Thoughts on the U.S. Election + the Rise of Fascism


“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 know.
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.

Looking at the history leading up to Hitler being democratically elected in Germany, and up to WWII there are strong parallels to what is happening now. History tends to repeat itself, and we close our eyes and ignore the signs to our peril.

Speak up

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.

Further Reading

EMERGENCY POST-TRUMP EPISODE: The Patriarchy Strikes Back – Guilty Feminist Part 1 + Part 2 Presented by Deborah Frances-White and Carrie Quinlan with special guests Hannah Peaker, Graysen Lane, Sara Barron, Avery Edison, Tiff Stevenson

History Tells Us What Will Happen Next With Brexit and Trump – Huffington Post

Post-Election Care: What to Do After You’ve Lost Your Faith in Humanity – Ravishly

Tomorrow We Fight – Love, Joy, Feminism

9 Real, Actionable Things We Can Do About Trump – Yes and Yes

Quick Reviews November 2016

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-nutritionPsychological 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

the-allergy-solutionThe Allergy Solution: Unlock the Surprising, Hidden Truth about Why You Are Sick  and How to Get Well by Leo Galland, M.D. & Jonathan Galland, J.D.*: Having struggled with atopic diseases (allergies, asthma, eczema, hay fever) all my life myself, this was an incredibly interesting and thought-provoking book. The book covers why atopic diseases are on the rise, and what we can do about it. Highly recommended. 4 stars

code_name_verity_-_electric_monkey_coverCode 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

the-complete-guide-to-spinning-yarnThe Complete Guide to Spinning Yarn: Techniques, Projects, and Recipes by Brenda Gibson:  This is a great introduction to spinning, not only does it cover techniques, it also gives specific recipes for different types of yarn, and how to turn your handspun yarn into knitting or weaving projects. 4 stars

move-your-dnaMove 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-rightCable 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-abbess-of-whitbyThe Abbess of Whitby: A novel of Hild of Northumbria by Jill Dalladay*: While it doesn’t have quite the same depth of historic research as Hild by Nicola Griffith, it does have the advantage of covering all of Hild’s absolutely fascinating life. Whether you are interested in history, religion, women’s lives, I highly recommend The Abbess of Whitby. 4 stars

the-100The 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

chaoes-to-clutter-freeChaos to Clutter-Free: 16 Realistic Steps to an Organized Home by Davonne Parks: A decent introduction to getting rid of clutter, if you haven’t read anything else on the topic. If you have, I would skip this one though. 3 stars

abortion-in-the-early-midle-agesAbortion in the Early Middle Ages, c.500-900 by Zubin Mistry*: A fascinating and very extensive, scholarly look at abortion during the early middle ages as viewed through primary sources from across Europe.


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 in exchange for an honest review.

Link Love (2016-11-07)

U.S. Election

What Drives Donald Trump? Fear of Losing Status, Tapes Show – The New York Times

“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

The Final Days of Trump’s Unprecedented Campaign – New York Magazine

“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

Trump boasts about his philanthropy. But his giving falls short of his words. – The Washington Post

“Clinton demonstrated the unlearning process that guides many American women’s experiences: performing for men, leading for others, living true-to-self.” We saw a new Hillary Clinton on Wednesday night, the Shade Queen that America Deserves – LA Times

The lap dogs of democracy who didn’t bark at Trump – The Washington Post

“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

Trump’s effect on the conservative media – Business Insider


How to pick (and stop) an argument – The Guardian

“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

#825, #826, #827: The Art of Losing Is Actually Pretty Hard to Master – Captain Awkward

Chronic Illness & Pain

Can Visualising Help Rehabilitation for Chronic Disorders? – Aroga Yoga

“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

Adrenal PCOS: Surprising Ways Stress Affects Your Hormones – Chris Kresser


Pumpkin Spice Macaroons (Paleo, AIP, Top-8-Allergen Free) – He Won’t Know It’s Paleo

Paleo Chicken Pot Pie (AIP) – Gutsy by Nature

Pumpkin Pie Squares (Paleo, AIP) – Eat Heal Thrive

Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins (AIP, Paleo) – A Squirrel in the Kitchen

Pumpkin Panna Cotta Tart with Gingersnap Macaroon Crust (AIP) – Sweet Treats

Link Love (2016-11-01)


Donald Trump’s Islamophobic Fear Mongering Is Disgusting – Love, Joy, Feminism

“Anger and hostility were the most overwhelming sentiments at a Trump rally in Cincinnati last week, a deep sense of frustration, an us-versus-them mentality, and a belief that they are part of an unstoppable and underestimated movement. Unlike many in the country, however, these hard-core Trump followers do not believe the real estate mogul’s misfortunes are of his own making.
They believe what Trump has told them over and over, that this election is rigged, and if he loses, it will be because of a massive conspiracy to take him down.” Trump’s supporters talk rebellion, assassination at his rallies – The Boston Globe

A People’s History of Donald Trump’s Business Busts and Countless Victims – Newsweek

“These concerns compel us, for the third time since the magazine’s founding, to endorse a candidate for president. Hillary Rodham Clinton has more than earned, through her service to the country as first lady, as a senator from New York, and as secretary of state, the right to be taken seriously as a White House contender. She has flaws (some legitimately troubling, some exaggerated by her opponents), but she is among the most prepared candidates ever to seek the presidency. We are confident that she understands the role of the United States in the world; we have no doubt that she will apply herself assiduously to the problems confronting this country; and she has demonstrated an aptitude for analysis and hard work.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, has no record of public service and no qualifications for public office. His affect is that of an infomercial huckster; he traffics in conspiracy theories and racist invective; he is appallingly sexist; he is erratic, secretive, and xenophobic; he expresses admiration for authoritarian rulers, and evinces authoritarian tendencies himself. He is easily goaded, a poor quality for someone seeking control of America’s nuclear arsenal. He is an enemy of fact-based discourse; he is ignorant of, and indifferent to, the Constitution; he appears not to read.” ‘The Atlantic’ Editors Endorse Hillary Clinton for President – The Atlantic

Donald Trump’s Barrage of Heated Rhetoric Has Little Precedent – The New York Times

“He is preaching to the converted. He is lashing out at anyone who is not completely loyal. He is detaching himself from and delegitimizing the institutions of American political life. And he is proclaiming conspiracies everywhere — in polls (rigged), in debate moderators (biased) and in the election itself (soon to be stolen).” Inside Donald Trump’s echo chamber of conspiracies, grievances and vitriol – The Washington Post

