Start Your Engines

Sometimes Mondays

. . . are the most Monday kind of Mondays.  (Like when you oversleep and didn't get to most of yesterday's to-do list yesterday and now you're starting the day already feeling scrambled AND you have a zit on your face to boot.)

Time to . . . 

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As usual, on Mondays I share a bit of this and a little of that and things I discovered over the weekend.

(And I always start things off with my quote-for-the-week.)

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"Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it's less good than the one you had before  You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you've lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that's good."
    --- Elizabeth Edwards

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I've been thinking a lot about resilience lately.  Acknowledging what's happening in my life.  Accepting the changes that I see.  Grieving them.  And then . . . moving forward.  This quote seemed to be just what I needed right now.

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This week's advice from CoronaLisa:  Something Worth Reading!  You may have already seen this very useful explanation about COVID transmission and the risks of exposure - and how people can best avoid those risks.  If you haven't read it, though, please take the time (an estimated 12-minute read) to educate - and protect - yourself.  Especially now . . . as so many states are "opening up" again.  The blog post (which is going viral itself) is written by Erin Bromage, a biologist and professor of infectious diseases at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.  It's a clear synthesis of other studies and explains in plain, understandable language (with diagrams) how COVID is spread, and how you can minimize your own risk.

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And while we're talking about COVID (because aren't we always talking about COVID these days?), here's another article that might interest you.  It's about COVID-19 "Infowhelm" and explains why our brains are having trouble taking in and processing all the information that's being thrown at us.  Important and interesting.  (But if you're only going to read one of these articles today, read the first one, okay?)

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So many great live music performances have been canceled because of COVID-19.  Which is a true tragedy, and one of the things I'm having the most trouble accepting (see looking for resilience, above).  If there is a silver lining in any of this, it's that so many of those canceled live music performances are now happening virtually.  And that means more people can enjoy them -- even if they can't be there in person.

The New York Guitar Festival is one of the live performance "casualties" of COVID-19.  But . . . the festival has changed gears (resilience!) and is offering many of their favorite performers via their YouTube channel.  You can read more about their revised schedule here or find the New York Guitar Festival YouTube channel here.  

And here's my favorite so far (and it's a real treat) . . . 

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Need a lift today?  Feeling like spring is being just too much of a tease this year?  Well, here's something that will cheer you right up:  The cherry trees at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden are in full bloom right now. But the garden is - of course - closed to the public.  Never fear -- you can take a long walk along their Cherry Esplanade today . . . from the comfort of your own computer.  Take a walk -- and enjoy at full screen for an almost-like-you're-there view.  (I only wish they could include a smell-the-blossoms feature.)

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I've saved the best for last!  Whenever you're feeling low, or you need a quick diversion, just sit back and enjoy this . . .

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That's it for me this Monday morning.
I hope your week is off to a good start -- and that it isn't snowing in your corner of the world today.

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PS - Don't forget to join Bonny, Carole, and I tomorrow for the blog book discussion (part 1) for this quarter's Read With Us selection I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter.  We're mixing things up this time around, and you'll find a different question on each of our blogs tomorrow.  We can't wait to hear what you thought of the book.


Monday Again

After one of the most beautiful spring weekends I can remember, it's Monday again. 

Time to . . . 

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As usual, on Mondays I share a bit of this and a little of that and things I discovered over the weekend.

(And I always start things off with my quote-of-the-week!)

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"Spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm."
    --- John Muir

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If you follow along with me on Instagram, you already know about the finch nest on the top of the forsythia wreath on my front door.  The little nest is in clear view from one of the tiny windows at the top of my front door - so Tom and I have a ringside seat to all the finch-goings-on.  (We also have to be careful -- because if we get too close, Mrs. Finch gets freaked.)  All last week, Mrs. Finch was busy laying her eggs.  Each day, we'd find one more!  (There are at least 5 eggs.)  Now, though, she's in the nest all the time, incubating.  (Mr. Finch visits often to bring her food.)

It's exciting to watch this spring work going on . . . right outside our door.

