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If I could change the world… the Creche system

I was procrastinating today and stumbled upon a snippet of pie-in-the-sky I’d written back in 1998. In it, I was trying to work out how parenting could be ‘improved’ in the future:

The Creche System [child care of the future]

The creche system would provide living arrangements for guardian parents and their children in same sex communal living complexes where the guardians share both the nurturing, the domestic chores and often the professional jobs which they have in common. This would leave all guardians with at least some free time – via rostered “days off”  –  to maintain identities which are distinct from their roles as nurturers.

The creche system is based on three fundamental assumptions:

  1. that [usually] only one biological parent is suited to the type of nurturing required to raise happy, healthy and well adjusted children,
  2. that the guardian parent, in order to remain effective, requires a support network of similar guardians who are best suited to share the load and provide both physical and emotional support to each other,
  3. that the guardian parent, in order to stay sane and feel fulfilled requires adult relationships outside of the nurturing environment where they can experience those aspects of life which are not child related – e.g. sex, work, hobbies, studies etc.

The majority of creches would cater  for guardian mothers and children.

Some creches would be ‘father’ based for those men who have chosen to be the guardians for their children – whether from necessity i.e. the mother is dead, incapacitated or disinterested or because they have rejected the male stereotype and, like most mothers, are good at, and enjoy, the nurturing of children.

A guardian would be able to contribute to a Creche in a number of ways:

  • by trading goods and services/special skills etc.
  • by sharing the domestic chores of communal living 
  • by paying outsiders to do their share of chores etc.

The Creche would be a combination nursery/parents club/sanctuary.

Some Creches would be family based i.e. like old extended families but either all female or all male.

Some Creches would be ‘public’ i.e. any parent can gain a place either temporarily or permanently.

Some creches would be ‘skill’ based where a number of parents engaged in the same expert profession would band together and share both the nursery and the job. Skill based creches would usually be small, highly organized and employ outside help for the bulk of the domestic chores.

In fact the number and type of creches would be almost unlimited.

The only common rule amongst all creches would be that sex must occur outside the creche. This is to avoid a guardian feeling pressurized into having sex when she/he doesn’t feel like it.

The philosophy behind this rule is that sex is not just a physical release but also a complete physical and emotional experience. Sexual partners should always feel that the sex is special – something that both partners look forward to, work for and enjoy. i.e. sex should remain as interesting and exciting after children as it was before.

Most importantly, sex should never become a routine on a par with shaving or brushing your teeth. The only way to accomplish this would be to separate sex from everyday life, making it an ‘event’ rather than a habit.

In same sex creches, all parties would gain certain benefits.

Children

As nuclear families usually contain only one or at the most two children, a creche would provide the children with many other children – of varying ages, personalities etc – to socialize with. The children would also gain a sense of security from close contact with the guardian [mother/father] as well as a whole host of ‘aunts/uncles’.

guardians       

The guardian – i.e. the parent doing the nurturing – would be able to enjoy the bond with their children without the sense of physical, mental and emotional isolation that often occurs in the nuclear family.

They would have an instant support network :

  • to share the load of nurturing and domesticity,
  • to provide much needed time out and personal space.

For those in skill based creches, the creche would also provide the opportunity to continue their chosen profession AND enjoy watching their children grow.

And finally, a word about biologicals. Biologicals are mothers and fathers who do not perform the role of nurturer for their children. For them, the Creche system would allow them to pursue their own goals and aspirations without being made to feel guilty or selfish.

Biologicals would be able to interact with their children and/or partners for  short periods of time without having to cope – usually inadequately – with the demands of everyday family and domestic life.

The degree of interaction between biological parents and their families would not be determined by social expectations but rather by mutual liking and affection.

Apart from tidying up the format, and the text to make it ‘flow’, I’ve left these ideas uncensored because…I still think some of them have value.

Would the Creche system work?

In hindsight, I can see how getting along with many other adults might also be harder than getting along with just one other adult, especially if you’re not particularly sociable. And yet…I remember being awfully lonely for much of the time while the Offspring was growing up.

Were you lonely as a parent? Did you miss your friends, job, social interactions outside of parenting? If you had your ‘druthers’, would you change how families work, and if so, how?

