Schools With COVID and No Closure

Do the people in charge of our schools know all they need to know about the transmittal of COVID-19? Our local paper stated that our children’s high school now has a case of COVID-19. An email was shared earlier that day by some students on social media about the outbreak, which soon followed an article in our local newspaper. So far, at least four cities in our county have cases of COVID-19 in their schools.

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The schools are not closing down. They are still open, and one city saw their teachers file a lawsuit due to unsafe environments. It is risky to keep these schools open and more students come down with COVID-19. Where is the guidance? I keep reading about the districts talking about their so-called plans.

However, so far, I do not see a plan that prevents a spread. Sure, it helps that some children are remote. However, what happens to the children that go to school in those classrooms? Even if they social distance, how will the teacher not get sick? At the end of the day, people are not staying 6 feet away from each other when you have a school with so many students. From some of the comments I have seen from the school officials, I have to wonder if they know what they are doing. I would wager that many do not understand how COVID-19 spreads. I blame this on the CDC. The CDC has been very inconsistent with news regarding the prevention of COVID-19.

Just last week, they stated that asymptomatic people could spread COVID-19. When I took the COVID-19 class five months ago; it talked about the 2 days before symptoms started to appear. At that time, people were able to get sick and pass COVID-19 to others before any symptoms started. So, to see that these schools are not closing with cases of COVID does worry me.

Are we inadvertently preventing things from getting back to normal because we are trying to force normal out of an abnormal situation?

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End OF Week Two

We made it! It was a bumpy ride, but we made it to Friday.

Trying To Understand How Trump Could Ignore His Own Voters Due To Political ICing.

Trump’s lack of empathy for the blue states showcases a major flaw in his ability to lead a nation. When I think about a leader, I often picture someone like Sir William Wallace rallying his men on the battlefield. The one image that never crosses my mind is someone cheapening the grief and hardships of people belonging to an opposing party.

To make matters worse, Trump has tried to cut off his voters by shunning the Democratic leaders in the states that he labels blue. By even thinking about allowing those states to go bankrupt, he is showing just how much he doesn’t care about the lives of the very people he swore to protect.

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Election Day

To some degree, he has desensitized his position as a leader of a nation. It is unclear how his voters will react to his betrayal this upcoming election. The only thing we know for sure, is that millions of Republicans voted for Trump in the very states he wants to lay by the way-side.

I guess the real question is what kind of self repair button does a country need in order to find a way forward? When such lines of division have been made and drawn by the very leader of a nation, how does a nation survive? We are facing something so unstable right now. It’s almost scary to think about what happens in 47 days. I have this sinking feeling that no matter who wins, America will struggle to survive the Trump years.

Remote Learning Week 2 with a senior and freshman in high school

Remote learning week two has been a real eye-opener. As we are working on things this year, it has come to my attention that one of my daughters doesn’t know how to take notes. She is now engaged in a note-taking exercise that involves writing down keywords from videos.

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I found a site online that offered flashcards and terminology, so I printed the information out and made copies. For some reason, the school doesn’t seem to have books in a lot of these classes. The students are relying on notes. I would be lying if I told you that this makes this easier.

I’m going to have to buy a biology and economics book because I want the kids to be able to study the chapters away from their computers. As far as grades go this second week, we are doing good in most classes. My youngest is having a hard time with some of the sites that require special codes. We had to email one of her teachers and request a new code because the site still has her information saved from when she was in the 8th grade last year.

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So thus goes my day. We started around 8:30 and will go until the last class is finished. Hope all is going well for the ones of you on the same journey.

Are some Texas Schools Not rEporting COVID-19 Cases

Last week was the first week of school for our children
in Bell County. It was brought to my attention by my husband, who works with a parent from Belton ISD, that Belton has a case of COVID-19 in their school. The parents were sent an email about the spread. As of today, the incident hasn’t been in the news. I informed one of my children’s teachers about the case. She informed me that some of the teachers at my children’s school are not being updated properly. At a time when transparency is important, people are being strategic in their reporting.

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This is the reason why my children are remote learners. I strongly fear the information coming out of the school system will be somewhat misleading due to reporting issues. How are parents supposed to make educated decisions on the future of education when schools are not properly updating information? Take the Belton situation, for example, if my husband’s co-worker has to quarantine, the families involved will not just be limited to Belton, it will also be Temple and Killeen.

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At this time, I am calling for a clear understanding of COVID-19 numbers in the schools. Our teachers and students deserve the best information without weeks of delays. If neighboring districts fall victim to outbreaks of COVID-19, it should be imperative that the information is shared between close school districts. All it takes is one case to infect multiple people from different cities within one county.

The Pledge Of Allegiance could have been one of America’s First ENCOUNTERs with SOCIALISM.

There have been many arguments about players not saluting the flag or being present for the Pledge Of Allegiance. Right now, America is witnessing an era much like the one that gave birth to the Age of Enlightenment. The Age of Enlightenment took place in the 17th and 18th centuries. The era came forward after wars and conflicts caused people to look closer at their current circumstances. They would start to look closer at the government and their ways of living.

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Today people are once again questioning the government and what the roles of government should mean when it comes to everyday life. One of the arguments that we often hear today is surrounded by the question about socialism. We currently have two ruling parties in the United States, and it would appear that one party doesn’t understand that they have perhaps been answering to socialism this entire time.

The Pledge of Allegiance was written by a Christian socialist named Francis Bellamy in 1892. His Pledge of Allegiance would be altered in the future to fit our American views, but it still sets the table for a socialist dinner with all of us seated around the table. In 1954 President Eisenhower had the words Under God added to the Pledge of Allegiance, but this was not the first addition to the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Bellamy’s Christian Socialist group believed in the idea of equality. Ironically, I believe that Mr. Bellamy would be kneeling with the players on the field right now due to our current situation and how we are once again torn apart.

He was a Christian and he wanted to fight the evils of capitalism. He was also looking at ways to bring people together. In the very first line of the Pledge, ” I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Look at the part that says justice for all.

Is justice playing out for all Americans? You have poor people, people of color, and women, who often find a hard time achieving equality. My daughter was attacked by a mob of children some years ago when we lived in Garland, Texas. There were 11 or 12 girls that attacked my child, but the police only wanted to charge one child. The cops wanted to charge the black child with a misdemeanor, while they wanted to let the other children off free. I remember the officer telling me that he felt like the other children were good kids and that they would never do anything like that again.

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I refused to let them blame the incident on one child when all of the children hit and kicked my daughter. It was way too easy to blame everything on one child, and it wasn’t going to happen on my watch. This is what inequality looks like. It is a situation that showcases many wrongdoers, but only punishes people of a certain race.

When people choose to bend or stay in the locker rooms during the Pledge of Allegiance, they are not saying they do not love America. They are indicating that something is wrong with America. Not only are they honoring the integrity of the Pledge, but they are also honoring their freedom. Countless people have died for us to have the right to argue, eat, walk, practice our religion, and even kneel if we feel the need. By telling people that they cannot practice their freedoms, you are engaging in your own form of socialist behavior.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-man-who-wrote-the-pledge-of-allegiance-93907224/

https://www.independent.org/news/article.asp?id=1281

https://www.ushistory.org/documents/pledge.htm

Get ready for a look inside the pledge of allegiance

Tomorrow we will be looking at how our stance on standing or not standing could be skewed due to our perceptions. I can’t wait to dive in. See ya soon 💕💗💕💗💕

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Does standing for something that America was founded on mean worshipping and image, or is it more important to respect the sovereignty of the image?

So many emotions after hearing the family of George Floyd explain how their brother’s death was minimized

Today we are looking at a situation that has been centuries in the making. We have an accountability issue from the very top of the government to the lowest levels of leadership in our towns and cities. In most cases, we did not get here by accident; we got here because people too often take shortcuts. Instead of doing things the right way, we gamble with safety and other basic rights.

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From our leaders to our protectors, we see the same problems year after year. It is seen in schools, police departments, hospitals, government jobs, and the highest level of government known as the presidency. When I worked as a domestic violence advocate some years ago, I would often have to attend conferences. Many of the conferences educated us on new laws and services available to victims of violence.

My time spent working as a domestic violence advocate and legal advocate educated me on a lot of things. Mostly, it showcased prejudice within different departments. Some cities did a great job of protecting their citizens. However, other cities practiced near predatory actions towards victims.

One case comes to mind, involving a young woman being separated from her children. She was choked by her boyfriend, and as a means of self-defense, she scratched him to get him off her. You could see bruises on her neck, but it didn’t stop the cops from arresting her. While she was in jail, the man took control of her baby and dropped her young daughter off at the CPS office. He then rushed to file child support charges against her and had her served with a restraining order.

We read the numerous text he sent her, which showed how abusive he was. He took advantage of the system because he knew the cops in that particular city cared nothing about domestic violence. Often the shelters would do more to try to hide and protect women in some areas because the cops just didn’t do enough.

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After I started working as an investigator; I would soon work hand in hand with some of these officers, I previously complained about. One of my cases involved, Amber Guyger the cop sentenced in the death of Botham Jean. She was one of the most helpful officers I encountered. Seeing her whole ordeal play out nationally was gut-wrenching because I could see the issues on both sides of the coin.

Violence against women and people of color have been minimized for centuries. While the part of me that knew Guyger professionally felt for her, there was another part that knew the attitude of policemen regarding people in vulnerable situations. There is a whole lot of minimizing that goes on behind those doors which leads to trouble.

My daughter was dating a young PFC from a base near our city. He wanted to come over and see her after the sun went down a few weeks ago. I hated that I needed to explain to her why his traveling at night wasn’t a good idea because of the color of his skin. I explained that it was safer for him to come in the day because he would be seen as less of a threat.

You know how young children are, they wanted to see each other so, he came anyway. On his way to our house, two policemen pulled him over with two different squad cars. He called and was like I’m being pulled over, we quickly informed her to tell him to make sure his hands were noticeable at all times and to stay calm.

Why do I have to tell someone who looks like me to be careful about doing the same thing any other American does? We have to stop minimizing the issue with racial profiling and prejudice. We have to start warning our young people to be careful when approached by people in uniforms. The cities have to do more to ensure that people are trained properly in all forms of dealing with the public. It is time to explain what cities must do to build trust within our communities. I am not talking about taking funds away because I do not think that is the answer, but it might be time to talk about imposing new standards on hiring policemen. We need assessments that are geared towards seeking out racism during the screening stages of potential hires. If anything this might cost more money, but you cannot put a price tag on saving lives.

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Remembering September 11th 2001.

I don’t normally do blog postings from my phone, but I wanted to share something with you. On September, 11th, 2001 my husband had just returned from PT. For those of you who are not familiar with PT it is a workout sessions for the troops which usually takes place early in the morning. Apparently, while they were working out, they were informed about the first plane that hit the twin towers aka World Trade Center.

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I remember walking into the front room and asking why he was home so early. He told me to come over to the sofa and then filled me in on the events that had just taken place. We were stationed at The National Training Center in California known as NTC. At the beginning of the attack we really didn’t know the full account of what was going on. As we gazed at the TV we would see the following planes being rocketed into buildings and mass chaos follow.

