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I’m a Girl Scout!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Girl Scouts, Homeschooling | Posted on 09-06-2006

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Yep, I’m a 39-year-old Girl Scout. In fact, all three of the humans in our house­hold are reg­is­tered Girl Scouts — myself, Katie, and yes, even Sam. Men can be reg­is­tered as adult Scouts. Katie’s troops have always asked that at least one, and prefer­ably both (or more if there are more!) par­ents in a fam­i­ly reg­is­ter as adult Scouts for var­i­ous rea­sons.

I’ve been a troop leader in Junior and mul­ti­level (Rain­bow) troops in the past. I had one year of Brown­ies and one as a Junior Girl Scout when I was a girl. I didn’t have great expe­ri­ences, and want­ed to make things bet­ter for my daugh­ter and oth­er girls, so I stepped up to be a leader when need­ed. I found that I enjoyed it every bit as much as the girls do. As just one exam­ple, I had nev­er gone camp­ing until Katie became a Brown­ie, and thought I’d hate it, but it was real­ly fun.

There are some mar­velous resources on the net for Girls and their par­ents and lead­ers. Katie is going to share her favorite links with oth­er girls, so I’ll con­cen­trate on the adult stuff. Since I’m rel­a­tive­ly new, I don’t have any­thing like the list of links some sites have, but I want­ed to share the best of what I have found.

  • The Nation­al GSUSA site has far more infor­ma­tion on it than most peo­ple ever real­ize. If you don’t already know what local coun­cil serves your area, you can find out here.
  • We’re in the North­west Geor­gia coun­cil. That site also offers a wealth of infor­ma­tion. Pay spe­cial atten­tion to the reg­u­lar­ly-post­ed Learn­ing Oppor­tu­ni­ties, which is the sched­ule of class­es offered for adults and some­times for old­er girls. Coun­cil events are also post­ed here. We would have missed out on some mar­velous oppor­tu­ni­ties if we wait­ed for some­one else to tell us about them instead of check­ing the council’s site reg­u­lar­ly.
  • The Scout­ing File Cab­i­net is a col­lec­tion of links, songs, cer­e­monies, activ­i­ties, infor­ma­tion for par­ents — you name it! It’s part of a larg­er site, the Leader/​Guide Cyber Coun­cil, which is mar­velous.
  • Scout­ing­Web offers an aston­ish­ing range of mate­r­i­al.
  • New Moon Mag­a­zine isn’t specif­i­cal­ly for Scouts, but it’s a mar­velous mag­a­zine for and by girls that does occa­sion­al­ly fea­ture some Scout­ing mate­r­i­al. They also have a great mail­ing list, care­about­girls. The list is “for adults who care about girls: par­ents, teach­ers, coach­es, coun­selors, pas­tors, troop lead­ers, rel­a­tives, researchers, etc. This is for every adult who wants to help raise healthy, con­fi­dent girls and make the world bet­ter and safer for girls.”

Some­one expressed sur­prise when learn­ing that I’m a Girl Scout leader because she was under the impres­sion that Girl Scout­ing is only for Chris­tians. I wrote an arti­cle to clear up that mis­con­cep­tion, “Is There a Pen­ta­gram Badge?”

I espe­cial­ly encour­age home­school­ing fam­i­lies to explore Girl Scout­ing as an oppor­tu­ni­ty for their daugh­ters. We use the GS badge require­ments along with unit stud­ies and they’ve giv­en us many great ideas.

Why have a web site at all?

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Blogging, Geekery | Posted on 07-06-2006

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Or at least, why put such per­son­al infor­ma­tion out there on the net for the world to see? I had pre­vi­ous­ly said some­thing on my main page about the net being the great­est van­i­ty press ever invent­ed, and I still think of it that way. It has giv­en an unprece­dent­ed num­ber of peo­ple not just the abil­i­ty to pub­lish their mate­r­i­al, but to reach vast audi­ences with it. I orig­i­nal­ly start­ed cre­at­ing a home page because I need­ed to learn HTML to do my job, but I quick­ly found that hav­ing a forum in which to present my thoughts as I please, with­out edit­ing by or for any­one else, was an addic­tive expe­ri­ence!