There ya go, something to think about during the weekend. 😀

Meeks


Saturday Snippets from Carol Cooks

The reblog button didn’t work so I’m doing a manual one because I found this post so interesting. First up, sharks…NOT my favourite beast and yet…

Sharks…Feared by many but an essential part of our survival…the shark plays an important role within the eco-system…Classed as one of the top predators they are an essential part of the natural order of marine ecosystems.
Not all species of sharks attack humans and when they do sometimes it is a set of circumstances like a magpie is said to be attracted to bright shiny objects bright colours or blood from an open wound attracts some sharks …

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/08/15/saturday-snippets-11/comment-page-1/#comment-25381

As I wrote in the intro, sharks are not my favourite beasts. I live in Australia and we lose people to sharks all the time. But watching the following video on Carol’s post is making me rethink my attitude:

Please read the rest of Carol’s post because it includes an amazing video about a roof top farm. Not only productive and chemical free but…beautiful!

You can find Carol’s post here: https://carolcooks2.com/2020/08/15/saturday-snippets-11/comment-page-1/#comment-25381

Have a great weekend,
Meeks


Success and Plan B

I’ve admired Arnold Schwarzenegger for decades, literally. Not because he was the world’s best actor -rolls eyes- definitely not because of that. No, I admired him for making the American Dream work for him. For being smart enough to succeed at every impossible task he set for himself.

But…it was not until I saw this video that I realised how utterly driven he was and is:

I understand driven. My father was driven. My ex is still driven. Me? I guess I’ve always been driven too, but not to succeed in the accepted sense. All my life I’ve wanted to be the best person I am capable of being.

I won’t bore you with a whole lot of personal history, or philosophy for that matter, I’ll simply tell you about a Greek concept called ‘Eudaimonia’:

According to Aristotle, every living or human-made thing, including its parts, has a unique or characteristic function or activity that distinguishes it from all other things. The highest good of a thing consists of the good performance of its characteristic function, and the virtue or excellence of a thing consists of whatever traits or qualities enable it to perform that function well.

https://www.britannica.com/topic/eudaimonia

Having been brought up as a Catholic, my definition of Eudaimonia has to include ethics, so part of what I strive for is a kind of moral goodness. I don’t lie, I don’t cheat, I’ve never stolen anything in my life, and I try very hard never to hurt anyone, either physically or emotionally. But not doing something is not enough. I also try very hard to ‘right wrongs’ when I can. That’s why Twitter has become the forum where I try to counter false information. And because I have enough to live a modest, contented life, I try to give to the less fortunate, when I can. To be kind. To put others first, because that is my definition of love.

Another part of my Eudaimonia is to develop all the talents I was born with. That’s where my writing comes in. I love being told that someone enjoyed my writing, and I would love to be a best selling author. But…popular and financial success has to be according to my rules. No compromise. For me, writing has always and will always be ‘Plan B’.

I guess a lot of you are thinking that I’m trying to be some kind of latter day Mother Theresa. Believe me, I’m not. My reasons for all of the above are quite selfish, you see one of the things I discovered while doing a philosophy degree was that Eudaimonia can be measured…by the death bed test.

Morbid? Not really. The death bed test goes something like this: a man [or woman!] is dying. As they lie there, waiting to throw off this mortal coil, they think back over their lives, over everything they have ever done. Being Eudaimon is to find that you have no regrets.

That is my Plan A – to have no regrets. Much as I still admire Arnold Schwarzeneger, I wonder if he will have any. He’s accomplished most of what he set out to do, but what price did he have to pay for that success? And how clean are his hands?

I don’t believe Schwarzeneger would take what was not his, but I don’t think he gave much of himself either. Will he be remembered by those he leaves behind as a loving man, or as a self-centred, selfish one?

Someone once said that I was a ‘difficult woman’. That’s true. But I try very hard to be a good one.

I’d love to read your comments, but not about me. I’m simply the counter argument to Schwarzeneger’s view of life, and the meaning of success. Let’s talk instead about life, death and the meaning of the universe.

