Saturday, September 24, 2016

Parish Carnival 2016

This year was the seventh year we have attended our parish annual carnival! Click here to see John as a almost-three-year-old! Cute! Time sure flies. This year, our lanky boy, sprouting like a weed, ran around for six hours with his friends, checking in with us only briefly.

It was so interesting to reflect on the changing seasons. When we attended the carnival seven years ago, we were new to the parish and had just a preschooler and a baby. We hadn't made any friends yet. This year, we have five kids and they were racing all over the place with their many friends. We saw so many of our friends, and stopped to talk about this and that. Chris and I were both asked to be interviewed on video camera for the stewardship program about our various volunteering activities. Two mothers checked in with me to announce their pregnancies and ask for help from the St. Gerard's ministry I run. We talked to two priests we know and met with the new seminarians. Busy bees, here, there, and everywhere. We are so connected now, and that is a real blessing.

The kids save up their money for this event each year: we buy the arm bands for going on rides, they buy the games and activities that require tickets.

This year, there were some new rides, including a real, full-sized Ferris wheel! Mary was super excited (and rode alone) . . .

 . . . while Margaret's enthusiasm waned as soon as we got on. She was on my right, begging me to get the carney to stop the ride, and Joseph was on my right, saying how he wanted it to go faster, faster!

Relieved to be getting off

Joseph freaked out on this bouncy thing, and tried to escape out backward, so I had to pull him out over the edge to rescue the boy.

The inflatable slide this year had a much steeper drop, almost like a free fall.

Joseph, a grimy mess

Thomas, stuck in a stroller for almost four hours

The children got to experience their Annual Lesson about the rip off that is paying cash for tickets, spending the tickets on games, earning plastic golden tokens, then redeeming the tokens for little trinkets. One child's trinket broke before she walked back to our stroller. The others won't last long. We got to have our Annual Conversation about how the fun is in playing the games, and that if they want better toys, they should skip the games and spend the same money on actual good toys.

Money well spent was Margaret's quarter to buy a junior version of "The Swiss Family Robinson" from the attic sale table. Back at home, she read it aloud to me, making this Mama very happy!

Margaret (5) reading aloud

Chris volunteered at the Homeschoolers' BBQ booth from 4:00 to 6:00, so I left him two oldest--who got two more hours of carnival play out of the deal--while I took the three youngest ones home.

Yet another fun annual tradition completed for the year!

Friday, September 23, 2016

7 Quick Takes Friday


On Monday, I wrote a Day in the Life blog post.


Our Tuesday was filled with school, regular music lessons, and hosting my Light Weigh group, but meanwhile Charlotte was bursting forth with violent riots that made national news.


We went apple-picking on Wednesday, which I wrote about on the blog. Riots continued overnight, more businesses looted, and a second man killed.


Thursday was a quiet day of school.

I hit upon a new plan to make a little play area in the laundry room, then gating the baby inside of it. It doesn't work for me to gate him into the den because (1) he disturbs whoever is trying to practice piano and (2) he just pushes down the gate because he is that strong and he can't see me around the corner.

If I put him in the laundry room and pin the gate into place with a heavy wooden chair, he seems pretty happy because he can see me teaching at the kitchen table. Here's hoping this tactic works for more than one day.

Chris took the kids to dance lesson, while I stayed home and tried fervently all afternoon to figure out how to make Playlists for the MP3 players (following these instructions). I don't think I will figure out how to make this work before I die.

Thursday overnight was a challenge to say the least. It all started with the baby taking his normal morning nap, but then he wouldn't fall asleep for his normal afternoon nap. He cried in his crib for about half an hour, at which point I gave up, pulled him out, and kept him up till 7:00 p.m. (an hour earlier than his normal bedtime). He has a respiratory illness, so I gave him Benadryl and Advil at bedtime.

At 9:00, I sat down (head drooping with fatigue) to place the grocery order online for the week, but the baby proceeded to wake up four times within the next hour. Finally, I gave up on my grocery order to lay with the sick baby . . . but, no. The baby was wide awake and strangely alert. It was like I'd given him an "upper" instead of Benadryl!

