So tell me, tell me did you really love me / Like a friend?

Ed- this post was written for the Unschooling Blog Carnival’s tribute to fathers.

My Father, Sailing To Catalina

My father was intelligent, soft-spoken and thoughtful. He was educated but more importantly, self-educated and confident in himself. He was an atheist, but one of the more spiritual people I’ve known. He had a sharp mind. He could finish any crossword puzzle and remember any fact he’d read. He could conduct himself like a gentleman, and often did.

But he was also irreverent and profane. One minute he’d be telling a simple and profound Buddhist koan and the next he’d be loudly cursing at the dinner table, bitching that the utilities company had sent him a cheeky mailing for being a few days late on the light bill. He’d be all wound up and talking about what jackasses they were. He’s probably sitting there with his shirt off. And his teeth, a half-gold-filled mess from a barfight in the Navy years ago, talking a little too loud with like, scrambled eggs flecking into his beard.

My father was a long-distance runner, a pursuit he started in his forties when we moved to Grays Harbor in 1984. He was avid and solitary in this pursuit, patiently and daily working running into his schedule. I always understood he was taking care of his mind and spirit as well as his body. And his daily work in taking this time for himself was a wonderful example for me. Later, when I got my hardest assignments ever, the boot camp of early parenthood (so many diapers and cleaning and breastfeeding and constant housework), and then the daily work of managing my own Recovery from alcoholism, my father’s own patience, persistence, and daily diligence already lived within me, a wellspring to help me take care of myself.

Burger King, I Think

My father taught me the honor of any work well done. My first memories of him as a working man were in southern California where he suited up and showed up as a janitor (we didn’t say “custodian” back then). Later, my Buddhist practice taught me the same lessons. I could have my elbows in soap suds and spraying diapers day in and day out, and have the ringing commentary of my ex-coworkers in my ears (“It’s a shame you’re home with kids… you had such a good brain”) but I honored myself and my work.

My father enjoyed my children, and he defended my fierce desire to do better by them. My brother and I attended public school, but my father always told me he thought homeschooling was the better choice for any child. This was said so simply and I always understood that whatever reasons my parents had to send us to school, they had done the best they could with what they had. And yet later, when I brought my kids home from school, I knew I had his support in pursuing a different path than how I’d been raised. He said to me simply, only months before he finally succumbed to cancer, he worried I wouldn’t have enough time to myself if we homeschooled. 2008, and he was the one person who asked me how many hours I’d had to myself since the kids were born. It brings tears to my eyes to remember today.

Always Bitchy

Earlier in life:

My father watched me at age seventeen as I sat at the dinner table quietly, broken and hurt from the failed and abusive relationship I’d tortured myself with during my young adulthood, culminating in an abortion that had left me empty and sad and alone. I stood up from the table and went up to my room and sat on my bed and he alone followed me and held me when I cried, because it hurt so much. I don’t think we said a word about it.

My father was a gentle man, and this quality is amongst my most treasured to reflect upon.

Despite his example, I didn’t grow up to be a gentle woman. In fact, I was not a gentle child,  teen, young adult, or mother. I have a violent nature. But throughout my troubles my father was patient, and persistent, and he loved me. He was a lighthouse, because throughout my problems I perceived that Gentleness was possible.

My father was nurturing and loving. He was quiet and his actions spoke for him more than his words did. I miss him so terribly that I can’t write more than a reflective sentence or two without crying. I will always be grateful for not only the gift of life, but the gifts of nurture, serenity, and personal integrity.

My father was there for me when I entered this world, and we were there for one another while we shared the road together. I was there for my father when he died. I had this profound honor. I nursed him and held his hand and tried to gently guide him as he breathed his last. When he died I was left alone with him.

And I put my head on his chest and I cried like I’ve never cried before or since.

My Father

My Father, Straight-Arrow

“this movie is just ropes & asses!”

My mom and I exchanged Mother’s Day gifts yesterday, before she traveled south to take care of my grandfather for a month. I would have liked to have spent the day taking her out to lunch and such, but she had to get herself on the road.

