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jess lucia
Richmond, VA
relentless idealist, perpetual dabbler, and slightly-crazed mother of three
Interests: music, gardening, creativity, margaret atwood, cooking, hiking, natural childbirth, photography, politics, feminism, neil gaiman, singing, fairy tales, breastfeeding, sustainability, idealism, and a host of other things..., mindful parenting
Recent Activity
:: the happiness that comes from successfully planning a fun outing with friends :: karma chameleon on the radio, six-year-old grooving later to oldies with great guitar, 11-year-old remembering watching an old-school Sesame Street bit when he was younger ::... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2014 at spark
Earlier this summer, Reese presented me with four research questions, which I noted on the handy dandy dry erase board that hangs in our downstairs hall. The questions are: 1. Why do bees make honeycomb in a hexagonal shape? 2.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2014 at spark
It happens: the day when a kid goes from not knowing the word, to knowing it. You can't unknow it, you can only decide what to do with the word. When I was in the 2nd grade, my teacher told... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2014 at spark
In which we wake up one morning to discover that we waited to long to roast the chestnuts we harvested. What are these white grubs? What kind of insects will they grow up to be? It turns out they're the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2013 at spark
Barbara - how old are your caterpillars, and how big? Is it possible that they are looking for a place to build their chrysalis? They don't pupate on their host plant and will need a sturdy stick to climb. Another possibility is that they are unhappy with the food source. We tried cut parsley from a grocery store once and the caterpillars rejected it. Parsley starts to deteriorate very quickly, and there's also a possibility that storebought parsley may contain pesticides. The best solution we have found is to transplant small parsley plants directly into soil in the terrarium. I hope you can figure out the source of the problem!
Toggle Commented Jun 28, 2013 on questions about caterpillars at spark
1 reply
You may have seen a link to Lisa Endlich Heffernan's Huffington Post essay Grown and Flown: Why I Regret Being a Stay-at-Home Mom, which was published yesterday and is currently making the Facebook and Twitter rounds. In her essay, Heffernan... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2013 at spark
Begging your forgiveness for the vertical video, I present a little 5-year-old scientific hypothesizing. Xander was playing the drums in our basement (note to self: get this kid some lessons, he is probably the most musical one of the bunch)... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2013 at spark
"When you look at it, life's a piece of shit." What is that lyric if not dukkha, the first noble truth? There is suffering in life. Or, as the Dread Pirate Roberts might put it, "Life IS pain, Highness. Anyone... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2013 at spark
Following stress reactions (early stress fractures) in both shins, I'm on the long road toward building back up to my previous strength and endurance. This morning I took a 2-mile half-jog-half-walk (run 1/8 mile, walk 1/8 mile) in my neighborhood... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2013 at spark
Screen time is kindof a big deal in our house. There is whining. There is fighting. There is begging. There is complaining. Can I have screen time? When will it be screen time? I didn't get screen time! He's hogging... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2013 at spark
Somewhere along the way, my five-year-old heard the song "I'm Sexy and I Know It," and it made an instant impression on him. I don't think I even gave the song much thought until I heard him singing the title... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2013 at spark
I felt sad when I saw this yesterday. As a previously-Catholic/Christian person, I can relate to feeling this way. But as a person who now celebrates Christmas in a purely secular way, I see another side. So this statement didn't... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2012 at spark
While browsing in a Kennebunk gift shop, the mug caught my eye. "Be like water," the small white text on its side read. At that moment, in the middle of a long Maine vacation, it evoked other phrases like "go... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2012 at spark
What would the opposite of a dandelion be? What would happen when you blow it - or would you inhale it, instead? Is there an opposite of wishing? Is it the elation of having (or being), or the in-between state... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2012 at spark
Supposedly 1 in 10 school children catch head lice at some point in their educational career. I managed to play those odds and win during my own childnood - I don't even remember any outbreaks in my classes - but... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2012 at spark
I agree that dwelling excessively on the past is not a good thing. It can, however, be useful to examine past events in order to understand current events and relationships, or your own current emotional reactions and needs. That is quite different from feeling sorry for oneself or wallowing, although to some people it may look like the same thing. Abusers of any kind can leave emotional scars, and we owe it to ourselves to explore those scars and figuring out how they affect our current lives, and attempting to live our current lives in more healthy ways. Is this a form of blame? Well, yes. Abusers do leave lasting effects. Acknowledging this does not imply an obsession or dwelling upon it, however. Nor does it imply that the actions in one's current life are their fault - we must figure out why we are how we are, and take responsibility for our current actions. Forgiveness is a tricky concept. For many people, the idea of forgiveness means a clean slate - this would best be described as the "forgive and forget" type of forgiveness. For others, forgiveness may mean forming an understanding of the person who abused them, letting go of anger, but still realizing that the abuser is not a healthy person, and is not safe to be around. I would say that this is where I fit in.