And, real­ly — why wouldn’t I have a web page? Why wouldn’t I be hap­py to be noticed?

There are plen­ty of excel­lent sites that are just links or search engines, like Yahoo. There isn’t a need for addi­tion­al pages that are only col­lec­tions of links, and there­fore I’ve avoid­ed that on my site. Why have a site with no orig­i­nal con­tent?

If you’re going to cre­ate con­tent, you have to speak on some sub­ject. Some­thing you do know about. Some­thing you have rea­son to believe some­body else wants or needs to read. I have writ­ten about what I know, from com­put­ers or music to my fam­i­ly and life.

I am a very open and hon­est per­son. I do not hide any­thing about who I am. I am care­ful to con­ceal some infor­ma­tion for safety’s sake, such as pre­cise­ly where we live. Oth­er­wise I don’t care who knows such things about me. My activ­i­ty on the net, both pro­fes­sion­al and per­son­al, has always been con­duct­ed under my own name and email address with no attempt to con­ceal my iden­ti­ty. I do not say any­thing online that I wouldn’t acknowl­edge pub­licly, face to face. I’m hap­py with who I am and what I’ve done in my life, and the vast major­i­ty of cor­re­spon­dence I receive from vis­i­tors to this site indi­cates that read­ing about my expe­ri­ences has helped some of them in their own lives. That is, in and of itself, a pos­i­tive result.

It is also ther­a­peu­tic to write about some issues, such as being a sur­vivor of child­hood sex­u­al abuse. Some issues, such as size accep­tance, are impor­tant to me per­son­al­ly, and I want to pro­voke thought regard­ing them. I am absolute­ly pas­sion­ate about the respon­si­bil­i­ties we as adults bear with regards to chil­dren, so I wrote the par­ent­ing page. Shar­ing infor­ma­tion about, for instance, the books and music I enjoy may allow some­one else to receive plea­sure from the same sources.

In short, this site exists because it helps me and oth­ers. If any­one doesn’t like what I pub­lish here, they don’t have to read it. If you do choose to read it I hope you enjoy the expe­ri­ence. If you feel a need to attack me based on what I say here, or to twist this infor­ma­tion out of con­text, I pray that some day you will find heal­ing so you can find bet­ter pur­suits to fill your days.

In process

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Announcement, Blogging | Posted on 07-06-2006

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I’m going to be trans­fer­ring all the pages from their cur­rent loca­tions into the blog for­mat while updat­ing them. That means you’ll be see­ing some old stuff and new stuff, series of arti­cles and stand­alones. Depend­ing on how much updat­ing a par­tic­u­lar arti­cle takes, there may be a bunch on one day, or just one. I’m hop­ing to get at least one a day done, in any case!

So bear with me, and com­ment away.

I’m wheeled

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Education, Family, Health | Posted on 06-06-2006

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For a time, at least. Sam picked up a wheel­chair yes­ter­day that I’ll be using for the next month (hope­ful­ly no more than that) while recov­er­ing from a hos­pi­tal stay.

No, I hadn’t imag­ined how much I dis­like hos­pi­tals. The place was worse than I remem­bered, so much so that I begged my way out of there three days ear­ly. Yes, in this day of man­aged care, they want­ed to keep me ’til Tues­day and I talked my way out on Sat­ur­day by prov­ing that I could and would give myself shots to replace the IV drugs I was get­ting.

I’m a true home­body, and real­ly do heal faster here than any­where else, any­way.

I have to go back for some blood­work today, though, and will be doing that week­ly for a while. It’s espe­cial­ly a nui­sance because I can’t dri­ve myself around yet.

In hap­pi­er news, Katie fin­ished the class­room por­tion of her driver’s edu­ca­tion course and is behind the wheel this week. She came home absolute­ly hyper last night after dri­ving for three hours. I don’t think I’ll be wor­ry­ing about hav­ing some­one to dri­ve much longer! 🙂

Podcast 2 is up!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Podcast | Posted on 21-05-2006

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I’ve just post­ed the sec­ond episode of the Fibrant Liv­ing pod­cast, with much help from Sam.

