Tag Archives: activism

mid-week round-up

What are you up to this week? My mom headed back to Kentucky on Monday. I keep thinking about the immigrant families being separated against their will at our border and I feel ever more grateful and blessed to have a parent who is just a day’s drive away. We had a wonderful visit…even if we got a little lost while out on a hike. Whoops!

Sending a big hug to anyone reading this, and here are some links for you to check out…

The fall of New York and the urban crisis of affluence.

How to get Anine Bing’s bright and airy decor style.

S-Town is being turned into a movie.

The reasons why women’s voices are deeper today.

Is it weird I kinda want to start rocking a fanny pack?

“Liz Phair taught me everything about being a grown up.”

Who wants to book this “Craftsman Charmer” for a vacay in Nashville?

This natural deodorant looks promising.

A busy mom and recipe tester shares her favorite $10 meals.

5 people on why they code switch.

And finally,

Absolutely haunting.

Jesus wouldn’t put children in cages.

PLEASE — Call your congresspeople. Volunteer. Donate. Protest.

Because, in the words of Hillary Clinton – “There’s no such thing as other people’s children.” There are simply children.

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mid-week round-up

What are you up to this week? I’m missing Louisiana already (we had an awesome time there last week!) and am still reeling over the book I finished on the plane ride home. Have you read it? Many of you mentioned on this post that you’d like to see me tackle more book posts on Finding Delight and I’m happy to oblige. I have a few reviews in the works and also an idea for an Introvert’s Book Club (would you like to hear more about that??). But while we’re on the subject, I’m happy to announce that the winner of the Spring Fling Giveaway is Katja of Katnapped.com. I’ll be in touch! Thanks to everyone for participating and keep an eye out for more giveaways round these parts. Ok, now that’s squared away, on to the links…

7 actions you can take to prevent gun violence.

Searching for memory of the Gulag’s in Putin’s Russia.

A brief history of presidential sex scandals.

Everyone knows clothes can be powerful communication tools, but can they help change the world?

What do you think of this color for spring?

How to make knotted hair ties. (Super cute & simple DIY!)

Has anyone followed The Artist’s Way program or read the book?

China cracks down on funeral strippers.

Pastel pink, bunny prints, and backpacks – OH MY! #EasterLewks

Faced with complaints of filth and blight, L.A. cracks down on overnight RV parking.

Elizabeth Catte on J.D. Vance, colonial logic, and the end of coal in the region that outsiders love to imagine but can’t seem to understand.

THE NOBLEST ART IS THAT OF MAKING OTHERS HAPPY.”

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — My Three Favorite Make-Ahead Breakfast Recipes and Books to Read if You’re in Search of a History Lesson.

mid-week round-up

What have you been up to friends? On Saturday, our friends from Kentucky passed through on their way home from The Keys and we had a lovely time visiting with them. I love having visitors from further north to remind us that it IS a darn delight to eat outdoors in January. 🙂 Also, loving my little Internet community who chimed in on my posts about decluttering and mornings. Makes me feel like we’re all in this life thing together and everyone is doing their best to figure it out! In that same vein, check out this post from Danie and this one from Jasmin. Have a great rest of your day, and here’s some more reading material…

Is “RuPaul’s Drag Race” the most radical show on TV?

Related: 5 reasons I can’t get enough RuPaul.

Which color would you choose for February?

How Aly Raisman’s leadership reformed women’s gymnastics – and heralded Larry Nassar’s downfall.

Nine humanitarian activists face federal charges after leaving water for migrants in the Arizona desert.

How the app “Chat!” is making STD and contraception information into a game and helping Cambodian garment workers at the same time.

Where does great culture come from? How do you build and sustain it in your group, or strengthen a culture that needs fixing? This book has answers.

Kesha’s 2018 Grammys performance was even braver than you might realize.

12 excellent graphic novel recommendations.

Related: And one more for good measure.

The more we study dolphins, the brighter they turn out to be. (Old article but I thought it was interesting.)

A prize launched for thrillers that don’t involve violence against women.

The far out history of how hippie food spread across America.

Related: Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Long Hairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat by Jonathan Kauffman

“The Husband Stitch” isn’t just a horrifying childbirth myth.

