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Writer, editor, MA, Ed. | home operations specialist | music: old hymns, piano concertos, Aerosmith. https://rhondafranz.com/ https://captainmom.net/
Newspaper with “NEWS” sitting under white coffee cup
Newspaper with “NEWS” sitting under white coffee cup
depositphotos

A news ticker for two weeks in May (2021)

Financial News

If You Owe the IRS and Can’t Pay, This Is What You Should and Shouldn’t Do.

This piece in The Washington Post by Michelle Singletary delivers exactly what it promises. I first heard her delightful spirit on the Post Reports podcast and then got into reading her finance article.

If you can’t pay your taxes, maybe start here to learn more about making any payment you can, not getting scammed by outside agencies, and where to turn for help.

News today (05–14–21): Turns out, the IRS is dealing with delays on…


Depositphotos

While enduring pandemic in my rural home,

schooling three boys with

long-forgotten,

seemingly irrelevant algebraic formulas

(quadratic, slope, linear equation)

and not going anywhere, really

missing friends, hugs, handshakes…

my longtime pal,

Popcorn

let me stuff my stress into the savory embrace of its kernels

with repeated visits at the kitchen counter.

Whopping batches of stovetop-popped

or that one brand

of white cheddar.

I scanned news

and gorged.

It comforted

without judgment.

And after every tête-à-tête…

a

deft

plunge

into despair’s pit.

Again, I’d binged.

So I learned

to only eat it with my children,

splitting

the

difference.

Because fractions are the superior, relevant math.

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depositphotos/infant car seat

PARENT: PLEASE READ ALL 46 PAGES OF THE INCLUDED INSTRUCTION BOOKLET FOR THIS INFANT CAR SEAT AND TAKE NOTE OF THE WARNING STICKERS.

The risks involved in merely using this infant car seat are daunting; placing your baby inside is almost as dangerous as driving around without him in it. Yes, we know this infant carrier has more brightly-colored symbols than a toxic-waste removal truck, but rest assured: the seat probably contains no hazardous material. Except for those chemicals in the fabric. And the plastic.

Follow all written instructions on this child restraint, including those located on the bottom of…


2020 December 19

Chocolate chip cookies in a cup on wooden table
Chocolate chip cookies in a cup on wooden table
deposit photos/inxti74
  1. The Washington Post has lined chocolate chip cookie brands to find the best one for all of us. Fourteen of ’em. I’m not at all partial to store-bought cookies, but I am intrigued (and mildly confused) by people who are. (That said, I will be forever grateful for the two packages of Famous Amos cookies my husband fetched in the middle of the night from the hospital vending machine after I had our third child. Also, if there is one of those pleasant, papery packages of Pepperidge Farm cookies standing alone…well, that I will sample.) …


These kinds of decisions are covered in Scripture, but not in the way we might think

deposit photos/3dalia

Friendly PSA’s About Voting

This is the third (and final) post in a week of election-themed snippets on Medium in which at no time do I presume to tell you how, or whether, to vote.

1. You Don’t Owe Explanations About Your Vote

2. If you Don’t Vote, You Can Still Complain

Christians Have Freedom With Their Vote

God’s Word holds the truth. He is love. He created us. He came for us in human form to save us from ourselves.

In the Bible, we see admonishments to seek and…


Our civic opportunity isn’t limited to a vote every two to four years

deposit photos

Friendly PSA’s About Voting (A Rather Short Series)

This is the second in a week of Election Themed Snippets on Medium in which at no time do I presume to tell you how, or whether, to vote.

October 21, 2020

Monday, the topic was about not feeling like you owed anyone an explanation about your vote. Today it’s about that good ole’ don’t-vote-can’t-complain mantra.

Voting is but one way to exercise freedom.

“If you don't vote, you can’t complain,” is a narrative. …


Friendly PSA’s About Voting (A Rather Short Series)

Your vote is someone else’s business only if you choose to make it so

U.S. flag draped across dark wood surface
U.S. flag draped across dark wood surface
depositphotos/AntonMatyukha

This is the first in a week of election-themed snippets on Medium in which at no time do I presume to tell you how, or whether, to vote.

2. If You Don’t Vote, You Still Get to Complain
3. There Isn’t One Right Way for Christians to Vote

Monday, October 19, 2020
As the elections roll around, so do the same proverbial, worn-out phrases and social media posts.

This year, I’ve seen games afoot where participants find out which politician pages their friends “like.” I’ve read…


We’ve been conditioned into thinking He only wants our best.

hands folded in prayer on a Bible set on a table
hands folded in prayer on a Bible set on a table
photo: 4masik/Depositphotos

Last week, I used a couple of bad words while praying. The kind of words that switch movies from PG-13 to being rated R. At the moment, I wasn’t concerned with giving up to God my most delightful self. Nor was I trying to be irreverent. Quite simply, I was giving Him…me.

It’s important to note here that I’m not really a person who swears. In fact, I have a low tolerance for swearwords in media and conversation, largely due to an upbringing where it wasn’t acceptable. If I’m using…


Respite from decision fatigue during a pandemic

Women looking toward a fork (decision) in the road.
Women looking toward a fork (decision) in the road.
photo credit: SI photography/Depositphotos

A few weeks ago, my region ranked #1 on a report in The New York Times as the area with the highest growth rate in the nation. Now, as our hospitalizations have increased, the CDC has come for a visit.

Just around the pandemic corner lies a new normal, and an onslaught of choices. Hard as it is to admit, a part of me does not look forward to the inevitable decisions that come with the loosening of our lockdown.

It isn’t as if I want people to get sick or die, and…


We’ve been tasked with a lot. It’s time to let go of a little.

  1. Move to a three-day weekend. Maybe those students at your dining room table or kitchen counter can work an extra assignment throughout the week, and tack Monday or Friday onto your weekend.
  2. Assign one or two children the job of prepping lunch. This doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be lunchboxes packed the night before or simple snack items mixed with fruit and vegetables that don’t have to be cooked.
  3. Do any P.E. assignments all together: all at once, or broken up as movement breaks…

Rhonda Franz

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