7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 101)

October 15, 2010 | 47 comments

— 1 —

Today I’m hopping on a plane to head over to Alabama to visit my good friend Hallie Lord. It’s a very quick trip for the baptism of their new baby (to whom my husband and I are honored to be godparents), but it’ll be great to catch up in person.

— 2 —

A new scorpion story for those of you who weren’t on Twitter at 8:10 CDT Wednesday night: So I was walking by the bathroom and my three-year-old daughter called out to me. She was pointing at the tub with a sort of concerned but resigned look on her face, saying, “There’s a…umm…ummm…” Even though I couldn’t see into the tub, I knew it was a scorpion. OF COURSE it was a scorpion. Here in Wild Safari House my kids don’t even remark on spiders and lizards anymore.

I walked over to the tub and, yeah, there it was, right on Dora’s head on our Dora the Explorer bath mat. I would have called my husband to deal with it but he was editing my book and I didn’t want to interrupt him (I should get the Pulitzer just for that), so I grabbed a Scuffy the Tugboat toy and slammed it down on the scorpion.

— 3 —

Did you think that was the end of the story? Welcome, new reader. Nay, it is NEVER that simple around here (see: Exhibit A and Exhibit B.) So I slammed Scuffy down on the menacing arachnid, but the toy has a small hole in the bottom, so it immediately made a loud hissing sound. I momentarily thought that the ominous noise was coming from the scorpion, perhaps doing some evil wheezing thing as he prepared his revenge, so I jumped back and dropped Scuffy. The scorpion took off across the tub. I slammed Scuffy down again, this time leaning my full weight on him for a good thirty seconds.

Now, luckily, I remembered my handy flow chart (which you can see at the bottom of this post). I did briefly think, Whew! I’m glad that’s over with! but then I immediately clued in: OF COURSE IT’S NOT DEAD, I realized. I’m going to lift up this little tug boat and the scorpion is going to start running around and stinging everything in sight!

So I lifted it up, and saw a crumbled ball of a scorpion. Looks like I actually got it this time. BUT NO! No sooner had I thought that than it unrolled from its blob-like position and started RUNNING AROUND STINGING EVERYTHING JUST LIKE I KNEW IT WOULD!!!!!! Long story short, I screamed for the kids to bring me a book, they brought me the first thing they saw from my husband’s bedside table, and I smashed it to pulp with God and Man at Yale.

— 4 —

Yaya killed a scorpion she found on our kitchen floor last week; it was really something to behold. She didn’t put it down the disposal this time. Rather, she simply scooped it up on an 8×10 piece of paper. Then, after holding it right in front of the toddlers for them to see it, she took it back into the kitchen and squashed it in the paper between her fingers. It reminded me when I used to see Steve Irwin get all up in some snake’s face. HOW DID HE KNOW that that was going to be fine, that the snake wouldn’t strike right when his nose was about three inches away? If I could have articulated my questions to Yaya at the time, they would have been:

  • HOW DID YOU KNOW it couldn’t sting you through the paper?
  • HOW DID YOU KNOW it would run onto the paper, rather than running around it and stinging your bare foot, which was right next to it?
  • HOW DID YOU KNOW it wouldn’t run up the paper at lightning speed, startle you and cause you to fall over, where you’d be flailing around on the floor, screaming, the scorpion stinging you over and over and over again?!

— 5 —

Anyway. Heather King has a new blog. She’s the author of the great memoirs Parched and Redeemed. One thing that’s already enchanted me about her site is that she does these haunting, thought-provoking character sketches. Check out her posts about a deaf-blind woman who ministers to those who are also unable to see or hear; King’s poignant thoughts on her own longtime fascination with death and decay; and her post about Simone Weil and her refusal to be baptized. Good stuff.

— 6 —

I’m so excited that Austin now has a John Paul II Life Center, a pro-life medical facility specializing in pregnancy and women’s care. I’ll definitely be paying them a visit.

— 7 —

Speaking of which, is it me or is 40 Days for Life particularly on fire this time around? There have already been a lot of intense and amazing stories here in Austin alone. It seems to me that this movement is really picking up steam. Very exciting.


Below is a 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.


  1. Leah @ Unequally Yoked

    I am so profoundly sorry for your scorpion woes. I spent the summer in DC where there are giant crickets everywhere, and, after a few rounds of hysterics, bought a roll of wrapping paper to kill them from a distance.

