Radical Motherhood by Candyce #72

The Radical Mother's tips for alleviating boredom and making the most of your summer:
    GET TOGETHER. Throw a cook out and invite your neighbors, or throw a potluck with your friends. Try these cheap and easy vegan "loose meat" sandwiches that I like to call Sloppy Jim's. You need: One 16 oz. bag of lentils, one 18 oz. bottle of barbecue sauce, 6 cups of water, and about a quarter cup each of grated carrot, diced onion and bell pepper. Wash the lentils. In a large pot, add lentils to water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or however long it takes to chop up your veggies. Now throw the veggies and barbecue sauce in the pot and allow all of this to simmer for three hours, or until the lentils are tender and the sauce is quite thick. Add some red pepper for kick. Serve on buns or rolls. This recipe will feed a lot of people--you can freeze any leftovers and reheat it on low heat. Make fruit salad by tossing a can of chopped pineapple and some of the juice, a few chopped bananas and kiwis, plus a handful of grapes in a bowl. Add a good dash of vanilla and a generous sprinkling of poppy seeds and chill.
    REACH OUT. Of the two million Americans in jails and prisons, 150,000 are women. The number of women inmates has tripled since 1985. Forty percent of women in prison are there for non-violent drug charges or conspiracy charges related to someone else's drug activity. Only 25% are in prison for violent offenses and more than half of those are related to spousal abuse defense cases. Black women are eight times more likely to be sent to prison than whites. Hispanic women are four times as likely. Two hundred thousand children are left motherless by this trend of incarcerating women. Many of these children are forced into the foster care system and are then often subjected to abuse. Women in prison are 10 times more likely to suffer sexual abuse and rape while incarcerated. Most often this abuse is perpetrated by male guards. (Statistics taken from www.sfnow.org) Check out www.prisonactivist.org for a lot more info regarding prisoner's rights and outreach. Go to www.prisonpenpals.net to find men and women searching for pen pals. Take some time out from frolicking in the summer sun to sit under a shade tree and write a letter to someone who could really use some contact and support.
    CLEAN UP. Punk's not dirty, it just smells bad. But you don't have to choose between stinkin up the joint or defying an industry that pollutes our bodies with chemical additives and burdens us with unrealistic aspirations for our bodies in order to turn a profit off our insecurities. This recipe takes less than five minutes to whip up, the ingredients are easy to find, and you can make tons of this stuff for under five bucks. For my herbal deodorant, you will need: 1/2 cup water, 2 chamomile tea bags, 1/4 cup witch hazel, and 4 teaspoons cornstarch. Begin by making a strong infusion of Chamomile tea: bring the water to a boil, remove from heat, and add the tea bags. Allow to steep for several minutes. Chamomile contains agents that are antibacterial. The sweat that your body secretes is actually odorless until it comes in contact with the bacteria present on the surface of your skin. Kill the bacteria, kill the odor. Now add the Witch Hazel. This is available for under two dollars at drugstores. It is made from an herb of the same name, and has lots of medicinal properties, including acting as an astringent. This helps soothe the skin, and is especially nice if you shave your pits because it will help minimize the irritation that goes along with that. Add the cornstarch one teaspoon at a time and stir until it is dissolved. Cornstarch will help this "stick" to your skin a little. Include a few drops of essential oil if you want a certain fragrance--just add as much as it takes to scent the mix to your liking. Just a note: There should be a Surgeon General's warning on bottles of Patchouli oil--a little goes a long way. Pour the mix into a small spray/mister bottle, or recycle a store bought roll-on deodorant bottle. Some of them have screw off tops so you can just pour this stuff right in and put the cap/roller back on. Shake before applying because the cornstarch settles at the bottom. Also: A lot of the time the stuff you buy at the store is a deodorant and antiperspirant. It's just not a good idea to try to keep your body from sweating. The body does it for a reason, one of those reasons being to keep your body from having a toxic meltdown. Because natural deodorant will not keep you from sweating, you may find that you will need to apply it more often to control the odor. No big deal. Also, Coriander Oil is antibacterial, so if you can get your hands on some (check health food stores), add 5-10 drops to the mix.
    GET A REAL EDUCATION.  Make summer vacation last forever--don't go back to school this fall, or don't send your kids back. Check out: www.midnightbeach.com/hs/index.html This page has lots of information about homeschooling, but it is most notable for the unschooling section, which should be of interest to most anyone. For parents considering homeschooling, check out: www.gomilpitas.com/homeschooling This site is a gold mine of links pertaining to homeschooling--including information about state laws pertaining to homeschooling, education styles and philosophies, academic assessment, curriculum, websites for the kids, and more. Read "The Teenager's Liberation Handbook" or any other book by Grace Lewellyn. Check your local library, or buy a copy from www.akpress.com and share it with your friends. It is said that by practicing for only fifteen minutes a day, within two years a person can master a skill. Find out it this is true and learn something you really want to, like: ventriloquism, knife throwing, cool bike tricks, knitting.
— Candyce / 1122 S. 20th St./ Ft. Smith AR 72901 (address from 2002 - current info not available in 2011 - ed)