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contents * july 2012 from the editor

july 2012

while phee grows up

honoring our childʼs bodily autonomy

lashon hara / mala lengua

otherwise known as “evil tongue” or gossip

make: mending

reverse-applique, hand-worked patches

make: strawberry shortcake

where we live, berries are super-awesome this time of year!

a parent’s perspective

what unschooling looks like (r. hogaboom)

pride month, big ships

pictorial from The Commons

about tumblehome

submissions, subscriptions, accreditation


special thanks: Ralph, Phoenix, & Nels Hogaboom; Billy Fisher, Mickey Thurman, Samone Melendez, Gabriel Wilder, Sara Paylor, Cynthia Koan, & Christa Fleming

letter from the editor

july 1st, 2012

It has been several years since I published and printed a zine. In that time family life in Hoquiam has treated us very well. It feels good to be printing again and sharing our lives with you. When I talk with my friends about producing a zine I始m occasionally asked why I don始t reduce costs by offering the work online-only. While all my publications are made available online (and thus to the world, at any hour of the day), I also respond to the many who claim a fondness for the printed medium, which can be passed amongst friends, perused on the bus, or treasured on the park bench, in a manner that differs a bit from the electronic medium. To that end, and in keeping with our desire to maintain an ethical ecological profile, this work is available in both print versions (printed and mailed on post-consumer recycled materials) and an online offering. All archives are available gratis online at This publication needs your support, through original works - poems, writings, photographs, and artwork - through donations, sponsorships, issue purchase, and through moral support and word-of-mouth. I hope you find the time and resources to support us in any of these ways. Thank you for the opportunity to publish again. Please enjoy the latest inprint publication. Archive or pass it on to someone else who might enjoy it. As always, I love to hear from readers. - ed

kelly hogaboom




tumblehome * our mission: sharing our experience of community in a manner ethical, edifying, and enjoyable. Hoquiam, WA.

our child grows up In a decade of parenting both my children have taught me a valuable lesson: people learn on their own terms, and on their own schedule. Now while I believe this to be true full stop, today Iʼm thinking of our kids and those supposed “big issue” talks - drugs, sex, dangerous people and activities, politics, religion, death. As a parent I started out believing you just instilled your values into kids the way you program a tape, with well-meaning and thought-out lectures (maybe itʼs all those old B-movies I watch with the mansplaining scientist in the lab coat and/or the equally paternalistic father-figure depicted therein). Iʼm happy the truth is a lot more complex, a lot more difficult to navigate, and a lot more fun. Our ten year old daughter self-identifies as a pre-teen. With regards to her privacy and bodily autonomy, she has been perfectly content setting her own pace (much like her weaning seven years ago). Sometimes she wants cuddles while wearing her bra and panties; sometimes she fastens a robe with much aplomb, preferring to dress privately. Sometimes she wants help with cutting her nails; sometimes she wants to wash her own hair. Scratch that, she always wants to wash her own hair - Iʼm just late catching up now and then. As long as I stay aware thatʼs my job: catching up, following her lead. - K.

“today’s news , tomorrow’s headline”; on gossip When we share conversations about our friends, family, coworkers, loved ones and acquaintances - what purpose do we have in doing so? Do we gossip and self-aggrandize more than weʼd prefer to admit? Itʼs worth looking into. From Seth Segall at The Existential Buddhist1: “False speech” is a faithful translation of “musāvāda,” but most Buddhists interpret this precept more broadly to include all forms of wrongful or harmful speech. The Pali Canon identifies four types of wrongful speech: 1) lies, 2) backbiting and slander, 3) abusive and hurtful speech, and 4) frivolous talk.  This would include speech that is harsh, untruthful, poorly timed, motivated by greed or hatred, or otherwise connected with harm. Gossip, misleading arguments, verbal bullying, incitements to violence, rage outbursts, malicious ridicule, and poorly worded or ill-timed truths that cause pain without benefit all fall into the category of wrongful speech.