You Don’t Like Trump? You Killed Christ. – Love, Joy, Feminism

“I have to laugh when people accuse me of opposing Trump because it somehow makes me rich, or because I’m currying favors with guests at the “elite” cocktail parties that I never actually attend. I oppose Trump not just because he’s an ignorant demagogue and a naked political opportunist, but also because bigotry and intimidation cling to his campaign. Every campaign attracts its share of fools, cranks, and crazies. But Trump’s candidacy has weaponized them. Every harassing tweet and every violent threat is like a voice whispering in my ear, telling me to do all that I can to oppose a movement that breeds and exploits such reckless hate.” Donald Trump’s Alt-Right Supporters: Internet Abuse Must End – National Review

Donald Trump’s Barrage of Heated Rhetoric Has Little Precedent – The New York Times


Why Do Sensitive Introverts Withdraw? – Introvert, Dear

“If you’ve met someone online…
…made plans to meet up for a first date
…but then after you’ve made those plans, the person says or does something creepy (or racist) that makes you reconsider…
IT IS OKAY TO JUST CANCEL.” #822: PSA that answers about 10 current letters – Captain Awkward

Ask Dr. NerdLove: My Friend’s Giving Me The Cold Shoulder – Paging Dr. NerdLove

Chronic Illness & Pain

4 Yoga Poses for Chronic Pain – Aroga Yoga

“Syncope = Fainting = Passing out.  This means you have lost consciousness, or have come close and have gotten horizontal in time to prevent the actual faint, otherwise known as “pre-syncope.”  This happens because there is not enough blood in your brain.  Many perfectly healthy peeople faint during their life time, and it is a one or two time event – and they have no other health issues causing it or as a result.  Or – it can be a sign of something serious.  There are many types of fainting, the most common being vasovagal, or reflex fainting.” Fainting: The Final Frontier (and Neurally Medicated Syncope) – STOP POTS (and Dysautonomia)

Things I Find Help With POTS Symptoms – Irish Dysautonomia Awareness


Vegan Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream – Against All Grain

Vietnamese Short Rib Stew – Mark’s Daily Apple

Easy homemade vegan and paleo mini pumpkin pie recipe – The Real Food Guide

Ginger Fried Cabbage and Carrots (AIP, Paleo, Vegan) – Eat Heal Thrive

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Maple Crispies – Simple Merry

Link Love (2016-10-29)

U.S. Election 2016

A message from your friendly neighborhood Trump supporter – renegade mothering

“Trump fever quickly spread: Other extremists new to presidential politics openly endorsed Trump, including Don Black, a former grand dragon of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and founder of the neo-Nazi site Stormfront; Rocky Suhayda, chair of the American Nazi Party; and Rachel Pendergraft, a national organizer for the Knights Party, the successor to David Duke’s Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Richard Spencer, an emerging leader among a new generation of white nationalists known as the “alt right,” declared that Trump “loves white people.”” How Trump Took Hate Groups Mainstream – Mother Jones

Trump’s “Obama founded ISIS” comments are dangerous. They’re also deeply ignorant. – Vox

“It’s been seven years since Lisette Johnson’s abusive husband shot her and then turned the gun on himself, but nowadays, whenever she turns on the TV, she is confronted with a man who sounds just like him.
He lies. He bullies. He threatens. He calls women names. And he’s the Republican nominee for president.” Trump Is Triggering Domestic Violence Survivors With Textbook Abusive Behavior – Huffington Post

Trump Central Park Five Guilty Despite DNA Evidence – Love, Joy, Feminism

“Yet within this tale of marriage and redemption, there doesn’t seem to be room for Clinton, who is criticized for doing what Trump supporters tell others to do every day — value the sanctity of marriage. Clinton’s reasoning for reconciling with her husband even seems to follow these traditional teachings. In March of this year,Clinton spoke of her faith and marriage at a church in Michigan. She noted that it was her faith that allowed her to forgive her husband, and the example of God’s redemption that gave her a pathway to reconciliation.
Divorce is bad, argue Christian leaders, because marriage is forever. And yet, somehow when the Clintons stay together, it’s a moral failing.” The Clintons’ Christian Marriage: The staggering Evangelical hypocricy over Hillary’s refusal to divorce Bill – Salon

What Would Become of Our Husbands and Sons Under a Trump Presidency? – Love, Joy, Feminism


“It’s a little peculiar, isn’t it, that seeing homophobia as The Worst Thing makes it so much harder to challenge? But it does. Capital-H, by erasing everyday homophobia carried out by decent people, actively perpetuates a status quo where cisgender heterosexuality is normalised and everything else is.. Other.” Homophobia: letting go of the Capital H. – Consider the Tea Cosy

This Woman Is Calling Out Sexist, Hypocritical Men In Exactly the Way They Deserve – Distractify

“After finishing their fact-finding mission, the working group was “extremely concerned about the human rights situation of African-Americans,” chair Mireille Fanon Mendes-France of France said in the report. “The colonial history, the legacy of enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the U.S. remains a serious challenge as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent.”” U.N. panel suggests slavery reparations in U.S. – The Philadelphia Tribune

The Word Is “Rape” – Love, Joy, Feminism

“She looked at me in surprise: “You’re going to leave the baby alone with your husband?!
I looked at her like she had two heads: “Uh, yes — at minimum, several evenings a week and all day Sunday. I would never have a baby with someone who couldn’t be left alone with a baby. In fact, nobody should.”
I wouldn’t agree to an unfair parenting arrangement any more than I’d work with a coworker who dumps his work on my desk and cuts out early.” How to Parent Equally When You Both Work Full-Time – Daily Worth


“I suggested that punishment and force will ultimately create more resistance, because force always creates push-back. After all, how would you feel if someone sat on you, pried open your mouth, forced in a toothbrush and scrubbed? Sure, you might begin to acquiesce. But I’m betting you’d be pushing back in other ways. Force creates power struggles.” When you’ve tried everything, but you still end up in the breakdown lane – Aha Parenting

15 ways to catch up with friends that aren’t grabbing coffee or a cocktail – Yes and Yes

“If your husband wants to try reconciling with his mom, I think it’s up to him to figure out a process that might work and to put supports in place for himself to make it possible, and I think that it’s okay for you to put the onus on him to do the work here.” #821: “I want to reconcile with my abusive mom, but it’s up to you, honey!” – Captain Awkward


Authenticity Is a Moving Target – Meg Worden

“When we imagine self-trust, it seems like this enormous, all-encompassing thing that we either have or don’t have. We may look longingly at the few people who seem to be able to follow through with their dreams. We may judge ourselves harshly against their brilliant example – using this as further evidence to support our lack of self-worth.
Self-trust is built upon small moments of showing up and following through.” Nourishing Acts of Self-Trust – Mara Glatzel

How to Set Yourself Up For Success – Danielle Dowling

“The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today… The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.” The Shortness of Life: Seneca on Busyness and the Art of Living Wide Rather than Living Long – Brain Pickings

