I am not good at launching stuff. It stresses me out. I am not good at focusing on multiple things. Ryan Healy used to hate working with me because of this, and, frankly, I hate working with me because of this too.

I need to divide everything into very little projects in order to ensure that one project does not ruin everything else around me. This is why, in the past, blog posts have been the perfect length for me, and having a startup has derailed my whole life.

The first thing I'm launching today is a homeschooling section. To be clear, I don't homeschool. But I definitely think it's a huge trend that will shake up all of our lives, because homschoolers will take over the workplace in the next ten years. I am worried that I'm making the wrong decision by keeping my kids in school. So this is the spot where I will worry about it discuss it. Here is the post where I explain in more detail why I’m adding the homeschool section.

The other section that I'm launching is Mailbag.

I answer all my email. People are often shocked by this, which, in turn, shocks me. I mean, what am I writing a blog for if I don't want to communicate with people? But I decided I should publish the questions and answers since many people ask the same type of questions. (Don’t worry, I’m changing details to conceal the writer’s identity.)

When I met my Ex he was working for Sony. He was in charge of online properties for Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. The marketing people always said that people watch Jeopardy to say “He's so smart!” and people watch Wheel of Fortune to say “He's so stupid!”

I think that marketing approach may be applicable to the questions in Mailbag. Hopefully you will think my answers are smart. But if you don't, there’s room for you to give your own answers.

On Sundays my Ex comes to our house to hang out with the kids, which made today a great day for my launch.

Also, do you ever wonder what my Ex looks like? Here he is — well, about one-third of him — with my son.

Here’s a question I get a lot: Does your Ex mind being on your blog?

Here’s the answer: He’s probably really happy being on with just one-third.


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39 replies
  1. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    I think it’s really funny that you’re so into homeschooling and have dedicated a part of your site to it, and yet you don’t homeschool. Don’t get me wrong, I know that homeschooling is a lifestyle choice and as such isn’t for everyone. But maybe it’s that conflict that interests you so much?

    Anyways, as someone who was homeschooled for about 6 years, I look forward to reading what you have to write on the topic!

    • Sarah
      Sarah says:

      Oh, and if you want to be really cutting edge, you should be talking about flexi-schooling. I think that is really exciting and a realistic potential adaptation of the education system in the future.

  2. Twister
    Twister says:

    I don’t have kids, but I am always interested in reading about (secular) homeschooling and “unschooling” because of the seriously innovative ways parents teach their kids.

    I think since you don’t home school your kids, you can’t really provide accurate information on home schooling, but living on a farm, spending all day with your kids, and having a special needs kid WILL give you interesting posts.

    (For instance, I am really interested in your son learning to show pigs. I don’t know how to show pigs, and am interested in that, and also since your kid is autistic I would like to know more about how that process was for him. I feel like I’m missing out by not getting a blog post on that process)

    Also, I feel by having a homeschooling section you are trying to be more like the pioneer woman every day.

  3. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    As someone who can attest to your answering of emails, and one who loves it if you ever respond to my comments, (yes, yes I do) I really look forward to your Mailbag.

  4. Jana Lee Miller
    Jana Lee Miller says:

    Yay for homeschooling! It’s a great option for some families. We loved it. And I hope my kids are taking over the world…hahaha

    Here’s my son’s website. http://www.thesurfboardman.com He wrote it with a pen name for over 4 years so that people would take him seriously.He started it when he was 14. He just recently added his name to the blog. He doesn’t have a conventional job, he is a freelance writer instead. Oh and he resells surfboards on Craigslist.

  5. Candice
    Candice says:

    I’ve been a homeschooling mom for 13 years, but it’s not for every family. I’ll be interested to see where your homeschooling section goes.

  6. Yuan
    Yuan says:

    Your Ex looks really dark in this picture yet your son looks totally white… sorry, just the first thing I noticed with the picture. Your Ex even looks a little middle eastern.

  7. S. Miller
    S. Miller says:

    I was surprised when you responded to the one email that I sent you. Most people think I am a spambot because I write so tersely.

    • Sarah
      Sarah says:

      S. Miller, your comment made me laugh because I am married to a spambot, (and he is the son of a spambot). Maybe throw a few exclamation marks in your next email, or perhaps a OMG, or LOL just to shake things up a bit.

