7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 173)

May 25, 2012 | 44 comments

— 1 —

When I read through the Quick Takes posts each week, I’m surprised at how often other bloggers express the need for cohesion in their posts. It’s somehow troubling to them to throw up seven completely unrelated statements, and so they carefully choose a unifying theme that will weave all of their items together. This is undoubtedly the sign of an organized, intelligent mind, perhaps one with an artistic bend as well. I, on the other hand, have no trouble at all with steaming heaps of disorganized randomness (something that anyone who has been to my house can confirm), and so I don’t have the slightest inclination to make my takes have anything to do with one another. Behold the themelessness!:

— 2 —

I’m now on Instagram! And I don’t really know what that means! But I thought I would say it with an exclamation point to make it seem exciting! I can’t figure out how to follow people who don’t follow me, I don’t know how to tell you to find my account, and I am so uncreative that I can’t find anything to take pictures of*. But it’s really cool to be able to make my photos look all professional with those filters!

* Okay, it’s not entirely due to a lack of creativity. A significant contributing factor is that I can’t find any areas of my house that are clean enough to be involved in photographs.

— 3 —

One of the first pictures I took was of this, a recent attempt to drink tea:

I went to a lovely local tea house, run by real British people, and thought that I would have this lovely experience of quietly sipping tea and looking classy. I am still trying to figure out where, exactly, things went wrong. Was it in the pouring? I could have sworn I saw the liquid actually bubble out of the pot on its own, but I know nobody would believe that. Anyway, the situation completely unraveled. I ended up splashing around in a mess of hot liquid, tea all over the table, on the plates, covering the silverware, a vague feeling of wetness on my shoes. So, basically, I thought it would be like this:

But it ended up being a lot more like this:

— 4 —

Wait. This is concerning. As I typed #3 it occurred to me that this is actually not the first time I have had an issue with drinking tea. Remember this? What is my problem?? I have heard of people getting banned from bars, but I may be the first person in history to get banned from a tea house.

— 5 —

I’ve received quite a few questions about homeschooling lately as parents begin to think through school choices for next Fall. I was thinking I would write up a little “How we decided to homeschool” post, but then I remembered that Sally Thomas did all the work for me. If you haven’t read the homeschooling magna carta she wrote for First Things, you must. It’s called Schooling at Home, and you can read it here. (And she has a blog, too!)

— 6 —

I have said this before, but I’ll say it again: Someone could get rich by starting a ruthless babysitting cartel. All you would have to do is get the phone numbers of all local households that have had a baby in the last three years. Each weekday morning you start calling around 6:30 AM, and when people answer, say, “We’ll come over right now and take good care of the kids so that you can sleep in. Our rate is $250/hour. We take Visa.” You cannot tell me that that would not be an extremely lucrative business.

— 7 —

My present circumstances enlighten me to the idea that that babysitting cartel could rake it in with bloggers, too. They could place calls to moms with blogs around mid-day, saying, “We just wanted to make sure that all your babies and toddlers are taking their schedule naps so that you could update your blog this afternoon! If that is not the case, we could be there in five minutes to help out…at the usual rate.” Man. There is a real business opportunity there.



  1. Rhonda

    Aha! I’ve discovered the Best. Deal. Ever. – have the fourth grade neighbor girl over as a “mother’s helper.” She’s happy, I’m happy, the toddler’s happy!

  2. jen

    I would pay serious money for #6 and #7.

  3. Kara

    Your #3 made me laugh so hard. Hope you can figure out the tea thing. I don’t think I’d even try. I am so clumsy I’m sure I’d make a fool of myself.

  4. nancyo

    I’m on instagram too! Although I have not found anyone, nor have I taken any photos. But, technically, I’m on it!

    My quick takes posts almost always have a theme (it’s Art this week) but I think that’s because it’s one of the few places I can actually impose order in my life. That certainly doesn’t happen with my house!

  5. Dorian Speed

    I remember that tea shop!

    I’ve been trying to make the switch to tea from coffee. Tazo makes a good ginger green tea that is a morning pick-me-up without being too bitter, but I’m sure that does not pass any standard of true English tea.

    • Lisa Schmidt

      DON’T DO IT DORIAN! Don’t you dare give up coffee.