Weaving Self-Care Into Your Day – Alignment Monkey

Chronic Illness & Pain

New Heart Rate Monitor – Living with ME/CFS

“The items listed above are what are in my “waiting bag”, but you might find that you will add your own special items. I know a woman that brings her crocheting along with her, or mothers who clip grocery store coupons. I recently purchased a few of the travel size tissues and antibacterial lotions, and have added them to my bag. Just add whatever will make you happy, or whatever will keep you busy.
I think my waiting bag is a good idea for anyone who finds themselves in similar situations, waiting in doctors’ offices. But I have heard from friends that they have started their own “waiting bags”, for times when they are waiting at the DMV, on errands, waiting for their kids, or even at their children’s athletic games.” What to Do When You Are Waiting to See the Doctor aka “My Waiting Bag” – But You Don’t Look Sick

Three Tips for ER/Doctor Visits – Stop POTS (and Dysautonomia)

“What I wish I had known then, is that researchers have found the mind is way more powerful than we think. Imagining, or visualising doing exercises, can have almost as much positive effect on our bodies as actually doing the exercise. Numerous studies have found that, to varying degrees, visualising a workout increases muscles strength. This is really hopeful news for anyone living with or recovering from a chronic illness. If you are bed bound, recovering in hospital, or just having a bad day, the right visualisation strategy can stop your muscles from deteriorating.” Can Visualising Help Rehabilitation for Chronic Disorders? – Aroga Yoga

10 Things I’ve Learned from Living With Chronic Illness – Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy


The Food Lab’s Complete Guide to Sous Vide Steak – Serious Eats

“Homegrown and hand-mixed specialty tea makes a lovely gift. Packaged in a cute tin, jar or little muslin bag, this is an economical but heartfelt gift that is sure to be appreciated by any tea lover.  Pair it with an infuser, a jar of local honey, or a cute and sunny teapot for an extra special gift!” Lemony Mint Tea – Local Kitchen

How to Make Lemon Sugar – Baking Bites

“The main advantage of sous vide cooking is control. With a constant temperature water bath, you greatly decrease the danger of overcooking your food, which makes it a perfect method for the egg, a humble food that can be transcendent if cooked properly, but rubbery and sulfuric smelling if overdone.” All the Ways to Sous Vide Eggs, Ranked – LifeHacker

Sheepish Food Cravings – Scandinavia and the World


Guest Post: Mini Pumpkin Pie Tars – Against All Grain

Crispy Plantain Tots (Paleo/AIP/Vegan/Whole30) – Grazed and Enthused

Pumpkin Spice Cookies – It’s Me, Charlotte!

Guest Post by Alaena Haber – Korean Pork and Tangy Slaw (Autoimmune Protocol-friendly) – The Paleo Mom

Coconut Love Pumpkin Pie Bars – Nourishing Time

Spiced Apple Cider (AIP, Paleo) – Adventures in Partaking

Simple Pumpkin Pie – Autoimmune Paleo

Link Love (2016-10-22)

U.S. Election 2016

Remember that time a firework tipped over? – The Oatmeal

““My students are terrified of Donald Trump,” reports a teacher from a middle school with a large African-American Muslim population. “They think that if he’s elected, all black people will get sent back to Africa.”
Another educator from a Tennessee school says a Latino kindergartener was told by his peers that he will be deported and barricaded behind a wall. “Is the wall here yet?” he asks daily.
One teacher reports that a fifth-grader told a Muslim student “he was supporting Donald Trump because he was going to kill all of the Muslims if he became president.”” The ‘Trump Effect’ in Schools: How Trump’s Hate Speech Is Traumatizing America’s Children – Alternet

Trump Does Not Know What Civil Liberties Are, and That Should Be Terrifying – Love, Joy, Feminism

““I put lipstick on a pig,” he said. “I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is.” He went on, “I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.”
If he were writing “The Art of the Deal” today, Schwartz said, it would be a very different book with a very different title. Asked what he would call it, he answered, “The Sociopath.”” Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All – The New Yorker

Trump’s Childcare Plan Helps the Wealthy, Not the Poor – Love, Joy, Feminism

“In a speech carried live from Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, on at least three TV networks last December, soon-to-be Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump was telling the world he wanted to ban Muslims from entering the United States. “It’s temporary,” he later tried to soften. And then I heard my name.
“She’s back there. Little Katy. She’s back there.”
I was six months into covering the Trump campaign for MSNBC and NBC News, and there I was, in the belly of a World War II battleship, in a press pen made out of bicycle racks, surrounded by thousands of whipped-up Trump supporters.” Katy Tur Talks Covering Donald Trump’s Candidacy for NBC – Marie Claire

First Debate Highlights: That Moment Every Woman Knew What It Felt Like to Be Hillary – Love, Joy, Feminism

Christian culture is a haven for abusers.
It’s a shelter for rapists and molesters because of the redemption narrative they cling to. If a rapist or abuser says “I’m sorry, I’ve repented,” anyone who questions that is harshly censored. If a woman wants to divorce her husband because he enjoyed watching people rape children, she’s censored by her church and shunned. Or if your husband “repents” of sexually abusing a child for years, you’ll be the one seen as “breaking your marriage vows” if you decide to leave him. Even if he’s abusing you, according to John Piper you’re just supposed to stick it out. After all, if you listen to Debi Pearl, maybe if he beats you long enough you’ll bring him to a saving knowledge of Christ. Or, maybe Debi Pearl’s too extreme for you– how about Lori Wick, one of the most popular Christian fiction authors?
This is why Trump is succeeding so well among evangelical voters. He’s an abuser, but now he’s converted to their nationalistic, dominionist, theocratic, white supremacist and misogynistic faith, and through that has been Redeemed.
He fits right in.” what hast thou wrought: Christians and Trump – Samantha Field

Why Trump Answered the Wrong Question on Race – Love, Joy, Feminism


“I know that many of us in the autoimmune community have faced injustices while seeking help for our diseases, regardless of what they are, so why do I hold endo apart as a distinct social justice issue? The core of a social justice is unequal access, support, or treatment, which is based on a trait. After dealing with endo for over twenty years, I’ve come to recognize something I would never have considered early on…the trait that results in unequal access and support for endo is gender. Menstruation is unique to women and dismissal of this disease as a “female problem” has lead to not only difficulty classifying endo as an autoimmune disease, but also even larger failures in thorough medical research and appropriate healthcare options.” Four Reasons Endometriosis Is A Social Justice Issue – Autoimmune Paleo

Did You Know Hospitals “Sell” Body Parts – Love, Joy, Feminism

“Girly-shaming lifts traits typically considered “manly” up onto a pedestal. It implies the only way to be successful or be powerful is to adhere to a set of values commonly associated with conventionally strong men. It forces men and women into tiny, separate boxes of acceptable ways to act. Basically, it blames girls that you would classify as girly for all the problems women face.” Pink is a dirty word – Medium

