Let it begin with me

Those who know me are aware how I feel about politics and politicians. For those who don’t know me, I am not a fan of either. I don’t like to talk about politics, politicians, lobbyists, etc. I am not perfect. I never claimed to be. As I get older I have tried to show my beliefs by how I treat other people, with dignity and respect. I don’t often speak up but I feel I should at this time.

I am a fat, white, imperfect, Catholic woman that has had very little adversity to overcome. With that being said, I need to address what is going on in our country. I am not as eloquent as some of the wonderful write ups I have seen but here it goes.

Dear People of Color,

I am sorry. I’m sorry that you and your families can’t leave your homes without fearing being judged and attacked for the color of your skin. I’m sorry that sometimes people walk to the other side of the road to avoid you due to their prejudices. I’m sorry that the color of your skin makes you a target for hatred and violence from ignorant and evil people.

I want you all to know I see you and I hear you. I see your pain. While I have not experienced your fear and pain, I can empathize.

I will continue to be kind to everyone, to speak up when I see injustice and abuse, to strive to be an example to others in how to treat people, to pray for everyone to do the same.

Please know that this white woman sees you and hears you. Please know that, when I see your children I see how precious and beautiful they are. Please know that when I see you on the street or in the store, I will always have a kind word and a smile for you (Due to the pandemic, if I’m wearing a mask, I AM smiling underneath).

I wish you all peace, love, and justice.

A whole new world.

As I sit here on the couch at the end of a day that saw me working from home AND using Telehealth services to have a doctors appointment, I think about how different thing are from just a month ago.

A month ago, I was working regular hours helping library patrons check out books and return materials. I was teaching craft and technology programs. I was laughing and chatting with library patrons and co-workers.

A month ago, I was suffering with terrible allergies, just like others. I sneezed and no one looked at me like a plague carrier. My sore throat from my head draining didn’t have me worried that I had this horrible virus that is wreaking such havoc on the world.

A month ago, I would have gone to my doctors office and sat in the waiting room not concerned that the person next to me was infected with Covid-19. Now I hop on my computer and video chat with a doctor I’ve never met before. Convenient? Yes. As thorough as a face to face appointment, not so sure. Don’t get me wrong, the doctor listened to me and I was satisfied with his conclusion and think I will be feeling better soon.

A month ago, I could sit next to my friend and chat without worrying that we would transmit a virus. Now I have to be at least 6 feet from everyone. I miss hugs and shaking hands. I miss high fives.

A month ago, Mike and I would be thinking where we could go to watch the sunset and have dinner on date night. Now we either cook at home, have food delivered, or go through a drive thru for food.

A month ago, I wouldn’t think twice about running out to Publix, Walmart, or Target. Now I have to think about gloves and a mask and whether the store will have what we need. I make sure that I thank all of the people working at the store because I have seen customers be very nasty to them. How is it the checker’s fault that there is no toilet paper? It isn’t their fault that they have no (insert what you are looking for)! Be kind always.

A month ago, many people went to work not knowing that they were considered essential during a pandemic. They went to work and did their jobs without thinking they might be called on to put their lives (and their families) on the line to make sure your cell phone worked, the shelves were stocked at the store (as much as they can), or provide you with entertainment (books, movies, liquor). Now most are working crazy hours, dealing with angry people, and still getting paid exactly the same as they were doing their regular jobs. There are some lucky ones who are getting a little more per hour, but there are just as many killing themselves for the same pay. Make sure you say thank you. Make sure you remember them when this is all over.

A month ago, doctors and nurses, first responders, healthcare workers were taking care of all of us without the thinking they might catch something from us and die. They have not stopped taking care of us now that this horrible virus is threatening them. They are doing this, in many cases, without protective gear. The fact that a nurse doesn’t have the correct mask to protect herself while caring for the sickest Covid-19 patients is so shameful. I hope the people in charge of purchasing for all the hospitals and medical offices can get some protection for their staff.

A month ago, students and teachers were looking forward to the end of the school year. There were graduation parties being planned and end of year teacher gifts being made. Now teachers are reworking their lessons so they can teach online. Parents are scrambling to make sure someone is home all day to take care of the children and help with the home schooling.

I know there is more that is changed in this whole new world but these are the ones that strike me today. I know we will all come through this completely changed. I hope it is for the better. I pray we don’t forget the lessons learned during this time and fall back into our hateful, hurtful ways.

World death toll from Covid-19 as of right now is 88,433.

Covid-19 stats can be found https://ncov2019.live/data.

The great and the wonderful

Wow! What a crazy week!

The library where I work was open as usual on Monday. On Tuesday 3/17 we closed to the public. Staff remained working. We have been checking in returned materials, sanitizing them, and shelving them. We have also been answering phone calls. Most of the calls have been “Are you open?” I am surprised that I haven’t taken any calls asking for information on Covid-19. We are prepared with websites and phone numbers about the illness as well as information on where patrons can go to make photocopies, send faxes, etc. We have begun the enormous task of wiping down all shelving, surfaces, and materials with sanitizer in preparation for the day we can reopen to the public.

On Friday 3/20 we started doing curbside pick-up of reserved materials. We have been calling patrons and letting them know how they can come pick up the materials. The system has gone pretty well and we are still tweaking it. Patron reaction has been amazing.

There have been so many announcements of free online activities, tours, concerts and more. I am going to try to start listing them here. I will also include some links that cost money that I think are worth it. I do NOT get any benefits from referring you there. I just enjoy them and want to share them. I will update the list on a weekly basis. If something really good has been announced, I will try to post it immediately. If you hear of any additional educational, entertaining, or just uplifting websites, please share them in the comments. Anything negative or snarky will not be tolerated.

Field trips

Discovery Education Virtual Field Trips – there are some great trips on here

We Are Teachers 25 Amazing Virtual Field Trips for When You Can’t Be There in Person – by teachers for teachers

The Smithsonian – I’ve never made it to the Smithsonian, so I plan on doing this one myself

Activities and Crafts

Easy Peasy and Fun Crafts and Activities – this site has some free activities as well as a subscription. There are some really cute and fun things on here.

Entertainment

Garth Brooks – Garth will be giving a Facebook Live concert on Monday 3/23 at 7pm Eastern. Go follow him on Facebook and make a song request.

Neil Gaiman – Neil Gaiman’s website has free short stories and other fun stuff. Go to www.neilgaiman.com/Cool_Stuff

Digital Ren Faire – join the Lords and Ladies of the Court for a virtual Renaissance Faire.

Fitness

YMCA 360 – always free for members but they are currently free of charge to the general public.

Stay tuned for more as I find them.

FLATTEN THE CURVE!!! Wash your hands — for 20 seconds. Avoid touching your face. Practice social distancing. Call your doctor if you have fever, cough or shortness of breath.

My observations during the Covid-19 pandemic (so far)

Some things I’ve observed as we adjust to our new pandemic reality:

THE BAD

  • Toilet paper apparently cures Covid-19 – NOT!!!  The fact that people were fighting over toilet paper in stores makes me sick.  Remember how we all came together after 9/11?  Shouldn’t we be sharing and helping each other? My heart breaks knowing that children are seeing this type of behavior. It’s bad enough we see it on Black Friday (or Shameful Thursday – when people go shopping after their Thanksgiving feast causing many to have to WORK on Thanksgiving).
  • If we are going to self distance ourselves and follow the direction of the CDC, why do you need ALL of the hand sanitizer???  When you are stuck with hundreds of bottles of hand sanitizer and no food, what are you going to do?  Trade hand sanitizer for food?  Selfish.
  • Why do we all of a sudden need hand washing instructions?  What were you doing before Covid-19??? (Ew…I don’t want to know). Want go improve your hand washing and have fun doing it? Create your own 20 second hand washing song at www.washyourlyrics.com.
  • The store being out of toilet paper and ramen noodles is not the fault of the 17-year-old or 77-year-old cashier or bagger at your local grocery store.  Be kind to them for they have to hear the same demands and questions all day long.
  • While we are at it, why don’t we be kind to EVERYONE?!?!?!  Is it really that difficult?  
  • I’m tired of hearing people say things like “I’m not at risk so I’m going out” or “They just want to control us with fear”.  Guess what…just because YOU aren’t at risk doesn’t mean you can’t be a CARRIER and contaminate someone who then goes home to a parent, spouse, or child fighting cancer or asthma. Boom. You just killed someone with your selfishness.
  • People are actually STEALING MASKS AND HAND SANITIZER from hospitals, doctors offices, and public places (at least one library that I know of) that offer it to their patrons to keep them safe.  I’m floored by this.  The masks are needed by healthcare professionals that are taking care of the sick and putting themselves at risk to do so.  How much of an ass do you have be to do that???