  6. Hevel

    I like to do thematic quick takes, and it’s not because I’m organized, but because it’s just easier to come up with 7 things in one theme than just random things.

    And yay for Instagram!

  7. Leila

    Holey Heck! #6 and #7 might be the answer for my college kids, re: funding their entire education! Thanks! 🙂

  8. Smoochagator

    I love Instagram! Is your username the same as your Twitter? I will have to look you up and add you.

    I was banned from a coffeehouse once. And boy, they took it seriously, too. I tried and tried to go back but they wouldn’t let me. I can’t tell the story of HOW I got banned, though, because this is a family-friendly blog. Yeah. It was a proud moment in my youth.

  9. Elizabeth

    Entrepreneur Babysitter’s Club.

  10. Kate Wicker

    You made me snort-laugh. It was a good way to start the morning.

  11. Dawn Farias

    I have never been able to catch on to tea drinking. I try once every couple of years because it seems so… sophisticated and healthy. It never works and I spend the next two years guiltily looking at the unused box of tea bags in my pantry.

  12. Judy Dudich

    Um…sorry, Jen…my friend, but, I must draw your attention to the fact that you have disqualified yourself from “steaming heaps of disorganized randomness” due to the obvious and cohesive relationship between Quick Takes 6 and 7. Sorry to be the bearer of that bad news; but, you know: Fair’s fair.
    So, see? You actually ARE a tad bit organized, intelligent, and artistic.
    We coulda’ told you that! ::winks::

  13. Emily

    I’ve never used Instagram but it seems cool!
    I try to *sometimes* have cohesion within my 7QT but it never happens that way. I am such a fail.

  14. Michelle

    WRT Tea…I have never tried. My girls got to go on an outing where they taught them how to have tea…they did pretty well. I think I’ll leave it alone because I would probably make a huge mess, too.

    As for the babysitting cartel…yeah, I could really see that. Maybe I should try it.

  15. Michelle

    As for Instagram…My almost-11-year-old has it on her iPod. I did not agree to it up front (my husband, bless his heart, did) and so as I tried to figure it out so I could monitor it…I got more and more frustrated!!! But, she really does enjoy making her pictures and all that stuff…

    • Hevel

      My kids have Instagram, too, and I made them all create an Instagrid account so I can see what they upload. It’s also a rule in my house that anyone under 18 has to give me their passwords for any social network, including Instagram. This way they know that anything unacceptable will result in deletion and lost prvileges. So far I only had to do once.

  16. Ella

    It never works and I spend the next two years guiltily looking at the unused box of tea bags in my pantry. Thanks for sharing.

  17. EML

    Oh my , I would totally pay someone $250 to babysit the kids so I could sleep in. Why hasn’t someone thought of this business before?!

  18. Deanna

    I laughed and laughed over your quick takes this morning. Thank you!

  19. Lisa

    I’d be first in line for that babysitting service, esp if they’d take the kids away from my house, so I could be ALONE in my own home.

  20. JoAnna

    Tea is wonderful! (I am one of the rare birds that has NEVER had coffee in my life, except an accidental taste when a barista got coffee mixed up with hot chocolate). I wouldn’t worry too much about tea customs-they are diverse as they come (there are several books on tea customs-just search on Amazon!).Jen, you should take comfort in knowing that a few centuries ago, it was fashionable to pour the tea onto the saucer and drink it that way. You can claim to be a new trend-setter!

  21. Kelly M.

    Unless I spike my tea with espresso, I can’t see me ever becoming a full time tea drinker. And the fact that I somehow I always mix cream and lemon in my tea and curdle everything up.
    #6 If I didn’t think this would put us in the poor house, I’d totally support said cartel.
    Funny stuff Jen as usual.

  22. cindykay

    I love the randomness of the Quick Takes!

  23. Brianna

    Oh Jen, your tea experience has me laughing out loud! I’ve been known to spill at restaurants and coffee houses and other peoples’ homes, and I’m not a big tea person, and I have a terrible feeling that this would happen to me too.

    So, maybe we need to go to tea together sometime. We would be spilling, and laughing really hard, and really WOULD get thrown out, but then us getting thrown out would solve your problem of what to photograph with Instagram. 🙂

  24. Kendra @ The Nerdy Wife

    I don’t have that problem with the kids yet. I just have one and he sleeps a lot still so I can find time for things most of the time 🙂

  25. suburbancorrespondent

    Why, oh why, am I the only person in the entire world who does not understand what Instagram is?

