March 4, 2022


My daughter came into my room at midnight to tell me that
“fake tans make people look carroty”
And quite frankly, I understand why that couldn’t wait till morning

--MF FairyPrincessSmoo,

weekly tip

In case you missed it, the CDC has come out with new guidelines on masking.
The cliff notes read something like this: most of us can start taking off our masks indoors. For now...

trail talk

Understandably all eyes have been on Ukraine these last several days. It’s horrible to see what’s happening there. If you’re struggling to talk to your children about the war, this post from our favorite college professor, Emily Oster, might help. It’s a list of tips for how to talk about hard things with your children, which means it will be useful whether you want to talk about the war in Ukraine or a sick relative or any of the other tricky topics that come up every day. You can also check out this post, which Oster references, by Dr. Aliza W. Pressman, a psychologist and clinical professor in pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Pressman is perhaps best known for her podcast, Raising Good Humans. She focuses specifically on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and has useful advice on how to approach conversations about current events with school-aged children.

Even if many of us are transfixed by the tragedy unfolding in Eastern Europe, there is also other news to report, including President Biden’s nomination of the first Black woman to the Supreme Court. To learn more about his nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, and her road from her home in Miami to Harvard University to the highest reaches of the American legal field, check out this profile in the Washington Post. Her list of accomplishments is long. She was a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer—whose seat she will take when he resigns if she is confirmed, a former public defender, served four years on the bipartisan U.S. Sentencing Commission, which shapes federal sentencing policy, and is now a federal judge. She is also the mother to two daughters and a big fan of Survivor and American Idol. You know, because we all need equal parts high-brow and low-brow in our lives, right??

Late last month, the legendary doctor and global health advocate for the world’s poorest people, Paul Farmer, passed away. The loss of the founder of Partners In Health, one of the most influential global healthcare nonprofits in the world, was a tremendous blow. Yet, his life, and his incredible achievements, were more than inspirational. This story from Vox digs into four key ways “his life offers lessons on how to help people in need and create the communities we want;” lessons, the author says, that “can serve as a roadmap back to hope.” If Paul Farmer’s name is a new one to you, you might also pick up Tracy Kidder’s masterful biography of the doctor called “Mountains Beyond Mountains.” It is a stunning page-turner of a book that will fill you with wonder, awe and, optimism. Perhaps just what we need during this rather dark moment…

trail matters

Along the southern Louisiana coast, rising sea levels and erosion have caused the shoreline to gradually and increasingly disappear under water. This land loss, what amounts to about 2,000 square miles, or roughly the size of Delaware, is highly problematic. Not only are important ecosystems vanishing, but these wetlands—comprised of marshes and swamps—are crucial to protecting the region, including cities like New Orleans, from the increasingly severe consequences of hurricanes and other storms. In an effort to mitigate these impacts, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana is recycling oyster shells from restaurants in New Orleans—about 10 million pounds of shells so far—and returning them to the sea. There they form oyster-shell barrier reefs that can “cut the rate of shoreline recession by about half.” The filmmaker Paavo Hanninen, who lives in New Orleans, has made a short documentary about the efforts. And while the results are promising so far—the Coalition has restored about 1.3 miles of coastline to date—it’s still a proverbial drop in the bucket.

If you’re interested in a deeper dive on the subject of Louisiana’s disappearing shoreline, this longer New Yorker article from 2019 by the Pulitzer Prize winning author of “The Sixth Extinction,” Elizabeth Kolbert, is well worth your time.

trail treasures

Hiking or backpacking with toddlers, especially if you’re hoping to walk for more than 10 or 20 min, is not always the easiest endeavor. They want to walk, they want to explore, then they get crabby and want a ride or a snack or a break or all of that at once. Yeah, we’ve been there. And maybe they’re just a bit too big for the baby carrier. Or maybe you’ve got to haul the camping gear and can’t take the baby carrier anyway. So, what can you do? Enter the Trail Magik Kid Carrier, which is a simple, lightweight mechanism for carrying children aged 1 year to 43 pounds. We love innovative solutions for getting outside with little explorers of all ages and this definitely fits the bill!