• Safer at Home Order Journal #1

    Dear Kids, You’re too young now to really remember, but we find ourselves under a unique situation. Right now you’re 5.5 and almost 3, and I’m hoping you know little more beyond the fact that something bad is going on in the world right now and it’s safer to not take you to the park or on walks. I’ve debated whether to start this journal and post in online, but I think it’s important you know. When you’re older, you’ll probably hear about coronavirus and COVID-19. You’ll wonder how old you were during that time. Well, you’re 5.5 and almost 3. You’re stuck at home with me. Schools have now…

  • Homeschooling at a Moment's Notice - my son went to a regular school, now I have to homeschool him. It's been a big adjustment

    Homeschooling at a Moment’s Notice

    The one thing few parents of children who attend a traditional school want to hear: school’s closed. Could be 2 weeks. Could be the rest of the year. Thanks, coronavirus, thanks. Now, I’ve written a few times about thinking of homeschooling, so I’ve been taking this as my chance to see how it goes. Of course, I do have the guidance from his teacher who still manages to teach class virtually a couple of times a week. It’s just funnily chaotic to watch a bunch of Kindergarteners sitting at home attending school via the Internet. But it’s also so nice to see they haven’t forgotten each other or the bonds…

  • How to Make Bread - a story and ratio recipe all in one

    How to Make Bread

    Let’s try something a little different. Please let me know if you enjoyed it, or thought it was completely bizarre. Step One: Measure out 15 parts of flour and 9 parts of water. Add one teaspoon of yeast and 0.3 ounces of salt to the flour. Stir. I was in separate pieces, once. When I was both a part of my mother and a part of my father. They had to decide to join so that my disparate pieces could be joined together. My soul took so many pieces from my mother and so many pieces from my father and spun them together. Step Two: Gradually add the water to…

  • Book Review: Esperanza by Tommy Tutalo - a fictional novel about illegal immigration and drug cartels

    Book Review: Esperanza by Tommy Tutalo

    Title: Esperanza Author: Tommy Tutalo Publisher: Self-published Publication date: paperback: August, 29, 2017; e-book: January 2, 2018 Genre: Fiction Summary: As a young woman, Gabriela illegally crossed into America from Mexico, paying her way by becoming a drug transporter for a crime syndicate that would soon become far-reaching. As a young man, Dante found fame and fortune as an artist, but tumbled far after becoming tangled with crime syndicate Nada Mas. Despite the passage of years, the threads that bind both to Nada Mas prove to be unbreakable. But both manage to find the possibility of redemption, hope, and the American Dream in Gabriela’s young daughter Sarita. Despite growing up in Southern California and coming…

  • Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 22 - a story inspired by Beauty and the Beast

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 22

    Chapter Nine Jocelyn was nice. She enjoyed nature, so we took many walks around the gardens. I thought she might expand my horizons when it comes to gardening, but it turned out she had less interest in getting her hands dirty and more in picking flowers to decorate her hair. We didn’t really have much to talk about. I was bored after a week. She took three months before she decided the dying fall flowers weren’t her thing. I planted the Sunset Beauty in her honor. Elaina realized she hadn’t been a very good companion to Robert two weeks later when she saw him reach for a chessboard instead of…

  • 6 Perks of Being Stuck at Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak - why I'm loving being at home

    6 Perks of Being Stuck at Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak

    The first thing you need to know about me is that I’m an introvert. I absolutely loathe being around people and much prefer staying in with my family. Or a good book, especially when the kids have depleted me. The second thing you need to know is that our school district is closed, so my oldest is home and I get to be his secondary teacher (his teacher is still doing everything in her power to do video classes, of which I’m insanely grateful because having to homeschool at the drop of a hat has been a bit stressful). The third thing you need to know is that I’m actually…

  • Laugh Often, People - a post about the coronavirus

    Laugh Often, People

    Too many years ago, my lifelong best friend up and moved away to China, of all places. She’s still there. She was there when the coronavirus broke out. She was there when events and celebrations and parades were cancelled. She was there when her whole city basically went under lock down. She was there for the worst of it. She’s still there, still healthy and alive. She’s also still kept her humor, her unique way of looking at the world. She still finds the bright spots, still finds the little ways she can enjoy life. We communicate over social media and seeing her posts and stories about life over there…

  • Adventures in Ratio Baking: Custard or Ice Cream? - turning custard into ice cream using a ratio

    Adventures in Ratio Baking: Custard or Ice Cream?

    A few weeks ago, it was cold. Well, cold for Southern California, meaning it was somewhere in the 70s. But I still got the insane idea to make ice cream. Now, it’s been well over a year since I’d used my ice cream maker, so I’m not quite sure why the idea to use it popped into my head. Well, maybe it’s because I was a bit caught up in making custard and I know custard can be used to make ice cream. When my husband and I were traveling across the county almost a decade ago, we stayed for a bit of time in the Midwest with one of…

  • Book Review: Special by Chino Chakanga - YA, Science Fiction, Superhero

    Book Review: Special by Chino Chakanga

    Title: Special Author: Chino Chakanga Publisher: Self-published Publication date: August 14, 2019 Genre: YA, Science fiction/Fantasy, Superhero Summary: Everyone in the world has a special ability, from flying to weather manipulation. Everyone, that is, except Hope. Hope is perfectly normal. She has zero abilities and has spent years undergoing treatments in the hopes of developing one. But it’s this specialness that makes it possible for her to help save the world she loves despite being different. Most people have, at one time or another, felt different from everyone else. As soon as the author contacted me for a review, I knew I had to read this one. It wasn’t quite what I had expected, wasn’t…

  • Queen of the Garden of Girls Part 21 - inspired by Beauty and the Beast

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 21

    (Chapter 8 continued) He shifted uneasily in his chair. “My mother and I have a complicated relationship. It works when she thinks I’m under her thumb and when I acquiesce to her.” “What kind of relationship is that?” She seemed horrified. He assumed she had a lovely relationship with her own mother. How could he possibly accurately describe his relationship with his mother? “It works,” he said. “It’s not ideal, but my mother has always been distant.” Elaina frowned, one hand reached out to turn the tea cup around and around on the table. “I suppose I can’t expect every mother and child to have a healthy relationship.” A sharp…