Friday, January 1, 2021

7 Quick Takes about Happy Messes, Space Missions, and a Really Bizarre Experience Googling Fruit

Happy New Year! It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! 


Our Christmas Day was a happy one. We started out like always, corralling the kids in an upstairs bedroom to read Luke 2 before going downstairs for a full day of opening presents and playing with new stuff.

My gift from Phillip.

We tried to clean up the living room in between presents, but mostly it looked like this all day:

The happiest mess of the year.

Christmas is the one day of the year I don't mind the house being completely trashed. I mean, the next day I totally lose my mind, but for 24 hours I'm super-Zen about it.


The next morning we woke up and saw our Nativity set all disheveled among the wreckage from the previous day, and I have to say: it was a pretty accurate visual representation of how Phillip and I were feeling right about then.


I had one of those moments where I couldn't remember why I went in a room, so in hopes of jogging my memory I said out loud, "I was going to..."

My 4-year-old looked up and said, "...move to another planet?"

So I laughed and we started talking about planets. "Have people gone to Mars?" he asked.

"I don't think people have been there," I told him, "but I think we've sent robots to check it out and tell us about it."

"Wait  we  have?!"

Well, I meant "us" in the general sense of "humankind," not that Phillip and I have personally financed one or more unmanned missions to Mars. But I love that he thinks we could or did.


My 16-year-old has always been an adventurous eater. She's up for trying any new and different food. Even if she doesn't really like the taste, she always enjoys the experience.

So when I'm grocery shopping, I sometimes keep an eye out for "weird stuff" (i.e: things I can't identify and she therefore might like to try.) 

In the produce department saw this random fruit placed equally between the signs for "persimmon" and "passion fruit." I didn't know what either of those were, so I figured I'd get one for her.

My other daughter, who works at a grocery store, informed us it was a persimmon.

Once I'd gotten it home and we figured out what it was, my 16-year-old pulled out her phone to find out more about it. 

The first description to pop up on Google did not sound very appetizing:

Well. That sounds 95% like a scene from Alien and 5% like something I'd want to eat. And I'm being generous here.

Next, she tried this article from Treehugger and it didn't get any better.

I've never enjoyed a food  or even eaten a food  that I'd describe as "silky and slippery." What does that even mean when applied to food instead of kimonos or wet linoleum?

I do like mangoes, though, so I cautiously read on:

Wait, wait, wait. Hold on just a minute. 

So this fruit starts out "furry" and then ripens into a gelatinous mass of goo? And we can tell it's ripe, as the article goes on to explain, when it "feels like a not-quite-full water balloon?"

I cannot wait to see the look on my daughter's face when she finally tries this thing.


How are you all buying clothes during this pandemic? Stores around here have had their dressing rooms closed since March. 

That's okay for buying shirts, but shopping for jeans requires a dressing room. Jean shopping demands a dressing room.

If my teenager tries on 15 pairs of pants and one of them fits, we get so excited we roast a pig and have a full-on luau in the backyard. 

Am I really supposed to go buy hundreds of dollars of jeans, take them home to try them on, and then return hundreds of dollars of jeans that don't fit? That can't be what everyone else is doing, can it?

But we're desperate. One of my daughters has exactly one pair of pants and is just wearing shorts every day. Help!


We always make gingerbread houses during the week between Christmas and New Year's. We used to use kits, but last year we started making our own (using the shortcut of substituting graham crackers for gingerbread) and I love seeing the kids' creativity every year.

I love the two gummy bears sitting on the front porch.

This one has a flower garden with a toothpick fence around it.

I was blown away by the real shingles on this house.

Santa and his reindeer on the roof were a nice touch.

My son tried to make a person in the yard pointing at Santa by sticking a toothpick in a Sour Patch Kid, but it kind of looked like it was just aiming a bazooka at him so he took it down.


The second part of this tradition, and the real reason my kids love it so much, is that we let each of the kids smash their house with a meat tenderizer on New Years Day.

Except they didn't want to wait, and because not much else about 2020 has been conventional, we decided to just go ahead and do it on New Year's Eve.

My favorite was how these gummy bears were still just sitting calmly on the porch afterward like "This is fine."

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Katie said...

I’m not sure if this is true everywhere, but in my town the Old Navy dressing rooms ARE open (when nowhere else is). I always assume that nothing at Old Navy would fit anyone who’s over 30 and has had any kids at all, but my teenage daughter convinced me to take a look there for jeans, and not only could I try them on, but they had BOOTCUT!! and they weren’t weird or oddly sized. I tried them on there, but they weren’t on sale so I didn’t buy them. Then at home I looked online, and they were on sale, so I ordered a few pairs. Hopefully they will work. Not sure if any of this helps, maybe they aren’t open where you are, but it’s worth a look maybe. Your teen probably doesn’t want bootcut jeans any more than mine does, but I know they have lots of different fits, as well as long sizes.

I don’t get the thing with closed fitting rooms. Trying on clothes is already the most socially distant thing you can do at a store. I guess they just don’t feel like cleaning them. Good luck with the pants hunt!

Laura T said...

Here Dillard dressing rooms are open when no one else's are so that's where I've gone for jeans. And they were on sale so I got a great deal!

Karyn said...

Amazon has a thing where you can order the clothes but don't pay unless you keep them. And returning them is super easy. Probably easier than going in person shopping. Once you find something that works, buy five pairs of the same thing in different colors, lol.

Diana Dye said...

I've been buying loads of clothes from Amazon, trying them on at home to see how they fit and go with my other clothes for years. Or buying stuff off the tables from Costco that has no dressing rooms. So I did not know dressing rooms were closed.

PurpleSlob said...

#4 We had a persimmon tree in our yard- 3 places ago. I ate one. Well, I tried! I took pix of the babies trying one. 7 yo loved it! 4 yo was not amused!! Gelatinous mess pretty much described it!
#5 Our store- Walmart- would not take any exchanges. And Publix would not take any pill bottles to recycle. Oh well
Happy New Year, Jenny!!
Did I tell you my new site?

Anonymous said...

I agree that not having dressing rooms is really annoying. A number of stores that sell primarily clothes like Old Navy, JC Penny have re-opened dressing rooms in states where it is legal. If not legal in your area, a relative recommended wearing tight-fitting exercise shorts so you can try pants on in store to get some idea if they fit. Just make sure you know what the stores return policy is before buying. I know this summer a number of stores weren't accepting clothing returns due to covid.

Kimberly Hendrickson said...

Ripe persimmons make good smoothies. Unripe persimmons make your mouth feel like leather.