root-toot peeping my own horn

Hi peeps. Just a reminder, if you’re enjoying my blog, I do accept donations as they make a large difference to our family’s living experience. I am happy to accept Paypal, check, or hidden cash in a large box of tasteful and seasonal fruit mailed to my residence.* Every little bit goes a long way. Several $25-and-under donations this last week have kept us fed and in wonderful spirits.

Feeding and caring for our family is an adventure! As of this week, I have leads on two good jobs. But, I live in a county with the highest unemployment rate of the state – almost twice the state average. A job may be on the horizon but who knows how long ’til I get there!

And now, back to our regular scheduled programming. Thank you for your patience with this post, and thank you also for your many, many kinds of support! As I’ve said before, in ten years’ blogging I’ve received and appreciated comments, calls, texts, emails, tweets, snail mail, and even anonymous mailbox-stuffing (which I am bound to report now, is a Federal Crime). All of these are firmly in the “support” category – usually – and they keep me inspired to keep writing.

Have a wonderful February.

*I was going to post a picture of a vintage seasonal fruit label but a bunch of them were horrifically racist so I got discouraged and left off.

big sacks of flour

Dinner Awaits

As some of you may or may not know, our primary source of income has not been receiving pay raises as per “normal” for a couple years; & in fact has been receiving cuts, as the result of state-wide budget changes.

As of this morning I have a debit card hooked up to my Paypal. Any donations sent here – and I do appreciate them – are used for groceries, pretty much immediately. Sorry I’m not too glamorous about blog donations, but, there it is. Probably pinto beans, coffee, flour, milk, bananas, peanut butter, &/or Nutella will be involved. Unless you want to specify I use the funds for something specific. By all means.

I appreciate all forms of support. Thank you, my lovely readers.

with lingonberry preserves

The 27th is my sobriety date. It doesn’t matter much, I know, but I do reflect on it every month on this date. For one thing, it is still an awkward and clumsy nut-punch that my blogging career changed so quickly. One day I was like, “write the theme tune sing the theme tune”, just living my life and documenting it as much or as little as I felt like it with a lot of detail, being as circumspect as possible regarding the feelings or experiences of others, and believing I did a good job not being an ass online about those I rubbed elbows with. And the next day BAM! I’m involved in work I can’t write about at all really – or I guess I could, but I don’t want to, most especially because it involves other people’s lives (and yes… I did start up a totally anonymous recovery blog, but I’ll never tell you about it!) and people sharing in spaces that are safe spaces. Yikes. It really felt like a muzzle and it came out of nowhere.

So, you’ll hear me say this again: I wouldn’t want to go through my first week sober. I was really scared, confused, foggy and exhausted. Baffling and yet very real, I’d been diagnosed an alcoholic by a kind but direct physician – the first time in my life this label had been applied by anyone but myself – but I didn’t know what, if anything, could be done (deep down I thought: nothing). More humiliating still, I’d never consumed the quantities alcohol that others can and did and do get up to (believe me… I checked into it), nor had troubles with the law, nor done a lot of the things pop culture (and my uh, family) liked to label as Alcoholic. It’s like you could have paraded my accomplishments, my attributes, the wonderful things in my life, and how many people loved me. And I would have heard you and maybe even felt a bit moved, but I was mostly just so profoundly confused. Nothing made sense. I had no compass and no sense of proportion. I was all habit energy. Some good habits, some bad. Kelly was lost to a depression and confusion more painful than she’d experienced. Yeah. I was lost.

I am not confused these days. I am not lost. I am rarely set back, angry, anxious, depressed, or resentful. When any of these feelings surface, today I often can know it, and I can figure out why. Today I have the help I need and I seek it out without hesitation. I have so much help, so much support, and a clearer conscience and vision. My life is very different. I am grateful and when I am not grateful, I am still profoundly okay.

I certainly don’t have to drink any more.

On Monday, I made amends to someone for something I did when I was twenty. That’s fifteen years ago.

This morning I was up and resting with a cup of coffee when the children awoke. Nels proudly skipped into the living room wrapped in a blanket, with his most-recent lost tooth in hand. The children were bright-eyed and happy, fresh haircuts and coming from a clean warm bed. It has always given me tremendous pleasure to care for our children. I have made a lot of errors and missed a lot of opportunities, but on many occasions I’ve also had the gift of perception to make the most of it. Time flies quickly while raising children, but the moments can be reduced with the most stunning clarity when I breathe and experience the moment. I am so grateful for the many wonderful experiences in my life, and for the hard experiences too because pain has been a great motivator. Pain and love, one or the other. I can seek to study the latter first so that the former is not so harsh a tutor when she arrives.

Tonight I had a lovely group meditation. And now I’m typing after dinner guests left, late. Like a little cooking show, I taught them how to make the spaghetti and meatballs (here’s my recipe). The kids trounced around and made all sorts of chatter with our guests. Nels, touchingly, has memorized birthstones and likes to tell people their stone and the stone’s meaning – if they are so inclined to listen. Phoenix brought out her little leopard gecko but held it at a circumspect distance from a guest not too keen on reptiles.

