7 Quick Takes: Too Little, Too Late


1.   Mahoney relieved of remaining duties.   Why is he not in sackcloth and ashes?  Why is he not in prison??

2.  Environmentalists’ erstwhile darling Al “Hypnotoad” Gore finally gets a little comeuppance for his outrageous hypocrisy (and totally doesn’t get it when Jon Stewart calls him “Al” to rhyme with the “Al” in “Al Jazeera” — heh).

3.  I washed the pants my husband was wearing when he had to get up at 2 a.m. and drive to the depot to get diesel fuel to restart the furnace so we couldn’t all freeze, and he got diesel on his pants.  I say “too little too late” because they’ve been sitting in the laundry pile for a week, and now all the laundy (and when a mother of nine says  “all the laundry,” I guarantee you that, no matter what you picture, you’re not picturing enough laundry) smells like diesel.  Um, if I put this stuff in the dryer, will it explode or something?  This is a real question.

4.  I have noticed that my kids have no table manners.  None, whatsoever — like, not even their own special set of manners which appear loathsome to outsiders, but which have their own, interior logic.  No, they even find each other disgusting.  I’ve seen my ten -year-old son suddenly become aware of the crimes against decency that he is committing with his food, and the look on his face shows me that there is a natural law that each of us has written on our hearts, telling us what is right and what is wrong, even for things like eating pudding with your hand when you have mittens on.

I say it’s “too late” because the reason they eat this way is because, since our dining room is too small for a table which will seat all of us, I eat in the kitchen.  With no adult present, the kids were free to remain savages.  And now that they are such savages –especially the boys — there is no way you are getting me to go in there and teach them some manners.  Oh, well.  They have other good, marriageable qualities, like, um, keeping their nostrils really well-maintained.  Step right up, girls!  Pick a winner!

5.  It seems that I have won Funniest Blog at the Sheenazing Blogger Awards!


This is neither too little nor too late, but actually just right and just on time, because I have been feeling the opposite of funny, and the opposite of blog.  “The opposite of blog” is when a school kid emails you with a bunch of questions about why people would want to get into professional writing, and all you can think of is changing your name to Ron Mexico and moving to actual Mexico, so people will stop sending you emails about how you (not people like you, but you, personally) are the reason there is still abortion in America today.

So, thank you, dear Bonnie of A Knotted Life, for hosting this neat awards contest, and thanks to everyone who voted for me!  Do check out the other winners and nominees, especially “Best Underappreciated Blog”  and “Best Blog by a Catholic Man.”  Lots I haven’t heard of!  I gotta get caught up.

6.  Sorry, got a little grim there for a while.  It’s just cold.  I’m tired.  I have sciatica that keeps me awake, from sitting funny and lugging a small but very dense baby around all day, or possibly from a tumor.  Yeah, it’s probably a tumor.  Also, out of sheer laziness, I quit taking my iron supplement a while back, and now I’m discovering that apparently I’ve been running mostly on iron.  And we are having seven first-graders over for a Candyland-themed party, and the house, in its current state, is perfectly decorated to illustrate one of those “Seventy-Six Diseased Baboons Removed from House of Filth” headlines on Drudge.  When in fact, we don’t own nearly that many diseased baboons.  We’re just borrowing them.

7.  butatleastIfinalllyputthehalloweencostumesaway


  1. About diesel in the dryer – the users manual that came with my dryer warns against putting anything like that in, even after washing. Practically speaking, my hubby farms, and thus comes home drenched in all sorts of weird and smelly things, including diesel. I always put said items through the dryer (because I am too lazy to hang them to dry, and I don’t understand why we have a clothesline anyway, because there is always dirt blowing across our yard) and I have to this point (4 years in to the great farming adventure) not had my dryer blow up or anything. My mother-in-law (who has been doing this farm wife thing for 30 some years) is the one that told me not to worry about it. I cannot guarantee she has never had a dryer explode (I know she has had a bread maker catch on fire!) but she doesn’t worry about it, and so I figure she has lots of loads of diesel-y clothing that she has dried in the last 30 some years, so I shouldn’t worry either.

    • Okay, but can I bake bread if the flour also got diesel in it? Heh heh. Just a joke – I haven’t made bread in years! But seriously, thanks for the tip. I ran the pants through the wash twice, and I’m gonna go ahead and make an act of contrition and then dry them. And if I die, I won’t have to have a Candyland party!

  2. 1) gave up on putting away the Halloween costumes a looong time ago & decided to make them “educational”. Ditto the nativity set, tho may reconsider since I just realized Joseph & the shepherds are defending a fortified trench against mary & the sheep.
    2.) you can wash clothes with diesel on them – drying is the trick. I know of a farmer who blew his dryer out the side of his house when he put his diesel soaked jeans in the dryer. Apparently his couch was a lonely place to sleep! Prolly only the clothes closest to the actual diesel would need this. Option two would be laundromat and practicing a mystified expression…
    3.) you should win all humor awards & Mexico is not ready for you. And I write because my kids are tired of hearing me talk is a fine reason.

    • Ha! We have a nativity that ended up in my son’s bedroom where I am constantly finding the main players gathered under palm trees and surrounded by dinosaurs. I’m pretty sure we have some “who’s who” confusion, too. Unless I missed the part in the Gospels where Joseph wears a crown, then I’m pretty sure Mary keeps getting coupled with a wise man. It’s all very confusing.

      • I think we still have Nativity figures (or ‘action figures’ as our son called them this year) around too. At one point our son had his little playhouse out. Lily Potter was played by a T-rex, James Potter was played by a GI Joe and I just caught my son in time to prevent him from drawing a lightening bolt on the forehead of Baby Jesus, who was filling in for Harry.

