A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London’s Flower Sellers by Hazel Gaynor: A Memory of Violets came highly recommended and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Bittersweet and heartbreaking it is the story of two orphaned sisters, who became flower girls in Victorian England and what happened to them afterwards. 4 Stars
The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker**: The More of Less by Joshua Becker (from Becoming Minimalist) offers a great introduction to minimalism, as well as practical steps on how to actually get there. That’s where many books on organising or minimalism stops, but Becker goes one step further in The More of Less, touching on the real benefits of minimalism, what you can do with the time and money you gain in the process. At the end of the book there’s a chapter on their newly-founded charity The Hope Effect, dedicated to change the way orphans are taken care of, by letting them grow up in stable families, rather than orphanages. This is a topic that I’ve personally realised the importance of, so I was excited when I first heard about this. However, I did have some concerns regarding The Hope Effect, I contacted them and unfortunately some of my concerns were valid. I was delighted to hear that they will purely be working with local couples, and only taking in so-called double orphans (meaning that both parents are dead, too frequently children end up in orphanages because their parents don’t have any other option in order to look after them). However, they will not support any same-sex couples to participate in the program, even in countries where it is legal. As such, I cannot in good conscience recommend this charity. I will not support such harmful, out-dated homophobic nonsense. For the book itself, 3.5 Stars
Neck Check: Chronic Neck Pain Relief Once and For All (Super Spine) by Sean Sumner (currently $2.87 on Kindle): Having struggled with chronic neck pain for half my life, I’m always keen on new tips and tricks on how to better manage this condition. Neck Check offers valuable advice and insights, both common sense and on a deeper level. If this is an area you struggle with regularly, I would recommend it. 4 Stars
Scrumptious Treats for Vintage Housekeepers by Alison May (currently $1.23 on Kindle): I adore Alison May’s books of tips and ideas, I like to read a couple per day to make them last longer – a delightful break in the day. Scrumptious Treats for Vintage Housekeepers is no different, as always Alison May (from Brocante Home) is a fountain of self-care inspiration. 4 Stars
The Art of Money: A Life-Changing Guide to Financial Happiness by Bari Tessler*: So many of us struggle with money (maybe especially those of us who aren’t cis-gendered men). We struggle with feeling like we deserve it, or trusting that we know how to handle it. Tessler, a financial therapist, has an approach to money is unlike anything I’ve ever read before, an approach based on healing our relationship with and stories around money. She’ll teach you how to ground yourself before and during weekly conversations with yourself (and/or your partner), which she calls money dates. Thought-provoking and important, I highly recommend it. 4.5 Stars
The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse: A Cookbook and Culinary Survival Guide by Lauren Wilson*: I have had a fascination with apocalypses, dystopias and self sufficiency since I was a kid, and while zombie apocalypse isn’t usually my favourite type of apocalypse, this book will have something for any kind of apocalypse/survival geek. The Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse doesn’t just cover what to do in the here and now, but how to survive in the long term – whether you stay in the city or head out into the wild. Complete with recipes (unfortunately not many that are celiac-friendly) and detailed instructions on how to grow, harvest and hunt your food. 4 Stars
The King’s Curse (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels) by Philippa Gregory: If you enjoy Gregory’s historical fiction I’m sure you’ll like this one too. I always find myself doing lots of googling to separate fact from fiction. I enjoyed this one on Audible, I find that these long novels are perfect to listen to while knitting or doing stuff around the house. 3.5 Stars
Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin (narrated by Laura Hamilton): Rain Reign is a delightful story (middle-grade) of a young girl with Asperger’s syndrome, her love of homonyms and of her dog Rain. Wonderfully narrated by Laura Hamilton, it is richly deserving of the many awards it has won. Rose won me over and broke my heart simultaneously. 4.5 Stars
What have you been reading lately? Check out Modern Mrs Darcy for more quick book reviews.
As always I invite you to find me and connect with me on Goodreads.
*Received an advanced reader’s copy through Netgalley , the review is my own honest opinion.
**Received an advanced reader’s copy through Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.
“Just to be crystal clear, we’re talking about a woman who voted for the candidate who promised to cut off the only thing that is keeping her husband alive because she’s just that pissed at some poor elementary-school kid who got an Xmas gift. (Be sure to tell her “Merry Christmas” and not “Happy Holidays.” She’s sent off more money than she can afford to some Elmer Gantry who got her all hepped up on the War on Xmas. Jebuz is the reason for the season. She’s a devout Xian but some poor kid getting an Xmas present is JUST TOO GODDAMN MUCH FOR HER.) That damn kid got an Xmas gift even though his parents received a few dollars of welfare and food stamps and she’s just NOT HAVING IT anymore.
