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Weekend Wisdom

Weekend Wisdom – 1/14

“With great power, there must also come great responsibility.”

Ever since I heard Uncle Ben mutter those words to Peter Parker (Spiderman) they have replayed in my head, but over time the statement has evolved in my mind as,

“With freedom, there must also come great responsibility”

If there is a common theme in all of my life, it was the desire for independence.  Not only the average teen desire to be independent of parents, but independent of doctors and teachers and other people who might exert some authority over me.  It’s in my blood to be free.

Freedom is important to me.  I feel that as citizens of earth we are all entitled to personal and political freedom and it’s something I think about a lot.  I believe the government is incredibly heavy handed and far reaching, but we the people have allowed it.  We’ve allowed them to reach into every nook and cranny of our lives, by allowing them to take responsibility for us.  Can it change?  Absolutely.  Will it change?  I don’t know, but I’m hopeful.  If it is going to change then there needs to be a huge shift in the way people think and live.

My personal trifecta:

Independence * Responsibility * Freedom

Internet Potpourri:

Speaking of freedom, I’ve recently discovered John Mackey, the CEO for Whole Foods.  Whole Foods just gained a new customer, now if only there was one close by.  (Thanks Kelly Halldorson for sharing this first)

There has recently been much discussion about this article about Chinese parenting.  Some find it horrifying, some find it a reminder that they aren’t good enough parents.  Some aren’t buying it.  What do you think?  What is your definition of success?  I’ll hold my tongue.

More proof that school is becoming increasingly like prison and not a safe place for learning.  If there is one thing I feel children should be able to do, it’s make mistakes.

This is something TJ and I have been following, since we are both MMA fans.  I feel like the school made a huge mistake and are sending the wrong message.

Should you be able to feed people who are hungry without a permit?

I love inspirational people, as do most of us.  But the people that inspire me are often the ones who really think outside the box.

And finally, the latest buzz around the internet, your astrological sign.  What most articles aren’t telling you.

Weekend Wisdom 1/8

We made it through our first week in January of 2011!  It’s been all that I thought it might be.  Cold, rainy, and a good time for baking bread because it helps keep the house warm.  I’ll share a recipe once I master the bread.  Gluten free bread is a real b. i. t. c. h. to get a rise out of.

Today’s weekend wisdom comes from my tea.

From the box: “Perserverance: By overcoming the strong current against which he swims, the koi (or carp) reminds us that we have the freedom to move in any direction we choose.”

From the tag: “True wealth is the ability to let go of your possessions.”

That last one was just for me.  I just know it!

Here’s what I’ve been reading lately:

The Pulse of the Nation: US Mood Throughout the day inferred from Twitter

“Some have impulse control problems and have trouble keeping their hands to themselves; others don’t always see that actions have consequences; a few suffer terribly from separation anxiety.  These are Harvard undergraduate students.

All I can say is “Duh!”  and I wish that they didn’t think ANY fluoride is OK!

I really didn’t expect this, but what a nice surprise!

Facebook issues an apology over birth photos, now I just wish they’d stop deleting breastfeeding photos.  It’s a boob.  Get over it.

And finally, we’ve been through this before.  Bad idea!

Weekend Wisdom – New Year’s Edition

I’m feeling like I need a New Year’s Resolution.  The truth is, I don’t have one.  I always thought it sort of silly to resolve to do (or not do) certain things at the end of the year.  Every year I hear how next year is going to be better than last.  Everyone’s going to get skinny!  They are going to drink less and be more patient!  They are going to travel more and be more involved with something or other!

I see New Years as the start of a New Year, not a new me.  I’ll wake up on January 1st not much different then on December 31st.  I’ll still have all the same virtues and all the same hang-ups (and in younger days, maybe a hang-OVER).  I’m still me, just one day older then I was yesterday.

Throughout the year, I resolve to do a lot of things.  I am always trying to be a better mom, a better wife, and a better me.  But I am really OK with me, as I stand here, right now.  Just because I like to improve or make changes for myself doesn’t mean I want to feel as if I’m not OK, just the way I am or just the way my life is.

So I guess I won’t be making any New Year’s Resolutions.  I’ll just be living in the moment and letting each moment pass just like I did before.  In 2011, I’m sure I’ll try a lot of new things, resolve to change a lot of things, and hopefully follow through with some of the plans and ideas and dreams that I have.  And if I don’t?  It’s OK, because if I’ve chosen against something, I’ve probably chosen for something else.

What I will do…  I will reflect on the year and how it’s changed me and made me who I am.  I’ll reflect on how far my family has come.  I’ll reflect on the experiences of the past year and what I’ve learned from them.  This New Year’s Eve we will toast 2010 and drink to 2011!


