KN, p. 285 “Top Ten New Posts 2021”

Thanks to the thousands of Kerrian’s Notebook readers who have spoken! Here are the Readers’ Choice Top Ten new posts for 2021. Read them for the first time or enjoy them again.  🙂

#10  "Tomato Basil Chicken Soup"






#9  "Was It Medical Malpractice?"

#8  "Hurricane Season Opened June 1st"


#7  "About the Bats"




#6  "Recovery Times for On the Job Injuries"

#5  "Visiting Detective Kylee Kane - HOA Murder"

#4  "Chicken Pot Pie"

#3  "The Impact of Weather on Guns and Bullets"

#2  "Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake Bars"

and the most read new post in 2021 was:

"Visiting Detective Quinn Sterling"

Here's to a great 2022 and Happy Sleuthing!



KN, p. 273 “On the Road: Traveling During the Pandemic”

A family member needed lots of help after surgery and since we had a couple of weeks of Covid down time, we volunteered to pitch in. The tricky part was that she lived in western Pennsylvania, and a last minute obligation meant that we had to stay overnight on the drive out there.


Overnight. On the road. During the Pandemic, when some restaurants would be closed and protocols would be different from previous trips for every single public rest stop.


We couldn’t merely toss clothes in the suitcases and hop in the car; we had to plan for all kinds of contingencies. Normally, we carry a handy AAA travel guide for the States in which we will travel. It lists hotels and restaurants by town, so when we’re ready to stop, we call from the road to make reservations for dining or hotels. This time, we had to call before we left the house since Sheila needs a walk-in shower and a place with an elevator. No tubs or stairs for us right now, and those requirements limited our hotel choices.


We discovered from the phone calls that breakfast was going to be problematic at the hotels. Breakfast buffets were a no-no. We could pick up go-bags at the front desk that contained a bagel and boiled eggs which was good for some happy travelers, but not for us. We elected to eat at a Denny’s we knew to be near our chosen hotel, in order to get hot food.


Restaurants all along the route required masks. Once we entered, we saw that every table had more space than usual between it and the next, and sometimes, empty tables had signs that said: ‘not available.’ In one place, the manager placed empty mop buckets on the ‘forbidden’ spots. Yup, a definite deterrent. We did need to use our surface wipes on the restaurant tables in two of the places, since the waitstaff missed quite a bit. BUT, the extra space was in some ways relaxing – less noise and no crowds are a plus.


The take-out places had decals on the floor that marked where you could stand to give your order and pick up your food. Not everyone followed the rules, but most complied.


The highway rest stops were cleaner and more organized than we had ever seen them. Areas in front of map displays were cordoned off and ‘no browsing’ was enforced. We told the staff members which maps we needed and they handed them to us. The vending machine operation seemed to be the same as always.


The hotels had contactless check-ins and checkouts, but a surprising touch at one was the seal on some doors to the rooms. The seals meant that the room had been sanitized after the last guest. The seal was broken only by using the key to gain access. Another plus? The hotel lobbies and rooms were cleaner than we’d ever seen them before. Not a smudge, dust bunny, or stray fingerprint anywhere. The hotel pools were open, but could only be used if reserved ahead of time; one family/group at a time.


These were our essential travel supplies that before the Pandemic would have been unnecessary:


  • Handi-wipes
  • Masks
  • Medical gloves
  • Surface wipes


We have returned, with mission accomplished, and have been tested as Covid-free, but we didn’t take sanitation for granted anywhere.


For other “On-the-Road” travel tips, check out:


Stay safe out there and have a great time!



KN, p. 268 “Christmas Thoughts for 2020”


Christmas will be quieter and smaller at our house this year. No masks required, because it will be just us. A woof in the background reminded me to tell you that Hammett will be here as well.


Bridget went back to Texas after three months, when the hotel chain she likes instituted safe-zone protocols. She packed plenty of masks, disposable gloves, antibacterial spray, and cleaning cloths just in case conditions were not as promised. They were, but she felt safer having been prepared. She packed food for the two days on the road, in case restaurants weren’t open. Her usual cross country rest stops had restrictions on the number of people allowed in at a time – food selections were limited, but gas was plentiful and cheap. She arrived home safe, but tired. We’ll miss that big smile and warm heart and the roar of the Mustang.


What we, and many others will miss are the large friends and family gatherings, the crowded church services with all the singing and hugs, and food aplenty to be had at everyone’s house.


Sheila and I live by this idea: “We may not be able to control what goes on in the world, but we can control our reaction to it.” We looked back through earlier holiday posts and noticed that some of our ideas of living out the reason for the season would not be possible this year because of the Pandemic, but others still work.


  • Try cooking/quilting/book clubs with friends, via GoToMeeting. Sheila misses her cooking group and had a ball when they each stood in their own kitchens and worked on cookie recipes together.
  • Be less critical of each other. Your way might not be the only way to get the job done.
  • Smile. Often. Maybe in reaction to a beautiful sunset. You’ll feel better.
  • Give the gift of forgiveness. Soften your heart and forget the small stuff before it becomes the big stuff.
  • Write a letter sharing your week and snailmail it to the older people in your life. Not everyone has email.
  • Call people that you might normally be meeting at your favorite bistro for lunch. They miss you, too.
  • Give the gift of time. Memories are made when people laugh and giggle together, whether online or on the phone, or if you’re lucky, face-to-face.

Above all, have the best holiday season you can arrange, and a much better 2021, when life just might resemble something approaching normal again.


In Hope and Peace,
Patti & the Kerrians



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