Posted in Health, Parenting, quarantine, raising kids

Online School versus Wearing a Mask All Day

 

 Girl Writing on the Sofa

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Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week of work and writing. My next WIP is going well and I can’t wait until it’s done. I really like this story, too.

But enough about that, I’m back today to talk about the issue of school in the fall. Right now, we must let the school know if our kids are going to be riding the bus, so they can set up routes and figure out how many kids they’re going to be transporting.

 

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I’m talking with my kids and my oldest is fine either way, but I’m not. There are so many unanswered questions. My oldest tells me if there’s an outbreak at the school, they’ll  immediately shut it down. That worries me. I don’t want my kids to get sick, so I’m leaning toward online school. I have a feeling we’re going to end up in that position any way.

In conversations with my kids, they aren’t looking forward to wearing a mask all day, but I don’t know of any other way to protect them. There are so many things we don’t know about the virus. I keep hearing rumors of fevers lasting for months and long-term damage to the lungs and heart. The thing with sending them to school is there’s more of a risk for them to be exposed to this virus.

 

Medical Mask - Coronavirus - Free Photos

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Right now, I don’t know what the school has planned. We haven’t been given those details yet. The thing is we have to figure out how much of a risk there is in sending the boys to school versus online schooling. I know that online schooling eliminates the risk, but I’m worried about the isolation factor.  We are human after all, social animals. How is this virus going to affect their social development in this time in their lives when learning social cues is so important?

 

There are no easy answers, that’s for sure. What are your school districts doing? How do you feel about it? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, Health, quarantine

To Wear the Mask, that is the Question

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Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after spending a week at our cottage. I really needed to get out of Dodge because I’ve been stuck in the house and haven’t been able to visit friends. I do talk with them on the phone, but I miss seeing movies or getting together for lunch.

In Michigan our Governor has issued an executive order requiring everyone to wear masks in public places and at public gatherings. Many people are protesting this, and it upsets me.

I’ve heard from friends who have had this virus, and it is no joke. I worry about my kids getting it. At Torch Lake (where my In-Laws cottage is located) there is a sand bar where everyone gathers especially on the Fourth of July. Everyone parks their boats and swims. Some people bring grills and sell hamburgers and hotdogs. It’s a lot of fun. We’ve always avoided it on the Fourth because the crowd is huge, and people are drinking and that usually results in a few fights.

 

We avoided it again this year and we’re glad we did. One of the restaurants we love to go to had to close for a couple of days because someone tested positive for the virus and was a patron there without a mask. So, everyone who was there when that person was there must get tested for the virus. The restaurant closed to disinfect everything. I’m sure that was expensive.

 

I know it’s hard on these businesses that have had to close because of this virus, but I’ve heard from medical professionals that this is no joke, and it could have long lasting health effects if you get it. Don’t listen to the politicians. They’re far removed from this. Listen to the doctors and nurses who are dealing with it first hand. They don’t have an agenda, and they’re trying to keep everyone safe. I’m sure they would love to see their families again, too.

 

On social media, everyone is screaming that this directive is unconstitutional, and the Governor can’t force anyone to wear a mask, and this is probably true. But who cares? I certainly don’t, if it keeps my family and friends from getting sick, I’m all for it. So, wear the mask. Be considerate so other people can continue to be there for their families.

White chalkboard writing

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If you’re struggling with the wear a mask in public issue because it’s uncomfortable, just think about how uncomfortable a ventilator is, and when you think about it in that context, I’m sure you’ll make the right decision and where the mask.

 

Medical Mask - Coronavirus - Free Photos

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How about you? How do you feel about the mask issue? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Posted in Holiday Posts

Fourth of July Dessert!

 

 

 

Happy Fourth of July! Here’s a yummy dessert to take to your family gathering where I’m sure you’re practicing social distancing. 🙂

 

 

Lorna Doone Dessert 

1 package Lorna Doone cookies crushed

Add melted butter to cookies (this is the crust so add as much butter as you prefer; about ¼ to ½ of a stick)

1 7 oz Chocolate chips

2T Sugar

2-1/2 T water

4 egg yolks

1 teas. Vanilla

4 egg whites

Crush Lorna Doone cookies and add melted butter for the crust. Put crust in 10” baking dish and bake at 350 degrees until crust starts to brown. Combine chocolate chips, sugar, and water in double boiler until blended. Remove from fire and add egg yolks, beat after each one. Add vanilla. Chill for a short time maybe 10 to 15 minutes or until the pan is cool to the touch on the bottom.

Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into chocolate mixture. Spread over cooled cookie crust and top with whipped cream.

