Monday, June 8, 2020


Welcome to June's Blog with Friends!! Each month a theme is chosen and then participating bloggers use the theme, to create their own unique blog posts. The blogs can contain anything the blogger wants it to, and each month a vast variety of posts are created. You never know what you will find in a BWF post; it could be a poem, a short story, a recipe, a rant, a DIY guide, or anything else under the sun. This month's theme was Poison.

The first thing that came to mind, when I read the word poison was hate. Hate is a poison, and it does terrible things to the folks who consume it into their hearts and minds. Racism is one of the most poisonous forms of hate. It needs to be eradicated once and for all. The thing that upsets me most about many of the racists I know, and have encountered, is how they hide behind the Bible and God, in trying to justify themselves, and show they are good people. There is nothing good about a racist. There is nothing racist about God.

God created us ALL, and we are ALL his children, and all he wants is for us to love EVERYONE. He never asked us to treat any certain skin color badly, or as less than, so if racists could leave God out of their bullshit, that would be wonderful. However, far be it from me to tell anyone how to live their life. In reality, I need to just worry about me, and my own eternal salvation, and worry about raising a good human being in Gigi, 

Honestly, I was going to write a long post about this subject, but I realized two things....

1. Those who will actually read my post and pay attention to it, are not going to be the ones who actually need to read it.
2. The last thing needed right now, is another privileged person with white skin, ranting about the injustices of racism. We all need to be listening to people of color right now. Listening to their words. Letting them sink in. We need to be rallying around them, and enabling them to speak. We need to be quiet. We had our turn to speak, and now it is their turn to speak, and hopefully get way more progress than we did.

So, I decided to share a post I made on my personal Facebook with y'all, and just leave it there.

This post is going to be long. I don't even know what it will say, because I'm just speaking from my heart. My thoughts. My ideas. My opinions. If you don't like it, scroll on by or unfriend me.
I was going to create this post tomorrow, on the first, because today is my Kat's seventeenth birthday. I spelled that number, so I don't feel as old, as that number is making me feel. Every year on her birthday, I spend some quiet time thinking about her. What she'd most likely look like. What she'd be doing in life. What personality would she have. Would we have a great relationship, or a rocky one, or none at all?! By seventeen, I was beating my own drum already. Today, as I kept thinking about her, and sending messages to her in Heaven, my mind kept returning to the same thought. What would her life be like in today's world?!
As most of you know, at least I think you know, Kat is biracial. In this world we live in, my heart aches, for moms of children of color. Minorities, as they're referred to, have so many struggles and obstacles. I have white privilege. All white people do, whether they want to admit it or not. Would my privilege have extended to Kat, or would it be voided by her skin tone. My guess is it'd be voided.
It is 2020 and we should have progressed much further by now, in terms of equality.
I had really planned on writing down my thoughts tomorrow, but the more I thought about, I realized she'd probably approve of me doing it today. Plus, as I wrote in a letter to someone just yesterday, had Kat lived, I would have taught her to stand for what's right, even if she were the only one standing.
God created us all. God loves us all, and told us to love each other.
People scream back at anyone who says #BlackLivesMatter, that #AllLivesMatter, but to that I reply.... All lives cannot matter, until the lives of people of color matter also.
We've seen so much blatant racism, that it's undeniable that it exists. We see cops kill human beings, and get away with it. We've seen white people committing terrible injustices to people of color. We've seen white people not participating in racist actions, but also not fighting against them. We've seen so many peaceful protests. We've seen people of color punished much more harshly for crimes, than white people who commit the same crime. If you have not been seeing it, you're not really paying much attention.
What we haven't seen much of, is change, and it's needed badly.
I see so many people condemning the rioters. That's fine. That's your reaction to our country's current condition. Their reaction is different. It does not mean that it's right. However, murder is also not right, and we've all seen murderers walk away unpunished or barely punished. I don't care what you want to say on that matter... It's a FACT. Now, we've seen it happen AGAIN, and it was so undeniable, that even a few racists (more on that later) I know have said it was murder.
So then I hear.... All they need to do is peacefully protest, and they will be fine. Where the heck have you been?!? There have been peaceful protests for decades, and they haven't worked. Not only that, but they've often suffered consequences, for practicing their right to protest.
Colin Kaepernick protested quietly. He was chastised and lost his job. His fellow NFL players who joined him in the peaceful protests, were threatened with consequences, until they gave up. I heard a lot of yelling about disrespect. The only disrespect, were the people who were fighting for them to lose their right to protest. Nowhere in flag etiquette, does it says it's disrespectful to kneel. It does say... Do NOT display a flag horizontally... You know, like over large football fields. It does say... Do not print the image of the flag on clothing, napkins, items that will be disposed of carelessly (paper plates, cups, hats, necklaces, cake frosting, etc). It does say... Never let it touch the ground... You know like the turf of a football field. It was ridiculously ironic, watching people yell at people silently protesting injustice, that they were disrespecting the flag, while wearing shirts with the flag printed on them and flag bandannas. If you're really concerned about disrespect to the flag.... Quit using the image of the flag, on ANYTHING other than an actual flag. Also, call the Sports conglomerates, and tell them to quit displaying the flag horizontally.
The fact of the matter, was many of those yelling about the flag being disrespected, weren't really focused on the flag. They were focused on the fact that the protest was about respect and equality for PEOPLE OF COLOR, and some that it was against (corrupt murderous) police officers.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was murdered.
Rosa Parks was arrested.
Countless peaceful protesters have been subjected to bean bag/rubber bullets, tear gas, arrest.
So, if you're going to keep encouraging peaceful protests, then you better demand action from those in positions to create the changes, the peaceful protests are calling for. History has shown, peaceful doesn't always equal successful.
We recently watched armed people, protesting at hospitals and government buildings. I didn't hear uproar then. They were armed. They shouted nasty remarks at nurses and doctors, who were blocking their street access, so ambulances could get through. Where was the rage then?! Oh that's right, not only were they mostly white, but the weren't fighting on behalf of equality.
I know not all cops are bad. I know a few bad apples shouldn't ruin the bunch. However, that old phrase doesn't work in this situation. The problem is our system has continuously, for decades, allowed the police (if corrupt) to use their power to suppress and even murder people of color, and get away with it. Or get consequences far less that what was deserved. There are so many amazing cops. I know quite a few. I chose a cop to be Whit's Godfather. My Auntie was an amazing cop. However, unfortunately for the good cops, too many bad cops have gotten away with too much, and peaceful protests aren't working, so people are becoming desperate to enact change. This is causing for our good officers to now be in danger, which terrifies me. I'm praying the good ones, start calling out the bad ones.
If being peaceful hasn't brought about change, then rioting is what comes to mind. Don't be quiet. Be loud. Scream it to the Heavens... Get change started.
This is a time, when people need to decide which side of history they want to be on. The side of equality for ALL, or the side that hates based on skin color.
We white people, who understand that we aren't truly a great country, until all of its citizens have total equality, must use our white privilege to help people of color accomplish necessary change. The rest of you, need to get ready for the battle you're starting.
At the end of the day.... We are all human. We all have the same needs and similar wants. We need to start worrying about our own lives, and quit trying to control the lives of others.
Don't like someone? Don't be their friend.
Don't like something? Don't do it.
At the end of it all, we are all going to be judged based on our own choices. So make your choices, and let others make their own.
So, as I think about my Kat today, I can't help but be grateful she's safe, even if it isn't with me.
So, if you're still with me, let me make a few things clear.
1. Black lives matter.
2. Nobody is above the law.
3. Murder is murder. Murderers should be convicted and punished.
4. Bacon is gross.
5. Women deserve equal pay.
6. I support marriage. I don't think "gay marriage" should be a thing. I think any one legal-aged consenting adult, should be able to marry any legal-aged consenting adult they want. Marriage should simply be marriage.
7. For people fixated on sin... Hate the sin, not the sinner. Plus, you really need to leave the judging to God, and focus on love and kindness and compassion.
8. If it's not your bedroom, and the occupants are consenting adults.... Mind your business.
9. Do not try to make another person's rage at an injustice affecting them, unjustified, when you cannot possibly comprehend their feelings, or you're a part of the cause of the injustice/rage. Your actions/words causing their rage, is your choice/opinion/right. Just as their reaction to your actions/words, is their choice/opinion/right.
10. I cannot believe I'm the mom of a seventeen year old. I'm old.
11. In terms of the riots/protests occurring recently around hospitals, and nurses needing to block traffic, so a street could be open for ambulances, doctors, nurses, staff to come and go.... My take is... I would have taken the nurse's place, and let her/him return to saving lives.
12. I believe in love, kindness, joy, treating others well and with compassion, justice, peace, equality, and unity.
13. Our medical system, educational system, justice system, and government should never have become for-profit entities.
14. Animal Crossing is awesome.
15. The current treatment of Native Americans is abhorrent.
16. I was raised a Republican. Grew up to be an Independent, but I'm currently (and probably forever) a Democrat. One of the greatest moments in life, happened a few years before my dad died. We had a very in depth talk one day. Sadly, it was only a few months later, when he found out he had cancer AGAIN. I cannot believe I am going to speak publicly about this, but I don't think he'd mind. One of the first things he did, was apologize to me for what he said, when I called to tell him Kat went to Heaven. He had said it was good for her. Better to be in Heaven than to have to live life as a n*****. He also brought up politics, which scared me, because we didn't ever see totally eye to eye. We both agreed trump would be a terrible POTUS. I was shocked. He apologized for his anger about me having a couple of relationships with men of color. He told me things were different when he was young, and he was stubborn, so it took him a while to truly see things for what they are and should be. The reason I revealed that, was to say... Racism is not natural. We are born seeing each other as fellow humans. Racism is taught. Just because you're taught it, doesn't mean you need to carry it on. I think if people truly listened to their hearts, they would see the correctness of equality. A human being is a human being, and no human's worth is based on their skin color.
17. Back to the racists I know comment.... Over the years, many people I know have used the n word in front of me, and made racist statements. As a child, I minded my own business, as I was raised to. As an adult, I've learned to just be quiet and leave ASAP, if I'm the only one who is affected by it. When I leave, I cry. I cry so hard, because when folks use that word in reference to all black people, they're insulting my daughter. If it's used around any person or persons of color, I call it out, and defend the persons of color present. Well, from now on, I'm done being quiet. You want to say some racist ignorance around me, I'm no longer going to just go away and cry. I'm going to call you out. I. Do. Not. Care. Who. You. Are. To. Me. You want to use words insulting my Kat and her fellow human beings of color.... Well, get ready for this Mama to verbally knock the ignorance out of you.
I think I will leave the list at seventeen, since Kat is seventeen.
Also, if you'd like to do a small act of kindness today or any day, in honor of our Kat, her sister and I would appreciate it.
My love to you all. May we all have joy, love, safety, good health, and equality.

