Friday, March 22, 2024

7 Quick Takes about Stain Removal Hacks, Studying Spanish with the Former President, and Vanishing Beauty Marks

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


As a mom, you deal with more blood than a mob boss. You know how to get blood out of everything, from carpet to clothes to bedding. 

My main trick is quickly soaking whatever article of clothes my kids last bled on, or at least blotting the carpet right away. But when I discovered a set-in blood stain on my son's pillow from a bloody nose he got in his sleep and forgot to tell me about, before throwing it out and buying a new pillow I went hunting on the Internet for solutions.

I learned an amazing trick, and all I needed was a spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide, an iron, and a lot of free time. All that's left on the pillow is a faint stain, and considering that it previously looked like someone had been murdered on it, I was really impressed. 

I wish I'd taken a picture, but on the other hand I don't because it was really gross-looking.


My 7-year-old had a food challenge this week, which is allergy-speak for "went into the office to do a controlled test of him eating peanuts to see if he's outgrown his allergy yet". He would taste a small amount, and if everything looked okay after 20 minutes, they would give him increasingly larger doses until he could be declared No Longer Allergic.

He failed the food challenge almost immediately. Within 30 seconds of having the smallest dose (⅛ teaspoon,) he turned to me and said "My throat is itchy." It went away after 15 minutes without Benadryl which I guess is something, but he's still allergic.

My 12-year-old used to be allergic to peanuts and grew out of it, so I've held on to the hope that the same thing would happen with him. But if he hasn't outgrown it by this age it's pretty unlikely that he ever will.


I can't tell whether I'm an introvert or an extrovert. At first glance, I seem like an obvious introvert. I prefer small groups or one-on-one interactions, and it rarely occurs to me to get together with people, even friends who I like.

However, I don't feel drained after spending time with people like a true introvert. (I know, because I'm married to an introvert who has to basically take a nap after sustained small talk.) The opposite, actually. I almost always feel energized afterward, even if I didn't feel very good beforehand. 

In the end, though, it doesn't really matter if I know whether I'm an innie or and outie. I'll just continue being a hybrid weirdo who has to continually remind herself to talk to other human beings and runs on a social high all day afterward.


Some people I meet on my language exchange app like to just shoot the breeze, but lately I've been talking to this one guy who's sort of a drill sergeant about learning languages.

In a way it's good, because talking to him is improving my Spanish a lot. He forces me to use grammatical structures I usually avoid, won't let me use English when I get stuck, and he corrects my errors thoroughly (politely, but thoroughly). It's not exactly a self-esteem booster, but I guess I'm not there to feel good about myself, I'm there to learn to speak passable Spanish.

Eduardo recently pointed out an area of the language that I need to study more, and I'm trying... it's just so BORING. How could I study this concept without my mind wandering after just a few seconds?

So one day, I decided to ask ChatGPT to explain it to me in Donald Trump's voice, thinking that it might be just entertaining enough to hold my attention. I was not disappointed.

Chat Donald went on and his explanation was hilarious and very informative. When I asked him to, he even included some example sentences like:
  • "We're going to build a wall, a big beautiful wall."
  • "They were crying, like babies."
  • "You're going golfing again? Sad."
I did notice a few errors in the translations, though, so I'm not going to rely on ChatGPT too much as I continue to study Spanish grammar. But it's helpful to know that if I ever find anything too dry and boring, I can have it explained to me virtually by Gordon Ramsey, Forrest Gump, or Gollum if I want to.


After all the Spanish studying I've been doing, I'm getting increasingly annoyed by people who suggest that Spanish is "easy" because it's "so similar to English." 

The only people who say this, by the way, are people who don't actually speak Spanish. They know about 100 words and memorized how to say "My name is ______" and think that qualifies them to say the entire language is simple.

That's like claiming parenting is easy because you babysat a couple of times and it went fine; it doesn't come from a malicious place, people who say that just honestly don't know how much they don't know... and I'm beginning to find out that there's a LOT to know.


Decorating my living room mantel for Easter is still a work in progress. I was hoping to have a picture today to share but it's not ready yet. I'm excited about it, though. 

In the center of the mantel I have a large picture of the garden tomb in Jerusalem in a nice frame, and that's all done. To the left, there is a plant in a Biblical-looking pot, but I'm going to rip out the plant and replace it with faux olive branches when they arrive (I ordered them online). And to the left will be a DIY version of this centerpiece, but smaller to fit the space and for one-third of the price. I'm still buying materials and figuring out how I'm going to do that. Pictures will be forthcoming.

In keeping with my desire to keep Jesus at the center of Easter, I was happy to come across a blog post with a collection of answers to the question "How is your life different because you believe in Jesus Christ?" I love the one that says "I strive to see the best in everything and everyone because I know He would." My faith in Christ shapes my entire worldview, and that in turn determines everything about where and how I spend my time and energy.


Did you know that skin moles only have a 30-year life cycle? It's true. My dermatologist told me that once, and over the past few years I've noticed that this mole I have just below my eyebrow is fading. Now, it's so light that you can barely see it unless you know it used to be there and you're looking for it.

I've had it my whole life and I feel like it's been a big part of my appearance since it's on my face (when I mentioned it recently even Phillip said, "Oh, yeah, I remember that mole" and if a man took note of it you know it must've been significant.) So it's pretty weird that it's basically gone now.

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