Working at Planned Parenthood: ‘Every day, someone threatened to kill me’ – The Guardian

“‘All over the world, girls are raised to be make themselves likeable, to twist themselves into shapes that suit other people.’
‘Please do not twist yourself into shapes to please. Don’t do it. If someone likes that version of you, that version of you that is false and holds back, then they actually just like that twisted shape, and not you. And the world is such a gloriously multifaceted, diverse place that there are people in the world who will like you, the real you, as you are.’” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Gave A Speech About Feminism – Marie Claire


“But in actuality, he just saw me as his development tool. The human bystander that he used, hurt, crushed and exhausted on his way to glorious improvement, or at least on his way to maybe possible glorious improvement. Of course he adored hearing my important thoughts about his existence because if I analyzed him critically and told him exactly what he needed to do to fix himself then he wouldn’t have to lift a finger. Having me around made things easy. I was his living, breathing, talking, walking moral barometer that explained right from wrong and hit a buzzer when he was being vile and gave him detailed advice on how to prevent his shittiness. When he behaved badly, I was there to slap him on the wrist and say, “Naughty boy!” and point out his mistakes. He wanted me around simply because he wanted free emotional labour that he didn’t return but was happy to take.” I Do Not Exist to Fix You – She Does the City

#817: “Death, strained relationships, and ‘what if’?” – Captain Awkward

“In fact, empathy is so effective in reconnecting with our upset child and helping her calm down that it takes us by surprise when it “doesn’t work.”
But empathy isn’t a trick to control the other person.  It’s a means of connection, and of helping our child process emotion.  So when empathy doesn’t “work,” consider whether you’re really connecting, and whether you’re helping your child with her emotions.” Why empathy is your #1 parenting. – Aha Parenting

Why Romantic Love Is Essential to Human Experience – Mark’s Daily Apple

“What I’m suggesting is that we should think about to what extent to which we do or do not give children political agency. Growing up in a politically active family, it was simply assumed we children would support whatever candidates our parents did. We were never asked or given an option. I don’t know whether that is the case here—and even if it is, it’s not as big a deal as it is when parents are pushing their children in front of microphones—but I do remember what that was like. You can’t make a decision when you are offered only one option, or are never given a choice to begin with. What I’m trying to get at here is that we need to think consciously about the framework we use for understanding children’s political agency.” How Should We Understand Children’s Political Agency? – Love, Joy, Feminism


Let it be easy – Christy Tending Healing Arts

“The combination of circumstances which allows it to exist at all are so implausible that the Schistostega is rendered much more precious than gold. Goblins’ or otherwise. Not only does its presence depend on the coincidence of the cave’s angle to the sun, but if the hills on the western shore were any higher the sun would set before reaching the cave… Its life and ours exist only because of a myriad of synchronicities that bring us to this particular place at this particular moment. In return for such a gift, the only sane response is to glitter in reply.” The Magic of Moss and What It Teaches Us About the Art of Attentiveness to Life at All Scales – Brain Pickings

How to Stay Optimistic When Everything’s Horrible – Yes and Yes

Chronic Illness & Pain

The Dilemmas of Exercise and M.E. – Just ME

““Smoking was established long ago as a strong predictor of failure of pain treatment,” writes Dr. Tim Taylor, a chronic pain specialist. “Smokers are so difficult to treat that I will not accept smokers as patients.”
Smokers often assume that they’re mostly just hurting their lungs and risking cancer, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Smoking compromises so many aspects of health — nearly all of them, really — that quitting is a vital pre-requisite for beating pain.” Smoking and Chronic Pain – Pain Science

A more useful pain scale. Boyfriend Doesn’t Have Ebola. Probably. – Hyperbole and a Half

“For a long time, fibromyalgia was thought of as a medical mystery. Technological advancement has allowed us to look closer. Today, it is a recognised disorder, part of a group of chronic pain syndromes described as central nervous system disorders.
The condition affects more than four times as many women as it does men. With as many as 2-5% of the developed world living with fibromyalgia, it is far from uncommon. Yet targeted and effective treatment options aren’t available for the condition. And compared to fibromyalgia’s impact, this area of research remains highly underfunded.” Hidden and unexplained: feeling the pain of fibromyalgia – The Conversation

Using Diet to Help With an Autoimmune Disease – PopSugar


3 New Reasons to Take a Walk in Nature – Sara Gottfried MD

“There’s nothing like charcoal-grilled meat. It’s not just the food itself, although that’s amazing. It’s the entire experience: being outside in fresh (albeit smokey) air, the sizzle when you slap that meat down on the hot grill, the smell of the smoke. Even the tools we use when grilling are bigger and savager and more rewarding than the dainty implements used inside. We don’t gently flip the steak. We grab it with huge metal tongs and throw it down. There’s less precision and more art. And the flavor can’t be found anywhere else. The smoke, the flame, the char, the grill marks, the color, the dripping fat—they are irreplaceable.
But is it healthy? Is that perfect sear costing you years off your life? Are those BBQ ribs adorning your colonic interior with pre-cancerous polyps?” How Bad Is Charred Meat, Really? Mark’s Daily Apple

Is GERD an Autoimmune Disease? – Chris Kresser

“You’re twentysomething. Or thirtysomething. And you’re tired. Tired of another month of looking in the mirror and being unhappy. Tired of another night where you feel exhausted yet wonder why you couldn’t get more done. Tired of getting burned by another weight loss scheme your friend told you about. It was wraps this time, or weight loss pills, or the ab coaster. It doesn’t matter. None of them have worked, and you’re just freaking tired of it all. You just want to smile and feel good about yourself, and that hasn’t happened since you were younger.
But there’s a teeny tiny part of you that doesn’t want to give up yet.” A Fitness Epic: Your story of love, health, and self-discovery. – Nerd Fitness

6 Paleo Snacks to Fight Cravings – Paleo Hacks


Ounces and Grams: Why Mass Is Not the Best Way to List Ingredients Serious Eats

Lazy Citrus Salt – Local Kitchen Blog

How to Transport Goodies Safely – Cook’s Illustrated

10 Creative Ways to Use Leftover Vegetables – Smithspirations

How to Make Caramelized White Chocolate – Bon Appétit


Paleo Pumpkin Bolognese – Strictly Delicious

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread – Against All Grain

Salty Crackers – Paleo Pumpkin

Spiced Pumpkin Tea Latte (AIP, Paleo, Low FODMAP, Vegan) – Sweet Treats

Paleo Meatballs that will fool your Italian grandmother! (AIP-friendly) – Gutsy by Nature

Pumpkin Spise Cake with Gingersnap Crust – Autoimmune Paleo


Link Love (2016-10-16)

