Friday, July 31, 2009

Who's With Me?!?

I just signed the contract for the 2010 LIFE is Good Conference! Plus Coming Soon: our new, improved website. Can I hear an amen!

LIFE is Good Unschooling Conference
*Learning In Freedom Everyday*

Red Lion Hotel at the Quay,
Vancouver, WA

May 27 - 30, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins

1. It's time for
universal health care.

Paris; it's not a bad place for a second honeymoon.

3. I must be getting wiser, because I sure am getting older.
(And seriously, it beats the alternative.)

4. My l
ife, in all its messy, wonderful, laugh out loud, glory, is the best thing I have ever known.

5. My
dog is simply neurotic and getting worse by the minute.

6. The last time I laughed really loudly was
while watching The Daily Show.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to
sleeping comfortably in the cooler weather, tomorrow my plans include finishing up contracts for LIFE is Good 2010 and Sunday, I want to read a good book! Suggestions?

Get your own Friday Fill-Ins.

Speaking of Ads

Get your ashtrays ready. The new season of Madmen starts August 16.

Best. Show. Ever.

The nostalgia, the smoking, the drama, the smoking, the intrigue, the smoking. While I'm waiting for the premiere, I took the opportunity to put myself in the action at Sterling Cooper. I'm the lady in red baby.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Good Old Days

They just don't make them like they used to.

Hey thanks, Ronnie. I see you spared no expense. And just what I always wanted, cancer sticks in their own Christmas themed coffin box. You shouldn't have. shouldn't have.

Dude, nothing says macho like a nice scarf belt.

Apparently millionaires like their wives to have that blow-up-doll expression.

Do you think they've got a brush for those eyebrows? Wicked!

"...or else mommy gets angry. You don't want to see mommy get angry."

Yeah, to slap a restraining order on you! And does anyone else see something vaguely obscene in the smoke in between them at the top? I'm just sayin'.

For the times you can't decide, shoes or boots? Now you can have it all. Plus you can just wear the vinyl knee socks by themselves. Makes me even sadder that Billy Mays died. He could have sold the hell out of these babies.

Don't you hate when the evidence spots won't come out before the police company arrives?

Canned spaghetti and raw wienies. No comment.

Excuse me, but where's the bacon?

Great, now get mommy a beer.

Off of each other perhaps?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How you feeling? Hot, Hot, Hot!


1. having or giving off heat; having a high temperature
2. having or causing a sensation of great bodily heat; attended with or producing such a sensation
3. creating a burning sensation, as on the skin or in the throat

Why yes, thank you. I would like to change locations today. Maybe...Alaska?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My Wahoo Weekend

(Obviously sung to the tune of Gilligan's Isle)

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,

A tale of a fun filled trip

That started from a small cafe

Aboard the zenmom ship.

No mate was along to navigate,

No skipper brave and sure.

One passenger drove off that day

For a Patti Digh book tour, a Patti Digh book tour.

The traffic started getting rough,
The tiny car was stuck,
If not for a latte and a music queue

The zenmom would be #%cked, the zenmom would be #%cked.

Zenmom arrived in time to schmooze and sit for a good long while

With Patti Digh...
And Carolyn too,

Then Vivian and Sabine,
Plus a dad named Bret

Were all loving life,

In a weekend with Wahoo style.

So this is the tale of my long weekend,
We shopped for some awesome crap
Like craft supplies and mullet wigs
At Goodwill and at Scrap.

The Wahoos took me everywhere,

They did their very best,

To make sure I was comfortable,

In their sweet unschooling nest.

No work, no stress no lists to do,

A life of luxury,

Even last minute tix to a concert,

The Indigo Girls to see.

So fabulous, the Portland scene,

Parades and grilled cheese smiles,

I highly recommend you try,
A weekend with Wahoo style

Horror House Detective

My brother-in-law, Michael, is publishing his first book. How cool is that? All the way cool. Go
here and check it out. You may even want a copy of your very own. I ordered mine.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Solid Potato Salad

This little clip is so much more than it may seem at first. These ladies are the real deal, a triple threat as they say in show business. They can sing, dance and sit on their own heads. There's just not enough of that in the world today.

Watch past the one minute mark to get to the really good stuff. Pay special attention at 1:33 into the film. That's
just not right amazing. And can anyone tell me, what exactly is "solid potato salad" and who would eat such a thing?

thanks to Valerie F. for finding this gem

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Where I'm From

I am from purple Easter bonnets, from Entenmann's coffee cake and mom's meatloaf.

I am from the blue house with the yellow shutters and the big picture window to watch the school buses go by.

I am from the azalea bushes, the dogwood trees, and the mall.

I am from Sunday dinners and substance abuse, from Marty and Billy and big brothers who leave too soon.

I am from the waste not, want not and the sting of a quick wit.

From "eat it or wear it" and "you are my favorite little sister."

I am from Missouri Synod Lutherans and a cult leader bent on mind control.

I'm from Lawn Guyland and Brooklyn, homemade cheesecake and fresh rye bread from the local Bakery.

I am from faded photo albums, rose colored crystal, service flags in the window and embroidered memories of lives gone by.

A fill in the blank type meme from this template.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

He Was Me

I saw this charming little video on Patti Digh's blog, 37 Days. It is sad and hopeful all at the same time. I must admit that I do wish he had splashed the hell out of that puddle in the end. But it's all about the small steps, I guess.

I like to think I am still me, in all my full technicolor glory.

