7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 176)

June 15, 2012 | 48 comments

— 1 —

We need a Quick Takes hashtag! Yes! It only took me 176 weeks to come to this conclusion! (Have I mentioned that I’m giving a keynote at an upcoming new media conference? Look forward to my riveting presentation, How to Create a Hashtag in Three Years or Less.) Anyway, without further ado, I present to you the official 7 Quick Takes Friday hashtag. TAH-DAH!:


I don’t think I can take credit for this. Katie, Beth Anne, Dwija, Marie Bernadette and other savvy ladies have been all over this for a long time, and I feel certain that one of them originated this particular acronym/pound-sign combination. Nevertheless, feel free to use it! I’ll be checking in on it so that I can more easily reply and retweet Quick Takes chatter.

— 2 —

Or maybe I won’t. Maybe, instead of using #7QT to better interact with all of you through social media, I’ll hide behind my computer screen and watch everyone else have fun, while contributing nothing myself. Actually, I think that might be for the best. “But that’s no fun!” you say. “You should be more interactive on social media! What could go wrong?” you demand to know. Behold:

I recently stumbled across a fabulous Instagram user with the account name PartyOften. She has a beautiful family blog called Together for a Reason and, similarly, often posts gorgeous pictures on Instagram of precious moments of household life. I always noticed, however, that nobody seemed to respond to the clarion call implicit in her username. PartyOften might post a picture of a vase of flowers, for example, and I’d feel like I should comment with something like, “COULD BE A USED AS MARTINI PITCHER TOO, LOL! ROCK ON!!!!!” or somesuch response indicating that I, for one, appreciated the rabble-rousing sentiment in her username.

I came chillingly close to leaving a string of comments along those lines, but that vague sense of doom I always have when I sit in front of a social media screen prevailed, and instead kept my mouth shut and just “liked” a few photos. And later I realized that she has eight children, and her username, which I misread since Instagram does everything in lowercase, is PartyOfTen. Not PartyOften.

— 3 —

Have you seen all the great comments to my post about the Psalms? If you missed it, I was talking once again about my difficulty understanding these poetic scriptures, and I got a bunch of fantastic advice in response. Even if you already have a love for the Psalms, there’s bound to be something in there that helps you deepen your appreciation of them.

— 4 —

Want to watch something fascinating? Check out this Science Channel documentary called From Freezer to Furnace, about the hottest and the coldest cities on earth. We watched it the other night, and the first part about that crazy-cold city in Russia had us on the edge of our seats. I once lived in Bismark, ND, so I’m not totally unfamiliar with cold weather, but this was just nuts: They have to leave their cars on all the time during the winter, they buy their milk in frozen blocks, and the school classrooms have an air temperature in the low 50s. Then, when we got to the part about the hottest city in the world, it was kind of anticlimactic. My son finally vocalized what the rest of us had been thinking when he asked, “How is that different from where we live?”

Anyway, it started an interesting family discussion in which we pondered the question: Would you rather live in the hottest city in the world, or the coldest? What would your preference be?

— 5 —

My husband, son and dad all came down on the side of “hottest city.” No question. Nothing could compel them to live in a place so cold that you buy your milk in frozen chunks. I wasn’t so sure. I only barely survived our epic “life on the surface of Mercury” summer last year, and don’t think I could take even one more degree of heat. On the other hand, I just about have a panic attack on the one day of the year around here that I have to get socks and coats and mittens for every. single. one. of the kids before we step outside. From this we learned that I can’t deal with extreme temperatures. “Too bad you don’t live somewhere like San Diego, ” my husband commented — a perfectly natural response to such a revelation. But nay, I wouldn’t like that climate either, because I don’t like monotonous weather. So, in the end, what this exercise revealed about me is that I am a weather whiner who should probably just never go outdoors. Which sounds about right.

— 6 —

"Shuts down one's ability to do anything, except, perhaps, scream."