I took him downstairs because he was so joyously LOUD that I knew he'd wake his sleeping siblings (the three-year-old had just come down with this bad, hacking cough). I placed my grocery order online at midnight, and then collapsed on the sofa, with the baby still literally running gleefully all over the downstairs. I fell into a light sleep on the sofa while the baby found a sheet of star stickers, which he painstakingly peeled off, placed all over his legs, and then got a stool so he could stand at my snoozing head and place all over me and my pillow. (That would have been a cute picture if I weren't a growling bear of grumpiness at that point.)

The baby did not fall asleep until 2:00 a.m.


The other children woke me at 6:30 for the day.

I am fatigued to the bone, and so grateful (SO GRATEFUL) that I am a stay-at-home mother, as today is going to be one of Survival Mode. My sweet children woke up, got themselves cereal, and set up a game of cards. (I saw their playing a game and felt love for the "good fruit" of strict TV rules: they wouldn't even consider turning on cartoons by themselves, nor are they even allowed to change to a new show on Netflix without asking permission.)

I am keeping the two littlest boys home from CCE, and Chris (THANK YOU!) is taking the three healthy bigs. We shall see tonight if we can still attend Food Truck Friday, a festive fund raiser at our neighborhood rec club, or if we're collapsed in a heap.


Family Books of the Week (in progress or completed)

  • Read-alouds
  • Mama
    • "Divine Intimacy" (1963)--current daily holy reading
    • "Guidance to Heaven" by Cardinal Giovanni Bona (written in the 1600s)--Daily holy reading that I finally finished, so now I get to pick a new one.
    • Collection of Flannery O'Connor short stories
    • "Nothing Superfluous" by Fr. Jackson--Trying to read this because Chris bought it for the Latin Mass table at church and asked me to read it. Kind of above my pay grade right now.
    • "Eternal Woman" by Gertrud von le Fort--Trying to read this because it is recommended by a holy friend, but am struggling with its erudite writing.
  • For Connecting with History:
  • John
    • Listening on CD to "Kidnapped" by Robert Louis Stevenson
    • "Mad Scientists Club"--again!
    • "St. Thomas More" (Pauline Press)--Finished
    • "Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati" (Pauline Press)
  • Mary
    • "Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati" (Pauline Press)--Finished
    • "St. Isaac Jogues" (Pauline Press)
  • Margaret
    • "Amelia Bedelia" three-book volume--She has read 68 pages by herself this week!


Meals of the Week 

. . . shared to show that "My career is homeschool mother, not gourmet chef!"

  • Saturday
    • Taco night: chicken tacos, taco salad, chips with guac and queso, rice
  • Sunday
    • Breakfast:  Asparagus Mushroom Bacon Crustless Quiche, croissants, bacon, eggs
    • Dinner: Spaghetti (for kids) and Zoodles (for parents) with marinara and meatballs (the Zoodles were surprisingly delicious!); garlic knots; leftover squash--and no dessert after the gluttonous inhalation of sweets at church after Mass!
  • Monday
  • Tuesday
    • BBQ chicken, roasted veggies (butternut squash, carrots, cauliflower, bell peppers, sweet onions), boxed mac and cheese
  • Wednesday
    • Restaurant on the drive home after apple picking

Pizza Zucchini Boats

  • Thursday
    • For adults: Pizza Zucchini Boats, some with pepperoni, some with sausage--I really enjoyed this and they were so filling for about 400 calories!
    • For kids: biscuits, sausage, brown sugar fried apples
  • Friday
    • Food Truck Friday at our neighborhood rec club

    For more 7 Quick Takes Friday, check out This Ain't the Lyceum. (Her post on "Deliberate Practice" today is highly worth reading as we contemplate our prayer lives. I know I absolutely see the benefit of deliberate practice in our children's music education.)

    Wednesday, September 21, 2016

    Apple Picking 2016

    On Wednesday, Chris took the day off work so we could go apple-picking as a family, despite several obstacles.