Happy New Year from our home to yours!

May 2011 be everything it is meant to be.

* * * * *

I think you’ll enjoy these to start off your new year:

  • Fascinating video about the population from National Geographic.  Unschooling math anyone?
  • Everett Bogue has put this this thought provoking article, How to Destroy Your Past Lives.  I’ve hung on to hand written journals since 1995.  I’ve seriously considered burning them; I just don’t know who that person is anymore.  This article has solidified that decision.
  • A true revolutionary.  She’ll hold your hand and kick your ass at the same time. Resolutions are for chumps…
  • Resolution Revolution.  A new way to look at New Year’s Resolutions.
  • If I did have a resolution, it might be to show even more gratitude.
  • Some people walk through life with such organic grace, you can’t help but step back and admire the beauty.

Weekend Wisdom – Christmas Weekend 2010

We had visitors last week (miss you already!) and getting a tree was put off until what felt like like the very last minute.  When discussing our options, Skylar said he didn’t want to murder a tree.  Milo said,  “if we cut down a tree then it can’t help us breathe”. Phoenix said, “twee”.

We all came up with a cool idea to paint our tree on the sliding glass door.

When I talked to TJ, I learned that he really wanted a real tree.  He appreciates tradition more than I, but since we appreciate him so much we agreed to get a tree.

Then, the very next day, he called from work and said that he wouldn’t be bringing a tree home, he wanted us to paint one!

Then, because it’s tradition that TJ place the topper on the tree we asked him to paint the star.

This is the very first year that each and every family member took an interest in decorating the tree.  Usually I get out the decorations and the boys hang on an ornament or two and go back to whatever they are doing.  This is the most fun we’ve ever had decorating a Christmas Tree.

Your Weekend Wisdom:  Don’t be afraid to do it a little differently.

Happy Holidays to all of you!  May your holiday be filled with love, joy and paint!

Weekend Wisdom

Things have slowed down for December.  I haven’t been to Goodwill in awhile.  I haven’t listed anything on Craigslist, with the exception of the Suburban, in quite some time.  I was starting to feel a bit overwhelmed with the million and one things I wanted to do and the holidays coming.  So, I stopped.  That’s right, I just stopped.  I watch my husband work himself until he’s a freaking zombie sometimes and I think I am incredibly lucky to be able to stop what I’m doing when my body says…   “that’s enough”. I feel incredibly grateful to have a guy who is willing to do that for us, yet sort of sad because he is giving up a lot of could-be passions for us, like training and writing.

Anytown Devil

Frankly, we miss him during the day.  He’s awesome.  Why wouldn’t we want to hang out more? I’ve recently decided that I want to start contributing to our family’s income among a few other projects.  I was having trouble getting going and setting goals.  For me, it’s not always hard to finish something, it’s hard to start.  So I joined a team of other moms who are all supporting each other through dreams and goals and just helpng with some genuine “girl power”.  Not a lot of that girl stuff goin’ on in my house, ha!

Visionary Mom

I have this vision of of TJ driving the RV, the kids giggling in the back, and me in the passenger seat knitting.  Although, I know it won’t be always giggly and I’m not that good at knitting.  Holes, I knit a lot of holes, and not on purpose!  I think it’s just my inexperience. My cousin Kelly Eels is not inexperienced.  She knits the most AMAZING things.  Check out her yarn dying business at:

The Unique Sheep

My scarves are turning out, OK.  Just a little sad.  On the other hand, I’m getting good at knitting backwards.  Yes.  Undoing, what I’ve already done because of mistakes.

In happy news, my facebook page for my blog passed 400 yesterday!  Amazing!


We have visitors coming next week.  We are ALL very excited!  I’m sort of wishing I owned a place like this to put them up in!  I love fifties era stuff, and this makes me want to live there!

The Shady Dell

I’m also working with Cafe Press to bring you an awesome giveaway!  Check it out.

Custom Holiday Card Giveaway

I hope you all enjoy your lovely weekend.  It’s looking like I might get a little mommy time today.  TJ might take the boys somewhere for awhile today.  Whatever am I going to do with myself???

Oh, I forgot.  Our regularly scheduled downsizing will resume after the holidays and in a very systematic fashion.  That is when we start to get down to the bare essentials.  I’m really excited.  We’re ALL excited.

Weekend Wisdom – Where’s the Turkey?

Thanksgiving was awesome.  I spent two whole days in my kitchen cooking.  I’m not feeling well today, I seem to have come down with “the plague” after visiting a bunch of crazy unschoolers in Portland.  Who knew…  you don’t even have to visit a conference to get the crud.  Anyway, here’s our dinner photo.