Our home is a peaceful and well-lived in one. I have been working too hard, and I hope to avail myself of some comforts the next few days. I’ll take pictures so you all can get a window view.

Now I take everything as a good sign, because I’m in love / I take everything as a sign, from God

OK, this may seem like a nonsequiter, but please go directly and read the most awesome About blog page I’ve ever seen. I just happened on it three minutes ago. I am ROTFLMAO, it is just so so wonderful. No, I did not know my daughter had a dream to be a blogger like me.


So. Personally? Watching someone go through heroin withdrawal feels really, really horrible. But it’s not nearly as bad, I may positively state, as going through heroin withdrawal. There’s not much I can do in this case except speak kindly to this person and listen to this person thrash and whimper and sob. So that’s what I do. Then I come home and make an incense offering and dedicate a prayer to this person.

Today was a lovely Sunday.

Nels + Harris

Nels slept in and finally woke only the second time his BFF came to our door (to hear the BFF’s parents describe it, weekend mornings the boy is scratching at the door like a mad dog wanting to come over). He and this little guy run around the neighborhood, getting fed at our house and getting up to I’m not sure what at the other house. I hear them laughing and see them coming down the sunny walk together, absolutely on top of the world.

Besides some family time and two meetings, I performed housework and had coffee with Ralph. I tried to make an orange candle and failed (it’s still sitting on my counter all soggy and misshappen). Ralph, Phoenix and I went to Tully’s where I was pleased to see they’d finally jumped on the Awesomesauce of Salted Carmel coffee drinks.

Phoenix educated us on Lyme Disease.

Phoenix, Hot Chocolate, & Education On Lime Disease

Phoenix, Hot Chocolate, & Education On Lime Disease

Phoenix, Hot Chocolate, & Education On Lime Disease

We visited the Gallery and their new show – “ReUse • ReCycle • ReArt”. It was even almost warm for half a second. The sun was out and that felt good.

I spent much of today sewing (yay!), but cannot post pictures (boo!) as they are slated for publication in a real magazine (yay!). Good news: I have my new snap press which I get to play with, and I am slowly marching my way through my magazine requirements. P.S. when it comes to stitchery WANT FOUR YARDS kthx. What a lovely fabric; and the album referenced (one I was raised on) was exactly what first came to mind.



Nels had taken to calling me Honeycomb. As in, “I love you, my honeycomb” [*kiss*]. Several times a day. He comes up to me and puts rings on my finger. Those little clippy ones for hanging curtains.

It was a beautiful day.

Morning Mess

when you starve with a tiger, the tiger starves last

Ed. – comments are turned off for this post. I indicate this here since I rec’d an email from someone who thought maybe they weren’t smart enough to figure out how to comment, or maybe I didn’t want to receive ANY communication on the subject (untrue). So I’m clearing that up with this prologue. As per usual calls, emails, DMs, IMs, in-person, snail-mail – all is appreciated and welcome, as always. Thanks for your readership and support!


Hi, my name is Kelly and I am a recovering alcoholic. In my case one thing this means is I do not drink alcohol anymore. At all. But of course that’s only the very beginning of a life in sobriety – as anyone who’s had a lasting and positive sobriety will know.

It’s been too hard to write on the blog here and omit this massive part of my life, from one to three hours of peer-support a day, so many phone conversations and book-studies and readings, so I’m giving that up. That doesn’t mean I’ll write much here. I won’t. Anything specific – or rather too specific, or risking disclosing anything about another alcholic – I’m password-protecting to share with one other person (so far anyway, and it’s none of your business who).

That’s about it.

It disturbed me a bit that when I started feeling compelled to keep Recovery entries on my journal online – but wouldn’t/couldn’t write publicly – a few people complained about password-protected entries. I mean it was almost funny considering this is a life-or-death issue for me (and the others I’m responsible to!), and I owe no one any particular thing when I write here – but fine, that’s their baggage.

On the other hand it touched me, those who took the time to ask, “Hey, are you okay?” (thank you). One friend worried aloud if I had a stalker – which is one reason I’m making public my experience. And on that note, most my stalkers have been rather benign as far as I know. But, yeah, I keep Recovery entries private and if people don’t understand why, they’re free to ask me, in person would be best, any time. I’m not going to go into it here and now.

I used to hold a lot of cynicism about those in Recovery culture. Of course, I was almost entirely ignorant too. I’ll spare you my specific prejudices as they’re boring and anyone could think of what they might be. I’m reporting today I was wrong regarding every bias I’ve had. Recovery has saved my life in the deepest sense of the word; not just kept the physical destruction of my body at bay or at least not in an accelerated capacity but in the way LIFE means an every day experience, the moment, every relationship, even now typing.

After a long talk today a friend said to me, “I had no idea you were suffering.”

And I said, “Yeah. I held my shit together pretty well.” A while back I found this incredibly sad about myself but today I can laugh. It’s pretty funny really.

My life is utterly different than it was, and I am glad.


