Friday, April 12, 2024

7 Quick Takes about Watching the Eclipse, an Exciting Development in the Search for a Dentist, and Couch Cushion Forts

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


The biggest news around here this week was the eclipse on Monday.

My son got this sticker at school.

We were not exactly in the path of totality, but it was enough that my kids got special eclipse glasses and we stood out in the driveway to watch. 

I think my 12-year-old best described it when she said: "It's kind of cool... but kind of not." What she meant was, it's a pretty unique experience to see the path of the moon moving across the sun over 45 minutes, and it's neat to tell yourself afterward that you saw it, but it's not super-duper exciting in the moment because you're just standing in the driveway looking at it periodically through cardboard glasses. I get it.

Looks like the moon but it's actually the sun.

There was a lot of fuss about the eclipse here ahead of time. I know several people who drove two or three hours to go see it in totality and even one person who owns a plane and flew across the shadow during the eclipse. 

After hearing them talk about how awesome totality was, maybe I'll consider making a little more effort to see the next U.S. one in 2044.


This past weekend was general conference, a broadcast with inspired talks prepared and given by leaders of my church. 

There were insights from a lot of the talks that were personally applicable and helpful to me, but one talk I particularly wanted to share here was this one which so beautifully laid out some of the poignant symbolism in our faith:

I also liked the following talk, which was addressed directly to the children watching and focused on three simple phrases: pray to know, pray to grow, and pray to show (she explains what each one means in her talk.) 

Afterward, my 7-year-old exclaimed unprompted, "Well, that  was my favorite talk!" When I asked why, he said "Because I knew what she was saying!" 

The next day, I asked if the 7-year-old remembered the 3 things Sister Porter said. He squinted his eyes, twisted up his face, and tried to remember. "Uhhhh... pray to show, pray to grow, and pray to... throw??"

So  close.


One of my kids' schools has standardized testing this week, and the principal sent out a precursory email outlining the high standards our students will be held to. Here's an excerpt:

Things like this immediately makes me think of our Spanish exchange student Paula, who was blown away by the casual way people dress in American school. Wearing jeans to her school in Spain would get her sent home to change, but here, we bribe our students with free snacks so they don't bring their entire beds to class with them.


My 12-year-old went to a birthday party... at an aerial yoga studio. From the pictures, it looks like Cirque du Soleil was going on, but with children.

This is nothing like birthday parties when I was a kid.

In the late 80s and early 90s, you celebrated at the picnic table in your backyard and MAYBE if you were lucky, your parents rented out Hardee's where some employee led you and your closest friends in rousing party games like "drop the clothespin in the bucket" (yes, that is an actual memory and yes, it was an awesome birthday.)


I finally found a dentist I think I love! I don't want to bore you with all the backstory but I always have trouble finding a good dentist, and in January we switched insurance providers and needed to find a new dentist. 

Since then I've taken various children to two different offices, both of which were slightly scary in their own ways. 

I just had a dentist appointment with a third office and actually felt like the dentist took her time and gave me plenty of information to make informed decisions about my teeth. She seemed like she knew what she was talking about and I trusted her, and I have trust issues with dentists. 

I'm cautiously optimistic and plan to book appointments there for my next two kids who are due for a cleaning and see if I continue to feel good about her. Because like I said, trust issues.


This week I was talking to a language exchange friend and he, in English, referred to something as B.S. Then he stopped and said, "You know, I say that all the time but now I am talking to you and I don't know what is the more... polite way to say it?"

I don't know what it is about me, but I must give off serious baby fawn vibes. I just met this guy a month ago, and I've never even hinted to him that swearing bothers me (although he's right that I don't do it.)

One time in my senior year of high school when I was working at Pizza Hut, I was taking my break with a few other employees. This was back when you could smoke in restaurants so the manager lit a cigarette, then looked at me and said "It feels wrong to do this — like smoking around a baby."


If I needed proof that my 10-year-old is an introvert, this is it. 

He came down one morning, built himself a sofa fort, hung a sheet up over the front, and wedged a flashlight in between the two cushions forming the roof so that he could read undisturbed in there.

Not going to lie, I kind of want one of those forts.

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Anonymous said...

That fort is amazing!

Did you figure out what to do with the dentist who claimed your daughter had a bajillion cavities despite never having cavities in her life before? That really stuck with me, as dentists are generally terrifying, and I hate to think some might be trying to make a quick buck :/


samcarter said...

We were in the path of totality. The news made it sound like our roads would be completely clogged after the event and the influx of eclipse watchers was going to stress our infrastructure. Our local school system cancelled classes that day out of an abundance of concern about buses driving around during the event and kids getting out of school right around then.

We noticed a few more people--not locals--hiking that weekend (I could tell they were not locals because they didn't know the trails and were wearing eclipse souvenir t shirts), but honestly I didn't notice any heavier traffic than normal. I heard up north by Toledo it was worse, because lots of Michiganders came down to get into totality. We weren't at the midline, either, I suppose it would have been worse there.

It was pretty neat to see the "sunset" all around the horizon, and glimpse the moon right over the sun, but I'm not sure I would have driven a far distance just to see it. Our cat was nonplussed by it all, too, in case anyone's wondering about the effect it has on animals.

Anonymous said...

We saw the 2017 eclipse in central Oregon and chose last weekend to make our long anticipated trip to visit friends in Ohio with the hope that the weather could be good enough to see this one, especially since our younger kids were either not born yet or too small to remember the previous one. The conditions were sufficiently clear to see everything that we wanted to see. Having observed both partial and total eclipses in the last year, I can vouch that totality is a very different experience and worth some effort to see. It demonstrates the true three dimensionality of the solar system in a way that is hard to match. Our family is incredibly nerdy about natural science in a way that looks similar to the way that your family approaches geography though, so I recognize that it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea.