• Book Reviews

    2022 Reading Year in Review

    This year I’ve taken a delightful trip to the Yorkshire Dales with Gervase Phinn’s memoirs, joined the sassy Agatha Raisin on her sleuthing in the Cotswolds, enjoyed the dual timeline supernatural thrillers of Simone St. James, discovered the thrilling Nordic Noir mysteries of Yrsa Sigurdardottir, and FINALLY read my first Stephen King novel.  It’s been a wonderful year for reading and I’m excited to share some of my favorites with you! The Wind in the Willows The Wind in the Willows is hands down the ABSOLUTE BEST book that I’ve read this year. It rocketed up past Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories, past The Chronicles of Narnia, and ended up…

  • Education

    A Failed Teacher’s Journey Back to the Classroom

    I should begin with a confession: I am a failed teacher. I was nearly 21, on the tail end of wrapping up an English degree, and hadn’t the faintest idea of what I’d do once I crossed the graduation stage with my diploma in hand. And then it occurred to me, as I’m sure it had to the thousands of directionless humanities students before my time: I would become a teacher! How hard could it be? After all, I liked kids, loved learning, and had always enjoyed my years at school. So I signed up for a couple of education classes my last semester, took the qualifier test, and moved…

  • Family

    Chicago: A Few Short Impressions

    The past week, my family and I found ourselves fortunate enough to visit Chicago for the first time in our lives. My husband has a relative up there who invited us out, and so myself, my husband, our two kids, and my in-laws flew up. Now, I have a LOT more to say about our trip, but I want to write down a brief overview before I forget. After a short delay due to bad weather at O’Hare, we landed and were met by my husband’s cousin, Lois. She’s an older woman, originally from Kansas, who moved to Chicago 34 years ago to continue her work at Sears in the…

  • Self-Reliance

    Scouting, Preparedness, and Self-Reliance

    I’m not talking about writing today. I’ve been in a bit of a slump, a mix of post-Covid tiredness, burnout, and taking care of my kids 24/7 that has made it difficult to summon any effort towards writing. But I’m not worried. I’ll be working intently on my novel once the school year starts up, and until then I’ll keep up my journaling and writing exercises. Today I want to jot down a few things that have been on my mind lately. A few goals. I’m sure most people would agree that the last few years have been an eye opening experience. I know I’ve lived my life up until…