7 Quick Takes: Volume 51

Welcome to today's 7 Quick Takes!

This one's got it all: the mafia, great music, politics, and a tried and true recipe for happiness.  Stick around.  Throw a comment my way.  Then go visit Jennifer at Conversion Diary, who hosts 7 Quick Takes when she's not fighting with scorpions and raising a whole bunch of kids.  Actually, she probably does all three at the same time.  Anyway, while you are there, click on the links to some other quick takers.


This American Life.  I love it almost unconditionally.  I would love it completely, if I didn't feel sharp pangs of envy every time I listen.  I want to work for that show.  I should be working for that show.  So they're gonna hafta uproot their entire operation and move out here to Cali so that I can do that.

I used to miss the show all the time because of my kids.  Either I was busy taking them somewhere or I couldn't hear the show over the cacophony of my house.  But lo and behold, there's an app for that.   I purchased the TAL app for my phone, and now I can listen whenever I want.  The other day, I listened to Held Hostage: it was a driveway moment for me if there ever was one.  Here is the link; I hope you click through and listen.


March Madness has nothing to do with basketball, you know.  It has everything to do with the St. Jerome Kindergarten classroom, the best teacher in the world, and the arrival of Leroy the leprechaun.  My youngest child is experiencing the joy of Leroy, just as all my other kids have done.

Every March, Leroy comes to visit the St. J Kindergarten.  He leaves the children notes and small gifts, and sets up a little house in the corner of their classroom.  He plays tricks on them, knocks on doors, leaves shamrocks behind for them when their backs are turned.  It's magical.  And I wish you could see my daughter when she's telling me about Leroy: eyebrows arching off of her head, eyes popping, mouth moving too slowly for the words that want to come out, she is utterly enchanted.  When she is excited, she lisps adorably.  So most of our conversations about Leroy go something like this:
Mom!  Leroy hath a little houth in our clathroom! And he left Mithus Powell a Thamrock when the turned around the anther the phone!  And we get to THEE him tomorrow!  Heth COMING tomorrow! Ithn't that tho awethumb?
I adore Leroy, and I adore Ms. Payne for giving him and a special kind of March Madness to my kids.

Leroy's house.
Isn't that the cutest thing?


The Madness of Leroy is, of course, all about St. Patrick's Day.  We do enjoy March 17th around here.  And to celebrate a wee bit early this year, today I took the kids out of school and we went to hear Danu perform at Zellerbach Hall at UC Berkeley.  They were fabulous!  Traditional irish music is near and dear to my heart.  Two trips to Ireland (the only place I've ever been outside the US), a live music Irish pub in the family for 15 years, a courtship with my now husband marked by Irish festivals, Guinness, bodhrans, and loads of music, and a lifelong wish that I could play the fiddle: these factors combine to make me an Irish music nut job.  Suffice to say, I was carried away today by the beautiful music.  I came away inspired to bring that joyous sound back into my life on a regular basis.  That's right kids: get ready for some fiddle, banjo, mandolin, flutes, penny whistles, accordions, and foot stomping!  Maybe even a didgeridoo!

If there is music playing in heaven, I'm certain there's a bodhran involved.

Today's recommended activity: Go listen to some live music.  Nothing beats live music.  Nothing.


It's the 40th Anniversary of The Godfather!  That movie and the second and third ones are favorites of ours.  They have been on TV lately to mark the anniversary, and we've been watching them like crazy.  Late at night, of course.  The last thing I need is Little T chopping the head off of her hobby horse and hiding it in my bed for kicks.  Our oldest wants to see them; we're holding off a little longer on that...but I do look forward to him being old enough.

And it occurred to me, while watching Part III the other night, that children are a lot like the Mafia.  You know that moment right after you put the kids to bed, and you've got a glass of wine waiting for you, and the house is finally, mercifully, quiet, and just as you sink onto the couch and curl your lips around the edge of the glass, a kid comes padding down from his or her room and needs something?  This is what I always think of:


Political commentary from my son:

Isn't a Newt a swamp lizard?


A recipe for happiness:

Take one child.  Add some late afternoon sunshine.  Mix with a field full of daisies.  Brew for, oh, about as long as it takes for the child's sister's soccer practice to be over.  The result: Total happiness, with a side of daisy chains.


Local folks: The Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour is coming up on May 6th!  Click through to register: it's free!  This year, there are 43 gardens from El Sobrante to Hayward, from Livermore to Antioch.  Ours is on the tour, as are two others that Rick designed and installed.  The day promises to inspire and motivate you to get out into your yard and mess around in the dirt.

These beautiful Spring days are practically screaming at you to plant something.  Come on the tour to see what's possible! 


I once saw Tommy Makem, live, at the Newport Irish Festival. The tent was half-empty, and the other people there didn't even understand WHO HE WAS.
Kerri said…
I miss the days of Leroy and a tad jealous you got to relive it one more time...

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