  2. Ciska @ This Journey Of My Life

    After reading your story, I’m so glad we don’t have scorpions over here. I already freak out when I see ants in my house (that are, what, a few millimeters big?). Ugh!

  3. George @ Convert Journal

    All this scorpion focus! I remember when we moved to the south 30 years ago. So many new bugs to meet. After a while though, you do get used to them.

  4. Dora

    I have to say, you’re way braver than I am. Is your house on top of an old scorpion haunt or something?

  5. Elisa | blissfulE

    UGH! How DID she know it wouldn’t sting her through the paper??

  6. Love2learn Mom

    Thanks for hosting as always! (Ewww! Scorpions, I will try not to complain about the mice.) It’s nice to be part of the crowd again now that I’ve re-plunged into the blogging world.

  7. DebbieQ

    OK, the scorpion story has totally given me the heebee jeebies.

  8. Michelle

    I could never live where you do with scorpions that are that common. We have large spiders and I can’t handle THEM most days. YOu are … as the say… da bomb.

    Will have to check out the new blog if I get a chance.

  9. Pam

    You should write a children’s book entitled “Yaya in the Land of the Scorpions.” Your stories on that theme crack me up… but I have a feeling if I were there to witness them in real life, I’d lose my contents…

  10. Mary @ A Simple Twist of Faith

    I am participating in 40 Days for Life too. On Columbus Day, David Bereit, the National Director, spoke at our local midpoint rally. It was very inspiring.

  11. Tina

    You make me ever so grateful to live in PA where our only infestation problems are with stink bugs!

  12. Chris @ Garden of Holiness

    Haven’t had a scorpion in the house yet, but this is my sixth time through the tarantula migration. Texas is great, but it’s a little weird.

  13. Jennifer G.

    Ahhh….you crack me! What a great way to start the morning! Happy Friday!

  14. Athena

    EEEWWW Scorpions! I just don’t know what I’d do about them! ‘Course, as long as they aren’t moths I’d probable be just fine to call my hubby or older son to come and kill it. I think I like the cold winter’s here, where bugs like that can’t surive outside.

  15. Megan

    Your scorpion stories make me laugh! I am sure I would have a very similar reaction if I saw one in person! Thankfully we don’t have to deal with them up here in the midwest!

  16. Judy

    40 Days for Life is DEFINITELY on fire!
    And, gee…here I was feeling sorry for myself because we have Black Widows on our Little Tykes Sliding Board out back. YIKES! Scorpions on Dora! WO!

  17. Nadja

    The scorpion saga makes me glad that we only have a Brown Recluse Spider infestation to deal with…

  18. Nichole@40daysof

    Scorpion and Yaya all in one story! What more could a Friday ask for?

  19. Elizabeth Esther

    It’s been a long time since I did 7 Quick Takes! Thanks for hosting, as always, Jen! 🙂

  20. Barb @ My Daily Round

    I needed that laugh! I posted a link to the scorpion post on Facebook because us northeasterners should know how easy we have it!

    I second the book idea about Yaya in the land of scorpions!

  21. Laura

    I love your posts and I love how honest you are about your hysteria! It always brightens my Friday to read your Quick Takes. I don’t have any Quick Takes today, but I have an issue that I would like feedback on if anyone is willing to click on my link below. Thanks and God Bless.

  22. Lisa @ Cheerfully Chaotic

    I thought of you yesterday when I cleaned out a light globe from the garage… with a fried scorpion inside. Ewww. Better than a live one, though. Matt sprayed for them again outside and about 8 LITERALLY came out of the woodwork to die. I feel like I’m harboring illegal immigrants.

  23. Sheila

    My parents used to have problems with scorpians, but they hired an exterminator to come quarterly and that resolved all their issues. Of course, they don’t have any littles at home, so didn’t have some of the same worries you do, but they had had problems with scorpians for years. They really don’t tend to sting unless you threaten them. I had one even walk over my foot, but it didn’t sting me. In the family, there have been a couple of stings, of course.

  24. Christy

    Your scorpion stories totally squick me out…I am so happy that we don’t have those in PA! Yikes!!

  25. the cottage child

    Yes! 40 days seems to be ministering mightily this go around. Praise God.
    Happy weekend everyone. Here’s hoping Fall has found you.

  26. Monica

    Scorpions and Yaya. My friday is complete.