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It was 100 years ago this year that the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified and passed in the US.  (That would be the one giving women the right to vote.)  2020 was meant to feature big celebrations commemorating this most important event . . . although, like so many other big celebrations, these events, too, are moving into the #together/apart realm.

Here's an interesting thing: The women's suffrage movement 100 years ago ALSO ran into a pandemic!  Yes, my friends.  Our suffragette sisters had to fight through the Spanish Flu to get their message heard!  Strange how things come around, isn't it?  Here's a great article about the women's suffrage movement and the Spanish Flu pandemic if you're interested in learning more.

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A couple of Mondays ago, I shared an invitation to a free Zoom-workshop sponsored by The Makerie that my sister and I were planning to attend.  It was called a Playful Pause, and it was just that!  It was a well-done, little breath-of-fresh-air workshop that made both of us feel a little bit pampered - and a whole lot inspired.

Well.  I'm happy to let you know that Playful Pause 2 is happening this Wednesday, May 6.  (Here are the details.)  This time, the group project involves paper . . . and I think that sounds fascinating and fun.  It's free -- and easy to sign up. Come on along!  Join us!

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And now a word sponsored by CoronaLisa . . . 

I'm sure many of you - like me - are emerging from your "pandemic trances" and settling in (at least a little bit and mostly begrudgingly) to our newly-changed lives.  I know I am finding a little more focus in my days, though I'm still quite surprised by the bizarre nature of time (but oh well, we can't have everything I suppose).  Still.  It's easy for me to end up going down a rabbit hole of despair, thinking about what I've lost and, of course, paying too much attention to the news of the day.

I found this little article from The Atlantic - about two "errors" in our thinking about the pandemic - to be helpful for me in understanding my own despair and rabbit-holing.  Maybe it'll help you, too?  Let me know what you think!

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Stuck at home . . . no travel coming up anytime soon . . . let's have some Armchair Adventures instead!

The New York Times has started a new feature: The World Through a Lens, a new in-depth look at some exotic locations around the world. Their first destination?  Easter Island!  Come along for a great Armchair Adventure with me.

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That's it for me this Monday morning.  
I hope your week is off to a great start!

(Oh . . . and how could I forget?)

May-the-4th-be-with-you

 

 


Just Another Monday

Like all the other Mondays lately.
(Actually . . . like ALL the other days lately.)

Before we get to "starting your engines," though, I just want to tell you that my blog platform (Typepad) has some . . . issues . . . now and again with commenting.  I have my account set up so that I receive an email notification whenever a blog comment comes in.  Every now and then, though . . . no notification!  That happened last week.  Y'all were commenting.  I just didn't hear about it!  I try to respond to most comments (although sometimes I don't manage that so well) (sorry), but when I don't get an email notification, it makes it really hard for me to write back to you.  So.  If you commented last week and I didn't respond, please know that I went back to my posts and read each one.  I'm sorry that I didn't reply personally.  I so appreciate all of your comments!  I love hearing your thoughts and suggestions or just sharing our friendship.  It means a lot to me when you take the time to let me know you're out there.  Thank you.  (And it looks like I'm getting notifications again, so let's keep our fingers crossed for this week.)

Now.

It's time to . . . 

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As usual, on Mondays I share a bit of this and a little of that.  Things I discovered over the weekend.

(And I always start things off with my quote-of-the-week!)

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"You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming."
                --- Pablo Neruda

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I cut this little bouquet of hellebores when I was out working in my garden yesterday afternoon.  So very many things in our lives have been canceled or restricted or have just plain vanished over these past two months.  Spending time in my garden reminds me that there are some things that can't be canceled:  spring, blooms, grass growing, buds bursting, birds nesting.  It's good to get out there and bask in what CAN'T be canceled.

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You know how it seems like time has sort of . . . folded . . . lately?  That we can't seem to keep track of the days?  And weeks feel like months while the days fly by?  Well.  It turns out there's something called 'The Oddball Effect' at play for all of us right now!  Usually, this time-folding thing happens most often for people on vacation.  (Or . . . staying at home in a global pandemic, apparently.)  Read all about this interesting phenomenon here.  (It's pretty fascinating.)