So, please, if you are a person of color, know that I am your ally. I am here to listen and to help.

If you are not a person of color, please help in any way you can. We should not still be fighting for racial equality. This is something we need to focus on and get it done.

Now, that you have read my post, please do not forget to read the rest of the amazing Poison Blog with Friends posts!!!

Karen of Baking In A Tornado
Garden Vegetable Fettuccine

Lydia of Cluttered Genius
I Choose Me

Tamara of Part-time working Hockey Mom
I need a new dishwasher because of reasons

Melissa of My Heartfelt Sentiments

Monday, March 9, 2020

Read Across America #BlogWithFriends

Welcome to March's Blog with Friends Round-up. Each month, participating bloggers choose a theme, and create a unique post based on that theme. Each post will be different and connected to the theme in whichever way the blogger chooses. This month's theme is 'Read Across America'. When I heard the theme, I knew I had to participate. I had just been to the Scholastic Book Fair, at Gigi's school. So, here I am, giving my addition to the round-up. Blog with Friends posts can include any number of things, from poetry to short stories, to recipes and crafts, to DIY instructions and long winded rants, and anything in between. Once you've read mine, I do hope you go check out the wonderful offerings, from the other talented participants.

I am a bookworm. I have always been one, and likely always will be. Reading has always been magical to me, from the very first moment I was able to read. Books are these amazing adventures to me. I am not sure if it is simply because I just love to read, or if my overactive imagination has fueled my love somewhat. I just know that from the very moment I learned how to read, it has been one of my very favorite things to do.

I think I was lucky, in that I had a great teacher, who taught me to read, and the process went smoothly. Gigi is going through the process right now, and she is doing well, and making us proud. She also has a great imagination. Every Thursday, I volunteer with the after school reading club, for Second Graders at Gigi's school. I love watching the kid's improve at their reading skills, and fall in love with books. 

I was sad to learn that second and third graders, seem to struggle the most, and that many of the kids do not advance beyond the reading level they reach by third or fourth grade. So, that is how our club formed. We are working to help increase the literacy of our second graders, and set them up to advance further beyond their current level, in the years to come. We are already seeing a 50% to 100% improvement in our kids. Gigi has not shown much of an interest in joining in, so I just let her watch and relax during reading club, but I am secretly hoping she asks to join in soon. 

Literacy is so important, and our children all deserve a bright future. I encourage you all, to read with the kids in your life. Volunteer with reading programs, if you are able. Donate to local schools and libraries. During our school's book fair, teachers submitted wish lists, of books they wanted for their classroom's, and us parents could buy and donate the book's off their lists. It was so fun. 

Gigi attends a title one school, where nearly all the students qualify for free or reduced lunches, and the family incomes are not very in tune with the cost of living. So, in the two years of her attending this school, I have learned a lot about funding and ways to help. I highly encourage you all, to get involved with your local schools. If you can help with money donations, book donations, or supply donations, that is amazing. However, I have learned that the best donation is your time. All kids can benefit from reading clubs, and access to books. If your school does not have one, start it. 

