7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 34)

May 22, 2009 | 28 comments

— 1 —

Did you know that you can tell the temperature by counting the chirps of crickets? You can! According to the Library of Congress Science and References Services, here’s the formula:

Number of cricket chirps in 15 seconds + 37 = Approximate temperature in Fahrenheit

A fun little thing to try when you’re sitting outside on warm summer evenings.

— 2 —

It has been so crazy and futuristic to follow astronaut Mike Massimino on Twitter while he’s in space. Mingled among the tweets from my mommy friends like “Putting the baby down for a nap” or “Headed out to the grocery store” I’d see:

@Astro_Mike Getting ready for our first spacewalk

@Astro_Mike Eating chocolates in space, floating then in front of me then floating and eating them like I am a fish

@Astro_Mike Flying over the Pacific Ocean at night there were some thunder storms, it is so cool to see lightning go off below the clouds

It’s funny, when I was a kid I read Arthur C. Clarke’s book 2010, which left me thinking a lot about what that mysterious future year “2010” would be like. Oddly enough, reading instantaneous thoughts from someone hovering above the earth was kinda what I pictured.

— 3 —

If you know anyone at St. Catherine of Siena parish at Drake University in Des Moines, tell them how very lucky they are: our beloved priest, Fr. Joel McNeil, is leaving our diocese to be closer to home, and will be going to that parish (those of you who read my post about baby “Joy”‘s name will know I loved to hear that it was St. Catherine of Siena). He was a big influence on my conversion from atheism to Christianity and is the only pastor I’ve ever had. As painful as it is to see him go, I’m delighted for the folks in Des Moines!

— 4 —

Thank you for all the happy birthday wishes for my grandfather last week! Since everyone seemed to like the food pictures, here’s what we had for his birthday dinner:

Like good Texans, we celebrated the special occasion with ribs.
We are rib purists, using only a spice rub and never sauce.

Some obligatory cole slaw.

Homemade peach cobbler.
It all went well with the delicious Layer Cake Primitivo.

— 5 —

Occasionally kind blog readers will translate my posts into Spanish; I thought it was neat to see my post called A Friend of the Emperor posted by a reader at her blog as Un Amigo del Emperador.

— 6 —

I’ve mentioned before that the previous owner of this house (who obviously did not have young children) installed ivory-white carpet all throughout the house right before we bought it. Trying to keep this carpet looking decent with four children under age five has made me consider legally changing my name to Sisyphus.

A couple weeks ago the carpet got so bad that my husband realized a bold move was required, so he bought a Hoover Steam Vac with “Clean Surge” on Amazon. At first we were hesitant to spend the money, but can I just say that that was the best $155 we ever spent? Both of us were almost teary-eyed the first time we watched the dark stains just disappear beneath it. We’re about to start penning odes to this thing. (And please do not put my husband in the awkward position of asking him whether he was more excited about the arrival of this steam vac or the birth of our children.)

— 7 —

Something big has been going on over here for the past couple of months that I have been DYING to blog about but haven’t been able to until now. I’ll have something exciting to tell you all next week!

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!

UPDATE: As you may have noticed, Mr. Linky is running slowly today and having some technical difficulties. He assures us he’s working on it! Updates here.

1. Kathy @ The Political Housewyf
2. Angie @ Many Little Blessings
3. Trena @ The Third Prayer
4. puella
5. Elizabeth Esther
6. Blair’s Blessings
7. Venite
8. Debbie
9. Laura
10. Renee @ End of Nihilism
11. Catherine @ To Mark Time
12. Mrs Wookie
13. Tami @ The Next Step
14. Sara @ A Shower of Roses
15. Veronica @ Toddled Dredge
16. Mrs Wookie (corrected link)
17. Sarah Reinhard (Books in Brief)
18. Pharmgirl @ Adventures in Pharm Land
19. Kathy@10minutewriter
20. MrsDarwin
21. Charlotte @ GTH
22. Layla @ ND Law Wife
23. Katherine @ The Domestic Church
24. Sheila@So… Now What?
25. Stephanie D.
26. amy
27. Bridget Garden Bulbs
28. Lenae
29. mom.huebert
30. Dawn @Sufficient for Today
31. Sheila @Momfessions
32. Milehimama (Mama Says)
33. Joy B
34. Angie in Kieler, WI
35. Betty Duffy
36. Annemarie
37. Scarlett
38. entropy
39. Em @Gratitude. Simplicity. Frugality.
40. Erin @ Light of my Life
41. Amanda
42. rebecca
43. MommyMonkey
44. Ingrid Airam
45. Jessica
46. Manda @insidedog
47. Anna D
48. Mrs. Bubbles
49. Sarah @ This Heavenly Life ( I swear I already added this?)
50. elise
51. stephanie @ Ready, Set, 40!
52. Love2learn Mom
53. Julie Stiles Mills
54. Mary
55. Ria
56. Jenni (Demeter’s Feet)
57. Eliz at Tink’s Mom
58. Jenny @ Heart of a Mother
59. Rebecca @ The Momologue
60. Jen @Scraps and Snippets (creativity)
61. Elena@My Domestic Church
62. Gillian-Life of a Photographer
63. Agnes Regina @ the Steel Lily
64. Amanda @ TheMomJob
65. Lerin @ Beautiful Chaos

Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.


