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Bloom Brightly

Mother’s Day: Gift Ideas — May 1, 2022

Mother’s Day: Gift Ideas

By: Delanee Ensley

With Mother’s Day coming up next week it’s time to think about what we should get our amazing life-givers!  Though our moms can be difficult to shop for, it’s important that we let them know how important they are to us. Here are some simple gifts that will let them know how great they are, and can be universal for any mom!

  1. Puzzle: Puzzles may seem like a dorky gift but in reality, it’s something that helps strengthen the mind and get creative! This Amazon Andy Warhol puzzle is super colorful and fun. Though it is a bit difficult at 500 pieces, it will go quickly with your help!
  2. Mini Mobile Printer: When there are family get-togethers there’s always the family group photo to look forward to. However, there’s always the issue of making sure everyone gets the photo, or how you’re able to hang it on the wall after. With this printer, that won’t be an issue anymore. You can take your group photo, and then mom can make sure everyone has one!
  3. Acupuncture Mat: Stress and exhaustion come with the territory of being a mom. This mat gives the relaxation of acupuncture without having to leave your home! This mat can save you from the expense of chiropractic appointments and can relieve back pain whenever you need it. Your mother will love this little escape from reality!
  4. Ugg Slippers: Mothers need something comfortable and plush after being on their feet all day. These slippers are perfect! These ugg slippers are made from sheepskin and blanket your feet to keep them warm and toasty. Though they might be a little more pricy than everyday slippers, they are worth the price for long-lasting comfort.
  5. ‘Badass’ Bracelet: Who’s more badass than your mom? This cute bracelet will be an everyday reminder for your mom to remember who she really is. These bracelets are hand-made by women for women, and come with a tag where you can register the bracelet online to become part of the community!
  6. Handwriting Bracelet: This bracelet is perfect for anybody, including moms! This Etsy shop uses the handwriting sample you send them to create a bracelet in your chosen person’s handwriting. Write a message in your handwriting, or someone else’s, and you have the perfect gift for mom!
  7. Mindfulness Journal:  Moms need time to unwind after a long day, and this journal guides them through it! This journal goes above and beyond and allows moms to take much-needed five-minute breaks to recollect themselves. Mental health help is something everyone needs to help themselves with, including your mom!

These seven gifts are perfect for any mom. With Mother’s Day coming up fast, it’s time to focus on the greatness that is our mothers and get them something great that they will love and cherish!

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Spotlight: Sydney Hegele — April 28, 2022

Spotlight: Sydney Hegele

By: Delanee Ensley

Sydney Hegele, formerly Sydney Warner Brooman, is a non-binary author who recently published their first collection of fiction short stories in 2021.  I met Syndey through Patchwork Literary Magazine, a literary magazine published and produced out of Iowa City, when we were co-fiction editors for the second volume. Though we only worked together for a couple of months, I have followed their writing journey and am very excited to be able to interview them!


When was the first moment you decided that you wanted to be an author?

“I wrote a lot of fun little books for my family when I was young–maybe seven or eight years old–and I feel like I had a strong sense even then that I wanted to be writing books for the rest of my life.”

When did authorhood become real for you?

“I have an in-person book signing at a bookstore as part of a festival this summer. Honestly, not until I heard about the event! Everything before that felt like a lucky kid who got to ‘play author’.”

What gave you the idea for The Pump?

“I grew up in Grimsby, Ontario, which is where a lot of ‘The Pump’ is based. Most of the interconnected plot is inspired by my childhood and adolescence. The town’s tainted water supply came from a time period in my childhood [and] the beginning of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, which I remember very vividly at the time I was writing The Pump.”

 Do you get writer’s block? What pushes you to continue writing when you get frustrated?  

“I think it’s important to balance writing time with lots of not-writing time. When I write for half an hour and rest for half an hour instead of writing for a full hour, my writing is always better. When I hit a roadblock, I rest and read and go for walks. Sometimes moving the blocks takes time. I don’t force them.”

What is the best piece of advice you could give to aspiring writers?

“You will always write in cliches before you can learn to break cliches. This is normal, and it is necessary, and it won’t last forever.”

What’s next for you in your literary AND personal life?

“My second book is going out on submission soon! Also, I’m getting married this fall!”

What was the publishing process like for you? Would you ever consider self-publishing?

