Screen Time and Our Children Ourselves

Dear Family,

Amidst the Chaos and The Election and So Much Troubling News (not to mention my family’s first-world-style personal housing insecurity), I spent this week mustering gratitude.

It's a Beautiful Day in the Desert Again

Dear Family,

“It’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary is dependent upon him not understanding it.”
—Upton Sinclair

“Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.”
—Bill Mollison

“The present moment is the only moment available to us, and it is the door to all moments.”
—Thich Nhat Hanh

——

Ivyisms:

Summer Manners for Nomads

Dear Family,

“The unacceptable does not become more acceptable if it is accepted by increments.”
— David Frum

“No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”
—H.L. Mencken (paraphrased)

“Gold didn’t help the Jews or Germans under Hitler. It was just confiscated. As was their real estate before it was bombed to dust. The only thing that helped people survive these kinds of extreme events was extreme perseverance and flexibility.”
—J Collins

——

Ivyisms:

Psychology for Dinner - Clarification

Dear Family,

After I sent my last update, some alert readers pointed out that maybe I might have made some of my readership feel bad by proclaiming, “When we fail to speak out against the act of eating ‘food’ that is addictive and nutrient poor, we fail our children, and our future children’s children - if they are someday able to conceive them.”

Since it was absolutely the opposite of my intention to make any individual feel blamed for the current public health crisis in our country, I want to briefly clarify my opinion:

Psychology for Dinner

I read about the Florida shooting while sitting in a playground on this bright sun shiny day.

The shooter is described as having significant depression, some kind of assault weapon that is easier to obtain in this country than a handgun, and as being "probably autistic or having a learning disability." He moved in with an acquaintance after his mother died. He is nineteen. His public defender describes him as a Broken Human Being.

Democrats push for renewed focus on gun control and "red flag laws." Republicans urge prayer.

A Homeschooly Update

Dear Family,

“The true test of character is not how much we know how to do, but how we behave when we don't know what to do.”
― John Holt

——

Way back at the beginning of the autumn, I decided our family’s homeschooling approach needed a massive upgrade. I’m still planning a separate update on this, but basically: I sat down with the kids and told them that in addition to following their interests over the course of the next year, I was going to implement a semi-compulsory yet very flexible daily educational structure.

Some Forthright Autumnal Quotations

“Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you don’t owe.”

—Dr. Bill Hang, my orthodontist

——

Ivyisms:

Ivy: “Knock knock!”
Jem: “Who’s there?”
Ivy: “Butt!”
Jem: “Butt who?”
Ivy: “My butt, right here!”

“I want a ponytail SPROUTING OUT of my head, wik wis, and one in the back, right here, poking up to the sky.”

Ivy: “Kitty won’t eat!”
Me: “Oh, darn, what will you do?”
Ivy, definitively: “She’ll eat. [Grabbing the portable speaker.] And she can have music. It’s good for her!”

Birthday Request

Dear Family,

I'll admit, I'm not always the best with birthdays. Even when my family makes me the nicest birthday cards ever. I'm just so tired of children crying and requiring feeding after I cook expensive, delicious food for them. And I don't want to get any older. Plus, I'm super tired of Anything Difficult. Plus, on top of everything else, I got my braces installed this week, which means my mouth hurts AND I get to eat everything pureed (and let me tell you, pureed sauerkraut and kale and chicken is Not Good).

Dietary Tweak #7,562, plus Additional Reading

Dear Family,

“Men dig their graves with their own teeth and die by those fated instruments more than the weapons of their enemies.”

—Sixteenth-century British naturalist and physician Thomas Moffett

——

Several of you have reached out to express Concern relating to the recent health issues in our family; thanks for the virtual hugs! A current update: for the past two weeks, Eliza’s been feeling/behaving MUCH better.

So while Jeff and I are feeling a bit floaty and prone to aftershock-like stress attacks that are different for each of us, the current general trend is way up.

Thriving Where It Can

“Life thrives where it can.”
--from the interpretive movie at the Arches Visitor Center

——

Good evening from Moab!

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