An Introduction

This is my first attempt at a blog, with that being said I feel in order for you to understand my personality, my personal lens, viewpoint, etc.. you should know where I come from. I happen to be a white female who was raised in the upper middle class twenty minutes from Detroit. Around the nineth grade my city was named the seventh safest cities in the United States. My mother ran a daycare through our colonial house from the expressway, in our quiet subdivision while my dad supervised at three am a Detroit Edison Pole yard for over forty hours weekly. 

            Though you would think being in the safest neighborhood’s we would lack diversity, you would be right, but also wrong. My first childhood friend happened to be a different race than me. As a child, all I knew was the endless supply of Jordan almonds and how my friend Diana had hungry hungry hippos in her basement. With also a ginormous coloring pad that we took turns from each activity and then would play outside. Later on, we moved same town but different schools and my next door neighbor also was a different race from me again, his house always smelled so good, but with different spices from what my parents used. Jason had the first Nintendo I ever played on and he had these glass spheres with little sharks, scorpions, and alligators. Are friendship ended once he threw up his hamster to see if it would bounce on the cement. Boys are dumb. (Also, I grew up with a younger brother, Kelly. I relentlessly picked on him, like an older sister should.)

            Because of these two childhood friends, I had seen no difference in me and in them besides food and sometimes a different language would be used by the adults. Now as a grown up women, I see the difference and my blessing by having a mother who didn’t push me away from families different from my own, but instead giving me a guiding hand to these friendships. So, when the first black family moved into our subdivision, I had a play date in the fourth grade with Eelicia. I played dolls with her, my one real American girl doll and the three other fake ones. At the end of our play date she brought home the one doll and put straighten her hair by putting products in that I never smelled before, but I enjoyed the coconut mixture. I don’t think my mom liked it, but she also didn’t fuss too much about it either. 

            Fast forward to me as an adult, I had my first run at a racist friends. First was a friend I made at the end of high school, a natural blonde, who would yell the n word in parking lots. I was taught the n word in seventh grade because Eelicia would be sent home early from being called it in class. By this time, we talked at the bus stop, but don’t really hangout anymore. I don’t know why, but if I had to guess it was because I became a dork in seventh grade and my friendships began to crumble. First seventh grade they spilt into half and then into a handful, by high school I made two new friends and became acquittances with my elementary school friends. Even some of them would join up with the bullies against me, trying to get me to sit on a brownie during lunch, so it looked like I pooped my pants. Thanks, other girl scout friends, you really made some great choices. (This would be the start to a very long line of me being bullied throughout middle school and oh yes, all the way into high school.) Therefore, you understand my distain for school and for socializing. What another introvert writer? Yes, yes I am.

            Okay, back to racist friends. After my first encounter, after that friendship sizzled, another racist would make it into my friendship circle. Now, as I say, “another racist” I need to be clear, I was not looking for a racist friendship, it’s just how my life panned out. It would take me over ten years to figure out, she will always be a racist, even when she would pretend not to be. Even if, her first time was with a black man. Even if, she had more black friends than me, she still will always be a racist. This friend happened to be a daughter of a Detroit police officer and even though her father was always nice to me, I’ve never met so much hate over a race. I’m most ashamed over myself for thinking this friend would change her viewpoint, she doesn’t though, and that became my end of the line. 

I mean she also was never happy for me- like ever- so a bad friend overall. She also had a childhood friend who was even a bigger racist than her, also a Detroit police officer’s daughter. Sadly, she’s a detective now in the town I grew up in. I now know why we were the seventh safest town in United States, our “excellent” police force. I could go on, but I’d rather not. With me dumping that friend a couple years ago, I’ve been happier. With some distance, I see how she was the worst friend I’ve had in a long time, yet I kept her around for who knows the reason, but for over ten years.

Currently, I have two best friends, three if you count my husband. Best friends: Kim and Arielle. I’ve known both of them since I was a junior in high school, we all were employed at Target over almost 20 years ago. Yeah, twenty years of friendships. Wow. They’re keepers though. Rays of sunlight, my cheerleaders, my best friends, my people I go to. Kim lives in Garden City, Michigan now, Arielle in Houston Texas, and I live in a town that was small, but that keeps throwing up mansions on green acres- South Lyon. I used to run the Corporate gas station in town and I decided to live here because of all the nice people I met- my smile hurt at the end of the day because I was so happy.

My husband’s name is Jon, he grew up inside a very small town called Hastings and he happens to be adopted. He’s never might his biological parents, his biological mom tried to find him, but she died before six months before he started trying to find her. My husband is actually my second husband. (Try to not get married at age 22/23, sometimes the people that you love lie. Crazy huh. Lesson I learned in my first marriage.) I have my daughter from my first marriage, which I almost died from having. I ended up with postcardium cardio mothapthy and which told I couldn’t have anymore kids because the chances of me living were twenty percent. It caused a depression in me at the time, since all my life I wanted three boys and a girl- you know like the Taylors from Home Improvement.

When Jon came into my life, after a whole year of being separated from my husband- filed for divorce, but not started in court yet, he brought me my three boys. I’ve been living in a little bit of a fairy tale ever since. But the kind of fairy tale without a castle. Because the one thing I’ve learned about divorce and re-marriaging, is you start all over again financially. I walked into my current husband’s life and he literally had two mattress on the ground for his kids, a tv, a ps3, and a small children’s picnic table in the kitchen. I was shocked at how much his ex took. I wasn’t one to talk though, because during my divorce I only wanted was my kitchen table, the elliptical, and my puggle Scrappy.