  3. A deserved win. On another note: Before I left the nest to go out into the world I used to eat standing up at the kitchen cabinet while everyone else sat at the table. Don’t ask me why.

  4. NOTE: you need special chemicals to get diesel to explode in a dryer. On the farm, I had an uncle who liked flicking cigarette buts into pools of diesel fuel just to demonstrate how not flammable it was. I still don’t recommend it.

    *Do not* take them to a professional cleaner– they have AND use those types of chemicals routinely for dry cleaning. I once had a bathing suit that got doused (LONG story) and took it to one of those places, and they practically wrestled me to the ground and tossed me out on my ear, telling me to take that garment FAR AWAY so the place wouldn’t go up in flames.

    So I agree with majellamom. And she probably has more experience than I do– I just have a diesel car with an interesting trunk that imbues everything with eau de diesel.

      • Oh, and the reason why O’Brien isn’t in sack cloth and ashes is because– if he weren’t an Irishman, he’d be unabashedly an Anglican. One woman’s opinion.

    • I work at a “professional” dry-cleaners (we chuckle about being professionals) and we once got in a coat doused in diesel. It dry-cleaned up just fine and did not blow up. Which was a good thing.

  5. I will caveat that the farmer in question had been spraying diesel on plywood to make concrete forms, thus surrounding himself in diesel all day. And probably actually getting more diesel in the jeans overall than a splash would. My DH hangs his pants out for a day or two to let the vapor dissipate & then washes them as normal. Either way, I think you’re good washing & drying the eleven teen thousand loads of laundry as you usually would!

  6. This post made me laugh so hard — we’ve discovered that our kids seem to forget the most basic table manners, and I regularly sit at the same table with them. So there’s that going for you . . . at least you can say you weren’t in the same room during the decline and fall.

    I have a solution for your feral dinner eaters. Allow one child at a time to eat with you in the kitchen. Lapses of manners get them booted back to the fray. This will only work if you keep the best food in the kitchen with you.
    Now can you fix my dinner? Because I only have four kids, but they are all so determined to out-shout each other that by the end of the meal my husband and I are silent, cowering shells of our former selves. We just clutch the edge of the table and try not to make eye contact with any of them so they don’t TELL US THINGS.
    I could be wrong, but I don’t think that’s the best example of lovingly guiding them through childhood. I’m thinking blow-darts? Maybe?
    P.S. It is cold, and the winter is so long, and you are one of my very favorite bloggers ever. I wish you lived next door. I would assault you with baked goods until you agreed to be my best friend.

  8. I paid my way through college in the 80s by pumping gas at a truck stop and had plenty of smelly clothes with diesel fuel on them.. No, the diesel will not blow up your dryer. Wash the dieselly (is that a word???) pants alone with Grease Relief or some such product rubbed in. The rest of the clothes should be fine.

  9. Please don’t be discouraged!! You are loved by many, and many more enjoy your writing. And not one single baby died because of anything you wrote, I’m certain. Praying for you!

  10. Why isn’t he (and Curry) in jail? We have been asking ourselves that question for *decades*. The gay riddled LA chancery has been a scandal for soooooooooo long. The youth congress there continues to host ultra liberal speakers. Abp. Gomez, who is indeed cleaning house could turn up the heat a few notches in that department. I’d like to say that the lunatics have been running the asylum, but in fact, you won’t find a more shrewd politician than Mahoney and some of his cronies. Even the most clever chameleon can’t hide forever as we are now witnessing. Some of us did a little dance of joy yesterday, but I for one found no happiness or sense of justice served– this is way too little,way too late. My parents were at a K.of C. dinner about a week ago the day after the LA Times news story broke. Bishop Curry was already the speaker for the night. He did indeed show up, but spent the evening describing how difficult it has been for *him*.
    I choose not to get discouraged. We have some really wonderful, holy priests here too. One of them, our dear friend, and a repeat victim of Mahoney’s tyranny would make an excellent Bishop. When he was at St. John’s seminary, in the late eighties, he and a few others had to hide, to say the rosary together secretly. Things really are turning around. The freaks are slowly getting weeded out.

  11. I often hide in the kitchen to eat too.
    The younger ones seem to get more food on the table, chairs and floors than in their mouths. Some of the veggies get deliberately tossed down on the floor. I’m convinced that the vile odor in the living room that began last night is the result of my angel faced three year old stashing her tuna sandwich so she could score dessert. It smells exactly like a backpack that has spent Christmas break with an uneaten lunch in it. I have torn the place apart, searching in her favorite spots, and am now resorting to incense and a five dollar bounty for my motivated 13-y.o.
    But tell the older ones that they will never get a date if they eat like Neanderthals. That one seems to work–oh, and my husband’s maniacal yelling. NOTHING unglues him more than this. Not even the biggie “Thou shalt nots” In his family he would literally get hit in the face if his table manners weren’t up to par. It’s called the church of “appearances are everything”.
    So this morning when our new priest was having coffee with us, try to imagine the look of shock and fear in his eyes, at my reaction when he told us that the most fundamental virtue he teaches his pre-marriage couples is to never make your spouse choose between his Mom and you. Poor guy, I think I really scared him.

  12. Dear Simcha;

    Ice, ice, baby! Get yourself an ice pack (a sack of frozen peas will do), and put it on that aching, shooting pain point. Heat seems more comforting, but ice is the answer. I’m tellin’ ya – it works! I’ve been a nurse for 34 years, and finally broke down and went to the chiropractor. I’m sure he did a lot of good for me, but it’s been a year since I’ve seen him, and the ice pack is still working wonders.

  13. I love you. I know I don’t know you, but I do. Thanks for writing what you write how you want it. This from a woman who was very recently curled in fetal position with a horrible toothache, a teething baby, a needy toddler, and a needly elderly lady. Really. Thank you. -kate

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