March 5, 2010 @ 11:39 am | Filed under: , ,

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)


• ENDER’S GAME by Orson Scott Card


• 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.

Admiring the dear finches at the feeder. They fill her with wonder and delight and…

…an irresistible urge to practice karate kicks. “To scare them away,” she tells me, aiming another fierce kick their direction and shouting “HI-YAH!”

More quick takes at Conversion Diary.

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11 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Kay says:

    Birdlover note:
    This fall Anna started placing birdseed on her bedroom windowsill -outside. She moved her bed to the window and has been observing birds through the glass – two inches away. She has a list of bird nuisances that I’d never knew…..Watching the tufts of feathers on the titmouse go up and down when he eats. How the birds feathers move around their wings, how neat they are, how they hold the seeds between their feet to open the seed. It’s is an endless list.

    Thank for more books to read. So appreciated.

  2. sarah says:

    Adorable photos of your dear girl, and beautiful garden too.

  3. Jenny, Home is Where says:

    #2, heh! all about fact finding! now I’m hungry…

    #3 I love Balboa park, too, but we are a few hours north, so don’t get to visit very often. Never eaten at the Tea house, I’ll have to look for it next time.

  4. Karen Edmisten says:

    Fun quick takes! But, that simply canNOT be Rilla. It can’t, it can’t ….

  5. Jeanne says:

    Our Don’t Know Much About the Universe remained a reference book long after we read thru it. Makes a great companion piece to other books when you need to zero in on something.

  6. Melissa Wiley says:

    Kay, what wonderful observations. I wonder if we have a window that would work for that purpose…

    Jenny, the rice bowls are huge. One rice bowl & a salad is enough for my whole crew (well, leaving room for Japanese sweets afterward).

    Sarah, thank you! The garden is all over color suddenly. Sweet alyssum, geranium, salvia (red and blue), nasturtiums, ice plant, narcissus finishing up and tulips about to open, and the lavender is my deep delight these days.

    Jeanne, now she’s reading DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT GEOGRAPHY. I love how often it makes her chuckle—giggling over a geography book, gotta love that!

    Karen, I know. I KNOW. She’ll be four next month. We’re in denial.

  7. Brenna says:

    I’ve been lurking for a while – you inspired me to read Charlotte Mason! – but I had to de-lurk to say… ENDER’S GAME! What an amazing book. Though I may have enjoyed Ender’s Shadow even a bit more…

  8. Pam says:

    Love Enders Game and Words with Friends. My username is threeturn. Would love to play.

  9. KC says:

    4?!?!?!? She’s going to be 4? Surely not…

  10. Kathy says:

    Muse! I’m so looking forward to having kids so I can convince some family members to subscribe to some of the Cricket Group’s magazines!

    And Ender’s Game! Can I be your teenager? I promise to ask for clarification on “eclairs,” “napoleons,” “cannoli,” and “bon-bons.”

  11. Dawn Farias says:

    An apple cut in half and then laid cut side down outside over night will gather a TON of rolly pollies by the morning. We do this every year during “pill bug” season.

    Also, your kids might like to know that pillbugs poop as soon as they eat! We like this book: http://www.amazon.com/Im-Pill-Bug-Nature-Childs/dp/1929132956/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268419603&sr=1-7

    I’ve enjoyed your social media posts at F&F!