I had a lovely day today. The first thing my son said to me this morning was, “Happy Mother’s Day”. As I did my computer-thing he called for me to give him some couch snuggles. So, that had to happen.

My Mother's Day So Far

The rest of the day spun out beautifully. Fresh flowers, awesomeness, sunshine, good food, friends, hanging new curtains. The kids caught a frog then charged neighborhood kids five cents to look at it in its temporary habitat, a wagon filled with water and various floating frog-platform fauna.

Frog In A Jar

Treatment center work. I was not able to bike as I seem to have injured my knee, and any biking hills are treacherous. I’m trying to be patient through this. The work, though, was good for me. And I hope, for others. Afterward a man took me aside and thanked me and said, “Good job.” Something or some things I had shared, resonated with him. He shared a little about his most recent DUI and some medication he was detoxing from. He’s off to another treatment center tomorrow – I will probably never see him again.

Home to the summer-warm house and dusk. Homemade dinner by husband, hot bath.

Soon: time for bed.

But now? Time for a silly-arsed B-movie.

 
I hope you all have a soft and loving bosom to rest upon, or that you find one soon.

My Mother's Day

EXTREME

*grows extra tits to breastfeed EVERYONE, then does some sick BASE jumping*

Homeschool Swim. @stuffnelssays In The Cat-Bird Seat

Today after Homeschool Swim I spent a good part of my day taking a community elder somewhere he needed to be. He has limited funds and transportation and we treated him to dinner as well. Originally I’d planned on taking the trip without the kids, but it turned out the kids needed to come along. It was a good trip but somehow on the drive back I was on my last nerve.

Anyway. A few pics.

Olympia:

Vanilla Salted Caramel Creamcheese At Bonjour Cupcakes In Olympia

A cupcake shop. A CUPCAKE SHOP. Yes, this is a real thing. Yes, it’s just a wonderful thing. My kids were so pleased. Between that, and the “beautiful”/”amazing” Westgate mall, and a large squirrel, and a playground, they were super-happy. Everyone should be this easy to please.

Playground In Oly

Playground & sunshine & weird Gollum-like mouth-expressions.

Today: Time magazine aired a magazine cover with an incredibly annoying headline and tagline – while purporting a premise I feel entirely skeptical about (i.e. a supposed fair and balanced discussion of “attachment parenting”, perhaps not so fair and balanced considering the cover frames it as as “exteme” and in the most mommy-warmongering manner).

ATTACHMENT PARENTING – SO EXTREME!!!11!

EXTREME

Anyway, Arwyn from Raising Boychick had already been musing this “AP=anti-feminist” argument a while back before said polemic cover asploded onto the internet, and I’m honored my online comments were included in her post, since she’s got her shit together when it comes to anti-oppression work.

This mama’s a bit cranky. Time for some snuggling and B-movie time with the husband.

shaken, not stirred

Today I plunged myself into Sucktown as I had two sewing projects, in a row, go poorly. Actually, kinda, three. A week ago two wee infant dresses I had a vision for ended up not quite working out to my satisfaction. Then the Western-style shirt I finished today gave me fits from start to end. The end result, I admit (pictures tomorrow) is adorable – but my ass is haunted by how difficult the project was. I was even seething with, well not rage, but high-degree irritation at points. And today, Sewing Assery #3? I took a series of shortcuts on some pants for Nels figuring it wouldn’t be a big deal but, you know what, the project really suffered from me doing so. Enough I know, as I sit here, I’m going to totally tear out seams and fix the mess even though damn I so do not want to re-sew on pants.

I’m not sure how many people who read can relate to how much I can struggle when my sewing goes poorly. When it comes to this craft I am used to things going my way, and when they don’t, I have a hard time making a learning experience out of the business. I end up believing I’m wasting my time while I could be benefiting others in some way. It’s a horrid mind-suck. Oddly I am less exacting when it comes to my writing – more likely, in that case, to give my best, whatever I have, and let it lie.