After that day, a few weeks later, my husband and most of the troops on our street started receiving special orders. Some of us were sent to Guam, Japan, while others like my husband were sent to Germany. It was a scary time. In the coming weeks, I remember a flood of feelings rushing over us. After we arrived in Germany my husband and others like him were rushed off to training. After their training was completed they would return to make sure their wills and POAs were in order.

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While my husband was fighting in Iraq my mother got sick and died. This was the first time I would take a flight post 9/11 by myself. I hardly remember anything about the flight home, but I remember the flight that reunited me with my husband almost a year later.

We were seated next to a group of Middle Eastern men on the flight to Frankfurt. I remember vividly as I secretly wanted to exit as soon as they made their way in my direction. Something wouldn’t let me go. Instead of getting off the flight I engaged the man beside me in conversation. I told myself this would prevent them from wanting to take the plane down if they saw me as a good American.

After 8 hours the flight ended and a sudden wave of shame washed over me. I allowed my arrogance to think that I could speak for an entire people, and I allowed my prejudice to dictate my actions. I had never considered myself prejudice until looking back at that moment. Sure, I spoke kind words, but the thoughts behind the words wasn’t something I was proud of.

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You see, sometimes we can be prejudice and not even realize it because it is so deeply embedded in who we are at that moment. We trick ourselves into thinking that we are doing some service to a cause when in truth, we are doing it for other reasons. 9/11 means a lot of things to many different people, but this year please remember the healing stage known as recovery.

Love one another and let the differences between you be something good and not bad. That’s all I have.

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Goodnight.

Sorry if this is gritty!!

Added Benefits Of Remote Learning that some of us never considered.

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My husband and I have a rule when it comes to explaining coursework to our children. The general rule of thumb is that I help with anything that isn’t math-related! When I was in college, I took math classes that would pretty much ensure the completion of my degrees, and when it came to math, I would take the lesser of the evils.

My husband explaining a problem to our daughter.

He, on the other hand, would take high-level math courses, but I put him to shame with my many science classes. So, here we are explaining the academics that we learned in college to our children to help them build better understandings of their coursework.

I guess it might be considered the uncovered gem in remote learning. While the teachers do a great job preparing and sending the information for the children, it doesn’t necessarily come with the same level of understanding that they would get in a classroom. So, at the end of the day, we find ourselves having to explain new vocabulary and other questions.

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We also get those random questions that stink of information that belongs in unread paragraphs, and when we come across those, we simply inform our children to go back to their initial readings!!! Helping is one thing, but doing their work is not an option!

How DID Trump’s Mishandling Of COVID-19 Information Shape Current Numbers?

COVID-19 officially hit cruises like The Diamond Princess around the early part of the year. These cruises would carry people across various parts of the world with newly infected people walking the virus to their home shores. News has surfaced from a recent video with President Trump talking about the severity of the virus.

What we now know:

Trump knew the 7th of February that the COVID-19 disease was airborne.

He also knew how dangerous the virus was and that the virus was killing both young people.

With this information going public, we now have to look back at what happened around that time regarding the outbreak. At the end of January Trump placed a ban on people coming from China due to the virus. This informs us that he knew something before February. The bans on other nations being hit by COVID-19 did not take place until after the beginning of March.

https://www.defense.gov/Explore/Spotlight/Coronavirus/DOD-Response-Timeline/

The beginning response to COVID-19 looked pretty textbook at the end of January. It would appear that everything was being implemented to prevent the spread behind the scenes. However, the problems start in February due to implementing things that should have taken place early that month. It took Trump over a month for his travel ban regarding China to include other parts of the world.

By this time, you still had cruises in the water and people walking around not having accurate information about the virus. As he was declaring COVID-19 a national emergency in the second week of March, he was coming off a rally downplaying the severity of the virus, by saying it was a hoax.

Perhaps it was moments like these that helped create the largest gap in understanding what the virus could do, and how the virus could upset life. Off and on, Trump would publicly struggle to define COVID-19 as the monster he privately referred to it as being in the infamous interview. In many cases, those missed chances to declare the virus as the true danger to the American public presented the American people a false sense of safety. It would be the deciding factor in how many American families would choose to protect themselves, or not protect themselves from COVID-19.

At the end of the day, Trump defended his decision by summing it as a means of trying to prevent panic. Yet, every day he tries to push panic in our homes and lives by turning us against each other. Yet the spin continues.

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The Great American Cover-up

The Perfect Break Up SOng

K-pop is once again crossing into our living rooms, and the artist to watch is Jessi. I cannot say it enough, if you are a lover of talent, you will appreciate the different dimensions of Jessi. In her newest song she reminds us about the hardships of breaking up and getting your heart to confirm the needed adjustments. I’ve been married for almost 23 years, but I do recall those struggles. Her newest song showcases how multi-talented she is and once again shows that she should be a real contender for artist currently trending in the US. The song is entirely in English, so here it goes!

If the person in the picture beside Jessi looks familiar it is because he is the brains behind the new label P Nation. He is PSY who sang the popular ‘Ghandm Style’ song years ago. If you were like me you were dancing around the living room with the song on repeat!

In many ways K-pop has been with us for almost a decade, but thanks to groups like BTS, it is now becoming more mainstream with today’s generation. However, without people like PSY, we wouldn’t have those awesome groups that we have grown to love. KISSES ALL.

History Doesn’t Always Have to repeat.

History has always been my favorite subject. I loved it in elementary school to middle school and beyond. However, there was one common theme that always seemed to appear before major catastrophic events. People lost faith in their leaders.

It appears time and time again throughout history. People lose their way, and then chaos walks in. What baffled me was the acceptance of would-be dictators. Often these people would appear to be loyal, protectors, and worldly-wise. While they were plotting their path, people were too busy feeling protected to realize they were walking into a trap.

Before they knew it, their rights were carried away one by one. It started with things many people didn’t even consider liberties. In time the lack of liberties grew. Some people today see wearing a mask as taking away a right. I look at it this way. Wearing a mask means I can be a Super Hero anytime I want. You often see me riding around in my car with the window down and my mask on listening to my Birds Of Prey CD. I’m thinking about getting leather pants to match!!!

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In reality, being forced to work under unsafe conditions would be the worse of the two. It is a mind game if I give you one, and I take two, have I really helped you? Now children are being forced back to school under the threat of money being withheld from their school districts. This is another liberty that we are seeing removed. https://www.wsj.com/articles/pentagon-to-close-half-its-schools-in-u-s-over-coronavirus-concerns-11597345938

The lastest is an all-out assault on the Postal Service. Some of the people depend on the Postal Service for the bulk of their outside communication with debtors. People get checks, medication, and due dates for utilities on a regular basis through the mail. Some people are able to send mail or mail packages at affordable rates via Postal Service. For some small struggling businesses, it can be the difference between making it or not.

So when you are thinking about those liberties, think about what rights you are giving up or losing today.

The need for new leadership has never been more important

Official portrait of Vice President Joe Biden in his West Wing Office at the White House, Jan. 10, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

Our country is engaged in a battle right now. We are fighting with blinders on and one hand tied behind our backs. Months ago Trump and his selected group of personnel stood up and laid out a plan to opening up America. The plan included a series of steps that needed to be accomplished before states would be allowed to open. Read the plan here which was approved by Trump. https://www.whitehouse.gov/openingamerica/

Soon after that plan was mentioned states like Texas, Florida and GA rushed to open before conquering the first phase. Trump gave the governors more power to handle the virus while promising he would step in if the governor mishandled the situation. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/05/trump-governors-coronavirus/611023/

Trump went on to be critical of Democratic Governors like Cuomo for high death rates and other Democrats for keeping their states locked down. Meanwhile, here in Texas we had our Lt,Governor Patrick saying that people should die for the economy. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/03/dan-patrick-coronavirus-grandparents

So far he is getting his wish, caseloads are getting shorter and shorter for case workers overseeing the elderly. In some cases, as soon as the worker is routed a new client, he or she calls to find out that the client has already died to COVID-19. Now, the same people who pushed for the cleansing of old people are coming for our schools. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/12/us/georgia-school-coronavirus.html This article is about how one school district now has to quarantine almost 1000 people due to COVID-19. https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/11/health/florida-coronavirus-children/index.html Here is another story talking about how children in another state have been infected. Yet, our President wants us to believe that children are mostly immune to COVID-19. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/trump-covid-press-conference-children-immune-shooting-coronavirus-a9664106.html

I am sure he knows about the numbers, but the numbers do not fit his agenda or Patrick’s agenda. The Republicans are collectively putting our lives at risk each and every single day. They pushed to reopen states by kicking people off benefits before the states were safe enough to reopen. However, now they are having to add some of those same people back because COVID-19 is so out of control. With the surge that we are seeing in schools, it is just a matter of time before those are forced to either quit or get approval to work from home.

We had the audacity to think that we could skip vital parts of recovery and now we relapsing. So, I am calling on those who vote for Trump, to see the failure he has allowed to manifest. He has yet to call out the leadership in the red states with high cases from COVID-19. I have yet to hear him say anything about how Abbott or DeSantis fumbled the ball. What we are seeing is nothing more than a political game of chess that is being played with our lives. This isn’t about borders, socialized medicines, or funding the police in America. It is about people with too much to lose and people with two little to care. If you value anything at all, value your life, This vote might be the deciding factor in who lives or dies.

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American/Korean Artist Making A Strong New COmeback Jessi!!!!

If you have been following the latest in K-pop groups you have noticed that some of the artist coming from the K-pop scene are serious contenders in talent. While a lot of American artist seem to be skilled at either rapping or singing, many of the Korean artist are skilled at both forms of art. Take one of my favorites Jessi for example! She is a Korean/American female artist who actually comes from New Jersey. She moved to Korea as a teen and has become one of their top female solo artist.

Jessi has managed to stay valid in a country that pretty much likes to discourage women from showing their sexuality. In many K-pop videos women are dressed up to model almost a perfect dream of what a woman should be. However, Jessi pushes upwards with her unique style and unrelenting talent. She is gritty, beautiful, soulful and a truly awesome female rap artist.

In her newest song, she reminds you just how multi-talented she is and her presence as always commands attention with sounds that pop and stress the importance of being true to self. In many ways Jessi would belong in the K-pop hip hop group because she is just as talented as a rapper as she is a singer. Her song Drip which is entirely in English cased some heads to turn when commentators stated that she was being culturally insensitive when she compared her diamonds like blue Crips. Yet, many people forget she is from Jersey and some do not realize that Korea also has Crips and Bloods. So here’s my girl and her new song.

Jackson Wang is also one of those multi-talented artist. He is Chinese and is also a singer in the K-pop group GOT7.

Have a great weekend! To my readers in India, what are some names of Indian artist? I would love to get to know some new Bollywood.

What does a vote for Trump Mean This Time Around?

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There will come a time in the near future that requires our attention to detail. It will require our knowledge of the past as well as our ability to judge our future based on the present. Today we are standing at the edge of a cliff as a country. We are neither bad or good by default. Most of us are strong willed people with great values. We hold those values close to our heart. We all come from different walks of life and have different views of what it takes to be a good citizen. However, in order to truly protect our country we must accept the need for a different path.

