7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 30)

April 24, 2009 | 52 comments

— 1 —

This past weekend, I resolved to make this week one of truly putting God first. There would be no yelling, no getting exasperated when things didn’t go my way, no trash talking on the phone with friends; nay, I would be a model of Christian love and grace to everyone I encountered.

How did it go? Let’s just say that this quote from Fr. Hpoko’s 55 Maxims for Christian Living has been a powerful, comforting mantra for me this week:

51. Have no expectations except to be fiercely tempted to your last breath.


— 2 —

Back when my husband and I were first starting our business, we needed to do everything possible to give clients a good impression so I looked forward to getting his Yale diploma out of the closet and putting it in a prominent place in his office.

When I got it out of the box, I was horrified: it was all in Latin! UNIVERSITATIS YALENSIS?? How was anyone even supposed to know what that meant?! I could just imagine myself striking up conversation by saying “So, is Yalensis in Texas?” if I’d seen that on someone else’s wall.

This is why they don’t let people like me into Yale. I’d be the rube who called the administrative office to say something like: “Thank you for my lovely diploma! If I ever do any time travel back to ancient Rome it will come in very handy. But, in the meantime, could you send me a copy in English?” Seriously, if I put in all that hard work I would want something like this:

I keep telling my husband that I’d be happy to just attach his name to this far superior diploma template. He has yet to take me up on the offer.

— 3 —

I finally got my Maya Wrap all set up after unthreading it to wash it, and I’d forgotten how much freedom that gives me! The other day I was able to chase my toddlers around a park while the baby dozed off in the little pouch. It took me a long time to figure out how to use it, but I looooove my sling now.

— 4 —

I keep toying with the idea of joining a CSA. I like the idea for a lot of reasons: I’d be supporting local farmers, we’d be forced to eat more veggies than we normally would, and all the food would be fresh (and most of it organic). Yet I have this fear that, instead of my vision of our table overflowing with creative new veggie dishes at each meal, I’d end up with a bunch of rotting vegetables in my kitchen.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Is it hard to use all the food you get from the farmers? Does it save money? I’d love to hear any thoughts.

— 5 —

…Although I guess if I had a bunch of vegetables leftover I could always do this:

— 6 —

You don’t realize how many portrayals of napping there are in cartoons until you’re a very sleep deprived mother of toddlers. It’s like watching those Pizza Hut commercials when you’re on a diet. Really painful.

— 7 —

Last weekend was one of the first weekends that I had much success with making Sunday a day of rest. It has been surprisingly hard to get into that habit! It made last Sunday a really pleasant day and started the week on the right note. Hopefully I’ll be able to do it again this weekend!

Below is a Mr. Linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own 7 Quick Takes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.

I look forward to reading your posts!

1. Peace Garden Mama
2. Blair\’s Blessings
3. puella
4. Lindsay
5. Venite
6. Trena @ The Third Prayer
7. Kathryn@TheBookworm
8. Mindy
9. Jennifer @ Here I Stand
10. Laura
11. Debbie
12. Chronicles of a Baby Catcher
13. Tami @ The Next Step
14. Kerry @ Ten O\’Clock Scholar
15. Charlotte @ GTH
16. Katherine @ The Domestic Church
17. Laughing Lioness
18. violingirl
19. Tina @ Multiple Mom T
20. el-e-e
21. Margaret in Minnesota
22. Pharmgirl @ Adventures in Pharm Land
23. Sara @ Coffee Randoms
24. Missy @ Grasp the Love
25. mom.huebert
26. Suz
27. Alana @ Gray Matters – art cart
28. majellamom
29. Just a Minute
30. Christine the Soccer Mom
31. Renee
32. Dawn@Sufficient For Today
33. Linda-One Voice
34. Aubrey (with photos!)
35. MommyMonkey
36. Becky
37. Amanda (Casa Sosegado)
38. Joy B
39. MamaT
40. Diane @ At Least Three
41. ChloΓ©
42. Kimberly
43. Kaycee@In the Moment
44. Praying for Grace
45. Em. @ Gratitude. Simplicity. Frugality.
46. Layla @ ND Law Wife
47. Heather in Madrid
48. Ingrid Airam
49. Leticia Velasquez
50. dylan
51. The Someday House
52. Joyful Days
53. Jaime (ChaseNKids)
54. Keeping Up
55. Kim
56. Mrs. Bubbles
57. Annemarie
58. Sarah @ This Heavenly Life
59. Sheri
60. Ordinary Time
61. The Mom Job – Amanda
62. Melanie @ The Wine Dark Sea
63. Tiphaine-wants-a-baby
64. Jamie
65. a broader mark
66. Rob Harrison (The Spyglass)
67. Kacy @ Meandering Home
68. Aussie Therese
69. Catherine
71. Christine @Good Company
72. So… Now What?
73. Denise @ Full Nest
74. Christi @ The Journey (toothfairy pillows)
75. Becky at miller_schloss
76. Catherine @ To Mark Time
77. Tracy@The Secret of Living
78. Amber @ Rutabaga Dreams
79. Karen @ Needs New Batteries
80. Christy @ Declutter Blogg
81. Elena@My Domestic Church
82. Gillian-Life of a Photographer
83. Party of Eight

