Homemade bread, haircutting goals, a feast day gift, and a wish for a bird (7 Quick Takes)


I finally got my hands on some yeast, and I made two loaves of bread last weekend. I used my friend Rosie’s recipe, and it was delicious! I almost think it would be worth it to make bread just to fill the house with the scent of bread cooking.


I’ve been hoping Baltimore County Public Schools would end the school year early. I mean, we are just barely inching toward the finish line these days. And we didn’t exactly start strong.

Today I learn that instead of ending on Monday, June 22, school will end on Friday, June 19. It’s so absurd. What a ridiculous waste of time even to discuss that. One day? You cut the school year by one day?

It’s like winning a penny in the lottery. But we’ll take it.


There are some meals that all four of us like, but there are others that I can only get two or three of us interested in. The other night I made stuffed peppers, and I knew that our boys wouldn’t be excited about them. So, I made them scrambled eggs instead.

Maybe one day I’ll regret not forcing the children to eat meals they don’t like. For now, I’m just happy everyone is eating food with some nutrition. And, as a bonus, there were more stuffed peppers for the grown-ups.


I might be getting a little too confident with my home barbershop. I’ve been watching videos to see if I’m ready to cut my own hair next. I have friends who are trying to talk me out of it and others who are encouraging me.

It hardly seems to matter because the only people who see me are my beloved immediate family and my colleagues who see me wearing my son’s free summer-reading headphones during Zoom conferences.

How badly can it go?


I took a loaf of my homemade bread to my sister Treasa.

When I got to her porch, I found a bag with a rose and Fig Newtons inside—a feast day gift in honor of my namesake, St. Rita. There’s a beautiful story about St. Rita and a rose and figs she asked for that grew miraculously in January.

Treasa understands that there’s nothing I love like an unexpected gift—especially one with an inside joke or a hidden meaning.

Sisters are so wonderful.


When you decide to have a breakfast bar installed in your kitchen, you suspect it will be a magnet for everything in the house. But you don’t realize it will also be a magnet for things outside the house. Somehow even the bicycle helmets travel inside and land there.

The parchment paper is photobombing, the way parchment paper likes to.



Our younger son has decided he wants a pet bird. He greets me all the time in the house by saying, “I want a bird.”

He has always loved the idea of a pet, but he knows we can’t have dogs or cats because of allergies. And we have been enjoying watching the birds in the yard during our quarantine.

Besides, like many Americans right now, he’s decided that this would be the perfect time to add a pet to the family. We’re home all the time, so why not?

It’s all very logical, except that I am not looking to add anything else to our lives right now. I find this whole season beautiful but tiring. And I’m sure we don’t need anything else to take care of in the hectic busyness of our lives.

But he does want a bird.

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

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.