Danell teNyenhuis Black

I’m always surprised when people think I’m a dude.

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What’s your name? | Credit: JoyImage | iStock (under license)

A few days ago, I picked up an order I had placed at Jersey Mike’s. I love using apps for transactions like this, especially during Covid. And, I have ordered from this particular shop several times before without incident.

I pulled into a parking space and left my phone in the charger since I expected it to be a quick stop. I could see that the shop had three take-out orders ready to be picked up. I told the cashier I was there to pick up an online order.

The cashier asked for my name, and I told her Danell…


Can we have respectful conversations when our views are so far apart?

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Friends talking together | Credit: Rawpixel | iStockphoto (under license)

A few weeks ago, my husband Bruce and I had a Zoom chat with a devoted Trump supporter. Despite our vastly different political beliefs, we had a good talk. I believe conversations like that are important and can be powerful tools for real change.

Here’s how we ended up on that call.

My life and beliefs have drastically changed since I lost my husband, Patrick, in April 2016. As a lifelong Republican, I voted along party lines in the 2016 presidential election. Around the same time, I went back to school to earn my master's in Professional Clinical Counseling. …


Manny Otiko interviewed me!

I complimented Manny Otiko in this story. To my delight, he reached out to me, gave me some writing pointers, and asked to interview me about…


I just wanted her to be okay. She had bigger plans.

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Sierra graduating from CSULB | Credit: Danell teNyenhuis Black (author)

On April 20, 2016, life changed forever for my daughters and me. I went to bed as a happily married mother of two and woke up as a widow, even though I didn’t know it at the time.

Patrick was hit and killed while on an early morning bike ride. My girls are the only reason I was able to keep moving forward. As hard as it was for me, I couldn’t imagine how it felt to lose your father at 17 or 19.

The Child Bereavement Estimation Model (CBEM) states that approximately 1 in 14 children under 18 will…


Who is keeping the scammers in business?

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Two girls receiving good news | Credit: Deagreez | iStock (under license)

I have won multiple MacBook Pros, iPad Airs, and iPhone 12’s in the past month. I don’t have an exact count because I immediately deleted the texts. I didn’t click for more details, and I didn’t provide any information.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my Apple gadgets, and I would never decline a free one. But I believe the adage that nothing in life is free except for prizes at a baby or bridal shower. Those are definitely free, and I am a fierce competitor when it comes to shower games!

Seriously though, I can’t believe that anyone believes…


Use your Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone.

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Man wearing mask holding iPhone | Credit: Khosrork | iStock (under license)

One of the hardest things about wearing a mask has been the difficulty of unlocking my iPhone. Admittedly this is a minor inconvenience since I rarely leave the house. I believe it is essential to wear a mask to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

I joined the Apple Beta Software Program last summer. The program allows you to be among the first to try software updates before being released to the general public.

Although the beta updates have had minor glitches, I love the opportunity to try new features. I had the app library months before most of my friends…


Joining Medium has opened doors that I didn’t even know existed.

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The path of prosperity | Credit: supatom | iStock (under license)

I’m not going to lie. I began writing on Medium with the hope of making money. I know I am not alone in this desire. So far, I have not made it into the 5% who earn $100 or more per month, and that’s okay.

The benefits I’ve received have far exceeded any monetary gain. And, I’m sure there are benefits I have yet to realize.

I was fortunate to discover the publication ILLUMINATION soon after I signed up for Medium. Dr Mehmet Yildiz created ILLUMINATION to support writers and create a place where all are welcome, and anyone can…


A pile of clothes does not belong in an orchard.

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Almond orchard | Credit: AlessandraRC | iStock (under license)

My eyes barely registered the pile of clothes in the second row of the orchard. I noticed them because they didn’t belong, but I was more focused on my siblings.

When I was six years old, I experienced grief for the first time when my grandma, Janell Hatch, died. I remember going to the funeral and seeing her in the casket. She didn’t look the same, but her make-up had been applied with care, and her hair looked perfect, so she was easily identifiable.

I also remember the flowers. Grandma was well-loved, and many people had sent arrangements. Scents, music…


If you are hesitant to take the vaccines you might not realize they’ve been researched for decades.

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Doctor showing COVID-19 vaccine | Credit: sittithat tangwitthayaphum | iStock (under license)

“This is the genius of vaccines. We’re not that good at making drugs against viruses. But you know what’s really good at fighting them? Our immune system. If you can just show it the right piece of the virus, it often figures out how to fight it off. It’s like the answer we all have inside us.” David Kestenbaum in This American Life

Although COVID-19 has not been the top story in the last week, the numbers continue to worsen. The Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna vaccines' recent approval is the most hopeful information we’ve had since the start of the pandemic…


Hint: The solution does not involve Post-It notes

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Password Management | Credit: Designer 491 | IStock (under license)

I used to have passwords written down on pieces of paper. I confess that there was probably a time I wrote them on post-it notes on my computer. I had to stop that habit since I worked for a large company that took security seriously.

Over the years, I developed tricks that helped me deal with all of the passwords I need in my life. I've come to realize that there are people who still struggle with this daily.

I’m not going to mention any names, but I dedicate this article to the people in my life who are password-challenged…

Danell teNyenhuis Black

Widow, Mother, Wife, Associate Professional Clinical Counselor. Recovering Republican trying to find my way. https://www.danellt9.com/

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