U.S. Election

“All else being equal, I will vote for the female candidate over the male candidate, because gender matters. Representation is not irrelevant, it’s critically important. In fact, all else being slightly unequal, I would probably still vote for the female candidate because gender is a factor I would weigh when making my decision. That means, yes, that I would vote for a slightly less qualified female candidate over a slightly more qualified male candidate, and potentially even for a female candidate I disagree with slightly over a male candidate I agree with entirely.” Why Hillary Clinton’s Gender Matters – Love, Joy, Feminism

The white man pathology: inside the fandom of Sanders and Trump – The Guardian

“Race plays a part in each of these analyses, but its role has not yet been central enough to our understanding of Trump’s rise. Not only does he lead a movement of almost exclusively disaffected whites, but he wins his strongest support in states and counties with the greatest amounts of racial polarization. Among white voters, higher levels of racial resentment have been shown to be associated with greater support for Trump.” How Donald Trump happened: Racism against Barack Obama

How I Came to Identify with Hillary Clinton – Love, Joy, Feminism

“Criticise Hillary Clinton all you like. Rant all day long about her political history. Take her policies apart. Question her integrity if you like. Dig up dirt on her. Publicise any mistake she’s made in her career. Shout every questionable act of hers from the rooftops. Please. Do that. She’s trying to become one of the most powerful people on the planet. Pick apart everything she’s ever done and if you find her wanting, tell everyone. As engaged voters, tis a isn’t just acceptable. It’s your job.
But remember this: if you claim to be progressive, don’t use bigotry against people.” Making it Weird: what I didn’t say when you called Hillary Clinton a man. – Consider the Tea Cosy


The National Review’s Somali-Syrian Refugee Comparison Is Extremely Disingenuous – Love, Joy, Feminism

“The scientific method may be impartial, but the scientific culture is not. From grad-school admission on up through tenure, every promotion can hinge on a recommendation letter’s one key passage of praise, offered — or withheld — by the most recent academic adviser. Given the gender breakdown of senior scientists, most often that adviser is a man.
Perhaps she decides to ignore this first email — and this is often the case — knowing that she has little to gain, and a lot to lose, from a confrontation. Once satisfied with her tendency toward secrecy, the sender then finds a way to get her alone: invites her to coffee, into his office, out for some ostensibly group event. At said meeting he will become tentatively physical, insisting that if people knew, they just wouldn’t understand. At this point, any objection on her part wouldn’t just be professionally dangerous, it would seem heartless — and she’s not a horrible person, is she?” She Wanted to Do Her Research. He Wanted to Talk ‘Feelings.’ – NY Times

Carrying Feminism – Robot Hugs

“Still, as I sat in my car listening to NPR yesterday evening, I found myself grieved by something else entirely. I have a Facebook friend who posts frequently about terrorist attacks across the world—Nigeria, Pakistan, Yemen. When an attack happens, she posts it. And yet, as I listened to wall to wall NPR coverage of Brussels, I grieved for the fact that this level of coverage only occurs when the victims are white. I grieved for the fact that the victims of last week’s Maiduguri mosque bombing received barely a mention, and I grieved for the victims of last week’s bus bombing in Peshawar. These two attacks cost more lives than the Brussels attack. Where was our grief then?” Do Western Lives Matter More? Let’s Talk Terrorism. – Love, Joy, Feminism

Secrets of a #BossBitch: On Parenthood, Marriage, and Leaning In – A Practical Wedding


“Your friends are, sometimes literally, your life.
And when friendships have such power and importance, they carry the potential not only for beauty and healing, but for violence and abuse as well.
Nobody tells you this when you’re little.
Society gives us a map, however flawed, for the trajectory of romance: Most people have some sense of what is “health” and “unhealthy” in a romantic partnership (however skewed those ideas may be by gender stereotypes and Hollywood tropes).
We tend to give some weight to the idea that romantic and sexual relationships can be violent and abusive – even if we are taught to understand this primarily within a heterosexual and monogamous context.
But we are rarely, if ever, taught to nurture and tend to the health of our friendships. There is no socially accepted formula for beginning or maintaining a friendship, and even less for ending one.
This means that we are even less equipped to recognize – let alone respond to – violence or abuse between friends when it occurs.
But it does occur – and often in similar ways that abuse happens in other kinds of relationships, and for similar reasons. Because abuse is the misuse of power against others by those who do not know how to get their needs met in better ways – and like I said, sometimes friendships are the only route that we have to getting our needs met.” 8 Signs Your Friendship Might Be Abusive – Everyday Feminism

Marriage Secrets of Highly Successful Couples – Huffington Post

“One effect that under and over-functioning has on romantic relationships is that it keeps the people bound together by more than choice. Two people that take care of 100% of their responsibilities are more free to choose their partners. In contrast, UFs and OFs often report there being a “need” to be together. The UF “needs” the OF or else his/her life would ‘fall apart,’ and the OF “needs” to be there for the UF so this doesn’t happen and the guilt of it happening can be avoided. In that sense both people can feel important and “needed”. This has historically been referred to as “co-dependence”, although classic co-dependence almost always involves an addiction problem with the UF.” Overfunctioning & Underfunctioning – Will Meek PhD

How to Leave a Toxic Relationship When You’re Still in Love – Tiny Buddha

“In times like this, when mosques are being fire bombed and Muslims spat upon and planned parenthood shot up and San Bernardino shot up and all the schools shot up and all the life bombed and Donald Trump white supremacist hate-conjuring as if the Japanese Internment never happened and old friends are dying and getting sick and newer ones too, and, and.
Each Thursday I sit at a table with my friends and our whirling-dervish mayhem, good food and love become a tiny shelter in an insane unjust bullshit world. It’s all falling apart, out there, it seems, but tonight we share something we made or they made for me, taking in the love of humans still in my arms, now in my arms. Our kids. Our bellies. Lives move on and on and yet stay right here at our table.” How I (sort of) manage Donald Trump and the rest of the bullshit – renegade mothering


On Being Vulnerable and Connecting – Not To Be Trusted With Knives

“Do we have an obligation to do our best by the people we love? Well, yes—to an extent.
But we have to remember we have an obligation to ourselves first—for our happiness, our health, and our spiritual well-being. If we are not respecting our time, feelings, and energy, no one else will either.” Are You Being Too Supportive? (Yes, There Is Such a Thing) – Tiny Buddha

The Myth of “No Regrets” – Everyday Small Stuff

“The question is: how do we overcome these insecurities?
How do we become OK with ourselves? How do we learn to find contentment and peace?
The answer isn’t simple, but it requires one thing to start with: a willingness to face what we usually don’t want to face.
That means a bit of courage. Just in small doses, to start with, but it means a willingness to set aside all the distractions for a little bit, and just focus on what you’re struggling with.” A Roadmap to Overcoming Insecurities – Zen Habits

Relinquishing Control of Others: 5 Ways It Serves You – Tiny Buddha

Chronic Illness & Chronic Pain

Your tips for keeping warm in the winter months – A Prescription for M.E.

