Happy Juneteenth National Independence Day!

Today celebrates the date of June 19, 1865, when enslaved people of African descent located in Galveston, Texas, finally learned of their freedom from the slavery system in the United States.

While the Emancipation Proclamation granted freedom and was signed on January 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln. Texas was the farthest of the Confederate states, and slaveholders there made no attempt to free the enslaved African Americans they held in bondage. President Lincoln’s proclamation was unenforceable without military intervention, which eventually came nearly two and a half years later.

Juneteenth is an important date on the timeline of slavery history in the United States and now a federal holiday just signed into law last year.

Take a moment today and reflect on the importance of this holiday.

“Sheer brilliance….An empowering, transformative read. Bravo.”—Jewell Parker Rhodes, New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Boys

Arthur Weasley

“Bless them, normal people will go to any lengths to ignore magic, even if it’s staring them in the face.”
— Arthur Weasley, Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets

In a group of great fathers in literature, you have to think about Arthur Weasley from The Harry Potter Series.

Arthur truly loves his family and takes on Harry like his own child. He’s a great family guy and also a hard worker. I love his curiosity and awe of the world that he demonstrates to his children.


Cheers to all the dad out there today! Hopefully you get some time to read a great book today!

Flag Day

Happy Flag Day! This holiday commemorates the date in 1777 when the United States approved the design for its first national flag.

Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone National Park

Did you know that the designer of our current flag was a 17-year-old Boy Scout named Robert Heft? What grade do you think he received for this look? A grade of B-minus. His Ohio teacher said the design was unoriginal, but offered to raise it to an A if the design was accepted nationally. So, the boy wrote to his congressman and the rest is history. And yes, he ended up with an A.

Happy Flag Day! 🇺🇸

sPark Opportunities

Happy National Park Week!

Today’s theme focuses on the many, many people it takes to make the national parks work. It includes employees, interns, volunteers, and fellows. It takes part-time, full-time, seasonal, and project-timed types. It takes all types!

This amazing team of diverse backgrounds and experiences keep our national parks going day in and day out.

Have you ever thought about volunteering or working for the National Park Service? If so, click here and check out the variety of opportunities.

Happy National Park Week!

National Pet Day

Happy National Pet Day!

Evie 🙂

Did you know that…owning a dog decreases the risk of death by heart disease by 36%; or there are about 5000 tigers kept in captivity in the U.S. (only 6% in accredited zoos); or there are 200 million stray dogs in the world?

Give your pet an extra belly-rub or treat today! If you don’t have a pet, consider adoption!

Happy National Pet Day!

Virtual Resources and Tours

Recently, I received an e-mail thanking me for my information about national parks virtual tours as it helped out Corrine and her Girl Scout troop work on their Arts and Culture Fun Patch.

In their research, Corrine found a couple of great online resources that I wanted to share:

Take a virtual trip through each state and visit a historical landmark, museum, or zoo by clicking here. I really like how you can scroll to a particular state and click to check it out. You’ll even see some national parks on there.

Take a virtual trip around the world and visit aquariums, zoos, national parks, famous landmarks, animals, and more by clicking here. You’ll see some national parks on this page too, but also places like Machu Picchu or Buckingham Palace. 

Thank you to Corrine and her troop for sharing these really interesting online resources! Great job on earning your patch!

I’m going to take a virtual tour now to check out some polar bears in the Artic! Happy online traveling!

Shop Bookshop This Weekend

Support local and shop at Bookshop.org this weekend. Spend $60 or more on book purchases this weekend and earn a $10 digital gift card. With supply chain issues for books this season, get your books now and get a bonus $10! Offer ends Sunday night.

Click here to start shopping! And check out that new Turtle Tube: An Erutuf National Park Novel too! 😉

Enjoy finding new books!

“Off with their heads!”

I did say that quote a few times on Halloween. 😉 I hope that you all had a great Halloween!

My youngest decided to dress up as Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for Halloween this past weekend. She requested the family join in on this theme. Three of the four of us agreed. I loved the idea of doing a literary costume from a great classic!

The White Rabbit
The Mad Hatter
The Queen of Hearts

“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.” ~ Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Who in the world were you on Halloween? 🙂 Enjoy your candy!

World Turtle Day®!

Happy World Turtle Day®!

American Tortoise Rescue, a nonprofit organization, created this day almost 20 years ago to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world.

For more than 100 million years sea turtles have covered vast distances across the world’s oceans, filling a vital role in the balance of wildlife. We need to continue to protect these important animals.

Here are a few small things you can do to help saves turtles: Adopt a turtle instead of buying one from the pet shops. Never remove or touch a turtle in the wild (unless they are sick or injured). If a tortoise is crossing a busy street, pick it up, and send it in the same direction it was going – if you try to make it go back, it will turn right around again. Report any illegal sales of turtles or tortoises to animal control. You can also consider supporting of one the many nonprofit organizations out there working to protect these important animals to our world.

Happy World Turtle Day®! 🐢

P.S. Emma thanks you! You will meet Emma in my upcoming children’s book coming out soon!

New Backpack

A few weeks ago, I discovered a company that creates colorful backpacks. I love color! I am so drawn to anything colorful and it always makes me smile. I was that little girl always drawing rainbows. Don’t tell anyone, but I still draw them! 🌈

Cotopaxi makes these colors backpacks (and other colorful items). As I scrolled through their web site, their backpacks all made me smile. While I love the colors, I also love the uniqueness to each one. They’re all different. I had needed a new backpack and found a ton of choices.

I fell in love with Cotopaxi’s Del Dia Collection. This collection uses fabric leftover from other companies’ large production runs made in the Philippines. I love that this keeps perfectly good materials out of the landfill and reuses them for something fun.

After many clicks and moments of indecision, I decided on this one.

Once I received it, I tested it out on a hike with my dog and really enjoy it! It’s comfortable and has all the needed pockets. Most of all, I love all the colors!

It’s a rainbow day every day! 🌈😊