Tuesday, June 2, 2020

My Thoughts As The World Burns

Ok so it's  6:30 AM so bear with me as I work this out. Ok so who has seen Frozen 2... everyone? Ok good. Ok so at the end Elsa is presumed dead, Olaf is dead, Anna is all alone and she learns a sick and twisted truth. Her beloved people betrayed and hurt a different group of people, just because they were different and "different is dangerous". So she has a choice to make she can go home, marry Kristoff, forget about the people of the forest and rule Arendelle or she can "do the next right thing". She even sings a song about it. The last line of which is this "When it's clear that everything will never be the same again
Then I'll make the choice to hear that voice
And do the next right thing". So Anna chooses to destroy a huge dam and possibly destroy Arendelle to make things right with the people they wronged. In that moment she is not at home saying "All Lives Matter" or " What about Arendelle lives?" No she has giants bust down that damn and she makes things right. She heals a 3 generational wound between the kingdom and a minority group they had disenfranchised. I must have heard that song 20 times yesterday and it finally clicked.  "When it's clear that everything will never be the same again Then I'll make the choice to hear that voiceAnd do the next right thing".
You need to understand, saying All Lives Matter is not the next right thing. Being a party to fear, ignorance and bigotry is not the next right thing. To make this right we have to change everything. We have to break the dam and risk our world to bring peace. Anna did.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day 2020

Today I woke up to rain. For late May this is not an odd occurrence, in fact the last 5 or 6 Memorial Days were rainy, but the weather had not called for rain and the last week has been bright sun, clear skies and temperatures  in the 70s and 80s. So my first thought on waking up to pouring rain was, "The Earth is crying". So far we are about 5 months into 2020,somehow already almost halfway and so far almost the entire year has been a constant barrage of fear, death, pain, sorrow, loss, and sickness. 
This week a lot of things opened back up. A lot of restrictions were lifted. A lot of people jumped at that and stopped being safe. I don't  understand the human or more accurately American ability to rationalize bad things away. A wolf ready to pounce doesn't  go away because you say it is gone and stand in the opposite direction. No it jumps you from behind and tears  your body limb from limb. This disease has been a wolf at our door all year.
Today is Memorial  Day. A day we honor those lost in war. Those who don't  come home. Well this has been the biggest war we ever fought and the death count for the world is just under 350,000 and for the US it's nearly 100,000 which is almost 1/3 of all deaths in the world due to this virus.
So this year yes I will remember  my grandfather and Rob's grandfather and all the other veterans who did not come home or who came home but are gone now. I will honor their sacrifice. But I implore you to honor another kind of warrior this year, those who fought this disease and lost. Those warriors who never came home. Who died in hospitals away from loved ones choking as their lungs filled with fluid. Those who could not say goodbye, or did so via a computer screen. Those who when they died could not be buried or mourned properly, no funeral or remembrance  could be had until the quarantine could be lifted.
Think about them when you take off your masks, gather together, and risk infecting your loved ones. Think about them when you are grilling and laughing. Isn't  that what Memorial Day is really all about? Thanking those who died while we grill hotdogs and forget? Life is for living...but stupid is as stupid does....
Today I mourn, and keep my distance. I hate it as much as anyone, my mental health suffers  daily but I am terrified of myself or someone I love of being the next victim of this terrifying and invisible war.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Returning to a New Normal

Well here we are day 64 for my husband, day 56 for my children and day 49 for me. Tomorrow will be 50 days for me and my last day as well. Monday I return to work. As an Early Childcare Teacher I was essential from day one. However as numbers dropped quickly we found ourselves furloughed. Now as things in our area are starting to open back up, and our numbers are going back up a bit we are headed back to reopen our classrooms which have sat vacant since early March.
To say I am not nervous would be wrong, to say I am not happy would also be wrong. I am overjoyed to be returning to any sort of normalcy and order but also terrified that I am putting myself and my family at risk. In the 49 days I have been quarantined my family has left our house (not counting picking up the weekly food drop offs from the school) a total of 5 times, 3 for grocery shopping and 2 times for home supplies. The idea of only leaving the house an average of less than 1 time per week is such a foreign concept or at least it used to be. Now we will be coming and going 2 times a day, 5 days a week. I also will be returning to a very different work environment than I left. Constant sterilization, hand washing (even more so than normal which is a lot in a childcare setting), and mask wearing. This will be the new normal.
I have been watching what life is like now in China and Italy. They are further along in opening their countries back up but it is far from a return to what life once was. This is a new way of schooling, a new way of living. Come September, we still do not actually know if our children will be heading off to school and if they are, what will that look like?
Today we were cleaning out the front storage closet and I found both their backpacks, still mostly brand new from only a few months use. They were still full of folders and papers from March. I guess we had been thinking that they would be returning to school in a few weeks so we never cleaned them out. A few weeks turned into the rest of the year. My children along with every school child in the State and most of the Country only got to have a half school year. So I cleaned out their backpacks sadly and packed them away for the Fall, thinking inside that they may not need them if they don't return to school at all.
But that is just it, we do not know from one day to the next what life will be like. We don't know what tomorrow will bring. We never did, but we at least had a good guess. Now though every day is a new normal and then as soon as we adjust, it changes again. So I am returning to work understanding that it is not a step back into my old life, but a step into the unknown. It will be new and maybe a little scary but we all must brave this world together and do all we can to protect those most vulnerable among us. So as this Country slowly begins to open back up, be safe. Wear a mask, stay 6 ft apart, and be extra aware of those around you. Check in on your neighbors, and loved ones. Let's make sure the new normal is a better world than what we left behind.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Garden Brag

I know I haven't written much in the last few years but most of you know we finally bought our first home in the summer of 2017. Well when we first moved in this was what the front garden looked like.

Now this may look very green and full but this was a disaster. It turns out all that green was morning glories and wild grapes and one very over grown bush. So the first thing I did was just yank it all out, cut it back, and see what would grow the next year. 

So the next spring surprisingly a rosebush appeared and so did peonies and daffodils. So I added to that gladiolas, dahlias, more peonies, tulips, etc. So by spring of 2019 it looked more like this.

However I still hated the gross cement edging and even though I had added fencing and some ornaments and the flowers were coming in nicely, it still did not have the look I wanted and there was also the problem that by removing the drain spout that was right in the middle of my garden, the rain that would pour down would drown the middle of my garden. It just didn't look right. 
which brings me to this spring.
I planted last Fall and this Spring about 20 more types of flowers both perennials and annuals, some that will bloom in April, some in May or June, some July and August. I also dug out the cinder blocks and added nice cedar edging. Most of all though I separated the 2 halves of the garden into 2 little round gardens with a decorative water feature in between. Someday I would like to turn this into an actual pond but for now it is just a bird bath fountain. 
So here is the garden as it is right now. I have more edging coming in the mail to finish the one side and it's just now getting warm so not much is growing right now so I will definitely do an update post in a few weeks but here it is so far. 

And here it is at night lit up with all the solar lights :)

So there is my front garden story.... it has been a work in progress for 3 years and will continue to evolve I am sure.

Recycling a Garden

So one of my many projects in the last month was rebuilding our garden beds. I had 2 old beds that were falling a part and a bunch of wood from our old bed frame. So using just that I managed to build a really nice garden box. It is 8 ft long and 10 ft wide and 10 inches deep. The fencing is also recycled and so is the trellis arch. I bought those and have reused them for 3 years now (trellis) and 7 years (fencing). Then I filled it with compost and soil and voila. So here is the finished product. It was not easy, there are a lot of staples, nails, etc holding it together, but here it is. I am excited to finally have a smaller and more put together garden.

Life In The Time Of Corona

Over the last few years I have started blogging again,and never really kept it up. I think because honestly life got busy but also mainly it was because I no longer had my own computer. Well after 7 years without one I finally got a new one. I am hoping this will be enough to keep me blogging. 
So here we all are. I began this blog in 2009. I had a 2 month old baby boy and a crappy apartment and I was debating going back to school. That was almost 11 years ago now. Now that 2 month old is a 5th grader. We also have an almost 6 yr old daughter. We have a dog again, a different one. We bought a house, I got my degree, I am a teacher with my own classroom. Life is good...
Or was....
In January of this year, right after New Years we began to hear the same story over and over on the news. Covid-19, Coronavirus, was heading to the US. The President said it wasn't bad, everyone said it was like a mild flu, we were near a cure, it was a hoax etc etc. 
By February though it started getting a little more scary. It had hit the US. 
March 1st came and it was tax refund time. Hubby and I were much more involved with getting our new refrigerator than a silly virus. By March 5th my classroom started to drop, numbers dropped all over the center. On March 7th Rob left work on Spring Break (he works for a local University) only to a few days later be told he would not be returning until they were not sure when. March 13th The kids had their last day of school and our numbers dropped even more as frightened parents started to stay home. March 15th the order came down that all the schools in the State were now closed. By March 18th grocery stores were bare. All cleaning or disinfectant supplies gone, toilet paper a dream of yesterday. Meat was impossible to find, bread a memory. We did find yeast though and started learning to bake bread. On Friday March 20th I was furloughed. On March 21st I began making masks for people. As of today I have made and given away 118 masks. On March 22nd the Stay At Home Order came through. Do not leave you homes unless it is an emergency. March 23rd we began HomeSchool.
So here we are it's April 30th. For my husband this is Day 54 of Quarantine. For my kids it's Day 48. For me it's Day 41. So far the US has had 1.06 Million cases with over 61,500 deaths. My State has had over 300,000 cases and over 18,000 deaths and my County has had 170 cases and 2 deaths.
We have gardened, sewed, painted, remodeled, baked, cooked, grilled, taught, cried, laughed, vegetated, binge watched, stared at walls, and most of all missed.....
Missed our parents and them spending time with their grandkids, missed my students, missed my classroom, missed routine, missed spending holidays with family (St. Patrick's Day, and Easter passed while in quarantine and we are coming up on Mother's Day.) miss friends, night's out, restaurants, movie theaters, drinks with the girls, backyard BBQ's with friends, taking my kids to the park, shopping for nothing....
Just life... I miss life!
But my family is healthy, and we have enough to pay our bills and fill our cupboards.... so we will keep on keeping on... I will continue to make masks for those who need them, and home school my kids, and stay home until we are told we can restart life again.

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