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 selwynssanity.blogspot.com 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: In, On and Out of This World!

No need for a magic school bus this week – we have all sorts of wonders delivered straight to you!

Start with the secret life of plants (who not only are listening to you, but they talk!), then have a look at the wonderfully named (by George Washington no less) Great Dismal Swamp and its current revival.

Then there are links to pieces on themes discussed in General Conference, including how God loves His gay and lesbian children, a podcast on how to support gay members in our wards, the search for heavenly mother in words and art, why we should create a moral bucketlist (and tick pieces off it), and why marriage still works.

We are also delighted to see this wonderful post by our very own Michelle L on how to ruin your relationship with your teenager. See how Finland welcomes its babies into the world one box at a time, and watch a video of how this couple revealed the gender of their baby to their friends and family, after the baby was born.

While you may not be able to keep your mouth shut if you see guys walking around wearing crocheted pants this Summer, this space walk is jaw dropping for all the right reasons! For the last two links, take a walk in the shoes of someone with depression through these analogies, and maybe support the opportunity for girls from tough circumstances in Brooklyn flex their STEM-muscles, minds and horizons.

Finally, this week’s First Draft Poetry is by Mel, who worked to a strict and tiny deadline to create this beauty!

The Miracle

jar of pale clay

holds the water clear and still

until His finger

breaks the surprised surface

like feet bruising skin from grapes

and months of honey yeast

foam and froth

bubbling to purple

in a moment

I am remade.

Peculiar Treasures: Not Nice, Leeches and Real Friends

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We have a wide range of links for you today, like why being “nice” isn’t being Christlike or helpful, how to help bees with bombs, why we get food cravings when we’re stressed, and some writing and designing advice from TED speakers.

Did you know a ninth century eye balm recipe from Bald’s Leechbook (now that’s a name for a recipe book!) is being talked about in medical journals? As half the world is warming into Spring and eventual Summer, don’t forget to apply sunscreen – because while a cure for melanoma may be possible, prevention is still better than a future cure. Also, if you like your warmer weather with some barbecue, here’s a different way to cook your steak.

If you’d like some meatier fare to begin your week, what about this most honest, beautifully important question? Or a reflection, forty years on, on the babies sent out of Saigon in shoeboxes? Then for dessert, maybe 51 beautiful sentences in literature, and a group of pyjama-wearing women simply being friends for a friend.

This week’s First Draft Poetry, titled “Dirt and all”  is in combined response to two pieces – the very first article on niceness, and the last piece on women friends.

I took a catalogue of my friends recently

to see what they had in common.

They aren’t nice, that’s for sure

They are themselves magnificently.

Women with brains, with vinegar and fire

some with cuddly hearts, or bellies,

others with warrior tendencies.

Every one ready to help when I’m stuck in the mire -

(once they stop laughing,

teasing,

praying for my wild, rebellious self,

obviously…)

- by hauling me out, or making mud-angels beside me.

Just like I do,

try to, want to,

braless or well dressed, for with beside them.

Scarcity and Prayer

119HThe answer came as a little rectangle of paper, a few lines printed across it, nothing else. As answers to prayers went, I was decidedly underwhelmed.

I sighed, and scrunched my eyes a little tighter to squeeze whatever other clue out I could get.

A little piece of paper, some empty lines… and a smoothed lead pencil. Ah… recognition. In response, a blink type effect, then two names are there, carefully pressed into the paper. My ex-husband’s name, and his wife’s.

I am not a god of scarcity.

Huh. I ended my prayer and rolled into bed mulling the answer over like it was a loose tooth.

I’ve been wrecking myself against some significant decisions lately. I’ve had the stresses of starting a new job, beginning the second year of my degree, my youngest has started high school, and my oldest is in his final year. I’ve come home some nights late in the evening, to the assorted messes and heavy slumbering heat two teenagers can make, and wondered just what on earth I was trying to do with my life. Continue reading

Peculiar Treasures: The View From Here, There and Up Everywhere

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Welcome to another week, and another delicious array of internet delicacies and substantial mindfulls to get you going.