    • Mary took a spill on her bicycle the night prior while on a ride with her daddy. (Big brother John was a hero and thought to ride back to the house, where he retrieved the first aid kit from my van, and rode back to the scene of injury in case it would be of help.) I was blissfully at home, tucking in the little boys, when Mary burst into the house wailing: she had scrapes and bruises from chin to feet, and numerous places in between, but the worst was a nasty wound on her elbow that had me worried overnight that it might be fractured, but it isn't. Anyhoo, we were unsure if she'd be able to manage a long day trip, but she was able to gently bend her elbow in the morning.
    • Meanwhile, the seemingly healthy baby got tucked into bed and began coughing over the baby monitor. After a long time of coughing, I checked on him to discover that he'd suddenly developed a rattling cough and a runny nose, so he kept me up most of the night with his cough and congestion, such that I was unsure whether I should take him on a day trip either.
    • Then there was the gas pipeline that burst a couple of days prior, so there is a gas shortage in the Southeast, with the governors of our two neighboring states declaring States of Emergency. We kept checking gas availability the night prior and morning of our departure to ensure we would be able to replenish our tank.
    • Then, in a more serious turn, as we were pulling out of the driveway, a friend texted us and informed us of the violent and frightening riots that had occurred overnight! These gained national attention and made us wonder if we were safer staying home and off the highways.

    Ultimately, we took a chance, went on our day trip, and all was well. We visited Sky Top Orchard again this year, but went during the week when it is nearly empty, in contrast to Saturdays when it takes half an hour for the line of cars just to creep up the mountain.

    We thoroughly enjoyed experiencing Sky Top with so few patrons. After the two-hour drive (and eating a brown bag lunch in the car), the children ran off some energy on the playgrounds. Of course, our children climbed everything as high as they could.

    The newly turned 14-month-old climbed out of his crib yesterday, and today made some excellent efforts at climbing a rock climbing wall by himself.

    There were many little "apple bees," as we nicknamed them, flying about, which was scaring one of our children badly. We don't really know what kind of bee they were, but we told the kids (rightly or wrongly) that the insects were much more interested in eating apples than in eating us. Nonetheless, one of our children screamed much of the time we were at Sky Top.

    Chris and I got to re-enact our Annual Conversation entitled, "Where Should We Get Our Apples?" Chris thinks it is preferable to get our apples "professionally picked" by purchasing them in the general store at the orchard. I believe we drive two hours for "The Experience", and that we should tromp into the orchard itself and obtain the [DH Edit: "thousands of pounds of"] apples by [DH Edit: "having my husband Chris"] huffing and puffing over the rugged hills, climbing trees, and waving away bees.

    Thankfully, I now have four children on my side in this matter, so the Annual Conversation gets shorter every year. [DH edit: actually Margaret was on the husband's side.].

    Mary could not bear staying out of the trees, despite her elbow, so finally won permission to climb low in the trees if she promised to come down if her injury was hurting too badly.

    Joseph guarded the basket and got to place the apples into it.

    The bees were a lot more enjoyable to study on display back at the general store, where John quickly found the queen marked with a red dot.

    Afterward, we found the pizza joint we've visited for several years on our way down the mountain from Sky Top.

    All was going well until the conclusion of the meal, when Chris had stepped up to the cash register to pay our bill, and Joseph, the three-year-old, momentarily disappeared beneath the table. Before I could call out that we don't play beneath restaurant tables because floors are dirty, he emerged, leapt to standing on his bench seat, and held aloft (in the middle of the restaurant) a DEAD COCKROACH and then (for anyone who didn't have good vision), shouted triumphantly, "I found my first dead cockroach!"

    I know it is the restaurant staff that should have been embarrassed, but I was the one blushing crimson!

    All in all, it was a great family day. One more annual tradition checked off our list for the year.

    Monday, September 19, 2016

    A Day in the Life: Monday

    Sometimes it is fun just to do a Day in the Life post. I really was going to be honest today and I thought a Monday would be a typical discombobulating, terrible day, but it was really very nice! I wish every day were like today.

    A Day in the Life . . . 

    "Sleep in" till 6:00 instead of 5:30.

    Putter in kitchen at chores, make cup of coffee, answer a half dozen emails for half an hour.

    6:30 Baby wakes and I retrieve him. The five-year-old comes downstairs.

    I do my abdominal exercises in the den, with a baby crawling all over me, while continuing to watch my IEW teach-the-teacher DVD to learn how to teach our next composition unit. The seven-year-old comes downstairs and empties the clean dishwasher.

    7:00 I wake up the three- and nine-year-old and bring them downstairs.

    I make hot breakfast (croissants, sausages, leftover quiche, green salad). I forget to read the saint of the day.

    8:00 I take the five children on a walk. Having not carved out time for our individual Morning Prayer time, we take a homily with us and listen on my phone ("Spiritual Flyswatters"). We stop often and discuss, stretching the 15-minute homily to 30 minutes.

