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Fathers Who Harm

Father's Day has become a more highlighted day of celebration than when I was a child. My father was born in 1927 and lived a pretty long life: he died in 2013, a few months into his 86th year. He was not a bad father. He did struggle with alcohol addiction and was imperfect in other ways, but he was basically loving and kind. He was a workaholic, so we did not have access to him for emotional affirmation, but he told me in his old age that he always loved everything about us kids and felt sad that he had not been a better parent, and he was sorry he was most of all that he had not spent more time with us.  Other men in my family– my grandfathers, my husband, son, uncles, brother– have all shown themselves to be good guys and have adult children whom they love(d) and who love them back.  But I think to myself, having been a social worker to women and children who fled lives with men who put them and their children through Hell, that there are probably a fair number of children, te

A Make-Ahead Charcoal Poultice

When I was a young girl I seem to remember my grandmother talking about "a poultice". To my ear it sounded like something to do with the "milk toast" that was part of Grandma's comfort food outlay when children were sick.  I have no idea where the association came from between 'poultice' (A soft, moist mass of material, typically of plant material or flour, applied to the body to relieve soreness and inflammation)and 'milk toast' (a soft, milky mass of white toast and warm milk, butter, and sugar applied to sick children to relieve them of hunger and boredom). But just recently I began to be interested in the idea of poultices again.  That is not to say that before this current interest I haven't read a little about poultices, seen some simple ones demonstrated, and even tried my hand a messy one or two myself. I have. The operative word has always been "messy".   My husband and I use activated charcoal for a number of sit