Who has the courage, I wonder, to print out such a definition of false speech, tape it to their fridge, and reflect on it daily? (I went ahead and put cutting lines around the quote for you!) Of the different classifications of false speech, gossip is one Iʼve been fascinated with lately (and no, not because Iʼve been burned). Gossip is an activity weʼve all participated in. Therefore any developed faith or ethical body has a few words on the matter (gossip is referred to as lashon hara or rekhilut in Judaism, “backbiting” as translated in many Christian bibles, and mala lengua in in Afrocuban culture - to name a few). Most people will 1

“Fourth Precept”, January 10, 2011,

mala lengua - interpretation Billy Fisher c. 2012

grant that gossip is bad behavior, but usually we incorrectly consign it to either schoolrooms or workplaces (or to only one gender2) - as opposed to acknowledging this behavior permeates our every aspect of social life. The purpose of this editorial is to briefly discuss eliminating gossip from our lives - and to urge the reader to stop pretending it isnʼt harmful, ubiquitous, subtle, and endemic.

I grew up in a relatively gossip-free home. I only know this now after observing other families, for whom scuttlebutt is a way of life and grudges are quick to form, dissolve, then be reforged anew. That said, Iʼm not giving my family a free pass on this whole “false speech” thing. My familyʼs relative truthfulness and preference for one-on-one personal relationships may be to our credit, but itʼs not 2

”While gossip among women is universally ridiculed as low and trivial, gossip among men, especially if it is about women, is called theory, or idea, or fact.” - Andrea Dworkin

the whole picture. Example: a few years ago when my mother told me a local influential person (married) was carrying out an affair with someone we both knew, I knew this information was likely truthful. It isnʼt in my motherʼs character to repeat something unless she is convinced it is true, and it isnʼt in her character to repeat everything she hears, either. I didnʼt give her statement much thought at the time and I certainly didnʼt rebuke her for sharing. I also didnʼt share this information with anyone else. But what my mother did was gossip, nevertheless. Gossip, unlike defamation, libel, or good old-fashioned namecalling, often is made up of largely true statements. In the case of our local friendʼs affair, I now have a bit of very personal information about at least three people, with nowhere to put it and nothing constructive to do with it. When I see these individuals, this little gossip earworm wiggles in the back of my mind. You can easily imagine the clamor some individuals, those who engage in gossip much more actively, live with. Maybe you live that way, today.

“If I am caught up in selfish or self-centered thoughtlife, I am likely not giving other people room enough to be themselves; instead I will project my own goals, anxieties, motives, fears, and limitations upon them.” How then should I proceed navigating the colorful terrain of friends, family, acquaintances, and coworkers? Itʼs not a simple matter, because merely remaining silent in a social setting doesnʼt fit with my spiritual practice either - and frankly isnʼt likely according to my current character (do you know me?). To that end, I have often found myself fretting over my moral obligation regarding information I know or believe to be true, and my role, if any, in repeating information to other human beings. For example when I know two people are angry with one another, but have not attempted to resolve the conflict, Iʼve often wondered if I should insert myself in any way - and if so, how best to proceed.

To that end, I find myself grateful for a few simple exercises, when in doubt about something Iʼm about to say that involves other parties: Why am I saying this? Is it true? Is now the right time to say it? Will this likely result in benefit or harm? Sounds simple, right? But these exercises are difficult to enact and certainly impossible to reflexively employ - if I donʼt have a spiritual and ethical way of life, and some degree of mindfulness. To wit: if I am not living according to my own volition and deepestlevel values, my reasons for speaking (question one, above) are hidden from me. And If I am caught up in selfish or self-centered thoughtlife, I am likely not giving other people room enough to be themselves; instead I will project my own goals, anxieties, motives, fears, and limitations upon them (which will obfuscate the last three questions). If I donʼt have my spiritual footing, I donʼt have a solid self from which to process these questions. Therefore to the extent I curtail my bad behaviors, begin to know myself, and then operate with mindfulness and reflection, these questions become easier ones. They are no longer selfcondemning, confusing, or overly-exhausting and analytical. The maintenance of my spiritual life is paramount, so Iʼm talking about something bigger than just my mind, my thoughts, or my ethics. Iʼm speaking of my will, my heart, my spirit. From the Dhammapada: “If you speak… with a corrupted heart, then suffering follows you - as the wheel of the cart, the track of the ox that pulls it.” How to know if we have a “corrupted heart”? I hope each individual finds a way of life that reveals this. In my case, as the reader may have observed, many Buddhist practices are incredibly helpful. The principles of the Eightfold Path place ethical conduct as a priority prior to mental development - not the other

