About Elisa

I am a journalist and online organizer who is the co-publisher of this blog. When I am not online, I am shuttling around my two kids, an 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter.

Wednesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

A preliminary private autopsy showed that 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, according to the New York Times.

For all who try to justify this brutal killing by a police officer over shoplifting, I give you the poignant and hilarious John Oliver. This is a must-see:

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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Monday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

Quantity versus quality. That’s been on my mind lately as our summer is winding down and we’ve had weekends packed with extended family visits and tearful good-byes. The kids may not regularly see their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, but the time they do spend with them is special. There is no doubt that we love each other. If there is a lesson that I’ve learned this summer, the quality of the time we spend with our loved ones is what counts.

This past weekend, I brought my 17-month-old niece with me to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California. While DH, Ari, Eli and our 20-year-old niece from Honduras rode on the roller coasters, Sailis and I rode on the train and carousel.

We had so much fun that the minute I lay her in her stroller, she was out. lol!

When my sister and the baby moved out, I worried about my bonding with the baby. But I’ve made an effort to see them almost every weekend, and seeing our tearful good-byes, there is no doubt in my mind that we are bonded and always will be.

Any last-minute summer plans? How are you?

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Friday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but the news cycle was heavy this week. Besides depression and anxiety, actor Robin Williams had the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, according to CNN. May he rest in peace.

And like many of you, I cannot get Michael Brown’s family out of my head. The images coming out of Ferguson, MO, coupled with the fact that no one has been named — much less held accountable — for the shooting death of their son, it is beyond outrageous. The indifference on the part of the police feels like corruption in another country, not the justice and liberty this country is supposed to stand for. I keep thinking to myself W.T.F. That, and I hope that the Browns have secured a lawyer because I don’t know what else they are supposed to do. They must be stunned.

Shudder.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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Wednesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

I am baaack and so grateful to be in my routine. While I was in El Salvador, I got e.coli from something that I ate, but haven’t been able to identify. DH got sick, too, but the kids and my in-laws were unscathed.

I had the worst of it, landing in the emergency room near my folks’ home in New Hampshire twice for dehydration. Ugh.

It took 10 days before I could eat a meal, and right now I feel 95% normal. That said, the vacation wasn’t all bad. I did get plenty of rest, and wasn’t lacking for childcare so I didn’t have to worry about anything but getting better. The kids met a major milestone: they were with their grandmother three full weeks in El Salvador, two of those weeks without us. It is heartening to see them so grown up and mature, but I am also sad. I love the ages they are at — 10 and 7 — and now I am feeling the time fly. Sniff.


For many years, I wondered if my kids could be close to their grandparents since they only see them once a year. I’ve learned that it’s not about the quantity of time, but the quality of the time. My kids love their grandparents. Eli was crying that she didn’t want to go back home.

When I asked them what their favorite moments of their summer vacations were, they rated, equally, the time that they spent with their grandparents in El Salvador and in New Hampshire. One of their highlights was a day trip to Canobie Lake Park with my dad:


How’s your summer been? When do your kids go back to school? I don’t know about you, but I’m ready! lol. My kids return to school the day after labor day.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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Monday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

Many thanks to our Mom of Twins, Liturgy Geek and Pat of Butter in a Sea of Salt — for back-up! — while I am gone. This will be my last open thread until I get back from summer vacation the week of August 11.

Stay tuned for pics!

What’s on your mind today?

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Friday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

Do any of you watch Modern Family? Our whole family does and we are hooked! We all have our favorite characters: mine are Cam and Gloria. I just learned that the actor who plays Cam (Eric Stonestreet) recently disclosed that at a White House Correspondents Dinner he refused a photo with Rick Santorum. Good on him!

And sorry for the paltry post. I am getting ready for a trip to El Salvador and tying a lot of loose ends before then. But I am looking forward to a beach vacation!

How are you?

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Wednesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

National Geographic Magazine published an insightful and depressing article on hunger in the United States. It cited a cut in food stamp — aka “SNAP” benefits — and falling wages for food insecure households in the U.S. This is a must-read.

Now onto another epidemic in this country: stress. As someone who is always “on” — working, tending to the kids, working out (at the crack of dawn), cooking or doing other household chores — this medium article by a fellow progressive activist really spoke to me.

There was never a clear diagnosis. It’s possible I’ve been suffering from adrenal fatigue, and with the major diet adjustments (I don’t eat sugar, wheat, or dairy, to name a few), my condition has dramatically improved. A lot of what I’ve learned was through food journaling and trial and error. Being a half-baked scientist, I’ve found a a few tips that have helped restore me, and are backed up by science as well. Paying attention to these tips after stressful projects or after a conference can help aid in bouncing back from fatigue, and often even out mood as well. They’re my own ‘field notes’, so your mileage my vary. Always consult with your doctor or nutritionist, of course.

Instinctually, I too, like coconut milk in my coffee, eat a lot of banana and potatoes (potassium), drink a lot of water, and love anything with lavender in it. In fact, when I am most stressed, I drink a lavender chamomile tea before I go to bed.

What are your anti-stress go-to foods and remedies? What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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Monday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

I am back from Netroots Nation and am preparing to leave on a family vacation (again). This time we are headed to El Salvador and New Hampshire to visit family.

Can anyone — or multiple folks — “blog sit” while I am gone? Basically it would entail updating the mother site the following dates:

Monday, July 28
Wednesday, July 30
Friday, August 1
Monday, August 4
Wednesday, August 6
Friday, August 8
Monday, August 11

I’ll be back on Tuesday, August 12. Speaking of, where did the summer go? I can’t believe we are already at the end of July!

What’s on your mind today?

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Friday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

ICYMI, our Erika celebrated a birthday yesterday. I realized that she is a year away from 40. Girl, how will we celebrate? An international trip?

I need some ideas here, ladies. How did you celebrate your 40th birthday?

I am in Detroit right now — for the first time! — at the annual Netroots Nation Convention. Every year, the conference grows bigger and becomes more diverse. I’ve been to all them since 2006, and I am still inspired by new people joining the movement.

Yesterday I attended a panel focused on paid sick days and fair pay for women called “Solidarity, the Original Way to ‘Lean In’”. I was incredibly moved by Girshriela Green, a former Wal-Mart employee who is now an organizer with Organization United for Respect at Wal-Mart. It was her first panel, and she was incredibly articulate, warm and engaging. I went up to her at the end, and let her know that, I too, at one point worked as a Wal-Mart associate, and in no way, had I ever considered organizing or speaking out on worker rights. That is one mama with cojones! Incredible.

In non-Netroots Nation news: it has been determined that a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet that crashed in a rebel-controlled area of eastern Ukraine was shot down, according to CNN. I pray that the victims’ families are able to get answers — what a horrible situation.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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