“Those of us with chronic illnesses are masters of coping. We learn to smile through the pain and anguish, we conserve what little energy we have by not bothering to cry, and we count out our spoons to figure out how much we can get done in a day.
Part of the reason it’s so hard to believe that many of us are truly sick is because of the ways we cope with our pain. It’s more than most people will ever experience, yet we have no choice but to bear it.” 6 Things You Need to Know About Invisible Illnesses – Everyday Feminism

What’s Self-Care When You Can’t Care for Yourself – Grace Quantock


5 Good Uses for Your Citrus Peels – The Kitchn

“These differences are subtle, the kind you might not notice if you’re brewing flavored tea, making a pitcher of iced tea, or planning to add lots of milk and sugar. But in fine tea, the kind that’s meant to be drunk straight, subtlety is everything. Brew a tea one way and it might taste nice. Brew it with some extra care and it can floor you with its complexity, aroma, and finish that lingers for minutes after each sip.
Ask tea experts about brewing and they’ll tell you how your source of water is critical, how better water turns a good tea great and bad water can make even pricey tea taste sour and acrid. Anecdotally I’ve seen this claim in action, but I’ve never put numbers to it—until now. Can we quantify the impact of water source on tea?” Taste Test: Should I Use Filtered or Bottled Water for Tea? – Serious Eats

How to Use Up a Heck of a Lot of Extracts – Food52

“For one, it must be said that the non-drinker does not aspire to drink a rum-free piña colada like it is his tenth birthday at the Rainforest Cafe. Nor does he wish to toast with sparkling Martinelli’s like a child play-shaving his face beside a group of Champagne-drinking dads. In the briefest terms, a good non-alcoholic party drink should not seem to be missing a key ingredient (alcohol), nor should it seem like a mere ingredient itself. While any drink is fine on an ordinary day, the booze-free party drink should be able to stand alone as a great drink in its own right.” The Ultimate Hostess Challenge: Non-Drinkers – The Cut

Kitchen Resolutions You Should Make for a Delicious 2016 – LifeHacker


Fall Spice Coconut Butter (AIP, Paleo, 21DSD) – Joy-Filled Nourishment

Scooped: Jasmine Tea and Rose Petal Sorbet – Serious Eats

Pumpkin Spice Soup with Ginger Sage Meatballs (AIP, Paleo) – Adventures in Partaking

Eggs Five Ways for Instant Pot – Dr. Karen S. Lee

Pumpkin Pie Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds) – Against All Grain

Braised Cube Steak with Onion Gravy (AIP) – Gutsy by Nature

On the Blog

12 Years of Remembering My Dad

October 2016 Quick Reviews

So many wonderful books out there, and I’m slowly, but surely starting to catch up on my backlog of books to read.


perfection-deception-cover2The Perfection Deception: Why Striving to Be Perfect Is Sabotaging Your Relationships, Making You Sick, and Holding Your Happiness Hostage by Jane Bluestein*: This is an excellent book for those of us who struggle with perfectionism. Bluestein shows us how perfectionism isn’t a good thing, how it develops, how it hurts us, and how we can learn to live with more authenticity and vulnerability rather than hiding behind the walls of perfectionism. Highly recommended.

custom-knitsCustom Knits: Unleash Your Inner Designer with Top-Down and Improvisational Techniques by Wendy Bernard: Great information on techniques, construction and customization. Most of the patterns weren’t really my style though, so I’m happy I just borrowed it from the library.

awakenings-2-1Awakenings by Oliver Sacks: I listened to this on Audible. It was a fascinating and simultaneously heartbreaking story of a group of patients with sleeping sickness who had been in a sleep-like trance for decades. Given the new drug L-DOPA many “woke up” – even if only for a brief time.

things-i-learned-from-knittingThings I Learned from Knitting… whether I wanted to or not by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee: This is the first book I read by the Yarn Harlot and I loved it. A hilarious collection of essays on the trials and tribulations of a knitter – I think even the non-knitters would be amused.

great-catherineGreat Catherine: The Life of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia by Carolly Erickson: I listened to this on Audible – I really liked the narrator. This is a great insight into the life of Catherine the Great and how she went from a young German princess to become one of the most powerful women at her time.

knitting-in-circlesKnitting in Circles: 100 Circular Patterns for Sweaters, Bags, Hats, Afghans, and More by Nicky Epstein: A good collection of different circular patterns and motifs, but I didn’t like any of the actual patterns and I’m not sure I would find it that useful.

written-in-my-own-hearts-bloodWritten in My Own Heart’s Blood (an Outlander Novel) by Diana Gabaldon: After the last couple of Outlander novels being a bit lacklustre (in my opinion), Gabaldon has found her stride again with Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. If you’ve read and enjoyed any of her previous Outlander novels I highly recommend it – if you haven’t I would start at the beginning with Outlander.

crochet-one-skein-wonders-for-babiesCrochet One-Skein Wonders for Babies: 101 Projects for Infants & Toddlers by Judith Durant & Edie Eckman*: This is another excellent edition to the series of One-Skein Wonders books, this time full of cute projects for babies and toddlers – perfect for using up those leftover skeins and bits of yarn. There’s so many delightful projects, many are excellent for beginners too.

ill-see-you-in-parisI’ll See You in Paris by Michelle Gable*: Loosely based on the real life of Gladys Spencer-Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough, I’ll See You in Paris is both a mystery and a love story. The story had great premise, but the execution was only so-so – still a decent read, and I would recommend it for those who like historical chick-lit.

garage-bandGarage Band: A comedy that has Nothing to do with Music. Everything to do with Getting Even. by Adam Rabinowitz: I was contacted by the author who apparently had liked some of my Amazon reviews and thought I would enjoy this book. I have no idea why. Not only is it poorly written, it is one of the most sexist pieces of garbage that I’ve ever read. In the end I only read the first 10% of the book and the last chapter (to see if there might be some redemption towards the end. There wasn’t.). This is a book oozing of white, middle-age, male privilege and entitlement and I’d encourage you to stay far far away from it.

seven-principles-for-making-marriage-workThe Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert by John Gottman, Ph.D. & Nan Silver: I had heard really good stuff about this book, it had been on my to-read list for a long time and even with my high expectations it didn’t let me down. Too often books on relationships repeat the same-old standard advice about the importance of communication and spout the old stereotypes on the difference between men and women. Instead this book will tell you that it doesn’t really matter how much you argue – as long as you have 5 good moments for every bad one, and as long as you avoid the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse (criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling), turn toward rather than away from your partner, foster fondness and admiration, build a love map, create shared meaning and learn to cope with conflicts than can’t be resolved. I highly recommend this book to everyone (whether not you’re currently in a romantic relationship).