way around, as so many Western pop culture sensibilities purport. In other words, I have to act my way into a better morality and spirituality - not think or feel my way into better actions. Or to paraphrase, as I recently heard another man say, “What you know, feel, or think doesnʼt matter... but what you do, does.” The latter transmutes the former. My corrupted heart changes only after I change my actions. To this end, I can curtail my words and reflect on them more. I can give the individuals in my life just a tiny bit more consideration. I can walk, talk, work, and write with more mindfulness. I can slow down, so I create less harm when Iʼm out in the world. From Thich Nhat Hanhʼs book Interbeing: Do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people. Do not utter words that cause division and hatred. Do not spread news that you do not know to be certain. Do not criticize or condemn things of which you are not sure. Always speak truthfully and constructively. Have the courage to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may threaten your own safety. Right speech is a high calling. Most will likely never seriously or consistently commit to the practice. Iʼve found the practice involves persistence, willingness, and good humor rather than perfection. But like so many worthy endeavors, the rewards are incredible, reaching deeply and beyond our own lifetimes.

si no sabe no te meta

mending 101: handworked reverse applique on a garment (see dress, back cover) The inspiration for this work came from an unhappy laundry accident. In preparation for sewing, I washed a lovely linen-cotton blend fabric (colorway: a deep and lovely melon) along with some new denim fabric. To my dismay, the dark blue denim bled out on the lighter linen. Today始s fabrics typically don始t bleed in a cold water wash, even upon first washing. But, it can happen. I was left with a series of ugly spots here and there on the cotton-linen, with no discernible pattern. I decided to proceed as planned and make a garment - in this case, a sleeveless, lined-bodice, a-line knee-length summer dress for my daughter (shown on the back page of this publication). As for the ugly stains, I decided to practice a reverse applique patch method, creating as many patches as needed. I worked using a freestyle method, although one could use traced templates for much more exacting results. A few notes on technique: unless you are experienced at handsewing, I recommend all steps be worked on a comfortable, flat surface like a table or desk. I also recommend you start with a woven garment and woven patch fabrics, not knit fabrics (i.e. jeans or a dress shirt rather than a tshirt). Upon threading the needle and knotting it, stroke it several times by hand or use a thread conditioner for easy handstitching.

supplies: a garment to be mended three colorful patch fabrics with similar or lighter weight than the garment needle (a handquilting needle works well) thread, again matching the fabrics: cotton for cotton, etc. A bit about supplies. It is best to keep it simple when working these patches for the first time. Use a natural fiber garment and patch (like wool, cotton, linen, or hemp). For the thread, you will likely double-up the thread on the spool, so select a needle with a large enough eye that this won始t be trouble. OK, time to get started!

First mark your stain or tear spots with safety pins:

Stack your three patch fabrics and carefully iron them together, rightsides of the fabrics facing up. Cut them into a shape about 1/2” larger than the area youʼre going to patch. Hand-baste this patch to the garment, with the right sides of the patches facing the wrong side of the garment. From the public or “right” side of the garment:

Next, carefully cut about 1/8” to 1/4” of the garment from the basted marks, as shown. The shape doesnʼt have to be perfect, but make sure to cut ONLY that top layer:

Next, double the thread and thread the needle, knot firmly, bring up through from the backside, and work a blanket stitch3 around the raw edge of the top layer:

Make sure to pierce all four layers of fabric while stitching.


A great tutorial:

Here is the backside for the finished piece after the blanket stitch:

You may be able to see I missed the bottom layer here and there! This is okay, as subsequent layers will anchor the piece just fine. Note the long stitches in the middle of the photo - those are the original basting stitches, which you can remove now or after you complete the patch. Now, repeat the process, cutting another shape from the layer beneath this first layer. Be sure to give yourself room for your blanket stitches...

... and again, be careful to only cut through one layer of fabric. Go ahead and blanket stitch this edge as previous, piercing all three layers.

After completing this blanket stitch, “rinse and repeat”. Carefully cut one more shape down to your last layer...

And finish with more blanket stitch. A few of these patches and youʼll be an expert! This stitching is very secure, but in case your fabrics are loose-weave or your methods sloppy, I recommend handwashing and hanging to dry until you know youʼve got the technique down.

