7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 53)

October 2, 2009 | 42 comments

— 1 —

My husband and I loved our trip to El Paso. We had an unbelievably good dinner at the famous Cattleman’s Steakhouse and got a behind-the-scenes tour of the airport (where my dad is working on an expansion). We also briefly visited the big corn maze on the New Mexico border, but I didn’t go in because I was hungry and tired and me + my notorious lack of a sense of direction + hunger + fatigue + 15-foot-high cornstalk labyrinth just kinda seemed to have disaster written all over it. We also went to a nice Mass at Queen of Peace parish (whose bell tower you see on the left) and had some of the best Italian food I’ve had in years at Trattoria Bella Sera.

The only down side was that it was hard to adjust to the dry air and elevation (3, 800 ft). My mouth felt like sandpaper the whole time we were there, and I felt short of breath every time I walked around. But we were thrilled to get a mini vacation and hope to be able to go back again soon!

— 2 —

Why didn’t someone tell me that there’s a new version of Fertility, Cycles and Nutrition?! I have an almost religious devotion to that book, which I first discovered after two well-respected doctors told me that I had so many cycle problems that I’d never be able to have children without medical intervention. I credit that book with completely turning around my health on every level and…nevermind — I’m going stop typing so that I can go buy five copies of the new version.

— 3 —

I just can’t get over the fact that our city is having a Hairy Man Festival this weekend.

Especially that a women’s association puts it on.

I know that it’s named after the vaguely-defined local legend of a mysterious (and evidently hairy) man who once roamed this area, but how do you tell people who may not be familiar with the lore about this event? I mean, what if you run into some friend from a different part of town who’s in the Junior League and she’s all like, “I’m working hard on putting together the Fall Black-Tie Ladies’ High Tea. What are you up to?” and you have to be all like, “I’m working on the Hairy Man Festival”?

— 4 —

My husband says I have no sense of humor. “It’s supposed to be funny!” he says of the Hairy Man Festival, waiting for me to break out into “oh-NOW-I-get-it!” laughter at any moment. But, nay, I remain stone-faced as I point out that I still don’t understand.

I think the problem is that the risk/reward ratio is just too high for me. On the reward side, your friends might react to hearing that you’re organizing the Hairy Man Festival by recognizing that the name is a reference to the local legend and chuckling at the funny sound of it. On the risk side, they might not be familiar with the story and THINK YOU’RE SO INTENSELY INTERESTED IN HIRSUTE MEN THAT YOU’RE ORGANIZING AN EVENT AROUND IT. For me, not worth it.

— 5 —

I think that interest in this legend has persisted mainly because we have a local road named after it. I know, you’re wondering how we named a road for the legend without calling it something crazy like Hairy Man Road. We didn’t. It’s just Hairy Man Road. One wonders if the person behind that decision had any interest at all in developing the local economy, considering the large number of businesses that simply could not be located on a street called Hairy Man. Charm schools, wedding venues and upscale spas could never tell their clientele to find them at 1426 Hairy Man Rd. I can’t decide if electrolysis studios would be in or out. And what must that do for property values? No developer would ever build million-dollar properties on a street whose name would make people snicker like seventh-graders every time they heard it.

— 5 —

Oooooh, no. I see this turning into a Trucknutz-esque situation where I get fixated on some bizarro subject and spend all afternoon doing nothing but waxing philosophical about it, filling Quick Takes with my commentary and then calling my friends to subject them to further witticisms that I didn’t have room for on the blog. How about some vacation pictures?

— 6 —

The famous Cattleman’s Steakhouse
An evening drive in the desert

— 7 —

I am having to resist the urge to camp out on my front porch and attack our mail lady every time she comes by, shaking her by the collar as I ask rabidly, “IS THERE A PACKAGE FOR ME?!?!?!” This is because I ordered The Messies Manual: A Complete Guide to Bringing Order & Beauty to Your Home after Smoochagator left this comment:

I am an ex-slob and I LOOOOOOVE having a tidy and organized home now…I credit one book for my “conversion” — The Messies Manual by Sandra Felton. I’ve read many books and articles about organization, but Felton’s book changed my life because it changed my entire attitude and approach to housekeeping. I highly recommend it to any other “messies” out there who are desperate to transform their homes (and their lives)!