Here’s a six-year old who got a Tonka truck and a stocking cap at Xmas and here’s her husband getting the health care that keeps him alive. And she’s so damn mad at that six-year old that she’s willing to risk her husband. Fuck the love of her life. If he dies, so be it, but at least Trump won’t be handing out hand-knit scarves and tea sets to those undeserving brats. *” Red State Stupid; Red State Mean – hecatedemeter
“I am sick of being told, as I have my whole life, that middle America is the “real” America, and we “urban” elites just don’t get it because we don’t live there. As if that were our choice. As if we could just live our brown lives, our black lives, our queer lives, in the middle of Trump country. As if that were a safe thing to do.
As if they would welcome us.
I am done being told that I can’t make the occasional snide comment about rednecks but that every time I travel to a red state I have to politely endure being degraded as a woman and as a child of immigrants, listen to jokes about mincing gays and ching-chong Chinamen — and if I complain about this, if I say, you’re being fucking offensive, I am told that I’m too PC and am forcing my libertard vagenda on salt-of-the-earth red-blooded Muricans and in this way Trump is once again my fault, a monster I brought on myself.” The “White Working Class” Can Kiss My Brown Ass – Bust
“There’s been a lot of talk about an uptick in white supremacist graffiti, vandalism, and attacks in the days and weeks since Donald Trump’s election. I’ve read about incidents that occurred in areas I’ve lived, and I’ve heard from friends who have experienced them first-hand. The stories about Hispanic children targeted and bullied in schools are some of the worst—and the Nazi graffiti is chilling. But I want to make sure something isn’t lost in the shuffle—this isn’t new. Oh, certainly, there may be an increase in attacks, and the current outpouring of racism and xenophobia is perhaps more directed at immigrants and Hispanics than in the past. But this isn’t new.” This Isn’t New – Love, Joy, Feminism
“However, the pregnancy based on the information in the court documents didn’t look like this as it appeared very abnormal.
A reasonable OB/GYN would conclude given this scenario that there could not be a viable intrauterine pregnancy. The issue Dr. Kennedy had to figure out was if there was also an ectopic pregnancy. She erred on the side of caution and treated. She did the best with the information that she had.” An OB/GYN in Alabama treated a miscarriage. She’s getting sued for wrongful death. – Dr. Jen Gunter
“Don’t talk to me about the people gaming the system. Don’t talk to me about how we should be drug-testing everyone on food stamps. Don’t talk to me about how the economy would collapse if we raised the minimum wage.
I’m tired of listening to my right-wing conservative friends complain about people in poverty while drinking their boutique beer and Instagramming their latest vacations. We live in a dream world, my friends. Of the billions of families on this planet, we were born into a place of extreme wealth. We’ve been given opportunities beyond most people’s wildest dreams.
If we choose to squander those blessings by sitting in cafes and restaurants with our buddies and arguing over theory, arguing about the latest political situation, arguing over why “those people” are taking taking taking too much, well, I’m afraid we will have hell to pay. If not today, someday.
If you have a problem with people in poverty, stop complaining about them. Partner up with them. Make yourself useful.” Stop Complaining About People in Poverty (At Least Around Me) – Shawn Smucker
“I want to be clear upfront that I don’t have a problem with Sarah or Gabriel buying antiques or dressing in clothes from a century ago. I like cosplay just as much as anyone else! What bothers me is both that they portray themselves as historical experts while getting things very wrong and that they lionize the Victorian era without fully grasping the breadth of that era’s fault. I’ve seen the word “privilege” used in discussions of the couple, and it’s very apt—they appear unaware both that they are recreating a very privileged version of the Victorian era and that the fact that they have recourse to modern convinces (and things like medicine) should they decide they need them sets them apart from what it was actually like to live in the Victorian era.
I’m reminded of women who claim they experienced what it was like to be a Muslim woman who wears the hijab by donning a headscarf for a specific period of time. What these women miss is that they can take the hijab off any time, no harm no foul, while hijabis can’t. And actually, Sarah and Gabriel are an even more extreme example of this, because a hijabi technically could remove their hijab but a person living in the Victorian era couldn’t cease to live in the Victorian era.” Can We Talk About Those Faux Victorians? – Love, Joy, Feminism
“I can’t express to you enough how many women have told me that the “coming out” conversation about her lying is such a turning point in her relationship and in her sexual development. And if her partner is chronically defensive and responds with counter attack, i.e. what’s wrong with you, then perhaps a therapist may be helpful, or if not, it is a sign that her partner is not ready for a mature sexual intimacy. Sarah may need to seek new arms.” Sexual Honesty: You Don’t Have to Fake It – Esther Perel
“I minimized my computer screen and rolled back from my desk. And I thought, “I don’t care what they think of me. Fuck it.” But I knew that wasn’t true. Because I’m a love nugget, really, and I care a lot about other people’s feelings. Because I have a healthy ego. Because I’m a serious boss lady and kindness is always good business. I closed my eyes and brought the person to mind. And I said, “Look, it’s not that I don’t care about you. It’s that I already expressed my reasoning — very lovingly. I showed I cared. And now, I have to care more about my own freedom and future than what you think of me.” How to not give a shit (even though you really do) and be kind about it all. – Danielle LaPorte
“Turns out, a life where I feel energetic, loving, engaged, flexible, and full of good ideas has to include sobriety, clarity, fresh air, and circulation. And I’m going to have to like it.
