Friday, May 20, 2022

7 Quick Takes about DIY Projects, Recovering from Your Mistakes, and a Surprise Graduation for Me

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


Phillip has been thinking about our driveway drainage lately, and one morning I was making breakfast while an instructional video about it on YouTube played in the background.

I was only halfway paying attention, but then I heard the words "Installing a trench drain is an easy DIY project that only takes a couple of days" and I panicked.

I threw down my spatula yelling "Lies! LIES!!" and ran in there to cover Phillip's ears and drown out that man's alluring siren song as fast as I could, because no DIY project is ever done in a couple of days.

I may have some lingering issues from the fact that we've been finishing the basement for  the last 10 years.


The problem with DIY projects like finishing the basement is that it ends up taking a backseat to whatever emergency is happening at the moment: the dishwasher is broken, the refrigerator is broken, the washing machine is broken... unfortunately, these are all real examples from our house.

This week, the water heater started leaking all over the place, but thanks to YouTube, Phillip fixed it himself and saved us a week of waiting on parts and about $1,000 in labor. 

So our basement may still be unfinished, but at least it's not underwater.


We've been sitting behind this one family at church lately and their kids crack me up every week. I always overhear some funny whispered comment from one of them during the service.

Last Sunday, two of the boys were playing Hangman with each other to pass the time. When I looked closer at the paper and figured out the phrase they were trying to guess, I had to get a tissue out of my purse and pretend to blow my nose so no one could see me laughing.

The phrase was "I can't wait to go home."


My 10-year-old had her very first voice recital. Well, she did have a few recitals earlier in the year on Zoom, but singing to a laptop in your living room isn't nearly the same as being on stage in front of a live audience.

She was pretty nervous, and when it was her turn she took the stage and promptly forgot how her song started. She sang the wrong words, realized what she'd done, then stopped and buried her face in her hands. 

My favorite part was what happened next. She put her hands down, took a deep breath, started over, and sang the rest of the song beautifully. And her recovery made me prouder than if she'd done the whole thing flawlessly from the beginning. 

Life is full of unpleasant mess-ups, but if you can pick yourself up and keep going, in the end no one (including you) will really care, and it will all turn out just fine. And the sooner you realize that, the happier you are.


I don't think my two high school daughters look very much alike, but other people do. When they were toddlers I used to get asked every time we went out if they were twins, and they tell me people at school say still say things like, "Are you so-and-so's sister? I thought so, you look like her."

Well, they decided to put that to the test and switch places for one of their classes. They wore each other's clothes and sat down at each other's desks first period, trying to see how long it would take for everyone to figure it out. They did have masks on, so that helped (thanks, COVID!)

Before class started, my 16-year-old was approached by the teacher, who stood two feet away from her and asked her a question as if she was her sister! My daughter avoided direct eye contact and nodded, and the teacher went away. 

It took about 15 minutes, but the teacher finally called her out, saying, "No wonder you wouldn't look at me! I thought you were just having a bad day!" 

My 16-year-old texted her sister and told her the jig was up. "Try to get my teacher to notice, and then we'll switch back."

"I'm trying!" the 18-year-old texted back. "I keep raising my hand and making comments but it's not working!"

Finally, the teacher did notice. In the middle of answering my daughter's fourth or fifth question of the day, she did a double-take and said, "Wait, have you been in here the whole time?!"

They'd purposely picked teachers who would be cool with the switcheroo, and for the most part they were. But after my daughters met in the bathroom, swapped back into their own clothes, and headed back to their classrooms, one teacher did say, "I hope you know you're not getting credit for your sister's participation in our class discussion."


I've been eyeing the calendar for a while and realizing that my 18-year-old is about to graduate. But I brought her to an appointment this week and while we sat in the waiting room I realized that I  had already graduated. FROM DOING HER PAPERWORK!

That's right, I got to sit there playing on my phone while she filled out multiple pages of HIPAA forms and updated her medical history and did whatever else was in the stack of papers handed to her by the receptionist.

Next time I won't even need to go, although this time I had to because I had a question for the doctor.


My 8-year-old has been experimenting with clever comebacks lately such as "Your face!" and "I know you are but what am I?"

Apparently my 6-year-old has gotten sick of it, and since asking his brother to stop hasn't helped he decided to try a different tactic.

I found this on the counter:

"If you say 'I know you are' or 'I know you are but what am I?' that means 'I'm dumb' in French." That should show him.

My favorite part of this is how you can see a crossed-out "stuped" where he must have tried to write 'stupid,' realized it was wrong but couldn't figure out how to spell it, then just crossed it out and went with the word 'dumb' instead.

We'll see if the 6-year-old's psychological trick actually works. If so, I'm not opposed to using it when difficult parenting scenarios arise in the future.

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Kimberly said...

I don't think your oldest daughters look much alike either. Same skin tone and hair, but that's about where the similarities end. I wonder if their teachers would have noticed immediately if they weren't wearing masks?

PurpleSlob said...

That's so funny of the girls!! In college, my bestie and I had identical dresses, in different colors. We spent a whole Fri switching between every class, just to confound people! So much fun!!
So, I'm scared to ask... Are we doing the French drain??
Your 6 yo has a brilliant ;ega; career ahead of him!!