Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We're moving the blog

Stay tuned....popular opinion swayed us (we're very impressionable) to move to WordPress.

Frankly, I'm tired of how cumbersome the photo elements of blogspot are - pages never look like the preview! So, tonight I did the FB 'yakity yak' and was sold on the move. A mere whisper of a change and Mr. SillyPants has been working this evening to download the entire blog to WordPress. I'm happy with the result!

You can now find us at

We'll notify one more time - the wordpress page isn't totally ready- but I won't be posting anything except moving business here any longer.

Wordless Wednesday

Dungeness Spit, WA 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

PNW, family style

Teaching Blueberry about tide pools and crabs on 'our island' at Lagoon Beach
We spent a day in the town in which Mr. SillyPants grew up in WA state and visited one of his special places -- Dungeness Spit DID NOT DISAPPOINT. I can't wait to get back there. When we got to the Spit, we were greeted by a cold and misty morning, an eagle perching above our heads, and a seal's head peeking out of the ocean. There was drumming, shooting faceless self portraits (hehehehe),
 log walking, and enduring some shivering when not hunkered down.
Mom's island home was built over a number of years primarily through the labor of Mr. SillyPants and his Dad. Mom lives there now - a quiet and stress free life on the edge of the ocean.
Seattle was a ferry ride away - and we made it there for a day of Children's Museum fun and the best peaches EVER at the Market. Yum.

Honestly, it was hard to drag ourselves from beach fun, but we're glad we did.
~ Fort Flagler was our last beach stop - among many...
diggin' in and lovin' Island vacation ~
See you next year!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Songbird: Excerpts from Ecuador

Songbird sends updates about once a week. They are a blast to read. I really look forward to them. I try to repay 'in kind' with videos for her - typically on my FB page featuring her little brother.

Her updates are fascinating and wonderful to read - this biggest daughter of mine is lovely. This last update had me giggling and understanding more clearly the arduousness of her work. While her updates are ALL worthy of sharing, I keep the bulk of her experience for her to share. Somehow, though, this one just yells for a wider audience.  I have deleted the names of the villages, per her request and also out of respect for the Amigos projects themselves.

Here is an excerpt from her latest update:

Hello back home!

Week 3 on route brought some COLD wet weather my way (shout out to mom and dad for getting my NICE boots and sending me off with a good sleeping bag and set of jackets!).....There is snow on all the peaks here!

Tuesday was fiesta day in ________, the volunteers were struggling to get the whole community involved in the community project and campamentos, so we decided to hold a fiesta. I baked 70 cookies and carried them, along with a child sized pinata to ________ which is a half hour walk after a 2 1/2 hour bus ride.... The volunteers are struggling a bit taking initiative and getting things done, they appointed me to run the pinata (yes!). It was a lot of fun for everyone to watch the little kids swing a broom stick at the pinata and miss wildly because I kept pulling the string so the pinata would fly out of reach (this way more people got turns). Then we danced from 7-11 to caraguay/karaway music (look it up on youtube). Its pretty much a shuffle/step dance but three hours of it can really wear a person out. It was extremely awkward because the little kids danced with me and the volunteers while most of the parents and older kids sat around and watched us. But one of the best AMIGOS lessons (and maybe  lessons) is: EMBRACE THE AWKWARD MOMENTS.

One of my vols and I and a friend of ours were also almost eaten my dogs on the way back from dinner one night. That was also quite an experience. Pitch black, foggy, cold, one flashlight and a lot of growling, barking, mean mean dogs surrounding us. We made it back home all in one piece, though I felt the adrenaline of the walk in my knees and nervous laugh. I had my bag off my shoulder ready to swing at any dog that got too close.

I also made a fire only using hot coals and damp wood and paper!

On Thursday morning I walked to _______  where my vols were eagerly awaiting my arrival hoping for letters from home. The girls there have done a great job adapting to the weather. Mornings are beautiful and sunny (in general) and by 12 or 1 it is cloudy, rainy and COLD. The girls have gone from crying to go home everyday to building a great relationship with their host family and are now being invited my more families to eat lunch at their houses. They even made pizza on sunday in a house that has an oven - unfortunately they spent that night vomiting it back up. But they said it was worth it. Nothing too exciting happened in ______  this week other than platano colada and french fries with a fired egg for breakfast...and recieving some religious magazines from a missionary because I haven't read the bible yet... :-) Oh wait...the COLD was the most exciting thing that happened. It was crazy cold. Props to my vols that are living there for 7 weeks!

Friday! I got my butt out of cold _____  and during the hike up to _______ could feel my feet and comfortably wiggle my toes for the first time in 2 days! The families and the volunteers are doing great and love each other a lot. I was able to go to the last few minutes of the campamento and see the art the kids were doing. It was pretty amazing for such little kids. We played some silly games outside after the kids were done drawing and I almost died laughing. We also provided excellent entertainment for the adults who were gathering for a community meeting. I havent heard people laugh that hard since I got here (excluding those of us that live in staff house).

And Saturday! I finally showered and do not stink like cooking fire, sheep, wet feet and whatever else I smelled and felt like.

I love you all! I'm sending hugs and kisses and will eat plenty of guacamole for you in the next three days before the next route week begins.

Here are some other fun comments:
About the bus:.....Taking the bus is always a fun adventure, especially because no one ever believes I really want to get off where I ask to get off.
About cooking:......Cooking has been an excellent way to connect with the women. I also learned to crochet (very poorly). It provides incredible amusement to all the girls and women who have been helping me along.

Aren't you all jealous of her experience? I am!!!! Love love love this girl, and MISS HER SO MUCH!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Black Power's Gonna Get You Sucka: Right-Wing Paranoia and the Rhetoric of Modern Racism

Black Power's Gonna Get You Sucka: Right-Wing Paranoia and the Rhetoric of Modern Racism

This is for me and mine - because I'm going to need to go back to this time and time again. I can find it easily here - my
blog is like a bookmark :-)

(I don't care much about the political rhetoric, but I do care about the data that Wise provides in example after example)

Reading Racism Right to Left: Reflections on a Powerful Word and Its Applications

Reading Racism Right to Left: Reflections on a Powerful Word and Its Applications

Read this.
Worth it.
Critical thinking is necessary.
Open mind is a must.
Own it.
Change yourself.

Ice cream sundaes just arrived in our home (Thank you Mr. Silly Pants!)- nothing like a little sweet creaminess to add to the reading experience.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010