This last week or two I’ve also been struggling with some Old Business that very rarely rears his head any more: the (unrecognized) work of the domestic. Today I got up, fed cats, cleaned the bathroom, washed, dried, and put away clothes, washed and dried dishes, made up home-cookin’ for the family, fed the cats, cleaned up after the cats, sent off emails. I do stuff like this every day. I am really fortunate I have my head and heart in the work and I experience gratification from performing the basics with mindfulness. But sometimes this little doubt creeps in, You Do Shit Work And You Don’t Matter. I remember what it was like to have more status’d work and the praises I used to get. Yeah, it was false pride, and yeah, it was a life built on (my concepts of) other people’s esteem, and I freely admit I like my life a lot better today. It’s just that sly voice and I don’t always have a defense against it. Ugh.e

Writing this out I realize the mind has just found another way to criticize my personhood. I relate this quite hand-in-hand with life as a so-called recovered alcoholic. The self-criticism is a hell of a thing for most people, and I have some familiarity with the various methods people use (not all of them chemical) to drown that narrative out.  Today I cope with feelings and with reality without self-medicating through the rituals and chemicals of drug and alcohol use. And the cliche is true, my worse day sober is well and away better than my best day using. Life sober might be painful here and there but the suffering is vastly reduced. Today I have the courage to publicly admit what’s going on (I will note I had this courage, here and there, before sobriety) and today I have a degree of bravery and serenity that I didn’t used to. I am glad to live my life sober even at its hardest, truly glad to live this way, despite occasional difficult circumstances originating from between my ears.

I will add I had a lovely time, before the sewing debacle, with the children. I packed up this morning (oh right, another handful of “chores” I forgot to mention) and we hit the YMCA for swimming this afternoon. Swimming with my kids is really amazing because, of course, it feels good and life without school is like a holiday, always – but also, because their energy and resiliency is just astounding. Even the days I’m not quite right, they seem to be. The children inspire me in a deep and satisfying fashion and it’s funny… I didn’t plan it that way, it just ended up happening. My children and my family life have been the most unexpected twist, and series of adventures, in my whole life. The life I’ve had is not something I thought I’d have in store for me ten years ago, that’s for sure.

In my wildest imaginings I wouldn’t think I’d have it so good. I hope my kids are a legacy for that kind of life, well-lived and worn-in, joyous and free. It really is at least part-accident I’ve done so well by them, or maybe that I didn’t do so well but they thrived anyway, considering what a mess I’ve been here and there.

“May these beings be free from animosity, free from oppression, free from trouble, and may they look after themselves with ease!”

Goodnight!

the staff of Life

The last couple days I’ve been really struggling. Old Behavior, it’s called. I’ve felt irritation at people several times during the day, which I can truthfully say is a very rare event these days. I’ve felt easily overhwhelmed by the kids’ behaviors, and have responded rather short-tempered. Today I spoke sharply to my daughter as I was angry with something she had or hadn’t done. Nels immediately rebuked me: “Mama, that’s not okay. You hurt her feelings. Imagined getting slapped, hard. That’s probably how that felt.”

The kids are amazing. Talk about moving targets. I used to behave a lot worse than than just taking a “tone” with them. You know, I’m glad they know a violation and say so. I am seriously so fucking glad. Somehow even in a decade of my mistakes I didn’t hammer into them to shove their feelings down deep. They feel absolutely fine speaking up.

I didn’t learn how to speak up until I was thirty-four.

It’s still not easy.

By the way, I’ve been thinking of writing a piece for one of the mags I enjoy working with. It was going to be, Practices I’ve Learned in Parenting (but with a Sleek! Hip! Sexy! Title), or something. You know. The things I’ve found helpful and consistently true. Can I write it without sounding condescending, or as if I’ve Figured It All Out (because: I haven’t)?

Anyway, today it occurred to me the care of and investment in children are wonderful exercises for smashing the illusion of Control and the resultant suffering from trying to have Control. Either that, or you can avoid this opportunity and try to control the children, and the process of living together. You will get very ill (and hurt the kids besides). In fact, just last night I heard of a friend who made themselves very, very sick trying to do this. The Control thing. Anyway, this morning as soon as Nels was up, before my coffee, he was making bread. Very ambitiously so, and he had the whole business just about right, including knowing the relevant ingredients, which is interesting because we’ve never directly taught him. But today he was 100 PERCENT INTO MAKING BREAD ZOMG!!1!

