friday linky love!

As always, if you have long commentary please leave it at the source article; let me know if you’d like me to link to your post or comment.

First: I’m hustling for money for my kids’ fall/winter coats. You can look top right ——> if you’d like to help. You can also volunteer to receive the coats when my kids grow out (post here in the comments). I’ll post tutorials as I create them, to help any future stitchers.

 This song – makes me cry. Every time.

SQUAT! Birth Journal. Awesome shit. They accept submissions. DO it. DO IT.

I reviewed a sewing pattern/class. I can recommend the pattern and especially the class for anyone who’d like the finished garment (the romper and pant combo… okay that’s just cozy as hell!).

I’ve been asked to flesh out my Twitter’d, “Ten Things That Make #Parenting Easier” list. Here are #1, #2, and #3. I’ll keep updating this post to include all ten. $4 debuts later today.

We are making a keyhole garden (or a variation of one). I don’t know what to do or plant in the bed once it’s done, given how late we are in the year. Maybe some PNw’er friends of mine can help! (Donate one – they’re awesome)

Grays Harbor Down – my absolute favorite local news source.

Black Girl In Maine writes a great post about divisive, “us vs. them” language.

STRAW FEMINISTS IN THE CLOSET – I cried real tears at how perfect this was.

LLL makes a big gaffe on leadership issues. I hope they reconsider. Like PhD in Parenting sums up, I too have always held them in good faith… But.

Two years ago today: tetanus meadow.

Tetanus Meadow, Assured


turning it into funky science fiction

I’ve returned with some Friday links. As you’re reading this, I am likely intubated and undergoing a surgical procedure! So you’re having more fun than I, most likely (the good news is the procedure might ALSO involve LASERS).


5 minute timelapse; a roadtrip across America:

Film: 5 Old-Timey Prejudices That Still Exist In Every Movie from Cracked is pretty clever much of the time, and this article showcases its smarts. Considering a likely target audience I’m impressed the author didn’t do the obligatory fawning to a certain television and film writer/producer/director too commonly worshipped for what I consider (like the author does) repeat iterations of pseudofeminist waif-fu tendencies. One note on the article – I’m designating an honorary BOO for calling thin women “unnatural” – even if it’s a good guess many Hollywood actresses likely participate in orthorexic behaviors and/or eating disorders and/or dieting and/or heavy-duty workout regimes – and for not being more cautious in purporting an apparent concept of a so-called objective view of how pretty Michelle Rodriguez is (as opposed to a socially- and culturally-prescribed “pretty”/”beautiful”).

Food, food, glorious food! Here is a recipe for a Moist Chocolate-Beet Cake, from David Lebovitz’s blog, adapted from Tender by Nigel Slater.

Family life: Unschooling: An Introduction by Laura at Authentic Parenting. Most my readers have been around long enough to hear, learn from, and/or tolerate my thoughts on and practices regarding life learning, but this is a pretty good 101 article, and I’m glad she posted it.

In a recent blog post Wendy Priesnitz asks, and answers: why does the contemplation of unschooling, or life learning, result in a backlash from many adults, many who are self-named “progressives” (well, that’s what I paraphrase she’s writing about). She writes, ” […] I understand that rejecting long-held beliefs and admitting you’ve been lied to and taken advantage of can take time. And it can be painful. But if you are moving in that direction, please believe that the way to ensure a happy future for your kids is to ensure they have a happy present.”

And here’s one for the ladies. Oh, and the dudes. Y’all should read it. I know nothing about this project – “No One’s The Bitch”, but I’m really liking the concept! Stepmoms/divorced moms etc. are often culturally encouraged to pit themselves against one another. “The master’s tools”, and all that.

A tutorial: for a fishtail skirt (in this case, demonstrated on a small human). My daughter isn’t likely to wear dresses unless they have a lot of character (see: previous) – this might fit the bill.

Mothers & Our Families: Never Perfect, but Always Great at Birth Without Fear. Some lovely thoughts and images.


“most grown men will tell you there is no worse pain”, well I’m a Lady & I know birth but I take your point

A trip down memory lane as I find myself in the ER tonight for a kidney stone attack (two today, actually – yikes!). Is there any phraseology I can use to describe the episodes that will make them sound more badass and/or EXTREME!? Anyway, it sure felt like that.

I had kidney stones at the tender age of sixteen in a brief but incredibly unpleasant chapter of my life. The first bout was the most terrifying as the pain was so excrutiating and sudden and I didn’t know what was wrong. I was taking a morning shower to get ready for school and within a few short minutes had staggered out into a towel and began throwing up and shouting for my dad’s help (my mom was off on a work trip). To my total surprise when he saw how much pain I was in he got very upset and ran upstairs to another bathroom to vomit as well (true story, and my dad was stoic as Fuck, so, whatever). Anyway, we got done with our family barf-o-rama and hit the emergency room where the admitting desk lady acted totally put out by my writhing and retching and asked icily who my insurance carrier was (I didn’t know; my father had dropped me off hastily and parked the car).