“My publishing story isn’t the most helpful in terms of advice because it was so odd, but what I will say is that everyone’s publishing journey looks very different! I don’t think I would have the publicity skills for self-publishing personally, but I’ve seen other people do it successfully!”

What is your favorite genre and would you ever branch out to other genres?

“Literary surrealism, magical realism, literary realism, and speculative fiction are my favourites. I’d love to write a YA book one day though!”

Just For Fun Questions

 Your French Bulldog, Sloan, is adorable! When did you meet them and how did you come up with their name?

“Sloan is named after Ferris Bueller’s girlfriend Sloane Peterson from the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Love at first sight since 2018.”

Who is your literary icon?

“It’s poet extraordinaire Isabella Wang at the moment. Please check out her book ‘Pebble Swing’ if you haven’t!”


Sydney presently lives in Toronto, Canada with their fiance and Sloan, who is pictured above. Though The Pump is their only book out at the moment, they have quite the collection of short stories and other writing that you can view on their website here. Sydney is also scheduled to be speaking at The Festival of Literary Diversity at the beginning of May. You can register here for this remote experience. Their work is amazing, and I’m excited to see more of it!


Follow Sydney Hegele on Twitter and Instagram at @sydneyhegele
 

Buy The Pump here!


Special Thanks to Katey Peters.

The More You Know: Cinnamon Benefits — April 26, 2022

The More You Know: Cinnamon Benefits

By: Delanee Ensley


Cinnamon is a great spice that adds flavor to any dish or dessert! What many people might not know, however, are the great health properties cinnamon provides.

Cinnamon has a regal history where it was given to Egyptian kings and was a very rare spice. According to Healthline, cinnamon is made by cutting the stems from cinnamon trees. The inner bark is extracted, and then the wooden parts are removed. In order to create cinnamon sticks, the extracted cinnamon needs to dry out, and then the cinnamon is able to be ground to create a cinnamon powder. 

Here are the ways that cinnamon can be beneficial to your health!

  • Antioxidants: According to the same Healthline article cited above, in doing a test with 26 spices (including garlic and oregano) cinnamon had the highest amount of antioxidants.
  • Anti-Inflammatory: One gram of cinnamon a day (about half a teaspoon) does wonders for anti-inflammatory properties. If you’re someone who struggles with chronic problems associated with your bodily tissues (like arthritis) this might be something that will help you! However, this is not something that should be done dry.
  • Heart Disease: Taking about 1 gram of cinnamon a day (half a teaspoon), may have beneficial properties for your blood markers.
  • Lowers Blood Sugar: Cinnamon has been known to decrease the glucose that is in your blood and can act insulin-like to your cells.

Cinnamon has a lot of properties that may be able to help you with a lot of different medical situations. The ones listed above are only a couple of the great situations that cinnamon can help you with. If you want to find more, you can click on the link for Healthline above! Cinnamon is tasty and healthy too!

This Day in History: The First Earth Day — April 22, 2022

This Day in History: The First Earth Day

By: Delanee Ensley

Earth Day is a day dedicated to the enforcement of clean water, regulating pollution effects, and keeping endangered animals safe. Here is how the first Earth Day came to be!

April 22, 1970, is recorded as being the first Earth Day in recorded history. The 1970s was a time for change and the earth was not something to be left out. According to History, there were many rallies, educational programs, and marches across the country. Pollution was belching out of cars left and right, and Americans decided there needed to be a change.

The idea for earth day came from Senator Gaylord Nelson, a Wisconsin environmentalist, who was trying to get some recognition for the planet we live on. In July of 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency was established which led to the Clean Water bill and the Endangered Species Act. 

In 1990 the 20th anniversary of Earth Day people from all over the world participated in Earth Day, and President Clinton awarded Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This was also the first time that Earth Day was able to go global.

The most important thing we need to realize is that our planet will not last forever and that anything we do to protect it needs to be done. There are many ways to cut down on pollution, like walking when possible or taking the bus instead of driving some days. When it comes to protecting endangered animals we can use reusable straws and try to recycle so we are not polluting as much into the ocean. For more information on how to protect the earth, check out EarthDay.org!

Horoscope: Book Genres — April 19, 2022

Horoscope: Book Genres

By: Delanee Ensley

April is a great month to read a novel, as the rain rages outside your window. You might be wondering what genre you should start with, or are curious about what you should read based on your zodiac. Well look no further, your wishes have been fulfilled!