A local friend pulled the “You think you have it bad with scorpions, but I have something worse!” card the other day. I rolled my eyes with great skepticism. Short of telling me that he recently discovered that his house is a breeding ground for a newly discovered species of snake that’s a Rattlesnake/King Cobra hybrid known for its size and aggression, I was certain that I wouldn’t be impressed. But then he said he’s seen a few Tarantula Hawks around the yard, and I paused in humility. From Wikipedia:

The sting…is among the most painful of any insect, though the intense pain only lasts for about 3 minutes. Commenting on his own experience, one researcher described the pain as “…immediate, excruciating pain that simply shuts down one’s ability to do anything, except, perhaps, scream. Mental discipline simply does not work in these situations.” In terms of scale, the wasp’s sting is rated near the top of the Schmidt Sting Pain Index, second only to that of the bullet ant and is described by Schmidt as “blinding, fierce [and] shockingly electric”. Because of their extremely large stingers, very few animals are able to eat them; one of the few animals that can is the roadrunner. The U.S. state of New Mexico chose the insect in 1989 to become its official state insect. [Emphasis mine!!!!!]

P.S. Sometimes I can’t believe we live in this place.

P.P.S. Seriously, New Mexico?

— 7 —

And with that, I’m out. Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!



  1. Kat L

    It’s true about the monotonous weather! I lived in Southern Cal for a couple of years and we longed for rain. Anything to change things up! My kids and I were discussing tarantula hawks yesterday. I hope to goodness there are none in Louisiana.

  2. Katie@NFP and Me

    Thank you for the shout out! 😀

    That Party of Ten thing is hilarious! I say go for those comments anyways, I mean who wouldn’t appreciate a vase to martini pitcher suggestion? I mean I’m always looking for bigger containers to hold my “double booze conversion diary” concoctions. 😉

  3. bobbi @ revolution of love

    I always find it funny that so many links are posted well before midnight, at least in CA. No wonder when I post late Friday morning I’m #273. I can at least comment now and say that #2’s “party often” was hilarious, even if I woke up the sleeping baby in my arms from literally LOL. I agree with Kate. Comment anyway!

  4. Eva

    You don’t like monotonous weather, hey? You really should spend some down here at the bottom of Australia. Last Summer we went from 36C degrees one day to 15C the next. Hang on, I’ll consult Prof. Google- thats 98F- 15F. Excellent when bushfires loom!


  5. Hevel

    I have two blogs that I used to update regularly. I let one slide, but I want to get back to it. Is it okay to enter #7QT twice if I do two different posts? It’s definitely help me get back to blogging on my spiritual journey blog, but I don’t want to abandon it on my other blog.

  6. Michael

    Thank you for posting this 7 Quick Takes, I have read all and I enjoyed it.

  7. George @ Convert Journal

    No time right now, but #4 hottest/coldest cities looks interesting for later. #6 reminds me of Indiana Jones’ observation in Raiders of the Lost Ark: “why does it always have to be snakes?”

    My entry this week… Planned Parenthood “condemns sex selection motivated by gender bias” — except (wink, wink) that is completely false. For the first time, the US State Department no longer tracks religious freedom as a human rights issue. Two examples of the gay agenda’s use of the courts. Finding-out what is in ObamaCare (it’s worse than you think). The European Union — is that our future too? It’s official, the private sector is *doing fine*! Kids + technology = a solution for unmade beds.

  8. Michael

    Tarantula Hawks??? Even the name strikes fear. Wow!

  9. Smoochagator

    AHAHAHAHAA PARTY OFTEN. Hey, that lady could’ve helped you out with some dashes or underscores, amirite? Like party_of_ten? Or does instagram not allow non-alphanumeric characters? I can’t remember. OR she could be nice enough to have another baby and call herself partyofeleven. Much clearer.

    You know, my husband keeps saying he wants to move to Texas, so he can be around like-minded (i.e. gun-owning beef-eating) people. And so he can avoid any semblance of winter weather. Oh yeah, and so we can be closer to his older son. HOWEVER, I think your scorpion videos may convince him otherwise. Since I am the designated spider killer in our house, I have a feeling that scorpion disposal responsibility will fall on shoulders, and I would like to respond to that potential scenario with a hearty OH HAIL NO.