I am so serious. I have learned so much, about how important a child's literacy level is, and how much brighter their futures become, with the better their literacy level, and the higher the number of books they've read. So, I am on a mission, to give Gigi access to as many books as possible, and I plan on buying from every book fair her school has, and to continue the tradition of Santa bringing the gift of new books. I hope to be able to report an increase of 100% to 200% next time. I am so proud of our reading group kiddos, and how hard they are working. It amazes me, that I get praised for simply reading books with kids. As a book worm, I am pretty sure I enjoy it just as much, and possibly even more, than the kiddos. I am beyond grateful for all the books I get to read. My inner book worm is beyond happy. The fact that each week, a second grader becomes more likely to attend college, is just the cherry on top of my happiness sundae. 

Gigi wanted me to share all the newest additions to her home library. I secretly hope we one day live in a house big enough, to expand the size of her library, to be the size of a whole room, complete with some comfy reading nooks. A reader can dream.

Don't forget to check out the rest of this month's Read Across America's posts.

Karen of Baking In A Tornado
Pepperoni Parmesan Crescents

Tamara of Part-time working Hockey Mom Reading Across America

P.J. of A ‘lil HooHaa BUJO: Reading, writing, and learning to journal in middle age Kia of The Ground Beneath my Feet Read Across the World: A Literary Journey

Melissa of My Heartfelt Sentiments Tell Your Story - Read Across America

Lydia of Cluttered Genius Must Read: Schooled

Monday, February 10, 2020

Find the Baby

Welcome to February's Blog with Friends Round-up, a blogging challenge hosted by Karen from Baking in a Tornado. Each month we choose a topic, and then we all create our own unique posts, based on that month's chosen theme. This month we chose "Mardi Gras". Each blogger's post can be anything their heart desires, and their imagination can dream up. It is up to us to interpret the theme any way we like. Posts can include anything from poetry, short stories, craft projects, DIY projects, art projects, and anything in between. The limits are endless, and it gets quite interesting each month.

Embee with One Month Old Gigi

If I am honest, I feel like Blog with Friends, really opens the doors for the participating bloggers to create projects. I am not good at blogging about projects, or even doing projects, so I tend to be the more boring of the bloggers that participate. This month, may just be my most boring post yet. However, the very moment I heard about the theme being Mardi Gras, I thought of something, and I decided I just needed to share it. I am sharing more for myself, than the readers.

My life has been one heckuva ride. Seriously. It has been fun, scary, sad, and everything in between. When I was younger, and I first learned about Mardi Gras, I knew I immediately wanted to go there one year. To be honest, I have always been drawn to New Orleans. I honestly would LOVE to live there. When I got older, and learned more about Mardi Gras, I quickly decided I wanted to make it a yearly tradition. 

I do not know how you imagined adulthood would be, but I had definite ideas about what being an adult would be like for myself. I can honestly say, it has been absolutely nothing like anything I had imagined. Seriously, NOTHING at all like how I had imagined it would be, and not just because I just turned 37, and I have still never been to New Orleans on Mardi Gras. Yes, if you now think I have lived my life completely wrong, I tend to agree.

However, one of my most prominent Mardi Gras memories involves French class and a King Cake. Have you ever had a King Cake?! Honestly, I think they are awesome. I really hope to enjoy some one day, in New Orleans, on Mardi Gras, but if not, it is okay.

For some reason, whenever I think of Mardi Gras, the first thing that comes to mind is my Pamela and the King Cake I made. It was such a fun experience. Our French teacher gave us a recipe, and we had to translate it to English, and make it. It happened to be a recipe for a King Cake. It was such a fun experience. I am pretty sure it tasted awful, and I possibly got some of it wrong, but it was truly beautiful. I wish I had pictures to share.

Pamela was my adoptive mum, who I lived with for a while, until I turned 18 and clung fiercely to being an adult and moved out, and began making my own (terrible) decisions. I translated the ingredients, and she went to the store, to get everything for me, while I worked on translating the directions. I finally finished, but I was so confused. I actually had to call my teacher, and apologized for asking, but told her that if I did not ask questions, I probably would not be able to safely make anything. Sometimes, when translating another language into English, the translation is too literal. That was the case with two parts of the recipe. The first too literal of a meaning was the lemon zest. I do not remember exactly what it translated to, but it was not to zest a lemon, but more like putting the peels of a lemon in. So, she explained my translation was good, but too literal. 