spark-joySpark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondo: If you loved  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, but weren’t sure how to practically go about decluttering and organizing (and folding all your clothes Kondo style), or if you don’t really care about the philosophy behind why she does things the way she does; Spark Joy is for you. Step-by-step illustrated details and chapters covering all parts of the average household. I especially enjoyed her storage tips and guidelines on how to properly fold clothes.

the-white-princessThe White Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels) by Philippa Gregory: While Gregory’s novel are more like “light” historical fiction, I quite like most of her books and this one was better than average. Since switching to listening to them on Audible, I also find that it’s easier to keep my focus (and due to their length, they’re a pretty good deal).

natural-hair-coloringNatural Hair Coloring: How to Use Henna and Other Pure Herbal Pigments for Chemical-Free Beauty by Christine Shahin*: Shahin covers all parts of natural hair care – of course with a huge emphasis on how to colour your hair naturally. I was amazed to learn just how many different colours you can achieve using natural methods, including ways to intensify your natural hair colour. I highly recommend this to anyone who colours their hair and are looking for more natural alternatives.

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 in exchange for an honest review.

12 Years of Remembering My Dad

0940b-farToday is 12 years since my dad died.

Dealing with such an important loss, well, it gets easier, but it never gets easy. I miss him all the time, especially during this time of the year.

Two years ago I wrote about how my dad died and I have previously written about my dad.

They say time heals all wounds, I don’t believe that’s true. Dealing with, working through and taking action helps heal the wounds – and even then, you’ll always have the scars to remind you what you’ve been through. And that’s okay, it’s part of life and frankly I think there’s beauty in the scars and in the stories that shape who you are.

Link Love (2016-10-08)


Baby Doe – A political history of tragedy – The New Yorker

“There are many reasons why growing numbers—primarily farmers and knitters — are fixated on the Icelandic sheep. The breed, with fine-grained meat and a wooly coat that is both light-as-air and rugged, has retained one of the purest bloodlines in the agricultural world and carries a romantic and wild history.
Without sheep milk, meat and hides, life for her Viking ancestors would have been impossible, says Ragnheiður Eiríksdóttir, a Reykjavik-based knitting instructor and former nurse. “They were essential to surviving here,” she says. Three years ago she started Knitting Iceland, a tour company that primarily caters to American and Canadian knitters.
“In my classes I talk a lot about the sheep, our culture, farmers and our heritage,” she says. “If you just present someone with a ball of yarn it doesn’t have the same impact as that story, the fact that the whole heritage of a nation follows that ball of yarn.”” Why Farmers and Knitters Are Fixated on Icelandic Sheep – Modern Farmer

20 Life Rules For a 20-Something – The Twenties Guide


“I agree that there is more partisanship in this country than is good for it and I agree that there are blog posts and news articles that misunderstand what fundamentalists believe or how they practice their beliefs. But those posts and articles are not generally written by ex-fundamentalists. Should we encourage liberals and progressives to get to know fundamentalists and see them as people? Yes, though I want to be clear that that should not get in the way of opposing beliefs that are in fact harmful—and I don’t think Bevere gets that. Should we encourage all people to be aware of the ways ideologically narrow social circles can contribute to dogmatism? Absolutely, though this applies to everyone, not just ex-fundamentalists.
But we don’t need to tell ex-fundamentalists that they have to spend more time with fundamentalists or they’re just “re-formed” fundamentalists and we don’t need to tell them that the pain or anger they may feel is illegitimate, or that if they don’t see fundamentalist positions as as valid or as just as theirs they’re still fundamentalists. And if not being a relativist makes me a fundamentalist, so be it.” A Fundamental Misunderstanding of Ex-Fundamentalists – Love, Joy, Feminism

These Pranksters Read Bible Passages to People, Telling Them It Was the Qur’an; They Were Shocked – Friendly Atheist

“But I want to note something else. Farris says that refugee status should only be given to those who would face “serious harm” if they were to return to their home country. First of all, their home country is in the middle of a civil war. I’m pretty sure that qualifies as “serious harm.” Secondly though, Farris himself fought to have a German homeschool family given asylum in the U.S. based on the fact that if they returned to Germany they would have to send their children to school. I’m pretty sure that if having to send your kids to school when you want to homeschool is harm enough to be granted asylum, your country being engulfed in civil war ought to be enough for you to be granted refugee status.” Michael Farris Calls for Closing Doors to Syrian Refugees – Love, Joy, Feminism

If the Planned Parenthood Shooter Was Not a “Faithful” Christian, the San Bernadino Shooters Were Not “Faithful” Muslims – Love, Joy, Feminism

“It may be true that today you will find people who have essentially left historic Christianity and are reimagining newer, more progressive ways to reframe their understanding of their religion. More power to them. They may very well find more sex-positive ways to embrace the rich diversity of natural, healthy human sexuality we discover when we aren’t so compelled to shoehorn everyone into this preconceived mold. But they will have to do so in spite of the rest of their Christian brothers and sisters, who will cry foul and label them heretics. These folks will probably feel more at home talking about sex with non-believers than they will with “their own kind.”
In the space that remains, I want to enumerate five different ways that a healthy view and experience of human sexuality creates cognitive dissonance within the mind of a devout Christian. I trust that as I work my way through the list you will see that these are the very reasons why an open and honest discussion about sex feels threatening to the defenders of this religion.” Why Sex May Be the Greatest Threat to Christianity – Removing the Fig Leaf


“Supporting choice means more than keeping abortion legal—though it absolutely does mean that. Supporting choice means ensuring that women have unrestricted access to a range of options. After all, having choice but only one viable option is no choice at all. Supporting reproductive freedom, in turn, means promoting women’s ability to choose not only whether they want to stay pregnant once they are but also when they become pregnant.” All-Options PRC: The New Pro-Choice Center on the Block – Love, Joy, Feminism

And I’ll be taking all of Shriver’s books of my to-be-read list. Lionel Shriver’s Address on Cultural Appropriation Roils a Writer’s Festival – The New York Times

“I’m all for the uplifting and supporting of other humans, I am. But I feel like I need to build a straight up army against the kind of dangerous and convenient spirituality of the blindly privileged who seem to think that IF ONLY WE WOULD BE THINKING MORE POSITIVE THOUGHTS OUR LIVES WOULDN’T SUCK SO MUCH.” No One Gets to be a Messiah: On Quiet Acts of Kindness + The Human Reality (Sometimes Life Does Actually Suck) – Meg Worden

“Watch yourself next time you walk down the street. If you are a woman, ask yourself why your route snakes all over the pavement as you duck and weave to avoid the men charging towards you, refusing to give you quarter. If you are a man, think about how straight your path has been. Think about how you never once had to mutter “excuse me” or “sorry” or “sorryexcusemeI’msosorry” as a man stared at you, clearly shocked by your obvious idiocy.
If you are a woman, dare to straighten your path. Dare to walk as you wish. Dare to dare the men walking towards you.” A Year of Living Comfortably – The Lighthouse