BUT HOW DO YOU LEARN TO LIKE STUFF?
IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?
The short answer is “yep”.
The shorter answer is “ye”.
But they both mean the same thing. It’s possible.” Liking Exercise When You Don’t Really. – Meg Worden
“What it does mean is something both subtler and more disturbing. It means that our society only values women under certain narrow conditions. It means that for many voters, Trump’s toxic masculinity was a deep part of his appeal.
It means that misogyny is alive and well in the United States, and that it probably helped Trump win.” Why misogyny won – Vox
“Many of us are grappling with how to use our skills and influence to resist the upcoming Trump administration and the hatred and violence that it inspires. As Captain Awkward readers, we’ve been practicing setting boundaries, standing up for our values, and making it awkward for the right person. We are uniquely prepared for a crucial part of the next few months or years: changing the minds of people who support the Trump administration, and standing up to the abusers they are empowering. This post teaches scripts and techniques to do these two tasks, along with the theory behind them. It’s for people living in the U.S., but it may be useful to people living elsewhere as well.” Guest Post: A post-election guide to changing hearts and minds – Captain Awkward
“After learning the brutal reality of racism and privilege, white folk (myself included) often lament, “what can I do? I can’t accept these injustices…what can I do about them?” This is literally it: Talking to other white folks about race, and, more specifically about whiteness, is one concrete way to undo racism as a white person. Unlike at a black-led march — this is where our white voices are needed.
Conversations with loved ones are tough. It is something I continue to struggle with in my own family and friends.
But we must push through discomfort to talk about race, even with great-aunt Sally, even when it feels completely unproductive and frustrating.” How to talk to other white people about race – The Seattle Globalist
“Finding solace in quotes from Harry Potter or the Lord of the Rings does not mean we think stories are always neat and tidy, or that we fancy ourselves in equivalent situations. It means that stories have still meaning. It means that stories still comfort us, inspire us, sustain us, and empower us. Even stories that aren’t “true” stories draw on a deep well of human emotion and human experience. Stories have power.” Heroes – Love, Joy, Feminism
“For example, there is a difference between basic science and applied science. Lisa wants people to value basic science more than they do, and Tim even points out that applied science is sexier. What’s the difference?
Basic science is trying to understand something without trying to understand why it’s useful.
Applied science tries to answer the question: Can I use this to make my life better tomorrow?
Lisa points out that people who worked on quantum physics were trying to make sense of the atom at its most basic level. They weren’t thinking of iPads, even though iPads use some of the same principles. Watson and Crick weren’t trying to cure cancer when they were trying to figure out the structure of DNA, even though that’s some of what we use their work for.
Basic science is about trying to understand the world we live in. It’s learning for the sake of understanding.
Applied science wants to build computers or cure cancer. It has a specific goal to solve a problem.” You Need More Science in Your Life – K. Foley Wellness
“But what if you chose something really healthy – like green smoothies – and only ate them? Wouldn’t work, right? Because no matter how healthy a single food, type of food, or food group, your body needs a full spectrum of key nutrients in order to thrive. Your cells require chemical inputs – nutrients – to carry out all their functions. To live a healthy life, you need to eat a wide range of foods. That’s what you, as a human animal, are adapted to require and it’s not optional.
What’s not generally considered is that exactly the same principle applies movement. Your cells need mechanical nutrients, too, and they don’t work right when you don’t provide them.” How’s Your Diet These Days? – Petra Fisher Movement
““Normal,” as a concept, matters. The old adage that it is just the setting on a dryer is not just wrong but misleading. When something is abnormal it is important to understand why. If a person is not normal they could be brilliant or they could be sick, and knowing the difference is the distance between life and death. In politics, too, there is normal and there is abnormal. An insurgent candidate swinging a party or the country right or left is normal — Marco Rubio winning the GOP nomination and the general election would have been normal, for example. But Donald Trump is not normal. In fact, the things he represents, the decisions he has made and is continuing to make, and the entourage he has surrounded himself with, are not normal. They are so abnormal that they look like the opening stages of authoritarianism — something those of us steeped in the study of authoritarian countries recognize like a flashing light at a railroad crossing.” This Is Not Normal – Joshua Foust
“After any catastrophe, there’s a moment when life returns to ‘normal’ and for a lot of people, it seems like that moment is now-ish. Pretty soon we’ll all get swept up in the holidays and before you know it, it’s March. Time marches on, we get used to the ‘new normal’ and our indignation fades into quiet hopelessness and ignorance-is-bliss. It’s human nature. SO RIGHT NOW, WHILE WE’RE REALLY FEELING IT, LET’S ALL TAKE A MINUTE TO SET UP MONTHLY, AUTO-DEDUCTED DONATIONS TO ORGANIZATIONS THAT SERVE MARGINALIZED PEOPLE. ” Take Action While You’re Still Angry – Yes and Yes
“Are progressives currently engaging in the same fear mongering that evangelicals and conservatives binged on in previous elections? Are they, too, making extreme predictions of a futuristic dystopia built out of complete fiction? I’ve thought about this and I’ve weighed it in my mind, and the answer I’ve come up with is no. No, they are not. While conservative fears about Obama eroding civil liberties were based on nothing whatsoever, progressive fears of what Trump may do are based on Trump’s actual words and actions. That makes it very different.” Are Progressives Crying Wolf? Not So Fast. – Love, Joy, Feminismre Progressives Crying Wolf? Not So Fast. – Love, Joy, Feminism
“Shelly makes a good point. Sometimes we all just need a good cry. And kids, with their immature frontal cortex, need to cry more often than adults, to heal all those feelings that are making them act out. But that’s only healing if they have a compassionate witness — the safe haven of a parent. Leaving your child to cry alone just traumatizes her, and gives her the message that she’s all alone with those scary feelings, just when she needs us most.
So when a child is acting out, remember that she’s “acting out” feelings she can’t express verbally. That’s a signal that she has a full emotional backpack that needs emptying. She just needs you to connect with her to help her feel safe enough.” If he seems hellbent on trouble, he’s asking for your help. – Aha ParentingIf he seems hellbent on trouble, he’s asking for your help. – Aha Parenting
“In a previous study, the same research team found that organic crops and organic crop-based foods have up to 60 percent more key antioxidants and lower levels of the toxic metal cadmium than conventional crops.
“We have shown without doubt there are composition differences between organic and conventional food,” said Leifert. Taken together, these studies “suggest that a switch to organic fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products would provide significantly higher amounts of dietary antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids,” he added.” Organic Milk and Meat Have Higher Nutrient Levels: Study – MedicineNet
“But Eran Elinav and Eran Segal from the Weizmann Institute of Science have developed a way of embracing that variability. By comprehensively monitoring the blood sugar, diets, and other traits of 800 people, they built an algorithm that can accurately predict how a person’s blood-sugar levels will spike after eating any given meal.
They also used these personalized predictions to develop tailored dietary plans for keeping blood sugar in check. These plans sometimes included unconventional items like chocolate and ice-cream, and were so counter-intuitive that they baffled both the participants and dieticians involved in the study. But they seemed to work when assessed in a clinical trial, and they hint at a future when individuals will get personalized dietary recommendations, rather than hewing to universal guidelines.” The Algorith that Creates Diet that Works for You – The Atlantic
“And part of that status quo is patriarchy: the notion that women will continue to be second-class citizens, subject to men’s understanding of what they should be able to do, touch, and grab when it comes to their bodies — and legislate and punish when it comes to their actions. I’m not suggesting these women have some sort of false consciousness — that they think they’re empowered, and actually aren’t — I’m stating that they fundamentally think disempowerment is okay, so long as they maintain their other (white, straight) sources of privilege. Tavi Gevinson starkly referredto this swath of voters as “white women who hate people of color more than they like having rights to their own bodies.” Many women fail to recognize Trump’s explicit stances and policies towards people of color and Muslims as “hate,” but I know no more appropriate word for what Trump voters have signaled in terms of how non-white, non-Christian, non-straight people should be treated.” This Is How Much America Hates Women – BuzzFeed