The second part was more humorous. I could not figure out why I was supposed to bake a baby into the cake. I was certain I had translated wrong. I hadn't. I just needed to understand the baby in question, was a tiny, plastic baby. The whole point was for someone to randomly receive the plastic baby, in their piece of the King Cake, and therefore have good luck all year. I was absolutely amazed by the odd, but fun tradition, and we set out to find a plastic baby, to be our lucky baby Jesus. It was honestly so fun. It wasn't as yummy as I had hoped, but as I said, it really was so pretty. My favorite colors are green and purple, and that probably has something to do with why I love Mardi Gras.

Pamela loved my cake. She absolutely loved it. She was so supportive of me. Plus, with her and Rosemary as my adoptive mums, I had everything I needed, and much of what I wanted, for the first time in my life. Looking back, I see that fact so clearly. I saw it then too, but instead of feeling grateful and happy, I felt like a burden, and that led to some of the terrible choices I made, once I was an adult.

Pamela unfortunately passed away in 2006, before I was able to truly make amends with her, and I regret that every day, but I look back at my time with her so fondly. I am so grateful she was in my life. I am grateful for all the ways she built me up, rather than tearing me down. Like the day I made the King Cake, and gave her a piece of the "extra", and rather than say it was garbage, she ate it and smiled, and congratulated me on doing such a wonderful job translating the recipe. She also calmed my nerves, and convinced me I would get an A. 

I think I got a B, and that was probably over generous. It really did taste awful. It was dry and weird. I have had a few King Cakes since, and can honestly say, none of them were remotely like mine. Part of my heart is sad, remembering back to this memory, but more than anything, I am grateful. Grateful I experienced it, grateful I can remember it, and grateful for my Pamela.

Oh, coincidentally, I found the baby. It was quite fitting, considering that was probably one of the best years of my life.

Do you like Mardi Gras? Have you ever been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans? Have you ever had King Cake?

Please, do yourself a favor, and check out these other, more amazing Blog with Friends posts:

Karen of Baking In A Tornado
Nutella King Cake, a fun and easy interpretation of the classic Mardi Gras treat.

Kia of The Ground Beneath my Feet
Let the Good Times Roll!

Melissa of My Heartfelt Sentiments
Jazz It Up!

P.J. of A ‘lil HooHaa
Masks and beads and food and drinks OH MY!

Lydia of Cluttered Genius
Carnival in the Spanish Classroom

Monday, January 13, 2020


Welcome to the first Blog with Friends of 2020. This is a blogging round-up, that is the brilliant idea of Karen of Baking in a Tornado, and in done monthly. Each month a theme is selected, and participants create a post based on the theme, and can be any type of post they'd like.

This month's theme was New Years. Quite appropriate.

If you follow my Facebook page, you've probably realized I've been MIA. Since losing my dad, I've been on the struggle bus. I thought it was starting to get better, but the one year anniversary seemed to knock me back. Death is a choppy sea of emotions and pain, and I imagine it's hard to navigate, even for the most experienced people.

So, as I enter this new year, I have so much on my mind. I have been wanting to get back into writing blogs, and to restart my daily Facebook posts, but I'm still struggling.

As 2020 was approaching, I knew I needed to figure out what I wanted to do, about the blog challenges I participate in each month. I knew I wanted to continue, but I could not get myself to officially commit or submit my prompts. When I saw the post about January's BWF, I knew it was just the first step I needed. It was my place to start.

So here I am, starting my 37th year of life, creating this post, to say I'm back. No, new year new me stuff, for now. Same old me, just older, and still chugging along. I'm trying to adjust to life without my dad, and life with the knowledge his death gave me, and mostly I'm just winging it.

I do not know what this year will hold for my blog, but I do know that it is still going. I'm not done writing, at least not yet. I still have a few blog posts in me, that I need to get out, and then we will see where it goes from there.

I have a tiny job now, helping an amazing friend with her business. I'm finding being a personal assistant interesting. I like it. I'm still getting used to it, but I definitely enjoy it. Plus, my boss is amazing.

Gigi is just plain wild. She's my free-spirited, wild child. I'm trying hard to keep her on a good path, without stifling her, but it's mighty hard. I lose more than I win, but I keep trying.

Several big things may happen this year, and I'll most likely bring y'all along.

So, I'm still here. You did not get rid of me that easily. I'm embracing 37 and 2020, and holding on tight.

Also, it may interest you, that I FINALLY had a birthday party. It was awesome. I could get used to it. I definitely didn't hate it.

How is 2020 starting for you?! Any fun plans?!

Make sure you check out my fellow bloggers, and see what they made for you.


Welcome to June's Blog with Friends!! Each month a theme is chosen and then participating bloggers use the theme, to create their own un...