During tonight’s visit the staff were a lot more compassionate and there were a lot more personnel involved; by the end I’d been talked to and prodded and stuck and vital-sign’d by about six or seven people. Phoenix came with me and was about the most tender and funny and compassionate and wise companion, ever. We heard the sound of a crying infant next door and she said, “It makes my heart happy to hear a baby.” Later, after an RN got my IV started then left Phoenix leaned in towards me and whispered evenly, “He was flirting with you!” (Later she told Ralph her suppositions; he wistfully asked, “Did Mama flirt back?” and Phoenix said No [true]).

But perhaps my favorite moment was when this same RN and a PA spied what she was doing in her sketchbook and stopped their actions to watch her draw. “Is she drawing that freehand?” the RN asked the PA disbelievingly. The two moved closer to my daughter, one of them absentmindedly wrapping up tubing, and flatly asked to see more of the pages she’d been working on (the Gila Monster Dragon and the Mutant Spider were my personal favorites). “I am just really impressed,” the PA said, more than once. It almost got awkward for me because praise makes me a bit uncomfortable. Fortunately, I remembered quickly that their praise had shit-all to do with me, and Phoenix took it with total aplomb (of course). She looked up with her level tiger-eyes and said, “Thank you,” and returned to her work.

During the course of almost three hours I received an IV (ouch!), tons of saline, an anti-inflammatory, Flomax, and (money-shot!) Percocet. It was the Percocet (or something like) I was after; I felt blatant terror at the thought of making it through the weekend on the however many thousands mg acetomenaphin I have at my disposal.

Hopefully with tons of fluids and a heatpad and painkillers for a few days as-needed and these episodes won’t repeat. The pain was horrible enough but the hours of incapacitation were a grim reminder of just how much we often take for granted.

Oh, and I got home and Nels and Ralph were very tender, and the cats didn’t seem to give a shit at all.

friday link-sausage

“The Cliched Family in Television”; a demonstration that satire has never been out of style (“Cut, dammit, cut!”, hee).

“Would you feed your own kid the same food you donate to food pantries?” at Considering discussion of what the poor and working class “should” eat often contains a lot of orthorexic asshatery, I thought this was good article – and a good discussion featured in comments. P.S. I hate brown rice, having had to eat a LOT of it growing up.

“Class, Privilege and Black Friday” by Black Girl in Maine
“At the end of the day, we all want good food, a warm house, clothing, love and maybe even a few extras however we define those extras, for some it’s iGadgets, Kitchen-Aid mixers and so on…yet who are we to judge someone else’s desires? Yet our ability to have these things will depend in large part on where we sit on the socio-economic ladder and even a decision of whether or not to brave crowds on Black Friday versus shopping on Cyber Monday from the comforts of our home and or office will depend on what we have access to. Just some food from thought from a lifetime card carrying member of the working class.”

“Fat-com: is that a thing?” at What Tami Said
Tami is on-point, funny, and completely correct. It would be a small and lovely justice if television writers, producers, and executives would read her piece, hang their heads, apologize for their suck-itude – and do better.

“Hobbits Are White, But Should We Pretend Otherwise?” at PostBourgie
You know, I’m going to vote Yes, We Should, or rather that originally non-diverse works do not suffer from casting actors of color but there is a lot to gain in doing so; there are plenty of white male actors getting big bucks and the pick of scripts and it’s okay to level the playing field.

“Humpday Hate: The Anti-Christmas Carol.” also at PostBourgie; seriously, there are holiday songs that should have languished and died long ago.

Human Rights
Long overdue: a few articles on birth rape. The first is a great 101 sent in by reader Kat: “What Feminists Should Know About Birth Rape”. An excerpt:

“Even though most women are choosing to invite trained professionals to their births, they still have an expectation of respectful and kind treatment. Despite where women give birth and how many medical procedures they may choose in the process, all women deserve to make their own choices and control their own bodies during childbirth. Every woman has an expectation of kind treatment, of decision making power, and of her legal right to informed consent and refusal. When those expectations are not met and she is assaulted and violated, she has the right to call her experience whatever she thinks describes it accurately.”