Together Jon and I really had nothing, I had some money saved up from not being with the succubus of my first husband. But Jon was in a tight spot from paying a little over 1,600 in child support a month. Three boys, my wish was attached to a pretty big price tag. But we’ve been together for seven years now and made our kids a priority. We have a mattress for each kid with a bed, though they kept growing up. 

We have Cole, I met him at age 14, he’s now 21 and lives fulltime at his moms. Noah, met him at age 12, a big kid still at heart even at age 19, he lives with us in his room in the basement right out of high school. Aidan, met him at age 6, he’s now a teen at age 13- we really bonded when he was first diagnosed with type one diabetes a five weeks before his eighth birthday. He’s court order that took up the last of my savings made it so he comes over our house Thursday through Sunday. Then there’s my sassy girl Aurora, who was five when she met Jon and is now turning thirteen in two weeks. She had the hard transition from being a single child- to having three older brothers. Her dad ended up having two girls, so she’s the big sister over at his house.

            I currently am starting this blog, duh, but also, I’m beginning my journey for my master’s degree in children’s literature. I still need to fill out my application, but I received the go ahead on my financial aid and will most likely being going to Eastern University for their Children’s Literature Master’s program. I want to be a children’s author. My dream, what I’ve been actively working towards, with me going to obtain my masters, there’s two things it allows me to do. Firstly, keep my housemaker slash Jon cleaner job going and I get to be around my kids for two more years. Secondly, they have programs for literary agents, publishers, and editors, all the things I need to know more about and hopefully I’ll make some connections as well. I finished my BA at Madonna University- because I grew up across the street from the university was why I spent more at a private college. (I love that I got it, I wish I could have received the same degree with less student loan debt.)

            I’m a little worried about the fall- so I didn’t grab a job yet because I might be homeschooling and being a student, myself would be enough to keep my plate full and make me feel like I should be writing more. 

            Intentions of this blog:

            Humor, I have funny stories- I’d like to share them.

            At some point a gratitude challenge. I enjoy them.

            Projects, I’m a crafter- I need another creative outlet besides writing, always have, always will. Watch me sew an oversized beach bag, make something with stain glass, or do a watercolor painting. I’ll give you my tricks I’ve picked up along the way and maybe you’ll give me some.

            Watch me fail over and over again, trying to become a commercial children’s author. As, of right now I have three children’s picture books completed and a 36k middle grade Sci-Fi done. Then there’s my ten-year-old, young adult, mermaid, high school story finished- with a major plot point missing, I think. I’m actively trying to get an agent with my middle grade book, which I completed example illustrations for two weeks ago. I’m not sure if that will help, but I’ve always loved drawing cartoons, and my illustrations are pretty awesome. I’ll make sure I inbuild some pictures. 

            With those three points, I will also from time to time talk about my love for diversity, the hardships of being a stepmom along with the joys, and how I deal with rejection in the pursuit of my dreams. 

            Lastly, let me explain my name: Surrounded By Farts. My husband came from the westside of the state in a small town called Hastings, it’s about an hour and a half from our townhouse. We go over that way about six times a year, if we’re lucky. Time goes by fast when your kids are growing. So, on the way home from Hastings my husband’s minivan would be full with all six of us in there and they would all die laughing from finally releasing their gases on me on the long excruciating ride home. I would gag, try to roll down my window and throw my head out of the vehicle and the laughter would fill up the minivan rolling on and on. I’m one who likes to be seen as a fragile woman at times, with farting being something I don’t do in front of people or burbling. I have no problem that my daughter does it, or if any other women do it. I’m a bulky broad-shouldered woman, so for me I keep some things in my life dainty, feminine. But don’t get me wrong, I am just as strong as a man, my husband with tell you that too- took him four years to agree with me and now he willingly tells guys that I am. With that said, I pick what I want to be known as a woman for. I like some traditional roles, but I know I can do anything I want without a man and I know my worth is high. That sentence took me a long time to own up to, but since I knew those truths, you can’t really wreck me, because I truly love myself and I know God does too.

            Well, surrounded by farts is something I always will be. My husband still has not dutch- oven-ed me even though he’s tried for the last seven years. I’m a ninja. Thank you for reading my first blog!

The Best Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

I’ve been baking gluten free cookies from scratch since 2015 and I finally have the chocolate chip cookie down! My house always loves my baking, but I’m the biggest stickler because normally with baking gluten free from scratch I can taste all the individual ingredients. It wrecks my enjoyment of the desserts. But not with this recipe!

Insert evil sugary laugh😏

So here’s my approved Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

This is a Double Recipe because I like making big cookies. Why not? This makes 32 big cookies and probably 45 normal size ones. ( I wouldn’t know, because bigger cookies are better.)

Ingredients in the order that I put them into my mixer:

2 large eggs

2cups of half-way melted butter

2 teaspoons of baking soda

1&1/2 teaspoons of sea salt

4 teaspoons of vanilla

2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar

1&1/2 cup of brown sugar packed

1&1/3 cup of granulated sugar

4 cups of Namaste Gluten Free Flour

1 bag of semisweet chocolate chips

1 bag of dark chocolate chips

375 degrees for 12-15 minutes

This is my gluten free favorite flour. It can be found at Costco, I picked this up earlier this month for 8.99. I live in Michigan. It already has xanthan gum in the mixture so you don’t need to add any. 🤗

I scrape a full fork full and plop onto my cookie sheet. I use parchment paper and air bake baking sheets so my large cookies tend to cook for the full 15 minutes. I do suggest if you make your cookies smaller to maybe only bake for 10 minutes and see how they’re doing. I feel like with an air bake baking sheet they need to be in the oven longer.

Now eat your delicious cookies! 😋