Homeschool Headmistress: CircusKitchen Recess

Thursday, October 22nd 2020

Here is Gavin doing self-directed exercise at home for “Gym” today.

OK I might have directed a little bit, but huzzah! he can juggle on the rolla bolla.

Until he needs to go to the bathroom anyway. When he gets back up on it afterwards he says; “Woah! I need to find my balance again. I’m suddenly lighter, so I think my center of mass has changed!”

TMI? Sorry not sorry!

And, what’s an accomplishment for a big brother without being dogged by your little sister?

Posted in art, childhood, Corona Quarantine, domestic life, health, homeschool, juggling, learning, making art, mental health, parenthood, parenting, Performing Life, school, Secret Juggler, what’s “work-life balance?”, work-life balance | Leave a comment

Be Our Guest, Wear a Mask!

Thanks to my son for finding and sharing this gem.

It’s definitely worth a listen, even if you are a “Mask Debater.”

Wear a Mask (Be Our Guest Parody) [2:14]:

You’re welcome!


Posted in activism, art, comedy, Corona Quarantine, democratic socialism, fighting Fascism, health, history, learning, love, making art, mental health, music, Performing Life, Religious Hypocrisy, science, Socialism?, tragedy | Leave a comment

Homeschool Headmistress: No Please, Come On In

Tuesday, October 20th 2020

It is afternoon, after “school” in the homestead. Daddy is home from work taking his afternoon rest. Mom is spent from her various efforts today, sitting up on the other side of the bed, operating her laptop. The kitten Darth Snowflake is curled up at their feet. ClaraJane is in a one-on-one meet with a specialist online, telling her about the animals –kitten in particular– while walking around the house on her Chromebook. She walks past the open bedroom door while chatting on the meet.

DAD: Whew. I’m just glad we didn’t end up in her Zoom call just now!

MOM: Me too! Welcome to my reality all day every school day, never sure when I’m showing up in somebody’s class.

BOTH: [Chuckle.]

CJ: [Having spotted kitten, comes back to the door, looks inquisitvely.]

MOM & DAD: Aw gawd, no baby [waving her off]. Sorry, no. We don’t want to be in a Zoom meet right now.

CJ: Aww! OK fine. [Turns and walks away, talking to the teacher in the Chromebook.] My parents don’t want to be on camera. They’re in bed right now!

MOM & DAD: Oh no! Wait, baby! Come back! Come back. Turn it around. [Dad sits up.] Go on. Let’s see it.

CJ: [Turns Chromebook camera to face parents in bed.]

PARENTS: [Wave to teacher on the Chromebook screen.].

DAD: [Waving.]. Hiiii.

MOM: [Waving.] Here we are! Not what it sounds like. We’re just exhausted. How are you?

“Sorry my parents are in bed right now.”


ALL: [Laugh awkwardly.]

CJ: [Walks Chromebook back out of the room.]

MOM: [Shakes head, closes eyes.] Oh my god.

DAD: [Facepalms.]

BOTH: [Hold hands & laugh. Die a little inside.]



Posted in animals, At RISE, cats, childhood, comedy, Corona Quarantine, domestic life, education, faith, family, forgiveness, health, history, homeschool, learning, love, marriage, mental health, parenthood, parenting, patience, school, tragedy, what’s “work-life balance?”, work, work-life balance | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Homeschool Headmistress: Today’s Study Break

Tuesday, October 20th 2020

When your headphones stop working, and no one on the Zoom class can hear you, and you can’t make your VoiceCast work for your Slide Deck persuasive book summary, and your Chromebook is non-responsive and even your brother’s IT Support doesn’t help… who’s to say that beating up random stuff in the yard with a metal bat is not a Perfect Piece of Protocol.

The Girl’s got wisdom, I tell you.

She felt better too!

Perfect Piece of Protocol: “PPP.”

Homeschool Headmistress APPROVES.


Posted in activism, art, childhood, CJ Sez, comedy, Corona Quarantine, domestic life, faith, fight, forgiveness, health, history, homeschool, learning, love, mental health, nature, parenthood, parenting, patience, school, science, tragedy, work, work-life balance | 1 Comment

Letter from a Pastor

Monday, October 19th 2020

Jesus cleanses the temple.

