Quarantines, job cuts, empty store shelves, no school for kids, it’s really unsettling to turn on the news. While this outlook is bleak there are ways to minimize the risks to you and your loved ones.
There are lots of resources available for everything from government guidelines, economic and political matters, health precautions, and how you entertain you and if your kids are home.
The CDC has recommendations to help cut down your risk of exposure, and getting the virus. All age groups are susceptible to contracting the virus. While some younger adults and children may get a more minor case, you can carry it to others. Please think about the risks to other adults, parents, grandparents and others who if contract it could lead to very serious complications and even death.
Please follow direction from your local, state and Federal Government including the CDC.
Anyone with underlying health issues need to be extremely careful to minimize your risks. Those with things like heart conditions, Diabetes, respiratory ailments like COPD, asthma, and other like symptoms are very vulnerable.
Social Distancing is a frequently used term. Keeping people separated, and almost everywhere there should be no more than 10 people gathered. Cancellations of community events, school closures, remote work from home if possible is the current normal.
Just going to the grocery store under these conditions looks like Venezuela does. As we are in a higher risk group the last thing we want to be near is a store full of people. Take advantage of delivery or online ordering if possible. We know from experience the last few weeks, to replenish essentials before you run out. Panic buying has caused shortages in many stores.
We know when ordering there is a good chance we will not get everything. So if we don’t get it we move it back to the list. We have expanded our store selections to broaden our chances of receiving regular supplies. Publix, Walmart, Winn Dixie, Whole Foods and others offer online ordering. Be patient, our local Walmarts have no order times for the next 7 days. Publix with Instacart and Winn Dixie with Shipt have only been able to fulfill half the items in an order. Keep this in mind, we are only venturing to a store if absolutely necessary. As this continues please be kind to those who brave the stores for you. Some have senior shopping hours available.
Are your children home from school and need something to do? There are a huge variety of online resources and other methods of learning to keep them entertained. Have them help with things like baking. Here we have not been able to buy bread, do we are making our own. Everything from a Crockpot recipe to traditional white and wheat. My mom’s Pioneer Bread
is one not to miss. I can tell you coming home from school when we were little, nothing beat a slice warm out of the oven.
If you have time on your hands a great way to prolong your groceries is freezer meals. Not only do they save you some time if suffering from crazy scheduling, but are a great way to preserve your supplies. Check out some of these great recipes here.
Check out some of the most prestigious museums around the world. Google has teamed up with these great places to bring the experience to your couch. Some are VR (virtual reality) ready. So by all means take a virtual trip to the see the worlds most famous art. Click here.
Cooking and baking will add things like maths and science they don’t know they are getting. Have them help you plan a road trip for a future vacation. They can learn about the individual states, their history, culture, famous figures. Have them plan on sites to see, museums, parks, landmarks… You get the idea. It will not only occupy, but kindles a learning experience that will also give them hope for the future. Check out some of these for States as each is inducted into the USA.
For older students, you can easily expand to world history, countries, and nations. Things like cultures, languages, music, art can all be added to keep it interesting. Our parents used these same techniques both in and outside of school. It also helped us learn real-world skills. Best of all we only really noticed as we left home and ventured out on our own.
Looking for something for yourself? If you are forced to be home and have some downtime, maybe you tackle a couple of books from your “To be read” pile. Or binge-watch a new tv show, catch up on one you missed or rewatch some of those movie series in order. Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Outlander, Marvel Movies Universe, Star Trek, Star Trek reboots, Star Trek Discovery series, Star Wars, The Mandalorian, The Mummy Movies, Bosch series, If you have a favorite please let me know and why you love it.
Celebrated around the world on March 25th, Tolkien Reading Day is a favorite among fans of the renowned author.
J.R.R. Tolkien (Jan. 3, 1892 – Sept. 2, 1973) was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor. He was best known as the author of the classic works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarrillion as well as Roverandom and Farmer Giles of Ham. However, he has published more than 30 books, several posthumously. The author has sold more than 150 million copies of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and that number continues to grow.
The day encourages readers of all ages to explore the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien and learn more about the author. With over 30 published works, he had a lot to say and not just about hobbits, though many are on medieval order.
HOW TO OBSERVE #TolkienReadingDay
Can you doodle like Tolkien? Check out the video below. He was an avid crossword puzzler, too. While reading Tolkien’s amazing adventures, learn more about the master. Take out your markers and pens. Draw up the creatures or doodle an amazing realm from your imagination. What will you create?
Here are other ways to participate from home:
- Create your own map of Middle Earth.
- Download and print this Tolkien word search puzzle. Can you find all the Middle Earth words?
- As you’re reading one of Tolkien’s books, make a list of all the new words you encounter.
Read some of Tolkien’s works and use #TolkienReadingDay to post on social media. For Lord of the Rings books and movies click here.
TOLKIEN READING DAY HISTORY
The Tolkien Society created this observance in 2003 to encourage the readings of J.R.R. Tolkien. They chose the date of March 25th because it matches the fall of Sauron in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
On February 26, have a happily ever after kind of day. It’s National Tell A Fairy Tale Day!
What were once oral histories, myths, and legends retold around the fire or by traveling storytellers, have been written down and become known the world over as fairy tales.
The origins of most fairy tales were unseemly and would not be approved or rated as appropriate for children by the Association of Fairy Tales by today’s standards. Most were told as a way to make children behave, teach a lesson or to pass the time much like ghost stories around a campfire today.
Many of the stories have some basis in truth. For example, some believe the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is inspired by the real life of Margarete von Waldeck, the daughter of the 16th century Count of Waldeck. The area of Germany where the family lived was known for mining. Some of the tunnels were so tight they had to use children – or small people such as dwarfs – to work the mines.
Margarete’s beauty is well documented, and she had a stepmother who sent her away. She fell in love with a prince but mysteriously died before she could have her happily ever after.
As the stories evolved, they took on a more magical quality with fictional characters such as fairies, giants, mermaids and gnomes, and sometimes gruesome story plots.
Toes cut off to fit into a slipper, a wooden boy killing his cricket or instead of kissing that frog prince his head must be cut off, but those are the unrated versions.
The brothers Grimm collected and published some of the more well-known tales we are familiar with today. Jakob and his brother Wilhelm together set out on a quest to preserve these tales at a time in history when a tradition of oral storytelling was fading.
In 1812, they published their first volume of stories titled Household Tales. Their stories had a darker quality and were clearly meant for an adult audience.
Rumpelstiltskin is one of the tales they collected. There were several versions, and the little man went by many names in different parts of Europe. From Trit-a-trot in Ireland to Whuppity Stoorie in Scotland, Rumplestiltskin was one difficult man to identify.
While some storytellers have a long and sometimes ancient history such as Aesop (The Fox and the Goose, The Ant and the Grasshopper), others are more recent like the Grimm brothers.
Hans Christian Andersen, first published in 1829, brought to us written versions of the Princess and the Pea, The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid and many more. Where Grimm’s tales could take on a darker cast and unmistakably written with adults in mind, Andersen’s stories are sweet and warm.
HOW TO OBSERVE
How to Tell a Great Story:
Engage your audience. Children like to participate. Have them quack every time the Ugly Duckling is mentioned, or make the motions of climbing Jack’s beanstalk.
Use repetition. Repeated stanzas, syllables or movements will keep the kids engaged. It not only helps them to remember the story but sets them up for the next round of the repeated phrase or stanza.
Give your characters a voice. Nobody likes a monotone storyteller. Buehler, Buehler, Buehler. No, not even children like the monotone. Varying your voice for each character and inflecting excitement, sadness and disappointment will create drama and stimulate the imaginations of the little minds listening to you.
Ask questions as you go. It’s an excellent way to keep your story flowing and to gauge the children’s listening skills.
Find out if someone has a story of their own. You might be in the presence of a great storyteller!
Share your favorite fairy tale with friends and family. Try relating them from memory as this has long been a tradition. Visit a library or local bookstore for story time.
Use #TellAFairyTaleDay to post on social media.
Valentine’s Day began as St. Valentine’s Day, a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. February 14th first became associated with romantic love during the High Middle Ages as the tradition of courtly love was then flourishing. During 18th century England, this day evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery and sending Valentine cards.
Mixed opinions prevail regarding who or what was celebrated in mid-February. Some point to martyred saints by the name of Valentine or Valentinus. The most popular story tells of the saint who defied a decree by Emperor Claudius II who outlawed marriage for young men because he believed single men made better soldiers. St. Valentine, preferring young lovers to be wed than have them sneaking around (or believing in the power of love), would marry them in secret. However, it may have been another Valentine who performed the marriages. Either way, at least two of them were beheaded for their actions.
Another possible origin for Valentine’s Day takes us back to a pagan festival called Lupercalia. As a way to discourage participation in the fertility festival, the Christian church placed St. Valentine’s Day in the middle of February.
Since the Renaissance, we’ve been exchanging Valentine’s cards. These handmade missives of romance grew into a more commercial venture by the Victorian era. Today, school children exchange Valentine greetings, too. They prepare for the day by making unique boxes to receive their many hearts, cupids, and pun-filled rhymes.
Chocolates and candy have also become a part of the celebration. While couples tend to be the focus of the day, singles celebrate being single, too. Friends take each other out or reject the overall notion of Valentine’s Day. Dinner and a movie, candlelight, and flowers also fit the bill for couples. It’s one of the busiest days of the year for florists.
HOW TO OBSERVE #ValentinesDay
You can surprise your special someone with flowers, chocolate or a card. Bring a smile to their face with an original poem or homemade meal.
Get Recipes that will impress without spending days in the kitchen. Many can be done at the last minute if needed.
Get something special for your Valentine and use #ValentinesDay to post on social media.International Book Giving Day
VALENTINE’S DAY HISTORY
Credit is traditionally given to Pope Gelasius for declaring February 14th as Saint Valentine’s Day around the year 496 to separate the church from the Roman celebration of Lupercalia, an ancient pagan fertility festival which occurred on February 15th.
The entire month of February is dedicated to the people who love whole buildings devoted to the reading, housing, organizing, categorizing, finding, studying and otherwise loving books. It’every s National Library Lover’s Month!
Check out some of these fantastic Authors and their books. I’ve said for years “Hollywood needs a library card. Guess someone finally heard me. ” They currently have Movies or series based on the books.
There are lots of great authors and books I cannot begin to list them all here. Make sure you bookmark and like our site for more.
Libraries provide so much more than a place for us to enjoy great novels or to discover amazing adventures and untold history. Yes, they help us ace our research papers and provide a quiet space to study, but they do so much more.
For preschoolers, libraries entertain them with theater and hands-on activities exposing them to music, art and their first friendships. Many communities rely on their libraries for meeting space for public forums, socials, fundraisers and classes.
Libraries lend not only books but music and movies. Rotating art displays give local artists exposure to the community. Larger libraries provide preservation services, preserving some of the most treasured books, periodicals and documents for future generations.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Continue enjoying your library, but consider volunteering your time, too. If you don’t have a library card, it’s never too late! Visit your library to get one! Use #NationalLibraryLoversDay to share on social media.
Of course, if you’re even a fraction addicted to books as I am you may have to start your own library. Mine is currently occupying four bookshelves with some still boxed. Since I like to reread mine I use them frequently. As I usually read a full novel in about two days I have to carry a small ton from my local library or draw from my own. I wish ereaders had been around when I started.
If you want to pass this gift to others February 14th is also International Book Giving Day.