“More than anything, Trump promises a restoration of white authority. After eight years of a black president—after eight years in which cosmopolitan America asserted its power and its influence, eight years in which women leaned in and blacks declared that their lives mattered—millions of white Americans said enough. They had their fill of this world and wanted the old one back. And although it’s tempting to treat this as a function of some colorblind anti-elitism, that cannot explain the unity of white voters in this election. Trump didn’t just win working-class whites—he won the college-educated and the affluent. He even won young whites. Seventeen months after he announced his candidacy, millions of white Americans flocked to the ballot box to put Trump into the White House. And they did so as a white herrenvolk, racialized and radicalized by Trump.” White Won – Slate
“DDT was sprayed throughout neighborhoods and over pools and beaches. Children sometimes ran behind the trucks, frolicking in the clouds of spray. But soon, the problems became evident, as DDT took its toll on the natural wildlife and the birds began to die. Every time I hear a songbird near my home, I am grateful that our government took notice and acted to protect these populations.” Why We Need the EPA – Love, Joy, Feminism
“The other day, after resetting my online banking password, I received a message in all caps: “CONGRATULATIONS!” I like to imagine the ripple of applause spreading from desk to desk as news of my triumph arrived at the bank’s headquarters. Meanwhile, Facebook has started sporadically thanking me “for being here”, as if I were Mark Zuckerberg’s most dependable friend. This is the “new intimacy economy”, according to tech journalist Leigh Alexander, who wrote about it recently at Medium. Despite Facebook’s many annoyances, she said, “All this time it never occurred to me to delete my account, until it began doing this: trying to act like a person.” In Britain, we’re already familiar with “wackaging”, that infuriatingly chummy tone adopted on product labels. But the New Intimacy, Alexander predicts, is going to intensify. As other tricks for grabbing people’s attention on the internet falter, these pseudo-human appeals to our emotions may prove Silicon Valley’s last hope.” The truth about corporate lies – The Guardian
“While racism disproportionately affects people of color, the disease rampantly impacts the affective psychological health of White people. Lack of empathy for the experiences of others, and feelings of guilt and fear, plague White people when considering racism. Dissonant feelings about the “unjust, hierarchical system of societal racism” can produce a wide range of defensive reactions. These reactions interrupt productive dialogue that could lead to change because those with privileged identities and in powerful positions respond defensively as they explore the realities of racism. The fear and the entitlement disrupt their ability to listen responsively and interfere with their willingness to share power.” Treating Racism Like We Treat Cancer – On Being
“Everything is problematic, including this post. As a white, straight, able-bodied, cisgenderwoman, I have huge blind spots, and I am privileged. And I am part of the problem. Privilege can mean a lot of things, among them that you see people like you represented in media of all sorts – and that you’re given more opportunities than others, based not on merit but on your identity. It’s part of my privilege that I’m even writing this article. Every day, as a child and now, I have been able to see myself reflected on TV and in movies and books. Even when I’ve seen white women portrayed as lesser than men, I’ve still seen them. I don’t know what it’s like to look at Star Wars or Harry Potter and not see a single person who reflects my life. Even though I often worry that no matter what I’m doing, I’ll fail, I want to be part of the solution. So what I’m doing is this: I’m trying to be aware of my privilege, I’m trying to be a better ally, and I’m trying to raise my kids to be better people. And a lot of that starts with how I appreciate, discuss, curate, and learn from my fandoms.” Everything I Love Is Problematic – The Mary Sue
“For instance, even though women are more likely to suffer from chronic pain disorders, women are less likely to be prescribed pain medication for their ailments. In fact, studies have found that doctors in a pain clinic were more inclined to prescribe men opioid pain medications while giving women tranquilizers. That is, doctors give men medication to relieve their pain whereas they give women medication to shut them up. Even when an organic cause for a woman’s pain has been identified, doctors are still apt to attribute women’s pain to psychological problems and prescribe her antidepressants instead of pain relievers. Even in children who’ve had surgery, doctors will give boys strong pain relief while giving girls Tylenol. Medical sexism extends to essentially every area of medical practice. Women are less likely to be diagnosed as having a heart attack, even when presenting with identical symptoms as men. Doctors are twice as likely to attribute a woman’s “textbook” symptoms of heart attack to anxiety and are seven times more likely to send a woman home from the ER during a cardiac event. Women are 22 times less likely to be referred for a knee replacement, with identical moderate symptoms. Women are less likely to be put on a kidney transplant list. Even young girls are less likely to be put on transplant lists, so the disparate treatment starts essentially at birth.” Women: Often “Miss Treated” by Doctors – Counting My Spoons
“But at the time people don’t realize they’re embarking on a route that will lead to a destruction period. They think they’re right, they’re cheered on by jeering angry mobs, their critics are mocked. This cycle, the one we saw for example from the Treaty of Versaille, to the rise of Hitler, to the Second World War, appears to be happening again. But as with before, most people cannot see it because:
1. They are only looking at the present, not the past or future
2. They are only looking immediately around them, not at how events connect globally
