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Help the movement to educate people about birth

One World Birth is offering their Birth Stories DVD set at cost ($7.50) until June 30th. Because of contractual issues, they have to sell or destroy the remaining copies by July 1. Here is a link to their website and offer. Toni and Alex, the creators of OWB, had a similar outcome to mine after the birth of their first child; they had an undeniable compulsion to share information with others about empowered birth. Our stories are quite different. I gave birth at home in Texas, and they did it in a hospital in England. I had no choice but to share the most amazing experience of my life, totally natural birth, with the world in the form of the book Birthright. Toni and Alex created One World Birth to house their gift to the world – film. They have been traveling around the world, interviewing birth attendants, experts, and parents in a brave attempt to educate people about taking birth back from the birth industry. You can see recent interviews with Ina May Gaskin, Michele Odent, and other birth champions on their website.

Why is it so hard to reach people about taking birth back?

It’s because most people don’t care. They look at you like you have two green heads if you light up about homebirth. Most people are not in that tiny little time of life when they care an iota about giving birth. The only people besides birth workers who care about birth are the ones who are between finding out they are pregnant and giving birth. That’s it. No one else is going to sit down and watch The Business of Being Born, even though it should be a must-see for anyone of child bearing age. There are however, those of us who remember how much giving birth meant to us, how much it changed our lives, how it could be such a beautiful experience for so many more mothers, fathers, and babies if birth were something that women owned and cherished instead of having it dominated by a world of hospital politics and fear.

I wish Birthright was a best-seller. I wish everyone in the world would be talking about One World Birth. I hope they sell all of their DVD sets before they have to be destroyed. Eternal optimism is my achilles heel. Buy one for your local library or for a young married couple. If you know someone who is pregnant, order her a copy of Birthright. It will give her the tools she needs to walk confidently into labor, birth, and motherhood.

Every mother and baby deserve to have a supported, quiet, gentle, personal, and private labor and birth. It is an exquisite thing when fearlessly left alone.

Enter to Win a Copy of Birthright

Crystal O’Gorman of Modern Parent Online gave Birthright a stellar review! Read it here. Then make a comment at the bottom of the article and mention wanting to be included in the give away drawing. Someone will receive a free copy of my book, Birthright.

Here are a couple of paragraphs from Crystal’s review:

“I would have to say that my favorite parts of the book are the midwife pregnancy and labor tips and the mental aspects of preparing for labor and birth. In the first two chapters, Dewey provides all of the precious tips that she learned from her midwife. These tips will help you prepare your body for pregnancy and labor. Some great examples are her midwife’s advice on exercise and nutrition, specifically protein in-take, and activities that can make labor less painful and less tiring, such as perineal stretches and the awesome sleeping trick on page 12 that will help you get in those extra hours of sleep when labor begins at night. These tips are a must-read, especially if you don’t have a midwife.”

“If you want to read a book that will connect you with your ancestors and their knowledge about birthing naturally and a book that will help you feel better about your own personal strength and capability, then I recommend this book to you wholeheartedly. I wish this book would’ve been around when I was pregnant with my first child, because I believe her conscious perspective could’ve helped me work through some of my emotional  misinterpretations and also could’ve helped me create the birth I wanted then. But, I do feel confident in what it has and still is doing for me during this pregnancy. The information in this book guides you along the rite of passage to motherhood in a way that every woman deserves to experience it.”

Thanks Crystal!

Magic Tree House works like magic for early readers

Looking for the perfect chapter books for your child who is reading on a first or second grade level? The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne is nothing short of remarkable. I asked my friend, Sonya, whose children are a few years ahead of mine in the homeschool realm, what she recommended when her budding little readers were ready for something a little bit challenging in the way of chapter books. Without hesitation, she told me about Magic Tree House.

These little books always have 10 chapters and a few illustrations to enjoy along with the stories that children (and adults) simply can’t put down. My six-year-old can’t wait for me to bring home another pile from the library. He then proceeds to devour them ravenously, sometimes three in one day! This series builds an amazing amount of reading confidence.