Hugs,
Meeks


WHAT IT IS REALLY LIKE TO BE INTUBATED AND PLACED ON A VENTILATOR Written by a nurse who works with ventilators: “Here you go folks… for those people who don’t understand what it means to be on a ventilator but want to take the chance of going out without a mask. For starters, it’s NOT an oxygen mask put over the mouth while the patient is comfortably lying down and reading magazines. Ventilation for Covid-19 is a painful intubation that goes down your throat and stays there until you live or you die. It is done under anesthesia for 2 to 3 weeks without moving, often upside down, with a tube inserted from the mouth up to the trachea and allows you to breathe to the rhythm of the lung machine. The patient can’t talk or eat, or do anything naturally – the machine keeps you alive. Medications must be given to paralyze the person so they do not struggle or try to breathe on their own, which would work against the machine. So first they are rendered unconscious, sedated, and then have their muscles paralyzed. The discomfort and pain they feel from this means medical experts have to administer sedatives and painkillers to ensure tube tolerance for as long as the machine is needed. It’s like being in an artificial coma. After 20 days from this treatment, a young patient loses 40% muscle mass, and gets mouth or vocal cords trauma, as well as possible pulmonary or heart complications. Older people lose more muscle mass quicker. It is for this reason that old or already weak people can’t withstand the treatment and die. Their bodies can not handle the trauma of all these procedures and stresses it places on their already sick body. Many of us are in this boat … so stay safe unless you want to take the chance of ending up here. This is NOT the flu. Add a tube into your stomach, either through your nose or skin for liquid food, a sticky bag around your butt to collect the diarrhea, a foley catheter to collect urine, an IV for fluids and meds, an A-line foley to monitor your BP that is completely dependent upon finely calculated med doses, teams of nurses, CRNA’s and MA’s to reposition your limbs every two hours and lying on a mat that circulates ice cold fluid to help bring down your 104 degree temp. Anyone want to try all that out? Stay home and wear a mask when you go out! Stay safe and well!” What this article doesn’t say is that the patient can hear everything that is said so if the staff carelessly talks about death, the patient panics. If the sedatives are lessened, the patient panics because he can’t breath or talk or, in his case, move. When they begin to lower the pain medications, the patient screams in his head but can’t make a sound. When they take out the tubes it’s extremely uncomfortable. A trachea may replace the respirator, the patient still can’t talk or eat without a tube. Your child, your spouse, your parent, suffers from covid 19 alone in the hospital. The victims are not limited to strangers. When you choose to crowd, unmasked, into newly opened stores for some irrelevant purchase, ask yourself if it’s worth a lifetime of knowing your child suffered, maybe died, alone.

I’m reblogging this brutally honest description of what’s involved when someone is put on a ventilator because the hard truths have to be spoken, again and again and again until the complacency stops.

Phoenix Rainez

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Digital Housekeeping

While looking for something else entirely, I discovered a WordPress widget called ‘Gallery’. And voila! There it is on the sidebar to the right. The images are a little small, but it’s nice to be able to do something useful with all those faces!

And the gallery provides a nice introduction to the price change for the Innerscape Omnibus. In line with most other bundles on Amazon, I’ve raised the price to $5.99. This price point makes it slightly cheaper than buying each book separately, and it allows me to do ‘specials’ every now and then without having to do an exclusive via KDP.

And finally a word about the widget I was actually looking for – a word count progress bar: https://abtoolz.alanpetersen.com/wip-progress-bar/

The instructions mention that you can get this app via the WordPress widgets. That’s not quite right. It is not available on the free, WordPress.com widget page. I assume it will be available to the paid WordPress.org sites. If someone could check that out for me I’d be eternally grateful!

Still on the progress bar, there is a manual way of inserting it into your blog but I haven’t tried it out yet. If I get it to work, I’ll post a mini how-to about it. Alternately, if someone out there gets it to work, please post some instructions, preferably with pictures so we can all start using it!

Ahem, and the reason I want that progress bar is because, as Robert Chazz Chute says:

‘The meters really get me amped and moving. I don’t want to see a static progress bar and measurement gives me a sense of momentum. That which cannot be measured will not be improved.’

https://chazzwrites.com/2020/07/13/two-simple-tools-that-work-for-writers/

Like Robert, I’m all betwixt and between at the moment. Once I sit down and start writing, I’m okay, but getting myself to that point has never been this hard before. I know what’s causing at least part of the problem – that miserable virus – but knowing and ignoring are two very different things. So, I’m hoping a progress bar will give me that little bit of extra incentive to ignore the outside world and escape into Vokhtah again.