“And it wasn’t just Donald Trump who won last night—it was his supporters too. The Klan won last night. White nationalists. Sexists, racists and buffoons. Angry young white men who think rap music and Cinco de Mayo are a threat to their way of life (or are the reason for their way of life) have been given cause to celebrate. Men who have no right to call themselves that and who think that women who aspire to more than looking hot are shrill, ugly, and otherwise worthy of our scorn rather than our admiration struck a blow for misogynistic shitheads everywhere. Hate was given hope. Abject dumbness was glamorized as being “the fresh voice of an outsider” who’s going to “shake things up.” (Did anyone bother to ask how? Is he going to re-arrange the chairs in the Roosevelt Room?) For the next four years, the President of the United States, the same office held by Washington and Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, F.D.R., J.F.K. and Barack Obama, will be held by a man-boy who’ll spend his hours exacting Twitter vengeance against all who criticize him (and those numbers will be legion). We’ve embarrassed ourselves in front of our children and the world.” After Donald Trump Was Elected President , Aaron Sorkin Wrote This Letter to His Daughter – Vanity Fair
“But Trump is anything but a regular politician and this has been anything but a regular election. Trump will be only the fourth candidate in history and the second in more than a century to win the presidency after losing the popular vote. He is also probably the first candidate in history to win the presidency despite having been shown repeatedly by the national media to be a chronic liar, sexual predator, serial tax-avoider, and race-baiter who has attracted the likes of the Ku Klux Klan. Most important, Trump is the first candidate in memory who ran not for president but for autocrat—and won.” Autocracy: Rules for Survival by Masha Gessen – The New York Review of Books
“And no, I’m not. Violence, assault, intimidation: Yes, of course those happen to women in public spaces, all the time, every day. Anti-harassment campaigns like Hollaback are correct in focusing their efforts on these aspects of street harassment; they’re a more concrete threat than mere annoyance. But fear of violence is not why I seize up when I sense that the man walking toward me is about to say something. In fact, that seizing isn’t usually about fear at all, but about weariness. Weariness about the fact that even if—let’s hand out the benefit of the doubt here—men who say things to me, and to you, really do just like the color of our scarves, there’s still a presumption that we want to know about it. And I do want to know, sure, and I delight in hearing a compliment from a female stranger on the street, or from a friend of any sex. But the compliment as undercover catcall—even if it is offered in genuine kindness—shows a presumption that men and women share the streets in the same way, when we don’t. A well-meaning man might issue this kind of utterance as a genuine attempt at friendliness (“Do they think they’re our girlfriends?”) but it reveals that he has no idea that I’ve heard those words before, or words like them, and that they’ve been used not as a compliment about my dress but about the flesh that’s underneath and what should be done to it.” Compliments, Catcalls, and Weariness – The Beheld
“My wardrobe has evolved over time. I find that the more I know about my style and what suits me, the colours, the shapes, the contrast, the patterns, the scale, the fabrics and textures. Knowing all these details make it so much easier to shop for the pieces that I’ll wear, will go with what I already own, and work for my lifestyle. Knowing and really understanding your personal style and colour really do make it much faster and easier over time which is why I work with my personal clients and have also developed 7 Steps to Style so that you too can make your wardrobing process easier and quicker (plus save you money for the rest of your life as you stop buying the wrong garments and focus on what works for you).
This means I cut down on the time it takes to get dressed each day as the colours in my wardrobe easily mix and match. I know when I’m shopping what my wardrobe holes are, and what I’m keeping my eyes out for to fill those holes, so when I spy those shoes that fill that hole, I get them, knowing that they will be a great workhorse. That way I have a co-ordinated wardrobe with shoesand accessories all ready to go (you too can create some easy co-ordination with your own beauty bundles).” Time Management and Style – Inside Out Style
“Nick Zavoda knows the ups and downs of autoimmunity well. Even after the AIP helped him regain his health, knee surgery sent him into a flare and required him to rethink his relationship with medication, his doctors and his body. With multiple autoimmune diseases, Nick’s story mirrors so many of ours — seemingly unrelated symptoms and months of doctors visits before reaching a diagnosis. But thanks to the AIP community and his diligent research, Nick is now back in the driver’s seat.” AIP Stories of Recovery – January 2016 – Autoimmune Paleo
“Being sick isn’t as glamorous as they make it out to be in the movies. And unlike cancer perks, there are no “chronic illness perks.” Except maybe those really good lollipops at the doctor’s office. Those are definitely a perk.
The worst part about being chronically sick isn’t the physical pain, it’s the emotional pain that goes along with it. You reach a point where you can’t hold back the tears any longer and suddenly you’re breaking down in the middle of a doctor’s office. You think you can escape the emotional torture; your disease is purely physical, right?” What It’s Really Like to Be Chronically Ill – Thought Catalog
“Recipes are other people’s code
When sites like Google Code, BitBucket, and GitHub became a reality, learning to code got dramatically easier for me. I learn best by seeing something work, and then reverse engineering it. It’s actually the only way I learn with any efficiency.