  27. Lauren

    I was SO happy to see a picture of a scorpion pop up! I LOVE your scorpion stories! They’re the best!!!! I literally lol. And how INCREDIBLE that Austin now has a John Paul II center! That is incredible!!!

  28. Christine the Soccer Mom

    Jen, you totally crack me up. When my husband subscribed to your Twitter feed, I told him, “Never skip posts about Yaya. Trust me.”

  29. Christine the Soccer Mom

    Note: I uploaded the wrong video and have been tweaking it. If you miss the post, try again in a few minutes.

  30. Jenny

    Have a great weekend enjoying all things brand new baby.

  31. Holly

    A successful link. However, I accidently linked to my entire blog instead of just today’s post. I did that last time too. Next time, please, next time I’ll get it right. My hope is to get some of my readers reading your blog b/c you defend the faith so well. Plus you’re funny too!

  32. marie

    Ok, I used to freak out internally reading your scorpion tales. But now I have gotten so desensitized by them that the thing I got most excited about in todays tale is that your hubby is working on your book! I remain, dying to read it…………

  33. Monica

    You know, I lived in Houston for 12 years or so, and I never saw a scorpion inside the house. Or outside, either. I did see one in the showers at summer camp. Is there some sort of scorpion-attracting agent in your house? That sounds weird, but it might be worth looking into. Of course, now you’re getting used to it and actually have the flow chart in your memory, you’re probably all set…

  34. Bill B (AKA Theocoid)

    I’m sure Bill Buckley would have approved. Just one mroe reason I never intend to live in Texas.

  35. Heather King

    Jennifer, you’re a doll to have linked to my blog–many thanks for sending some of your trillions of fans my way! And thanks as well for sharing your scorpion woes. Which must derive added point by virtue of having small children in the vicinity…I myself always love a good insect tale, and Ya-Ya is obviously a gem.

  36. Kassie Rutherford

    I am pathologically TERRIFIED of scorpions. They are the one thing I do NOT miss about living in Texas.

  37. Calah

    Um, sorry Jen. I have a flailing baby in my lap and accidentally linked to this week’s Quick Takes and last week’s, too. Whoops.

    I hate scorpions too.

  38. Sally Thomas

    Yeah, noooooooot into the scorpion idea. Cockroaches are bad enough. Our old house in Memphis was infested with them, and we never quite got rid of them. We also had flying squirrels, who were cuter but still a nuisance at 2 a.m.. When we bought our house, there was a rope hanging down the chimney into the fireplace, and we speculated mightily as to its purpose. AND, before we moved in, in the leaf-stuffed vent-a-hood pipe over the stove, some repair guys found a very small rodentine skeleton, and we puzzled over that, too. Only gradually did we put the whole picture together, and that was after we’d kind of gotten used to having their little faces appear from behind the mantel clock at unexpected moments.

    Yeah. I’ll totally take the flying squirrels. Our current house doesn’t have them, and I actually kind of miss them.

  39. Young Mom

    Points 2, 3 and 4 illustrate perfectly why I pray I will never have to live in texas. In fact, I think I may have to stay in Canada to avoid finding any bugs bigger than a nickel in my house. *Shudder*

  40. Heather Cady

    Love the scorpion stories 🙂 Puts all my “troubles” in perspective 🙂 Thanks for hosting!

  41. suburbancorrespondent

    I’m with you on the scorpion business, love. How does she know it won’t run up her arm and sting her? How can anyone live near death-inflicting insects? How?

  42. Jordan (MamaBlogga)

    We killed a black widow in our dining room this week. It was a great story. My four-year-old and I both cleaned out the web this week, and it reappeared. I examined the web on Tuesday and thought, “Hey, that looks like a black widow web. Ew.” Six hours later, my four-year-old comes to tell me there’s a large spider in it. A 1.25″ black widow. It was a beast to kill, even with my husband and me working at it.

    I was a big Steve Irwin fan (it’s actually kinda hard for me to talk about him still). I remember one time he had like a little garter snake and was holding it, dangling it in front of his face—and it turned and bit his lip!

    And then he got really serious, because he thought he’d been wrong and it was a venomous taipan. But no, non venomous and he was fine—with a new lip piercing to boot! 😉

  43. Angela Tell

    You are not the only one noticing the 40 days for life being on fire! Not kidding, in GR Michigan we’ve been having lots of stories- and lots of prayers.

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