      Good luck!

  8. shim aka NappyKitchen
    shim aka NappyKitchen says:

    The homeschooling section gives me yet another reason to visit this blog.

    It’s a good idea to have this new section and good timing, too. This is the time of year that many parents of school-aged children dread.

  9. Denise
    Denise says:

    I love the Mailbag section already! I have to admit sometimes I look over the comment section fishing for questions already asked. It’s almost like finding a little goldmine :)

  10. Diana
    Diana says:

    I came, I saw! I’m so delighted! You are right on with your thoughts on homeschooling! I don’t have young ones anymore but I’m interested and I’ll be checking in on your journey. You are perfect for this. Congrats!

    But still do the farm b&b, ok? :)

  11. Bjorn Karlman
    Bjorn Karlman says:

    Great concept with the mailbag… I’m not even close to having kids but my wife and I are hellbent on the mobile lifestyle so homeschooling may be the way to go. Any tips on managing relationships with a partner if you only really get to hang out at 1 AM? My wife is an editor and that is when she gets in at night:) I’m a little sleep deprived…

  12. Kate Nonymous
    Kate Nonymous says:

    My brother and I went to public schools, but my mother (herself a former teacher) firmly believed that while school was a valuable way to learn (and not just what was in the curriculum), it was not the only way to learn. So she had no qualms about taking us out of school to go to plays, or hear someone like Neil Armstrong speak, or travel to Europe for Spring Break without being sure we’d get back before classes resumed. She took us (and legions of our friends) to visit Congress and our representatives’ offices when we lived in the D.C. area, and she planned summer road trips that exposed us to history and different regions of the U.S. We watched TV shows and then fact-checked them with encyclopedias (yes, this was pre-Internet) to see what was accurate and what was dramatic license. So I like to say that I was public schooled and home-schooled.

    From what you post, it sounds like you and the Farmer (and your ex, I’m guessing) give the kids a lot of learning experiences outside of the classroom–for example, the livestock show and sale. I doubt that you’re neglecting your kids’ education by also having them in the classroom.

  13. CT
    CT says:

    Ohhh…Penelope! Your ex looks hot too! What is his ethnic background! Between the farmer and the ex you have furnished photos of some highly, highly attractive men! When do we get to see the remaining 2/3 of the ex? Can we see all 3/3 at once? Speaking of men…when do we get an update on Cullen? Is he dating Melissa!? (She could probably do better than Cullen if she chooses to…)

  14. Judy Luga
    Judy Luga says:

    I want to try it out. My mother is very good at launching new stuff. Not that big but something you can consider new to the community and then it would work. Proud of my mother :) Haven’t tried it myself, just watching her do it.

  15. Chuck Rylant
    Chuck Rylant says:

    I don’t think anyone is really good at focusing on multiple tasks at once. In fact, I don’t believe multitasking is even possible, that said, success seems to come to those who are doing a whole bunch of stuff at once, but it’s messy, not clean.

  16. Mark Brown
    Mark Brown says:

    It looks like RSS feeds for the new sections aren’t working – they all get redirected to the feed for blog.penelopetrunk.com which doesn’t include any of the articles in the new sections (a feed with everything in it would be nice…).

  17. Heroine Worshiper
    Heroine Worshiper says:

    He looks like the kind of guy who succeeds with women. From an exotic, far away country. Wealthy. Not so visually appealing that it looks like he can move on. Manly stubble. Center of the party. Too bad the most attractive men are such creeps. We’re just biologically wired for pain.

  18. Dan
    Dan says:

    I still remember your comment about Madison not having any diversity and your response was “I don’t need diversity, I live with diversity everyday, my husband.”

    How did that work out for you?

  19. michelle murphy
    michelle murphy says:

    i totally agree with your comment about homeschooling. my 2 sons are just starting in a great local school but i too wonder would home school set them up better for the future
    thanks for the post

  20. Mike
    Mike says:

    I’m not so sure about homeschooling. Whilst your kids obviously get more one on one attention, what about the interaction with other kids and how to react with their peers? Kids need to be around other kids to grow socially. IMO, homeschooling can’t give them that.

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