Recent Posts

four crochetted water bottle carriers with water bottles in them

Tutorial: Super Simple Crocheted Water Bottle Holder in 5 Steps (Great First Project!)

Never go thirsty with this straightforward and functional water bottle carrier! Comes together fast. A good project for beginning crocheters!
a skein of wool yarn beside an unfinished rectangle of a lacey crochetted scarf

Projects: Learning to Crochet! Scarves, Water Bottle Carriers, a Hat, and Shawls

When your friends decide to learn to crochet at book club, you bring yarn and join in! Here's what I've been making from yarn this winter!
the cover of the book When by Daniel Pink

Book Review: When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink

Have you wondered how to take the ideal nap? When to take breaks for improved performance? The best way to start a new project? <I>When</I> has the answers.
Three children in winter coats crouch down along the edge of a small creek in the woods, backs to the camera

How to Harness Patience, Expectations, Flexibility, and Relationship in Parenting for a Smoother, Less Stressful Life with Your Children

Tantrums, meltdowns, anger, sadness: How do we deal with children's normal emotions? Here are some tips from a mother of three.
three young kids sitting and climbing on a large wood seesaw made from a tree trunk

Proactive Parenting: Preventing Meltdowns, Managing Emotions

Children are still learning to regulate their moods and emotions. If we help them head off problems before they arise, everyone will stay happier and less stressed.
cover of the book Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne with Lisa M. Ross

Book Review: Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne with Lisa M. Ross

Make your home quieter and calmer, with less clutter, less media, and less stress. Home is supposed to be your restful home base. This book shows you how to make it so!
heirloom tomatoes, big and small, piled on plates, bowls, and in a basket

Backyard Suburban Gardening: My Year 5 Harvest

This year's expanded garden was more work, but the increased yield was worth it! I added to the front flower garden, too. Here's how everything grew and what I want to do differently next year.
book cover for Grad School Life: Surviving and Thriving Beyond Coursework and Research by Jacqueline M. Kory-Westlund. It shows a piles of papers behind the title, with a small potted plant on top of one stack, and the bottom half of the page covered in blue as if underwater

Book Update #5: Grad School Life: Publication Day is March 19, 2024 + Cover Reveal

Exciting news: I have a book cover and pub date! Plus, details on the rest of the book production process, receiving page proofs, and figuring out book promotion.
a man in a white bee suit holding up a frame from a beehive, which has capped joney covering 70% of it and some bees crawling on it

Winterizing the Bees, Year 1

Northern winters are cold—so what do the bees do? Here's how we prepared our hives for the snowy months.
great horned owl in flight over a meadow of flowers

3 Years Blogging: Why Write a Blog? How Do You Balance Blogging with Life?

Time flies like an owl! Here's why I continue to write a blog, and why—even when scaling back to fit blogging better in my life—it's still worth it.
the cover of the book Paved Paradise by Henry Grabar, looking like red and white parking sign

Book Review: Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World by Henry Grabar

More space in America is dedicated to parking cars than to housing people. How did our built environment become this way? Why is parking so frustrating, the center of every zoning debate, and the key to reviving our towns?
a snail crawling over a rock

Switching the Blog Schedule to Biweekly

With all the other projects I'm working on, this blog will be taking a backseat. I'll still be writing here, just a little less often!
tags: blog writing work
three kids sitting on three sides of a square table leaning in, doing crafts: the table is covered in brightly colored paper, foam, scissors, goggly eyes, and so forth.

"School-Age" At Last: My Homeschooling Plan for School Year 2023-2024

My oldest will be seven years old soon and people keep asking me what curriculum I'm using. Our plan is more eclectic: lots of outsidetime, fun co-ops, farms, play, life, and more!
the cover of the book The Expectation Effect by David Robson

Book Review: The Expectation Effect: How Your Mindset Can Change Your World by David Robson

What you think and how you approach a situation can significantly affect what happens. This book explains how your beliefs influence real-world outcomes—health, sleep, stress, memory, concentration, fatigue, creativity, and more.
colorful foam numbers all scattered about

Five Board Games We Play With Our 6-year-old to Learn Math

Who wants to do math worksheets? Not my 6-year-old. But hell happily play games for hours - so we do! Here are a few we've been playing lately.How is a book edited and produced? Here what's happening with my book on the slow road to publication.
the little blue engine that could pulling the train of toys over the mountain

Book Update #4: Chugging Through Copyediting

How is a book edited and produced? Here what's happening with my book on the slow road to publication.
close up of embroidered flowers on black fabric

Modern Quality: Where Do We Get Beautiful Things?

If you go to any major store, most of the stuff you can buy is cheaply made and ugly. Why? Quality and beauty make us happier and healthier. Where can we find them?
pint size mason jars filled with honey in a line on a wooden surface

How We Managed Our First Honey Harvest

Our bees have been productive this summer, so we decided to harvest some honey! Here's what we've learned about the honey extraction process.
an academic building in classical style with a bunch of columns and a rounded down on top with roman lettering saying massachusetts institute of technology

Self-Direction in Graduate Education and Improving the Academic System

Some parts of the academic system are based on conventional schooling practices, not on how people actually learn—when they're curious and motivated, when material is meaningful. How can we better support learners in grad school?
Randy standing in a lawn holding a large banner that says Randy Westlund for Post Falls City Council

Why I'm Running For City Council

I’m running for Post Falls City Council because I want my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to grow up as part of a thriving, resilient, local community here in North Idaho.
the cover of Changing our Minds by Naomi Fisher

Book Review: Changing Our Minds: How Children Can Take Control of Their Own Learning by Naomi Fisher

Different kids need different learning environments; they're interested in different topics; they thrive on different tasks. So why force them to learn the same things in the same ways at the same times in schools?
a man in a white beekeeping suit holding up a frame from a hive covered in comb and bees

Why We Started Beekeeping—And How It's Going!

No secrets: We wanted the honey. Here's why we started with four hives, how we setup the bees, what happened when one hive swarmed, and other faced challenges so far.
the cover of the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, featuring little people running around a stylized red hamster wheel on a constrasting yellow background

Book Review: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Habits are the backbone of daily life. How do you form new habits and create better habits? In this book, Duhigg explains how habits work—for individuals, organizations, and societies.
tags: books habits work
Jacqueline wearing a red dress smiling and holding a robot the size of a large pumpkin; the robot is fuzzy and red with blue stripes and blue plastic around its black and blue face

How I Built A Career From Strengths and Interests—And How Your Kids Can, Too

What will your kids do when they grow up? Who will they be? And how can you help them? The key: People build lives and careers out of what they love, not what they hate.

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About

We're Jacqueline and Randy, a blogging duo with backgrounds in tech, robots, art, and writing, now raising our family in northern Idaho.

Our goal is to encourage deliberate choices, individual responsibility, and lifelong curiosity by sharing stories about our adventures in living, loving, and learning.

Learn more about us.


Connect:

whoo@deliberateowl.com

Start here

Curious about our life and journey? Here are some good places to start reading:

Jacqueline and Randy leaning their heads together smiling at the camera

A Blog About Education, Lifestyles, and Community

A brief history of how the Deliberate Owl came to be and why we're writing a blog about us, our lives, and how we're living out our values.
Priests in red and gold celebrate a traditional Latin Mass

Discovering the Traditional Catholic Mass

How I discovered the traditional Latin Mass a few years ago, why that discovery changed everything for me, and what was wrong with the Novus Ordo Masses I'd attended.