You始re finished with the patch! Iron carefully:

Now glue the knots on the back with small dots of fabric glue:

Make as many patches as you need! You can even put fabrics, embroidery scissors, thread and needle in your pocket and patch while at a meeting, riding the bus, or picnicking at the park. Enjoy!


make: strawberry shortcake with whipped cream & lemon zest 1 1/2 pounds strawberries, washed, stemmed, and sliced thinly 9 tablespoons sugar, divided into 3 tablespoons each 2 cups flour + more for kneading 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 3 cups heavy cream, divided 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 teaspoon lemon zest, freshly grated Mix strawberries with three tablespoons sugar and refrigerate while juices develop, at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400Ëš. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, three tablespoons sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups heavy cream and mix until just combined. Dough will be very soft. Using flour to amend the stickiness, knead briefly on a flour-coated surface, then pat to a nine-inch disc, raised in the center. Coat a sharp knife in flour and cut into six wedges. Place on parchment paper on a baking sheet and bake until golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove shortcake from pan and place on a rack to cool slightly. Beat the remaining 1 1/2 cups cream with a mixer, adding the last 3 tablespoons sugar, the vanilla, and the lemon zest as you mix. Stop mixing when soft peaks form. Serve by topping a wedge of shortcake with strawberries and whipped cream. nomnomnom

learning, without any embarrassing side effects by Ralph Hogaboom

That great unschooling thought-leader Jeff Sabo said something to me a few weeks ago. Well, he said it to a room full of people at a conference and I happened to be in the same room, but - I felt like it was directed at me: “You must have an elevator pitch for unschooling if youʼre going to defend it.” Iʼve been working on it since. I donʼt have that elevator pitch, the three-to-five sentence executive summary that gives curious people their ʻahaʼ moment. I donʼt even know if unschooling is the same for most people. But I can show you what it looks like in my family, at least sometimes. Iʼm going to tell you about my trip to the pharmacy and post office with my ten year old daughter Phoenix. It starts when I realize itʼs getting late - 8:30 PM - and if Iʼm going to pick up a prescription, I have to get to the pharmacy before 9. As I grab my keys, I ask my family if anyone wants to go with me, flatly joking that perhaps one of our cats will jump in the front seat. My daughter jumps up and says, “Let me put on some socks and my boots, and Iʼll go with you.” This is not abnormal for our family, although it is for almost all my childrenʼs peers of the same age. Our family does not have set bed times, and no one is forced to stay or go on errands. In the car, she asks if we can listen to a CD of “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” songs we pulled off of YouTube. The songs were created by fans of the show, and all have a dance-techno vibe to them. We pop the CD in, and turn it up. Until recently, I did not realize I manipulated the music choices in my car with my kids. With friends and acquaintances, Iʼve usually deferred to their tastes. But until recently with my own children, the voice in the back of my head said Theyʼre just kids. Once I discovered that voice, I squashed it. Denying a common courtesy to a group of human beings because they fit a demographic is wrong. Unschooling has taught me this, and I am a happier, better friend to others because of it.

At the pharmacy, we enter the store making jokes. Sheʼs got a wicked sense of humor, and makes me giggle. While in line to get the medicine (she has Swimmerʼs Ear, diagnosed just today), she reads the pharmacistʼs name tag. “Thatʼs an elaborate last name you have, Kelli,” she says. The pharmacist is a bit startled, then says, “Yes, I married into it.” The prescription gets filled but we discover my daughterʼs name is misspelled. My daughter grabs a scrap of paper and writes her name, correctly and in all caps, then hands it to the pharmacist. She indicates that this is to correct the incorrect data in their system. By the time we are receiving directions for the medication, the pharmacist is speaking directly to my daughter, the ten year old. Phoenix listens, nodding in comprehension, a consenting participant in her own medical health process. On the drive home, we stop by the post office. We each open one of the double doors for the other, laugh at the silliness, then go through our own individual door. Inside our PO box we find a glossy printout from a local car dealership, with a little black keysized device stuck to it. The text hugely proclaims PULL TAB TO SEE IF YOUVE WON! IF THE NUMBER ON THE FOB MATCHES THIS NUMBER, YOU HAVE WON TWO OF THE PRIZES BELOW!!!!! We scan the list of prizes: a brand new Jeep, a $750 gift card, a string of freshwater pearls, etc. My daughter pulls out the tab from the fob, and a tiny LED light in the fob displays the matching number. Her eyes widen, then go confused. “Did we win something? Is this real?” I scan the fine print (ODDS OF WINNING 1 in 15,000 ONLY 1 PRIZE AVAILABLE) and say “No, itʼs not real. Itʼs a clever but untrue advertisement to get you to go buy a new car from the dealership.” I delight in what she does next - she directly, politely, questions my authority on the subject by asking me to back up my claim. “How do you know? It looks like weʼve won.” “Well,” I say, looking around. “Letʼs do some research.” We begin digging in the recycling bin of the post office. The bin is full of junk mail, including several of the glossy car dealership adverts. Many of them still have the black fobs on them, tabs intact.

