Friday, September 22, 2023

7 Quick Takes about Old People Problems, Painting Wooden Cars, and Playing Word Games in Spanish

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


Well, my gym membership  the one with the treadmill  ran out so it's back to jogging on the road for me.

I'm actually in better shape than I thought. I can go farther than I could the last time it was just me out on the road. I guess running with the constant speed of the treadmill really does help, where it's keep up or get thrown off and break an ankle.

We'll see how long it lasts now that I'm back to relying on my own willpower to go fast and keep going.


I've also been stretching a few times a day, and it feels great! Phillip and I are right at that age where the human body's warranty is beginning to run out and you just have to learn to live with it when things don't work like they used to anymore, so we each have our nightly stretching routine before bed.

In related old people news, I've woken up for no reason at all in the middle of the night every night this week and I'm exhausted. I'm embarrassed (and almost impressed, really) to report that yesterday I got absolutely nothing done because I laid down after getting the kids all off to school, and woke up with a start 4 hours later wondering what year it was and who was president.


When the kids painted wooden trucks for The Educational Summer Vacation last month, my 9-year-old had so much fun he asked if we could do it again sometime. 

So I bought {affiliate link} this pack of a million small unfinished wooden cars and took them out over the weekend when I needed to get something done. It kept the three youngest kids busy for over an hour, and then they spent more time on it the day after that.

It was seriously so fun for them, and was completely worth the money.


My 15-year-old got his annual eye exam this week and now it's time to buy him glasses. We tried on a few pairs at the office to get a feel for what style of frames he likes, doing our best to pretend that we were totally considering buying one of the $249 pairs in the showroom instead of ordering at for $20 once we got home.

My son asked me how Zenni's glasses are so cheap, and my answer was that I didn't know and didn't want to look into it too closely, either. Case in point: Phillip recently bought him a replacement pair of tennis shoes (how you can lose a gigantic pair of men's size 10 sneakers, I don't know) on Temu for 86 cents and... I just... how?? Did they pull them off a dead guy somewhere? Whatever it is, I don't think I want to know. I also don't think I want to buy from Temu anymore, it's too weird.


My 17-year-old finally quit her job at the grocery store. She just started a new job that she found through a friend of hers, and it's a lot different from the grocery store.

She interns at a small startup consisting of exactly two people, where her main job is cleaning up and organizing their space. She earns more per hour, gets to work with a friend of hers who is also interning there, and doesn't have to wear a uniform or deal with people (except for the two guys who run the start-up, but they're engineers so I'm guessing they don't do small talk). 

It also sounds pretty laid-back, which she probably needs during her high-pressure senior year. She tells me that instead of punching in and out, she just writes down in a notebook when she works and tells one of the guys at the end of the month so they can pay her. 


I continue to attempt to learn Spanish, which feels a lot like my brain melting a lot of the time. When it gets really confusing, I just try to remind myself that there are so many bilingual people in the world, and I just can't be dumber than all  of them! I can do this!

I also want my downtime to be productive, so I've made an effort to put Spanish games on my phone to play when I'm bored. I've discovered that most "educational games" for learning Spanish are unilaterally lame, but ones designed for a Spanish-speaking audience can actually be entertaining as well as educational. In case anyone else cares, here are some of my favorites:
  • 4 Fotos 1 Palabra  shows me four pictures and asks for the Spanish word that they all have in common; some are easy but some take me days to figure out
  • One Clue Crossword (Spanish version) — complete a crossword by naming all the objects in a picture, usually a themed picture
  • Ciudad de Palabras — basically Spanish Wordscapes, and you can click on a word if you don't know what it means to see a dictionary definition (which is written in Spanish, so more practice)
  • Surf de Palabras — currently my favorite, kind of like a word search with a theme to each puzzle
While writing this, I realized that palabras (Spanish for 'words') is in the title of most of the games I like so I searched for 'palabras' at the Google Play store and found a few more to try. 

We'll see how I like Verba (seems more educational in nature so we'll see how fun it is) and La Dice Gente (looks like Family Fued but with only one team and in Spanish.)


But since every minute of your free time can't be productive and educational, here's this YouTube video to watch at your own leisure:

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Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness. Loved the coat hangers! Surely he began to sense a theme!

Anonymous said...

And good luck keeping up the running! I still miss it. Even with all my other workouts.