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I know many of you already listen to Brené Brown's new podcast Unlocking Us . . . but just in case you haven't given it a listen yet, let me push you in that direction.  Truly, this podcast is one of the bright spots in my weeks now.  It is the right listen at the right time -- every week.

New episodes drop each Tuesday.  (Extra bonus:  This helps me remember when it's Tuesday!)

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Vacation plans . . . have fallen like a house of cards. I try not to think too much about it, but it has been rather heartbreaking to see my travel plans for the year totally unravel.  California. Scotland. Italy. POOF! Gone. And I can't even console myself with a weekend in Chicago. It's rough. For all of us. No matter where we wanted to go.

Thankfully, we still have our computers. This year, we'll just have to do virtual vacations . . . Armchair Adventures!

Let's start off with a trip to Yellowstone. The National Park Service has put together a fabulous virtual tour of this terrific travel destination. The site includes maps, videos, photos, educational information, and lots more! You can even use it as a starting point to plan a REAL trip . . . y'know. For Someday. 

Have fun visiting Yellowstone from the comfort of your own armchair!

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I don't know about you, but I'm having a hard time settling in with books lately. I feel kind of like . . . Goldilocks.  This book is too sad. This book is too predictable. This book is too . . . pre-pandemic.  I've been having a hard time getting comfortable, although it looks like mystery (but not too "cozy" a mystery) with a bit of crime drama thrown in might be the "just right" genre for me right now. Classics also seem to be working for me these days.

Maybe it's time I combine the two???? Here's a list of highly-regarded classic crime stories for you to check out if you, too, are having a hard time finding that "just right" read. 

(I've always found that when I lose my "reading mojo," a bit of Agatha Christie or Jane Austen will usually get me back on track.)

And . . . just in case you missed it, the Women's Prize short list was announced last week.  I've read 3 of the 6 so far.  Two of the books won't be published until late summer here in the US, so those will have to wait.  I have Hilary Mantel's The Mirror and the Light in my Audible library . . . but even though I was really looking forward to listening to it, I find I'm not in the mood for it right now.  (It's partly that Goldilocks thing, but also, well, everytime I look at it and see that it's over 38 hours I just . . . can't.)

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Lastly . . . I'm sure you've all already seen this.  But just in case you haven't (or if, like me, you can't quite see it often enough), I'll leave you with this.

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Be healthy, my friends.  And get out there and experience some can't-be-canceled Spring!


Monday, Right?

Yep!

It's time, once again, to . . . 

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As usual, on Mondays I share a bit of this and a little of that.  Things I discovered over the weekend.

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"We must be willing to let go of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us."
                --- Joseph Campbell

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Stunning forsythia, isn't it?  Sadly, it's not in my garden!  (But I do get to walk past it every day.)

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We're living in amazing times, my friends.

We're all part of history-in-the-making.  With ring-side seats. 

Now is the perfect time . . .  to create a Pandemic Journal!  As a life-long journaler, this was kind of a no-brainer for me (and someday soon I'll tell you more about my own Pandemic Journal), but if you hadn't thought of doing this yet, maybe this article will inspire you to give it a try.  As you'll read in the article, a Pandemic Journal doesn't have to be fancy or formal -- just some easy, low-key way for you to document what's going on for you in these very strange times.  (Future You will be so glad you did!)

Are you keeping a Pandemic Journal?  I'd love to hear about it!

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We're all missing something these days, aren't we?  Me?  I miss the gym.  My sister?  She's missing live performance.  And especially musicals and plays.  Lucky for her (and maybe for you, too), I found this list of streaming theater in the New York Times over the weekend.  Click in to see what's streaming online.  Classic stage productions, new shows, Broadway extravaganzas -- there's something for everyone!  (And the seats are comfy, too.)

