Friday, June 28, 2024

7 Quick Takes about Possessed Succulents, Lifetime Warranties, and Days that Are Killing Me

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


I don't know very much about plants, but when I landscaped around our mailbox last summer and needed some plants, I looked for some pretty annuals and that was that. 

I ended up choosing these really cute succulents called hens and chicks that looked like this:

The hens and chicks made it through the winter and this summer they started out looking cute, and then all of a sudden I noticed that they had done this:

Just growing out of control like everything else in my life.

Three crazy cactus-like stalks emerged from the cute little star-shaped succulents and then started flowering on the top. Plants, you are too much. How am I supposed to anticipate something like that?


Here's a moment that really made me feel like a crap mom. 

I mentioned that my 8-year-old's gym just dissolved the boys' competitive program that has practically been his reason for living for the last two years. Well, this week my son's old gym mailed us a hardcover yearbook with pictures from the 2023-2024 season, but he wasn't in the group photo on the cover. When I asked about it he said "That's the first one they did on picture day. I was late." 

He didn't seem too bothered by it, but I felt awful. I mean, I know those things happen occasionally to everyone, but it's not every day that there's a commemorative photo of your parenting failures on the cover of a keepsake album.


Speaking of gymnastics, one thing I'e been doing this week is shopping around with my 8-year-old for a replacement activity. He's going to try out rock climbing and Ninja warrior to humor me, but his heart is set on joining another boys' competitive gymnastics team so we've been checking out other gyms, none of them close (or cheap). 

If you'd told me two years ago that I would seriously be considering driving 80-minutes round-trip for a 3-hour gymnastics practice four nights a week and paying out the nose for the privilege, I would have slapped you and you would've deserved it.

Generally speaking, competitive gymnastics is like the frog in the pot of water getting boiled alive. The commitment involved is insane, but it happens so gradually you hardly even realize how ridiculous it is. (If I'd known what we were getting into I never would have done it, but the 8-year-old is so passionate about gymnastics, I'm almost glad that we didn't. Sometimes.)


I was sick for a good part of the weekend, the worst day being on Sunday. That day I had meetings before and after church, a graduation open house for my neighbor's daughter up the street, a birthday visit to one of my Young Women at church, a good-luck visit to a second Young Woman before her wisdom tooth removal the next day, and an Eagle Scout court of honor for a third. 

I had to cancel all of it. I was so sad, because most of it (except for maybe a meeting or two) was something I was really looking forward to doing. But after 30 minutes of texting everyone to say that I wasn't coming, I realized that everyone was really understanding and the person who was least nice to me about having to back out of my commitments was me. I should probably be easier on myself.


Our grill cover ripped near the handle and I thought we'd test out the lifetime warranty it supposedly came with. I got stung by a wasp while I was taking a picture for the warranty people, but it worked and the new cover arrived today!

After that victory, I decided to see if I could keep it going with the Jansport lifetime warranty (yes, I just learned that the best backpacks in the world have a lifetime warranty). I took my son's mangled backpack and mailed it into the void, and now I'm waiting to see if the $15.35 I paid in postage results in a new backpack. I'm optimistic, because I got an email from Jansport the other day that said they received it and are "processing" a replacement. 


I overheard my teenager referring to an insurmountable obstacle as "a boxing match between Mike Tyson and Mike Wazowski" and that phrase has stuck with me. 

When I run into something that seems impossible to deal with from now on, I'm going to see a boxing poster of Tyson vs. Wazowski in my head.


What are you doing this summer? The lack of structure this week with the younger kids at home has been killing me (last week we did South Korea for The Educational Summer Vacation but this week has been a free-for all), so I think I need to start up my old tradition of posting a little weekly calendar on the wall with one fun thing we're doing each day.

If the kids know what the plan is, maybe they'll stop asking me 3,000 times a day to go to the beach.

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