The two main characters, Jack and Annie, are 7 and 8 year old siblings who have found a tree house full of books in the woods. Each book begins with them arriving at the tree house and choosing a book that takes place somewhere in time where they end up going and having an adventure. In the form of a beautifully orchestrated literary allusion, Morgan Le Fay plays a magical librarian who needs their help on each adventure. The delightful stories whisk young readers to a time and place in history. Not only are they challenged by new vocabulary and encouraged by lots of easy reading, they are introduced to an historical event or era. Right now my son is reading one that takes place on an island monastery in Ireland during the time of the Vikings. It’s not really a history lesson, but in the future, when he hears someone mention the Vikings or monastic life, he’ll have a point of reference. And he’ll have one for Ancient Greece, Pompeii, The Civil War, The Revolutionary War, the time of the ninja warriors, The Arctic, the old west, the titanic, and the list goes on and on and on. As of now, there are 49 books. There are also non-fiction companion books to go along with some of the series. We have one on hold at the library and will have to let you know about those in the future.

I recommend reading along with the child, or being in the room when they are reading so that they can spell out and ask about new vocabulary. My son enjoys reading them out loud to me as well. I am so thrilled that we came across The Magic Tree House. Thanks Sonya, and thanks Mary Pope Osborne.

You can purchase the set of the first 28 books for about $60 on Amazon, but you can probably get them all at your local library. They do not have to be read in order, but the second set – after #28 is apparently just a bit more advanced.

Don’t take your trivial little life lightly

Memorial Day Every Day

Countless people consciously sacrificed their lives so that you can go to the mall, have running water, take a peaceful walk, and end up in your air conditioning, watching T.V. This quality of life is exactly what they died for. We call it freedom.

Imagine if it were struck away. This is a popular thought these days, being that 2012 has been on the calendar for a long time as a great year of well… something.

You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

Do I know if there is a conspiracy to enslave the population? Do I know if they’ve dumbed us down and made us fat and dependent on purpose? Do I know if the collapse of the dollar is part of the plan? Do I know who they are? Do I believe the end of the world is near? The answer to all of these questions is a hearty no.

Honor our Fallen Heros and that for which they died by standing up for Liberty

What I do know is that this quality of life that we all have is still worth fighting and dying for. I know we must be vigilant to protect it. Government spending and control are the first things that we must tackle. If we allow our government to spend the way it has been, our quality of life is going to diminish without question. It already has. Second, we have to extinguish this weird un-American aquiescence to Socialism. Our biggest, albeit magnanimous goof was the moment our government ever gave a handout. When people give to others it’s called charity. When the government gives one man’s money to another, it’s called theft of one man’s money and theft of the other man’s dignity. It begs for abuse of the system. Hello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone home? Our government is gobbling up control and slowly stripping us of our rights. We have to stand up.

Confetti eggs, laughter, beer, clean clothes, Harry Potter, legos, insulin, yoga class,  - it could all be gone. How? Inflation gets so out of hand due to the government over-spending, and everything gets so expensive, that people have worthless money and fall into the abyss of true poverty. People begin to steal, businesses fail, general mayhem breaks out, and goodbye sweet little lemonade stand, bouncy house, first-world, comfy life.

I’m usually an optimist, but I bet only a handful of people will actually find, read, or pass this article on. The vast majority of Americans have been lulled into thinking our government will take care of them and are sitting in a lazy boy waiting for their toe nails to dry or for the game to come on, and have no clue what-so-ever that their cushy little air-conditioned, super-market life is on the brink of collapse. They know they are paying more for gas, clothes, and food. But they don’t know that we are borrowing 4 billion dollars a day, plus interest, to fund our wars and our poverty. The end of this way of life is near, unless for some reason of which I am unaware, the American people are going to vote in a bunch of Libertarians who will really cut government spending by half and who will really end the wars. After all, Republicans and Democrats are two sides of the same old dirty coin. They are both squandering the freedom for which hundreds of thousands of men and women died. Our founding fathers and mothers were libertarian. They did not believe in the government. They knew it was a regrettable necessity.

Why am I a Libertarian? Integrity.

I simply can not align myself with a party that desires to “redistribute” people’s earnings and to create poverty and hopelessness by causing dependence on the government. Nor can I align myself with a party of which a significant portion feels the necessity to legislate people’s personal lives and decisions. Both of these parties have elected presidents who have driven us deep into debt and war, and who have tarnished our reputation in the world. They are both responsible for the rapidly diminishing value of the dollars it allows us to keep. Our government has no budget. It spends recklessly. If we don’t stand up now, the prospects for freedom in America are grim.

What is a Libertarian?

A libertarian wants the government out of our lives to the highest degree possible. A libertarian is a direct philosophical descendant of our founders. Libertarianism was spelled out in our declaration of independence and in our bill of rights by these brilliant men. Our greatest fear is a government which grants itself far too much power. We’ve been living with relative “freedom” for so long now, that we’ve forgotten that the government was what our country’s founders were trying to contain. Our current government has created laws, some of which are unjust and unconstitutional, which they enforce by coersion – if you don’t obey, you are imprisoned by men with guns. We have allowed our government to grant itself an absurd amount of power.