We were pressed for time, so I asked him to wait. I made them pancakes (with his very avid assistance) and cut up some fruit for breakfast so we could make our appointment on time. As soon as Nels was back home, many playdates later and in the evening, he was at it again. BREAD. By this time I was trying to finish a sewing project but I gave him the guidance he asked for, hollering measurement estimations toward the kitchen, which he followed perfectly well. The dough I sampled before we put it up for its first rise was tender, smooth, and delicious.

As I type the dough is on its final rise, resting on parchment paper. After one or two more bread-making events he’ll be quite competent.

I didn’t learn how to make bread until I was about thirty-two.

But anyway, yeah. Living with children the way we do, I don’t get to decide when they want to learn something (very different than  school… which is always telling kids when to learn something and how). It’s not only about not trying to have Control; it’s an exercise in Setting Aside. Someone else needs my help and what I want to do with my life at that second isn’t so important after all.

If I’d remember this consistently, I’d consistently be the parent I always admired.

Made me pine / For the lamplight / Where you lie

Sometimes I wonder if those reading here, this last year’s open self-identification as a recovered alcoholic, guess at the nature of my previous drinking. Like how much secret guzzling did I do, quantaties. I’m going to get to that in a minute but first I wanted to say some things about my day.

Today I got myself up early after a very poor sleep in order to make the commitments I said I would.

Today I cared for my son and daughter by putting away laundry and getting breakfast ready and pareparing the house for a calm and nurturing environment, and by driving my son the special place he wanted to go.

Today I texted a sick friend and offered to bring her something if she needed it.

Today I drove in the car and smoked a cigarette and sang along quite joyfully and felt so happy to have a car and gas money.

Today I made time to meet with and talk to another friend about something that was troubling her, because I care and I hoped she trusted me enough to talk, and I hope she didn’t later regret that in any way.

Today I asked after a man’s health and heard he’d been having a hard time with a rather scary event. I listened and we talked a while about his physical ailments and his perceived dangers of semi-longterm prescribed narcotic medication.

Today on two separate occasions I gave a man a cigarette. In one case, the fellow needed one. In the second case, I’d remembered the young man likes the kind I smoke. Directly after this transaction he asked for a hug and I gave him one, and today it was a loving and completely comfortable and genuine hug, because today that’s what I really truly deeply have to offer.

Today I talked with a practitioner who felt compelled to come out to me, although she told me she hadn’t yet done publicly or to her employer.

Today I took a phone call and laid aside plans to listen to and discuss someone with a long-standing serious health issue that had recently come to a head.

Today I asked my mother about her day and took a few minutes to give her attention.

Today when I came across my husband during our various activities, I asked him, “How are you?” or “How was work?” and I genuinely wanted to hear, and I listened as best I could.

Today I assisted another woman in Recovery in the way I understood that woman wanted my help.

Today I answered an email from across the country about a parenting/family issue that was giving the author some grief.

Today I coped with my physical pain by expressing gratitude for those who help me (the practitioners, family, and friends) and accepting that Ouch, It Hurts.

Today instead of the sewing I’d longed to do, I recognized my pain level and instead watched an old B-movie while I rested.

Today I apologized to a friend for a careless mistake I’d made.

Today I treated my children well.

I do not write these items out to try to look good for others. I write them because they are directly related to the quality and experience of my sobriety. To respond to my inferences earlier, I used to drink, mostly starting around dinner dime, for medicinal effect. If you ever came over you’d see how I drank, I didn’t get too sloppy. Maybe I even looked “normal”. I certainly had many people express surprise when I came out as alcoholic and needing help.

But man, it had nothing to do with how many glasses of wine or how many fingers of Jack. See the days I worked hardest to be a “good” mom (warning on that link, ranty), or deal with the latest setback, or my anger at my husband. The days I tried to do things to make my friends happy. You know, I had less quality friends then and fewer friends, than I do now. But anyway back then I had to wonder about how those friends felt about me. I felt I should “fix” them if they were in trouble. I felt I had to perform as a “good friend” just like my “good mom” stuff. If I made a mistake I felt humiliated, too much show to make a good amends. The friends who behaved toward me in ways that hurt, I ended up avoiding them, effectually cutting them out of my life.