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

Confucius

This is perhaps one of my favorite quotes of all time because it shows the need to grow. Reflection is thinking about things we have done, or that will be done. It is almost like a set of directions that one must understand before they are able to put those directions into play. It reminds me of the time when my husband and I were stationed at our second duty station. We had just purchased our first bookshelf. I was very excited because I had never had a bookshelf. There we were excited to the max over owning our first bookshelf. Jon took it inside and pulled out the instructions.

After what seemed like hours, we finally had our bookshelf. He took the time to reflect or study the directions. It looked just like the picture on the box. If we were judging by imitation, the bookcase was a success. However, after we placed our first few books in the top shelf our bookcase shattered to the ground. It looked sturdy, ideal and perfect without any defect. Yet, our best efforts had proven to be a little lacking. Jon thought he could memorize the details of the directions which was our downfall.

Voting is a little like putting together a really expensive bookcase. In order to understand the person you are looking to place into office, you must understand their ability to reason for the betterment of the people. It is easy to stand and say all the right words especially when they are given to you. You might even be able to imitate ruling to some degree until a situation calls for the heart of a real leader. In those moments that a country barely stands, a leader is needed to pull them up. COVID-19 brought us and other nations to our knees. Our leader did not lead because he did not have the experience in dealing with a country in crisis mode. Our cabinets have rarely been manned properly since he has been on office due to high turnover rates. Perhaps, this is how one can run a business, but this is not how one runs a country.

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We are living in the aftermath of voting Trump in office. We are experiencing what it feels like to have him as a leader in a crisis situation. I am speaking from my heart to your heart when I say this. Our brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers did not die on battlefields so that we would give this great country over to wealth and privilege. We won our freedom from people like Trump many years ago, so it is time to remember the dream. America must not be allowed to drift into a deep sleep under any man or leader. Trump has shown how he feels about the less fortunate. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-new-york-lawsuit/judge-voids-trump-administration-restrictions-on-coronavirus-sick-leave-idUSKCN24Z1Y6

Three Years Ago Seems Like Forever

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Do you remember what you were doing three years ago? I was getting used to my new surroundings and trying to mend my relationship with my children. We were talking about border security, health care, and a healthy economy. Then, out of nowhere COVID-19 came and changed the conversation.

It changed the way we celebrated life, mourned death and prepared for the afterlife in many ways. The old conversations no longer made any sense. The arguments over border security were pushed to the back of the room because we had a new problem. We had an enemy so lethal that it would push into our living rooms and tear at the very heart of America.

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COVID-19 changed the way we lived, loved and hated one another. It taught us that we often thrive and decline as one. We are stronger together and that holds true from the entire country.Just as family members who hadn’t spoken in years rushed to call each other and ask about their estranged member’s well-being, we must act in a similar manner towards each other.

I remind you again to pick up your phones and reach out to those you love. We might not know what tomorrow brings, but we know what this second can gift. We are together in this and married to this situation for better or worse. The only thing we can do at this point is build a protective wall around those we love. That protective wall includes sensible thinking and a protective spirit for our brothers and sisters.

Sending Warm Wishes To Teachers Starting School This Month.

This goes out to all the teachers around the world. We are here for you.

How Will Schools Cope With Teaching In A COVID-19 Atmosphere Created By Trump?

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Ask any teacher or principal across America this month, and you will hear one common phrase. They all echo fears of seeing their students get sick or their staff members. In many ways, we are seeing our teachers get tossed onto the front-lines. The enemy is COVID-19, but the teachers lack the full understanding and guidance of what needs to be done to prevent new infections, which makes for a future bloodbath.

Our government is banking on the same outcomes that other countries have seen in regards to school openings. However, what they are not explaining is the difference in COVID-19 cases, which played a large factor in how these schools were able to open.

Below are two links that show how many cases in least 13 other countries. The sites show what these countries had before they opened their schools. You will find that none of the countries had anywhere near our numbers. It is quite alarming when you look at it. The vast majority of these countries had under 70000 cases. There was only one or two with cases near 200000.

https://www.heritage.org/education/commentary/more-20-countries-are-reopening-schools-the-us-should-take-note

https://covid19.who.int/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0omSvvCB6wIVjobACh0QWgpTEAAYASAAEgJul_D_BwE

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In those countries that our government talks about; the outbreak was under control to some degree. However, in America, we are sitting at millions of cases, and that showcases a different dilemma altogether. Perhaps, our biggest problem stems from people still not understanding what COVID-19 is. Many people still believe that COVID-19 is nothing more than the flu. Trump has never really pushed the importance of bringing the numbers down in ways that other leaders of some of the countries in question took control.

While some countries insured real lockdowns and leaders guided their nations through COVID-19, Trump let the governors take control of COVID-19. Due to the political storm currently taking place in the United States, many states are now in near despair with COVID-19 cases. Our recovery has never been about health; it has always been about finances. If you look at the numbers of cases for any of the countries that opened schools you will see a clear sign. We are not ready for schools to reopen. Our numbers are too high and we have yet to get real guidance on dealing with COVID-19.

At this point all we can do as a nation is pray for our schools!

Why Is Texas Still Manipulating Virus Data?

According to new data published from articles in Forbes and other outlets Texas has once again changed the way our numbers are tallied in terms of infections and deaths stemming from COVID-19. https://www.forbes.com/sites/karenrobinsonjacobs/2020/07/28/reporting-changes-for-covid-19-deaths-in-texas-florida-may-give-ammunition-to-hoax-believers/#5337d9a4547e

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If you have been following COVID-19 and the outbreak in Texas, you know that this isn’t the first time Texas has revamped their reporting. Back in May articles were written in The Atlantic and other outlets showing that Texas was not representing COVID-19 factually. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/05/cdc-and-states-are-misreporting-covid-19-test-data-pennsylvania-georgia-texas/611935/

Our site published an article in the same month detailing how two eateries within minutes from each other were closed at different times due to COVID-19.https://shellzonit.com/2020/05/13/two-eateries-come-down-with-covid-19-and-they-are-less-than-7-miles-apart/ The newest numbers on death spikes due to COVID-19 comes as no surprise to those of us who have been tracking the virus.

For many of us, we are hearing about COVID-19 cases each week. My husband’s office is once again closed because of another COVID-19 case. This makes the third shutdown within 6 weeks. Not every case has resulted in a shutdown which is perhaps the reason why his office has been closed for at least five consecutive days now. After his boss came down with COVID-19 he and the coworkers could not get tested. Since then, there have been at least three other cases.

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I fear this is a common problem circulating in many businesses across Texas. We still have companies that are not closing down properly and making sure their buildings are cleaned to wipe out the virus. With practices like this we are going to continue to see the rise in cases. We may never know the true amount of COVID-19 cases in Texas or other states that are trying to hide the data from the people. However, as I have stated in the past, you only need to look around you. The answers are there, Google your COVID-19 cases every 24 hours and it will show you any local organizations that have closed due to COVID-19.

At this point, we cannot trust Governor Greg Abbott because he is an extension to Trumpism which right now seems to be a danger to all Americans. This is a very sad time for our state. Many of us trusted Abbott and even encouraged others like myself, to vote for him. However, he has shown us that politics come first, and that is something we can never have. We are watching the eroding of a party because the key members sold their souls for financial gain. Yet, I am encouraged by groups like The Lincoln Project. The following video could have been written from my heart and many others like myself.

Blog Story Continued

Two weeks had vanished without any calls or text. Sloan slowly closed her apartment door and made her way to the front of her building. Patience had never been a word she would have used to describe herself. Without giving her next move anymore thought, she took off walking in the direction of the clinic. Within a matter of minutes, the building came into view with boards covering the windows and a large chain wrapped around the front door. Sloan paused in a near panic and slowly walked around to the other side of the building. A large red leasing sign covered a side window.

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“Are you just now seeing it?”

Sloan jumped a little at the sound of the voice. “Yes, what about you?”

Norma walked towards Sloan and frowned. “No, I noticed it a couple of days ago. I guess we were scammed.”

        “No, I saw the company on TV, and it was in all the papers.” Sloan shook her head and looked back at the window. “Besides, I read testimonies from people who have used them in the past.”

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        “I could come up with a phony website and write a bunch of garbage testimonies. I knew it was too good to be true,” continued Norma.

          Sloan walked back to the front of the building. “Maybe they met their quota for this area. It could be anything, we are jumping to conclusions. I mean they could still call us, they said two or three weeks.”

          “Well, here’s my number just in case you lost it the last time I gave it to you. Will you call me if you hear anything?”

           Sloan took the card and quickly grabbed a small piece of paper out of her bag and wrote her number down as well. “I will call if I hear anything, but if you hear something first, could you please let me know?”

          Norma nodded and both women went their separate ways.

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  A few more weeks had rushed by and Sloan had not heard anything from the company or Norma. Life was normal at least post virus normal. There were no more shopping trips to her favorite Asian market or walks in her adored arboretum. There were however frequent briefings on tips to avoid the virus and the occasional message of law and order from President Filmore. The days seemed longer now that the chance of having a baby was no longer on the table. Sloan put down her laptop and opened her frayed purse. Norma’s number was still neatly folded in the side of her wallet. Within a matter of seconds, Sloan unfolded the card and picked up her phone. “No, I need this.” She looked back at the number and preceded to dial the digits.

“Hello,” said Norma.

“Norma, it’s Sloan! I wanted to call you…”

Norma shouted into the phone. “THANK GOODNESS, I am so glad you called me. I didn’t know if I should have called or not. I am so glad you called. I’m guessing you were called back too!”

Sloan paused.

“I wanted to call after my first appointment, but I thought it would be better to wait for your call because you don’t really seem like the sharing type.”

The room started to spin. Sloan felt the heat rising from her shoulders to her neck. Trying to maintain her balance, she backed up against the sofa and braced herself. “I didn’t get a phone call. I was just calling to see if you wanted to go out because I haven’t been out in a while.”

This time Norma paused on the other line. “I feel like a real ass right now. I thought you were calling because they contacted you.”

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“No, I guess they didn’t want me in the program.”

“Well, maybe they will call later. The lady who contacted me said they were late and that they were trying to get a new building for the people moving to the next stage in the treatment. At least give me a chance to do something nice for you. I feel really shitty for blabbing like I did.”

“Don’t worry about it.”

“Let me cook your dinner.”

Sloan held the phone away from her ear and looked down at a little black bug as it rushed over a small folded piece of her carpet. “I guess I could come over for a little.”

Norma’s smile could be heard through the phone. “Great! Give me like 45 minutes and I will have spaghetti and meatballs ready.”

Do Not Stay Silent.

Please Pass It On!

COVID-19 Struggles In Texas

Last week my daughter got sick and was displaying signs of COVID-19. According to the website if anyone is having signs they need to isolate which is what we made her do. She was isolated in her room until her fever went away without having to use medication to keep it down. We were the ones cooking and bringing the meals downstairs to her. After her fever went away and she didn’t need any more meds she was free to return to normal. It turns out she did not have COVID-19.