Okay, I feel as if I’ve been productive enough. Time for some lunch. Cheers!

Meeks


My Best Reads of 2020, Part 2: More Book Reviews

Some great reviews by Audrey Driscoll, Vokhtah included, but also an excellent review of The Old Woman and the Mad Horse. It’s written by an Aussie buddy of mine, Cage Dunn, and I can attest to the fact that it’s a great read.

I haven’t read the other two books, but my TBR pile is starting to look rather thin so…:) Oh! And while you’re looking at all these books, check out Audrey ‘s Herbert West quartet. One word: awesome. 🙂

Cheers
Meeks

Audrey Driscoll's Blog

Here are my thoughts on four more books I read and greatly enjoyed in the first six months of 2020.

First, books by writers from Australia, which seems to be a beehive of creativity in the 21st century.

Book cover image for The Old Woman and the Mad Horse by Cage Dunn & Rose Brimson

The Old Woman & the Mad Horse – Case File for: The Big Three Mining Investigation by Cage Dunn and Rose Brimson
The tension starts on the first page and doesn’t let up until nearly the end. Hella Solaris is an investigator for a shadowy organization opposing a mega-corporation’s efforts to gain technological domination of the earth’s population. Her intent to step back from active service in a small rural community is thwarted, first by the presence of an angry horse, and then by a criminal element who wants to drive her away, and finally, by discoveries and developments that entangle the personal with the professional.

This is a thriller of sorts…

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Pink tea, pizza and glasses

I don’t normally do plugs for brands, but I’ve totally fallen in love with this Nerada, Organic Rosehip with Lemongrass and Ginger Tea. It has no tea in it, which means it contains no caffeine, which means I can drink it after 12:00 midday without losing sleep at night. But the best thing about it is the flavour. It actually tastes nice…as in, I actually look forward to drinking it.

Who’d a thunk a herbal tea could taste good?

Apologies to all my Greenie friends. You were right. I should have listened.

Next, I’d like to draw your attention to the artfully displayed slices of pizza next to the tea. The filling includes tomato paste, homegrown basil, Greek fetta and homemade caramelised red salad onions. Oh, and the pizza base is homemade too. Click here to be taken to the recipe.

The Offspring made it all last night for dinner, and because it isn’t super greasy like commercial pizza, we could reheat it for lunch without feeling as if we were swallowing bucketfuls of grease! But the Offspring didn’t stop there. This morning, my clever Offspring fixed my computer glasses for me!

Back in the old world, I would have hopped in the car, driven down to Warrandyte village and asked the nice people at Eyes-on-Warrandyte to fix it for me. But the old world is gone. We’re not quite into a doomsday scenario, but it’s still not safe to go shopping, whatever the politicians may say. So what was I to do?

DIY, of course. I got out my trusty computer tools and a small magnifying glass and quickly realised that the screw holding one arm to the frame was close to falling out. Part of the reason for that was that a small thingumajiggie was bent.

I won’t bore you with the, um, technical details. All I’ll say is that I took the screw out and straightened the thingumajiggie, but could not get the damn screw back in. I simply could not see what I was doing, even with the magnifying glasses. See for yourself. These are my specs next to the tools:

Now, this is a closeup of the screw that goes in the glasses to hold the arm in place:

I was swearing in a very ladylike way, “Oh poppycock and balderdash!” when the Offspring came to my rescue. Said Offspring did some swearing too, but in the end…ta dah…my glasses are as good as new!

Thank you, Offspring. You will eat tonight. 🙂

And there you have it. An eccentric post for the new era of Do It Yourself. 🙂

cheers
Meeks


Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates #Reviews -#Shortstories Cathy Cade, #Science Fiction A.C. Flory, #Historical Apple Gidley

Three author updates from Sally’s Smorgasbord Cafe & Bookstore…and Vokhtah is one of them! I’m so thrilled.:)

Stay well,
Meeks

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the first of the author updates with recent reviews for authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore.

