Thinking About Thursdays: Voting, Bees, and Hurricanes

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I’m always amazed at the randomness of things on my radar.  So without further adieu, Thinking About Thursdays, what’s on my mind this week.

Move Your Body

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What have you done this week to feel alive in your body?  I went to an inspiring weekend of yoga training with Amy Ippoliti.  It felt so satisfying to be on student end of a yoga class, and I loved learning Amy’s way of seeing, and working the body in yoga.

And then this dance video has me smiling, I cannot even imagine having that much control over my body.

Hurricane Matthew

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Al Jazeera updates on the hurricane.

Hurricane Matthew is pounding through the Caribbean right now, headed up to Florida near where we used to live when Oliver was born.  Thinking especially of all the people in Haiti who will be greatly affected by the storm.  Thousands were still living in temporary shelters from the 2010 earthquake, and now this.  I’m pretty good at complaining about my house to be honest.  It is cold and drafty, no insulation, single-pane windows, wind rushes through behind the dishwasher, but sitting here in my house, listening to a rainstorm going on right now in Auckland, I am very grateful for my house and the safety that it brings.  Sending love and safety to our old Florida-friends!

Get ready to VOTE!

FINALLY!  The US Presidential Election is nearly here.  I need to get my ballot in the mail this week so that my vote counts (living overseas you have to plan for this stuff ahead of time!).  The Vice Presidential debate was last night.  Clarke was watching it and I was kind of laughing thinking about how funny it is that we have a VP, and that no one really seems to care about them.  I honestly didn’t even know their names.  Good Old Stephen Colbert did a good job poking fun at them, watch and enjoy.

Eco Impact

Mia’s birth family does not have running water at their house, and for what I could see the only electricity is used for a small fan.  I didn’t ask, so I’m not sure what they do for laundry, as the laundry mats can be expensive.  I came across this amazing product, the Yirego Drumi, that allows you to wash 5-7 piece of clothing with only 5 Litres of water and no electricity!  How amazing!  Maybe I should get one too?

Bees!

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We need them for our food people, and bee colonies across the South-Eastern USA were obliterated recently when an insecticide for the Zika Virus blanketed vast areas and ended up killing 2.5 million bees, read here.

Read these two great articles about bees and why we need them from one of my favourite websites for interesting stuff.

Are we brave enough to save bees?

Bees are in trouble, but the solution is good for us and them.

How to raise kinder, less entitled kids

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This Washington Post article about the science behind raising kinder, less entitled kids has got me thinking about my parenting strategies (and by that I mean, flying by the seat of my pants!), or maybe my lack thereof.  I guess for me one of the things I find difficult is being consistent about things.  This article suggested not paying your kids for chores so that they know helping out around the house is just part of life, which I totally get, BUT I think I subconsciously ask less of Oliver than I probably should for two reasons, 1) I can’t be bothered with the coaxing and argument that will come with the request, and 2) I often have to re-do things because a 7-year old’s version of a chore well-done is different than mine.  Hmm, need to be more thoughtful about this.  How about you?  What do you in your family to help your children learn kindness?

Books featuring characters of colour

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I came across this blog post at Cup of Jo with a wonderful list of children’s books that feature characters of colour.  This is something I need to attend to in our own book collection especially as we are a multi-cultural family now.  This should be a priority regardless, but I don’t want Mia grow up only seeing white faces in the books we read.

Now where to find a book with a Micronesian girl in the leading role…………  Ha!  I just found one on Amazon, click, order, wait from Mom and Dad to bring in December.

So there you have it, some things that have been buzzing around my head lately.  Tell me what’s on your mind?  Leave a comment below or in my Instagram feed.

xx

Marney

1 Comment

  1. Amanda
    October 6, 2016 / 3:30 pm

    Marney, I also worry about bees. When they’re in my garden roses or zinnias or chrysanthemums or lavendar I just want them to stay and be safe and live and make honey forever!

    I really enjoyed reading the Washington Post article and related articles. Our family experience matches up with what they say in the articles. We don’t pay our kids for “chores” and we try not to use the word “chore” to define housekeeping tasks. Instead we call it housekeeping and homemaking and talk about how the two go hand-in-hand and how everybody is a homemaker. We also use the word “work” because work is a good thing and an essential part of life. We also use the word “play” because play is a good thing and an essential part of life. One our mantras when we’re gearing up to do some housekeeping is “Work, work, work! Play, play, play!” One thing we have also learned is that our kids need us to work side by side with them–not just to show and teach them how to do things over and over, but because they need that time with us. Rarely can we tell them to just go do something and report back–our 11-year-old is only just recently becoming a little more reliable in those things (and every child has a different personality and strength and attention span and energy so I assume it will be different for each one). So what works best for us is to set up the big picture of the housekeeping and each person’s assigned tasks within that but then to all work together at the same time to get that stuff done. If the kids know ahead of time what they’ll be in charge of doing, they can get a head start on their housework if they want, but most often it works better when we’re all pitching in at the same time. Or Mom does some things with the kids during one part of the day and Dad does other things during another part of the day, and part of the fun is that it is a surprise for the other parent when they get home. And the plan includes time to play and playful ways of doing work. We’ve put together playlists of favorite music so we can dance and sing while doing the dishes or bathrooms, for example.

    We do give our kids allowances so that we can teach them how to handle money but it’s not connected with everyday housekeeping.

    So, I love to have a plan for each hour of the day, but at the same time, I don’t like to be tied down to doing the same things the same way every day. Luckily life is usually too varied for that to be a worry. But some routine is helpful and good for all of us–it’s just hard to develop those habits or stick to them and trying to help my kids with those good habits helps me be better than I would be otherwise. I often feel like I need time and space to myself and I definitely fight for that and make it happen. But I also know that I need time to talk and work and play with my kids and my husband. So I just have to attend to the balance of those things.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts and inviting me (and others) to think along.

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