Done and done. I am now convinced that I am only a slob because I haven’t read this book and that after reading it I’m instantly going to become exactly like Kristen of Small Treasures. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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. Matching Moonheads
2. Roxane@Peace Garden Mama
3. Fencing Bear at Prayer
4. Venite
5. Carolyn @ reluctant atheist
6. NCSue
7. DebbieQ @ stophershesknitting
8. Sara @ AShowerofRoses
9. Pharmgirl @ Adventures in Pharmland
10. Mary @ Hope Echoes
11. becomewhatyouare
12. Lisa Sweet
13. Amanda
14. Judy
15. Sarah @ This Heavenly Life
16. Brandilicious
17. suburbancorrespondent
18. The Keeping Time
19. It Feels Like Chaos
20. Old Skool Jill (first timer)
21. Angie @ Many Little Blessings
22. Trena @ The Third Prayer
23. Papua Girl in Dallas
24. At Least Three
25. Laura
26. Lisa (Are We There Yet?)
27. Gill-Life of a Photographer
28. Tami @ The Next Step
29. kim@baby yahyah
30. Becky @Beck’s Three
31. Katherine @ The Domestic Church
32. Chelsea @ Roots & Rings
33. majellamom
34. Herb of Grace
35. Dakotapam
36. Marie, Two Ways of Renouncing the Devil
37. Smoochagator
38. Lenae
39. JoAnna @ A Star of Hope
40. Diana @ DePriest Days
41. Dawn Farias
42. Kathreja@ From Sibboleth to Shibboleth
43. Janet in Toronto
44. Joy @ joy in the morning
45. Sarah @ Simple Pleasures
46. Emily
47. Kathryn (The Bookworm)
48. Holly @ Hollison Journey
49. Rebecca
50. Laura @ Life, Faith, Home, School
51. Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker
52. Jordana @ Curmudgeonry
53. Caitie
54. Sarah @ Fumbling Toward Grace
55. Sarah Reinhard
56. Missus Wookie
57. Anne Marie @ East of Eden
58. ChrisV
59. Erin @ Sky Blue Pink Roses
60. Therese
61. Christina@Mrs. Broccoli Guy
62. Jesse – Don’t Believe The Bible?
63. Work in Progress
64. Kristen @ St Monica’s Bridge
65. Ranee @ Arabian Knits
66. Jaclyn
67. Meika @ Wandering Aramean
68. Chelsey @ The Crouch Family
69. theRosyGardener
70. Transitus Tiber
71. Aimee@ The Mother Load
72. Barbara C.@Box of Chocolates
73. Lerin @ Beautiful Chaos
74. Tina @ Multiple Mom T
75. Very Sleepy People
76. Emily
77. Paul A. Nelson
78. nadja@Patch O’ Dirt Farm
79. annies home –
80. Rebecca (another one)
81. MinkyKat@Trocaria’s Tantrums
82. Christian H @ The Thinking Grounds
83. Dympha @ The Well
84. Theresa @ Off Topic
85. Bill White
86. Peony Moss
87. Tracy@The Secret of Living
88. Erin@Seven Little Australians Plus One
89. Christi @ Our Journey
90. Elizabeth Mahlou
91. Therese (Aussie Coffee Shop)
92. Karen @ Flash Light
93. Elena @My Domestic church
94. Anna @ Annalogue
95. Michelle @ made4joy

Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.


  1. matchingmoonheads

    hey look! I'm first! Late night bird gets the worm πŸ™‚

  2. JoAnna

    I just bought the Messies Manual too! And I really should pick up Fertility Cycles & Nutrition… I think my old copy got lost when we moved.