This was still a wake-up call for her because it was a glimpse of what could have happened if it were COVID-19. She was isolated until her fever was three days gone without any medication. This means she only had access to her bathroom and she couldn’t watch any TV. We both talked to her and explained how she was lucky because if she had COVID-19 she would be in this room for 14 days. By the end of day three she totally got it. While it was hard not seeing her walk around the house being her normal goofy self, it was even scarier seeing her bedridden with fever for nearly 24 hours. The ER was like bring her in if her condition gets worse, and it took a day or two for nurses to return calls.

When you are dealing with adults, it is hard to explain the reason why. If you recall, my daughter got sick after she went out with some guy two days prior to her coming down with a bad headache and body aches. She met this person from Tinder. Prior to this incident, she would ask why couldn’t she just go out and do what she wanted because she was 18. She would inform us that her guy friends were telling her that she should be able to do whatever she wants because she is grown. So, she wanted to know why we were treating her like a child. Why is a difficult word for many of us and especially for children, but when children are transitioning into adults, it is even harder. I think my biggest fear is that she goes to college and takes this same carefree attitude with her. There are so many dangers awaiting our children and while I am glad this situation turned out okay, for many daughters it didn’t end well. Some of those girls never made it home. So, I have decided to take her with me to the next sex trafficking conference.

https://www.paperlesspost.com/events/40079274-a6894b9f/replies/610975280-0fcee2a9?mkey=c2hlbHVuZHJhQGhvdG1haWwuY29t&utm_campaign=redeliver_rsvp_nenv&utm_medium=email&utm_source=event

As for COVID-19. My husband’s boss has it and the office was closed from Friday until yesterday. All of the people who worked with his boss including my husband are back at work today. None of the people were able to get tested. I do not know how we are doing things in Texas. I thought if someone you work with comes up positive for COVID-19 that those people who work with that individual are supposed to go into isolation. However, they are not requesting it and not testing the people who worked with his boss. She talked with her employees and worked in the same office. It really feels like we are on our own or are living on borrowed time. I don’t know what to think anymore. Our city made wearing a mask mandatory for a few hours, and then went back to saying it was recommended. https://www.tdtnews.com/news/coronavirus/article_243da032-ba1b-11ea-ae2c-b3810e69797e.html

I do not see myself going out anytime soon because I do not want to get mad and end up on someone’s YouTube channel. So for now I am trying to take it easy and calm down.

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Partisanship Is More Dangerous Than COVID-19 In Texas

Over a month ago I warned about the dangers of opening Texas after visiting a park location shortly after our leaders initiated the reopening of Texas.

Part of our requirements for reopening detailed people gathering at parks in small numbers with social distancing and the suggestion to wear a face mask. However, wearing a mask and social distancing were soon forgotten as people hit the sun.

Today we are finding that a large number of younger Texans are getting COVID-19 and it isn’t surprising. Greg Abbott never followed through with any of the consequences for people breaking protocols set by the CDC. In all honesty, he did not follow those guidelines. Texas never saw the decline in cases that should have preceded any sort of reopening. Abbott and others like him blindly followed Trump. They did so at the risk of our lives and countless others.

At minimum the government should have mandated mask and a safe path towards reopening. This has been a very confusing time for my own young adult children. I have three children ages 14 to 22. The 18 and 22 year old have struggled with Governor Mom, yes I like others, had to become the official, serving in my household. Okay, maybe not official, but I had to certainty put my own rules in place. It has been difficult at times, the Black Lives Matter protest was a big issue and my girls wanted to be right in the thick of it.

All I could do was go by the numbers I had been studying on a daily basis and do my best to explain why the protest would be a health threat. At times I felt hard-pressed because I am black and I wanted to very much be part of the movement. However, my 14 yr old has lung issues due to childhood illnesses. My at risk person is my child, so I stayed put. My girls also stayed put because they did not like my 14 day self isolation rule if they went to the protest. We ended up staying at home and joining other KPOP lovers by drowning out racist tweets. It wasn’t the same as walking in the streets, but it was our way of standing up for something bigger than ourselves. Take the racist tweets out one by one!

This brings me to the whole idea of partisanship. You can be part of something or a group and still have a voice. It is up to us to elect people who can be bipartisan. Right now partisanship is our biggest threat because it is forcing people to pick sides. They are putting ideology over commonsense. You cannot lead a household this way, nor can you lead a country in this manner. Partisanship stops progress because it deletes others from being able to voice their concerns and have them taken into consideration. Think back to the start of Coronavirus in the US. Have you seen both groups ever really come together in a bipartisan way? The answer is NO. We are a country divided to the core. Our leaders are divided and estranged from each other.

Frankly, I am feeling very discouraged because there is a lack of guidance. It not only creates problems in our country, but also in our households. It is enough to make a person pause and wonder what comes next?

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Changing How We Police Can Change Black Families

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There are a lot of people waking up this morning feeling stressed and somewhat disappointed. I am disappointed that we are still no closer to ending the rioting and disappointed that we are not seeing real movement for change within our government. We have to stop the assault on the black family.

Something has to be done about racism. Truth! It’s hard being a mother in America today. It’s even harder raising a child of color. I do not have any male children, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t had to have the talk with my girls about race.

Cops are not trusted even by people like myself who worked hand in hand with the law. Truth! My daughter went for a walk nearly a year ago in our neighborhood which resulted in a cop following her in his patrol car. She ran into a nearby store and talked to the store clerk until he went away. After she got home we had the talk. It felt uncomfortable to explain to her how she had to pretty much open herself up to all kinds of interrogations just because she was a minority. I had to caution her about arm movements, facial expressions and the reasons behind it. We have wanted to adopt a son, but for the life of me, I cannot bring myself to do it. I am scared, I am scared that I would lose him to a violence I cannot prevent. If our daughters aren’t safe, imagine the safety of a son. I do not live in a bad area, but I live in an area that seems to be skeptical of people who look like me. I look at people like Sandra Bullock and others who have adopted black sons and I am grateful and also a little jealous, if I am being honest. They can give them the protection they need from not only the streets, but from cops protecting the streets. The prayer is that one day America will be safe enough for me to raise a black son, but until we get real laws passed to protect our sons, I will be waiting.

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All Cops are the same. False! There are some good police officers and some bad ones just like doctors, teachers, and any other profession. The problem is that in some professions it only takes a few bad apples to cast a shadow over the majority. It sounds crazy, but it is true. The department often models the example that is cast down from the leader.

Everything can be changed right this instant. False! While there are some things that can be written down today, it might take weeks if not longer to get those policy changes on the books. One big obstacle is tracing the results of problematic departments. While a lot of organizations already have things on the books to help stop the stress on certain groups, some are not following with those protocols.

Police are the main hindrance in black lives. True! In someways it all leads back to the criminal records. When we talk about institutional racism it can be seen across the board in communities of color. You have issues in the schools, social work and the police department. Take CPS for example, there is a problem with disproportionately for removals of minority children.

Criminal Records Cause Lifetime Issues That Reduce Productivity. True! One of the problems I saw often when it came to people who looked like me was marijuana on their criminal record and other offenses that should not prevent people from having a life. We all know that marijuana offenses are now being lessened because it is now legal in many states, but you will never know how many people it has stopped from getting jobs, getting family members out of CPS and other issues that come up with gaining housing. Housing plays an enormous role on how a family is able to navigate through life. If you hinder someone’s ability to get employment due to misdemeanors, it reduces their chances of getting safe housing in some areas.

When it comes to placing a child inside a family, criminal history is one of the main things that holds black people back. I would spend hours trying to see if I could keep children inside the family due to the stress of foster care, but in many of my African American families, the criminal record would always come back to stop them. We are not talking about violent offenses or anything major. We are talking about things that you would not see in white families, because they were given second chances while black people were thrown in jail. If we are learning anything today, we are learning how black people are often reported more in both realms of reporting. Not only do black people get the cops called on them more often, but they also have CPS called more than other races in some areas. Keep in mind, around 15 percent of child abuse cases are real. That means the other 85 percent are bogus allegations and guess who gets a lot of those? What people do not understand is that those bogus allegations can still show up to cause concern to some would be employers. While they might have resulted in rule outs, they are still problematic. They show up on central registry reports which are used in the medical field or any field working with children, elderly or at risk populations.

So, things have to change! One day I want to bring my son home and say you are safe now. Until then, we will inform, and educate people on where we are and what it takes to move forward.

Homeless Due To Covid-19

In the coming weeks some people in the state of Texas and other states will start losing their shelter. These people have been hit hard by COVID-19, and now their situation will go from grim to unimaginable. If ever there was a time for a basic universal income in the United States the time would be now. In some cases, jobs go hand in hand with shelter. Getting a job depends on location, money, availability and transportation. If just one of those four items are found lacking, it diminishes the possibility for the applicant to advance.

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Not only does it diminish the possibility for advancement, but it also creates other problems such as neglect charges being filed, mental health concerns, and safety. It was always difficult to investigate neglect charges due to poverty. In some cases we would be able to redirect people to shelters, food pantries, help supply money for rent, but now a lot of those places are hurting for funding. My fear as an ex investigator, domestic violence advocate, and mental health worker is that we are now moving into dangerous territory. Truth be told, we have been there for a while.

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If cities allow evictions to continue when we are facing such unforgiving hardships, we will see spikes across the board in all sectors of abuse. We already know since the shelter in place started there were spikes in domestic violence, well if homeless trends start to pop up people will then be forced into unsafe living conditions. Homeless shelters can be extremely dangerous for people with young children and for women. They are often targeted by sex traffickers and other forms of scams. Child abuse will also increase as it often does is stressful situations.

Some of the people might be lucky enough to have family willing to take them in, but not everyone has family. In some states that are still allowing their residents to draw unemployment, they will be able to see more stability due to those funds. However, states like Texas will have to be very careful in the upcoming months due to the restrictions placed on unemployment benefits. While some of these people might be able to return to work, their hours will not look like they did six months ago. If you are a worker that gets paid by the hour, this could very well be the question of job stability.

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So, this is what opening looks like in Texas. It is a momentarily fix for the state, but a potential downfall for the individuals caught between the virus’s aftermath and transition. If you need more information on how to stop or how to get help with an eviction please read the article below. https://www.kxan.com/investigations/texas-supreme-court-allows-evictions-to-resume-this-week-but-many-renters-are-still-protected/ There might be help for you or someone you know.

Who Do You Support Former VP Biden or President Trump? It’s All About YOU.

It’s almost like we live in two different countries today. The common theme amongst Twitter users seems to be centered around political beliefs right now. At some point, a country has to be able to put down their opinions and state the obvious. We can make this country great again by looking at what we accept into nothing more than our front door.

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Its that simple. Think about the values you would willingly accept into your home and weight the two candidates. Let us break down the current presidential election. We have Joe Biden vs President Trump. Both men have tainted histories on race relations and questionable histories in regards to their treatment of women.

Here’s a list of women that Trump has been accused of abusing. https://www.thecut.com/2016/10/all-the-women-accusing-trump-of-rape-sexual-assault.html As you see the list is very long and there are some surprising people that show up on the list. Not only is the list long, but there’s a video of him at a party with a known sex trafficker.