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  1. Roxane B. Salonen

    Jennifer, love your creativity with the framed diploma. Tell your hubby I vote for yours. πŸ™‚ As for the first one, yeah, we’re all works in progress until the end, for sure! Especially when little ones are about, stretching us to our absolute limit. When I say, “God, have mercy on me,” I am TOTALLY serious now. And I say it quite often. Wishing you a restful Sunday!

  2. Scarlett

    When I graduated, we did get a copy of our diplomas in English. The actual diplomas were much too big to be handed out as we crossed the stage, so we got an 8×11 sheet of office paper that offered the translation from the Latin into English. They were the same for everyone, not personalized by name or anything, but helpful.

  3. puellapaschalis

    My university used to issues degree certificates in Latin – and the Latin version was the only “official” bit of paper. The Dutch translations were just that – translations – and were meant so that if you couldn’t read Latin, pat pat pat, here’s the Dutch instead.

    Now you get a Dutch and an English certificate, and both are valid. I understand the reasoning, I really do, but the language geek in me rues the disappearance of the Latin…

  4. Meredith@MerchantShips

    We joined a CSA for the first time this spring–mainly because I can pick up the delivery at a house in our neighborhood.

    I hear there’s a lot of chard.

    I’m hoping to keep a visual blog with photos of each week’s box, for my own reference and as publicity for the group. A Catholic family organizes the CSA (I presume) in exchange for their share of the food.

  5. Rebekka

    Re: the CSA thing, I’ve done something similar with getting a box of organic vegetables delivered once a week (or every two weeks). They posted the contents of the upcoming box the week before (I don’t know if CSAs work the same way), and – this is the important part – we would distribute the veg throughout our weekly menu plan! When we “remembered” to do this, we ate it all, even the exotica. When we “forgot” we ended up with fridge sludge.

  6. Trena

    I’ve always heard, be careful what you ask for when praying to God. Wednesday morning I asked God to help me find beauty in everything that day. I especially asked for help with bad drivers. Two hours later two teenage girls cut me off and started laughing at me. I did one of those obnoxious waves. ugh.

  7. The Bookworm

    I used to get a fruit and vegetable box and had a mixed experience – sometimes it meant more creative vegetable dishes, and sometimes more rotting vegetables. The successful times came when I was on top of a menu plan; the unsuccessful ones when life got in the way and my menu plan fell apart. I’m in a fairly organised phase at the moment so think I may start getting the veggies again.

    Funny … Google threw up an ad on the vegetable flute video for the organic veg scheme we use!

  8. Mindyleigh

    I am cracking up at your segment about Yale. I will keep that in mind IF I decide to apply. (smile)

    Also, I love my sling too! I wish every mother would hold out through that very challenging and complicated first week or two of using it and experience the freedom. πŸ™‚

  9. Laura

    I have had the same thoughts about all these wonderful vegies gracing our table. What I have found really happens is…a lot of rotting vegies in my refrigerator. As hard as I try, they always end up going to waste. I guess we just don’t eat vegies enough – like around the clock!

