All posts by Kellie

About Kellie

(Blog Editor) lives way on the other side of the planet in her native Australia and gives thanks for the internet regularly. She loves books, her boys, panna cotta, collecting words, being a redhead and not putting things in order of importance when listing items. She credits writing at as a major contributing factor to surviving her life with sanity mostly intact, though her (in)sanity level is subject to change without warning.

Peculiar Treasures: Tongues, Chomps, Champs, Choice and Twos!


Wherever you may be in the world, and whatever your country’s name in its official language, it’s time to sink your teeth into this week’s Peculiar Treasures!

You could chew on the history of the ramen noodle, or be gobsmacked at the zombies floating in Lake Michigan.

Speaking of unusual jobs to perform like a champion, what about a midwife to women with Ebola, or teaching kids to solve fractions using dance?

Of course, we’re all more than a job – read this great interview with our very own Artistic Director Leslie Graff, breaking down the myth of only being able to be one thing at a time. Then there’s a discussion on being Mom/Mum doesn’t mean ONLY being Mom/Mum, and the joy and responsibility in being our real selves, for the good of the women and girls coming up behind us.

Finally, some links brought to you by the number two: how a second language is better brain food than Sudoku, the two best traits of successful relationships, and a cake showing two beloved guests who will be performing at this Christmas’ MoTab celebration.

This week’s First Draft Poetry has a zombie theme, penned by Lara:

I used to like zombies
And alright, maybe I don’t like them more now . . .
I might just be used to them. Date night with the Walking
Dead once a week and all.

I try to keep this new
as my daughter had the living daylights scared out
of her during a flash mob in the Wal-Mart parking lot last Halloween.

I find there is quite the
of undead
these days, but they all smell, they’re all rotting from the inside out
and their grip can reach you from as far as the bottom of the ocean

I meet them sometimes—
at the gas station,
running for office, cheating on their spouses. I see them wrench their
two-year-old’s arm, as if because they are zombies, they think it shouldn’t

Peculiar Treasures Snack Size Edition



A short and sweet Peculiar Treasures today, to go along with the sugar rush many had last week.

Can your leftover Halloween candy charge your phone or do pullups? Yes it can! Did you coordinate your costume to your kid’s, like this awesome Dad?

Food allergies and crazes continue – here’s looking at you, gluten! And here’s to growing food right under a freeway overpass.

Time waits for nobody – though the new 69 year-old “face” of Paris L’Oreal has in her contract the company will not Photoshop her face. Lava also waits for nobody, or their cemeteries.

Are you being cruel to yourself about your Halloween? Or yourself in general? Have a look at your belly, raise your hands, take a breath, move, swim, have some cake. Be gentle with who you are.

What we plant, grows, as Lara shares in this week’s First Draft Poetry, inspired from the underpass farm.

Old truth is
things rot
and we think it’s the end then and
we join the procession,
we weave hair,
we wear black, grey, lavender, for too long.

Until we are brittle too
like flowers after thirty days, or thirty years
and our children can’t abide the dust
it’s all falling to
and those who will,
go west or east, as the crow drives.

He isn’t Johnny. He wants more than
bitter fruit
a decade on—
more than rootless stock
on wild land;
his preaching isn’t that of privation.

In the viaduct’s shadow
he lays out the seeds
marking out beds
with twine
tossing a rock aside as he sows,
and then half a tea cup, a rusted matchbox car.

He tames a crab apple,
a stand of blackberries already moved in,
and as the chard and beetroots
peek their greens
through broken glass and ground,
the little ones come home again.

Forgiveness Comes From Without

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In one aspect of his life, my ex-husband is incredibly generous: he gives me countless opportunities to practice forgiveness. Time and repetition have not made forgiveness easier. If anything, my anger and disappointment have leaked into other areas of life, instead of immediately charring to blackened curls on the most recent act of stupidity.

Leaked, because instead of having charity, there have been times when I have wanted to go and break my hand punching him, and the lack of his address was the only save/spoiler. Other times, I am so bitterly disappointed in myself at being surprised by his behaviour that eucalyptus and lemon scent the air around me, which then cooks into steam in my fury. Then, sodden with my emotions and burdens, I flash fry everything within arms reach in frustrated realisation – now I have to try and forgive myself as WELL as the idiot I once loved.

