Friday, December 18, 2020

7 Quick Takes about Sorcery with Bread Products, Adjusting Your Rear Climate, and a Middle-Aged Person's Rant about Appliances

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


My oldest daughter was given a copy of the French version of Harry Potter

As she read, she was sharing a few choice differences from the English version with me, like the fact that Hufflepuff becomes "Poufsouffle" or that Voldemort's middle name is Elvis so the letters make sense as an anagram later in the book.

But my personal favorite is that all the French witches and wizards run around with magic baguettes. I mean, "baguettes magiques."

Upon further investigation, my daughter found that the French word 'baguette' refers to any small, thin object. Like chopsticks and, I guess, the loaf of bread.

Okay, but still. 

I'd pay money to see a shot-for-shot remake of the original movies, but with Hogwarts as a bakery and all the students performing their spells using rolls of delicious French crusty bread.


I told you how I've been enjoying the heated seats in my new van, and how much the kids are enjoying inventing new names for the heated seat feature.

But now there's a new joke.

It all started when my daughter got off work early and got cold while waiting outside for me to come pick her up. When I pulled up she jumped in the van and immediately started searching for the button to turn on the heated seats.

Her outstretched finger hovered over the console, moving from the picture of the heated seats to the words "rear climate" and then back again, unsure of which one to press.

We burst out laughing, sure that the designers of the console never anticipated the confusion. The phrase "rear climate" refers to the temperature in the backseat, but you have to admit it causes some momentary uncertainty when you're looking to adjust the climate of your own rear end.


My kids were arguing with each other over who was the weirdest, and in what way. 

I was committed to staying out of it, but the discussion ended with my 16-year-old telling me "Your uterus is a weirdness amplification machine."

Which is something the baby books frankly don't tell you to be prepared for.


When I wrote our family's Christmas letter to mail out with our cards, I really had to hold myself back from just complaining about appliances the entire time.

Not only have all the appliances that were in the kitchen when we moved here 10 years ago died, we're also starting to go through the replacement generation.

Our fridge was a very nice fridge, and it died this summer after about 5 years. Then our oven, which was also a splurge item for us, started getting finicky about recognizing when the door is shut. In November, our microwave (which was not our first or our second, but our third microwave since moving here) died.

We didn't replace it for a month, we were so mad.

We decided we were idiots to keep buying new appliances that would break immediately, anyway, so this time Phillip went on Facebook Marketplace and bought a used microwave for $50.

When he got home I asked "How'd it go? Did you get the microwave?"

Phillip laughed and said, "I got it. The guy had it out in his barn, so I'm following this stranger out to his dark barn thinking, 'I'm going to die for a $50 microwave.'" 

But it turns out he wasn't a serial killer and the microwave works great. We'll see for how long.


The next day, our washing machine's spin cycle broke down. This wasn't totally unexpected. In fact, it's a miracle it hasn't had problems until now. It's the original one that was here when we moved in, and since then we've used it for 10 years doing an average of a load a day.

I had to remove the wet load of laundry from the washer and wring it out by hand before throwing it in the dryer, which was awful. I will never again romanticize anytime before 1908 when the electric washing machine was invented.

One thing I love about being married to Phillip, is that when I tell him something is broken he immediately takes it all apart, spends 30 minutes on YouTube teaching himself to be a Kenmore repairman, then diagnoses the problem and orders the part needed to fix it.


The reason Phillip was able to get to the washing machine so quickly is because he's on vacation. He's taking a long stretch of vacation from now through New Year's when we'd hoped he could get so much done on the basement, but unfortunately that's not the way it's been going so far.

We could look at it two ways: either it's super lame that the minute he gets free time everything breaks, or it's really fortunate that everything broke when he had the time to fix it.

I'm trying to have the second attitude, and it's working about 55% of the time.


When I was a kid and my mom worked as a prepress technician, sometimes when they needed extra help assembling the newspaper inserts in the back room they'd call in the kids of employees to help. A bunch of us would stand in a row at a long table in front of stacks of papers that we had to pile together in a certain way and stuff in envelopes.

I carry on that same proud tradition with my own children now, except that instead of getting paid in cash they're working for cookies, and they're stuffing envelopes with our Christmas card and letter and putting stamps on them. I love seeing my table of busy little elves hard at work.

We were set up assembly-line style and my daughter, whose job was sticking on these Snowy Day stamps I got from the post office, asked "Are these Teletubbies?"

Sorry, Ezra Jack Keats.

So merry Christmas from Po, I guess. Dipsy, Tinky-Winky, and Laa-Laa say hi.

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1 comment:

Kimberly said...

When time or money I had fun plans for gets diverted to something like replacing an oil tank, I try to have a grateful attitude that at least we COULD replace the oil tank. My brain reluctantly goes along with that tack, but my emotions are still bummed.