On Saturday the world woke up to tragedy. Carnage in Beirut and Paris. In what seems to have been the work of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in both cities, hundreds were killed, hundreds of others wounded, maimed and scarred. The world has condemned the attacks. But in typical fashion – the condemnation and outrage towards the attacks have been asymmetrical, unequal. JOEY AYOUB writes from Beirut on how, like life, some deaths matter more than others. ” My people’s deaths in Beirut do not matter as much as my other people’s deaths in Paris – The Daily Vox

Beauty & Body Image

Reader Request: Reclaiming Your Style – Already Pretty

DH: The idea from the very beginning was to be narrow in our offering. We see our job as the one of an editor. The best editors find you the best. And leave out the rest. So our job is to search for and find great denims from great mills and use them to make jeans of the highest quality. Our job is to make the best jeans we can; not the most jeans that we can.
Right now, we offer two types of raw denim: One, a selvedge from Kuroki Mill in Japan. It uses real indigo and is hand dipped ten times; it is a beautiful, beautiful denim. And two, we use an organic denim from Isko in Turkey. For us, organic isn’t a fashion trend to follow for one season. It is how we always will do business.” David Hieatt, Founder of Hiut Denim – Heddels

How to Stay Stylish When You’re Running On Empty – Styling by Sisters


Ask Dr. NerdLove: When Is It Time to Leave? – Dr NerdLove

Right from the start, so much of how we parent can teach our children about consent.
Are we abrupt with our toddlers when we switch to the next task or do we provide signals that a transition is going to happen? Do you offer choices, or do you just direct your child around? Do you allow your children to talk back or do you insist on uninterrupted compliance?
Do negotiations take place in your home or is it “my way or the highway”? Do your children understand self-agency and power differential, are you teaching them to trust their instincts?
Allowing our children to speak for themselves is the first step in teaching consent. Children need both voice and feel empathy to understand consent, because of course, consent is not a one-way street.
Our children must learn how to give as well as how to receive consent.” 12 Ways to Parents Can Teach Their Children Consent – Everyday Feminism

6 scientifically proven ways to strengthen your marriage – FamilyShare


31 Perfect Things – Zen Habits

It’s easier to obsess over The Perfect Pre-work Morning Routine than acknowledge that we hate our job and we’ve been burnt out for years. It’s easier to rearrange our cupboards and closets than address a shopping issue. It’s easier to fine tune minutia than deal with big, scary, deep-seated issues.
I know you know this, but personal fulfillment won’t come from a listicle. It probably doesn’t come from a perfectly organized schedule, a freezer full of pre-portioned soups, or a capsule wardrobe.Personal fulfillment comes from making peace with who we are, surrounding ourselves with people who lift us up, and doing hard, important things.” Real talk: you can’t ‘lifehack’ your way to happiness – Yes and Yes

6 Ways to Make Your New Habit Stick – Tiny Buddha

Chronic Illness & Pain

A few notes on using a HR monitor for pacing – Just ME

“When you are considering giving health advice to your chronically ill friend, just don’t.  We love you and deep down we know that you you the best intentions at heart. But, really it’s our body and don’t you think we’ve likely tried it all?  If you want to share something you saw, great just shoot us a quick note “hey, saw this and thought of you”. Leave it at that. We’ll likely take a look and we’ll know you were well-intentioned, and if by some chance it’s new information to us, we might dig deeper and thank you later. If you never hear a word from us on it, just take that to mean it was something we were already well aware of. It’s not that we don’t appreciate your desire to help, but sometimes your help just doesn’t feel that way.” Advice Overload Adds Stress to Chronic Illness – Counting My Spoons

Find Your POTS Cause – Stop POTS (and Dysautonomia!)


Fitness Isn’t Just for the Wealthy: How to Stay Healthy on a Budget – LifeHacker

“Why live like this? It started when Katy was a personal trainer in college. “Many of my clients had knee, back, and hip pain, and I wondered why. So when I went to grad school to become a biomechanist, I started researching why people had these problems and how they could be prevented rather than corrected. That’s when I realized that you can’t offset a diet of candy bars with kale salad, and you can’t counter being sedentary all day with exercise.”
Physical alignment is also extremely important to Katy. Case in point: Their foyer floor is covered in river rocks — because, she says, “good alignment starts with your feet, which need texture to move their many joints.” All four family members go barefoot as much as possible, even outdoors, and when they do wear shoes, their footwear is minimal.” This Family Traded Mattresses for Monkey Bars – Katy Bowman – Good Housekeeping

The Myers Way Approach to Preventing the Cold & Flu – Amy Myers MD


The Secrets Behind Making Incredible Matcha – Serious Eats

“Although I’ve learned lots about food and health over the last several years, the tasty part of salt, more than the health part of salt, is what inspired this recipe. On the AIP many of the spices and flavorings we normally rely on to make yummy dishes are eliminated. That’s where a new found love for finishing salts entered my world. Pre-AIP I would have never bothered to discover all ways that infusing a little flavor into a high-quality sea salt could bring a dish to life, but now I’m all about finishing salts. There are endless combinations, but I’ve come to especially like citrus-herb flavorings with my salts. You can enjoy these salts sprinkled on so many dishes. Plus, they make beautiful handmade gifts!” Citrus-Herb Finishing Salts – Autoimmune Paleo

Benefits of Rooibos Tea – Wellness Mama

“Now, in “Mast Brothers: What Lies Beneath the Beards,” a new series of posts on, Scott, the first-name-only blogger who in 2006 presented detailed allegations that the now-defunct Noka Chocolatewas selling another company’s chocolate at significantly higher prices, has targeted the Mast Brothers’ story. He alleges that the company—whose business is staked on its authenticity and commitment to transparency—did not originally make its own chocolate from scratch, as it claims it always has. As artisanal food surges in popularity, whether it’s chocolate, liquor or jam, the Mast Brothers’ story highlights how a company can have great success selling a product of dubious quality as something “artisanal” or “handcrafted” with beautiful packaging and handsome, bearded founders.” How the Mast Brothers fooled the world into paying $10 a bar for crappy hipster chocolate – Quartz

8 Kitchen Hacks Every Primal Cook Should Know – Mark’s Daily Apple


Sunday Brunch: Tea Cured Gravlax Recipe – Serious Eats

Pumpkin Spice Latte – Against All Grain

Pressure Cooker Crispy Potatoes – Nom Nom Paleo

D.I.Y. Candied Lemon Peel – The Kitchn

Pineapple Avocado Plantain Burger (AIP/Paleo) – Sweet Potatoes and Social Change

AIP Pumpkin Mug Cake – A Girl Worth Saving

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