7 Quick Takes: Composting. See it happen.


Come on, you all know what the “quick takes” picture looks like by now.  It’s on my computer somewhere, but I’ll be damned if I can find it, and my computer is tearfully warning me that it just doesn’t know what it might do if I open another tab.  I tried making it  yellow for authenticity’s sake, but it hurt my eyes.  All right, here we go.

1.  I almost never click on those touching or adorable “You’ll never guess how he proposed!” or “Wow, what an original way to process down the aisle!” stories.  They kinda leave me cold.  But I can’t get enough of stories about marriages in their advanced stages — of love and forgiveness in times of trial.  I just hear the most amazing story from StoryCorps, an  initiative that records and archives the personal stories of regular people.  It’s only a few minutes long, but it will blow you away, maybe.

(If the embed above doesn’t work, which of course it won’t, you can click here to hear the story.)

2.  I’m not sure if she wants me to use her name or not, but a dear reader gave me the most amazing gift:  the chance to pick out a pair of high-quality boots or shoes.  Not wanting to insult her generosity by ordering from the middle of the menu, I went completely berserk and picked out a pair of these:

They arrived yesterday, and it was with great reluctance that I took them off to go to bed.  I feel magnificent in them; and my husband — well, let’s just say that, if I get pregnant this winter, I feel sure that that child will somehow pick up the nickname “Bootsie.”  Who can say why.

3.  Today’s pick for 50 Books!   Normally I despise those sassy, transgressive “fractured fairy tales” or “an old story with a modern twist.”  Bleh, who needs it?  But this one is just completely charming:

The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivisas an illustrated by the wonderful Helen Oxenbury.

Maybe I never really liked the original “Three Little Pigs” story anyway — why, exactly, did the little pigs have to leave their mother?  Why didn’t the more practical pig help his dumber brothers design their houses?  And the third pig eats the wolf who is presumably still digesting the pig’s brothers, really?  Anyway, this version has a much nicer, more satisfying ending, and the pictures are just great.

4.  If you can, do pre-order Adventhology, the latest project of Ryan Charles Trusell (of Ora et Labora et Zombies fame)!  Dorian Speed, Brandon Vogt, Dan Lord and I each wrote an essay for it.  You can buy the essays individually, or you can get the whole set.  Nice, manageable price, and an attractive and unusual gift.  Today I’m excerpting a passage from Dan Lord’s essay, “The Offended.”

The Subhuman reached up with his grisly left hand, his only hand, and grabbed hold of the brass knob on the confessional door. The crones bleeped and warbled.

The confessional door creaked open. The Subhuman shuffled inside, shoulders stooped more than ever, claw held out in front of him, breath scraping out from within that dark, stinking hood.

He shut the door behind him. The green light turned red.

Now that, my friends, is an Advent story.  Oh, and don’t forget that Dan Lord (husband of “Moxie Wife” Hallie Lord) has just come out with a new book, Choosing Joy, which is getting good reviews.

5.  Suzanne Temple cracked me up with this status update on Facebook:  “Oh gross, Ethan discovered how everything gets stuck in that gap in the floor under the dishwasher. #snackspot”

Does everyone have a spot like this in their house?  We have a few of them.  Some are just literally low spots, where the shifting foundations of the house have left, for instance, one corner of the kitchen distinctly downhill from the other corners, and anything that can slide, drip, roll or pool ends up there.  And other areas are just in places in the house that naturally become sort of dry land tidepools, where all the various household currents leave their debris behind in an utterly non-glorious jumble that even G. M. Hopkins would think was just gross.

Along comes Benny to her favorite buffet.  Oh, well.

6.  Are you mad at your kids?  Do you want to get them something really awful for Christmas?  Well, you might want to consider this:

It’s the See It Happen Composting Kit.  I should just charge $34.95 for people to come to my house and hang out with Benny in a Low Spot.  “See it happen” indeed.

7.  In the course of writing this stupid post, there was a broken glass, a half-gallon of milk that spilled and ran inside the only downstairs closet, a tumbling baby and a fat lip, three shrieky squabbles over who gets the remote, and then WordPress was all like, “Oh, I’m sorry, did you WANT that post, with all the links in it?  Because I know I put it here somewhere.  Wait, here it is!  Yes, here are the first three lines of it, just for you.  That’s fine, right?”

On the other hand, I just remembered that I only had half a cup of coffee this morning, so I still have another half coming to me!  O happy day!



  1. Love the book choice! We had it growing up, and I bought it for my daughter. A kid’s book with a pneumatic drill in it has to be good, right?

  2. Simcha, I asked for and received boots a lot like these (minus those cool heel plates and toe seam) for Christmas last year. No more cold toes. No more aching feet. I can walk to and from town in them (3 miles round trip) with ease! Hurray! With “cool” and comfy feet, winter doesn’t seem so cruel. Enjoy your boots. 🙂

      • I also have really wide feet from being, well, barefoot and pregnant for most of the last 14 years. My feet don’t feel cramped at all, but these boots make them look like a normal person’s feet!

      • I have the Frye Harness 12R $238 boot, which I love. But I got mine at a thrift store in new condition for a couple of dollars. I love it when I can feel cool and sexy cheaply. Uh, that doesn’t sound right, does it….

  3. I thought I was reading Jennifer F’s quick takes, and I thought” isn’t she presently pregnant?”, could life ever get do distracting that you could forget you are pregnant? Ha ha

    • I’ve never forgotten I’m pregnant, but I’ve thought I’m pregnant when I’m not — as in, “Aw, he’s kicking! Or wait, I’m not pregnant. That’s just me digesting tacos.”

      • You kill me, Simcha. I need surgery for my split sides on account of you. And thank you for the kind words and shout-outs and stuff–it’s an honor having a spot in the same anthology as you!

  4. I thought all those old meals in the back of my fridge were the kid’s opportunities to watch decomposition in action. I wonder if I can somehow turn that into a $35 science kit?

  5. You all scoff at the “watch compost happen” kit, but those things really benefit very, very, very, very, very slow learners.

  6. Oh my goodness, it’s like you’re in my house. We don’t have a “low spot” per se, but I don’t get to the sweeping as often as I’d like *cough* so our nearly one-year-old usually has a buffet to choose from as well. She is #3, and at this point I just say to myself “Welp, at least it’s edible.”

  7. Oh my goodness, how did I miss this in my inbox?? I’ll tell you how. I have the worst email in the world, and either they, or someone from the school directory sold my email account. Think Tsunami of garbage ads. Funny thing is that they think I’m a senior citizen because I keep on getting emails about meeting hot eligible seniors in my area, advertisements for walk-in bathtubs, and joint pain relief.
    So, good deal! I had a laugh on Monday afternoon, as I sit here dreading a conference at 3:15, and gnashing my teeth that I need to cook something made from mangoes for the Thanksgiving feast in the morning. The pooling garbage made me laugh and gag. Yes, I get it. I ripped out ALL of my kitchen baseboards which looked cheap and were buckling, thinking they would be attended to by the sheer necessity of it…Imagine six months without kitchen baseboards.
    Oh, and awesome about the boots. 🙂 🙂 :), my friend’s husband calls attractive footwear “KTO’s” and my husband in a fit of vulgarity once called them FMPs. He is repentant about his effusive language, but retains the glint in the eye.

  8. I made my husband order these boots for me as a Christmas present! I never ever ever spend money on myself — it’s always Payless or Kmart shoes for me. The boots came today (St. Nicholas Day!) and I love them! Thank you soooo much for sharing the idea!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s