Links & Updates 2-17-14

I love winter. I know this isn’t a widely shared sentiment, especially after the winter we’ve had (in my view, a beautiful one thanks to bountiful snow).  In fact, I’m not at all eager for spring yet. I’m still busy enjoying what winter looks like on our little farm. Only a few more weeks to adore it, then it’ll be mud season.

Here’s one gift of this winter. We got to see an unusual weather phenomenon called snow rollers right in our backyard.


And hieroglyphics in melted windowsill frost.

One more snow-related update. The tombstone up against the front porch foundation is now partially unburied (pun!) thanks to wind erasing the snow cover. Yes, a tombstone. (One of the many reasons even the mailman wonders about us.) Let me explain. One of my delightful offspring got interested in all things Norse about two years ago. He researched ancient mythology and runes, started learning to speak Swedish, and worked hard to teach himself stone carving using hand tools. It’s not easy to find exactly the right rock for such endeavors. His older brother, always considerate, bought a headstone that was deeply discounted thanks to a typo and presented it as a birthday gift. My Norse-a-phile ground the name and dates off the stone. Then using a rough runic alphabet, he carved a message in the stone. Want to guess what it says? I found it amusing so it’s a good bet it’s a little rude.

Okay, on to some links.


My daughter suggests Barbie jeep racing as our new family sport. We’re looking for the right hill…

For far deeper merriment, I heartily recommend a book written by my friend and fun expert, Bernie DeKoven. Here’s a review of A Playful Path. And here’s where you can get an e-book version FOR FREE! (I bought several print versions as well for gifts because I consider this book essential.)


Activism and, more importantly, an increase on society’s ethical maturity is helping to advance the rights of tribal people. Check out good news at Survival International here and here.

Members of the Dongria Kondh tribe. (Image by Jason Taylor)

Members of the Dongria Kondh tribe. (Image by Jason Taylor)

Here’s nonviolence in action.



 Orthodox priests stood between the demonstrators and the Ukrainian special police force. Holding icons and crosses, they successfully stopped the conflict.


Powerful spoken word poetry by Guante.

An extraordinary poem I’ve used when teaching nonviolence classes, “Invisible Work” by Alison Luterman.

I stopped and let myself lean
a moment, against the blue
shoulder of the air. The work
of my heart
is the work of the world’s heart.
There is no other art.

Read the full piece here.

And what feels like a gift, a very nice review of my book by We Drink Because We’re Poets.



25 STEM Leaders Who Were Homeschooled.

School Ditches Rules, Looses Bullies.

And what I’m learning—Imaginary Motherhood.

Okay, Bringing Winter Up Again

To drag some learning experiences out of the last snowfall, try making snow ice cream or conducting the clean snow experiment. It’s all here in 15 Smarty Pants Ways to Enjoy Snow.

If you’re stuck indoors, try yarnbombing furniture or communicating via banana. Check out more ideas in 40 Cabin Fever Cures for Kids.

Auditory Yes!

5 thoughts on “Links & Updates 2-17-14

  1. Your tombstone….Puh-leease! :) Just learning runes so I had to use my cheat sheet. And though I rarely comment, I enjoy your posts and pictures, which I get straight to my email. Thanks for clarity, subversity, perceptiveness, and making more beauty in the world.


  2. Loved this post Laura. As I’ve said before, I too love winter. I wanted to start a winter knitting project for the last four months. I think I waited till now hoping that if I’m knitting winter will stay.

    I do hope I can come by soon to buy your book.

    Enjoy the rest of winter,


  3. Oh, I forgot to mention that husband Ed carves stone. He made the OHIO stone at the end of the drive and he carves garden stones, water troughs, angel stones, pet grave stones, etc. if your son wants, he can come over and talk stone with Ed.



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