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Sugar-cube spill, home fashion, the gift of ramen, and more (7 Quick Takes)


Some days you’re trying to get something done when you hear a terrible crash in the kitchen. You come running and see that your son just spilled sugar cubes all over the floor.

You can’t even be upset when something like that happens.

Life is sweet. Especially when there are sugar cubes on the floor.


Speaking of spills, yesterday I spilled something on my shirt during breakfast.

“Oh, shoot,” I thought. “Now my shirt will be stained all day. So embarrassing.”

Then I remembered I was, of course, still home. So, I could change my shirt.

Then I remembered I don’t leave the house. And people outside my family only see my shoulders on up all day.

So, I just continued with my day, stained shirt and all.


Friends you make on your adoption journey are really special. My friend Tobie and I have never actually met, but we waited for our youngest children together, and thus we are friends forever.

A few weeks ago, she and I were complaining that the stores were all out of ramen. It really is appalling how hard it is to find ramen. Well, her husband got his hands on some, so her little girl—who’s also from China—sent a package of ramen and candy to our boys with an adorable, beautifully written note.

The boys are eating their way through the ramen as if they’ve not eaten anything in weeks. I’d better make them write a thank-you note before it’s all gone.


Thanks to Dad’s Army, an old BBC show that was on Netflix until very recently, we have a curiosity about British food. Most British food I can take or leave, but John has been asking me to try making Welsh rarebit. He finally emailed me a recipe while I was placing an online grocery order, and I ordered what I needed to make it.

It was actually fairly easy to melt the cheese into the sauce, slice a few tomatoes, place them on toasted bread, and pour the cheese on top. We will probably do it again.

Not everyone liked it, but then…how often does everyone like a meal? It’s a pretty rare-bit.


Our azaleas are blooming! Do particular flowers bring back certain memories for you?

Seeing azaleas always takes me back to my parents’ front yard in our childhood home in Rodgers Forge. We always posed in front of the azaleas on Easter morning. I remember being really proud of our beautiful azaleas and plucking the blossoms off to look at them up close.

When my sister Maureen married my brother-in-law Eric, the dresses were the color of those deep pink azaleas. We dyed our shoes to match, which seemed very fancy at the time. Then it poured on their wedding day, and the dye ran in the rain. Azaleas remind me of our bridesmaid dresses and shoes and running through puddles in New Haven as we dodged raindrops on our way to the reception.

Azaleas are so beautiful. I love the flowers of spring.


I’m doing what I consider to be my best homeschooling-while-working-from-home effort, which is fairly feeble most days. I encourage the boys to read their way through the Harry Potter books, excel in their video games, and play quidditch in the backyward. Every now and then I yell, “Oh, no! What time is it? Your health class started 20 minutes ago!”

I see the fruits of their education paying off when I find we are now writing words in cheese.


Sometimes I find it amusing to think of all the people who are hoarding toilet paper. What do they do with it all? Build huge towers in their living rooms? Have toilet paper fights in the backyard? I may never know. Somehow I think we will make it with the toilet paper we have and whatever we pick up along the way.

But it occurred to me that I do have certain things I worry about running out of during quarantine. For me, I keep buying pasta, canned tuna and salmon, and avocados. I suppose if I ran out of avocados, I might survive. But life is simply better with avocados.

Find more quick takes on Kelly’s blog, This Ain’t the Lyceum, and have a wonderful weekend!