A field trip, little league, a new flyswatter, chocolate chip cookie dough yogurt, and more (7 Quick Takes)

~1~

Our sons went on a joint field trip this week, and I got to tag along as a chaperone. The Maryland State Fair hosted the second, third, and fourth graders from our school for a trip, teaching to all kinds of interesting things about agriculture and treating them to the bus ride and lunch.

We learned about sheep shearing and how to tell sheep from goats (it’s the tails), that corn is used in numerous items—many of which aren’t edible—and that kettle corn is delicious. We met a woman who competes in rodeos, and the children each planted a flower or herb in a milk carton to decorate part of the fairgrounds.

The best part was that even though I was chaperoning the second grade, we kept bumping into the fourth grade as we moved from station to station. Second best was the fresh strawberry shortcake they served for dessert.

~2~

Baseball season is ending. Our little leaguer just had his last regular season game before the play-offs begin. Why is soccer season so long and baseball season so short? This is one of the great questions of life.

It’s amazing to me how much the players improve over the season. Children are such fast learners. At the start of the season, they were throwing past one another and dropping the ball and not knowing where to go to make a play. They still have quite a bit to learn, but you can see the progress.

And, as sad as I am to see it end, I won’t be sorry to have evenings and weekends free again.

~3~

The other day I was feeling a little grumpy because it was late in the afternoon and I still hadn’t had time to eat lunch. I stopped at a grocery store to find something quick to eat. As I was walking in, I spotted a basket full of flyswatters.

Now, some people who are starting to feel a little light-headed from hunger would continue on to find some food. But I stood there trying to decide which flyswatter to buy. I have many flyswatters—hundreds, in fact—but I do not have one shaped like a mushroom.

Or, I should say, I did not have one shaped like a mushroom until this week. And I picked one of the blue ones.

~4~

Meanwhile, my family treated me to my annual hanging basket. They usually buy it for me on Mother’s Day weekend, but this year we had our little boy’s First Communion. So we went out last weekend to find one, and our older son spotted it.

The picture doesn’t do it justice, but it has been gray and rainy so much of the week that I haven’t had a chance to take a better photo.

Trust me, though, that it is at least as beautiful as a mushroom flyswatter.

~5~

I want to think I could be Laura Ingalls Wilder, with a sense of adventure, living off the land, providing for myself and my family. But then I complain that one of the grocery stores I’m not boycotting doesn’t sell the brand of instant coffee I like.

And then I discover chocolate chip cookie dough yogurt.

So I bring it home, and our second grader can hardly stand that it exists because it’s just so wonderful.

And I find myself thinking what a marvelous world this is, where chocolate chip cookie dough yogurt is at my fingertips.

~6~

My sister Maureen made me aware of this Spiritual Warriors Couture site, which has a number of saint items, including a St. Rita tote bag and St. Michael the Archangel boots. So tempting.

~7~

I love this piece in U.S. Catholic, “What Sustains You?” It really makes me think about what we don’t know of what is going on in others’ lives and how so often we don’t know their intentions and stories.

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

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Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner is a wife, working mother and author of the Catholic Review's Open Window blog. She and her husband adopted their two sons from China, and Rita often writes about topics concerning adoption, family and faith.

Rita also writes The Domestic Church, a featured column in the Catholic Review. Her writing has been honored by the Catholic Press Association, the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association and the Associated Church Press.