  1. politicalhousewyf

    #7 is just not fair! I was happily enjoying the food photos (and the remarkably odd occurence of being the first person on the links list this week), not even knowing I was missing out on something… 😉

  2. Trena

    I wish it worked for inside your house. Our thermostat is broke and some crickets would be nice right about now!

  3. puellapaschalis

    Ok, now I have a craving for spare ribs! Hm, I wonder who I might be able to drag along…

  4. Christina

    …I have been DYING to blog about but haven’t been able to until now. I’ll have something exciting to tell you all next week!I must say that this is quite mean of you 😉

    BTW – I love these quick takes and look forward to them every Friday, please keep them up 🙂

  5. Tami Boesiger

    Hey, now that isn’t fair, is it, to give us a “to be continued?”

    Have a great weekend, Jennifer!

  6. Marie

    Is the answer to number 7 that you are you pregnant again Jen??? :O

  7. Missus Wookie

    What a neat idea!

    Thanks for hosting this – I found it on another blog and have done a few before I thought to come and link. Planning on reading through some of the links this afternoon.

  8. Pharmgirl

    #4: Wow, that looks like a great spread! Hope your grandfather had a good time!

    Your #6 reminded me of something the previous owners of my house did that was equally moronic, so I put it in my Quick Takes. Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. Dawn

    7 Quick Takes – My Favorite Time Savers


    Jennifer, your #7 is not fair!
    Thanks for hosting!

  10. Milehimama

    The carpet cleaners are AMAZING!

    Get a runner and some throw rugs. They really do help hide any stains!

    Although I’ve pretty much given up on the carpet right next to the kitchen.

  11. Laura

    Can’t wait to hear the news! I love the suspense…

    How come I cannot get my quick takes logo to link to your blog???????? Any hints?????

  12. amy

    That wine photo is really beautiful.

  13. Beth (A Mom's Life)

    A cliffhanger?? No fair!

  14. rebecca

    leaving a comment after linking… thanks for hosting, this is a lot of fun! and the food looks scrumptious. (as does the drink.)

  15. Jessica

    I just did my first quick takes!! And I wanted to say that I’m making my first rack of ribs for Memorial Day. I’m kinda scared.

  16. Manda

    Hi! I’m new here! Just did my first 7 Quick Takes after holding off as long as possible. 🙂
    Fun idea!!

  17. This Heavenly Life

    Ribs and peach cobbler…i’m having dirty thoughts now thankyouverymuch.

    Dinner plans have just changed.

  18. Mary

    Thanks for hosting this. You always write such interesting things.

  19. Ria

    Thanks for hosting!

  20. Jenni

    hi, this is my first time commenting and submitting my quick takes link. but my sis does it all the time.

  21. antonina31

    commenting after linking… You make me miss Texas! Tell us more about the wine! Cake on the bottle makes me thirsty.

  22. Jennifer

    I have really enjoyed browsing your blog, and thought I’d jump in and join “Quick Takes” this week…great way to wrap up the week!

  23. Starrball

    I’ve been really busy lately, but I do look forward to your post next week!

    I linked up also. Lots of photos in this one.

  24. *karendianne.

    Great blog! I got your “Quick Takes Friday” from another blogger but did cite you on my post. I hope that was okay.

  25. Amanda

    I will not covet thy bloggy neighbor’s steam cleaner…

    I will not covet thy bloggy neighbor’s steam cleaner…

  26. KC

    I was so saddened to hear Father Joel was leaving. He is such an awesome priest. I’ve always been disappointed when he was not presiding over mass or whenever the deacon gave the homily. His homilies are always so thought provoking.

    I will miss him terribly.

  27. Lynn

    I am the mother of three, soon to be four boys (oh, and a very old dog) and I absolutely couldn’t live without my Hoover Steam Cleaner. In fact, it’s my 2nd one and I think I only lasted a week when the first one broke before I went and got a new one!

    My next favorite thing is the Bissell Spot Bot. I have actually been known to greet dog vomit with “It’s OK! I’ll get the Spot Bot!” in my best Snow White voice. It’s faster and easier to get out for those small spots–such as vomit.

    There are few things in life that actually make a mother’s life easier but I believe these are two of them.

    Blessings to you and your family,
    Lynn in NC

  28. Doris

    I’m a member of St. catherine’s in Des Moines! I am so happy to hear that…makes the pain of losing our priest much easier!

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