Friday, October 31, 2014

When the kids were toddlers and my husband finished his graduate degree and scored a permanent job we moved to Texas and bought a house. Real estate in Texas is dead cheap---because no one wants to live there. And that was a great thing for us because, despite the fancy degree and awesome job, we were broke. But because the kids were very little and we had a new home I decided to splurge on Halloween decorations. I went all out, spent more than $100. Which was absurd. But over the years has proven to have been worth it. I bought a lighted haunted house with movable characters, the famous Bony Macaroni who H slept with for a year, an iron candelabra, a corpse that pops out of a casket and screams, a ghost, some feathered ravens, some rats, and Clanker Kitty!

Clanker kitty was awesome. She was made of black steel and had rocking horse feet that moved with the slightest breeze and she clanked. Loudly. And she was big, as tall as R was then. She was so awesome and good at her job of setting a frightening tone that R wouldn't walk past her. Nor the cats. Nor the dogs. It turns out, we had to get rid of Clanker Kitty. But we still have all the rest and we get them out every October.

Except this year. This is the first year H doesn't want to trick or treat and, incidentally, we didn't get the decorations out because the entrance to the attic is blocked by shelving. Moving the just wasn't a priority. I guess everyone is getting older and distracted by other things.

But do we ever get too old to celebrate? Let's hope not. R saved us. When I walked in the kitchen this morning to make a cup of coffee before work, I found these ghosts. Excellent! Now we're proper. Thanks R. I love you and I love all the small things you do to remind us how to live. xoxo

Monday, October 27, 2014

This kid asked for components so he could build his own computer, for his birthday. 
So that's what he got. And that's what he did.
Happy Birthday, kid. We love you so much! 
Good work you did, building the computer. Its banging, as well.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Quotes from veteran unschooling mothers chatting online together :

"Been unschooling these kids for a long time now. Just gotta say, I'm BLOWN AWAY by how well its all worked out."

"Yes, I'm weepy and sad that it's gone by and I want to do it again but relax this time. Because unschooling was SO easy, and so okay, and now that I got that, she's almost gone" 

"I'm pretty happy with how my kids have turned out. They are all employed. They're in good relationships, solid, except for Sam, and that's okay because he's busy learning things and knows he's not ready for that yet - that shows maturity too. But I know, because I do remember, even though the memories are fading, I know I lost sleep worrying. Was I doing enough (Yes). Would they be as prepared as their peers (More so). Would they be outcasts (They were the most popular kids that never went to school). Do they need a HS diploma.(Sometimes). Would they be able to relate to people who didn't have the same educational opportunities (i.e. public schoolers from this podunk place) (Not always. They have as much tolerance as I do for ignorance). Would they hate me. (Sometimes). All in all, my kids are by far more successful, both career-wise and relationship-wise, than I was as their ages. They are doing more things right, sooner. Is it because they were unschooled? I absolutely believe so."

"It's amazing how smart you can be when there aren't dozens of adults analyzing you and measuring your intelligence against arbitrary standards." 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

This article, dear children, is true down to the last word. It perfectly describes my recent dilemma at work, as well as the solution. Have I ever tried to talk myself out of behavior created problems? Yep. Did it work? Nope. Its wrong. 

This is right--in terms of business, friendships, families, and romances:

What are some consequences of low trust, and high trust?

In low-trust environments, you'll see low morale, disengagement and a lack of commitment. You'll also see people manipulating, distorting facts and withholding information. There will be resistance to new ideas, bad-mouthing, finger-pointing, overpromising, underdelivering and, often, tension and fear. Everything will take longer to do and everything will cost more.

The converse in high-trust cultures is equally true. When the trust goes up in an organization, the speed will go up and costs will come down. Your ability to collaborate goes up, as does your ability to attract, retain and engage people. When trust goes up, you’ll see people sharing information, not afraid to make mistakes, more creativity, higher accountability and greater energy and satisfaction. When you move the needle on trust, you move all kinds of other needles with it.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Handmade Puppet Parade always sets a wonderful tone for the beginning of fall. Art is nearly the best humans have to offer and its always good to be randomly immersed for a while. We took Grandmother and spent a lovely afternoon on the street last weekend.
 Mask Making, part 2, out from behind the camera...

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