P.S. If you liked these articles, consider following me on Facebook! I post interesting links throughout the week. 🙂 

mid-week round-up

How have you been, guys? We had a fantastic time in Savannah celebrating the wedding of our friends Katie & Marc! It was so much fun getting to spend time with them, along with other friends and my family, and experiencing a bit of such a great Southern city. (I’m thinking of writing a post about some of the restaurants we enjoyed while there, if y’all are interested!) They had a beautiful garden ceremony in historic downtown and the reception was at a restaurant overlooking the river. So, so magical! Now that we’re back to reality, I’m slowly but surely getting unpacked and slogging my way through a very full inbox. Beam me back to champagne toasts and Spanish moss, plz!

Links for you…

A horchata-inspired protein shake perfect for summertime breakfasts.

How water affects people attempting to cross the Mexico – U.S. border.
It’s expected that anyone crossing the border will lose access to clean water. Bonds compares the journey to the Hunger Games — and the audience is everyone who watches, especially during this administration, without doing a thing. “You’re hunted,” she says. “Maybe water falls from the sky if you’re lucky on that day. You’re going to die or almost die trying to get here.”

Related: Border Angels leaves dozens of gallon jugs of water in the desert along high-traffic migrant paths. DONATE HERE.

Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel lays bare the horrors of collusion with the patriarchy.

So many cute things in the new Cupcakes and Cashmere online store. (Especially these earrings, this candle, and this pillow.)

An open letter to the creators of S-Town.

Books Through Bars distributes free books and educational materials to prisoners. (I love that they have an Amazon Wishlist so it is super easy to donate!)

Related: I’m near the end of Season One of Prison Break and if those dudes don’t bust out soon I SWEAR TO GOD.

Gorgeous copper flatware would certainly elevate your next dinner party (or weeknight meal).

A day in the life of a food vendor.

What began as an attempt at a simpler life quickly became a lifestyle brand. #vanlife
Scroll through the images tagged #vanlife on Instagram and you’ll see plenty of photos that don’t have much to do with vehicles: starry skies, campfires, women in leggings doing yoga by the ocean. Like the best marketing terms, “vanlife” is both highly specific and expansive. It’s a one-word life-style signifier that has come to evoke a number of contemporary trends: a renewed interest in the American road trip, a culture of hippie-inflected outdoorsiness, and a life free from the tyranny of a nine-to-five office job.

Love the idea behind this craft project subscription box!

Buckets of opportunity in Rural America.

Crime, addiction, and religion meet at the greyhound race track.

P.S. Here are a couple Finding Delight posts you may enjoy — Meal Planning for Beginners in 7 Easy Steps and It’s All an Illusion.

Me, My Husband, and the Killer Whale: A Love Story

My husband proposed to me on a birthday trip to the aquarium. His birthday, to be exact. Moments after proclaiming- “Of course I’ll marry you!”- we were walking through tunnels, a few inches of glass separating us and gallons upon gallons of water. Fitting surroundings for the float-y feelings I was experiencing. I’ll never forget how the blue light from the tanks cast a soft glow over my husband’s smiling face.

So, this Valentine’s Day, I decided to go “experiences over stuff” and tucked a little note in with his card promising a newly-married aquarium excursion.  It seemed more than appropriate given our history and the fact that he works on his own tanks in the evenings after work — constructing beautiful aquascapes for little sea friends to swim around in and reading books on how to be the best amateur aquarist around.

This is all to say, my BAE loves him some sea creatures…and the magical places that hold mass quantities of them hold a special place in my heart, too!

Full disclosure before we get any further: I remembered my husband mentioning, before we moved to Miami, that he thought the aquarium here had orcas, a potential deal-breaker for us to ever visit.

You see, like just about everyone else in the world who saw the film, Blackfish shook me to my core. It convinced me, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that orca whales do NOT belong in captivity. They have families. With special whale languages(!). They swim tremendous distances. Why would we pluck them out of the sea, stick them in a tiny tank with strangers they can’t communicate with, and *wam-bam* that’s the rest of their lives?!

After seeing this movie, I started many conversations (with unassuming friends and family) with, “How many trainers do you think have to die before Seaworld realizes killer whales are just that? Killer. Whales.” (I can be a bit extra sometimes.)

I cautiously turned to Google, which revealed: the Miami Seaquarium houses one orca whale. A female named Lolita.

Buuuut I wanted to have an adventure at an aquarium, *said in my whiniest “I-want-things-MY-way” voice*, because my husband loves aquariums and I love my husband. Ignorance is bliss, right? Surely a killer whale in an aquarium is better than a killer whale at Seaworld. Maybe she’ll have a carefully curated living space. (Like the smaller sea creatures do.) Maybe her presence is more for educational purposes and less for entertainment wow-factor. These were my excuses.

