* Weekend coffee share for tea drinkers

Hola! Hello! I have not felt like blogging much lately, as you may have noticed. Sometimes I feel so excited about blogging and at other times, I shrug it off like a wet coat. I’m in a tea-drinking-chocolate-eating mode right now, so I’m joining the weekend coffee share hosted by Eclectic Alli. She’s in the field of library science, which looked to be a dinosaur at one point. But it’s reemerging through technology and that kind of degree can now open more than library doors.

The point of this blog is to share what’s been going on in my life, so here’s a glance.

I was looking worse than this in many ways, but fortunately, hair salons opened Friday at 5! I was first in line.

The honeysuckle and privet hedges around here have been blossoming, their fragrances assuring me I don’t have the virus. Sadly, spring has started drowning in early summer heat and humidity. Speaking of drowning, I’d love to go swimming instead of walking, even with a hole in my head ear, but who knows when indoor pools will reopen? I do know that my knees can’t take much more walking.

On the topic of “can’t take much more,” how will students and families and school districts solve the conundrum of back-to-school in the fall? From an equity standpoint, we already poorly navigate educational waters with students of color and families in poverty. How much more have we curtailed their prospects now that learning is remote? What good is a Chromebook if there is no connectivity? That begs the question of how well students work in small quarters with larger families whose parents are unemployed or working long hours out of the home.

In my neighborhood, we had teddy bears in windows so that kids on walks with their parents could wave. Just saying.

My dearest teaching widower has a week of radiation under his belt. He’s still as sweet as ever. My great nephew is continuously looking for ways to help around the house. They watch tear-jerker movies together and I join them to watch action flicks. They drink coffee and I drink Tetley’s English blend. We all eat chocolate.

Thanks for joining me!

* Weekend Chocolate Share

I’m joining Eclectic Alli’s Weekend Coffee Share, despite the cup of tea in my hand and bits of Cadbury milk chocolate on my shirt. SHH! It’s been a week of increased prayer, chocolate, and bible reading.

My dearest teaching widower has recovered quickly from surgery and starts radiation treatment soon. He’s such a sweetheart! [I just remembered that our anniversary is next month! Wow! I will get an extra point for that. We hardly ever celebrate it, but whoever remembers it first gets a point. I’m racking it up this year.]

Speaking of sweet men, our 18-year-old great nephew (GN) has now been living with us for a month. What a challenge for him! He’s already learned that folks in their seventies are hard of hearing and addicted to chocolate. GN’s partial to sour gummy worms but I do share my chocolate stash. I think that’s true love.

I’m so happy! Having GN here has reminded me of the peace in our lives, the joy of sharing movies, and the immense privilege of being saved. Thank you, Jesus!

What about you?

* Picture this!

Cee has posted terrific photos on the hunt for joy challenge: start a garden. Don’t miss her amazing collection of flowers and plants (indoors and out). I recently downloaded the Picture This app for identifying the delightful flowers I’ve enjoyed on my walks through the neighborhood.

I’ve taken scads of photos on my wanderings, secretively discretely snapping photos of folk’s yards and stopping to capture images of gorgeous wild flowers on the trails. So many outdoor gardens, so little time.

If you’re curious about plants, looking for something to do, or have kids who enjoy scavenger hunts/collections, this app is a handy dandy tool!

* Recovery

My dearest teaching widower (DTW) has come out of surgery and is in recovery. This is just the start of our new adventure with cancer. We have many dear ones praying for us!!

This hospital is SO empty! They have us in the ICU area which makes me especially glad we’re not in NYC. The closest tv is all about the virus and I’m sitting with a bunch of other masked women waiting for their DTW’s. Women are hardy stock, right?

I’m grateful that I’ve been asked many times how we’re doing. In fact, that was the first thing I asked my DTW after the diagnosis. He said, “It is what it is. God has always been faithful to us and always will be.”

Our Father never changes. He’s been with us in all our adventures. He hears every cry, sees every tear, and holds us close at every moment. This is no different.

* Gone phishing

With folks under stay-at-home orders, here’s been a huge increase worldwide in online activity and shopping. Parents are trying out online grocery shopping for the first time- and they like it! Kids are trying out remote learning- meh for some!

It’s not a cliche: Many students have long outdistanced their parents and teachers in the Tech Savvy department. Regardless of skills, though, more internet use does mean more opportunities for bad actors. Here are a few potential scenarios. Netflix informs you that your account has been hacked. Instagram contacts your teen to confirm account activity. Your bank alerts you to suspicious withdrawals. Do you know if these are legit? How good are you or your kids at avoiding phishing scams?

If you aren’t confident at identifying malicious activity or if you simply want to challenge your youngster to an online duel, Google has the quiz for you!

Click here to test your skills!

* What if….

What if I had not already lived through JFK and MLK and 9/11? Would I understand how this pandemic will likely change language and cultures?

What if I became immune to numbers like 30,000 and 2,000,000? Or what if I became immune to COVID-19?

What if I was trying to explain this pandemic to a kiddo with moderate AU? How could I do that without causing him to feel like he’d topple off the earth? What about all those kids who already struggle with anxiety? And what about their parents who are desperately trying to be family and school?

What if I did not already belong to Jesus? Would I turn towards him or pretend that I’m God?

What if I wanted to cut my hair? Or buy toilet paper?

What if the people who are suffering the most are not reading blogs? What if they have no internet or devices or running water or doctors? Or what if they live in a country where individual rights mean nothing? Where you disappear if you say anything negative about the president?

This photo was posted on Nextdoor. Sweet and talented!

* Bucket Man

I can hear the ‘Rocket Man’ tune rippling through my head. In an unparalleled time, this guy stood out.

I was in a row of cars outside a pharmacy, waiting for my prescription to be handed through the window. I looked up and saw a guy carrying a bucket, only it looked like he had no head! Yikes! This man had cut a square-shaped opening, covered it with plastic, and balanced the whole deal around his head.

If I had a mask, I would have gladly given it to him. On the other hand, he’s faring better than me, since I can’t even keep a scarf wrapped around my face!

One of my favorite tools, perfect for distance learning. — The road to learning

One of my favorite tools for a long time is Classkick. This is a tool that will work with any device! It works in a web browser or has an app. And it is one of the wonderful Ed-tech tools that is providing their premium features for free right now in this time of school […]

One of my favorite tools, perfect for distance learning. — The road to learning

* COVID-19 faith (#4)

I’m SO grateful that Jesus picked me up as I crashed on the dead end road of my life in 1988. I was shattered and not looking for him, that’s for sure. In fact, I mocked people who loved him. As we face the unknowns of the coronavirus and economy, I am grateful that God hunted me down, hounded me.

My DTW has developed a serious health issue and will need surgery in a couple of weeks, and we are still trusting God and his faithfulness to us. We know we’re not here permanently and we eagerly await seeing Jesus face-to-face. Sometimes I ask him to beam me up, but I know I cannot lengthen or shorten my life. Every day has been written by him.

So what are we doing? Praying and trusting God. Plus, my dearest teaching widower and I have been binge-watching Containment, a 2016 series we’d never heard of. The show is about a deadly engineered virus; we’re only halfway through so I can’t spoil anything. It only has one season, so we might be in the minority of folks watching. They use the expression, “social distance,” which I thought was unique to 2020. Not many people in 2016 knew so much about the structure of coronaviruses, what PPE stands for, and what N95 has to do with masks. Oh yeah, I never knew that toilet paper would be such a commodity.

Stay safe!