How To Become an Everyday Activist – Tips From 5 Women Driving Change in Their Communities

How To Become an Everyday Activist – Tips From 5 Women Driving Change in Their Communities

I was honored to lead a panel at this year’s Mom 2.0 Summit. My topic was “Activism as an Influencer – How To Be The Driver of Change in Your Community,” so I assembled five of the smartest, fiercest women I know who are driving change in our community and beyond.

Because there were so many amazing sessions to choose from at the same time as ours, (not to mention a literal room full of puppies!) we have put together some highlights for those who missed it, (and for those of you who made it but were too full of Dove lounge champagne to remember all the details.)

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Use Your Straight Privilege to Support LGBTQ Rights

Use Your Straight Privilege to Support LGBTQ Rights

Yesterday was a craptastic day in democracy.

I spent the day rushing across town to the capitol (twice) and spent five hours hurry-up-and-waiting to try to testify in support of HB 517. HB 517 is a bill by Celia Israel, intended to stop unprofessional conduct by healthcare providers who inflict conversion “therapy” (torture) on kids.

10:30am: “I’m fired up to give my testimony!” 1:00pm: “I’m cold, hungry & confused. Am I in the right room?” 8:30pm: “Are you $%@#$ serious? I missed giving testimony by 10 minutes?!”

In the end, I showed up both ten hours too early and ten minutes too late, as the bill which was scheduled for 10:30am was actually heard at 7:45pm, while I was across town casting votes at the AISD School Health Advisory Council meeting. I rushed back to the capitol as soon as the meeting was over, but instead of providing public testimony, I ended up slinking up to the reporter as she was recording testimony comments for the next bill and handing her my stack of printed comments to (hopefully) be submitted to the committee.

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The Search Is OVER! The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe Ever!

World's Best Sugar Cookies

Original post at my old Dusty Parachute page.

I have exciting news for you all – After 42 years on this planet, I have finally achieved my goal in life!

I know what you’re saying to yourself.  “Wow, I wish I could achieve my goal in life, maybe I should work harder!”  Maybe you should.  Because then you could be like me, 42 years old without a single care in the world, living the rest of my life free and easy because I’m no longer burdened by my life-long goal of finding the perfect sugar cookie recipe.

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8 Trump Temper Tantrum Survival Strategies for the 116th Congress

Presidential Temper Tantrum

Any parent who has been in a toy aisle with a hangry toddler who’s tired from staying up too late the previous night hate-tweeting and binge-watching Fox News can empathize with the 116th Congress having to deal with our President’s border wall fixation.

Just like a three-year-old kicking and screaming on the floor because you won’t buy them the extravagant, over-priced toy that they bragged to all the kids in class that they were going to get, our toddler of a president is ready to prove to the world that nobody is better at throwing tantrums than he is.

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The How (Not) To of Childcare Instructions

susannekerns.com

I was digging through an old bookcase today when this old, folded-up note fell out.  I unfolded it to discover the six-page list of ‘guidelines and explanations’ (my own obnoxious choice of words) that I had written years ago for my mother and father-in-law when they came to care for our daughter while I took a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy with my mom.

This was eight years ago.  My daughter had just turned one, plus we had moved into a new house the week prior.  There were boxes everywhere, not to mention the general craziness of living with a one year old.  Even with all that, my in-laws were kind enough to volunteer to fly from Arizona to Seattle to watch her for ten days, while my husband was at work, so that my mom and I could go on a food and wine tour across Italy.

I am still grateful that they gave us this gift of their time and in hindsight, am even more grateful that they didn’t either bolt for the door or laugh in my face when they saw what follows.
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“When I Was Your Age!” Halloween Edition

“When I Was Your Age!” Halloween Edition

Gather around, children, while I tell you a little story about Halloweens back when I was your age, waaaayyyy back in the 1970s.

Ah, those were the days! Children wore costumes their mothers made from scratch, and store-bought costumes were much less slutty, (and much more flammable.) This period also marked the final years when it was acceptable, nay, encouraged, to raise awareness to the plight of the homeless by dressing your child up as a Hobo for the night.

Which brings me to Exhibit A, featuring my brother, the Hobo and me as Raggedy Anne. My mom made the hat and the apron and of course there’s the cute little red dress underneath. Look how sweet we are posing out in front of our house in Idaho.

Happy 70's Halloween - TheDustyParachute.com
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Beware of Unsolicited Pumpkin Texts

Halloween Pumpkin Text Fail

There’s a good chance my in-laws think I’m crazy.

I miss 85% of their correspondence because I only check emails once a month.

It takes me approximately four months to cash the kids’ birthday checks.

There’s the time I left them SIX PAGES of crazy baby-care instructions while they were babysitting our (then) one year old daughter.

And then there’s the Pumpkin-Text-Fiasco of 2013.

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Can You Find My Favorite Anniversary Present?

Can You Find My Favorite Anniversary Present?

Originally published on my Dusty Parachute blog July 5, 2015.

My husband and I aren’t big on giving gifts. We already have a lot of stuff and we’re both really bad about buying things when we want them so not only is there nothing that either one of us really needs, there’s not even usually something that we want that the other could buy.

For a while we tried to make gift buying more interesting by creating gift-giving themes like, “Spend $10 at a Walgreen’s” or “Spend $10 on something that could be featured on Antique Roadshow someday.”
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The Birds & the Bees & Hard Candies – Why Sex Ed Is Important

Photo by Casey Chapman Ross

I originally performed this piece live as part of the Listen to Your Mother Austin 2016 Show. I’m sharing it here again as just one example of why I believe that science-based, comprehensive sex-ed is important for all children.

 

When I was 8 years old, I became a walking after school special when I showed a neighbor boy my underpants in exchange for a fun-size pack of Life Savers.

I should have known he was bad news when he suggested we take his riding mower out for a joyride around the back pasture (not a euphemism).  Our ride ended with the lawnmower stuck in an irrigation ditch and me in his grandpa’s basement trading a peek at my underwear in exchange for his hard candies (also not a euphemism.)
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My REVISED Amazon Squishy Product Review

susannekerns.com

If you haven’t read the original Squishy Penis Post, you can find it here.

Dear Amazon –

It is with a heavy heart that I must remove one star , or eggplant 🍆, from my previous review of my Mochi Squishies Squishy Toys Squeeze Random Animals Stress Toy Kawaii Squishies by Shovan, 30 Pieces.

Once it was confirmed by several hundred people that one of the MSSTSRASTKSbS30Ps I ordered was definitely not an Animal, and was, in fact, a Penis, it started to generate some tension in our household.

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