THE GOOD

  • Internet companies have been stepping up and offering free internet service to those who can’t afford it so they can home school.
  • Online learning companies have been offering their services for free to help children keep learning during school closings.
  • Can’t go to the movies, the mall, the bars. Can’t watch sports because almost all of them are cancelled.  Guess what you can do:
    • Learn a new language (check your local library. They may have Rosetta Stone or Pronunciator for you to learn for FREE.)
    • Learn to play the guitar/piano/harmonica (check YouTube!)
    • Read a book – physical book or electronic. It doesn’t matter.
    • Write a book
    • Learn to crochet or knit (YouTube it or check out http://www.creativebug.com)
    • Write a letter and send it snail mail (You can even order stamps online to be delivered to your home or print your own label at http://www.usps.com)
    • Clean out your closets and prepare a donation box (thrift shops, goodwill, Salvation Army). They may even pick it up!
    • Check on your neighbors
  • Share a virtual trip or craft project by going online to:

    Monterey Bay Aquarium – https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams

    McHarper Manor – https://www.mcharpermanor.com/blog

    Lunch Doodle with Mo Willems – https://tinyurl.com/wfkarpt

Metropolitan Opera – metopera.org

You can also google virtual museum tours, video story time, and many more cool things to keep your kids or yourself from going stir crazy.

Finally – some handy rules:

If you are sick – stay home.

Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds.

If you are told to self isolate/quarantine – do it!!!

Cough and sneeze into your elbow.

Be kind.

And because it is so important – STAY HOME!!!!!

Crafty weekend

I finally had some time to work in my craft room. I chose a Cricut craft that would take some time – engraving. While I waited the two hours for this engraving to complete, I worked on getting my craft supplies more organized. I also made some earrings. I had fun!

This is part of a sign I made with three bicycles and the phrase “I want to ride my bicycle” on it. Still trying to get a good picture of the whole sign.
Engraving on a cookie spatula
Earrings made with faux leather and faux suede
Detail on one of the earrings

Review – In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

Dannie has a 5 year plan. In 5 years she will be a partner in her law firm and married to her fiancé. When she has a dream vision about her future, it is quite different from her 5 year plan.

Will Dannie marry her fiance? Or will the dream come true? To find out you will have to read the book. You will meet family, friends, and coworkers from Dannie’s life and see what actually happens In Five Years.

I really enjoyed the book. It touched on all the feels. The book releases on March 10, 2020, so keep an eye out at your local library, independent bookstore, or preorder at Amazon.

Thanks for reading.

Public Service Announcement!!! YOU ARE GOING THE WRONG WAY

Tourist/snowbird season is in full swing. I can tell, due to the number of times I’ve almost died because of the lack of parking lot etiquette. I borrowed this info and photo from: https://www.wikihow.com/Use-Parking-Lot-Etiquette

PAY ATTENTION

If there is an arrow on the driveway, only drive in the direction the arrow shows. You can also tell which way to drive in a parking lot by looking at the configuration of the parking space lines.

Please, for the love of puppies, we need a REAL public service announcement or a pamphlet handed out as snowbirds and tourists enter Florida. PLEASE?!?!?!?!

Thanks for reading!

Happy New (YOU – ATTITUDE) Year!!!!!!!

So 2019 is now a thing of the past. The fireworks are over. The resolutions have been made (or not)! On New Years Day I like to think of a list of words that represent the previous year and my chosen replacement word for 2020. Are you ready for that list?