None of that is how I live today. The difference may not be something that loud and evident but is experienced so deeply it is truly a revelation to write.

I don’t give the list of the things I did today to brag. Or to try that Sisyphean effort of being “good”. It’s to remind myself of the woman I am today, of what my actions evidence. That’s not who I used to be.

quality to quantity

This year my family and I would like to attend the Life Is Good Unschooling Conference in late May, 2012. The cost for the conference is $175. The cost for the hotel is $90/night, and we would like to stay the full week. This would officially be the longest “vacation” our foursome has ever had. If we do take it.

~$900 (not including meals away from home) is a very high pricetag indeed for us Hogabooms.

At this point it is kind of a pipe dream that we may even be able to go.

Any donation is helpful. I have had some incredibly wonderful experiences in generosity and support from my readers. If you click the link “What’s all this, then?” below the big pink donation button to the right —>, you can read a bit more about ways other than cold hard cash to support myself, my blog, my writings, my work, and my family.

Thank you very much for being the most lovely readers and commentariat a woman could ask for.

***

So, I’ve been elbows-deep in Recovery work the last couple days and I’ve just about fried my brain. Running from doctors’ appointments to feeding and picking up kids, cleaning up around home, meetings and one-on-one help, answering phone calls from people who, if they don’t get help, well, they could die a horrid death. Plain and simple. I know it’s not my sole job to keep other people alive nor sober, as my own sobriety is enough in my hands, but it’s just the truth, people die, so calls I get are pretty important.

Today at the Treatment Center the topic is Anger. This is a good one. Hands-down the most honest conversations I’ve been exposed to have been in the rooms of Recovery. Never have I seen personal responsibility taken to the utmost level; never, concomitantly, have I seen the ugliness of the human condition, the kinds of depraved creatures we work ourselves into. Later in the day I’m laughing in a new cafe with two friends; my mom brings the children along to join us. During lunch I drink an espresso doppio. I’m pleased there’s a new place to get a great sandwich. It’s rainy and shitty and blowy outside.

More phone calls; more work. At the end of the day I’m so spent that if I could literally have any wish for myself I wouldn’t know what to wish for. This is not a good sign. I am completely tapped out.

I move through a small subsistence of activity. I show the children how to make an incense offering. Daily I teach my children a little more about housekeeping life (Phoenix recently learned how to clean the bathroom sink with Borax), and they apprentice with a willing spirit. A friend of Nels’ comes over and the two boys rough and tumble. Phoenix puts her arms around me and kisses me and whisper-snuggles, “I love you.” I wash, dry, fold and put away clothes. I take the lemon tree in for a long drink in the shower, and I clean the table. I pick up Ralph’s guitar and figure out a song. I haven’t played in something like twelve years.

Tomorrow I wake up a bit early to get my work done and head out to donate blood. At all places, the winery in Westport. I haven’t been there yet, although I remember biking past it on our camping trip a few summers ago. I hope the roads are good, and I hope my energy returns. I haven’t sewn in a few days and I feel a bit sad.

all I want for Christmas

In the morning I’m making pancakes, I make small and very fluffy ones, delicious. I even warm the 100% maple syrup, wiping the glass bottle with a hot damp rag and applying exactly as much or little syrup as the kidlets require. And I’m cutting up naval oranges and sipping coffee and drinking yet more water, and the kids finish their breakfast and then brush teeth and then get all dressed warm. It’s cold, a cutting cold, but nice and sunny and clear.

Phoenix is getting quite proficient in housework as she nears adult size; she can wash dishes and put away laundry and tidy up her room to a great standard. While I’m glad for help, there’s something devastating about watching one’s “baby” reach up easily and get something off the top of the fridge. NO SERIOUSLY THEY ARE STILL THIS TINY IN MY MIND.

So, the kids take our timeline seriously and do everything they can to help, feeding cats then throwing them outside (last night we had a mystery cat invade the gecko’s terrarium – our lizard is okay, but no unsupervised cats inside). Nels usually handles the feeding and watering of the kitties since he’s smaller and the job works for him.