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Cooking at home.  Pretty much . . . it's our only option these days.  I consider myself lucky right now because I actually love to cook, and I have a fairly well-stocked pantry.  My biggest frustration comes from not always having quite the ingredients I want.  I've gotten pretty good at just winging it (generally), but I found this comprehensive article about substitutions to be really helpful.  Maybe it will help you, too.  (Again, this article is from the New York Times.  They have an amazing cooking section -- and have expanded access to many recipes in their index during the pandemic.)

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And now, a message from CoronaLisa:

Worried about disinfecting your groceries?  Do read this article from NPR about what you SHOULD be worried about at the grocery store.  (And it's NOT disinfecting your groceries when you get home.)  This is good, practical advice for safe grocery shopping during the pandemic.

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Mary has decided why wait for summer . . . and created Stay-At-Home Book Bingo this year.  Visit Mary to learn the rules of this special-edition round of Book Bing and create your own bingo card.  Come on along for this fun stay-at-home diversion!

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And, finally, from the Look for Joy department:  

A visit to Longwood Gardens is on my lifetime bucket list of things I want to do.  I won't be getting there for an in-person walk through their gardens anytime soon . . . but I can make virtual visits to their gardens right now!  Click in -- for short but stunning "walks," and see spring emerging at Longwood Gardens whenever you need a break from your day.

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That's it for this Monday!  I hope your week is off to a good start.  Be well!


Just In Case You Lost Track

. . . it's Monday again.  Time to . . . 

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As usual, on Mondays I share a bit of this and a little of that.  Things I discovered over the weekend.

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"Some days there won't be a song in your heart.  Sing anyway."
        --- Emory Austin

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(One of my neighborhood swans . . . )

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Let's talk face masks, shall we?  

I've been busy sewing face masks using this pattern, but . . . I really don't like the fit all that much.  I've tweaked and fussed with it for a couple of weeks now, and I'm ready to try something new.  After much (probably too much) research, I'm planning to try these today instead.  (This one is simple to cut out and simple to sew.  Fewer steps AND it looks like a better fit.)

Can't find elastic?  (Because apparently elastic is the new toilet paper. . . ) The pattern I'm going to try today includes options for elastic OR ties.  I've also read about suggestions for elastic-substitutes, including using hair ties or cutting up old pairs of tights or pantyhose.  Looking for an easy and effective fabric for making ties?  Use knit fabric or cut up old t-shirts (the knit will roll up on itself and make a comfortable tie). 

Want to make masks but don't sew?  Here are some great tips for making no-sew face masks.

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Looking for a creative outlet to get you through your days?  

Artist Kim Bernard is providing a daily 15-minute art prompt.  These quick little "exercises" are simple, fun, and a nice way to keep focused on something other than the news.

And artist/author Keri Smith is posting an Exploration of the Day (not every day but most days?) to help us all pay more attention to the world around us -- especially now that we are isolated, afraid, and unfocused.

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Have you heard about the Mouse Book Club?  I discovered these little books last year when I was trying to use my phone less (after my "digital detox").  These miniature phone-sized books are perfect when you're looking for a portable diversion out in the world.  (I used to keep one in my wallet, and pull it out instead of my phone when I needed to "kill time.")  Now that I'm not going out in the world anymore, I find I need a phone-sized something (now more than ever) to keep me from looking at my phone.  Again. 

Check it out!  A great diversion -- AND a great way to sample those pieces of literature you've been meaning to read anyway.

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Lastly, I have a couple of things to share that may help you with your anxiety and general stress about what's going on in the world.

First, something quick to read -- a simple antidote to help with coronavirus anxiety.  It's not going to solve all your problems, of course.  But it might help you make it through the next moment.  And maybe the one after that.

And then, something that will take a little more time -- but worth it.

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And that's it for this Monday.

Be well.

 


Another Week . . .

Another Monday!  Time to . . . 

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" Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all."
        --- Dale Carnegie

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This week, I'm sharing a guide to Coronavirus-related words from Merriam-Webster.  This guide will help you decipher the terminology you've likely been hearing regarding the Coronavirus . . . and will help you understand the difference between an outbreak, an epidemic, and a pandemic (among other things).

