* Day 20

It’s been 20 days but feels like a lifetime of H3N2.  My doctor said I am still contagious so don’t lean too close to read this.  Now I’m on antibiotics for a rough ear and sinus infection.  Secondary infections, courtesy of this Mutating Monster.  I know this is TMI, but how does an ear produce so much gunk?  Fortunately, I still have a tube in there.

A dear one sent me this and made my week.  My biggest heartache is that my precious student and his parents are struggling mightily.  We text throughout the day, survivors’ lifelines.

Get well soon

Another lifeline from Jesus:  Abba, Father, everything is possible for you.  Take this cup from me (and my student and his family).  Yet not my will but yours be done.  

* Day 15

Today is Day 15 with H3N2, a mutating monster of a virus.  One step forward, two steps back.  I am sharing daily progress, woes, and prayers, with a dear student and his family.  The kiddo is on Day 18 and his parents are just behind.  This is a killer of a virus.  The mortality rate for my age group is hardest hit (see that red line?) but my medically fragile student, at age 11, has suffered enormously and his situation is far more precarious than mine.

CDC flu

We spent some agonizing time in the ER, but my dearest flu widower always has clever jokes to make us laugh (and then we cough like crazy).  And what a joy to love and care for one another in times like these.  My student’s parents are the bravest, kindest, most determined people I have ever met.  They are fighting minute by minute to keep their son alive.  Sleep deprived, flu-ridden, heart broken, and clinging to faith, they are simply amazing.  I do not know how they have survived these weeks.  I am barely crawling along and I don’t have to take care of my sweet student throughout the day and night.

ER 2

I know the Lord is holding us in his hands, whatever the outcome.  Better times await.  

* “The Great Shelby Holmes”

ShelbyBookPage

The Great Shelby Holmes,” by Elizabeth Eulberg, is a terrific mystery for upper elementary and middle school students.  It’s a semi-spoof of Sherlock Holmes, but the characters and plot are definitely a stand alone.  Set in Harlem, John Watson and his mom (former army doctor in Afghanistan) are starting a new civilian life.  John’s parents have just divorced, he’s living off-post for the first time, and their arrival at their new apartment is met with a BANG!  Shelby Holmes, a 9-year-old prodigy going into 6th grade, has conducted a “harmless” experiment in her apartment at 221B Baker Street.  And it gets more complicated from there!

John is a budding writer who will be attending an arts-focused charter school.  Until he met Shelby, his journal had been bare for the past few months.  The changes in his life have been painful, he hadn’t made any friends, and school will start in a few weeks.  He is amazed at Shelby’s deductive abilities (so was I!) and ends up entangled in the mystery of a missing dog.  Their adventure reignites John’s interest in writing as he chronicles the amazing ups and downs of this complex mystery set in New York City.

John and Shelby could not be more different.  He is a social kid, eager to make new friends, and Shelby is an odd individual who appears to disdain social norms.  This mystery, with its hilarious events, uncertain relationships, and tender moments, is a life-changing experience for both Shelby and Watson (a moniker used by Shelby since he’ll be the third John in their class).  John must come to grips with his parents’ divorce, caustic remarks by Shelby, and the conflict surrounding this unusual mystery.  Shelby is also forced to confront her asocial behavior and perhaps admit that she actually needs John’s help.

One aspect I especially enjoyed about this book is its racial perspective.  Readers with the “white privilege” perspective may be surprised that John is black.  And just as I often hear white folks describe that “black doctor” or that “black kid,” John does refer to “white kids” but makes no special reference to black folks.  It would be perfect if none of us felt the need to make those distinctions, but it’s refreshing to see the world through nonwhite eyes.  More on that in the next book in this series, “The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match.

I highly recommend this entertaining and thoughtful book.  It will keep you guessing- and laughing- throughout!

* Color Your World catch-up 3

Color Your World: Purple Mountains’ Majesty, Blush, Sea Green, Cerulean, Green Yellow, Vivid Tangerine

Whew!  Caught up through the end of February.  Don’t miss out on this digital delight: Search the photograph for the colors!  You could be a winner!*

heart

*Winners may not be notified.  Most likely not.*

* Color Your World catch-up 2

Color Your World: Jazzberry Jam, Forest Green, Pacific Blue, Yellow, Outrageous Orange, Red Violet

Another cool puzzle to solve!  Can you match the colors to the correct picture?  Big prizes for winners!*

 

Pete

red violet 4

Pacific blue 3

outrageous something

Jenn's socks 2

* Prizes are subject to availability, which is nil.*

 

* Color Your World catch-up 1

Color Your World: Fern, Blue Green, Goldenrod, Melon, Orchid, Royal Purple

Yeah, I am behind on this blogging challenge but now you get to search out those colors in these photos!  A terrific FREE online puzzle.  Win a prize!  Amaze your friends!

multiple colors 4multiple colors 2multiple colors

* Murder dinner party!

I can cross “host a murder dinner party” off my bucket list!  And what a fantastic event it was!  We were celebrating our daughter-in-law’s birthday; she invited a riotous group of clever-witted, hilarious suspects.  My dearest teaching widower and I never stopped laughing!  As the planner, I played Bonnie Lass, an aspiring writer but not a suspect.  The guests, dressed to kill, were outrageously clever.

We used “A Taste for Wine,” a murder mystery game set in Napa Valley, California.  I highly recommend dinner and murder!

 

stage is set.JPG

* Read to Teddy

Color Your World: Piggy Pink

Having students read to piggies or teddies or Pikachu can be a valuable way to provide an audience for hesitant readers.  Make sure they whisper read, so just their own critter can hear (and the room is not full of booming voices).  Many struggling readers find this a powerful way to read books at their level without a sense of shame (“I should be reading chapter books!”).  It also starts a habit which they can use at home, if no adults or sibs are available or willing.  Hearing themselves read out loud is a confidence booster, perhaps jump-starting opportunities to read to younger kids.  For some of my groups, I had their books placed inside folders so only their special listener knew what book was being read.  This helped ease them through those early days of reading well below grade level.  Some kids need that boost, others don’t.

I noticed that for many of my kids on the autism spectrum, this activity provided a chilling out experience.  They usually read silently, clutching a dinosaur or Pokemon character.  After the stress of the larger classroom, these kids needed comfort in a socially acceptable form.  Before bean bags were banned due to fire regulations, they could also get a lot of form-fitting sensory input while reading to Kirby.

Personally, I read to Teddy.  Piggy pink.

IMG_1386 (1).JPG

 

* Just sayin’

I have been working my patooties off, in case you’re wondering where Teachezwell has been.  What a great time, though!

valentine

My sweetest teaching widower gave me such a precious Valentine card today, despite being traditionally averse to a holiday created to sell cards!  And he was nearly showing off his patooties!  He had an x-ray of his knee and while talking to the radiologist in the hallway, realized his special x-ray pants had fallen to the floor!

I’m taking three online classes simultaneously and loving them, even as I lag two weeks behind the group.  I mostly only panic in the early hours of the morning.

Today was special because a certain kiddo I teach had a PLAYDATE!  His first ever! Eleven years old, confined to an ICU-type environment.  A dear friend introduced us to a dear family and he has friends!  He laughed and played for hours.

laughing

Do I care that I am also YEARS behind with Facebook?  Would this notification entice you or scare your patooties off?

FB

I am too happy to worry about FB.  They cannot scare me OR my patooties.