• Safer at Home Order Journal #8

    Dear Kids, My heart is breaking for you. My last Safer at Home Order journal was about a month and a half ago. The numbers were stabilizing, the county was reopening. Things were starting to look like they might be getting back to “normal.” Everything was getting kind of boring. Things were reopening, numbers weren’t increasing, daily briefings were coming to an end, people were moving around more normally. Yawn. For over a week now, we’ve had over 2000 new cases almost every day. Before reopening, it was hovering under 1000 a day. After reopening started, it rose to 1200-1500 a day, and holding. It held, kids. It looked stable.…

  • The Lily Cafe Digest #11 - catch up on my posts from the past 4 weeks and enjoy some from bloggers I follow

    The Lily Cafe Digest #11

    Is it already time for another Digest? Yes, it is! This was a short 4 week round, but July has some big dates for my family, so I’ll be taking the next 2 weeks off. The past four weeks just flew past. My son virtually graduated from Kindergarten, which was different, but still really nice. The teachers had each student record their favorite memory from Kindergarten and it turned out most of my son’s class, including him, really loved math. Mostly, though, I’m astounded by just how quickly he picked up reading. A year ago we were struggling with letter sounds. Now he randomly reads words all over the place.…

  • Book Review: Scarlet Odyssey by C. T. Rwizi - an amazing African-influenced fantasy

    Book Review: Scarlet Odyssey by C. T. Rwizi

    Title: Scarlet Odyssey Author: C. T. Rwizi Publisher: 47North Publication date: July 1, 2020 Genre: Science Fiction and Fantasy Summary: Salo is an outsider in his tribe despite being the firstborn son to the chief. This is because he is more interested in magic (women’s domain) than becoming a warrior (men’s domain). But, when his people are attacked by a witch, he has no choice but to convince his queen to let him awaken as a mystic. She allows it, but only because she plans on using him and sending him as an emissary to the Jungle City. Along his journey, he befriends a fellow outcast, a female warrior who grew up not too far from…

  • Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 33 - the next part in my work in progress inspired by Beauty and the Beast

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 33

    Chapter Eleven continued Elaina took a hasty sip of her ice cold water. Then her eyes wandered back to where Robert was still poking at his food. “It’s not poisoned, you know,” she said, perhaps a little too rudely. He started slightly before looking up with a sheepish look. “Sorry, Elaina. I’m just lost in thought.” He took a sip from his own glass. “I apologize for not being a good dinner companion.” Elaina closed her eyes briefly. “Just tell me why we can’t paint your study a lovely shade of blue or green.” Robert sighed. “I just can’t. It doesn’t feel right.” “I swear, Robert,” she said, her voice…

  • Book Review: In My Attic by Lina Hansen - a cozy mystery set in the UK featuring witches

    Book Review: In My Attic by Lina Hansen

    Title: In My Attic Author: Lina Hansen Publisher: Literary Wanderlust Publication date: July 1, 2020 Genre: Mystery and Thriller Summary: Myrtle Coldron is a very practical and no-nonsense schoolteacher. Until her Aunt Eve dies in a suspicious accident at the Witch’s Retreat, her bed and breakfast in the sleepy British town Avebury. Called back to where she grew up to handle her aunt’s affairs, she learns she’s to inherit the B&B, along with all the…unusual bits and pieces of her family history she had been unaware of. But someone seems to be after her now, because her family hides a secret that someone very powerful wants. There’s something magical about this book. Literally. I mean, the…

  • What I Learned After Reading 3 Mysteries Set in the UK - I enjoy mysteries and love all the charming small towns in the UK, but 3 in a row might have been a little too much

    What I Learned After Reading 3 Mysteries Set in the UK

    I’m a huge fan of fantasy, but I also enjoy a handful of other genres. Like mysteries and thrillers. My absolute favorite book series for the past 15 years has been a cozy mystery series, The Coffeehouse Mystery series by Cleo Coyle, which is kind of funny because I don’t even drink or like coffee. Anyways, I’m a little haphazard when I schedule out my book reviews. I always read the books in the order they’re scheduled. I schedule them based on publication date as I mostly read ARCs these days, otherwise I give the author a fairly set time frame for when they can expect a review from me, so…

  • A Breakdown of Social Media (that I have attempted) (revisited)

    I’m not at all amazed that my feelings about social media have not changed in the approximate two years it’s been since this first posted. I guess I’m just not a social media person, but I keep the accounts around just in case. Do feel free and stop by, but I can never guarantee there will be anything new or interesting any time soon. First published June 26, 2018 I am not the most enthusiastic fan of social media. I’m still not. It was a huge time waster years ago and I often found myself not caring about what people I barely knew were doing today, yesterday, or a minute ago. Still…

  • Adventures in Ratio Baking: When Making Beignets, Flour is Your Best Friend - making beignets from choux pastry to make beignets

    Adventures in Ratio Baking: When Making Beignets, Flour is Your Best Friend

    I’ve always wanted to go to New Orleans, but not for Mardi Gras. When I was a kid, my mom and I used to watch all sorts of shows about haunted places and ghosts. New Orleans came up a lot, so I’ve always wanted to do one of the haunted tours. Oh, yeah, and I want some beignets because they sound really good. Because of the pandemic, traveling to New Orleans is something we’ll do years from now, but I still like to dream. There isn’t much I can do about the ghosts since we don’t live in a haunted building and my imaginary friend (a ghost) apparently decided to…

  • Book Review: Still Death by Shauna Bickley - the first book in the Lexie Wyatt Mystery series

    Book Review: Still Death by Shauna Bickley

    Title: Still Death Author: Shauna Bickley Publisher: Self-published Publication date: November 8, 2014 Genre: Mystery and Thriller Summary: Lexie is quickly realizing being a full-time mother to three young girls is harder than working a demanding job, but her husband Nathan’s job has moved them from London to the small town Nettleford once she was restructured out of a job. With my mind challenged only by small children, she quickly finds friendship with an elderly lady whose son was possibly involved with the murder of his girlfriend. Until he ends up dead, as well. Lexie, with nothing but time on her hands, sets out to not only find out why he and his girlfriend were killed,…

  • Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 32 - the next part of my Beauty and the Beast inspired story

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 32

    Chapter Eleven continued As much as jumping up and running out of this circus was starting to become more and more appealing, Robert was proving to be a conundrum that fascinated her brain. How he could go from being upset with her for acquiescing to his mother to wanting to repaint some room she’d never seen before eluded her. “Yes,” he said, somewhat more enthusiastically as he finally finished heaping root vegetables on his plate, which she thought was odd since he was definitely more of a carnivore than plant eater. “Typical man” was the only thing that ran through her head. “Is there something wrong with it?” she ventured…