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I'm sure that, like me, you are coronavirus-news'd out!  But this is interesting, and maybe worth the read.  (I live with a scientist, and he is interested in a slightly different angle on this pandemic thing.)  This interview (from Wired) with epidemiologist Larry Brilliant talks about what we can expect from this pandemic, and why testing is so important.

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This touching poem, penned by Brother Richard Hendrick, a Capuchin Franciscan living in Ireland, made the rounds last week.  I'm sharing it anyway . . . because even if you've already seen it, it's really worth another read.

Lockdown
by Brother Richard Hendrick

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
people are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
so that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary.
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting.
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way.
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality.
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul.
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic.
The birds are singing again.
The sky is clearing.
Spring is coming.
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul.
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing.

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Yesterday, I went for a long walk with JoJo and along the way, we came upon this stretch of sidewalk in my neighborhood:

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It filled me with joy!  What a happy surprise.  (And as I circled back on the other side of the road, I saw another walker feeling similar joy as she discovered the happy chalk messages.)  It made me think . . . to look for some chalk and create my own messages of hope on the sidewalk near my house . . . to bring cheer to my neighbors as they walk by.  

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And here is something to make you chuckle.  This guy in Great Britain - a sports announcer - is "sports-narrating" events from  everyday life (now that there are no sporting events to announce) and posting them on his Twitter account.  I don't do the Twitters, but I could still click in and watch these videos.  They are quite fun.  Give it a try when you feel you need a moment of levity today.

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And you may remember last March when Tom and I went to the Butterflies are Blooming exhibit at the Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids for my birthday?  Well. . . the butterflies are back . . . but no one can visit them this year.  Meijer Gardens has a live butterfly stream on YouTube, though.  I'll be checking in from time to time to see what's going on.

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And that's it for this Monday.

Stay well.
Stay home.
Flatten the curve.


Is It Monday?

Because, frankly, I've lost track.
(Right now, all days kind of look the same. . . )

But, I'm pretty sure it's Monday.  So let's stay in practice and . . . 

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If you are anything like me, you've probably got whiplash from trying to keep up with what's happening day to day, hour by hour. It's unfathomable and frightening and anxiety-producing and just . . . unreal.  Un.Real.  With so much changing so quickly, I'm going to just keep blogging away.  Not pretending everything is normal (because it just isn't), but being here.  Being . . . in community . . . with all of you.

Because we can keep each other going.
We can feel less isolated if we stay connected.
We can share information and ideas and comfort.
We can practice . . . commUNITY.

Here are some things I found over the weekend . . . 

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"Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world."
        -- Desmond Tutu

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Right now in my garden . . . a bit of hope. Spring will come again.

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I'll get this Monday started with a couple of helpful coronavirus links:

First, this read from the World Economic Forum.  It's easy to get lost in the comparisons of today's coronavirus and the Spanish influenza of 1918-1919 (like . . . overwhelmingly lost).  This article (written by a microbiologist) provides a helpful perspective on just how far we've come since the dark days of the Spanish flu, and why there is reason for hope.

And next, this practical article from the New York Times on stocking your pantry.  (Coronavirus articles from the NYTimes are free reads for all right now, so you should be able to click in and read this whether you are a NYTimes subscriber or not.)  

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Many of us are practicing "social distancing" right now . . . which gives us unexpected chunks of downtime.  Maybe this is a good time to make a piece for the Tiny Pricks Project!  I'm sure lots of you have already heard about (maybe even contributed to) this project.  I know I've been following along on Instagram for a long time now . . . I think this is the perfect time for me to create a piece of my own for the project.  (There is certainly PLENTY of source material.)  (And, sadly, more created every day. . . )  

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Looking for something to watch?  Tom and I binge-watched High Fidelity on Hulu over the weekend . . . and we loved it!  You may recall that the 2000 movie High Fidelity (starring John Cusack) is one of our very favorite movies ever, so we had some (minor) trepidation about watching a "re-boot" series based on the movie.  If you share that concern, let me assure you:  No. Problem.  This is a delightful series -- true to the original movie in many, many (sometimes subtle) ways while bringing a freshness to the whole story!