Move over 2019

Resilience – Normally my first word each year is CHANGE but that one has been over used. I chose resilience for 2019 because was a year of change that I had no control over. I’ve handled all those changes (mostly good changes but some were tough) with resilience. The challenging changes made me a stronger person. The positive changes have made me a kinder, more patient person. For 2020 I will take this resilience and help others to find their own STRENGTH.

RESILIENCE

Divided – I am NOT a big politics fan. I will NOT talk about politics. What I will say is that ALL of our politicians are doing us, and the world a disservice by fighting and not working together. I don’t care which side of the aisle they are on, all of them need to grow up and do their jobs. That’s all! For 2020, I will work hard to be an example to my fellow humans and treat everyone with KINDNESS.

I wish they would GROW UP!

Hate – I was going to use the word anger but there was so much hate this year that I had to use hate, mostly due to the word above. I’ve heard so many people (liberals, conservatives, activists, regular folks, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, socialists, radicals – you get my point —EVERYONE!) say the word HATE this year that it made me sick. It’s hard to not fall into the same trap – and I have. For 2020 I plan to be more LOVING to all.

Haters gonna hate!

Humor – I needed to use my sense of humor a lot in 2019. It was part of my resilience! As long as it isn’t cruel humor, I find that humor gets me through a rough day, week, month, and yes — year. For 2020, I will continue to use HUMOR to make myself and others smile.

The best medicine!

And so…I am ready for 2020!

I wish you a KINDER, LOVING, HUMOROUS 2020 and the STRENGTH to overcome any obstacles that come your way.

Please feel free to share your goals for 2020.

Notes from Christmas Eve day and beyond…

Merry Christmas to all! I hope Christmas morning finds you healthy, happy, and surrounded by those you love.

I went to Christmas Eve Mass at St. Maximillian Kolbe last night and it was wonderful. The place was packed to the rafters! There was even an overflow Mass occurring in the next door parish center!

Since Mike was at work (see note below), I was alone. I found a seat and shortly after a couple came and asked if the seats next to me were saved. Before I had a chance to think about it, I said “Yes, for you. Today you are my family!” The couple sat next to me and thanked me. Next thing I knew they were quietly chatting and fiddling with their watches. The wife looked over and asked “Is that and Apple Watch? Do you know how to silence it?” So we went into a short lesson on how to use the Apple Watch. (This was about 20 minutes before Mass started). We then talked about our families, how all of mine, except my husband, were far away up North. Their children were driving down from Michigan that night and would be there in time for Christmas morning. Without even know each other’s names, we had both helped each other. They made me feel like part of their family and I helped them with their Apple Watches, which they had just bought for each other for Christmas.

Mass started and some of the children staged a live Nativity. They were adorable. From the golden shining star to the lowly donkey, the kids in costume put on a beautiful Nativity scene. Afterwards, Father Teo had all of the children take a bow. His sermon was about being kind and finding ways to make a difference in the lives of others. How you never know when you will be able to help another person. The couple with the Apple Watches both raised their wrists and nodded at me. WOW! At the end of Mass, I thanked them for allowing me to be a part of their family, even if it was just for an hour. They thanked me for being there and helping them learn about their Apple Watches. (To my fellow library employees, I did tell them to check with their local library to see if they have any technology help.)

After Mass, Mike and I had a nice dinner and went to bed early so Santa would have plenty of time to do his thing and move on. Of course we were both…

So we woke up at 7am and took care of the pets. While the coffee was brewing and the Marion berry sweet rolls (Thanks Mom and Dad, they were delicious. Check them out here https://www.wolfermans.com/w/pastries-baked-goods/sweet-rolls/51635) were heating, the pets received their Christmas goodies. Mike and I exchanged our gifts (thank you Mike….I love you always).

Now we are watching Christmas movies and snuggling with each other and the pets. All-in-all it has been a wonderful Christmas, so far.

I hope all of you are having the most wonderful day ever. I hope your blessings are abundant. Merry Christmas to all….

Note: Please be patient and kind to people who have to work on Christmas (or any other holiday). They are already stressed and you can help make their already crazy day a little less stressful by being kind. Thank you.