    • Smoochagator

      *fall on MY shoulders. But I’m sure you knew what I meant, because you’re a smart cookie and we totally get each other.

    • Erika Evans

      Listen to your husband and come on down! You’ll love Texas! I thought I wouldn’t like it, as I’m originally from Seattle and used to get the vapors back home when the temperature would top 80, plus I love love love trees which Texas does not really have, but I’ve been here for two years and am thinking seriously of getting one of those ‘I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as soon as I could’ bumper stickers 😀 You’ll get used to the heat (it’s really not all miserable, all the time) and you’ll adore the warm, breezy mornings/evenings and the short, crisp, comfortable winters. And the culture here! I love living in this great big fun, warm, faith-filled, down-to-earth, loving, no-nonsense, accepting, dynamic, proud, history-rich, sports-loving, patriotic, multicultural, never-boring place! After living in the progressive utopia that is Seattle, it’s an incredible relief to wake up every day among people who take it for granted that your fanny belongs in church on Sunday morning, that kids should be born to a married man and woman, that a real man gets up every morning and works to provide for his wife and kids, and that education is great but needs to be paired with common sense. And see, with your ‘oh HAIL no,’ you’re already halfway to picking up a Texas accent : )

      I’ve only seen two scorpions since living here, and both of those were while camping. And snakes: just don’t put your hands or feet where you can’t see them, and take a good look-see before planting your caboose anywhere outdoors, and you’ll be fine.

      /end of message from the Texas Relocation Encouragement Council ; )

      • Smoochagator

        Hahaha, you are so cute! One of our neighbors moved to the Houston area (I thiiiink…) last summer, simply because the cost of living (esp. housing) is much cheaper down there than it is here. She LOVES it and is so glad she moved. My husband and I have been joking about moving for years now, and Texas always comes up because my husband is a big old redneck and he thinks his people will welcome with open arms 😀 I personally feel like I’m more or a hillbilly type (I’m thinking the Ozarks or Smoky Mountains or Appalachia would be great places to live – I love trees and rain, too!) but I am definitely open to Texas. I wish Austin was an option because I’ve heard it’s got a thriving arts/education/music culture, but we’d probably end up more in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area because it’s closer to my stepson.

        • Erika Evans

          LOL, yes, come home to your people, and take vacations to Tennessee when you need a change of scenery 😀

  10. Amy (partyoften)

    😀 I just posted a pic of my morning cup of joe and you know what was in it??? That’s right, truvia!! WOO-HOO! LOL Thanks for the laugh this morning Jennifer!

  11. Laura

    Thanks for hosting, Jen. That partyoften is hysterical! Thanks for the laugh. Cool hashtag, but alas, I have no idea what to do with it. What should I do with it???? Anyone??
    God Bless.

  12. sam

    Well…if you really knew the partyoften lady like I do…she would love your off hand comments and is always ready for fun…it is great having an on line cheering section as well as enjoying the ride with others! Keep up the good work…and Party often!

  13. Theresa in Alberta

    Partyoften/PartyOfTen…thankyou for the giggle that almost made me wear my coffee this morning eh ;D
    As a person who lives in northern Albert as in CanadaEH. when the temp is at minus 20 plus degrees, I entertain many a fantasy about walking on a warm sandy beach in my shorts!!!! but when I hear about snakes, scorpians and other icky bugs I give thanks that I donot have to coexist with those creatures eh……

  14. Ourgoalistruth

    this was great quick takes this week. very funny….the documentary sounds awesome….and I think I have a bug that pretty much will make your tarantula/scorpion look like teddy bears…no kidding.
    and “PartyOften”….so funny.

  15. Natalie

    I think NM balanced their state symbols out. The roadrunner happens to be their state bird. Lol

  16. Steph

    I’m still chuckling about Party Often.

  17. Baron Korf

    Re: -1- That just shows how steeped in Catholicism you are. As I have seen it put (by Fr. Z maybe) “Welcome to the Vatican: Yesterday’s Technology Tomorrow!”