So watch it!  And if you haven't watched the movie in a while (or a hundred times . . . like Tom and I), go ahead and watch that FIRST.  It makes the series even more fun!  (Sadly, the movie doesn't seem to be streaming anywhere right now -- but you can "rent" it through Amazon Prime for $2.99.)  (Worth it.)

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These are strange and challenging time, my friends.  Let's look for joy . . . 

YoYo Ma, the world-renowned cellist, has launched a hashtag over on Instagram -- #songsofcomfort -- as a way to share of the music that brings him comfort . . . in this time of high anxiety.  Other musicians - some you'll recognize, some just people in their living rooms with their piano or trombone - are sharing, too.  It's a joyful thing!  Check it out.

If you haven't signed up already, you may want to check out Clara Parkes' Daily Respite -- a "daily balm of escape, discovery, and delight" delivered to your inbox.  (Clara offers this daily subscription service for free -- or for $6/month if you can afford it.)  These daily, joy-filled surprises (because you never know what she'll send!) are great little pick-me-ups during dark times.

Missing March Madness?  You can still enjoy March Mayhem - knitting's answer to bracket sports - over on the Mason-Dixon Knitting website.  Check out the bracket and vote!  There are some great patterns in the competition this year.

Do you listen to the Happier podcast (with Gretchen Rubin and her sister, Liz Craft)?  Gretchen and Liz have put together a "bonus episode" podcast specifically designed to help listeners cope with COVID-19.  I haven't listened yet, but I plan to later today.

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Okay, everyone.  That's it for this Monday morning.

Stay well.
Wash your hands.
Flatten the curve.

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AND . . . If you have any hints or tips or thoughts about getting through these days of "social distancing" tell me about them in the comments.  I'll be sure to share them in later posts!  Right now, it's all about  . . . commUNITY.

 


Here We Go Again

It's Monday.  Time to . . . 

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"Springtime is the land awakening.  The March winds are the morning yawn."
        --- Lewis Grizzard

Welcome, March.  
(Let's get this party started.)

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Signs of life in my garden.

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I don't have a word for you this week.  Instead . . . I have a rhetorical phrase.  And a question for you.

So.  Let's say you're . . . unconcerned about something.  Maybe you're unconcerned in a sarcastic way, or maybe it's because you're just not at all interested.  What do you say?

I couldn't care less . . . 

OR

I could care less . . . 

And . . . do you think that one of these phrases is more grammatically correct than the other?  (I have always been in the couldn't-care-less camp myself.)

Well, it turns out that the Merriam-Webster dictionary considers these two phrases . . .  synonymous.  While "couldn't care less" is the older and more obvious phrase from a grammatical standpoint, the two phrases have been confused for so long now that both are considered correct.  (You can read more about it here, if you're so inclined.)  (Or perhaps you couldn't - or could - care less?)

How about YOU?  Which one do you say?

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I generally avoid news-related topics here on the blog (you get enough of that on your own time, I'm sure), but there's one particularly important topic right now that I think we should all pay (at least some) attention to you.  Yeah.  I'm talking about COVID-19 . . . the coronavirus.

Like most people I talk to, I'm kinda creeped out by the possibility of a pandemic . . . while at the same time trying not to dwell on it . . . and determined not to panic about it.  But still, I'm paying attention to it.  I'm not so worried about getting it, but I am trying to be smart and prepare myself for the possibility that it may cause hiccups.  So I wash my hands all. the. time.  (While singing Happy Birthday or maybe running through the ABC song.)  And I'm using those little wipes they have at the grocery store and Costco to clean off my cart.  That kind of thing.  And over the past few days, I've started stocking up my pantry, my freezer, and my medicine cabinets --- NOT because I think there's going to be a shortage (or armageddon), but because if there IS an outbreak in my town, I want to be prepared to hunker down at home for awhile.