    I would like to encourage your Sundays of rest, too. It is hard to stick to sometimes, but it is really what we should be doing. We sometimes offer up our struggle as an act of reparation. Good Luck and God Bless.

  10. elizabethe

    I had a local farmed delivered produce service for a couple of months (not technically a CSA, but same effect) and my experience was of the rotting vegetables in kitchen variety. It wound up being a huge source of stress for me to figure out how to use up the vegetables. I also found I always got some vegetables I just didn’t care for (and this was a service that let you substitute) and I missed being able to be impulsive about buying the fabulous looking asparagus in the supermarket because I had all this other stuff I had to use. After two months I did the math and found it didn’t save any money either.

    It would be helpful if you could find someplace that let you do just a month or two instead of having to commit to a whole year so you can find out how you like having someone else pick out your vegetables for you — because essentially that’s what’s happening. I find I’m far to much of a control freak especially when it comes to food to be comfortable with that.

    I’m sure others have had a fabulous experience with a csa and like you, I LOVE the idea of the csa, but you really have to think about how you cook and plan meals etc. to decide if it will work for you.

  11. Tami Boesiger

    I’ve always wished for a true Sabbath too, but have yet to figure out how to make it happen.

    Have a great weekend, Jennifer.

  12. Kerry

    Ok, I agree, he worked hard for that diploma, PUT IT IN ENGLISH already! πŸ™‚ I like your replacement diploma…he didn’t? LOL!

    I love my sling, too! However, you’ll hate it when I say my favorite one is the one that I spent $4 on. It is a simple piece of gorgeous blue batik cotton – bought it in Ghana. I tied that baby up in a “rebozo” style (sling goes from shoulder to hip – baby sits in pouch on hip). I also have a storchenwiege, which cost a great deal more (and I do like it a lot), but my simple sling is the best!

  13. Bonnie

    About the CSA – a very good friend did one here in IL for a year. For her family of 4 it was a little more than they would spend on veggies a year but not by much. She had few rotten veggies, BUT she spent A LOT of time finding new ways to prepare turnips and beets. At the end of that year she decided that she would just go to the farmer’s market.

    She blogged about it here: http://goodmotherlizard.blogspot.com/search?q=csa

  14. Erin

    Regarding #4:

    It went both ways for me. I had both rotting veggies in my kitchen, AND creative new veggie dishes. But my issue with it was that I only have two mouths to feed, and very little time to prep vegetables. Even when I was good and ate veggies at every meal (yeah, even breakfast–turn those zucchinis & carrots into muffins!), I still had leftovers.

    One thing I wish I'd done more of, that turns out to be incredibly easy: freezing and canning. Canning takes some coordination, but certain veggies can much more easily than others (tomatoes). The rest will pretty much freeze really nicely, except for lettuce.

    Bottom line: I recommend giving it a try and seeing how you do with it after a few months. Give it time for the enthusiasm of the newness to wear off and then see how it fits into your daily routine. You can always cancel your subscription (or whatever their calling it these days).

  15. Martha

    My experience with the organic veggie co-op was, yes, piles of rotting vegetables. And we were getting a 1/2 order! It was ok at first, but once anyone was not healthy at all (sick toddler, sick husband, sick me…) I could not keep up. What finally drove me to quit, though, was the realization that every week we got either: beets, or sweet potatoes. I don’t like either. I can force them down once, convincing myself they are sooo healthy, but I can’t do it every week. (This was in Dallas – I assume you’d have the same fall/winter veggies as us.) Maybe you are more with it than me, though.

  16. el-e-e

    I loved my sling this last baby, too. I had a Hotsling. Sometimes I think I still want to use it, but then I remember my “baby” is now 14 months and 20 pounds. Oy. Too bad, because she still craves being held ALL. THE. TIME. πŸ™‚

    Happy weekend!

  17. Meghan

    I just signed up for a CSA for the first time! So I don’t have any experience, but I’m excited about giving it a try.

  18. Margaret in Minnesota

    I’m back in the 7 Quick Takes game after going AWOL for over a month. So much fun!

    Thank you for hosting, Jen. Now go change that baby’s diaper (again) and know that I’ll be joining you in One Short Month. (Yay!)