Aries: March 21–April 19 

Mystery/Thriller: The Aries sign is headstrong and sure of themselves, and they tend to like a challenge. A whodunit of twists and turns will be sure to intrigue these passionate individuals. The boldness of the Aries will solve the mystery in no time!

Recommended book: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Taurus: April 20–May 20 

Romance: The ruler of Taurus is Venus, the goddess of love, which is what makes this genre so perfect. This sign is known to appreciate the finer, sensual things, which romance books are known to include. Taurus is known to be extremely stubborn, which makes the broad genre of romance so perfect!

Recommended book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Gemini: May 21–June 20 

Fantasy: This bubbly sign will love the fantastical elements of a fantasy novel. Geminis are also known to be flaky or indecisive, in a fantasy story there does not need to be just one element to look at, the options are endless. Get ready to hear all about the newest fantasy novel from these chatty individuals!

Recommended book: Circe by Madeline Miller

Cancer: June 21–July 22 

Classics: Cancer seems to be stuck in its own world, afraid to embrace change. This is why a classic is a perfect fit for them, it’s a genre that celebrates the important novels that have been around for decades, never changing. These individuals will always stay loyal to their favorites!

Recommended book: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

 Leo: July 23–August 22 

Poetry: These confident and charming individuals fit right into the genre of poetry. The melodic stanzas are a way to exude the charm that Leo tends to crave. The ambition of poetry and Leo go hand-in-hand!

Recommended book: Three Poems by Hannah Sullivan

Virgo: August 23–September 22 

Nonfiction: The Virgo likes to improve themselves and the others around them. This includes knowledge and learning everything they can, and what better way to learn than to read. The nonfiction genre is perfect for the grounded Virgo!

Recommended book: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

Libra: September 23–October 22 

Historical Fiction: The Libra is always looking for a constant form of balance. The genre of historical fiction is all about balance trying to find the perfect mix of the two. These indecisive individuals will never have to choose a genre again!

Recommended book: City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

Scorpio: October 23–November 21 

Horror: This sign is known to be mysterious and dark. With Pluto, the god of the underworld, as their ruler it’s no surprise horror would be their genre. Let these obsessive individuals get ready to obsess over a new book!

Recommended book: The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

Sagittarius: November 22–December 21 

Science Fiction: Sagittarius is known to be the philosopher of the zodiac. Though they are in touch with the spiritual world, this doesn’t mean they have to stay in just that world. The world of science fiction is perfect for this sign!

Recommended book: Dune by Frank Herbert 

Capricorn: December 22–January 19 

Memoir: These practical and ambitious individuals don’t need to immerse themselves in the world of fiction; instead the genre for them is memoirs! Memoirs are all about feeling inspired and learning to overcome. Leaders inspire other leaders, which is exactly what a Capricorn is!

Recommended book: Hunger by Roxane Gay

Aquarius: January 20–February 18 

Graphic Novel: These artsy and quirky individuals are perfect for the graphic novel. Though they might love to read, they also need something strong to hold their attention. Aquarius signs love the quick read of a gorgeous graphic novel!

Recommended book: How to be Happy by Eleanor Davis

Pisces: February 19–March 20 

Fiction: The Pisces sign is known to have their heads up in the clouds, perfect for the world of fiction. Sometimes you need to just escape from everyday life, into someone else’s fictional life. The genre of fiction will keep these individuals grounded!

Recommended book: Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King

Non-Dairy Milks: Rated — April 15, 2022

Non-Dairy Milks: Rated

By: Delanee Ensley

There are so many different kinds of milk nowadays. You might know about them, but are unsure what they are or what they taste like. This article will give you a comprehensive understanding of what they are, what they taste like, and what others feel about them.