Anyway.  Here's a practical and not-panicky article from NPR . . . about how to prepare at home for the coronavirus.  It's worth reading!

How about YOU?  Are you doing anything to prepare for the coronavirus?  Or . . . is this something you (ahem) couldn't care less about???

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So.

Is anybody else counting the days until the third installment of Hilary Mantel's trilogy hits the bookstores?????  (As of this morning, there are 8.)

I've had my copy on pre-order for months and months.  I. can't. wait.  (Even though I know how it ends. . . )

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Speaking of books . . . be sure to join Bonny, Carole and I TOMORROW as we announce the next Read With Us bloggy-book-group selection!  

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Okay.  I feel sort of guilty telling you about this -- because I lost a couple of hours down this rabbit hole -- but I must!  Last week, I discovered Blue: the Tatter Textile Library -- which is physically located in Brooklyn . . . but you can bring a lot of it right into your own home thanks to your computer!

I won't tell you any more right now . . . but when you need a little break, go take a peek.  It's balm for the soul!

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And there you go!
Monday morning, started right.

Enjoy your week!


Here We Go

It's Monday again!  Time to . . . 

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(On Monday mornings, I share a few things I found over the weekend.)

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"If the world seems cold to you, kindle fires to warm it."
            --- Lucy Larcom

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Did you happen to catch this over the weekend?  Yes!  It's one thing to read an awesome blog post by one of your best pals.  But . . . it's EVEN BETTER to read it again when it's picked up by one of the "big blogs!"  If you haven't already read Carole's most excellent essay, be sure to click in and read it now.  (And if you have already read it?  Well.  Click in and read it again.  Because it's a good one!)  Congratulations, Carole!  Thanks for speaking up - and speaking out!

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I tend to think that emojis are generally self-explanatory.  But maybe - before you hit "send" - you have a fleeting worry about that emoji you're using.  Will your recipient understand the meaning you're trying to convey?

Well.  Just in case you want to be certain, there is an encyclopeida of emojis for you to consult!  An . . .  "emojipedia"!  You can even track the "trending" emojis.  Or find the newest emojis.  (Hoo-boy.  Who knew?)  

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Hold on to your hats, everyone.  Mercury is in retrograde again!  Curious about what else is happening in the night skies this month?  Here's a quick run down for the month of February.  (I'm happy to be able to see the stars in my night sky again . . . for the first time in months! Thank you clear skies.)

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That's it for this Monday morning, y'all!  I hope your week is off to a great start.

And don't forget to check in here tomorrow for the third and final week of our Read With Us discussion of Fever.  (If you've been waiting to talk about Alfred . . . well.  Tomorrow is your chance!)  See you then.

 


Happy Monday

Time to . . . 

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(On Monday mornings, I share a few things I found over the weekend.)

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"Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine."
                        --- Anthony J. D'Angelo

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(That's a real blue glow . . . coming from sunshine - actual sunshine - shining through my stained glass window yesterday.)  

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This week, I have another timely, science-y word from Tom:

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It's one of those words that just . . . make sense.  But I still don't like to think about it.

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Have you ever wondered . . . how deep the ocean really is?  Click here for the answer!  This fun, interactive graphic will take you to the very bottom of the ocean, showing you what you'll see at every level all the way down.  It takes a while to get there . . . but it's totally worth the trip!

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Speaking of "bringing your own sunshine" . . . lately, I've been kinda cranky -- and I'm pretty sure it's not just the State Of The World.  I think it's because we only had a few hours of sunshine during the entire month of January.  And when it's dark and gloomy day after day (after day), it starts to wear on you!  If that happens to you, too, you might be interested in this simple meditation/visualization exercise I found -- a way to keep the sun inside you. Even when the sun is nowhere to be seen.

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That's it for this Monday morning.
Have a great week!

(And don't forget to join us tomorrow for the first of our Read With Us book discussions on our current book, Fever.  Carole will be hosting this week's discussion.  Please stop by.  The best part about a book group is hearing everyone's thoughts about the book.)