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2012 on perspectives on surviving abuse at spark
1 reply
Mr. McFeely is referring to the notes just played by Mr. Rogers. There's some debate out there on whether he's saying "slide whistle," "slide things", or "bass line". PBS has been quiet on the matter. I gave it another listen and simply cannot hear "slide whistle" at all, while "bass line" is obvious. :)
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2012 on the garden of your mind at spark
1 reply
Shannon, yes, I've read Parenting Beyond Belief! I was fortunate to find Dale McGowan's site just before he published PBB, which was right about the time when I started acknowledging to myself that I'm an atheist. Scathe meic Beorh, I'm well aware that Christians (including myself when I was growing up - I identified as Christian until my 30s) don't believe in a literal heaven with pearly gates or a personified god. I'm not sure what you mean by not believing in a "theistic" god, since "theistic" literally means "related to god", from the Greek word for god, theos. Regarding your statement that "every ordered and elegant construct has a master architect" - this is an example of an argument from design, also known as a teleological argument. It is one of the most common arguments used to support religious belief. Complexity does not imply design. While you may like the use of metaphor (as do I), use of analogy is not a valid basis for a logical argument. You have missed the original point of this post, which is to say that lack of belief in a deity does not imply a joyless, colorless, wonderless life; in fact, it can open one's mind to being able to appreciate the beauty and awe in the world without the crutch of fictional explanations.
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2012 on the awe of atheism at spark
1 reply
As we approach the half-way point of summer vacation, we're all burned out. Too much parent-child and sibling-sibling together time, too little creative flow, and it's not helped along by 106 degree days and an air conditioning system that can't... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2012 at spark
Symphony of Science's John Boswell, the wonderful mind that brought us Carl Sagan autotuned into "Glorious Dawn" and (my favorite, with Feynman, deGrasse Tyson & Bill Nye) "We are All Connected", has created a brand-new and beautiful piece that was... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2012 at spark
This picture makes me feel more pride for our military than I have in a long, long time. These women are supporting the future of America. So often we hear about soldiers protecting our rights - well, if this isn't protecting our rights, I don't know what is.
1 reply
When people get going about how atheism is so cold and heartless, without beauty or mystery or wonder, I always wonder how they can know me (I'm all about beauty and mystery and wonder!) and think this is true. I... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2012 at spark
I have spent much of my time in the past two weeks lobbying and protesting against a group of bills proposed by conservative republicans in the Virginia House and Senate. The journey has been grueling and energizing, celebratory and disapointing,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2012 at spark
Thinking about the magic circle and the safety circle, I realized that over the course of this winter, I've been emerging from hibernation and getting ready to leave my comfort zone and find some new magic. While reflecting on this,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2012 at spark
A friend posted this image on Facebook last week, bemoaning how stuck in her comfort zone she has been lately. I identified with the drawing, and recognized myself as moving out of my comfort zone lately and into the magic... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2012 at spark