  • Soy
    • Taste: Soymilk is said to have a creamy flavor, and tends to be a little sweeter than other milk. This is also milk that may not taste like milk that you’re used to and might be a little strong on the soybean flavor. If you’re looking for a dairy substitute that will have a plain flavor, this might not be the milk for you.
    • Dietary Facts (Silk): All dietary facts are pulled from the Silk brand, original flavor!
      • Serving Size: 1 Cup
      • Calories: 110
      • Total Fat: 4.5g
      • Cholesterol: 0mg
      • Sodium: 90mg
      • Carbohydrate: 9g
      • Protein: 8g
    • Rating  3.7 out of 5 stars (rated based on Silk Soymilk, taken from Silk website).
  • Coconut
    • Taste: Coconut milk comes from the meat of the coconut, and has the same consistency as cow milk, meaning it’s a bit thinner than some of the other non-dairy substitutes. However, it does have a slightly sweet coconutty taste that isn’t surprising knowing where it comes from.
    • Dietary Facts: All dietary facts are pulled from the So Delicious brand, original flavor!
      • Serving Size: 1 Cup
      • Calories: 70
      • Total Fat: 4.5g
      • Cholesterol: 0mg
      • Sodium: 30mg
      • Carbohydrate: 8g
      • Protein: 0g
    • Rating: 3.6 out of 5 (rated based on So Delicious brand, taken from Amazon)
  • Almond
    • Taste: Almond milk has a creamy and nutty taste. The texture is similar to a lot of other non-dairy milks, and cow milk. This non-dairy milk has become one of the more popular milks, and is great for smoothies!
    • Dietary Facts: All dietary facts are pulled from the Blue Diamond brand, original flavor!
      • Serving Size: 1 Cup
      • Calories: 60
      • Total Fat: 2.5g
      • Cholesterol: 0mg
      • Sodium: 150mg
      • Carbohydrate: 8g
      • Protein: 1g
    • Rating: 4.6 out of 5 (rated based on Blue Diamond brand, taken from influenster)
  • Oat
    • Taste: Oat milk has blown up in recent years, and in my opinion, for good reason! Oat milk has a consistency similar to cow’s milk, however, it is a bit thicker. The taste is super creamy and a bit sweeter than normal milk, and it tastes amazing in coffee!
    • Dietary Facts: All dietary facts are pulled from the Oatly brand, oat milk chilled original flavor!
      • Serving Size: 1 Cup
      • Calories: 120
      • Total Fat: 5g
      • Cholesterol: 0mg
      • Sodium: 100mg
      • Carbohydrate: 16g
      • Protein: 3g
    • Rating: 4.8 out of 5 (rated based on Oatly brand, taken from influenster)
  • Rice
    • Taste: This milk is probably the least milk-tasting milk we’ve covered thus far. This milk is way more naturally sweet than most milk and tends to have a watery texture due to the absence of ingredients.
    • Dietary Facts: All dietary facts are pulled from Rice Dream brand, original classic flavor!
      • Serving Size: 1 Cup
      • Calories: 130
      • Total Fat: 2.5g
      • Cholesterol: 0mg
      • Sodium: 95mg
      • Carbohydrate: 27g
      • Protein: 0g
    • Rating: 4.2 out of 5 (rated based on Rice Dream brand, taken from Amazon)
  • Cashew
    • Taste: Almond milk and cashew milk are the two closest in flavor and texture. Cashew milk is creamy and sweet similar to cow’s milk. This milk is also a little salty.
    • Dietary Facts: All dietary facts are pulled from Pacific Foods brand, unsweetened original flavor!
      • Serving Size: 1 Cup
      • Calories: 50
      • Total Fat: 4.5g
      • Cholesterol: N/A
      • Sodium: 95mg
      • Carbohydrates: 2g
      • Protein: 1g
    • Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (rated based on Pacific Foods brand, taken from Amazon)
  • Macadamia
    • Taste: This milk supposedly tastes the most like the nut it’s taken from. Macadamia milk has a sweet vanilla flavor and is the perfect plant-based milk for any substitution.
    • Dietary Facts: All dietary facts are pulled from the Milkadamia brand, with unsweetened flavor!
      • Serving Size: 1 Cup
      • Calories: 40
      • Total Fat: 3.5g
      • Cholesterol: 0mg
      • Sodium: 100mg
      • Carbohydrates: <1g
      • Protein: 1g
    • Rating: 4.6 out of 5 (rated based on Milkidamia brand, taken from Amazon)
  • Hemp
    • Taste: This milk is similar to most other nut-based milk, but is also thick and creamy like cow’s milk. People who try this milk love it, even though it’s not as popular as some others.
    • Dietary Facts: All dietary facts are pulled from Pacific Foods brand, original flavor!
      • Serving Size: 1 Cup
      • Calories: 140
      • Total Fat: 6g
      • Cholesterol: N/A
      • Sodium: 130mg
      • Carbohydrates: 19g
      • Protein: 4g
    • Rating: 4.7 out of 5 (rated based on Pacific Foods brand, taken from Amazon)
  • Flax
    • Taste: Flax milk is seen as nuttier milk, but not as sweet as some of the other nut-based milk. Instead of the sweetness, it’s replaced instead by an earthier flavor.
    • Dietary Facts: All dietary facts are pulled from Good Karma Foods brand, with unsweetened flavor!
      • Serving Size: 1 Cup
      • Calories: 60
      • Total Fat: 3g
      • Cholesterol: 0mg
      • Sodium: N/A
      • Carbohydrates: 1g
      • Protein: 8g
    • Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (rated based on Good Karma Foods brand, taken from Amazon)

These milk are some of the most popular out there, even if they haven’t quite hit peak popularity yet. So, if you are tired of cow’s milk or just plain almond, feel free to try some of these other plant-based milk!


Disclaimer: These ratings are taken from separate sites as I have not tried them all. These ratings vary based on other people’s reviews!

Films We’re Looking Forward to in 2022 — April 13, 2022

Films We’re Looking Forward to in 2022

By: Delanee Ensley

In 2022 it looks like we might actually be able to go back to watching movies in person! With this information, it’s important to be aware of some of the best movies coming our way this year. 


  • Fantastic Beasts: the Secrets of Dumbledore
    • April 6, 2022
    • Rating: PG-13
    • This film, already out in theatres, is the third installment of the Fantastic Beasts saga. This film has everyone excited to see what insights young Dumbledore and his life in the wizarding world will hold. There is also the fantastic possibility of meeting more beasts and learning more about the story that is Newt Scamander!
  • Legally Blonde 3
    •  May 20, 2022
    • Rating: TBD
    • Though there is not a lot of information about this movie yet, there is plenty of excitement about its release. One thing we do know, however, is that Mindy Kaling will be one of the writers of the film. We’re all super excited to see what Elle Woods has been up for the last 20 years!
  • Top Gun: Maverick
    • May 27, 2022
    • Rating: PG-13
    • This movie that been a long time coming, not just because of pressure from the fan base, but also because of the many delays due to COVID. This movie is all about Maverick confronting his past, but at the same time, he is in charge of training new top gun recruits. If you want to re-watch the first Top Gun, it is available on Netflix!
  • Lightyear
    • June 17, 2022
    • Rating: TBA
    • To Infinity and Beyond! We are super excited to see what the origin story of Buzz Lightyear will be. Though Tim Allen will not be there to play the role of Buzz, Chris Evans has been cast in his place. There is also some talk about this possibly being Pixar’s first PG-13 rated movie!
  • Elvis
    • June 24, 2022
    • Rating: TBA
    • Austin Butler and Tom Hanks star in this biopic to tell the long-awaited story of Elvis Presley. Elvis is about the difficult relationship between the musician and his manager throughout the span of 20 years. The singing in the movie is also reported to be done by Austin Butler, a challenging but rewarding move!
  • Nope
    • July 22, 2022
    • Rating: TBA
    • The newest Jordan Peele movie is set to hit theatres this summer. This film is about residents in a small town who witness abnormal events. This will be the third Jordan Peele movie to be produced, and though this is not a direct sequel to any of his movies, fans are already noticing similarities between the trailer and his other movies.
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
    • November 11, 2022
    • Rating: TBA
    • The sequel to black panther is finally being released this year! However, it will look a little different than the original. With the passing of Chadwick Boseman, there have been many questions on if they will re-cast T’Challa (Black Panther), or if Black Panther’s sister will be the hero to watch. We’ll just have to wait and see what teasers will be released!
  • Avatar 2
    • December 16, 2022
    • Rating: TBA
    • The sequel to the popular film Avatar is set to release at the end of this year. The movie seems to take place where the last one left off and seems that the actors from the previous movie will be returning. Hopefully, it will live up to the hype!

These eight movies are the ones we’re most excited about this year! Though there is not a ton of information to be told yet on these movies, one thing is for certain, movies are making a comeback!

Monthly Mystery: Keddie Cabin Murders — April 11, 2022

Monthly Mystery: Keddie Cabin Murders

By: Delanee Ensley

Disclaimer: I would like to preface that this is a very basic telling of this story. There is so much more to this story than what I am reporting. I went down many rabbit holes with this story, and this is the information that I find to be the most accurate. There is also violence and murder in this story, so if this makes you uncomfortable or isn’t your cup of tea, please do not read.


Before the Murders:

It was in 1979 that Sue Sharp decided to move herself and her five children from Connecticut to Keddie, California, to be closer to her brother. According to the Murder Squad, Sue’s husband, John Sharp, was allegedly abusive and sexually inappropriate with his two daughters.

The Night of the Murders:

There was a lot of activity happening in the Sharp cabin the night of the murders. Sue’s oldest son, John (15), and his friend Dana (17) were planning to go to a party the night of the murders. The other four children, Sheila (14), Tina (12), Rick (10), and Greg (5), spent the day hanging around four neighboring cabins. Rick and Greg were playing with a friend, Justin Smartt, in cabin 26, and were given permission by Sue to have a sleepover that evening. Tina was hanging out with Sheila and her friend at cabin 27, she came home to go to bed around 9:30 – 10 pm that night.

The Murders:

On the morning of April 11, 1981, Sheila came home to find her mother, brother, and her brother’s friend brutally murdered in the living room. After finding her family, Sheila ran back to her friend’s house and her friend’s dad went to cabin 28 to investigate. Upon coming upon the cabin he located the brothers and helped them out of the bedroom window in order to protect them from the horrors that awaited downstairs.

When the police came upon the scene this is what they found. John Sharp had his wrists and ankles bound with an electrical cord and medical tape. His throat had been slit, and he had been stabbed and then beaten with a hammer. Dana, much like John, had been beaten with a hammer and was found facedown on a pillow, tied up with an electrical cord and medical tape. Lastly, Sue was found, and her murder was brutal in comparison to John and Dana. Sue was found dead by the couch, nude from the waist down, and covered by a blood-soaked yellow blanket. She had been stabbed multiple times in the chest and throat and had her head beaten by a Daisy 880 BB gun; Sue had been beaten so hard that the butt of the gun had left an imprint on her head. Her bindings were electrical cord and medical tape and she had been gagged with a blue bandana and her own underwear, and then her mouth was taped shut. Though this led many to believe she had been sexually assaulted, that was not the case. However, the most horrific moment of all was the fact that Tina, Sue’s twelve-year-old daughter, was missing.

Tina would not be found, according to ABC10, until over three years later. Ronald Pedrini was out collecting recyclables in Feather Falls, 60 miles from Keddie, when he came upon a blue jacket, Levi jeans, empty surgical tape dispensers, and a skull. Upon coming across this horrific scene, Ronald called the police. It was later confirmed through DNA evidence that the body was in fact Tina’s.

The Investigation:

Law Enforcement kept the house sealed off for six days. At this time they found that the only blood in the house was in the living room and on Tina’s sheets. The walls had been stabbed brutally and repeatedly and a hammer and knife had been found by the bodies; the second knife found was a steak knife that had been taken from the kitchen and used so brutally that it was bent. There was believed to be a second hammer, however, it was not found at the scene. Police also found a footprint outside the home.

Though initially none of the boys could tell police what had happened, or if they had heard anything, They made some progress by having Justin go under hypnosis. Though Justin could not tell police if what he remembered was a dream or reality, he did say that one of the men carried a pocket knife that was used to cut open Sue’s chest, and that he also had a hammer. Justin said that Tina had woken up and came out to the living room because she heard noises. A man then grabbed her and took her outside, returning alone. There is no proof of whether this information is real, an overactive imagination, or a dream.

The case is thought to have been corruptly done and covered up. The police never arrested Marty or Bo, the two suspects, and even allowed Marty to leave the state. Doug Thomas was the county sheriff at the time, but resigned only three months into the job, leaving for Sacramento DOJ. He believes that Marty had nothing to do with the murders because he passed a polygraph test.

Evidence was taken at the scene, but due to lack of DNA testing, it was unable to be tested a the time. According to All That’s Interesting, investigators think that the bodies had been moved and rearranged from where they had been murdered. The missing knife from the murder scene was not recovered until later the same year outside a general store in town. A neighboring cabin heard muffled screams around 1:30 the morning of the murders, but not hearing anything else, they went back to bed.

Suspects:

The prime suspect was a man by the name of Martin (Marty) Sharpp, who was the neighbor of the Sharp’s and the stepfather of Justin, the friend of Rick who had slept over the night of the murders. The other prime suspect was John “Bo” Boubede, a friend of Marty’s who had been living with the Sharpp’s starting the week before the murders, and was an ex-con. Bo was also believed to have ties to organized crime. When questioned, Marty said that he had lost a hammer recently; this hammer was not found until 2016 and was believed to have been intentionally placed. 