When hubby’s Spring Break hit, we headed to the aquarium, turning a blind eye (for the time being) to Lolita’s existence.

All told, we had a blast exploring the exhibits at Miami Seaquarium. Any day I get to spend experiencing something new with the one I love is a good day. But, as you may have guessed, this is where the story becomes more about the whale. Even in the midst of the greatest love stories you can still feel your heart break. And that day, with all the love I felt for this man by my side, my heart broke for the whale.

I’ll back up a bit. My naive assumption that Lolita would be living a simple life, available for casual viewing? Not so correct. Instead, twice a day, the gates are rolled up on the entrance to her aquatic arena.

We strolled in for her afternoon performance and chose a seat in the stands. She was already in view, head bobbing just above the surface.

I casually assumed that this must be her “performance space” and that she probably had some other enclosure where she lived the rest of the time. But, as we waited for the show to begin, I realized the logistics of that were unlikely.

“Does she live here? All the time?” I asked Chet.

“I think so,” he gently responded.

I would later learn the tank measured only 80 feet across. In the wild, whales swim about 75 miles a day.

Lolita was the star of the show. Along with two Pacific White Sided Dolphins and three wetsuit-clad trainers, she showcased a variety of tricks. And I’m not gonna lie…seeing a 7,000 pound animal flying out of the water like that was majestic AF. Yes, I took pictures. Yes, I oooh’d and aaaah’d and clapped in dumbfounded amazement. But I also listened…and what I heard disturbed me…

The show’s rhetoric was interesting and careful. It painted the ocean as a scary, dangerous place for whales to live. Whales out there (you know…in their natural habitat) were riddled with pollution and had laughable life expectancies. Lolita, in comparison, is HEALTHY, healthy, healthy. Seriously, they used the word “healthy” to describe her about 42 times. By the end I was like, “ok, ok, I get it. She’s super lucky to live in this tiny tank with humans who love her!”

But is she? Here’s her story and you can decide for yourself:

Lolita was captured off the coast of Washington state in 1970 and sold to the Miami Seaquarium for $20,000. She joined another orca, a juvenile male named Hugo, who was captured two years prior. Luckily, Hugo was a member of her natural community of Southern Resident Orcas and they got along great! Although they mated many times over the years (at one point they were going for it so hard that shows had to be cancelled!), they never produced any offspring. In 1980, Hugo died of a brain aneurism likely caused from his habit of bashing his head against the sides of the tank. Since the death of her companion, Lolita has had no other interactions with her own species.

So I guess you’re wondering, would I ever return to the Seaquarium? Knowing what I know now? Probably not. Do I regret going? Well, that’s tough. I’m grateful for every piece of my love story–even the bits that aren’t so beautiful. Even the chapters that involve falling in love with an orca. And even the parts where I have to admit to my readers that yes, I paid money to see a killer whale in captivity.

Lolita is part of my story now, so I’m all the more invested in securing her a “Happily Ever After.” Luckily, activists at Orca Conservancy are hard at work on a translocation and reintroduction plan. I will do everything in my power to help them.

Starting with donating the amount our tickets cost, and telling you this —

The Southern Resident Orcas, the community to which Lolita belongs, is one of the best known and studied marine populations in the world. Returning Lolita to her natal-pod (known as “L-pod”) within this community could secure her happy ending. Although she has lived for over forty years in the smallest killer whale tank in the United States(!), she is in remarkable condition. This, coupled with the fact that she still vocalizes in the calls used exclusively by her pod, makes her an ideal candidate for reintegrating into the wild population. While she could not boost the endangered orca population directly (Lolita is no longer of breeding age), another healthy female introduced to a matrilineal population would go a long way in making sure young orcas, the care of which is usually a shared responsibility, are reared to adulthood.

(Read the details of her specific plan HERE and donate HERE.)

Lolita’s “Happily Ever After” hangs in the balance. She’ll have to capture a few more hearts, maybe breaking a few in the process. Scientists believe her mother still swims off the shore of Washington state. I hope for their happy reunion.

As for me and my husband, we have it easier. Our “Happily Ever After” is up to us. Up to us to go on adventures together and learn lots. To shape and shift our view of the world in the process. To love each other hard. Even when our hearts break over things we think we can’t change.

…And to write them into our love story because we still want to try.