A Few Things

February 5, 2016

roses at the treehouse

Photo and text by Gabrielle.

Hello, Friends. How are you? I woke up today with the It’s Friday song going through my head. Hah! It wasn’t a particularly challenging week, but nevertheless, I couldn’t be happier that the weekend has arrived! You too?

Compared to last weekend, we barely have anything on our schedule, which is fine by me. I think the biggest thing I’d like to do this weekend is sketch out built in shelf options for the family room and office. How about you? What are your plans? Will you be watching the big game on Sunday? It’s happening just across the Bay!

Also, I really appreciate all the contractor advice from yesterday’s post. After I sign off here, I’m going to make a bunch of phone calls and see if I can figure something out. But before I do that, here are a few things I’ve wanted to share with you:

- Oh wow! This made me catch my breath. Can you imagine the joy in the room?

- Something new. The DuVernay Test is like the Bechdel Test, but for race.

- In Oakland, this big-hearted and super-inspiring man is building tiny houses for the homeless.

- Save this link. A searchable catalog of the best kids’ books from the last 8 years.

- What it was like when women were not allowed to have their own credit cards.

- America’s oldest mall was turned into 48 charming, low-cost, micro apartments. Does your town have an empty mall?

- What Frida Kahlo wore.

- I came across this short history of Japan on Twitter, and now I want to watch one for every country in the world.

- Cool DIY laundry folding tool for kids (or adults!).

- Do our schools lack joy?

- My friend Kristen Howerton, has been the target of white supremacists over the last few weeks. The brutality is hard to comprehend. We like to think this doesn’t happen in our “post racial” society, but that’s not true. She writes about the experience here.

- Related, I’ve been thinking about this article putting forth the idea we need to make publishers more accountable for the comments on their sites. And this is where I also need to say HIGH FIVE to Design Mom Readers, because you manage to have big discussions and share diverse opinions, while also being both civil and responsible. Having to delete a comment is a rare thing for me. Thank you!

- Lastly, turns out trees have social networks too.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I’ll meet you back here on Monday. I miss you already.


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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jackie February 5, 2016 at 12:53 pm

How is it an adorable christmas picture can anger people so much? She is a brave woman and I applaud her for exposing the trolls. I would say to ignore the comments but how can you sometimes.

I know the internet is great (for sites like this) but sometimes I wonder if we would all be better off without it……


2 Alysa Stewart February 5, 2016 at 1:00 pm

I have heard of NPR’s Book Concierge before, but thanks for the reminder! I blog about kids books and get asked for recommendations all the time. I especially like graphic novels and SO many parents say their kids love them.


3 Elisabeth February 5, 2016 at 1:56 pm

I want to applaud Kristen for not backing down in the face of so much hate! As a white girl who saved her babysitting money to buy American Girl Doll Addy when she was first introduced I am appalled by the reactions of people to Kristen’s video. I already had Samantha (there were only 3 dolls originally, all white) and when they introduced Addy I was instantly in love with her, with her story (she was so strong and brave), and her clothes (petticoats and bloomers rule!) I was not alone, a good chunk of my friends back then ended up with two AG dolls, a Samantha, Molly, or Kirsten, and an Addy. Addy was our first glimpse of an American Culture that was not our own. And it is wonderful that girls today are still getting to experience different Americas or reflect their own diverse American family through AG.


4 Nadia S February 5, 2016 at 4:43 pm

Hi Gabrielle! I’m a long time reader first time commenter but just wanted to express my appreciation for you for consistently blogging about race, class, systemic inequality in addition to your focus on design and family. So many blogs I read that exist in the same ‘category’ as yours always seem to shy away from the deeper more controversial subjects and I realize how vapid the content starts to feel after a while. As someone who is in an interracial family and has biracial children, race and injustice is a part of my daily life and to come across very large and popular motherhood blogging communities where it is never spoken feels so unnatural and ultimately makes me kind of sad. Thanks for facilitating a much needed discussion among readers who might not ever be exposed otherwise.


5 Misty February 6, 2016 at 6:54 pm

I agree Nadia! It’s so important that people be exposed to ideas and life-experiences of others.


6 Kate the Great February 5, 2016 at 5:43 pm

Oh, Gabby– your last link is precious to me. I have always loved trees more than the average person; I decorate my house with trees, and I even dreamed up a tree novel while my husband and I were hiking in Yellowstone on our honeymoon ten years ago. I’m thrilled to see the tree love spreads as more and more books are published on the subject.


7 Crystal February 5, 2016 at 7:37 pm

Loved the story about the diabetic children! I have several family members with diabetes and can’t imagine life without them having insulin. Oh to have been there that day with those parents!


8 Corrin February 6, 2016 at 6:23 am

I would absolutely live in one of this micro apartments. I used to live in an old department store in Indianapolis. The apartment that was the old beauty salon was the best. The crown molding was carvings of women getting their hair done.



9 Misty February 6, 2016 at 6:52 pm

I love those micro-apartments. I sometimes wish to live in one in NYC with my husband when we retire. But, where will the grandkids sleep? :)

I am always sickened and disheartened when I read about blatant racism and hate online. However, I try to remind myself that I shouldn’t be discouraged because the world needs people who feel and act on truth. So, I’m so glad she has stood up to the bullies. Its hard to fight against those who have no rules.


10 Katie February 8, 2016 at 3:22 pm

I enjoyed Kristen’s article, and fully support the stand she’s taking. I must say, though, that her use of the word “shrill” struck a wrong chord. This word feels loaded to me. I object to all that Lana stands for and all she says, but I think it is dangerous when women start using terms like “shrill” to describe other women. Kristen points out the “straw man” logical fallacy that Lana uses, but it seems to me that she, in turn, uses one herself. Pointing out Lana’s “shrill voice” sounds like ad hominem arguing to me. Lana gives us plenty to object to with the things she says. Let’s not reduce to her level by attacking her personal traits, especially with terms that are often used pejoratively against any woman with a strong opinion.


11 hjoergis February 10, 2016 at 2:51 am

I am a reader from Germany and I am shocked by Kristens story. How can such things happen? Why are people so aggressive and hateful? When I read this I fear that Donald Trump, the racist and sexist candidate, might become the next president of the USA. This thought saddens and frightens me. And for every person I know in Germany, in the UK, in Denmark, in France… it would be a reason not to travel to your country.

Gabriele: Thank you for opening this blog to topics outside the household.


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