There were conflicting understandings of why Marty would want to kill Sue. The most believed theory, according to People, is that Marty was angry about Sue’s interference in his troubled marriage. Sue had allegedly told Marilyn, Marty’s then-wife, to leave him, and in fact, she had on the day of the murders. The other theory is that there was possibly a love triangle between Sue, Marty, and Marilyn and that Marty and Sue were having an affair.

 Later, after Marty left Keddie, he sent Marilyn a letter which read: “I’ve paid the price of your love & now that I’ve bought it with four people’s lives, you tell me we’re through. Great! What else do you want?” Though Marilyn does not recall ever receiving this letter, she does recognize the handwriting as belonging to Marty.

Marty fled Keddie after the murders and died in 2006, and Bo died in 1988.

Recent information about murders:

In recent years Greg Hagwood, the current sheriff of Plumas County, has re-opened the case. According to Sacramento CBS, Hagwood knew John and Dana from working with them the summer before the crimes. Mike Gamberg, a sheriff’s investigator coming to the team, also knew the two boys who were killed. He had been John and Dana’s martial arts instructor, and Dana had actually been to his house the day before. 

Gamberg tracked down Marty’s therapist in Reno, Nevada. This therapist alleged that Marty confessed to him and was certain that Bo and Marty were the killers. The therapist also claimed, according to All That’s Interesting, that Marty said “I killed the woman and her daughter, but I didn’t have anything to do with the [boys.]” Though the therapist came forward the police never used this information.

When reopening the case, they found a box of evidence that contained a 911 call that had never been put into evidence. This 911 caller had recommended that police look at Tina Sharp for the body that had been found by Pedrini. This caller was never identified and police now believe that he might have been involved in the murders. The Keddie cabin was demolished in 2004.


Though this is the fast version of this story, there is way more information out there. If you’re curious and want to learn more information about the Keddie Cabin Murders, feel free to read into the links that I have cited above, though I warn you, you might be sucked down the hole as well.


Sources: All That’s Interesting, People, Murder Squad, Sacramento CBS, ABC10


Special Thanks to Anne Field.

Dating Apps: Should You Swipe Right? — April 8, 2022

Dating Apps: Should You Swipe Right?

By: Delanee Ensley

Dating has changed so much in the last couple of years, especially with the spread of COVID. Many dating apps have reached their peak, but there are still some questions as to which one is best for which user. There are many different categories that singles look for when choosing which app is the right fit for them. Hopefully, this article will help you determine which dating app is right for you!


  1. Tinder
    • Launched: 2012
    • Age Group: 18-25-year-olds
    • User Friendly: Yes! You don’t have to answer too many questions in order to start swiping or even have a bio. This app also does not limit who can message first, either match can message the other.
    • Cost: Tinder is free to use, but it does have a premium feature. This feature allows for the user to have multiple super-likes a week, a boost to your Tinder each month in order to reach more people, and even the ability to message people before matching with them.
    • Cons: If you’re looking for a truly meaningful connection, this app might not be for you. Tinder is known as the hook-up app, most likely due to the fact that it’s common for college students. However, this does not always seem to be the case, some people say that they found real relationships on the app, and Tinder itself says it’s not a hook-up app. It’s up to the user to decide how they use it.
  1. Bumble
    • Launched: 2014
    • Age Group: 25-30-year-olds
    • User-Friendly: Bumble is as user-friendly as Tinder, and just as easy to build a profile and start swiping. However, Bumble doesn’t just have date as a feature, it also includes making friends and networking opportunities. In opposite-sex relationships it also allows the female to initiate the conversation, giving them control.
    • Cost: This app is free to use but also includes a premium feature, these features include being able to use filters like height, education, etc to find your perfect match!
    • Cons: Many people find messaging first a stressful situation. If this is something that makes you uncomfortable or wary then this app might not be for you. However, Bumble is one of those apps that allows you to find someone to have a long-lasting relationship with, and there have been many success stories.
  2. Grindr
    • Launched: 2009
    • Age Group: The average age is 31 years old.
    • User-Friendly: Grindr has had gotten in trouble with how they collect data, including a court case where they were fined $10 million. According to the Independent, the police in Egypt have even used this app to jail gay men. Grindr seems to have a lot of struggles with privacy in terms of it being user-friendly. 
    • Cost: Grindr has a free option like the other dating apps above, but it also has a premium version called XTRA. These premium features include seeing more people on the grid, blocking ads, along with many more features. It’s up to the user to decide if these extras are worth it.
    • Cons: Grindr is mostly used as a hook-up app. This type of app is not everyone’s cup of tea, so it’s up to the user to decide if this is something they want to pursue, or if they want to try a different direction. There is also, once again, the troubling thought of the lack of privacy involved.
  3. Her
    • Launched: 2013
    • Age Group: 25-34-year-olds
    • User-Friendly: This app is only available by signing up through Facebook and Instagram. Though this might be an easy sign-up for some people, others who stay away from social media might find this frustrating. This dating app is just that, an app, there is no online presence like some other dating sites. The last user-friendly mention and this is depending on what you are looking for, is the fact that it is mostly for serious relationships only.
    • Cost: There is a free version of this like the other dating apps discussed, however, if you want to spend money there is a premium version. This version allows users to see who in the app has liked them, gives unlimited swipes, reads receipts, and many other pros.
    • Cons: People who have rated it say that there are a lot of catfishers on the site, and people who have conned their way in. There also seem to be bugs and glitches that come about, but this also seems to be the situation with most apps. The last con, as I mentioned above, is this app seems to be only for people who are looking for a relationship. If you are looking for a hook-up or something casual then this map might not be for you.
  1. Hinge
    • Launched: 2012
    • Age-Group: 25-34-year-olds.
    • User-Friendly: This app seems to be super user-friendly, and has many of the same features as tinder and bumble, however, the major difference is that you can see who liked you without having to pay for it. The reason that this app has not become as successful as the other apps are because it does not have enough users to make it trendy.
    • Cost: The free version includes basic features that make it usable on its own. There is, however, a paid version that allows for more options. These options include unlimited swiping and advanced preferences.
    • Cons: There are many fake profiles that allow for catfishing and customer support does not seem to be very responsive. Overall, Hinge does not seem to have as many cons yet, because it has not reached its peak.