    I’d definitely go for the cold. Being from the frozen peaks of Colorado, that is home to me. But I’d end up in the heat because the baroness does not do cold.

  18. Rebecca

    Ugh! I had a comment all typed out, but the Captcha got me :(.

    In short – warm weather please; PartyOfTen vs. PartyOften – hehe; hawk tarantulas – no thanks!

    And I have enough sense to copy this comment before hitting submit…just in case.

  19. Marie Bernadette

    Ah, thanks for the shoutout in #1. I love my hashtags (beware) but mostly it’s just because I’m semi twitter-addicted. While I’m quite capable of leaving behind social media and tech – see also: when I go camping in the woods this weekend – I also find that I’ve made a great number of friends there that I wouldn’t have met otherwise, so I’m attached emotionally. (How’s that for a justification!?)

    Happy weekend! 🙂

  20. PartyOften/PartyOfTen Dad

    As the lucky husband of the beautiful PartyOften blogger and Instagrammer, I can chime in that we enjoy the double meaning in the name which reflects both our big family and the fact that we frequently party…which may have something to do with why we have 8 children!

    So bring on the party comments on her Instagrammer posts, I know she will appreciate them!

  21. Andrea

    Tarantula Hawks? Ugh. We moved from Texas to Ohio almost a year ago, where the bees are normal, spiders aren’t gargantuan, and folk think scorpions are from the same page as unicorns. I feel badly for how quickly I answer a firm, “No,” to the question from my Texan friends, “Do you miss Texas?” 😉

  22. Joy

    Oh my…. #2 had me (once again) wondering if we are twins separated at birth because it’s totally the kind of thing I would say/ type. And #6 had me checking where these evil creatures live while praying it’s not anywhere near my home. Yikes!!!
    Have a great weekend!

  23. Smoochagator

    Okay, if we’re discussing pests in various areas of the country, and whether or not my family should relocate to Texas, I really need to know if you guys have roaches. AKA “water bugs” or “Palmetto bugs” (which is what people call them if they’re unable to handle the fact that there’s a roach in their house). Because I live in Virginia Beach, which is only slightly less buggy than Florida, especially after the very mild winter we just had, and I’ve been killing a roach a day for the past month or so EVEN THOUGH the exterminator came to visit a few weeks ago. My pets are useless at killing bugs (although my dog Ana is kind enough to kill rats and voles AND BRING THEM INTO MY HOUSE AND PLACE THEM ON MY BED) and although I understand that roaches aren’t actually going to hurt me in the way that a stinging insect would, I’m just really freaking over them. Because they do not go softly into that dark night – they are hard to kill. One played possum in my garage for three days! And they’re just gross. Scorpions? Kind of cool. Roaches? JUST PLAIN NASTY.

    • Andrea

      Yes. Water bugs are in TX. They’re enormous, flying roaches. *shudder*

  24. Amy@Diapeepees

    I’m still laughing, three minutes later, from reading the part about the party martini vase. Very relatable.

  25. Kara

    I’d choose coldest by far.

    I agree… what the heck, New Mexico? Weirdos.

  26. Dwija {House Unseen}

    Alright, I can take no credit whatsoever for the creation of #7QT . I am a twitter moron who only just barely learned how to use a hashtag in the traditional manner so I could stalk my friends in labor. And then couldn’t even manage to come up with my own labor hashtag. Arwen Mosher had to do it for me (she’s so smart!).

    Anyway, hottest place on earth vs. coldest, I guess I have to pick hottest…BUT mostly cold vs. mostly hot, I’m going with mostly cold. Because layers of clothes are always more flattering than spaghetti strap tank tops. And I’m shallow like that.

  27. Jocelyne

    I would totally have read PartyOfTen as PartyOften. 🙂

  28. Christine

    I live in Minnesota. It gets very very cold. In fact FREEZING. But I love the crisp weather and SNOW is a must at Christmas. Right now it is a balmy 75 degrees. Almost a little too warm.