**I usually double this and put it in a 9×13 dish.

Posted in Family, Parenting, Public Service Announcements, raising kids

Predators in our Society

 

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. We’re in the dog days of summer and I love it. It’s finally that hot, muggy weather we all know and love. I’ve been running outside in the mornings because it’s cooler and I prefer running outside to running on a treadmill. I get time outside plus I’m exercising. Win. Win. I’ve also started a new WIP. I’m very excited about this one and it’s going smoothly right now. 😊

 

But enough about that. Today, I’d like to talk about a couple of documentaries I watched in the last couple of months. The first one was “Jeffery Epstein: Filthy Rich” and the other was “Athlete A.” The first one needs no explanation, but the second one was about Larry Nassar and his sexual abuse of gymnasts who came under his care.

 

In both documentaries, you see first-hand how sexual predators work. Whether the abuser is setting up the victim to be trafficked or he’s setting them up to be abused by himself the pattern is the same. They choose a vulnerable kid, ply them with gifts, and promises of a better life. When they’ve got them hooked that’s when the abuse starts.  In the case of Jeffery Epstein. He’d pick vulnerable girls and promise them money, travel, and training so they could have a better life then he’d get them out onto his island.

In the case of Larry Nassar, he would ply the girls with candy and gifts in the rough world of gymnastics, then under the guise of physical exams, he’d sexually abuse them. He was in a position of power and he abused it.

It took a lot of courage for these girls to speak up and report him. Can you imagine how the parents must feel? They believe they’re giving their daughter this amazing opportunity and they send her to this camp where she’s molested.

 

Athlete A Poster

This just goes to show you, you can’t trust anyone with your kid. Parents weren’t allowed out to the camp where the abuse took place by the good doctor. That’s a huge red flag. When kids are isolated away from their parents, they’re vulnerable.

We as parents must make sure our kids are safe. Remember, these predators don’t go after kids whose parents are involved in their lives. They go after vulnerable kids, and what better way to make a kid vulnerable than to separate them from their parents. Predators take jobs that give them easy access to victims. For example, camp counselors, day care workers, and even teachers. So, when a camp or an organization denies you access to your kids, it’s a huge red flag.

Larry Nassar

Also, when the organization doesn’t do anything about your accusation, it’s time to pull your child. In my opinion, in the case of the “good doctor,” he should have been suspended as soon as the accusation reached the president of the organization. The fact that Steve Penny took so long to act is another huge red flag. That doctor should have been suspended until a full investigation could take place.

Steve Penny must be held accountable for his part in continuing the abuse. It upsets me that he dragged his feet. How much effort does it take to replace the doctor?

 

Portrait of Steve Penny 2012

These documentaries are infuriating and eye-opening. The victims in these situations cease to be real people to the abusers They are pawns used to meet the abusers needs. Steve Penny is also an abuser because he enabled the doctor to have access to the girls after the abuse was reported. He needs to be held accountable, too.

How do you feel about the situation? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Posted in community, current-events, quarantine

What Kind of World are We leaving for our Kids?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a long week of working and writing.  Earlier today, I happened upon a Facebook post. It was one of my friends and she is a mom of young kids. She was complaining about the sticky doorknobs and the mess kids generally leave behind and was asking parents of older kids if they really missed the sticky mess.

facebook, meeting, social

 

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I’d like to answer that question and the answer is yes. I miss all of it. Sure, cleaning up after the kids wasn’t fun, but I kept it in perspective and didn’t beat myself up if my house didn’t look perfect. After all, I had kids, and I wanted them to grow up being comfortable, exploring their world. So, if it was a little messy, I was okay with that.

 

Toys on a carpet

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I miss when my boys were little guys and they would snuggle with me before falling asleep. I miss that baby smell and their giggles and their adventurous spirits. So, yeah, I miss it.

Free stock photo of baby, couch, Facetime

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However, I love each stage they go through, and I love seeing them grow and learn. For example, when my youngest started reading before he started school. I loved that and I was so proud. I loved how he started doing Par-Core and mastered that. I loved when my oldest would come to me for help with his homework and when he started taking Karate lessons. I loved each stage.

karate, kids, explication

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They amaze me with how much they’ve grown and learned. I love their personalities. My oldest for his quick wit, kindness, and honesty. My youngest for his drive, passion, and focus. I love the fact they get along and can compromise with each other. They both have amazing problem-solving skills.

But I also worry. I worry about how cruel this world can be. I hope I’ve helped them develop enough skills so they can survive it. Not only survive it, but to thrive in it. I know that’s what every parent wants, but right now our world is not a happy place.

 

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I wonder what the new school year will bring. I wonder how my kids will be learning and if it will be a good experience for them. I worry about their social skills. They haven’t been using them as much lately because they’ve been communicating with friends online.