Sites like Yummly have quickly become my GitHub for cooking. I can download and run a recipe, see the results, and in the process of executing the recipe code, I learn how each part works.
And like GitHub, you can copy and paste code, but you learn a lot more if you examine it, break it down, and then rebuild. Along the way you learn skills, syntaxes, and concepts that allow you to bend it to your will.” Kitchen coding – Brett Terpstra
“In 18th century England, tea smuggling was a thriving enterprise. Steep taxes on tea made it unaffordable to the ordinary farm hand and factory worker, who craved a cuppa as much as an aristocrat did. A number of smuggling networks offered them a steady and cheap supply of tea. And the group that dominated the southern part of England was the notorious Hawkhurst Gang.” Cuppa Thugs: These Brutal Smugglers Ran an 18th Century Tea Cartel – The Salt
“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” – John Stuart Mill
When I woke up Wednesday morning and saw the results of the U.S. Election I felt lost for words. I couldn’t honestly say that I was surprised (not after Brexit), but I was shocked. I didn’t think that people would actually elect a sexist, racist, homophobic, narcissistic fascist like Trump. While I don’t think all of those who voted for Trump are sexist, or racist, they did, through their actions, say that racism is not a deal-breaker, homophobia is not a deal-breaker, sexism is not a deal-breaker.
The same people who, throughout Obama’s presidency, spread lies and fought him every step of the way, are now saying that everyone just needs to calm down and come together under Trump now that “the people have spoken”. Ignoring the fact that Hillary won the popular vote and the electoral college is a joke that was designed to keep slaveholders in power.
Of course half of the eligible voters didn’t vote at all. Usually I’d be sympathetic to that, because the U.S. political system is frankly f**ked up, but under the circumstances I am saddened that half of the eligible voters didn’t care enough to fight tooth and nail to prevent someone like Trump from taking power.Hopefully they will wake up now and do what they can to keep his power in check.
The results of the election shows how desperate white people are to keep their privilege. According to exit polls by CNN 53% of white women voted for Trump. More than half of the white women who voted decided that white privilege was more important than their right to bodily autonomy or not to be treated like an object by the most misogynistic presidential candidate in recent (if not all of U.S.) history.. White privilege was more important than standing up for yourself and other women (not to mention POC and all other minorities).
So what do we do now?
I am heartbroken. How did we get here? How could we let things get this far?
I’m not American.
I don’t live in the U.S.
This doesn’t and won’t affect me nearly as much as those in the U.S. But it does affect me (and not just because of my friends and loved ones in the U.S., that are likely to be personally affected by this). It affects all of us, because unfortunately what happens in the U.S. greatly affects what happens in the rest of the world, and frankly having a vengeful narcissist like Trump as commander-in-chief with access to the nuclear launch codes is terrifying.
Generally I would avoid referencing to Nazism (Godwin’s law and all that), because it’s too often used as hyperbole completely diluting the seriousness of that entails. But there are times when you need to take a stand, and I believe this is one of those times. I do not say this lightly, and I sincerely hope that I am mistaken.
If this is what is in our future (and if you take Trump at his own word, it is), then I have to speak up. We all have to speak up.
We all have to take action (as best we can within our abilities and limitations).
We need to stay informed – and not just consume information from within our own “bubble” (I for one am guilty of that).
We need to share information (remembering to fact check).
We need to take part in the democratic process, wherever we are.
But most importantly we need to speak up when we hear racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, islamophobic or other forms of bigoted speech – especially when it comes from those who are closest to us. Let them know that this behaviour is not okay.
All of this goes doubly so for those who are highly privileged. There might be times when it’s safe for you (us) to step in, but wouldn’t be for someone with less privilege.
I wasn’t sure I would write this post. Due to my health issues writing takes a lot out of me, and so many people have already said it better than I could. But I believe we all have a role to play, we all need to speak up in whatever way we can.
While I’ve had to write this in 15 minute chunks over several days, this is me adding my voice and speaking up.
I won’t be silent on what might become the defining fight of this generation. I hope you won’t be either.
This month I’ve decided to add my star ratings at the end of my reviews – shows more clearly how highly I value a book, and there’s some great ones this month.