Since I’m not feeling well, I’ll leave you with just a bit of weekend wisdom:

If you slave away your entire day cooking a Thanksgiving meal and you cook your first glorious turkey get a photo of it before your over-anxious partner decides to carve it before you can say, “where did my turkey go?”

Some links for your internetting pleasure:

The best gluten free pie crust.  I’m not even going to try my own recipe.  This one is perfect.

12 dozen places to educate yourself online for FREE!  Who needs to pay for school?  Not me!

Oooh sneaky!  I bet it doesn’t work twice though!

This map brings the continents into perspective for me, I had no idea the true size of Africa.

The other day I walked by a car with an older man in it.  The car wouldn’t start.  There were other people around so I took the boys into the restaurant.  I assumed someone would help him out.  I don’t know what I was thinking, but after watching this video I am insanely more aware of these situations, and I won’t be part of The Bystander Effect ever again.

Weekend Wisdom: Accidental Gender Stereotyping

I enjoy sewing, but I always seem to give it up and put the sewing machine away before I ever get too skilled.  I have a love of handmade things, but these days I don’t feel like I have the time and space to hand-make much of anything, except maybe cupcakes.   I don’t like store bought curtains, so we have lived without curtains in all but two rooms since we moved here.  One set I brought with us, another I made after seeing this glorious fabric at IKEA.  It had my name written all over it!  They aren’t fancy curtains, just two panels that would look utterly dreadful if it wasn’t for a pattern that I am so in love with that I would use it in every room and reupholster every piece of furniture I have.

When I’m done sewing, Skylar always takes an interest in the sewing machine.  He likes to cut and sew clothing for his stuffed animals.  When the project is finished, I pick up the sewing machine and put it away, where it sits until the next time I want or need to sew.    What I didn’t realize, is that I was interrupting his flow of creativity.  It is probably so incredibly ingrained in me that sewing is a woman’s hobby, it never even occurred to me that Skylar might like to sew regularly.  I rarely, if ever give any weight to “man’s work/woman’s work” stereotypes, but this one just might of snuck its way into my home without me even realizing it!

Not anymore! I found a permanent home for my sewing machine in a corner in my bedroom.  It’s quiet and there is plenty of room for cutting and sewing.  The other day, Skylar and I worked together on his first big project.  I went out and bought him a pattern and some flannel fabric and together we made his own lounge pants.  While I very amateurishly sewed the trickier parts like the waistband, Skylar sewed the majority of his pants on his own.  It kills me to think about the projects we could have made together if I wasn’t so quick to clean up.  But all is well, he is planning his next projects, including sewing flannel lounge pants for Milo and even a pair for TJ.

When I ask myself, “what was I thinking?”, I realize that I wasn’t.  I wasn’t thinking at all.

What I’ve Been Reading Lately:

Speaking of gender inequalities

Good food for thought on Libertarianism and Unschooling

Major health policy FAIL

Comprehensive collection of links on the current TSA mess

Today I worried that the TSA’s mess is going to cover up this one

And finally, something to make you smile

Sorry to bombard you with such heavy reading.  Maybe it’s the cold air or the rainy season creeping up on me.  There are days when I feel as light as a tiny soap bubble, but on occasion my tiny bubble pops and I see what is happening out there in the world.

Weekend Wisdom: Bike Rides With TJ

A little Weekend Wisdom from TJ:

In preparing for setting out on our new journey, we’ve created a list of important things that we want to take with us.  With a limited amount of space, you have no choice but to narrow down your possessions to only the things that are truly important.  One of those things for us was making sure that we all have a decent bike.  Craigslist and Ebay have been our best friends in the last month, so with the money from the things we’ve begun to sell, we had plenty to get bikes for Heather and I, get Milo a tandem trailer, some helmets, and a seat for Phoenix that attaches in front of Heather on her bike.  Skylar already had a nice bike that we had picked up in VT from Craigslist (FOR FREE!) a while back, so we were all set.

On our first bike ride with the tandem trailer, Skylar, Milo and I headed down to the beach from our house, did a big loop around Lincoln Park, and then headed back up the hill to our house.  2 miles, and a 500 foot vertical climb.  We were heaving, and I was worried that the boys would never take another bike ride with me again!  With great effort, we made it home.  Sadly, Skylar told me he had actually died a few blocks back.  I thought for sure I had ruined it by taking them on such a treacherous run in our first outing.  Unfortunately, no matter where we go, it’s all uphill back to our house.  After getting home, putting the bikes away in the garage, both boys were taking their helmets off and exclaiming in between breaths “That was awesome!”