A rather famous person outed himself as a member of AA after long years in sobriety. He wrote something pretty damn good. I’ll let you read it, since I’m not going to write more.

Your hat strategically dipped below one eye / Your scarf it was apricot!

I have updated my About/Contact page in a few ways. For one, I’ve added contact information (I truly thought it was already there!), updated personal information, and clarified my Comment Policies.

From the revamped Support section:

After many years of being asked, as of June 2011 I have added a donation element to my blog. If you read here and find anything of value, and have the resources and the desire to support me in this way, I now provide this option. Donating supports my single-income family, two homeschooled kiddos, our (too) many rescue cats, our leopard gecko, our friends and neighbors, various undertakings including volunteer work and local events, and helps keep my writings flowing and my social wellbeing work on point.

Currently, we four are hoping to attend the May 2012 Life Is Good Unschooling Conference, and any 2012 donations will be thus allocated. Thank you for your time and reading this far.

However, there are many other ways to support me and to be a part of this journal community. I appreciate comments, emails, DMs, phone calls, snail mail – because I write, in part, for connection. kelly AT hogaboom DOT org ; @kellyhogaboom & @underbellie on Twitter; you can also call or text at 5003287, area code 360. My address is PO Box 205 Hoquiam WA 98550.


Most readers who’ve been here long know I was blogging with frequency and (the best) quality (possible for me at the time) long before I added comments, knew how many readers I had, provided explicit contact information, or inserted a donation function. So let’s continue on with our scheduled programming, shall we?

In the meantime – I genuinely appreciate the ways this blog has changed, and most of all the commentariat, friendships, emails, IMs, DMs, phone calls, letters, packages, and a whole list of things that have both come into and left my doorstep.

Thank you for your years of reading, commenting, and supporting.

short & sweet: friday links

Quick rant: Stop saying “X is the last acceptable form of bigotry” by Tami Harris. Ye god – Yes. Please. Stop.

Barn tableau at IBTP. Short and to the point.

Class rage in miniature: why I can’t read many food blogs anymore at Class Rage Speaks

On Blogging, Popularity Contests, & Why I QUIT at Postpartum Progress:

“I love blogging. I love bloggers. I love social media people. I love the internet. I love what we are able to do, that our words can stretch across thousands of miles to make someone else feel understood and supported. I love that we are able to use our voices, and that no one can take that away from us. That’s amazing. […] You will no longer see me asking for votes for these various contests. I can’t do it anymore. It tires me. It’s soul sucking. I’m not going to do it. If someone recognizes what we do here for the impact it has on mothers and families, or for innovative ideas, or for the writing, or for positively affecting mental health or reducing stigma, I will share it with you FOR SURE, but as for the rest of it … I quit.”

I believe everyone should have the right to blog differently (*ahem*… those bitching about password-protected posts, and no asking about it, or asking for a password, is not bitching about it), including using ads, contests, giveaways, tweeting all day long, whatever people do. I guess I just liked what this lady had to say.

How To Deal With Parental Mistakes by Laura:

“Making mistakes as a parent is he hardest thing, because it involves this tiny influential human being and you can’t have a do-over. It can be easy to fall into a guilt trip. That’s not a very healthy road to travel. Guilt is one of the most erosive, numbing emotions, and it’s certainly not beneficial to parenting.”

I’m feeling this, big time. Thank you, Laura.

& on that note:

Let’s try that again! Send me your stories on parenting with disability or chronic illness at Raising my Boychick. If you’ve got something? Do it!

Homeschoolers Who Run Businesses: The EpiCoutures Family Store. Both Laurie and Brycen are passionate about their work. Maybe someone reading here can spread word or support it!

Make: custom chenille for a blanket. Lovely!

Also: a cold summer soup collection from Mint Design Blog. Now I’m not much for cold summer soups, although my friend S. once made us a watermelon gazpacho that was truly amazing. So, I try not to be too close-minded!

Quote of the week:
Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. ~ Malachy McCour

I’m late watching this of course, but I had to share it because I find it COMPLETE & UTTER BULLSHYT and I want to know if anyone else is scoffing as hard as I am?!

(I do like the second top comment though)

a brief respite from turbulent climes

I don’t have much time to write; which is sad, because writing is so important to me! I will say: today not only did I have a wonderful swim with the children, and the grouchy YMCA lifeguard from days previous acted totally pleasant and did not chastize my kids in every way (seriously!), but I also met another lifeguard L. who corrected Nels’ behavior with the utmost respect. When I approached her to thank her for this, we had a lovely conversation – while my children stayed in the shallow end (which meant I didn’t have to be six inches away from them in the pool). Afterwards a hot shower, a sunny day, a not-so-pleasant and very long wait for the bus, some delicious sopes, and then etc. etc.

Family responsibilities present themselves. Let me say: thank you readers who have both stuck around and totally respected this new thing – password-protected entries at the blog. Although I am aware in a way “I owe my readers nothing”, I am also aware my blog has changed abruptly in this small way, and not everyone will enjoy the experience. I feel so incredibly grateful for the readers who stick around, who comment, who read, who support. And I will be writing more soon – trust!