Friday, May 26, 2023

7 Quick Takes about Staying Positive, Henna Tattoos, and Adventures with Wildlife

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


My friend's adult daughter is trying a new life approach to become a more positive person: repeating the mantra "Everything always works out for me!"

Fast-forward to later in the week, as I drove to my church building in the pouring rain at 11 PM on Saturday night. I was responsible for setting up something in the lobby before church on Sunday (and by now, I know myself well enough not to believe my empty promises that "I'll just get up early and do it in the morning.")

The rain was coming down hard, but as I pulled up to the church it suddenly stopped raining and it made me remember my friend's daughter's mantra. I smiled, opened the sliding door of the van to retrieve everything I needed to bring inside, and said out loud to myself "Everything always works out for me!" And then a big gust of wind blew my papers out the door and into a puddle.

So there's that.


In 2017, a mosque just a few towns over from us had an open mosque day and I completely loved the experience. So when I happened to see a flyer for this year, I was all over it.

My 5-year-old was particularly excited because last time, she wasn't old enough to go, but she remembered how her older sisters had come home with henna and she could not wait to finally be part of the club.

A dream fulfilled.

Each of these only took less than 10 minutes.

Just like last time at the open house, I was so impressed with the Muslim teenagers who presented their beliefs on handmade posterboards. They were articulate and sincere, and in general seemed like really down-to-earth kids who lived life with direction and purpose. Whenever the subject of Ramadan came up, I asked the kids if they thought it was hard to fast, and their answers were all surprisingly mature.

This time, the open house did not include seeing the call to prayer, which was disappointing since that was my favorite part last time, but then again, I get it. It must take something away from your religious worship when there are a bunch of randos at the back of the room eating popcorn like they're watching a movie.


My 15-year-old has been going through a major growth spurt lately. Just the other day I looked at him and said, "Wait a minute. Are you taller than me?"

We're exactly the same height. For now.

The 7-year-old took it upon himself to tape together a bunch of papers and draw this for his brother, which probably sums up how we all feel:

"Your realy realy realy realy realy realy tall."


At my 7-year-old's school, you can sign up to come in and read a picture book to the class. They call you "the mystery reader" because ahead of time you send in clues about your identity and the kids try to guess who's coming in.

I was already the mystery reader in October, but since there was an empty slot this week and my 19-year-old is home from college, I asked if she'd like to do it.

She went in and read Click, Clack, Moo and What! Cried Granny (my personal favorite from when she was little.) Her brother had no idea it was her (my guess is that he didn't really listen to the clues because I'd already been the mystery reader so he assumed it wouldn't be anyone he knows.) 

She reports that the other kids were also surprised to see her, since the mystery readers are always somebody's parents or occasionally grandparents. "You're an adult?" they kept asking her.


It was my birthday on Monday! I'm 41 now. 

Mostly it was just like any other crazy weekday, full of early-morning chaos as everyone got off to school and afternoon chaos as everyone needed rides to their 147 extra-curricular activities. 

But after the last school bus came and went, my homeschooled teenager told me to take a nap and she made me breakfast when I got up, so it was actually pretty nice.


My second daughter passed her road test, meaning that we have a total of 4 licensed drivers in the house now! Unfortunately we only have two cars, so it still requires a lot of juggling. But less than before. 

And right now, the newly-minted driver is super-eager to do any minor errands I might need, which I should for sure take advantage of before the novelty wears off.


Yesterday Phillip was playing basketball in the driveway with one of the boys when they noticed a weird noise. A little fledging bird was in the grass, and he was not happy about it. He was positively shrieking, mouth wide open for food, and violently shuddering (I looked it up, and yes, birds shiver to warm up just like people do.) 

The Internet suggested to repeat to yourself "Don't anthropomorphize, don't anthropomorphize" and just leave it alone. But by the time the sun started to go down he was still shivering out there and it seemed like he was likely going to freeze (or starve) overnight.

So we put him in a bucket with some bedding and he spent the night in our kitchen, being fed a recipe Phillip found online with a repurposed medicine syringe. After a little while he stopped shivering and seemed generally content. 

In the morning when the temperatures went back up, we put him near where we'd found him. An hour later, I went out to check on him out of curiosity and he was gone. 

So either he was off safely learning how to fly and be a bird, or he made a tasty snack for another one of God's creatures, either of which is something that is supposed to happen in the animal kingdom and makes me feel better than thinking he froze or starved. Good luck, little guy.

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Unknown said...

Sounds like your baby bird story might have had a happier ending than the sad baby rat story!
Congrats to New driver. Ill pop the traditional grandma key fob in the mail for her!

Unknown said...

And your birthday breakfast sounded pretty nice. Like a 2nd Mothers day.