Friday, September 15, 2023

7 Quick Takes about Lost Keys, Opposing Ideas about Kids' Soccer, and People I Don't Want to Be on a First-Name Basis With

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


We went to a Hibachi restaurant to celebrate a friend's birthday. Apparently going out for Hibachi on your birthday is a thing, because we heard three other tables singing "Happy Birthday" while we were there, and it was not a big place.

So the chef was doing his thing, grilling the food while flipping his spatulas and putting on a show. First he started tossing little pieces of cooked food into our mouths from behind the grill, and then he pulled out a squirt bottle full of sake and motioned for us to open our mouths.

Well, when we told him that everyone at the table didn't drink alcohol (we were all Latter-day Saints) he looked disappointed but not for long. Almost immediately, he pulled out a baby bottle full of water and sprayed it in all of our mouths. 

I've had a lot of reactions to telling people I don't drink over the years, but I can honestly say it's the first time that has happened.


I wrote this about a year ago, and I am feeling it acutely right now.

This week I needed to go pick up my 17-year-old because she drove somewhere and somehow misplaced her car key while she was there. Then I found out it was actually her dad's key, which she'd borrowed because she'd already lost her own key someplace else. 

I told her to go the hardware store after school to make (and pay for) two new replacement copies, to which my 15-year-old observed, "That car is definitely getting stolen. In a few month's time, there are going to be hundreds of keys to it scattered all over town."

Of course, he lost his shoes several days ago and still can't find them, so maybe he shouldn't talk.


I need a word of advice about hand towels. After a decade of constantly picking them up off the floor, I stumbled across a brilliant hack and installed snaps to secure it to the towel rack using this {affiliate link}starter kit, which was well worth it. I haven't picked up a hand towel in two years, and it's not because my kids stopped being slobs all of a sudden.

But now I'm running into a different problem. 

How do you keep them from looking dingy after a while? The towels in our bathroom are a butter yellow color, but the place on the towel where they wipe their hands is starting to look gray, even after washing in hot water with vinegar and all the other tricks Google advises me to do.

Any tips?


After a few days of intense rain, all the soccer fields in town were closed and practice was cancelled. 

I was doing my customary happy dance, but my 4th grader's coach was so concerned that he talked the league into renting field space at an indoor sports facility in the next town over so they could still hold practice. 

I don't get it. Doesn't he know that when practice gets rained out, you're supposed to be excited and enjoy your evening off?? My kid is 9, not Lionel Messi. I think we'll all be okay if we skip it this week.


Our family got a gym membership over the summer but it stays active until next week, so I've been going and running on the treadmill during the day while the kids are at school to get my money's worth. 

I've discovered I like running on a treadmill better than running on the road. On a treadmill there's no humidity, no cold, no bugs, and no hills, plus it keeps me running at a faster speed than if I'm gradually slowing down on my own as I contemplate just lying down in the road and giving up.

"If you like it, maybe you should just get an individual membership for yourself," Phillip suggested.

"But it seems silly to pay $100 a month just to use the treadmill," I said. "I could probably buy a treadmill on Facebook Marketplace for the cost of one month. Everyone gets a treadmill thinking they're going to use it and then they don't so they just want to get rid of it-"

"And now you can be one of those people, too!" Phillip finished.


My kids are just a little bit too old, so I have never watched an episode of Bluey even though I've seen parents on Facebook saying how great it is. And then I realized that there's a Bluey EspaƱol channel on YouTube, and it's amazing for Spanish listening practice. 

The episodes are short enough (7 minutes) that I can listen once, scroll down to read the written transcript and look up words I don't know, watch again while reading the transcript, and then listen a third time without it for way better comprehension.

It's an awesome method for practicing and it's pretty entertaining, too. It's just slightly awkward when your kids ask what you were doing while they were away at school and your answer is watching Bluey by yourself for 35 minutes.


My 2nd grader's teacher has everyone in the class write a letter home every Friday, and I'm supposed to write back over the weekend for him read in class on Monday. It's a cute idea, although I'm not wagering any money on my not forgetting on a semi-regular basis.

I opened my 7-year-old's notebook last week and his letter started with "Dear Jenny..."

Let it be known that I'm extremely old-school about this. In this house, I am Mom. Children who aren't mine can call me Mrs. Evans (or Sister Evans, if you're church folk.) If you want to call me by my first name you must be (1) over 18 and (2) someone who never resided in my uterus.

So when I wrote his letter back it started "Dear Mr. Evans..."

Two can play at this game.

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Anna said...

My only tip for keeping towels nice-looking is - buy darker towels. Seriously. (We have 7 kids and light towels do not stay nice for long.)

Diana Dye said...

Re handtowels: Letting them dry in the sunshine? Idk I love buying new hand towels then demoting old ones to the rag bin so maybe I'm not the one to ask.

Ellen said...

Hand towels, i change them often, let them soak a bit in the machine with washing soda or borax, wash hot, hang dry, a tsp of bleach occasionally. I dont do all these things each time, but every few months. Also from time to time i reteach the kids how to actually wash their hands completely.

Jenny in WV said...

I'd be interested in a solution to the dingy hand towels too. I just buy new ones every couple years and the old ones become cleaning rags. I buy towels at discount stores, so they are not super nice/pricey and I don't yet have a large collection of old towels, so I'm still happy to get some more.

I think I've been to the Hibachi place only four times. Once was my birthday and another time a friend's birthday. The other two occasions were company from out of town. So not a big sample size, but it does always seem to be someone's birthday celebration happening.

Chaun said...

Ooh!! My husband was just puzzling over our hand towel problem. I told him I read something about snaps on your blog a while ago. And lo and behold, you shared it again! Love when life is serendipitous like that. Anyway, do you get the kickback just for this particular set? I’m going to get a smaller kit but I hope you get the referral credit!

Jenny Evans said...

Chaun: Good question! I get a commission on anything you buy after getting to Amazon through one of my referral links, as long as you purchase your cart within 24 hours. I hope you love the snaps. They're one of the best things I've ever done around the house to fix one of the dumbest problems I constantly had.