7 Quick Takes (#41)

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!

1) My maiden name is Van Zutphen.  V as in victor.  A. N as in Nancy.  Space new word.  Z as in zebra.  U.  T as in Thomas.  P as in Peter.  H.  E.  N as in Nancy.

When I worked full-time, I responded to Van Something.  I really loved my last name even though it was ridiculous.  And I loved how it screamed Dutch. But I always swore that instead of marrying someone with an equally difficult last name, I would marry someone with the last name of Bob. Or Jim.  Or Smith.  Something super simple to spell and short.

I didn't go after Jason for his last name.  But, it was a bonus!  Now the only fall-out is that everyone calls me Gale.  3 people this week...and counting.

2) Jason has been busy.  While I was crocheting anvils and swords, Jason was working each evening on building some bookshelves for our new house.  He built this bookshelf for our old house and since we had to leave it there, it was time to start over:

And since that bookshelf only held a fraction of his books and he had to share the room with the kids, he couldn't really do what he wanted.  But now he has his very own den to fill up!  So he went a little bigger this time around:

I searched Pinterest and found the perfect den color scheme:

So he bought Antique Walnut stain for the shelves and after 2 coats, they are perfect!


And we have absolutely no time to paint the whole room red right now, so that will be a 2013 project. But in the meantime, here is the before and after:



3) The bookshelf installation was a bit dramatic.  It has been 2 weeks and I'm still sore from helping Jason carry them in from the garage.

But the most drama came when we tried to stand them upright.  He measured the room at 8 ft tall.  The bookshelf was constructed to be 8 ft tall.

Yeah...that's not really gonna work...

But a bit of persistence, a lot of muscle, and a scraped popcorn ceiling later and we had it in!

4) I'm a lucky woman.  I get to spend all day kissing, hugging, snuggling and sometimes, even just staring at this face all day.  

5) We were unpacking a box and Elena found this picture of Mommy as a "Pretty Princess".  She carried it around all day talking to the women in the picture.  She ate lunch with the girls in the photo, colored pictures, took a nap...

My date to the senior prom:  

We weren't being edgy.  We both invited boys we didn't know to the junior prom as our dates and they were complete duds.  It was a waste of a ticket.  So, instead of wasting our time and energy finding dates for our senior prom, we just went together!  And I was at a different school and needed a way in.  And I think it's sweet that Elena called me a pretty princess in my $20 velour Ross dress.  I know!  Looking at quality like that, you can't even tell!  (AHAHAAAA!!!)  

6) I was just turned onto www.booksshouldbefree.com last week.  Where has this site been all my life!!!  I'm listening to Moby Dick (Or, if you are Elena: "Dick the Whale") while I knit right now.  But the most use for this program is to help me get my kids into bed and keep them there!  Elena and Leo listen to books when they settle down for their nap and it actually works to keep them in their room until they fall asleep!!!  The audio books will have to do until we can convince Granny to come and spend all day with us.
  Their favorites are Pinnochio, The Wizard of Oz, and Peter Pan.  I'm going to get them a few books on CD, but even then, we will continue to use this site!

7) Have you ever been browsing the aisles at Lowe's and seen a man dripping wet from head to toe in the plumbing aisle?


We had a leak under the dishwasher so our super-talented home building friends Ben and Amy came over the other night to help us "fix" a leak in the plumbing under our kitchen sink.  The wall looked clear.  They started to saw.  Within moments, Ben was a victim of water-boarding.  As responsible homeowners, Jason and I *of course* have no clue where the water shut-off valve is.  For a solid 10 minutes, we directed the river of water pouring out from under the sink while Ben played Hans Brinker with his finger in the pipe.  Jason had to dig a hole in the ground 6-8 inches deep to un-earth the shut-off valve.  A trip to Lowe's, a shop-vac, the entire contents of the linen closet, and an air-dry for Ben later, and we had restored our kitchen to working condition.  And Ben repaired the plumbing too!  I have a feeling that's the last favor Ben will be willing to help us out with for a while.  But at least it wasn't sewage water - or he probably would never speak to us again....


  1. omg I think I would die to see a man walking around the plumbing area of home depot soaking wet. i would probably take pictures and put them up on the internet. lol. ps- i can't believe you guys just built those bookshelves. we go to ikea. lol. bc that's about as handy as we get - putting together pre-built shelves. Nice measuring too - totally something I would do.

  2. oh my that last story....lol.

    we had that happen once when we thought we knew what we were doing installing an ice maker. It ruined an entire floor of carpet that we had to replace.

  3. I laughed out loud about #1. My maiden name, Canik, is Czech and people always mispronounced it. Was a bonus to fall in love with a Gale, but I am called Gale ALL THE TIME. Even the Dean at my college calls me GALE. Sheesh!

    Ramona loves the "Beh Beh Mo Man" video. Just so you know, here is how she says their names:


    "LA LA"=Elena

    "MO MAN"=Roman

  4. Those bookshelves are beautiful!! I am impressed. I am also impressed at #7 . .. . the water would probably still be gushing in our house . . .

  5. Oh, lordy. It's probably a sin how much I'm coveting those bookshelves right now!

    And the "pretty princess" take was too precious. Love the mama!

  6. Lisa, I can't remember- where did you go to school senior year of high school and why did you transfer out of Oakcrest? I always just think you graduated with us.

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