Stitching

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Needlework | Posted on 21-05-2006

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Katie want­ed to go by Nease’s Needle­work a cou­ple of weeks ago, and you know I real­ly resist­ed fierce­ly 😉

While there, I saw a shop sam­ple of Drag­on Dreams’ Fairy Tale Sam­pler, and could not leave the shop with­out it. It’s get­ting most of my stitch­ing time now, because I just love it. Of course, the fact that it’s the first thing I’ve real­ly made espe­cial­ly for Sam makes it spe­cial, too. And what bet­ter to work on while gam­ing?

Link: Reactive Colors

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Links | Posted on 19-05-2006

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Have any of you vis­it­ed Reac­tive Col­ors yet, or tried out the soft­ware? It sounds very inter­est­ing. From Mind­Hacks:

Inno­v­a­tive autism com­mu­ni­ty soft­ware project Reac­tive Col­ors had its offi­cial launch the oth­er day, and is now sport­ing a new web­site and numer­ous ‘reac­tiv­i­ties’ to down­load and play online.

The project is designed to encour­age indi­vid­u­als with autis­tic spec­trum dif­fer­ences and learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties to use com­put­ers, through which they can devel­op mouse, key­board, pro­gram­ming and screen skills and delib­er­ate­ly empha­sise the char­ac­ter­is­tics of com­put­ing that are of poten­tial sig­nif­i­cance to peo­ple on the autism spec­trum.

The project is based on open-source prin­ci­ples and intend­ed to be more than just a free down­load. Inter­est­ed peo­ple are encour­aged to con­tribute their own pro­gram­ming skills to the project.

The input of peo­ple with autism and Asperg­er syn­drome is par­tic­u­lar­ly encour­aged, as they are like­ly to have the best insight into what sort of activ­i­ties will engage those on the autism spec­trum.

Link: Mindful parenting and unschooling

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Education, Family, Homeschooling, Links | Posted on 18-05-2006

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Today, a post to one of the home­school­ing lists I’m on includ­ed a link to Con­nec­tions: ezine of unschool­ing and mind­ful par­ent­ing. I haven’t read all of it, but there’s def­i­nite­ly lots of good stuff there. High­ly rec­om­mend­ed!

Namaste,
Cyn

Further up the curve

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Blogging | Posted on 16-05-2006

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Well, I tweaked this theme to make it “mine” but I’m not quite hap­py yet — we’re try­ing to remem­ber what fonts were used to make the head­er graph­ic years ago so we can re-do it while main­tain­ing some con­ti­nu­ity. And I think the Fibrant Liv­ing lay­out them is dis­tin­guish­able enough from The Beau­ty With­in* that I not­ed it as mod­i­fied (although I didn’t rename it. Yet.)

I haven’t cus­tomized any­thing for Cyber​stalked​.org yet. I need to fix some minor bro­ken links from mov­ing that to a new domain (I didn’t want it on my main one any more), but until I begin the process of real­ly build­ing the new blog on inter­net safe­ty my ener­gies are bet­ter used else­where.

There are sev­er­al obvi­ous things that I imme­di­ate­ly thought to search for in blog themes, though, and they just don’t exist as far as I can tell. So I think I may start play­ing around with Kubrick or one of its deriv­a­tives, or some­thing else eas­i­ly changed, to cre­ate some themes based on those ideas. Because, of course, I have so much free time 😉

*Use the theme switch­er on the low­er left-hand site at that site to choose The Beau­ty With­in from the list of avail­able themes.

Announcement: New Podcast and Blog, Fibrant Living

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Announcement, Blogging, Podcast | Posted on 12-05-2006

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You are cor­dial­ly invit­ed to vis­it the grand open­ing of Fibrant Liv­ing, the only pod­cast to focus on liv­ing a full, joy­ous life despite fibromyal­gia, chron­ic fatigue, or oth­er chron­ic ill­ness­es.

You can find Fibrant Liv­ing and its com­pan­ion blog at http://​fibrantliv​ing​.com/ . The feed is at http://​feeds​.feed​burn​er​.com/​F​i​b​r​a​n​t​L​i​v​ing , or avail­able on LJ as fibrantliv­ing.

Fibrant Liv­ing is pro­duced by Sam Chupp of the Bear’s Grove, Drag­onKin and Bardic Cir­cle pod­casts.

Namaste,
Cyn