Then we have Former VP Joe Biden. I was actually surprised at some of the accusations when I googled them for Joe Biden. Perhaps, I will add one point, there has been an update on one of the allegations and I will post that as well as the allegations. https://www.businessinsider.com/joe-biden-allegations-women-2020-campaign-2019-6#caitlyn-caruso-said-that-after-she-shared-her-story-of-sexual-assault-at-a-university-of-nevada-event-in-2016-biden-hugged-her-just-a-little-bit-too-long-and-put-his-hand-on-her-thigh-6 The update can be found below. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/oath-biden-accuser-tara-reade-cited-bidens-work/story?id=70829512

When I worked as an investigator sexual assault was when a person penetrated or fondled an individual. It was a little more than someone smelling someone’s hair or hugging an individual. I actually had a case once that was called in against a religious leader because he side hugged a minor. He didn’t touch her inappropriately and in truth she said she didn’t know if hugging was considered assault. The school that called it in said that they didn’t know if calling it in was the right thing to do because it seemed innocent, but we still investigated it. So, what is the medical term for sexual assault.

Sexual assault is any sexual activity to which you haven’t freely given your consent. This includes completed or attempted sex acts that are against your will. Sometimes it can involve a victim who is unable to consent. It also includes abusive sexual contact. It can happen to men, women or children.

https://medlineplus.gov/sexualassault.html

Both candidates have a sorted history of race relations. VP Joe Biden has said and done things in his history that makes black people uneasy. He was at times on the wrong side of the street. However, he went on to change his ways which eventually led to Obama nominating him for his VP. After he was in office he and President Obama went on to do a lot of great things for African Americans. I think Biden’s heart changed. If he were the man he was in his 30’s he wouldn’t have ever run with President Obama. He could have easily changed parties if his feelings were truly coated in racism. https://theintercept.com/2019/09/13/joe-biden-democratic-debate-slavery/ As a former investigator, I can tell you he was somewhat right about what he said in regards to family issues. The sad fact is that we have a lot of children without both parents in the home. That creates a lot of issues and those issues create more issues. https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2016/10/14/progress-african-american-community-during-obama-administration

President Trump has not been without blemish when it comes to the race monster either. He has said things and done things in the past which have often been aligned with racist individuals. However, at the same time, he has done some things that would become groundbreaking in regards to race relations in Florida with integrating establishments in a time when people did not feel comfortable with integration. He has also worked to improve the Criminal Justice System which was a large hindrance to black people. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/every-moment-donald-trumps-long-complicated-history-race Trump’s Criminal Justice Reform. https://www.prisonfellowship.org/2019/01/what-is-the-first-step-act/?mwm_id=295776850205&sc=WB1710B10&sc=WB1710B10&gclid=CjwKCAjwtqj2BRBYEiwAqfzur_gJ4gRLyjJfOhBrPZBXseMU-6_hwWwTPfalqSgujRxghGqPVbI1dhoCotgQAvD_BwE

So, at the end of the day, both men have been on the wrong side of important issues to some degree. One was able to gain redemption with his work in the White House under Obama, and the other one is currently still working on his legacy. If it were only about these two issues, we would be in for a good race. However, we have a looming issue called COVID-19 lurking in the shadows. Presidencies are built or broken on crisis and crisis reactions. With nearly 100,000 people dead and more sickness on the horizon hearts will change. This election will come down to two things in the end. It will come down to the recovery of the economy and the physical recovery of a country. If more people die because of the COVID-19 virus more people will feel a need to change direction.

When you are deciding who to support think about the front door question. Who would you be more likely to open your home to?

Progress On My Garden

I just wanted to update you on my progress. I have been working with my flowers for a while now. I really like the color of my roses and have decided to try to grow roses from my mother bush.

The picture below is from the veggie bowl I created. I think I have a little bit of everything in the pot. The idea is to make salads for my family. I have two pots, this one is the largest.

This was the before and here is my after picture positioned below.

I have one more pot very similar to this one, but I only took photos in one greenhouse this morning! Here are the roses that I have started to grow. I cut the stem away from the mother bush. I’m not really sure if they will make it because I have never done this before, but here goes nothing. Also, I do not know how healthy my original rose bush was, which could be the reason why my leaves have holes in them. I do not know if I should cut them off or if they can repair.

See I have holes.

These are new roses that I purchased. They do not look really healthy, but I am trying to save them.

I upgraded my greenhouse to the one below because the smaller one didn’t give me an option of adding more plants. Plus I like privacy to some degree. My greenhouse is on the front porch which often faces people who walk up and down the street. So, this gives me that privacy and more space. This is a photo of the greenhouse on Amazon.com.

These are some herbs that I planted. So far I really like gardening. It gives me something to look forward to, right now I am trying to get my water usage to a healthy limit. I think my plants have too much water, so for the next few days I will hold off on watering. If anyone has any tips, please feel free to share!

Two Eateries Come Down With COVID-19 And They Are Less Than 7 Miles Apart

I hear a lot of people asking for data when it comes to how many people are getting COVID-19. This is my response look at your community when you are asking for data. Data can be swayed, but outbreaks in your community will be noticeable, believe me! Take our situation for example. We had two eateries come down with COVID-19 in a two week span. One was a Pizza Hut which was reported here https://www.kxxv.com/hometown/bell-county/bell-county-issues-public-advisory-after-pizza-hut-employee-tests-positive-for-covid-19 and if you read the article you will see the days May 4th-May 7th.

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On May 3rd there was a report by a local news outlet that Taco Bell closed down temporally because of a case of COVID-19. This restaurant more than likely had it prior to Pizza Hut. The article can be found here. https://www.kxxv.com/hometown/bell-county/taco-bell-employee-in-temple-tests-positive-for-covid-19 We are talking about less that 7 miles apart. We ordered Taco Bell from Ubereats a few weeks ago, so we were a little alarmed and still somewhat afraid.

Keep in mind, this is a small area, so if our Ubereats person happened to come into contact with this worker and caught it, there goes the spread. We keep hearing the officials talk about the reason we are seeing more people come down with the virus deals with more testing, but do not forget that those are testing positive because the virus is spreading.

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We are talking about two restaurants within 7 miles from each other which could possibly cause community spreads. We get caught up in numbers, but when you get food from these locations, stats are the last thing on your mind. You start trying to think back to when was the last time you received food from these areas and if you might have been exposed to anything. Be careful and think for yourself.

When Opening The States Causes Confusion With Teenagers

Yesterday after my children and I arrived home, my 14 year old ran into the computer room and asked me about hand sanitizer. I really didn’t think much about her reason behind asking. I blurted out the location and went back to what I was doing. About ten minutes later my 22 year old walked in the room and informed me that one of Alison’s friends had magically appeared on our doorstep. She went on to explain how Alison was about to hyperventilate because she feared I was going to ground her until she was 20.

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Apparently, her friend biked all the way from her house to our house which is about twenty minutes away. I walked to the door and looked out the window and noticed that my daughter had on her N95 mask and had given her friend one. At first I was a little upset because of the situation, but then I thought about it for a second. How can we expect our children to understand the dangers of being out in this pandemic when our leaders lack the understandings of dealing with it?

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This weekend I saw multiple children hanging out with their friends and acting as if things were back to normal. At this point, it is a waiting game. The governor doesn’t want to open the schools up because he is afraid of children coming down with the virus, but he is opening up other avenues for children to get sick. As a mother, I can do everything I can in my power to keep my girls safe. However, I cannot control other people’s behaviors. I do not even want to dare think of any negative outcome of yesterday’s visit. I just pray that our children remain safe.

I am thankful that my daughter knew enough about social distancing and wearing her mask, but that doesn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. The government is sending mixed messages in regards to safety. On one hand, it is safe enough to go get your hair and nails done by someone standing directly over you, but it isn’t okay to sit next to your best friend in math class. If one form of protection is needed to preserve the youth, why aren’t all avenues covered in protecting the youth? A sick mother, father, hair dresser, or friend sitting next to a child all produces the same outcome.

And if you are wondering, I didn’t ground Ally. I told her I was proud of her for practicing social distancing and wearing her mask. She hugged me and said she was so happy I didn’t freak out. Silently, I was freaking out!!!

Thanks to all those that follow and read my blog. You make waking up at 3 AM worth it!!

Special Edition: Texas Opening During COVID-19 Outbreak- NO VISIBLE MASK !

With less than three weeks after Governor Abbott opened parts of Texas, we are now seeing mobs of people appear in various places. We are used to the high numbers of people showing up at grocery stores with their mask and gloves. The mask have been recommended by the CDC as a means to keep the transmission of COVID-19 to a minimum. Yet, today we witnessed something alarming. We visited a state park in central Texas with an undisclosed amount of people and the vast majority of them did not have on any sort of mask.

There were large amounts of people often gathered in groups larger than five. Normally when you pull up to a state park, the ranger, clerk, or receptionist takes your money at the gate. Today the person behind the glass window politely waved people through with the window closed. It felt as if you were visiting two different worlds.

In this bottom picture you will notice our local police department patrolling the area. They weren’t giving out any citations perhaps because nearly the entire park was without the CDC’s requested PPE wear.

If it weren’t for the pictures below, you wouldn’t even remember that we are in the middle of an outbreak. Just a few miles over, lines were starting to form at department stores. Some of the stores were opening with noticeable limits on how many people were allowed to enter at once. As you see, there still seems to be an issue with people standing six feet apart.

While some businesses were opening with strict rules on occupancy, there were others who refused to open at all.

These businesses perhaps tell the tale of what we are still looking at in terms of recovery. We are not out of the woods yet, but our government would have us to believe that all is better. With our governor not sending firm consequences for breaking protocols, he is setting the state of for an epic fail. All we can do is remember these signs stand for a reason. Trusting the government right now might not be an option because the government is thinking about monetary gain and not lives being saved.

Craving Normalcy During COVID-19

It’s so easy right now to let your guard down and pretend like things are normal. We see stores opening, people running to the beach and other things that resemble a country free of our current threat. We turn on the TV and our leaders are all chanting about getting back to normalcy and getting this economy back to a healthy state. However, privately they are talking about how we are still walking in the shadows of death.

It is enough to run a person mad. We are living in such a contradiction in regards to what happens next. This week I found out that the Taco Bell that we ordered food from within the past few weeks is now temporarily closed because a worker tested positive for COVID-19. Even if you try to be safe, there’s always the chance of the unknown slipping in. I think about the Ubereat’s drivers who have picked up from that eatery and other eateries. How do you contain something like a virus especially after the protective measures have been relaxed?

Then you hear the president talking about more death and of course our governor talking about how opening up will cause more causes of COVID-19 and you wonder what is life worth to those at the top? Are we only worth the amount of money we can bring in? One of our news stations is reporting that we now have a 911 center that is currently undergoing testing for COVID-19. Some of the workers have tested positive, will a large majority undergoing testing. https://www.tdtnews.com/news/central_texas_news/article_48dd8068-8b01-11ea-8228-8f1d7b96c4ec.html

Do you know how small our county is? Do you know how damaging it would be for any city within our county to come down with an outbreak of COVID-19 in their emergency response systems? When these politicians talk about the threat of hospitals being over run with COVID-19, they do not bring up other essential services like police departments, 911 control centers, or fire departments. Unless you are diligent in searching the events that take place in your areas, you will never get a real idea of what’s going on.

