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    Thoughtworthy (Hypoallergenic Earrings, MeWe Thoughts, Supplements & More!)

    January 22, 2021 by Brandy Vencel

    :: 1 ::

    It’s been so long since I’ve done one of these! I’ve missed it (and you!). This week was a good week to recommence the tradition because I didn’t have time to write anything long form. I’ve been working away, just not on things you can see (yet). ♥

    :: 2 ::

    If you follow the Afterthoughts MeWe page, then you already heard about this …

    Both of my daughters have metal allergies. One of them was so bad we had to let her earring holes close up because no matter what metal we tried, she had extremely bad reactions (and yes I threw good money after bad and bought weird things like niobium and titanium and all sorts of ums). With my other daughter, her reactions were bad, but not quite as extreme, so while she struggled with constant infection, she was able to allow the holes to heal up.

    But she can only sort of wear earrings because after a couple hours, her ears begin to swell and itch.

    Earrings by Emma

    Um hello Earrings by Emma! We discovered this store online around Christmas time and Daughter Q. now has two pairs. Every single earring in this shop is made with medical-grade plastic posts instead of metal, and it feels like a miracle. She’s wearing earrings every day now; she’s basically living the dream.

    I’m sure some of you also have metal allergies in your family (since they are fairly common) so I thought you should know! 🥰 👍

    :: 3 ::

    Speaking of MeWe, let me tell you why I like it: you, as the user, are not the product. You do realize that is Facebook’s business plan, right? You are the product they deliver to their customer, the advertiser. I knew I hated the model (even though much of the product was nice — especially Groups, which I used for Charlotte Mason Boot Camp for years and years as you know), but it wasn’t until I saw MeWe that I realized what a great alternative model it was using. The product is the content. I pay a small monthly fee to have my page. In exchanged, they deliver all of it to whoever follows the page. No algorithms.

    Here’s what is beautiful: if you like a page, you generally want to see what it posts. MeWe actually shows you the posts! And when that page isn’t trying to game an algorithm, it will likely just post genuinely useful stuff and not a bunch of junk to get the platform’s attention. So I think what MeWe will see, as it gains in popularity, is that because people and pages don’t have to clamor for algorithm attention, the quality of the content will go way up and the whole thing will be calmer and have fewer pointless posts.

    In my mind, everyone wins.

    Plus it seems to be run by a Libertarian who believes in actual freedom of speech. So far, it’s been quite nice, though I find the search function isn’t that great (yet).

    :: 4 ::

    This month in 2019:

    If we say we want our children to graduate with good character, wouldn’t this include training in temperance, even in regard to their reading habits? This was part of my series on Charlotte Mason and gifted children, but I don’t think the topic is limited to gifted children, if that makes sense.

    :: 5 ::

    Podcast episode of the week:

    • Classical Stuff You Should Know: 132: The Poetic Edda 2: An Otter Named “Otter”
      • This is a many-months-old episode, so I guess you could say I am behind. I prefer to say I’m right where I mean to be. This is the second episode on Viking/Norse mythology and well worth a listen. Plus, their episodes always make me laugh.

    :: 6 ::

    Supplement of the Week:

    Um you know I’m not a doctor, right? I’m just telling you about my story — this isn’t medical advice.

    N Acetyl Cysteine. When I had Covid, I got stuck at the end. Nothing major; my complaints were fatigue and an endless runny nose. I had seen NAC on many recommendation lists, but honestly I didn’t want to spend money on yet another supplement. And they say not everyone can take it; what if I bought it and felt worse and wasted the money?

    As the days went by and I got neither better nor worse, I gave in and added this. I took one with breakfast and one with dinner and WOW. That is my one-word review: WOW. I immediately began to improve.

    Now, it’s a supplement, not a magic potion. I don’t mean I was 100% the next day. I just mean that every day, I was a little better. And now I’m almost well. So now I’ve added it to my standard protocol that I’ve been working on since the beginning of this silly plague and I am convinced it’s a good and worthy addition.

    Note: I consider NAC the sort of supplement that is (1) short-term use for when I have an acute viral case and (2) something that should make me feel better. What I mean is that if I take it and feel worse, I wouldn’t persevere and keep taking it; I’d stop immediately.

    Books & Reading, Home Education

    The Official 2020 Afterthoughts Read Aloud List

    January 5, 2021 by Brandy Vencel

    Most of us were at home more than usual in 2020, right? Our children lost choir and karate, for example. We went from being out of the house almost every single weekday to being home most of the time, and my husband with us. We have a long-standing habit of reading aloud, so we kicked it into full gear. We filled much of the evening karate/choir gap with chapters and chapters of beautiful books. Needless to say, this year we Continue Reading…

    Home Education

    The 2021 Afterthoughts Book Awards

    January 1, 2021 by Brandy Vencel

    I love to kick off the new year with awards for my favorite books read in the previous year. My reading went way better than last year (I had reached an all-time low). I read almost 60 books total, but for this post I will only focus on the 31 books I read by myself. (I’ll follow up with a post covering our read alouds from 2020.) This year’s reading felt extra rich, and I think one reason for that Continue Reading…

    Books & Reading, Home Education

    An Antifragile Reading List for Children and Their Parents

    December 16, 2020 by Brandy Vencel

    In my final post on principles of antifragility for motherhood, I said that learning to bear small losses prepares us for bearing big losses and that one place this can be practiced is through reading. Most of us don’t live devastating lives, I said. But literature allows us to enter in to the devastation of others. While this isn’t its primary purpose, it’s true that literature can help build so much of what we talked about regarding robustness, resiliency, and Continue Reading…