218° C) for 30 – 40 minutes
What I love about this is that you can use frozen chicken breasts, so it makes a great last-minute meal. We always have an onion or two lying around, so many nights I’ve thrown together a delicious roasted chicken and onion dish with hardly any effort on a moment’s notice. Thanks, Veronica!
I’ve mentioned before that I love makeup. The other day I did a “before and after” makeup video to show a friend, and I thought I’d make it into a little Youtube movie to show here.
I should also note that (1) I’d flat-ironed my hair in the “after” shot too, and (2) I was going to an evening event — I would do much less for, say, picking the kids up from Mother’s Day Out. If you’re looking for a makeup inspiration book, I highly recommend Making Faces.
I was going to write something else here, but I’m watching the World Series as I type this. I used to love baseball when I was a kid. A close family friend was (and maybe still is?) the eye doctor for the Texas Rangers, so we often got to go to games and sit right behind home plate. Texas Rangers baseball is woven all through my memories of childhood. I haven’t been that into baseball in adulthood, but stumbling across this game has reminded me why I once loved the sport. I think I’ll sign off now and go enjoy the rest of this game…
Have a great weekend!