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[This guest post comes from Margaret Barton-Ross, a volunteer cook at Camp Ten Trees in the Pacific Northwest. Please make her feel welcome and spread the word about this great camp for LGBT families.]

It had never been my lifelong dream to cook in a summer camp, but after my daughter spent several summers volunteering her time to cook for the two week program known as Camp Ten Trees, I began to think it would be an interesting thing to do. And it had been a long time dream of mine to “drive” an industrial size Hobart mixer.

Camp Ten Trees has that very mixer in its kitchen. In August of 2008, I realized my dream of driving the mixer and was part of the kitchen staff at Camp Ten Trees.

I have long been a supporter of this non profit camp located in northwestern Washington. Camps tend to be special places to those who attend them. Camp Ten Trees has become much more than that for many of the campers who return year after year. The camp strives to develop “a camp community that honors creativity, individual choice, and community living.”

This camp exists to provide a safe environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LBTGQ) youth and their allies and for children of LBTGQ families. Camp Ten Trees has become home for these children and youth. Many of them say they spend fifty one weeks a year in the world, waiting for one week in the summer when they get to come home. For them, camp is home because they are safe and, after all, isn’t that what a home should be?

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No stories this week, but here's

one of my favorite pieces from

Mouse to keep you entertained

while I sort through a wealth of

words in search of the right ones.

 

 

The Exhaustion of Barely Getting By

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Ezra Klein's powerfully pointed Washington Post column this morning has stayed with me all day. The piece digs into a portion of Romney's video-taped statement which immediately bothered me most, but has gotten less mainstream press than other bits.

“The worst of Romney’s now-infamous comments about “the 47 percent” came in this couplet: “My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

I've read plenty of other great responses to Romney's 47% remarks but this bit resonated with me something fierce:

“The poor use up an enormous amount of their mental energy just getting by. They’re not dumber or lazier or more interested in being dependent on the government. They’re just cognitively exhausted.”

Today was one of those Big Picture days where I unintentionally got a glimpse of my family's future, and felt sick with dread. Enduring insecurity is paralyzing and I do my damnedest not to focus on it but after three and a half years, the toll it has taken on us is indescribable. On days like this one, I am quite honestly mystified as to how we've even made it this far without giving up altogether.

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Writers Write, Right?

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"In the fourth grade, I wrote an essay about how my favorite place on earth was my grandfather's horse ranch with its sprawling groves of trees and winding streams. I remember feeling particularly brilliant as I wrote that essay, inventing this entirely fictional haven on wide-lined sheets of soft brown paper. My mother remembers being particularly horrified when the essay came home with a big fat A on it, as she was unaware that I had become such a boldfaced liar…"

Come on over to Sweet Banana Ink to read the rest of this piece and check out the new Community Writing Project digs. 

Sweet Banana Ink

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I am all a flutter with the news that Sweet Banana Ink goes live today. The brainchild of my sister Bullish, it is intended to be a place to celebrate writers and the written word. "A place where writers can share their thoughts on the craft, and be part of a writing community regardless of genre, discipline or accumulated word count." I am excited to join Bullish and our beloved Bliss in fostering this space and making it a place where writers of all kinds can come together and engage in the creative process. Sweet Banana Ink will have fresh content three days a week and a variety of ways to get involved if the mood strikes. I'll be hosting the conversation each Wednesday so if you can't find me here, you're welcome to pop on over there. We'll be looking for contributors and guest writers, so be sure to check out the "Participate" page if you're the writerly type. If not, feel free to lurk with impunity.