Doing my best to get a post out this busy, busy week. I’ve got some really thought-provoking links for you today, though, so let’s go …

Before we get too serious, check out this cool recipe for caramel, made with a single (vegan and real food) ingredient.

I gave my friend K a holiday chai as a hostess gift last weekend and she said, “How did you know I was really into chai right now?” Well, K, this one’s for you.

Before realizing how gluten sensitive my middle child, M, was, gingerbread house decorating was a favorite holiday pastime.  Mummy Made It offers up a GF recipe for gingerbread houses that makes me so happy. It’s probably too ambitious for me this year, but maybe 2014?

You all know I am a huge advocate of elderberry for the kiddos and grown ups during cold and flu season, so I appreciated this analysis of its benefits and potential issues with it.

The human body continues to fascinate me:

 … aging, injury, disease and scarring change things internally. Even that most recognizable of anatomical parts, the human heart, does not look the same in every body. Yes, the poets were right: Everyone’s heart really is different.

Let’s talk hospitals for a second.  First, read this compelling article by an intensive care nurse about the moral issues surrounding dying with which she grapples daily.

Then, on the topic of parental rights that I’ve broached before, check out this piece.  Here’s a quote from it that, I have to confess, remains on my mind:

As an expert witness in cases around the country, Newberger said he’s seen a tendency for state child-welfare agencies to be “overly credulous to hospitals” and for some child protection teams to show a “reflexive willingness to label and to punish,” especially educated mothers who are perceived as being too pushy.

And this:

Assertive parents, armed with information from Internet support groups and believing they’re advocating for their child’s best interests, risk alienating doctors and nurses, leaving them few allies if they find themselves accused of medical child abuse.

I don’t know much, but I do know if my child were stricken with a constellation of symptoms like the child in this story, I would definitely fall into the category of an “assertive” parent.

On another note,

Play brings joy. And it’s vital for problem solving, creativity and relationships.

For adults, too.

How many things are wrong with this concept?

And finally, we don’t talk much about fiscal wellness here, but let’s do for a spell.  One woman was frustrated with her divorce and home foreclosure, so she pulled herself up by her bootstraps and built herself a kick-butt home.

I hope you have a great weekend.  I’ll blog when I can next week!  But, in the meantime, go play with your loves!

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