  19. KZG

    We joined a CSA last summer. Since it right now it is just DH, myself and our two year old, I don’t think we’ll do it again. It was a lot of vegetables; we had to throw some out! If I ever do it again, I will can/preserve some of the food OR possibly split the CSA membership with another family. I would think about how your little ones eat vegetables before doing it. The vegetables were delish, though!!!

  20. Elizabeth

    Heres to a day of REST!!!
    I’m not going to get much this week. I love a good sling too…makes everything easier.

    God Bless! E

  21. 'Becca

    I loved my Maya Wrap too! I used it basically every day when my baby was 1-22 months old. The only downside was having to unthread it to wash it and then trying to get it threaded correctly again…it got very icky at times, but that helped to boost my kid’s immune system, I’m sure.

    Useful tip for the Maya or any ring sling: Use a sewing machine to sew along one edge in a bright color. Then you’ll never be confused about which edge goes on top!

    We’ve been CSA members for 8 years. It’s wonderful! But keeping up with all the veggies can be a struggle. My two most important strategies:
    1. Share the share with another family with somewhat different tastes. They’ll eat some of the things we don’t want, and sharing makes it more affordable.
    2. Plan to spend some time, on the night the share comes, packing vegetables for the freezer. Most vegs can be cut up, stuffed into bags with the air sucked out, and frozen for cooking in the winter. I freeze everything I don’t anticipate using within the week.

    Still, there’s some waste when we get busy or sick and don’t make as many homemade meals as anticipated. Do you have a compost heap? Even if you don’t have a garden per se, you can use the compost under your bushes and feel like you’re getting SOMETHING out of the vegs that went mushy and the stems, etc., of the ones you did eat.

  22. Kevin

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.

    (Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound.)

  23. Gray Matters

    I’m so glad I found your blog – I truly look forward to reading each day. We love our CSA – if your local one allows it, try to split your membership with another family. It took us a couple of years to really learn how to eat and cook all the yummy goodness, and I hated when things went to waste.

  24. Dawn

    Thanks for hosting!

  25. Nancy/n.o.e

    Jen, I don’t have a CSA membership, but I am a member of a farm association program. It is organized by one farm which has developed a regional network of small organic farms and suppliers. I can order meats, butter, eggs, cheese, honey, and some grain products as well as fruits, veggies and herbs. The farm charges a nominal annual membership, and after that I can participate when and if I choose. There is the Farmer’s Pick option every week: either $20 or $30, and the farm chooses the assortment (giving a prediction in advance of what’s likely to be included), or for $4 I can do a custom order. I have loved the flexibility of this program, and even in the winter I found plenty to order, and haven’t missed a week (except when I’ve been out of town). There are some science experiments that develop in the fridge, but not more than when I buy most of my produce in the grocery store. And I decided to order lots of greens this winter, especially kale, and now I’m addicted to the stuff! I don’t think the program would work for me if I didn’t have the ability to choose the products (which I do about half the time) or if I had to get the box weekly. Here’s the link to the program I use (it’s based in Alabama but serves the Atlanta metro area):

  26. Joy

    Went to the Univ. of Pennsylvania whose diploma’s are also in Latin. One employer requested a transcript so the could ‘verify’ I had attend a nursing school in the US. LOL!

    I love my sling also!

  27. Amanda

    One of my weekly resolves is to not yell and get angry with the children… It never lasts. I really wish I could get them to listen without me yelling…

    The revised diploma is great but I think the better the University, the more likely they are to be using Latin… the language of the intellectuals… πŸ˜‰

  28. MamaT

    I’m with you on the diploma. What’s the point of going to a swell school if no one else knows it? (Well, except for the knowledge and stuff like that…..)


  29. Lynn

    We have a local CSA run by a guy who also sells at the farmers’ market. He has a discount plan, where for a couple bucks less per week, instead of picking up a prepacked selection, I get an empty bin to fill at the farmers’ market. Of course I have to be there early if I want the best selection, but it’s within walking distance. And the best part? $11 per week, for the six month growing season. For all the veggies I can eat, and only the ones I like. It’s a beautiful thing.