The second is from The F-Word at the UK and delves a little deeper: “‘It’s not RAPE rape’” by Amity Reed. Excerpt:

“Claiming that birth rape is an inappropriate term and ridiculing or dismissing women who choose to use it is incredibly insulting to those who identify with it. Much like you wouldn’t tell a woman who says she was raped while on a date with a guy she liked that she is exaggerating, that he probably didn’t mean it, that it isn’t ‘real’ rape if she went with him willingly or flirted with him, nor should women who feel they were raped while giving birth be disbelieved or discredited. “ (What’s sad is of course, many DO excuse date and acquaintance rape as “not real rape”, but Amity is speaking to those who in general hold better views – except, apparently, when it comes to bio-moms.)

I wouldn’t call my first birth a “birth rape” (and it’s my prerogative what I call it, as it is for the women who do use that term) but it is definitely in that arena. I’d like to write more on the subject at some point.

I want three yards of this So. Very. Much.

“world’s smallest postal service: holiday 2010”; adorable!

“Opening the Door to a Simpler, Greener, Healthier, Happier Holiday Season” by Wendy Priesnitz
If you celebrate a faith-tradition holiday or honor the season changes, this article is full of restorative thought and ideas on how to reclaim the time and activities that keep so many, so busy, every year.

A very local artisan creamery is being subject to product-seizure- and regulations are being pushed that would continue to stress independent, small foodstuffs by what is likely unfair and unnecessary legislation. You can help the Estrella Farm here.


“make it look like you’re always receding” LULZLULZ

Patterns by Figgys is having a 25% off sale from December 2nd through the 20th. Use the code PDF2010 at their big cartel shop. I’ve sewn with many of their patterns (and, full disclosure although most my readers already know this, am currently working at pattern testing for their upcoming book) and they are fabulous!

Heather at is offering one of my items in her giveaway; you have two more days to enter!

My favorite tweet of the week.

MST3K melon, from the Department of Win


And – finally – time for a little discussion. First, watch this: Journey – Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) (Official Music Video)Journey

And now, tell me, what’s YOUR favorite part of this classic video? I mean there’s so much to choose from. For me, it’s a tie between the pants (rumor is Journey had an magic EnTightening prototype) and the overly telegraphed emotive lipsync moves so drastic it would appear the vid director was not only appealing to hearing-challenged viewers but also those who’ve literally never experienced human emotion & don’t know how to identify it.

But that floating wall keyboard is pretty fucking awesome, too.

sea change

Last night we finished folding the laundry and bundled the kids up into the car and headed out of town. On the way we left the children at a friend’s; a couple hours later my mom would grab them up for a sleepover at her house. Ralph and I are off to Seattle to (first) phở followed by a three-band set at the Tractor Tavern in Ballard.

After we dropped the kids off I was quiet in the car for the first couple minutes of our trip because, truth be told, I didn’t want to drive to Seattle. I wanted to be in Seattle for a rock show – hell yes, with our kids would be nice, but with just Ralph is awesome too. But five hours of driving? Ugh. I’m just not really into mandatory periods of stationary activity (not even sleep, which I struggle with).

However what Ralph hadn’t really got across to me was that A. the band he was interested in was pretty excellent, and B. we’d be seeing friends from a decade back (two of which were in this band). In fact the “boys” I knew who more or less followed Ralph’s little math rock effort around have now become men – with beards and mustaches and seemingly feet gained in height – and two of them have stayed consistent in their hard work at TEH ROCK to become musicians of an incredible prowess and creativity. It was sheer joy to watch them and even more enjoyable to catch up, to talk and to share again. All four men resisted my proffered handshake and instead enveloped my husband and I in warm hugs.  Two of them recently married, they seemed happy to see us perhaps in part because ten years later we’re happily partnered, are raising kids and loving it, and Ralph still plays music.

I like going to shows with my husband, but it was an unexpected blessing to see these “boys” again (there are four in all) and to remember a time in my life fondly, that of Ralph’s little band groupie chemical-engineer girlfriend hanging out weekend after weekend at this-or-that pissant show. It was a Christian punk scene and I’ve never since encountered a group more open, alive, awake, earnest, energetic, humble, loving, and enthusiastic.

It’s a good thing.

On the drive home I think to myself that those times in our life we’re so passionate about, those things never really go away, even if we forget them for awhile…

This morning and afternoon the stellar sunshine took a turn. Being a one-car family? I totally love it. But the inconvenience factor makes itself known now and then, as today when the kids and I ran errands in a wind- and rainstorm – on our bikes. However it was actually delightfully warm and the wind, which was strong enough to knock out power here and there, threw Nels off his bike a time or too – to his utter wild happiness.  We took our time and made our way safely about town, hanging our coats up at home and cranking the heat.  The gift balaclava my girl Abi made me is long-stretched into ridiculousness; today I pulled a yarn bull of a rich red tweed out of my little cupboard and cast on seventy stitches for a warm hat for the spring gusts.