The Mindful Mutt

I feel like I’ve been going a dozen different directions this Advent, trying to be ready for the holidays and catch up on everything neglected while I was focused on immigration stuff in November. Then, in the midst of this nuttiness, we added a new layer of crazy and brought home a puppy. I’ll be honest–I was enthusiastic about getting a dog, but not particularly excited. That sounds confusing, doesn’t it?  It’s really fairly simple. I am not a dog… Read more

Seven Takes in Seven Words or Less (sort of)

  1. Thoughts during the Santa Claus Parade Good riddance, November! December already? Ack! 2. At The Personalist Project I muse about identity and community. 3. Good things about December Sinterklaas comes soon. Time for speculaas! 4. Buy my stuff, please? Order my clay characters! Discount code:  STNICK. 5. Thought inspired by Pence-rule debates Schmoozing workplaces discriminate against people I’d trust. 6. I love my weird kids Christmas Lego competition entry: “Alien Santa Auditions.” 7. On navigating boundaries and generousity Give… Read more

Poetry Will Save the World (Seven Quick Takes)

My sister-in-law says I don’t understand the “Quick” part of “Seven Quick Takes.” She’s probably…no, she’s definitely right about that. I always have more to say than I thought I did. That said, I will attempt to be brief and stick to a few brief thoughts from this past week. — 1 — Whatever is Good I love these word-clouds, and I use them as a sort of self-check–where has my mind been? What have I been writing about? Where… Read more

Guarding the Sanctity of the Sick Pilgrim and the Broken Spirit

Yesterday, I ranted briefly about “Men Behaving Badly to Get Their Rocks Off.” The big story today is about a fellow (now former) Patheosi who falls inside that category, having abused his position in the Sick Pilgrims community to gain access to and exploit vulnerable women. A lot of commenting on stories like this turns into quibbling over the nature of the allegations–is this assault? Is it exploitation? Is it icky-but-perfectly-normal “seduction”? Are these the actions of a sexual predator… Read more

Can We Just Not Do This Anymore, Please? Seven Quick Fed-Up Takes

Lord, if You’re listening, I know You are really fond of this Freely-Given Love thing, and I know that requires Free Will, and Free Will means people are going to Sin, and Sin Breaks The World. I know all that. So I know You aren’t going to reach down and brainwash all of us so that we stop doing awful stuff to each other. But maybe You could help us think a little more clearly and love a little better… Read more

“Who is the most important in your family?” and other foolish questions from John Rosemond

Over at The Personalist Project today, I am taking a look at parenting columnist John Rosemond’s assertion that parents are “more important” than their children. (TL;DR: he’s wrong. But please do go read and see why I say that!) Reading the column reminded me how important it is to ask the right questions and examine our own biases. After accusing parents of answering his question about relative importance by “fumbl[ing] with appeals to emotion,” Rosemond himself resorts to the most… Read more

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.” “We will remember them.” The crowd murmurs in a quiet echo, after the verse is read.     It gives me shivers, every year. Here in our small town, we’re down to one wreath still carried by a WWII vet. One was carried up by… Read more

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I love Halloween. I always have.   When I was a child, I loved Halloween for the same reasons as children everywhere. The fun of dressing up and, of course, the free candy. The adventure of going to so many houses and being out after dark. The delightful thrill of pretending to be scared of the spooky decorations and spooky costumes. My parents were less openly enthusiastic, but I know my mother’s creative side enjoyed coming up with new ways… Read more

My Bullet Journal is Firing Blanks (SQT, Week in Review Edition)

— 1 — How is it Friday again already? Where has this week gone? I’m not sure. Fortunately, I keep a…well, it’s sort of a bullet journal…kind of…on my desk. It’s definitely a journal. And it certainly has bulleted lists in it. But compared to the Swiss Army knife of elegance and utility of other people’s Bullet Journals, mine is merely a lowercase single-blade pocketknife. Or maybe a sharpened flint. I finished last week strong, anyhow, with that post on the… Read more

“What do NFL protesters want, anyway?” Cultivating the Virtue of Curiousity

I spend a lot of time with Google. When I was a child, arguments between siblings about matters of fact frequently ended with my parents sending us to the encyclopedia to look up an answer. We had a full set of Funk and Wagnalls, and an even more well-loved science encyclopedia (plus yearly update edition) from Grolier. Even when the encyclopedia didn’t contain an answer to our specific dispute, the search for an answer frequently turned a combative pride-fueled verbal skirmish… Read more

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