  30. scmom (Barbara)

    Just linked to you for the first time! That was fun.

    We just joined a CSA for the first time — I’m splitting it with my sister-in-law. We’ll see how it goes; I’m looking forward to it immensely.

  31. elizabethe

    another note re: slings. I found a sling totally confounded me, I just could not get the hang of it and my baby hated it, though eventually would tolerate it for short walks. I finally tried a Mei Tai and it was much easier for me to use and evenly distributed the weight of the baby across both shoulders.

    Re: Yale: For some reason I know quite a few people who went to Yale and Harvard (I didn’t) and they don’t even mention that they went there in casual conversation. It seems to be like a huge faux pas. They say things like “when I was living in New Haven,” or “I went to a school in Boston.” I don’t know if it’s those particular people or a larger culture but I think it’s interesting.

  32. Leticia

    I buy a the local farmer’s market in the summers. What a difference fresh produce makes.
    Where can I get a Carrot-Panpipe?

  33. dylan

    Am leaving a comment after linking, as per instruction!

    I cherish all those maxims by Fr Thomas Hopko; they are inexhaustibly fresh, and of universal application.

  34. Joyful Days

    We did a CSA for a couple years. My great thought was that my children would be more tempted to eat new things because they knew the farmer…not so much. Sadly there was a lot of waste.

    Just going to the farmers market and getting what I know will be eaten seems to be more cost effective for us.

    As for #1…Indeed and Amen. That would last about as long as it took for me to open my eyes in the morning. The very cranky, stinky old cat is my alarm clock and mornings…not so pleasant.

  35. Anna

    I love my GypsyMama baby wrap. My son’s 20 lbs (at only 7 months), so he’s starting to get kinda heavy to wear for very long, but I love babywearing when I go out instead of trying to carry a carseat around (and bumping my legs, and causing all sorts of awkwardness) or trying to find room in public places for a stroller.

  36. Elizabeth

    Terribly arriviste of Yale to put the certificate in Latin. Oxford doesn’t (although the graduation ceremony itself is all in Latin and you have to be prodded when it’s your turn to go to the front).

    We have a veg box, although the compromise is that we get it fortnightly rather than weekly. The latter just means an eternity of gently decaying chard leaves and spring greens and all those things that you don’t choose to buy for a reason… It’s good to be challenged though.

  37. regular reader

    Jen, I don’t have 7 quick or slow takes for your comments box but my (probably autistic or similar) 4-year-old just called his 8-month-old sister “my sweet little scorpion.” I’m not sure whether that means he would or wouldn’t be a good playmate for your kids. “You’re a baby scorpion!”

  38. Rob Harrison

    Credo ut intelligam. (Which doesn’t mean, “I believe, therefore I learn Latin,” but might as well.)

    My thanks for the maxim, btw–much appreciated.

  39. abroadermark

    Love the Fr. Hpoko quote!

  40. miller_schloss

    love the diploma redesign!

  41. beyondhomemaking

    We are considering a CSA also. Actually I am- My husband is a non-veggie/fruit lover so I’m going to have to convince him it’s worth it for me and the kids since we go through fruits and vegetables like crazy. I’ve thought about the “extra” problem- I’m willing to can or to pass the surplus on to some of my family if I know they will use something.

  42. Banana

    Hi, we did the CSA, and it was really good. I will be up front here and say I was glad to stop it, but I was really glad we gave it a try.

    We would pick up our box at local pick-up spot. Our box was for 1-2 people, but that meant about 13 fruits/veggies, so it was more than enough for us (2 adults,2 toddlers). The produce was usually picked the same day we got it. This was great. Not so great was that they often had bugs (it was organic)and dirt on them, so when I brought the box home I would spend about 1-2 hours cleaning all the produce. Fill sink with ice cold water, soak, scrub, rinse, dry, chop, and bag. Some of the things like broccoli I just had to throw away because you can’t get the bugs out of the florets. Other foods were great and needed no cleaning like mandarin oranges! I called the college farm were we were getting the produce but it never really got better. I was also 8mo pregnant, so it was really hard on me to stand at the sink for two hours after putting the kids to bed! We stopped getting the boxes after the 10 weeks was up.
    On the bright side it did make us eat, not only more veggies, but also veggies that we would never have picked out of the store. On Sunday I would receive a news letter telling me what was going to be in the box for that week and I would make a meal plan around this. This made it a lot easier to use all the produce. Check out allrecipes.com if you need ideas for strange veggies πŸ™‚ I never had any veggies go bad because if I could not use them up in a meal I would steam them in the microwave, puree them in the food processor, then freeze them in ice cube trays (each cube is 1oz or 2tbsp). I would put all the cubes in a gallon ziplock in the freezer and then add them to things like soup or anything else I could think to “hide” some veggies in.
    Hope that’s a help!