Public bus in Granada | Nicaragua

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I also wonder about what kind of world we’ll be leaving behind for them. What’s going to happen with all the chaos going on right now? Will it change anything? I sincerely hope so, but I don’t know. I worry about the problems they’ll be inheriting and how they’ll affect them.

I hope when we’re finished with all this craziness, the world will be a better place. Our kids deserve it.

 

 

Posted in current-events, USA

Can We be Fixed?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after another week of lock down with some rioting thrown into the mix. These are strange times indeed. Our world has been turned upside down. Our world is broken.

 

Child holding planet in hands against white background. Earth day holiday concept.

 

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I don’t know what to make of it. Will things ever get back to normal? There’s been communication from our school district that if classes resume in the fall there will be six feet between students, no cafeteria, and no recess for our elementary students. I’m not happy about this. How can they say NO RECESS?

 

Kids that age need to move.

 

boys, playing, friends

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Then there’s the rioting, and it scares me. It wasn’t close to us by any means, but it could have been. What kind of world are we leaving to our kids?  We need to wake up. Our system is broken. We can’t keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results, but what can we do?

 

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I’m at a loss. The politicians say we must get out and vote, but for what? I think both parties have their own agendas and what do you do when you’re given two choices for president and you don’t like either one?

 

donald trump, trump, usa

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I don’t have any answers at the moment, but there is at least one positive coming out of all this mess. People are coming together. Cops are marching along with protesters. Protesters are being heard. Yes, there’s destruction and looting, but communities are also coming together to clean up the mess. They’re helping the police by taking pictures of the destructors and looters with their phones and turning them over to the authorities. The people are coming together. Finally.

 

I don’t know what our new normal is going to be, but I do see some solidarity amidst all the chaos and that my friends is a good thing. Are all the problems solved? No. But we’ve taken a big step forward. What is our next step? I don’t know. Maybe limiting the terms of our congressmen and senators. Maybe limiting the amount someone can spend on a campaign. Maybe limiting the amount companies and organizations can contribute to a campaign. That way politicians can’t be bought. Well, theoretically anyway. 😉

How about you? Do you have any ideas how to fix our broken system? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in current-events

Who’s Accountable when a Cop crosses the Line?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a long week of working. I’ve finished editing my story and it’s off to the beta reader. I’ve already started plotting out a new story and I’m excited about this one, too. Hopefully, I can do it justice. 😊

Business

photo provided by https://www.everypixel.com/image-10518701651842115375

 

But enough about that, today I’d like to talk about what’s going on in the world. These are strange times indeed, with a pandemic and rioting because it’s forcing businesses and non-profit organizations to close, tensions are high, and that’s not even the worst of it. A black man was killed this week by police officers. They didn’t even try to hide the fact they were doing it even when there were witnesses video taping the whole thing. This sickens me. The cop who did this was fired then arrested, but it’s not enough. It will never bring George Floyd back to life.

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Most of us live in a bubble. We focus on our jobs and raising our kids and stuff like this rarely touches us. It happens in some other city and some other state, so we don’t feel threatened by it, but this kind of blatant disregard for human life can’t be ignored. How did Derek Chauvin even become a police officer? According to a source, he had twelve complaints of police brutality.  Why was he still on the force?

 

police, brutality, warning

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There was plenty of evidence that this man had a problem. Why does it take something like a murder before action is taken? Why wasn’t he put on leave and forced to go to a psychiatrist to keep his job?

 

The only answer I can come up with is that his superiors and colleagues didn’t think it would ever lead to this, but shouldn’t we be preventing things like this from happening? Especially when he had a history of police brutality?

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I think we should not only hold the officer himself accountable but also the institution that allowed this to happen in the first place. I’m glad he was fired and I’m glad he was arrested. I hope he goes to prison for a long time, but it shouldn’t end there. I think there needs to be some accountability for his superiors for allowing him to continue working when he had so many accusations of police brutality against him. These are warning signs that something bigger could happen, and in this situation, it did.

 

How do you feel about the situation?  Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Guest Author, Reading

Please Welcome Ritu Bhathal and her Debut Novel “Marriage Unarranged!”

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. Today, I’ve got a special treat for you. I’ve got Ritu Bhathal as a guest and she’s telling us a little bit about her writing journey and how the Corona virus affected her. So, without further ado. Take it away, Ritu!

 

Ritu Bhathal

It was an amazing feeling, finally typing THE END after the last words on my manuscript that I had literally poured eighteen years of my life into.

Obviously, that wasn’t the end, by any means.

There was the fun of editing, with rewrites and tweaks, feedback from beta readers, then cover design, and all the marketing.

