I was a late reader. Like, didn't read a book until the fourth grade.
Dyslexia is a bitch.
The first book I ever read was On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I was so proud that I announced it to my teacher (Ms. Winters) who informed me it was wonderful to ever read a first book, and followed that up with "this is math time, did you finish that too?" Hahahahaha, yeah, I had finished my math homework first.
From there, it was a winding journey through A Wrinkle in Time and every Trixie Beldon (poor kid's Nancy Drew) ever written to arrive here at a cliche.
I'm a 50-year-old English teacher who has self-published her own work on Amazon and gotten paid by strangers for my writing. I've made less than two dollars (my goal for the month was 1 dollar--so YAY), but it has really stoked my belief in the fact that I can write and I can write things that other people will be willing to pay for because it's what people want.
Now, that's a heck of a feeling.
It's a heck of a feeling in a sea of feelings. I'm back here in Moselle helping out on the farm. We have gotten a new horse and two new dogs. As a family, we realize we are filling Dorian's void with animals and are fine with that. The therapists all agree we are on the right track, so that's our compass.
But now that I've published and sold, what's next?
Ginseng planting and a business model for my writing.
P..S. If you would like to know what I wrote, please feel free to email or comment here and I'll get back to you. I don't want to cross those streams between professional name and pen name just yet :-).
This morning I got more bad medical news on top of the bad medical news I got earlier this week about my knee and my pelvic floor surgeries. Now, my left hand's carpal tunnel is bad to the point I'm having trouble gripping things. Unfortunately, I can't find anyone to fill the prescription for the brace that is supposed to stop the pain. It took a week to get the conductivity test scheduled and when they called me back, they can't see me until November.
And where do I put all this down? How do I carry all this? I can't work and now I will be incapacitated physically for a while. Don't get me wrong. Hopefully, this will be the end of the surgeries for a while, but damn. I miss my old house. I miss my old family. I miss my sister so much.
This morning, I described Dorian's death as someone taking a trackhoe and digging up a room in my house--foundation and all. I keep going to the room, expecting something to be there, but there is nothing but memories of how the room used to look and feel when I walked into it. I have the things from the room--her things. But not her. I went to that room during my darkest times previously. The room with my sister--where I was safe with ANY secret and I was loved and accepted no matter what. It was a room I had planned to retire to and take care of for the rest of my life. Dorian always struggled. I always figured the end of my life would be spent taking care of her and the land.
Now it's just the land and saying goodbye to my parent's earthly coil. It's like there is nothing to live forward for in my family. My family. My four person unit that stood against the world for 48 yers is down to three--and two of those three are nearing their end. I want that end to be good for them. I really do.
I just don't know where I fit into all of it. And I don't know how to rebuild my house--or if I should rebuild--maybe I should remodel--with a new floor plan.
One of the best pieces of advice I got when Dorian passed was that “everything will seem wrong for about three months…maybe longer.” That prediction was dead on.
For three May 20th until a few weeks ago, nothing has felt right. Everything was uncomfortable: eating, sleeping, drinking, existing. It was all just dumb and stupid and there was really no point an any of it and I kinda hated it all. I went to Mississippi and moved into Dorian’s old room (super hard) and began learning how to care for the farm and her inhabitants. I think it was the best decision I could make to move home temporarily and I appreciate all the sacrifices my husband (the great Fat Man) made to make my burden easier to carry. I am impressed and in awe actually! I came home to the house in a state of renovation and improvement.
I also have to point out that my friends and family at this time have been tremendous. All the Gretna folks and friends from the democrats volunteer group have really put forth an amazing effort to make sure I’m supported with texts and positive communication.
What’s next seems to be the biggest question.
Well, I’ll admit it. I purchased this amazing iPad Aire 4 in 2020 and have yet to “bond” with it and make it my official and all inclusive device. Barriers for me? Well, I’m trying to publish a few things and I want to use google extensions to research the genres I want to write in. I looked and extensions “totally work” on iPads. But, it’s not as straight forward an integration as they would want folks to believe. So, I’ve yet to get that figured out. This blog post is the result of 40 minutes trying to get Weebly to do what I wanted—what used to be a ten minute thing. Apps are just so vastly different from website portals. And that’s okay, but is slowing my expected publishing process. Which is cool. I’ve got enough coming up with classes at OLLI to worry about making a living from writing.
The OLLI class thing is actually really cool and exciting. It’s a “newbie” class to iOS (iPad and iPhone) I’m designing for the “more mature” crowd. We will focus on getting our phones to do what we want when we want them to. Starting with the General tab and moving through reminders and basic photo manipulation, it’s designed to be a phone basics class and cover just enough to make folks curious and want to learn more about what their phones can do.
Other things going on: Yes, new puppy named Mr. Lucky Dog. I call him Lux for short and he gives Sadie a run for her money. Daddy is hoping to foster a new horse named Teddy from Homeward Horse and Hound, and I’m still moving in between Omaha and Moselle monthly.
If you’re reading, thank you. This has been a tough road, but I have very rarely ever felt alone. Thanks you for your thoughts prayers and positive energy. Drop me a line and let me know what’s up with you and when’s a good time to come visit (now that I’m a hobo without a job).
My sister Dorian was my best friend.
She was 48 when she passed away on May 20th at 9:30 pm. This death brings big changes for my life. I will be moving to Mississippi part-time to care for the farm. (Yes, just like an old pet, I'm being sent off to the farm).
Could be worse.
I will miss my Nebraska life. It was a Good one.
Here are all my resources for Augmented Reality for Everyone. If you click the link, it will take you to a PDF of the image that has active hotlinks to videos of each process on Youtube.
Enjoy and use in good health!
When I think, I think big and in many directions at once.