It’s difficult to put yourself out there as a single person, especially if you don’t know quite what you’re looking for. Hopefully, this article was informative and allows you to understand what you’re looking for in terms of your next steps. Happy swiping!

Spring Cleaning: Feeling Refreshed — April 5, 2022

Spring Cleaning: Feeling Refreshed

By: Delanee Ensley

With the changing of the seasons, it can sometimes be difficult to slip your mind out of a winter funk. April is the perfect time for spring cleaning! However, this does not just apply to your home, it applies to your mind too. It’s important to clean your mind out and let in a gust of fresh air to dust out the cobwebs. You do it for your home, so why not do it for your mind too? Here are some of the best ways to clear out your mind for a while, and let yourself enjoy the changing of the seasons!


Get Outside

Though this might seem like the obvious one right off the bat, it still rings true. Vitamin D can do wonders for everybody and with the gloominess taking a back seat it’s time to feel the warmth of fresh air on your skin. Though you might be a homebody, like me, even taking a walk for 30 minutes or reading your book at the park can do wonders for your mood. 

Make a Bucket List for the Spring and Summer

It’s time to feel adventurous again! With the snow and cold weather gone for the time being its important to plan what your next steps will be. What do you want to do before winter comes back? Do you want to swim or take a hike? Maybe you just want to plant a couple of flowers in your garden. Regardless, it’s a good time to set goals for yourself, have something bright to look forward to!

Reconnect with Friends

Sometimes winter months can be difficult when staying in touch with friends. It’s difficult to leave the house or move from under your fleece blanket. This is the time of year to reconnect with your friends and loved ones so that you can catch up! Whether this be lunch on the patio or a walk through the park, it’s important to remind yourself of the people you love in your life!

Let the Past Stay in the Past

It might seem difficult to move on sometimes or forget past memories. However, it’s important to let yourself look forward instead of dwelling on what happened, or what could have been. Letting yourself get out of the past to focus on your future is something that is going to help clear your mind, and get ready for what lies ahead.

Let Yourself be Happy

This is perhaps the most important part of participating in a mental spring cleaning. Letting yourself look forward to the summer, and the rest of the year will allow you to put your best foot forward. It’s important to realize that even when you’re not having a good day, even the worst day of your life, putting a smile on your face and thinking good thoughts will get you through!


Though it’s not always a top priority to clean our bad thoughts out for the spring, it’s an important challenge in order to keep moving forward. Feeling refreshed after a long gloomy winter will allow the mind to keep moving and grooving forward. So breathe in the fresh air and bloom brightly!