Our government should be in place merely to protect our borders, our bodies, and our property. It is in place to protect, not to provide. Becoming a welfare state is the polar opposite of what it means to “promote the general welfare.” The welfare state has ruined the fabric of many lives.

If you were the only person on the planet, you could do whatever you wanted to do. You would be truly free. You’d have to provide for yourself and deal with the consequences of your decisions. That’s what it means to be free. If there were other people around, they too would be free – until they infringed on your rights. So what are your rights? Think about it. They are either God given or innate, depending on your persuasion. You have the right to live, work, play, create, give, defend yourself, etc. You do NOT have the right to hurt someone else (with the exception of self-defense), to force someone else to do something, or to take or harm their property. Your right to swing your fist ends where the other guy’s nose begins or where his belongings begin. You are not the only person on the planet, so to make sure that our rights are upheld, we have created government.

All the federal government should do is protect our rights

That’s all. As soon as they start regulating business or telling what we can and can not do in our peaceful world, they are out of line. The 10th amendment says that anything not set forth in our Constitution as a role for federal government, is automatically an issue for the states and individuals to decide upon. It is not a perfect solution to the human condition, it is just the one that promotes the most freedom and highest standard of living for all.

The saddest thing to me about our presidents of late and the parties they represent is their blatant disregard for our founding documents and for all of the lives that have been sacrificed that they might be the law of our land. The only reason that America is the land of opportunity that so many die trying to reach, is that in this land, the law is supposed to rule – not men. It’s called “The Rule of Law.” But when presidents can go to war without a declaration of war by the Congress, when Congress votes to suspend our right to a fair trial or to privacy, the rule of law is slipping away. Our rights have been violated by this government of our own creation. We can still step in and stop it.

What can we do?

We can support Libertarianism, the Liberty movement, the free market, and social freedom. Live, and let live. Vote for Libertarian Congress people and for Libertarians on the state and local ballot. Talk to people about what libertarian means. (And try to be nice about it. Try to skip the urge to tell them what an idiot they are if they don’t get it. Un-brainwashing can take a while, so just plant a lovely seed.) Boycott the agendas of TV media. Help out a Libertarian campaign. Join the Libertarian party. Go to some meetings and get involved. Wear my “Got Freedom?” T-shirts and bumper magnets (contact me for purchase) Donate to my campaign. Share this article. Now is the time.

Why Libertarian? Because it is the meaning of American. There is nothing hidden. Libertarian means openly and honestly – for individual freedom – minimum government, maximum freedom. Period. I won’t tell you what to do or how to live your life, and you do the same for me. It’s as close to Utopia as you can get.

We’re really not racist anymore, so let’s boycott TV media

All of this talk of racism right now is very disturbing to me. I was born in 1971 in Houston, Texas. I was raised not to see the color of people. We all bleed red and we all feel joy and pain. We all have the opportunity to rise to greatness or to fall into disgrace. Many of my favorite people in the world are black, and the rest are hispanic, asian, european, and other. While I’m at it, I also have favorite people who are Catholic, Jewish, gay, who’ve used drugs, and who’ve had abortions.

What is sad to me is that until this week, my children never heard too much about black and white. But here we go again. A new generation of Americans is being racially divided. It’s palpable. And for some sick reason, it’s on purpose. Even our mixed race president had to chime in and stir the pot.

I’m not saying that the Trayvon Martin case isn’t interesting or sad. There is just no reason for America to think that it was racially motivated – but that’s all we’ve been fed. It’s sick. Walter Williams wrote a compelling article which calls out the media bias and the “race hustlers,” which he is allowed to do without concern for being called a racist since he is black. As an aside, another refreshingly unracist lady is Anne Wortham. It is quite worth any American’s time to read her letter to the American people.

Whether or not you think that the Martin case was racially motivated or whether you think Florida laws that allow you defend yourself are unjust, what we all need to take away from this is how we allow the media to influence our thoughts in an extreme way. My solution is for America to boycott the TV media. There are plenty of news sources out there on the internet that simply report instead of distort.

Ebony and Ivory – under the bus with you!

