Links & Updates 12-2-13

The days are large with joys and sorrows. Joy imparted by my strangely fascinating family, whose dinner table conversations veer from scientific speculation (“The likelihood that any of us would be fossilized is nil.”) to scatological silliness. They’re also, perhaps more importantly, great huggers.

Joy thanks to my tendency to find faces in objects, like my husband’s breakfast smiling on the stove


the Mayan god image in a walnut I roasted with maple syrup to top Saturday morning’s giant batch of oatmeal


and the pavement smirking up at me while on a walk.


Our animals are joy-makers too. Evidence? A bovine reacting to a bucket that dared intrude on his pasture. (See his reaction to leftover Halloween pumpkins!) More evidence. A note from the dog found next to a poo-on-the-carpet accident.


But sorrow too.

Ruth Radney Barnes, in our hearts forever

Ruth Radney Barnes, in our hearts forever

Friend and mentor to many, Ruth Radney Barnes, passed away a few days ago. Her life was packed with deeply felt gratitude and the kind of wisdom that can’t help but cast light. Here’s her blog, Inspire the Desire to Learn. Over the last year or so I’ve linked to a number of her posts on my Free Range Learning facebook page as one small way to share her many enthusiasms.  Ruth’s too-short life overflowed with love. All of us who knew her will be forever changed.

Hoping your joys and sorrows let your life expand in meaning, as they do mine. Here are some links to enjoy.


Jolt of Wonder

Composer Jim Wilson slowed down a recording of chirping crickets, revealing something
extraordinarily beautiful. Crickets sound like a heavenly chorus of human voices. The recording runs for over an hour. Let it play to hear more and more nuances in this cricket choir.


Growing Thinkers

civil discourse for kids, logic for kids, current events kids,

Here are 21 ideas for raising kids who are current events-savvy, from toddlers to teens. You’ll want to bookmark this information packed link.


Rigged Game

Powerful spoken word poetry.


Dating Problems

Louise the Goose and Honda,

You may have heard that our goose fell in love with my Honda. It’s such a quirky story that it was picked up by Neatorama and Huff Po. We even came up with some goose-inspired advice for Honda, but they haven’t gotten back to us about our fresh design ideas for a new car model. Louise the goose now lives on a nearby farm where she’s newly enamored with a portly white goose. The Honda remains in my driveway, no longer adored by an ardent Toulouse goose.



Discover 10 Ways Worldschooling Has Ruined My Childhood. Short, pictorial, inspiring.


Life Lists

Birders keep life lists of birds they spot. Why not expand the concept by making our own life lists. They might be Belly Laugh Lists or Juncture Lists. Here’s more about this from my piece, currently reprinted on Be You.


Hidden Folk

image: Paxarcana

image: Paxarcana

Some people in Iceland take the huldufólk pretty seriously. New roads and buildings have been relocated to avoid angering the hidden people, elves, who inhabit the natural world. There’s even the Reykjavik Elf School where believers can learn more. Best of all, you can find tiny homes set up in back yards in case the little people need a place to stay.


Perspective on Learning

Read a wonderful (and yes, long) essay about natural learning by Vipul Shaha on his blog, A Journey Called Life.  Here’s a quote

There is so much healing (or un-learning) that has to happen within our own ‘educated’ minds before we can start to re-imagine and create a different paradigm. Multiple layers of conditionings, starting with over-parenting and schooling, have smothered the authentic voice of our childhood inclinations.  It is endowed with immense creativity and unique potential.  It is time to reclaim that child within!


 Auditory Yes

I could listen to this duet every day.

8 thoughts on “Links & Updates 12-2-13

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss Laura. I’ve often seen links to Ruth’s blog and found them inspiring. Thank you for bringing her into my consciousness. Sending you love and light!


    • What a delightful watery smile you found! I wonder if you found faces in objects when you were a kid, as I did, and just didn’t grow out of it either. I couldn’t help but find faces everywhere when I was a kid: in the arrangement of windows and doors on houses, on the front grilles of cars, in a pile of sticks on the ground, in mottled tiles, and so on. I began to notice that other people didn’t see them and tried to stop but clearly it’s still with me. Can you share the link to post about this? I’d love to read it.


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