  26. JC

    “When I read through the Quick Takes posts each week, I’m surprised at how often other bloggers express the need for cohesion in their posts. It’s somehow troubling to them to throw up seven completely unrelated statements, and so they carefully choose a unifying theme that will weave all of their items together.”

    My friend Matt–the same one you met Monday night at the Pour House–made a perceptive observation concerning my own fairly-frequent use of quick-takes in this manner. His observation (in the form of a question) was, “Do you find it easier to use that format to make a quasi-essay without having to go through the trouble of the writing an introduction or a conclusion?” I don’t know about others’, but this is more-or-less the appeal for me when i do choose such a style. It’s an essay, but without the boring (though sometime useful) parts.

  27. Lisa Schmidt

    Interesting thoughts re: quick takes and themes. Admittedly, If I can’t get a theme going, a ditch QTs for the week. Conversely, when I speak/chat, I have no problem going from one random thought to another. When I worked outside the home, I drove my boss nuts because I would change thoughts nearly mid-sentence during our conversations. Drives my husband nuts, too. But when I write, completely different ballgame. Hmmm.

  28. Rachael

    I love 7 quick takes precisely because it can be random and unconnected! If I had to come up with some kind of connecting theme then it might as well be a ordinary every day blog post. The best part of the 7 quick takes is that I can put in all the stuff that I wouldn’t be able to expand into a post all on its own.

    The babysitting idea is totally genius. Especially because when the phone rings it would wake up the kids!! Evil genius!

  29. Mary

    #6&7 – Brilliant!

  30. Dwija {House Unseen}

    Okay, first of all…this is not even the latest I’ve ever posted but it truly is, the first time, I’ve ever been some number in the HUNDREDS. Holy cow that’s a lot of link-ups!

    All you cool people on the instagram whom I wish I could play with on the instagram. Dumb dumbphone….

    • Lisa G.

      Dwija – Are you and I the only people in the world without those fancy palmpilot phones?? Mine is a walmart phone. And definitely does not do anything ‘instantly’ – therefore, instagram is OUT!

  31. Kayla @ The Alluring World

    Instagram is strange. It took me two weeks to realize that it’s not a filter for the camera phone, but a separate app, then two MORE weeks to figure out how to view the picture online. Cool concept, could maybe just maybe need a little better execution. Or maybe I’m just woefully inadequate at using technology. But I’d rather blame it on Instagram.

  32. bobbi

    Wow, there are a lot of links this week! My post is in the 100’s!

    I had to laugh at your instagram take because this week you started following me and when the notification popped up on my iphone I ran to my husband and excitedly told him that Jen Fulwiler is following me on instagram! He did not get the magnitude of having my favorite Catholic blogger/ writer extraordinaire acknowledge my existence. I told him to imagine if it was the Green Bay Packers or The Clash acknowledge him… now he started to get it. Anyway, you made my day. 🙂

  33. Lisa G.

    HAHA!! You are definitely onto something with the babysitting cartel! I saw a Shark Tank episode where a guy tried to get the investors to buy into his Granny babysitting online service. It’s just like sitter city, but all the babysitters are older grandmothers who are wise and experienced 🙂 The investors would have bought in, but they worried about too much turnover from the granny’s who died!

    And thanks for the homeschooling link. I’m slooooowly starting to think about homeschooling as a real option for my kiddos. But I am so reluctant to assume I could do a good job!

  34. Kathy

    My husband suggested that #6 might count as a mortal sin, it’s so evil! I don’t know about $250, but I’d sure consider it at 6:30 am…

    Should I suggest they add a late-night service, as well?

    “Good evening, madam. Are your delightful children appropriately tucked into their lovely beds and staying there? No? We could take care of that for you…”

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Oh. Wow. Yeah. That would REALLY work, especially in this house.

  35. Sheila @ Seasoned Joy

    I want to get a new iTouch so it will have a camera in part so I can join in the Instagram fun. Technically I’m on it, in that I can see others photos, but I can’t take any pictures with my older iTouch.

  36. Amanda G

    Numbers 6 and 7 ARE GENIUS!

  37. Dawn R. Johnson

    Great post. interesting thoughts .I’ve learn more . thanks for this.

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