Friday, March 27, 2009
7 Quick Takes Friday
1. One of the things I most wanted to do with this year's tax return (aside from paying off a bunch of debt, which we did) was to buy a second refrigerator for the basement. We have so much food swirling around for so many people here now (did I mention that we have two teenagers?) that I think it will be a huge help for things like: huge batches of bread dough (we're still using that Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book - thanks mostly to John - and it is yummy!), food for big family gatherings at our house (which are very much on the rise in recent years), the ability to purchase large quantities of perishable items when they're on sale, etc.
A month or so ago, we spotted a very reasonably priced fridge at Sam's Club (under $300) and thought we might pick it up sometime in the future. Last night, we finally emptied most of the seats from the van (we have a 15 passenger) and headed over to pick one up. Sadly, they sold their last one and have stopped carrying the item. :(
And so we (meaning John and I and Frank, who came along for the ride, and had a marvelous time) headed to several adjacent stores - Home Depot and Menards - to see what we could find there. Unfortunately, not a lot (no purchase made yet), though we are somewhat interested in a unit that is all-fridge and no freezer. It's got a LOT of fridge space and costs less to run, but unfortunately is twice the price of the fridge we were interested in from Sam's Club.
2. Frank got an enormous kick out of visiting these stores with us - particularly the two 'home-improvement' stores. He opened every fridge and freezer he could get his hands on and had to try out the little butter rack doors and the light buttons and the freezer drawers and lots else (and asked a ton of questions about everything). I've never seen a kid so happy and curious about such things before. To top off his interesting evening, the Menard's, which opened REALLY recently (within the last week I think) is this crazy futuristic-looking store with two enormous glass elevators (big enough to carry large appliances - which are strangely located on the second floor) and two huge flat conveyer belt escalator things (with several funky vintage looking videos playing on hanging flat-screen TVs to show you how to safely use them). I have to admit that, though they probably had safety features to cover such things, having a lady with a cart behind us on the down-slope escalator was a little freaky.
3. Yesterday was seed-starting day here. The kids LOVE this day and I guess it's a good thing we've had several years of trying it before this year, when we have bigger, more serious plans for a real garden. John has committed to building a big fenced veggie garden in bag (hopefully more-or-less deer, rabbit and raccoon safe) and is also hoping to build one or two of these for the deck.
As I twittered yesterday (and you can see above) I suddenly realized that the plastic boot-trays we use in the winter make wonderful planting trays in the spring.
Yesterday, the following seeds were planted: green onions, peppers, leeks, cauliflower (Frank planted his entire tray with just cauliflower!), eggplant, sunflowers (of a container-friendly variety for a big pot I want to put on the deck), basil, parsley, chives, spearmint, rosemary, and three kinds of tomatoes.
By the way, the two pots with writing on them are rhubarb that I bought two years ago which are still in their original containers (we never quite settled on a place to plant them) that are still alive after spending two winters out-of-doors.
4. It's always a bit of a sad thing to see your children becoming aware more of the evil in the world. Yesterday Ria (who is almost 16 now) went to the 40 Days for Life with some of her high school friends. Admittedly we haven't done pro-life work as a family in front of abortion clinics before. We've done Life Chains and Ria's been to the March for Life in D.C., but this was a new experience and it was hard seeing her sadness in recalling the four girls who went in and out of the abortion clinic during the two hours that they prayed and witnessed there.
5. My parents are coming for Easter! Makes me happy that we've put all that effort into setting up a nice little guest room.
6. I stopped by the Catholic Business Conference (sponsored by Relevant Radio) nearby earlier this week. It was interesting and I collected a few business cards and DVDs of interest. I also got to chat with the local Relevant Radio people briefly about my Love2learn Moments. Apparently they've just recently sent samples to the managers of the other Relevant Radio stations, so they may be showing up in other markets soon. Please let me know if you hear them outside the Milwaukee area (where they've been playing daily for, I think, two years).
7. Please pray that we have decent weather for the Wisconsin Catholic Youth Rally tomorrow. I'm bringing a group of teens to the event, but there's a big snowstorm (I've heard predictions of up to 8 inches tomorrow afternoon and evening) predicted later in the day.