Phoenix pulls the tabs out of three of them, and verifies the numbers are all the same - every fob is a ʻwinnerʼ. But instead of her face registering disappointment, it flushes with excitement. She begins gathering up a small number of unused fobs from the recycling bin. “This gives me an idea. For a trick Iʼm going to play on Nels.” Nels is her brother, age 8. He loves tricks, once renaming a traditional American holiday to Pranksgiving. “But Iʼll need your help,” she continues. “With Photoshop.” “Iʼm in.” We spend the next 5 minutes taking apart one of the fobs to see how they work. Itʼs wonderfully simple - two watch type batteries, a wire, and an LED light. I observe that the batteries are wired in series, not parallel. She expresses no interest in my observation, and now that weʼve got it taken apart, sheʼs rapidly losing interest in the guts of the device. This is also an important part of unschooling, for me - gauging my kidsʼ interest in things allows me to bring home resources that will fuel them. Electronics might not be one of them, right now anyway - good to know. We make our way home, stash the remaining fobs in her closet, and our story is done. *** My ten year old daughter learned more tonight in 30 minutes than I learned entire days in public school. I did not question the motives of car dealerships until I was 22; I thought they were extravagant, luxurious places where rich people bought cars and were treated well. The real, practical insight my daughter gained is hers to use (or discard, really) and gained from real experience with a dealership, at nearly 9 PM in an empty post office on a Tuesday night. That doesnʼt happen in school. This isnʼt an unusual example for my family, either. Iʼm not cherry picking the best bits to make us ʻlook slickʼ or pretend something is happening that is not. Life IS learning. This is what it looks like for my family to go with that flow of learning, while everyone around is us boxing it up into districts, tests, education boards, tests, grades, denied bathroom breaks, and more tests. These are the moments that remind me WHY we unschool. These moments happen constantly, and they are natural. They are easy. They are fun. I love being a parent, and I love spending time with my children. Theyʼre awesome people, and Iʼm grateful to be alive and that I get to see them live.

By day, Ralph Hogaboom runs the network and servers at Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen, WA. The rest of his time is spent unschooling his two kids, writing and playing music in the indie pop band Best F-Tigers Forever!!, baking and cooking, managing his 24/7 120-player global collocated Minecraft server, watching b-movies from the 1970's, tinkering with electronics, running his record label Mighty Kitten Records, and designing for print and the web as HQX Design Inc. You’re welcome to visit almost any evening, just call ahead first.

First Gay Pride March, July 1st 1972

Marchers, banners & police at the 1st official gay pride march held in London

HM Troopship QUEEN MARY in Sydney Harbour, May 1940 Part of the Australian National Maritime Museum始s Samuel J. Hood Studio Collection. Sam Hood (1870-1956) was a Sydney photographer with a passion for ships. His 72-year career spanned the romantic age of sail and two world wars. The photos in the collection were taken mainly in Sydney and Newcastle during the first half of the 20th century.

explore photographic history at group, The Commons

about tumblehome is a publication created in the home of Kelly, Ralph, Phoenix and Nels Hogaboom in Hoquiam, WA, the United States. Please visit to subscribe; also, for back issues (free) as well as archives of related works.

submissions & subscriptions tumblehome will thrive if you help it happen. We are especially looking for original pieces to publish, be they essays, poetry, editorials, musings, prose scribblings, drawings, photographs anything that inspires you. Please email if you始d like to subscribe, support, submit a piece, or learn more.

permissions c. kelly hogaboom 2012. Content created by hogaboom licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported. Work herein is used with permission of the artist, writer, or curator, and/or resides in public domain.


Hutch, our new dog, & Phee, our daughter. P.S. dog shown actual size

July 2012 Tumblehome  

Our first issue of Tumblehome. Features: a piece on honoring a pre-teens bodily autonomy; the harms of gossip; reverse-applique mending 101...