Travel – Kids’ Fun Bags

Standard

​For those of us in the US, the next two weeks have us frantically preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday. For a holiday that is supposed to be a time to settle in with our loved ones and reflect on our lucky we are, how grateful we are to have our needs and wants met as well as to think about how to help those less fortunate in meaningful ways, it sure is a stressful, anxiety-filled, busy time. For the US, with so many diverse cultures, ethnicities, and religions, Thanksgiving is one of the few things that we share. Not everyone celebrates Christmas, but we can all be a part of the Thanksgiving mindset. We are all thankful for something, and one of those things is where we are privileged to live. Many countries around the world set aside a day for thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving in the US is also the busiest travel day of the year. We are waiting in lines at the airport, on the highways, at the convenience stores for that last cup of coffee to get us there. Those of us that travel with kids know how difficult it can be to map out the route, pack the snacks, and keep the kiddos entertained over hill and dale on the way to Grandma’s (or whomever’s) house.

While we were on vacation this past August, I set up a small paper gift bag for each of my children, a travel bag that they received once they were in the car and we were at least one hundred miles from home. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how this was going to go over. Their ages at the time were 22, 14, and 13, and they each have their own phones that alternate entertaining them and boring them to tears. I did think that maybe they were too old for this sort of thing, but still, I thought it would be something different.

They surprised me. Even my oldest seemed to like his travel bag. He’s not one to complain anyway. I sneaked a look into the back seat, and saw him perusing each item curiously, and I knew that no matter what else, this was a success!

What did I include, you ask?

1. A small, plain, paper gift bag, about the size to fit a paperback book. I didn’t put their names on the bag so I could re-use them, but I did attach a colored paperclip to each one so I’d know who’s belonged to who since some items were child specific. The bag could also be used for their garbage that tends to accumulate on the floor at their feet.

2. Bottle of water

3. Small unlined notepad and a pen

4. Candy – M&Ms, Swedish fish, Skittles, something that came in a package with many small candies.

5. Package of Mini-Muffins.

6. Granola bar

7. A half sheet of paper with a list of apps they should download that were related to our destination. If Grandma lives in another state, it might be interesting for them to check out a few new apps, maybe a game too.

8. A folded paper with list for a Scavenger Hunt. They really (all of them) had great fun with this.

9. Netflix password.

10. Some things that I included for our vacation that I would not include for the Thanksgiving holiday were: a card with the hotel information on it, the phone number for weather information for my daughter who is interested in such things, Tim Horton’s gift card for $5 but any fast food gift card would do, and a packet of their vacation money.

What would you include? Share below!

Mental Health  Monday – Me, My Self-Care, And I

Standard

This is a limited series from Crooked Media. The link below is to the first episode, which you can listen to on your favorite podcast provider. There are four shows in total.

This series is hosted by Maya Munoz and Diosa Femme. Each week they are joined by a guest that discusses a different aspect of self care. One thing that they brought up is the privilged aspect of self care. For many of us, we feel that we can’t take the needed time for ourselves. Especially as women, we feel selfish taking any time away from our jobs, which include so much more than our salaried job and self care is NOT selfish. It took me a long time to figure that out, and the lesson was worth it. There is also a lack of safe spaces for women of color, and this series addresses that.

In each episode, they repeat an Audre Lord quotation that sums up for them what this series is all about:

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence; it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”

Find the first episode here:

Friday Food: Rekindle, Renew, Inspire

Standard

Crackers from Cracker Barrel. (c)2019

I wanted something simple for this first Friday Food, and since I came down with a twenty-four hour bug, there is nothing simpler than crackers. These have been my sustenance all day and have ensured that I survive another day.

I used to love crackers in soup, but now I think I like them more on the side, with soup, and not in the soup. I also like them with a chunk of cheese or pepperoni, and last year I was introduced to a cracker candy recipe that was too good not to make again.

Supernatural Lists: Characters Who’ve Died and Come Back

Standard

Supernatural Lists!

​This is an ongoing series in honor of the final season of Supernatural. They will appear throughout the season. This first one shows how much the show relies on the supernatural as well as the old soap opera trope that no one ever really dies on television. This list are the characters who died and then came back, sometimes more than once! If I’ve forgotten anyone, please remind me in the comments. Continue reading

Insta-Cosplay for Halloween

Standard

For the last few years, with inspiration from the defunct app Polyvore, I have put together fashion collages for my Halloween costumes. Last year, I was a journalist, the year before I was Mary Winchester from Supernatural. This year, in honor of the fifteenth and final season of Supernatural and Wayward Mama Bear, Sheriff Jody Mills. I see so much of myself in her, and I was very comfortable “being” her for the entire day.

Fashion Collage: Sheriff Jody Mills. From the top, L-R: Anti-possession symbol, jeans and tall black boots, starburst earrings (not dangling so they can’t be pulled off), Mom Bear bracelet, wristwatch, layers: long sleeve t-shirt and plaid flannel with rolled up sleeves, sheriff’s badge. (c)2019

GET OUT THE VOTE!

Standard

Today is Election Day, and as we’ve seen in the last three years, ALL elections are important ones. On Friday, I was at a Nanowrimo kick-off event and I saw signs for early voting, which is new in New York. I took the opportunity to give it a whirl. It all went well, and it gave me something to talk about with one of our local candidates who was going door-to-door this weekend. It was a good talk, and I felt very confident in my side of the conversation which is unusual for me. As it happened, I had voted for him.

Check your state’s polling hours, and make sure you go to your appropriate polling place.

Close you phone, tablet, and/or computer, and VOTE!

Rekindle. Renew. Inspire.

Standard

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.
– Eleanor Roosevelt

(c)2019


What direction am I traveling in?

I just finished an essay for my memoir workshop’s annual journal. Our theme was centered on the roads in our lives, and it struck me at how many of those roads converge throughout time. Roads are everywhere, and at this time of the year, as the leaves are covering them and darkness comes earlier, do we stay on the same track or wander off? As the year closes, and a new monthly series opens today, I am in constant wonderment of where I am heading and that makes the simple question of what direction am I traveling in that much less simple.