AKA Sorority Sister Kamala Harris

2020 will never be remembered as an easy year. Nor one of the happiest. It certainly isn’t a boring one though. My mom said that Kamala Harris’s nomination for Vice President is one of the most exciting things to happen in a long time. My mom is an AKA, just like Harris, so they are sorority sisters for life.

Growing up, I always knew that my mother was part of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and that pink and green were the colors. Two of her best friends, my godmother and my brother’s godmother are also her sorors and they are all thrilled.

While I never pledged to a sorority myself, being part of the AKA sisterhood has been part of my mother’s identity for as long as I can remember. With nearly 300,000 members, Harris has a powerful force standing behind her and financially supporting the campaign as well. Founded in 1908, that number is significant to the organization.

It’s not surprising, that soon after Harris became Biden’s running mate, thousands of donations in the amount of $19.08 showed up. According a Washington Post article, more than 14,000 of these donations poured in, adding up to more than a quarter million dollars. And the money keeps coming in.

While you may see women dressed in pink and green at some campaign events, you won’t see any AKA symbols, says a Richmond Free Press article. Also, don’t look to see an endorsement of Biden and Harris. As a tax-exempt nonprofit entity, there are limits to their allowed political activity. Keeping their tax-exempt status requires compliance with IRS regulations. Non-partisan voter education drives are generally okay, but not much more than that.

The debate between Pence and Harris is tomorrow and I’ve been looking forward to it. However, given what’s going on with the spread of the virus around the White House, I’m a bit nervous. Pence was at the superspreader event, so he really should be in quarantine and not out and about. Apparently they will be separated by plexiglass, so that hopefully will make the event much safer.

Every day appears stranger than the last. I cannot even imagine the drama that tomorrow’s debate will bring.

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Photo Credit: Luke Harold | Flickr

Finding Flour: Where & Why

Bread has been vital to human survival for more than 10,000 years. Flour combined with water makes a dough for cooking over a fire or baked in an oven. These simple ingredients have sustained people for a long time. That is to say, flour may subconsciously signal life. Now finding flour has become a national obsession.

Since the pandemic began, people seem to have latched onto the idea that having enough flour is essential. Even for people who never baked at home before, so it’s not particularly logical. But nevertheless, many have latched on so tightly to this idea, that there have been flour shortages in stores for months. People are baking like crazy.

In the age of COVID-19, in many ways we are literally in survival mode and behaving on instinct. There is something primal about flour. Maybe in our subconscious, we as a species know that if we have flour we can survive. Also kneading dough is soothing — like a meditation.

Over the last week especially, as police brutally killed Black people, it felt like an attack on my spirit. I’ve gasped for air and felt pain in my neck. It’s times like this that I need to find ways to stay calm. That familiar combination of flour and water brings me back to myself.

I’ve baked cinnamon bread, scones, cookies and cake. I had a decent amount of flour at home to begin with, but then started to run low and didn’t see all-purpose flour on store shelves for weeks, so I bought cake flour to tide me over.

Because I wasn’t sure how long this flour shortage would last, I decided that sourcing locally and online would be the best option and also help support local business. Thankfully I’m now well-stocked with flour.

Below is a list of New England area mills with freshly milled flour, cornmeal and more ready to ship directly to you!

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One Mighty Mill (Lynn, MA)

Ground Up Grain (Hadley, MA)

Maine Grains (Skowhegan, ME)

Gray’s Grist Mill (Westport, MA)

Plimoth Grist Mill (Plymouth, MA)

Kenyon’s Grist Mill (West Kingston, RI)

14 Years Blogging

14 years blogging

April 29, 2006, is the day I decided to start blogging. Yay for 14 years!

I’m forever grateful to my past self for taking the leap. Even though back then blogging was considered sketchy by many. Now it’s a standard for most businesses and has been for sometime now.

What a difference 14 years makes! Given we’re now in the midst of a global pandemic, what a difference six weeks makes.

Depending upon the country you live in, or what part of the United States you’re located, many of us are still remaining at home to help flatten the curve and stop the spread. I live in Quincy, which is part of Greater Boston and we’re in the worst of it so far.

My annual tradition on this day is to pick a word for the year. It wasn’t very difficult to decide on the word — HEAL.

To make free from injury or disease.

To make sound or whole.

To make well again.

To restore to health.

I hope that this time next year, the world will be free of COVID-19 and we will have a vaccine.

While staying inside, I’m also on a personal journey of inner healing. I’ve found several people on Instagram who are inspiring millions of us to look inward. Links to them are below, in no particular order, if you’d like to follow them too.

Dr. Nicole LePera
Yung Pueblo
Alex Elle
Lalah Delia
Lacy Ann Phillips

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Links to posts for past years are below. Thank you for being here!

My Pandemic Theme Song

My pandemic theme song
Screenshot: YouTube

I never wanted a pandemic theme song. Then again, I never wanted to be in a pandemic.

For whatever reasons, there have been certain periods in my life where I wake up and the first thing that comes to mind is one particular song. It happens over and over again — each day upon waking. And again, if I go back to sleep and wake up. Sometimes, even if I take a nap. Kind of like the movie Groundhog Day. It’s been going on for weeks.

I’m not dreaming. It’s as I wake up, the lyrics and music are my first conscious thought. No doubt stemming from my subconscious in some way.

When this happened before, I don’t remember what made it stop or the name of the songs. But generally, when I need to get something out of my head, I have to write about it. Then it will go away. So this is my attempt to make it stop.

What’s my pandemic theme song? “The Happening” by The Supremes.  In a way, the lyrics I “hear” upon awakening make sense.

I woke up. Suddenly I just woke up. To the happening.

Maybe my subconscious sees the pandemic as the happening. It certainly is happening even though I wish it weren’t. Though I’m not sure why my mind needs to put it to music.

During school, when it came time to write papers and study for exams, I worked best with lots of music. Including the bar exam. I remember playing Alexander O’Neal on serious repeat. The Teddy Riley – Babyface musical battle on Instagram, which I did watch by the way, came closer to some of the songs that should be my theme song.

Music has always helped me cope with difficult situations. But “The Happening” was never one of those songs. It came out in 1967, when I was only three years old. It’s not a bad song. I like it. But I’ve never had any particular affinity with it.

Life is certainly testing all of our coping skills, so maybe this song is one of my coping mechanisms. I had planned to write differently about the pandemic. I’ve been reading articles and saving links, but have found that it’s been too much. So I’ll write in bits and pieces as I can.

I sewed a mask to wear when I go out and found that I had to modify it, because it was hard to breathe. A poem called “Wash Your Hands” by Dori Midnight has become a favorite.


We’re in a liminal place right now. Our lives are so different than they were just two months ago. And we don’t yet know what the future will bring. But life will never be the same. We are in that in between where things are changing. Life isn’t what it was or what it will be.

The discomfort we’re feeling is grief, according to an article that I read. Grief for what was. Grief for people who may have already died or who may die. Maybe even fear of our own deaths, especially dying alone. We’re all dealing with so much loss as we transition to whatever the “after” will look like.

Recently, I finally watched the Netflix series SALT FAT ACID HEAT and was especially struck by the show on heat. Heat is the element of transformation. It triggers change.

It made me think about the saying, “If you can’t take the heat, then get out of the kitchen” and the idea that extreme heat and pressure transform coal into diamonds.

This pandemic has us all under extreme pressure. For those that are sick, a literal rise in body temperature is one of the symptoms. Our lives are being transformed into something else and we are very uncomfortable. We don’t have the option of getting out of the kitchen. We have to deal with the heat.

I don’t know how to process it all except to acknowledge that this is where were are right now. And sit with it. It’s happening to me and it’s happening to you. Maybe that’s what my pandemic theme song has been trying to tell me all along.

The New Wollaston Station

new wollaston station

This picture of the renovated Wollaston Station in Quincy, Massachusetts is from August 16, 2019. I’m writing this post on April 4, 2020 and living in a new world.

The global pandemic of coronavirus rages on. We are waiting out this health crisis in our homes for the most part. Hoping not to catch COVID-19 and hoping not to spread it.

I’m only going out to take a walk or go grocery shopping for me and my mom. When we come back home from grocery shopping, we have to clean everything that we bought before putting anything away. Wash our hands repeatedly. The list goes on. These are such strange times.

One thing I’m trying to do while I’m at home is write more. Over the years, there have probably been hundreds of posts that I wasn’t able to write due to lack of time. Since I have a bit more time now, I’m hoping to go back and write some of those posts. I have pictures and notes ready and waiting. So I will take some old things and make them new. Plus, writing calms my nerves. Writing has always made me happy.

I thought I had written a post about when Wollaston Station reopened. I was looking for it to link to another post, but couldn’t find it. It seems that I had just taken pictures of the station, but never got around to writing it up. Or at least I can’t find it now. So this is that post.

It took close to two years for the station to be renovated. It’s a much nicer station and what a relief to not have to take the shuttle to North Quincy.

But for my life now, my last project ended in mid-February and I don’t think that I have taken the T since then. I certainly don’t know the next time that I will take it. And I wonder if I will feel safe. When will we be sure the spread is contained? June? July? I don’t know. I guess none of us really does.