  3. Roxane B. Salonen

    Jennifer, can you tell your husband for me that he is dead wrong about you not being funny? You always make me laugh, and I am not even there anymore to see your facial expressions. Keep em coming, girl. πŸ™‚ I just have to point out something that you did NOT intend to be funny (methinks) that caught me. While reading about how you went to church, the way it was worded had me thinking at first that you'd eaten a great Italian meal there as well — yes, at the church! At Mass, I'm sure. πŸ™‚ You can imagine what I was imagining, until I quickly realized my reading error. πŸ™‚ So, there you go. You're funny even when you're not trying to be! Have a great weekend…

  4. the Fish

    Good on you if if you're inspired by the Messies Manual, it's helped so many people. But if after you read it you find that you're inspired, but still no revolution, you should look at http://www.flylady.net.

    If you need that an extra push, FlyLady is the Big Light Bulb of taking all the tips and principles that you have been nodding your head over for years, but not doing, and inspiring you to to actually do them by taking you by the hand and walking you through them in babysteps.

    Thanks for all your insight, and blessings on your search for order!

  5. Jane D.

    love the one about Hairy Man Road and who would want to live/have a business on it. I knew we had found our house when I noticed that you have to go down Stinchar Road (Stinker to those who don't live on it!).

  6. Suburban Correspondent

    I had no idea that Texas had high elevations…

  7. Dawn Farias

    You're always posting about things that are on my mind: I just left a comment at another blog where the poster said that after cutting out caffeine and sugar she had no PMS symptoms. I, on the other hand, turn into a completely different person at that time of the month. I happen to have a version of that Cycles book, but haven't really read it. Hmmm……..

  8. ~ Judy ~

    So glad you enjoyed your time away with your husband…to find your sense of humor…he need only visit your blog!
    I heard the author of the Messies Manual on a Christian radio station…her stories were fascinating…and SO true!
    As for THMF…well…as soon as I read the first Quick Take on it…I must admit…I thought "Hmmmm, and I wonder what type VEHICLES THEEEYYYY will show up in…(i.e. TRUCKNU**) !!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Smoochagator

    Here in lovely Virginia Beach, VA, we have Pleasure House Road and Witchduck Road. Both names make newcomers snicker or tilt their heads in confusion, but to the locals (and in a tourist town whose population is mostly military families, you're a local if you've been here more than two years), they're just roads. I have to say I find it quite fitting, however, that one of the local go-go bars happens to be located on Pleasure House!

    I am so glad – and flattered – that you ordered a copy of The Messies Manual! I can't wait to read your review and see what wisdom you cleaned from its pages. I'm wishing I could re-read it now, but I loaned my copy to a friend who needs messie-help, too! My home is certainly not perfect, but it's come a loooong way, because I've come a long way in my approach to housekeeping – and life in general, actually. Enjoy!

  10. Christine the Soccer Mom

    I haven't even thought about Quick Takes much, but I have to tell you about a local street name. It makes my girls (8 and nearly-11) giggle hysterically any time they take notice of it. (And we cross it any time we go farther than the library, so it's always a risk.)

    Butt Hollow Road.

    Hey, you moved to southwest Virginia! It's so pretty there! What's your adress?

    1822 Butt Hollow Road. Wanna visit us?

    Um…not so much.

    And, yeah, I giggle when I think about it, too. And I've got a good enough vocabulary that I know what a hollow is, but good gravy did they have to name it that way??

  11. beckygiggles

    I just checked the Messies Manual out of the library and I'm loving it! The author is not a cleanie who talks to you as if you're stupid or lazy. She's a messy herself! It hasn't changed my life, yet, but I have cleaned out a closet and a couple of drawers. Baby steps.

  12. Solveig

    I don't know whether or not your husband was exercising his ability to see irony–but I laughed all the way through your thoughts on "the hairy man."

    • Bhelle

      What a beautiful sioessn . it looks so carefree and fun! Super, super cute family and mom looks so good pregnant! Gorgeous little girl, too. My favorites are from the last location. Wonderful job as always, Erin!

  13. bibliotecaria

    You really gave me a good start to the day: I was laughing so hard I cried about the whole Hairy Man thing. I think it just nudged my funny bone.

  14. Tami Boesiger

    Loved your discussion on the businesses that could NOT be located on Hairy Man Road. You always give me a good chuckle to start my Fridays, Jennifer.

