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On being different; one mama’s story

On being different; one mama’s story

When the experts said my son was fine, in my heart I knew there was more to the story.

A sick day shared with a spying hen

A sick day shared with a spying hen

Brynn’s fever broke in the middle of the night, so what I worried might be strep was just some vigilante virus using my daughter as a germ-hostel as it makes its way through the child population. We laid low today.  Books and jammies and blankets […]

The best laid plans…

The best laid plans…

Today started out according to plan.

It’s our week off of school (we home-school six weeks on, one week off, year-round), but I still like to gather every morning for Symposium, the name of which I shamelessly stole from the lovely Sarah Mackenzie at Read Aloud Revival.  In short, Symposium consists of about an hour’s worth of enrichment, like art and music appreciation, read-alouds, deep dives into topics the kids are digging.  Last week we researched the fate of the Dodo bird.

Anyway, we gathered for CNN 10 – news for kids – to keep up on current events; some crazy-interesting science videos at Sick Science! (did you know you can flash-freeze a bottle of water with a little ice and rock salt?  Me neither.); and worked on our current read-aloud, Winterfrost, by Michelle Houts.  The jury’s still out on Winterfrost; so far not enough dialogue or character development, but we’re only 1/4 of the way through.

Then off to dance class.  We’re blessed with a fantastic studio that offers midday lessons especially for homeschoolers.  Ballet for Brynn, hip-hop for Alex, which includes a freaking AWESOME dub-step remix of Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, but I digress.

At this point things started to go sideways.  Brynn emerged from ballet looking sort of deflated.  “I’m tired and my throat hurts,” she announced.

So, instead of completing Operation Clean Bedroom and heading out to explore the world, we put life on hold and curled up in the living room.  Brynn eventually spiked a fever, so of course I let her binge-watch season 3 of My Little Pony as she sipped ice water and munched on saltines.

Hubs came home and graciously cooked us a fabulous pot of his world-famous split pea soup, I built a fire in the wood-burner and we all watched Home Alone.  Man, that scene in the church with the kid and the old man set to O Holy Night gets me every time.

Did today go according to plan?  Nope.  If I’m being honest, most of them don’t.  And that’s okay, because they’re still wonderful.

Update:  Brynn’s sore throat subsided, and her fever’s descending.  I foresee plenty of blankets and books in our future.  And no Christmas shopping.

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My name is Julie and I’m a last-minute Christmas Shopper

My name is Julie and I’m a last-minute Christmas Shopper

Is it really procrastinating if you’re making a conscious effort to put something off until the last possible moment?

A Super Moon and a New Start

A Super Moon and a New Start

So yeah, I sort of dropped the blogging ball.  Again.

We don’t have to take sides

We don’t have to take sides

It’s been almost a week since Charlottesville.  I’ve spent the intervening time trying to sort through my initial reaction, my thoughts and the national fallout.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Is it necessary to spend all this time calling each other out, skewering everyone with an opinion not in-line with our own?  Or would it be better to find common ground, come together to be a force for good?  I’m betting, as someone much wiser than me once said, if we give it a chance, we’ll find we have much more in common that we think.


We don’t have to take sides.

I can denounce and condemn the white supremacists’ twisted, evil ideology and their abhorrent “protest.”

That doesn’t mean I support the Antifa or #BLM response.

I can reject the anti-fascist tactics of violence and urine-flinging and know that this behavior will never, in any way, change beliefs on either side.

That doesn’t mean I agree with neo-nazis.

They say that the only thing needed for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.

I agree with that, but nobody gets to tell me what my vision of “not nothing” should be.

For Tina Fey, it’s eating sheet cake.  Which appears to be code for: turn your back on the tantrum-throwers long enough and they will stop.  Might just work.  It worked with my three year-old.

Tina Fey and I, we don’t quite see eye-to-eye politically.

And I still think she’s hilarious.

I can support our country’s freedom of speech, which grudgingly includes the protection of our citizens who choose to spout bigotry and hate.

That doesn’t mean I’m giving them a pass.  It means I won’t give up our freedoms to shut them up.  I’m sure there are other ways to shut them up.  Not listening to them, and not giving them the same amount of publicity as Miley Cyrus would be a nice starting point.

I don’t have a national platform; I just have my little corner of the world, but I can use it to grow in kindness, love, acceptance, forgiveness and selflessness.  To try to be a force for good within my little sphere of influence.

This choice does not make me a Snowflake.

I don’t have to attend an anti-protest rally to prove I abhor white supremacy.  I don’t even have to say anything, so long as my actions as a human show what I stand for.

I get to be confused about why a small faction of idiots is allowed to dominate the news cycle for days, about why 99% of the American population already detests and rejects the KKK, and the violent response of the opposition, and yet we’re tearing ourselves apart over Trump and who’s analyzing the situation correctly.

As if there’s a correct analysis.  As if any of that matters.

We don’t have to take sides.  We are not involved in a schoolyard argument.

Most of us, certainly enough of us, already know right from wrong.  The few who are still a little hazy?  They’ll catch on eventually or, if they don’t – or won’t – they were never going to be swayed anyway.

What matters is where we take things from here.  No matter what the headlines tell us, and even though evil will persist, let’s stop pigeon-holing each other and get out in the world and find the things that unite us.  Let’s spend our energy on building up, on helping, on compassion.

So maybe I chose the wrong headline.

Let’s take sides.

Let’s take good’s side.

Photo credit: williamshannon via Visualhunt / CC BY