He Was Me
Click to watch

Friday, July 17, 2009

Yes, I Really Love My Children

I just posted the following comment in response to this blog post at the Women's Colony: How To Raise People You'll Like. I don't think the author and I are in quite the same place on the parenting continuum. Sentiments like "If you really love your children, you will let them cry in disappointment" or "If you really love your children, you will allow then to get bullied a little and learn to stand up for themselves" just don't sit well with my own experiences as a parent.

My response:

I don't consider myself a pushover or a "child worshipper" (wow, what a condescending phrase that is meant to be) but I must say do disagree with much of what you've written here.

I absolutely agree that children have to learn to deal with life's frustrations, but I don't believe it is my job as a parent to put (or leave) obstacles in their way to ensure that they get opportunities to practice. Life will throw them far too many opportunities for disappointment and even failure, all without my help. I don't believe it would have helped my kids at all for me to stand back and take joy or pride when they were crying, frustrated or unhappy, patting myself on the back for what a "good" parent I was to let them "learn" their lesson. Those were the moments they needed my guidance and compassion the most. Any stranger off the street can nod smugly and think "well you should have ...." That was not my job.

I was not stepping in to remove every frustration or fix things each and every time, that's not possible, but I did help when I could just like I would do for any of my other friends or acquaintances. I would take no joy in seeing you, my neighbor or the girl at the grocery store feeling embarrassed or in shame. There are other ways to learn, shame and frustration are not all there is.

I choose to be a partner with my kids on this journey of life that, as it happens, I chose to bring them into. When they were younger and missteps, frustrations or failures would arise, we found ways to figure it out. Sometimes we problem solved together. Sometimes they figured it out on their own. Sometimes they helped me when I would inevitably screw up. Let me tell you I'm damn glad that I modeled a sense of compassion and helpfulness for them. It has come back to me, and the world, over and over again.

My kids are now 15 and 20 years old. They have taught me as much as I have taught them on this journey. Our communication is two way and we all support and help one another. They no longer need me for the little things anymore. They have indeed learned how to handle frustration and failure gracefully. But they do still seek my guidance at times. Especially for the big stuff. You know, those situations where good judgment can mean the difference between life and death. They're not hiding from me, they're talking with me. AND they are responsible, polite, caring and all around good people if I do say so myself. Sure they make mistakes, we all do. But they have the tools they need to deal with them and plenty of caring adults who can help them out if need be.

I enjoy every moment I am fortunate enough to spend with these people that are also my kids, dinner included.

RU Ready to Hula?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Jon!

Here's to 50 more!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hello from Canada!

We, along with about 10 others families, have invaded our friends on their gorgeous 10 acre property on Victoria Island and the living is good. Well, good for us at least. We'll see if they survive a week of their home being infested filled with unschoolers.

We somehow manged to cram most of our worldly goods into our little Honda to make the trek up north for a week. On our way up we made an overnight stop in Port Angeles and I had many opportunities to try out our new camera.

Align CenterThese guys caught my attention for all the wonderfully tacky and wrong reasons.

We wandered and strolled and hunted and tried without success to find this place. We did so want to try a cock-a-doodle doughnut.

Port Angeles is close to Forks, WA, the setting of the Twilight books. So we saw lots of Twilight paraphernalia.

Including this offer of a vampire kiss.

The ABC's of Aging Gracefully. ZING!

I'm on a boat!
Click this link if you want to hear the BEST. SONG. EVER.
Don't click if you are easily offended by colorful lyrics. But of course if you are easily offended I do wonder why you're here. I'm just sayin'.

More about our week of north of the border unschooling shenanigans later.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wish You Were Here


Friday, July 10, 2009

Uh Oh

"The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they're okay, then it's you." ~Rita Mae Brown

Thursday, July 09, 2009

United Breaks Guitars

United Airlines that is. And this guy is kind of really pissed off that they won't pay for damages. Rightly so it seems to me. I only wish I had the talent to spread the word about this kind of negligence in such a creative way. Apparently this is video of #1 of 3. You can read the full story here. I'm thinking Dave Carroll is about to get some internet fame.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The WTF? Report

I can only assume those are real emu bits they are cooking up there in those stylish sweaters. Any guesses on which "bits" of the emu those might be?

Check out the label, High In-Fidelity Records. What exactly are they selling and who is the target audience I wonder?

Okay, maybe I can shave the baby. But Jesus H. Christ on a razor scooter...

P.S. Have you checked Our Daily Bacon lately? Lots more WTF? over there.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


They just don't make 'em like they used to.
Perhaps a little light reading might bring back the civility of the undead.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

M80 vs Orange

Another proud Fourth of July memory. Yes, those are Conor's feet hightailing it out the line of fire. I wasn't there but from what I heard the orange shrapnel was flying. Only a dime-sized piece was ever found. Next up, the brave plastic army men who gave their lives for our amusement.

Video courtesy of Renee and Chris.

And god said...

..."go forth and multiply go fourth and have a barbeque." And we did. And it was good.

It was a pretty hot day yesterday, but we found ways to handle it just fine.

Good friends and plenty of marshmallows make any day special.

So do little cherubs with sparkly star crowns.

When we wanted to cool off, we headed indoors for fun and games. But that didn't last too long.

Soon enough people headed back out for boffers...

and hula hoops...

...and fireworks in the cul-de-sac.
Lots of fireworks.
Enough to damage the finish on a neighbor's car, as I found out from her early this morning.

I think I'm starting to agree with karma about the damn fireworks.

All photos courtesy of Qacei, Carelia and Renee!