About Me

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My friends call me the "grammar goddess." Really. ;-) I own a freelance writing, editing and tutoring business. Previously, I served three years as food editor for The Morning Sun in Mt. Pleasant, which kindled my interest in food writing. My other areas of expertise in writing include features, community news, architecture/construction and engraving/personalization. I have a frightening number of cookbooks and watch too many DIY, HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Antiques Roadshow (BBC and PBS versions) shows. And I tweak nearly every recipe I make.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Where have I been?

This isn’t exactly a food post, but it is an update of sorts. It is also the most serious post I’ve written.  I swore I did a blog post in 2019. (I was wrong, but I have a great excuse for 2018. Mea culpa. My father passed away in June, while my mom was still going through chemo.) My friend Michelle came in August and gave much-needed help with getting things more organized around here. Some of it stuck and some of it didn’t. But she has my everlasting thanks! Thankfully, Mom is still here and sassy as ever.

Now, 2019 was loads better, though we were still tying up loose ends. Mom was declared cancer-free in January, had a minor stroke in February that miraculously seems to have no long-term side effects, and she, my Aunt Maggie and their friend Sally took a month-long driving odyssey from Florida, out west and back to the Midwest (and in Maggie’s case, out east again, solo). During the trip, Mom saw 11 states she had not previously set foot (or car tires) into before.

It was a year for trips - Michelle and I also went to England together, setting off July 28, and returning to the U.S. August 8. I flew to CT first (closest airport to her) and met three of her four young adults before I kidnapped her. (Please advise me whether or not kidnapped is the right choice of word - can you kidnap the willing?) We saw Bath, where I ogled the Assembly Rooms (have wanted to see them for years), our friend, Sarah’s home in Ipswich (we also toured the medieval town), a tide mill in a neighboring town I’m too lazy to look up, London (where we spent good chunks of two days on a double-decker bus as well as touring Buckingham Palace), and Brighton (where we saw the gloriously opulent Pavilion). It was a whirlwind 11-day trip, and I was grateful to relax a couple of days at Chez Michelle before heading back to Detroit.

The scones were delicious! The pub food and - believe it or not - a pizza chain also provided some awesome food. Did I mention we had tea at Buckingham Palace? Well, hot cocoa, actually. I had scones, somewhat predictably (see pics). Michelle, Sarah, Simon (Sarah’s husband), and I also had tea at the Brighton Pavilion. We made a lot of great memories and I want to go back someday.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been enlightening, in some good ways and some horrible ways.

We don’t need a lot of things we think we need. People are more important than having my way right now and going to (fill in the blank). Lots of folks, including me learned how to Zoom and how to make adjustments to work at home. I’m still working on the gas tank I filled over two months ago.

There are a lot more people than I thought who are one illness or one shutdown away from financial catastrophe. There is not the same spirit of helpfulness that pervaded after 9/11, probably due mostly to fear, with notable exceptions (people on the front line caring for people as well as those in service jobs). Some of it was a NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) kind of reaction. “I don’t have health issues; why should I stay home?” “I need my d—- hair cut and my nails done.” “Our part of the state doesn’t have a problem; why do we need to stay home?” Those were the mild comments. Others were quite shocking.

Staying home and staying safe gave us time to reflect (and some of us did do that). My mom and I are both reading a lot. We watch live stream Mass from our church online or sometimes on TV. We also
watch design shows regularly, which gives us ideas about what to do next year (the downstairs bathroom is first in line).

TV can be a wonderful source of information one minute and horrify you the next. That horror is not all pandemic related. Or at least, not all related to COVID-19, which leads me to today, and shaking my head, like many other people, that we seem to have learned so little about how to treat people of all races.

It should be a no-brainer that a grown man doesn’t press his knee down on another guy’s neck. No, not even if arresting him - make that especially when arresting him. And if he does, another officer should stop him.

I don’t do political posts often; it’s not considered appropriate based on the journalistic ethics (yes, many of us still have those) that I learned at Central Michigan University. But as I watched a portion of George Floyd’s funeral, one thing leapt out at me. Racism, sexism, ageism, anti-LGBT behavior, all these things that keep America from realizing MLK’s “dream” need to go.

If you got this far, thanks for reading.