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I beg you to use daily Google checks for your areas, use the tool tab to narrow the search down to 24 hours. Do not leave it up to someone tainted by politics to dictate your movements in regards to safety. While we might be thirsting for getting back to normal, normal might never be the normal we used to know. We have to remain watchful, and make sure we are not in the number of people that will be causalities on this war on finance. Do what you must, but understand that you can be here today and quarantined tomorrow. Stay safe, and wash those hands.

Is Hand Sanitizer A Cancer Risk? Use Common Sense While Dealing With Hand Sanitizer.

So, if you recall, I stated that I would be making hand sanitizer this month. After all of my ingredients came in, I continued to research the entire process. As I was researching, I found out that making sanitizer can cause cancer in the people who manufacture it. Not only can those people be at risk but so can the people who use it often. So, this has caused me to look at things a little differently and perhaps pause.

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  1. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-thyroid-occupational-chemicals/chemical-disinfectants-and-sanitizers-linked-to-thyroid-cancer-idUSKBN17133O
  2. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/news/20160629/fda-asks-how-safe-is-that-hand-sanitizer#1
  3. https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2014/04/66770/hand-sanitizer-triclosan-breast-cancer

These are just three of many articles telling about the risk of hand sanitizer and cancer. Perhaps this is one of the reasons the CDC strongly emphasizes the process of washing your hands with soap and water. I am not telling people not to use hand sanitizer, because I made my family about 8 small bottles of sanitizer and purchased three more bottles just in case of an emergency.

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Yet, I am telling people to be careful about how much you use and often you are using it. If you are near soap and water, that should be your first choice. If you do not have to go out, do not go out. You can minimize the need for sanitizer by watching your movement. The less you mingle with people and objects that are not your own, the less you will need to use hand sanitizer. So, now I have enough bottles for us and my husband’s job. Would anyone else like a bottle of isopropyl alcohol? I am giving them away free. I have 19 bottles which is enough to help at least 19 families or people if needed. You will have to get your own aloe gel and essential oils because I need those for lotion and other stuff.

The alcohol is 95 percent so it will be strong enough to keep COVID-19 away, but again do not go crazy with using it. Be careful while mixing it and please don’t turn around and try to market it for high prices. We should be trying to help each other right now, not preventing others from being safe during this crazy time. As always, I am here trying to spread the word, as I learn the word. Maybe in a few weeks I will be able to showcase my products, but as for now I am trying to find ways to remove the need for parabens in my products. Parabens have been known to cause cancer, and after watching my father die from lung cancer, I do not want to sell any beauty product that trades beauty for health.

Be safe and remember it take a village! Look out for each other.

There are three methods to gaining wisdom. The first is reflection, which is the highest. The second is limitation, which is the easiest. The third is experience, which is the bitterest.

Confucius

Don’t Keep It In, Write It Out!

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We are living in a stressful time and people are suffering all over the world. Right now would be a really good time to pick up a hobby or start a new project to get your mind off of the stressful junk. It feels like we are in the middle of a boat that’s headed down the river. We do not know what we will find, but we know we must stay inside , and survive the gathering storm.

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So, instead of worrying about it, blog about it! You can blog about anything under the sun. You can start a blog about poetry, songs, photos, paintings, or even your feelings about being alive in 2020. Your blog is your space to unwind, I think of my blog as a home away from home. It’s 2 in the morning and this is where I want to be.

I think it’s important to have an outlet right now because there are so many people out of work, worried about going back to work, or worried about their loved ones going to work. I mean there is fear at every crossing, but it doesn’t have to immobilize you. I remember when my husband was in Iraq and the girls and I were in Germany. I got word that my mother died which was horrible because this was someone I used to call three and four times a day. Getting on the plane was the hardest thing I ever had to do, because it was to say goodbye for the last time.

In those moments, I ran towards writings, it was my only way of dealing with my grief. I didn’t really know anything about writing. I only knew writing made me miss her less. So, when I wrote The Last Love Story. It was more about how I felt pretty much abandoned even as an adult. I have never had the heart to take the books down, because for me they were a healing process. I do not know where I would be today if it weren’t for those moments back then. https://www.amazon.com/Last-Love-Story-S-B-Santiago-ebook/dp/B008C5HSIW/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=the+last+love+story+by+s.b.+santiago&qid=1588317742&sr=8-1 So, it is okay to be upset, just make sure you are doing something to deal with the emotions.

Results From My Garden!! The Photos Are From My Hubby!

My progress!

This is a rose from my garden. I have done a pretty good job with keeping them alive so, I will buy a new bush and give it family.

These are the veggies I planted. They are growing!!

I am still working on how to keep my leaves from dying in my rose bush.

I fear this little baby might be in trouble.

You Have The Ultimate Power To Stay Safe

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As the nation ends preventive measures like Stay-At-Home Policies across the nation, many of us are starting to feel a little uneasy and even forced into a situation that we do not feel comfortable with. For the majority of us, we understand that the timing is very questionable, but the government has placed many of our sisters and brothers in a difficult situation. At the current time our country lacks the very items that are needed for many of us to be safe. Hand sanitizer, mask and other things that are extremely important however they are nowhere to be found. I have ordered two different sets of mask from Amazon and have yet to get either order. I have also ordered two small bottles of hand sanitizer and those haven’t come yet either. My husband is essential and his one bottle has started to run out. He had an extra bottle at work, but it was stolen. He now has to use the one bottle that was supposed to be for all of us and siphon what little hand sanitizer we had for the cleaning of his hands. It is now used as his travel bottle because he isn’t always near water and a sink. As for the rest of us, we do not go out. We are at home until we can get the items we need to be safe on the outside.

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Our family will do exactly what we started before the shelter-in-place ordered was instituted. We had already started avoiding large crowds and finding other ways to stay safe. https://shellzonit.com/2020/03/03/moving-around-during-an-outbreak/ Not only will we continue to be careful, but I will start making our own hand sanitizer. I have found out that the little stores down the road never have hand sanitizer which leaves the clerks in danger. I will give them some bottles as well as my husband and his coworkers some bottles to keep them safe. I will have a stash for my blog readers, it will only be a certain number because the rest I will have to sell in order to continue making the sanitizer.

I am still waiting on my supplies and I will not post any info until we have used the sanitizer on ourselves to make sure they are safe for all. We have eczema in our family, so we want to make sure no skin type is harmed by the mixture. It is the CDC’s formula which means it will be followed by what they are referencing. I cannot promise a date because again a lot of the preventive measure items that I have ordered are still missing in action. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/20/fda-says-it-wont-take-action-against-manufacturers-that-start-making-hand-sanitizer.html If I am able to get my stuff up and running, it will be at a price that allows all people to afford. The biggest obstacle I see will be shipping, I have to find a way to afford shipping without charging too much for shipping. We shouldn’t be selling anything costly when we have a pandemic and especially when people are being forced to participate in something that could end their lives. Here in Texas our people have little or no choice when it comes to returning to work. They must either return or see their financial help cut off. That’s not fair, but that is how the government is treating their citizens. If you ask me the government should be giving people the gloves, mask and hand sanitizer to stay safe, but safety isn’t their man concern. Their main concern is making money and keeping the markets from going under. So, stay safe as always and we are in this together.

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The Pieces Of Childhood Our Children Will Never Get Back

We are coming to the end of the second month of school closings. As we approach the months ahead I think it is important for us as parents to talk to our children about their feelings and their anxiety over missing out on special events. Many of these milestones are once in a lifetime events which some will never get a chance to make up. Many of our children have had to say goodbye to relationships, trips , visits to their favorite teacher’s rooms and some have seen their prom preparations go up in flames.

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In my own children I can see an uneasiness that I haven’t seen before. My 18 year old talked about going to college all the time before COVID-19 took place. We found out that our Alma mater is offering classes to high school sophomores and up for 90 dollars per credit. One of the classes is Introduction to Sociology and there are a couple of other classes. We were excited because this was something our daughter had been talking about for almost a year. When we presented her with the idea, she had a mini freak out session. She didn’t want to go to college online and it didn’t stop there. She continued to explain if she could not go to school inside the classroom,then she wouldn’t attend college at all.

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My first thought was to insist that she would be enrolled in one of the classes, but then I started thinking about something. Right now her entire life has been turned inside out. While we are talking about college classes, she is still getting used to doing her high school classes online. I think we were wrong to press the conversation at this point because it brings a sense of long term changes that these children are not ready to deal with. It’s one thing to tell our children you cannot go back for the rest of the school year, but it is something else to tell them that their college dreams have been placed on hold for who knows how long. At any rate, I’m trying to be more thoughtful about her feelings and her fears.

Right now there are a number of adults freaking out about not being able to go out and get perms, nail jobs, or have happy hour with their pals. I would ask them to look to the plight of the young person today. It is a unknown road with unspoken fears. While many of us talk about the things we miss, we are at least in a position to get those memories back. Some of our children will never get to embrace the very events that helped to shape our school year experiences. The key word for this week in understanding. Understand that our children are dealing with the same situation we find ourselves in, but they do not have our knowledge of recovery. Have a happy week and be strong.

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Texas Starts Reopening State Parks & Some Retail Stores With Certain Guidelines This Week.

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At the end of week we will mark a very telling move in our battle to stay COVID-19 free. For many of us, we have been monitoring our movements, and listening very closely to our government. This week in some ways, that will change. If ever there was a time when people turned their back on the government, I think you will see it happening this week with the COVID-19 situation.

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It’s simple for many of us, we are not engaging in risky behavior like mass gathering until we hear the CDC say it is ideal for the government to reopen. Our government has shown that they cannot be trusted to do the right thing in regards to following advice from the CDC. Take Texas for example, A three phase rule was put into place as a road map for reopening the states. Texas has not mastered the first rule which details a decline in COVID-19 cases for at least 14 days. Not only has Texas not mastered the first phase, but Texas hasn’t tested nearly enough people to claim any sort of success. If anything lawsuits have helped to bring us to where we are today.

It’s simple, some of us are not caving. In my city, we already have multiple businesses as essential. We have pawn shops, loan places, banks, restaurants (Drive Thru), gas stations, grocery stores, home improvement stores, Best Buy (saw cars in parking lot), Target, Walmart’s, Sams, Dollar General, Family Dollar, and Aldi open to the public. Our COVID-19 numbers keep going up which probably have something to do with the amount of things that never really closed down. The retail section of Governor Abbott’s move to reopen Texas does not bother me as much as the move to open state parks.

Social distancing was put in place to prevent large amounts of people from standing near each other in the stores, but nothing really mandated any of the organizations I named above to shut down. If anything, what the new retail policy will look like, will be more stores having to deliver, take togo orders, and utilize shipping opportunities. As of this date, our numbers continue to increase, so does the largest city in our county. We were the epicenter for a month or two. Now, the city outside of Fort Hood has taken on that title. Killeen which is the largest city in Bell County happens to be the feeder city to the Army base. There have been reports of soldiers coming down with the virus and once again the numbers in Killeen are rising everyday.

So, with new guidelines opening up more places, we will see some rises in COVID-19. There’s no telling how many people have COVID-19 in this state because we never really shut down. Churches stayed open for service, while schools shut down for the rest of the school year.

My fear is seeing something like we saw in Florida this past weekend. Our state parks are known for cookouts, swimming, fishing, and loads of recreational outlets. I do not see how park rangers will be able to monitor all parks and people congregating on hundreds of acres in various places. It’s like the drinking thing, you aren’t supposed to bring beer to the parks, yet people do it all the time. Are you telling me that the rangers will look at every park goer and monitor their face and enforce the mask, six feet apart, and limited 5 person per group order the entire duration of their stay? Parks are open for hours. How will the recreational lovers eat if they are participating in a cookout? That face mask will have to come off.

It just seems like a disaster waiting to happen. It will encourage more gathering and the chance to spread something that many people might not know they have. The weather here in Texas is very unpredictable, it could be 58 today and tomorrow the temperature could reach 80 degrees. So, it wouldn’t be uncommon for people to just pass something off as being a seasonal cough or sickness caused by the weather. I would feel so much better if we were not seeing rising numbers of COVID-19.

However, there is a glimmer of light for our county. While the number of people contracting COVID-19 continues to climb, the number of people cured also continues to climb in our area. We have more than enough hospital beds due to this area being surrounded by hospitals. I wish I could say the same for some of the other areas in Texas. I grew up in a small country town with only one store, and one Post Office. That is a recurring situation in many of the small towns in Texas. Some of these towns have hospitals that might be at least 15 to 20 minutes away in other cities.

So, once again, I hope we do not see a rise in cases. However, I do not see how we will miss a surge with more options for people to gather. While the cases are not overwhelming yet, it could change if people get careless. We need to know how many people in this state currently have COVID-19. It would help people monitor their movements a little more.

Explaining The Response Of The Government To Children In A COVID-19 Atmosphere

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My 18 year old daughter wanted to go on a date with a person she’s been talking to during shelter-in-place. Her understanding was that we were now in a better place with the virus since or governor eased up on the shelter-in-place policy. With parts of Texas opening back up and our president calling for a liberation of some states with shelter-in-place, the virus is starting to look like it is ending, to young people.

I agreed that both leaders have given the green light in some instances, but that it doesn’t mean we were out of the woods. I then informed her that we have the highest amount of people with the virus and that we also have lost the most people of any single country. As for our state, we haven’t even tested a good 10 percent of the population with people dying each day and new cases on the rise.

Just as the words made no since coming out of my mouth, a look of confusion flashed across her face. I continued and explained that COVID-19 was still pretty much a threat which is why school has been cancelled for the rest of the school year. She agreed that now wasn’t the time for the date and that it was probably best to listen to mom on this one.

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I used to think our government was somewhat smarter than the general population. I mean, in order to lead a state, nation, you would think they would be at least smart enough to know when to advance to go. Perhaps it doesn’t matter because at the end of the day, it is my job to take care of my family. The sad fact is that COVID-19 is increasing in numerous states. Our nation is now downplaying the threat just like they downplayed the likelihood of it causing any real risk to America.

My fellow friends, now is the time to stock up and be careful. Do not take extra risk and do not be fooled by the people who are willing to risk life for money. The Bible tells us that money is the root to all evil. I used to wonder in what capacity could money be evil, but then this situation took place. I believe we are being lied to from the top levels of government to stimulate the economy. This means the economy will get enough of a jump to boost up momentarily only to see a fall when newly infected individuals start to get sick.

Do not let your guard down. You do not have to go out and purchase all the food from your local market, but take notice of where your supplies are coming from. Know where local meat markets are located and stores that sell extra items. In case another shelter-in-place command comes down, you will be ready. Even if you are just buying one or two items a day, make sure you are buying something that you can use in case of an emergency.

Use your Nextdoor Apps to check on your neighbors. A lot of people are asking for help on the app and even setting up groups that go out and provide aid. Continue to help where you can, but do it in a way that keeps you and your family safe. Some of the hospitals that are dealing with COVID-19 are asking for donations, now would also be a great time to give a little to help those people. We might not be able to trust government, but we can still be there for each other.

If you are from other countries, post your information in my comment section and if you need help, we can try to do what we can to get you the help you need. All life matters and until we are all healthy and living the life we want to live, we should be trying to be there for each other. So hugs to all of you from all over the world! I know we are not the only ones hurting at this hour. To my readers in India, Spain, Italy, France, Philippians, UK, Ireland, US, Canada, and Poland I am sending my hugs. If I missed anyone, I am sorry.

Kisses from Texas!!

When Shelter-In-Place Gets Hard To Do

It doesn’t matter how large the house, or the apartment people are starting to feel restless. Our children are missing their friends and for many of us the walls are starting to feel a little like a prison.

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Due to the boredom and the restlessness that some of us are now starting to feel, many of us are doing unsafe things. If you are anything like my family, staying indoors can become a real obstacle after a while. The children start complaining, the TV shows start to get just a little boring, and online gaming loses it’s appeal.

So, what do you do with all your free time? Do, you throw caution to the wind and start going out mixing with other neighbors, or do you find a new coping skill? Did I really just say the C-word? Yes, because at the end of the day, that’s what we are doing. We are all trying to cope with COVID-19. Instead of risking your health and going out. Now is the time to try something new within your house. Maybe there’s a deck that needs repainting or a backyard playhouse that needs revamping. This would be the perfect time to take on that mission!

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This weekend my children will take on a new project that requires paint brushes and lots of paint. It wasn’t something I wanted to do, but it was something that my 14 year old requested some months back. She wanted to repaint their clubhouse. So, when we went to Walmart’s last weekend for food and supplies, I picked up paint.

I have been thinking a lot about the near future and food supplies. While I have faith in our ability to produce food as a nation, I am also a realist. If the crappola hits the fan, I want to be able to provide my children veggies. So, I am setting up a small garden this weekend. If all goes well these projects will help to add a little more life into a stressful atmosphere.

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Both of these projects are cheap and something anyone can try. The painting is something in the art realm and the gardening is something in the horticulture realm which both offer coping mechanisms. I think a lot of us who deal with mental health issues have to really be on top of trying to stay mentally healthy right now. I won’t lie, there are times when trying to commit to a coping skill seems downright unrealistic depending on how low my mood gets. It is one of the reasons I took down the calendar for my blog, because it was easy to see my spiral schedule, so to say!

Blogging also helps me stay mentally healthy. I was diagnosed with depression when I was a teenager after I tried to commit suicide. My parents were really against medication and eventually turned their back on therapy. So, oftentimes I would just kind of dangle in the wind. The only outlet I had was nature and writing. I would take long walks on our land and often end up at the pond watching the water below the small branches roll back and forth.

Water is my go to when the weather permits, but after we moved away from our last area, I haven’t been able to swim. I miss going to the lake and watching the boats sail by, I once even saw a floating car. One of my fears is that I will not be able to visit the water again. If this ordeal has taught me anything, it has taught me how to value everything in my life, no matter how small. So call on whatever you can to get you through the monotony of the day.

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Just this morning, I ordered Girl Scout Cookies because I miss it. It was normal, and it can be similar to normal without breaking the shelter-in-place command. So, when I get those cookies, I’m going to love on them a little before I devour them!! If you feel the need I will post the link. I can do something fun until my treadmill makes it here! https://www.girlscouts.org/en/cookie-care.html#get-inspired

In close, try find something uniquely you! It doesn’t have to cost money, or be outrageous. It can be the most simple thing, writing a book, starting a blog, or taking on a new skill! It just needs to be something that gets you out of your head. Have a safe weekend!

Feeling Stressed Out Over Trump’s Decision To Open The Country

This entire week, I have been stressed out. My sleeping schedule has been horrible and it is because I am worried. For the first time, I am worried about our country. It feels like we are living in a country without real leaders.

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There’s no way to lift the shelter-in-place order without risking lives. Picture a town with maybe ten cases of COVID-19. Xtownship is the name! They might have a low number of sick people, but for sake of argument, say two towns down there is another town called Rapidtownship. They have a much larger number of people who carry the virus. Now, lets say this town finds out that it is safer to shop in Xtownship because they have less carriers, so they decide shop there and mistakenly take the virus with them. You now have new infections starting to pop up and more people having to go into hospital settings due to the new infections.

Add those to the 2000 people that are already dying each day, and you have a situation where our outbreaks starts to rival the world’s outbreak in cases overall. Lifting restrictions right now is so dangerous. It would be different if we weren’t the country with the most cases, but we are seeing new numbers daily. Our government is about to knowingly kill thousands more because they want to save the stock market.

Trump is sending a dangerous message and his people are listening. They are lining the streets in some cities already breaking shelter-in-place polices. In January someone in China posted this video.

I would tell him that I know a country that is doing just as bad as China. I would tell him that his warnings weren’t noted and that people didn’t learn from his experience because we were hard headed. I would also like to tell him thank you, for helping us to understand what to look for. When I first saw this video, I wished we could have saved the innocent dying from Wuhan, but now I wonder who will save us from Trump. He is going to destroy this country by letting people die and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

By lifting these restrictions, he will put stress on fire fighters, policemen, hospital workers, and anyone else who works as a first responder. Think for yourself, and protect yourself. This government is moving to list things as essential for monetary gain. Ask yourself, why did the shelter-in-place go down long enough for rich people to make it out? The poor people are once again stuck, much like they were in China. The rich people have been able to relocate and you can bet your socks they will not be going out.

So, this is what we must do because our safety starts with us. First of all, make sure you are searching COVID-19 in your county daily. Your county should be giving an update as to how many cases are being reported as well as the number of dead. I use Google because for me it is easier. You go the Google search engine and put in your county and COVID-19. Make sure you also put in the state. After you do that, go all the way over to the tools bar under your search engine. It will be located right under the microphone. Click on it and then a list will appear under ALL which will start with anytime. Now, do not pick anytime, go down to the last 24 hours and run a check. This will bring up any new info within the last 24 hours in your county. Sometimes you might want to run last hour, but I would pick 24.

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This option will give you any new stats for new cases of COVID-19 and information on deaths. You can do this for any state, county, or city. This will also show if there is a rise in cases in your area. Be careful and just remember that we are in this together. Sending hugs to you all.

Yesterday I Purchased A Gun

I grew up around guns and even have guns back in East Texas, but I have never acted on going to pick them up. Lately, there have been recordings of people breaking into homes and cars around my area. They are wearing mask if you can believe it. They are afraid of catching COVID-19, but not afraid of breaking into houses and cars.

