recent podcasts listened to

Well, I listen to a lot of podcasts but these particular ones/episodes felt relevant to share here.

Out of the Box podcast ep 105- Scott Santens on Universal Basic Income – Whenever I mention Basic Income, either here or elsewhere on social media, there are always questions. Most people have never heard of it and a lot of those who are in the know just have a lot of questions about how it would work. This episode is great because it covers just about everything about UBI you could possibly wonder. Universal Basic Income is how we can lift people out of poverty, reduce crime, boost the economy, improve health and well being, and create a much happier society.

In the Dark –  episode 6 – This may be a hard podcast to listen to, even if you’re a fan of true crime like I am. I had to take breaks to get through it sometimes and that’s undoubtedly in part because I have a 11 year old son and this podcast focuses on the 1989 abduction of 11 year old Jacob Wetterling. Yep, it’s a tough one. I know this doesn’t on the surface seem relevant here but episode 6 talks about the effects of legislation regarding sex offenders and the national registry. It was Jacob’s mom Patty who pioneered and pushed for a sex offender registry and now she’s not so fond of the monster it’s become. The overwhelming research on pedophiles and other sex offenders says that the lack of stable housing,jobs, and support after incarceration increases the chance of recidivism but because the consequences of being on the registry is so damaging to all of those things, that stability is impossible. The registry covers a broad range of offenses and there’s many people who really shouldn’t even be on it. The intention was to keep children safe and it hasn’t actually done that but it has pushed people into poverty.

On to happier things. Literally…

Happier with Gretchen Rubin – This is a super complicated podcast for me, even if I do love it. As someone who struggles with ADHD, I am constantly looking for strategies that help keep my mind and life better organized and aid in productivity and this really fills that need .I can’t say that it really makes me happier but at the present time, my mood is very influenced by my financial status, so I feel like all the little things suggested (sometimes they’re things I already do) don’t really make anything better but they may reduce some stress or help me embrace the things that are awesome in my life, which helps me get through the day . Poverty-induced depression isn’t a thing that I can fix by  making my bed every morning or taking photos of my everyday life but it can’t hurt either.



Keep your chin up

via positive affirmations.


Also important to remember: lack of financial & career success and economic hardships don’t mean you’re a failure.  People use that amount in a bank account to determine wealth but don’t fall into that trap of aligning your value with a dollar. When you’re struggling financially, the whole world around you seems to be telling you that you’re a failure. It helps to remember the stuff you’re good at and the successes you’ve had in life . It also helps to keep hold of ideas and plans of where you want to go in life.

We’re having a Seed Party

The first thing my little one does when he wakes up in the morning is go to our “Seed Shelf”, a plastic yellow shelf my husband rescued from the garbage at a supermarket. It was an end-of-aisle display shelf for bug repellant. It’s been sitting  in a corner of the boys’ room, displaying lego creations and holding stacks of Pokemon cards. Now it’s been cleared off to store the random small containers and toilet paper tube pots we’ve gathered together from raiding recycle bins to start seeds in. The lack of a backing makes it a perfect seed starting shelf, placed in front of of one the few windows that actually lets light in our house.seed cups

This morning, my littlest peeked over the edge of a shelf , looking at the containers he helped me fill with soil and pushed seeds into with his tiny fingers . I could tell by the look on his face he was expecting to see more than just dirt. Disappointed,he said, “There’s nothing growing there. I think we need to have a seed party to make them pop up!”

Seed Parties, as it turns out, involve lots of water, spraying of water, and staring at DSC_0613the seed pots impatiently waiting for the magic to happen.

Time is hard for a three year old. Eventually, he gets tired of staring at dirt and goes off to play but he’ll come back later to check and make sure something exciting didn’t happen while he wasn’t standing watch. He doesn’t remember much of last year’s gardening experiences – it’s all new again this year. To me, that’s just so cool to see him experiencing things all over again, just like it’s new. There’s some things retained from last Spring. He remembers eating so many cucumbers and tomatoes off the vine ,straight from the garden but the seed starting business is fairly fuzzy in his memory.

This year he’ll be old enough to pick up new curse words if he hears me ranting at the woodchuck, the deer ,and the slugs who think my garden is an outdoor diner, so I’ll have to learn some new curse-worthy sentence enhancers to yell. Like maybe, “BY ST. BOOGAR AND ALL THE SAINTS AT THE BACKSIDE DOOR OF PURGATORY!”

The Seed Shelf. I was standing straight. It looks crooked because the floors in our house are sloped. No kidding.

The Seed Shelf. I was standing straight. It looks crooked because the floors in our house are sloped. No kidding.

3.29.14 Link Love: More support for Shanesha Taylor

News and thoughts from around the web….


If there were negative feelings about Shanesha Taylor’s situation the other day, the majority chose to keep it to themselves and spare me their vitriol on my own social media. The support and love for Shanesha was plentiful. There was only one woman who commented that, ” No job is worth endangering your children.” It’s that simple,right? When I asked if it was better to not try to get a job and live in a car with children, she just restated that opinion.  Some people just have judgement and no really constructive solutions. She went on after that to say she would have taken the kids with her ( good luck getting hired that way) or CHURCH.

Somewhere in the Middle of Everything addresses the church idea….

“What about a church?”

They charge tuition. Some ask for an “in kind” donation, meaning that they expect you to work for them…for however  long they see fit…in exchange for their generosity. I’ve explained before how insidiously churches can treat people who they know are vulnerable. Yes, there are some good churches out there, but unfortunately, most of them who offer services do so at the cost of your (or your children’s) souls.

Aside from that, you get job interview calls at the last minute, you don’t always have time between the call and the interview to fill out all the paperwork or jump through all the hoops needed for child care.

Again, and above all, you have no idea what this woman did and did not consider ahead of time before she made this decision.


My thought on the church suggestion was, “churches offer free babysitting now?” . I can’t think of a single church in my area that has a drop in childcare,anyway and there’s a helluva lot of churches around me.


“I Love Being A Mommy!!!” On Shanesha Taylor & Black Motherhood in the Age of Mass Incarceration – On the stigmatization & bigotry against black women and who Shanesha is as a mother.

The mugshot photo included in every single article,petition,fundraiser for Shanesha just made me cringe every time. That’s not who Shanesha is. As I said the other day when I shared Jill’s story, many women sent me private messages and emails telling me about the hard choices they’ve had to make like Shanesha. One comment on Shanesha’s photo: “I know that look. It’s suicide. It’s thinking about how your life means nothing.  It’s failure.”

As Prison Culture says: I look forward to Shanesha’s release from jail and her reunification with her children. I’ve been told that she is expected to be released on Monday and that her family has already posted bail. I look forward to replacing the mug shot photo that surely doesn’t capture who Shanesha is with a new one; maybe one like this…

Shanesha Taylor



Teen Mom NYC ( @GloriaMalone ) storified her tweets from the other day on Shanesha, her own experiences as a single mother, and the appalling daycare situation out there (I’m quoted about “shitty daycare” )

Read all the tweets ~HERE ~





On a related note:

AZ House budget has $900,000 for private-prison costs, but no child-care subsidies