  29. Barbara

    Sorry: I’m not impressed by the tarantula hawk. I’m not *that* impressed with scorpions, either, until I found out that if you get a number of stings in a relatively short period of time, your reaction to them becomes increasingly worse. The first one: like a bee sting. No big deal. The last one I got the scorpion happened to nail me on my big toe, on the terminus of a major nerve (sciatic, perhaps). This was 15 minutes of gasping, “I could saw my own leg off and not care” pain that was completely unbelievable. Like a large match was inside my leg burning it from the toe to my knee. I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t think. The less excruciating pain lasts for some time, and then the headache sets in, which I think is just your brain on overload.

  30. Kayla @ Alluring World

    #2 Had me laughing out loud! And then #6 had me rethinking our decision to expand the job search to San Antonio. I don’t think I’m cut out for Texas.

  31. Karen

    If I have air conditioning I can take heat, if I have to choose between heat with no a/c and cold, I pick cold. I can put clothes on until I’m.warm I can only take so many clothes off before I scare small children and am still hot.

    I’ve been stung by scorpions and velvet ants/cow killer. The ant, which is really a.wingless swap, was far worse than the scorpion. Dh was stung by a.mahogony wasps and practically list his mind it hurt so much.

  32. Leila

    #2… OH MY GOSH!! Bwahahahahahaha!

  33. suburbancorrespondent

    If I could live in a place where my laundry would be cut in half because all the kids wear is shorts, T-shirts, and sandals year-round? I’ll deal with the monotony. Hawaii or San Diego…they both sound like paradise to me.

  34. Jenna@CallHerHappy

    I wish you never told me about that disgusting bug. Seriously gross and nightmare-y.

    On a lighter note, I am loving the hashtag. I have been wondering if there was one for a while. Little did I know that my CathSorority sisters had already done it. Man, was I out of the loop 🙂


  35. Amy R

    Funny! Party of TEN, well of course! But surely you’re not the only one to think “pitchers of martinis”.

    re Tarantula Hawks (Oh my goodness, I’m so glad I don’t live near them!)

    My son, who was stationed in NJ for several years with the Coast Guard told me about Greenhead Flies…which offer a baptism of blood with a horrible bite…here’s a bit from a blog post from last year:

    It isn’t just NJ Shore that is being hit bad this year— I went to Plum Island in Massachusetts 2 1/2 weeks ago and while several people including me were taking photos of the birds in the Parker River wildlife refuge a swarm of greenheads came at us – had to be THOUSANDS of them in that swarm. And they attacked with a vengeance. In the minute it took me to get back into my car I was bit at least 40-50 times by them. Ended up in the ER because of the reaction my body had. The problem is so bad this year that the refuge is now posting whiteboards at the entrance with cartoon portrayals of them holding knifes and forks— saying “they are here, they are vicious, they draw blood, there is no stopping them” and then they drew a skeleton person and put next to it “refuge visitor after greenhead attack”

    (I’m also glad GLAD I don’t live around Greenhead Flies, as I’m a magnet for insects that like blood)

  36. Kim D. in WI

    Thanks for making it easier for me to stop wanting to move home to TX as badly as I usually want to! But just to be clear… “a newly discovered species of snake that’s a Rattlesnake/King Cobra hybrid known for its size and aggression” …that’s a joke, right? Not real, right? 🙂

  37. elizabethe

    Okay, Jen. I just ordered 4 bug watches for my kids and their cousins for a birthday. I’ll be sure to report on the ensuing chaos.

    Monotonous weather is not really. It’s just more subtle. For a finer palette than you barbarians who live where there is snow and things.

    Plus, in SoCal, the weather changes radically over the course of the day. In the morning you need a sweater or a jacket and long pants, and by the afternoon you have to change into your light cotton sundress and sandals.

  38. nicole

    Hot! For sure. When I am cold I tend to tense up, making me more uncomfortable. When hot, at least you can be a slug and relax. Or maybe that’s just me.

  39. JC

    On the scorpions thing, have you considered trying grasshopper mice? I don’t know how well they work as pets, though I’ve heard that some people keep them to clear out bugs (including scorpions, which they do prey upon).

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