“Mama, I love you,” my son says to me as I tie up his shoes. I know that a big part of why the kids love me is because I make them pancakes and remember their favorite stories to read and I sew them their favorite clothes and I take care of so many of their every needs. But there’s another part, the intimacy we have as a family, the memories snuggling up to movies and popcorn at night, then in the day driving and listening to Ke$ha super-super loud. Even when I’m not feeling well I can still sit down to knit and they’re on my lap or nearby in minutes.

I do my volunteer bit at the Treatment Center two days a week; I’ve faithfully kept the calendar on Wednesdays at one PM. So today I’m taking the kids along, and then afterwards out for a chocolate soda. Sitting through my Recovery stuff is boring and there are a few other reasons for them not to be there; fortunately there’s a large park nearby both children enjoy. A little over an hour later I pick them back up they’ve got rosy cheeks and they’re tumbling in the back of the car. Later they walk over to visit their grandmother, who isn’t feeling well.

I did not have a pain-free day today but I had a day lived in gratitude, which means it was a very good day indeed.

And now? Time for baths and cleanup and pajamas and snuggling over a movie involving really corny looking aliens and bad 70s mustaches. Perfect.

Oh and by the way. I found my dream job.

skateboarding

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).

skateboarding

5 minute timelapse; a roadtrip across America:

 
Film: 5 Old-Timey Prejudices That Still Exist In Every Movie from Cracked.com. 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.

Finally: WHO SOMETIMES WISHES IT WAS STILL THE 90s?

riding atop a muscular steed, looking all awesome

Friday links! A little intense, a little child/social wellbeing oriented. But also, some great world leader beefcake!

Criminally Confident In Our Kids at Free Range Kids. Lenore writes succinctly about a problem that needs remedying – and that far too many parents risk having experience with.

Unschoolers / life learners! You can participate in Dr. Peter Gray’s survey study of unschooling families (which has been vetted by people I trust, so feel free as far as I’m concerned). You can download the survey from http://www.patfarenga.com/.

Laurie Couture uses strong language about school and teachers but she also has the experience and passion to back that up. If you have a long comment/rebuttal please comment at the source: her recent piece: “What Parents Really Want to Tell Teachers” – in response to a yucky article on CNN I won’t link to here (but you can find easily enough).

It’s Time To Reclaim The M-Word; so, I think I’m going to be reading the books this woman has written. From the article interview:

“There are books galore on how to “deal” with your children, how to control them, make them fit into a routine. There is even one, which has sold over half a million copies, that tells you how to physically punish your child. But understand them? Comfort them? Dirty words.”

Last Wednesday: the anniversary of John Holt’s death. Some great writings and teachings, there:

“…[John Holt believed that] unschooling and homeschooling are self-selecting and self-correcting activities that do not need central authorities to dictate content and standards… [John Holt’s] goal was not to create an insular education movement for children but rather ‘A life worth living and work worth doing—that is what I want for children (and all people), not just, or not even, something called ‘a better education.’” ~ Pat Farenga, Holt Associates

Make: My Magic Baby Mitts. I did! (pictures soon!)

I’ve had a run of people requesting my crumpets recipe, so here it is again in case you missed it.

A Day In The Life Of An Angry Transsexual at Tranarchism. If you’re unfamiliar witht he concept of Microagressions, here’s a good illustration.

Ladies (and, I guess, gentleman), prepare to get all hot and bothered for VLADIMIR PUTIN, ACTION MAN. Question, does Mr. Putin have a sexy bod, the answer is Yes, he’s sixty and looking great. But I am laughing my ass off at the photos like, he’s kind of just posed doing ALL THIS AWESOME SHIT with only slightly different expressions, adjusted slightly as if by claymation (I wish there was one of him DELIVERING THE HELL OUT OF A BABY!!1!). h/t to Marianne who made the comparison to Kim Jong-Il Looking At Things.

Wanda Wulz, cats / photography at All Things Amazing

Quote of the week: “Forgiveness isn’t something we do for others. We do it so we can get well and move on.”

Video of the week: our favorite MLP, Pinkie Pie, losing it juuuuuust a little: