* 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!

* COVID-19 hunkering (#3)

What a difference a week makes! This is Day 6 of the president’s 15 stay-at-home protocol. I’ve been walking through neighborhoods, moving aside as many families hike the trails near our house.

The majority of folks are careful about keeping their distance, but I was unhappy to see a very small playground full of about 20 kiddos and parents. Yes, it was nice to hear laughter but even if those folks have no symptoms, they can be shedding the virus. Since most folks are fine if they contract this coronavirus, I’m not so much worried about them as I am the increasing spread of this virus.

Many folks are supporting our community of workers and small businesses who are greatly affected by the shut-downs and restrictions. One local business that has brought thousands of laughs and songs to our community is Balloons And Tunes. When we first moved to North Carolina, I was delighted when they showed up to celebrate special occasions. I’ve used them multiple times for math manipulatives, such as collections of miniature pigs and globes. Since no one is celebrating widely right now, a member of one neighborhood purchased balloons for EVERY house! What a delight to walk through a neighborhood festooned with balloons!

Stay safe!

* COVID-19 remote learning (#2)

I recently attended a fantastic webinar on remote learning, presented by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (this link goes to their COVID-19 page). It was the first in a series to support teachers in providing the BEST online learning we can. One of the terrific presenters was Joanna Schimizzi (@Mrs._Schimizzi), a teacher in North Carolina’s public virtual schools!

I’ve found helpful reviews of online teaching resources at Common Sense.org, including Kaizena, an add-on to Google docs which allows teachers to include videos, recorded comments, and other cool features. Of course, Google Hangouts is a free, easy-to-use app for connecting, especially in small groups. Zoom is a terrific video and online classroom resource, with abundant support available for those new to remote learning.

In the midst of current fears and uncertainty about the coronavirus, we did have a fun time a couple of weeks ago with our movie small group. One friend had a mask purchased during the H1N1 scare. We can’t meet right now but look forward to more fun times ahead!

Stay safe!

* Covid-19 (#1)

Boy, was I missing the ‘real world.’ About a week ago, I went to the store to get some copy paper. While there, I remembered that we are low on dish washing liquid. I really need to start making shopping lists.

This is what I saw. And photographed. Many folks are using a LOT of dish washing liquid!

I was (almost) speechless, so I looked at other nearby aisles.

No toilet paper or paper towels.
And no bleach?

Did something happen while I was away? Yes, I knew all about the coronavirus. (I just added that word to my online dictionary.) But seriously? I stood there, taking these photos and chatting with other customers who had been looking for TP.

I am not downplaying the impact of Covid-19 on people like me and my husband (old folks with health issues). But let’s not panic here. In fact, let’s treat all germs as relatively equal if you have a compromised immune system. I have already caught a couple of plain-Jane viruses circulating in the schools. Being sneezed and coughed on is no joking matter and I’m thinking of chastising the people who cough into their hands. I’m not able to see my medically fragile kiddo because I’m sick with a non-coronavirus. And as much as I want to see him, I’m not going to pass this one along.