“Dear White Evangelicals, I need to tell you something: People have had it with you.

They’re done. They want nothing to do with you any longer, and here’s why:

They see your hypocrisy, your inconsistency, your incredibly selective mercy, and your thinly veiled supremacy.

For eight years they watched you relentlessly demonize a black President; a man faithfully married for 26 years; a doting father and husband without a hint of moral scandal or the slightest whiff of infidelity.
They watched you deny his personal faith convictions, argue his birthplace, and assail his character—all without cause or evidence. They saw you brandish Scriptures to malign him and use the laziest of racial stereotypes in criticizing him.

And through it all, White Evangelicals—you never once suggested that God placed him where he was,
you never publicly offered prayers for him and his family,
you never welcomed him to your Christian Universities,
you never gave him the benefit of the doubt in any instance,
you never spoke of offering him forgiveness or mercy,
your evangelists never publicly thanked God for his leadership,
your pastors never took to the pulpit to offer solidarity with him,
you never made any effort to affirm his humanity or show the love of Jesus to him in any quantifiable measure.

You violently opposed him at every single turn—without offering a single ounce of the grace you claim as the heart of your faith tradition. You jettisoned Jesus as you dispensed damnation on him.

And yet you give carte blanche to a white Republican man so riddled with depravity, so littered with extramarital affairs, so unapologetically vile, with such a vast resume of moral filth—that the mind boggles.

And the change in you is unmistakable. It has been an astonishing conversion to behold: a being born again.

With him, you suddenly find religion.
With him, you’re now willing to offer full absolution.

With him, all is forgiven without repentance or admission.
With him you’re suddenly able to see some invisible, deeply buried heart.
With him, sin has become unimportant, compassion no longer a requirement.
With him, you see only Providence.

And White Evangelicals, all those people who have had it with you—they see it all clearly.
They recognize the toxic source of your inconsistency.
They see that pigmentation and party are your sole deities.
They see that you aren’t interested in perpetuating the love of God or emulating the heart of Jesus.
They see that you aren’t burdened to love the least, or to be agents of compassion, or to care for your Muslim, gay, African, female, or poor neighbors as yourself.
They see that all you’re really interested in doing, is making a God in your own ivory image and demanding that the world bow down to it.
They recognize this all about white, Republican Jesus—not dark-skinned Jesus of Nazareth.

And I know you don’t realize it, but you’re digging your own grave in these days; the grave of your very faith tradition.
Your willingness to align yourself with cruelty is a costly marriage. Yes, you’ve gained a Supreme Court seat, a few months with the Presidency as a mouthpiece, and the cheap high of temporary power—but you’ve lost a whole lot more.

You’ve lost an audience with millions of wise, decent, good-hearted, faithful people with eyes to see this ugliness.
You’ve lost any moral high ground or spiritual authority with a generation.
You’ve lost any semblance of Christlikeness.
You’ve lost the plot.
And most of all you’ve lost your soul.

I know it’s likely you’ll dismiss these words. The fact that you’ve even made your bed with such malevolence, shows how far gone you are and how insulated you are from the reality in front of you. But I had to at least try to reach you. It’s what Jesus would do.”

Pastor John Pavlovitz


And to this I would add, my dear beloveds, you have lost the respect of your progeny. When you are dead, we won’t rejoice in the memory of the material consumables you plied us with. Even the memories of the experiences we’ve shared will be soiled with disappointment and repugnancy. We will shake our heads in bewilderment as to what could have happened to your otherwise good heart; inexplicable shame that it came to this; resolve to continue to fight for the good of the PLANET and ALL it’s non-fascist inhabitants; and RELIEF that at least you are no longer among us to cast your evil VOTE. Did I say “evil?” “Vile” maybe? How do you spell “vile?” AFAF.


Posted in activism, Black Lives Matter, climate justice, Corona Quarantine, faith, family, fighting Fascism, history, mental health, politics, racial injustice, Religious Hypocrisy, tragedy, work | Leave a comment

Condo Bike Day!

Saturday, October 17th 2020

Kids at BIKE DAY!

This Condo “BIKE DAY!” I organized turned out better than I could have hoped.