  43. Elizabeth Mahlou

    Your story about the Yale diploma made me laugh and brought back a funny memory (funny now, not then!). When I enrolled at Pushkin Institute to finish my PhD there, the Ministry of Education of Russian would not accept my master’s degree diploma from Penn State University because it was in English. The ministry insisted that all American diplomas are always in Latin! (I guess they had only ever worked with the ivies.) They would not even accept a copy with a pastille and notarized. It took several phone calls and emails from the registrar at Penn State to one of the ministers in Russia to convince the ministry that an American diploma in English was legitimate! So, hang onto that Yale diploma in Latin! Apparently, for other countries it’s the only true American (!) thing. πŸ™‚

  44. Karen

    We did a CSA last year and split both the cost and the veg with my inlaws – mostly b/c my kids aren’t big veggie eaters. They devour the fruit and stare at salad. Splitting it with my inlaws created the perfect amount of food – 2 adults in each household, one big kid here and two little kids here – no kids with them. The food tasted so good and the kids enjoyed picking it up with me.

  45. Lynn

    To banana and any others who get broccoli–if you soak the heads in water with either vinegar or salt in it (strong enough that you can really taste it) the little bugs and worms will let go in self-defense and float to the top or sink to the bottom. If you have a particularly buggy head for some reason, break it into big florets with your hands. 15 minutes soaking and a quick swish and they are ready to go!

  46. Charlotte

    I’ve found that when I observe the Sabbath, my workdays are more restful. Just started a fabulous new book on the topic.

    Also–we’ve been members of a csa in the past. I enjoyed the variety. Definitely more work. Handling my plethora of fresh veggies inspired my love of making soup.

  47. annef

    Hi Jennifer-
    Sorry to be chiming in late, but wanted to comment on your CSA question. We’ve been members of one for about 5 years on and off, and it took me a while to figure out how to consume all the veggies (or, at least, most of the veggies). When i got my mind around two important concepts, we did better:
    1. you don’t necessarily need to identify it to eat it.
    2.when in doubt, cut it up and sautee it in olive oil!
    good luck!!

  48. Lana

    #6: Awww…you poor thing. That is just so mean of cartoonists to do that.
    #7: how do you do this? I try and try and have decided that even Orthodox Jewish women (who plan ahead, I mean) rarely get to really rest on the Sabbath. I mean, the poo on the bedsheets really needs to be changed even if the laundry can wait, right?

  49. Anna

    After looking through various of the 7 Quick Takes links, I’ve noticed a very definite trend. They’re ALL women. Ok, I did find one single lone guy there, and maybe there’s another one somewhere hiding. And maybe it’s not THAT interesting or surprising that a stay-at-home mom would have mostly women reading her blog and participating in 7QTF, but still. There’s a lot of variety among all those women; married, single, with children and without, all over the country. Why not more guys too?

    Just a randomly curious fact. πŸ™‚

  50. Anonymous

    About the CSA: My husband and I get a box of organic produce, every Friday. It isn’t always local (you can’t get grapefruit from Ottawa!), but the company tries to make it as local as possible.
    Downside: I do end up wasting some of this precious stuff. It’s a matter of discipline, though. I can check by Tuesday what’s going to be in our organics box, and then I should plan meals around those in-coming foods. So, if you can do that, it’s a wonderful idea. It’s not cheap, however, for us, because we are receiving organic produce. But we love the idea and shall keep it up as long as we can.

  51. Angie

    Oh my — I laughed out loud about the Yale diploma! Bwahahaha!

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