Just like the quote, I succumb to periods of insanity when I create lessons, presentations, and all the artifacts of my professional life. The other times, I feel horribly and boringly SANE. In my life, these "sane" times would be the hours I spend planning out the steps of each project I do. The "sanity" bookends the whirlwind and passionate creation flows.
Think that sounds like a mental health issue? (bi-polar much?) I would partially agree. Although I do come from a long line of psychosis, this issue in my life seems extremely manageable. So, like people with autism or other brain functioning spectrums, I just consider this part of my process. It's all about the self-love, right?
One low tech solution that has worked this year has been card stock.
I got it at the beginning of the year with my supply money and I have to say, it has really paid off. The stiffer paper makes it easier to carry and more durable than regular paper. I can also cut it out and put it my journal. Gotta say, it as a bit game changing as I can keep the same five pieces of paper on my desk for about a month before they are completely used up.
It's crowded, but efficient!!
One of my teachers had a problem. Her students hated working to memorize the proper temperatures for foods. Yet, as you can imagine, this is vital information for future chefs to have.
After furnishing me with a list of 40 test questions that students were expected to know, I started working to build Pixel Art Mysteries in Google Slides as a way to provide them with a fun and unique way to have a daily review of the temperatures they needed to memorize.
We designed a five day do-now/bellringer cycle that covered all the items for the test and then allowed students to keep the electronic copies and redo them for practice if they chose.
According to the teacher students would get excited and race to see who could "solve" the image first.
Those who know me understand my religious ambiguity. I'm a Universalist Unitarian, so having unorthodox religious views is nothing new to me. But I have to say, Hallelujah. Praise be to any and all listening. The numbers are going down and there has been a HUGE uptick in people wearing masks around the stores.
Nebraska has done it. They have reversed the flow. Now, to keep the numbers this way until the vaccine is able to roll.
Doug and Aaron and Momma got their vaccines last week (Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday). Doug was super fatigued, but Mom and Aaron just wanted naps and then were fine.
Anyway, when I'm wrong I say so. I was wrong in the last post and I am incredibly excited and elated about that.
374,000 souls have passed so far in this pandemic. Of those, I only knew three personally, but it still feels like a lot and a heavy weight. I wish I could have done more to prevent their deaths, but with the way we as a country reacted (with all the lies and misinformation spouted by leadership), I feel luck to have survived as unscathed as I did--especially with my compromised self.
Vaccination expected in the next two weeks. Will update!!
I'm very uncertain writing this. Right now the United States is being ravaged by the Coronavirus.
Unfortunately, the virus has become politicized.
I don't want this to be about politics. I want it to be about facts. Take a look at these numbers:
This is a snapshot from the Sarpy and Cass County Health Departments. Notice how the spikes are getting bigger. This data represents over 200k souls where I live and work.
In the next few days, our community will start seeing the cases resulting from the Thanksgiving holiday. I expect these numbers to spike even higher as there have only been 12k confirmed cases (14 percent of the population). There's 188k of us who "have not had it" (we may have been asymptomatic and not even known).
Let's split the difference and say that in Nebraska, our death rate is about 1 percent of infected (1 percent per 100k according to here). That means if the rest of us 188 get infected we can expect to see about 3760 more deaths in the state. Most of these deaths would be concentrated in this part of the state.
Now, let's say only 4 percent of those need hospitalization. If they all get sick at once that's 7520 hospital beds needed.
As you can see, we only have a bit over 4k beds. We're pushing close to the limits with the ventilators already. The next three or four days will see the spikes from Thanksgiving. then, we'll see what kind of trouble we will be in for Christmas.
It's math. It's simple math.
Please understand. As a compromised person with several underlying health issues (from my liver to my head to my feet), I want to be safe. They say they can't trace the cases to the schools, All the articles I've seen stipulate that schools are safe as long as this requirement is met:
Community Transmission rate is NOT LOW anymore. Yet we go 100 percent face to face--all schools, all students, everyone.
I resent being put in the position to chose my livelihood over my health.
Doug and I were lucky enough to meet Randall Monroe when he came to speak at Christopher Newport University (his alma mater). He seemed genuinely shocked to have fans. His creative commons comic XKCD is a staple in our family.
This cartoon means a lot to me and I think speaks volumes about who I am as a person (although I do not consider myself a scientist...I consider myself plagued by curiosity).
When I was a young girl, my mother bought an encyclopedia set for our house. She had to buy it section by section (it came through the mail). But when it was complete, it wasn't unusual for things to be settled at the dinner table by pulling out either the blue world books or the massive dictionary that had it's own pedestal in the study.
I have a clear image of questions about pimentos popping up at dinner and my mother's shock and amusement to learn they were peppers. If you never think about where those little jarred things come from, you never have to pull out the world book at the dinner table.
I like being a curious person. However, it has taken me many years to understand that not everyone is curious and not everyone finds curiosity enduring. People who are motivated purely by the joy and novelty of discovery
Being curious in the Covid-19 age is a double edged sword. On the one hand, I find it fascinating from a mathematical and sociological perspective.
On the other hand, I'm terrified and scared for my life, my country, and my ideals,
With that in mind, I try to function in my job and in my life in accordance to a religious principle I developed very early on. Being raised a Universalist Unitarian, one of my church school assignments was to come up with how I thought souls got into heaven. Even as a young human, I decided that once I die, all the barriers to remembering what I learned on earth will be removed. If I've learned enough, I pass on to the next realm. If I haven't learned enough, I'm reincarnated and have to learn the next round.
Funny, I never thought that it would be a specific quantity of knowledge. The golden ticket into heaven was "did you learn all that you could?"
I hope that I have.
I'm a technology curriculum facilitator, and I'm excited about integrating technology in the classroom.