  15. Chelsea

    I read the Messies Manuel. It'll change your life! My husband and I always say, "Does keeping this ______ help us reach our goal of keeping a clean home?"

    I have family who live in Brushy Creek! I always laugh when we say, "Just go down Hairy Man Road."

  16. 4ddintx

    I'm so glad that you enjoyed your trip to El Paso. If you come again, our homeschool group would love to have coffee with you or attend Mass with you. Queen of Peace is my parish. Cattleman's is an amazing place. Best steak in this area, for sure. It sounds like you got to see a good part of our city. I'm glad it was a good weekend.

    As always, I love reading your quick takes! Keep 'em coming!

    Suburban Correspondent, you didn't know about the high elevations in West Texas because we're a long forgotten step-child of TX. Really. We have much more in common with New Mexico than with the rest of TX.

  17. Amber

    I would SO totally live on Hairy Man Road. That is so much more interesting to me than yet another Sycamore or Bluebonnet street. It also helps that my husband is, indeed, a hairy man. I also have two hairy little men for pets (cats, not small humans).

  18. Mary Poppins NOT

    I used to have a copy of the Messies Manual, but somehow I lost it in the mess around here. I'll need to get another one.

  19. Laura

    Hirsute? Great! I will use that at every possible opportunity.

    Oh, and I'm excited about 'Messies Manual' — but now I have to find a "nice" way to give it to two friends who complain about their messes — but haven't reached the point when they WANT to convert. I look forward to a review on your blog!!

  20. Kristen Laurence

    Too funny! You know I could benefit from the Messies manual too. The only reason I have any order is because I have a super-organized husband that I hate to disappoint and only 2 kids! πŸ™‚

    Love Fertility, Cycles and Nutrition.

  21. Rebecca

    I'm going to skip the whole Hairy Man thing – and go straight to how EXCITED I am to learn about the book for messies! So getting that!!! Have a great weekend!

  22. TL.

    too bad I'm already married, I love hairy men!! You should organize a beauty contest! πŸ™‚

    anyway.. Seriously, do you drink coffee? That the one thing I don't do according to the book.. It's hard for me to give up on coffee so I'd like to know if it's really worth going through the withdrawing phase. How long before you feel a difference?
    I think you should do a whole post bout the cycle and nutrition, why you love that book so much. I read it and it looked like very basic health advices to me…

  23. B.

    When I saw a picture of a street name, I was expecting the Hairy Man Road, but no, it's South Desert Blvd.
    What a letdown.

  24. mrsbroccoliguy

    Love your quick takes. That Hairy Man festival? Odd. Yet also something I could imagine seeing on Gilmore Girls, which makes it sort of small-town charming, at the same time…

    Thanks for the opportunity to join your Quick Takes this week… I added my link to your list. πŸ™‚

  25. becky @ misspriss

    Oh, I have LOVED cattleman's for years. We buy their seasoned rub & use it on everything. My grandma used to live in El Paso, and it's where my parents met. So that city has a special place in my heart.

  26. Nzie (theRosyGardener)

    Hahah, love the Hairy Man thing– and I noticed it was a woman's club putting it on! I've got a friend who generally prefers the hirsute..I should tell her to visit, lol.

    -Nzie/Rosy, benefitting from being 9 hours ahead, or 9 hours less late than she would be otherwise…

  27. Emily

    Whoa, I need to read that book! It's going on the amazon list.

  28. shopannies

    sounds like a great trip and was just wondering do they judge the harriest man?

  29. Pam in TX

    Glad you liked El Paso! Queen of Peace is also my parish. Our homeschool group meets there every Friday. Would sure have loved to have you come meet all the moms! Maybe next time:)
    We love your book recommendations! We moms meet once a month for book club and love discussing new books.
    Pam in TX

  30. Peony Moss

    Made it!

    Sandra Felton's books have been SO HELPFUL to me. There's another one whose title escapes me that goes into some of the bad thought habits behind messiness — something like Organize your Mind? I have her newest book on time management on my nightstand.

  31. Anonymous

    I have been reading your blog for a few months and was so excited to see that you were coming to my great city of El Paso and now even more excited that you went to Mass at Queen of Peace, my parish! Maybe we were at Mass together!

