7 Quick Takes, Volume 55

Friday, I hardly know ya'.

Here are 7 Quick Takes for today; please visit the original and leave 7 Quick Comments for the posters participating today.


Happy brains work better!  Visit The Hawn Foundation to learn more about an excellent program designed to create optimistic classrooms, mindful children, and brighter futures.  This incredible organization is where I'm working now, and I'm very proud to be part of its efforts to help kids lead happier, healthier lives.

So much of what The Hawn Foundation does resonates with my aspirations for my own children and speaks to my ongoing search for ways to promote confidence and hope in them.  I feel very fortunate to be working on issues that are critical to the future of both our society and my own family.


Do you like Shakespeare?  And wineries?  And super cute kids?  Have I got an opportunity for you!

Sonoma Shakespeare and Avalon Players presents
A Midsummer Nights Dream
at Buena Vista Winery in lovely Sonoma
August 9th-12th, 16th-19th, and 23rd-26th • 7 pm
• • • a delightful Shakespeare under the start experience • • •

And three of my kids are in it.

For ticket information, go to Brown Paper Tickets.


One of the biggest challenges we will face with my return to work is feeding people.  Rick will of course do more of the shopping and cooking than he did before, but he is not quitting his job.  He has more flexibility than I do, but we will essentially both be working, leaving no one to be solely in charge of shopping and cooking.  

Plus, I'm in a serious cooking rut.  Can't ever think of anything new to make, and sort of tired of trying new things out on reluctant eaters anyway.  

We're going to have get very creative about what we eat and how we prepare it.  Cooking ahead of time...using the slow cooker...having enough stuff on hand for quick on the go meals.

So the goal is to provide three healthy meals per day, to seven people, that are as locally sourced and organically produced as possible, without breaking the bank or requiring more time than we actually have to give.  

Sounds impossible.  What else is new?  Everything is impossible.  But we do it anyway.

Ideas, people.  I need some good ideas.  Stat.


Evidence that this going back to work thing might be a tougher transition than we all thought.

  1. My 7 year old mused recently: "It's like we don't even have a mom!"
  2. My 10 year old looked at my last night, eyes blazing, and said, of my return to work: "You betrayed us!"
  3. A member of this household has started peeing the bed every night, which we haven't dealt with around here for years.
  4. Another member of this household has already succumbed to neglect.  Yup, one of our fire-bellied toads died this morning, after several hours of desperate last ditch life-saving attempts on my part.  I did not realize that we were out of the live crickets that constituted Bean's diet, nor did my son really clue in to the fact that we hadn't fed the poor little guy in too long.  As a result, as soon as I got home from work today, I presided over a little frog funeral in the backyard.  We buried our beloved pet and I said a few words.  At first, I felt ridiculous, but then I realized I was speaking primarily for my son, who was truly devastated, and it felt like the best and only thing I could do to ease his mind a little.  
  5. We've been out to eat A LOT.  Not good.  See Quick Take #3. 
Let's just say we are still working out the kinks.  Not working out to The Kinks, although that would be fun, just slogging through the maze of our new life until we figure out where everything belongs.  Baby steps.


I recently discovered TED talks.  As usual, I'm late to the party.  I've listened to about 5 or 6 of them, one of which was called 5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do.  We've already let our kids do 4 of them, one of which is to play with knives, as in Own a Pocketknife and Know How To Use It.

Notwithstanding the fact that we've already been to the emergency room for a mishap involving 5 stitches and a Leatherman blade, I completely agree with the premise: Kids can learn how to handle dangerous things and situations, and how to control them, and if they do, they will be stronger, more confident, more capable adults in the future.  If they don't learn how to use a knife at 9 or 10, they're much more likely to hurt themselves with one when they are finally allowed to touch one at age 14 or 15.  Or 37.

My kids recently went to Codornices Park with their dad, and enjoyed a nice long afternoon of hiking, climbing, and falling down.  That night, my son came to me distraught: "I think my Leatherman fell out of my pocket when I slide down the embankment at the Park!"  So bright and early the next morning, he and I ventured back to the park, hiked up behind the slide of death, and found the incredibly steep and slippery non-path that kids like to try to climb up.  My son's attempt ended with him scraping up his calf so badly it looked like he'd laid several strips of raw bacon up and down his leg.  Ick.

Anyway, based on the way he described how he fell, I went behind a tree and pondered the immense thicket of ivy in front of me, extending up the hill at least 10 feet to where his slide began.  I sighed, unhopeful.  And then I looked down, and right there near the bottom of the hill, not two feet from where I stood, was his knife, his very expensive Leatherman, neatly folded into its leather case.

So I guess this means we will continue to let him do dangerous thing #2.  All's well that ends with a big ole knife.


Given that I now have more time by myself in the car, I am becoming absolutely overwhelmed by the interesting things I'm hearing about on NPR and the desire to read or listen to a gazillion books, podcasts, lectures, etc.  Here's a few that are particularly intriguing to me:

  • Why Women Still Can't Have it All, by Anne Marie Slaughter in the July/August edition of The Atlantic Monthly
  • The Neuroscience of Zen, a talk given at City Arts and Lectures in San Francisco on May 21, 2012
  • Bright Lights, No City: An African Adventure on Bad Raods with a Brother and a Very Weird Business Plan, by Max Alexander
  • A Hologram for the King, by Dave Eggers

There are just too many fascinating people in the world doing too many fascinating things to keep up with.  Maybe I'll just go watch Good Luck Charlie with my kids instead.


And finally, three cheers for Pelada!

This engaging documentary replicates the premise of Endless Summer, in which some goofy surfers follow summer across the world in search of the perfect wave.  In Pelada, two likeable young soccer players travel the globe looking for the world's game: pickup soccer.  There is significantly less goofiness, but there are plenty of cultural exchanges and interesting moments, and this movie will truly appeal to any young soccer player in your household.  And probably older ones too.  And probably people who don't play soccer.  So, everyone.  I leave you with the trailer:

Happy Friday all!

* * *


Loved reading these! Thanks for joining in! And I just finished A Hologram for the King. I just love the binding, and have a grudging appreciation for the fact that he didn't make it available as an ebook. It was very haunting and well written.

Also, you mentioned over at my place that you're on Pinterest, and I wanted to make sure I was following you. Is the link to your profile somewhere on the blog?

Have a great weekend!

Popular posts from this blog

We Left Resentment At the Lake

Sign of the Times

Maybe Messy is What I Need Right Now