All of the racial progress that has been made in our country since the days of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. can be thrown out the window by a few racially motivated remarks by regrettably ignorant leaders who lack the foresight and consciousness to keep moving us forward. The only victims of the “system” are vicitimized by our government. Welfare is the worst kind of oppression because of its benevolent appearance. Welfare is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. We usually have a hand in our own victimization. Don’t be a victim. Take charge of your life. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are a victim.

Why can’t everyone just be treated like a human? We are not the same, but we can be treated equally. What does race have to do with showing an I.D. when  you vote? What does the race of any murder case have to do with anything? If there is a minority who feels down trodden, why don’t they rise up and show the world how meaningful they are? Anyone who contributes to society, works hard for a living, is kind to others, and raises their children with compassion will be welcome wherever they go. Why is there no race war going on between the Asians and the other Americans? They are minimally represented in our government, yet you never hear Asian preachers on TV telling Asian people that they are victims.

We’re not racist anymore

Don’t accept racism. You know deep inside that all humans are human. Skin color is the most ridiculous thing we could ever talk about. In America, the vast majority of us are beyond caring about race. Most of us are evolving. And in order for the rest of us to catch up, we’re going to have to get the government and the media out of our lives.

Turn off your TVs! Especially now that the new ones are going to be able to watch you back.

What does it mean to REALLY LIVE?

I don’t just want freedom for Americans. I want true freedom for all human beings everywhere. I want everyone to be free and to have the opportunity to really live. I don’t just want it for my people, I want it for all people.

You know when you feel alive, really alive. It’s when you’re feeling - feeling anything from joy, to love, to confusion. It’s when you’re in motion. Either in motion in your life, moving from the here and now into your next adventure, or even just exercising. Living is the opposite of being stagnant. It’s allowing the change and moving with it, welcoming it. It’s never giving into fear. It’s walking into your fear and the feeling that follows. It’s following your dreams, becoming, it’s recognizing your worth, it’s learning something new, it’s achieving. Really living is taking responsibility for yourself, your actions, and your life.

 

Really living boils down to two things: freedom and feeling

Without these two things, you’re not really living. You can’t be. You’re a human, born free – hopefully. This is where the idea of Libertarianism and the Liberty movement come in. There are Libertarian “think tanks” where people sit and imagine what life will be like in 300 or 1,000 years. Will Liberty be available to more people?  Will more people be having the opportunity to live a free, abundant life? Hopefully, the answer is “yes.” But before the world takes off in this direction, a few things have to happen. The oppressive  governments of third world countries have to fall. The facade of Socialism has to be exposed. “Pre-emptive” war will have to become a thing of the past. But then slowly, Liberty will spread, and ideally everyone will have the opportunity to really live.

The only thing in the way of Liberty for All, is the government

When the government does any more than simply provide for the common defense, it becomes oppressive. People need to live. It’s all they’ve ever needed to do. The government doesn’t need to provide for anyone, pay anyone’s way, take money from one person to give it to another, spy on us, censor us, or control us. It is in our nature to take care of each other. We don’t need the government to do it for us. Just think – how did you feel when you heard about the Tsunami, the earth quake in Haiti, or of the folks in New Orleans after Katrina? Yeah, you wanted to help, to send money. And you probably did. This is how most folks are. When someone is truly in need, we want to help. The government just gets in the way. They are slow, inefficient, wasteful, and usually incompetent. They do a whole lot more harm than good – mostly by creating people who are in need. But they can’t tell you this, or you won’t re-elect them. Luckily in our country, we are the government, and we need to get the government out of our lives. Now, does this guarantee your unbridled joy? Heavens no. That, my dear, is up to you – to what you do, to how to respond to life, to the decisions you make. After all, with freedom comes responsibility.

I’m being brutally honest. Does it mean I probably won’t get elected? What do you think? I only want to go to Washington to get the government out of our lives. Our executive branch has grossly overstepped its Constitutional bounds and I aim to cut it off at the knees. We are responsible. And it feels like a million bucks to be responsible; it means you’re free. Let’s go take our freedom back. Vote Libertarian this November.

It’s Magical Monarch Caterpillar Time!

A monarch caterpillar on milkweed

One of my family’s favorite things about spring in Texas is catching monarch caterpillars, feeding them milkweed, watching them grow, turn into a chrysalis, and then pop out, transformed into a butterfly. If you want to do this, you better go out now!