  32. Elizabeth Mahlou

    I agree — I don't see anything funny about a hairy man festival. Are you going to go to it?

  33. Martha

    Um, don't you live in Austin? The place with the "Keep Austin Weird" t-shirts? (And not far away, the "Keep Wimberly Weirder")? I mean, would Hairy Man Festival faze anyone who lives there? πŸ™‚

  34. leah

    i think i want to get that messies manual. i think i NEED to get it.

    and also, your witty comments are humorous…see, you have a sense of humor.

  35. Anonymous

    On the way to my parents, we pass Bob-O-Link Drive. Notably, no houses actually use it as their address.

    Years ago, in grad school, I read a journal article by Ray Jackendoff (I think) and co-authors about names. It mentioned a situation in England where the town council had no say over whether or not new houses could be built, but got to pick the street names. Hence, Adolf Hitler Drive, etc. in hopes of convincing the builder to go somewhere else.

  36. Jess

    Since you referenced it in this post, I wanted to tell you that I have now seen TruckNutz in person, on our way to Orlando on Saturday we spotted some on a red pick up in Georgia (or was it South Carolina?). It really is the most bizarre and tasteless piece of merchandise that I've ever seen. What kind of brain thinks up a product like that and what would possess someone to buy it?! Or who agreed to produce it in the first place? Someone in some manufacturing role would have had to have given in a green light after being pitched the idea. Only in America, is all I've got to say. πŸ™‚

  37. the momma

    I ordered the Messies Manual Friday ~ I even considered paying the extra $$ to have it overnighted. I am that desperate to get my house in order. I got it today (a day early ~ I kid you not, I got tears in my eyes. I am SO sick of living in a house that is ALWAYS a wreck!)

    After reading a bit, though, I think, that, you are NOT, in fact, a MESSIE – you are simply a mom with several young MESS-MAKERS. Just like me.

    My advice ~ skip the first half of the book…. I'm just now getting to the part where she talks about how to actually get organized – which, I hope will be quite helpful – but, I am afraid may not be… I took the little quiz & organization is my second strongest area. Neatness was my biggest problem. Well, DUH! There was nowhere on the quiz for how many little people do you have constantly undoing what you've done…

    interested to hear if/how it helps you.

  38. misfit

    Interesting Anonymous – Maybe I'm in a different state, but I have in-laws that live on Bob-O-Link, and it is their actual address. We also have a few other odd sounding places – The Big Dam Bridge (all the kids snicker when they say this) and a town called Toad Suck.

    Jen – would love to hear your review of The Messies Manual. It sounds like it's a must read. I hope I can convince my hubby to read it as he seems to cherish piling stuff on every single horizontal surface in our home!! UGH!

  39. Cheryl B.

    I stopped by your blog to verify that you were still hosting your Friday "theme day".

    In case you aren't sure why I would do that, please first go here: http://thehousethatlovebuilt.xanga.com/712911712/today–/

    and then read this one:

    I see that you still are, so I shall leave you on the lists πŸ˜€

    Should you wish to contact me for any reason, feel free to do so via: pink bunnies (at) sbc global (dot) net

    Cheryl B.

  40. monica_divineoffice.org

    A Hairy Man Festival it's strange, I am more used to wine, beer, cheese, chestnut-tree and fall festivals. But I think any community reunion is great, nevermind the theme!

    Liturgy of the Hours

  41. Christina

    I just wanted to thank you for mentioning Shannon's Fertility & Nutrition book. I wasn't concerned about the fertility part, but I have had odd issues with my cycle. I have felt a lot better since implementing some of her advice.

    I loaned it to a friend a month ago when she had issues and she was thrilled to get so much information. After implementing the diet changes her problems went away completely.

    So thanks for the recommendation – now I'm wondering what you thought of the Messies Manual. πŸ™‚

Connect With Me On Social Media or Explore My Site



The "THIS IS JEN" podcast is on Facebook & all podcast apps


- SubscribeΒ on iTunes or Google Play (audio)

- Get weekly bonus episodes on Patreon

- Sign up for my email list to be the first
to know about new tour dates