    ~8:30 We get back home and it takes twenty minutes to start Morning Basket time as kids fuss and tumble and use the potty.

    9:00-9:45 Morning Basket Time: Sing Credo, pray O Come Holy Spirit, CCE memory work, scripture memory work, 2017 composer list, daily rotation (today: Animals of the Bible: snakes).

    9:45 I change a poopy diaper and nurse the baby down for nap, leaving the other four kids eating morning snack and with instructions that they must do their music practice diligently (John piano, Mary violin) while I am upstairs. High goals but low expectations. They meet my low expectations.

    While upstairs, I take a two-minute shower, dress in day clothing, and make the bed. I hear a few songs being played downstairs, but also lots of wrestling.

    10:00 I come downstairs, throw in a load of towels to wash, and load the breakfast in the dishwasher, while sending the three-year-old outside to play and admonishing the two oldest to really practice their music.

    10:15 I teach math to Margaret.

    10:22 Baby starts crying, which is highly unusual, as his morning nap is always 90-120 minutes. John and Mary are done with piano and violin, respectively, so I tell them to "go to desk work" as I whisk past toward the baby. I nurse him and lay him back down, where he gratefully goes back to sleep.

    High goals, low expectations. The kids meet my expectations: One child hasn't done anything at all and another has started computer work instead of desk work.

    10:30 I gather John and Mary for an IEW composition lesson in the school room. Margaret and Joseph play in the same room and require repeated reminders to be quiet, and disciplining.

    11:00 We are done, so we go back to the kitchen: Mary does Teaching Textbooks math and Math Facts Pro on the computer, while John does Seton Religion, IEW Fix-It Grammar, and Prima Latina lesson at the table, and I teach All About Reading and All About Spelling lessons to Margaret. Meanwhile, Joseph plays with Magformers in the den, and I eat a piece of cheese.

    11:20 Thomas wakes from his nap, so I put him in the outdoor swing with instructions that nobody may take him out, and I give everyone a ten-minute recess. I check email, switch laundry to drier, and chit chat with Chris.

    11:35 I bring Margaret into the kitchen for her Math Facts Pro, then send her to do her piano practice in the den. Then I bring in the baby, who wanders around sweeping the kitchen, leaving Joseph to play outside, while John does his Teaching Textbooks math and Math Facts Pro on the computer, and Mary does her All About Spelling lesson, IEW Fix-It Grammar, Seton Religion, and IEW Poetry memorization at the kitchen table.

    12:00 I clear the table for lunch, get the three-year-old new dry underwear after an accident, and make lunch.

    12:15 We eat lunch, and I read aloud the saint of the day, as well as a section from "Under Angel Wings" for our daily holy reading.

    12:45-1:00 We clean up lunch, with John putting away all the food, Mary loading the dirty dishes into the dishwasher, and Mama shaking out the table cloth and sweeping the floor.

    1:00 I take Joseph (3) to Quiet Time in his bedroom. I spend 15 minutes of one-on-one time with my boy, reading him stories and generally paying attention to him, which is a highlight of our day I try always to do. Today I also manage to take the baby into the master bedroom and play with him on the bed for 15 minutes, which may be the only 15 minutes all day I can focus entirely on him. Meanwhile, John, Mary, and Margaret are in the den playing cards. I gather the mail from the mailbox.

    1:30  I send Margaret to the Bonus Room for her Quiet Time, where she works diligently on coloring a picture of Hansel and Gretel. I direct John and Mary to clean up the messy den before they can read the incoming letters from their grandfather--which inspires them well!

    1:45 Mary is sent to the den to do her piano practice and John is sent to the kitchen table to finish the desk work (Latin flash cards, All About Spelling lesson, IEW poetry memorization). The baby is running wildly getting into mischief, so I strap him into his high chair and give him a squirty applesauce.

    2:15  Today Chris is available to take the three oldest children to their 2:30-3:30 Music Theory & Technique class, for which I am so grateful. I get their supplies loaded up and send them off, then retrieve the by-now shrieking baby and get Joseph out of Quiet Time.

    I send an email for my St. Gerard's meals ministry at our parish. Joseph and I fold the load of clean towels. 

