Friday, October 20, 2023

7 Quick Takes about Making Strides on the Basement, Feng Shui, and Things a 2nd Grader Likes about Spiders

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


We are making SO MUCH PROGRESS on our basement! Phillip took the week off to install doors and flooring, and I have been painting all week. (Seriously, I've gone through 5 gallons of paint since last Friday and my arm hurts.)

We still have to paint and install trim, paint the utility doors, and stain, cut, and attach nice stair treads, but even without that our basement is still the prettiest room in the whole house. 

The walls are a light color, almost white, so they're going to require a lot of maintenance (unless you like looking at grubby handprints and boogers, which I just cleaned off of the upstairs walls for the arrival of our foreign exchange student), but it's a basement so we didn't want to go very dark at all. Hopefully it will be fine.


We reached this point on the basement just in time, because my 11-year-old volunteered to have her entire youth group over to our house tonight for a movie night. 

Up until today, our movie-watching setup has been crammed in the scary unfinished storage area, which isn't at all the kind of place you can invite other people into. But this week has been so productive that event though the room isn't technically finished we can at least move the couch and TV over today. 

My contingency plan was to pretend like inviting everyone into our scary dungeon was a spooky Halloween thing, but I'm really glad I don't have to. 


Phillip and I had different opinions about where to put the couch and TV in the finished portion of the basement. But then I stopped and asked out loud, "What would Cliff say?" which is a sign that I've been watching way too many Dear Modern shorts on YouTube.

Cliff Tan of Dear Modern is like "ADHD meets feng shui" and I love it. By watching his videos I've learned a few basic feng shui principles and figured out why I love our living room layout, why I hate my computer desk setup, and how to switch up my husband's work-at-home area to be more functional. Right now I'm also reading Cliff's book{affiliate link} Feng Shui Modern.

As I was explaining the basement furniture arrangment plan to my 15-year-old son, including why we were placing the furniture in those specific places, he looked at me and said "Is this because of your schwong chi thing?" 

Yes, I'm basically a schwong chi master now.


At school, my 7-year-old read a nonfiction article about spiders and then had to write a summary of what he'd learned. This was what he brought home.

His point #2 made me laugh, but I laughed even harder at his teacher's reaction. What a gem of a woman that she didn't ignore him or tell him it was inappropriate, she just acknowledged what he thought was a pretty cool fact about spiders in a humorous way.

This reminds me of one time when my older son brought home some of his corrected homework and his teacher wrote in the margins, "Please save your drawings of cheese for papers that aren't schoolwork." (Take #5 here.)

Teachers, we will smile about some of the things you write on our kids' papers forever.


Our foreign exchange student arrived from Spain a few nights ago! Paula is the sweetest. She and my 17-year-old daughter get along well, which is good because she shadows my daughter at school all day and then comes home with her and hangs out with her and eats dinner with her and shares a bedroom with her.

Paula comes from a small family that is certainly a lot quieter and more under control than ours, but so far she doesn't seem too horrified by the chaos.

Then again, my kids are still using their "we have company" behavior and are probably going to start being themselves in a few days so I'll report back on that next week.


We plan to spend the next few weeks taking Paula out to see some of the sights and experience American things like the homecoming football game and dance, going apple picking and making an apple pie, carving pumpkins, and going trick-or-treating (they have Halloween in Spain but it's not as big of a deal.)

Something else we've been doing is playing our favorite games at home, but changing the languages. She and my 17-year-old competed at {affiliate link} Bananagrams, my daughter making words in English and Paula making words in Spanish.

Last night we all played a group smartphone game called Spaceteam that is mostly yelling instructions at each other, but it was so much harder because we played it in Spanish. Even though most of the words were made-up gibberish, it was Spanish-sounding gibberish and Paula was laughing at our pronunciation.


The 9-year-old has been trying out big words he hears adults say. One morning I asked him, "What do you want for breakfast?"

After some thought he answered, "Presumably, toast."

"Presumably?" I asked.

"Yeah," he said. "Pre-ZOOM-ably. So do it quick."

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1 comment:

Jenny Evans (sister not author) said...

I love Dear Modern! I’ve been watching his stuff to get ideas on rearranging my bedroom. He breaks it down in a way that really helps it make sense.