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Anyway, I got something that would stop an individual without killing them. My husband wanted a pump action shot gun, but I didn’t want anything that lethal. So, I got something that will stop a person without causing a fatal blow. I got a semi automatic rifle, and I thought it would make me feel more protected. In reality, it just made me feel dread to some degree. If you decide to get a weapon, make sure you do not keep the ammo in the gun. I know it sounds crazy, but it is a precautionary issue. Never store ammo in the gun. Keep the ammo in a location known by you and your spouse.

I remember all the shooting lessons I had with my father when I was younger. I do not know if I want to teach my children how to shoot. My husband and I both know how to handle a gun. He has special training from the military and I have training from my youth.

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I also purchased a treadmill, security cams and new mask on Amazon because we used our last ones yesterday. I hope I am wrong, but if they open the government too soon, things are going to get a lot worse. All we can do is wait this thing out and try to be there for each other. This weekend I plan on trying to grow another round of veggies. I wouldn’t call myself a prepper, but I am certainly not going to be passive in this whole ordeal.

Hope for the best, but plan for the rest.

Seeing My Life Through A COVID-19 Lens

It’s almost 5 AM on this Monday morning. Normally, I would be trying to grab at least one more hour until the alarm clock buzzed me out of bed. The house is silent and the kids are fast asleep. They used the weekend to complete homework assignments due to them not having anything else to do. In two hours my husband will get up and log into his computer for the start of his work day. It is the new normal that so many of us are seeing right now.

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I’m wondering if I should make eggs for breakfast today, but I now have less than a dozen. The health professionals are telling us to watch our trips to the grocery stores because we are playing an alternate version of duck duck goose every time we walk out the door. So, the idea of eggs for today’s breakfast is slowly starting to fade away. Rice or oatmeal will be the winner for today’s breakfast which will more than likely be the winner for days to come.

Putting food rationing aside for a moment, I noticed something new about my husband. Perhaps it wasn’t new, it was just forgotten. Our cat had a kitten and we named her Penny. My husband is so gentle with Penny and loving. I forgot that side of him. He has a nurturing side that’s so alluring and comforting. When the girls were little, he was the same way with them. I love to see their interactions. He’s able to relate to them and laugh with them in ways that I cannot. I fear I lack a sense of humor, but that doesn’t mean I don’t try to crack a joke.

I’ve noticed that my girls are turning into young women. They are doing their homework and trying to be brave. There are days that they miss their friends terribly, but they keep in touch with them over social networking platforms. While I am scared just like many of you are, I am also thankful.

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Two years ago when I gave up my job to spend more time with my girls, I struggled with the decision. I couldn’t help but think back to the dying toddler that required my final permission after the parents gave theirs to be taken off life support. I couldn’t help but think about how they hunkered down in her room praying for a miracle. They moved all her favorite blankets and laid them upon her tiny little body perhaps thinking that in some small way, it would make her come back to them.

There was a lesson to be learned that night. The lesson was how we look at time and spending it with those we love. So many of us have been guilty of feeling prideful over items that can be replaced at any given point. I had this walnut European piece of furniture that I used to love. It was for a long time my pride and joy until one day a group of movers lost all the required pieces to place it back together.

This is a painting of the wall unit I lost many years ago. Yes, I actually painted a picture of it.

I remember feeling so sad after I had to trash the pieces of wood and say goodbye to those memories. However, it wasn’t the end of the world. There would be other pieces of furniture. As I started to process the death of the child, I often thought about the European piece of furniture. It was here today and gone tomorrow. It was nothing more than a cold, solid, storage space taking up room in my house. However, my children were warm, sweet, caring, living, loving, and deserving of so much more than the material junk I was trying to bring home to add value to our lives.

I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t worry about replaceable things. Value those lives that can never be replaced and focus on loving your loved ones harder than ever before. Hug longer, kiss harder, and let this be your defining moment. Months ago we were planning on finding our perfect eco-friendly house, and now we are just trying to stay safe and healthy. Life lessons keep coming. Have a great day.

Texas Fast Becoming The Experimental State By Default For The Country

Later this week Governor Abbott will vocalize his plans on opening up our state. It is surprising because Texas hasn’t issued out nearly enough test to determine if people have the virus or not. Some of our counties aren’t being open about their numbers when it comes to COVID-19 cases. In my county we are still seeing increasing numbers. Our shelter-in-place policy is too broad and I think we will see the results of that flaw pretty soon. Abbott has opened up the public to gathering at mass events, such as churches. Some of these churches are large with a lot of people, and normally Easter Sunday brings people who haven’t worshiped all year, to these gatherings.

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Worship is important and so is fellowship. However, today we can do that over various platforms which promotes safety. I am fearful. I am fearful that we will see yet another spike because our government once again doesn’t seem to understand the nature of this virus. They are listening to people who have financial motives while they should be looking at the events that are unfolding all over America.

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How many lives are they willing to risk for financial gain? In many ways it’s like jumping into a body of water without knowing the depth. It might not look that bad, but you really do not know the reality of it until you get in. It is a sad day when you cannot trust your government to do the right thing. For the first time in my life, I cannot wait until it is time to pick new leaders. It would seem that some of our current officials do not understand that a sick and dying workforce produces more harm than good.

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Who knows maybe they have a pill that can make dead people gain them more money. We will find out soon.

Games Helping To Keep Citizens Indoors and COVID-19 Free.

Video games have gotten bad reputations for many years now. However, today, they are fast becoming the escape from a world of anguish. While some of us who are under shelter-in-place orders take to Netflix or Hulu, there are countless others taking to imaginary worlds created by game developers.

My go to game is Ark. Ark is a game that deals with the development of survival skills, maintaining social relationships, and building bases. The whole idea is to take a piece of land and make it your own, by making a base.

After you make a base you will need to add some protection. I raise the dinosaur known as the tyrannosaurus rex! In order to raise these bad boys, you have to tame them. Aww yes, taming is another feature in the game which allows players to learn the ability to make arrows, and narcotics for knocking out potential friends. There are many more things that you will learn, but I will not spoil all of the fun.

After you have your base and your animals, you will want to do missions. Some people love boss fighting, some taming, and others just love to play the game. So, in the newest expansion which is called Genesis players have the ability do missions which help with gathering loot. You are able to get armor, saddles, and even weapons.

My favorite feature of the game is building. I love building because it takes my mind off of real life stuff and helps me to think about something a little less depressing. You can build a small base, large base, or a giant base! It can get time consuming because you are gathering supplies like wood, stone, and metal for the construction of your base.

At the end of the day, Wildcard is doing a wonderful job when it comes to helping their players stay calm. They are hosting different events that help to keep players alert and busy. This one is to Wildcard. Thanks for being there!

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Is Texas Doing Too Little With Their Shelter-In-Place Policy?

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Each state has the right to make their own policies while dealing with this virus to some degree. However, some policies seem to do better than others. Here in Texas, the counties are able to come up with their own plans which right now echos the govern’s policy, to some degree.

The problem is our shelter-in-place policy is too vague. It names almost all businesses as essential and even includes churches which could serve as a breeding ground for sickness right now. Governor Abbot doesn’t want to take a stricter tone while dealing with the outbreak, so he is inadvertently leaving large holes in a protection bubble that should be placed around the state.

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Here in my county, we are still seeing new cases every single day. While our numbers aren’t like Dallas, Houston, or other major cities, we are still dealing with potential dangers to our small infrastructures. All it takes is the right case, right organization, and chaos would hit the entire town. If Texas doesn’t do more to define the definition of essential, I fear we will have a major outbreak on our hands.

At this point, our government is trying to maintain an imaginary line of neutrality between health and finance, in my opinion. By not closing more organizations they are risking more exposure. I guess my question is , what does shelter-in-place really mean? Why are there so many updates, and why are we seeing things added to list that were once taken away? We need to all be on the same sheet of music.

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Note of the day: Do not open food before you get home. Make sure you get home first and wash your hands.

Trying To Explain The Need For A Quarantine To Kids

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We have been under a shelter-in-place order for weeks now. Weeks feel like months for some reason. So when it rained today, I got really excited and so did the girls. Maybe the rain symbolized some degree of normalcy. The smell was familiar the feeling was comforting and then reality set in. The things we once found annoying were now the things that we missed the most.

The little quaint store I promised to take my youngest child to might not be there if we all make it through this ordeal. As I was thinking about all the little things I missed, my youngest child asked about going over to her friend’s house. She talked about how much she missed her and didn’t think it would be a big deal if she or her friend came to visit.

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So, I asked her if she understood who stood more of a chance of dying due to complications from the coronavirus. She was like old people are the ones who have to worry not me. She is 14 and the picture of healthy. I then pulled up this picture and asked if she recalled taking it.

Taken about 5 yrs ago.

She started laughing and said she remembered the picture and the blanket she got at the hospital. I then informed her that she was one of the people in the danger zone for COVID-19. Due to her frequent bronchitis attacks when she was younger, her lungs were weakened. I then explained that COVID-19 attacks the lungs and for people like her, that attack could be fatal.

Now some of you might think that being that direct with children causes a panic, but it actually explains the virus and the need to quarantine. While my 14 yr old is smart and her own person, she is still a child who needs my protection. If your children are starting to wear you down about seeing their friends because the shelter-in-place order is taking too long, tell them why it is taking long. We owe it to our children to protect them from danger and sometimes that danger might by themselves.

My City Is Now The Epicenter For Coronavirus In My County.

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It was something that was perhaps destined to happen due to the attitudes in regards to COVID-19. If you recall one of my postings from a couple of weeks ago, I talked about seeing people crowed in the parking lots of restaurants. Around that time we were told that we needed to practice social distancing being around no more than 50 people. This town has a lot of elderly people in it. It was perhaps one of the things that attracted me to it, but now it is one of the reasons the city holds the highest amount of cases in Bell County.

Bell County is home to Fort Hood which happens to be one of the largest Army bases in America. Earlier this week a soldier tested positive for the virus which means the virus has a chance to spread post wide if precautions aren’t put in place. Unlike our city, the base has more control over their soldiers and families stationed in the area. Sadly, Temple does not have the manpower to control movement due to us constantly having a shortage of police.

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I don’t think many people understand the importance of staying at home. Eating out is a way of life for many of us, but after COVID-19 hit, we were forced to alter our routines in many ways. Even today as we are now placed on a shelter in place order, cars are still seen traveling on the road as if things are the same. It is enough to make you scratch your head and wonder if people are paying attention.

I can only conclude that many of these problems stem from the fact that some of these people aren’t listening to the news and are still listening to people with ulterior motives. Right now we have some of our leaders who are telling the elderly that it might be okay for them to go back out into the public sooner rather than later because it is the noble thing to do. Some people like Lieutenant Governor Patrick have even hinted at the need to place the country above the health of our nation. https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/24/politics/dan-patrick-texas/index.html

It is a little scary when you think about it! The fate of many of us will depend on the ability of our neighbors to listen to the CDC. If they are not listening to the CDC, they are putting the city in danger and those like myself who call this place home. At this moment I fear for our little city. We are a smaller city that is now seeing this large outbreak of this virus. Each day is getting a littler scarier for those of us stuck behind the containment zone called home. https://www.tdtnews.com/news/coronavirus/article_5e5744fa-6ec9-11ea-bdb3-bb313fff6b2b.html

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