The first author today is Cathy Cade for her short story collection Witch Way and other Ambiguous Stories.

About the Collection

Characters who aren’t all they seem – or are they? You decide.

A tale inspired by the White Rabbit, one set in the shadow of Vesuvius, and one in a garden pond.

Meet Mirlings and Brownies, a misguided confidante, an unlikely Samaritan, a trainee mortician, and a witch  …or not.

A recent review for the collection.

Phil 5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant collection  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 May 2020

Cathy is an excellent writer. The well written short stories and poetry in this book are varied and eclectic, the product of a wonderfully fertile imagination.

My favourite but only just, is probably…

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Alternatives to Killing People for the Economy

I barely know how to balance my household budget, let alone fix the economic crises facing the world, but…I do understand the social contract that got us all here in the first place.

That social contract goes all the way back to the earliest days of homo sapiens, and it’s based on co-operation /within/ the group which allowed the group to compete with the ‘outside’. In other words, the group was stronger than each individual and therefore protected the majority of individuals within the group.

Even today, herbivores that can’t fight off predators on their own congregate in large herds. The sheer size of those herds provides a measure of safety to every animal in the herd…except those on the very edge. Yet even they have a better chance with the herd than if they were on their own.

Humans are herd animals whether we want to admit it or not, and all the rules and structures we’ve invented over the millennia evolved to allow ever increasing numbers of humans to live in our herds without turning on each other.

Thus protection from the ‘outside’ always required an element of compromise. For example, to allow the herd to survive, individuals are banned from killing each other. When that rule is broken, punishment follows.

No one wants to be punished, but we accept it because it’s still better than being deprived of all the benefits society [the herd] provides.

This, at its most basic, is the social contract. It’s what we expect of our governments and institutions. It’s the reason we accept rulers, the Law of the Land [herd] and pay taxes.

Unfortunately, being human, we always want more. More goods, more safety, more power, more ego stroking. And that’s okay too, up to a point.

What point? The point at which the desires of individuals start to threaten society as a whole.

I believe we are at one of those points now. The primary role of government, any government, is to protect the lives of its citizens. Instead, our governments are sacrificing lives to protect an imaginary concept called ‘the economy’.

The following article by Cynthia Kaufman explores the idea of the ‘economy’, how it works now, and how it could work in the future. As she says “The economy exists to serve our needs, it isn’t a god which requires sacrificial victims.’

Cynthia Kaufman

As the U.S. begins to reopen after being shut down to protect us from spreading Covid-19, many people are beginning to talk about a choice between what is good for the economy and what will keep us healthy. Much pain and suffering has come as people have lost their livelihoods and their homes, and so we need to move quickly to put into place the things that will ensure that people have what they need to live. But rather than sacrificing people for the economy, we need to rethink what we mean by “the economy.” No one needs to be killed for us to have a healthy economy.

We live in a world where there is enough of everything we need for us all to live well, and to do so within the ecological limits of the planet. And yet, as the Covid-19 crisis has laid bare, the social systems…

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – #SciFi Innerscape Omnibus: Books 1 to 3 of the Innerscape trilogy by A.C. Flory

Just checked my email and discovered that Sally has the Innerscape books in the Cafe. -dance- Please pop in and say hello. There are a lot of very talented writers there so I’m thrilled to be included. 🙂

Meeks-doing-a-happy-dance

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Delighted to welcome another author, A.C. Flory to the Cafe and Bookstore with her books. I am featuring the Innerscape Omnibus: Books 1 to 3 of the Innerscape trilogywhich was released on April 12th 2020.

About the Innerscape omnibus

Innerscape: a virtual paradise where the terminally ill live out their lives in young, pain free bodies.

But Miira Tahn discovers paradise is an illusion. An assassin stalks the Burning Man.

Lies masquerade as truth.

Together with her friends, Miira plunges into a deadly game of cat and mouse.

If she loses, she loses everything.

Her life – Those she loves – All of Innerscape.

One of the reviews for Nabatea (Innerscape Book 3)

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome sci-fi series

Oooh, I loved this series, and now that it’s over, I’m suffering from a book hangover.

Nabatea is the final book in the Innerscape…

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