How to care for your monarch caterpillars

Just three or four days ago, we noticed the caterpillars on the abundant milkweed in our neighborhood. So we brought some home. It’s important to put the stem end of the milkweed into a little vessel of water so that the milkweed stays juicy and fresh for the caterpillars. Apparently they eat their body weight in milkweed everyday! You’ll still need to change out the milkweed for some fresh stems with leaves everyday. Milkweed is their host plant and the caterpillars need to remain on it at all times. If you notice that a caterpillar has lost its way and has started up the side of your terrarium like in the photo below, gently help it onto the milkweed. (I use a live oak leaf.) Otherwise, it will die.

It all happens so fast! It’s only four days later, and the caterpillars are now huge. Once they get to be about the size of your pinky finger, it won’t be long before they start the next phase of their transformation. Put some good sized sticks into your terrarium diagonally from the ground up to the side, so that the caterpillars have a place to climb up and attach themselves with room to pupate or hang upside down and turn into a chrysalis. Here are some great photos and more detail. It takes about 10 days or so for the butterfly to form and pop out of the chrysalis. Be sure to let the butterflies go as soon as they hatch. They’re hungry for both freedom and flower nectar after all that work.

Our terrarium with sticks, milkweed, and caterpillars

The magic of metamorphosis

My children and I love watching and taking part in the magic that the butterfly has to teach. As the little caterpillar goes about his business, then takes his magical nap, we don’t think he knows that he’s about to fly. And even crazier, he’s probably going to fly all the way to Central Mexico to be with millions of his kind. Caterpillar and Butterfly teach us to be patient with our own transformation. Sometimes we don’t even know it’s happening. Change is good. Without it, we’d have no butterflies.

Lucas Miller’s Monarch song

Austin’s own children’s musician, Lucas Miller completely rocks. If your children and you like monarchs, you will also love this song!

 

 

BIRTHRIGHT review and giveaway!

Birthright got a great review from Charise over at www.IthoughtIknewmama.com . For my readers who love my site for the natural pregnancy, birth and parenting aspects, you are going to love Charise too! She and I are cut off the same cloth. It’s no wonder she likes BIRTHRIGHT! – she is also giving away a copy! Click here and make sure rafflecopter is running to enter her giveaway. I believe you have until March 26th to enter. Check out her site while you’re there!

Here is an excerpt from her review:

Birthright Book Review & Giveaway: Empower Your Pregnancy!

“I have been reading a lot of pregnancy and birth preparation books over the past few months since Baby #2 is due in May, so I honestly did not expect to find anything too exciting or different by the time I read Birthright by Betsy Dewey at the beginning of third trimester. Once I began readingBirthright, I was very happy to find out I was wrong, as this book is a refreshing change from all of the others I have read.

Betsy Dewey’s writing is direct and to the point. This makes Birthright a quick and easy read where every morsel of information seems relevant and useful.

Here’s the best part: Betsy was lucky enough to have one of those mythical midwives who seems to have collected all of the best natural approaches to pregnancy and birth since the beginning of time, and Betsy does a great favor to women everywhere by sharing her midwife’s wisdom in the pages of Birthright. I probably highlighted about three quarters of her midwife’s sage advice!”

Click here to read the rest of her post.

Thanks Charise, for enjoying my book and for spreading the word. Pregnant women love this book. Click here to order a copy on Amazon. If you know a pregnant woman, BIRTHRIGHT makes a fabulous gift! Thanks for getting the word out. Babies and mommies everywhere will thank you.

Please “like” Birthright on Facebook here!

Why we love our Libertarian leaders

A Guest Post by Steve Wolf

There’s a way that we Libertarians are different from other voters.  We are not enamored of the men and women we support, although we certainly appreciate them.  We are enamored with the principals our candidates espouse.  We are in love with freedom, with autonomy, with personal responsibility, and prone to distrust those who claim to know better than we how best to manage our lives.  Libertarian leaders are loved not for who they are, but for what they protect. We feel about them as we feel about those who show kindness to our children.  When Libertarian leaders speak publicly, they have succeeded, because their purpose is not simply to gain office, but to spread the word of freedom to a generation that has never tasted it.  When a Libertarian leader causes the veil of paternal government to be lifted as a citizen awakens to discover his inherent right to freedom, he has been successful.  Gaining office is simply a means by which the message of freedom begets policies of freedom.  But the message, like bamboo, takes root wherever it lands.  The purpose of Libertarian leaders is to bring home to Americans the freedoms we purportedly export to nations whose citizens seek democracy.

Thanks, Steve! That’s some beautiful prose.

If others would like to contribute to this blog on votebetsy.com please email me your posts. This is a place for all freedom lovers.

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