Psychological Nutrition by Shoba Sreenivasan & Linda Weinberger*: I loved the concept of psychological nutrition, but the execution was rather lacklustre and became more tired as the book went on. In addition the rather literal comparisons are based on out-dated science, which made it hard to take the suggestions seriously. That’s a real shame, because the suggestions and ideas are actually decent. 3 stars
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: I picked this up in an Audible sale and I am so happy I did. The narration by Morven Christie and Lucy Gaskell is incredibly well done and truly made the story of two young women thrown together during WWII come to life. This might be consider a Young Adult book, but it was incredibly compelling – tears might’ve been shed, and it is probably one of the best books I’ve read (listened to) this year. 5 stars
Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement by Katy Bowman: I listened to this on Audible, narrated by the author herself and while walking the dog as suggested/ordered. Bowman as always is funny, thought-provoking and educational. Move Your DNA covers our evolutionary need for natural movement, different types of movement vitamins, corrective exercises, habit modification, and lifestyle changes. Highly recommended. 5 stars
Cable Left, Cable Right: 94 Knitted Cables by Judith Durant*: An excellent introduction to cables, with something for everyone from beginners to advanced knitters. I learnt so much about how the different types of cables are created, and I feel empowered both to take on more difficult cabled patterns as well as design my own. With great photos and clear instructions cover 94 different kinds of knitted cables, a fantastic resource. 5 stars
The 100 by Kass Morgan (currently $2.15 on Kindle): I’d been watching the TV show so thought I would read the book behind it. Very different to the TV show, and for once not for the better. Very light YA. 2 stars
“His final debate performance this week was a bust, with him snarling that Clinton was “such a nasty woman” and gritting his teeth as he angrily ripped pages off a notepad when it was over. He is under fire from all quarters for refusing to say he will honor the election results if he loses, while 10 women have now come forward accusing him of groping or kissing them without consent. The capper to Trump’s bad stretch came Thursday night, when a ballroom full of New York City’s glitterati booed him as he gave remarks attacking Clinton at a charity roast.” Donald Trump is in a funk: Bitter, hoarse and pondering, ‘If I lose…’ – The Washington Post
“Susan suspects there are other women like her, but that part of the reason conservative female Christian voters won’t openly support Clinton is because of the culture of submission in Evangelical churches. Wives are supposed to follow their husbands’ lead in every matter, including politics. Speaking out against those traditional teachings can come with a risk—a social penalty of alienation from a very tight-knit community, to which spouses, extended family, children, and support systems are all intricately linked. Still, she knows of pockets of women who are defecting from Trump. “I hope all those people who are saying no to Trump are also, secretly, saying yes to Hillary,” she says.
Susan and Jennifer are not as anomalous as we think. There are hundreds of private Facebook groups with names like “Secret Hillary Club,” most of which were formed during the caucus, when Clinton supporters felt alienated by ardent Bernie Sanders fans. But now, these online groups have coalesced into places of support and encouragement for counties that burn predominantly red in the polls. Cynthia Silver, a director and acting teacher living in New York City, started her pro-Hillary private Facebook group after a heated social media argument with a former student. Since Clinton won the nomination, Silver has been surprised to see the group grow to well over 2,000 members from all over the country.” These Donald Trump Supporters Are Going to Vote for Hillary Clinton – Marie Claire
“I’m concerned about both an unwillingness to recognize that causing great harm (say, driving people out of business) is worse than causing less harm (stealing the equivalent of $0.25) and the classification of things that cause no harm as sins (for instance, consensual premarital sex). I’ve long known that there are a variety of different systems for determining whether or not an act is moral, but I hadn’t thought, really thought, about the troubling consequences of classifying actions that cause no harm together with actions that do cause harm, and labelling both immoral.” Donald Trump and the Way Evangelicals Talk About Sin – Love, Joy, Feminism
“A common result of gaslighting is questioning everything. You may feel like you’re going “crazy.” Like you don’t know what’s real and what’s imagined. Like you can’t even make the simplest choices, because you find it impossible to know what’s “right” and what’s “wrong.”
You may feel like you’ve lost your sense of self – like you need someone else to confirm that your perception is correct before you trust that anything you believe is true.
This burden is a terrible one to carry, and you deserve to be free from it so you can trust yourself again. Learning about the nature of abuse is a great place to start with healing, so I’m glad you’re taking the time to read resources like this one.” 6 Unexpected Ways I’ve Healed from Gaslighting Abuse and Learned to Trust Myself Again – Everyday Feminism
“I’ve done months of costly herbal medications; I’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars on practitioner fees and co-pays; I’ve created huge upheaval in my diet, requiring even more time in the kitchen; I’ve worked on my alignment; I’ve spent a lot of time at appointments.
I’ve also just been incredibly frustrated. “What is life without garlic?” I would wonder. “Why won’t my body HEAL?” “How is it other people can eat what they want and not look 6 months pregnant?” “What if I never get better?”” I’ve Had a Hard Year – The Resilient Body