Your heart breaks for a little while so theirs will never break again.

Photo by Dorothea OLDANI on Unsplash

At the beginning of 2020, before any of us could have predicted the Covid-19 pandemic, I created a New Year’s resolutions list for myself of all I hoped to accomplish during this year. On that list, I included that I wanted to foster kittens. I currently have two cats of my own and have always had a soft spot for animals, cats and kittens in particular. I wanted to make a difference and nurture some fur babies before they went to their forever homes.

This year I…


Fellow introverts, this one’s for you.

Photo by Adam Solomon on Unsplash

I have the personality of a cat: I want to be left alone most of the time, but when I’m around good people, I enjoy the company…for a little while.

Many introverts can relate. We obtain our energy from alone time, or from being around people who don’t require us to be “on” in the form of small talk, constant chit-chat and superfluous conversation. …


Alpine Lake, Sawtooth Wilderness. Photo courtesy of the author.

I’ve lived in Idaho for 3 years now and just completed my first backpacking trip in the Sawtooth Wilderness with my ladies’ hiking group, which I think makes me a fully-fledged Idahoan at this point. This trip challenged me physically, mentally and emotionally; I hiked 8.2 miles the first day and 4.8 miles the second day, putting me at a total of 13.0 miles by the end of my trip.

The highest elevation we gained at was at Sawtooth Lake, which rises to an impressive 8,435 feet of altitude (where we also saw two elk carcasses that had been struck…


Photo by United Nations COVID-19 Response on Unsplash

I looked at my summer to-do list and as I usually do, started mentally prioritizing the different tasks I want to complete by the end of August by what needs to be done immediately, and what can be done later. I looked at two items on my list (Repair the couch from where my wonderful cats scratched the fabric, and scan/upload old family photos to a Google Drive folder and share with my family) and thought, “These will be ‘last-resort’ things to do during another quarantine, when I really can’t leave the house.”

Then it occurred to me that although…


Something as simple as a box can be so much fun. Photo courtesy of the author.

“If there were to be a universal sound depicting peace, I would surely vote for the purr.” -Barbara L. Diamond

I didn’t believe in fate for a long time, until a certain white cat showed up in my life and soon became the love of my life. It was June of 2017 and I had just gotten home from visiting my new city for the first time after deciding to move there. I was leaving a hair appointment when I saw a Facebook friend post a photo of a tiny white kitten, saying they had found him by himself in…


Photo by Dee @ Copper and Wild on Unsplash

At my busiest in college I was working three jobs and taking two online classes. I was a cashier at a beauty store, a tutor, and was still writing/editing for my college newspaper, while I was also taking a history elective on Native American culture, and an English elective on 20th century literature. I was absolutely exhausted, but I was also 22 years old and had the energy to be juggling so much at once (albeit not for long periods of time).

Overachievers have a hard time prioritizing because everything is equally important. Choosing one project to focus on at…


Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

“Brain areas implicated in the stress response include the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. Traumatic stress can be associated with lasting changes in these brain areas. Traumatic stress is associated with increased cortisol and norepinephrine responses to subsequent stressors.”

A few months ago, before COVID-19 and quarantine turned the world upside down, I took a professional development course for teachers on childhood trauma. I was in pursuit of knowledge to help my students, and recognized a not-so-small part of me that wanted to understand more about how Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can impact people (including myself) well into adulthood. I…


Photo by Maria Ilves on Unsplash

Starting any sustainability practice is an awesome, commendable thing, but sometimes what stands in the way of making an environmentally-conscious change is a lack of knowledge about where to begin, or thinking that being sustainable has to cost a lot of money. I’ve seen the listicles about different products to buy and they drive me nuts because I want to be more sustainable, but I’ve felt like I don’t have the budget for it at times. You can be sustainable in cheap and low-cost ways that are easy to do.

1. Use your own containers.

As a teacher who tries to be sustainable whenever possible…


Lush greenery and brightly-colored geysers in Yellowstone National Park. Photo by author Danielle Blumhardt.

The protection of these green spaces is vital, as modern capitalism makes finding unmarred spots in nature increasingly more difficult.

If you’ve never been to a well-known place, chances are you’ve heard of it, but have a certain idea about it in your mind before you ever visit. When I thought about Yellowstone National Park I thought about Teddy Roosevelt, photos and videos of Old Faithful, and those videos that occasionally go viral of a car-sized bison charging at an unsuspecting, or provoking, tourist. …


Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

After a week of being home full-time, I jokingly asked my father, “Is this what jail feels like?”

It’s week 3 for me of quarantine and I’ve officially reached the “have a quarter-life crisis” phase of quarantine — if we’re still labeling this unprecedented (during our lifetime) journey that we are all on. I’m 26, and after losing my mother at the tender age of 10, seeing three grandparents pass away within the last two years, and my first job at 18 being a nursing assistant in a skilled-care facility, I’ve become well-acquainted with death and the end of life…or…

Danielle Blumhardt

A millennial English teacher navigating the world with lots of coffee, books and 2 cats. Just writing about life. Insta: @thepoeenglishteacher

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