In addition to purging, organizing and cleaning the whole bike parking section of the garage, we also habilitated a bunch of kids onto working bikes, many for the first time in recent memory.

(L): Mario vacuums around the new neat row of bikes;
(Top R): CJ helps fix a friend’s bike;
(Middle R): Sisters head out for their first bike ride together;
(Bottom R): Three buddies head out on their first bike ride together;
tires inflated, chains greased and everything!


This is what I call glorious.


Posted in activism, childhood, domestic life, Friendship, global inequity, health, learning, love, mental health, money, parenthood, patience, travel, what’s “work-life balance?” | Leave a comment

Small Victory: ByeDon Signs for Our Condo

Saturday, October 17th 2020

Marc McGovern saves the day.

This is a big deal because it’s the first time our condo community of 14 families has displayed a political message of any kind, not to mention that message is one big fat beautiful and dignified message to VOTE THAT IRANGE REVOLTING MENACE THE HELL OUT ‘THE WHITEHOUSE.


#Biden-Harris we’ll take it!!


Posted in activism, border family separation, climate justice, democratic socialism, faith, fighting Fascism, history, mental health, social justice, tragedy, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

AT RISE: One Breathless Moment

Friday, October 16th 2020

AT RISE: The kids are at their distance learning desks in the living room.

ALEXA: [Beeb beeb, boop boop.] This is a reminder; it’s 12:59pm. [Beeb beeb, boop boop] This is a reminder; it’s 12:59pm.

MOM: [Enters room to stand behind boy and tries massaging the back of his shoulders.]

BOY: Ahh-aahh! [Recoiling and scrunching his shoulders.].

MOM: Well no wonder, you’re a ball of nerves.

BOY: [Takes off headset and puts them down.]

MOM: [Looking at him.] You’re like one, tight. Piano wire.

BOY: OK [Starts getting up quickly].

MOM: Hang on can we just do ONE breath?

BOY: [Looks at her suspiciously.]

The Trapezius Muscle.

MOM: C’mon; ONE in, and ONE out. That’s IT.

BOY: But! But… I have class in ONE MINUTE!

MOM: PERFECT. Let’s go. [Relaxes eyes and starts inhaling deeply.]

BOY: [Keeps a side glance on Mom and inhales quickly.]

BOTH: [Hold inflated lungs for one. Breathless. Moment. And then… EXHALE.]


BOY: Bye! [Runs to take his next class over the Chromebook on the beanbag in his bedroom.]



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Jenny the Juggler on Boston Public Radio (re: Pandemic Stimulus)

Friday, October 16th 2020

Jim Braude & Margery Egan of Boston Public Radio on NPR

On this day I allowed my attention to drift from the Home School long enough to call into my favorite radio show to check in with hosts Margery Egan and Jim Braude to opine about both the “odiousness” of Mitch McConnell and the prospect of another economic stimulus package.

My segment begins at minute 35:00 (although the interface is a little tough to manipulate):

Boston Public Radio Full Show: 10/16/20

And here for posterity is when I “juggled on the radio” (June 2nd 2017) lol.

We are lucky to live in a society with First Amendment rights, Public Radio, and in an area with radio reception. All things we generally take for granted, like breathable air, but for which -thanks to the tDump “Administration”- we now need to fight!





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AT RISE: Just Imagine

October 13th 2020

AT RISE: Mom is tucking Gavin into bed. He is worried about the upcoming federal election. Mom has taken a stab at trying to put things in perspective for him, without much success.

MOM: Yeah Boy, I don’t know what else to tell you.

BOY: Man. [Pause.] Just imagine how great the world would be if politicians had to live in the conditions they made.

MOM: [Shakes head in wonder and agreement.]. You said it, Boy. Exactly. [Smoothing his hair.]. You give me hope for the future. [Kisses his cheek.] I love you. Now try to get some sleep.

BOY: If I can.

MOM: Yup! If you can. [Turns out lights.]


Just imagine…


Posted in childhood, climate justice, Corona Quarantine, domestic life, fighting Fascism, history, learning, mental health, money, parenthood, parenting, patience, politics, racial injustice, Religious Hypocrisy, tragedy | Tagged , | 2 Comments