Monday links & pics

How was my weekend? Very good thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

My clowns (you know the drill about clicking on an image):

my clowns

Me and my lawn (I’ve discovered that the best time to rake leaves is in the rain.):

raking leaves

This weekend a round robin conversation went on while I was away (from the internet). It all started with kim and her knitting technique (what’s with the phone ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Knitting is something that I’ve not had time to do in a long time. But, I can knit. Kim has probably given you an idea of my knitting ability. Yes, I drop stitches and do the wrong stitch or stich in the wrong direction on a regular basis, too. And I suck at keeping a consistent tension.

In JoVE’s response, she said:

We live in a society which values that which can be bought and sold. Commodities. If it does not produce a commodity, it seems that our work is worthless. Crazy, even.

While this is a total tangent from the knitting thread (coincidental pun), the ceramic tiles I installed both last and this weekend came to mind when reading Process vs. product. If you watch home reno shows (which we do) you will often see ceramic tiles being part of the reno. And even if it is only a 2 second blip most of the time you get to see a tile cutter. In this pic where ever you see a piece of blue tape is where I cut a tile:


A join without tape:

joined tiles

The tile cutter (with the aid of a carpentry square):


If you have watched those reno shows you will have noted that my tile cutter is a little different from the reno show ones. The ones on the reno shows are machines designed specifically for cutting tile while mine is my glass cutter I use for stained glass. In our case, I don’t know that getting a mechanical tile cutter would have saved us any time. I don’t think that it would have saved the hour that it would have taken to pick it up and return it to the rental place. But that’s not really the point. The tile cutter is all about getting the job done. I enjoyed cutting the tiles. I enjoyed the challenge of trying for a perfect match between the 2 pieces of tile so that if you stop to look at it you can see that the seam is there but at a passing glance you don’t. While our aim in all the renovations we are doing is to make the house attractive in the market, we should enjoy the process. Things aren’t always going to work out like a carefully oiled clock. But that’s not the point in life. At least I don’t think it is.

So, a perfect third party in the conversation is Paradise Found:

I have always said that if my kids grow up to be happy and can provide for themselves, then they will indeed be successful, regardless of whether or not the rest of the world would classify them as such.

I’ve never gotten involved in a discussion of money in this blog (and rarely do outside of it). But there was a period in my career where I made substantially more money than I do now. It was then that I came hard against it that money is not everything and was forced to evaluate what our society considers success. I think what our society views to be success is severely warped.

Over the years what I’ve done (and continue to do) without really intending to has been to show my kids that work is not an evil thing. They see me working at things all the time. Sometimes it’s things like stained glass. Some people would call me a workaholic but I’m not. I’m not working compulsively or because I can’t stand not working. I’m working because I enjoy it.

If at some point I choose to judge my children’s success it will be based on whether they enjoy the work that they do. I’ll be far more likely to judge my success as a parent this way.

About Ron

Homeschooling dad of 4 (ages 27 – 14), grampy to 3, WordPress core contributor, former farmboy & software developer by profession.


  1. Nice post – you covered a lot!

    The tiles look great, will you come help with ours? ๐Ÿ™‚

    At some point in our homeschooling (I started out very tough academically) I realized that I don’t need to push them so much. If they enjoy life and are happy, I am happy. My idea of success has changed completely.
    My brother is a comedian. Really. He is 40 and recently decided to to this, and all my parents do is dog him on his choices, judging his “success” in life based on his crappy car, irregular job, not being married, not owning a home, etc. They came from a different background than I could ever understand, and I know they want what they see as “best” for him, but it made me realize what I want for my kids is happiness, not misery at the cost of “success” and a guilt trip courtesy of me. And I’m darn proud of my brother – doing something I would never have the courage to do, doing what he wants despite criticism, doing something he could potentially fail at, but following his dream. If he is happy, I think he is more successful than most people today.

  2. I remember that time. The stress level was far worse than it is now, doing what we are.

    And yes, I think you (Ron, dear) enjoyed cutting tiles a little too much. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I swear, Christine, I think in some spots he laid it out like he did just so he could cut more tile. ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Andrea, thanks for including my thoughts! This is something that I feel strongly about and while I didn’t mention it in my post directly, I feel that for many people success = money. Sure, we have to have money to eat and live, and extra money may buy security for older age. But money does NOT buy happiness. Our house is always buried under at least five ongoing projects that the kids (and I) enjoy doing. We are happy putzing along with the things we do. If the kids continue to live life this way, I will be happy. I think they will be happy. My mother, not so much. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. I see what you are saying, home repair can be a process too. And those shows of home repair do make it all seem so clean and easy. Kind of like Martha Stewart makes the kitchen look like a relaxing place to express your inner artiste. But the reality is that expressing yourself through any means can sometimes be slopyy, fun, and backbreaking. Sometimes the result is awesome (your house) and sometimes the end product is a half finished sock full of dropped stitches.

    I think the best thing about giving kids the time to enjoy process is that they might actually find a passion they excel at rather than rushing through a series of gates designed to make them whole by someone else’s standards.

  5. Christine:
    Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ I think we would enjoy doing that. We followed a similar road.

    Agreed. Too much? Is that possible? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hey now, they need to be symmetrical with something. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Yer welcome. I think success = money is stronger in the US than in Canada. For example, it is unusual on Canadian TV to see commercials for Ambulance Chasers. So, someone here who won the lottery would not necessarily be considered successful. People would be more likely to base their opinion of the lottery winner on how they behaved after they had the money.

    Yes, exactly. Sometimes when I’m watching those shows the word project grates on my nerves because I think it may be integral in reducing the process to tasks to be done.

    It’s a rare sort of thing that someone start out being exceptional at something. For most people and most things they start out being sloppy. So, like the picture of Emma painting, we strive to provide them a place where mistakes and sloppy-ness are acceptable because they are part of learning. Although it wasn’t a staged or planned thing, one of the reasons that she was painting without a drop cloth is that part of the process of painting is sometimes getting paint on something you don’t want it on. And whether at this age, if she were to drip and we wipe it up for her she will experience/see the whole process.

  6. Woops, sorry Ron – forgot where I was for a minute. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I *definitely think that the US has a very money-centric nature. I know that’s generalizing and there are many people out there that don’t buy into it, but there are lots and lots who do.