Did you know yesterday was World Water Day? Do you like long showers? Check out how the two sentiments don’t cancel each other out.

What about the birth of a baby girl causing her Mum/Mom to realise “There is nothing fragile about feminine power” (and that those little baby hair clips are awesome)? In a similar fashion, Shannon Hale discusses the sexist double standard of children’s literature (big hint: children’s books are for children, not “just” boys or “just” girls).

Then this article discusses how to raise “joyful readers”, which ties beautifully into this gorgeous collection of beautiful libraries around the world.  If libraries aren’t your cup of architectural delight, what about these churches, shot to show their vertical splendour? (Warning, you may get a bit dizzy scrolling through, but it’s amazing).

I have to admit, some of those library and church ceilings and intricate corners made me wonder “Who cleans that? What name would the person responsible for the dusting and teams of workers?” Because recognising work is actually work is important, as this defender of the term “stay-at-home-Mom” passionately argues.

Motherhood is different for everyone, and this photographic essay captures work and motherhood in a graceful way, with many different ages and outfits.  There’s also success hidden in wrinkles and higher age brackets in this piece, as many phenomenal people show that success happens at all ages.

Discussion and contemplation don’t have a time limit either, with this writer sharing how she spoke of priesthood power while teaching a Primary class, and this piece in response to the first, disagreeing on several points while recognising the need “to be a part of the conversation” about revelation about the priesthood.

If Monday has brought some mortal coil dissatisfaction, why not consider your body to be not your masterpiece, but the paintbrush you use? And if you want a spirit animal to help you through the post-weekend clean up and carry on, what about this dog running the Iditarod blind?

Last of all, do you think happiness is being considered a virtue? And, by association, struggle as something of a failure or faith related deficit? This post has some definite food for thought, and also provides this week’s First Draft poetry, in providing a Found Poem (I think the first paragraph could be one too).

Walking in faith

through hard things,

while acknowledging they’re hard,

is beautiful.

There is a vulnerability in

taking off

the mask of positivity and

allowing yourself

to feel what you

feel.

The irony is, God knows anyway.

We’re only fooling

ourselves

and each

other.

Peculiar Treasures: Compass, shovel, digging in

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Over here in Australia we’re slipping into Autumn, and over in America you’re losing an hour’s sleep and waiting for Spring…while we’re all waiting for the weather to change, let’s have a look at some peculiar treasures!

First up, there’s been discussion about kids having no moral compass. No, that kids have a moral compass but it’s broken. No, actually, kids have a moral compass it’s adults who are asking the wrong questions… Here’s the initial article arguing that kids aren’t being taught moral truths, just options, and a later piece disagreeing on multiple fronts.

Too much moral weight and argument too soon in the week? Have a piece of pay it forward pizza instead. Warm, stretchy fuzzies guaranteed. Then there’s an open letter to all (possibly lonely) Moms of older kids to boost and encourage you, and a glimpse into how a Mom helped save her daughter and their relationship through poetry.

Neil Gaiman has said thank you for all the fish (in a manner of speaking) to Douglas Adams, and this NPR interview with Modest Mouse discusses how a long process isn’t a bad thing when creating.

If you’d like something easy on the eyes, there’s findings that looking at art keeps you fit inside and out, and the man who makes art inside cliffs that you can wander around, on, under and through.

There have been many words added to the dictionary in recent years, but what about the surprising words that have been removed? Try your words with one of the most bookish spelling tests I’ve seen in years (examples feature Mr Darcy, vampires and bookshelf organisation).

Finally, this week’s First Draft Poetry, a found poem crafted by Sandra from the Modest Mouse interview, titled Strangers to Ourselves:

it’s not a race

to have something to say

 

needing time

to fill my head

 

try on a lot

in the interim

 

beekeeping, foraging

I spent time

 

In the woods in Oregon

It’s easy to lose track of time