Yup, that WAS awesome.  We’ve been having such fun with the bike rides together, that even the endless Seattle winter drizzle that has already begun hasn’t deterred us, and now that Phoenix’s seat has arrived, we’re plotting out routes for a really long ride from Lincoln Park, all the way up to Alki Beach, rain and all.  It’s funny how getting rid of all of this other clutter in preparation for our move has given us new ways to enjoy today, in the place where we are right now.  ~TJ

Enjoy these links courtesy of me (Heather):

Have you seen the Lego Quest blog yet?  Check it out!

Awesome guest post on the Organic Sister about relationships and realizations.

Unschooling Bumper Stickers you can order by emailing:

On raising children without religion

I’m giving this a try starting in December

Two of my favorite things, Alton Brown and Candy Corn

I *need* to make a gluten free version of these

I really want to make this!

Weekend Wisdom: Minimizing Moving

In preparation for transitioning into an RV in the spring, we’ve packed up another bunch  of boxes to send off to Goodwill.  I don’t even want to think about why we brought the shit with us to Seattle in the first place.  So far, no one has missed anything at all.  The kids say they haven’t noticed anything even being gone.

Someone asked TJ for some “moving across the country advice”.  He said, “Get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year.  When you’re down to just what you think you need, get rid of more.  Then , if what’s left doesn’t fit in the trunk of your car, hire movers.  The weight you saved with the movers will translate into being able to buy more stuff when you get there if you need to.”  Seriously.  What a freaking waste of money.  Oh…  I said I wouldn’t think about it and I did.  Oops.

Bringing all of our things was more emotional security than it was an actual need.  We moved so far from anything even remotely familiar that being surrounded by our old things was comforting to each of us.  I’m glad we did it.  I’m glad we spent the money.  I’m glad we brought everything we could fit and afford.  We now know, without a shadow of a doubt that we will never, make that mistake again.  Or we might.  At least we learned from it.

We are now simplifying in the most extreme way.  I’m happy to have the time to do it slowly though.  When we sold our house in Vermont, the whole experience seemed to go so fast!

Goodwill Donation #3 - I wonder if Jean will see anything familiar?

The Blogosphere:

It seems the RV dream is not only popular, but catchy.

On Halloween costumes: “I am not worried that your son will grow up to be an actual ninja so back off.”

An honest future: “It would be nice to know someone else who believes in peaceful parenting and allowing kids to learn at their own pace who is also caring for a child long term.”

My friend Clint Stonebreaker on relationships.  “Trust yourself.  Be clear and confident in your ideas. Allow yourself to evolve.

From the Depths of the Interweb:

A nice history of the freedom stripping drinking age laws.

“If you look closely at a tree you’ll notice its knobs and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully.”  – Matthew Fox

Sin City Tunnel People.  I have no words for this.

Bloggers Beware

Weekend Wisdom – Looking Forward

Look for how to make good use of those jack-o-lanterns with a gluten free pumpkin cupcake recipe on Monday or Tuesdays blog post.  I can’t decide…  Lemon, ginger cream cheese frosting or vanilla spiced frosting.  Decisions.  Decisions.

Halloween always seems to begin that time of year known as “The Holidays”.  Some people *love* the holidays and some people *dread* the holidays.  I’ve definitely felt both in my lifetime, for many different reasons.  But the one thing I look forward to is the food!  I cannot wait to plan our Thanksgiving in Seattle and bake my very first turkey.  You’ll have to check back (or come over) to see if it’s a WIN or a complete disaster.


And speaking of November, it’s about time you started thinking about Christmas gifts!  Maybe you’ll create experiences, maybe you’ll buy gifts, or maybe you’ll go homemade as we try and do each year.  On my blog, I’d like to do a few small giveaways in the month of November.  Maybe you have an etsy shop, an ebay store, or something else you’d like to give a bit of advertising for the holidays!  Send me an email and let me know what product or service you have to offer!  If you know someone else who might be interested, please pass this information on to them.  Just hurry, November is just a couple days away!  Can you believe that? Message me.

Fun, Interesting, and Strange:

I love vintage ads.  I don’t know why, since they can be extremely sexist.  They just make me laugh and I can’t get enough of them.

The Woot blog recently featured this awesome video.  I’ve always known bubbles were magical, but apparently some more than others.

I had wanted to make a gluten free pumpkin pie, but decided on reserving the pumpkins for cupcakes isntead.  I know…  big shocker there!  Here is the recipe I was going to use.  Let me know how it turns out.

As we begin our own journey of life on the road, we entertain thoughts about what it actually means to support to our family in terms outside of financial abundance.  A great post about Unjobbing from Tara over at The Organic Sister.


The 88 year old house that journalism built.


This year for my pumpkin I was going to carve out a cupcake.  Then I discovered an angry looking photo of TJ.  So, here it is…  my TJ-O-Lantern.