Forgiveness hurts. Like when it’s left me cramping in a corner, trying to straighten out my fingers, because countless things I’ve forgiven have had my claw marks on them by the time God gets them. At times, the knowledge of how hard I’d have to work to repent and forgive has been the only barrier stopping me from hating my ex-husband. (That doesn’t mean I haven’t straddled that fence, wondering if I could still deliver a good kick from where I’m fuming). Sometimes, the only reason I can forgive others is because sometimes I see them in my sons.

Forgiveness hurts. It hurts right in your heart, and in the middle of your throat, and at 4pm on a sweaty afternoon when you’re struck mute at the beauty, majesty, stench and brilliance of your first born son, who clears his throat exactly the same way as his father and grandfather, and who has a mole just like his Oma’s above his lip. Forgiveness hurts as it burrows into the dry, desiccated threads of your uncertain soul, only to pour out glorias and exultation as your youngest drums out a crazy solo on the soft belly his paternal family has gifted him with. Forgiveness hurts as the love I have for my boys swamps me like an endless ocean, flooding back up the genetic ladder, until I’m unable to hate the flawed, frozen, fragile people that have had starring roles in creating my cruelest memories and – above all, and ultimately – my sons’ bodies, which house such incredible souls.

Forgiveness hurts. It cracks me open, from my furious logic to my scared, scarred heart, and scatters pieces of me into new, aching alignment. It hurts. The cracks are wide, fathomless, gentle and ferocious. The cracks are where the light gets in, swirls, soaks, soothes and – hopefully, thankfully, eventually – sweeps away to shine on others, even those lost in the dark.

Have you ever found your self at forgiveness, from an unexpected angle? How do you stop yourself being furious, hurt or betrayed at someone?

Food, Rules, Ruses, Prizes, Surprises and Moods – Another Peculiar Treasure!

[Clive Birtles at the wheel of the car with the dog, Wowser]Hold on to your internets, because we have some fascinating gems for you to start off your week.

Start your week – and day – off right with breakfast all around the world. Then consider when breast isn’t best but impossible, and the serious science behind fecal transplants (delivered orally for vital health changes and outcomes).

Thanksgiving’s approaching – what does the bird have to do with Madagascar? The Turkey has a long and odd history – what rules do you have about accepting what you read about history? And with nine weeks until Christmas, how would you wrap a memory, or kid-orientated tools? For your own delight, would you like a book about the making of a classic movie? As you wish.

Maybe surprises are more your thing – like this twelve-year old girl’s blog about her upcoming marriage. Or the unexpected issues that come with being awarded a Nobel Prize. Or the strength, support and love of being the first endorsed, female Chaplain in the LDS Church. Speaking of decisions, what about when you want to be bossy on someone else’s behalf, as their friend or in giving service? Then again, it’s Monday, and some of us are already planning some creative procrastination (or hopefully finding ways to fight it).

Finally, our First Draft Poetry, written by Emily M., inspired by the Nobel Prize airport security piece:

The Fargo TSA Inspectors Discover Gold

His grandma lived in Fargo

and she wanted to see

what the Swedish king

gave her grandson.


So did the TSA:

a round disk,

pure gold,

absorbing all x-rays.


And even a Nobel-prize-winning

economist cannot answer

all the baffled questions

so much gold will bring.


I myself have flown with gold

(-en haired children)

to the bemusement of the TSA

in and out of diapers, carseats,

strollers, lines, arms.


Their precious weight

complicates my travels:

both the reason for my journey

and the reason I am so often


The October Segullah Journal is Ready and Waiting!

As Fall flashes her brilliance in the Northern Hemisphere, Spring is showing off in the Southern half – my Instagram feed is full of Autumn/Fall colours and early vegetable seedlings being coaxed into the warming earth. Segullah is also flowering and fruiting with this month’s Journal!

Sandra Jergensen shares her hopes and waning garden, and Kelsey Petersen relates the unexpected fruits of pride and humility. So open your windows to the warm/cool breezes, and open a browser to our October offerings. And remember – we are always looking for submissions!