    3:00 I turn on a cartoon for Joseph and then go nurse the baby down for nap. I have a quick snack and write a lengthy email about planning the All Saints' party for our parish homeschooling ministry.

    I listened to a homily ("Why Homeschool?") while doing dinner prep work in the quiet moments.

    3:45 Chris brought the children home. In one of our funniest moments of late, Chris walked in the door and saw the cheese grater next to what looked like a giant bowl of freshly grated mozzarella cheese. He took a nice big handful and popped it into his mouth, only to discover that it was grated, raw cauliflower (for my Cauliflower Fried 'Rice'). What a disappointment! Chris and I laughed till we cried.

    This is not cheese.

    I served a small snack at the kitchen table while I read to the children "Madeleine Takes Command" for our daily History work.

    4:00 Mondays are bathroom-cleaning days, so I sent each of the three oldest children to their assigned bathrooms while I rotated, supervised, and helped. The baby was woken by the noise, and Joseph given a feather duster and sent to his room to "dust."

    4:30 I began cooking dinner while the kids raced around, making too much noise and mysterious crashing sounds. Then the kids appeared, so I let them watch a show, and they chose "The Story of Seabiscuit" with Shirley Temple" (1949).

    I embraced the silence and put on news videos to listen to so I could catch up on all this terrorism business while I cooked. I finished the meal 10 minutes before Chris could join us, so I sat and read "The Eternal Woman" by Gertrude von le Fort. I'm not "into it" yet, but I'm trying to plod ahead.

    5:30-5:45 We ate dinner. Why does it take an hour to cook even a simple meal and 15 minutes at the longest to eat it?

    5:45-6:15 John loaded the dirty dishes into the dishwasher, Mary swept the floor, I washed pots, and Chris occupied the younger children out of the kitchen.

    6:15-7:00 I bathed the three youngest kids and made sure the two oldest took showers. I spent 15 minutes praying with and reading a book to Joseph, who I tucked in at 7:00.

    7:00-7:30 While I read aloud one chapter of "Swallows and Amazons" and one of "Farmer Boy," the girls play spa by brushing my hair, massaging my bag, and brushing my legs with water. 

    7:30 Chris prayed rosary with the olders and I stayed upstairs tucking in the baby and the five-year-old.

    8:00 I hauled the laundry downstairs to load for running in the morning, and joined the gang for the end of their prayers.

    In the evening, I'll do a little computer work, read, and that will be a wrap! 

    Friday, September 16, 2016

    7 Quick Takes Friday: Mind, Body, and Soul

    This week, I've been thinking much (in the background, while I work) about how I need to tend to the needs of my family's mind, body, and soul. I've felt discombobulated--off my game--lately because I can do one thing really well at a time. If school is going great, I'm neglecting the cooking. If I'm back to exercising to get my body healthy, I'm unable to put in enough time to school. If I'm doing my morning holy reading and mental prayer, I don't have time to write in my twice daily Light Weigh journal, but if I wrote in my journal, I don't have time for reading and prayer. I could go on ad nauseum, but you get my point.

    So, this leaves me thinking about what comes first. Soul and body need to come before the mind in our family at this time. Therefore, I've been thinking about my duties as blocks of time and about having met some of those needs, which makes me feel like less of a failure, even if our routine is still 'off' or 'evolving.'

    Meeting the Needs of the Soul


    For years--having learned of this practice from a mother of ten--I had the children join me in doing some holy reading and mental prayer first thing in the morning when they woke. Then I had Baby #5 and that fell by the wayside, only finally now to be resurrected. (It should have been one of the first routines I replaced, after laundry and cooking.)

    I created a little corner at my old desk in the den: I posted some instructions of what to read and pray, posted our family prayer intentions, put out some of our favorite books for this purpose, and I even printed and laminated some of the best prayers so they would be even more easily accessible to children than they would be found in a book of prayers.

    The children are to read one chapter from their chosen saint book--reading a chapter a day, think about how many saints they could read about in a year!--then complete about five minutes of mental prayer.

    So far, it is going swimmingly. Some children are docile, some outright enthusiastic, and I'm developing anew the habit of morning prayer as well.

    Margaret (5) reading a saint book


    Meanwhile, during night prayers, Chris has taken it upon himself to teach the children how to do a "minor silence," which is something a priest told us is done in houses of religion. The children sit with Daddy and are silent for five minutes.