And then, just like that, the Publication Day was upon me.

I finally let my book baby free, and sat tight, waiting for the sales, then reviews.

Will they love it?

Will they hate it?

Oh my God, I am the worst writer! Why on earth did I ever think I could write a book?

Then the feedback started to trickle through.

Oh! It’s not as bad as I thought!

Wow, people LIKE it. Like real five-star review like it!

Honestly, I was overwhelmed by the words of support and praise that came in for my debut novel in February of this year. Marriage Unarranged was a story that had wanted to be written for so long, and finally, I managed it!

One of the repeated comments was basically, ‘Can’t wait to see what happens next!’

People who read my first novel, actually wanted to read more.

So that meant I needed to get another one out.

As I mentioned a little earlier, it took me a long time to write my first book, because life had a habit of getting in the way. From marriage to moving counties, then the trying for a family saga (it was one, we had issues, so that was stress in itself) and dealing with eventual motherhood. And of course there was the day job to consider too. None of these things left much time to write.

But I did it. Once I focused, I carved time out daily, to add to my word count.

And now, I needed to do that again!

I had ideas already for a second, and third book, relating to the first, and had tentatively started writing the second, but that time thing…

Then Coronavirusgate hit and we were suddenly in Lock down.

So now, I have a lot of time, and that’s what I was looking for, wasn’t I?

I started the Lock down pumped.

Taking part in a couple of online writing sprints added a couple of thousand words to my work in progress (WIP).

It took me a while, but I created a temporary work station, seeing as the dining table I usually used for prolonged writing was now commandeered as a workspace for my working-from-home Hubby Dearest, and the only other desks were in kids bedrooms and they were in use for distance learning.

And I managed to finally set up my WIP story map board. I used it for my first book, and it helped me plan events and timelines within the book, so I did the same with this one.

Then I went through and updated my Character bible, because many of the characters overlap, and some develop more in book two, and there were new focus characters to add.

I even had tentative titles for the next two books.

Then I hit a brick wall.

Not only was I dealing with the Lock down, and ensuring two children were accessing their school-work regularly, constantly disinfecting surfaces, keeping spirits up for Hubby Dearest who was suffering cabin fever whilst working from home, I also had my work stress.

You see, I’m a teacher, and yes, schools are closed, but that doesn’t mean no work for teachers. Here in the UK schools were kept open as hubs for those listed as keyworkers to be able to leave their children for childcare, while they go about their essential jobs. I had a rota, where I would go in and spend the day with these children, and the rest of the time, devising and adding work for my class to access online. Then marking, and doing online training, attending webinars to keep us in the loop with the constant changes.

It messed with my head a lot. And my creativity with it.

And now, I am faced with the prospect of going back on the 1st of June, to work with a small group of my class, if the government and our dear BoJo deems it safe for schools to begin partial opening.

So, how much writing have I done?

Well, I’ve tried to stay creative, by writing A Story A Day in May, and some of the prompts have even got me some new scenes which I can use in my WIP.

And my WIP has increased by around eight thousand words. But my mind has not been in the right place to really get into it

But I will.

I promise.

For my characters, as they have stories to tell.

For my readers because they want to know more.

For me, because I know there are other books in me that want to come out.

 

ritu chick pea available now

‘Chickpea Curry’ Lit — Chick Lit with an Indian twist!

It all started ended with that box…

Aashi’s life was all set.

Or so she thought.

Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after.

But then Aashi found the empty condom box…

Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon an enlightening journey, to another country, where vibrant memories are created, and unforgettable friendships forged.

 

Ritu Bhathal

A U T H O R B I O

Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. Ritu’s colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.

From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at

school and locally encouraged her to continue writing.

As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes. A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!

Ritu also writes a blog, http://www.butismileanyway.com, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was

awarded first place in the Best Overall Blog Category at the 2017 Annual

Bloggers Bash Awards, and Best Book Blog in 2019.

Ritu is happily married and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the fur baby Sonu Singh.

F i n d M e:

Social Media Profiles

Blog Website: http://www.butismileanyway.com

Author Website: http://www.ritubhathal.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RituBhathal
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ritubhathalwrites/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/butismileanyway/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RituBhathal/
Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/bhathalpadhaal/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/56854412-ritu-bhathal
Mix: https://mix.com/butismileanyway
Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/ritusmiles

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/ritu-bhathal
Bloglovin: https://www.bloglovin.com/@ritubhathalpadhaal

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/author/ritubhathal

 

And by clicking the following link, you get to my author profile on Amazon

Author.to/RituBhathal

myBook.to/PoeticRITUals

http://getbook.at/MarriageUnarranged

 

Thanks for being a guest, Ritu! Your story sounds like a must read!