I’ve been writing the occasional “snippets” post for years, when I had a bunch of shortish things to say. But Conversion Diary Jen’s “7 Quick Takes” meme (now in its 71st edition) is much nicer—so pleasantly organized and a nice spirit of camaraderie about it—and I always enjoy reading the quick takes posts on other people’s blogs. I don’t know that I’ll pull it off every Friday, but now and then might be fun.
1. You know one reason I haven’t done a Quick Takes post before? It’s the glitch in my blog layout that won’t let me center properly. I think when I center images, they are centered on the whole page—but the main text column sits a bit to the right of center because of the blue ribbon. So the visual effect is that centered images appear off-center, and this drives me crazy. And every time I thought about participating in Quick Takes, I got hung up by the off-kilteredness of the button. Yes, I know I could simply omit the button. But…but…nope, can’t do it. Ah well, I am decidedly off kilter myself, so I don’t know why I should expect anything different from my blog.)
2. Earlier this week Beanie looked up from a Percy Jackson book to ask what an eclair is. It’s my duty as a homeschooler to show her firsthand, right? You know I’m all about the hands-on learning.
3. Even earlier than that this week, we went to Balboa Park with my parents and 13-year-old niece as a last outing before they departed for home (Colorado) that afternoon. Visited the science museum and had lunch at the Japanese tea house. The rice bowls there are huge and delicious. Later we saw a man in hipwaders in the lily pond. Beanie worried about the snapping turtles. Have I mentioned how much I adore Balboa Park? And also visits from my family.
4. I knew my kids were looking up pillbugs online, but I didn’t see their search term until later: “roly poly food.” I guffawed. (If you’re wondering: “decayed vegetable matter,” they informed me. Which explains why they were harvesting bits of my baby lettuces and leaving them out to decay.) Alice says an old potato makes excellent roly-poly food too. Turns out she is practically an expert on the subject. Many talents, that woman.
5. New favorite iPod Touch app: Words with Friends, a Scrabble-like game. My teenager is a formidable opponent.
6. Speaking of the teenager, here are some books I’ve seen her reading recently:
• HONEY, MUD, MAGGOTS & OTHER MEDICAL MARVELS (a tome from my Martha-book reference shelf)
• DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT THE UNIVERSE by Kenneth C. Davis
• ENDER’S GAME by Orson Scott Card
• DAVID COPPERFIELD
• MUSASHI #9 (a manga title)
• the latest issues of MUSE and ODYSSEY
• THE HOMESCHOOL LIBERATION LEAGUE (a Semicolon recommendation)
• CHARLES AND EMMA: THE DARWINS’ LEAP OF FAITH by Deborah Heiligman. (I’m reading the latter now myself, and it’s got me working on a post about my favorite literary naturalists—so far I’ve got Dan from JO’S BOYS, Calpurnia Tate, and of course Dickon of THE SECRET GARDEN.)
7. And to finish off, a mini-photoessay about my little bird-lover.
Booknotes: The Dangerous World of Butterflies
Baby, It’s Cold Outside
How an Aurora, Colorado Wildlife Refuge Inspired My New Fantasy Novel