    Think of the benefits of their slowly learning and expanding that skill!


    After reading a rousing and inspiring monthly article from Rosie Gil's husband (I recommend so highly her posthumous book!) about the lost arts of creativity, both for women and men, I felt moved to introduce more creativity into our lives. Nowadays, most of us live our lives passively receiving information, or working, or purchasing things, but not actually creating. How many of us play an instrument fluently enough to make our own music, instead of popping in a CD? How many of us write stories or essays? How many of us are expert chefs for pleasure, or sew (clothing, quilts, baby blankets), or dance? How many of us carve wood or build furniture?

    I certainly feel like a drudge most of the time, doing an endless cycle of work, and that is not the ideal of how a homemaker should feel. Where is my pride as I look at this haven I've created, with my husband's support, around us? God shared the power of creativity only with humans: in what ways am I using it? (Well, one way is this blog.)

    I have an extreme limitation of time, so I hesitate to learn anything new right now. I decided to try my hand again at cross-stitching, which I did passionately from childhood through my early 20s. I still have many supplies for it as well.

    Mary is seven, so the perfect age to join me. She began working on her own creative piece with an eye to learn proper counted cross-stitch next. Throughout the week, she raced back to her stitching every chance she got: upon waking, in lieu of playing outdoors, instead of watching a television show, and every time I would read aloud.

    I need to buy some more fat, plastic needles so Margaret (5) can learn on something bigger than a needle and embroidery thread. She is so eager, she can hardly stop talking about it.

    I had my father send me a photo of my largest cross-stitching piece, a framed lighthouse that hangs on his wall:

    Meeting the Needs of the Body


    Two hawks together in the early morning hours

    Siblings walking hand-in-hand

    The children declared their second week of Scottish dance lessons, "the best Scottish dance EVER!"

    Little siblings dancing with abandon on the sidelines

    We mothers had a lovely time chatting--albeit in high temperatures--at the playground while our tots played. I packed a picnic for my family to eat afterward while letting rush hour traffic pass before the 45-minute drive home.


    Meals of the Week 

    . . . shared to show that "My career is homeschool mother, not gourmet chef!"

    I totally reorganized and cleaned up my pantry this week, which felt great. I've been trying to cook more mindfully lately, even though that adds its own complexities to life.

    Peach milkshake mustaches

    • Saturday
      • Wilde rice blend with ground beef and onions, leftover roasted veggies, but for kids: chicken nuggets and pasta
    • Sunday
      • Restaurant after Mass
    • Monday
    • Tuesday
      • Chili (picked up from Wendy's around the corner), hot dogs, mac-and-cheese out of the box, leftover squash and zucchini casserole
    • Wednesday
    • Thursday
      • Picnic dinner of sandwiches at Scottish dance class
    • Friday
      • I'm planning something with acorn squash, but I don't know what.

    Meeting the Needs of the Mind


    Typing out her own presentation on Akhnaton for CCE
    Should I place mentions of music under Mind, Body, or Soul? It goes under all three! Anyway, I was touched by this moment when Margaret was struggling with "Chimichanga Cha Cha" and Mary sat by her to teach her, and I noticed my two long-haired maidens were dressed the same that day.

    Sisters, teaching piano

    Again, do I consider outdoor school meeting the needs of the mind or body? Both!

    Doing the fourth grader's book work outdoors

    The 13-month-old is so active now, and he weeps and flings himself to the ground when he sees his bigger siblings go play outside while he must stay in with me. So, this week I tried doing some school outside so I could let the toddler play in the yard while I supervised.

    The two little boys enjoyed getting very muddy!

    Muddy piggies

    Apparently eating mud too

    I asked Joseph to smile for the camera, but he replied, "No, Mama, I'm too busy chopping mud."

    More muddy piggies


    Family Books of the Week (in progress or completed)

    • Read-alouds
    • Mama
    • For Connecting with History:
    • John
      • Listening on CD to "Kidnapped" by Robert Louis Stevenson
      • "Mad Scientists Club"--again!
      • "St. Thomas More" (Pauline Press)
    • Mary
      • Listening on CD to "Alice in Wonderland"--Finished
      • "Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati" (Pauline Press)
    • Margaret
      • "Harry, the Dirty Dog"

    For more 7 Quick Takes Friday, check out This Ain't the Lyceum.